Train according to your fitness goal. Picture: Pexels / Victor Freitas
Train according to your fitness goal. Picture: Pexels / Victor Freitas

Is cardio a waste of time compared to doing weights?

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published May 20, 2021

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Is cardio a waste of time compared to doing weights? That is arguably one of the most asked questions among health enthusiasts.

Fitness experts say a cardio workout burns more calories than a weight-training workout. However, your metabolism may stay elevated for longer after weights than cardio, and weight lifting is better for building muscle.

When it comes to choosing between the two, it may depend on the desired outcome, says Egis Racinskas, a fat loss and food freedom coach at Absscience.com, speaking on Quora.

He gives us some questions you should ask yourself when you need to choose between the two.

Do you have a sedentary or desk job and you consistently walk less than 5 000 steps per day? If so, then you should be doing cardio and/or weightlifting.

Do you follow a low-volume weightlifting programme – less than 10 sets per muscle group a week and fewer than four training days a week? If that’s the case, you need to do add cardio to your training.

Do you have specific endurance goals? If so, cardio is necessary for you.

Is your job physically active and you spend most of your day on your feet? Then cardio may be a waste of time for you.

Do you follow a moderate- to high-volume weight-training programme, with 10–20 sets/muscle group/week or more than four training days a week? If yes, cardio may be unnecessary.

Like most things in life, context matters. There is no hard-and-fast rule.

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