Does Weight Training Help Make Your Heart More powerful Than Cardio


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Yes, according to 2019 research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Researchers followed 12,591 people for more than five years and found those who did strength-training exercises at least once per week reduced their risk of a major cardiovascular event or death up to 70% — and weightlifting workouts didn’t have to be intense to be beneficial. Share on PinterestNew research suggests that strength training is the best exercise for heart health. A survey of 4,000 adults revealed that static activity, such as strength training, had stronger. Both forms of exercise reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors by 30% to 70%, but the link was stronger for strength training.

Those who strength trained were less likely to have a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Risk factors for heart disease include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal lipids. Does Strength Training Make Your Heart Stronger Than Cardio? Can pumping iron pump up your heart health? Yes, according to 2019 research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

If your goal is to lose weight, combining both strength and cardio is your best bet. To really fine-tune your routine, start with strength training and finish off with cardio. Doing so will elevate your heart rate so your heart continues to work at that elevated level during your cardio session. Consider your age as you build your own workout.

What is even more awesome about strength training is that you get all the benefits of cardio without all of the risks! If you perform a set of an exercise and only wait 30 seconds before jumping in to the next set, you will get your heart rate up and improve your conditioning. Lifting weights is better for your heart than cardio: study By Shaun Wooller, The Sun. “Both strength training and aerobic activity appeared to be heart healthy, even in small amounts, at. In fact, research suggests that when it comes to improving certain markers of heart health, strength training is just good – if not better – than cardio. [See: The 12 Best Heart-Healthy Diets.].

The Benefits of Strength Training. Strength training includes any type of exercise that helps our muscles become stronger and more powerful. This can be done with weights or elastic bands, but it can also include exercises that make use of your own body weight, such as squats and push-ups. Cardio gets your heart rate up during the session.

It comes back to normal after you cool down. Weight training on the other hand works more muscles. If you are training hard enough your muscles will be sore.

List of related literature:

Through regular endurance training, the heart becomes stronger because of progressive overload.

“Triathlon Science” by Joe Friel, Jim Vance
from Triathlon Science
by Joe Friel, Jim Vance
Human Kinetics, 2013

During strength training, significant, sustained increases in heart rate don’t occur, and increases in oxygen delivery to the muscles are not needed, so the heart doesn’t have to become stronger or more efficient.

“Strength Training for Triathletes: The Complete Program to Build Triathlon Power, Speed, and Muscular Endurance” by Patrick Hagerman, EdD
from Strength Training for Triathletes: The Complete Program to Build Triathlon Power, Speed, and Muscular Endurance
by Patrick Hagerman, EdD
VeloPress, 2014

Cardio makes your heart stronger, increases its pumping capacity and enables a stronger blood supply to the organs, so that they function to their full capacity.

“The Lazy Girl's Guide to Being Fit” by Namrata Purohit
from The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Being Fit
by Namrata Purohit
Random House Publishers India Pvt. Limited, 2015

Training does, however, affect the capacity to maintain exercise.

“Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats” by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Committee on Animal Nutrition, Subcommittee on Dog and Cat Nutrition
from Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats
by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, et. al.
National Academies Press, 2006

Through regular endurance training, the heart becomes stronger via a progressive overload.

“Developing Endurance” by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Ben Reuter
from Developing Endurance
by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Ben Reuter
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2012

Still, at least one study has shown that strength training, through weight lifting, has comparable effects to those of aerobic training in reducing risk factors for heart disease.

“Intelligent Medicine” by Ronald L. Hoffman
from Intelligent Medicine
by Ronald L. Hoffman
Touchstone, 1997

Aerobic exercise does develop the heart muscle more fully and cause it to become heavier and larger.

“Physical Fitness and Wellness: Changing the Way You Look, Feel, and Perform” by Jerrold S. Greenberg, George B. Dintiman, Barbee Myers Oakes
from Physical Fitness and Wellness: Changing the Way You Look, Feel, and Perform
by Jerrold S. Greenberg, George B. Dintiman, Barbee Myers Oakes
Human Kinetics, 2004

With regular aerobic training, the heart becomes stronger and more efficient, pumping more blood with every beat.

“The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner” by Lyle McDonald, Elzi Volk
from The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner
by Lyle McDonald, Elzi Volk
Lyle McDonald, 1998

However, after periods of endurance training the heart can become much stronger and cause an increase in stroke volume at the same intensity of exercise.

“The Essential Guide to Fitness” by Rosemary Marchese, Julie Taylor, Kirsten Fagan
from The Essential Guide to Fitness
by Rosemary Marchese, Julie Taylor, Kirsten Fagan
Cengage Learning Australia, 2019

This is a beneficial effect of endurance-type training because a slowly beating heart is more energy efficient than one that beats more rapidly.

“Principles of Anatomy and Physiology” by Gerard J. Tortora, Bryan H. Derrickson
from Principles of Anatomy and Physiology
by Gerard J. Tortora, Bryan H. Derrickson
Wiley, 2018

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Lost 70lb by doing cardio/running. How did I manage to do that? I made a video explaining how to that and there are more to come. The cardio/running is the KING of sports. Whether is the basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, handball, tennis, football or almost any sports. You name it. Even the pro bodybuilders do cardio. GUYS, do cardio on regular bases, it will improve your health, strength, endurance, condition AND OF COURSE YOU’LL LOSE FAT. Hard work pays off, so invest in yourself!!!

  • Sir good day i have a pwp,it’s ok to pick cycling as ang excercise im in cycling about 6 years i think?that’ my question sir thank you

  • Hello mam,
    My initial weight was 88kgs…i lost 17 kgs in 8 i am 72 kgs..but from past 3 months i am not able to loose weight..pls suggest what kind of exercises to follow..

  • im pretty skinny, so i always assumed my health was perfect, but i recently found out i had a heart rate of 77. its just at the limit for my age (im 12), and now im extremely paranoid im gonna have a heart attack in my sleep. i have anxiety, so it could be related to that, but im still taking my health into consideration. i started doing a handful of 10 minute workouts on youtube everyday to change my health and appearance, although im not so sure its doing anything heart wise. should i continue or am i just wasting my time?

  • I’m 56, haven’t had a thyroid for 21 years and can say that if you find an endurance sport you like, you’ll melt calories and never worry about weight again. I can burn about 800 calories in an hour of cycling and my average workouts range between 1hr20min to over 3 hours. Additionally,, to do and enjoy any endurance sport well you need weight/strength training. Want to try cycling, great. Want to try swimming or running, great. Go big guns and try Triathlons, definitely. It’s a lot of work but the dividends it pays you are huge. There are Tri events for every experience level and once you get the bug you’ll never stop. This doesn’t compete with what she if saying, but actually supports it. Both Cardio and Strength training will help you not only reach your goals but change your life.

  • Short answer: Do it all! I would say, though, that some form of aerobic training is very important on its own for strengthening the heart and cardio-vascular system, which is different from fat loss. If you look at the World’s Strongest Man competitions, it is the guys who are very strong and also well-conditioned who win!

  • Ok so I want to burn as much fat as possible, if i had to pick one out of hypertrophy training (Manageable weight 10/12 reps) and strength training (heavy weight 3/7 reps) which one is best for maximizing fat loss?
    In other words should I do hypertrophy or strength training? HELP

  • A great book to read about the danger of endurance training is “Heart Of A Champion” by Greg Welch a former Hawaiian Ironman Triathlete who suffered severe heart trauma at an early age from his excessive training. This opened my eyes to many of the dangers of things I would do and I have recently seen several people suffer with heart conditions.

  • But i am more sweaty on my cardio sessions of 30 mins rather than my weight training. Then what is actually much better i dont get it.

  • After a very intense session of lifting weights i tried to take a drink from my water bottle and ended up spilling it all because i couldn’t control my arms lol.

  • This is stupid. Yes for most people weightlifting is easier. U should do Both. But in terms of simply what burns more fat, it’s fricking steady state cardio.

  • I lost 25lbs doing weight training and 10 min max of cardio. Gym 5x a week and a non strict diet. I just make sure I’m at a caloric deficit and hit my protein intake. The most chill weight loss experience. Most importantly I’m not starving myself and torturing myself by constantly obsessing over eating the healthiest of foods. Remember it’s a long term commitment so making your weight loss journey pleasurable is extremely important to your success.

  • How do we do strength training at home without any equipments other than 2/3 kg dumb bells if we can’t go to gym? I want to lose around 4-5 kg I am 54.3 inch and 53 kg with a tummy of 32, I want to reduce the fat n not lose my curves what can I do for that? Please help Cori ��