We all know cardio is essential for our health, but what about lifting weights? Is lifting weights cardio?

The answer is… it depends.

Any physical activity will likely be “cardio” for you if you start to exercise. This is because your body isn’t used to the stress of exercise and needs time to adapt.

But the answer is more complicated if you’ve exercised regularly for a while. It depends on how you lift weights and what your goals are.

Let’s take a closer look.

Is Lifting Weights Cardio

What Is Cardio?

The term “cardio” is short for cardiovascular exercise. Cardio exercises increase your heart rate and improve cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) health.

Some examples of cardio exercises include walking, running, biking, swimming, and aerobics classes. Cardio can also be done with weights, but lifting weights is essential to improve cardiovascular health, rather than just building muscle.

How Do Lifting Weights Fit Into This?

If you lift weights to improve your cardiovascular health, lifting weights can be considered cardio.

Weightlifting is not a cardio exercise, but it can be done in a way that increases your heart rate and provides cardiovascular benefits. For example, you could do a circuit of weightlifting exercises with little rest between sets. This would get your heart rate up and provide a cardio workout.

Weightlifting can also be done at a lower intensity with more extended rest periods between sets. However, this lifting focuses on building muscle rather than improving cardiovascular health.

So, the answer to the question “is lifting weights cardio?” is… it depends. It all comes down to your goals and how you lift weights. To improve your cardiovascular health, lift weights with that goal in mind. Otherwise, focus on lifting weights to build muscle.

How To Combine Weight Training And Cardio For Fat Loss

If you want to lose fat, it’s a good idea to do both cardio and weightlifting. Cardio will help you burn calories, and weightlifting will help you build muscle. But because muscle is metabolically more active than fat, even when you’re at rest, the more muscle you have, the greater number of calories you’ll burn.

The best way to lose fat is to do a combination of cardio and weightlifting. You can do this by lifting weights 3-5 times per week and doing some form of cardio on the days in between.

So, if you want to improve your cardiovascular health and lose fat, lift weights and do cardio. Make sure your goals are clear, and you’re lifting weights with the right intention.

What About Cardio Machines?

You don’t need a cardio machine to improve your cardiovascular health. Instead, you can get all the cardio benefits you need by walking at a moderate pace.

Walking is a low-impact cardio exercise that is easy on your joints. It’s also free, and you can do it anywhere. If you want to get more out of your walks, you can add some hills or pick up the pace.

If you enjoy using cardio machines, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just know that you don’t need them to get a good cardio workout.

Cardio And Weights Workout Plan

If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, here is an example workout plan that combines cardio and weightlifting:

Day 1:

30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (walking, biking, elliptical)

Circuit of 10-12 different weightlifting exercises, with little rest in between sets

Day 2:

45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (walking, biking, elliptical)

Day 3:

30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (walking, biking, elliptical)

Circuit of 10-12 different weightlifting exercises, with little rest in between sets

Day 4:

60 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (walking, biking, elliptical)

Day 5:

30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (walking, biking, elliptical)

Circuit of 10-12 different weightlifting exercises, with little rest in between sets

Day 6:

45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (walking, biking, elliptical)

Day 7:

Rest day or light activity (yoga, stretching, walking)

As you can see, this workout plan combines cardio and weightlifting to help improve your cardiovascular health. However, it’s important to note that the intensity of your cardio workouts should be moderate. This means you should be able to talk but not sing during your workouts.

If you’re starting, it’s essential to ease into this workout plan. Start with lower intensities and shorter duration cardio workouts. You can also start with fewer weightlifting exercises and add more as you get stronger.

FAQs

What happens if you combine cardio and weights?

This is a great question! While cardio and weights are essential for overall health, combining the two can be incredibly beneficial. Cardiovascular exercises like running or biking can help improve your heart health while lifting weights can help build muscle and improve your strength.

What is the right mix of cardio and weight training?

There is no one-size-fits-all information to this query, as the right mix of cardio and weight training will vary depending on your individual fitness goals. But, the common knowledge is to do three days of cardio for weight training every day. This will help ensure you get enough of both exercises to see results.

Should I do more cardio or weights to lose belly fat?

This is another excellent question! While cardio and weights can help you lose weight, cardio exercises will typically burn more calories in the moment, while weight lifting and strength training are great for losing weight over the long term. This is because increasing your muscle mass will increase the number of calories your body will naturally burn every day.

It’s also not possible to target belly fat specifically. When you lose body fat, it gets lost all over your body simultaneously, it’s not possible to target a specific area and lose fat there.

The Bottom Line

So, is lifting weights cardio? It all depends on your goals and how you lift weights. For example, lifting weights can be considered cardio if you want to improve your cardiovascular health. But lifting weights is not considered cardio if you want to build muscle.

The best way to improve your cardiovascular health and lose fat is to do a combination of cardio and weightlifting. You can do this by lifting weights 3-5 times per week and doing some form of cardio on the days in between. Walking is an excellent form of cardio that is easy on your joints and can be done anywhere.

About the Author: Zoe Taylor

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Zoe Taylor has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and is an avid runner and fitness writer. Zoe works with BodyCapable by researching and writing cardio-related content. In her spare time, Zoe runs marathons, keeps up to date with the latest fitness trends, and enjoys walking her dog!