The ongoing argument within the fitness industry, weights vs cardio, which is best? Personally, I think the whole argument is outdated and should be a thing of the past. Step away from the “Fitness” industry, i.e. lets tell you whatever it is you want to hear.

I’m going to try and NOT turn this into a rant, instead I want to look at it from a performance point of view. I think the whole weights vs cardio is a bit of a mis-conception. A lot of the arguments for and against are actually related more to strength vs (mainly aerobic) conditioning. So, lets take a look at both of these elements in a bit more detail.


Weightsweights vs cardioStrength Training

The general goal here is to improve total force production. Depending on your sport, you will fall into different parts of the speed/strength curve. However, the goal and principles generally stay the same.

  • Increase total force production
  • Increase the rate of force production
  • Improve the joints and tissues resistance to stress/external loadings
  • Move more, faster and more effectively

I know I am only scratching the surface and could go into more detail. Click for more on resistance training sets and reps.


weights vs cardioAerobic Conditioning

Generally what people perceive as endurance or cardiovascular fitness. Again, the training and specifics will depend on your sport. Despite this, there are some general principles/benefits.

  • Improved ability to utilise Oxygen
  • Increased work capacity
  • Delayed onset of fatigue
  • Work harder, for longer, more efficiently

As with strength training, I am only scratching the surface!


So, Which Is More Important?

Without being cliché, it depends! The nature of your sport will determine which one you will sway towards. However, both are still vitally important components within a training plan.

Every step a runner takes, places 3-4x bodyweight on their body! Strength training can condition muscles and connective tissues to deal with the increased stress. Being able to produce more force will also allow you to move efficiently, improving running economy.

The human body requires some degree of aerobic conditioning, for pretty much anything over 20s of work. Without sufficient rest, even high intensity efforts of 20seconds will soon become aerobic.


How To Implement Both

Within your program you need to take a look into the demands of your sport. You can then decide how much time you need to spend on each and in what form.

  • Time – how long is your event? Is it continuous or intermittent?
  • Intensity – is it a consistent, do you have bursts of high and low?
  • Loading – how much external resistance is placed on the body?

You also need to take a look at yourself. You now know what your sport requires, the next step is to determine your strengths & weaknesses.

  • Are you strong in relation to your opponents?
  • Do you fatigue quickly and find yourself gasping for air?
  • Is your body composition suited to the demands?

As a leading Personal Trainer and Strength Coach in Twickenham, London, I can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses. Providing the correct workout for YOU, is something we pride ourselves on at NK Fitness. If you would like to learn more about how to optimise your training and performance, please get in touch via our contact form.