What is your first thought when people talk about going to the gym and weightlifting? Probably heavy weights and sweating profusely, although they don’t always go together. You would be amazed to know that heavy-weight exercises are usually performed in short bouts. Conversely, you sweat more when you lower the load and perform a more prolonged exercise.
There are two types of training, endurance training and strength training. Depending on your goals, you may want to focus on one of them. But each one has its benefits, and it is also a good idea to combine them, as you will see after a short read.
What is your goal?
The right type of weightlifting exercise for you depends on your goals.
As the name implies, strength training focuses on building muscle and uses heavier weights. It is the type of exercise you would do to bulk up. It is also appropriate for those who want to perform better with heavy loads at work or in daily life.
In contrast, endurance training is more challenging to your cardiovascular system and an excellent way to burn calories. It is sustained for a longer time, so you will also build stamina along the way. This type of exercise is recommended to lose weight or increase your resistance for a marathon.
Which one do you think is better according to your goals? Now let’s take a brief look at the practical differences between them.
Basics of strength training
• Strength training uses heavier weights. The idea is to give your muscles a real challenge from the first repetition to the last.
• The number of repetitions in strength training is variable, usually from 5 to 15.
• A lower repetition number correlates with a higher weight and vice versa. You’re encouraged to try different combinations to challenge different types of muscle fiber.
• You will have a short rest period between each short bout of exercise. It is usually less than one minute but may vary depending on the intensity of the training.
Endurance training applied to weightlifting
• Jogging and walking are classic endurance training, and you can use extra weights to increase the challenge. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) using weights will also work out your endurance. There are many methods to try out.
• Endurance training uses lighter weights that do not feel challenging at first, but you will start feeling the muscles burning after a while.
• You will probably not focus on the number of repetitions. In endurance training, the total time you spend is usually more important.
• It is helpful to keep track of your heart rate in this type of exercise. You will notice it will go up, and there is a range of target heart rates according to your age and fitness goals.
• Endurance training usually does not have any rest period. You keep doing it for a long time. Tabata and HIIT are exceptions to the rule, but the rest period between exercises is around 10-15 seconds.
A short piece of advice
You may think that bulking up requires strength training, and losing weight is only about endurance exercises or cardio, and it appears so at first sight. However, regardless of your goal, it is essential to include both types of exercise to a certain degree.
You may focus more on strength training to build muscle, but resistance exercise will provide many cardiorespiratory benefits and increase your stamina. And if you focus on endurance activity to lose weight, combine it with strength training to speed up your metabolism and prevent a rebound effect.
Most importantly, keep consistent and stay motivated. Remember that exercise should be a part of your lifestyle before you see the full array of benefits it has in stock for you.