Yoga Vs. Weight Training : What fits your body best?

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Yoga and Gyming with The Fitness India Show
The Fitness India Show with Preeti Jhangiani and Pooja Batra

Are you the gym freak who loves those 20 kg plates, or are you the one who’d run the treadmill more that jogging naturally? Or do you prefer the calm than the chaos and workout peacefully? Yoga and Weight Training have pros and cons of their own. But, they can complement each other to achieve a stronger and healthier body.

Whether you’re a weightlifter or a yogi, you can improve your practice by cross-training. However, research shows that Yoga is everything your body needs to function at its absolute best. While many may accept this, some may feel pumping iron keeps the body young and strong.

Like life, Yoga and Weight Training both have their Yin and the Yang. If you think Yoga is easy, Yoga can be challenging, but it does lack the the ability to build additional strength and muscle past a certain point. Similarly, If you focus on weight training, you will for sure develop muscles and a physique that you were aiming for, but by disregarding mobility and a strong foundational level of fitness, you’ll be putting yourself at a higher risk of injury.

Let’s begin with the pros and cons of Yoga.

Pros of Consistent Yoga Practice:
Achieve the balance through Yoga: Balancing is not a skill. It requires strength, stability, and muscle awareness. Continuous yoga practice will help you balance by strengthening and bringing awareness to the muscles around joints such as your ankle, knee, and hip.
Calm yourself down and relax: It is a very soothing form of activity which allows your mind to switch off whilst you reconnect with your breath and listen to your body. Practicing yoga postures allows you to concentrate on many different facets of your body.

Padangusthasana
Pooja Batra doing the Padangusthasana Yoga Pose – The Fitness India Show

Flexibility, Motion and Mobility: Yoga Poses held for several rounds of breath serve to create a deep connection to the muscle tissue, encouraging it to relax and stretch. In fact, many people notice a 35 percent increase in their flexibility after only eight weeks of regular yoga practice.

Cons of Only Practicing Yoga:
Yoga primarily involves pushing exercise and if you only practice pushing motions, you’ll most likely have muscular imbalances, and end up with shoulder pain.
– Yoga does a great job of targeting your lower-body and core, but it just doesn’t give you a comprehensive workout for your upper body.
– When you go to the gym, you probably don’t need a personal trainer to help you figure out the treadmill or leg press. With Yoga, it may be difficult to learn to perform poses correctly without a trainer.

If you’re really looking to pack on muscle to your upper-body, to build a bigger chest, bigger shoulders, and pump up those biceps, you’ll need to do more than just yoga. Doing only Yoga might just limit your overall muscle growth.

Pros of Consistent Weight Training:

Weight Training can be high impact, sweaty, adrenalin based, constant muscle contraction, weight bearing exercise which helps you load your muscles with the appropriate amount of tension to facilitate muscle growth.
– The risk of injuries is less. Having strong muscles limits the load that occurs through our weight bearing joints and provides the spine with great support, ultimately reducing repetitive strain. Thus decreasing the chance of injuries to the muscle groups you are working on.
– It helps increase metabolism. Research estimates that for every one-pound of increase you have in muscle mass, your resting metabolism rises by 30 to 50 calories. If you are trying to lose weight, this is definitely good news!
– An increase in bone density helps make strong bones which in turn helps to prevent fractures and osteoporosis.
As you get stronger, you will ultimately reach a point where you need to push your muscles a bit harder to continue building lean muscle tissue. And that can be done through weights!

Fitness India Show: Inclined Chest Press and Glute Press with Preeti Jhangiani - The Fitness India Show
Inclined Chest Press and Glute Press with Preeti Jhangiani – The Fitness India Show

Yoga can help with building some muscle size through strength and mainly endurance work, but weight training is way more effective.

Cons of Only Practicing Weight Training:
– You could be limited to your mobility and flexibility. You might get the muscle and physique you’ve been wanting but you’ll be putting yourself at a higher risk of injury because of lack of mobility and omitting the strong foundation of workouts.
– The limited range of movement can lead to poor postural patterns creating pain and discomfort.

Weight Training with Parvin Dabas- The Fitness India Show
Workout Motivation from Parvin Dabas – The Fitness India Show

– Once you begin with weight training, you need to complete it with the correct technique or it can cause injuries.
– The rate of burning calories is not as good as you may expect. You need to keep a tab on your diet, focus on lean protein sources and choose fruits and vegetables as your carbohydrates during weight lifting.
– We agree with “No pain, no gain,” but overusing your muscles while engaging in strength training and sports results in varying degrees of pain that may persevere for several days.

According to research, doing a combination of both Yoga and Weight Training will help you move every part of your body and give overall strength. Yoga can help you get better at weight training, and weight training can improve your yoga practice. However, you need to experiment with your own body and understand the signals that could mean you are overtraining or under training.

A good base workout schedule is:
Monday : Weights
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Weights
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Yoga

Listen to your body and understand what it requires. That is the best way to figure out what’s the best way of working out. Opt for Yoga if you feel lazy or have had a long day at work. If you feel like you have no strength, go for weight training and you’d know how much your body can give you. Working out can always be fun. Explore your options and achieve that well balanced body on a schedule that personally benefits you and your body, both mentally and physically.

Happy Training!