Benefits of Yoga vs. Gym Workouts

Going to the gym has always been the “standard” place to get your workout in.  Besides recently new at home workout remedies along with programmed bikes/treadmills, working out and lifting weights at a workout facility was the place to be and the norm for “getting fit.” However, yoga workouts have skyrocketed in popularity within the last few years.  More and more athletes, celebrities and everyday people are appreciating the true benefits, mentally and physically, about yoga.  In today’s blog, I’ll be listing the differences and benefits between a yoga workout and a gym workout in hopes it will inspire you to try something new and learn some valuable information.

YOGA:

Benefits: Explanation:
1) Yoga benefits the
mind, body, and
soul
Yoga not only helps you tone your muscles but also focuses on
bringing awareness to your whole body and inject positive
energy
into yourself. A gym workout really only focuses on improving
your body’s physical condition.
2) Yoga will make
you lean
Yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles
simultaneously which causes you to appear more lean.  When lifting weights, that causes your muscles to bulk up and look
larger.
3) Yoga is more
efficient
Yoga relies on your whole entire body for strengthening.
Gym workouts use weights and equipment (with only a few exceptions). In yoga, you use your entire body weight as“weights.” Unlike at the gym, your muscles are isolated by being worked individually which can take more time to build.
4) Yoga is calming/reduces stress/improves concentration Yoga focuses on connecting your mind, body and spirit into
one workout.(And if you haven’t tried it, it’s harder than you
think.) 
You have to focus on performing everything with intention
while following and paying attention to your breathing. 
Feeling each movement and muscles of your body being
worked.

GYM:

Benefits: Explanation:
1) Wide variety of workouts you can do While at the gym, you have a large selection of equipment and space to use to create your own workout.  With yoga, it normally follows a standard format.
2) Builds
muscle/makes
you bulk
At the gym, you normally use weights or equipment to break down your muscles so they can build back up bigger and stronger. With yoga, the practice strengthens and stretches your body instead.
3) Can be too
rigorous or
harmful to your
body
Going to the gym and doing intense weight lifting or cardio can be harmful to your body.  Yoga helps all aspects of your body by engaging your muscles, brain, and breathing.
4) Going to the gym allows you to potentially burn calories and sweat more When working out at a high intensity, your body burns more calories and makes you sweat more.  The can help with weight loss, circulation, and purging toxins in your body.  Unlike yoga where you are purposely trying to lower your heart rate and calm your mind/body.

Some people may still not be a fan of taking a yoga class or consider it a real workout.  However, if you haven’t already, check out Warhawk Group Fitness Yoga classes hosted everyday in the dance studio at the Williams Center!  Obviously there is always more to learn about completing workouts in the gym or by doing yoga so if you’re interested, learn more about the topics here:

https://www.doyouyoga.com/15-reasons-yoga-is-better-than-the-gym/

https://www.naturalremedieshome.com/yoga-versus-gym

As always, stay fit, stay healthy, stay beautiful, Warhawks!

Talk soon,

Ashley

Fitness Groupie

It had been a long day, so heading into my final challenge at 7pm took a lot of motivation. I had never done Yoga before, and I was worried about the amount of people that would be there. If only one or two people showed up, the instructor might single me out, and correct my form. If there was a ton of people, would I even get a good workout, or get lost in the class? Continue reading

Hold that Pose!

What words come to mind when you think of muscle building or strength training? Weights, a medicine ball, fancy weight machines, and dumbbells? But, why all of the materialist items? Do we really need all of that to build strength?

Pic 1 for Hold that Pose  Now, what words come to mind when you think of flexibility? Stretching obviously, and perhaps Yoga? So why is it that we associate only stretching with yoga immediately? Because the truth is, with Yoga and other resistance training exercises comes strength training that you can’t get from weight lifting. So if you’re short of weights or don’t have access to a weight lifting machine, good news: one of the best pieces of equipment you can have for strength training is your own body and here’s why:

  • While weights are a great way to build a specific group of muscles, we isolate that group of muscles while neglecting others. As bodybuilding.com states, “We forget about the smaller but very important intrinsic muscles that hold the body together in optimal alignment. When we neglect these muscles, the body’s way of letting you know about it is through bouts of dull pain or aches in your shoulders, knees or lower back that were not there before” (Clark et al., 2008).
  • Holding yoga poses and other resistance training exercises opposed to weight lifting, breaks down to a matter of eccentric contraction in the muscles vs. concentric contraction.

Pic 2 for Hold that Pose

Yoga relies on eccentric contraction, where the muscle stretches as it contracts. This gives the muscle a sleek and lengthy look.

Weight training relies on the opposing principle of concentric contraction. The muscle gets smaller as it contracts. This gives the muscle a compact, bulging appearance.

-Why does it matter to know the difference? Muscle strengthening may be most effective by doing eccentric contractions.

  • Yoga increases muscle endurance, since it is a matter of holding a given pose oppose to short compulsions of a repeated pose.

So next time you shut down a yoga class because you think you won’t benefit from it, revaluate all of the positive outcomes that comes with Yoga and Resistance training. Not only does it work as a double whammy, stretching and building muscle, but it focuses on muscles we usually neglect when weight lifting. As Nicholas DiNubile, says “Yoga can be just as effective as weights when it comes to building a stronger, more impressive physique.” Whether you’re trying out a yoga class for the first time or holding planks or wall sits in your room, broaden your horizon of muscles to focus on instead of isolating one group and neglecting others.

“It’s a good day to have a good one!”

-Alena Purpero