Yoga vs Gym: Which Workout Style is More Effective? - Pretty Brave Fitness

Yoga vs Gym: Which Workout Style is More Effective?

Are you torn between going to the gym or taking up yoga? Well, you are not alone. Many ladies and gents who are trying to improve their health and fitness are stuck with this dilemma. While both types of workouts have their own set of benefits, it is all a matter of achieving your own fitness and wellness goals. 

If you are wondering if yoga or the gym offer better workouts, the answer depends on your goals. Each option has advantages, but gym workouts will be better for both muscle mass and cardio health. Combining the two workout styles in your routine can help you benefit from both training styles. 

Many people see yoga as a therapeutic exercise that only requires a mat. Although they are right in a sense—yoga is not just doing poses. It can also improve strength and boost physical performance. On the other hand, gym workouts are extremely versatile and not just for bodybuilding enthusiasts. 

Again, the results will depend on the intensity and your goals – so if you’re wondering if your local gym training sessions are the answer, or if you’re better off investing in yoga classes, the key lies in what you’re looking to achieve. 

To learn more about gym and yoga workouts and which may prove more effective for you, just keep reading!

What’s the Difference Between Going to the Gym and Doing Yoga?

Yoga and gym workouts are both great for your body, but have very different training styles and different benefits and exercise styles. Yoga focuses on flexibility and breathing while going to the gym helps build muscle mass and strength.

Yoga can be an excellent cardiovascular workout and aerobic exercise that focuses on strengthening different parts of your body, depending on the poses you learn. In addition, yoga can also be therapeutic and calming, which is fantastic for your mental well being. 

On the other hand, gym workouts can be very intense. Whether you choose to do cardio or weight training exercises, going to the gym will definitely get your heart pumping and your body sweating. 

Both workouts have their own benefits to the mind, body, and overall health. While yoga may not help you build muscle mass, it will definitely help your breathing, boost strength, and improve mental health.

Going to the gym focuses on building strength and muscles—but you don’t necessarily have to bulk up. There are many different styles of gym workout, from strength training through to high intensity interval training – not to mention the range of group fitness classes available at your gym.

Depending on your goals, your gym program can be customised, and you can even have a personal trainer create the right workout plan for you. When practising yoga, there are a range of styles available, but it’s not as multi-purpose as training the gym. 

As mentioned earlier, no workout is better than the other – it all depends on the goals and benefits you want to receive from exercise. In fact, you can mix the two workouts into your exercise routine to balance strength, flexibility, and overall wellness.

What Are the Benefits of Doing Yoga?

When you consistently practise yoga, you may see the following benefits: 

  • Easy for beginners
  • Only requires a yoga mat for practice
  • Improves joint flexibility & mobility
  • Stimulates positive thinking & benefits mental health 
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Therapeutic & relieves stress in the mind and body
  • Accessible for for all ages

What Are the Benefits of Going to the Gym?

A consistent and effective gym program can help you see the following benefits: 

  • Builds muscle mass
  • Excellent for losing weight
  • Keeps body healthy
  • Excellent for discipline
  • Prevents the onset of chronic medical conditions
  • Boosts blood circulation
  • Excellent for cardiovascular health
  • Purges toxins from the blood

There are plenty of benefits of gym workouts, but it does rely on training consistently and at the right intensity level. 

Yoga vs Gym: Which is More Effective?

Both gym and yoga workouts are effective workout styles, only with slightly different results. If you want to gain maximum flexibility and range of motion, then yoga is more effective. But if you want to lose weight, then going to the gym and doing intense cardio workouts is your best bet. 

Different styles of yoga allow you to tap into different benefits – for instance, some yoga styles are slower and more meditative, while others are higher in intensity, like Vinyasa yoga. The benefits of hot yoga will differ from that of slow-paced yin yoga or restorative yoga. 

If you are still on the fence about choosing which workout is effective for you, let’s break down some of the key differences so you can decide. 

Yoga vs Gym: Which Is Easier for Beginners?

If you are new to exercising, yoga can be a good option to start with. A yoga session will not require you to spend a lot of money, whether you are attending a class or watching an instructional video at home.

All you need is a yoga mat and a small open space, either in your home, backyard or at a nearby park. However, attending a class can help you learn yoga safely and ensure your technique is correct. 

On the other hand, yoga may not present enough of a challenge for those with more experience training. It also doesn’t provide the same cardiovascular benefits as higher-intensity exercise, so it isn’t ideal to choose yoga as your sole way of working out, even for beginners. 

Yoga vs Gym: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

If you are looking to lose weight, gym workouts will be more effective than yoga. You may sweat when doing yoga, but working out at the gym consistency is higher-intensity and more effective for fat loss. 

At the gym, you can hit the treadmill, lift weights, and join in some fun fitness classes to keep your heart rate up. This higher-intensity exercise is the key to effective weight loss, and yoga just doesn’t burn as many calories. 

Yoga vs Gym: Which Is Better for Building Muscle?

Going to the gym and strength training regularly is the best way to build muscle. The gym is filled with all the weight equipment you need, while with yoga, you will struggle to build muscle with just a yoga mat. 

People often compare a gym body vs yoga body in terms of muscle. If you want to get stronger without building muscle mass and be more flexible with a more toned body, then yoga is the choice for you. But for genuinely building muscle and increasing strength, the gym is most effective. 

Yoga vs Gym: Which Is Cheaper to Get Into?

If you are not ready to commit to a monthly membership at a gym, yoga can seem like a more cost-effective choice. However, trying yoga at home won’t be as safe or effective as taking classes with an instructor – and the cost of gym classes vs yoga classes is about the same. 

Training at a gym also means getting access to lots of equipment, meaning you can work out however you prefer without needing to buy anything. Yoga does only require a mat, but you’ll also be limited in the range and type of exercises you can do. 

Yoga vs Gym: Which Is Safer?

The risk of getting hurt is about the same, whether you work out at the gym or do yoga. Either way, there are risks when training improperly and without the help of a qualified instructor, especially when you’re a beginner. 

Make sure you learn from the beginning and start small before tackling more intense workouts or more advanced yoga poses. Stretching before working out at the gym and doing yoga is ideal if you want to avoid getting hurt‌. You should always take your physical condition and any injuries or medical conditions into consideration, and hire a personal trainer for guidance if needed. 

Can you Replace the Gym with Yoga?

No, it’s not likely that you can substitute yoga for gym workouts. Though yoga does use your bodyweight to build strength, it doesn’t provide the same cardiovascular workout as a well-designed gym workout. 

Going to the gym is also a faster way to build muscle and strength than yoga, where muscle building happens gradually. However, if yoga does tick all the boxes for your individual fitness goals, there’s no reason this can’t be your primary way of working out. 

Yoga and Gym Together

Can you do yoga and gym together? The answer is yes! You can definitely combine the two to receive all the benefits for your body and mind. In fact, doing yoga will help you perform better at the gym, and vice versa. 

Strengthening your muscles will enable your body to do more complex yoga positions and improve your joint flexibility. A varied exercise routine is the best option for your body – and it also helps keep you motivated!

Related Questions

How Many Times a Week Should I Do Yoga?

To maximise your results when practising yoga, it is good to do it at least 3 to 5 times a week instead of every day. Keeping your schedule consistent is essential, so make sure you stick to a routine that fits your schedule. 

Is Doing Yoga Enough to Stay Fit?

Doing yoga alone isn’t enough for well-rounded fitness, as it doesn’t provide the same challenge for your cardiovascular system. Yoga can help you tone your muscles, build strength, improve flexibility, and stay fit. However, for your heart and lung health, higher-intensity cardio workouts are recommended as well. 

Is Yoga Strength Training?

If you take part in a more strenuous and intense style of yoga, like Vinyasa yoga, it can work as a style of strength training. However, yoga isn’t typically enough to constitute strength training when practised on its own. 

If building strength is a priority for you, you should incorporate other weight training exercises into your routine to see quicker results. 

Fitness Classes at Pretty Brave Fitness

Looking for a fun and safe fitness environment? Mix things up and try a class at Pretty Brave Fitness in Mandurah, WA. Our gym provides functional group training for the girls! We are a women’s only gym offering strength, cardio and mixed classes.

Pretty Brave Fitness provides a supportive and uplifting environment, and our class times are designed to suit your busy schedule. 

To get started, sign up for a free 14-day trial today! 


This article is published for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and does not take into consideration your individual circumstances, medical conditions or abilities. Always consult a medical professional before beginning any program of exercise. A fitness industry professional can provide personalised advice to suit your needs.

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