Martial Arts vs Going to the Gym: Is It Better Than Weightlifting?

Martial Arts vs Going to the Gym: Is It Better Than Weightlifting?

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If you are here, they have certainly asked yourself which one is better, martial arts or going to the gym? This article will inform you about martial arts as well as compare them to going to the gym in terms of weightlifting. Firstly this article considers the benefits of doing martial arts as well as some of the best combat sports for fitness and then it compares them to the gym.

While the gym can provide you with the right space to improve your physical shape, martial arts provides more than that. The gym is definitely better if your only focus is weightlifting, but if you want to develop your whole body and mind, then go with martial arts.

In this article, we will tell you about martial arts that will get you in shape, which martial arts are best for fitness, and conclude it with which one is better for you while giving you the pros and cons of one and another.

Do martial arts get you in shape?

Many people wonder if martial arts are good enough to get someone’s body in good shape.

If you carefully observe the athletes that perform martial arts, you can see that they have a compact muscular structure, speed, and enormous force.

Only judging by their physical appearance, one can easily state that martial arts get one’s body in good shape. Martial arts are vital to improving your physical activities.

After a period performing them, you will quickly notice how your muscles have gained more endurance, power, speed as well as flexibility. It also helps improve functional fitness which in return helps your daily activity.

Martial arts are also significant for weight loss and fat burning. This is because usually, the training provides you with steady-state cardio as well as high-intensity interval training.

This mix of exercises is instrumental when it comes to fat burning. It is estimated that a hard session of martial arts training can burn up to 1000 calories.

An advantage of this is that you won’t be constantly looking at the time when it will finish, but instead, you can be burning off calories while having fun. Training like this makes the time quickly fly by without even noticing it.

So if you are looking to burn some fats or to keep your body in shape, then you might want to consider going for martial arts. 

Which martial arts are best for fitness?

There are many sports included in the martial arts spectrum that help you improve your physical shape.

Besides being performed to improve one’s physical shape, many people start performing martial arts to reach mindfulness and relieve stress. However, in this article, I will only mention some of the martial arts that are best for fitness.


Capoeira is considered to be the first into providing the best workout for one’s body. This sport requires dynamic movements as well as a diverse range of techniques. As such, it’s extremely important to improve and strengthen almost all the muscles in your body.

Capoeira involves quickly moving your hands and delivering high impact kicks while you are also practicing music.


In addition to Capoeira, taekwondo is also great for fitness. It’s probably one of the most known sport coming out of Korea.

Likewise Capoeira, Taekwondo requires techniques that involve heavy kicking. This type of sport provides an amazing workout for your dexterity as well as leg strength.

This martial art is the perfect choice for someone who wants to strengthen and improve their leg muscles.


Karate is also one of the best martial art for fitness. The workout you can get from Karate is peculiar as it simultaneously works out your brain and your body.

While performing this martial art, one needs to work out a way to use their brain and body in harmony.

The practitioners of Karate are widely known for their powerful kicks and punches as well as for their toughness.

Some of the Karate black belts can demonstrate their power by breaking different boards. This shows that this type of combat school can easily be used for fitness as you don’t only keep your body fit, but also can develop enormous strength.


Lastly, Escrima is also one of the martial arts that can be considered one of the best for fitness. This is slightly different from the ones that were previously mentioned.

Escrimarequires you to use weapons such as knives when you are standing against an armed opponent. This sports significantly develops flexibility as you will be moving while using your weapons.

In addition to flexibility, Escrima also develops biceps as well as other muscles because you will constantly apply a lot of force to beat your opponent.

There are more martial arts that can be great for fitness, but I decided to discuss only these 4 most known. 

Are martial arts better than weight lifting/going to the gym?

Many people find it hard to choose between going to the gym and doing martial arts.

While the gym can provide you with the right space to improve your physical shape, martial arts provides more than that.

While doing combating sports you can also have your mental well-being improved. This is because you need to be focused on the opponents that are ahead of you otherwise you would lose. This can be a great getaway from all the negativity of daily life.

People who are suffering from anxiety or daily stress, they should consider doing martial arts as it helps improve your mood.

On the other hand, the gym doesn’t provide you with the ability to get away from what’s going on around you. While at the gym you will constantly overthink what’s going on since you don’t need much focus.

Another thing to consider when it comes to whether martial arts are better than weight lifting is socializing with others.

Although in the gym you can communicate with people it’s not the same as when you are doing combat sports. While doing Karate or Taekwondo you need to either work as a team or train with one of them.

This helps you socialize with others and get to know many new people, as your success in the sport depends on your socializing skills.

Martial arts are also able to teach discipline something that the gym doesn’t nurture. As I’ve said before there are cases in which martial arts have helped people gain enormous strength.

Which points out both ways can work for weightlifting, but if that is your only goal then the gym would probably fit you better.

Considering the additional pros that martial arts have over the gym, I believe that martial arts are always a better way to go.

Mental benefitsLack of appropriate equipment
Socializing with othersMore workout needed
Competition Takes a lot of time
Pros and cons of martial arts in terms of weightlifting

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