Spending a heap of your time running? There are a lot of benefits that come with cardio, but are you missing out on strength training? Which is better for fat loss; cardio or weights?
We have all heard the gym mantra “You have to create a calorie deficit for weight loss”. But is cardio the answer to the best solution for weight loss?
I believe that its not always how many calories you spend in the gym, but the condition in which you leave the gym. When you run on a treadmill, it definitely helps to burn calories but when you hop off and go about your day your body returns back to its metabolic rate.
To change the rate in which you burn calories outside the gym you have to change the composition of your body. Have you heard “If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you?” I think that is never as true as when applied to strength training.
If you want to burn calories no matter if you are at the gym or sitting on your butt watching reading a book, you need to increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns fat
BUT I DON’T WANT TO GET BULKY….
Another myth we hear often at the gym, especially from women looking to become more lean. This is pretty far from the truth. To get big and bulky you have to put just as much effort in the gym as you do outside. To gain bulky mass you have to eat in bulk. So rest assured lifting weights is not going to change your physique for the worse.
If you are a woman reading this, there is a disadvantage to a woman’s body being able to put on serious size and that is that women have one-tenth the testosterone as men. That isn’t to say it is impossible for a woman to gain size if desired, but it should reduce the concerns of women afraid to lift for the this reason.
TRAIN BOTH BUT EMPHASIZE STRENGTH TRAINING
Most physicians will tell you to do at least two and half hours of cardio a week. Strength training and cardio go hand in hand. When you have a good balance you can improve your ligaments and joints through cardio which will help you in your efforts through strength training.
The biggest reason why doing strength training and building lean muscle mass is better for fat loss than cardio is because of higher EPOC levels (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Muscle tissue also requires the most amount of calories to function.
If you had two people doing the exact same workout in the gym, and the only difference was one had 10kgs more fat and the other 10gkgs more muscle. The one with the muscle would burn more calories even if they performed at the same level in the same exact exercise.
If you don’t like lifting weights you don’t necessarily have to. You can use your own body weight in resistance training and it works in much the same way.
BENEFITS OF CARDIO
- Improved heart health
- Better ability to recover
- Cardiovascular health
- Improved cognitive function
- Stronger lungs
- Reduced stress
- Relief from depression and anxiety
- Better sleep
- More energy
- Hormonal balance
BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Protection against injury
- Weight management – muscle to fat ratio
- Increased bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Greater stamina
- Better mobility and balance
- Increased metabolism
I hope you found this article on Cardio Vs Weights – The Ultimate Fat Loss War helpful.
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