So I’m sure you’ve pondered the age old debate about whether cardio or weights training is better for fat loss. Correct? Well, sit back and read up. The most common thought is that cardiovascular training burns calories, and weights’ training builds muscle. Yes, that’s true. So straight away we assume that cardio must be the answer for fat loss right? Well yes, it will burn some fat, but could it be possible to skip the cardio completely and just do weights to reduce body fat? You bet you can!
Let’s talk about metabolism. Studies have shown that after a weights session, your metabolism can be increased for up to 36 hours after the workout. This means that while you’re eating, sleeping, working or watching tv, you will be burning more calories for this period of time purely because of the weights you lifted. During cardio training, you may burn up to, give or take an extra 80 calories after your session. When you compare over time the 10 calories per hour you burn after weights for a 36 hour period, opposed to the possible 80 calories in total after cardio, you can start to see the reason why weights training is more effective for fat loss in the long run.
Now, as I said earlier, weight training builds muscle. This brings me to my next point. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body is going to burn. You may have heard about BMR (basal metabolic rate). Your BMR can be influenced by your body composition. By following a consistent weights program, you will start to increase muscle mass, meaning that engine of yours is going to burn through much more fuel just to operate on a daily basis. Sounds pretty good hey? The effect cardio exercise has on your body composition can be detrimental to sustaining muscle mass if consideration into muscle nutrition, intensity, and timing is not taken into account.
While cardio training is important for general fitness and well being, for a long term fat loss program, weights’ training is far more effective. Not only will it increase your calorie burning potential, but it will increase physical strength and re shape your whole body.
So next time you go to the gym to slave away in the cardio theater for hours, try stepping over onto the weights floor, and giving your body
a blast with a weights program. Less time in the gym, and more results in the future!