The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter
Everything you need to live well

Cardio Versus Strength Training: Which Works Better?

When it comes to weight loss, the first thing people think about is dieting and doing hours and hours of cardio to get their weight down fast. It’s simply lack of adequate information that makes people focus so much on cardio. Strength training is usually an afterthought. While it’s definitely true that cardio workouts get your heart working harder and as a result, help your body burn calories. Strength training is what’s really going to give your weight loss goals that extra boost.

Strength training can burn just as much, if not more, fat than cardio. When you strength train, you’re actually breaking down the muscles in your body. Strength training, be it with weights or body weight movements, recruits tons of muscles and causes you to burn significant calories during your workout.

Cardio does help you shred, but it shreds both fat and muscle simultaneously. The end result is skinny and soft or flabby. Strength training retains and builds muscle while burning fat because a large engine burns more fuel. Larger muscles burn more calories and more fat.

Cardio burns calories and fat when you’re performing it, but strength training keeps your metabolism elevated after exercise. Research shows that it elevates your metabolism for up to 38 hours after your workout; this means that you continue to burn calories long after you have exercised. Having more lean muscle means your body will burn more calories at rest. Having more muscles increases your everyday base metabolic rate or BMR, which in simpler terms means how many calories your body, would burn just to keep running if you did absolutely nothing. While with cardio, the moment you stop, calorie burning stops as well.

If you have a limited amount of time and you’re looking for the most efficient workout, strength training gives you the most bang. It helps with the physique you’re looking for and will help keep you healthier and happier. On the flip side, if you don’t know what you’re doing or you have poor form while performing the exercises, you can injure yourself. It is best to get a professional who will show you how and then ensure you are performing with correct form.

Strength training with a balanced calorie deficit diet will burn more fat faster than cardio and diet alone. By building more muscle, you’re stoking the fires of your metabolism. If the outcome for your strength training is weight loss, don’t freak out if you don’t see fast results on the scale. Track your inches with a tape measure or go by how your clothes feel.

Frankly speaking though, if you just don’t enjoy strength training, this might keep you from exercising too. Ultimately, the best exercise plan is the one you follow. Consistency is what is key.

In this article:
CardioFitness

Related