"Cardio" or Weights for Fat Loss?
I'm sure you've tried to lose some excess body fat at some point.
If you're like most people, your "go-to" exercise was probably walking, running, cycling or one of the other "cardio" options.
I say "cardio" in inverted commas because it's a bit misunderstood - lifting weights is also cardio.
Anything that raises your heart rate and gets you out of breath is cardio.
Go max out your push-ups and tell me if you're out of breath and your heart rate has gone up. I'll wait...
Weight training is essentially like interval training. You do a set of an exercise that raises your heart rate, then rest for a minute or two before repeating.
So really, lifting weights not only works your muscles, but it also covers most of your "cardio" needs too, especially if you're working hard.
Put bluntly, if you only have 2-3 hours a week to dedicate to training and fat loss is your goal - LIFT WEIGHTS!
If the choice is between lifting weights or doing "cardio", weights wins every time.
Whilst the continuous movement of endless, monotonous "cardio" may burn a few more calories per hour than weight training, when you stop, the elevated calorie consumption also stops.
When you lift weights however, you may burn a few less calories (although if you keep rest periods short, and work at a high intensity it's quite possible you could burn more), you're working your muscles, and the elevation in calorie burning will continue for a while after your workout too (often called the "afterburn effect").
This can add up to a lot more calories burned from that single workout because your body is still burning more than usual at rest for up to 48 hours after the workout.
You also have to remember that for fat loss you need a calorie deficit, and in a calorie deficit, in favour of survival, your body will jettison any unused muscle tissue as it costs energy to keep it which you're not getting.
The only way to keep hold of your muscle tissue whilst in a calorie deficit is to let your body know, in no uncertain terms, that you NEED that muscle tissue still. You do that by USING IT.
"Cardio" won't do that.
Resistance Training will.
So, while traditional "cardio" can be useful, the answer to the question "what's better for fat loss, cardio or weights?" is 100% Weights in my opinion.
If you're a little unsure where to start, or have already started but aren't getting the results you were hoping for, get in touch and let's figure out why, and if I can help you, maybe we can work together.
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