Resistance Training vs Cardio , which is best for weight loss?
For many years aerobic exercise was glorified as the go-to exercise for weight loss and weight training was thought to be for those who needed to gain some weight or muscle.
Then came the days when everybody said we should all do weight lifting and lets forget about aerobics…and then how about now we move on to circuit training… do you get my point?
Just like fashion, in the fitness world we move from one trend to another and often will bring back an old trend. Clearly all the modalities I mentioned have its place in a training program, and each have its own benefits.
As far as burning calories, if you compare 60 minutes of weight training with 60 minutes of cardio, you will definitely burn more fat with cardio during that 60 minute period. However, with weight lifting you burn less during that period but you will continue to burn fat for hours after that workout and you gain the benefit of muscle building as well.
The more lean muscle tissue you have the more calories you burn; one kg of muscle burns 50 extra calories a day, whereas 1kg of fat burns just three calories a day on average. What this tells us is that weight training also increases metabolism.
Also if you are trying to build a nice shape you must do weight training because aerobics will not change your shape.
You might also think that “well aerobic exercises have more health benefits such as improving your circulation, decreasing anxiety etc.”, and yes that is true but the same goes for weight training.
Weight training is great for your health, studies show it has similar effects on depression and it is fundamental for bone and muscle strength.
So there is no right or wrong answer, aerobics and weight training complement each other. The way I look at it is that you should always prioritize a good weight training session at least 3 times per week and then use the other days, which are often called active resting days, for aerobic training and other workouts like yoga or Pilates.
My main advice as far as weight training is to train like you mean it! Don’t stop for 3 minutes and then pick another weight and then sit on the bench to talk and so on. You still have to sweat close to as much as you would on an aerobic session.
I always say if you are gonna do something then do it well and put all your soul and energy into it; that’s when you will see real results.
I want to mention that this blog is for those individuals who are fairly healthy and don’t have any health risk factors because then things could change. For instance, in someone who is highly obese and is at high risk for heart disease they might have to prioritize aerobic exercises.
There are many other conditions that effect the training equation, so if you have any health problems you must talk to your doctor and get his or her recommendation.
Another thing to keep in mind that applies to everyone is to have an active life style in general. If you are working, get up and go for a 2-minute walk or even just get up and stretch.
You have to keep moving! Give yourself and the society the gift of a healthy self. There are so many things out of our control in this crazy world but one thing you can control is what you do to your mind and your body.
So think about this the next time you are debating whether you should get up and move!