Cardio vs. Strength Training: Which is More Effective for Weight Loss?

Cardio vs. Strength Training for Weight LossWhen weight loss is your primary workout goal, what will get you there faster: cardio, or weight training? It’s a question that is often asked, and the answer just may surprise you.

Cardio vs Weight Training: Which is Better?

Cardiovascular exercises typically burn more calories per minute than a strength training exercise. This is why most people are under the impression that if they want to lose weight, they should head straight for the cardio machines.

But what you may not realize is that weight training, while burning less calories than cardio during your workout, can actually lead to more total burned calories over a 24-hour period.

Here’s how it works:

After you have finished a strength training workout, your metabolism is boosted and your body can continue to burn additional calories. That means you burn more calories when you get home from the gym, turn on the TV, and watch your favorite show; you even burn more calories while you sleep. Strength training increases your resting metabolic rate.

When you replace body fat with lean muscle, your body will continue to have a small increase in your resting metabolic rate. You may have heard the saying “muscle burns more calories than fat,” which means the more muscles you build in the gym, the higher your metabolism gets. Does this mean that weight training is the answer?

Here’s the answer you’re looking for:

If you are serious about losing weight, your workouts should include both cardio and resistance training.

A study on the effectiveness of cardio, strength training, or a combination of both was done on overweight adults. And the researchers concluded that study overweight individuals whom combined cardio with weights lost more weight than weight training alone, and gained more lean muscle mass than cardio alone.

If you really want to supercharge your weight loss and get real results, then the type of cardio that you do matters. High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts combine short bursts of intense exercises with longer periods of rest. This could mean sprinting on the treadmill for 30 seconds at your fastest possible speed, and then walking for two-minutes after. A typical HIIT workout is done much faster than a long, drawn-out cardio session, and is more effective. And, just like weight training, HIIT workouts, like Tabata Boot Camp, will boost your metabolism and lead to a higher resting metabolic rate even after your workout is finished.

If you are looking for the secret to weight loss, you’ve found it: high intensity cardio workouts plus weight training workouts will lead to weight loss, while increasing your lean muscle mass. And if you’re not sure how to start, try a group workout class that offers the weight loss benefits of both.

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