You cannot exercise on a bad diet, but who doesn’t want results faster and by dialing in our workouts we can get better results faster. The real question is how do we dial in our workouts? Do we do more cardio, or do we do more strength training? Read further to discuss which among cardio and strength training is better for weight loss.
Any form of movement is good. Before we into the debate of cardio versus strength training, let’s make something clear. Any form of exercise that you can do safely, and sustainability is good to go. So, if you have a form of exercise that you love, whether it’s weights or yoga or aerobics or trampoline or jogging or whatever suits you, keep doing it. The most effective exercises will always be the ones that you can do consistently.
Aerobic exercise is any type of sustained exercise that causes your heart rate and breathing to increase. Usually, its moderate intensity or 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. This can include swimming, walking fast, jogging, or aerobic exercise. Proponents of cardio argue that aerobic exercises are best because it burns more calories per hour versus weight training. It improves aerobic conditioning; it improves the efficiency of your lungs and your heart. It reduces the risk of several diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer and it also helps people manage their weight.
Team strength training
Resistance exercise is any type of exercise that makes your muscles work against a weight or a force. This could mean lifting weights, working with resistance bands, or just carrying a heavy load. Proponents of weight training argue that resistance exercise is best because it generally does a better job of building muscle and maintaining it. It improves bone density, and posture and reduces the risk of injury. It reduces a bunch of diseases as well cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, it helps people manage their weight.
What does the research say about weight loss?
We can see that both exercises are good for you and help you manage weight. But people want to know which does it better. Here’s what’s interesting. Aerobic exercises get a lot of press for being the better exercise for weight loss when compared to resistance training. But if you do more than skim the literature and look a little deeper at the scientific findings, you’ll find a bit of a more nuanced answer.
When a group of people is assigned to either aerobic exercise or resistance training, the people in the aerobic exercise group will lose more weight. However, weight is not the best measure for health and body composition. After all, you can lose weight in a bunch of different ways. Most people want to lose fat. Even so, weight is what most of us measure when it comes to assessing the efficacy of a training program partly because fat loss is harder to measure and requires special equipment.
What happens when you weight train?
The other problem with weight loss as an indicator of how well a program is working is this. When people start weight training, they may gain weight. That’s because they’re increasing muscle mass which is denser than fat. Even if they become leaner losing fat in inches of their body, they may be heavier. So, resistance training is never going to win a weight loss competition, but it will help you gain muscle mass and even bone density, both of which will make you heavier but also healthier.
Another thing that weight training can help you do, is burn more calories at rest. Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories. So, if you have more muscle, incidentally you will burn more calories. However, for each kilogram of muscle you gain, you’ll only burn an extra 10-13 kilocalories per day. So that does not make a dramatic difference unless you’re packing on tons of muscle which most people can’t do easily.
The best way to lose fat
When you compare resistance training to aerobic exercise for weight loss, aerobic exercise has a slight advantage but may also come at the cost of losing muscle mass too. However, what does the research say is the best way to lose fat while also preserving muscle mass and building muscle? The answer is a combination of both, aerobic and resistance training. In other words, people lose the most fat but not the most weight because they’re gaining muscle while doing both weights and cardio. Of course, for the best fat loss results, good nutrition is also essential. Optimizing protein, eating a good number of colorful fruits and vegetables, and minimizing processed carbohydrates and healthy fats will help support both muscle gain and fat loss.
No matter what the science says about the best form of exercise, the most important thing is to find the best form of exercise for your body, lifestyle, and goals. But at least this article settles the cardio versus the strength training or weights debate. Looks like the verdict is that we need both.