Cardio and weight lifting are two of the most popular types of workouts out there and they both boast many different, and some similar, benefits. There's no denying that lifting weights and other forms of resistance training are optimal for increasing strength and building mass. On the other hand, cardio training has long been proven to be the better choice when it comes to increasing endurance and improving aerobic fitness.
Which of these two forms of exercise is best for losing weight has long been debated in the health and fitness world. The truth is that neither one form nor the other is optimal for weight loss but instead a combination of both is the ideal solution. As well as running, cycling, swimming or walking, you should also add gym equipment to your home fitness setup that will allow you to train with resistance, such as by using a weights bench, home multi-gym or even a pull-up bar and some light dumbbells. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to lose weight is not to choose weight training or cardio, but to choose weight training and cardio.
Let's take a look at how you can create the right balance between weight training and cardio to ensure you meet your fitness goals.
Before you start putting a training plan in place to help you to reach your desired weight, first, it's important to understand exactly how weight loss works. Basically, everyone has a BMR (basal metabolic rate), which you can calculate online. This is the base number of calories that your body needs for you to survive and carry out basic functions such as breathing, processing food, and pumping blood around your body. This is how many calories you need to consume to survive each day.
When you exercise, you burn calories. The number of calories you burn through exercise can be added to your BMR, allowing you to consume more calories so that you maintain your weight. On the other hand, if you burn more calories than you consume, you will be in a calorie deficit, which will lead you to lose weight over time. Generally speaking, a deficit of 500 calories per day, will result in about half a kilo of eight loss each week, which is a healthy and sustainable rate at which to drop those unwanted kilos.
As their name suggests, cardio exercises are designed to work out the cardiovascular system, comprising our heart and blood vessels. Cardio workouts will help to improve blood flow, decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, strengthen the heart and lower your resting heart rate. Not only will cardio exercise help you to stay fit but it can also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, coronary heart disease and stroke. Cardio also typically will burn more calories than weight training.
When it comes to weight training, there are two primary approaches' high intensity and high volume training. The primary goal of each type of training is to increase muscle size and improve overall strength. Both forms of weight training will also help to increase your metabolism which can result in your metabolism firing for up to three days after you have finished your training session, often burning up to 50% more calories per pound of muscle that you are carrying. As weight training also builds more muscle, your body will become more efficient at burning calories as you get stronger, even when you are at rest, compared with cardio training where calorie burning ceases as soon as the activity is finished.
To get the best weight-loss results possible, the key is to keep your workouts varied with a combination of both cardio and weight training. Building strength while reducing your overall body fat percentage is the only way to achieve your body aesthetic goals. Speak to a professional trainer and create a bespoke training program tailored to your goals to ensure that you take the best path to get to where you want to be. Remember to keep it interesting, have fun and enjoy your journey to the new you!