There has always been a debate whether cardio or weight training is a better way to burn fat. Many people think that if you want to lose weight, you should do cardio and if you want to build muscle you should do weight training, but that isn’t the case. You CAN use weight training to lose fat and is actually found to be more effective than weight training.
Weight training increases short-term calorie burn
Weight training not only helps you burn calories during training, but you also burn more calories AFTER!
Studies have shown that after a weight training programme, your metabolism is boosted for up to around 38 hours post workout. This means rather burning 40 calories an hour lying in bed or watching TV, your burning another 10 calories on top of that. I know that doesn’t seem a lot more but when you multiply this by 38 hours, you can see a massive difference in your daily calorie expenditure.
If you think of this over a month you really start to see how many more calories you’re actually burning and how beneficial it is doing weight training when it comes to burning body fat.
With cardio you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate paced workout, but this depends on the intensity and the duration of the workout. To be able to generate a higher amount of calories burned through cardio, you would have to work for a very long period of time!
Weight training increases your long-term calorie burn
Weight training enables you to build up a larger degree of lean muscle mass, which then your body naturally serves as a calorie-burning powerhouse in the body.
When you calculate your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories burned if you were just lying in your bed all day doing nothing but breathe, body weight plays a role in this.
The more muscle you have in your body, the higher the rate will be and the more calories will be burned.
Since muscle tissue is fairly stable (as long as you are consuming enough protein, you wont lose it) this proves to be an effective long-term strategy for losing weight.
Another big benefit of weight training vs cardio is that weight training helps completely reshape your body. Cardio will help you lose weight, but generally this is because you are burning fat and muscle.
When you are doing weight training and following a calorie controlled diet, then you are more likely to burn just body fat while enhancing your natural curves.
This will give you an overall transformation rather than just losing weight doing cardio. When you lose weight doing just cardio you end up looking “soft”. This is because doing resistance training hasn’t been done, which helps tone the muscle and gives you a more defined look.
Weight training for women:
Women think if they lift weights, they will become “big and bulky”. This really isn’t the case, as women don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies to develop the same way men do. So, lifting heavy weights for both men and woman will help raise your metabolic rate, which will help with more effective calorie burning and give your body better definition once the body fat comes off.
So now we know that weights don’t make you bulky and actually does help you lose body fat. I know cardio, will help you lose weight but weight lifting is more effective and will also give you a more toned body shape.
Why don’t you give it a try and see what it can do for you?
Marie Nicol – Personal Trainer