Fat loss – Cardio vs Lifting Weights

As Saturday and normally it is fight night lets look into something that is debated or misunderstood in the gym environment, cardiovascular exercises and weight resistance exercise and which is better for fat burning. Even though I am a meat head (meaning a guy who mainly lifts weights) I have done a lot of cardio in my time (almost 16 kms of running a day at one point) so I have a understanding of both and how they help with weight loss.
Before I have a look into both sides I will first state that you need a well balance diet to start losing weight, as exercise is only really half the battle and nutrition is really important.
Lets start off with cardio exercises. Anything that involves getting your heart rate up is known as a good fat burner and will help with weight loss. While you are doing any form of cardio vascular training the body is working in the aerobic system. For long periods of time the body will have to use calories from carbohydrates and or fat stores to keep everything working and the body energised. The downside of cardio exercise is that you only burn calories while you are exercising. Once you have stopped the body is no longer in a fat burning mode.
Now onto weight resistance, I believe that this is a misunderstood part of fat burning and just as important. During weight resistance (even during a very intense session) the amount of calories being burnt is nowhere near as close to cardio vascular exercise. However during weight resistance your muscle is put under stress which causes small tears in the muscle fibres to occur. To repair this the body will need excess calories or fat to repair the muscle. Muscles can take from 72 hours to a week to fully repair. This means after a weight resistance workout the fat burning will continue on which will lift your metabolic rate while you are away from the gym. As the muscle tissue starts to grow even if it isn’t in repair mode the muscle will require more calories to continue to stay the size and or density it is. So again metabolic rate goes up because of this and you will be burning more fat during the day.
So it’s a double KO or no contest. Both are important!!!!!!!! Depending on your goals it will determine how much of each you will do but if your program has some cardio as well as weight resistance you will have the best of both worlds. So make sure your eating habits are sound and then by exercising with weight resistance and cardio vascular training this will help you burn more excess fat.


About nafctrainerjamie

I am a personal trainer at North Adelaide Fitness Centre in Adelaide South Australia. We have been awarded the Australian 2009 & 2010 best medium size gym.
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