When you think about fat loss and what you’re going to have to do to reach your goal your mind often ends up wondering how many hours you are going to need to spend on the treadmill to burn off your spare tyre.
If you were to ask people in your gym or even those in the street “Which is better for fat loss, cardio or weight training?” I am willing to bet the majority of them said that cardio was the best for fat loss and that weight training will make you gain weight. Now it is true that weight training will make you gain weight. Muscle is roughly 18% denser than fatty tissue. Therefore you will have 18% less muscle than fat when compared using volume.
MUSCLE DOES NOT WEIGH MORE THAN FAT, a pound is a pound.
While cardio is very good at burning calories whilst you are active and we all know that calorie burn leads to weight loss. Running, rowing, cycling are great for burning calories, You can burn 100 in as little as 15 minutes depending on the intensity of your workout. Any form of cardio will immediately boost your metabolism however in order to generate high levels of post-exercise calorie burn from cardio you need to work for a long time, more of an endurance cardio session such as a marathon. After an intense cardio workout, the body can burn up to 140 calories over a 14 hour period following cardio while your metabolism is boosted post-workout.
That sounds like calories when you’re not exercising, but what if I told you that you could burn more over a longer period? Up to 36 hours! Well. You can. Weight training elevates your metabolism to a higher level compared to cardio as the body needs to use more energy to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. This burns calories and keeps your metabolism in an elevated state. EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) is responsible for this. More on EPOC in this week’s newsletter!
While there is a distinct difference in the results of cardio vs weight training we can’t completely write off cardio. Cardiovascular exercise is fantastic at keeping your body running the way it should. Keeping your heart rate elevated for an hour a day has fantastic health benefits, stronger lungs and heart, better posture, stronger bones, reduced stress and sounder sleep.
Cardio is great at doing what it does, however, it’s not so great on its own. A balanced training programme containing weight training and cardio will give you the best results.