Everyone knows if you want to build muscle you’ll need to lift weights. It’s also obvious if you dream of running a marathon you’ll need to indulge in a whole lot of cardio. The one thing everyone seems to get wrong is the route you should take if you want to lose the most amount of fat possible. Most people will say you should run, but we’ll look at why lifting weights could be more optimal. Also, we’ll look at cardio vs strength training when it comes to your general health, because we all want to life as long as possible.
Weight Training Continues To Burn Calories Long After You Have left the Gym
The only thing needed to burn fat is a calorie deficit, therefore cardio or weight training will produce results. After all, if you perform either for an hour you’ll burn a great deal of calories. Although a cardio vascular workout will initially burn more calories strength training does reign supreme, but it has everything to do with after you’ve left the gym. Your metabolism will be increased long after you have finished training.
More Muscle Equals More Fat Loss
Every single human on earth needs to eat a certain amount of calories per day in order to stay the exact same weight. It gets far too complicated to discuss in detail, but in theory there is a certain amount of calories that would stop you from gaining or losing weight if you ate that exact amount every day. People with more muscle need more calories to maintain their body weight, so if a couple of people ate the same amount of calories the one with more muscle would lose more fat.
Cardio Releases More Cortisol
In case you don’t know what cortisol is, it’s your body’s stress hormone. It does come with its benefits, but as you can imagine it also has its negatives. It will want your body to burn muscle instead of fat, and it can help promote the accumulation of fat around your stomach region where it will sit proudly on display. That doesn’t mean you should never do cardio, but strength training wins because it doesn’t give your body the same problems to deal with.
Training To Look As Good As Possible
We can talk about cardio vs strength training all day, but don’t forget the reason you’ll choose to do either one is to look good and improve your health. Resistance training will not only help you to lose weight but it will also give you a nice shape. If you are really serious about losing weight in a hurry then you should combine weight training and cardio together and the results will be even more profound as you will burn more calories during your workout and continue to burn them after you have finished working out.
Weight Training Is Good For Your Bones And Joints
Lifting weights will increase and maintain your bone density (1,2). You will also make your tendons, ligaments and cartilage stronger, stretching helps also. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are lifting weights wrong then you may be doing damage to your joints so it is important that you have an expert show you what to do if you are a beginner.
The Cardio Vs Strength Training Winner
If we were only thinking about fat loss, lifting weights would win every single time. Doing both would be even better, and that is what you must actually do. The reason for this is because both forms of exercise will produce different positive effects on your overall general health. For example, skipping cardio wouldn’t leave your heart in very good shape later in life. Unfortunately there is no winner when looking at the bigger picture but if you only had time to do one or you want to dedicate more time to a particular exercise then go for weight training.
What Kind Of Strength Training Exercises Should You Do
If you are a body builder then you will be doing all of them, however if you are someone who has interest in health and well being and do not have much time then I would suggest only doing compound lifts and core work. Compound lifts are exercises that simultaneously work many major muscle groups and core exercises target your mid section, (your abs).
Some examples of compound lifts are push ups, bench press, pull ups, pull downs, squats, lunges, ab workouts etc. If you have never tried strength training I recommend you hire a personal trainer for a few sessions so that you are doing the exercises properly and not running a risk of injuring your self.
I often hear many women say that they do not want to lift weights as they are worried about getting big and bulky looking. You shouldn’t worry about that as muscle mass takes along time to gain especially for women, so you are not going to have big muscles unless you are specifically trying to achieve that – lifting weights is not just for men.