When people want to shed extra pounds, they often turn to cardio, but fail to include strength training in their efforts to lose weight. That’s a mistake. In fact, too much cardio and no strength training may actually sabotage weight loss efforts. So which do you do to get maximum results? The answer is simple, you do both and have a well-rounded program of fitness.
Cardio burns tons of calories and is necessary for good health, but it has a drawback.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to burn all the calories possible and cardio will help you do that. So why shouldn’t you do cardio at every session? Doing only cardio isn’t a good idea, because while it burns calories, those calories come from both muscle tissue and fat tissue. That means you lose muscle mass. Muscle mass requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn 24/7.
Strength training not only builds muscle and burns calories, it has other benefits.
Strength training not only burns calories from fat as you do it, it continues to burn calories even after you’ve finished. It causes afterburn. Afterburn describes the extra calories that you continue to burn after a tough strength-building workout. It’s a smaller amount but continues for hours. For instance, it’s approximately 10 extra calories an hour, but those extra calories are burned for several days. While cardio provides afterburn, the amount of calories per hour is far less and the amount of time is far shorter. The afterburn with cardio might be 100 calories, while with strength training, it could be 400.
You can’t just do strength training and expect to get the best results.
When you do strength training, it causes tiny microtears in the muscles, which take up to 72 hours to repair. Repair is what builds muscle tissue and makes you stronger. If you want to lose weight, you need to workout more than two times a week. You also need flexibility training to ensure your muscles have enough range of motion to avoid injury. A well-rounded program is important for weight loss. Cardio boosts your energy and burns tons of calories, strength-building also burns calories, while toning muscles and making you look slimmer.
- If you want to boost calorie burning, whether doing cardio or strength training, turn it into a HIIT workout—high intensity interval training. That’s when you alternate between maximum intensity and a recovery pace. It burns tons of calories whether it’s strength training or cardio.
- Remember you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. No matter what type of exercise you do, losing weight means consuming fewer calories than you burn. It takes hours to burn off the calories from junk food and sweet treats, so avoid them.
- Some exercises work the whole body and provide all types of training. Kettlebells, for instance, work on core muscles for balance, increase flexibility, build strength and provide a great cardio workout.
- If you hit a plateau in weight loss, maybe you need to change your workout routine. The body becomes more efficient and burns fewer calories the more you do any type of movement.
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio