Here’s the deal: You want to lose weight fast, we all do! But how does one actually go about that? Cardio exercise, in short, is described as any activity that increases your heart rate and blood circulation. And body fat loss is largely dependent on “calories in versus calories out” which cardio helps to accomplish because any type of cardio exercise will result in calories burned. However, its ability to continue helping with fat loss is contingent on time, frequency and intensity during the training session. Depending on your fitness level and time availability, you may quite possibly be unable to perform enough or the right type of cardio exercise for your weight loss goals. And it will not build lean muscle mass, consequently having minimal effect on your metabolism or your body’s ability to burn calories while at rest when compared to the effect that resistance training has on your metabolism.
Get High and Lose Weight Fast with HIIT
So all that said, HIIT is definitely a preferred way to burn more calories when choosing to do cardio. But while it has been shown to produce higher post-exercise caloric burn than steady-state cardio, it usually will not improve your lean muscle mass and definitely requires an able body and ample recovery time.
Burn Baby, Burn
Additionally, resistance training at a moderate to high intensity has repeatedly been shown to burn more calories throughout a 24-hour period when compared to the caloric burn of a steady-state cardio session. But again, this doesn’t mean you get to lift a few weights and then talk on the phone or with your lifting buddy between sets as long as you want. Weight training that produces these all-day effects needs to be performed with minimal rest periods and done with an intensity and focus. So put on those headphones and lift!
Boost That Metabolism
In addition to offering post-caloric burn, consistent weight training will have a fantastic impact on your metabolism. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more energy your body produces in order to move (higher calorie burn). For example, if you are a relatively lean male at around 8-10 percent body fat and your friend is sitting at around 25 percent, you will burn significantly more calories than your friend while performing the same activity.
Channel Your Inner Michelangelo
Not only will you burn more calories during activities, but you will also experience a higher BMR (or basal metabolic rate), the number of calories you burn throughout a 24-hour period. And weight training will help sculpt your body, creating symmetry and an aesthetically pleasing look, especially when compared with cardio exercise.
Choose Your Destiny
So between cardio and resistance training, which one should we choose to achieve our body fat loss goals? You can clearly see how many benefits there are to lifting weights. But cardio can truly assist with caloric burn, and it is impossible to achieve healthy fat loss without a strong heart. I think we can all agree that a healthy person who is capable of maintaining his or her weight and achieving a recommended body fat level should be well-rounded in all areas of fitness.
If you focus on cardio alone, you neglect your muscles, the powerhouses behind your metabolism, and you only have one tool with which to work toward your body fat loss goals. But without the aid of cardio, weight-training sessions are solely reliant on intensity, and regular progression to keep your muscles challenged and growing.
Ultimately, combining cardio and resistance training offers an even greater impact on fat loss, which will help you lose weight fast. While finding a balance between the two is dependent on your specific goals, you can enter the gym knowing you will achieve greater body fat loss through intense and focused resistance training coupled with efficient cardio exercise.