A good friend asked me this question, as promised I said to her I will blog and explain the answer. So I am going to go straight in without going all rocket science on the subject.
A lot of fitness professional give so many different answers regarding this subject, I have heard a few state to their clients cardio is the best form of fat burning, don’t do weights you will bulk, adding individual women thinking the same way.
I personally think that resistance training is more effective to fat loss in the long term than cardio and here are my reasons why:
Firstly lets look at the benefits resistance training has on your metabolism:
I firstly tick the boxes in favour for resistance training over cardio, this being based on the calorie burn after the workout is completed.
Studies have shown/ demonstrated after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, which means rather than burning for example 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, your burning 70.
You may be thinking what a big deal that is, just an extra 10 calories been used up, when you multiply this by 36 hours you can see what a huge difference this makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half.
On a monthly rate, it becomes even clearer how regular participation in a weight lifting session will really increase your calorie burning and thus burning capacity.
Cardio training you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate paced sessions and this will depend upon the exact intensity and duration of your workout.
To generate a high amount of post-calorie burn from aerobics, you will have to be doing it for a very long duration of time, note: individuals that are capable of doing such don’t need to be concerned with fat loss in the first place, usually body types ectomorphs who are the types that can eat what they want and not put weight on are the favourites here, it’s no wonder these body types are usually long distance runner’s.
Weight training promotes long term metabolic increases:
Bare in mind that fat loss is a long term factor than short, it’s great to be burning calories for 36 hours after the workout, though this will not help you in two weeks from now unless you are consistent with your workout.
Weight training if continued will enabled you to build up a larger degree of lean muscle mass, this then serves as your calorie burning powerhouse in the body.
When calculating your basal metabolic rate- (which is how many calories you would burn if you lied in bed all day and do nothing but breath), one of the factors that goes into this is your total body weight.
The most accurate equations will take into account lean body mass, representing your muscles, bones and organs, therefore the more muscle you have on your body the higher this rate will be adding the better the calorie burning you will obtain 24/7.
Weight training and total body reshaping:
Another benefit that resistance training has over cardio is that it completely allow you to reshape your body, lets not get it twisted, cardio training generally will help you loose weight, however typically this weight loss is going to be a bit of a combination between fat and muscle, equalling to a smaller version of yourself.
Ever saw a person that has lost a lot of weight though still looks soft- meaning they have no muscle definition? this is a great of example of someone that does more cardio training and little to no resistance training.
Word of advise ladies:- when faced with weights don’t be scared to go a weight higher (obviously this should be taken into account that this comes with time, adding technique is a favourite as you don’t won’t to injure yourself before you can see the results) and the myth you will get bulky is absolute rubbish, this is an unfortunate misperception as the fact is women do not have enough testosterone in their body to develop this degree of musculature naturally unless on the gear (steroids), it’s not to say that a women can workout eat clean can still have a muscular definition she just won’t be huge, adding body types that are mesamorphs will see a quicker definition and lasting result if the proper diet is placed.
The hormonal environment and weight training:
when weight training it places the body in an anaerobic state (more information on anaerobic visit:http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/health_fitness/gln_health_fitness_zone/pdf/ heart_ rate_monitor_activities/cardiovascular_fitness/cardiovascular_fitness_activity_5.pdf)
and encourages muscle mass gain.
Cardio on the other hand promotes higher levels of Cortisol release- (more information on cortisol visit:
and this is the primary hormone that does encourage lean mass loss, as well as fat accumulation around the abdominal region.
I could go on and on of the benefits of resistance training over cardio, but when it comes to cardiovascular training (heart and lungs) you can not beat cardio training and is a favourite for heart suffers when rehabbing.
I would not exclude either cardio or resistance training from anyones workout.
But I will say this to someone wanting to loose weight defiantly incorporate this into your workout and start your weights at a low levels before building them up, make sure you are eating well this does not mean a mass amount of protein as explained in my last blog of the dangers of a high protein diet can do to your body over a period of time, instead still get your protein as well as your carbs (future blog coming soon) of course your vegetables and fruits and plenty of water is served better then downing a protein shake as a means to a pre-workout.
If you are a long distance runner and do not incorporate resistance training, you have a higher risk of developing osteoporis and brittle bone, bare in mind that if running on hard surfaces and you have no muscle mass to shield your bones you are exposing your joints to severe battering of the hard surface you are running on.