If your target is to lose weight, then what works best between cardio or weight lifting? Well, this subject has been heavily debated in the fitness world, but the truth is that there is no definitive answer.
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Cardio and weight lifting are both great forms of physical activity and can help you to lose weight, but you need to understand how these activities can give health impacts to you.
Let’s talk more about cardio vs weight lifting and how it can affect your weight loss targets.
Cardio For Weight Loss
Cardio is often seen as the best way to shed fat and lose weight. It helps improve cardiovascular health, build endurance and stamina, increase sweat production to remove body water and toxins in the body and can certainly help you to burn fat.
Furthermore, cardio training helps the body to burn calories. So instead of calories being stored in the body as fat, cardio uses those calories to be burned out as energy.
Cardio isn’t only great for people trying to put off weight, but also for people looking to improve their general health because it also improves heart health and reduces the chances of cardiovascular disease.
Exercises such as running, walking, endurance training, cycling, and swimming encourage your body to produce and release endorphins and assist in relieving stress.
Cardio exercise for weight loss include:
- High-intensity training. HIIT (High interval training) is a perfect example of a training program that incorporates this approach. This training method can also be used for weigh-lifting. For cardio, this means training at a high level in intervals and having rest periods in between. For example, for every one minute sprint you have, take a two-minute walk in between. This type of training promotes increasing glucose metabolism in the body and help your body to burn fat.
- Water sports. This is another form of cardio exercise that can improve your metabolism rate and endurance levels. Water volleyball and swimming works all parts of the body and help your heart rate going. Training can also be incorporated when exercising in the water. Swimming is also another way of cardio exercise and great for building athletic endurance as well as improving your cardiovascular system.
Weight Lifting For Weight Loss
Weight lifting is great for building muscle and body strength. However, a lot of people don’t know that weight lifting can also be as effective as cardio training for weight loss.
Depending on how you’re training, progressive resistance and heavy weight training can help you burning fat significantly. One of the best ways to lose body fat using weightlifting is to keep the workouts short and intense.
You’ll break out a sweat sooner and work your cardiovascular system at the same time. Weight lifting can also help to burn fat by increasing your metabolism. As weight lifting helps to increase muscle mass leading to a higher level of muscle composition, this will promote your body to burn off excess fat quicker.
Weightlifting exercises for weight loss include:
- Bodyweight Training. The movements associated with this particular training consists of using your own weight. Exercises such as sit-ups, pull ups, push ups will help you to lose weight. The reason why these types of exercises are better than lifting machine or free weights is that it doesn’t isolate muscle groups. It relies on the whole body for balance and support. This will trigger all your muscles and burn overall fat.
- High-intensity Training. This particular training means shorter rest periods between weight-lifting sets. This means your body is moving faster, your heart rate going up and burning more fat. Lifting heavier weights is also recommended for this type of training because you’ll exert more effort and more likely to break a sweat. This is also good for your cardiovascular system as you aren’t only lifting weights but also moving your body at a quicker rate. It will help you to build up endurance.
- Lower resistance, higher repetition. Instead of clanging and banging heavyweights, go for something lighter so you can perform more repetitions for longer periods. This type of approach means you are still building muscle from weight-lifting but also burning fat due to the repetition movements. This is also the best way to tone down your body for better proportion and aesthetic as opposed to packing on bigger muscle when lifting heavy.
The Importance of Diet
You cannot exercise on a bad diet. No matter what training approach you’re taking, the food and drink you’re consuming also impact your weight loss goals.
Having a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and fats won’t only help you get results quicker, but also can enhance your training. In terms of losing weight, there are many different forms of dieting such as intermittent fasting, low carbohydrate diets and much more.
For cardio exercise, water is essential. For weight lifting, protein-rich foods are essential. To the set diet plan for yourself, you should speak to a dietician or medical practitioner on what suits you best.
Best Approach to Lose Weight
So which approach is better for weight loss? Cardio or weightlifting? The answer is neither. Though both exercises have their benefits, and some better than the other, it’s important to know what suit you and your lifestyle better. You can even incorporate both forms of exercise to your routine.
If you’re looking to burn fat and tone your body, then weight lifting is the way to go. If you’re looking to lose weight without adding extra muscle mass, cardio will suit you. For the best approach to exercise and weight loss, speak with your dietician or general practitioner.
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