The debate over whether weight training or cardio workouts are better for weight loss has carried on for decades. Fitness experts, trainers and athletes on both sides have put forward their personal and professional arguments. It can be confusing trying to plan an effective workout schedule if you’re unsure about how your training methods will affect your body. Here we aim to provide you with a balanced view of the benefits of each method.
In recent years, there have been several studies carried out that look at the way our bodies react to different types of training and which one has more benefits when it comes to weight loss. Here is a roundup of the conclusions drawn up to help you decide which type of training is better for you.
Studies have shown that during a workout, cardio will actually burn more calories than weight lifting. The more you weigh, the more calories you will burn during periods of exercise. For example, if you weigh 73kg (160lb), your body will burn around 250 calories for every 30 minutes of jogging at a moderate pace. These figures will fluctuate depending on your weight and the intensity of your cardio workout.
During weight training, the number of calories burnt during a workout drops to around 130-220 calories in the same amount of time. This figure is dependent on the weight you’re lifting and the number of reps. Overall, cardio burns more calories during a workout.
Your metabolism has a big effect on how much weight you can shed. During weight training you will spend more time resting than training. Recent research has shown that weight lifting will increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), meaning that you will burn more calories over time while you’re not working out. The reason for this is that muscle burns calories faster than other tissue during periods of rest.
One study found an increased RMR of 9% in men and 4% in women which in real terms, led to an increase of 140 calories and 50 calories, respectively. During the post-workout period is when the benefits of weight lifting are most prominent. The number of calories you burn in the hours following your training will be higher if you lifted weights.
High intensity interval training is another popular workout choice that has been found to have positive results when it comes to weight loss. HIIT focuses on intense bursts of exercise that are alternated with rest periods. The aim is to raise the heart rate quickly through various exercises like sprinting, biking and skipping. When it comes to weight loss, HIIT has been shown to burn about the same amount of calories as regular cardio training, however, it will do it much more quickly.
So What is the Best Option?
When setting out to curate a weight-loss training schedule, you should aim to incorporate both weight lifting and cardio workouts for best results. The immediate benefits of cardio will help you burn calories during your workout. However, weight training will ensure that your metabolic rate stays at a good level and your body will burn more calories during post-workout rest periods.
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