When initially beginning a weight loss journey, many are confused about whether to hit the gym or grab their running shoes as a better mode of weight loss. While this may be confusing, it is important to analyze the benefits of weight training and cardio to understand one’s weight loss goals better.
Cardio is the first and foremost preferred option by anyone who wants to get off their couch and become a better version of themselves. Running offers an affordable way to get fit and lose weight but is often misconstrued as the only way to approach weight loss. The human body undergoes stress through exercise and every time it heals from a workout, it is capable of functioning more efficiently than last time and eventually adapts to the stress when performed for a long time. Cardio in the long term may not burn endurance and that’s when weight training comes into play.
Cardio VS weight training (Source: Fitbit)
Weight training is generally associated with huge bulky men lifting a barbell loaded with maximum weight plates. It offers a lot that everyone can benefit from. Weight training strengthens the muscles, bones and tendons and following the right regimen designed by a personal trainer can even aid in weight loss, especially in women. Weight training can give one’s resting metabolism a boost which results in a higher BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is the rate at which calories are burnt during rest. Weight training also helps one achieve their goals when it comes to aesthetics as it tones and strengthens muscles in women despite the myth that weight training might make a woman look muscular.
An endurance training program, be it cycling, swimming or running has shown significant weight loss. But when partnered with weight training, it can help one achieve their weight loss goals and complement each other too. Weight-training leads to develop muscles which will help in muscular endurance while performing cardiovascular activities. Cardio can improve one’s stamina and agility which will help one develop higher resistance against fatigue when training with free weights.
Another key component to remember when it comes to cardio is that steady-state cardio (performed at 40-70% of a person’s maximum heart rate) is a much better approach when it comes to losing fat. HIIT (High-intensity interval training) and other approaches that focus on cardio training at high intensities may seem exhilarating but they burn carbohydrates for fuel rather than fat which is one of the reasons why one may not see results with it.