Cardio Vs. Resistance Training. Which one is best for fat loss, lean weight and metabolism?
For years we have heard that cardio is the solution to lose weight until research on strength training came along as the “must-do” for speeding up your metabolism and losing weight while you sleep, so should you be focusing on resistance training only?
A randomized trial, compared aerobic training, resistance training, and a combination of the two to determine the optimal mode of exercise for fat lass, lean weight and metabolism. The exercise groups were as follows:
1) resistance training (3 days/week, 3 sets/day, 8–12 repetitions/set)
2) aerobic training (calorically equivalent to ∼12 miles/week at 65–80% peak VO2)
3) aerobic training plus resistance training (calorically equivalent to ∼12 miles/wk at 65–80% peak VO2 plus 3 days/wk, 3 sets/day, 8–12 repetitions/set).
Body weight and fat mass significantly decreased in both aerobic training and aerobic training + resistance training but not in resistance training alone, suggesting that aerobic exercise is more effective in changing these measures. However, the change in lean body mass in both resistance training and aerobic training + resistance training was significantly greater than that in aerobic training.
For the biggest fitness gain/weight loss bang for your exercise buck, combine the two, doing your strength training first and finishing off with your cardio. An American Council on Exercise study on exercise sequencing found that your heart rate is higher -- by about 12 beats per minute -- during your cardio bout when you've lifted weights beforehand. That means more calories burned!
It is also important to remember that Nutrition plays a key role in your weight loss. Exercise by itself will not lead to big weight loss, so keep in mind that you need a combination of a good workout and nutrition plan.
1. Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults, Leslie H. Willis, Published online 2012 Sep 27
2. Cardio vs. weights: Which is better for weight loss?, CNN, September 19, 2017
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