Many people spend hours at the gym attempting to lose weight. A debate has long been waged over whether cardiovascular exercise or weight training is more effective for shedding pounds. Ideally, you should combine both forms of training for optimum results. However, somewhat surprisingly, weight training has proven to be slightly more proficient than cardio training for weight loss.
What Is Cardio?
Cardio includes aerobic exercises such as running, cycling or swimming. Cardio activities raise your heart rate and burn calories and fat. Cardio exercises are tremendously beneficial for your heart and overall health.
Benefits of Cardio
Wayne Westcott, director of research at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, says you can expect to burn 10 to 12 calories per minute with a moderately intense cardio workout. So if you engage in a form of cardio exercise for 30 minutes, you can expect to burn 300 to 360 calories.
Anaerobic Exercise Defined
Anaerobic exercises are high-intensity activities that will build your muscle mass through tension. Anaerobic exercises include workouts that incorporate lifting weights or using strength machines. Anaerobic exercises do not supply oxygen to your muscles. A typical anaerobic exercise lasts for less than 90 seconds. Anaerobic exercises are employed by both non-endurance athletes and bodybuilders to increase strength and power.
Anaerobic Exercise Benefits
According to Westcott, you will burn eight to 10 calories a minute when you lift weights. However, anaerobic exercises also provide your body with an increased metabolic rate that will trim an additional 25 percent of the calories you’ve already shed. “If you burned 200 calories lifting weights, it’s really closer to 250 overall,” said Westcott. Essentially, after you are finished lifting, your body itself is still actually working because it is attempting to repair the broken-down muscle fibers that were caused by your training. You add strength and gain muscle during the rest and recovery stage that occurs after your workout. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, if you strength-train only twice a week, you can reduce your overall body fat by 3 percent in less than three months.
Which Is Best?
To maximize your fitness and achieve your weight loss goals, you should combine cardio and weight exercises into your workout regimen. Nevertheless, if you had to select between the two, weight training will help you lose weight quicker than cardio exercises will. Weight lifting promotes lean muscle mass, which will permanently increase your metabolism. Cardio exercises will also spur weight loss. However, weight lifting will make you shed more pounds, and it will also alter the entire makeup of your body. Consistent weight training will make you appear slimmer than conventional aerobic exercises will.