How should you spend your time training for the best results?
This could be the question that any fitness professional gets asked the most. When training we re all looking for the quickest way to reach our goal.
The question: To lose weight, should I spend my gym time doing more cardio or more strength training?
The answer: It depends what you mean by “lose weight.” We seem to have a fixation with the scales, so If you are in an epic battle with your scales, cardio is the way to go. But If you want to look tight and toned, though, it’s time to cosy up to strength training. Women seem to have a worry about looking big, but lifting weights gives you a firm, shapely body.
- Minute per minute, cardio indisputably burns more calories than strength training, which could explain why compared to strength trainers, aerobic exercisers lose more weight in less time, according to a recent Duke University study.
Still, cardio doesn’t do much for your muscles.
Case in point: In one Penn State study, dieters lost 21 pounds whether they performed cardio or strength training. But for the cardio group, six of those pounds came from muscle, while the lifters lost almost pure fat—and probably fit into their skinny jeans better because of it.
Why? Strength training is the number-one way to build more muscle and for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you can expect to burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving one of those muscles. So, we speed up our metabolism and burn of what we eat quicker.
- That doesn’t mean that you should retire your running shoes, though—especially if you’re a stress eater. Cardio is one of the best ways to slash stress, which is a waistline-wrecker all by itself. We use cardio to shred the fat from our bodies and weight train to give us shape.
The best solution? A fitness plan that includes both cardio and strength training. One that is planned by a qualified professional. Match your training to your goal and as you get closer to your target, your training might change. If you aren’t seeing the results you are looking for, you need to change either your diet or training or both.