It almost seems common knowledge that you need to carry out cardio to lose body fat and lift heavy weights to build muscle, but is there an ounce of truth in the that statement? Let’s dig into the matter to find out.
So, which one is best for fat loss? Cardio or weights?
Calories Used During Exercise
I’ve got something important to tell you. Exercise is pretty shit at burning a large amount of calories. There I said it! If you are looking at losing body fat, our goal should be to control our calorie intake and outtake through diet and exercise. Out of all the calories you burn throughout the day, exercise will account for up to 10% of those calories if you are lucky. Most of the calories we burn throughout the day are used to keep us alive (basal metabolic rate).
Whilst exercise does burn calories, it should not be the main driver to get to the gym.
Exercising has loads of other benefits like building muscle, improving fitness, improving mental health, making us stronger and giving us the confidence to have sex with the lights on. Unfortunately burning thousands of calories isn’t in that list.
What do you want to look like?
The chances are you don’t want to look like a sock filled with custard when you lose your body fat. I’m sure you have this image in your head of your chiselled abs and defined chest glistening in the sun, like some advert for after shave. For that reason, you probably want to spend some time building or at least maintaining muscle. To make that happen, you are going to need to lift some weights.
1 – 0 to repeatedly lifting heavy objects.
How do you want to perform?
Looking big and strong sounds glamorous, but you probably want to have some base level of fitness. I’m sure you don’t want to look the part and then struggle to run the length of your shadow. Running after your kids and being out of breath hardly paints the ideal picture of health and sets a good example. To fix this issue, you are going to need to carry out some cardio.
Instead of staring at a gym wall for an hour on a bike, I would recommend finding an activity you enjoy. Whether it’s a sport, a game or an event, it doesn’t matter. As long as it get’s you out of breath on a regular basis, just keep doing it as much as your schedule allows.
That’s a point to panting until my legs stop working.
1 – 1
So, if we count up the scores it looks at though it’s 1 a piece and it’s a tie for cardio vs. weights.
Weights to keep you strong and muscly, and cardio to keep you fit and healthy.
But is that the end?
Of course not, that would be very a disappointing ending.
Instead of both winning, they in fact both lose.
If you are squabbling over which one would be the best form of exercise to lose fat, you have missed the point. Your main focus for losing body fat should in fact be your diet. If you cant get to grips with the food you are shoving in you face, no amount of exercise will save you.
Making a choice over cardio vs weights based on a few hundred calories is hardly going to make a difference if you are shoving pies and beers down your neck.
Not a single person has become fat or unhealthy because they made the wrong choice between the weights or cardio. The only wrong choice you can make is to do neither. In reality, you should probably be carrying out both forms of activity at some point throughout the week. This should supplement a sustainable and balanced diet, not replace it.
Move more, enjoy it and do it as much as possible.
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The brains, brawn and beauty of Dackattack (basically it’s just me). A personal trainer with a private gym in Norwich, dedicated to giving out simple, actionable advice that will give you outstanding results.