As we head into summer and people begin thinking about “getting into shape,” the same question tends to come up. What’s more important – weight lifting or cardio?
It depends on your goal, but assuming you’re looking to lose weight and more specifically, drop fat, then weight lifting is the answer. Here’s why.
Weight Lifting or Cardio?
While cardio while burn more calories than strength training in a minute-by-minute comparison, cardio isn’t doing your muscles any favors. A Penn State study tracking dieters’ weight loss revealed that of the 21 pounds lost each, six came from muscle loss in the cardio-only group. On the weightlifting side, all 21 pounds came from fat loss.
How Does that Work?
Strength training is the single most effective way to build muscle. And the minute-per-minute comparison notwithstanding, you’ll burn more calories in a day when you carry more muscle. In fact, for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you’ll burn an extra 120 calories every day – without working harder.
Cardio Still Has its Benefits
When you’re short on time, you’re better off with an effective strength training routine. But that doesn’t mean cardio doesn’t have its place. It’s a great stress-buster, and it’s an important part of your fitness routine because it helps improve heart health, boosts your metabolism, improves your hormone balance thanks to the release of endorphins, and can boost your body’s recovery ability too.
Even if you’ve never lifted weights before, it’s never too late to start. Strength training benefits us all, and a nice physique is just one of the perks. To make the most of your workouts – with the perfect balance of weights and cardio – consider working with a personal trainer. The trainers here at Framework Personal Training in Reno can help you reach your fitness goals safely and effectively in our private, by-appointment gym. Schedule a free consultation today.