You may have heard that cardio burns tons of calories and is great for weight loss. That’s partially true, but not the entire story. Just doing cardio doesn’t improve all types of fitness. You need strength, balance and flexibility training, too. Cardio also isn’t the only type of training that burns lots of calories. Strength training will also torch those calories quickly. Strength-building also has other benefits that make it a great option for your weight loss program.
Cardio builds your endurance, which builds your energy level.
That’s important. If you’re out dancing, you’ll burn more calories the longer you dance and the same is true of running or any activity. Cardio not only increases how long you can work out, but also boosts the intensity level. You need more, though. You need flexibility training to increase your range of motion and prevent injury. You also need balance and strength training to help prevent falls. Some cardio can provide all of that, but running isn’t one of those things.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
What’s the best type of workout for weight loss and calorie burning? It’s strength training. Strength training burns a high amount of calories, while also building muscle tissue. In other words, it targets fat! When you do just cardio, it’s indiscriminate about where it gets the calories, burning both fat and lean muscle tissue. That means you’ll have less muscle tissue and muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance. The less you have, the lower your resting metabolic rate. That makes it harder to lose weight.
Do strength training to look your best.
Why do people want to lose weight? One reason is to look thinner. When you’re doing strength training and toning muscles, you can stay the same weight and still look thinner. That’s right! A cubic inch of fat weighs far less than a cubic inch of muscle, so a pound of fat would need a larger container than a pound of muscle. Your body is that container and the more muscle you have, the smaller it is, even if you don’t shed a pound. You’ll walk more gracefully and move with ease when you add cardio, balance and flexibility training.
- Some exercises combine strength-building and cardiovascular training. HIIT—high intensity interval training—while doing strength training is one example. Kettlebells provide all types of training in one workout.
- If you’re doing strength training, don’t do it every day. Strength training makes microtears in the muscles that need to heal. Your muscles need between 48 and 72 hours to recover. Alternate between cardio and strength-building or work different muscle groups each day.
- If you want to keep your calorie-burning fires running high, vary the type of workout you do. The body becomes efficient the more you do the same exercise and that leads to efficiency and burning fewer calories.
- Strength training causes EPOC—Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. That makes your body continue to burn extra calories long after you’ve finished your workout and left the gym.
For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness