When it comes to weight loss, the going can get very tough, to say the least. Although you adhere strictly to that one diet plan that seemed to work for just about everyone and the hardcore workouts that your trainer advised you to do, you may still find it impossible to shimmy your way into those cute jeans or that bridesmaid dress that you bought three dresses too small because you swore that your fitness plan would help you lose a bit of weight. You’ve been doing just about everything right… Or have you?
Cardio and strength training have been highly debated forms of weight loss exercise for a long time. While some swear that the magic trick to weight loss is cardio, others promise that strength training will do the trick. So, which is it: cardio or strength training?
Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is a form of exercise that intensively works to strengthen the cardiovascular system, which is what inspired the name. Strength training utilizes weights and other forms of resistance to maintain body mass and increase the size and functionality of target muscles. Although both forms of exercise burn calories when done, it has been scientifically proven that cardio is exponentially more beneficial when your goal is to shed pounds and lose inches. When the body is put through rigorous cardio exercise, fat is utilized as a source of energy, which causes substantial weight loss when done intensively and consistently. When it comes to losing those few extra pounds, cardio is definitely the way to go. However, cardio does not help build muscle nor that toned, chiseled look, which is where strength training comes into play as it adds muscle definition and strength.
Pound for pound, it looks like cardio alone really packs a punch. But if you want to get a great overall work out, lose weight, and look lean and toned, incorporating both cardio and strength training will most certainly give you a run for your money.
K. ALEISHA FETTERS, “What’s Best for Weight Loss: Cardio or Strength Training?” http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/cardio-vs-weight-training
Robson, David. “Which Cardio Methods Melt Fat The Fastest?” Bodybuilding.com. N.p., 24 July 2016. Web. 27 July 2017. https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/which-cardio-methods-melt-fat-the-fastest.html.
“What Are Strength Training Activities?” Smoke Free: Women. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2017. https://women.smokefree.gov/physical-fitness-get-your-body-moving/what-are-strength-training-activities.aspx
Yeager, Selene. “What’s the Best Exercise to Lose Weight: Cardio or Lifting Weights?” Health. N.p., 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 26 July 2017. http://www.health.com/weight-loss/best-exercise-to-lose-weight