Cardio Training vs. Resistance Training -Fat Loss?

d8ba7728-a54d-42cc-8f59-fafe3e09ae57At this time of year, everyone is in a panic to lose some extra kilos before their summer holiday.  Gym’s have bulging fitness classes and every treadmill and exercise bike taken, it is easy to think that this is the right way to go. However, this is not necessarily the most effective way to rid yourself of your unwanted flabby parts.

The Science

Losing body fat is simply about creating a negative energy balance, i.e. expending more energy than you take in. You  expend energy through

  • your metabolic rate
  • the energy required to take in, digest, absorb and utilise food
  • physical activity

Your metabolism is the key to effective, long term body fat reduction. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories to sustain itself. The higher your metabolism the more effective your body is at burning calories even whilst you are sleeping, sounds good.  There are ways to increase your metabolism.   So long as you have a reasonable calorie intake there is no reason to diet.  However there is no substitute for eating good fresh, natural produce.

So, what’s the effective way to increase your metabolism? Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in your body.  Increasing the muscle mass in your body substantially increases your body’s abilities to burn body fat.

Cardio Training:  Physical activity of any kind burns calories.  Jumping onto a treadmill and pounding out a few kilometres each day has the overall effect of burning calories whilst you are training. You’ll need to change your training regularly to continue burning the same amount of calories. This is because your body quickly becomes more efficient at doing this type of training Cardio training is also not the most effective way to build lean muscle mass.

Resistance training:It is training your body to overcome resistance in the form of a weight, be it your body weight, using weights held in your hands, or operating the machines in your local gym. Many studies have shown this type of training is by far the most effective fat burning strategy. By following a resistance training program that focuses on working multiple muscle groups in every exercise is by far the most time efficient training.

Resistance training has a triple effect for effect fat loss:

  •  you burn calories whilst you are training
  • you are burning calories whilst your body is recovering
  • And you are burning more calories because your metabolism has increased with the increased muscle tissue.

Resistance Training Equipment

Save your money!  Don’t go out and buy an expensive multi-station home gym, it is not necessary. It is not even necessary to step into a gym. Training with your own body weight is often enough, you can add resistance with some simple weights, and the use of a stability ball creates an enormous variety of workouts that gives your body a complete workout.

So, there is an alternative to pounding out the kilometres on the treadmill, or wearing out the pedals on your exercise bike to fight the flab. A certain amount of cardio training will help trim the body fat, but including resistance training into your workouts will definitely help you achieve your health goals in less time.

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