Resistance Training Vs Cardio For Fat Loss
Why Resistance Training Is Key For Fat Loss
We see it all the time, Gemma decides she wants to lose weight, she buys some running trainers and heads out on her 5K run a couple of times a week in the hope that her dream body will magically appear. The problem is, Gemma is still buying in to the myth that endless hours of cardio will be her quickest route to a flatter stomach. Fast forward a few months and Gemma is still the same dress size and her stomach isn’t any flatter, despite all the time she’s dedicated to her weekly runs. Talk about de-motivating!!
Don’t get us wrong, cardio has many benefits related to fat loss, but if you’re looking for the fastest way to see your body change, it’s not necessarily the most efficient approach.
Over here at U-First Fitness Society we are firm believers that resistance training is by far the most efficient and simple route to a leaner and healthier you. Paired with a high protein diet and a calorie deficit, you’re on track for a much more efficient way to finally shedding that unwanted body fat.
As a disclaimer, we want to strongly point out that cardio isn’t ‘bad’, it just doesn’t burn through fat as quickly as lifting something heavy!
In an ideal world, you’d combine shorter sessions of resistance training (moderate to heavy weights with short rest periods) with longer, slower, less intense sessions of cardiovascular activity. The resistance training would send your heart rate high and burn through those fat cells, and the longer slower bouts of cardio would help with your recovery, increase your daily activity and improve your heart efficiency.
But we definitely don’t live in an ideal world and in reality most people are pressed for time and don’t have endless amounts of hours to work on their ‘ideal body’. They need the quickest route possible to achieving their goals.
Cue resistance training! We could be here all day telling why lifting weights will always serve your fat loss goals better than running on a treadmill every day, but instead, here are, in our opinion, the three most important reasons why:
YOU BURN MORE CALORIES AT REST!
Cardio is an aerobic exercise that reduces body fat as well as muscle mass. When you lose muscle mass, your natural basal metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns through calories at rest) slows down. Once this happens, this means your body will burn fewer calories at rest and per day. Now if you were to increase the amount of muscle mass in your body through regular resistance training, your basal metabolic rate would increase, and you’d burn through more calories per day! Simply put, the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body burns by doing nothing!
RESISTANCE TRAINING SCULPTS YOUR BODY!
This is a huge benefit of getting stuck in to those weights. If you were to lose fat doing endless amounts of cardio you’d be leaner, but look very soft. This weight loss is typically a combination of fat and muscle, so what you're left with is a smaller version of your current self. Whereas if you were to lose fat through a well structured resistance plan, you’d be leaner but a hell of a lot more shapely. Ladies, we’re talking curves in all the right places, and guys, we’re talking a well defined muscular physique! This will give you a much better overall transformation than if you just lost weight doing cardio.
LESS TIME CONSUMING!
If you choose strictly cardio for your fat loss goals, you’re going to be spending a LOT of time doing so. Since you must burn off 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of body fat, you’re in for a very long, hard slog on that treadmill. This quickly becomes repetitive and boring and time constraints come in to play. Cardio is a stress on the body, and the body is very good at adapting to stress. What does this mean? Well, let’s say you preform 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week. Initially you find this tough, then as time goes on and you continue to train at the same level, the body will slowly start to adapt to this stress and it will become easier to accomplish. You become adapted to that stress you put on your body and you don’t get the same effect as you did when you first started out. When you become better adapted to this stress the only thing left to do is to add more cardio to see any form of further results, which means more time pounding the treadmill, often time we don’t have. When you resistance train however, your body soon realises it needs to be stronger and the muscles need more fibres to adapt to the stress put on your body via the weight bearing movements. The body’s adaptation to this stress is to add more muscle mass to your body, leaving you with a stronger, leaner, more shapely body that you know will serve you well.
The takeaway? Any sort of activity is beneficial to your fat loss goals. But if you’re looking for the quickest and most efficient way to achieve your dream body, resistance training will always win.