When someone is looking to drop some weight, they usually think cardio, cardio, cardio. Is this the case though? Is cardio truly better to lose weight than lifting weights?
A study done by Duke University compared weight training to cardio to see which was best for weight loss. They studied 119 overweight participants. A cardio group who performed aerobic exercise, and a weight training group who performed resistance training.
At the end of the study, the cardio group lost about 4 pounds and about 3 ½ of those pounds were fat. The resistance group ended up gaining two pounds of muscle, lost 0 fat, and spent more time exercising each week than the cardio group.
It seems that cardio should be done over weight training if you’re looking to lose weight, but there was a third group they studied.
The third group combined cardio and resistance training. They lost the most fat and added lean muscle. However, they had to spend twice as much time in the gym.
The key is balance. Strictly cardio will help you burn more calories and therefore lose more fat, but it will also make you lose muscle tone. Strictly weight training will help you gain lean muscle, but you won’t lose as much fat.
You should start your workout with some weight training so you can keep and build lean muscle. Then, finish with cardio so you can blast through some calories to help burn unwanted fat. Also, studies show that by doing weight training before cardio helps burn more calories during your cardio workout.