What do you prefer doing at the gym…Weight training? Or cardio? Which is better for Fat loss? Many clients have come to me in the past trying to change their body composition and its something that comes up a lot. When i start talking about weight training, it’s something some people are a little weary and negative about as they assume weights=bulky…when this is not the case people (unless you’re eating 5000kcals a day)!!
So why hang up those running shoes and add in some weight training into your weekly routine? When you weight train, you are using so many more muscles in your body vs when you are just running. The more muscles that are worked when you train, the greater the fat burn, both initially and in the long term. Thats why compound movements, such as squats and deadlifts, are very popular. They use a lot of energy and are using pretty much every muscle in the body.
You’ll find that once you start throwing in more weight training sessions into your weekly routine, your body shape will start to change, but give it time. Be consistent and patient. You’ll find your legs will be firmer, bum a bit peachier, shoulders a little more rounded. You will NOT get bulky or muscly. This takes years and years of good training and high attention to nutrition.
After completing a weight session, your body will naturally burn more calories after the workout, up to 38hours after! Boosting your metabolism in the long term! With more lean muscle and your metabolism boosted (over time), this now means that you will naturally burn more calories at rest, meaning that you will need to eat a little more on a daily basis.
When you do cardio, such as endurance running, your heart rate stays at a very similar level, so when you finish your run you heart rate will recover back to normal pretty quickly and the calorie burning time will finish pretty soon too. This is why High Intensity Interval Training is now huge! When you do HIIT your recovery time after a workout is a lot longer, so you burn calories even after the workout has ended. Also the fact that it takes 3500 calories to burn 1lb of fat, the quicker and easier you can do this the better right?? Where you are using more muscles doing weights, the more calories are burned, which in essence, means greater fat loss! KERCHIIIING!! Cardio will make you lose weight yes, but that weight will include muscle, and that’s not ideal. We need to weight train to keep our bones and bodies strong for later life too!
Now, let me just make it clear that i’m not saying don’t do cardio at all! Because that would be ludicrous. You need to have some form of cardio in your weekly training routine for good heart health. If you can find a nice mix of both is essential. Weight train, then smash out some sprints for 10 minutes at the end of your workout, or a circuit, whatever it is that will really get your heart racing by using intervals. Personally i have found that the mix of both plus a great diet is optimal for fat loss and muscle gain.
Making sure you have a healthy balanced diet is the key to changing anything about your body. You will want to increase your protein intake to help with muscle repair after your workout. You will want to make sure you are eating enough carbs and fats to fuel your workout both physically and mentally. But, let’s not forget, that to increase on certain things in your diet, you need to know how much you are eating in the first place! Be aware of the amount of food you intake, track your calories for a few weeks to get a rough idea. Include everything…i mean everything. That cup of coffee, that half a biscuit, the whole cupcake. Everything will add up and you might just realise how much you are eating and maybe you’ll begin to realise why you aren’t losing weight, if thats your goal!
But, back to the topic of this blog post! Cardio vs Weight. Both are good in moderation, just like everything. Have a think of what you do exercise wise during the week and maybe change some sessions up. Hit a full body workout with weights, have a day to focus on growing the strength in your legs. Or maybe, you need to include a bit more cardio for the old heart health! Getting a balance of both would be perfect. Just like everything else in fitness!
If you have any questions about the above, or i haven’t made something totally clear, comment below and i’ll get back to you as soon as i can!