Cardio Vs. Strength Training: Which Is Best for Weight Loss?
Many believe that cardio is the answer to fat burn. Although a 30 minute run can burn an average of 300 calories, compared to 200 calories during 30 minutes of weight lifting, the amount of calories being burnt at rest needs to be taken into consideration.
Burning More at Rest
Over the course of a 24 hour period, a pound of muscle burns 10 calories, whereas a pound of fat only burns 3 calories over the same period of time. By increasing the amount of muscle you have in your body, you can burn more calories while at rest, leading to more fat burn.
More calories are burned after strength training because it puts more stress on the body, which requires more repairing. Your body expends energy when repairing the muscles and elevates your calorie burn for a longer period of time versus cardio.
What Is the Best Option?
The answer is BOTH! Doing strength training at least 3 times a week and cardio at least twice a week will provide the best results for weight loss. A study done by BMC Public Health found overweight and obese adults who followed a 12-week cardio and resistance-training program lost more weight than those who only did cardio. Bottom line: incorporate exercises that target multiple muscle groups, while doing cardio such as running or spinning. The combination of the two will allow your body to burn more calories during your workout, while burning even more calories at rest. Incorporating these two exercise regiments and monitoring your caloric intake will allow for optimum fat burn.