Depending on who you talk to, you have either been told that the secret to losing weight is to do only cardio or to only life weights. The truth is that both of these forms of exercise promote the most weight loss when they are used in combination. The body is designed for both endurance (cardio) and resilience (weight training). Both types of exercise will burn calories, but together they are a powerhouse for weight loss. Here are 6 facts about exercise that debunk the “cardio only” myth and reveal why having a balanced and varied routine is essential for losing weight.
Muscle burns fat at rest
You can pound the treadmill for hours and burn the calories and some fat, but after you are done the body will restabilise quickly and go back to life as usual. When you work out with weights and increase the amount of muscle that you have, the process of stressing muscle tissue to create stronger and more tissue means the body will continue consuming fat stores to support the process long after the workout is over. This is why it is easier to get up and run every day then it is to get up and lift weights every day. The muscle building metabolic process continues on long after you have stopped. The cardio affect last only as long as you are in motion…and maybe for 30-45 after.
Muscle takes up less space
One of the biggest myths about why women should do more cardio and avoid lifting weights is it will cause them to “bulk up.” This isn’t true. Unless you are engaged in Olympic body building process you will find that weight training works to slim you down. The toning that people talk about is a result of muscle being gained. Muscle tissue takes up much less space in the body that any other kind. This is why a better way to gauge your progress is using body measurement, not overall weight. Knowing how much you weigh isn’t going to give you much information on how your actual body mass and percentage of body fat is changing, which is the actual goal of weight loss programs.
Need intense cardio to really burn calories
The other benefit of adding weight lifting to your exercise routine is that to burn the same amount of calories that you would during a mixed routine, you would have to do almost twice as long an intense cardio session by itself. Not only can too intense a session cause you to deplete electrolytes and dehydrate, but few people really have the time to keep up with a regular program of sustained cardio for hours during the work week.
Shorter workouts to gain greater burn
By adding in weight training you are going to achieve a greater calorie and fat burn in a shorter time frame than before. When you add to this the fact that your muscles will continue burring fat and calories after the work out, a mixed workout makes much more sense. With a shorter workout, it is also easier to stay enthused and committed to your exercise program.
Burn more calories by adding strength training to cardio
Cardio works the heart and increase your endurance levels while also burning calories and some fat. A weight lifting routine works to increase your muscle resilience, which is the time it takes for your muscles to recover from exertion. This burns calories and fat as well. There are different types of resilience trainings which emphasize speed or strength. By mixing the two in with your cardio, you can almost double the calories burned while making those calories meaningful. If the calories and weight you are losing during your workout are only from water, carb fuels and electrolytes – you won’t lose weight fast. By making a part of your cardio burn fat consumption to produce muscle, more meaningful calories are used.
Variety is necessary to weight loss
No matter what type of workout you are doing, you will stop seeing gains in muscle or significant weight loss if you do not vary the workout in length and intensity. You don’t have to go crazy with planning new and different routines, but you should be alternating reps and increasing pitch and time on the treadmill. The human body is designed to handle high levels of stress by adapting to it quickly. The ½ hour on the elliptical will help you with weight loss until your body adjusts to the stress produced by the session. Change it up and keep your body in a state of responsiveness to lose the most weight.