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Cardio versus Weight Lifting: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

Posted Sep 02 2012 11:00am

cardio vs weight lifting

cardio vs weight lifting Follow Me on Pinterest If you’re a fitness freak or someone who has just recently become interested in this field, you no doubt have heard the benefits of these two disciplines being touted. You’ve probably heard the assertion that muscle burns fat; so building muscle is an effective way of fighting fat. The high calorie-burning attributes of a cardio workout, be it on the machines or in aerobics sessions or an hour of jogging, have been hailed for decades. And it is true; both forms of exercise will help a disciplined  (weight watcher?)  make impressive gains over time. But the crux of the matter is this; we all have (or at least pretend to have) busy lives and barely get enough done by the time we hit the sack. We therefore want to dedicate whatever little time we can squeeze out of our schedules to the regime that promises us the greatest calorie loss per session. I won’t stick out my neck and declare either one the best; I’ll simply give you some facts to help you decide.

Does Weight Lifting Really Burn Enough Calories? The scepticism is understandable;  if you compare the amount of movement and the sweat soaking your gym towel after a cardio workout and after a session with weights alone, the former gives the impression that more work has been done. But before you swear off weights, you need to consider the fact that pumping iron increases your body’s metabolism, helping you burn calories both during the workout and after. It has been proven that the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, and what’s the quickest way to achieve more muscle? You guessed it: lifting weights.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Lifting Weight for 30 Minutes? If you’re not convinced, let’s look at some cold hard numbers. 30 minutes in the gym spent purely on weights for a person of average build will see him or her lose approximately 300 calories. Doing 4 sets of 12 reps on a leg press on 60-second intervals, followed by weighted step-ups, 6 sets by 20 reps each leg, on 90-second intervals. This routine will take about 30 minutes. Always ask an instructor to show you the technique before you attempt anything on your own, as what matters most is how you do the exercise to avoid workout-related injuries and achieve optimum results.

How Much Can You Burn Doing Intense Cardio Instead? Now before you label me Joe Weider in disguise, let me say some nice things about cardio. To do this I need you to bear with me as I take you through a biology class. To do any sort of work, your cells require oxygen so as to break down glucose; and in so doing derive energy. The more work they do, the more oxygen they demand from the lungs. When you do cardio, your muscles or cells exhaust their oxygen supplies more rapidly, requiring you to replace it by breathing in deeply. In order to deliver this oxygen to the cells quicker, your heart increases its work rate.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Doing Cardio for 30 Minutes? Cardio exercise, if done at a pace that is not too intense for your body, burns stored energy (fat). If you are too intense then the body has no time to burn stored fat and it will burn glucose (muscle). That is why it is important that cardio is done at an average pace for a relatively long time, i.e, you can work on a treadmill on an average speed of 6km/hour, low incline (1-2 degrees), for 30 minutes. This will burn 300 calories approximately.

Which One Is Best For Burning Fat – Cardio or Weights? You don’t have to pick and choose between two highly beneficial routines; why not strategize to divide your time between the two and harvest from both fields? For example, pick a day for cardio, and another for weight lifting. Monday, Wednesday and Friday can be weight lifting days, and Tuesday Thursdays can be focused on cardio. Alternatively, you can engage in high intensity interval training sessions that incorporate both cardios and strength training elements all in a single session

What about you? Do you prefer cardio or weight lifting when it comes to weight loss?

Author’s Bio: Victoria is a freelance writer who specializes in the weight loss and fitness niche. She invites you to check out these and .

This post is the property of Kodjoworkout blog where you can find hundreds of home workouts designed to get you in shape fast!

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