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Cardio vs. Resistance Training: What is Better for Fat Burning?

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:05pm
There are a variety of ways to burn fat. It is commonly believed that intense cardiovascular exercise is the only way to burn fat and that resistance training, such as weight lifting, is only for building muscle mass. The two are not mutually exclusive.

An active resistance training schedule and strength training will increase muscle mass, which leads to more fat loss and a stronger, leaner body; cardiovascular exercise is also important.

A good cardio workout can increase endurance, lung capacity, blood flow to the brain and burn fat. Running, jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing and other types of cardio are important to do on a regular basis and when you are traveling or can’t get into the gym.


For fat-loss, plan to spend at least 30 minutes each day on your cardio workout. Your exercise regime should consist of a warm-up, workout, and cool-down period. For example, warm up on the stair climber for 5 minutes. Increase your speed to a slow jog for 20 minutes and end your cardio workout with another a fast-paced, 5-minute climb.

As you become more fit, make sure increase the time and intensity of your cardiovascular workout. Once you reach an appropriate fitness level, bump up the level and do your cardio workout for up to an hour.
Gym machines can be a great way to keep yourself in check if you are not sure what to do or you lack the discipline to push yourself. You can use the levels and timer to make sure you are getting a significant workout.

Some prefer other, less repetitive forms of exercise, such as outdoor jogging, sprinting or swimming, because they get bored on a gym machine. These are all great options – just make sure you have the proper drive to challenge yourself. Another benefit of these types of functional exercises can be the unexpected challenges (such as terrain) that you won’t encounter on a machine. Mix it up and you will be even more successful!


However, as beneficial as cardiovascular exercise is in fat burning, one cannot discount the benefits of weight training in your fat burning plan. The more muscle one has, the more fat they can burn even while at rest! In addition, more muscle tone creates definition, a visible success of exercise.

Seeing your body become more firm is often a motivator for continuing to work out even harder. In addition, the muscle you gain will provide you with strength and energy that will not only benefit you in your cardio workouts, but also in your daily life.


At BOOTCAMP 619, we provide a workout with a healthy mix of cardiovascular and resistance training to ensure balance. You will not only get fit and enjoy the group classes, but learn the skills to keep yourself at your top fitness potential.
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