It is popular belief that if you are wanting to shed some unwanted weight that you are better off going for a run than hitting the weights. Sure there are some good reasons why people often think this, high intensity cardio WILL burn some serious calories. However the most effective way to shed unwanted weight (and keep it off!) is through a combination of BOTH endurance and resistance training and here is why:
When you participate in an aerobic activity, such as going for a jog or a swim, your body will burn more calories than it might do if you were to spend the same amount of time doing bicep curls. Yet, the changes to your lean muscle mass remain minimal. Sure these types of cardiovascular endurance training are very important as they help keep your circulatory and respiratory systems healthy and they also burn through calories. But this doesn't mean they should be the only consideration when you are focused on shedding weight.
Even though there is an after burn effect gained from participating in an intense cardio sesh (such as a spin class), there is an even greater one gained from participating in a high intensity resistance training session. Where a cardio workout can boost your metabolism for up to 14 hours, a high intensity resistance training session can boost it for up to 36 hours. Even if the increase is only, say an extra 10 calories an hour that adds up over the 36 hours to be a fairly impressive difference.
The other thing to consider is that through resistance training you are working to increase your body’s lean muscle mass. Your muscles need energy in order to function. Even when you are just standing around, or bending down to pick up the washing basket, your muscles fibers are contracting to provide your movement, strength and stability. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more muscle fibers are contracting which means the more energy is being used and the more calories you are burning. Simple!
Plus let’s not forget that through resistance training, you are also working on toning the different muscles of your body, giving you that sexy curvy look you are after.
So what is the most effective way to burn fat? A balanced combination of both resistance and endurance training is the best way to achieve your goals. This doesn’t mean you have to do it all in one day, instead try to mix your week up. For example, train your arms, shoulders and core one day, and use the following day as an active recovery day with some jogging, swimming or cycling.
Through combining these two different types of training you will find you are much more efficient and successful in achieving your weight loss goals!