What's better to lose fat - weights or cardio?

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There’s plenty of debate about which type of exercise is the “best” way to get in shape. Some argue in favour of aerobic exercise. Others contend that resistance exercise (such as lifting weights) is the right way to do it. Let’s take a closer look at both types of exercise and see what they have to offer…

The role of cardio
With all the people bobbing up and down in gyms doing aerobic exercise, most people would think that; walking, jogging, or cycling is usually all you need to do to lose weight and burn fat. But is this true? The good thing about aerobic exercise is that it's relatively easy to do. Most people can use a bike or treadmill without too much instruction. Lifting weights, on the other hand takes practice to get the technique right. A cardiovascular workout is also a great way to burn off a lot of calories. And because creating a calorie deficit – burning more calories than you take in - is the key to weight loss, cardio should form a part of any weight loss plan.

The role of weights
Resistance exercise (weights) gives you the power to sculpt your body the way you want it to look. It's the key to giving you the biceps, pecs and abs you want (and of course every other muscle group). Weights allow you to preserve muscle when dieting and to keep the size, whilst you're losing fat, to prevent you looking thin and gaunt, this can only happen if you lift weights. A proper weight training routine will give you the physique, size and confidence that others find attractive and appealing, whilst of course producing a body that will perform better in all sports.

Not only does resistance exercise improve your body shape, it ranks alongside cardio as one of the best fat-burning exercises around. Exciting new research shows that weight training boosts your metabolic rate for hours after the workout has finished. Researchers from Colorado State University found that those who lifted weights were still burning over 50% more fat 16 hours after the workout ended. Not only that, but their resting metabolic rate was also increased.

Why a combination is good
As you can see, both types of exercise have a role to play in giving you a firm, lean, toned body, it's a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise that will deliver the best results. If you haven't already, you will learn to love weight training for its role in shaping, building and sculpting your muscles, while the cardio strips away the fat to leave you looking fitter, firmer and leaner. For more information on choosing the ultimate weight training routine for you and how to do the exercises, visit our training area here

Osterberg, K.L., & Melby, C.L. (2000). Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate in young women. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 10, 71-81

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You need both.. weights and cardio.
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