Top Calorie Burner: Weight Training vs. Fitness Training

Top Calorie Burner: Weight Training vs Cardio Training

What’s your best friend in the fight to burn body fat, cardio training or weight training? This seems to be the million dollar question for many fitness enthusiasts. While both forms of training benefit the body in numerous ways, they can yield very different results. Here’s a quick overview of some benefits for each type of training.

Cardiovascular exercise (endurance training) benefits the cardiovascular system directly by increasing blood flow and allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently to the body. Over time, this can help the body improve endurance, stamina, and cardiovascular capacity.

Pros:

  • Keeps disease away (including osteoporosis and diabetes)
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves mood

Cons:

  • Too much cardio can burn off hard-earned muscle as well as fat, thereby lowering your metabolic rate
  • Calories are primarily burned during the activity only

Weight training (resistance training) benefits the skeletal system and muscular system (musculoskeletal system), nervous system, and even cardiovascular system (if performed correctly). Over time, the body adapts to the weight training and grows stronger, burns fat, and improves overall conditioning.

Pros:

  • Strengthens the actual heart while improving blood flow
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Fights osteoporosis and diabetes
  • Improves brain function and mood
  • Calories are burned up during exercise, immediately following exercise, and also as a result from the increased muscle leading to a faster metabolism

Cons:

  • Weight can be heavy
  • Ideal workouts and programs can be overwhelming without proper guidance

The final verdict is that in order to burn the most calories, you should implement both weight training AND cardio. If it came down to only once choice, resistance training (weight training) will have longer lasting, positive effects.

Here are some great tips for combining cardio and weight training:

  • Perform cardio on your off days from the weights
  • Hit the weights first, followed up by a short cardio workout
  • Shorten your rest periods when you’re lifting weights (blends cardio and weight training)