Cardio vs. Strength Training: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

One on One Personal Training Deerfield Beach

There are tons of conflicting information out there about what works best for losing unwanted pounds. For some, cardio is the key. High calorie burning exercise like running, swimming, and biking can burn fat quickly but can be counter-productive without adequate nutrition, causing you to lose valuable muscle mass. Strength training builds muscle, which also burns calories, but if you are inconsistent, these gains can revert back to fat.  

For people who are new to fitness, knowing what to do to get the best results can feel impossible. You don’t want to put in work just to receive no results. So, which is better for fat burning: cardio or strength training? The answer is both! 

Pros and Cons of Cardio- Focused Exercise Regimens 

When you think about cardio, what comes to mind? Lots of fast movements and sweat, right? While that’s one way to get your cardio exercise in, it’s not the only way to burn those calories! 

Cardio exercises are any form set of movements designed to sustain an elevated heart rate for the course of activity. This promotes good blood flow to the engaged muscles, allowing them to work harder and burn more fat. However, you don’t have to run a marathon to get good cardio exercise—you don’t have to run at all. Walking, stair climbing, bicycling are also popular forms of cardio-focused exercise.  

One of the main reasons cardio is such a popular form of exercise is because it offers so many health benefits. Beyond overall fat burning, consistent cardio exercise can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. By strengthening the heart and lungs, cardio also lowers the overall resting heart rate as well, helping to prevent heart related health issues. Even low impact forms of cardio like using a stationary bike or elliptical has lasting health benefits. 

However, when it comes to weight loss in Deerfield Beach, relying only on cardio can be a challenge. The high fat burning benefits of cardio only last for up to a few hours after your work out. This means daily cardio sessions for optimal results, which may not be feasible for some schedules.

Even so, another potential side effect of cardio-focused workouts is muscle wasting, which happens when the body begins to burn muscle instead of fat. While its usually caused by a diet that is not optimized for high calorie burning exercises, it can have lasting effects on your overall health including weakness and increased risk of injury. Losing muscle mass can greatly set back your fitness journey. 

Strengths and Weaknesses of Strength Training  

On the other end of the scope are exercises focused on building muscle and strength. While many seeking weight loss in Deerfield may avoid weights and strength training for fear of bulking up, this is actually counter-productive. You need muscle to burn fat and the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn.  

This doesn’t mean you have to become a professional bodybuilder to see the benefits. Low-weight, high rep exercises can be just as effective as higher-weight, lower rep forms of strength training. Don’t be afraid of gaining muscle, though—by doing so, you are unlocking the greatest benefit of strength training for weight loss: long-term fat burning. 

With more muscle mass your body requires more energy to function, leading to continued fat burning even after your workout. As you continue to strength train, your body burns more fat during the most basic physical activities. However, strength training also requires consistency to prevent loss of muscle mass and regaining fat. Thankfully once your body learns how to processes fat and build muscle, recovering your progress becomes easier. 

Which is Better? 

When it comes to weight loss in Deerfield Beach, a well-rounded fitness routine that combines strength building and cardio is the best approach. Gain the benefits of both worlds through a comprehensive workout plan with Say Fitness! Beginning with our fitness assessment in Deerfield Beach location, we cultivate a workout regimen specifically for you. With this personalized approach to your fitness journey, we can support you every step of the way! 

Contact Say Fitness today to learn more about our fitness classes and personal training!