Back in the day, if you asked a fitness pro what they considered the best way to lose weight? They’d probably tell you to get on the treadmill or do some cardio- long and slow. This was the go-to option for anyone who wanted to lose weight.
 
Whether it was cycling, running, using the cross-trainer or walking, cardio rather than progressive resistance training, was seen as the fat persons solution.

Ask the same professional nowadays, however, and the answer may not be the same.

Before I get into which I prefer, its important to understand the details of the question. What a lot of people seek to achieve is weight loss- but what they really mean is fat loss. They wouldn’t want to lose lean muscle, as that would slow their metabolism and leave them without any shape in their physique.

Any training regime you choose to embark on to lose body fat and get lean should be built around maintaining lean muscle mass.

Below I’ve put together some pros and cons of weights and cardio (not that the two can’t be combined) and how they both compare.

Cardio

PROS

  • Potentially high and instant calorie burn
  • Low entry barrier, generally anyone can start straight away
  • Very good low intensity options for fat loss ie walking, swimming
  • Can be done in fun, social team environments i.e sports, working out with others
  • Little recovery time needed

CONS

  • A lot of people can sometimes over-do cardio, we see it often with runners for instance, knee and other joint problems
  • Can get monotonous and boring, leading to quitting altogether
  • Very difficult to maintain a balanced physique alone

A quick tip: When cardio training, sprinting and high intensity body-weight training can not only deliver benefits of cardio. Studies gathered by greatlist.com show this form of cardio can also promote additional calorie burn longer after your session. Adding to that I must add it can also burn more calories in less time compared to low intensity cardio.

Weight Training

PROS

  • Increases muscle mass relatively quickly
  • Offers the ability to grow and tone muscle leading to sustained fat loss
  • Promotes a spike in metabolism meaning you burn more calories after your workout
  • Improves posture

CONS

  • Can be compared to cardio lower caloric (short, not long-term)
  • Lots of poor information available leading to poor results
  • Can increase hunger considerably, so factor in calorie intake and balance

On comparison, weight training offers more health benefits than cardio. Most of the fat loss benefits from cardio exercise can be achieved simply through calorie deficit.

However, it does not mean I am suggesting you follow a fat loss program around resistance training and no cardio whatsoever. There is no must or must not do approach. Instead when our clients embark on a fat loss regime, we offer a combination of the two. The weight training offering the benefits mentioned at an intensity where they are also enduring the cardiovascular benefits too all in the same workout.

My best recommendation? Combine the two especially in the first 6-8 weeks benefiting from all mobility, endurance and strength. Ive added below a guide you can follow to start a weight training programme.

Progressive weight training and low intensity cardio

Monday: Resistance training: 3 sets of 10-12

Squats

Bench press

Rows

Deadlifts

Tuesday: Light cardio eg. Cycling or walking – 30-60 minutes

Wednesday: Resistance training – 3 sets of 10-12

Lunges

Leg Curl

Military press

Pull downs

Upright row

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Sprints or HIIT session

Saturday: Light cardio: eg. Cycling or walking

Sunday: Rest

For further information on how you can boost your metabolism, fat loss, improving health and functional fitness, call us on 0208 432 9991 or click here to send us a message.

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Finding new ways to create new habits is not easy at the beginning. We all work a bit differently, regardless of what we know we should be doing, we sometimes over complicate things when all we need to do is start with small steps and challenges that will steer us into the right direction. This is why diet plans and exercise programs get a lot of attention.

The human body and its fundamental requirements haven’t changed much over the past few decades, neither has its requirements for exercising and nutrition. We are all aware we need to move around more, drink more water, get adequate amounts of sleep and eat natural foods. It seems like a straight-forward plan, but putting it into practice with all life’s distractions is a whole new ballgame. Realistically it’s too difficult to completely change your whole diet, training program and lifestyle habits at once. That’s why I’m a strong believer in changing one small habit a time and measuring it or have someone else measure it for you. Master one habit and move on to the next one. Let’s take a look at 3 Simple Fat Loss Hacks that anyone should be able to sustain and fit into their lifestyle.

Tip 1: Increase Your Protein Intake

Eating more protein is the one of the first steps seeing increased fat loss. Try increasing your protein intake by 10-20% over the course of the week. Protein-rich foods calm hunger cravings as well as having a higher thermogenic effect too. In other words, for every 100 calories you consume, your body will burn around 25%of those calories off simply breaking the food down. This means you take in fewer calories too, therefore increasing your overall daily calorie deficit. And protein also helps maintain muscle mass, reducing chances of muscle break-down, which is crucial to maintaining a fast metabolism long-term.

Tip 2: Drink Yourself Slimmer

A lot of people underestimate how important drinking enough water is. Drinking enough water is one of the most simple steps you can take to start reducing fat levels and at the same time maintain a healthier mind. But its amazing how many people get through the day dehydrated. When water is consumed enough for your body type, some of the key benefits include:

  • increased metabolism
  • healthier bones and joints
  • healthier skin
  • improved digestion
  • fatigue reduction

Don’t wait until you get thirsty, aim to drink water consistently throughout the day from as soon as you get up in the morning. I carry water around with me, this way it reminds me to stay hydrated. Amounts of water we should drink depends on body types, your activity levels and the climate. As a general rule always aim to drink between 2-4 litres a day. This can seem like a lot at first but its does wonders for your body and energy levels. Also don’t underestimate the water that can be got from fresh vegetables helping you feel fuller and for longer.

Tip 3: Include at Least One HIIT Session Each Week

You’ll get mixed opinions on what is the best form of cardio training to do. Full body intense workouts increase your metabolism more per session due to the wide range of muscle groups you hit. They are can also be time efficient and can be done anywhere. Here’s an example of a fat burning HIIT workout you can do anywhere

10 Squats

• 10 Right leg reverse lunges

• 10 Right leg forward lunges

• 10 Left leg reverse lunges

• 10 left leg forward lunges

• 10 Burpees

• 10 “up, up, down, down” push-ups

Rest 1 minute, then repeat 3 more times!

For more examples of HIIT workouts fill in the form below for a free workout plan!

So there you have it- the top 3 steps to start burning fat and feeling lighter. Rely on sound and proven strategies that will get you results and keep the weight off for good!