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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
Tuesday: Light cardio eg. Cycling or walking – 30-60 minutes
Wednesday: Resistance training – 3 sets of 10-12
Friday: Sprints or HIIT session
Saturday: Light cardio: eg. Cycling or walking
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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