A very common question that myself and other trainers in the industry are asked is ‘which is better for fat loss, cardio or weights’ or, ‘should I do cardio or weights first?’. Cardiovascular exercise can be described as something that elevates your heart rate for a prolonged period of time e.g. walking, cycling or jogging. Weight training is when your joints go through a range of motion under load e.g. squats, press ups or deadlifts.
Both types of training have their place when leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, but does one out-way the other? In my opinion, weights win.
Before I inform you of the benefits of weight training, please note that I play semi-professional football, have run the London Marathon and have completed the London to Brighton bike ride, so please don’t think I’m not an advocate of regular cardiovascular exercise!
Putting your body under load safely and effectively on a regular basis has many benefits such as offsetting osteoporosis and the degeneration of muscle health, increasing bone health, ligaments and muscle tissue, not to mention the heightened metabolic effect, known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) which is when our bodies metabolism burns more calories at rest after exercise.
Weight training isn’t just for big grunting men throwing heavy iron plates around, it is also important for women to lift weights if they want a toned physique. In recent years, more women have started to lift weights which is great to see as the out-dated view of ‘weights make you bulky’ finally begins to fade away.
If your goal is fat loss and you're wondering which will have a better effect, cardio or weights, unfortunately you’re asking the wrong questions. We are 70-80% of what we eat with 20-30% what we do. Therefore, here is the order of importance:
1. Consume appropriate calories for you specific goal
2. Weight train
3. Perform cardio
Try not to move down this list until you are managing the highest priority well enough. Remember to check your technique with a trained professional before commencing with weight training.
If you want any help with your exercise programme, as well as 1-2-1 and group Personal Training, I also offer bespoke exercise programmes, so get in touch for more details at email@example.com.