If you’re like most people, fat burning and overall weight loss is your primary concern when it comes to fitness goals.
Even if your knowledge on weight loss is limited, you’ve probably heard both sides of the coin for what makes for a great weight loss. Some people are cardio-focused while others advocate resistance, or weight, training to be the key. What does science say?
Let’s take a look at what a recent study has to say about the best method for losing that belly fat.
Cardio vs. Weight Training
First things first: What’s the difference between a cardio workout and weight training?
Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging focus on elevating heart rate to achieve your target heart rate. If you want more information on what your target heart rate is, click here for a great article from the CDC.
To sum it up: Your target heart rate is the number of beats per minute to maximize cardiovascular health benefits including fat burning. Cardiovascular exercises include:
Weight training, on the other hand, focuses on applying direct resistance to a specific group of muscles. The goal is to develop lean muscle tissue. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn while at rest. Weight training can be manipulated to encourage larger muscle mass, strength gains, or increases in power. Exercises for weight training include:
What the Science Says
Both sound great (and both are great) but which is better for blasting belly fat?
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology shows that moderate to high intensity cardio training is the most effective way to burn fat. While both have their merits, cardiovascular exercises exhibit a higher level of calorie burning. Cardio exercises also target fat stores more effectively.
If you are new to the fitness scene, it may be best to begin with a moderate level of intensity. For example, you could mix up power walking with a light jog for 20 minutes. As you feel more comfortable and want to challenge yourself, you can work up to the following suggestion. Those who are more experienced can try a jogging routine that incorporates 5 to 10 second sprints throughout.
Take Home Points
Should you cut out weight training and only focus on jogging?
The two work together to provide you with the highest level of benefits.
If your goal is fat burning, prioritize cardio exercises; however, don’t neglect weight training. Dedicate one or two days per week for full body weight training workouts. The other days of the week can focus on cardio workouts such as jogging or swimming.
An example workout week could look like this:
Monday: Jogging (5 second sprints) – 20 minutes
Tuesday: Weight Training: Full Body
Thursday: Jogging: 30 minutes
Friday: Weight Training: Full Body
Tell Us What You Think!
Have you recently lost weight thanks to cardio exercises?
What did you do to achieve your success?
Tell us about your results in the comments section below!
Slentz CA, Bateman LA, Willis LH, Shields AT, Tanner CJ, Piner LW, Hawk VH, Muehlbauer MJ, Samsa GP, Nelson RC, Huffman KM, Bales CW, Houmard JA, Kraus WE. Effects of aerobic vs. resistance training on visceral and liver fat stores, liver enzymes, and insulin resistance by HOMA in overweight adults from STRRIDE AT/RT. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Nov;301(5):E1033-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00291.2011. Epub 2011 Aug 16.
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