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Lose Weight Effectively & Efficiently

Which is better for weight loss – Cardio or Resistance training?

I’m often asked by patients wanting to lose weight if cardio or weight training is better. Approximately 75% of all women who attend the gym on a regular basis do not incorporate a weight program within their gym routine and participate solely in cardiovascular training.

If we take a look at the benefits, cardiovascular training mainly increases our aerobic capacity through strengthening our heart, lungs and cardiovascular system. This improves our efficiency to complete tasks in our everyday lives. This is generally the first port of call that patients participate in to lose weight i.e. treadmill, cross trainer, rower and or bike.

As cardiovascular exercise is relatively low impact, patients with a greater Body Mass Index may find this more comfortable on joints and allow them to exert for longer at a lower intensity of heart rate. Over time this would lead to a decrease in blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol levels. It also has a direct impact on the fat burning process so initially or for short term weights loss, this is an option. Due to the nature of this low impact form of exercise, once the exercise has been completed the heart rate returns much quicker to normal levels; therefore once the exercise has been completed, the fat burning effects plateau faster. Utilizing high intensity interval training through your cardiovascular workout could also increase the metabolic effect; this would be one way of mixing up a cardiovascular routine for further weight loss.

Resistance training involves the use of weights i.e. dumbbells and barbells. This is not to be misconceived as a form of body building and that using weights will lead to a bulky body image, this isn’t the case. Women do not produce as much testosterone hormone as men, therefore an increase in size of short twitch fibers within the muscle is actually very difficult for women to achieve without the aid of supplementation. With correct sets and repetitions of exercises a slender body image can be achieved. Resistance training does lead to increased muscle mass, tone and definition; and these are the key factors for long term weight loss.

Resistance training has an indirect impact on the fat burning process; however these effects last over a longer period of time. An increase in muscle mass results in greater calorie expenditure, improved basal metabolic rate, which leads to a greater weight reduction. This is also achieved in a much shorter duration in comparison to cardiovascular training. With weight training there are a larger variety of exercises to choose from, which enables the patient to keep motivation and interest levels high throughout the duration of the workout.

So which is best? A combination of both will reap the biggest benefits with regards to weight loss. The combination of the two types of training will enable the patient to reach their weight loss goals in the most efficient and effective way. Please remember that any form of exercise is better than nothing at all, and acting on taking part in exercise is the most important factor.

Contact Samantha on +971 50 8599181 or visit Up and Running for more information

Samantha Yardley BSc (hons) Sports Rehabilitation, G.S.R
MSMA L4 Sports Massage Practitioner

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