Lifting or cardio to lose that stubborn weight?

The desire to lose weight is pretty common these days with almost everyone, once in their life, has been on some sort of diet. Everyone has that ideal look that they strive to achieve or that article of clothing they want to fit just right. Maybe you have plans to go on vacation and want to tighten things up. This can be especially true if your ideal vacation spot is somewhere tropical and bathing suits become multi-functional pieces of clothing. Maybe you are just looking to gain more confidence and feel better in the skin you are in. Whatever your reason may be to diet I can promise you that you are not alone.


After competing and being a personal trainer myself, I have set my standards pretty high. Knowing what my body is capable of and being there once before makes it almost addictive to get that shape back. Like most I want that 6 pack because really who doesn’t like that toned tummy? But I also want it at all times. This means when I am even relaxed and not trying to tighten things up there is still some evidence of being fit. For most that probably seems like a silly goal and you know what that’s not unreasonable, in-fact no one really needs to be that lean unless you have a reason to be.

Earlier today, after training, I jumped on the Stair climber to burn those extra calories. What I did notice is the familiar faces around me getting their cardio on like you would expect in any gym. You will always spot the cardio bunnies who come in, jump on a treadmill for a hour and they are out. Granted they may be coming in earlier to do weights which I cannot say for sure. I know I have done that before because no one wants to do a hour of cardio after lifting. Now I’m not saying this is bad in anyway but for weight loss or losing those inches, is it the best way?


Let me expand on this, yes you are burning calories which is a win and you are strengthening your cardiovascular system. The lasting effects of doing cardio has nothing when compared to the effects of lifting weights. While lifting you are breaking down the muscle tissue and stressing it to the point where it needs to grow larger to make up for demand. Tearing the muscle is what makes your body adapt and come back stronger. This process eats up a lot more calories then doing just cardio on it’s own and by gaining more muscle it becomes a long lasting effect. How is this? Your resting metabolic rate will increase or in other words, with more muscle you will burn more calories no matter what you are doing. Even while you lay on the couch watching TV your body will consume more energy to maintain the muscle which has been built.


Your body is always adapting to it’s surroundings, it really fascinates me to see how you can change your body just by changing daily habits. So coming in and doing that hour on the treadmill is going to eventually become less effective. Your body will get used to it so you will either need to switch the equipment you use or go for longer (ew no one wants to do that). When lifting weights the goal is usually to progress in how much you are lifting. Now this could mean you start to lift more weight or maybe just squeezing in some extra reps. You should start to get stronger and what was once hard will become easier as you progress.


Combine lifting and cardio is the best way to lose weight. Cardiovascular health is huge and one of the most important things to be on top of. With heart disease being an increasing problem, anything you can do to reduce these odds is important. Usually the look people are trying to achieve is that lean toned look. What most underestimate is the amount of muscle it takes to get that look. Once you peel off the fat it can be shocking how small you really are. Getting the lasting effect from weights and a quick burn from cardio is the best and most beneficial way to drop those inches. Don’t be afraid of becoming “too bulky” as it takes years and years of persistence to get that look.

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