One lesson I regret not learning years ago is that aerobics isn't the only weight loss exercise going. Hard as it to believe, but when it comes to burning off fat resistance training may rank up there too.
Which might explain why I was having a hard time losing the weight despite hours on the treadmill. Because for some strange reason my fat loss was not what I was expecting.
So if you too are laboring (literally) under the misconception that aerobics is the best too, the isn't it time to clear the air? I mean just why is aerobic training said to be best for burning fat? Or so it seems? And where does resistance training fit into this picture?
But doesn't it seem aerobic exercises have always been promoted for fat loss? For obvious reasons too. Aerobics are relatively easy to do and don't have a lot of real discomfort associated with them. Plus the theory behind all this is straightforward. Achieve your fat burning heart rate. Keep it there for 30-40 minutes duration. Then you're done.
And don't forget you can often distract yourself with TV, music or other types of entertainment when doing aerobics.
Resistance or strength training, on the other hand, now that involves a lot of stress and strain. You have to struggle with weights, do 2-3 sets with 12-20 repetitions in each set at least. I mean who wants to get out of the comfort zone of aerobics and do resistance training? Not me.
But maybe we should do a reality check however. You know to take a closer look at the list of benefits, as we've defined them, from cardio exercise compared to strength training.
Cardio, it seems, offers these fat burning pluses and minuses.
You burn slightly more calories with your cardiovascular routine than with weights or resistance training.
There is less burning of calories after your workouts.
Plus you can't ignore the serious stress you're putting on your joints and the strain on your muscles unless of course you're doing water aerobics.
Okay so what does resistance training do for you in the fat burning department?
Actually, depending on the number of reps and how much weight you use, you can burn about the same number of calories as with an aerobic workout.
But don't miss this. You will still burn calories – even as you sleep. That's because your metabolic rate stays elevated as your muscles repair and rebuild. We're talking maybe as much as 30% elevation for a long as 36 hours later.
Any core workout that strengthen your ab muscles means there's less chance of injury because you're improving your overall balance and coordination.
There you go. Resistance training helps you lose fat and develop muscle tissue that burns more fat. So now that you know that, what's your next step?
First this revelation is no reason to call the whole thing off. Your cardio routine that is. No, the reasonable thing to do is combine moderate weight training with low impact aerobics. I suggest that because aerobic activities themselves bring with them their additional benefits.
They make you heart and lungs stronger so that they are more efficient.
Aerobics help your blood circulate better.
They help you develop better overall endurance, stamina and fitness level.
They can help speed repair of muscle tissue damage resulting from your strength training workout.
That makes the success formula obvious. Simply embrace a complete system of cardio, resistance training and better diet to become a fitter, leaner you. Easy, right?