Ask anyone what you need to do to lose weight and they’ll all tell you the same thing; improve your diet and start exercising. (With a few nutcases suggesting weight loss pills or other “extreme” methods.)
We’ve all accepted it as fact that in order to lose weight, we need to exercise.
But what kind of exercise should we be doing? Are all exercises equal? These questions never seem to be asked.
It’s almost assumed that when we talk about exercising to lose weight, we’re talking about cardiovascular exercise (cardio).
You know; running, cycling, rowing, swimming, etc., that cardio.
But it needs to be asked:
Is cardio the best way to lose weight?
A recent study published by Duke University says, “probably not”.
They gathered a large group of overweight and obese participants and split them up into three groups.
The first group did just cardio, the second group did just resistance training (weight lifting), and the third group did a combination of both.
There were mixed results.
The group that did only cardio lost the most weight, but of that weight a larger proportion was lean mass (aka muscle) – which isn’t really a good thing.
The group that did only resistance training lost the least weight, (because they ended up gaining lean mass).
The final group, the group who did a combination of both cardio and resistance training, had the best results overall.
They didn’t lose as much weight as the cardio only group, but they did lose the most fat, while also gaining lean mass!
So, after reading all of that, if I was to now ask you “Is cardio the best way to lose weight?”, what should your answer be?
I would hope that it’s a resounding “NO!”
As the study concluded, if you want to lose the most fat in the shortest amount of time, it is vital that you include both cardio and resistance training in your routine.
And this is good news for those of you who despise going for an hour long run every day, because now you can effectively half the time you spend doing cardio, and actually achieve better results!
…As long as you replace that cardio with effective resistance training, preferably full range of motion compound lifts (aka the big three).
No, you won’t get freakishly muscly.
No, you won’t become stronger than your boyfriend (unless he’s a little wimp, in which case you should find a new boyfriend ASAP.)
And, no, you won’t ruin your flexibility, damage your bones, or any other rubbish you might have heard.
All that will happen is you’ll lose a lot of fat, in a really small amount of time, while having a lot of fun!
So do the smart thing and sign up for the Burning Fitness mailing list, where I (quite often) go into much further detail about resistance training and cardio for fat loss.