Best Strategy for Weight Loss: Cardio vs. Strength | Health


For decades, conventional wisdom has held that cardio is the best exercise for weight loss. Then, strength training became the go-to move to jump-start your metabolism and increase resting metabolic rate.

The key to achieving any fitness goal is to be consistent and if weight loss is your goal, health experts insist that the way to achieve this is to achieve a calorie deficit, which which means you should burn more calories than you consume. When we talk about weight loss it has to be in the form of fat loss not muscle loss and any change in body weight is a change in both components – muscle mass and body fat.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Rhea Singh Anand, co-founder of Flexnest, suggested, “The best way to burn maximum calories is to increase your heart rate, which usually happens with cardio training. However, only cardio makes you burn muscle in addition to your fat. Strength training, on the other hand, burns fewer calories but gets your body in shape by building and maintaining muscle. The right way to lose weight is to burn fat while keeping muscle. This is where the combination of strength and cardio comes in. This combination supplemented by a good nutritional plan is the key to achieving a weight loss goal.

Aanan Khurma, co-founder and CEO of Wellversed, said, “Our goal should always be to gain muscle tissue, which is the body’s active metabolic tissue, and lose fat tissue, which is nothing but energy stored in adipose tissue. When talking about the best weight loss strategy, we need to focus on the 5 components of fitness – cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, musculoskeletal strength, flexibility, and ideal body composition. So there must be a balance in all the components to get the desired results.

He pointed out, “We do cardio to increase our cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance so that we can effectively perform daily activities like walking, running, climbing stairs, etc., and we do weight training or strength training to prevent degeneration. early and get a more defined. body. If we focus more on cardio to lose weight, there will be unnecessary loss of muscle tissue resulting in reduced strength and an unpleasant physique. If we focus more on strength training, our muscles will tire quickly because they will not have the required endurance. So a balance between the two i.e. cardio and strength training should be maintained.

He said: “It is also important to remember one key fact about exercise and weight loss, which is that exercise by itself will not lead to significant weight loss. What and how much you eat has a much bigger impact on how much weight you lose. The best strategy for weight loss, therefore, is simply to follow the fitness tripod – Exercise (cardio + strength training), correct nutrition, and rest and recovery. If a tripod leg is missing, it will not lead to the desired result.

According to Binita Kar, health coach at MyHealthBuddy, any workout such as cycling, running, Zumba, strength training, calisthenics, dancing, Pilates can be categorized as primarily cardiovascular or strength training.

Cardiovascular training – Our heart and lungs are muscles too and working them helps make our heart and lungs stronger and more efficient at delivering oxygen to the body.

Strength training – Strength training focuses on each muscle group in your body in order to get stronger overall.

So which one to include in our daily routine for optimal fat loss? Responding similarly, she listed their pros and cons:

Cardio Professionals –

1. May help burn more calories.

2. Can be done in a short time – like running or HIIT.

3. Can be done anywhere – such as jogging in place, jumping rope, stair walking, etc.

4. Doesn’t need any equipment.

The inconvenients –

1. Low intensity cardio needs more time.

2. HIIT, jogging or jumping rope puts you at risk of injury.

3. It can result in muscle loss.

Bodybuilding Professionals –

1. Also burn calories after the workout.

2. Fewer injuries compared to high impact cardio.

3. Can be done anywhere, at home or at the gym.

4. Doesn’t need any equipment at first – body weight can be used.

5. Helps you look toned by preserving muscle mass.

The inconvenients –

1. Equipment is needed as you progress.

2. Learning proper technique and form can take time.

3. Can get boring.

Binita Kar pointed out, “If you are overweight or obese, low impact cardio or walking combined with 2-3 days of strength training can work wonders. Optimal use of cardio as a tool will also depend on the individual’s situation, preferences, health and injuries, time management, etc. Cardio and strength training can both have a place in your workout plan. Both can be used effectively to prevent exhaustion from over-training while providing optimal fat/weight loss.

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