It is the fact that so many people out there spending hours on a treadmill but can’t burn fat or get in shape. However, there are a lot of guys who only do weight training and look very lean. And this is the reason why you are wavering between strength training and steady-state cardio. To be honest, this is also the age-old debate between the 2 training types.
Let’s get this straight- if you plan to lose fat, not weight, strength training can be more beneficial than steady-state cardio. So don’t be surprised if you spend hours in the gym running on a treadmill but can’t shed any pound of fat.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say that steady-state cardio is useless and you should neglect it. Actually, doing enough cardio helps you incinerate quick calories and improve cardiovascular health, but doing too much cardio is very bad for your body. If you still don’t know what to do to lose fat, just scroll down and I guarantee you can determine which is better.
Why you should choose strength training over steady-state cardio for fat loss
1. Strength training helps increase your metabolism
For those who don’t know, metabolism is the number of calories you burn throughout the day if you only lie in bed and do nothing but breathe. So if you increase your metabolism, you can burn more calories without doing anything, it’s cool, right? Therefore, the higher your metabolism, the better. And the first reason why you should choose strength training is that it is the best way to build muscle and research shows that the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is.
Cardio helps you burn calories, but just during the cardio session while strength training can help you burn calories over a 24-hour period. Therefore, even though running for hours allows you to burn even 1000 calories, lifting weights can result in significant increases in total energy expenditure. Also, doing too much cardio can probably slow down your metabolism, making it more difficult for you to lose weight or fat.
That’s why you may notice that guys who often do compound exercises such as squat, deadlift or bench press are leaner than cardio addicts.
2. Strength training can give you an aesthetic body
Honestly, this is a huge benefit that strength lifting has over cardio. After all, we all want to look good, right? And if you only do cardio in an attempt to lose fat, chances are your body will look suck. However, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t care about anything except your bodyweight, then cardio is the way to go. But if you want to look better while losing fat or weight, then it’s highly recommended to sway yourself toward strength training.
In details, if you do a couple a hypocaloric diet with strength or resistance training, you can totally enhance the natural curves of your body while still losing the stubborn belly fat effectively. Of course, cardio itself also helps you lose fat but your body will still look very soft and this is not attractive at all.
If you are a man, I’m pretty sure that you want to have a muscular body with a big chest and wide shoulder. And this is obvious, right? Just lift heavy weights and target all the major muscle groups and I guarantee you’ll see a big change in your body.
If you are a woman and you don’t want to lift weights just because people say that it can make you bigger and bulky like men, don’t worry. Remember that you don’t have enough testosterone to get big like males so no matter how hard you lift, you just can’t. Actually, strength training gives you a sexy body with a round butt and lifted booty. So don’t hesitate, go to the gym, lift some weights and you will see a big difference.
3. Steady-state cardio is boring and time-consuming
I don’t know about you but for me, spending hours and hours on the same treadmill or any other cardio machine is terribly boring. With strength training, there are so many different exercises and all kinds of gym equipment for you to choose. Therefore, you don’t have to suffer from doing the same movement over and over again like you would while doing cardio.
Actually, if you have to do cardio, I will do it outside as the people and beautiful weather help me beat the boredom of cardio and forget I’m exercising. Outdoor cardio can make me feel time goes much more quickly than it actually does if I use any cardio machine.
In addition, steady-state cardio is also very time-consuming. I’m pretty sure that most of you are likely to run on a treadmill or elliptical for about 1 hour or until you feel tired. Ironically, the more you do cardio, the greater endurance you have and once you’ve built a solid cardio endurance, you will have to run greater distance. Trust me, this is both time-consuming and boring.
4. Strength training is better for reducing the risk of injury
It is the fact that the limited range of motion, as well as repetitive movement patterns in steady-state cardio, can result in overtraining injuries, especially to your knees. On the other hand, strength training can actually help prevent injuries as it strengthens your muscles and bulletproofs your joints. It allows you to prioritize movements and strengthen imbalances which running or cycling can’t train. That’s why so many runners now incorporate weight training into their training routine.
5. Strength training is suitable for everyone
With strength training, you can avoid life in a wheelchair as you get older. Running is good for your heart health but it is a pretty high-impact exercise which may be not a good choice for people over 50. This may not be true for cycling as it is quite safer and low-impact. However, it only targets your lower body and doesn’t do much for your fat loss.
But you are able to strength train or lift weights no matter how old you are by modifying the difficulty level indefinitely. It allows you to work on your muscle, strength, joint mobility, flexibility, and stability. As far as I’m concerned, there is no better training method to help you prevent life-changing falls.
What should you do to lose fat and get in shape?
1. Focus on heavy compound lifts and major muscle groups
Research shows that it’s better to lift heavy weights than light weights. And it’s also very important to focus on compound movements rather than isolation ones. Specifically, with compound movements, you can target a lot of muscle fibers at the same time. And this helps you build muscle mass and boost metabolism effectively.
Besides, as you work more than 1 muscle group at one time, you will get tired more quickly. Therefore, you only need 45 to 60 minutes to target all the muscle groups you want to target. And if you don’t know what to do in the gym, just try some compound lifts such as squat, deadlift, and bench press. Also, in my experience, do not train more than 2 major muscle groups on the same day.
2. Don’t neglect cardio no matter what
It can’t be denied that cardio is very still important for your cardiovascular health and endurance no matter what your fitness goals are. So it’s not a good idea to neglect cardio completely. Instead, you should combine both types of training on every workout. For instance, you should spend 45 minutes to 1 hour doing strength training and do 15-30 minutes of cardio. This way, you can maximize your work out fat loss results.
3. Give HIIT a try
While steady-state cardio is not considered the best way to lose fat, HIIT can help you not only burn some quick calories but also preserve lean muscle mass which is essential for your metabolism. Hence, instead of running for hours on a treadmill, you can try a 15-20 minute HIIT workout to reach your fat loss goals. In fact, there are a lot of different ways to do HIIT for fat loss. And if you don’t know which form of HIIT is suitable for you, just visit here.
The Bottom Line
If your goals are to lose weight or lose fat, strength or resistance training is an essential component of your workout plan. Just lift the weights and build some muscle. This will help you boost your metabolism and you will lose fat steadily.
Actually, you don’t even need to go to the gym and lift weights for strength and muscle. You can totally at home with some bodyweight exercises. And while cardio is not the best way to lose fat, you shouldn’t neglect it. Just combine strength training and cardio in a smart way to optimize your fat loss and get the results you are looking for.