The question of which is the best way to lose weight - cardio or strength training - has long been one of heated debated, with exercise experts coming down in squarely one camp or the other.
Finally, researchers from Duke University in the United States set out to solve the question by conducting the largest study of its kind comparing the two forms of exercise.
If you fall into the overweight or obese category and want to lose weight, keep reading to find out what you should be doing in the gym...
Study finds that cardio burns for calories than strength training
To reach their findings, the researchers tracked 119 overweight
and previously sedentary people for eight months. The participants performed resistance training, aerobic exercise
or a combination of the two.
The study team found that cardio was better than weight training for weight loss
, however, both forms of exercise
are beneficial. Researcher Cris Slentz, an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University, explained: “Minute per minute, cardio burns more calories, so it works best for reducing fat
mass and body mass.”
Burn extra calories by eating more fat!
Did you know there’s one type of saturated fat
that encourages your body to burn more energy as fuel. And that only means one thing: You lose more weight.
But Slentz cleared up that that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lift weight, especially as you age and lose muscle
mass. “Resistance training is important for maintaining lean body mass, strength and function, and being functionally fit is important for daily living no matter what your size,” he said.
According to the study team, the cardio group far outperformed the strength training group, losing about 2 kg. The strength training group actually gained 1 kg. The team attributed weight gain to added lean muscle
, but the added muscle didn’t lead to any fat
loss over the course of the study. The weight lifters exercised for 47 more minutes each week than the cardio group and still didn’t lose a kilo.
However, the real winner is cardio combined with strength training
The real winner of the study was the group that did both cardio and resistance training. They lost the most fat and also added some lean mass, but had to spend twice as much time in the gym to reach that goal.
According to a study by the American Council on Exercise
, a person’s heart rate is about 12 beats per minute faster during cardio if they lift weights beforehand. As a result, they burn more calories and lose more weight.