The Truth About Resistance Training vs. Cardio

What burns the most fat? Whats the quickest way to get lean?

I always get this question from my clients and bootcampers. Here is explanation of the difference and truth about resistance training vs cardio:

You run and you run, and you don’t shed a pound. All of that effort and so little reward, but why is that?

Simple: Cardio is not the fastest way to lose weight, and it’s certainly not the only way. There is a solution, though, which will allow you to spend less time in the gym and see even better results.

You’ve Heard: You Can’t Burn Fat With Strength Training

Far too many people are focused on how many calories they burn while they’re in the gym, but this is shortsighted.

Stop focusing on how many calories you burn in the gym and instead focus on how your body expends calories outside the gym. You burn calories throughout the day regardless of what you are doing, but exercise helps increase the rate at which you burn those calories. With most forms of traditional steady-state cardio, you expend calories while you’re exercising, but once you stop, you quickly go back to your normal metabolic rate.

Strength & resistance training, however, builds muscle and more muscle helps you burn more calories — even when you’re doing nothing but sitting on the couch.

Resistance training makes the muscles “thirsty” for fuel.  The more muscle you have, the more fuel you are constantly burning. This is the advantage resistance training offers if your goal is to lean out.

You’ve Heard: Resistance Training Makes Women Bulky

This myth just won’t die and, unfortunately, it’s horribly misguided.

And to prove it, just go to any big-box gym in America and see how many 140-lb. guys with pencil-thin arms and a beer gut are in the gym multiple days a week, trying to get “big” or “huge.”

Clearly something isn’t working. It takes a lot of work both in and out of the gym to get big or bulky. You not only need to be dedicated to your training, but you need proper nutrition if you’re serious about putting on size.

There is a big misconception about what causes bulk. Bulk isn’t muscle; it is muscle covered by fat.

If you feel that you are too bulky, then it is important to fine-tune your diet to lose the excess fat — not give up weight training.

Women have a HUGE disadvantage if their goal is to put on size. They have about one-tenth the testosterone of males, and testosterone is a key component in the muscle-building process. So even if you’re working out just as hard as a man, lifting the same amount of weight and gorging on calories, you still won’t see the same results with regard to muscle building.

You’ve Heard: Weight Training Limits Athleticism

If your goal is to move and look like the Hulk, then feel free to flex the “beach muscles” and hitting every machine in the gym. Those machines have their place, but how much weight you can lift does not make you more athletic.

The best athletes in the world train with weights, plyometrics, agility drills, bodyweight movements, calisthenics, etc..

If you want to feel and look like an athlete, you have to train like an athlete.

The premise here is simple: Stop isolating body parts and pumping away mindlessly on the machines. Focus on big-bang, compound, multi-joint exercises. Hire a trainer or coach and learn how to squat, deadlift, jump and sprint safely and effectively.

The only reason your athleticism will be limited in the gym is if you follow an ineffective program or one that’s designed for “show” versus “go.”

You’ve Heard: Running Is the Best Way to Get Fit

It’s not that running as an exercise is bad, but it puts a fair amount of stress on your muscles and joints. Repetitive motion injuries are common in all walks of life, don’t add one more element of needless impact on your body’s joints.

Some people need activities that are a bit more joint-friendly, as the pounding caused by running on a treadmill or pavement is simply too much. If you like more traditional options, a dual-action exercise bike or rower will not only engage a ton of muscles, but take some of the stress off your joints as well.

If you want newer (and possibly more exciting) variations, consider kettlebell swings, medicine ball or barbell circuits, sled pulls, or even battling ropes like we do at my fitness bootcamps.

There are many different ways to get into shape, and while running is great, it’s just one option you have at your disposal.

My 2 cents

Resistance training is a great way to get into shape, improve athletism and burn body fat around the clock. It is also the most effective way for women to develop long, lean and fuel burning machines!

For those of you who like to run, don’t let me hold you back. But remember it is only one form of fitness that offers much slower results, a shorter calorie burning cycle and puts more wear and tear on your body. 

Don’t just get your heart and lungs in shape, get your ENTIRE BODY IN SHAPE!

Hit the weights.

Thank me later.

Committed to your fitness success,

Derek Kuryliw, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Personal Trainer Slim Fit Diet & Fitness, CEO/Founder …for questions or comments or 727.851.SLIM

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