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Strength Training or Cardio for Weight Loss?

Losing weight can be tough and involves the right balance of quality nutritional intake and exercise. The age-old question remains – which is better for weight loss? Strength or Cardio?

The bottom line is weight loss occurs when we burn more calories than we take in. When you exercise you add to your total daily calorie burn which forces your body to break down and use the extra fat you are carrying which results in dropping pounds. We also burn a baseline number of calories at rest each day – known as your metabolic rate – which is the number of calories your body needs to function each day.

To create a calorie deficit, you should adjust your nutritional intake to include quality, lean and nutrient dense foods (think lean white meat, vegetables, low fat dairy, whole grains). The other way to add to your caloric deficit is to exercise.

Cardio exercise such as running, using the elliptical or dancing burns a high number of calories quickly. If you are doing cardio exercise for 30 minutes you are burning calories the entire time you are exercising. The exact number of calories you burn depends on your body weight, level of intensity, pace and exertion.

Strength training doesn’t burn as many calories while you are performing the lifts due to breaks between sets. The average output per minute is lower than that of cardio exercise. However, building lean muscle mass means you will burn a greater number of calories throughout the day long after the workout is over because it takes more calories to maintain muscle tissue.

The winner is…. both cardio and strength training! Set your weekly workout plan to include both cardio and strength training to reap the benefits of both – burning calories and building lean muscle.

Do you need help setting up your workout plan? Contact us to set up a FREE orientation session to get you started on the right foot!

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