In one corner we have Crushing cardio and in the other we have Wicked weights - how do we know which is better to get lean?
Some people may shy away from weights if there is uncertainty around how to use them whilst others may avoid cardio if they don't enjoy the endurance effect.
Benefits of Cardio
There is no doubt that cardio burns calories - you will burn more calories during an actual cardio workout than a weights session....
Which type of cardio to do depends on your goal - continuous intensity cardio is more effective for those with high weight loss goals, while high intensity interval training retains exsiting muscle as it stimulates fat blasting enzymes.
Benefits of weight training
Lifting weights will mean that your body needs to repair microtears in muscles, so you will continue burning calories after your weight training session has finished.
Also having more muscle means that your metabolism will speed up as muscle is more metabolically active than fat - so the more muscle you gain, the more calories you burn and you'll be likely to keep your body fat percentage low.
Cardio v weights for losing belly fat!!
Doing cardio means you'll be losing weight from everywhere on your body (including muscle mass) as you can't specifically choose where you lose the weight from ie belly...
Weight training will increase your body's ability to burn calories as muscle requires more calories so you'll continue burning calories after your weight session has finished...
So when lifting weights your belly fat will reduce alongside other parts of the body whereas cardio workouts will make your body slimmer in general.
Remembering that cardio slims down your fat (and muscles) and with weight training it's the muscle expansion that burns the calories - both give you different desired results...
In my opinion your workout schedule should include a good balance of both cardio and weights as this is the most effective route to lean!
Check out my SMART online training plans as they contain the perfect mix of weights and cardio training programmes - click here for more details