Cardio or strength training: which is better for weight loss?

For people who are serious about exercise and proper nutrition, the ultimate goal is to shape the figure and lose subcutaneous fat deposits. When choosing a method or exercise, many question whether to choose cardio or strength training to lose weight in a proper and healthy way. Maria Volkova, professor of kinesiology and personal trainer, explains two reliable ways to fight fat deposits.

How does cardio work and how does strength training work on fat deposits?”

“If we talk about cardio training as a method of losing subcutaneous fat, we can look at it from two angles. Cardio training works by increasing caloric intake and increasing fat mobilization and oxidation. Simply put, if you burn more calories than you consume then you will use their reserves as energy, which can be fat, glycogen or even amino acids,” explains Volkova.

“Strength exercises increase muscle mass. The higher the percentage of muscle mass in the body, the faster metabolism occurs, and as a result, fat deposits are burned.”

Is more fat lost with high or low intensity exercise?

The higher the intensity of exercise, the more glycogen stores (simply put, glycogen is a rapidly and easily mobilized stored form of glucose and serves as a rapidly available source of energy, its deficiency causes fatigue and its stores are limited) and calories per minute are consumed.

Maria explains what this means: “If you train at a low intensity, most of the energy you use comes from fat stores, which is of course positive, but the total number of calories or fat will not be high. Therefore, if you are training at a lower intensity the workout should last longer.

The heart rate during the workout is 65 to 70, the workout should last 30 to 45 minutes. Whereas a high-intensity workout with a heart rate of 75 to 90 is a sufficient workout for 10 to 20 minutes.”

Subcutaneous fat is lost with both high- and low-intensity workouts, and Volkova notes that it’s impossible to say which workout is better because other factors such as diet, genetic heritage and type of training must be taken into account.

What to eat depending on the type of workout?”

People on extreme diets with a high calorie deficit should avoid high-intensity workouts because otherwise they will start to lose muscle mass, explains the trainer and adds that this rule also applies to those who avoid carbohydrate intake in their diet.

“Someone who doesn’t bring enough carbohydrates or no carbohydrates at all will not have the energy for high-intensity workouts. Those who follow a moderate diet and get enough carbohydrates can do high-intensity workouts because that will also lead to more total energy intake.

Those who exercise and glycogen unloading (the rate of simple carbohydrate input before and after exercise) also allows for higher intensity exercise. Those who have a small amount of subcutaneous fat but still wish to reduce it should exercise at a lower intensity.”

By | 2023-12-29T18:06:26+03:00 November 12th, 2023|Training|0 Comments

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