Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cardio vs Free Weights - What's Better

If your main objective is to burn calories or fat, what's the best way to go? As I tell people, if you want to burn fat, keep your heart rate up for over 20 minutes. The first 19 minutes in your target heart zone (optimum heart rate intensity) you burn mainly refined carbs. After minute 20 you start using fat as an energy source. So cardio is a proven fat burner and the objective is to go longer for a sustained period of time.
Free weights on the other hand burns calories in the short run, but not necessarily fat. Weight training does however build muscle. This in turn will rev up your metabolism and create a calorie deficit. When it comes to weight loss, improved body composition and better definition it all comes down to one thing. You need to burn off more than you take in. If you put on ten lbs. of muscle you will increase your metabolism buy 300 to 500 calories a day. This means that you can eat the same (hopefully better) and lose weight. The key to putting on 10 lbs of muscle is to keep changing what you lift and the way you lift it.
So the answer to the questions is : They both are important. You can do both if you have time or try circuit training like we do with a heart monitor. Just keep the heart rate up while you do the weight training. It also make the time fly !

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