If your goal is to lose fat should you do your cardio first or weight train first? Many people seem to start doing more cardio when they want to lose fat. When they want to build muscle, well naturally, they weight train. Seems to make sense. Cardio burns off calories; weight training makes you gain weight.
Well this is wrong. Falling for this common misconception is one of the biggest mistakes you could make and will not only hinder your progress, but will leave you not quite looking as you hoped.
Here is why.
The first reason we are going to give weight training a point in the fat loss wars against cardio training is due to the calorie burn after the workout is completed.
Studies have demonstrated that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70. While you may think, ‘Big deal – 10 extra calories’, when you multiply this by 36 hours, you can see what a huge difference that makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half.
When you figure out that on a monthly rate, it becomes even clearer how regular participation in a weight lifting session will really increase your calorie burning and thus fat burning capacity.
With cardio training, you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate paced session, and this will depend upon the exact intensity and duration of the workout.
In order to generate a high amount of post-calorie burn from aerobics, you’d have to be doing it for a very long duration of time, and typically individuals who are capable of doing such a thing, don’t need to be concerned with fat loss in the first place.
Now, sprinting or HIIT is a slightly different story and will create effects with your metabolic rate closer to that of weight lifting, so that’s something to consider as well. With this, you must be sprinting hard in order for benefits to be seen though, which is something some people will struggle with.
WEIGHT TRAINING AND LONG TERM METABOLIC INCREASES
The second factor to consider in the fat loss wars is long-term metabolic increases. While it’s great to be burning more calories for 36 hours after the workout, that’s not going to help you two weeks from now unless you are consistent with your workout program (which you should be anyway, but that’s not the point we’re trying to make here).
What weight training will enable you to do is build up a larger degree of lean muscle mass, which then basically serves as your calorie burning powerhouse in the body.
When you calculate your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories you would burn if you lied in bed all day and did absolutely nothing except breath, one of the factors that goes into this is your total body weight. The most accurate equations will also take into account lean body mass, which represents your muscles, bones, and organs.
Therefore, the more muscle you have on your body, the higher this rate will be and the better the calorie burning results you will obtain 24/7.
SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO LOSE FAT – YOU SHOULD DEVELOP AND BEGIN A WEIGHT TRAINING ROUTINE IN WHICH YOU LIFT FIRST AND THEN SUPPLEMENT WITH CARDIO AFTER. HOWEVER, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CARDIO IS NOT THE ANSWER.
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