Guest Columnist: GLEN OWEN
Cardio or Weights to Burn Fat? The Muscle Mechanic Weighs In
Would you rather work and get paid by the hour? Or would you rather have your hard work pay dividends?
I am blessed to work with people in all areas of life, and I am always inevitably asked, “Should I do weights or cardio if I want to lose fat?” If you can only choose one, the answer is weights. Here’s why…
Doing ‘cardio’ is like working for minimum wage. You work long hours, don’t get much in return, and the benefits are limited to however many hours your work. When you perform ‘cardio’ you will only burn as many calories (what your body uses for energy) as long as you are working and little (if anything) on top of that. Additionally, long bouts of cardio can increase your body’s cortisol and contribute to muscle breakdown.
Why do we need muscle? Aside from moving this amazing machine called your body, muscle is a metabolically active tissue meaning that it needs energy to survive. The more muscle you have, the more energy your body requires. The more energy your body requires, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the faster you can lose body fat.
Weight training or Resistance training pays dividends – and I don’t mean resistance to exercise. When you invest your money in savings and or the stock market, the money compounds over time and you end up with exponentially more than you put in initially. Resistance training provides the same way. It pays dividends. When you perform resistance training, a few things happen: (a) You burn calories during your exercise session (b) You add muscle to your body which ends up burning more calories outside your workout when you are sleeping, working, etcetera (c) In order to repair the muscle damage caused during exercise, your body must use more energy. Yes, folks, you can even burn fat while you are sleeping.
The take home here is that if you only have 3 days a week to exercise, choose the method that gives you the highest return on your investment: resistance training.
Written by Glen Owen, GO Performance Muscle Mechanic
– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.