Is Cardio the answer for Fat loss
Is Cardio the answer for Fat loss – Really! Think again.
When it comes to fat loss most people think that cardio is the key. I see many people and especially women who enroll in a gym with a target of fat loss, spending endless hours running on a trade mill or hopping on a cycle with a hope of reducing that extra fat around their tummies or hips. They don’t realize that weight training is much more superior in reducing body fat compared to cardio.
First of all, let me be very clear; I’m talking about fat loss, not weight loss. Those are two very different things. People think that by reducing 10-15 kg weight, they will get a lean and toned physique like any model or actor. And it’s very much possible to reduce that much weight purely by doing cardiovascular exercises. But what you will be reducing is mostly muscles instead of your fat. And the body you will be getting after that reduced 10 kg will not look any closer to what you thought you would look like.
What is body fat:- It is the excess unused calories which are stored for emergency purpose.
Difference between fat loss and weight loss:- Fat loss means reducing the excess fat from the body while preserving your precious muscles. Weight loss means reducing your body weight. It doesn’t matter if the weight being reduced is from the fat or the muscles. It is the simplest thing to do, just starve yourself on salads and soup for a month and hit the treadmill daily for one hour and you can easily reduce 10 kg but it is also very much possible that once you come back to your normal eating habits you will gain back that lost weight with additional one or two kg which will mainly be fat. So, basically, you started with reducing 10 kg and ended up gaining 12 kg.
Let’s understand how fat loss occur in our body
Your body needs energy to perform any activity which includes breathing or pumping of heart and all the processes going on in the body. That means you are burning calories even when you are sitting on your couch watching T.V. But how many calories will be burned vary from person to person. The energy required in maintaining all the processes in the body or in short just to keep you alive is called your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
To reduce fat, you have to increase this BMR, which means you have to create a need for the body to burn more calories even when you are doing nothing.
Well, when you will be doing any activity or exercise, your body will be using more energy. And using more energy means increasing the BMR. And increase in BMR means burning more fat.
So, now you will be thinking cardio will also increase the BMR so why do weight training
Of course, Cardio will increase the BMR but only till the time you are doing it. Like if you are walking or jogging or cycling for an hour your BMR will be elevated for that hour. But what happens for the rest of the 23 hours. Your BMR will again come back to your normal range.
While, on the other hand, weight training gives you a unique benefit of AFTERBURN After Burn Effect – With weight training, we create microtrauma (damage) to the muscle. To repair this damage, body burns excess of calories during rest. BMR is greatly increased for this repair work. This effect is known as afterburn effect.which will help you in burning more calories for 24 hours.
In scientific term its called EPOC
So this means that by performing an hour of weight training session your BMR will remain high for rest of the 23 hours including that hour.
Now you do the calculation. Which one will you choose for burning your body fat?
An Hour of increased BMR by doing a cardiovascular exercise
24 Hours of increased BMR by doing weight training for an hour
Cardiovascular exercises should be done regularly for increasing endurance and keeping your heart healthy.
But when it comes to fat loss Weight training is the undisputed King.