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Strength training or cardio to lose weight? The pros and cons!

  1. After all the festivities in December, many people decide that they can shed a few pounds. This not only means eating less, but often also exercising a little more. However, that can be more hassle than it seems. Because which sport should you choose? Are you going for a run, as almost everyone seems to do? Or are there more suitable options?

  2. After all the festivities in December, many people decide that they can lose a few pounds again. This not only means eating less, but often also exercising a little more. However, that can be more hassle than it seems. Because which sport should you choose? Are you going for a run, as almost everyone seems to do? Or are there more suitable options?

  1. The main dichotomy that is made here is: do you choose strength training or cardio? Today we list the advantages of both methods. And of course we are happy to give you some advice on the best way to actually lose weight!

Difference strength training and cardio

  1. To begin with, let's define clearly what kinds of sports we are actually talking about. Cardio - short for cardiovascular training - is endurance sport that improves your fitness. It is therefore about training in which you move at a reasonable intensity for a long time. Think for example of running, cycling, swimming, but also team sports such as football.

  2. To begin with, let's define clearly what kinds of sports we are actually talking about. Cardio - short for cardiovascular training - is an endurance sport that improves your fitness. It is therefore about training where you move for a long time at a reasonable intensity. Think of running, cycling, swimming, but also team sports such as football.

  1. Strength training focuses, as the name implies, on your muscles. By exercising with increasingly heavier weights, you force your body to build up more and more muscle mass. A workout does not have to take as long here, and you are not constantly moving. It is mainly about giving your muscles the most efficient growth stimulus possible.

  2. Strength training focuses, as the name implies, rather on your muscles. By exercising with increasingly heavier weights, you force your body to build more and more muscle mass. A workout does not have to take as long here, and you are not constantly moving. The main thing is to give your muscles the most efficient growth stimulus possible.

  1. But which of the two is best for weight loss, strength training or cardio?

Cardio for weight loss

  1. When people want to lose weight, they usually choose cardio anyway. The reason is clear. With cardio you are moving more intensively, so you burn more energy during training. That way you quickly create an energy deficit that forces your body to burn fat.

  1. It is important that you keep paying attention to your food in addition to the cardio. You burn about 500 calories per hour. If you eat a cheese sandwich and a Mars to replenish your energy, you have already made up for that shortage.

  2. It is important that you keep paying attention to your food in addition to cardio. You burn about 500 calories per hour. If you eat a cheese sandwich and a Mars to replenish your energy, you have already made up for that shortage.

Cardio is healthy

  1. Incidentally, burning calories is not the only reason to opt for cardio. This training form also has the necessary benefits for your health. As mentioned, you improve your fitness thanks to endurance sports. In other words, your heart muscle is being trained to work harder and more efficiently.

  1. Not only good if you want to be able to run for an hour. Cardio also keeps your heart and blood vessels stronger and healthier in general. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in old age, for example.

Strength training for weight loss

  1. But cardio isn't the only option. Strength training is also often used to lose weight, and for good reason. Well, during the training sessions you do indeed burn fewer calories with this. However, strength training has an advantage that cardio lacks: the afterburn phenomenon.

  1. This works as follows: during a training with weights, there is slight damage to your muscles. It is precisely by restoring them that you become stronger. But that recovery takes a while, and it takes energy. That means you will burn extra calories for up to two days after the workout.

  2. This works as follows: during a training with weights, there is slight damage to your muscles. It is precisely by restoring it that you become stronger. But that recovery takes a while, and it takes energy. That means you burn extra calories for up to two days after the workout.

  1. Furthermore, the built-up muscle tissue is also good for your fat burning. Muscles burn calories, even if you do nothing else. This applies to every day - even if you don't train. In the end that adds up!

Strength training is healthy!

  1. In addition, strength training is not only healthy for your muscles. Supportive tissue also becomes stronger, such as tendons and ligaments. That means that not only will you get bigger biceps, but your body will also be less prone to injury in general.

  1. Strength training is also good for the strength of your bones. Research shows that even moderately intensive strength training counteracts bone loss later in life. And that effect will always be there, whatever age you start!

But… there is a difference

  1. What is the best choice for strength training or cardio? In principle you can lose weight with both. There is, however, a big difference, which emerged from a study at Penn State University, for example. A group of strength athletes who lost ten kilos actually lost ten kilos of fat. A group of cardio athletes, on the other hand, lost four kilos of fat and as much as six kilos of muscle mass.

  1. That has an effect on how you actually look after that weight loss. It is precisely this subcutaneous muscle tissue that ensures that you feel tight in your skin. By also dieting away a lot of muscle tissue, you quickly get the effect that you are thin, but still a bit 'flabby'.

Strength training or cardio?

  1. For that reason we always recommend that you train with weights when losing weight. That does not necessarily have to be very fanatic or very intensive! With two full-body training sessions a week you can already combat muscle loss. You can even do a lot of strength training at home, as long as you only have a set of weights.

  1. Does that mean you shouldn't be doing cardio? It is not like that. The dichotomy between strength training or cardio is not as absolute as it is sometimes presented. You can still run for half an hour twice a week. You don't lose a lot of muscle with that, and it is good for heart and blood vessels.

  1. So feel free to combine cardio and strength training, so you can benefit from both!



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