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More Ammo For Your Workout
by Ammo, Fitness Professional

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Weights vs. Cardio -- which works best for burning more fat and calories? Hmm… good question.

I’m exaggerating when I say that nations have gone to war about this issue but I do it to emphasize its controversy. Let me just start out by saying that they both serve their purpose and have their exclusive benefits.

The real question is, “What are your goals?” Coming to terms with what you’re trying to accomplish is really what determines which modality best serves you.

Ideally I would say training with weights and doing cardio is your best bet to achieve overall fitness. They namely target different systems. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the lungs, vessels and heart, while weight training uses the stamina of cardiovascular exercise to build muscles that support skeleton and organs.

That being said, there are some things you should know.

After the age of 20, our bodies lose 1/3 to 1/2 pound of muscle tissue per year. Of course, this results in strength reduction, as we would expect. The slowing of our metabolic rate translates into weight gain.

So If I had to choose one of the two to counterbalance this effect, it would be strength training. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m a personal trainer!) Strength training is the best and surest way to increase your metabolism, burn fat and sustain long-term weight loss.

Without building muscle you will have a harder time burning body fat. Body fat is “burned” in the muscle. The cardio will burn ...    Continue

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@ 6:05pm ET on November 16, 2008 Thanks - this is a very balanced approach and with reasons behind it! I appreciate it!! Patty
@ 12:38pm ET on November 17, 2008 I go to the gym 2-3 times a week. I do 15 minutes of mat work, then 20 minutes of weights and then 30 - 45 minutes of cardio. I usually do 2 10-reps of 40 lb for my arms and 2 10-reps of 60lb for my legs, is this building bulk or lean muscle?
@ 1:00pm ET on November 17, 2008 Thanks Patty! I hope things work out for you!
@ 1:09pm ET on November 17, 2008 8-12 reps doing most exercises is usually good for building lean muscles.However, the weight you choose should bring you to fatigue at the desired rep range.If you can do a whole lot more,the weight is too light.If you can't reach your desired number,its too heavy.Hope that answers your question. Enjoy!
@ 5:48pm ET on November 17, 2008 i find this help full and will try this
@ 1:06am ET on November 18, 2008 Thanks, I'll try additional reps at a lower weight. I can usually make 2 10-12 reps, but 3 is pushing it. I'll lighten the weight and increas the number of reps and see if that helps with results.
@ 3:45pm ET on November 18, 2008 I think both are really important! I know a lot of women skip strength training, but it really helps tone you up! ~Sara :o)
@ 11:05pm ET on January 4, 2009 I also find this very helpful. I used to skip the strength training part. My health teacher said it was a very important part of my deit, his way was to hard.I like your approach better. Thanks
@ 5:20am ET on January 5, 2009 Thank you Stephanie, enjoy!
@ 2:15pm ET on January 11, 2009 Ive always heard about combining the two, but now Ive read it. Thanks! I do cardio 2 times a week and strength 2 times a week. The last day a do a boot camp workout that really kicks my butt.
@ 3:49pm ET on February 16, 2009 I do 2 days of Body Sculpting with some cardio and step. Then 3 days of boot camp, which has step and weights. I have done the same workouts for months and stay about 128 lbs. but my tummy is still loose and my butt needs to get tighter. Along with trying to change my diet, should I change up my exercise routine. Like maybe stick with what I do but every other week do a different workout. To add muscle confusion?
@ 4:22pm ET on February 16, 2009 Absolutely change your exercise routine! Your body is smart enough to get used to what you do consistently and eventually will plateau. Along with tweaking your diet, try an extra day of strength training, focusing on your trouble areas, and try interval training for the other two days in between. If you don't know what that is, read my "calorie burning exercise that beats cardio" article.
@ 11:55pm ET on February 23, 2009 Great article! Currently I'm doing mostly cardio. I'm trying to incorporate hand weights to give myself more of a challenge. I really hope to see some improvement in my weight-loss after I implement more weights. I am glad I found this article.

Thanks!
Sandy
@ 10:14pm ET on September 24, 2009 What is the best way to get that flat stomach? I know sit up's, but how can get it flat. I want like T.O. or 50cent. My build is more like 50 with out stomach. what can i do. I have a nice diet.
@ 1:11pm ET on September 13, 2010 Great info! If I'm already toned in some areas (abs, shoulders) do I need to work them or should I concentrate my efforts on my trouble areas (triceps & legs)? Will I get the same overall boost to my metabolism by working target areas?
@ 11:35am ET on September 14, 2010 The info is helpful, I will try this and keep you posted. Question, I currently do my cardio 5dys per wk in the evenings, I will do the weight training 3dys during the morning and continue my cardio as is, What are your thoughts?
@ 1:30pm ET on September 14, 2010 Great question K. Never leave out a body part because it's toned. You can always workout those parts in a way that will maintain it because if you dont use it, you'll lose it!
Tal I think you're dead on. If that amount of exercise works for you, then go for it. Just try your best to keep your training days at least 2 days apart. You don't want to overtrain your muscles!
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