Which is better for weight loss – cardio or weights? You’ve probably heard this elusive question asked before, and for good reason! Each option has its benefits, and a healthy balance of both allows us to increase our fitness and strength, simultaneously.
Cardio is often categorised as activities like running, cycling or swimming, when in fact, cardio is anything that raises your heart rate. With that being said, if cardio is your exercise method of choice, you would like to add more cardio to your current fitness plan or it’s never been ‘your thing,’ there are an abundance of options to choose from to make it work for you.
In the cardio section of the gym, you’ll find equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, stair climbers, rowers – the list goes on. In order to make the most of your cardio workout and help aid in weight loss, try either LISS or HIIT:
- LISS (low-intensity steady-state) is where your heart rate is at 50 – 70% of its maximum for an extended period of time, like a brisk 30-minute walk. LISS is great for increasing your base rate of fitness. In other words, LISS is engaging in slower activity for a longer period of time.
- HIIT (high-intensity interval training) involves short bursts of energy at 70 – 90% of your maximum heart rate followed by rest or active recovery, then repeated, like treadmill sprints. HIIT Improves how efficiently your heart, lungs and muscles use oxygen during exercise, otherwise known as your VO2 max. It also allows you to improve your recovery rate and burn calories in a shorter amount of time.
If you enjoy lifting weights more than using cardio machines – don’t worry! You can hit your cardio and weight loss goals here as well. Increasing your reps or working time whilst simultaneously decreasing your rest will ensure your heart rate remains elevated throughout the entire workout. Supersets (alternating between two different exercises back to back before rest) or tri-sets (alternating between three exercises back to back before rest) are a great option here.
At the end of the day, it’s less about what you do and more about what you enjoy. The more you enjoy something, the more likely you are to maintain consistency – the key to getting results!