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Strength Training vs. Aerobic Training: Which is Best for Weight Loss?

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Strength Training vs. Aerobic Training: Which is Best for Weight Loss?

Cardio fitness burns fat, while strength training builds muscle—right?

While both of these statements are true, there are three components of weight loss that must be in place for you to achieve the greatest result and maintain your weight loss over time: resistance training to maintain muscle mass, cardio exercise to burn calories and a healthy, well-rounded clean eating regime.

Tonya Gutch, Cooper Fitness Professional Fitness Trainer explains how to get the most out of your time at the gym.

The first pillar of weight loss is nutrition. Properly fueling your body with the right nutrients (protein, fiber, healthy fats and good carbs), is the key to experiencing long-term success.

To burn fat and have a lean body, you need both cardio (aerobic) exercise and resistance (strength) training. Strength training increases the rate at which your body burns fat, while cardio uses fat as an energy source to propel the physical activity.

Women – do not fall prey to the common misconception that strength training will make you bulky. Strength training will tone and define your muscles, but it will not add bulk. Resistance training is necessary to maintain muscle mass, and muscle is what fuels your internal engine.

Gutch explains the top benefits of strength training and cardio exercise:

Benefits of Resistance (Strength) Training

• Increases bone density
• Lowers risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia and bone fractures
• Improves glucose metabolism
• Improves resting blood pressure
• Builds a stronger, more functional body
• Reduces body fat
• Increases strength of connective tissue (tendons and ligaments)
• Improves body composition (ratio of fat to lean body mass)
• Improves cardio fitness level as the body becomes more efficient
• Increases enjoyment of sports and recreational activities because the body is stronger and healthier

Benefits of Cardiovascular (Aerobic) Training

• Increases blood HCL (good cholesterol)
• Decreases glucose and insulin
• Decreases resting blood pressure
• Decreases body fat percentage
• Increases bone density when exercise is weight bearing
• Decreases risk of type 2 diabetes
• Decreases risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and some cancers

“Both strength and cardio exercise are excellent ways to relieve stress and anxiety, including headaches, backaches, and shoulder tension,” says Gutch. 

What are the best exercises to lose weight?

When it comes to specific types of physical activity, that is “totally up to the individual,” Gutch says. “If you like it, if you’re built to do it, then that’s the right thing for you. But be sure to choose a form of both strength and aerobic exercise.”

Many people fail when it comes to weight loss because they think there is a specific type of exercise that is best for burning fat. But that’s a myth, says Gutch. “Do what you enjoy and what you are physically capable of doing,” she says. “Choose what is going to benefit and challenge your body over time—and stick with it!”

To learn more about Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Training and how it can help you reach your weight loss goals, visit or call 972.233.4832. 

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.