I don't remember who brought it up, I think i was actually in their blog (sorry for not remembering) but the focus came up about weights vs cardio for weight loss and their has been a ton of studies that have been conducted about exactly this sort of thing. The end result that almost all of these studies come to is great news for normies like me who actually prefer weights over cardio.
2 years ago after about a decade of irresponsible living, I found myself at nearly 230 pounds and in terrible shape. Just a mere 10 years earlier i was a lean 170 and could be considered a great athlete. However, "life" happened as it does to so many men and women and I slowly but surely sunk into my bad habits and found myself at a bad place mentally and physically.
I looked terrible, I felt tired all the time, and I drank and ate basically whatever the hell i wanted to for every meal. Vegetables and fruit were very rare additions to any part of my day. I decided one day, after a particularly bad breakup that I needed to make a drastic change to my life. There was a couple of problems: I was incapable of any real cardiovascular exercise and I was also living in an extremely hot and humid part of the world.
Then I did a bit of research that completely flipped my world-view of fitness upside down
Weight training is actually better for long-term weight loss than cardio
In a controlled study covering 24 weeks there were 3 groups involved comprised equally of men and women with around the same level of excess fat. None of these people could be considered athletes in any sense. They were all given the same diet which was strictly controlled and divided into 3 categories
- The cardio only group
- The weights and cardio group
- The weights only group
In the end of the study the group that had lost the most weight was group 3. Now it is important to note that all of the groups saw a tremendous loss of weight and a lot of this can be attributed to the change in diet, which is paramount in all weight loss programs.
I'd much rather be doing this than running on a treadmill
However, it is important to note that most normies or just people looking to drop some pounds really really don't like cardio. I know that generally speaking if I have a choice, I would ALWAYS choose to be lifting rather than running.
Cardio burns about twice as many calories as weight training because obviously you are working your heart a great deal more when doing that sort of thing. However, it was discovered that there was an overall increase in something called resting metabolism that was highest in the weight-training group. It was 9% for men and 5% for women. This might not sound like much but this simply means that your body is burning more calories than it normally would because of the repair that it taking place on the muscles that you "overworked" during your weight session.
This phenomenon was seen to take place up to 38 hours after working out on the weights. There was almost no noticeable increase in resting metabolism for the group that did only cardio. This isn't just my opinion, it was an exhaustive peer-reviewed study conducted by The American Physiological Society and many others have come to the same conclusion.
I'll take these over a stationary bike any day
There are other, less measurable benefits of devoting time to the weights and perhaps not even bothering with cardio (at first) such as the fact that you are going to look better in the mirror and feel better about yourself as you progressively become stronger. For me, it was far more noticeable how much more muscle definition i was achieving by weight training than it was about how I was improving in my cardio when I was training for a triathlon.
This is NOT to suggest that someone should never aspire to improve their cardiovascular fitness as it should be quite obvious that a healthy heart and respiratory system has many other long-standing benefits.
These days, years later, I do both cardio and weight-training, normally on alternating days but I have to say at the start, when I was trying to lose weight as fast as possible, I found myself much more at home in the weight stacks then on a track. You could even say that I kind of hated running but did it anyway. These days that still remains true to a certain degree: It is very difficult for me to get motivated to go for a run, but a trip to the gym is actually something I look forward to.
This information is great news for all normies and possibly even for people who are just looking to maintain their weight. Lifting is better for weight and fat loss than cardio, which most people hate doing. It does seem to have a more profound effect on men than women, but in the end the benefits are there for both.
From athlete, to fatty, and back