In one corner: bad-ass cardio. In the other: kick-ass weights. How do you know what to choose to reach your body goals?

Some of us shy away from the weight section because we have absolutely no idea how to use them. Or, because they are dominanted by men. While others avoid cardio because they fear they’ll lose their already achieve glute gains. Or, they simply just don’t enjoy the whole endurance, gasping for breath part of it.

So, here’s the widely wondered question: Is there a ratio to help you find the perfect balance between treadmill workouts and dumbbell sessions?

Fear no more. We’ve done the research for you.

Below, we’ve got all the fat-burning and muscle-sculpting facts to make sure you’ve opted for the best cardio, weight, or both

For Fat Burning

It’s official: cardio is the calorie-burning king.

US research found aerobic exercisers lose up to four times more flab and in less time than those who solely strength train.

The type to go for depends on your goal: continuous-intensity cardio is better for those with high weight loss goals, while HIIT retains existing muscle as it stimulates fat torching muscle enzymes. Your call.

For Appetite Suppression

Sure, you’re starving after a run, but a study found people who did high-intensity cardio for 15 minutes ate 11% less in the 24 hours after.

“This intensity level causes your body to circulate more blood to prevent overheating,” explains metabolism expert Dr Andy Blannin.

Translation: blood is being diverted away from your gut, in turn, putting the brakes on your appetite. We like.

For Body Reshaping

In a study by Penn State University in the US, dieters lost 21lb doing either cardio or weights. But here’s the clincher: the cardio group lost 6lb muscle while the lifters lost only fat.

Translation: cardio junkies can’t choose what they lose – or from where. “Fat is systemic – it belongs to your whole body, meaning you can’t control where you drop it from,” explains Breen.

Now, you know.


For Fat Burning

Don’t jump on that treadmill just yet. Lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike an hour after your workout as your body repairs muscular microtears.

“Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more you gain, the more calories you’ll burn – and the more likely you are to keep fat off ,” says exercise physiologist Dr Leigh Breen.

Dibs on the kettlebells.

For Appetite Suppression

Yes, strength training lowers your hunger levels, but not in the same way cardio does.

The satiating effect ends about an hour after exercise when your body starts to crave the energy it’s using to repair and build muscle.

Unfortunately, this hits women the hardest because we’re wired to keep weight up for pregnancy and lactation.

Well, that’s just gone tits up, then.

For Body Reshaping

“On the flip side, you can target specific muscles with weights because muscles are localised,” says Breen.

So if you did a bunch of squats, you’d see results in your hamstrings and glutes – but you’ve still got to do cardio for muscle tone to show.

A study found if you run and lift weights your body will be 3% more defined than if you just did strength exercise.

Work it, girl.

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