Aerobic Exercise
Versus Weight Training to
Burn Calories and Decrease Body Fat

If you want to lose body fat, you have to include some aerobic exercise in your workout routine.

People often ask me what is more important for losing body fat cardio or weights, and my answer is Both!

Cardio and weight lifting help you to lose body fat, but they do it in different ways.

Overview of the Benefits of Weight Training

Weight Training speeds up your metabolism by increasing your lean body mass. When you add lean tissue, your body burns more calories every day.

Over time both men and women lose lean muscle mass as they age, and this is one of the reasons our metabolism slows down as we age. So weight training is important for supporting a healthy metabolism.

Weight Training also helps to get rid of belly fat by speeding up your metabolism for hours after you finish exercising.

Weight Training tends to be anaerobic exercise (anaerobic simply means that your body creates energy without using oxygen).

After a workout that is mostly anaerobic, your metabolism will be speed up for a couple of hours after you finish the workout-- an intense sprint/ anaerobic workout could potentially speed up your metabolism for up to 24 hours.

If your goal is to lose weight and get lean, you have to lift weights.

Burning Body Fat through Aerobic Exercise and Cardio

If you compare an hour of weight training and an hour of cardio, the hour of cardio will burn many more calories during that hour.

Part of the reason is the continuous nature of cardio. If you get on a treadmill, and go for an hour you don't get any breaks. But with weight lifting you may take 30 seconds to 3-4 minutes in between exercises.

In fitness, it is generally accepted that a pound of body fat has 3500 calories. So if it was straight forward then you would have to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat.

There are no tricks to getting around putting in the work. You have to burn calories to lose weight.

Generally speaking a 150 pound person burns about 100 calories for every mile traveled by foot (more if you weigh more and less if you weigh less). So if you ran on a treadmill at 6.0 miles per hour, you would burn about 600 calories an hour (6 miles).

Most people tend to have sedentary jobs and lifestyles, and the extra calories you burn through regular aerobic exercise really adds up.

If you want to lose stubborn belly fat, you have to include cardio in your workout program.

Recommendations for Cardio and Weight Training

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 2-3 days of weight training per week to improve your strength and fitness.

And the ACSM recommends 20-60 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week to improve your cardiovascular health and fitness.

I have to be honest the recommendations are focused on health and fitness, and they are not necessarily enough for dramatic weight loss or elite athletic conditioning.

If you want to lose a significant amount of weight more than 30 pounds, you should aim to workout 6 days a week and shoot for 60-90 minutes a day. Or you have to be consistent in a less intense program for about 6 months.

And if you're an athlete, you should aim to workout 6 days a week to maximize your conditioning.

If you just want to get in better shape and lose a little weight the recommendations above should be enough to help you reach your goals. But when in doubt, add a little more physical activity to your routine.

Remember, if you want to lose stomach fat you should do both aerobic exercise and weight training.

11 Week Beginner Treadmill Workout

The treadmill is a great form of aerobic exercise and an excellent way to burn calories. Click to learn an 11 week beginner treadmill workout that will take you from walking to jogging. The program is 3 days a week and 30 minutes at a time.

Top 10 Cardio Exercises that Burn Calories

If you want to lose body fat, you need to burn calories. Here's a list of exercises that really burn tons of calories: Top 10 cardio exercises.

I hope all this information helps you to reach your goal.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles

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