Cardio junkies of the world—listen up! A cardio workout may burn more calories within a workout session than a weight-training workout does, but your metabolism (and calorie burn throughout the day) will stay elevated long after your weight lifting workout is complete.
Surprised? It’s time to re-define our workouts and understand how our metabolisms really work. Today, you’ll learn how to boost your metabolism the better way—with weights.
Do you remember the aerobics craze in the ‘80s? Ladies were strapping on their leotards and hitting live TV. I’m sure I’m not the only one who owned a small stack of their VHS tapes so I could complete these cardio workouts from home. The 80s were awash with aerobics videos, and our approach to working out even today is shaped by what we learned decades ago.
Today, we’re addicted to cardio more than ever with the invention of fitness watches. We love to see all the calories we burn during those cardio workouts, and we feel discouraged when our calorie count is lower during our strength workouts.
But, we know a lot more about physical fitness and our metabolisms now than we did forty years ago. What we’ve found is that weight lifting will boost your calorie burn even more than cardio will because of its impact on our metabolism.
Cardio burns more calories per session, but weight training helps you burn more calories every day. Here’s what you need to know:
Body composition is much more important than the number on the scale. This measurement refers to the percentage of fat, bone, and muscle in your body. Body composition helps determine what is a healthy weight for your unique physique.
For example, one 150-pound woman may have a very small frame, low muscle mass, and an unhealthy amount of body fat. Another with the same weight might be in great shape, with a larger skeletal structure, more muscle mass, and a healthy amount of body fat.
If you want a true understanding of your metabolism, look at your body composition. Knowing your body fat percentage will help you set healthy goals for your one-of-a-kind body. This information can also help you understand why you might not be seeing the same results as someone with the same bodyweight but more muscle mass.
To find out your body composition, a health professional might use skin calipers to measure your stored fat. In general, women should aim for a body fat percentage of under 32%. Men should aim for a body fat percentage of under 21%.
It’s time to take a break from the treadmill. Cardio workouts are beneficial for your health, but they should never take the place of weight lifting. If you want to give your metabolism a real boost, pick up the weights and start a strength-training routine.
Not sure what workouts are most effective? On Monday, June 13, we’re opening a new session of LEAN. Over the following 7 weeks, you’ll learn everything you need to know about sustainable health and fitness—including the best weight lifting workouts for weight loss. Sign up today for LEAN!
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