There’s more than one way to get in shape, but when you’re trying to lose weight, are you better off doing strength training or cardio to get results? The research is in and after testing both forms of exercise, scientists say the best workout for weight loss is cardio. But that’s just the simple answer.
In a recent study from Duke University researchers split non-exercising, overweight participants into three groups: those who did aerobic exercise, resistance training, or a combo of both. And they found that at the end, the cardio crew lost an average of four-pounds while those doing resistance actually gained two.
The resistance group also spent 47 more minutes exercising every week than the cardio group and they didn’t lose any fat. And the people who did the cardio and resistance combination spent almost twice as much time at the gym as the cardio only folks, they actually lost the most fat and added muscle - which equals a toned body.
So which sweat sesh will work best for you kind of depends on your weight loss goals. If you want to see those numbers on the scale go down, spend more time on cardio. And if you’re looking for muscle definition, find ways to do both cardio and resistance because that’s the best for better body composition.
And remember, there’s more to it than just how you workout. "Exercise by itself will not lead to big weight loss," says study co-author Cris Slentz. "What and how much you eat has a far greater impact on how much weight you lose."