At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people want to appearto be in athletic shape, as opposed to being able to perform like an athlete.
Of course, it is very difficult to separate these two qualities, but it is important to be open about your desired end-state if you ever want to arrive there. To be clear, it is fairly obvious that most people would like to be appropriately muscled while not carrying around too much extra fat. If this sounds like you, don’t be ashamed; this is exactly what almost everyone who pays for that gym pass is seeking.
Logically, one of the first steps to sculpting your ideal physique is to design an exercise program that will trim that unwanted fat. This appears to be rather straightforward; that is, until you run into the inevitable dilemma of deciding to focus on lifting weights (aka resistance training) versus cardio, or a combination of both.
Entering into this argument is James Fell, a writer for such esteemed publications as The Los Angeles Times and Men’s Health. In a recent piece, he introduces a profoundly unique way of viewing the battle of cardio versus resistance training for the sake of losing fat.
First off, don’t fall into the old trap that added muscle will burn a significant number of calories even while you are at rest. After extensive efforts to identify the research behind this claim, Fell came to the conclusion that the entire idea is “apocryphal.” The truth is that a pound of muscle burns only six calories a day, while a pound of fat burns two calories; ultimately not resulting in a compelling argument to pack on muscle.
Second, although aerobic training will burn more calories per unit of time when compared to hitting the weight room, cardio-exercise will reduce your total muscle mass. Hence, the cardio-only route seems to come up equally short when searching for your ideal build.
Third, the research reviewed by Fell indicated that the combination of resistance and aerobic programs yielded the overall best results, but who realistically has time for nearly double the amount of exercise? No wonder so many people eventually abandon their get-in-shape aspirations!
Fell does end this interesting article with a completely unique perspective on the reason that weight-lifters often have leaner physiques than most cardio-addicts; and if you’d like to hear about this, just follow the link below:
Lifting Weights is Better for Fat Loss, but Not for the Reason You Think | Body for Wife