Individuals looking to lose weight will gain the most benefit from combining cardio training and strength training. Researchers at the University of Vienna reach this conclusion in a meta-study in which they gathered the results from the 15 best studies they could find and then did a review of those studies.
Years ago sports scientists and trainers were convinced that weight loss would come from longer periods of exertion that would burn more calories than the shorter bursts typical of strength training.
Trainers and scientists have meanwhile adopted a different view. Strength training helps build muscle mass, and muscle gained boosts calorie burning. This effect is greater in the long term than the couple of hundred calories you burn while doing cardio or endurance training.
Many trainers who help people lose weight have therefore switched to a combination of cardio and strength training. The Austrian meta-study confirms that they seem to be on the right track.
The analysis showed that strength training was the best way to build up lean body mass, but when it came to the reduction in bodyweight, fat mass, waist measurement and the waist-hip ratio, the combination of strength and cardio training scored best as well.
Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and TMRzoo.com and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.