A lot of people are under the impression that if you want to lose weight, all you’ve got to do is cardio like nobody’s business and you’ll get slim. While it is true that cardiovascular exercise does indeed burn calories, if you couple strength training with cardio, you’ll get the best results.

You’re probably hearing a little voice at the back of your mind gently asking: “But doesn’t strength training just give you big muscles and make you weigh a lot more?

So, before we go any further and tell you why a combination of strength training and cardio is ideal for weight loss, let’s bust a few myths.

How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off - HelpGuide.org

Strength Training Will Make Me Big

This is a justification as to why so many people don’t like doing strength training.

We’re here to tell you that if you lift weights that are within your comfort zone and if your work within your body frame, you won’t develop a massive physique. Yes, if you want to do this, it is indeed possible, however, if you want to achieve a bodybuilder-Esque physique, you need to strictly curtail your diet and make sure that you’re hitting the gym twice a day and performing exercises that are specifically designed to help you to get the body type that you want.

In addition, strengthening muscles staves off osteoporosis and helps people to avoid falls in later life as stronger muscles all-around improve balance. As bones don’t naturally regenerate as we get older, if an elderly person breaks a bone, it will take longer to heal. This means that preventing falls ultimately prevents broken bones.

Cardio Burns Fat

Well… this is accurate but just jumping on a stationary bike and pedaling your heart out won’t just burn fat. It’s a bit more complicated than this.

We eat carbohydrates – such as bread, pasta, and rice – for energy, and if we want to sign up for huge bonuses this is the way to go to play for hours on end. If we don’t use this energy, it is stored as fat. This is the reason why many diets say that you must not eat carbs as night because, as you’re just going to sleep, you won’t be using them. However, a cyclist – just before a race – will consume a lot of carbs as they will use them during the race.

So, if you want to burn fat by doing cardio at the gym, your body must not have any access to carbohydrates because, if it does, it will burn these as a fuel source before it even touches the fat. This means that if you want to burn fat during your cardio sessions, you have to deprive your body of carbs so that it goes straight to the fat for fuel.

This practice is sometimes called ‘fasted cardio’. If you perform this workout, you have completely digested as well as absorbed your last meal or snack, which means that you perform the cardio is a ‘fasted’ state and your insulin levels are low.

There are differing opinions about fasted cardio. Some people feel that performing cardio in this manner increases fat-burning; however, others feel that after a fasted-cardio workout session, you’ll consume more calories as you’re hungrier after the exertion.

Cardio + Strength Training = A Match Made In Heaven

If you’re really serious about burning fat, you should have a cardio program as well as a strength training program as this will give you the best results.