Cardio vs. Home Gyms – Which is Better for Fat Loss?
If I asked 10000 people in the Western world what they want to achieve, guess what answer would most of them say? Well, actually they might not be ready to admit it, but they would definitely think about it. The answer would be fat loss! There are so many overweight people in the West that the situation is, literally, unhealthy. Reasons for having some extra fat vary – surely there are people with conditions completely beyond their own influence, but the majority of overweight people are overweight because of their own choices I’d dare to say. And because many want to be normal weight or even slim, I have gathered this article which discusses the role of cardio and home gyms in fat loss.
But first, one thing must be made clear
You might think that exercising is the key to fat loss. But it’s not. At least not the full key. The other half or even three quarters comes from dieting. And I don’t mean a crash diet at all, such a diet that has clear start and stop is not going to be helpful. I’m talking about eating healthy for long-term. When you achieve that, you will lose weight. Actually, you will lose weight without exercising if you just eat less than you consume. But if you don’t exercise while restricting calories, a lot of that lost weight will be muscle, not just fat. And we want to get rid of fat, not muscle, right?
Enter cardio for muscle preservation?
Traditionally, people have went walking, jogging and running to lose weight/fat. When you burn calories more than you consume your weight will go down. This is true in any sense and can not be disputed. But what do you think will happen to your muscles if you just run and run, or swim and swim? With such aerobic exercise, muscles are not required that much. And your body will adapt to what you frequently do. So, by doing cardio, your body will definitely lose fat, as fat is keeping you from becoming better runner or swimmer. But, your body will also start melting the muscles, as they are not really essential for long-distance running or recreational swimming.
You see where I’m going here? Cardio is alright for fat loss, but if you want to have muscles as well, cardio at least alone is a horrible choice. It will shed fat from your body, but also take a big chunk of your muscles. And a fatless body without muscles does not look good. Not even on women. So the take home message of this is, if you only want fat loss and don’t care about muscle loss, go for cardio (yet I don’t know why anyone would really want that). But if you want a well-balanced body with little fat and some visible muscles, you will need something else added to the mix.
Enter home gyms for muscle preservation!
Yeah, it’s not hard to guess. You need strength training to effectively lose fat too. The cardio part will accelerate the fat loss process, while strength training will preserve muscles or even build some at the same time if you are a completely beginner. Heck, some people that want to lose lard don’t do cardio at all because it’s not required. They just hit weights in the gym hard, eat at a slight calorie deficit and reap the benefits of fat loss, and muscle is being left intact. Because remember, fat loss is essentially about the calories in and calories out. Cardio will make your caloric requirements higher, but so will strength training.
Above I was talking about hitting the weights in gym hard. Well, that is undoubtedly the most common weight to get fit, ripped or swole. But, from time to time, some objections arise about a traditional commercial gym. The biggest hurdle is the price. Every month, you will be depositing money to the gym owner’s chest and he will thank you for that. Another common complaint I hear is about privacy – surprisingly many want to work out in peace, without any single person seeing them sweaty and doing the exercises.
Both of these problems will be solved with a home gym. It’s one-time fee, you pay a lot in the beginning and nothing afterwards. And because you are working out at home, you will be sure that nobody sees you in your efforts of losing fat and possibly building some new muscle!
So, as a summary…
– Weight loss comes in two forms: fat loss and muscle loss.
– In the end, on a person without a condition affecting his weight, weight loss is only dictated by how many calories he requires and how many calories he is eating.
– Out of your weight, to make primarily the fat go away, you need to tell your body that it needs muscles. A good way to do this is to work out at home.
– Cardio will increase your caloric requirements, thus helping with fat loss. However, it can also hamper your muscle building efforts, so proceed carefully with aerobic exercises if muscles are important for you.
See, it’s not that hard. You just need to remember the importance of eating healthy. After that, pick your favorite cardio exercise, do it perhaps in moderate amounts but hit the weights in gym or home gym even harder! That is the real way for fat loss. You don’t need anything fancier than that, believe me. And if you want a good starting point for home strength training equipment, look here!