Most people think that when trying to lose weight, cardio is the way to go. What most people don’t understand is that cardio is exactly what the word means—it’s for your heart. Although improving your heart health is great, cardio itself does not burn many calories. The best way to lose weight, burn fat, and build muscle is to incorporate strength training into your regular exercise regimen.
The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 2-3 days of strength training per week with about 48 hours of rest in between sessions. You should perform 2-4 sets of 8-10 reps each session. Sessions should include exercises that work major muscle groups. Compound exercises are a great way to add in strength training without having to put in extra time. An example of a compound movement would be a squat with an overhead press. Regardless of how you strength train, remember that it is an important component to your overall health, fitness, and body composition.
So, if you’re really looking to lose weight, incorporate strength training into your existing exercise regimen if you’re not already doing so. Be sure to give your muscles time to recover, and properly fuel your body to help muscles recover even faster. If you are just starting out, you can slowly progress as you become stronger and your muscles become better trained.