Did you know that to burn belly fat AND build muscle you should be doing both cardio and strength training? Read below for the pros of cardio, the pros of weight lifting and the amazing results that can happen when you combine the two by utilizing cardio resistance machines.
Pros of Cardio & Belly Fat
Cardio isn’t to be overlooked, even if you’re aiming to bulk up. Cardio exercises actually improve your body’s ability to deliver blood and oxygen to your muscles (hence the name, cardio, as in cardiovascular). This important type of exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, building up endurance by training your muscles to better utilize oxygen. You’ve seen this first hand if you’ve taken up a cardio activity such as running. When you first started to run you probably could barely breathe through your workout, but after a few times running you start to see improvements in your ability to breathe (and not feel like you’re going to die).
If you make it a habit to regularly train with cardio you can see results such as less body fat — not only because you’ll burn fat but because cardio has been linked with less snacking. When you engage in rigorous cardio exercises your body is circulating more blood to prevent overheating. Blood is sent away from your stomach and around your body which could help to cut down on the desire to snack and overeat. Cardio exercises have also been linked with lowered blood pressure, less body fat, reduced inflammation and better blood sugar regulation.
If you’re comparing minute-for-minute, cardiovascular activities will burn more calories than weight training, helping to burn that fat efficiently. There are two types of cardio, you have low intensity steady state cardio (known as LISS), which helps with large weight loss goals. On the other hand high intensity interval training (known as HIIT) is best for retaining your muscle strength and stimulating fat burn.
Over the long-term participating in aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, biking and dancing can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Pros of Weight Lifting
The biggest pro to weight lifting is obvious–it builds muscle–a lesser known benefit is that it will also keep your body burning fat all day long.
Weight lifting can increase your body’s lean muscle mass which increases the amount of calories you burn during the day. Some people who want to lose weight avoid weight lifting for fear of “bulking up,” but that’s not a real concern. The more your weight comes from muscle instead of fat, the smaller you’ll be. While your weight might go up (muscle weighs more than fat), your pants size will go down. If you’re afraid of getting body-builder big then rest assured that you would have to put in serious time in the weight room for that to happen.
Another benefit from weight training is getting defined muscles. You won’t just be at a healthy weight but you’ll have definition to show for your effort. Weight lifting also benefits your muscles AND your bones. When you do reps your muscles pull on your arms bones, this triggers the cells in your bones to create new bone cells. Over time you’ll have stronger, denser bones from weight lifting.
Combining Cardio and Strength Training
If cardio burns more fat minute-for-minute but weight lifting puts your body in fat burning mode all day long and you see why combining cardio and strength training is the magic recipe for bulking up, trimming down and getting in shape. If you add weight and do more reps your workouts will get more intense, increasing your heart rate and fatiguing muscles more quickly so you benefit from both cardio and strength training. Another option is to alternate your workouts, choose certain days of the week for cardio and certain days for strength training. Using cardio resistance machines is also a great way to add both strength training and cardio at the same time. Check out these 4 popular resistance cardio machines to get the most out of your workout, burn fat more quickly and build muscle at the same time.
A stationary bicycle is a great way to shed pounds, melt belly fat and get tone. Riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a time can burn between 200-300 calories (depending on your weight and intensity). If you know serious cyclists then you know they have great legs, cycling is a great way to strengthen and tone your quads, glutes and calves. With this type of cardio resistance machine you can get all the benefits of an intense muscle-building steep uphill climb no matter where you live or the weather.
A great reason to choose a treadmill when looking into a cardio resistance machine purchase is that it does a fantastic job of reducing impact much better than street or sidewalk surfaces. When you run outdoors on pavement or dirt you legs take on a lot of impact that could lead to ankle, knee and back problems down the road. Treadmills have relatively soft surfaces and some even have shock absorption. With a reliable running surface and the ability to change your intensity and resistance, a treatmill is a great machine for cardio and lower body strength building.
Stair Climber Cardio
Stair climbers are a fat burning machine targeted at the lower body. Your core will get engaged as the time with the climber progresses — you’ll have to work hard to stay strong and upright, working those core muscles and lower back muscles. When you use a stair climber you will be working the leg muscles more than 100 times per minute, that’s a lot of high rep sets to burn fat and build muscle. If you’re interested in a sculpted butt, the stair climber is the cardio resistance machine for you.
Rope Pulling Machine Cardio
Unlike the other popular cardio resistance machines, the rope pulling machine focuses on the upper body. Your arms will get a workout along with your back and core with a rope pulling machine. Your grip performance will improve and the machine can be used sitting, squatting or standing so you can vary your workout, target different muscles and increase the difficulty. This combination of cardio and strength training is a fat burner that tones the arms and core.