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There's a widespread notion among many people including gym-goers that weight training is for building muscle while cardio is for weight loss. The truth is that not only does weight training help you burn calories while you're doing it, it will also keep on burning fat long after you've stopped exercising.
Fitness icon Kris Gethin writes in his book The Bodybuilding.com Guide To Your Best Body, 'When you start training regularly with weights, your muscles develop, become denser, and burn more calories all day and night. Though cardio is a great way to assist in fat loss, it burns fat only while you're performing the exercise, not around the clock. Lifting weights and adding lean muscle, on the other hand, turns your body into a full-time calorie-burning machine. If you were to add just 5 pounds of muscle to your frame, you could burn an additional 250 to 300 calories per day that's a whole meal for some people!' (Women and weight training)
The main reason for this is the lean muscle that's added to your body through strength training. When you're lifting weights, muscle tissues are torn apart at the microscopic level from the stress and then rebuild themselves. While this new muscle is being 'created' your body burns calories, thereby facilitating better weight loss.
Of course, we're not saying cardio is bad, in fact, cardio (twice a day when on your non-workout days) combined with weight training thrice a week is the perfect recipe for weight loss. It needs you to have a healthy all-round diet which will facilitate gradual weight loss instead of the crash diet ones which will cause all your weight to come back once you stop dieting. Trust me, I lost 40 kg with a combined regime of cardio and weight training, and all that lost weight never made a comeback!
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