Theres a common misconception that cardio is a more effective fat loss tool than resistance training. This could not be further from the truth. The jogging boom of the 80s and a misinformed media would lead you to believe you need to work your "fat burning zone" to lose fat. Not to mention when you walk into your local health club there are more cardio machines than free weights. Unfortunately, those machines are there because that is what you are looking for when you buy your membership. Next time you are doing cardio, take a break from the magazine or television program you are viewing and look at the gym floor. Who looks better, the people doing cardio, or the people doing resistance exercises? I know that's a very anecdotal example, so let me elaborate with science based facts.
The hierarchy of fat loss is DIET, resistance training, high intensity interval training, and then cardio. All the training in the world will not get you to your goals if you don't have a sound diet. But lets talk about resistance training. Science has proven a significant metabolic increase for up to 48 hours after resistance workouts. Conversely, typical steady state cardio routines show no post workout energy consumption. Once you step off that treadmill, the caloric burn stops, and while you are on the treadmill you could be eating your metabolically active muscle tissue and decreasing your metabolism. After a resistance workout, your body works to repair the muscle tissue your broke down, burns calories to build it up, and requires even more calories to sustain your new lean mass! You have just increased your metabolism and are burning calories while you are at rest. So get your diet in check, add three full body resistance routines to your week and forget about cardio.
Check out my blog on Compound, Multi-muscle Calorie Burners and Tapping into Your Muscle Mass for more info on full body resistance training information. Alywn Cosgrove, THE fatloss guru, recently wrote a great follow up post to the Men's Health post The New Science of Fatloss on the myths of cardio training, how they originated, and why they are perpetuated. Check it out!