More often than not, when you start a new fitness routine you are looking for the most effective way to achieve results. That comes down to the right combination of diet and exercise. Leaving the diet part aside at the moment, of the many types of exercise available to you, which should you do to lose the most body fat and build muscle? Bodybuilders tend to follow a muscle building/bulking phase with a slimming period, pre-contest, to reveal the efforts of all their hard work. This means that most of the time bodybuilders look fat and bulky rather than lean and strong. For the average Joe, Jane or older keep fit enthusiast, what should they do?
The case for cardio
Cardio exercise means keeping your heart rate between 50% and 70% of your theoretical maximum heart rate. This exercise is then done for long periods of time to produce the desired weight loss and increase in aerobic fitness. Typical exercises would be jogging, cycling and swimming. These exercises are effective but have one major drawback. Time. It takes between 40-60 minutes to burn sufficient calories to result in significant fat loss over time. In the case of jogging, it is incredibly injury prone and can prove difficult in the older athlete.
The case for weights
Strength training using weights burns a little more calories during exercise but not enough to reduce body fat significantly. The key benefit is the increase in muscle mass. Muscle burns fat even at rest, resulting in more calories being burned 24 hours a day. Strength training also has the advantage of increasing bone density and the strength of connective tissues.
The Third Way
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been shown to achieve similar gains in aerobic fitness, but in a fraction of the time taken by traditional cardio exercise. Combining weights and HIIT exercises is the best of both worlds
Step forward Kettlebells
Exercising with kettlebells allows you to complete both cardio exercise and strength training at the same time, in the shortest possible amount of time. Conducting three 20min HIIT sessions with kettlebells will increase your metabolism, build muscle and increase aerobic capacity. This turns your body into a very efficient fat burning machine, which is both lean and strong.