I would suggest doing both. I believe interval training is the best because you can target both the aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time. This will force your body to burn more calories and get you in better shape faster. Of course, don’t forget diet plays a major part in your fight to lose weight. If your diet is not almost perfect and ‘clean’, then it doesn’t matter much what you do for a workout. Unless you are a super athlete or a pro (like an ultraendurance athlete, marathoners or a competitive swimmer) then the amount and quality of calories consumed would affect your ability to lose weight, no matter the type of training you choose. And I would be more concerned with your overall fitness level than how you look because in the long run, that’s more important than moving up or down a few pounds. If your only concern is looking better, you cannot “spot lose” to perfect problem areas, so your best bet is to do everything you can to be as fit as possible. Those areas will improve, as will your overall health.
Body fat % is more important than pounds on the scale.
In my opinion, BOTH are not only better for fat loss, but for overall health and fitness. Cardio exercise has many benefits beyond weight/fat loss even though a lot of people primarily focus on that benefit. For exercising the most important muscle in our bodies — the heart, you can’t beat it! Resistance training not only helps to improve our lean tissue-to-fat ratio, but also to help us ‘function’ better in our everyday lives (e.g. carry groceries, shovel snow, pick-up your child etc.). So, definitely BOTH for the reason you site and more.
I hope that this helps.
Resistance training will lead to weight loss by itself if that is all that you do and by weight you are referring to bodyfat weight.
Cardio training will lead to bodyfat loss if you do heart rate interval training. Yes, you will also lose some bodyfat if you just do long cardio sessions like most who just jump on those machines in the gym, set the machine to “fat burning zone” but mostly you’ll just burn up the calories eaten that day, some fat, and eventually muscle and look like on the scale you’ve lost fat when indeed you may’ve lost precious muscle.
Yes, resistance training and cardio interval training together will cause a person to become a metabolic efficient calorie burning machine while at rest.
Getting your body to burn while at rest is what you want so that you are always burning fat for fuel, the preferred source of fuel by the brain and heart and most other tissues contrary to popular belief.
Holly St.Lawrence BSc, NASM CPT, NTP
Being In Balance, Eugene, Oregon