For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about resistance training and the use of resistance weights. Now that you know about this form of exercise, you’re probably wondering how it compares to other types — namely, aerobic or cardiovascular training.

Some studies have claimed that resistance training can help you burn more fat than aerobic exercise. It accelerates weight loss, and the buildup of muscles helps you continue to burn calories even after you’ve worked out. In contrast, aerobics are mostly only good for burning calories while you’re working out, but they don’t help your body develop new ways to keep burning up consumed calories. When you’re resting, the effects stop.

One reason that cardio training continues to be the more popular form of exercise is because it’s easy to learn. You probably already know how to do the most basic moves in a group-based exercise class, not to mention that running, biking or using the elliptical machine only require inherent, repetitive movements. Meanwhile, it takes some training to learn how to appropriately use weights and resistance training to get your maximum results. You also have to learn diverse machines or techniques to target your entire body, rather than just a single motion or floor routine to generally stay moving and cover your bases. But the truth is that it can be learned, especially under the tutelage of a professional, and your body will quickly adapt after practicing your new resistance routines.

However, studies haven’t been wholly conclusive while calling one type of exercise “better” than the other type. It’s largely agreed that resistance training is better for building muscle and making the body leaner, while cardio fitness is said to help you burn more calories and lose weight. But most researchers and physical fitness professionals agree that the best overall affect on your health and weight comes through a combination of both.

To find the right regimen that combines both resistance and aerobic fitness, spend a few days with one of our Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club trainers, who will develop a system based on your personal strengths and needs. Access to this kind of personalized training is just one of the many perks of membership.

Check back next week to learn about the myth of muscle interference, which told athletes for many years that it wasn’t OK to do both aerobic and resistance training on the same day.