Strength training is better than cardio for reducing dangerous fat in the heart to protect against cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study conducted at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.
The researchers wrote in the journal JAMA Cardiology: Overall, our results suggest that resistance training may be superior to endurance training as resistance training reduced pericardial adipose tissue and improved fitness and strength, while endurance training only improved fitness.
The team found that a type of heart fat called pericardial adipose tissue was reduced among participants who did weighted exercises such as lunges with dumbbells or weighted push-ups, but not among those who did endurance training with aerobic exercise.
In individuals with abdominal obesity, both endurance and resistance training reduced epicardial adipose tissue mass, while only resistance training reduced pericardial adipose tissue mass.
Both types of exercise did reduce levels of another type of heart fat called epicardial adipose tissue, which has also been associated with cardiovascular disease.