Hate your fat thighs? You’re going to love the solution! Hint: It’s not endless grinding hours on cardio equipment or tricky dance moves in group classes.

If you had to choose between strength training or the same amount of time doing cardio, to lose fat in your thighs, do you know which it should be?

I do. I’m a former certified personal trainer who has witnessed with delight, over and over, the shrinking thighs of my overweight clients.

When it comes to losing fat in the thighs, strength training wins hands down.

This assumes that the strength training program is solid and utilizes proven fat-burning principles, as opposed to a lame approach that consists of little more than going through mere motions.

You will burn tons more thigh fat by performing the deadlift, squat and leg press than you will by using cardio equipment or attending cardio classes.

Traditional cardio works slow-twitch muscle fibers because these are designed for duration and stamina.

Intense strength training works fast-twitch (and slow-twitch) fibers, but it’s the fast-twitch that burn more calories.

And that’s just the beginning as to why strength training beats cardio out at burning thigh fat.

Intense strength training, unlike standard cardio sessions, causes a significant after-burn: post-exercise elevated resting metabolism.

So even hours after your strength training session has ended, you are still burning calories at an accelerated rate.

This translates to fat loss in your thighs (and everywhere else: overall fat loss).

To train intensely with weights, use a resistance that’s impossible to complete for more than 12 repetitions, but that allows you to do at least eight reps.

Next, stay away from the inner/outer thigh machines and do the deadlift, squat and leg press.

These three exercises work several major muscle groups at the same time, thus creating a huge fat-burning effect during, and after, the session is over.

An intense workout will cause hormonal changes that will result in prolonged accelerated resting metabolism for up to 24 hours after the workout.

This hormonal response does not happen with long duration cardio, no matter how many days a week you do it.

The deadlift is best done with a barbell. Squats are usually done with a barbell but can also be done with dumbbells. The leg press is done either with floor equipment or a horizontal apparatus.

When strength training is pitted against cardio for losing thigh fat, head for the heavy metal in the free weights area of the gym.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.