Cardio vs Lifting Weights for Fat Loss


Trying to lose weight is both challenging and taxing, as obesity is on the rise as we all strive for healthier, happier lifestyles and bodies. You’ve already tackled half the battle: maintaining a new and healthy diet, but now it’s time to add some exercise to your routine. So, which type of exercise is most beneficial for quickly melting off those unwanted extra pounds? Most people are quick to choose between cardio and strength training as a way to fast track yourself to a better, lighter body. “Which one is better and more effective?” You ask? As it turns out, the answer is not so easy. While cardio burns calories and sheds pounds, popular belief is that strength training can cause weight gain.

A study conducted by Duke University concluded that minute per minute, cardio indisputably burns more calories than strength training, which could explain why compared to strength trainers, aerobic exercisers lose more weight in less time. (1.) However, according to an article published on “What’s Better for Weight Loss: Cardio or Strength Training?” personal trainer Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S., C.P.T. weighs in and says that although cardio is best for rapid weight loss, it doesn’t do much for muscle toning and strengthening.

According to the article, “In one Penn State study, dieters lost 21 pounds whether they performed cardio or strength training. But for the cardio group, six of those pounds came from muscle, while the lifters lost almost pure fat.”

According to an article published on, “Fat Loss Wars: Cardio Versus Resistance Training,” they state that, “Studies have demonstrated that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70.”

The site further goes on to say that weight training will essentially enable you to build a larger degree of muscle mass, which in turn serves your calorie burning “power house” in your body. “When you calculate your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories you would burn if you lied in bed all day and did absolutely nothing except breath, one of the factors that goes into this is your total body weight. The most accurate equations will also take into account lean body mass, which represents your muscles, bones, and organs. Therefore, the more muscle you have on your body, the higher this rate will be, and the better the calorie burning results you will obtain 24/7.”

In layman’s terms, this means that if you want to burn more calories and boost that sluggish metabolism of yours when you are in cardio class, then you may want to consider doing some resistance training because it will help you burn more calories throughout the day and while pursuing cardio.

If you are not too worried about toning, and building muscle mass, cardio is likely enough for you. If you want to boot your metabolism and achieve a toned, more athletic look to your body, strength training is for you.

Regardless which regimen you choose, experts seem to conclude, for optimum results, it’s best to have both cardio and resistance training as a part of your routine. Although both serve very different purposes, both offer the same result: a slimmer, more toned and healthier body with a fabulously boosted metabolism.