Cardio vs. Weight Lifting: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

Many men and women who’ve resolved to lose fat find themselves stuck with a tricky question — should they perform aerobically or lift weights?

They are the two most popular kinds of workouts, but it can be hard to know which is a better use of your time.

This article tells you all you have to know about cardio vs weight training for fat reduction.

Cardio Burns More Calories per Session

Many scientists have investigated how many calories people burn during various tasks.

Based on this research, you can use your body fat to estimate how many calories you will burn during different kinds of exercise, including cardio and weight training.

For most activities, the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn.

If you weigh 160 pounds (73 kg), you will burn about 250 calories each half an hour of running at a moderate pace.

In the event that you were to run at a faster pace of 6 mph, you would burn off around 365 calories in 30 minutes.

On the flip side, if you weight trained for the same amount of time, you could only burn around 130–220 calories.

Generally, you’ll burn more calories a session of cardio than weight training for about the same amount of work.

SUMMARY: The amount of calories that you burn during exercise is dependent upon your body size and how intensely you exercise. Typically, a cardio exercise burns more calories than a weight training exercise of the exact same duration.

Cardio vs Weight Lifting - Crossfit Survival

Weight Training Can Help You Burn More Calories Each Day

Even though a weight-training workout does not typically burn as many calories as a cardio exercise, it has other significant benefits.

By way of instance, weight reduction is much more powerful than cardio in building muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest than other cells, including fat.

Because of this, it is commonly said that building muscle is the key to raising your resting metabolism — that is, the number of calories you burn at rest.

One study measured participants’ resting metabolisms during 24 months of weight training.

In men, weight training led to a 9% increase in resting metabolism. The effects in women were smaller, with an increase of nearly 4 percent.

Though this might sound great, it is important to think about how many calories this represents.

For the men, resting metabolism improved by roughly 140 calories every day. In girls, it was just about 50 calories every day.

Therefore, weight training and building a tiny bit of muscle won’t create your metabolism skyrocket, but it might increase it by a tiny amount.

However, weight training also has other important calorie-burning benefits.

Specifically, research has shown that you burn off more calories in the hours after a weight training session, compared to some cardio exercise.

In fact, there are reports of resting metabolism remaining elevated for up to 38 hours after weight training, while no such growth was reported with cardio.

This usually means that the calorie-burning advantages of weights are not limited to when you’re exercising. You will keep burning off calories for days or weeks afterward.

For most types of exercise, a more intense exercise increases the number of calories that you burn off then.

SUMMARY: Weight training may enhance your metabolism over time, even though the changes aren’t huge. Also, weight loss is generally more powerful than cardio at raising the number of calories you burn following a workout.

High-Intensity Interval Training Provides Similar Benefits to Cardio in Less Time

Although cardio and weight training are just two of the most popular workouts, there are other options.

One of them is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of very intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.

Typically, a HIIT workout will take roughly 10–30 minutes.

You can use HIIT with many different exercises, including sprinting, biking, jump roping or other body-weight exercises.

HIIT May Burn More Calories

Some research has directly compared the effects of cardio, weight training and HIIT.

One study compared the calories burned during 30 minutes of HIIT, weight training, running and biking.

The researchers found that HIIT burned 25–30 percent more calories compared to other kinds of exercise.

However, this doesn’t automatically indicate that other kinds of exercise are not good for weight reduction.

HIIT and Traditional Cardio May Have Similar Effects on Weight Loss

Research examining over 400 obese and obese adults discovered that HIIT and classic cardio decreased body fat and waist circumference to comparable extents.

What’s more, other studies have proven that HIIT-style workouts may burn about precisely the exact same number of calories as conventional cardio, but this is based upon the intensity of exercise.

Some study estimates you may burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes of cardio or HIIT should you weigh around 160 pounds (73 kg).

One of the potential benefits of HIIT is that you can spend less time really exercising since rest periods are comprised of extreme periods of action.

SUMMARY: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can burn calories at a short period of time. Some research shows that it may burn off more calories compared to cardio or weights. Overall, it can create similar weight loss to cardio, but with less time spent exercising.

Utilizing Many Types of Exercise May Be Greatest

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is one of the largest and most respected associations that gives exercise recommendations.

It’s published evidence-based recommendations for weight loss.

Just how Much Should You Exercise per Week?

All in all, the ACSM states that less than 150 minutes per week of vigorous or moderate physical activity like cardio is probably not enough for weight reduction.

But, it states that over 150 minutes per week of the type of physical activity is sufficient to help produce weight loss in most people.

Additionally, research shows that people tend to lose excess body fat when they have greater levels of physical activity.

Which Kinds of Exercise If You Do?

Interestingly, ACSM’s overview of the research found that weight training isn’t very useful for weight loss.

However, it is important to remember that even though your weight doesn’t change, your body composition could be improving.

By way of example, weight training can result in a rise in muscle and a decrease in fat.

If your fat and muscle change by precisely the exact same amount, the scale may stay the same, though you got healthier.

One large research in 119 overweight or obese adults helps put everything into perspective about exercise and weight reduction. Participants were split into three exercise groups: cardio, weights or aerobic plus weights.

Following eight months, people who did cardiovascular and cardio plus weights lost the most weight and fat.

Meanwhile, the weights and cardio-plus-weights bands gained the maximum muscle.

All in all, the cardio-plus-weights group had the ideal body composition changes. They shed fat and weight, while also gaining muscle.

This usually means that a program that combines cardio and weights could be best for enhancing your body composition.

SUMMARY: Cardio is significantly more powerful than weight training in reducing body fat should you do over 150 minutes per week. Weight training is better than cardio for building muscle. A combination of cardio and weights could be best to improve your body composition.

The Both Diet and Exercise Are Critical for Long-Term Success

Most people understand that exercise along with also a healthy diet is vital for optimum health.

All major health organizations recommend changing both your diet and exercise routine to encourage weight reduction.

Commitment to the very best exercise program is not enough, since you still must pay attention to your diet if you want to optimize your own progress.

Studies have shown that the ideal program for long-term weight loss comprises a moderate decrease in calorie consumption and a good exercise program.

When many men and women know that a healthy diet is critical for weight loss, some go too far and say that diet is the one thing that matters.

However, it is important to realize that exercise helps too.

1 scientific review including over 400 individuals analyzed the weight loss effects of exercise plus diet and compared them to the consequences of dietary changes.

The researchers discovered that the combination of dietary changes plus exercise resulted in a 20% greater weight loss than dietary changes alone after a period of 10 weeks to a year.

What’s more, the programs that included diet and exercise were also more effective than diet alone at maintaining the weight loss following annually.

SUMMARY: A healthy diet and good exercise program are just two of the most critical factors for long-term weight loss success. Weight reduction programs that have exercise can lead to greater weight loss and improved weight maintenance over time.

The Most Important Thing

Both cardio and weights can help you become healthier and more fit.

A cardio workout burns off more calories than a weight-training workout.

However, your metabolism can stay elevated for more after weights compared to cardio, and weight lifting is better for building muscle.

Thus, the perfect exercise program for improving body composition and wellness includes cardio and weights. It’s ideal to do.