Cardio or Weight for Weight Loss? Which Is Effective for Burning Fat?

Many people who want to lose weight face a difficult question when exercising. Cardio or weight lifting to lose weight?

Weight lifting and cardio are the two most popular types of exercise, but which one is more effective for weight loss?

In the article, you can find the answers to the questions “cardio or weight to burn fat”, “cardio or weight to lose weight”, “cardio or weight loss “.

Weight Lifting for Weight Loss

Cardio burns more calories per session

Many scientists have studied how many calories people burn in various activities. Based on this research, you can use bodyweight to estimate how many calories you burn during different types of exercise, including cardio and weight training.

For most activities, the more you weigh, the more calories you burn. E.g; Someone who weighs 73 kg burns about 250 calories a day with a 30-minute jog at a moderate pace. If you run at 10 km per hour, you will burn 365 calories in 30 minutes. On the other hand, if you run at the same rate every day, you can only burn 130-220 calories.

In general, you’ll burn more calories doing cardio than weight training for the same amount of effort.

Cardio for Weight Loss

Lifting weights helps burn more calories every day

Although weight training doesn’t usually burn as many calories as cardio workouts, it does have other important benefits.

For example, lifting weights is more effective at building muscle than cardio, and it burns more calories from fat and some other tissues at rest than muscle.

Because of this, more muscle is said to be the key to increasing resting metabolism – meaning you burn more calories at rest.

One study measured the resting metabolisms of participants during 24 weeks of weight training.

Weight Lifting for Fat Loss

In men, weight training produced a 9% increase in resting metabolism. In women, the effect was smaller with an increase of about 4%.

While this may sound good, it’s important to know how many calories that is.

For men, resting metabolism increased by about 140 calories per day. The women had an increase of only 50 calories per day.

Building muscle with weight training accelerates metabolism, but the amount of calories burned as a result of this acceleration will not be much.

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

Specifically, research shows that calorie burning continues even after hours of weight training.

There are reports that resting metabolism continues to rise for 38 hours after weight training, but no such increase in cardio.

This means that the calorie-burning benefits of lifting weights are not limited to the time you exercise. You can continue to burn calories even after hours or days.

For most types of exercise, exercising more intensely will increase the number of calories you burn later.

Weight Exercises to Burn Fat

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) benefits in less time, similar to cardio

Although cardio and weight training are two of the most popular workouts, there are other options for exercising. One of these is high-intensity interval training, which involves short bursts of very vigorous exercise alternating with low-intensity recovery periods.

Typically, a HIIT workout will take about 10-30 minutes. You can use HIIT with different exercises like sprinting, biking, jumping rope or other bodyweight exercises.

Best Cardio for Weight Loss

HIIT can burn more calories

Some studies have directly compared the effects of cardio, weight training, and HIIT. One study compared calories burned during 30 minutes of HIIT, weight training, running, and cycling. Researchers have found that HIIT burns 25-30% more calories than other forms of exercise. However, this does not mean that other types of exercise do not help with weight loss.

HIIT and cardio have similar weight loss effects

Studies that looked at over 400 overweight and obese adults found that those who did HIIT and traditional cardio dropped similar proportions of body fat and waist circumference.

Other research has shown that HIIT-style exercises can burn the same number of calories as traditional cardio, although it depends on the intensity of the exercise.

Some studies estimate that someone who weighs 73 kg can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes with cardio or HIIT. One of the potential benefits of HIIT is that because it includes rest periods between periods of intense activity, you can actually spend less time exercising.

Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

The most useful method is to mix more than one exercise.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is one of the largest and most respected organizations offering exercise recommendations. It has published evidence-based recommendations for weight loss.

Accordingly, the recommendations about the most effective exercise type and duration for weight loss are as follows;

How much should you exercise per week?

In general, the ACSM states that less than 150 minutes of exercise per week, vigorous physical activity such as cardio, is probably not sufficient for weight loss. More than 150 minutes of cardio per week is enough to aid weight loss for most people.

In addition, research shows that people tend to lose more body weight when they have higher levels of physical activity.

HIIT Cardio for Weight Loss

What Types of Exercise Should You Do?

Interestingly, the ACSM’s review of research found that weight training isn’t very helpful for weight loss. However, it is important to remember that even if your weight does not change, your body composition may improve.

For example, weight training can lead to muscle gain and a decrease in fat. If your muscle to fat ratio changes by the same amount, the result on the scale may remain the same. A large study of 119 overweight or obese adults helps put everything about exercise and weight loss into perspective. Participants were divided into three exercise groups: cardio, weights, or a mix of cardio and weights.

Eight months later, the weight group, along with cardio and cardio, lost the most weight and fat.

Meanwhile, the group that gained the most muscle was the group that did weights with weights and cardio.

Overall, the weight group with cardio experienced the best changes in body composition. While gaining muscle, they also lost weight and fat.

This means that a program that combines cardio and weight training may be best for improving body composition.


Both nutrition and exercise are critical to long-term success

Most people know that exercise and a balanced diet are essential for good health. All major health organizations recommend changing both the diet and exercise routine to promote weight loss.

Exercise alone is not enough to sustain progress.

Research shows that the ideal program for long-term weight loss should include moderate calorie reduction and a good exercise program. While many people know that a healthy diet is critical to weight loss, some go too far and say diet is all that matters.

However, it is important to be aware that exercise also helps weight loss.

A scientific review involving more than 400 people looked at the weight loss effects of diet and exercise and compared them to the effects of dietary changes alone. Researchers found that the combination of dietary changes and exercise resulted in 20% greater weight loss than dietary changes over a period of 10 weeks to a year.

Moreover, programs that include diet and exercise are more effective than diet alone in maintaining weight loss one year later.

Weights vs Cardio for Weight Loss

In conclusion;

Cardio and weight lifting can both help you stay healthier and fitter. Cardio exercises help burn more calories than weight training. But the metabolism continues to burn calories longer after weight lifting than cardio, and weight lifting is better for building muscle.

Therefore, the ideal exercise program to improve body composition and health includes a combination of cardio and weight training.

Doing both is best for slimming and burning.

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