Weight Training Vs Cardio for Fat Loss

When trying to lose weight the first dilemma people go through is what type of exercise to choose and what type of training to follow to yield maximum result in their weight loss or muscle building journey.

While trying to lose weight the first thing that comes to people’s mind is cardio, either running for hours on a treadmill or in the nearby park.
There are few people who go for weight training, not few actually but less than people who go for cardio only.

There are actually a few people who do both cardio and weight training to get the desired result.

Read on to find out which one is better, cardio or weight training, and what you should do to get the best result according to your own goals.

Calories Used


Research has shown that the calorie burnt varies with exercise and with body composition, the more you weigh, more you burn calories.

A person weighing 73 kg will burn around 250 calories by running at a moderate pace for 30 min.

If the same person runs at 6 miles/hour for 30 min will burn around 360 calories.

Weight Training

The same study has shown if the same person does weight training for the same amount of time will only burn 130-220 calories.

If we compare weight lifting with cardio for the number of calories burnt during exercise then hand’s down cardio burns more calories.

But is it the only criteria to judge calories burnt, what if you keep on burning calories even after completing the exercise.

That’s where weight training comes into the room.

Cardio burns calories only for the amount of time you do it, but weight training keeps on burning calories even after you have stopped doing exercise.

Weight training boosts metabolism and keeps on burning calories even when you are sitting idle.

According to a study, weight training in men led to a 9% increase in resting metabolism.

Weight training burns more calories in the hours following the workout session compared to a cardio session.

Studies have shown that for each pound of lean muscle you gain your resting metabolism increases by 20%-40%.

Quick Summary:

Cardio burns more calories during the workout session compared to weight training but after the workout, the calories are burnt more through weight training leading to overall more calories being burnt depending upon the intensity.

HIIT vs Traditional Cardio

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training which means a short burst of very intense exercise for a short period of time followed by an active rest.

Traditional cardio means in which you jog or run continuously for a bit longer time at a moderate pace.

HIIT workout includes sprinting, biking or doing bodyweight training.

In HIIT it’s like you run for 60 seconds with your full energy and power and walk for 30 seconds and continue alternatively for a stipulated amount of time.

HIIT is more beneficial as you can get almost all the benefits of traditional cardio with HIIT in less amount of time.

I personally enjoy HIIT more because of the sudden burst of energy and moreover traditional cardio is boring and time-consuming.


Weight Training

  • Weight training allows you to sculpt your body the way you want.
  • Weight training helps you build muscle and boosts metabolism.
    weight lifting helps to strengthen your bones.
  • It helps you improve posture and make you more confident.
  • It helps you gain strength.
  • Helps strengthen bones.
  • Beneficial in beating type ll diabetes.


  • Cardio trains your heart and lungs as a muscle and is really good for your cardiovascular health.
  • Helps strengthen bones.
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps beat diabetes.
  • The above benefits are some of the benefits of weight training and cardio from the lists of the benefits.

There are some benefits which are common in both weight training and cardio.

What Should you do?

Coming to the point, What you should do?

It really depends on what you enjoy and what you want to achieve.

In the below comparison left one is a sprinter and right one is a marathon runner.

Most people would choose the left one. Everyone wants to look good and want to be appreciated.

If you want to look like the left person then you need to add both weight training and cardio to your training.

Weight training helps you build lean muscle mass and allows you to alter your body composition and replace your fat with muscle.

If you want to lose weight you can do both or anyone which you enjoy more but to lose weight you need to be in caloric deficit means you should burn more than you consume.

Even if you workout your ass off in the gym, but indulge in cheat meals frequently and splurge on fast foods, then my friend you are going to have a hard time losing weight.

The disadvantage of traditional cardio is that while running for a long duration your body may burn muscle mass for fuel when glycogen level depletes.

That is the reason why long distance runners have less muscle mass.

Having less muscle mass means a decrease in resting metabolism and decrease in calories burnt.


Cardio and weight training are both a good form of exercise and you should not rely on only one type.

To get the best benefits you should try to add both in your workout routine.

Again you need to see what you enjoy the most if you enjoy doing weight training then do it more and cardio twice a week.

If you don’t enjoy your workout then you are likely to stop it all together, but that doesn’t mean if you don’t enjoy any workout you will stop working out, that’s not the option.

Rather than arguing more its best to add both workouts in your routine and do more what you enjoy.

Have a Happy and Fit Body!


2 Replies to “Weight Training Vs Cardio for Fat Loss”

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