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Weights vs Cardio: Which One Better for Weight Loss?


Are you tired of performing long cardio sessions but unable to see results? Or have tried lifting weights in the gym for a couple of days but still no progress? When you are looking to lose weight there’s effectively one of two ways you could go which is either cardio or weight training. Both these come with their own merits and demerits. It all depends on the type of workout that you opt for.

Weight Training

There are plenty of weight lifting benefits, from adding muscle strength and endurance to enhancing your overall bone density. Moreover, these include:

  • Increasing muscle mass and hence metabolism (more muscles exercised = more calories burned).
  • Lifting weights not only assist in shredding body fat but also “tones” your body by making your core muscles visible such as abs and pectoral muscles.

Quick Fact: weight training burns fewer calories during the workout session, but burns MORE calories after the session. weight-vs-cardio


The cardio workout was considered to be the most popular weight loss source by people living in the late 90s. Both men and women thought spending hours jogging in the park or taking part in long marathons will simply strip off all their belly fat. However, cardio plays an essential role in weight reduction and comes with amazing benefits such as:

  • Cardio is a great source to get a good amount of blood flow and circulation in the entire body that enables the proper working of all body organs. Also, if it is performed outdoor in day-time, our body gets sufficient amount of Vitamin D which is again beneficial for our body and immune system.
  • Furthermore, it significantly lowers your stress level, increases your lung capacity, reduces risk of heart attack and high cholesterol.

Quick Fact: cardio burns MORE calories during the session, but burns fewer calories AFTER the training session. weight-vs-cardio

High-Intensity Interval Training

Another addition apart from cardio and weight training is high-intensity interval training or HIIT. HIIT is the type of training where you engage your body in short bursts of very intense training and lower the intensity for a short period of time for recovery. HIIT workouts usually last between 10 to 30 minutes and studies have concluded that a HIIT workout can burn 20% to 30% more calories than any other form of exercise. This doesn’t mean that you can neglect the other forms of workout, but rather give yourself a good mix of workouts to help you lose weight and increase strength. weight-vs-cardio

What type of workout should you do?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has done studies on fitness and provides good exercise advice based on their research. Studies have concluded that you need to work out for more than 150 minutes a week whether you’re doing cardio or weight training if you are looking to lose weight. Another study had concluded that weight training may not be as efficient for you if you’re trying to lose weight, but it can be a great way to build muscles. ACSM involved 119 overweight people to undergo a test of which half of the people only did cardio whereas the other half did both weight training and cardio. After eight months, the people that did both forms of training lost weight and gained muscle and the ones doing only cardio lost the most weight. weight-vs-cardio

Is training enough?

Yes, training is a great start, but there is no such thing as weight loss unless you get the proper diet. You can’t lose weight no matter how much you train if you are not improving your diet. That being said, diets and workouts go hand in hand. Studies have compared someone that only relied on a diet against someone that improved their diet and trained side by side. The study concluded that the person that trained was able to maintain his/her weight longer after stopping the diet. weight-vs-cardio

So which one wins? Both.

When it comes to body fat reduction and at the same time shaping your body, the modern science and fitness experts have realized that it is the right combination of both cardio and weight training which shows fastest and long lasting results of the weight loss on the human body. Moreover, factors like diet (eating the right amount of macro and micronutrients on daily basis) as well as getting quality sleep and rest prove to be equally important in achieving your target weight and other fitness goals. If you are looking for any specific kind of diet or workout, you definitely need to check out the SQUATWOLF Blog.

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