cardio vs weight training

A common question that occasionally pops up every day in different gyms across the globe is, “I already bike, run, swim, skate, jump, do press-ups /sit-ups.Do I still require weight training?” On the other hand, women who have acquired a well-shaped celebrity body from weight training are wondering if they still need cardio. While both exercises come with substantial benefits, recent scientific findings suggest that weight training is better than cardio. This Cardio vs. Weight Training article will disclose to you reasons why weight training is the best exercise compared to cardio.

Cardio vs. Weight Training: why resistance  training is more effective

Weight Training Keeps Your Metabolism High Even After Exercise.

  • While you burn as many as 12 calories per minute from cardio training compared to only ten calories for weight lifting; you will continue to burn calories even after the weight training workout. In fact, studies have revealed that your metabolism can speed up for  36 hours after weight training. What does this mean? Rather than burning for instance 60 calories per hour while seated watching a movie, you will be burning 70 calories after a weight training workout. Just multiply the ten calories by the 36 hours, and you will appreciate its significance!
  • With cardio, you might get approximately 40 to 80 calories burned after a moderate-speed training session. However, this will strongly depend on the duration and intensity of your training. If you want to burn a significant quantity of calories from cardio, you must be willing to do the exercise for a pretty long period of time.

 Reshapes Your Body.

  • Compared to cardio, weight training ultimately gives you the power to reshape your body. While cardio will typically assist you in losing weight, the weight loss will be a combination of muscle and fat. Therefore, you will be left with a smaller version of yourself after the cardio exercise.
  • On the other hand, weight training while observing a high protein diet gives you a better chance of losing only body fat while enhancing the beautiful natural curves of your body. The result will be a much more attractive physique than if you tried cutting weight doing cardio only.
  • One vital thing that you should note at this point is that many ladies tend to shy away from weight training only because they believe that weight lifting will cause them to develop huge muscles that will give them a more muscular appearance and physique. This belief is just a misconception because females’ bodies do not produce sufficient testosterone to develop the same degree of musculature as men. Additionally, building that type of muscle requires not only testosterone but also a great deal of eating. Unfortunately, most females even shy from eating.

Promotes Long Term Calorie Burning.

  • Weight lifting helps you to build a large degree of lean muscle. Apparently, a huge muscle mass acts as a calorie burning powerhouse. One of the fundamental factors that go into consideration during the calculation of your basic  metabolic rate  is the total weight of your body. Total body mass is represented by your muscles, organs, and bones. Therefore, the more muscle present on your body, the higher your basal metabolic rate.
  • The point above is precisely the reason why males can eat more than females without putting on a lot of weight. Since they have more lean muscle on their bodies, they can burn more calories without doing absolutely nothing except breathing.

Shorter Training Sessions Compared to Cardio.

cardio vs weight training:what is the best?

  • A longer cardio session will help you to burn approximately 500 to 800 calories depending on the intensity and duration of your training. Since you must burn off 3500 calories to lose a single pound of body fat, you must do enough of these cardio workouts and ensure that you are not taking the calories back. Moreover, you will have to keep doing the long cardio workouts consistently. It, therefore, goes without saying that time will be a significant limitation for you.
  • On the other hand, even though weight training may not burn as many calories per minute during the actual workout as cardio, its benefits are considerably higher than cardio training.

Weight Lifting Promotes Production of Muscle-building Hormones.

  • Weightlifting encourages lean muscle gain by putting the body in an anabolic state for people on a high-calorie-diet. On the other hand, too much cardio promotes the release of cortisol at high levels. Apparently, Cortisol is the primary hormone that encourages fat accumulation around abdominal regions and lean muscle loss.

Does it Mean You Should Ditch Cardio?

Cardio vs. Weight Training: What Burns More Calories?

What then? Should you abandon cardio and focus on weight training? Certainly not! Cardio training also comes with its benefits that you cannot ignore. Firstly, cardio promotes the health of your cardiovascular system. Additionally, if you want to lose weight without putting on muscle, cardio is the way to go. What’s more? Cardio is known to burn more calories during the actual training compared to weight lifting. No wonder aerobic enthusiasts lose more weight faster compared to weight lifters.

How Should You Merge the two Then?

According to NiCole Keith- an Exercise Research Scientist and Physiologist at Indiana University Center for Aging Research, both weight training, and cardio plays a vital role in improving your overall physical wellness. Therefore, pairing them is ultimately the best way to get fitter and stronger.

If weight loss is your goal, it is vital to make time for both cardio and weight training because both exercises burn calories in a slightly different way. Even though cardio burns more calories compared to weight lifting, it does not keep the calorie burning longer than weight training.

For efficient and effective calorie burning, experts encourage  high-intensity interval training  workouts that entail both weight training and cardio. Moderately intense cardio can act as a great warm-up for weight training. Alternatively, cardio can also be a significant cool-down after weight training because it helps to flush out soreness-inducing lactate which accumulates in your muscles after intense weight training.After finishing weight training, muscle glycogen levels have decreased so that the body will use fat as a primary energy source.But that rate of aerobic work should not be very high, between  60-70% of VO2 max , since this is the intensity that favors more fat burning.

After finishing  a weight training session, muscle glycogen levels have decreased so that the body will use fat as a primary energy source.But that rate of aerobic work should not be very high, between 60-70% of VO2 max, since this is the intensity that favors more fat burning.


While you should not eliminate cardio from your training routine, it is wise to put more effort towards weight training because it has long-term benefits. It is time to break the common misconception that weight training is only perfect for weight gain and building muscle while cardio is ideal for fat loss only. A combination of both weight lifting, cardio, and a healthy diet is all you need to shed off those excess calories and pounds.

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