top of page

Cardio vs weight training: WHO WINS?

Every day, many of my clients (and people, in general) ask me the question: “What’s better for losing fat? Weight training, or cardio?” The ultimate battle for the perfect training regimen is not as clear cut as Hercules’ godly origins. Both have benefits that are essential to your fitness and should not be neglected when looking for that perfectly sculpted body. In this article, we’ll be looking at different ideologies and extracting strong points for each training method.


(1) Reshapes body

Probably the most amazing quality from weight training is the fact that lifting heavy dumbbells and barbells can reshape your body. That’s right. BOOTY, BOOTY, BOOTY. Weight training gives you an opportunity to battle your genetics and physically modify that body that your mama gave ya. The adaptation to stress creates hypertrophy, and women⁄ men will benefit almost immediately from the added inch to your arms, legs or glutes. So, no matter what people say about you having “bad” genetics, hard work in the gym can reverse that.

(2) Boosts metabolic rate

Another great benefit from weight training is the fact that in doing so, you will increase your BMR or your Base Metabolic Rate.

“Uhm… Your Base Metabolic rate? What’s that?”

Alright, so your base metabolic rate is the number of calories your metabolism burns daily without doing any physical activity. Yes, it’s not magic. Every hour, your body burns energy to keep your body running. What’s interesting is that in weight training, increasing your muscle mass also increases the number of calories burned in one day! According to Rebekah Baumgardner, counselor and life coach in Las Vegas, Nevada, “each extra pound of muscle you gain burns 30-50 extra calories a day, while others estimate that a pound of muscle burns 6 calories at rest, compared to 2 calories burned by a pound of fat.” (Baumgardner, 2015)


(1) Burns calories

The first thing that comes into mind when talking about the benefits of any aerobic activity such as running, swimming and cycling, is the number of calories one can burn during a long session. Burning large amounts of calories during a workout session can help in the process of losing fat. Think about it this way, if you burn 300-500 calories in an hour long cardio session, the chances of you eating under your base metabolic rate is very possible and this increases the odds of you losing fat. However, cardio is not ideal for increasing your BMR, and poor technique when performing such exercises, like running, can result in knee and lower back injuries over time.

(2) Health benefits

Like weight training, the very fact that of you bringing any type of activity to your life can WITHOUT A DOUBT bring health benefits to you. Nonetheless, aerobic activity can bring more cardiovascular benefits to you that weight training alone cannot. Among many health benefits, aerobic activity can help minimize cardiovascular diseases by lowering bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increase the body’s ability to use insulin to control the body’s blood pressure level. The question persists: how much cardio is needed in order to get these health benefits? Well, according to a 1996 report, the Surgeon General’s on Physical Activity and Health, 30 minutes a day 5 times a week of moderate daily activity such as cycling, yard work or swimming can improve your cardiovascular health. (Myers 2, 2003)


Unfortunately, the answer to this golden fat loss question is not as white or black as some would assume. Lifting weights will enhance your body’s genetic composition while aerobic exercises at all levels of intensity will ameliorate your heart’s health and brain’s cognitive functions. In the perfect world, one would use a certain 20-80 philosophy developed here at Fullbody Athletics. Let’s say your workout is 60 minutes long, you would use 12 minutes (which is 20%) of your total time doing cardio while 48 minutes (which is 80%) of lifting weights. This model targets both ideologies while getting the health and physical benefits of both.

Lastly, no matter your preference, either its lifting weights or swimming, do what you love and perform it with PRIDE. Whatever activity you choose, it’s all good as long as you’re active!

Remember, the most important thing is to keep moving, whether it be in life or fitness.

Have a great day!

12 views0 comments


bottom of page