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Ask The Trainer – Cardio vs Weight Lifting for Weight Loss

“Should I be doing cardio exercises or weight lifting to help with weight loss?” It’s a question we hear a lot!

The easy answer is that both cardio and weights can help you become healthier and more fit. But how?

Well, a cardio workout, as you’d expect, burns more calories than a weight-training workout. However, it is thought that your metabolism may actually stay elevated for longer after weights than with cardio.

Because of this, it is commonly said that building muscle is the key to increasing your resting metabolism — that is, how many calories you burn at rest. In fact, it is reported that a resting metabolism stays elevated for up to a staggering 38 hours after weight training, while no such increase has been reported with cardio exercises. This means that the calorie-burning benefits of weights aren’t limited to when you are exercising. You may keep burning calories for hours or days afterward. Perfect!

While you’ll most likely burn more calories during cardiovascular exercise, weight training will keep that slow burn going all day long, leading to a larger and more sustained calorie burn over the course of the day. Weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle, and muscle burns more calories when at rest.

Weight training can also be especially important in helping women lose stubborn body fat, with a University of Alabama study showing greater belly fat loss in women who lifted weights compared to those who just performed cardiovascular exercise. Plus, weight-bearing exercises (and this can be bodyweight or with added resistance), helps to promote good bone health too. 

So, which is better for fat loss: cardio or weights?

Weight training is better for fat loss and building lean muscle. However, cardio will help with weight loss, improving cardiovascular health and help to uncover the muscle you’ve sculpted.

If you’re looking to tone up while also sculpting muscle, doing a variety of each, each week is the best way to achieve your body composition and aesthetic goals. 

If losing fat is your goal, lifting weights can only help you, so make it a priority.

If you’re new to weight lifting, why not book yourself into one of our free Gym Journeys for members which, with the careful guidance of one of our trainers, will help you understand and plan a tailored gym routine.  

Health Club Membership 

Free Gym Journey (members only)

Exercise Classes (members only)

See you next week and see you at the Club soon!