Cardio vs Weight Training for Fat loss: Which Is Better?

Your goal is get in shape this year, but you’re torn between the two most popular types of workouts – weight training vs cardio. Which should you pick to lose the most weight?

Read on to find out the advantages of each and decide for yourself!

To lose fat, you need to torch calories

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When someone says that they want “to lose weight”, what they actually mean is that they wish to lose body fat. The only way to do this is through a calorie reduction by consuming less calories or increasing caloric output through a steady exercise regimen.

That said, the best way to measure your weight loss journey is not through your total bodyweight, but the decrease in body fat percentage. Often, many of us give up after seeing little to no changes in our body weight despite hours spent in the gym.

Which begs the question: Are you choosing the right type of workouts?

Cardio burns more calories per session

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Regardless of intensity or physical fitness levels, cardio is the fastest way to burn the most calories. In fact, an average spin class can burn up to 700 calories! That is definitely a plus if your goal is to burn as much calories as possible each session.

If time is not on your side, cardio might not be the best option. Instead, try introducing intense, interval training to amp up your routine! Short, intense movements that max out your energy output can burn more calories than steady-state cardio like briskwalking or running.

Weight training burns more calories in the long run

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If your goal is to fit in clothes better or achieve more muscle definition, frequent weight training can help you achieve both. Even though the total calorie burn per weight training session is much lesser than cardio, the real payoff comes when your sessions end, or as some might call the “after-burn”.

Simply put: the more muscle you have, the more energy it takes to break down, repair and synthesise, which may eventually increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Another advantage of weight training? More energy, endurance and strength for regular cardio training. Which means you can cycle faster in spin, punch harder in MMA class, or lift heavier weights in Body Pump class. Win win!

For the best results, combine both

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If you incorporate both strength training and cardio into your routine, it is possible to lose body fat while building muscle mass. Here are a few tips on how you can amp up your routine for maximum calorie burn:

  • Work the whole body with compound exercises like squats, rows and presses to work more muscle groups instead of isolated movements like bicep curls or shoulder raises
  • Increase your heart rate by making your weight training sessions more vigorous (Lift heavier weights with lower repetitions of 8-10 for the best results)
  • Try doing more circuit training, which incorporates both resistance training and continuous aerobic movements to elevate your heart rate

Ultimately, there is no one-sized-fits-all approach to weight loss. Find a fitness routine that is sustainable, challenging and mix it up from time to time to keep things fresh!

If you are looking for new ways to spice up your workout routine, join us for a 12-hour fitathon happening at FitnessFest by AIA 2019! Check out our line up and find out more here.