What Workout to Lose Weight: Cardio or Weights?

There are a lot of different opinions out there about the best way to lose weight. Some people swear by cardio, while others say that weights are the way to go. So, what’s the verdict?


When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be daunting to decide on a workout plan that is going to get you the results you want in the shortest time possible. Many people have noticed that cardio and weights provide different ways of achieving their health and wellness goals. So, what should you do if you want to lose weight – cardio or weights?

The good news is that both forms of exercise can help with weight loss, but it entirely depends on your goals. Both types of training come with various pros and cons. Cardio exercise is an excellent way to burn fat while maintaining muscle mass while weight training helps sculpt your physique while increasing muscle strength and tone.

In this guide, we will look at the differences between these two types of exercise, so that you can make an informed decision about which one might be right for you in your journey towards a healthier and fitter body.

Benefits of Cardio

Cardio is a type of exercise that is great for getting your heart rate up and burning calories in the process. It can help you to achieve your weight loss goals in a shorter amount of time than just lifting weights alone. Cardio has many benefits, including increased cardiovascular endurance, improved overall health and increased metabolism. Let’s take a look at the key benefits of cardio so you can decide if it’s right for you.

Increase in Metabolism

Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise has the potential to produce a variety of health and muscular benefits, including an increase in metabolism, which directly impacts how many calories are burned. The basics of aerobic exercise revolve around repetitive actions which work large muscle groups. Jogging, biking and swimming are all examples of cardio activities which have the potential to substantially improve metabolic rates.

When engaged in consistent cardiovascular activity, individuals can expect an increase in their metabolisms due to both the workout itself and a gain in muscle mass. This increased rate means that more calories are being burned throughout the day, even while at rest. Additionally, since muscles typically require more energy than fat cells do, any increase in muscular volume typically increases one’s metabolic rate overall. Cardio also helps to ensure regularity of caloric burn over a given state by increasing fat burning enzymes within the body and providing for more consistent energy expenditure between sessions of activity.

Improves Heart Health

When you participate in regular cardio exercise, your heart and lungs become stronger, which can improve your overall health. Cardio is beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and other related diseases. It increases the amount of oxygen carried throughout the body and can be beneficial for decreasing your resting heart rate. Participating regularly in aerobic-based activities will increase both your strength and stamina so you can better handle everyday activities without becoming exhausted. Additionally, regular exercise reduces cholesterol levels, which are associated with heart disease. Taking time for aerobic exercise has long-term benefits for physical health and mental well-being that cannot be obtained through any other form of activity.

Burns Calories

Cardio is a great way to burn calories quickly and efficiently. Whether you choose running, walking, cycling, stair-climbing or any other form of exercise that gets your heart rate up, you will quickly reap the rewards of a cardio workout in terms of burning calories. The more intense the workout, the more energy you will consume and hence the more calories you will burn. Even moderate activities such as swimming or fast walking for 30 minutes 3-5 days per week can burn several hundred extra calories according to most health professionals’ estimates, which can significantly reduce your total daily calorie intake if combined with healthy eating habits.

Benefits of Weight Training

Weight training is a great way to not only build muscle but to also shed excess body fat. Studies have shown that weight lifting can be more effective than cardio alone for losing weight. Weight training can also help you strengthen your bones and improve your overall fitness levels. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of weight training and how it can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Increases Muscle Mass

Regular weight training is a crucial part of any fitness routine and has many potential benefits. Weight training helps to increase muscle mass which can translate into improved performance, strength and endurance particularly for athletes. While the increases for casual exercisers are minimal, following a consistent program helps to build lean muscle mass, resulting in improved energy levels and a better overall metabolism. The additional muscle also helps to boost confidence in those looking to shed fat pounds.

Increases Strength

Weight training is an important part of any exercise program and has multiple benefits that can help with weight loss goals. Weightlifting provides a greater challenge when performing exercises due to the resistance created by the weights, as opposed to bodyweight exercises. This resistance encourages greater muscle growth and strength gains into account, while also increasing bone density. Increasing your strength will not only help to reach your fitness goals faster, but it will make everyday activities appear easier and less exhausting. Adding weights to a workout routine will also enable you to perform a number of exercises which can be beneficial in fat burning and promoting heart health. Weight training in conjunction with cardio will enable you to see better results for reaching your desired weight more quickly.

Improves Posture

One of the main benefits of weight training is improved posture. Working out with weights helps your body maintain and improve good muscle balance. Without adequate strength, your body will be weaker on one side or another, leading to poor posture and possible long-term back issues. Weight training can help target specific muscles that need to be strengthened and stretched in order to help align and stabilize the body correctly. Improved posture can also reduce stress, improve breathing, lower pain levels and even make daily life activities more comfortable.

Combining Cardio and Weight Training

Combining both cardio and weight training are the key to successful fat loss. When used together, they offer the best overall results in terms of losing fat and building muscle. Cardio works by raising your heart rate which causes your body to burn stored fat as energy during high-intensity activities such as running or cycling, while weight training builds muscle which increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories even when you’re not working out.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for a good fitness routine – it all depends on your goals and physical condition. Generally speaking, people who are looking to lose weight should aim for both cardio and strength exercise a few times a week. You may want to start off with moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise such as running or swimming for 30 minutes per day or every other day, and combine that with regular strength training two to three times per week depending on your fitness level.

To help maximize success, it’s important to keep variety in mind when designing a routine – alternating between different types of cardiovascular exercise and varying the exercises used in strength training can help mix things up and keep you motivated. Additionally, setting specific goals along with making sure to track your progress can make it easier to stay on track with workouts while understanding what makes you successful when trying to reach a goal weight.


Ultimately, the best way to choose a workout plan is to consider your individual goals, preferences, and physical capabilities. If you are seeking to lose weight, doing some form of aerobic exercise may be beneficial; however, lifting weights could help to retain muscle mass and maintain weight loss long-term. It is important to note that both forms of exercise can be beneficial for overall health. You may want to consider combining both activities for a well-rounded routine that will improve strength and stamina while aiding in weight loss efforts. Overall, when it comes to cardio or weights for weight loss: the choice is up to you!

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