Cardio vs Weight Lifting: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

— Many people who’ve decided to lose weight find themselves with a tricky question. Should they do cardio or lift weights? So in this video, I’m going to tell you all you need to know about each of them for weight loss. (chiming music) I guess the first thing we want to think about is which one burns more calories. And of course, scientists have looked at this.

For most activities, the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. Now, if you weigh 160 pounds or 73 kilos, you’ll burn about 250 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a moderate pace. If you were to run at a faster pace of six miles per hour, you’ll burn around 365 calories in 30 minutes. On the other hand, if you are weight trained for the same amount of time, you might only burn around 130 to 220 calories. So in general, you’ll burn more calories per session of cardio than you will weight training for the same amount of effort.

But that’s not the only factor to consider. What about when you’re not training? Weight training helps you burn more calories when you aren’t training.

Weight training is much more effective than cardio at building muscle. And muscle burns more calories at rest than other tissue like fat.

That’s why you would have heard that building muscle is the key to increasing your resting metabolic rate, your resting metabolism. That refers to the amount of energy you burn when at rest. This study measured participants’ resting metabolisms during 24 weeks of weight training. Now in men, weight training led to a 9% increase in resting metabolism. The effects in women were smaller, with an increase of almost 4%.

Now, while this does sound good, it’s important to think about how many calories this actually represents. For the men, resting metabolism increased by about 140 calories per day. In women, it was only about 50 calories per day. Thus, weight training won’t skyrocket your metabolism, but it will increase by a small amount.

However, weight training also has other important calorie-burning benefits.

Specifically, research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session compared to a cardio workout. In fact, there are reports of resting metabolism staying elevated for up to 38 hours after weight training, while no such increase has been reported with cardio. So basically, the studies show us that the calorie-burning benefits of weight training aren’t just limited to that one session. You continue to burn more calories for hours, even days, afterward. High-intensity interval training provides similar benefits to cardio in less time.

Now, although cardio and weight training are two of the most popular workouts, there are other options.

One of these is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, which involves short bursts of very intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. Now, typically a HIIT workout will take just 10 to 30 minutes. You can use HIIT with a variety of different exercises, including sprinting, biking, jump roping, or other body-weight exercises. So how does HIIT go with burning calories?

Of course, there are studies that have compared HIIT with regular cardio. Research examining more than 400 overweight and obese adults found that HIIT and traditional cardio reduce body fat and waist circumference to a similar extent. Now, other research has shown that HIIT-style workouts may burn about the same number of calories as traditional cardio, although this depends on the intensity of exercise. Usually, you will burn the same number of calories, but in a much shorter time with HIIT. In the end, both cardio and weight training can help you become healthier and fitter.

A cardio workout burns more calories than a weight training workout, but your metabolism stays elevated for longer after a weight training workout. Plus, weight training is much better for building muscle.

Therefore, the most ideal exercise program for losing weight should include both cardio and weight training, not one or the other. Thank you for watching. Make sure to give this video a thumbs up if you found it informative.

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As found on YouTube


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