Is weight training better than cardio for weight loss?

If you are in the stage of life when you need to lose a few pounds, you have probably already wondered whether it was better to focus only on cardio or to lift weights.

These are both effective and will positively impact your health. However, they are very different, and you need to plan your workout carefully if you opt for one or of the other.

Let’s see how they differ and how they affect weight loss.

Cardio will burn more calories in one session

There are a lot of studies that focus on how people burn calories. We do that constantly, and people weighing more will burn more calories than the skinny people. The best way to burn the most calories in a short session is by doing cardio. However, it means that your body will revert to the old calorie-burning regime as soon as you stop exercising.

How cardio burns calories? Well, here are the numbers. A person with an average height that weighs approximately 73 kg will burn about 250 calories in one moderate jogging session. The faster you run, the more calories you burn – it is simple as that.

Weights will burn more calories in a day

If you use the same amount of energy in the same circumstances to lift weights for the same amount of time – you will burn fewer calories. So what’s the point of lifting weights if the result is far worse when it comes to weight loss? Well, the story doesn’t end there – read on!


Weight lifting is primarily a type of training that builds muscle and can as such be counterproductive for people who want to lose weight. But that statement is not entirely accurate as it also helps with burning calories.

Namely, when you lift weights, you strengthen your metabolism which then itself takes care of burning calories. In fact, this type of activity is much better as your body becomes active in the calorie-burning process even when you are not active. Muscles take time to regenerate, and your body needs the energy to invest into muscles.

Therefore, when you train for a couple of days and then have a rest day, you need to take into account that you are still very active.

It’s all about how you do it

After all, it is not the type of exercise that you do – it is how you do it. First of all, you need to be persistent in your effort to lose weight. That means eating more healthy and exercising regularly without giving up. The thing is – most of the people who want to get rid of the extra fat give up after a couple of days of workout and dieting.

Also, you should pay attention to the intensity with which you exercise. If you are new or you were not active for a longer period, you will want to start slow, take baby steps, and then increase the intensity of your training. A lot of people fall for this trap – they have a lot of unused energy during the first week and become completely exhausted from exercising. Just take it one step at a time.


The best way to exercise is to combine physical activity and a diet. After all, it does not matter which type of activity you choose as long as you do it with precision and persistence. The basic equation is simple – lose more calories than you eat. It is up to you to decide which path to follow.