Fat Loss Wars: Cardio Versus Weight Training!

Many people think that if you want to lose fat, you should do more cardio, and that if you want to build muscle, you should lift weights. But it’s not that simple. You can use weight training to lose fat, and in some ways it’s actually better than cardio.

Falling for the common misconception that you need to do cardio to lose weight is one of the biggest mistakes you could make and could hinder your progress.

Weight Training Increases Short-Term Calorie Burn

The first reason we are going to give weight training a point in the fat-loss war against cardio is due to the calorie burn after the workout is completed.

Studies have demonstrated that after a weight-training workout, metabolism can be boosted for up to 38 hours post-workout. This means that rather than burning, say, 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70. While you may not think that 10 extra calories is a big deal, when you multiply this by 38 hours, you can see what a huge difference it can make in your daily calorie expenditure.

When you figure that out on a monthly rate, it becomes even clearer how regular participation in weight training will really increase your capacity to burn calories, and thus fat.

With cardio training, you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderately paced session, but this will depend upon the exact intensity and duration of the workout. In order to generate a high amount of post-calorie burn from aerobics, you’d have to be doing it for a very long duration of time.

Sprinting is a slightly different story and will create effects with your metabolic rate closer to that of weight lifting, so that’s something to consider as well. However, you must be sprinting hard in order to see the benefits, which is something some people struggle with.

Weight Training Increases Long-Term Calorie Burn

The second factor to consider in the fat-loss war is long-term metabolic increases. While it’s great to be burning more calories for 38 hours after the workout, that’s not going to help you two weeks from now, unless you are consistent with your workout program (which you should be, but that’s not the point we’re trying to make here).

What weight training will enable you to do is build up a larger degree of lean muscle mass, which then basically serves as a calorie-burning powerhouse in the body.

When you calculate your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories you would burn if you stayed in bed all day and did absolutely nothing except breathe, one of the factors that goes into this is your total body weight. The most accurate equations will also take into account lean body mass, which represents your muscles, bones, and organs.

The more muscle you have on your body, the higher this rate will be and the better the calorie-burning results you will obtain 24/7.

Since muscle tissue is fairly stable (as long as there is some stimulus on the muscle and you are consuming enough protein, it won’t be lost), this proves to be an effective long-term strategy for losing body fat.

This is the primary reason males can typically eat more than females without gaining weight—they have more lean muscle mass on their body, thus they are burning more calories around-the-clock.

To add to this point, it’s critical that you are realistic with how much muscle mass you can build in a given period of time. Naturally, males will be able to generate between 1-2 pounds of pure muscle mass in a given month and females will get about half that, around 0.5-1 pound. Over time, though, with consistent effort, this will make you dramatically more resistant to weight gain as you grow older, making it extremely beneficial.

Weight Training And Total Body Reshaping

Another big benefit that weight training has over cardio training is that it will allow you to completely reshape your body. Cardio training will generally help you lose weight, however, this weight loss is typically a combination of fat and muscle, so what you’re left with is a smaller version of your current self.

When you are performing resistance training, while following a calorie-restricted diet, then you stand a better chance of losing strictly body fat, while helping to enhance the natural curves of your body.

This will give you a much better overall transformation than if you just lost weight doing cardio. If you’ve ever noticed someone who has lost a considerable amount of weight but still looks somewhat “soft,” that’s usually why—they have lost some fat, but their muscles aren’t overly toned.

Cardio And Calorie Burn

One issue you’re more than likely thinking about is the different calorie burns during the actual workout—that’s got to count for something, right?

Correct! If you do a longer cardio session, you could burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-800 calories, depending on the exact length and intensity level. That is a fairly decent number and will definitely help with your fat-loss goals.

Since you must burn off 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of body fat, if you do enough of these cardio sessions, and make sure you’re keeping track of your macronutrient intake, weight loss will take place.

But, keep in mind that you are going to have to keep doing those long cardio sessions. Time will likely become a big factor with this one, and boredom could start to play a role over time, too.

While a weight-training session may not burn as many calories per minute during the actual workout (although that can depend on how intense the weight lifting is), the overall calorie-burning benefits you receive from it typically outweigh those of cardio.

Cardio And Health Benefits

One point does have to go to cardio for health benefits. Obviously strength training has health benefits as well, but cardio training has a bigger influence on cardiovascular health, since your heart and lungs work harder for longer when you do it.

So, while you likely shouldn’t entirely eliminate cardio from your fat-loss training program, you should be putting forth good effort toward weight training as well. Overlooking this form of exercise while playing the fat-loss game is a big mistake that’s going to hurt your progress.


It’s time to break free from the thinking that cardio equates to fat loss and weight training equates to building muscle and weight gain. It’s simply not as clear cut as that. While doing cardio can help your fat-loss goals, in a lot of ways weight training is more effective and will also give you a more toned body shape.

While lifting weights can help you build muscle mass, that muscle mass will in turn help you lose fat mass. And if you just want to lose fat and don’t want to get hugely muscular, don’t worry, that takes a lot of concentrated effort and won’t happen just by showing up to the weight room a few times a week.

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



Elite Fitness, Nutrition &
Sports Performance

Phone:    252.353.7324
Email:     profitnesstraining@gmail.com
Address: 1913 E Fire Tower Rd #E,
Greenville, NC 27858



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Maria Cullipher
Maria Cullipher
11:23 17 Mar 20
I joined Pro Fitness 24 and started training with Chelsie a couple months ago and I look forward to my sessions. She is always available to answer any questions I have regarding exercise and nutrition outside the gym and truly cares about my health and the improvement I want for myself. Roy and Chelsie are always so helpful and kind and the whole atmosphere at the gym is so laid back. I highly recommend it here!
Marquis Kornegay
Marquis Kornegay
11:33 16 Mar 20
Signing my contract was easy and simple. Roy was very personable and knowledgeable. Having the freedom to train and workout at my leisure is important to me, and I can do that using my personal code to walk in 24/7. The facility is clean and there is never a wait to use equipment like at other places I have been. Highly recommend!
Darius Shepherd
Darius Shepherd
16:29 20 Feb 20
Hello all, I’m here Visiting from Detroit Michigan, I used fitness your way program to find, Pro Fitness 24. I was in love from the moment I walked in, The Pro fitness Atmosphere gave me, a great feeling. The equipment is up-to-date, a place where you can go no matter what you want to train. I met the owners, who are a husband and wife team, very nice people, made me feel like I’ve always been apart of the Pro fitness family. Something great that I saw, while visiting is not only are the owners full time Employees, they take time out to train the communities youth, in Various different sports. I can see the love and here the passion in there voices as the encourage the kids, to try there best. Fitness Pro 24, is not just a gym it’s a family Atmosphere, and you will be taking care of. Thank you to the Fitness Pro 24 family.
Kellie Jones
Kellie Jones
20:51 13 Feb 20
I have been going to Pro Fitness 24 for almost a year. I love that it is not over crowded and the equipment is up to date. You can tell that Roy and Chelsie are always looking to get the best things for their members. Training with Chelsie has been so rewarding. I highly recommend this gym if you are looking for people to make you feel at home!!
Andy Haddock
Andy Haddock
03:35 21 Jan 20
I've recently started a 6 month training program with Roy. He's been very knowledgeable on both the nutritional and physical sides of helping me get myself back in shape. The gym is clean and provides a laid back atmosphere as well as plenty of machines to work out on. I'm pleased so far to say the least!
Tori Rouse
Tori Rouse
11:00 13 Jan 20
I have started personal training with Chelsie & she has been so awesome. She has a way of making you feel comfortable, setting obtainable goals & personalizing your workouts/nutrition to get you where you want to be. She understands what your body needs & supports you to get you there. Our gym sessions consists of hard work, sweat & laughs and I look forward to them. Great personal trainer and gym.
Emily Radford
Emily Radford
13:56 16 Dec 19
I have really enjoyed working out at Pro24 the past 2 years. It's always very clean and the owners are professional. If you're looking for a trainer, I 100% recommend Chelsie. She's wonderful and makes you feel so comfortable. I have stayed out of gyms in the past because of feeling uncomfortable but I've never felt that way here. It has a small gym atmosphere, but with great equipment and amenities. I definitely recommend Pro24!
Luke McCarthy
Luke McCarthy
00:39 20 Mar 18
I love Roy’s gym. He is a very nice person, and he pushes me to work harder. He helps me with my nutrition so I can live and be healthier. I highly recommend this gym.
jei kerwin
jei kerwin
22:49 14 Mar 18
Roy is great. Very flexible with hours and when life hits you he’ll find ways to make it work for you. Great workouts with great results.
Mary Cole
Mary Cole
21:03 14 Mar 18
Great gym equipment! It's a good place to workout with your athletic teams for school or travel ball. Power Core 360 and the RMT clubs are great for golf, tennis, or baseball. The staff is very friendly and have great prices!
carey woodward
carey woodward
21:02 14 Mar 18
Great gym, always get a good workout in. A lot of equipment, including some I’ve never seen before. Awesome and friendly trainers! Highly recommend coming here to get that toned-summer body!
Brooke Sullivan
Brooke Sullivan
00:05 14 Mar 18
Wonderful place to work out, and has everything I look for in a gym. I'm adding muscle faster than any other gym I've been to. It's an amazing place.
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