Cardio vs. Weight Training, Which is Better?

Cardio vs. Weight Training
Cardio vs. Weight Training

Cardio Vs. Weight Training

You are on a path to living a healthier lifestyle, maybe you want to lose a few pounds, build lean muscle, or maybe you just be more physically active. Now, you’re stuck with the hard question…which should I be doing, Cardio or Weight training?

Here I will help you understand the benefits of each!

Cardio Vs. Weight Training…Which Burns More Calories?

Cardio burns more calories per session

Weight Training helps your body burn more calories every day

Cardio Calorie Burn

While doing any cardio exercise your body is working hard and burns loads of calories. However, within a few minutes of stepping off the machine or stopping that cardio workout, your body returns back to your typical resting metabolism calorie burn rate.

Benefits Of Cardio:

  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Aids with sleep
  • Strengthens immune systems
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps to reduce chronic pain
  • Assists in regulating your weight
  • Improves brain power
  • Can be done just about anywhere

How Are Calories Burned Calculated?

The calculation of your estimated calories burned is based on your body weight, height, age, and the type of activity you are doing. This is how all fitness trackers calculate your calories.


A woman weighing 150 pounds will burn on average between 300-400 calories every 30 minutes while doing cardio, giving her maximum effort.

A woman weighing 200 pounds will burn on average between 400-500 calories every 30 minutes while doing cardio, giving her maximum effort.

However, if these same women trained using weights, for the same amount of time, they will burn roughly half the amount of calories.

Summary: Cardio vs. Weight Training, since cardio burns more calories, that means you should be doing cardio if I want to lose weight right? Not necessarily, keep reading to learn more!

Cardio vs. Weight Training

Weight Training Calorie Burn

Even though weight training doesn’t typically burn as many calories as a cardio workout, it does however allow your body to burn more calories even after the workout has ended! It has been proven that hours after you have completed your weight training session, your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate, than your typical resting metabolic rate. This means that your calorie burn doesn’t stop as soon as you are done working out as it does with cardio.

Benefits Of Weight Training:

  • Weight training builds muscle, muscle burns more calories than other tissue in our bodies, including fat.
  • Increasing your muscle mass will increase your resting metabolism helping you burn more calories throughout the day while you’re not working out.
  • Increasing your muscle helps to improve your metabolism over time
  • Keeps your bones strong and healthy
  • Staves off disease
  • Helps to regulate insulin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves posture
  • Aids in sleep
  • Increases strength and endurance

The continued after-burn of calories after completing a weight training session does depend on the intensity of the workout. The harder you are pushing yourself to lift heavier (never compromising form) the more calories you will continue to burn, before your body returns its normal resting metabolic rate.

Summary: Cardio vs. Weight Training: If you are trying to lose weight or build lean muscle, it is best to train with weights. Weight training will help to improve your metabolism, which will help you maintain your results. If you are only looking to increase your activity level, cardio might be the way to go!

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