Cardio Or Weights For Weight Loss?

Which is better for weight loss, cardio or weight training?

This is one of the most-debated questions in fitness.

If you google this question, you will find opinions on both ends of the spectrum. So lets be done with “opinions” and dig a little deeper into the science:

First things first — If you want to lose weight, it starts with smart nutrition. That needs to be your foundation, exercise is secondary. So if you’re having trouble losing weight and your nutrition isn’t up to snuff, stop reading right now and contact me so you and I can talk about improving your eating.

If your nutrition is already good, let’s move on to exercise. Researchers from Wake Forest University recently published a study with some interesting findings:

The research team studied a group of adults who were trying to lose weight.

They split the group in 3 categories:

  • Diet + Weight Training
  • Diet + Cardio
  • Diet Only

All 3 groups lost weight. But both of the groups who added an exercise component lost significantly more weight.

So who won then?

Should you do Cardio or Weights for weight loss?

The weight training group lost more weight, but only by a small margin.

BUT WAIT, the story doesn’t stop there:

The researchers took it a step further and examined what TYPE of weight was lost.

They broke down how much of the weight lost was muscle versus how much was fat.

This is really important, because when you say you want to “lose weight”, what you really mean is you want to “lose fat,” right?

The group performing only cardio exercise did lose weight — But a significant amount of that lost weight was LEAN MUSCLE.

The weight training group lost very little muscle, if any.

Why is that important?

  1. Muscle is what burns fat, so if you lose muscle you are losing your “fat burning engine.”
  2. Loss of muscle has a negative effect on your physical abilities, your energy, and your risk of injury.

In other words, if you are losing muscle, it has a profound effect on your QUALITY OF LIFE.

I can’t argue that getting people down to a “healthy weight” is important, but what kind of weight you lose is very important.

Strong is healthy!

Your friend and Coach,
Dan DeFigio

P.S.- If you have never lifted weights before, or if it’s been awhile (or even worse, if you’ve been injured doing it in the past), DON’T WORRY. Our personal trainers are some of the best in the industry. We’ll make sure you are using proper technique and progressing the right way. Contact us if you want to talk about options.