What’s Better for Weight Loss?

One of the questions I am asked most often as a trainer is “what should I do to lose weight, lift weights or cardio?” To answer this I will give you a quick rundown of the benefits of each, their differences, and what is the best style of training for healthy weight loss.

Resistance Training

-Burns moderate calories during workout
-Increases metabolic rate (calories burned) at rest
-Strengthens bones and muscle tissue
-Best option for “shaping” the body
-Improves function in everyday activities
-Helps prevent chronic disease


-Burns high amounts of calories during workout
-Improves cardiac health/performance
-Improves the body’s ability to burn fat
-Best option for losing “scale” weight
-Improves function in everyday activities
-Helps prevent chronic disease

You can see that both help with weight loss while also providing you with varying different health benefits. But which one is going to get you that desired body? Which one will help you lose more weight? Well to answer that lets look at how each kind of training aids in weight loss.

If all you care about is the number on the scale then cardio training is your best friend. If you can commit to multiple days a week of long duration steady pace activity you will burn major calories. Along with that the better you get at cardio makes your body more efficient at burning fat so that you will be more likely to burn fat during workouts and at rest. However when solely doing cardio, especially at the beginning of a new training regimen when your utilization of fat is not very good your body tends to burn a lot of muscle with it. This means that the weight you can see being lost on the scale may not all be bad or unwanted weight. So how do you stop yourself from losing the good weight? This is where the importance of Resistance training comes into play.

Lifting weights challenges your muscles and when this happens your body decides it needs to retain that muscle or even build more. This desire to build will help prevent your body from losing muscle during cardio and will promote a higher rate of fat burning in your workouts. Now, if you’re someone who is afraid of lifting weights because you don’t want to be “bulky” fear not, muscle growth doesn’t always happen through size, in a lot of cases it simply means your muscles get denser. This will help give you a nice lean look as you lose fat but not build any unwanted bulk.

What I hope you have learned by reading this is that both kinds of training alone are great and will be a tool for you to reach your goals but if you want the best results then incorporate both kinds of training.

-Kyle Miller

April 24, 2019
  • Kyle Miller
  • Personal Trainer