Cardio vs weight training – weight loss

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There are many gadgets on the market these days that promote weight loss and building muscle, but how many of these gimmicks really work? you only have so much time and money to dish out for product’s that don’t do their job. The most important thing is to know exactly what your body needs to achieve your goals, and then follow through with what it needs and requires.

Todays subject I will be stressing the importance of getting the most out of your training, cardio vs weight training for weight loss, which is better? or are they both equally important? are they dependent on what your goals are? and which should you do more of?

I will be shedding some light on this subject and hopefully you will come away feeling a little more informed. This is generally a pretty straight forward subject, but there are many people that are not so informed on the subject, cardio and weight training, which is better or is it a matter of what your goal is?

Getting the most out of your training

For many people, time can be a big factor when it comes to how well they can follow through with accomplishing their goals, but as a general rule a person doesn’t need to spend hours in the gym weight training and exercising to get in shape, all you really need to spend is 30 minutes a day, three days a week to achieve noticeable results.

A good share of people that are just interested in getting into better shape and lose their love handles claim that they don’t need to spend time weight training because they don’t want to get big and bulky muscles, they are only interested in the cardio aspect of training, but they don’t realize that weight training has it’s important place in seeing the results that they are interested in.

Cardio training increases the heart rate and improves your overall health as well as burning calories at a faster rate than weight training will, but weight training has it’s important role in seeing your goals through. Weight training with lighter weights for higher reps with shorter rest intervals between sets will help to increase your cardio respiratory system, especially after a cardio session which in turn will help you too burn calories at a faster rate.

If you follow a system of lighter weights with higher reps moving quicker between sets with your weight training, you don’t need to worry about building bulky muscles, in order to build bulky muscles, you would need to train with heavier weight for lower reps and eat a large amount of food.

Which is better?

Bicycle on roadside for cardio training.
Biking for cardio.

So when it comes down to which is better, cardio or weight training, have you made the determination for yourself already? Obviously if you are interested in building large muscles it is important for you to incorporate weight training into your schedule, because you naturally are not going to see muscle increase just performing cardio alone.

If you are the type of person that is just interested in losing weight and getting into all around better shape, the type of training  that you will want to do in your training schedule would be cardio. But if you are truly interested in losing that weight and getting into better shape you will want to incorporate weight training in your program as well.

Naturally weight training will build and tone your muscles and will give your muscles an overall firm feeling to them, when you incorporate cardio into your training and follow a healthy diet to lose weight, your weight loss will come much easier if your muscles are firm and toned.

People with more of a muscle percentage throughout their body will tend to lose weight at a higher rate than if their muscles are untrained and they have a lower muscle percentage.

So when it comes to determining which is better, weight training or cardio, both cardio and weight-training have their benefits and it is most beneficial if you incorporate both weight training and cardio into your program. If you are trying to lose weight you will need to use cardio, but weight training will also benefit you and your weight loss.

If your main goal is to build muscle, then naturally you will want to incorporate weight training in your schedule. The type of weight training that you will want to follow would be heavier weights with a moderate rep range of between 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

For the weight trainer, it will be important for them to incorporate cardio in their training program as well because they are following a diet to build muscle and will generally go over the percentage rate for maintaining a body weight. So they will naturally want to eat more food in their diet and will also need to follow a cardio program to keep the extra calories that may turn to fat to a minimum.

One word of caution for the weight trainer is you may want to keep your cardio to a minimum if you are trying to pack on the muscle, because if you perform too much cardio, for example everyday, you may see a tendency of losing too much muscle from performing excessive cardio. A rule of thumb would be to perform cardio no more than 3 times a week and try to keep your cardio sessions to a maximum of 30 minutes.

Are both forms of training, “goal dependent?”

Both forms of training are goal dependent, that is to say that your weight loss goals are dependent on following a cardio training program, just as anyone’s goals to build muscle is dependent on a weight training program.

The ideal approach to obtaining your desired results would be to follow both types of training, one form of training compliments the other, they each work as codependent but at the same time when both types of training are combined is when they work the best or you will receive the best results.

For the weight trainer interested in building large muscles will naturally build large muscles when incorporating weight training alone, but for the best overall appearance in muscle size and definition, this can be achieved through following a lean diet, but work’s best if cardio is included in their program.

Another way too look at this is the weight trainer can build muscle just through a weight training program alone, but if they only lift weights and don’t perform any cardio, they can build their muscles but they will have a soft fatty appearance, possibly a hefty midsection, and they will not be getting the benefit of developing their cardio respiratory system.

Which should you do more of?

In determining which type of training you should do more of, whether it be cardio or weight training, the answer to this question basically relies on what your goals are and the type of physique that you are interested in developing.

If losing weight is at the top of your game plan, naturally you will want to spend the majority of your time on cardio, but it is still necessary to incorporate at least a portion of your training schedule on some form of weight training, simply training with weight machines could be a good fit for your training regimen.

Using weight training in your schedule, even if it is simply with weight machines will help to firm and tone your muscles, and incorporating some form of weight training will also make it easier for you to burn the calories with your cardio program.

If your main objective is to build muscles, then the majority of your training should be with weights, whether it be free weights or weight machines. For building muscle it is still necessary to incorporate cardio, but the cardio should it be kept to a minimum so that you don’t burn too many calories, because excess calories you will need for building muscle, cardio will help to keep your physique more lean.


Cooked Avocados and beans for healthy eating and nutrition for a slim, trim body.
Avocados and beans.

Weather if you are building muscle or losing weight, it is a good idea to get the best of both worlds with your training by including free weight training, training with weight machines and using cardio. Depending on what your goals are, you will need to make the determination as to which type of training that you will need to incorporate the most, and what percentage of your training you are going to use for either type of training.

Another important factor when it comes to losing weight or building muscle is you will need to have a healthy meal plan in sight, such as cooked Avocados and beans, both are excellent sources for healthy nutrition.

If you are interested in supplementation for gaining muscle or for losing weight then click on the link.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the box below.

6 thoughts on “Cardio vs weight training – weight loss”

  1. From your post here, i understand that for me to get any good success working out, i have to know what my goal is. Having understood this discourse, I think cardio will be the right pick for me because i am just looking to lose some weight and get some overall fitness. It sounds to me like weight training are the most vigorous here. Thank you for this. Now i know the difference between the two.

  2. Very very good article here to clarify the difference between these two types of work out routines, their goals and which is actually better. I totally agree with your position here that the work out you choose to do is determined by what exactly one wants from the workout. Personally, i am on a weight training programme where i go i have to take out some tough sessions. This one is sort of hard because i was thinking of setting up a home gym but getting equipments for a weight training will be quite expensive. Nice post here.

  3. You brought up a really good point here. I feel that all of us always fall for this new diet or exercise trend and most of the time, they do not work but we want to believe in it anyways. It is crazy but I can definitely relate to it. Who doesn’t want to do “Insanity” for an hour and eat whatever they want? 

    I love your answer that we should look into our goal on what we want. As for me, I just want to be healthy so I am actually trying to get the best of both worlds. And yes to eating the whole and healthy food 🙂

    • Training comes down to what best fits our own individual needs, you are absolutely right when it comes to trends and how most of them don’t work, it’s determining what our goals are and following through with the work, it’s not for everyone but if someone wants to see results, it’s all worth the effort, thanks.


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