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Cardio or Weights: What's Better for Burning Fat and Losing Weight?


Cardio or weights? This is the main question we will examine in this article. There is a good deal of conflicting information out there in terms of which training method is best for burning fat. Some people swear by the treadmill while others go straight for the dumbbell. Is one superior to the other?

Cardio Benefits

The benefits of cardiovascular training are numerous and have a direct impact on your overall health (both inside and out). The main benefit to doing cardio is that it helps you to develop a stronger heart. As you complete more training sessions your heart becomes more conditioned, and your resting heart rate begins to decrease. Your heart becomes stronger and does not have to work as hard to pump blood through your body. Increased cardiovascular function leads to increased overall health due to more efficient transport of nutrients and elimination of waste products from the bloodstream.

In terms of weight loss, cardio's main benefit is that it does burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. This is especially true if you are following an HIIT routine. In addition to the direct burning of excess fat stores, cardio also helps to temporarily raise your resting metabolic rate. This means you will continue burning calories at a higher level even after the training is complete. Obviously this is a great advantage to those looking to drop some pounds.

Weight Training Benefits

Weight training is generally the less popular choice for fat loss, but that doesn't mean it isn't effective. Many people simply associate weights with bulking up, and cardio with slimming down. The truth is that weight training can also play a valuable role in the fat burning process. Most directly, the act of actually lifting weights will burn a tremendous amount of calories, even moreso if you are following a high-intensity cutting routine.

Obviously lifting heavy weights will burn calories, but the benefits do not stop there. Training with weights while following a decent high-protein diet will ultimately lead to gains in muscle mass. This is a big help since increases in lean body mass will raise your resting metabolic rate. Unlike with cardio, the effect will last for as long as the lean mass exists. Your muscles require energy, and with more muscle your body will naturally burn more calories.

Cardio vs Weight Training

Now that we've examined each training method, how do we decide which one to follow? Both types of training seem to have their benefits, but the choice may ultimately depend on individual circumstances. Body type and general level of physical fitness are good starting points for deciding on a destination. If you're naturally strong with thick joints, and generally have a decent amount of muscle then you will probably want to incorporate more cardio into the routine. Those who are more of the weak and "skinny-fat" type will probably do best with a combination of both cardio and weights. A heavier emphasis would be placed on weight-training in the beginning, and the level of cardio would be increased as general physical strength and fitness improves.


Cardio and weight training each have their own advantages for those who want to lose weight. For most individuals a combination of the two is likely to yield the best overall results. Maximizing fat loss is easier when the body has all the vitamins it needs, so be sure to include a natural multivitamin. Accelerate the process with yohimbine, and always include a BCAA supplement to support lean mass retention while losing weight.

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