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What is Better for Weight Loss – Cardio or Weights?

by: Stefan Simonovic

Source: [Flickr]

Losing weight is no joking matter that’s for sure. Whether you want to get that beach body ready before summer hits or you’re thinking about joining a cougar dating site, but you want to shed a couple of pounds to have that perfect profile picture, you need to hit the gym first.

Then comes the age-old dilemma: cardio exercises or weight lifting? Both have their benefits regarding staying fit and healthy, but when it comes to weight loss, the opinions are mixed. That’s why today we wanted to discuss which one of these two types of exercising is better for losing weight.

Case 1: Cardio

Cardio exercises have been present in the gym society for as long as anyone can remember – and for a good reason. There’s a lot of variety in this type of workout, which means it can be refitted and repurposed to match anyone’s needs and preferences.

Regarding weight loss, which is our primary topic here, cardio workouts have been the go-to exercise plan for most people who want to drop a few pounds. It all starts with breaking that first sweat on the treadmill, but for the most persistent, it can lead to a plethora of great things.

What’s so great about cardio is that it directly causes weight loss. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that the more you run on the treadmill, ride the stationary bike and do aerobic exercises, the more fat you’re going to burn.

Furthermore, this type of exercise increases one’s stamina while decreasing the muscle recovery period, which ultimately means that your endurance and readiness will increase over time as you continuously do cardio.

Case 2: Weights

When someone mentions the gym, the first thing that pops into most people’s minds is “pumping iron,” as the greatest bodybuilder of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, would say. This is because weightlifting is mostly limited to the gym, while cardio exercising can be done pretty much wherever you want.

Still, lifting weights is by no means useless regarding weight loss. While cardio directly affects how we burn our calories and focuses on making us weigh less, weightlifting turns those same calories to good use and transforms them into pure, unbridled muscle.

Lifting those weights can do wonders for your muscles (obviously), but also for your posture, core strength and more. If you’re looking to lose fat while also gaining power and good looks, then lifting weights is for you.


It’s pretty clear by now that cardio is the better choice if dropping pounds is your only goal. Lifting weights does the same thing with the added increase in muscle mass and strength but at a much slower pace. The perfect approach to these two types of exercising would be to do only cardio until you lose enough weight and then to mix it with weight lifting to boost your endurance as well as your strength and physical appearance.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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