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Should You Do Cardio Or Strength Training To Lose Weight?

Do you want to know whether cardio or strength training is best for weight loss? Most people think it is cardio but you will be surprised after reading this post.

One thing is for sure. You do not need to spend countless hours on the treadmill to lose weight.

You may just require about 1 to 2 hours of cardio every week to get the maximum benefit out of it and lose weight.

How is it possible you may think? Let’s check out the facts that will help you understand more about this.

What weight loss should actually mean to you

Most people say that they want to lose weight but they might actually mean they want to lose fat and retain muscle.

There is a big difference in losing weight and losing fat.

You can just lose weight if you wish but there is a high chance that you will end up looking skinny fat.

Many people don’t know how to go about losing weight.

Their exercise and diet regime is so bad that they drastically reduce their calorie intake and add a lot of cardio exercises.

This will end up making them lose a lot of fat and muscle and make them end up skinny fat.

Instead, someone who is looking to lose weight should focus on losing body fat and maintaining or gaining muscle.

This is known as body recomposition and will help them look and feel much better.

Why regular cardio may not be the best way to lose weight

When it comes to weight loss, many people think that the best exercise to perform is some sort of cardio.

So you will see a lot of people jogging, running, swimming, cycling, etc. in an attempt to lose weight.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that such form of cardio is not the best for weight loss.

This is because the number of calories that you burn doing cardio is a bit overrated.

For example, an average male might burn about 400 calories by running for about 30 minutes. Those are not many calories and you could easily eat those calories by having some ice cream and a bar of chocolate.

So, cardio can help you burn off some calories but you should be focussing more on losing fat rather than burning calories because it is quite easy to overeat your calories even if you are burning a lot of them.

Another reason why you may not lose weight is if you keep doing lots of cardio for a long period of time such as many months.

The body then adapts to the exercise and burns less energy during such exercise. So, even though you are eating relatively fewer calories, yet your metabolic rate has slowed down without you being aware of it.

So, indirectly you are eating more calories than what your body is burning and this will stall your weight loss progress.

Most people try to get through this by increasing the amount of cardio. But while this may help to lose some more weight it will come at the cost of losing muscle.

So, the less cardio that you can do when you are trying to lose weight, the better it is.

What type of cardio you should use to lose weight

The cardio that you can use for weight loss should be such that you spend minimal efforts while burning the maximal amount of energy.

One type of cardio that is perfect for this is known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT.

High-intensity interval training means that you alternate between periods of high and low intensity during the workout.

This could include any exercise like cycling, running, swimming, etc.

The idea is that you perform an intense bout of the exercise for some time and then lower the intensity to allow your body to recover for another session of high intensity.

To learn more about high-intensity interval training and how it can help your weight loss, click here.

How strength training can help you lose weight

Strength training is poor when it comes to losing weight.

However, when it comes to losing fat and building or maintaining muscle, strength training is excellent.

The best type of strength training is one that will help you build or preserve muscle while burning lots of calories.

And such strength training involves using heavy, compound movements.

This is because heavy, compound movements are known to increase the metabolic rate of the body not just during the workout but for days even after the workout.

In addition, heavy, compound movements are the best to build overall muscle in the body because they target several muscle groups at one time for optimal muscle growth.

Heavy, compound movements are exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, barbell rows, etc.

Click here to know more about some of the good workout programs that focus on using such heavy, compound movements.


I hope this post has helped you learn how cardio and strength training can impact your goals when it comes to weight loss.

To summarize, your focus should be on strength training to be able to build muscle and lose fat. In addition, you can choose to do some amount of cardio like high-intensity interval training to get a boost in burning some more calories.

This is the optimal way to build muscle and lose fat and avoid ending up in a skinny fat state.

If you have any questions about cardio, strength training, or building muscle and losing fat, please comment below.

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