Weight Training For Exercise

Is weight training for exercise and weight loss the best for us or does cardiovascular still beat it ?

Well, many moons ago in the world of fitness, you’d ask a fitness pro how to lose weight and they’d give you their standard four word reply of ‘get on a treadmill’ – Yeah thanks for that !

Long and slow cardiovascular work such as walking, cycling, rowing, running … In fact any exercise that pushed your stamina over a longer period rather than your strength over a short amount of time, has always been considered the way to go for those wanting to lose weight

Go back to that same fitness pro today and you may get a bit of a difference answer…

Resistance training, weightlifting, weight training or whatever you want to call it doesn’t happen to be more effective with weight loss than doing any cardio work, however there are still many plus points which can aid towards weight loss, such as building muscle mass, which helps to speed up your metabolic rate.

Of course there are lots of variables as to what’s right and wrong … My thought process, is that if it makes you feel good about yourself – Does it really matter too much ?

My personal opinion and one that helps you look after your heart, is to do a mix of the two if you can, yes why not do both cardio and resistance training if you can manage to squeeze them in to our busy lifestyles !

We all need switch off time and if that switch off time is something that helps us feel great, then, as Nike would say – Just DO IT !

There are pluses and negatives of both Cardio and Weight Training, so let’s take a look at those and you can make an informed decision for yourself 🙂

Heck, it’s not down to me to tell you what to do  it will always be down to an individuals choice to do what’s right for them …



  • It’s very high calorie burn during session (which tails off shortly after)
  • Easy to do and often with no special training required and lots of choice of activity (running, walking, cycling, rowing etc)
  • Excellent low intensity and great options for fat loss i.e walking
  • Little rest needed in comparison to weight training


  • Most people will use running as their default cardio, over running is a common problem, resulting in higher chance of injuries and strains
  • Can be difficult for very unfit people to get into, excepting at very low intensity
  • If you have high cortisol levels, which is a sign of tiredness and/or stress, then moderate to intense cardio is not ideal for hormone balance
  • A balanced physique through cardio alone is pretty difficult to achieve

Weight Training


  • It will increase your muscle mass quickly
  • It causes a spike in your metabolism meaning you’ll burn calories long after you’ve finished exercising (known as afterburn)
  • Easy to pick up, even for beginners with the right training.
  • You can grow muscle and loss fat at the same time.


  • Longer recovery time
  • Less calories burned as compared to cardio (minute by minute, not over time)
  • Bad technique could lead to poor results or even injury.
  • Makes you hungrier, so you need to keep an eye on your diet too, to succeed with weight training

So as you see, both have their pluses and downsides and you can decide to do one over the other, or a mix of the two, as I highly recommend.

What is Afterburn ?

afterburnBasically afterburn is the calories which are still burnt after your workout is complete.

After a weight training workout, metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours afterwards. So rather than burning 60 calories an hour while sitting down and chilling, you’re burning 70.

Those extra 10 extra calories may not seem a huge amount, however if you times that by the 36 hours afterburn time, that’s 360 extra calories burned over the day and a half you completed your workout.

Figure out how many workouts you could do in one month and you’ll soon start to see that weight training on a regular basis, really starts to help burn those calories, and therefore your ability to burn fat !

Depending upon the intensity of cardio training in comparison and you may burn an extra 40-80 calories straight after an intense cardio session.

Generally speaking though, you’d have to do a high amount of aerobic / cardio exercise for a long time to generate a huge afterburn. For those who are capable of this in the first place, also don’t need to be concerned with weight loss, so it’s a catch-22 !

So choose your exercise path, based on your goals !

Taking the exercise itself into account

Weight Training For Exercise Conclusion

It all comes down to the intensity of your exercise regime, at the end of the day.

Doing cardio for long sessions and at high intensity at a time, will burn around 500-800 calories, which certainly helps with any weight loss goals.

To lose one pound of lard, sorry fat – You need to burn 3500 calories, so if you do enough long cardio sessions, the weight will come off, but bear in mind that you’ll have to do these long cardio sessions all the time, to continue to lose weight and you could easily become bored.

Weight training on the other hand, does not burn as many calories (minute by minute) during a workout session (unless you are going super-intense), but the overall calorie afterburn effect from weight training, typically outweighs any long cardio session.

As we all know, any exercise is better than no exercise at all, so whatever you decide to try your hand at, whether it’s cardio, weight training or some other form of exercise, the main thing is to enjoy it, have fun, take it at a pace you’re comfortable at until you increase your fitness levels and basically make that change towards a healthier lifestyle – Good luck in your journey and I wish you loads of success.

Got any comments about this article, I’d love to hear … Please leave me a message in the comments box below 🙂

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