Weight Loss
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BURN FAT: Weights vs. Cardio


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Which burns fat quicker? Lifting weights or cardio?

I want to burn fat and tone up at the same time and I can't stand running so I usually walk at a pace of 4.0 uphill on and off for 30 minutes. I LOVE lifting weights so I'm wondering if this is a good plan for me. I've found that 30 minutes of the walking burns around 280 calories and I do that 3 times per week. I lift until failure 5 days per week.

Is this a good plan for me?

 

FYI: I'm 22yrs old/5'8''/173lbs wanting to lose 35lbs

19 Replies (last)

If you take in fewer calories than you use up you'll burn fat in order to make up the shortfall.   Anything you do to increase the calories you use up is helping you burn fat....  What's particularly important is that you enjoy the exercise/activity you choose because then you'll be motivated to do it regularly, not simply as a weight-loss tool.  However, try to ring the changes.... if you don't like running there are lots of alternative ways to fit extra activity into your regular day.  Try as many as possible.

Calorie for calorie, weight lifting burns more fat than aerobics.

Original Post by gi-jane:

If you take in fewer calories than you use up you'll burn fat in order to make up the shortfall.   Anything you do to increase the calories you use up is helping you burn fat....  What's particularly important is that you enjoy the exercise/activity you choose because then you'll be motivated to do it regularly, not simply as a weight-loss tool.  However, try to ring the changes.... if you don't like running there are lots of alternative ways to fit extra activity into your regular day.  Try as many as possible.

 Thanks Jane! I don't mind power-walking or using an elliptical or biking, so I think I'll stick to them. :)

Original Post by floggingsully:

Calorie for calorie, weight lifting burns more fat than aerobics.

 I've noticed that weight lifting for an hour burns twice the amount of calories than power-walking for an hour... which is fine by me because I'd rather lift.

Thanks!

My trainer says to do 30 min of weights FIRST and then 30 min of cardio. Doing that will increase your metabolism, and having more muscle burns more fat for the following two days after your workout. 

I was just told this yesterday, so I don't have any proven results yet ;)

Original Post by jessuschrist:

My trainer says to do 30 min of weights FIRST and then 30 min of cardio. Doing that will increase your metabolism, and having more muscle burns more fat for the following two days after your workout. 

I was just told this yesterday, so I don't have any proven results yet ;)

 Thank You! I've been doing my cardio in the mornings though, and then lifting at night... which has been working for me. I just wanted to see WHICH I should do more of if I want to get lean, toned, healthy and lose fat.

you should always warm up your muscles with light/moderate cardio first before weight training anyways (about 10 mins or so)

then do your weight lifting, and then finish with cardio for about 30mins. done.

Wow you must be diong some crazy lifting to burn twice as many calories as power walking for an hour... My Bodybugg says I burn about 4.2 calories a minute lifting (and I mean lifting as heavy as I can, none of the pink weights Kiss) and 8.5 calories a minute power-walking.  It's totally the other way around for me I guess.  How are you measuring your calories burned?

Original Post by ash3141:

Wow you must be diong some crazy lifting to burn twice as many calories as power walking for an hour... My Bodybugg says I burn about 4.2 calories a minute lifting (and I mean lifting as heavy as I can, none of the pink weights Kiss) and 8.5 calories a minute power-walking.  It's totally the other way around for me I guess.  How are you measuring your calories burned?

 I'm sorry. My mistake, I was looking at my half hour of cardio to my hour of weights. I lift for about an hour (because I love it so much) and only do 30 minutes of cardio. And I lift 5 days a week and only do my cardio 3 days.

And yes, I lift like "crazy". I lift heavy and until complete failure.

Here's a good article discussing the most to least effective methods of fat loss (with references).

Hiearchy of fat loss

You'll find the author ranks metabolic resistance training & HIIT most effective (1 & 2) and steady state cardio (high & low intensity) as least effective (4 & 5).  Focus on 1 & 2 and add more if time permits.

Other links in my post here:

http://caloriecount.about.com/fat-loss-weight -gain-ft134379#6

As for a warm-up.  There's no reason you can't do some body weight exercises or light barbell / dumbell complexes. 

I have to agree with GI Jane on this one.  For every article you can find adamantly declaring weight training is more effective, you can find one declaring cardio better.  In the end it does not matter which is "more effective" if you won't do it. 

You're right, doing something is better than nothing, but the OP (h8sfat) isn't some lump on the couch and she says she loves lifting weights.  That article is pointing out that she can get the results she wants through proper nutrition (big one) lifting and HIIT and skip the steady state cardio.  Not to mention that at least the author (Cosgrove) cites some scientific studies to back up his experiences. 

The data's in.  Resistance training beats steady state cardio.  If you read the article, he's not saying you shouldn't do cardio.  Just that if you're going to prioritize for time, it's not as effective.  Of course, we're not talking about the guys in the gym doing a set of curls and resting for 3 minutes between sets while they chat on their cell phone.  We're talking about "full body training in a superset, tri-set, or circuit format"

I quote:

"If you have just 3 hours per week, use only #1 above: Metabolic Resistance Training."

"If you have 3-5 hours, use #1 and # 2: Weight Training plus HIIT work."

"If you have 5-6 hours available, add #3: Aerobic Interval Training."

"If you have 6-8 hours available, add #4." (Steady State High Intensity Aerobic Training)

"If you have even more time than that, add # 5." (Steady State Low Intensity Aerobic Training)

I'm not an expert so I'm not going to say cardio vs. weight lifting is better, but I think combo of both is perfect.  Have you ever done the group classes?  If you haven't I would give them a try, spin class is my favorite and is one class that will kick your butt and burn tons of calories.  What everyone else says about warming up with cardio 5-10 min, then weights, then cardio is what my personal trainer says too.

Original Post by ds1973:

Here's a good article discussing the most to least effective methods of fat loss (with references).

Hiearchy of fat loss

You'll find the author ranks metabolic resistance training & HIIT most effective (1 & 2) and steady state cardio (high & low intensity) as least effective (4 & 5).  Focus on 1 & 2 and add more if time permits.

Other links in my post here:

http://caloriecount.about.com/fat-loss-weight -gain-ft134379#6

As for a warm-up.  There's no reason you can't do some body weight exercises or light barbell / dumbell complexes. 

Great article.  Lifting will get your metabolism up during the day ... muscle burns more calories throughout the day.  Building muscle will burn calories all day, cardio just burns calories while you're doing it.

Fat burn is different than calorie burn. Cardio burns more calories - meaning you can eat more on that given day and still lose weight. Weights burn more fat, increase your metabolism, and help you "tone" (lose fat, gain muscle, not bulk up)

Original Post by madamq:

I have to agree with GI Jane on this one.  For every article you can find adamantly declaring weight training is more effective, you can find one declaring cardio better.  In the end it does not matter which is "more effective" if you won't do it. 

 I understand that results differ as well as the opinions... but I don't really know what point you're trying to make by saying "it does not matter which is 'more effective' if you won't do it". I never said I wasn't going to do one or the other... I do both. I wanted to know what these varying facts stated on the matter itself.

Original Post by ds1973:

You're right, doing something is better than nothing, but the OP (h8sfat) isn't some lump on the couch and she says she loves lifting weights.  That article is pointing out that she can get the results she wants through proper nutrition (big one) lifting and HIIT and skip the steady state cardio.  Not to mention that at least the author (Cosgrove) cites some scientific studies to back up his experiences. 

 Thanks ds... this is exactly what I mean...

Original Post by heathercheri:

I'm not an expert so I'm not going to say cardio vs. weight lifting is better, but I think combo of both is perfect.  Have you ever done the group classes?  If you haven't I would give them a try, spin class is my favorite and is one class that will kick your butt and burn tons of calories.  What everyone else says about warming up with cardio 5-10 min, then weights, then cardio is what my personal trainer says too.

 Thanks Heather. I wish I could join a spin class again! In college, I took one as my "gym" elective. I loved it and lost about 10lbs over one semester. But, unfortuntly, the gym I workout in is simply one room of the marina in the private neighborhood I live in and they don't have personal trainers, classes, etc. If I wanted to join a gym that had classes such as spinning, I'd have to drive an hour away and pay about $75 a month... which isn't really an option for me. I think I'll try what you said... 5 minute warm up, lift and finish with cardio. Thanks!

Since you love to lift you should try circuit training. When I was working with a personal trainer she would have me do 5 minutes on any cardio machine and max out for the whole 5 minutes then go do two types of weights. Then go back to the cardio and back to weights. The cardio boost your heart rate so that you are actually burning more calories while lifting.

It did seem to work really well for me.

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