Which is better for burning fat: cardio or weights?

Which is better for burning fat cardio or weights

The choice between cardio and bodybuilding is a common doubt and we tend to think that, when it comes to burning calories, aerobic exercises win by a landslide. It is not so clear. These are different types of training and before affirming which burns more calories, cardio or weights, we must delve into the subject.

Which is better for burning fat cardio or weights

If when training one of your priority goals is to eliminate excess body fat, both cardiovascular exercises and those that include the use of weights can help you achieve this. The ideal is to combine and if you also accompany them with a balanced and healthy diet, reaching your goal will be easier. Cardio and weights burn fat, but each in its own way.

As coach David Montero explains, “there is no better exercise, since it will not be exercise that will make us lose fat but rather a combination of the different factors that we have worked on before .” However, “if I had to choose one, without a doubt with strength training, since it will not help to not lose muscle during this definition process,” he points out.

The secret to burning calories with cardiovascular exercises

Running, rope jumping, cycling or doing a cross fit session … These are aerobic exercises that involve burning a large amount of calories immediately and allow you to burn fat in the legs. By putting the different muscle groups in motion, our body uses available glucose and then accumulated fat. This is an undeniable reality, but it must be borne in mind that not everything goes. For cardio to “work,” it requires minimal exercise time and that it be done with workouts that include high intensity intervals (HIIT).

If you consider what is more effective, cardio or weights, when it comes to eliminating fat, remember that for fat burning to start, at least 30 minutes of intense exercise must have elapsed. Do not think that because you sweat you are burning fat, you are only eliminating liquids.

The keys to burning fat doing weights

Another topic when starting to weight is the idea that exercises with weights define muscle but do not help, in themselves, to undo fat accumulations. It is true that working the muscles involves resorting more to glycogen stores than to fats, but it must be taken into account that after weight training, the recovery time is longer and in that time the calorie consumption continues. When you finish training, your metabolic rate remains high for hours, expending reserve “fuel” and therefore burning fat.

The fundamental reason is determined by what is known as the EPOC effect (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). To recover, the muscles require the arrival of extra oxygen and to achieve this, our body expends the necessary calories until they return to their usual state of rest. Do not forget that muscles require maintenance, that is, a caloric expenditure that is detrimental to fat. It is almost a chain: the more muscle mass, the less fat.

What to choose to eliminate fat: cardio or weights?

First of all, you don’t have to choose between doing cardio or weights to burn fat and lose weight. It depends on your physical characteristics and your state of form to give priority to one type of training or another. Cardio is ideal to keep you in shape by eliminating fat quickly, but always taking into account the intensity of that aerobic exercise. We insist, the ideal is to do it with high intensity intervals.

For its part, strength work guarantees energy consumption that goes beyond training. It is based on anaerobic exercises, which first turn to glycogen reserves but which involve a longer recovery period in which our body will continue to burn fat as our muscles require it for optimal recovery.

In short, do not choose, combine cardio and weights to burn fat, take advantage of each type of training and get an enviable physical shape.


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