Cardio Or Weights For Fat Loss?

Akash Sehrawat

3 min read | Dec 30, 2018



Mimicking The Activity Of Hunter/Gatherers


There is a growing body of research that suggests you can get fit in relatively little time. With the recent mega-success of Paleo diets, which mimic the diets of ancient hunter-gatherers, researchers are turning to a similar concept in fitness and suggesting a fitness routine akin to the physical activity our ancestors engaged in.


Our genes were built millions of years ago. Suppose you think about the lifestyle back then. In that case, you’ll see that our ancestors were either doing short bursts of high-intensity activities (like saving themselves from wild animals or even hunting them) or low-intensity activities for a long period, like walking to find shelter or something like that.


What does this imply?


Steady-State Cardio, especially on a cardio machine for hours and hours, is unnatural. That’s not how we were genetically evolved.




Cardio Vs. Weight Training- What Science Has To Say?


1) When It Comes To Fat Loss, The Most Important Factor Is How Many Calories You Burn


TDEE– The number of calories required to maintain your weight. It’s a sum of BMR + Activity Level. For most people, BMR is 60–80% of TDEE.


Simply stating that if you have a high BMR (higher resting metabolic rate), you will have no issues losing weight. Now studies have shown that if you work out at high intensity, like when you do weight, there is oxygen debt is created, which needs to be repaid later.


This is also termed EPOC- (energy post oxygen consumption). Higher the intensity of your workout, the higher the EPOC. This study shows that your metabolism can stay elevated for 16 hours after a weight session. 1 Weight training increases your metabolism even after workouts, whereas cardio training does not.


Winner- Weight Training


2) Body Shaping


Go to any gym and see people pounding away on cardio machines. How do they look? In shape, out of the body? Now, see the weights section. I am sure you’ll agree that weight training shapes your body better than cardio. In fact, I used to say this to my clients (to put it in a crude way):


If you are apple-shaped, with cardio, you’ll become a small apple.


Winner- Weight Training


3) Building Muscle


Winner- Weight Training


Related Article: Top 4 Benefits Of Building Muscle That Probably You Don’t Know About


4) Strength & Function


Squats and deadlifts are functional movements that mimic nature. So why do you think a child can do a full squat? No doubt, when people focus on only doing machines and mainly isolated lifts in just a single plan of motion, it can cause muscle imbalances, too and potentially lead to injury.


But when one does weight training with free weights doing mainly compound movements, he can grow strong and functional. This builds real lift strength as well.


Winner: Weight Training


5) Maximal Fat Loss


Based on most studies I went through, the conclusion is equally balanced. No one is a winner here. However, when you read what benefits can accrue to you when you include weight training in your fitness regime, amazing things start to happen.




I highly urge you to start weightlifting in combination with your cardio training. However, in my experience, you can also try HIIT and completely replace it with steady-state cardio.


Because in the long run, if you think about it, maximal weight loss is not your goal; your goal is to look good. And the way you look good is by building muscles, lean muscle that not only makes you sexier but also stronger and more functional.

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About Akash Sehrawat

Akash is a creator of 25+ programs and certificate courses in which more than 200,000 students have enrolled both on Udemy and Fabulous Body's native platform. Akash is also an author of three books that can be found on Amazon. His answers on Quora have gathered more than 12 million views in less than a year.


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