Exercise Weights or Cardio for Weight Loss?


One of the most common questions I get when it comes to weight loss is, “should I be doing weights or cardio?” At the end of the day, as long as you are moving and burning MORE calories than you consume you are going to benefit. Yes, I know you didn’t come here just to hear me say either one doesn’t matter, so let me list out the benefits of each and give you some added tips and tricks for weight loss.

Weight Resistance Training


Lifting weights, in my opinion, is a more beneficial approach due to its measurability. It’s a lot easier to track your goals and results. You do a 5kg goblet one week, you aim for an 8kg goblet squat next week. When you see progress, you stay motivated!

Sure, you can do this with running or walking, but in order to run/walk a little further, it’s usually going to take you longer to achieve (30 minutes to walk 5km one week, 40 minutes to walk 6km the next week).

You can easily increase the intensity of a weight session by increasing the weight, the type of resistance, time under tension (TUT) or the number of repetitions and it nine times out of ten it won’t impact the length of a session.

Increased Muscle Tone/BMR:

You guessed it, lifting weights (when done correctly with adequate nutrition) is going to increase muscle tone. NO, this is not going to make you “bulky”. Being bulky comes from a “bulky” diet. Like I said though, it does increase muscle tone.

The more muscle tone you have, the higher basal metabolic rate (BMR) you are going to have. BMR is our body’s ability to burn calories (energy) at rest. Therefore, the higher your BMR (muscle tone) is, the more calories you are going to be burning throughout the day! If you are able to burn more calories at rest, it’s going to be easier to burn more calories than you consume.

Cardio Training


Put simply, you can do cardio anywhere, anytime and you don’t need a gym membership. If you are on the more overweight side of the scale and have joint pains or just simply haven’t exercised in a very long time, this is a perfect way to get started.

Moving in any way shape or form is better than sitting on the couch eating a pizza. If you can walk for 5 minutes before needing a break, walk the 5 minutes, sit down on a park bench, get your breath back and then walk back. Each day slowly increase this distance and before you know it, you’re probably ready to join a gym and start increasing your workouts.

My One Tip:

Don’t go to the gym and sit on the treadmill. Make it practical, walk to the dog before and after work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk or ride to the shops instead of driving. Anything that you can do to increase your physical activity is going to help.

This way, when you do go to the gym, you can actually spend the time doing resistance training and increasing your BMR.

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to combine weight resistance and cardio together. It can be one of the best ways to get fit in a short amount of time – not only for looking fit but feeling fit as well if done correctly! They are great workouts for burning calories, toning up and building up your endurance, general strength and speed.

These sessions are a great way to train for those people who are short on time. You can get an effective session done in 10 – 30 minutes depending on the intensity. The beauty of a HIIT session is the amount of energy your body continues to burn after your session. The body goes into an EPOC (excess post-energy oxygen consumption) phase which is essentially the body trying to get the body back to a normal metabolic state.

This EPOC phase can last up to 48 hours post workout, meaning you can get so much more out of your session than a normal cardio session. It’s all about the intensity of the workout and not the duration!

Tips and Tricks for Weight Loss

1. First and foremost, seek guidance from a fitness/health professional if you haven’t exercised before or for a long time. Even if it’s just a consult to work out some realistic goals. (Health First Development offer free, no obligation goal setting consults)

2. SET GOALS. Don’t start without a target in mind. Before you know it, you’ll lose track of why you started, and you’ll be back on the couch.


4. Calorie Deficit. Work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), which is how many calories your body burns each day and go from there.

a. Put simply, if you consume more than you burn, you are going to put on excess weight (fat).

b. Health First Development can help you work this out.

5. Get a workout buddy. Keep each other accountable and it’ll make life a lot easier.

6. Track your progress. Photo’s; results; personal bests (PB’s). Anything to track how far you’ve come is going to keep you pushing towards your goals.

7. Lastly, enjoy your journey! Understand that it’s not going to happen overnight and stay consistent.

Everyone has a bad day, but don’t let one bad day turn into a bad week!

What do you think?