Is Strength Or Cardio Better For Weight Loss?

strength or cardio

Are you a passionate cardio enthusiast who loves nothing more than a killer run integrated with hill climbs? Or perhaps your happy place is in a gym environment completing a tough strength session? When it comes to weight loss, which is best? The answer to ‘Strength’ or ‘Cardio’ isn’t always as cut and dried as you may think. 


When looking at strength and cardio training, it’s easy to hero the numerous benefits of both. Cardio based activities have long been praised for improving our heart health, fitness and sleep, lowering our blood pressure, reducing stress levels and helping us to lose weight. Whereas strength training promotes improvements in your strength, body mechanics and composition, increasing bone density and lean muscle mass – and who doesn’t want awesome looking muscles?!! 

Calorie burn

Cardio and strength training burn calories in different ways. Cardio workouts tend to burn more calories in the workout session itself, as your heart rate becomes elevated for a more consistent period of time. You do tend to burn fewer calories during a strength session itself. BUT, the real benefits lie in that post-workout period. Building muscle requires energy, as it is being broken down, recreated and synthesized. The more muscle you have, the more energy it takes for these processes and the greater the calorie burn will be long AFTER you’ve finished training! How good is that?! 


When it comes to long term health, wellness and weight loss, the solution often lies in assessing yourself regularly and then training in accordance with your goals.

So, when it comes to strength or cardio, the answer is unique to you.

If you have a body type that naturally holds a lot of muscle, then you might want to work on your cardio more. Alternatively, if you are struggling with your strength, then it’s likely you’ll want to prioritise your resistance training sessions. Or, you might be someone who benefits from a balance of both, for variety and to stay motivated. 

But like Mish always says don’t get ‘Paralysis by Analysis!’ 

At the end of the day, BOTH strength and cardio training will burn calories and aid in weight loss. It’s also important to look at how consistent you are with your training and how intensely you choose to train. If you’re in the mood for a tough strength training session, go with that. If you want to switch off your brain and get lost in a long walk or jog, then do that instead. Listening to your body and your mood will dictate how hard you work and how often, and then how much you see the scales drop.

There will always be debate from both sides, but the best approach is to self-assess, do what works best for you (and what you enjoy) and, as Mish would say, “JFDI!”

For more info on strength or cardio training, or to learn about our workout plans that are tailored to your preferences, visit us here.


Dane Pollock, BPED
Dane is an experienced Support Crew member in our Trainer/Fitness team and has always been passionate about helping people to live their healthiest and most rewarding lives. After completing a Bachelor in Physical Education, her initial plan of becoming a PE teacher took a turn as she started teaching Group Fitness at Les Mills and went on to train as a Personal Trainer. Group Fitness then took her travels globally as she worked as a trainer and presenter for Les Mills in Australia, the UK and NZ and as a Group Fitness Manager across various clubs around the world. As an avid runner, Dane loves looking after our 12WBT runners.

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