Home Q&A Wednesday Q&A Wednesday: Heavy Lifting or Heavy Cardio?

Q&A Wednesday: Heavy Lifting or Heavy Cardio?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

New video, y’all.

What do you think?

Y'all know how I am about my hearts. <3

Y’all know how I am about my hearts. <3

And more importantly, which do you pick? Or, are you one of those girls who refuse to lift, and need an intervention?

What workouts are YOU doing to burn the fat? Speak up!

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Janine April 17, 2013 - 12:14 PM

I like to alternate days of heavy cardio and body-weight exercises with days of lighter cardio and heavier lifting. I’m a little heavier on the cardio side at the moment bc I’m focusing on training for my half marathon in 17 days. (wish me luck!) Once that’s done I hope to be able to get back into lifting more. I miss the burn!

mj April 17, 2013 - 12:32 PM

My biggest concern when I began working out was lifting weights.I remember telling my gym class instructor I dont want to lift weights bc I dont want to bulk up.I now do interval training three times a week.I’m hoping to start running again.

Kiki April 17, 2013 - 1:17 PM

I do crossfit which is a combination of cardio and heavy lifting. I love it am obsessed and it challenges me every day! You see great results too!

mzree April 17, 2013 - 1:26 PM

I actually do more weight lifting a week than I do cardio. However I only do high interval training cardio. So I think it balances itself out. I tone better this way and muscle burns fat and ultimately helps burn calories even after your workout.

Toni April 17, 2013 - 1:29 PM

Thanks for this! I was literally asking myself this question yesterday.

Olivia April 17, 2013 - 2:59 PM

Every body is different but I did an experiment for my own body where one month I focused on cardio for an hour 3-4 times a week and one month I did 30 mins of weights plus 30 mins of cardio about 3-4 times a week. During the month of weights I fell in love with bench presses and I started to develop a lovely muscle in my thighs, lost body fat and I lost an inch off my waist. Doing cardio only I lost a lot more weight (on the scale). I am now trying to really push myself and do an hr cardio 3 days a week and 30 mins weights/cardio combo 2 days a week. That way I will get the best of both worlds.

Katie September 20, 2013 - 8:30 AM

I like your balance Olivia, my routine is similar I have one cardio day a week and one weight lifting day a week and three combo days. My combo days are a bit longer, but I love it!

Marion@AffectionForFitness April 17, 2013 - 3:39 PM

If you look around any gym, the women who are lifting heavy weights (with less cardio) are much trimmer women than those women who are doing many hours of cardio. Those doing endless cardio will lose some weight, but they will still have a lumpy figure. As soon as I got off the treadmill and started heavy weightlifting, my figure changed dramatically.

🙂 Marion@Affection For Fitness

Kris April 17, 2013 - 4:25 PM

I do more body weight workouts and yoga. I have nothing against lifting weights. I do it during my HIIT workouts, but I find it extremely boring. I know weights don’t add bulk, but it’s something I have to force myself to do since it isn’t enjoyable to me.

Annette April 17, 2013 - 5:28 PM

Well I am doing light cardio, with light weights for my arms and back. Due to health conditions I have to take my time to gradually increase the weights.

As I get older the weights are major when it comes to my workouts. I notice my joints don’t like the cardio, I walk a lot and need less strenuous cardo.

Yeah weights are major, what I find is I need a female trainer who knows how to gradually introduce it. Most male trainers do it from a male perspective. So I need a female trainer to gradually teach me how to advance using weights.

Alisa April 17, 2013 - 5:31 PM

I obsessed over cardio and pounds and the scale and lost 50 lbs. Now I’m all about weight training and lifting. I think I’ve lost as much weight as I wanna lose. Now I’m trying to tone and trim inches.

StreetzTalk April 17, 2013 - 7:40 PM

Heavy lifting + H.I.I.T. for me.

Right now im doing a 6 weeks program where i run in the am, Lift in the pm and run after lifting. Only lifting 3-4 times a week total body.

Great info!

Kasey April 17, 2013 - 9:00 PM

I’m more of a cardio girl but it’s more due to the fact for me lifting is sort of boring. I find cardio more fun. I do realize that when I did lifting and yoga more, the muscles on my body changed and gave my a much better shape so much so that while I am not working out as much now do to a very heavy school load, I still retain my shape. So I think the key really is both. The one thing I keep doing is assisted pull ups since that helps with surfing pop ups.

Durkia April 18, 2013 - 1:18 PM

Though i do at least 50 mins of cardio when I go to the gym I will lose myself in lifting weights. I’ll be at the gym 2-21/2 hours because I’m lifting weights. I love lifting since I started and found that I am not losing much weight from doing cardio but losing inches from weight lifting.

Abby April 18, 2013 - 9:23 PM

I have not tried any heavy weight lifting. I like cardio, but have to have some strength training at least two times per week. I lose inches very quickly when I integrate the strength training. I have some step aerobics DVDs that incorporate hand weights with some of the workouts, as well as strength training workouts with weights and a stability ball. Eventually I’d like to join a gym and really learn how to use the free weights and heavy lifting to become more lean.

Emilie June 1, 2013 - 2:26 PM

There is a lot of info out there that support both views on the subject. I think that it is whatever works for the individual person. As long as you exercise. For me, I think that cardio does more for weight loss. I read that a pound of muscle only burns 14 extra calories which is not enough to forgo cardio. I’ve tried HIIT and its a good workout but its so intense that I need a lot of recovery time

Erika Nicole Kendall June 2, 2013 - 3:01 PM

“I read that a pound of muscle only burns 14 extra calories which is not enough to forgo cardio”

This is inaccurate, and it frames my response incorrectly.

A pound of muscle burns 6 calories per hour – regardless of whether or not you are working out – in comparison to a pound of fat only burning 2 calories per hour, whether or not you are working out.

The issue is not “whether you lift or whether you burn cardio, because you burn more doing cardio than you do building muscle;” the issue is “should you lift, because lifting is the more valuable long-term investment (especially if each pound adds an additional 84 calories to your basal metabolic rate PER day), or should you take the short term investment of cardio, because you burn more while you’re in the throes of activity.”

The answer should OBVIOUSLY be both, since you actually CAN DO both. It’s no longer a matter of aerobic vs anaerobic exercise anymore. Trainers have been successfully marrying the two for years now. The rest of us just have to catch up.

christine January 22, 2014 - 9:56 AM

1 hour (5 miles) on the treadmill and 30 minutes of weights..makes me happy (when I’m done)

nevisnice February 19, 2014 - 2:21 PM

I LOVE LOVE LOVE lifting. If you do it right and challenge yourself you will be hooked. Sure cardio burns more calories in general but Lifting gives you that sexy muscle definition that can’t be beat. Plus, there is really no endpoint to lifting like a lot of folks see in cardio. People do cardio then once they hit their weightloss goal they stop. With lifting, you are motivated to maintain that muscle definition so you incorporate it as a permanent lifestyle change. I’ve also noticed that lifting motivates me to really eat clean, as that’s the best way to get results. Not so with cardio because you can basically eat crap and as long as you’re in your calorie range you will lose weight.
Let me tell you I am still 25lbs away from my goal weight and am in no way buff. I have more fat than muscle so this is not a bodybuilder talking, lol. I’m just a big fan of weightlifting and think more women should jump on it for the long-term benefits.

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