Cardio or Weights – All Calorie Burn is Not the Same

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For many women, weight loss and body composition are critical components of their body transformation. Especially for those looking to achieve a body transformation over 40, weight is often a primary objective. In addition to a nutrition plan for body transformation, you’ll want to incorporate exercise as well. And that leads to a fitness question as old as time: cardio or weights?

Understandably, you want to get the most punch for your time and choose high-calorie workouts, but not all calorie burn is the same.

Here’s what you need to know about cardio vs weights for calorie burn during your women’s fitness body transformation.

How do we burn calories during a workout?


Before getting into the nitty-gritty of cardio vs weights, it’s important to understand how we burn active calories during a workout. Of course, you burn calories at all times. Calories are the energy we use to perform any and every aspect of living including bodily functions like breathing and keeping our hearts beating.

But during workouts, we burn a lot more calories than we would while at rest. This is because we consume more oxygen when we exercise. Our muscles need oxygen to keep working, so they use it up. Consuming this oxygen burns calories. Additionally, your body will use up muscle glycogen and triphosphate for fuel, and your temperature will rise. Using up those quick-acting carbs and ATP burns calories.

Factors of a Workout That Determine Calorie Burn


Workouts and exercise burn calories, but they do not all burn the same amount of calories. Each unique workout and type of fitness will burn different amounts of calories. Here are the primary factors that determine the calories burned in a workout:

What is Cardio?

what is cardio

It’s almost time to assess calorie burn for cardio vs weights, but first, we have to define these types of exercise.

Cardio exercise is aerobic or endurance exercise. Cardio is any type of activity that raises your heart rate and breathing rate and improves the function of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Typically, cardio training involves large muscle groups in the legs and trunk to create a high enough oxygen demand to tax your cardiovascular system. This means that your heart rate will increase and you breathe more deeply to use the oxygen in your blood.

Cardio training is more about how you do an activity rather than what you do.

Despite popular belief, cardio is not just long runs or bikes, it can also include:

Benefits of Cardio Training

Cardio training is great for your overall health and will be an important part of your body transformation. Some of the key benefits of cardio training include:

What is Weight Training?

Cardio sounds great! But what about weight training? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness program.” Unfortunately, lean muscle mass diminishes with age. If you do not replace the lean muscle mass, you’ll end up with a higher percentage of fat in your body. Strength training is the key to preserving and enhancing muscle mass as you age.

Strength training is a specific type of training aimed at building muscle mass, and it’s a type of weight training. Weight training programs involve lifting weights and performing weight resistance exercises, generally 2-3 times a week. Ideally, you should exercise every muscle group at least twice a week.

Benefits of Weight Training

Whether you use free weights, resistance bands, weight machines, dumbbells, or barbells, strength training is important for overall health and fitness. The top benefits of strength training include:

Does Cardio or Weight Training Burn More Calories Per Session?

There has been a wealth of research on how many calories people burn during different types of activities. The myths are true, cardio tends to burn more calories during a session. In general, cardio raises your heart rate for a longer period, burning more calories in the session.

Calories and Different Types of Cardio

Remember, cardio does NOT only mean running or long-distance! There are many types of cardio with different effects. Steady-state cardio, which is moving at a steady pace for a longer time, will burn fat but fewer calories than a HIIT session.

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a form of cardio that involves short bursts of high-intensity effort with rest in between. One popular version of HIIT is known as Tabata, and it alternates 20 seconds of all-out exercise with 10-second breaks for eight rounds. Often, HIIT cardio will burn more calories in a shorter time than steady-state cardio.

Burn More Calories Everyday with Weight Training


If weight loss is the goal then cardio is the way to go, right? Well, not exactly. Looking at what you burn in the workout is only part of the equation.

While a weight-training session won’t burn the same amount of calories per workout as cardio, it has other key benefits for weight loss. Weight training is effective for building more muscle. Muscle impacts metabolism! So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest, and the easier it will be to burn fat.

Building muscle is crucial for increasing your resting metabolism, which means with more muscle, you’ll burn more calories at rest.

Additionally, weight training is known for having a greater after-burn effect than cardio. For any type of workout, your extra calorie-burning doesn’t end when you leave the gym. On the contrary, your caloric burn remains elevated for hours after the workout. The resting metabolism for weight training tends to stay elevated longer than the increase after cardio. So, some of the weight-burning benefits of weight training happen after your workout.

Cardio & Weight Training, Not Cardio vs Weight Training

cardio weight training

As you navigate your women’s body transformation training, the answer is multiple types of exercise. Cardio and weight training are both great for weight loss in different ways. While cardio typically burns more calories per session, weight training helps to improve your metabolism and may result in more after-burn following a workout.

Cardio is great for burning a lot of calories and shedding fat. Weight training does not have the same fat-shedding effects, but it does change your body composition in other ways! You’ll be able to preserve your muscle mass which will lead to a decrease in fat and an overall healthier composition.

For improving your body composition, appearance, and functionality, a combination of weight training and cardio is the best. It’s not about cardio vs weights. Each modality brings its benefits to your body transformation journey and will help you burn more calories differently.

Body Transformation Program


An effective body transformation program will include all aspects of health, and it will combine cardio and weight training. No matter where you are in your body transformation journey, Joseph Ownior can help you look and feel your best.

Join our clients and achieve higher self-esteem, massive increases in energy and inner vitality, and a significant reduction in abdominal fat. With our body transformation programs, you can fully become the Superwoman you really are.

We will empower you to get the body transformation results you deserve and to live your best life. You won’t have to worry about finding the perfect combination of weight and cardio because we’ve already laid out the proven system for you. Try the JOC method for yourself and feel like a real-life Superwoman! Find out more about our body transformation programs and get started today HERE.

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