Weight Training vs Cardio Exercise

Over the years, weight training, also called resistance training, has taken the spotlight away from cardiovascular exercise.

This is because weight training is the best form of exercise to lose body fat, and spare your lean muscle mass.

Weight training builds lean muscle mass, and the more muscle mass that you have, the higher your metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you are always burning.



Weight Training is an anaerobic exercise, meaning without oxygen.

Training with weights puts your body under stress, and as a survival mechanism, your body will adapt to that stress to make you stronger. Over time, your body will gain more and more lean muscle mass as a result of that weight training.


Weight Training & Metabolism

Resistance weight training builds more lean muscle tissue, which results in a higher metabolism for 24 hours a day. Here’s how it does it.

Firstly, while you are doing the resistance weight training, your body is doing work and tearing down your lean muscle tissue, which raises your heart rate and your metabolism. (Believe me, when you train with the right amount of weight, and take 30 seconds to 1-minute rests in between each set, you will definitely feel your heart rate).

Secondly, after weight training, which tore down your muscle fibers, your body rebuilds those muscles on your non-training days and at rest. And while your body is repairing those muscles, your body is working harder, which raises your resting metabolic rate.

Thirdly, after your muscle tissue has repaired and rebuilt itself, you now have even more lean muscle tissue. And we know that muscles are metabolically active, meaning they generate more body heat and burn more calories all of the time.

Weight Training Goal/Maximize Your Time & Metabolism

The goal is to knock out your weight training sessions, in 2– 3 short hours a week, to build more muscles, so that your muscles will work at a high metabolic rate for 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Sounds like a good exchange to me.



Cardiovascular exercise is endurance training like long distance running, bicycling, swimming etc. It is an aerobic exercise, meaning with oxygen.


Cardio & Metabolism

Cardiovascular exercise burns calories mainly just while you are exercising.
Most people think that they are burning more body fat while doing a cardiovascular exercise. But this is not true.

While they are enduring that cardiovascular exercise, yes, they are burning more calories than they would be if they were doing nothing at all. But their body is burning lean muscle tissue for fuel, not body fat.

This is another bodily survival mechanism. When your body is under stress, it actually preserves your body fat for the very last fuel supply, because remember, your body knows that when body fat is gone, you are gone.

These are your body’s endurance fuel sources:
Glycogen 1st, lean muscle tissue 2nd, then body fat 3rd.

So, for example, while you are running a mile:

1. Your body uses the glycogen (sugar stored in muscles) to burn for energy, until it is depleted.
2. Your body taps into and wastes your lean muscle tissue to burn for energy.

Then your body starts burning body fat for energy.


Skinny Fat Person

A “skinny fat person” is a term used for someone who looks skinny in clothes, but when their body fat is measured, they have a high percentage of body fat, and a small percentage of lean muscle mass.

As a result, this person’s muscle mass and metabolism are not working for them to burn more calories.

This usually, is a person who does a lot of cardio, or eats very little. This person has wasted their lean muscle mass by doing all the cardio. They have also starved and wasted their lean muscles mass, by not eating enough, and by not feeding their muscles the protein they need.

This person continuously has to eat less and less to maintain. They do not have much lean muscle mass working for them, to burn those calories.


Runner vs. Sprinter

Being that we now know that endurance cardiovascular training is muscle wasting, let\'s look at another example to prove it.

The next time there is a big race on television, look at the long distance runners, then look at the sprinters. Which of the two are more muscular and well defined?

Not the long distance runners because they are constantly tearing down their muscles to use for energy, whereas, the sprinters use explosive power, for a short period of time, like that of weight training. Sprinting is not an enduring exercise, so it is not muscle wasting. The sprinters are only tearing down the muscles a little bit, which makes building on their rest days, easier.


Cardio Wastes Your Time & Wastes Your Muscles

Many people start out, say on the stairmaster, and can only do 5 minutes. Then, they work themselves up to say, 15 minutes. Then the next time, they get so excited because they can now endure 20, 30, 45 minutes, and so on.

What is their goal? To stay on there for an hour, a day, a week? What are they trying to accomplish?

Most of us have very busy lives, and time is very valuable to us. Why would we want to perform an exercise that takes longer and longer to burn more and more calories?

Yes, again, they are burning calories while performing or enduring that excruciating exercise, but at the same time, wasting more and more muscle mass, while performing that exercise. To me, that is not only muscle wasting, but also time consuming and time wasting!

And, if those people doing all that cardio are not seeing results, isn’t it time to get off that hamster wheel!?

Isn’t our goal to preserve lean muscle tissue, not to waste it, so that we have a higher metabolism working for us all of the time, not just while we are enduring that exercise?