Cardio vs. Weight Training: Which Is Best For Weight Loss?

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Cardio training vs. weight training: Which is the best exercise for weight loss, in general? This question continues to be an ongoing war between health science professionals, everyday fitness bloggers, and your gym class clique. And, to be frank, it’s a trick question. Because if we’re talking about longevity, the best is a combination of both cardiovascular activity and weight lifting. That said, there is an ideal type of workout for your overall health and reflection in the mirror.

Most people, when stepping into a gym, have similar goals:

  • Fat loss
  • Get stronger
  • Improve physique
  • Shed pounds

If you’re looking for results from the above list, I’d recommend to place strength training over cardio.

The reason this isn’t common knowledge is that most of us, from the time we’re kids, have been inundated with the same message about exercise. That it’s all about getting your heart rate up!

So, here we are in aerobics classes, running on treadmills, and riding stationary bikes. All the time! And then we associate these sweat inducing workouts with calories burned and, somehow, that’s the magic bullet.


When we’re talking about weight / fat loss, calories burned are but part of the equation. Your resting metabolic rate is, perhaps, even more crucial to your fitness goals.

And strength training is – by far – the fastest way to ramp up your metabolism.

Ladies, please don’t think of strength training (which ranges from PiYo to lifting dumbbells) as something that’s going to bulk you up. The only thing that bulks you up is fat.

Weight training is the best way to transform your body because you’re actually increasing human growth production, naturally. This equates to youth serum for your cellular process! In turn, your hair grows quicker, your nails get thicker, and your skin looks better. It’s cosmetic surgery via leg squats. No doctor required. 

Hey, does this sound like you?

Gosh, my workouts are getting longer, and longer, and longer, but I feel like my body fat is going up!”

Long bouts of cardio means an elevated cortisol (stress hormone) response. It kicks into gear to protect you. And it does its job by holding onto body fat.

That may be why your body feels like it’s under attack at times.

My recommendation is to just take a step back and consider practicing strength training. I promise, it’s going to make you feel stronger and more confident.

When you’re lifting weights, you’re tapping into and improving your central nervous system adaptation. Creating muscle hypertrophy. What does that mean? You’ll experience greater strength and endurance, benefiting your daily life in a ton of ways!

All exercise is good, right? But just don’t over do it. People who are lifting every single day or so often they’re not allowing their bodies time to heal, are not practicing a healthy lifestyle. And those who are doing cardio for hours a day – pounding their joints and weakening their muscular system – are not healthy.

Happy health is living your life, feeling strong, and looking forward to your workouts. BOOM.

Look, if you’re not excited to work out, something’s wrong. You’ve either got to change up your exercise routine or your mindset. Don’t think of it as punishment. You must think of it as me time. THE time that makes you feel better.

Speaking of me time, nothing fits that bill more than listening to a podcast! And I’d love you to check out my latest rendition of The Chalene Show where I go into much more detail all about this very subject of training: cardio vs. strength! Click Here because you won’t wanna miss it!


2 responses to “Cardio vs. Weight Training: Which Is Best For Weight Loss?”

  1. Is there a certain percent of body fat a woman should not go below?
    When in the keto fat burning state it is easy to burn the fat and enjoy the fat loss, but I worry about overdoing it and that there might be health risks. Don’t our organs need a bit of cushioning and our hormones need fat as building blocks?
    Our society puts such an emphasis on being thin that I’m afraid of overdoing it and looking too thin. It seems to actually make me look a bit older and almost a bit “skeletor”. It’s so hard to have a good body image and not get wrapped up in the idea of being super lean.
    Do we also have to be careful about getting enough nutrients/vitamins etc when limiting the carbs – especially getting enough vegetables without kicking me out of ketosis

  2. Chalene, I honestly don’t know how to express my gratitude and thanks to you for your enthusiasm, incredible energy and graciousness. I started taking your Jam classes some years ago, then your HIIT and now your PIYO classes, all at home obviously. I am an entertainer and someone who’s constantly trying to keep healthy mindfully, spiritually and physically. Sometimes, life throws us some serious curves and we’re faced with challenges that seem beyond our capability to concur. Every time I turn to your classes and listen to your podcasts, I feel re-invigorated again… like I can accomplish anything if I put my mind and positive energy to it. I’m an optimist by nature and I love your positive, fun, beautiful approach to life and even its realities.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your work and service to us ladies (and men) who need reminders of our own power and light. I try to do the same for others through music and my voice. It is a gift that you have and girl, you truly ROCK!! XOX <3

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