Cardio burns more fat than weight lifting
December 17th, 2012
12:33 PM ET

Cardio burns more fat than weight lifting

If you want to burn fat and lose weight, aerobic exercise may be your best workout option, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

It was more effective than a weight-lifting routine, and about as beneficial as workouts combining cardio and strength training, researchers found.

"If a person is going to give me three hours of exercise a week,the most effective way to lose fat is to spend that time doing aerobic training," says lead study author Leslie Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

If you lift weights, this doesn't mean you should stop, but if your time is limited and your main goal from exercise is to lose weight, cardio may be better than weight training, according to Willis.

The study

Because people often short-change exercise, the scientists wanted to find out what type of routine would provide overweight people the most efficient workout for weight loss. For eight months, more than 200 middle-aged adults were assigned to one of three exercise programs.

The first group did aerobic training for 133 minutes a week. This averaged out to three 45-minute sessions, with most people choosing to work out on treadmill or elliptical machines. Those in the second group spent the same amount of time getting fit, but lifted weights instead of doing cardio. The others did both types of exercise, which took twice as long. The adults in the study were all overweight or obese, about 50 years of age, and did not have diabetes.

The results

The scientists found that routines that included only weight lifting built muscle, but did not help people lose fat or shed pounds.

Willis said this surprised some experts who say increasing muscle mass helps us burn more calories by increasing our metabolism. Unlike fat, it takes a certain amount of energy to simply maintain muscle. But the Duke researchers say the calories burned from having more muscle were not enough to make a difference when it comes to weight loss.

The researchers also found that cardio workouts proved to be as beneficial for losing fat and weight and required only half the time commitment as the combination workouts.

"They (the combination aerobic/weight training group) did lose more weight around the middle, but it was not statistically significant," says Willis. "We're a little bit unclear as to why that is, but we would say that time-wise, it was not that much more beneficial to do double that work and not get that much more benefit."

Workout advice

But Willis and other experts agree strength training shouldn’t be discounted when it comes to overall health. Lifting weights helps build and maintain strong bones and helps prevent the gradual loss of muscle that comes with aging.

Weight training may not be the best way to take the weight off initially, it does help adults keep it off, says Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist and CNN's diet and fitness expert. And though having added muscle may not burn as many calories as once thought, it does pay off over time.

“If you are short on time and are not dieting, cardio is better for weight loss in the short-term, but we don’t know in the long-term. And in my opinion, to maintain weight loss and achieve optimal health, strength training is still very important,” explains Jampolis.

But some have to get the weight off first before we can then turn their attention to keeping it off, Willis says. And if there’s only time for one type of workout, cardio may be the best choice.

“The point here is that the general public who comes to us to exercise almost unanimously has one main goal, and that is to lose weight and fat," Willis says. "And we’re just not seeing that resistance training would be the most efficient way to do that."

soundoff (1,501 Responses)
  1. หวย

    Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would
    be okay. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog
    and look forward to new posts.

    January 18, 2021 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. หวย

    Thanks for finally writing about > Cardio burns more fat than weight lifting – The Chart – CNN.com
    Blogs < Liked it!

    January 18, 2021 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Beth Stjean

    BecauseSinceAsFor the reason that the admin of this websiteweb sitesiteweb page is working, no doubthesitationuncertaintyquestion very soonrapidlyquicklyshortly it will be famouswell-knownrenowned, due to its qualityfeature contents.


    January 18, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. หวย

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
    keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later.

    January 18, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Click Site

    I just like the valuable information you provide on your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and test again right here frequently. I'm quite certain I will be told plenty of new stuff right right here! Good luck for the following!


    January 19, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Pay Your Deals

    There is noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain good factors in features also.


    January 19, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. office 2019 home and business mac

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to get something done.


    January 19, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. pay ur dealz

    Hey there, You've performed an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this site.


    January 19, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. หวย

    Hi there mates, its impressive paragraph concerning tutoringand completely explained, keep it up all the

    January 19, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Thu mua hang cu

    Hello there! This blog post couldn't be written any better!

    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this article to him.
    Pretty sure he'll have a great read. I appreciate you
    for sharing!

    January 20, 2021 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. หวย

    I read this paragraph completely about the comparison of most up-to-date and earlier technologies, it's remarkable article.

    January 20, 2021 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lottery Sambad

    Please let me know if you're looking for a writer for your site.
    You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested.

    January 20, 2021 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Alphonse Deblase


    January 21, 2021 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. http://beritapialadunia.net

    Hello would you mind letting me know which hosting
    company you're using? I've loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price?
    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    January 21, 2021 at 02:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 대전출장

    I'm extremely pleased to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new stuff in your website.


    January 21, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. anxiety relief

    I don't even understand how I finished up here, however
    I believed this post was once great. I don't know who you might be however definitely
    you're going to a well-known blogger in case you aren't already.

    January 21, 2021 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. journal arabe

    I read this post fully regarding the comparison of hottest and earlier technologies,
    it's remarkable article.

    January 21, 2021 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. water treatment company in chennai

    Source textile effluent treatment plant


    January 22, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. buy windows 10 pro license

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right. This submit actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!


    January 22, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FSUPn

    https://moigry.net Html5 игры! Супер новинки!
    Детские игры>>>

    January 22, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 수원출장

    Itís hard to come by experienced people for this topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    January 22, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 수원출장마사지

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be useful to read through articles from other authors and practice a little something from their web sites.


    January 22, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Url

    As a Newbie, I am constantly exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you


    January 22, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 먹튀


    January 22, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. FSUPn

    https://moigry.net Html5 игры! Супер новинки!

    January 23, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. windows 8 pendrive price

    I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are amazing! Thanks!


    January 23, 2021 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. FSUPn

    https://moigry.net Html5 игры! Супер новинки!

    January 23, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Weblink

    I think this is among the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers


    January 23, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 먹튀사이트


    January 23, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. windows 7 home premium retail

    Hello. magnificent job. I did not anticipate this. This is a splendid story. Thanks!


    January 24, 2021 at 07:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Free Stuff

    naturally like your web site but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I抣l certainly come back again.


    January 24, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Adriane Wempa

    MADRID.— Luego de que Estados Unidos acusó a ejecutivos de la Banca Privada d´Andorra (BPA) de colaborar en el blanqueo de capitales de clientes rusos, chinos y venezolanos, se conoció que varias organizaciones mafiosas estaban entre sus clientes, incluido el cartel de Sinaloa. Si el acceso es exitoso nuestro sistema eliminara el bloqueo de manera inmediata y usted podra seguir disfrutando de todos nuestros servicios.


    January 24, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 먹튀사이트

    You are so cool! I don't think I've truly read something like that before. So great to discover someone with original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    January 24, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. windows activation key price

    I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are talking intelligently about. I'm very joyful that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing regarding this.


    January 25, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Denny Selitto

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website design is perfect, the written content is very great : D.


    January 25, 2021 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Andrewtwive


    January 25, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Colin Diosdado

    HiWhat's upHi thereHello Dear, are you reallyactuallyin facttrulygenuinely visiting this websiteweb sitesiteweb page regularlydailyon a regular basis, if so thenafter thatafterward you will definitelyabsolutelywithout doubt takegetobtain nicepleasantgoodfastidious experienceknowledgeknow-how.


    January 25, 2021 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 먹튀검증업체


    January 25, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Alden Paongo

    I was just looking for this info for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don't rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top websites are full of garbage.


    January 25, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 천안출장마사지


    January 26, 2021 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 먹튀검증


    January 26, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. best price for office home and student 2019

    Greetings! I've been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!


    January 26, 2021 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 먹튀검증

    Hi, I do believe your site could be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic blog!


    January 26, 2021 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    January 27, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 먹튀


    January 27, 2021 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 먹튀검증

    Excellent post. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well..


    January 27, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. office home and business 2019 cheap price

    I've been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.


    January 27, 2021 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Raymon Felix

    Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks a lot


    January 27, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Gayle Stoyanoff

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more


    January 28, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 출장마사지


    January 28, 2021 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Leave a Reply to sfweekly.com


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.