While losing fat, should I focus first on cardio or weight training?

Tim’s right. SCREW the cardio. Research has shown repeatedly that weight training is superior to long distance cardio in almost every way. Here’s why, and some things that can help you drop weight fast.

In the long run, being muscular will burn and keep off more fat.

In one study, more muscular men were found to burn around 350 more calories than people with less muscle while at rest. Meaning that while just sitting around, bodybuilders are burning way more fat than those with less muscle.

When comparing cardio directly to weight lifting for weight loss, a 12 year long study found that lifting was superior for weight loss than running.

And to anyone who may think that gaining the amount of muscle that would be necessary to make the above statements true would take years to build:

A group of researchers had elderly people weight train and for a total of 16 weeks. The elderly people were found to have a higher burn 8% more calories while at rest at the end of the study.

EDIT: I was told by a commenter (I tried to @ him on this answer but I can’t find him because he has no profile info or picture) that I was exaggerating the effects of muscle on losing fat. I’ve yet to figure out how that person arrived at that point. However, I told him that if he provided me with evidence that I’d post his evidence in the answer.

His point was that one pound of muscle only burns 10 extra calories per day. And this is his evidence (Study 1, Study 2). He also asserted that muscle isn’t that big of a deal because of these points, and that “I made it seem like it was a priority.”

Well, the question is, “should I focus first on cardio or weight training.” Put another way, “should I prioritize cardio or weight training.” So, yeah, I made it seem like a priority. I mean, that’s what the question’s about.

He also called me lazy and said that I wasn’t that important, which hurt my feelings.

With that being said, it does take time for muscle building to have a significant effect on resting energy expenditure. The shortest amount of time I’ve observed is 16 weeks.

For me, I’d rather make that investment for the future.

But, like I’ve said before, you can do whatever the f#$% you wanna do!

Lifting Weights is WAYYY Safer Than Cardio

This may sound crazy, but the research reflects it.

Cardio has a high rate of injury, and weight lifting has a low rate of injury.

Why? Well, people always try to learn at least some technique when they start lifting. When someone starts running, they think they know how to run. I mean, why wouldn’t they? We all run right?

Yes, we all run. But, we don’t all run properly, and that’s where the injury comes in.

Plus, you have to think of every stride as a “rep.” Over the course of a resistance training workout, you’ll do a few dozen or maybe a few hundred reps. Over the course of a long distance running session, hundreds and even thousands of reps, which means there are more opportunities for injury to occur.

Being Muscular Will Help You More in Real Life

Never suffer ^this^ embarrassment again.

There are two things that drive performance and strength. Neurological adaptation to the skill and muscle size.

Think of neurological adaptation as the software and muscle size as the hardware.

The more powerful and robust the hardware, the easier a time you will have accomplishing every day tasks (opening jars, picking up stuff, helping a buddy move).

But, my previous statements are theoretical. Right? Nope.

Here’s research from multiple sports demonstrating that muscle size is the BESTpredictor of performance (aka muscle size IS functional):


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