Cardio, Weights, and Weight loss by Chayse Jackson

With the holidays just around the corner, staying fit is on everyone’s mind. Individuals of all backgrounds rush to the gym to tone up their body, and prevent the dreaded winter weight. Yet, even with this rush, nobody quite seems to know the most effective way to get in shape. At MERGE, we combine various types of training to give you the best results overall, whether you come only for the winter, or stay for the New Year. But the question remains, should you do cardio, such as prolonged running or biking, or should you lift weights? Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple.


Generally, cardio training, or prolonged aerobic exercise, will help you lose weight. In fact, per session, cardio will burn more calories in the same amount of time as resistance training or weight lifting (1). This sounds great, right? Problem solved. If I run for 3 hrs a day, all that winter food weight will disappear. Not quite. Unfortunately, during cardio training, the weight you lose is typically a combination of fat and muscle, leaving you with smaller, but not necessarily better version of yourself (2). All that muscle that you lose? That’s the body’s key to burning more calories, and increasing metabolism. Hence, while you lose some weight, you may slow down your body’s metabolic rate, decreasing the effectiveness of cardio drastically. This explains why many individuals who run frequently may still not be in best shape.


Although you burn less calories per session, weight training boosts metabolism for up to 38-hrs post workout (3). This means that even after you leave the gym, your body is still burning more calories than it normally would, increasing your weight loss for a period of almost 2 days! In contrast, cardio workouts may only boost metabolism for an hour post exercise, minimizing its long term affects (1). In addition, weight training induces the body to build lean muscle (4). This serves as the mitochondria of fat burning, increasing your resting metabolic rate, and proving to be an effective long-term strategy for losing body fat. In a 6-month study, individuals who participated in weight training 2-3 times per week saw an increase in their metabolic rate of up to 9% (1)! That’s an extra 140 calories (or a couple cookies), burned off without doing anything! Talk about benefits!

The Verdict

Overall, both cardio and weight training provide significant benefits that can lead to weight loss. Cardio provides instant calorie and weight loss, while weight training provides a more long-lasting boost to calorie burning and weight loss. Hence, the best solution? Use both! In combination with a proper diet provided by the certified staff at MERGE Performance Institute, a workout plan including cardio and weight training can help you reach your ideal body and keep it that way even after the Holiday snacks. Contact us today!

  1. Tinsely, G. (2017, October 24). Cardio vs Weight Lifting: Which Is Better for Weight Loss? Retrieved June 29, 2018, from
  2. Stiegler, P., & Cunliffe, A. (2006). The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss. Sports Medicine, 36(3), 239-262.
  3. Schuenke, M. D., Mikat, R. P., & McBride, J. M. (2002). Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption: implications for body mass management. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 86(5), 411-417.
  4. Clark, S. (2018, April 17). Fat Loss Wars: Cardio Versus Weight Training! Retrieved June 29, 2018, from