Which is more effective for fat loss: cardio or lifting?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 01, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I've read that exercise doesn't help that much for fat loss, but surely SOME exercise will help at least a little no? I've got a choice of doing either cardio or weights to supplement a new Paleo diet routine and I wanted to ask which one you think would help burn more fat on a Paleo diet.

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8 Answers



on December 01, 2012
at 08:32 PM

IMO, Sisson is dead on when he says 85% or more of body composition is what you eat not how much you workout, that being said, exercise is great for health and I would say critical for optimal health. And the best is a mixture of cardio and anaerobic



on December 01, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Who says you need to make a choice? You need to do both.

Lifting will build lean body mass; increased lean body mass will burn more calories via cardio. Voila, increased muscle tone and decreased body fat.

A combination of lifting + HIIT cardio has worked best for me.



on December 06, 2012
at 03:40 PM

Lifting and cardio? These are very CW type terms. Maybe think of these activities instead as resistance and being active, respectively. Neither is better than the other in general.

If you are trying to gain strength, than incorporating resistance into your activities will be required. For some beginners, doing anything active at all might be the resistance they need to add, whereas for most of us, we use weights.

However, for fat loss, neither are technically required, but they are technically quite useful as they engender the ability to stick to eating sustaining, healthy foods as well as keeping the body's "metabolism" up -- both of which help with fat loss.



on December 01, 2012
at 08:09 PM

Both. Make sure you allow time for recovery and time in-between both.

When I'm cutting down, I'll do cardio in the early morning and lifting in the evening. I make sure to get at least one huge meal in-between and separate them by at least 6-8 hours.

Depends on your goals, but the short answer is what others have said. Mix it up.


on December 01, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Mixture of both at high intensity. Which is why I love Crossfit so much. Make sure you take rest days!



on December 06, 2012
at 07:42 PM

diet! really, it's the key.

strength training will work out your heart plenty though, if you do it properly. cardio is great too, but depending on how you lift, it can inhibit recovery and actually become counterproductive.


on December 06, 2012
at 12:08 PM

Exercise will always help for fat loss

Nutrition is more important but the role of effective exercise will compliment that in the short and longer term

How much time you have is the question you have to ask yourself in relation to what exercise

Less time and you need more "bang for your buck" training principles and I would use forms of resistance training to do that

More time and the resistance training is still the priority but adding some aerobic on top of that is beneficial

Consistency and compliance with what you do will then come into play as well as part of a healthy lifestyle approach



on December 02, 2012
at 01:17 AM

For me, neither. Slow movement, yoga, walking, recreational biking, most of all, not sitting or sitting as little as possible.

I do lift weights as well to keep up muscle, but for fat loss, slow movement works much better for me.

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