Does Lifting Weights Burn As Many Calories As Cardio? One of the most common questions from ladies when it comes to lifting weights. Find out my answer in today’s post!

Does Lifting Weights Burn As Many Calories As Cardio? | Burpees for Breakfast

Does Lifting Weights Burn As Many Calories As Cardio?

Heyyyy! Happy Tuesday! Today’s an exciting day because Mindset2Muscles is on sale!! Yay! You can grab all the details below!

I want to talk about a very very very common question ladies, specifically, have related to strength training: Does Lifting Weights Burn As Many Calories As Cardio?

Such a good question, right?

Like any good personal trainer, my answer is something along the lines of ‘It depends’ and ‘Yes, but let me tell you more…’.

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Let’s break this into 3 categories:

Traditional Steady State Cardio: This looks like running on the dreadmill treadmill, stepping on the elliptical or sitting on the stationary bike. Your heart rate and pace stays pretty much the same over the course of your workout.

(High Intensity) Interval Training: This can look like a circuit or tabata workout, a bootcamp class or even sprint intervals. Lots of the workouts on the blog are interval workouts. Your heart rate varies based on your exercise and rest cycle, often including intervals of high intensity and then rest.

Weight Lifting / Strength Training: This looks like…lifting shit. Workouts can vary in structure. Depending on the structure, your heart rate and pace will vary, usually more so than with any kind of traditional cardio.

Now, I feel like the media tells women that they need to do traditional cardio to see ‘results’ or ‘weight loss’. While this can be true to some degree, there are better ways to achieve ‘results’ and ‘weight loss’. Keep in mind, nutrition plays a HUGE role in body composition. You can’t work out a bad diet. Cheesy saying, but it’s true.

Also, remember that cardio or cardiovascular exercise is exercise that elevates your heart rate and doesn’t always mean traditional cardio.

There are a few important factors to consider:

  • How does the type of activity I’m performing burn calories (during / after / both) OR, how does the type of activity I’m performing rate in terms of EPOC (Excessive Postexercise Oxygen Consumption – a state in which the body’s metabolism is elevated after a workout, aka, more oxygen consumed after a workout, which means more calories are burned)?
  • How long will I need to perform my activity to see the results I desire?

Let’s revisit our three main exercise categories:

Traditional Steady State Cardio: This type of exercise really only burns calories while you are performing the activity. It’s highly unlikely you will be building muscle, which is metabolically active and your body’s fat burning machinery. Yes, you are working your heart muscle, but Nerd Fitness touches on a great point that if you work it at a steady state, it won’t grow. The same idea applies when I push the importance of increasing your weight and making sure you are lifting the correct weight. Steady state cardio is great for beginnings or days when you just want to get in some movement. Or, even for people that just enjoy running.

(High Intensity) Interval Training: This type of exercise burns calories during AND after activity. Remember that post I wrote on the benefits of high intensity interval training? Interval training produces greater EPOC than Traditional Steady State Cardio. We can call this the ‘afterburn’, meaning you are burning more calories just hanging out, post workout. I read this study done by University of South Whales that worked with 45 overweight women and had then do cycling sprint intervals, three times a week for 15 weeks. The researchers found Intermittent sprinting produces high levels of chemical compounds called catecholamines, which allow more fat to be burned from under the skin and within the exercising muscles. The resulting increase in fat oxidation drives the greater weight loss.”

The beauty of HIIT is that because of the intensity, you are spending less time in the gym. Hello!

Weight Lifting / Strength Training: This type of exercise falls in line with HIIT in terms of calorie burn. Lifting is SO important because we are strengthening and building muscles. Muscles are metabolically active and that body’s fat burning machinery. More muscles = more calories burned…along with the other crazy numerous benefits of lifting.

In the article, The Hierarchy of Fat Loss (such a great article), Alywn Cosgrow talks about a study that assigned overweight subjects into three groups: diet only, diet plus aerobics and diet, aerobics and weights. The weights group lost 21.1 of fat, 44% more than the diet only and 35% more than the aerobics-only group.

Does Lifting Weights Burn As Many Calories As Cardio?

So, what can we take from all this information?

If you are looking for an effective workout, that burns calories, builds muscles, elevates your metabolism and doesn’t leave you spending hours in the gym, aim for HIIT and/or Strength Training.

The cool thing is that Mindset2Muscles fits the bill. It’s a 6 week strength training program, that includes HIIT workouts, along with nutritional guidelines. The program helps promote fat loss, muscle growth, confidence gains and mindset shifts.

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In addition to workouts and nutrition guidelines, you also will be participating in daily mindset journaling activities that will help you break free from the negative mindset and limiting beliefs, so you can achieve goals and exceed expectations.

Mindset2Muscles | Burpees for Breakfast

Here is what past participants are saying:

  • What was your favorite part of the program? Honestly – all of it. It was motivating to have someone else know what my goals were to keep me on track and accountable. The mindset work brought issues I didn’t want to have time for into focus and actually allowed for some introspection by having to answer the mindset prompts. It also was pretty cool to have someone else plan my workouts for once!!!! – Teri B.
  • What mindset shifts did you see from doing the program? I’m definitely more positive about my ability to weight lift– I always felt like it was something I couldn’t do at home or I didn’t know where to start with a home routine. So now I know I *can* successfully push myself in that area. I’m not sure my nutrition mindset has shifted much personally, but I’ve been more prone to talking to people about my fun/healthy food choices and how I *got* to that point of choosing that eating habit or food option. – Kate M.
  • What principles did you learn through the program that you will incorporate into your lifestyle post program? The program has reinforced the ‘daily’ aspect of movement and that it’s okay not to have a perfect week as long as you’re putting in that movement and making good choices on the whole. I’m planning to continue my exercising in some form all year, which will be a first for me. – Kate M.

    Definitely the negative self talk/truths. This has been super helpful in so many aspects of my life! I have really started telling myself the “truths” and am actually starting to believe them!! – Eileen R.
  • What are your biggest takeaways from the program? If you don’t raise the weight, no one else will! I learned to push myself. – Sarah R.
  • Final thoughts on Mindset2Muscles? I am absolutely 100% happy with this program. I was skeptical, but Jen went above and beyond my expectations. She was super helpful, responsive, and patient. Her work outs weren’t difficult but do able, and I noticed a definite difference in my strength and weight. Highly highly highly recommend! – Abbie M.

You can learn more about Mindset2Muscles by visiting the Mindset2Muscles page. If you are ready to buy, pop on over to the cart and make your purchase! The program is on sale until June 13th ONLY and I’m only taking on 20 women. Get your spot now!

Let me just say, the most important part of any workout is that YOU enjoy it. If you are a running, girlfriend, run it. If you like lifting heavy shit, lift it. If you are a yogi, get bendy. Just keep in mind that your workouts should also be in line with your goals.


Do you like cardio, HIIT, lifting weights or a combo of all of them?
What is your favorite type of workout?