The Team Myology 10: Cardio and Fat Loss


Have you ever asked a fit friend for advice about diet and exercise? How about 10 friends who were also industry leading experts in the fields of exercise and nutrition?

In our new blog series, we’re posing tough questions about diet and fitness to the men and women of Team Myology – our elite squad of athlete brand ambassadors. These folks run the gamut from experienced personal trainers and nutritionists to amateur athletes, bodybuilding and physique competitors, fitness models and otherwise credentialed experts in the world of fitness.

In each segment the team will respond to a single question on subjects including exercise, diet, weight loss, and supplementation. Questions will be inspired by my own fitness journey, as well as those of Puritan’s Pride associates and customers. While no question will result in a one-size-fits-all answer that works for everyone, you can draw your own conclusions.

The Question: Cardio and Fat Loss

The first question for the team is about cardio and fat loss. I recently joined a new gym and took part in the free personal training session that all new members receive. The trainer was very smart and extremely fit, but his take on cardio and weight loss really surprised me. He said that weight training is the most effective fat loss method since muscle mass burns more calories, and that traditional cardio should be done sparingly, if at all.

Do you agree that weight training is the most effective fat loss method, and if not, what type of exercise would you recommend for fat loss?

The Answers

I agree with this statement to a certain degree, although I feel there is a benefit to adding HIIT to your resistance training. Cardiovascular exercise can improve your muscles ability to utilize oxygen and overall circulation. When more blood and nutrients travel into the muscle, faster recovery is achieved. That’s why I am a big proponent of both resistance and cardio. 

Cole Charles Corrigan
San Luis Obispo, CA

For me, a clean nutrition routine, sprints or stairs, and strength training all help with fat loss. Since I only work with female clients, I know that when women speak of “fat loss” they are really talking about cellulite. I am able to help my clients minimize cellulite with my nutrition programs combined with short sprint or stair sessions in addition to strength training sessions. Cardio and strength workout session lengths and frequencies vary per client, their individual goals, and physical makeup.

Nikol Klein
Del Mar, CA


I do not agree. For my clients that want to lose fat, I recommend a combination of weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio along with a healthy diet.

David Spitdowski
Decatur, GA

I get this question quite often and, yes, weight training burns more calories than traditional cardio. If you keep the intensity high with minimal rest (30-45 seconds) in between sets and keep the volume high (15-20 reps per set), you can keep your heart rate high enough for long enough to induce your fat metabolism. It all depends on your goal but if your goal is to maintain as much muscle mass as possible then you want to keep cardio as minimal as possible. I prefer to do HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) for about 20 minutes, 4-5 times per week when prepping for a show but my main focus is to really push it hard during my weight training sessions so that I can keep my cardio time low. If I’m not preparing for a show then I rarely do cardio.

Gary Fish
Allentown, PA


Based on my 16 years of experience in bodybuilding, weight training is the most effective way to burn fat. Keep in mind that techniques such as only resting 30 seconds to 1 minute between sets, consistently completing exercises that challenge your body, and changing up workout routines are necessary in order to reap the benefits of fat loss. The ultimate goal is to increase your body’s metabolism and utilizing these proven training methods will help you burn fat and build muscle.

Zachery Thurston
Cincinnati, OH

I agree with the trainer’s statement from his perspective, but as a coach, I do not agree. Working with many different clients who have different body types and genetic profiles has taught me that what may work for a fitness professional may not necessarily work for all of their clients. I almost never do cardio myself, but others achieve their best results when combining weight lifting with cardiovascular exercise. When fat loss is a goal, I always recommend at least 2 or 3 weekly cardio sessions plus weight training and balanced nutrition. In the end, we’re all different, so everyone needs a unique approach – and the best exercise for fat burning is ultimately a healthy diet. 💪

Milovan ‘Mika’ Ilic
New York, NY

Cardio should be implemented to kick-start the body’s metabolism. You don’t need to run a marathon, butsimply to get the heart rate going. An equal balance of diet, steady state cardio, and a killer workout regimen is the most beneficial for fat loss.

Frank Riffe
Grove City, OH

I think to a degree what this trainer said is correct, but the statement doesn’t paint the entire picture. In the end, I stick to one golden rule: calories in vs. calories out. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me if I do two hours of cardio every day, or none at all — what matters is consistency in my caloric intake. That said, I do enjoy walking on a treadmill for 15 minutes as a warm-up before every workout, but I have never done extensive cardio sessions to get to my leanest, and you shouldn’t have to either.

Ryan McInnis
Overland Park, KS

I do agree with this statement
. Muscle is the #1 fat burner in the world; the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. The biggest advantage to weight training for fat loss is that cardio may potentially put your body in a catabolic state, which, without weight training, could result in that skinny-fat look that nobody wants. Muscle tone is created in the weight room and the kitchen.

Niko Pellegrini
Demotte, IN

Yes, I do agree. I’m a firm believer that strength conditioning (i.e. circuit training with heavy weights, barbell exercises and bodyweight exercises) is a faster way to build muscle mass and increase strength while shredding extra fat. This is a fundamental part of a training program for any well-rounded athlete. Weight training is fundamental to weight loss as, during a workout session, sufficient intensity will burn more calories. With time, the increase in muscle mass will contribute to weight loss, since more muscle requires more energy expenditure.

Kevin Hessam
Ridgewood, NY

Always consult a physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.





This entry was posted in Healthy Men, Healthy Over 50, Healthy Women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *