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Weight Training vs. Cardio: The Great Debate in the Gen Z Weight Loss Journey

Hey there, fellow Gen Z-ers! It’s Sophie here, your go-to guru for all things life-related. Today, we’re diving headfirst into a topic that has been a source of hot debate in my own personal group chats and across various fitness forums – weight training versus cardio for weight loss. I know what you’re thinking – “Sophie, surely running away from my problems (quite literally) is the best way to lose weight?” Well, let’s find out.

The Cardio Conundrum

We’ve all been there – sweating it out on the treadmill, watching the calorie counter slowly tick upwards as our favourite Spotify playlist blares through our earphones. There’s no denying that cardiovascular exercise, whether it be running, cycling or dancing to ‘WAP’ in your bedroom (guilty as charged), can burn a significant amount of calories during the workout itself.

According to science (and by science I mean countless hours spent scrolling through Google Scholar), cardio exercises increase your heart rate and metabolic rate more than any other form of exercise. This means you’re burning calories at a faster rate while you’re doing the exercise.

The Weight Training Wonder

Now let’s talk about weight training. If you’re anything like me and have spent more time lifting doughnuts to your mouth than dumbbells in a gym, don’t fret. Weight training may seem daunting but trust me when I say it’s not as scary as trying to understand TikTok trends.

Unlike cardio where most of the calorie burning happens during the workout itself, with weight training it’s all about what happens after you finish working out. This is due to something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or as I like to call it, the ‘afterburn’. Essentially, your body continues to burn calories after you’ve finished your workout as it works to repair the muscles that you’ve just worked. So while you’re lying on your couch binging Netflix post-workout, your body is still in calorie-burning mode. Sneaky, right?

So, Which Is Better For Weight Loss?

The million-dollar question! Well, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this question – let’s just say I’d be writing this article from a beach in Bali instead of my tiny apartment.

Here’s the skinny: both cardio and weight training can contribute significantly to weight loss. However, they do so in different ways. Cardio tends to burn more calories during the workout itself but has little effect on your metabolic rate afterwards. On the other hand, weight training might not burn as many calories during the workout but can lead to an increase in muscle mass which boosts your metabolism and results in more calories burned throughout the day.

So if you’re looking for quick calorie burning and immediate gratification (aren’t we all?), then cardio might be your best bet. But if you’re willing to play the long game and invest in boosting your metabolism for ongoing calorie burn, then weight training could be a winner.

Mix It Up

But why choose one when you could have both? Just like how I can’t decide between pizza or pasta on a Friday night (so I get both), incorporating a mix of cardio and weight training into your routine could give you the best of both worlds.

This approach not only keeps things interesting (because who wants to run on a treadmill every single day?) but also allows you to reap the benefits of both forms of exercise. Remember, variety is the spice of life, and this holds true for your workout routine as well.

So there you have it! The great debate solved (kind of). At the end of the day, whether you choose cardio, weight training or a mix of both will depend on your personal preferences, fitness goals and how much you enjoy each type of exercise. Just remember to keep it fun and enjoyable because that’s when you’re most likely to stick with it!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some weights to lift. And by weights, I mean doughnuts.


Sophie is a vibrant and multifaceted individual who beautifully intertwines her diverse heritage, with her contemporary interests and beliefs. A passionate devotee of weight training, Sophie finds strength and empowerment in her physical regimen, which aligns seamlessly with her deeply spiritual nature. This spiritual depth is a cornerstone of her character, informing her perspectives and enriching her approach to life's challenges and joys.

In her professional life, Sophie has carved out a niche as a junior author for the thought-provoking blog, "Illusions of Wisdom." Here, she expertly delves into issues that resonate with Generation Z, offering insightful, articulate, and nuanced perspectives. Her writing not only reflects the pulse of her generation but also echoes the wisdom and sensitivity of someone deeply connected to their cultural roots and personal passions. Whether discussing mental health, environmental concerns, or the evolving landscape of digital interactions, Sophie's voice is both a guiding light and a mirror for her peers.

Her work on "Illusions of Wisdom" is characterised by a rare blend of authenticity and analytical acumen, making her a beloved figure among her readers. As Sophie continues to explore and express her multifaceted identity through her writing, she remains an inspiration to many, embodying the spirit of a generation that values both strength and introspection.

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