Bodybuilding to lose weight? Cardio to lose weight?

Muscular young woman athlete posing at studio on blue background

What about bodybuilding to lose weight?

What about cardio to lose weight ?

You want to lose weight and you hesitate between cardio and bodybuilding?

You are not the only person to ask you this question.

This is a question that arouses controversy among athletes, or even a war of claims, which has also done quite a lot of damage on both sides.

On the one hand, practitioners of bodybuilding …

And on the other hand, cardio practitioners …

Given the number of casualties this war has caused, I solemnly pledge to have both sides sign a peace treaty, and to be an impartial judge on the matter.


Imagine that you are at the gym and you are asking these two questions to a typical athlete:

  • “I want to lose some fat, what should I do? “
  • “I want to get muscle, what should I do? “

Suppose you have done a survey to get the most answers possible (besides I encourage you to do the test on a dozen people)

The answer you get at 90% is:

“To lose weight, you have to do cardio at low intensity, and to gain muscle, you have to lift some iron. “

So if you’re wondering if it’s the right answer, the answer is YES, BUT …

Yes, there is always a MAIS πŸ™‚

Having said that, let’s first explain why the answer is YES:

Simply put,  the cardio burns calories and therefore fat, while bodybuilding rips fibers that will rebuild and gain muscle .

This statement is totally true but too simplistic and incomplete .

So what is it really?

Can we lose weight with bodybuilding too?

Is cardio really suitable for fat loss?

Let’s decipher all this together!

The key points on bodybuilding:

1) Acceleration of post-workout metabolism

Bodybuilding has an effect that cardio training does not enjoy:

This is the acceleration of your metabolism after your bodybuilding session.

” So what ? What exactly does it mean to lose weight? “

bodybuilding thinning

In concrete terms, your metabolism is boosted up to 36 hours post-workout .

Which means that during these 36 hours after training, your metabolism is increased by 10 calories / hour .

That’s 360 calories burned while you do not bran one! 
If that’s not good πŸ˜‰

Now, suppose you are a regular bodybuilding practitioner, and therefore your metabolism is still high:

The loss of calories generated per month is 7200 calories, which is almost 1kg of fat burned.

1kg of fat lost, while you watch TV on your couch during your free time.

“What about cardio training? “

Unfortunately, unless you’re an experienced sprinter or an athlete putting a lot of intensity into your cardio session, your metabolism will not budge very much.

That said, if you were a top level sprinter, you would not be concerned with losing weight.

The cardio therefore loses a point against bodybuilding.

2) Permanent acceleration of the metabolism

As you know, bodybuilding is made to muscle. 
Until then, I’m not teaching you anything πŸ™‚

By cons, what you need to know:

The more muscles you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate . 
And the higher your basal metabolic rate, the more fat you burn .

Now you understand why men eat more than women and do not get fat. 
Everything is a question of muscle mass.

(I remind you that the basic metabolism is the energy that your body consumes daily without any activity)

bodybuilding to lose weight

You see what I mean ?

You need to practice bodybuilding to gain muscle gains that will help you burn fat afterwards .

This is a long-term strategy but once achieved is very successful.

“What about cardio training? “

Certainly, by doing cardio, you lose fat … During your session .

And the problem is that if you do not eat enough protein on a daily basis, you’re going to leave muscle there .

You follow me ? (Come on we focus;))

If you lose muscle, your basal metabolic rate will drop . 
And your body will burn less fat in times when you are inactive .

This means that you will have to pedal or run well before losing your extra pounds.

Another point for bodybuilding!

3) Body aesthetic and graceful

bodybuilding makes you fat?

Admit it, have well-molded pecs or firm muscular thighs, that’s one of your goals, if not a fantasy if you’re not playing sports.

Here is a good reason to do bodybuilding: to  have the body you have always wanted .

It is true that men will have no problem in bodybuilding, but women will be reluctant:

  • “I’m afraid of becoming too muscular”
  • “It’s going to distort me”
  • “I’m going to have a man’s voice”
  • Etc …

I assure you, it’s about urban legends.

Even if you lift from melting, ladies you will not become bodybuilders .

“Mouaaais, I’m not convinced …”

You are right to doubt, it is better not to take risks.

But know that the female body does not secrete enough testosterone to allow you to have as many muscles .

And what’s more, to build big muscles, you have to follow a perfect and rigorous diet for several years.

(The women you see on TV use doping products to be as muscular)

Now, think about what you will lose if you do not practice bodybuilding . 
It will help you decide πŸ˜‰

4) Bodybuilding and hormones

Practicing bodybuilding promotes anabolism, which is a condition in which your body is inclined to build muscle mass , of course if all conditions are met (training, diet, rest).

You will tell me that it is all well and good, but that to gain muscle, you have to eat more, which means that you will not lose weight.

weight loss and cardio

And I give you entirely right, but what I did not tell you is that …

With bodybuilding, your body will produce more growth hormones and testosterone:

A winning combination when it comes to burning fat .

“What about cardio training? “

Doing long sessions of cardio will put you on the contrary in a state of catabolism . 
And it will increase your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Cortisol destroys muscle tissue to provide energy to muscles. 
But that’s not all…

Cortisol relocates the fat to the abdominal level.

I think it was enough for you to understand that cortisol is not your ally (especially if you want to lose weight ).

Cardio to lose weight:

“But then does cardio really help to lose fat? “

The answer is yes :

Depending on the duration and intensity of your cardiovascular activity, you can burn 400 to 800 calories per session . 
It’s pretty good.

I remind you that to burn 1kg of fat, you have to burn about 8000 calories.

cardio for weight loss

Which means that you have to do at least 10 1h sessions of cardio to lose 1kg .

(Assuming you do not do any dieting or weight training next door)

It makes sessions anyway!

Not to mention the fact that you will quickly get bored as the cardio sessions are similar.

That said, let’s stop demonizing cardio because it has a positive impact on your cardiovascular health .

Do not neglect cardio training.

In the end, do cardio alone is not the right plan, it is better to make a mix between bodybuilding and cardio.

“A mix!? What do you mean ? A mix of both? “

For example, start with bodybuilding and finish with a good cardio.

“Except that after a session of muscu, too tired … I just want to go to sleep warm”

You are right. 
And that’s exactly why you have to do cardio.

Once your glycogen stores are completely flat because of bodybuilding, this is where you have to do cardio to lose fat!

Yes, it will take a little pain, but if you follow this strategy, you can lose fat effectively and faster.

(PS: Above all, no high glycemic index carbohydrates, no nibbling between muscle and cardio)

VS Cardio Bodybuilding for Weight Loss: Conclusion

Now that you have an opinion on the issue, you can finally flambΓ© the room and stand out if you ask the famous question πŸ˜‰

Remember that there is no good answer to the question “cardio or bodybuilding? “

But if you have to choose between the two, opt for bodybuilding . 
For all the reasons seen above.

The cardio has to come in addition .

Well, now you have the keys in your hands, make good use of them.


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