Does Lifting Weights Burn More Calories Than Cardio?

Man doing leg lifts in gym
A man is doing strength training exercises. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Because both weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise burn calories, confusion arises over which is more effective in burning calories. The intensity of workouts and the exerciser’s body weight are two factors that play roles in determining rates of energy use.

Weightlifting Calories

According to Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person performing a weight lifting workout burns 112 calories in 30 minutes. However, a 240-pound exerciser expends 133 calories in 30 minutes of doing the same workout.

Cardiovascular Exercise

A 155-pound person who jogs at 5 mph for 30 minutes burns 298 calories, while the 185-pound exerciser uses 355 calories in half an hour. By session, cardiovascular workouts clearly burn more calories than weightlifting exercise.

Post-Exercise Burn

“While it is evident that cardiovascular exercise burns more calories than lifting weights, the amount of calories burned after weight training is higher,” reports the CTER Eportfolio System website. Metabolism increases after cardiovascular exercise only lasts 30 to 60 minutes, whereas post weight training metabolism increases up to 48 hours.

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