An age old question is what burns more calories, running or resistance training? There are a couple of ways you can answer this question, but my opinion and belief is that resistance training does a little more for you in comparison to running (or other forms of cardio). Imagine the calories you burn during a workout is your paycheck. Running (or other forms of cardio) is just cashing your check. Resistance training is putting that money in the bank and earning interest on your check. During the workout both of these forms of exercise burn about the same amount of calories. Obviously this is only if the intensity of the workouts is the same (a slow jog compared to run, or doing 2 exercises vs. 6 exercises in an hour). But the difference is resistance training has a larger EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) then running does. What this means is resistance training burns calories longer after the workout then running does. This is an important fact, especially if that is the reason you are working out. Another aspect of resistance training that is different then running is that you build muscle. Every pound of muscle you add to your body increases your basal metabolic rate 15-25 calories a day. This may seem small but if you add a couple of pounds of muscle you can burn an extra 10 pounds of fat a year, by not doing anything. When performing cardio you are able to burn calories during that session and for a little while afterwards. Resistance training has the capability of increasing the calories burned during, after, and your basal metabolic rate. It continues to work for you once you are done.
I am not saying that no one should do cardio, there is a place for everything. For example athletes need to do cardio to get in shape for their respective sports. But the fact that resistance training does so many things cardio can’t (change the shape of your body, increase strength, burn calories for a longer period of time), it should be the focal point of your exercise routine. If you plan on doing both during your workout resistance training should be done first. Studies show when doing both, if you resistance train first you will burn more calories then if reversed. Overall, I am a strong component of resistance training and believe in all it can do for you, your mind, and your body. If you have any questions or want to leave any comments about any of this please do so below.