“Should I focus more on cardio or strength training for weight loss?”
If you could focus on only ONE thing as foremost priority with singular goal of weight loss, a strong argument could be made that getting a firm handle on your diet should be that one thing, as it’s easier to use as your ‘lever’ than is exercise in most cases. (Eating in a 400 calorie daily deficit is arguably easier to keep constant than exercising away 400 excess calories daily. Weather, sickness, injury, etc can all stand in the way of one’s exercise, whereas daily intake (diet) can likely be kept more consistent depending on one’s discipline and commitment.)
Cardio is excellent for heart health, whole body health, and for many of us, mental health. Strength training is awesome for building or preserving muscle, no matter what diet phase one is in.
The more muscle one carries on their body, the more calories they burn at rest, aka higher resting metabolism, aka they are able to eat more without gaining weight. So another point to strength training.
Many lose lots of body fat and are unsatisfied with their physique; they expected to see more tone or definition. Tone or definition comes from a combo of low enough bodyfat levels + adequate muscle on the frame, as the muscle showing thru lean enough body fat levels is what brings the tone/definition.
If you have leaned out and want more tone/definition, embrace the weights, and watch your body transform (pro-tip: you’ll likely want to be eating at least maintenance levels, more than likely surplus so your body has building material to build new muscle with.)
The ideal layout for most people would include elements of both cardio AND strength training, to have the most well-rounded body of health, and also likely the most well-rounded physique.
Zooming out from any one context or goal, in my opinion the most important part of choosing one’s exercise routine should be focusing on something that they can enjoy.The only way to get any sort of benefit with staying power from an exercise routine, is longevity in that routine, so to willingly choose something that you have no real interest or fondness for, it won’t be long before that routine is scrapped.
There are PLENTY of ways to keep our bodies moving that don’t involve cardio machines, nor gyms. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Walking, rucking, carrying medium-heavy-ish awkward objects across various distances, think about moving in ways that various generations before us did, just to complete their daily tasks.
- Diet should be #1 focus, at least first, for weight loss.
- Cardio and strength training both have their benefits and should be included at least somewhat in all of our weekly routines.
- If your exercise routine is not something you enjoy, you won’t stay doing it long, so search for something you enjoy and will WANT to do, so it has staying power, and you’ll stick with it to ultimately see it’s benefits.