Strength-Training vs Cardio for Body Composition


Why We Prioritise Strength-Training over Cardio for Body Composition

“Why are there no Treadmills at your Gym? My goal is fat-loss!”
”I really want to focus on fast fat-loss, when should I start doing Cardio?”
“I don’t want to get too muscly, just tone up a little. Maybe strength-training isn;t for me?”

I’m sure you wonder the same things yourself and have found yourself in this very same situation.

After transforming 1000’s of physiques across Perth over the past 5 years, we feel we have the right formula in place for sustainable fat-loss & muscle-gain.

Yet, we are still presented with similiar questions each week in the Gym.

At PPS, we do Strength-Training and we do it well…


The most efficient way to burn body-fat is to focus on increasing muscle tissue.
Of course, the most effecitve way to build muscle is to get stronger in the Gym.

Obviously, no one was ever able to increase their Strength walking on a Treadmill at a snails pace (well not to our knowledge anyway).

Now we are not against Cardio for fat-loss and we do use it as a tool when needed.
We are also not against increasing Cardiovascular health.
We just like to educate our Clients on why they should prioritise Strength-Training & Performance first and use Cardio only as a tool when needed.

What are the benefits of Strength-Training for Fat-Loss?

  • Increased Metabolic Capacity (You can eat more)

  • Ability to burn more calories at rest (After-Burn Effect)

  • Less stress on your hormones and energy levels

“The stronger you get, the more you can eat”

The typical ‘Gym Bro’ or Cardio Bunnie, who wants to lose body-fat will typically reduce calories and increase their activity.

Typically eating Chicken & Broccolli every day, reducing carbohydrates and walking on the treadmill with an incline (sounds familair right?)

This will work to a degree - but eventually the body will adapt. Our body will get use to eating lower calories & performing a tonne of activity, and assume that is normal. It will reduce it’s metabolic rate and you will no longer be able to consume much food without the risk of blowing up the scales.
Even the mere thought of a burger or doughnut could even see your waistline increase, if you punish yourself like this for too long.

If you decided to give this Strength-Training thing a crack instead,
You may find that due to an increase in muscle-tissue, your metabolic capacity will increase even while dropping body-fat.
Allowing you to be less restrictive, consume more food and see more sustainable results.

The ‘After-Burn’ Effect

Now this isn’t some super power.
But the ‘After Burn’ effect is a term that describes your bodies ability to perform more calories at rest after Strength-Training.

When we perform long bouts of Steady State Cardio - we do burn calories while performing the exercise. However as soon as we stop, our calorie expenditure returns back to normal.

After we hit the Gym and maybe hit some Deadlifts and some Press’s - Our body has to work really hard internally afterwards to help recover. This process requires more energy, therefore burns more calories over a 12-24 hour period.

So you get more Bang for Buck calorie expenditure wise out of your lifting session.

I don’t know about you,
But I would much rather hit the Gym for 60 minutes and burn more calories for 24 hours,
Than slog it out on the Treadmill for 60-90 minutes and only burn more calories during that time.

Less Stress - More Test

Slow metabolism, low energy, dwindling libido and still holding on to that stubborn body-fat around the Abs, Butt and Thighs?

That is the typical outcome of prolonged periods of restrictive dieting and daily cardio sessions (sometimes even 2 x daily)

After getting initial results, most people hit the wall and run out of tricks up their sleeves as their body has become to stressed to produce anymore results.

As we know by now, Strength-Training increases our Lean-Muscle Mass. (Not the Hulk type muscly)
What is really awesome about this is that this increase in muscle tissue, comes with many benefits asides from helping us to look awesome.

This includes increased testosterone; helping to improve our mood, libido and energy levels.
And since we are no longer spending 3 hours in the gym, running our body into the ground - we no longer are placing our body under intense levels of stress and cortisol is reduced.

All helping us to achieve a much sustainable body transformation.

If this blog post has resonated with you,
Maybe you are in this situation right now or have been in the past.
Restricting yourself in the kitchen and spending hours of your week performing Cardio with little results,
We hope you have found some value in this.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t perform Cardio, we are saying that you shouldn’t make it your sole priority.
Use it as a tool, along with a sustainable approach to Nutrition & a Strength Training program that focus’s on Progressive Overload in the Gym.

If you need help with this, click the button below to apply for a 14-Day Kick-Starter at one of our dedicated Strength Training faciltiies across Perth: