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Cardio Versus Weight Lifting For Weight Loss

What's Better, Cardio or Lifting Weights? A Trainer Explains the Difference

When it comes to working out and getting in shape, you may be confused as what kinds of exercises to focus on. Some people are obsessed with cardio and prefer to run for miles and sign up for intense 45-minute spin classes. Others spend their gym time strictly in the weight room focusing on strength training. So which one is better?

As personal trainer Max Weber, NASM (@MaxWeberFit) explained, both cardio and weightlifting have their benefits. Cardio is good for burning extra calories, improving blood flow, stress relief, combating depression, and improving sleep, to name a few. Weightlifting, on the other hand, is good for building muscle, making you stronger, burning calories at rest, reducing stress, and improving posture.

"Cardio is fantastic for burning additional calories, increasing the size of your calorie deficit in a fat-loss phase and can be great for stress relief and cardiovascular health (duh!)," Max wrote in his caption. "Strength training is great if you want a bigger booty, leaner arms, or a more powerful bench press or deadlift."

So the bottom line is neither one is necessarily better than the other; they are both important for fitness, depending on your goals. If your goals are more cardio-centric (such as training for a race), Max recommends doing cardio three to five times per week and lifting two times per week. If your goals are more strength- and muscle-focused, then you should lift weights three to five times per week and do cardio once or twice a week.

"The truth is that both cardio and weights have their place along your fitness journey," Max wrote in his caption. "And as you can see, both have some incredible health benefits that'll not only help you look good, but FEEL better too."

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