What are your thoughts on cardio vs weight training?

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PUNKYPWR

Joined: Jun 09
Posts: 4

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Posted: 03 May 2012, 17:14
I've recently and quite quickly lost 15lbs. As I've struggled over the years to lose weight I've always done a walk/jog, eating healthier approach to losing weight. I've never really incorporated weights into my routine and never really had to as my body just toned as I exercised & lost weight.

Now that I'm getting older & losing weight I've noticed things aren't toning up like they used too. Shock I've always been a lil apprehensive about doing any type of weights while losing weight just bcuz I always wanna see that number on the scale going down & if muscle weighs more than fat then gaining muscle would stall my weight loss, right?

So what are your thoughts? Do I have to do weight training to successfully tone my body?
Good luck & keep smiling!!!
Punkie
ferlengheti

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 200

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Posted: 03 May 2012, 17:52
Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat. 1kg of muscle and 1kg of fat both weigh 1kg. =) BUT, muscle is denser, so it takes up way less space. So 1kg of fat might be twice the size of 1kg of muscle. Gaining lean muscle is more likely to replace fat, so while your weight doesn't change (and that might piss you off!) you'll look and feel leaner. The most awesome results I've seen on this site and elsewhere are where women have started weight training and gone from quite thin, maybe with some loose skin from weightloss, and not a lot of muscle, to being seriously lean and healthy looking. Not bulky or weird... just sexy and athletic. PLUS, increasing your lean muscle means you'll burn fat more efficiently in future. DO IT!!
I've never met a cheese I didn't like.
Marlboro Man

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 418

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Posted: 03 May 2012, 18:56
burning calories is burning calories. weight loss is a function of caloric defcit if you want to want to do cardio to achieve a deficit (allow you to eat more) go for it, if you want to lift weights ok, if you dont want to do either and just eat less fine.
with that said i would suggest weight lifting because you will be more likely to maintain muscle mass, possibly build muscle mass and will have a lower bodyfat percentage. thus raising your BMR and will allow you to lose wieght on a larger daily calorie intake; who is going to object to that?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
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JazzyOwl

Joined: May 12
Posts: 61

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Posted: 03 May 2012, 19:04
I am just starting on my new weight loss journey. However; i used to be fit. When i was in shape, i always combined cardio and weight training. It gives you that extra edge. Now i am 45 and plan on doing the same. Good Luck! Keep us posted!
Once you forgot what you are worth......You forgot what you deserve!
holfraz

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 178

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Posted: 04 May 2012, 06:17
You can use your own body weight for resistance training, such as squats, push ups, etc. But unless you are doing some serious body building you arent going to gain in mass using weights. And most of us are carrying enough weight around on our own bodies to use for resistance training.
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 04 May 2012, 06:40
PUNKYPWR wrote:
Now that I'm getting older & losing weight I've noticed things aren't toning up like they used too. Shock


As we age, we gradually lose muscle mass unless we actively work to keep it. In a calorie deficit (i.e., losing weight), our activity types and diet composition will affect how much lost weight comes from body fat, and how much comes from muscle. While everyone has their own goals for body composition, most people prefer to minimize the amount of muscle lost while losing weight, for health, strength, aesthetic, and metabolic purposes.

Quote:
I've always been a lil apprehensive about doing any type of weights while losing weight just bcuz I always wanna see that number on the scale going down & if muscle weighs more than fat then gaining muscle would stall my weight loss, right?


Weight training can slow down the pace of weight loss in several ways, but ultimately this doesn't matter - it should be fat loss that matters, not weight loss. For example, burning one pound of fat yields about 3500 calories of energy. Breaking down one pound of muscle yields about 600 calories of energy. Let's say you're dieting aggressively and your body needs to tap its own reserves for 4100 calories of energy in a week. It could get that energy from one pound of fat and one pound of muscle, which shows up as two pounds of weight loss on the scale. OR, with proper resistance training and sufficient protein in your diet, those 4100 calories could come only from fat, in which case you've lost "only" about 1.15 lbs. You've lost less weight, but you've lost more fat and retained more muscle. You will probably look and feel better despite slowing down the scale.

If you can break the reliance on the scale as an indicator of body fat loss, you'll probably be happier with the final result in your appearance, strength, and health, if you incorporate weight training into your exercise.

Quote:
So what are your thoughts? Do I have to do weight training to successfully tone my body?


I don't know a single person that has ever said "I wish I hadn't started lifting while I was losing weight." They may be out there, but I've never met them. On the other hand, I know a small army of people - myself included - who wish they had started weight training sooner.

Weight training may temporarily slow down or stall the movement on the scale. It won't, however, slow down body fat loss unless it increases your appetite enough that you take in more calories than you're burning through the lifting. If you can avoid that pitfall, however, and stick within your daily calorie goal, lifting will help preserve your muscle mass as you lose weight. It's eminently worth it, in my opinion.
nicmicmom

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 7

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Posted: 24 May 2012, 15:44
Once I learned that women can and SHOULD lift heavy, I've never looked and felt better. I look leaner and leaner every week. Per the scale, I am still overweight, per my size 4's I am lean.

Lifting boosts your metabolism. I love it, wish I started it earlier and can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

I was panic stricken at the thought of bulking up, however I have since learned that women would have to work REAL hard to bulk up. Our hormone make up makes it hard for us to get bulky muscles unless we lift for several hours a day AND eat several thousand calories.

Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 24 May 2012, 15:59
nicmicmom wrote:
Once I learned that women can and SHOULD lift heavy, I've never looked and felt better. I look leaner and leaner every week. Per the scale, I am still overweight, per my size 4's I am lean.

Lifting boosts your metabolism. I love it, wish I started it earlier and can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

I was panic stricken at the thought of bulking up, however I have since learned that women would have to work REAL hard to bulk up. Our hormone make up makes it hard for us to get bulky muscles unless we lift for several hours a day AND eat several thousand calories.


One of the best posts I've ever read here Very Happy
zandra70

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 36

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Posted: 24 May 2012, 17:21
I second Nimm! nicmicmom- what a wonderful post- absolutely true!
Encorporating weight training has allowed me to lean out, and lose more inches than I can count.

lift women- lift!! Smile
MinaKoi

Joined: May 12
Posts: 2

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Posted: 24 May 2012, 18:51
I was at my best when I trained with weights more than cardio. This is just me, everyone is different and you have to use what works for you. I like the look of a bit of muscle in my thighs, my abs and some but not too much in my arms. I can't wait to get back there! I mix it up with weights and cardio (I hate running but have been forcing myself). Try it, you will probably love how you look.
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 270

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Posted: 24 May 2012, 19:15
So people have touched on what it will do for you physically, metabolically, appearance-wise etc. But one other thing I've found since I started trying to incorporate more weight training is the mental benefits. It just makes me feel more confident and powerful I guess. It takes some nerve to walk past the bulky bodybuilder guys with the massive weight stacks and grab your little 15 pounders. And I feel like a stud when I get to top of the chin-up (as long as I pretend I'm doing it without all the assistance).
gnat824

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,645

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Posted: 24 May 2012, 20:19
Do strength training, forget the scale and watch the changes you see in your body. I've been consistently incorporating strength training with Jillian Michael's workout videos for the past year until I hurt my back a couple months ago. Between that injury, work travel, moving and other things occupying my time, I stopped my strength training and when I weighed in last week, the number on the scale was about where it was before but nothing else is- all my measurements were up .5 to 1 inch and my clothes don't look as good on me. You don't walk around wearing a sign broadcasting your weight- what people notice is how you look in your clothes that's definitely improved by the increased muscle tone and tightness you get through strength training.

If you need other benefits, it helps ward of osteoporosis too and in the elderly, lower body strength is one of the big indicators of life expectancy. Keeping up the lower body strength makes you less likely to fall, which helps you avoid pneumonia and other complications that result from being immobilized. Build up that muscle and work to maintain it!
- Natalie
PUNKYPWR

Joined: Jun 09
Posts: 4

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Posted: 27 May 2012, 15:30
Welp, thank you all for your advice & sharing your own experiences with weights. I started my about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago, or approximately 1 week after I submitted this forum post. I've not used any free weights yet but I am totally enjoying the machines I've been using.

I'm not stuck on the numbers on the scale now & I feel my wobbly bits getting firmer. :0) I actually enjoy doing weights better than my cardio, now.
Good luck & keep smiling!!!
Punkie
Fedaykin

Joined: May 11
Posts: 72

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Posted: 27 May 2012, 17:21
Weight training is essential to proper weight loss.

Whenever you are in a calorie deficit, your body is going to use BOTH fat AND muscle as energy sources. The more drastic the calorie deficit, the most muscle mass you will lose. Your body will jealously guard its fat reserves because they are more important for survival than muscle mass.

Now the obvious: You don't want to lose muscle mass!

The way to mitigate (not stop, just mitigate) that loss is to:

1.) Stick to a reasonable deficit, 500-1000ca/day average
2.) Include moderate to vigorous cardio exercise when dieting.
3.) Include moderate to vigorous resistance (weight) training when dieting.

The exercise (both cardio* and resistance) training stimulates muscle growth because your body will always try to strengthen itself when taxed by regular exercise. Since you're doing a calorie deficit, it won't be able to necessarily build more muscle, but the exercise will prevent it from cannibalizing as much muscle.

Cardio primarily burns calories and build cardiovascular health, but will also build muscle despite the common claims otherwise. That said, you still need resistance training to stimulate muscle growth in all muscles instead of just those used in the cardio you're doing. You'll also get more net strength gain (or rather, lack of loss) from resistance training.
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

      quote  
Posted: 27 May 2012, 20:12
Fedaykin wrote:
Now the obvious: You don't want to lose muscle mass!

The way to mitigate (not stop, just mitigate) that loss is to:

1.) Stick to a reasonable deficit, 500-1000ca/day average
2.) Include moderate to vigorous cardio exercise when dieting.
3.) Include moderate to vigorous resistance (weight) training when dieting.


4) Sufficient dietary protein is very important, and the amount needed for an even nitrogen balance is greater when in a calorie deficit.
If you're losing body fat and weight training, 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight should be sufficient.
sbf54

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 1

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Posted: 03 Jun 2012, 08:45
All great advice! Bottom line is we need cardio, resistance and flexibility training. The bathroom scale doesn't tell you the percentage of body fat vs. muscle and is not a reliable tool to measure your fitness level. Muscles sculpt and tone body to give it shape....and as mentioned, it is extremely difficult for a woman to 'bulk up', as we do not have the testosterone levels that men do.
Northerngal1

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 25

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Posted: 03 Jun 2012, 19:30
Nima, I'm glad you mentioned protein intake. This is my new struggle, trying to incorporate enough protein, but yet keeping my rdi to see weight loss. I started incorporating protein powder in lo cal smoothies on the days I lift but that bumps my caloric intake out of whack. Open to suggestions!
"Believe in yourseelf, trust the process, change forever" - B. Harper

ciredrallop

Joined: May 12
Posts: 1

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Posted: 03 Jun 2012, 20:06
I've been able to keep a steady schedule of working out by lifting weights 3 times a week. I think a consistent cardio workout schedule is hard to maintain. I've been lifting weights using dumbbells in a circuit training style approach for nearly two years and haven't missed more than maybe 2 workouts. And I only missed those because I was sick.

So to me the more important debate of which is better, weights or cardio, just depends on which one you can keep doing long term. Weight lifting can be much more casual, way more diverse, and easier to see progression in the amount of weight you can lift, number of reps, etc.

To northerngal1, get Optimum Nutrition Hydrowhy Protein, strawberry flavored, and mix it with 8 ounces of water. Each drink is only about 100 calories when combined in water. It is the only protein I have found so far that actually tastes good(ish) in water.



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