Cardio vs Weight Lifting
I've lost about 150 lbs over the last couple years doing mostly cardio with a little bit of weight lifting. I still have fat around my midsection but I'm reaching the point where I'm comfortable with my weight, so I want to increase my weight lifting to tone up and try to burn the remaining fat. I need some advice on what sort of routine will work best to burn fat, as in how often should I do cardio and lifting, and how much of each? I've heard that doing cardio can cancel the effects of lifting, but I'm afraid that if I cut back on it, I will gain more weight, which I can't afford to do. I'm not going for a body building physique, just lean muscle. Any help would be appreciated!
Cardio can interfere with the ability to gain significant muscle mass, but strength and toning are still completely possible.
I'd recommend at least two days of resistance training. You can also add a shorter cardio session to the session, either before or after you do your lifting.
Originally Posted by Jrahien
I totally agree. Resistance training will help you tone up. Add more weight to your usual and do an intensive workout on this. This way you can create more muscle mass. Don;t let down on your cardio though to make sure that you have exercise to fuel you weight loss. You are only getting more comfortable to your body weight, but barely there yet.
Thanks for the replies everybody. I think my biggest fear is that I will build muscle, but it will just be hidden underneath the layer of fat that I still have left. Like I said, I'm not going for a Mr. Universe physique, just want to tone up what I have left, but I don't want to just tone up muscle and not have it burn off the fat on top of it. Right now I am at the gym on two days, off the third. I do 30 minutes of cardio each day and alternate days between upper and lower body on lifting. I tend to do a lower weight and more reps (12-15) because I am under the impression lower weight/higher reps = lean muscle and endurance, and higher weight/less reps = bigger, stronger muscles.
Congratulations on the 150lb weight loss! That's awesome!
As for your training, weight is gained or lost primarily based on calories in vs calories out. 1 min of squatting will burn about as many calories as 1 min of running, possibly more depending on range of motion, speed, number of reps, weight lifted, etc. A 1RM olympic clean and jerk can burn in excess of 14kcal, which is up to 3min worth of regular cardio. Simply put, if you're using compound lifts, in a training session you can burn just as much as you would if you did cardio for the same session time.
Low rep training is probably more advantageous to you than high rep training. The whole "high reps tone, low reps bulk" mentality comes purely from glossy magazines and con-artists. There's no basis for it in reality. In fact bodybuilders often use high rep training specifically for the bulk they can get out of it that they can't get from low rep training alone. In saying that, diet has more to do with it than what rep range you use. Since you're eating in a way that's conducive to weight loss, you won't build much muscle regardless of how you train.
Ryan - D.Fitness. SQ 2x150kg - BP 95kg - DL 190kg - OHP 60kg
Thanks for the congrats. It's definitely a journey!
My diet is definitely conducive to weight loss still - the only change I have made recently is to increase my intake of protein, but without increasing my total calories. I eat right around 2000 calories/day, and about 180 grams of protein (I am currently hovering right around 210 lbs). Should I actually be eating more calories to help build muscle? And as far as rep range is concerned, if the "high reps tone, low reps bulk" is not true, what exactly is the difference? I have recently started using higher weights with less reps, thinking it will help build muscle quicker (I am in a beach wedding next month and kinda want to be as ready as possible!).
What will make you look better a month from now? Having more muscle and either the same amount of fat or a little more fat? Or having the same amount of muscle and less fat? Probably the latter, so I'd keep on keeping on with the weight loss.
"Tone" is the visibility of muscle, which is a product of muscular presence and absence of fat on top (lighting, how pumped up your muscles are, the shade of your skin etc will also impact this visibility).
"Bulk" is the size of the muscles, and possibly the presence of fat over the muscles.
Super low rep training produces mostly neurological and skeletal adaptations. Super high rep training produces mostly cardiovascular adaptations. Muscular hypertrophy can be achieved through both high rep and low rep training, and the average person will find that it's optimised somewhere in between due to the stars lining up to provide adequate volume and intensity for growth. But again, not much if any muscular hypertrophy will occur without excess calories (training is only the stimulus for growth, it doesn't induce growth on its own), and excess calories also result in increased body fat.
Ryan - D.Fitness. SQ 2x150kg - BP 95kg - DL 190kg - OHP 60kg
First - Congratulations with the weight loss, good job.
I read goof replies, just a couple of inputs:
* When working out, cut down on the breaks and do routines, that make you exhausted, this really burns calories.
* One year, I wanted to burn the rest of the midsection fat, and I started the day with some cardio, small run (10-15 min.), rope jumping and like that. Not enough to feel the muscles or getting tired, but enough to burn calories - It was great.
Yeah unfortunately my midsection is the biggest store of fat that I have left. Hardest part to get rid of!
But from what I've gathered from all the replies, is it safe to assume it's probably not a good idea to be lifting weights for muscle building at the same time I'm doing cardio to try and get rid of my fat stores? Am I cancelling myself out on both accounts? I'm not as concerned with numbers as I used to be. If I weigh a little more from adding muscle but look great I couldn't really care less. But I don't want to just bulk up by adding muscle underneath all the fat and not losing the fat...I'm starting to think I should cut back on the lifting and concentrate on cardio again until I burn more of the remaining fat...
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