Friday, March 12, 2010

Weight Training vs. Cardio

Another question:

"Thanks for the post. I have one other question when you first started out did you strictly do cardio and how long? Do you know incorprate weight traning into your fitness routine?"

My answer:
Cardio burns more calories than weight lifting but lifting weights spikes your metabolism for about an hour after you're done exercising. So after you're done with the weights, your body continues to burn calories more than cardio.

The benefits of Cardio are vast. It improves your heart, lungs, stamina. You get a "runner's high" (a rush of endorphins and "happy feelings"). When you're very overweight, cardio is the way to go. It's better to build up your stamina and ease yourself into a program so you don't hurt yourself.

After lifting weights, immediately eat protein. I suggest cottage cheese or a protein shake. Lifting weights replaces fat in your body with muscle. After you lose a lot of weight with cardio, switching to a weight program is ideal to get your body leaner and lose the FAT.

While I was losing 110 pounds I did only cardio. Cardio is fun and easy for me. I could do the elliptical machine for hours if I wanted to. Weights, on the other hand, were harder for me. I don't know why it's not my first choice.

Since I am pretty close to my goal weight, I'm finding it harder to lose weight because cardio doesn't have the same effects it previously had. I started going to a personal trainer periodically to get ideas. He had me doing a cross training program that included a lot of weights and resistance training. It REALLY made a difference. I got over my plateau and started losing weight again.

Now, I try to incorporate weight lifting into my routine as much as possible. Since I'm training for Reach the Beach (bike ride) and Hood to Coast (running), I do a lot of cardio. I need to have the long distance stamina to complete those things. But when I go to the gym to do my cardio, I try and end with weight lifting. I do about 20-30 minutes on the weight machines.

When I was trying to lose weight, I did about 45-70 minutes of cardio (usually the elliptical machine). Now my routine is a bit different:
RUNNING: Running at lunch I do about 35 minutes. Mostly because I don't have time to go longer if I want to shower and eat before heading back to work. On the weekends, I do longer runs of about an hour.
GYM: I do about 45 minutes on the machines (elliptical or stair-master) then go do weights for 20-30 minutes.
SWIMMING: 45 to 50 minutes 2 or 3x a week.
BIKING: When we go for bike rides it's usually for several hours.

It's race weekend! I'm excited and nervous. Good luck to ! :)

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way a personal trainer or nutritionist. I'm just passing on what worked for me. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank YOU for the mention! :) Your posts have been super helpful for me lately - I look forward to them every day.

    Maybe I'll see you at the finish line on Sunday!