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strengh training /cardio

i love strength training, HATE cardio. i would take classes, but the classes dont really fit into my schedule (i'm a full time student and i'm at school pretty much all day). i try to go to the gym 3x a week for about an hour, and i really like to spend the whole time on the weight machines. i walk as much as i can, 15 min to the gym, 15 min home, 20 min to school, but i really don't like doing cardio aside from that. is that enough to lose weight, or do i need to do more cardio with the strength training?

Tue. Jul 19, 7:48am

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My understanding of this (I could be mistaken!) is that strength training only indirectly causes weight loss. It does that by building muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat no matter what you're doing - sleeping or sitting or walking or whatever. So if you have bigger muscles, you burn more cals throughout the day. But getting your heat rate up through some daily cardio burns lots more than your average sitting, sleeping, walking.

Also, losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. So if you're burning more cals than you're eating by walking (and it sounds like you do a lot more walking than the average American!) and studying and lifting, then you will lose weight.

And slightly off topic, but maybe still relevant, getting your heart rate up through cardio has a bunch of other benefits beyond just weight strengthens your heart, makes your lungs work better, clears toxins from your muscles, etc. So you might want to try to work some in just for that. Maybe run/power walk to the gym, and add a loop of a couple of blocks before you go in?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 9:35 AM

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20 minute cardio

I would suggest before you hit the weights to hop on a machine of your choice for 20 mins. You can do ANYTHING for 20 minutes, even if you hate it. You will start to see better results if you can include a bit more of intensity to your cardio beyond walking (which i believe is great, and better than nothing). Try it for a few weeks, the 20 mins will get easier to do and you might actually look forward to it somedays.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 12:04 PM

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what's a good ratio?

I'm trying to lose weight, so I've been trying to do at least 30 minutes of cardio each day. But I also like the machines because I feel like they're helping me get the muscle tone and definition I want.
So here's my question(s) -
If I'm doing 30 min. of cardio 5-6 times/week, how many times/week should I be adding strength training. Is 2 enough? Is 3 better? Is everyday too much?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 1:32 PM

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cardio AFTER strength training....

I've been told by a trainer (and seen it countless other places as well) -- it's better to do strength before cardio. Aside from the fact that you'll be sweaty and worn out after cardio, the other reason is fuel. You need energy to do the weights efficiently (you should be working towards your max), so it's better to do that first. Part of the point of cardio (aside from working your heart & lungs) is to lose weight -- which means burning your body's fuel. Do it afterwards. I've done this for a long time and it works well.

If you feel you need a warm-up before strength training, you can do 5-10 minutes of light cardio just to get your heart going. But save the real cardio for afterwards.

PS Nothing lifts your mood better than cardio. Far more effective than prescription anti-depressants, and lately, studies are proving that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 3:35 PM

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I have been told that lifting 3 times a week is necessary for maintenance. That is, if you're not trying to gain muscle/get stronger, you need to lift with that muscle three times per week. More than that, you'll make yourself stronger. Less, you'll start to lose what you have.

I'm not sure how this applies if you're just starting to lift. You'll certainly get stronger/build muscle on 3 times per week at least at the beginning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 7:48 AM

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yes, cardio after weights!

agree w/ the poster about cardio after strength training! ex-boyfriend who was a trainer and current trainer always tell me to do a brief 5-10 min. warm-up (bike) then weights, followed by 20-30 min of cardio (i like "cross training" on elliptical)! yes, i have seen results with such modifications. good luck:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 10:04 AM

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Yes - I imagined that if there was any difference in which order I did my exercises, it would be negligible. And at this point in my life (fitness-wise), I think as long as I'm doing something (ANYTHING in ANY order), I'm doing well! : )

Thursday, July 21, 2005, 10:53 AM

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I posted the above comment about cardio after weights... but really, whatever works for you. That's just what I was told and it works for me.

The main thing though is that you are getting both strength training and cardio regularly during the week, however you go about it.

Friday, July 22, 2005, 10:14 PM

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"You can do ANYTHING for 20 minutes..."

This philosophy gets me through SO many things in life!

Saturday, July 23, 2005, 12:02 PM

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