Exercise! - Cardio vs. Weight Training

View Full Version : Cardio vs. Weight Training

01-28-2007, 06:51 PM
OK. Here's the deal. A personal trainer approached me on sunday wanting to train me twice a week. (with a 4 day workout plan a week) He asked me what I was doing at the moment and I told him 45 min of cardio a day with no weights. He said this is wrong and on his program I would only do cardio once a week with weights the other 3 days. He reckons this will get a bigger (weight and fat loss) results over time than what I'm doing. Personally I disagree, I'm just wondering what other opinions there are about this out there.

Does weight training get better results as far as weight loss than cardio?

01-28-2007, 08:55 PM
If I were only faced with those two scenarios, I'd choose his - especially if he throws in a few cardio 'bursts' in the workout.

Cardio only doesn't do much for me (exept improve my heart :) )

01-28-2007, 10:06 PM
Do you find the weights help you to lose weight? I don't know... I think I'm just skeptical cause weights haven't really helped me before... not that I was using them properly!! :dunno: I'll give him a go and see what he has to say first training session. :)

01-28-2007, 10:22 PM
There's a book called "No More Cellulite" that explains this research study. The results were that yes, the weight-lifting group saw better improvements than the cardio only.

01-28-2007, 10:30 PM
Personally, I think both plans are lacking. I think it needs balanced with cardio half the time and weights the other half. But doing only one all the time isn't a good idea. I just spent 25 minutes on my stair stepper this morning, then 15 minutes with my weights and step this afternoon. I hope to get my bedroom VCR back up and running so I can start back on my WATP videos tomorrow. Always try mixing the weights and cardio.

01-28-2007, 10:34 PM
When I lost my first 50 lbs or so, I didn't do any cardio. I could barely walk and straightening my knee was painful as I had a strained knee ligament from falling down some stairs. I only did weights. Since I can do cardio though, I do both weights and cardio. I like weights a lot more but I think it is good to alternate days of cardio and weights or do weights then cardio on the same day.

01-28-2007, 11:58 PM
Wow I guess I was a bit ignorant with the weights issue- I always thought it was for body building types...the last thing I want is to "bulk up" as they say... i know people say it makes you stronger and burns more fat, but to be honest I'll do whichever it takes to lose the most lbs... :p

Nelie - that's unreal that the first 50lb were lost with just weight training!! :D Can u list what your typical workout and sets / reps would be? :hyper: I would love to know!! How long would you typically do weights for all up?

Almost heaven- you're not wrong a mix would probably be the best solution... i think that would maximize the results.

Michele KC - I'll def have to check out that book, thanks for the reference!When you say weight-lifting group, did they do mostly weights and little cardio or no cardio at all?

01-29-2007, 12:37 AM
I don't think there is such a thing as "Cardio VS. Weight Training" I think it should be "Cardio AND Weight Training"... You really do need a balance of both... Having said this I still prefer to weight train than do cardio and for years that's all I did and was in great shape but it's when I started running that I noticed the biggest weight loss.

Cardio burns calories so it's great for weight control, endurance, and overall cardiovascular heart health. Weight training makes muscles that burn more calories at rest, strengthens bones and preserves muscle mass as we age and as we lose weight ...

You should go with what your trainer says to see if it works first off, he may be incorporating a workout that is circuit like and is so intense that it is like a cardio and weight workout in one...

01-29-2007, 01:49 AM
hey wouldn't that be perfect?? cardio weights routine. Yeah I'll take your advice for sure... but I think if he says all one or the other I'll serve him a piece of opinion pie... :frypan: I wish I could run on treadmill but I'm so un-co I'm going to land flat on my face!!! hehehe

01-29-2007, 09:19 AM
Actually, I'm the opposite of you Nelie, I lost my first 50 pounds with mostly cardio, 30 min elliptical, 20 min cross trainer with some machine lifting between. But honestly, my "lifting" with those machines never did much for me, then I was introduced to free weights and I realized what I'd been missing all that time. I cut my cardio back a bit, 15 min, weights, then 10 min but in a shorter time, I actually work a bit harder, not so leisurely, more like hurrying up to break a sweat. But now that I do both, I feel stronger, sexier, and I hope to get nice and TIGHT! :D It's a mantra around here but it's true- muscles are SEXY!

01-29-2007, 10:34 AM
Chimi - It is incredibly difficult to bulk up. You really need a lot of the right hormones and a lot of lifting to bulk up. Most women don't have the right hormones so you can lift to your full capacity for a long time and never bulk up.

For the first 6 months, I did heavy lifting. I did a 4 day split which I rotated. One day was legs (minus calves), next day was upper body push muscles (chest and triceps), next day was upper body pull muscles (back and biceps) and the last day was everything else (abs, shoulders, calves). I would do 2 exercises per muscle group so I'd do 2 chest exercises, 2 back exercises, 2 (or 3) shoulder exercises, etc. For the first month, I was a little restrained with my leg exercises just because I had just injured my knee. I would do 3-4 sets of each exercise. First set was my warmup set and I would do about 15 reps. Then I'd increase the weights to reach failure at about rep 8 or 10 on my last set. At my peak of exercising like this, I was able to bench press (with a smith machine) about 140 lbs and I could do a leg press with nearly 600 lbs. I was insane but I figured that if my body could do it, I was going to let it.

At about month 3, I started adding in some cardio but it was pretty minimal, 2 times per week but I slowly added more so that I was doing an hour of weights plus 20-30 minutes of cardio each time.

I never gained inches, I only lost weight and fairly quickly as well. Unfortunately, I started to slack off after the first 6 months and ended up gaining 10 lbs (I had lost 75 lbs total in 6 months). I ended up maintaining my loss for 12-18 months before I seriously tried losing weight again. I then tried to do a similar routine at the gym with DH (then DBF), but he didn't like going to the gym 4-5 nights per week and spending an hour there each time. I could've went by myself but oh well :)

So now what I am doing is home workouts and they do pretty well but I'm inconsistent and I need to get more consistent.

If you want to learn more about weights, check out the Ladies Who Lift forum as well as this website:

01-29-2007, 10:41 AM
hey wouldn't that be perfect?? cardio weights routine. Yeah I'll take your advice for sure... but I think if he says all one or the other I'll serve him a piece of opinion pie... :frypan: I wish I could run on treadmill but I'm so un-co I'm going to land flat on my face!!! hehehe
Don't knock it til ya try it. I had a friend tried to get me to let go of the bars on the treadmill, but I was uncoordinated myself. I kept my hands just inches from the bars and kept using them to steady myself. I couldn't look away for even one second. She could stare right at me beside her while running and never break stride. It took awhile, but I can look off for short bursts now and never need to use the bars.

01-29-2007, 10:55 AM
Weight loss is still a matter of calories in, calories out. You will never lose weight by eating too many calories, no matter how active you are.

Exercise is not absolutely necessary for weight loss, but it sure helps. It also has a million health benefits that one doesn't get by weight loss alone. For that reason, I personally think that both cardio and weight training are necessary. The ratio of cardio to training can vary- 40/60, 50/50, 60/40 etc.

So, find your balance of calories in, calories out, and continue the exercise. The best exercise is the one you enjoy and will actually do.

01-29-2007, 11:05 AM
Another thing to remember, when you start lifting weights, your muscles are going to hold on to some water and that will play with the scale and wreak havoc with you mentally if you measure your success only by what the scale says. I would suggest taking your measurements before you add weights to your routine and use that to track progress instead of being only focused on the scale.

Different people do different things to lose weight but when it comes down to it, the best recipe for success relies on three key things:

Weight lifting
Clean eating

Also, go to the forum that has the pics of people that have reached their goal and check out Meg. She is a major weight slinger and wears a size 4. That should ease your mind about "bulking up."

Good luck and let us know how it's going.


01-29-2007, 05:24 PM
OMG you guys are so wise!!! Doesn't matter what curve ball I throw atcha!!!:D I just want to give you all a HUGE THANK YOU for taking the time and consideration to write your replies, you dont know how awesome this is!!! :carrot:

Nurse Michele- Muscles? What muscles?? The only muscle I have ever used is the noggin :book2: :lol: But I hope I know what you mean one day, I mean we all want to be sexxxy!!!! I have put an order in for free weights, I think that will be awesome too cause I can do it at home!

Nelie- WOW that is amazing. How inspirational!!! I am analyzing everything you wrote (cause I'm new to all the lingo) and will see what I can do to copycat you. When you say "2 excercises" that means two different positions targeting the same group of muscles, yeah? HOLY MOLY 600lb !!!! And yeah I guess consistency really does work- and that way you can monitor what works and what doesnt ey!!

Almost Heaven - Hey that's pretty good! :) I tried it yesterday but i didn't last very long :( I think I panicked!!! hehehe... Everything takes practice though ey!!! Thanks girl..

Northern Belle - heheh I was thinking more like 5/10? LOL what a lazy bugger I am. I try the calorie counting thing but it gets very very tedious ey!!! Now I just eat everything guilt free (like veggies) however much I want and look closely only at the stuff with lots of carbs, or lots of fat!! (mmm choccies!!) I suppose this is pretty slack but its been working out alright for me so far... but your totally right, calories in, calories out!!! I just wish they were both as easy to do!! :lol:

tikanique - Thanks for that- thankfully I'm not really a scale person- I just weigh in once a week. The thought of getting the ol' tape measure out is freekin scary!! Well I guess it can't hurt... OMG I saw Meg WOW how great is her story! All that hard work and effort really paid off.

01-29-2007, 05:36 PM

I presented what I did as an example but there are lots of different ways to train with weights. Body For Life is a good book on weight lifting but that stumptuous website I showed you is really good as well. And when I said 2 exercises, it would be 2 different ones for the same muscle group. An example would be chest flyes and chest press. There are actually many exercises that can work many muscles.

A few other good websites for exercises are:


You could also peruse the main pages of those websites as well to get general information.

01-30-2007, 01:54 AM
That ABC one is a doozy- complete with animations!!! :strong: thanks for the link- I would never have found that!! That thor's hammer one is a classic. :lol: I think I can do that one sitting on the sofa watching Iron Chef :rofl: . I suppose I will concentrate at first on working the bigger muscle groups- I can't wait to get me weights in!!! Should be this weekend, I'll let you know how I go with it!! Thanks again :hug:

01-30-2007, 06:18 AM
i had a session with a trainer at my gym, and he told me to do cardio 4-5 x a week, and a 30 min cycle of weight on two of those days...showed me a great way to get them in...i lost weight like 7 yrs ago, with out any exercise and my body was thin, but ackward...it wasnt lean looking...i still had some looseness...
i would do the weights...hes not going to make u pump iron, just light weights to tone, and make things appear lean...plus the next day burn is a true judge of ur progress! unlike cardio, ur sure ur doing something right!

01-30-2007, 11:47 PM
aggie- I agree the looseness thing would def. bug me if I got to my goal... the routing your PT gave you sounds alot more sound than mine!! It makes more sense to me. YEAH feel the BURN baby!!! .....ouch. ... :rofl:

01-31-2007, 07:41 PM
So I had my training session last night- WOW!!!!!!!!! I'm in alot of pain this morning, cause he busted my *** yesterday!!! It was mostly using the fitball with free weights, doing squats, and sprinting in between reps. I swear, I have NEVER had such a hard / good workout, and I've been playing sports and hiking and such for years... So he totally proved me wrong. He wants me to do this 4 times a week???!?!?!?! OMG!!! Now i know how hard its gonna be ;) good thing I'm up for the challenge!!! :strong:

02-01-2007, 06:25 AM
:cp: :bravo: :encore: :congrat: :cheer:

02-01-2007, 09:46 AM
:cp: :bravo: :encore: :congrat: :cheer:Ditto :lol: and glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much... Keep us posted on your progress...

02-01-2007, 05:24 PM
heyyy thanks gals, :D seriously if you saw how much I was b*tching about that workout you would not be hip hip hooraying me!!! :lol: :rofl:
its now two days since that workout and I STILL can't walk down the stairs properly!! I managed to do 1/2 hr of cardio yesterday while wincing and cursing him out obviously :lol: and I have another torture session with him next week wednesday where we are going to work on the "back" muscles. (ie the whole back of the body) But I have to say weights combined with the fitball with interval sprints MUST BE THE BEST solution to weightloss if you keep the intensity up over the whole week- I have yet to prove this but I will!! :D I just don't know how I'm going to get 4 of those in a week (his recommendation) with all this pain!! I'm going to test this theory out! I may start a new thread on this and keep u posted. Fingers Crossed!! :dance:

02-01-2007, 06:56 PM
chimichanga -- You'll get used to it :devil: hehehehe....

02-02-2007, 04:17 AM
enjoy the pain! hehe. no seriously there comes a point where you stop feeling the pain...and you begin to wonder, damn it what am i doing wrong, im not getting the same effects! so you work harder and harder..its like a pain addiction...trust me, i loooove the burn...hehehehe just prove to me that im losing weight, and getting fit! give it 2 weeks with your trainer...but the second week you'll feel different...

02-04-2007, 05:47 PM
Love the burn?? OMG i don't think I will ever love it :lol:
But its good to feel like you've done something!! I have another session with him this wednesday so we'll see!!!

02-04-2007, 07:38 PM
Started a new thread about Interval Training under excercise- anyone else from this thread are welcome to join in!! Look forward exploring this new technique with all of you! :D Although it asks a question, feel free to continue discussing as usual :)

Talk to y'all soon, Chimi

02-04-2007, 10:27 PM
LOL - make sure to use those handrails!! I miss that sensation, but remember it well when I started and whenever I increased the weights. I'm in the "no pain" club now. Can't seem to get a high enough weight hoisted to feel it the next day. Sometimes some tightening in the buns, but that's about it. Good I guess. But I remember the feeling that your knees would give out on you and you'd tumble down the stairs, so seriously, make friends with the hand rails! lol

02-06-2007, 10:06 PM
hehe since my last whinge I've done the excercise like 4 times, and my legs didn't hurt after!! I think I must have adjusted- time to up it again!