Exercise! - Cardio vs weight training question

02-05-2007, 07:31 PM
During my first 3 months, I was just doing brisk walking on my treadmill. Lately, I've been doing 4 days treadmill (or walking DVD - Leslie Sansone) and 2-3 days of toning DVDs. I don't get the same "intensity" with the weights (even though I really do feel it in my muscles the next day).

I'm still hung up on the idea that aerobic activity is the "true" way to burn calories - please help me understand how toning/weights will help in my weight loss and fitness goals.

02-05-2007, 07:38 PM
Weights help you build muscle which helps you burn calories. Doing weights also burns calories. Weights also give shape and definition to your body. Muscles built through weights help protect your body from injury as well. Flexibility training is also good for helping protect yourself from injury. To me, weights are the true way to burn calories and aerobic activity is just something additional although I do try to fit in cardio.

02-05-2007, 07:38 PM
right now I'm in the same boat as you, i have been doing weight/strength and cardio (but spending less time on cardio cause of the PAIN!!) and it seems to be doing nothing. I have asked this question and what people have told me before is that you have to stick to it to see it working!! The first couple of weeks are the toughest cause you don't see results, but then the weight will start dropping as you keep goin. Apparently.

Hope this helps! :)


02-05-2007, 07:40 PM
I feel the same way--I don't sweat as much or breath as heavily when I do weights as I do when I do cardio. And it's true--cardio is the exercise that burns the fat. But muscle is what burns more calories when your body is at rest. How great is that--do some strength training to work your muscles, and your body will actually burn more calories even when you're not doing anything! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me ;)

Plus, the more muscle you have, the leaner your body will be. 2 people the same height and weight might wear 2 very different sizes because one may have more muscle (so she is thinner and wears a smaller size) whereas the other is just flabby. Since a pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle, more muscle means you can be smaller even if you don't actually lose pounds according to the scale.

02-05-2007, 08:03 PM
Amen to the value of muscle, but don't downplay the calorie burning aspect of lifting weights ... :) I wore my heart rate monitor to the gym this morning for a half hour of weights and half hour of elliptical intervals. I hit my highest heart rate of the session doing a set of bicep curls! According to my HR monitor, I was above 90% of my max heart rate for that set. :strong:

My average HR for the entire hour - weights and cardio - equalled 75% of my max heart rate, which would be considered a moderate intensity cardio workout. If you don't rest long between sets and push yourself with the weights, your workout will be cardio as well as strength training. :D

Bottom line: both cardio and weights are important for fat loss. :yes:

02-05-2007, 08:08 PM
It is possible to do cardio weight lifting, however, and not just with the FIRM. When I bump up my weights bc they've become too easy, my heart will POUND on my weight lifting. It's totally a cardio workout if you lift heavy enough! Oh, and free weights makes this much more possible than a weight machine. I've had success with both cardio and weight lifting and am considering upping my cardio by 50% longer just to see if I can get more fat burning action.

02-05-2007, 08:14 PM
A huge factor is also the amount of weights you are lifting. The "toning DVD" probably uses light weights, but you don't really get that much of the benefit unless you go much heavier. In between sets you should stretch, and dont rest too long. You will keep you're heart rate going and get a good work out. Dont increase to heavier weights though til you have your form down properly. I went for a few years keeping in very good shape doing weights alone. Now I love doing the elliptical for some reason so I'm actually preferring cardio right now.