Exercise! - Maintaining Muscle & Gaining Speed.

07-16-2007, 10:15 PM
Okay, so, I've worked out pretty hard to build muscle. Now I happy with my muscle tone, but I still have some flabby parts so I'd like to concentrate on cardio, however, I'm afraid on my ventures to lose fat in cardio I will lose my muscle. What I want to know is, is there any small workout that I could do to KEEP my muscle instead of lifting the heavy weights that I had been to gain it?

Also, for my main cardio I would like to run. I have before, and I went out today for the first time in a few months and I realized that I am INCREIDABLY slower than I was. What's the easiest way to gain speed? Speed work or mileage? Anybody know any good workouts for increasing speed?

07-16-2007, 10:49 PM
Hi! I wouldn't anticipate losing muscle by engaging in cardio; instead, the fat layer you melt away will only augment your musculature. It seems you'll simply end up looking leaner and "tighter" than previously. Why don't you want to continue with the lifting, though, in conjunction with your running? This is what I do and it's the best of both worlds, as the increased muscle mass aids your body in burning a greater amount of calories at rest. If it's an issue of time where you must choose running or weights, maybe switch off every other day.
Re: gaining speed, I've found that if you want to run fast, you must...run fast. Similarly, to increase mileage you must run farther. I don't mean to oversimplify here but to use an extreme example, one can't learn to pace herself for a marathon by running sprints, nor can she learn to increase her short-track speed by jogging cross-country distances. I just run, say, 7 minutes at a certain speed, then rest for one minute, then 7 minutes at a faster speed, then rest, etc. for the duration of my run. Maybe bump up your speeds once per week or two. Happy running!

07-16-2007, 11:45 PM
Thank you fatburner77, your post helps alot I think. And yes, it is a time issue, when I lifted weights it seems to take FOREVER, so I was thinking I needed to cut back a tad bit to focus on cardio, but I still want to do something, just smaller, ya know?

07-17-2007, 12:12 AM
Nikki -- Are you doing full body workouts? Maybe this is why it's taking you so long to do a workout. I do a 3 or 4 day split and only work legs once/week for 50 minutes, I'm in and out of the gym in no time. I also run every second day, I just make sure I don't run and do legs on the same days.

As for increasing speed in your runs, I think fatburner77 said it pretty well... Google some running programs, there are many on the internet...

07-17-2007, 11:28 AM
actually, many running experts say the best way to get faster (within a certain limit) is to just run farther.

The truth is when you are starting out again after a period of not running you are probably shooting from a moderate heartrate to a high heartrate fairly quickly and kind of "missing" training at the in-between stages. To run fast for an extended period of time you NEED that heart rate range and the best way to build it is to run slow for a long period of time.

Only after you have established a firm running base are ONCE a week speedwork sessions recommended.