Exercise! - best results? pilates, yoga, or weights?




teawithsunshine
12-28-2008, 08:13 PM
Hi--

I've been noticing on TV the infomercials for pilates workouts & magazines detailing weights & yoga workouts as part of the "end of the year, let's get ready for our New Year's Eve resolution to lose weight!" mantra ;)

which got me to thinking: I know on each of their own, yoga, pilates, & weights each give benefits to the human body.

which one of the three gives 3fatchickies the most results in terms of adding muscle without becoming a body builder? :D

For me, honestly, I'm thinking of adding pilates to my exercise routine to help build muscle and tone out my body before going to dumbbells later on.

~ tea


JulieJ08
12-28-2008, 09:21 PM
I think any decent weight lifting program is going to build the most muscle.

Which doesn't mean that Pilates or yoga might not build as much muscle as you want. Everyone responds differently, and everyone has different goals.

Also, the bottom line is going to be which activity you have available to you, can afford, and enjoy enough to stick with it.

You also don't have to pick only one. You can certainly build muscle with yoga, but you can also do yoga that focuses more on flexibility as a complement to weight lifting.

PhotoChick
12-28-2008, 09:25 PM
Weight lifting is going to build more muscle, hands down, bottom line.

As far as looking like a weight lifter - it's not gonna happen unless you put serious effort into it and most likely unless you add some meds as well. Women simply don't have the testosterone to bulk up and become "weight lifter" looking w/out intentionally working towards that look.

Pilates is awesome and I do it and I love it, but it's not going to build muscle like weight lifting and it's not going to build the same kind of muscle as weight lifting. It's not something that you use as a "move up" from Pilates to weight lifting. That's kinda like saying you'll start with salsa dancing and move up to belly dancing. While there are some similarities in concept, they're not the same thing and one doesn't lead to the other. :) If that makes sense?

Also what Julie said about not having to limit yourself to one. You can do Pilates, Yoga, and weight lifting. I do all three, although the one I do consistently is lift weights. But I take a Pilates class at my gym, and I also take a Sunday morning Yoga class ... although I'm not really terribly consistent with either of them due to my schedule. But you don't have to pick one. You can do some of each and see great results.

.


Amarantha2
12-28-2008, 09:35 PM
Agree with all previous posters, they are all good. To add muscle, weights need to be included, though, and you will not look like a bodybuilder.

Pilates is awesome and not something you start with with the idea of moving to a higher form of exercise. Pilates, if you like it, can be a pivotal part of any well-rounded exercise program and will stretch and strengthen muscles in different ways than weights. It actually does build muscle but not in the same way as weights.

Yoga is wonderful, soothing and does work your muscles and cardiovascular system, as well as your mind and spirit. It can also be an essential part of your routine.

You also need cardiovascular work, aerobics, running, jogging or just walking are great, as well as cycling, classes, lots of things.

Really there is no simple answer as it depends on your goals and what you like to do, that matters a lot.

But just for adding muscle, to be totally honest, weights.

I love your avatar, btw. It's beautiful.

CountingDown
12-28-2008, 10:08 PM
Another voice chiming in for all 3. Each has its strengths and place.

I have found that incorporating many different workouts in my exercise schedule has helped in a variety of ways - muscle building, toning, lack of boredom, etc.

aphil
12-29-2008, 12:14 PM
Pilates and strength training are both going to build muscle...but they are going to build muscle DIFFERENTLY.

Think about it this way:

Look at the bodies of professional gymnasts. Look at the bodies of professional ballet dancers. Look at the bodies of female bodybuilders. Look at the bodies of professional cheerleaders. Look at the bodies of professional tennis players.

Each one is going to be fit and lean...but their bodies are going to look DIFFERENT, because a different training method is being used to get that look.

In the abs, for instance, someone who does only traditional strength training exercises are going to give a different look in the abdominal region than say, someone who does only Pilates.


At the athletic club (where I work) the Pilates instructor there and one of the female personal trainers (who does mainly strength training and traditional cardio) both look great, are very fit, and both still look feminine...however, I think the personal trainer looks more "buff", and the Pilates instructor has more of a dancer's body.

JulieJ08
12-29-2008, 12:26 PM
Think about it this way:

Look at the bodies of professional gymnasts. Look at the bodies of professional ballet dancers. Look at the bodies of female bodybuilders. Look at the bodies of professional cheerleaders. Look at the bodies of professional tennis players.

Each one is going to be fit and lean...but their bodies are going to look DIFFERENT, because a different training method is being used to get that look. .

Nice illustration.

kaebea
12-30-2008, 04:37 PM
I'd like to add that in my experience, lifting weights indeed builds and tones muscles and you will see results, but doing yoga and other exercises that work your core and balance actually build your body in ways that will help you perform everyday tasks.
I've not done pilates but have the idea it is more intense workout than yoga.

Yoga also has the added advantage of stretching and relaxation built into it that leaves you feeling energized at the end of the session.

I think the neat thing about yoga and pilates is that they work muscle groups in ways that get them to function together, whereas traditional weight lifting isolates muscle groups too much.

I like to include both weights and yoga plus core strengthening exercises into my routine. there are benefits to all of them.

PhotoChick
12-30-2008, 05:01 PM
whereas traditional weight lifting isolates muscle groups too much.
I have not found this to be true, actually. Corporate gym trainer "weight lifting" (as in working the circuit of machines) is all about isolation. If you read books about weight lifting by REAL weight lifters (people who are looking to build strength and endurance, and not just people looking to bulk up), you'll find that compound exercises are what most recommended.

Most of the popular books out right now ... The New Rules of Lifting, New Rules for Women, Body For Life, etc., all focus on compound lifting, rather than circuit and isolation training. You'll also find that a lot of independent trainers (i.e. non-corporate box gym trainers) will train free weights, rather than circuit training for exactly that reason.

Free weights force you to build core stability as you're working out. They also are almost all compound exercises that work groups of muscles.

Here's a link that's a great resource for learning about the different types of exercises - and you'll see a few isolation exercises there, but the vast majority are compound: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.php

.

midwife
12-30-2008, 05:46 PM
I'd like to add that in my experience, lifting weights indeed builds and tones muscles and you will see results, but doing yoga and other exercises that work your core and balance actually build your body in ways that will help you perform everyday tasks.
.

Agree with PhotoChick about compound exercises and free weights. I also wanted to add that lifting weights has helped me tremendously with activities of daily living. I can haul dog food and children like no one's business and move furniture by myself. Carrying laundry and trash bags are easy now. I was weak before, but my life needs me to be physically strong. I seriously wonder how I managed before....let's see, multiple trips, back pain, and waiting for DH to do the heavy stuff.

Not knocking balance and flexibility, but the strength piece is essential for my life and my everyday tasks.

TJFitnessDiva
12-30-2008, 05:57 PM
I incorporate all three in my weekly exercise routine.....why not? :)

kaebea
01-05-2009, 06:28 PM
I'm not saying weight lifting didn't help me perform everyday tasks, i just never noticed it as drastically.
i used to go to the weight room 3 days per week, and i definitely noticed more definition and bigger muscles, esp in my arms and back. I also noticed that the leg machines strengthened my legs and helped support my bum knee.

but the difference in my body and just awareness of small everyday movements was somehow inhanced after just a few yoga workouts. another thing that had the same effect was my indo board balance trainer.
perhaps it was just my body that needed the core muscles tweaked in ways they weren't used to.

Plus, i didn't do much with free weights, just he machines, thus the isolation. I think it is easier to be 'lazy' on the machine, although if you focus, you can feel your stablizer muscles working. But perhaps that is related to the point i was trying to make. I was never really aware of my core muscles during my weight lifting on the machines prior to doing yoga and balance training.

this could be purely related to my fitness level and body make up though.

p.s.
photochick, thanks for the link!

soybean
01-06-2009, 03:05 PM
For me personally, I absolutely love pilates. I started with the MTV Pilates DVD and did it consistently (3x per week) for about 3 months in high school. My body was leaner and I sat up straighter. I was also very strong. When I eventually joined a gym, I could lift more weights than most of my friends. Basically, I wish I still did pilates. My posture was impeccable, it was a great de-stressor, and while I was at the same weight I currently am, I looked about 10 pounds lighter. I plan on starting it back up ASAP. Hope this helped :)

Thighs Be Gone
01-06-2009, 03:08 PM
Ladies,

I run three miles every morning--alternating between a straight jog 4x's a week and running intervals 3x's weekly. Do you think adding ONLY the 30 day shred (using weights) is enough for me?

aphil
01-07-2009, 07:40 AM
I'm not saying weight lifting didn't help me perform everyday tasks, i just never noticed it as drastically.
i used to go to the weight room 3 days per week, and i definitely noticed more definition and bigger muscles, esp in my arms and back. I also noticed that the leg machines strengthened my legs and helped support my bum knee.

but the difference in my body and just awareness of small everyday movements was somehow inhanced after just a few yoga workouts. another thing that had the same effect was my indo board balance trainer.
perhaps it was just my body that needed the core muscles tweaked in ways they weren't used to.

You definitely are NOT imagining things! I did powerwalking, aerobics, and weights for years-since I was a teenager. However, around the years 2000-2001 was when I started belly dancing (professional training, not exercise dvds) and got into yoga and Pilates more intensively.

The result? I am now an inch TALLER than I was in the years before 2000. I actually changed my height on my drivers license from 5'6" to 5'7"!!!!! It was a benefit that weight training and regular aerobics just didn't DO. The core work and the lengthening and straightening out of my spine and bettering of my posture from those 3 exercise forms actually made me TALLER, measureably.

Also, the belly dancing, yoga, and Pilates actually changed my body SHAPE. My ankles (from the position and movements) in belly dancing actually slimmed my ankles! My shoulders (from the yoga, and the arm positions in dance) have a much different shape than they did from the strength training alone. When I was doing only strength training and walking years ago, my ab muscles had more of the very light 6 pack definition in them...but since my abwork NOW consists of mainly belly dancing, yoga, and Pilates...that has changed. I still have muscle definition in my abs, but now it is the oblique muscles that are more defined instead.

I still lift weights, but I do it in a rotation schedule, with walking, teaching/training/performing belly dance, yoga, Pilates, and doing dancer related training exercises. It has definitely given me added benefits!

Also, from experience I have found that MANY professional Middle Eastern dancers also practice yoga, as the FLEXIBLE strength that it provides enhances our dance ability.