Weight and Resistance Training - A cardio related question for you awesome weightlifting women out there!




wannaBfitnessbuff
06-13-2012, 12:30 PM
So I am not new to the concept that weight lifting is an incredible healthy and important addition to a woman's life. I have lifted weights off and on since I took a weightlifting class in high school. But recently due to some reading and research on the subject I have been converted as a believer that resistance training is also the key to losing this weight I have been battling for years. I'm happy to say I have been consistently lifting now for a couple weeks (hooray) and I am already feeling some good results.

Here is my question for you ladies that have lost weight and are weightlifters. I am wondering how much cardio you all do? I have run half marathons for years now, and like i said it was only recently that I discovered that a focus on cardio cardio more and more cardio is not the answer to getting rid of this extra fat. I have a hard time however getting out of the mentality that if I dont kill myself on the treadmill or stair machine then I am not making strides towards weightloss.

How much do you successful losers do cardio? Will I lose weight even faster if I combine cardio and weightlifting? Can too much cardio hinder my strides I am taking at getting stronger and building metabolism boosting muscles?

Currently I workout with weights 5-6 days a week. Usually 6 lifts a day. Each day I lift a different muscle group. So I do chest, back, legs, shoulders and arms, and sometimes a second leg day (larger muscle group so more metabolic burn in those workouts).

Any input would be great. I think I need to hear what worked for other people so I can ease my deep seeded fears that since I am not running 10 miles twice a week then I am failing at my exercise routine!

Oh also as far as diet, I count calories and eat between 1750-2100 calories a day. I try to stay towards the lower end, but if I feel hungry let myself eat up to the 2100 calories. I am trying to avoid processed foods and eat more protein and at least 5 servings of fruit and a salad with dinner and lunch everyday. (Not that I have made it 100 percent everyday but I am feeling good about the changes I've made). Oh also I take a whey protein supplement after I lift.

Thank you!


jamsk8r
06-18-2012, 02:25 AM
Just my opinion, a program like New Rules of Lifting for Women (it's a book), would be a better use of your gym time than that isolation split you've got going, as far as strength gains and building muscle.

I can't say if you need cardio, but I've always kept some in. I'd do something in the morning and lift in the afternoon or eve, or else do just one gym session, lifting first, then the cardio immediately after.

I wouldn't worry about muscle loss if the longest you're running is a half-marathon.

Hope that helps. Good luck, and have fun lifting!

sontaikle
06-18-2012, 05:36 AM
I used to run religiously every other day in addition to weight training. Didn't work. I wasn't seeing any strength gains. I dropped the running, upped heavy weight training to two days a week and I was able to add to my lifts each week. My gains have slowed now, but I still feel myself getting stronger.

I still do a little bit of cardio in my group fitness classes, but they also have strength training mixed in, so it's not pure cardio.

Funny thing is, I can still RUN if I need to. I can run faster and farther because of the strength in my legs—even though I don't run regularly.

Are you giving your body enough time to rest between lifts? It's amazing what a rest day can do when you're weight training. I never realized how important they were.

I was still in losing mode when I ditched the running and added in another day of weight training (before I was just lifting heavy once a week, with lighter weights spread throughout the week). I actually saw my loses speed up and they sped up even more when I started to eat more!

It was difficult for me to say: "ok maybe I need to exercise LESS and eat MORE" but it worked.


Blueberries
06-18-2012, 10:14 AM
I haven't been doing any *structured* cardio for awhile, because I hate it. By that I mean that I've been staying active in my regular life, but not slaving away on the elliptical. I used to find that when I'd go in on a rest day just to do cardio, I'd be looking longingly at the barbells and wish I was lifting. :)

Through all that, my losses have been chugging along (averaging about 1 pound per week), and really it's way more related to diet than exercise. That being said, I recently decided to add in 2 (very short) HIIT cardio sessions per week since I still have so much fat to lose. For me, lifting takes priority. So if I start to see a negative impact on my lifts, I'll happily ditch the cardio. I'd rather keep lifting and lose slowly than watch my lifts suffer. The shift in my body composition from heavy lifting is well worth the slower scale changes!

ETA: Oh, and I'd agree about finding a program to follow. NROL4W or Starting Strength would be great to get you focused.