Exercise! - What You Love vs. What is Most Effective




PlayingForKeeps
02-18-2013, 07:59 AM
Good morning everyone!

I'm almost at the end of my journey when it comes to "weight loss" and my primary focus has now been fitness. I am trying to work toward getting a sculpted body, and so far, I have seen some great results.

I am about 40% through the P90X program and it has done wonders for my body and overall fitness level. While the scale hasn't moved too much (I am down between 3-4 lbs on average, since starting) everything is tightening up and I am seeing some really nice muscle growth. I am very happy so far in this respect.

However, I am getting very bored with the program itself. It's repetitive, and slow moving and it eats up 75-90 minutes of my day every day. It's not that I don't like working out that long... I just don't like doing P90X for that long. I could run for 2 hours and be happy.

And this is where I am struggling. My fitness passion is running. Plain old steady state cardio. Lacing up my sneakers and feeling my feet hit the pavement (or treadmill, or elliptical) is like therapy to me. After the first mile or two, my brain and my body switch to autopilot and I start to feel that runner's high. When I run, I feel free, and relaxed, and meditative. Running is my yoga (though, I do yoga also.)

And yet, everything I am reading about fitness these days is pointing to long runs being unnecessary and/or frowned upon, and counter-productive to muscle building. I have read experts saying to avoid cardio all together, or if need be, do no more than a 20 minute HIIT workout and lift really heavy to achieve that beautiful, strong, sculpted body.

I want that body. But I also want to love my workouts. And I feel as though what works and what I love are counter-productive to each other.

I don't hate lifting. I actually really enjoy it (more than I thought) - but I don't want to do it for an hour a day. And so, my question is, can I do my five mile runs, and lift a few days a week, and still achieve the sculpting and definition I am looking for? Or is running like that just going to defeat my gains?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer!


danzingurl77
02-18-2013, 08:49 AM
I think it's doable! If you continue to do weight training a few times each week and -here's what I think is the scary part- if you are running AND want to build muscle, you'll have to eat enough to fuel your workouts. Losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time is just not going to happen 99% of the time- unless you are very new to weight training---

But I don't think 5 mile runs are going to do anything to drastically make you look like a "runner" if you know what I mean. I say keep running :) I love to run too!

MablesGirl
02-18-2013, 08:57 AM
Ultimately, I think the key to consistent exercise year after year is to do what you love. I think you should do weights, but don't give up your running if you love it. And from what I've read, the key to staying injury free is to mix it up.


BreathingSpace
02-18-2013, 02:10 PM
I don't hate lifting. I actually really enjoy it (more than I thought) - but I don't want to do it for an hour a day. And so, my question is, can I do my five mile runs, and lift a few days a week, and still achieve the sculpting and definition I am looking for? Or is running like that just going to defeat my gains?


Why don't you try Zuzana's workouts? She is a gorgeous, totally fit girl that does VERY SHORT but completely effective HITT routines. You can get all of her videos for free off her youtube channel. That will take care of your strength/lifting portion and I think hers are only 10-20 min?

Then go and do the runs you enjoy!

zuzkalight dot com and her youtube username is ZuzkaLight

gymrat05
02-18-2013, 03:29 PM
Running is catabolic - it breaks down muscle tissue. That's why most distance runners (competitive distance runners) are super skinny. That being said, I love running too and would not want to give that up...and five miles really isn't that long of a run (we're not talking marathon training here).

Have you thought incorporating different types of running instead of just steady state, distance running? What if you add some hill intervals or some sprints to really get your heart rate up. They would mix things up for the body and help you build some muscle as well.

Also, P90X workouts are long, especially if you find them boring. I agree with the short, HIIT workouts. I find them way more fun. Bodyrock.tv is another free website with workouts anywhere from 12 - 30ish minutes in length. It's a great way to mix things up and the workouts are different every day so you never get bored.