Weight and Resistance Training - Can I do a routine in 30 minutes?




View Full Version : Can I do a routine in 30 minutes?


Gumbygirl
11-30-2005, 10:59 AM
I am finding 45-60 minutes a day with weight training and then another 30 minutes for cardio are just too much. I don't enjoy exercise and I find that I am really dreading it and making up excuses why I can't work out. I wouldn't mind doing 30 minutes of weights and maybe 20-30 minutes of cardio a day but is that going to give me results?


Cherryh
11-30-2005, 12:07 PM
Yup, that would be fine.

I would stick to at least 30 minutes of cardio though.

Have you ever thought about combining them to save time?

Sometimes, I do it when I don't have time for both.

I do all kinds of different workouts, but one efficient way to combine them is keeping hand weights close to you while on the treadmill or whatever cardio machine you are using. (Or if you are walking/running outside ...u can still do this.)

Do 3 minutes of walking/running...whatever, get off (keept the machine going so you don't take more than 1 minute) and do a set of reps; (Like a set (12 reps) of bicep curls) do another 3 minutes, then off for another set (like a set of shoudler presses...whatever). You can work lower body too...lunches, squats, etc.

Just keep doing this over and over until your time runs out. I do it for at least 45 minutes to an hour, but I work out a lot and only do this when I can squeeze in just an hour.

This will keep your heart rate up, so you will still be getting cardio while you are lifting.

Then, you are DONE with it all :)

Gumbygirl
11-30-2005, 12:13 PM
Great idea Cherry! I read recently in Prevention about a 3-2-1 method of 3 minutes cardio, 2 minutes weights and 1 minute of abs. I didn't try it because I thought it would be hard to keep track of the minutes. Maybe I could just buy a cheap timer? Thanks!


Cherryh
11-30-2005, 12:17 PM
No problem!

I just use the timer on the elliptical or treadmill!

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 12:22 PM
Gumbygirl - I don't spend more than 25/30 minutes per day on a workout. Most days that's weight training. One or two days out of the week I do cardio. This was exactly how I lost most of my excess weight. I found when I cut back the cardio and increased the weight training, the pounds and inches came off much faster. This is always the case with me - my weight loss had recently stalled, but as soon as I dropped the cardio back, I was making progress again.

By the way, "cardio" doesn't have to mean the treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine. I often do high-rep military presses and bodyweight squats instead of one of those machines. You can also throw in things like jumping jacks, pushups (assisted if you need it), or some bodyweight drill work like football players do.

RobertW
11-30-2005, 02:39 PM
"cardio" doesn't have to mean the treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine. I often do high-rep military presses and bodyweight squats instead of one of those machines. You can also throw in things like jumping jacks, pushups (assisted if you need it), or some bodyweight drill work like football players do.

That is a good plan, opting for high intensity cardio. I like doing 500M sprints on the concept2 rowing machine. Most powerlifters do sled dragging or some other form of intense cardio work for their "GPP". We should all do something to train our hearts, but not so much as to hurt our bodybuilding efforts.

I think that long bouts of moderate to low intensity cardio are counter productive to muscle building. If you want to lose weight faster cut your calories, rather than increase your cardio.

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 03:33 PM
That is a good plan, opting for high intensity cardio.

Everything I know, I learned from Dr. Squat. :strong: (But I have been checking out those other links you gave me.)

I think that long bouts of moderate to low intensity cardio are counter productive to muscle building. If you want to lose weight faster cut your calories, rather than increase your cardio.

Hear, hear. We HATESES anything that's counterproductive to muscle building.

Meg
11-30-2005, 03:59 PM
Hmmm, one thing we need to keep in mind is that most overweight women don't care a whole heck of a lot about muscle building per se. Of course it goes without saying that it's important to weight train while losing fat in order to preserve muscle mass -- and I'm the first one to preach the importance of weights along with cardio and clean nutrition. But realistically, many overweight women have a ton of lean body mass to start with just due to the muscle building caused by walking around every day carrying 50 or 100 extra pounds. What most overweight women are looking for is fat loss -- and cardio - in my opinion and experience - is essential for fat loss. If some LBM is lost along the way, it's usually not a big deal because they still have plenty to support a higher metabolism.

Of course, there are those (lucky :) ) individuals like Shannon who can lose just fine without much or even any cardio, but women like that are few and far between in my experience. And it's a whole different story for men like Robert, of course. :p

I attended a conference in NYC last month where a paper was presented about what kind of program works best for long term weight loss and maintenance. The answer, according to this study, was diet and 280 minutes of cardio (the study specifically focused on the treadmill) per week, which works out to 40 minutes a day. I work in a large gym with over 16,000 members and have found that to be dead on with both my personal experience and that of my clients and other gym members.

A long time ago, we at LWL came up with what we call the Holy Trinity of weight loss: weights, clean eating and cardio. My opinion is that all three are essential to successful long-term weight loss and maintenance and I preach it to every woman who walks in my gym. Again, let me reiterate that there are exceptions to this - everyone's different - and like everything else in the diet world, we each have to discover what works best for us as individuals. :)

MrsJim
11-30-2005, 04:14 PM
Well, I can't really add much to what Meg said...

I do know I follow the holy trinity though - which includes CARDIO. (I happen to enjoy cardio about 99% of the time, so no biggie).

But don't take MY word for it - Tom Venuto (in his book Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle advocates cardio - especially for folks with what he calls "stubborn body fat". (Chapter 16 is devoted to the subject of cardio: "Cardio Training Secrets for Maximum Fat Loss: Why It's better to Burn the Fat than Starve the Fat").

We're all different though - some can lose weight easily without cardio, I imagine. But a lot of us who have a lot of weight to lose, well, we NEED cardio (along with proper nutrition and weight training).

But if something's working for you, if you aren't doing any cardio and the pounds are coming off, then great! However, if you aren't having any luck then you might consider adding some cardio in...

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 04:21 PM
Of course it goes without saying that it's important to weight train while losing fat in order to preserve muscle mass.

Preserving muscle mass isn't a very useful goal for fat loss, though it is important from a metabolic standpoint.

What most overweight women are looking for is fat loss

Of course. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn, which is why I weight train. Meaning, I don't want to just preserve muscle mass, I want to gain it, because that's the fastest and most efficient way to lose fat.

-- and cardio - in my opinion and experience - is essential for fat loss.

Cardio (on machines or doing GPP as I described above) has its place for heart and lung health, but it is not the magic bullet for fat loss.

And I can assure everyone that there was nothing of luck involved in my weight loss. I had PCOS and a wretched family history of obesity, and was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. For the first six months, cardio and weight training were adequate for weight loss, if somewhat slow. My problem became one of boredom, and I soon found I was drawn like a magnet to heavier weight training. It was a happy discovery that I can stick to that (incorporating some GPP) and lose fat at an even faster rate than before, provided I'm eating cleanly enough.

Gumbygirl, while I wanted to disagree (respectfully) with Meg, I recognize that she is a PT by profession and certification, and I am not. I can certainly understand if you want to take her word for it. And I would suggest reading this article by the famous Mistress:

http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/displayarticle.php?aid=37

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

ledom
11-30-2005, 04:36 PM
From a recent change in my workouts I have found what is beginning to feel like the magic bullet. Interval training. Keeping my heart rate up with 1 minute intervals of cardio between sets of lifting. I look toned and I am losing weight faster that any attempts I have made in the last 5 years. I am spending right at an hour 4 days a week with this workout and one hour long hike per week.

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 04:42 PM
Ooh, sounds like a good plan. What do you do for the 1 minute of cardio?

MrsJim
11-30-2005, 05:07 PM
Cardio (on machines or doing GPP as I described above) has its place for heart and lung health, but it is not the magic bullet for fat loss...

Gumbygirl, while I wanted to disagree (respectfully) with Meg, I recognize that she is a PT by profession and certification, and I am not. I can certainly understand if you want to take her word for it. And I would suggest reading this article by the famous Mistress:

http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/displayarticle.php?aid=37

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

Not Meg and not a PT here...but I am familiar with that article by Krista Scott Dixon.

Maybe I'm reading it differently but she isn't 'dissing' cardio in the article contained in the above link. Take this paragraph for instance:

While doing cardio can contribute to the development and maintenance of aerobic fitness, cardio training on its own is not necessarily the best way or only way to lose fat. It merely assists you in creating an overall caloric deficit which contributes to your body burning more resources than it takes in. It is a sensible part of a fitness regimen, but it is not the be-all and end-all, and it should not stand alone.

and this sentence:

Combining sensible cardio with weight training is the one-two punch that will keep fat loss going.

Krista's site also has an interesting article on fartlek training (http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/displayarticle.php?aid=32)- aka interval training (in last night's Spinning class, we did fartleks part of the time and it was awesome BTW) - a snippet:

Why interval or fartlek training at all? A few reasons come to mind. First, interval training is extremely effective for fat loss and general conditioning tool. Interval training has been shown to be the most effective fat burning form of cardio.

So judging from that, I wouldn't exactly say that Mistress Krista is 'anti-cardio' - she's just an advocate of EFFECTIVE cardio, done correctly (of course you COULD email her...).

I'd say it's no different than what we've said here all along about the LWL Holy Trinity - Nutrition/Weights/Cardio.

ledom
11-30-2005, 05:08 PM
Shannon I am following Jillian Michaels plan from her book Winning by Losing. She recommends a combination of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and jump rope. I am still working up to all that. I do those at the beginning of my hour but as I progress and get tired I start hopping on the treadmill set at an incline of 8.5 and a speed of about 3.5. The last 30 minutes I pant my way through the workout. I do recover a bit during the lifting, but honestly, it is a tough workout though doable especially if you modify where you need to. The other thing that I think makes this such a fat burner is that every day you work your legs. Not the same muscles, but you are working big muscles every day, you also do abs every day. Well not every day, but 4 days a week. I have been at it going on 5 weeks and every two weeks she pumps it up a little bit. It seems like the best of both worlds, not the mind numbing repetition of an hour on a cardio machine, but still it is aerobic within the structure of lifting.

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 05:21 PM
MrsJim - I agree 100% on the interval training. It's far more effective than what I consider "traditional" cardio, which I guess is why I don't lump it in under the cardio umbrella. However, too much of a good thing is still too much, and I think that's the problem Gumbygirl is having. It does become an overtraining/recovery issue at some point.

Krista's recommendations consist of about 20-30 minutes of cardio 3x/week. (The stuff she describes like interval training and racing to catch the bus are much more like GPP than they are traditional cardio.) I can get on board with her rec on that if I have to, but I've found that for fat loss I don't need to do that much. All other things being equal with consistent weight training, a little GPP and proper eating, I can lose fat quite well with one 15-20 minute session of jogging or the elliptical machine each week. And as I said above, I am by no means some genetically blessed freak of nature.

FWIW, I was not trying to distort the article to suit my own twisted arguments. :) I don't think she's anti-cardio either. I may go ahead and email her for my own clarification, because many people have read this article and interpreted it in very different ways.

Thanks for the tip, ledom. Might be I should get that book.

MrsJim
11-30-2005, 05:56 PM
MrsJim - I agree 100% on the interval training. It's far more effective than what I consider "traditional" cardio, which I guess is why I don't lump it in under the cardio umbrella. However, too much of a good thing is still too much, and I think that's the problem Gumbygirl is having. It does become an overtraining/recovery issue at some point.


I was looking at Gumbygirl's past posts, and my opinion is that she might want to look at her NUTRITION first, rather than cutting back on cardio.

Gumbygirl - how's your nutrition? I've only seen one post where you refer to diet (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?p=993696#post993696):

Hey Ilene! No, I have never really stuck with BFL - too rigid with the diet. I love my food! I have done the basic 3 sets of 12 reps, high reps and low weight, etc... I just am not sure what the way to go is. I don't want to build bigger muscles but just emphasize the ones I do have :?:

I think that Meg, Mel and Ilene (to name a few) would agree with me that as far as fat loss is concerned, nutrition (quality AND quantity) is the most essential element...and to not "build bigger muscles but emphasize the ones you have" means to get rid of the fat covering them...by reducing caloric intake and increasing calorie burning.

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 06:06 PM
I think that Meg, Mel and Ilene (to name a few) would agree with me that as far as fat loss is concerned, nutrition (quality AND quantity) is the most essential element...and to not "build bigger muscles but emphasize the ones you have" means to get rid of the fat covering them...by reducing caloric intake and increasing calorie burning.

:bravo: No disagreement there.

I confess I assumed the eating was in order and took Gumbygirl's post at face value.

RobertW
11-30-2005, 06:42 PM
I would like to emulate Dave Gulledge's sucess in going from an incredibly strong 320# powerlifter, to an incredibly strong and ripped 265# bodybuilder.

He pretty much just went on a diet and kept lifting big weights to maintain his muscle mass. He was so muscular that he was able to lose weight on 4,400 cal a day!

ShannonM
11-30-2005, 06:48 PM
Robert - did he fall back from any of his PRs?

RobertW
11-30-2005, 07:09 PM
Robert - did he fall back from any of his PRs?

Just a few percent. He was training a bit differently preparing for a bodybuilding contest, which may have accounted for the decrease in his 1RM. He may be small compared to Ronnie Coleman (Mr. Olympia), but he is pretty huge by my standards.

Gumbygirl
11-30-2005, 07:19 PM
Finally had time to check in. Thanks everyone for your advice! MrsJim: I am working on my nutrition day by day and need to improve. I follow WW but don't journal everything like I used to. I have a MAJOR sweet tooth and am finding that extremely hard to control. I have tried quitting sugar, especially chocolate, cold turkey but find that unrealistic. I have tried taming this with drinking more water, eating fruit, you name it I have tried. I am trying to eat every few hours to keep my blood sugars stable by eating an apple with cheese or a hard boiled egg. We'll see how that goes.

MrsJim
11-30-2005, 07:56 PM
Finally had time to check in. Thanks everyone for your advice! MrsJim: I am working on my nutrition day by day and need to improve. I follow WW but don't journal everything like I used to. I have a MAJOR sweet tooth and am finding that extremely hard to control. I have tried quitting sugar, especially chocolate, cold turkey but find that unrealistic. I have tried taming this with drinking more water, eating fruit, you name it I have tried. I am trying to eat every few hours to keep my blood sugars stable by eating an apple with cheese or a hard boiled egg. We'll see how that goes.

Have you tried journaling your food intake for a few days? I find that helps tremendously...truthfully, nutrition (i.e. diet...yes I know that's a dirty word) accounts for 80% of weight loss...but you need to find a nutrition regimen that you can LIVE with, because basically maintenance means doing the same thing you did to lose the weight to begin with (check out the Maintainers forum for more info) or in other words adopting healthy personal lifestyle changes ;) . My own personal trainer advocates small caloric deficits - his diet rule of thumb is: to lose weight, cut your calories by 500 a day over what you eat to maintain your current weight - which is not really that much of a cut if you think about it - it's five pieces of bread, or two candy bars (not saying you SHOULD eat candy bars, I'm just using them as an example of 500 calories' worth of food).

There is TONS of info here on 3FC...in particular check out the Maintainers' Forum which Meg and Mel co-moderate :carrot: Meg ran a reading group on the book Thin for Life this past January - the posts are still up (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=169)and I think you might find them interesting reading (the book is great too!).

Ilene
12-01-2005, 08:18 AM
I just had to post my 2 cents here about cardio. For years, I mean years I did no cardio only weights, and heavy too, with clean eating. I could not for the life of me lose those last 10#. One day I am at the gym looking at a couple of girls that are super nice looking, at the gym as often as I was. I wondered what the heck are they doing that I'm not, then it dawned on me :idea:, they were on the dreaded :tread: doing, CARDIO!! So I started walking then running and lo and behold I lost 12 in a year! That's MY story and I'm sticking to it :D

silverbirch
12-01-2005, 08:31 AM
Good story, Ilene! And I know it's true - I've seen the pictures!

RobertW
12-01-2005, 10:04 AM
I just had to post my 2 cents here about cardio. For years, I mean years I did no cardio only weights, and heavy too, with clean eating. I could not for the life of me lose those last 10#. One day I am at the gym looking at a couple of girls that are super nice looking, at the gym as often as I was. I wondered what the heck are they doing that I'm not, then it dawned on me :idea:, they were on the dreaded :tread: doing, CARDIO!! So I started walking then running and lo and behold I lost 12 in a year! That's MY story and I'm sticking to it :D

Those last 10#. But that is a whole different story from losing the initial weight, especially for women.

Your physiology is going to be very different when you are obese vs. trying to lose those last couple of pounds.

Ilene
12-01-2005, 10:21 AM
Those last 10#. But that is a whole different story from losing the initial weight, especially for women.

Your physiology is going to be very different when you are obese vs. trying to lose those last couple of pounds.I don't think so Robert, fat is fat is fat, no matter if you are obese or looking to lose 10-20 pounds... *I* really don't know the physiology behind it though...

ShannonM
12-01-2005, 10:34 AM
Ilene - I think Robert simply means that the body fights very hard to give up the last ten, as you and many of us have experienced, whereas it's much more willing to give up excess weight at the beginning of the process, and that that process is greatly sped up when someone is training to gain lean mass, which burns fat. (He can correct me if I'm wrong, though.) It may have been the cardio that helped you, or it may simply have been the fact that you changed your workout and gave your body a break from the heavy training, allowing for better recovery.

And judging from your experience, I think it must go back to what Meg said about how we're all very different in this respect and we have to figure out what works for us. I'm in the process of losing the last 10-15#, and in the past 2-3 weeks I have done no cardio at all, just a couple brief GPP sessions in addition to weight training. My eating hasn't even been that great, except for this week. But in the past 2-3 weeks, I have dropped 3.5# and am fitting into more and more of my skinny clothes. For me, it appears that the cardio itself was the hindrance to fat loss.

I believe there are lots of people like I am who would see increased fat loss result from cutting back or cutting out cardio as I have done. I think people like that often get short shrift in the areas of training and professional advice because cardio has been placed on a pedestal it doesn't deserve. Just my .02.

RobertW
12-01-2005, 11:24 AM
Exactly right. In fact your physiology completely changes when your bodyfat drops low enough to enter "starvation" mode. If you start to have problems with your menstrual cycle etc. you have probably reached it.


On the plus side the aging process slows down when you enter this "calorie restriction" mode. On the minus side most wouldn't really consider this living.

MrsJim
12-01-2005, 01:47 PM
I believe there are lots of people like I am who would see increased fat loss result from cutting back or cutting out cardio as I have done. I think people like that often get short shrift in the areas of training and professional advice because cardio has been placed on a pedestal it doesn't deserve. Just my .02.

But you "approved" fartlek training and interval training, which ARE forms of cardio exercise. (Perhaps your personal defintion of "cardio" is steady state training or staying at the same pace/heart rate for an extended period of time, vs. the bursts of energy used in interval and fartlek training...but as far as the fitness world is concerned, it's all cardio - again Krista states in her article on fartlek training, "Interval training has been shown to be the most effective fat burning form of cardio." )

The Definition of Fartlek (http://www.time-to-run.com/training/methods/fartlek/definition.htm)

Following a Cardio Plan to Maximize your Fitness (http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-2996.html)

(Incidentally, race horse trainers use the same techniques to develop their horses' speed and stamina - usually using terms such as "breezing").

Lance Armstrong used interval training as well as putting in a lot of long-distance road miles to win the Tour de France seven times in a row:

Looking at Lance through a Physiological Lens (http://www.the-aps.org/press/journal/05/10.htm)

From What makes Lance Armstrong tick (http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/books/07/04/lance.armstrong/):

Cyclists are streamlined human machines aboard the most streamlined of human-powered machines. As Coyle notes, all cyclists' energy goes into cycling; racers don't run if they can walk and they don't walk if they can sit. (Armstrong, who lived in a second-floor apartment while training, always took the elevator to his residence.) They train to absurd lengths, routinely cycling hundreds of miles a day and creating bodies with enormous leg muscles, incredible lung capacity and ropy trunks.

I got to see Lance when he was in the SF Gran Prix back in 2002, and I gotta tell you, that guy is NOT a wimp...not a budybuilder but he does have what I would call a muscular physique :o which was attained primarily through cardio (though I'm pretty sure he includes strength training to balance things out...just like we advocate at LWL - the same holy trinity!)

Almost forgot to add the most obvious recent example - the reality show The Biggest Loser in which the contestants lost HUNDREDS of pounds of fat. How did they do it? Cutting calories and changing their diets...weight training (one hour a day, five days a week of "functional resistance circuit training") and a BUTTLOAD of...CARDIO - 2 or more hours a day, including one hour on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. (See link here (http://www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser/dietcenter/downloads/JILLIAN_5.pdf)from the show website)

ShannonM
12-01-2005, 02:55 PM
You're right that I did "approve" that. In fact, the cardio I was doing was interval-type stuff, because I hate steady-state cardio with a passion. :) I said that I can get on board with Krista's recommendation of two or three 20-30 minute cardio sessions a week (meaning cardio as she defines it, not steady-state) BUT I have not found even that much to be necessary for fat loss, and I know of many people who have had the same experience as I have.

In general, I have found that when people who are trying to lose weight refer to doing massive amounts of cardio, they mean the steady-state stuff. Anecdotes from others and my own observations in the gym confirm this. But even in the exceptions - even assuming that someone is doing straight-up interval training for every cardio session - 30 minutes or more of that activity every day is not necessary for fat loss, and can actively hinder fat loss in many individuals. Even Krista's recommendation is on the high side (again, this is borne out not just by my experience but others' as well). You simply do not need that much cardio for fat loss, and there are people like I am who will stall in their weight loss when they try to do too much of it - whether it's interval training or not. This can become a catabolic issue or an overtraining/lack of recovery issue, but it will often lead to the same thing - a plateau.

Cardio - whatever its form - can certainly help with weight loss. I wouldn't deny its effectiveness in the show contestants or for me personally. I did state in one of my previous posts that I was doing cardio in conjunction with weight training during the first six months of my weight loss. But here's the dirty secret that a lot of PTs don't like to talk about: fat loss is very often - not always but often - FASTER with the cutback or elimination of cardio. That's real. It has happened with me more than once and I am by no means the only one. PTs can have (and have had) greater success with clients when they advise them this way. The PT who runs my gym has worked with a lot of obese people, and his experience bears out what I'm saying. The elite athletes, trainers, and coaches who post on Fred Hatfield's forum have sworn to the same thing, reflected in their own workouts and in the advice they give to their clients.

Here I will apply one of Krista's other maxims: people should do what they like to ensure they'll stick with the program. To the point that steady-state cardio is NOT forcing the body into a catabolic state, they should do steady-state cardio. The same is true of interval training and/or weight training. Better to have people doing something than nothing - but there is a great deal of variation in the effectiveness of the methods.

PS re: Lance Armstrong - his goals are totally different and he trains in an extremely sport-specific way. He has to function at extremely high altitudes and build up crazy amounts of endurance. If we all were training at his level, we might hope to make the same gains. (Speed and stamina training as well are completely different animals (horses?) than working toward fat loss.) Look at the differences in physique between a sprinter and a long-distance runner. Lance and the runner are extremely lean, but they look positively wasted compared to the sprinter.

RobertW
12-01-2005, 03:10 PM
Cardio is great for WEIGHT loss, just not the best strategy for fat loss. Those of us with an interest in strength training and/or bodybuilding are concerned with % of bodyfat rather than bodyweight.

ShannonM
12-01-2005, 03:32 PM
And once again, Robert says in two sentences what I had to say in a book. :)

Meg
12-01-2005, 03:32 PM
But here's the dirty secret that a lot of PTs don't like to talk about: fat loss is very often - not always but often - FASTER with the cutback or elimination of cardio. That's real. It has happened with me more than once and I am by no means the only one. PTs can have (and have had) greater success with clients when they advise them this way. The PT who runs my gym has worked with a lot of obese people, and his experience bears out what I'm saying. The elite athletes, trainers, and coaches who post on Fred Hatfield's forum have sworn to the same thing, reflected in their own workouts and in the advice they give to their clients.

Whoa - hold on just a sec here. I'm puzzled about this 'dirty little secret'. What possible motivation would a trainer have to deliberately give his or her clients bad information? To NOT help them attain their fat loss goals? I'm baffled by your implication that trainers are handing out what they know to be erroneous advice about cardio. :?:

And is it only the 'elite' trainers who advise their clients not to do cardio? The rest of us are hacks and posers?

Shannon, I don't have any problem with you sharing what works for you -- as I always say, we're all different and what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you and vice versa. I did an hour of cardio per day, seven days a week, along with fairly heavy weight training (I'm talking 500# leg press, 175# deadlifts, 180# hacksquats etc) and lost 122 pounds in less than a year (while gaining eight pounds of LBM), so obviously cardio worked for me (and yes, I focused on body fat percentage and got it down to 14.5% from a start of over 50%). On the other hand, no cardio works for you. We're both reaching our goals in our own ways and that's awesome. :)

I DO have a problem with you insisting that your way is the right way and that trainers know it but are keeping it a secret for some nefarious reason. Certainly there are BB boards where little or no cardio is advocated. But I think you have to admit that outside the insular BB world, cardio is generally accepted as necessary for fat loss for most people. Every PT course teaches that, the seminars and workshops I've attended teach that, my personal experience teaches me that, and so does my experience with clients.

At the end of the day, fat loss comes down to calories in versus calories out. I hope we all can agree on that. :smug: No question, you absolutely can burn more calories with a higher LBM - in fact, every kilogram of LBM burns 50 calories per day. So building and maintaining muscle mass is essential for fat loss. No arguments from any of us here - we're all proponents of the LWL trinity. But cardio burns calories too and if someone can knock off an additional 500 calories per day through cardio, that's going to work out to another pound of fat lost per week. Again, I'm not disputing that your results are different but I honestly believe that the vast majority of overweight women will benefit from adding cardio to their exercise routines.

I don't have 'dirty little secrets' that I keep from my clients to try to hold them back from success. Nothing in the world makes me happier than helping my clients achieve their goals. The same goes for why I'm a moderator here at 3FC. I post about what I think works for weight loss, discovered through my own personal experiences and education, and always with the caveat that we all have to find our own ways.

MrsJim
12-01-2005, 03:36 PM
You're right that I did "approve" that. In fact, the cardio I was doing was interval-type stuff, because I hate steady-state cardio with a passion. :) I said that I can get on board with Krista's recommendation of two or three 20-30 minute cardio sessions a week (meaning cardio as she defines it, not steady-state) BUT I have not found even that much to be necessary for fat loss, and I know of many people who have had the same experience as I have.


So in other words...what you are writing is based largely on your personal opinion - you don't like cardio thus you don't think it's necessary...along with what I call (in honor of Andy Garcia's character in Ocean's Eleven) the "you know a guy..." ancedotal evidence.

While I agree Krista's website is great and has a lot of valuable information...she doesn't really focus on fat loss or the plight of being severely obese. (I also get the distinct impression that she's not a fan of cardio herself just in reading her articles)

In fact, why don't we just get AWAY from the term CARDIO for awhile and go old school...I'm going to call it "Aerobic exercise" right now.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for healthy aerobic activity (http://www.acsm.org/pdf/Guidelines.pdf)- the recommendations are to exercise three to five days a week for 30-45 minutes with a 5-10 minute warmup beforehand and a 5-10 minute cooldown afterwards - for weight loss, a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobics 5x a week is recommended.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/chapter4.htm) recommends:

Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.

To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week.

For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.

To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.

To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a healthcare provider before participating in this level of activity.


The book Thin for Life by Anne Fletcher (written based on interviews with weight loss 'masters' who have kept off 30 pounds or more for at least five years) which was discussed earlier this year in our Maintainers Forum, shows that the "masters" did a lot of aerobic exercise to get the weight off, and they do a lot still to maintain that weight. If you review the thread on the chapter regarding exercise in the Maintainers Forum (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53765), you'll find that just about everyone who responded (most of whom are maintainers) is doing some sort of aerobic activity pretty much on a daily basis.

I do EMPHATICALLY agree (as you can see by many of my past posts) that everyone should find an aerobic activity (preferably more than one!) that they truly enjoy doing. "Aerobic exercise" doesn't have to mean slogging on the treadmill...try a Spinning class, or a NIA Dance class...go running in the rain...put on those Rollerblades and go out for some fresh air...there are SO many different types of activities that get your heart pounding and chew up the calories, one is bound to find SOMETHING they enjoy, IMO!

ShannonM
12-01-2005, 04:10 PM
I'm baffled by your implication that trainers are handing out what they know to be erroneous advice about cardio.

You're right. No halfway honest person who is in the business of helping others would deliberately give out bad advice. I should have said that the PTs don't know they're giving out advice that is at best, unnecessary, and at worst, counterproductive.

And is it only the 'elite' trainers who advise their clients not to do cardio?

Not what I said and not what I meant. By "elite" I mean competitive athletes and the people who train them.

The rest of us are hacks and posers?

Meg, the truth is that if I lived near you, I would love to hire you as my PT. You post some very impressive lift numbers and your weight loss accomplishments are truly inspirational. But I would fight you tooth and nail on your cardio recommendations every step of the way - so I guess it's a good thing I can't hire you. :)

Certainly there are BB boards where little or no cardio is advocated.

I never visit those and they're not where I got my information, for whatever that's worth.

cardio is generally accepted as necessary for fat loss for most people. Every PT course teaches that, the seminars and workshops I've attended teach that, my personal experience teaches me that, and so does my experience with clients.

"Generally accepted" does not equal right, regardless of how many times it's shouted from the rooftops. It's as simple as that.

I don't have 'dirty little secrets' that I keep from my clients to try to hold them back from success.

I apologize for giving the impression that I thought you would do that. It was the farthest thing from my mind. There are some PTs, however, who are so afraid to try anything beyond what's "generally accepted" that their clients don't get the most effective information.

So in other words...what you are writing is based largely on your personal opinion - you don't like cardio thus you don't think it's necessary...along with what I call (in honor of Andy Garcia's character in Ocean's Eleven) the "you know a guy..." ancedotal evidence.

Absolutely not, and I resent that implication. I can work up a list of names and email addresses for you if you like, and you can check these people's qualifications for yourself. And your if-then statement is not at all what I implied in my previous posts. It's true I don't like cardio, but that would never have stopped me from doing it IF it were as effective as weight training for fat loss. But...it isn't. My realization of this was not related to my dislike for cardio. I was determined to lose weight and didn't care what it took - cardio or whatever.

And I know the current recommendations. I guess we're just going around in circles at this point. See above re: "generally accepted" not being equal to right.

RobertW
12-01-2005, 04:30 PM
And once again, Robert says in two sentences what I had to say in a book. :)

It is because of my scientific training. Journals CHARGE scientists by the page.

What is the benefit of doing lots of cardio for me (at this point in time)? My basal metabolic rate is ~4,200Cal/day and I can get by on a strict diet of 1,500 Cal/day so I don't need it to speed up my weight loss. 5# in a week is plenty; nobody is going to give me $250,000 for being the "Biggest Loser".

On the minus side conventional cardio will result in a loss of lean bodymass, which combined with some yo-yo dieting could easily leave you worse off (in terms of fat %) then when you started. Losing lean bodymass is common problem among dieters.

I would rather lose weight more slowly and hang onto my hard won muscle, than risk ending up "skinny-fat" or worse yet fatter than I was when I started.

RobertW
12-02-2005, 01:56 PM
I was just wondering about how many calories are in a pound of muscle and I came up with the following:

1g of protein=4cal, and muscle is ~75% water. If we assume that muscle is basicaly all protein and water we get 1,000 Cal/ kg of muscle or 450 Cal/#! A pound of fat contains 3,500 Cal.

So losing a # of muscle is ~7 times as easy as losing a pound of fat! OTOH, gaining a pound of muscle would take a very modest surplus of calories. No need to pig out when bulking up. Even 100 extra calories of protein/day is probably enough.

This probably explains the incredible pace of weightloss experienced by gastric bypass patients. It doesn't take a big calorie deficit to drop a lot of muscle.

Meg
12-02-2005, 02:29 PM
I was just wondering about how many calories are in a pound of muscle and I came up with the following:

1g of protein=4cal, and muscle is ~75% water. If we assume that muscle is basicaly all protein and water we get 1,000 Cal/ kg of muscle or 450 Cal/#! A pound of fat contains 3,500 Cal.

So losing a # of muscle is ~7 times as easy as losing a pound of fat! OTOH, gaining a pound of muscle would take a very modest surplus of calories. No need to pig out when bulking up. Even 100 extra calories of protein/day is probably enough.

This probably explains the incredible pace of weightloss experienced by gastric bypass patients. It doesn't take a big calorie deficit to drop a lot of muscle.
Robert, I'm sorry but I'm afraid that your logic is a tad faulty. You're assuming that the body doesn't distinguish between fat and muscle for energy storage and utilization.

It doesn't really matter how many calories are in a pound of muscle. Fat, not muscle, is the body's system for storing excess calories. Ah, if only excess calories were stored as muscle - ! But they're not. Excess calories, whether from protein, fat, or carbs, are stored as fat.

When you create a calorie deficit in your body, through diet and exercise, your body is forced to utilize its stored energy supply, which is the calories it put away as fat when you were in a calorie surplus. Your body doesn't indiscriminately burn off muscle at the same time as fat - it's evolutionarily adapted to store fat in times of surplus and burn fat in times of famine.

Building muscle takes more than eating 100 extra calories a day, of course. Otherwise we could skip the gym and just eat and voila - we'd have bulging biceps and huge pecs. Those 100 extra calories per day are going to be stored as fat if they're more than your body needs to function.

The fast weight loss experienced by gastric bypass patients is due to the enormous calorie deficit that is created in the months after surgery due to forced calorie restriction and malabsorption. WLS patients generally eat less than 1000 calories per day for the first year or so after surgery. Their pace of weight loss slows as their calorie intake increases in the second year.

If you take a minute and think it through, you'll realize that your statement that losing a pound of muscle is seven times easier than losing a pound of fat really isn't supported by science or logic. :)

RobertW
12-02-2005, 04:00 PM
It takes one seventh the calorie deficit to lose a pound of muscle vs. a pound of fat. Whether or not you burn fat or muscle when a calorie deficit is incurred depends upon your physiological state, but a small caloric deficit can result in a big weight loss if you are losing muscle. The type and intensity of the exercise you perform will influence whether you are burning muscle or fat. If you are far from your ideal bodyfat % you will probably lose mainly fat regardless.

MrsJim
12-02-2005, 07:36 PM
...other than losing weight or fat that is...

(sometimes we tend to get hung up with the 'lose weight' benefit of exercise...what about the OTHER benefits?)

There IS more to consider in the benefits of aerobic cardiovascular exercise (or for that matter, anaerobic exercise such as weight training) than just fitting into a smaller size of jeans. As I've gotten older (my early-to-mid 40's) I've become more aware of the OTHER benefits of cardiovascular exercise.

I have two strikes against me: A history of heart problems and high blood pressure on my father's side of the family (all 7 siblings have had heart 'issues' including my dad), and a history of breast and cervical cancers on my mom's side (including my mother herself, who is a breast cancer survivor). In addition, I would rather not be one of the unfortunate sufferers of osteoporosis and other debilitating 'aging' diseases.

Well guess what - the LWL trinity of nutrition, weights and CARDIO helps to prevent cancer (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ped/content/ped_3_2x_diet_and_activity_factors_that_affect_ris ks.asp).

As far as reducing the risk of heart attacks and heart problems - The American Heart Association HIGHLY endorses regular aerobic exercise (moderate or vigorous) to keep your heart healthy, and has a slew of suggestions and tools on their website (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200013).

Here are some additional benefits of aerobics... :ebike:

· Increased maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)
· Improvement in cardiovascular/cardiorespiratory function(heart and lungs)
· Increased maximal cardiac output (amount of blood pumped every minute)
· Increased maximal stroke volume (amount of blood pumped with each beat)
· Increased blood volume and ability to carry oxygen
· Reduced workload on the heart (myocardial oxygen consumption) for any given submaximal exercise intensity
· Increased blood supply to the muscles and ability to use oxygen
· Lower heart rate and blood pressure at any level of submaximal exercise
· Increased threshold for lactic acid accumulation
· Lower resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure
· Increased HDL Cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Regular exercise raises the level of "good" cholesterol and lowers the level of the "bad" cholesterol.
· Decreased blood triglycerides
· Reduced body fat and weight control
· Improved glucose tolerance and reduced insulin resistance, reducing the risk of diabetes
· Weight bearing exercises help fight osteoporosis. Regular exercise delays bone loss and promotes bone formation.


And strength training benefits...
:strong:
· Increased muscular strength
· Increased strength of tendons and ligaments
· Potentially improves flexibility (range of motion of joints)
· Reduced body fat and increased lean body mass (muscle mass)
· Potentially decreases resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure
· Improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
· Improved strength, balance, and functional ability in older adults

Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working capacity.

Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity also reduces body fat, which is associated with HBP.

By reducing body fat, physical activity can help to prevent and control noninsulin-dependant diabetes.

Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body's ability to use calories. Combined with proper nutrition, physical activity can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.

Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging such as Osteoporosis.

Regular physical activity can improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself. Researchers also have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress. :carrot:

Regular exercise helps keep joints flexible and helps build muscle to support the joint, reducing arthritis symptoms.

Exercisers feel sick almost 30% less often than non-exercisers.

jiffypop
12-02-2005, 09:16 PM
I was just wondering about how many calories are in a pound of muscle and I came up with the following:

1g of protein=4cal, and muscle is ~75% water. If we assume that muscle is basicaly all protein and water we get 1,000 Cal/ kg of muscle or 450 Cal/#! A pound of fat contains 3,500 Cal.

So losing a # of muscle is ~7 times as easy as losing a pound of fat! OTOH, gaining a pound of muscle would take a very modest surplus of calories. No need to pig out when bulking up. Even 100 extra calories of protein/day is probably enough.

This probably explains the incredible pace of weightloss experienced by gastric bypass patients. It doesn't take a big calorie deficit to drop a lot of muscle.

HUH???? what accounts for the tremendous rapid weight loss in MOST gastric bypass patients from my experience - and literature searches - and conversations with doctors and nurses and the few dieticians who actually understand what's going on - is because we are hard-pressed to consume 400-500 calories a day at first. and because we can consume so little, the standard of care is that we focus almost exclusively on protein for awhile in order to maintain our body systems - including muscle - while we're in essentially starvation mode.

if we meet our protein goals for the first 2-3 months, we've done a GREAT job. after we heal, the instructions most of us receive state that we MUST do at least 30 minutes of cardio - in whatever form we can tolerate - DAILY. let's face it, if we qualify for the surgery, we're already lugging around enough weight that weight training can be delayed. there's a theory out there that one of the reasons we gain enough weight to qualify for the surgery is because we all have insulin resistance. cardio helps manage this by increasing insulin receptor activity on the cellular level.

trust me, the type, pace and intensity of the exercise vary with each person's physical condition.

weight training comes later, but it does come. not only are we at a very high risk of osteoporosis, many of us also lose large amounts of muscle. in fact, the muscle loss is such an issue that there's a major clinical trial going on at St Luke's Roosevelt in NYC to see if weight training helps [of course it does - but they need to demonstrate it clinically].

the muscle loss seen in us is no different from the muscle loss often seen in people who lost lots of weight the old fashioned way. but it's more dramatic because we lose so much so fast.

We need to do both not only as part of developing a healthy lifestyle, but also to maximise AND MAINTAIN the weight loss

when i've been sidelined due to knee injuries [that darn dog is strong and pulls me off my feet sometimes!], i've gained 20 pounds. once i start exercising again, the cardio [in the form of hiking or walking] drops my weight dramatically. i can't maintain - or maximise - any weight loss without BOTH cardio and weight training.

but when i'm pressed for time, i can delay the weight training. i can't manage my weight without the cardio. i just can't.

on a side note, i ran into one of the physical therapists at the gym, and he said that he'd given up on doing just weight training. he said that he'd tried to maintain his weight doing the weights alone without cardio, no matter what his colleagues said [his words - not mine!], but it didn't work.

i'm wondering, robert, if what you're seeing is perhaps more the result of your MALENESS than of right or wrong ways to do things. men have more muscle, and they lose weight more quickly than we women [drat drat double drat].

my trainer - whom i torture regularly - keeps track of both my cardio and weight training. he recommends lifting before cardio [something about the glycogen storage and fat burning] - but he doesn't insist on it, realizing that doing the cardio at ANY time is what's most important.

RobertW
12-03-2005, 08:10 AM
HUH???? what accounts for the tremendous rapid weight loss in MOST gastric bypass patients from my experience - and literature searches - and conversations with doctors and nurses and the few dieticians who actually understand what's going on - is because we are hard-pressed to consume 400-500 calories a day at first. and because we can consume so little, the standard of care is that we focus almost exclusively on protein for awhile in order to maintain our body systems - including muscle - while we're in essentially starvation mode.

if we meet our protein goals for the first 2-3 months, we've done a GREAT job. after we heal, the instructions most of us receive state that we MUST do at least 30 minutes of cardio - in whatever form we can tolerate - DAILY. let's face it, if we qualify for the surgery, we're already lugging around enough weight that weight training can be delayed. there's a theory out there that one of the reasons we gain enough weight to qualify for the surgery is because we all have insulin resistance. cardio helps manage this by increasing insulin receptor activity on the cellular level.

trust me, the type, pace and intensity of the exercise vary with each person's physical condition.

weight training comes later, but it does come. not only are we at a very high risk of osteoporosis, many of us also lose large amounts of muscle. in fact, the muscle loss is such an issue that there's a major clinical trial going on at St Luke's Roosevelt in NYC to see if weight training helps [of course it does - but they need to demonstrate it clinically].

the muscle loss seen in us is no different from the muscle loss often seen in people who lost lots of weight the old fashioned way. but it's more dramatic because we lose so much so fast.

We need to do both not only as part of developing a healthy lifestyle, but also to maximise AND MAINTAIN the weight loss

when i've been sidelined due to knee injuries [that darn dog is strong and pulls me off my feet sometimes!], i've gained 20 pounds. once i start exercising again, the cardio [in the form of hiking or walking] drops my weight dramatically. i can't maintain - or maximise - any weight loss without BOTH cardio and weight training.

but when i'm pressed for time, i can delay the weight training. i can't manage my weight without the cardio. i just can't.

.



my trainer - whom i torture regularly - keeps track of both my cardio and weight training. he recommends lifting before cardio [something about the glycogen storage and fat burning] - but he doesn't insist on it, realizing that doing the cardio at ANY time is what's most important.

Congrats on your weight loss. That is incredible accomplishment, however you achieved it, and yes we are different enough that what works best for me will not be what is best for you.

What I was thinking about above was how someone I know who did not have the procedure but followed the "gastric bypass" diet was able to lose 1.5#/day for such a long period of time. His maintainance would have to be ~6,000 Cal/day to drop that much fat, but if 25% (which I think is typical for gastric bypass patients) is muscle the number becomes alot more reasonable (deficit of ~-4,000 Cal). I am hard pressed to drop more than 3/4# of a pound of weight in a day for a prolonged length of time, but if that is almost all fat I am doing as well as I can expect too.

Moving period will help you hold onto muscle, but more intense exercise should protect more of your hard earned muscle.

On my end, I am planning to drop 20# using some fairly extreme dieting this month (11,000 Cal/ week), but I am trying to do so with as little muscle loss as possible.
i'm wondering, robert, if what you're seeing is perhaps more the result of your MALENESS than of right or wrong ways to do things. men have more muscle, and they lose weight more quickly than we women [drat drat double drat].

More my goal than anything else. If I wanted to look like Lou Reed rather than Lou Ferrigno I would put cardio ahead of weight training. Where most men tend to go wrong is they don't diet severely enough. Women, IMHO, are better about the dieting but not as good about the weight training.

on a side note, i ran into one of the physical therapists at the gym, and he said that he'd given up on doing just weight training. he said that he'd tried to maintain his weight doing the weights alone without cardio, no matter what his colleagues said [his words - not mine!], but it didn't work

Tell him to eat less.

ShannonM
12-03-2005, 10:24 AM
i'm wondering, robert, if what you're seeing is perhaps more the result of your MALENESS than of right or wrong ways to do things. men have more muscle, and they lose weight more quickly than we women [drat drat double drat].

NO. It's not just men who lose this way.

I'm a woman and I am (apparently) the opposite of you, jiffypop, in that cardio screws up my weight loss every. single. time. The moment I cut it back or eliminate it completely, I start losing weight again. For the first six months I was losing weight, I did cardio and weight training (and cleaned up my eating, of course) and lost weight at a slow pace. Then on a whim, I cut back the cardio and upped the intensity of my lifting...and BAM! Pounds and inches started flying off. Cardio is fine for me for maintenance, and I certainly enjoy a nice little jog every now and then. But if I do too much of it, it invariably stalls my weight loss.

men have more muscle, and they lose weight more quickly than we women

Leaving the cardio issue aside for a moment - you just offered the single best argument I've ever heard for women to hit the iron as hard as they possibly can. Muscle burns fat; ergo, the more of it you have, the more fat you burn. Women need as much help in this area as we can get. If I'm correctly interpreting your statement, you're saying that the reason men lose weight faster is because they have more muscle. Well, muscle gain is not the sole province of men, is it? :wl:

We have to fight much, much harder than they do for every ounce of muscle we gain (I know I do, anyway). But the payoff in terms of more efficient fat loss has been immeasurable.

By the way - just as it's true that more muscle burns more fat, more muscle will allow a person to eat much more at a maintenance level than most people realize. Even now, as I'm losing the last little bit, I'm amazed at how much junk I can eat and not gain weight. (Muscle gain and the resultant amped-up metabolism is the only possible explanation for this - I never had a fast metabolism before, and when I was diagnosed with PCOS, insulin resistance, and pre-diabetes a few years ago, the damn thing pretty much came to a grinding halt. :mad: )

Tell him to eat less.

Yep...people tend to forget about this part...I'd bet dollars to doughnuts (mmm...doughnuts) that he's not cutting enough calories.

Mel
12-03-2005, 12:53 PM
Hello :wave: I'm, a bit late to the party here but couldn't resist putting in my two cents.

This whole thread indicates one overriding principle: rather than arguing about whether cardio is good or bad, counterproductive or healthy, what we've established is that we are all different: we are are all an experiment of one.

Shannon, you say that cardio stalls your weightloss. Meg can't lose or maintain without a lot of cardio. While I think Meg is more typical of most women, Shannon certainly isn't alone. A former member of this board couldn't lose fat or gain muscle doing cardio or eating what is considered a normal caloric deficit for her weight. When she dropped the cardio and upped her calories (clean of course!) to over 2000, she dropped fat and gained muscle. I'm approximately the same size and similar age, and would be a blimp in no time on that regimen.

I can maintain with minimal cardio (3-4 times a week for 20 minutes) but don't dare stop the lifting. I lift a heavy five day split and I have no intention of sacrificing my muscle or strength gains. But that muscle does not let me eat a whole lot more! There is no way that 99% of women will gain enough muscle naturally to do no cardio and eat mindlessly. Please notice that the original poster has not really cleaned up her nutrition. Shannon, having PCOS naturally puts more muscle on you than most women. For a woman to put on 10 additional pounds of lean muscle tissue naturally is nearly miraculous. Those 10 pounds of muscle only allow her to eat approximately an additional 250 calories a day.

We all know that it's possible to lose weight doing no exercise at all- heck, you can lose weight on a diet of tootsie rolls and coffee! You'll feel awful and look worse, but you'll lose. Diet is key. I've seen plenty of people who work hard in the gym year after year, doing everything right in the gym, but not willing to make the food lifestyle changes required to actually lean down. They are strong, healthy and well muscled, but carry more fat than they would like. Why? nutrition. Can't give up the nightly drink, chocolate, ice cream...pick your poison. My boss is a competitive bodybuilder who at age 57, maintains his bf at 7% off season and drops to 4% for competitions. He has never done cardio, and never will. Food has never been an issue for him (other than how to eat enough times during the day to maintain his muscle mass!) so he can accomplish this all by diet manipulation.

A woman starting out with a body fat level of anything over 28% or so, probably cannot rely on weight training and diet alone. To start with, she's probably not in good enough condition to lift heavy and frequently enough to make much of an impact on weightloss. Trainers don't withhold information; what would be the point? The only way to keep clients and have their good reviews bring new clients is to help them succeed, and as fast as possible. Not many women want to be powerlifters or bodybuilders. I do, Shannon does...but we are the minority. More often, I have to assure new clients that there is no way that they are going to have large defined muscles because they find the look repulsive. Little do they know how hard it is to achieve!

Losing muscle is pretty much inevitable when leaning down. That's why most female competitors eat huge quantities of very lean protein and complex carbs pre-comp, and do LOTS of cardio. The food feeds the muscles, the cardio burns the fat. A very few do burn significant amounts of muscle; I have one competitor who I've banned from the step-master and treadmills. She can burn off a pound of muscle without any fat, so no cardio for her. Lift heavy, eat clean. But we're talking about people with body fat under 12% for women and 8% for men. How many 3FC members fall into that category? I'd venture zero. The cardio/no cardio, slow state vs. HIIT arguements just don't really matter if you are 40% fat. T-Mag and ABCbodybuilding .com are not aimed at overweight women whose main reason for going to the gym is to get fitter and lose some fat!

I'm going to close this thread with the final words: Do what works for you! :) We can all find an article or forum entry to counter anything that someone else posts.

Mel :)