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Strength training without cardio, does it work?

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Old 02-21-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Strength training without cardio, does it work?

Has anyone ever tried strength training and skipping the cardio? Would this work? And if not, why is that?

I know the benefits of cardio, but aside from that. Do you really HAVE to do cardio in order to do strength training?

Just wondering.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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I did that when I first started losing weight. I did heavy weight lifting, no cardio (my knee was injured) and i lost 50 lbs very quickly. I prefer weight training over cardio but I try to do both.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:51 PM   #3
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Check out this recent thread for a discussion of this issue: Weight training without cardio?

I guess it depends on what you mean when you ask: "does it work?" No, you don't have to do cardio to do strength training. They're different kinds of exercise and you can do one or the other, or both. So sure, it's possible to strength train without cardio and it will work in the sense that you'll get all the benefits of strength training.

But if you only lift weights, you'll be missing out on all of cardio's benefits -- a lot of cardiovascular and overall health benefits, plus cardio is our major calorie burner. So I'm curious -- why no cardio? Is it because of a health reason, like Erica in the thread, above? Or do you just dislike cardio?
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:03 PM   #4
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In the past, I have seen significant changes with weight-training only. Building muscle does make a difference in your body and in how you burn calories, although it does not bring all the health benefits of cardio. Experts say mix it up and do both...I think that is the best advice but if you have not exercised regularly before do whatever gets your body building muscle and makes you feel better, then worry about the right mix. The most important thing, I think, is to do something challenging consistently.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:33 AM   #5
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Well, I guess I have a little of both. I hate cardio , and my knees do tend to bother me from time to time, I also get really painful shins when I walk, it's always been like that. I used an elliptical before but I'd get so bored doing that I quit.

And I was always told by other, don't bother with weight training unless you do cardio. But right now I'm trying to get into healthful habits that I can maintain forever. I don't want to go all crazy and then get tired and drop it all like I've done so many other times.

I need to start somewhere and weight training seems to be something I can do right now.

Thanks for pointing out the other thread Meg.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Kat, I agree that starting with weights is far better than doing nothing. But don't be surprised if cardio becomes a little more appealing after you spend some time working out with weights. You might start seeing results from the weights and want to strip off fat to show off your new muscles ... or you might just find out that exercise makes you feel good. One change at a time is a smart way to go about weight loss and sometimes one change leads to another.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:45 PM   #7
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a tip that i have always heard and one that my gym actually incorporates into their circuit is to make sure you keep your heart rate up when you are strength training. the circuit i do has 4 steppers around so that you can hop on them for about 30 seconds to boost your heart rate before you go on to the next machine. don't rest when you move from machine to machine or excersize... just keep it in the flow and keep your heart rate up. It'll give you some cardio and it'll burn more calories during your strength training workout!
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:07 PM   #8
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If you use free weights and lift heavy, your heart rate does pretty much stay up the entire time. There can definitely be a cardio component to lifting weights.
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:38 PM   #9
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Kat, just wondered if you'd considered other "cardio" activities? Running and the machines at the gym are not the only options.

For example, I like dancing on skates, and I also run my "sled" dogs with a mountain bike style scooter (no snow here), and that's cardio for me. I'm doing jogging/walking, too, because that's something I've always wanted to do. There are a ton of other options, though: tennis/racquetball/handball, basketball, volleyball, baseball, swimming, bicycling, horseback riding, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, climbing/hiking, skiing, canoeing/rafting, etc, etc, etc.

There might be something you already enjoy doing, or something you've always wanted to learn, that would let you get the benefits of "cardio", in some form. I think that any movement is better than none, but just wanted to suggest that there may be "cardio" choices out there that you hadn't considered, and might enjoy very much!

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Old 02-25-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
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Cheryl: Yes, thank you for pointing that out. I do try to find other ways to do cardio. Sometimes I dance silly by myself, or go up and down the stairs in the house. I guess as long as I move, then that's something.

I do want to start strength training, but wasn't sure if I could w/o the cardio part, but if I can, I'm going to! And like Meg said, one change at the time, who knows, maybe I'll start enjoying cardio after.

Thanks for all the help.
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