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Need Opinions on Exercise Plan

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Old 03-13-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default Need Opinions on Exercise Plan

Hi all! I'm new here and have a question about my current exercise plan. When I joined the gym last year, I was doing probably 3 days of cardio at 30 mins each plus some basic weight training with the machines. I eventually decided that the very very minimal amount of time (I probably did arms once a week and legs once a week) I was dedicating to weight training wasn't going to make a difference, and I'd also started reading a lot about how the weight machines were not a good choice. Now I do 3-4 days a week of cardio for 30-45 minutes (plus whatever hiking and biking I do on the weekends). I also do a series of planks and squats throughout the week at work lol.

My question is, is it worth adding weight training back into my routine even if I don't have adequate time to do so on a weekly basis? How much time is adequate for a weight training routine? I have 30 pounds to lose just to get out of the "obese" range and at least another 20 after that, but I want to make sure I'm doing the right things, in addition to my diet. I'm losing weight, but I want to make sure I'm doing it in the best way possible.

I am considering getting a personal trainer for a few sessions to work with me on a free weight routine, but I don't want to bother if it's something I need to do 3+ times a week and if it adds too much to my already difficult schedule.

I hope that makes sense. Any opinions are welcome.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:56 PM   #2
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So, um, you might not like my answer.

Personally, I've seen the best progress in myself when I don't do 'cardio' at all (assuming you're talking about elliptical/treadmill or similar).

Instead, I enjoy a combination of resistance training and intervals/sprints. If I were you, I'd trade out 3x45min of cardio a week for 3x30min weights + 15min intervals. If you're most comfortable with the machines then start there - using machines is WAAAAAY better than never lifting because you avoid free weights like the plague.

In terms of anabolic stimulation (activity that helps you keep/build muscle while losing fat) and EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, ie. 'speeding up' your metabolism for up to 24-48hrs after working out), the literature I've read suggests that resistance training and intervals have a better bang-for-the-buck than traditional 'cardio' when trying to lose fat.

Even if you were to trade out ONE of your workouts a week for lifting instead of cardio, I think you would see good results over time. Building strength helps prevent muscle while losing fat, adds shape to your body, and generally increases your capability during physical activity.

Here are a few posts where I've touched on lifting exercises to start with (plus extra information from other members, which is also great!):
Looking for exercise advice
3 day/week Lifting Routine suggestions
Muscle Questions

'Hope that helps! I'd love to hear what you decide to do, and how it's working out for you after a few weeks.

But most importantly, have fun.

Last edited by Defining : 03-13-2014 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! I actually already do intervals within my cardio workout, about half the time. I am so focused on cardio because I am trying to build stamina for long hikes and improve my breathing (exercise induced asthma..ugh, but it's improved a lot). But I realize that muscle strength is important, too

I think I'll take your advice and start with one day of lifting per week. Thanks for the links!
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonameslob View Post
Thanks for your reply! I actually already do intervals within my cardio workout, about half the time. I am so focused on cardio because I am trying to build stamina for long hikes and improve my breathing (exercise induced asthma..ugh, but it's improved a lot). But I realize that muscle strength is important, too

I think I'll take your advice and start with one day of lifting per week. Thanks for the links!
No worries - like I said, I hope it helps. And kudos for using intervals in your workout, especially with a specific goal in mind.

As an interesting aside, sprinting has been proven nearly as effective in developing stamina as endurance activities - it just takes up less time.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/15-re...#axzz2vsKZbjCC

http://jp.physoc.org/content/575/3/901.full

Last edited by Defining : 03-13-2014 at 04:14 PM.
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