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Strength or Cardio to Burn Bodyfat

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Old 03-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Strength or Cardio to Burn Bodyfat

So, you may remember I'm in a Fitness Challenge that will be judged based on lost bodyfat. Challenge ends a week from Saturday. The trainer (my previous 1-1 PT) had us doing some weights and a ton of boot camp style workouts. I did okay so far, 11-15 lbs lost, 3-4% bodyfat, all in 7 weeks. Others did better so far as I learned I had a distinct disadvantage being already active and them previously inactive. Oh well, lesson learned. I will take my changes as positive regardless if I don't win.

Anyway, as you may recall, my PT and I were having problems with each other and when I commented about missing heavy lifting, he wasn't accomodating, so I started working with another trainer to add that back in about 2.5 weeks ago. I just missed it too much, my body craved it. Here's the thing, my new trainer had said muscle building is key to bodyfat loss. Do you agree? Others say, cardio, cardio, cardio. Well, which is it????

Any last week recommendations to go all out?

***
For the curious, I discovered the root of the problem with my first trainer--he thought I had a thing for him, so was distancing himself, but also misinterpreting a ton of banter and then correspondingly not treating me as nicely as I was used to, leading me to feel mistreated and confused...our banter had never changed, but his perception had. Anyway, I'll be switching to her as our relationship needs to cool down to someday return to its previous good vibes. She's cool, I'm happy, and stronger every day.

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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I'm taking a general health course in college right now and we recently learned that both cardiovascular and strength training are pretty important for weight loss and both play a certain role in the process.

Cardiovascular obviously helps to burn the fat and calories away, as well as spike your metabolism for several hours after exercising helping you body burn calories even if you're inactive.

Strength training helps build your muscles, and an increase in muscle means higher metabolism, which will also increase the amount of calories your body is burning while being inactive.

So put those both together and bam, you have a pretty sweet weight loss plan.

Hope this answers your question!

P.S. Congrats on the weight loss!!!
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
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I think it is both but for the long haul, building muscle will help with body your overall metabolism. BUT it is difficult to gain muscle mass especially after the 'honeymoon' period and without supplements. If you already basically had your 'honeymoon' period before the challenge and they had it during may be the difference you are experiencing.

If you are trying to boost your chances during the last week, I'd probably continue the strength training but probably boost your cardio since it is in the short term. I also believe you are doing Atkins? That might also effect your stats between when you started the challenge (and weren't doing Atkins?) and now. If you eat carbs, that would probably actually end up boosting your lean body mass and thus dropping your BF %. Although there are many different ways to play with those devices and maybe following whatever guidelines your trainer has provided you for the test is the best option.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:07 PM   #4
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Don't forget HIIT! Everyone is currently claiming that HIIT is crucial for fat loss and an elevated metabolism.

I ran across an article on this subject just the other day: Hierarchy of Fat Loss.

The weight training people are fervently anti-steady state cardio. (Probably the steady state cardio people are anti-weight training.) If you like lifting then lift, eat clean, do HIIT and do ss cardio with whatever time and energy you have leftover.

I'm so glad that you got a new trainer! That's excellent news.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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JG: I've been wondering how you were doing these last couple of weeks. I think you have had wonderful success in weightloss during the last seven weeks. Good for you! Of course it would have been nice to win the challenge but the real prize will be how great you are going to feel as you continue to challenge yourself. I'm so excited for you.

As far as your question. I believe both are very important. Repeat after me, "Clean eats, Cardio, Lift heavy, Rest, Repeat." Anyone who believes they can accomplish more by doing less is only cheating themselves. You were right to want to head back to the free weights for the optimal bodyfat loss in the long term. I think if I were presented with this type of challenge I would probably be certain that I was doing at least 45 minutes of cardio with HIIT intervals five days a week. But that's just me and what I could tolerate in the short term. Basically, consider upping the cardio without sacrificing the lifting if you can. Best of luck to you and let us know how the challenge turns out. ~I think you are already a winner ~
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:23 PM   #6
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J ~I think you are already a winner ~
yup, what she said
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
If you are trying to boost your chances during the last week, I'd probably continue the strength training but probably boost your cardio since it is in the short term. I also believe you are doing Atkins? That might also effect your stats between when you started the challenge (and weren't doing Atkins?) and now. If you eat carbs, that would probably actually end up boosting your lean body mass and thus dropping your BF %. Although there are many different ways to play with those devices and maybe following whatever guidelines your trainer has provided you for the test is the best option.
I'm throwing in about 30 minutes of extra cardio 4x next week, and doing it as interval work. Won't add carbs as I gain radically on them, which is why I went to Atkins (I gain just having complex, low GI carbs, unfortunately).
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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yup, what she said
Awe, guys, thank you!

I'm feeling good about myself.

This Challenge was actually really hard on me, ruining my relationship with my trainer (the teammates turned out to be catty and told him things that led to his misperceptions and treatment of me), working with catty women--I'll be glad to have it over. I just believe in finishing what you started.

The issue with my trainer and teammates was all so weird. My trainer would get mad at me just for doing as he told me (i.e., always have weights be a challenge) or if I was doing really well would forgo positive reinforcement; and the women took umbrage because I was so focused on trying to do my best (keep form, finish the reps, etc.) that they thought I was a snob to them.

But hard as their treatment of me was, I found a new strength...a confidence in my path and abilities.... That alone can carry me far.

Now training with the new trainer, it feels sooooo good. Whereas my old trainer sometimes said things like "it took me years to do that" ((snort, snort)), this trainer takes pride when I'm even stronger than her (hello 400-500lb leg press) and has fun with me.

I'm moving forward toward my goals. I have now officially fit in my skinny jeans, have gone from a 22/24 top to a 14/16 (depending on cut) and a 20-22 bottom. I feel physically strong and capable, and love all activity. And I know longer cower when the hard work is a challenge, but plow through....
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:54 PM   #9
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I'm throwing in about 30 minutes of extra cardio 4x next week, and doing it as interval work. Won't add carbs as I gain radically on them, which is why I went to Atkins (I gain just having complex, low GI carbs, unfortunately).
And I didn't mention it but baffled did, I'd go for not just any cardio but HIIT.

Also, I don't know if it made sense but what I was saying is if you started the challenge and weren't doing Atkins then it is possible for your comparison now of your BF% to be different from your BF% then. Since BF% readers are a bit wonky, if you actually started Atkins after your initial BF% reading, then it is possible that you actually lost more fat than you realize. Since the initial weight drop in Atkins isn't fat, it'd have to come out of the lean body mass equation so you might've shown a loss in lean mass or an increase in fat when really it was your body just emptying out glycogen. So it is entirely possible that your BF% is actually more than the numbers recorded.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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Started Atkins week before first assessment.

Cardio is almost HIIT. But I still feel HIIT is hard for me.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:54 PM   #11
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But I still feel HIIT is hard for me.
HIIT is hard for all of us. That's the point. What counts for you as high intensity will be different from what counts as high intensity for me.

My legs have been bothering me during sprints recently, so today I did my HIIT on the bike and the rower. Ouch! At one point my *** became separated from the seat of the rower and I wound up sprawled over the bar thing. Actually, the rowing was kind of good and fun for HIIT. I liked it better than the bike but not as much as running.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:30 PM   #12
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Not sure if this qualifies as HIIT, but what I do as cardio is often 30sec-1min high intensity, 1-2 minutes moderate, and repeat for 10-20 minutes per machine. I do this on the treadmill, AMT, arc, elliptical, and rower.

But I may be wise not to this week--I'm having an issue with my knee--the knee went out of joint during a sprint Thursday, caught me off guard. Doesn't pain me, but feels weird and scary. Today I opted for the arc over the treadmill and Ian, my trainer, agreed....
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
what I do as cardio is often 30sec-1min high intensity, 1-2 minutes moderate, and repeat for 10-20 minutes per machine
You got it! That's HIIT. As Baff said, it is hard. Nothing else I do feels as hard (though I get sorer from lifting). I couldn't get into it on Thursday, and opted for a longer steady-state cardio so at least I did something.... Good thing I had something good to listen to on my MP3 is all I can say. I had to cover the timer so I didn't watch the seconds go by.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:24 AM   #14
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Cool. Hey, one of my accomplishments lately has been during this treadmill time, my intensity point is 30sec of 7.3mph. Not bad for a "fat" chick. I've had people come up and say, "I can't do that."

Gotta love it!
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