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Is lifting weights the way to go when your trying to shed pounds?

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Old 11-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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Question Is lifting weights the way to go when your trying to shed pounds?

I want to start weight training, but want to continue losing pounds. I've been doing only cardio because I thought I should shed some pounds before I started using the weights. i'VE HEARD A BUNCH OF THINGS ..... like doing ONLY cardio isn't an effective way to lose weight, or that lifting weights will make me bulk up, or that if you don't lift HEAVY weight, and do more reps, that will help you not to bulk up ....

Can someone point me in the right direction? I appreciate any feedback or advice!
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:04 PM   #2
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Mmmmmkay.

First, most women don't have the biological ability to "bulk up". So all of those fears about lifting heavy - set them aside. Lifting heavy will make you stronger but it won't turn you into the incredible hulk.

Second, cardio AND weight training are good for weight loss. With cardio, you burn more calories during the activity itself. With weight training, though, you get the one-two punch of burning more calories AFTER your exercise (the so called "afterburn", or "Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption" effect) and, as you build muscle, burning more calories AT REST (keeping muscle going, even when you're not using it, takes more calories/hr than keeping fat going).

Cardio is great too, for your heart and for weight loss, as it burns up calories immediately.

A program combining both, either in individual sessions or in a circuit-training style that combines cardio and strength, is really your best bet for losing weight and keeping it off.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
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Yes, lifting weights will help you to lose weight. Muscle is metabolically active so the more muscle you build, the more calories you'll build at rest.

Yes, you should lift heavy - lifting "girly" weights isn't going to build muscle. It just creates endurance (sometimes), which isn't hte same thing.

No, you're not going to bulk up. Women simply don't have enough testosterone in their systems to bulk the way men do. In order to bulk, you'd have to work at it really really really hard and eat a pretty specific diet.

I'd strongly recommend that you look into the following books: Body for Life and The New Rules of Lifting for Women. They're worth buying and keeping and using as references. Both of them have similar guidelines towards diet and weights and both of them provide workout programs that you can follow.

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Old 11-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #4
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Uh, yeah. And what Manda said about combining weights and cardio. Absolutely the best way to go!

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Old 11-14-2008, 05:48 AM   #5
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I weight trained from Day One of my weight loss journey and am convinced that I never would have made it to goal without it. It was THE big change that made losing 122 pounds possible.

A good eating plan + weights + cardio = SUCCESS!
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:59 AM   #6
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I am totally with Meg on this. Although I did not start weight training at the beginning of my weight loss journey, it followed shortly afterwards (3 months later). It was the best decision I made in a really long time. It's hard to separate weight lifting from the rest of what I am doing (i.e. cardio, healthy eating, etc.) but it just gave me a completely new lease on life. I have a feeling that as I was getting physically stronger I also felt emotionally stronger and much happier about myself (even though I was not technically depressed any more, some traces of depression still lingered around). I performed much better at work and in general, my confidence and self-esteem increased.
It is a myth that you will bulk up - yes, you CAN bulk up but you would have to do very serious body building and be really into it. I have to tell you that I value the slowly emerging definition of my muscles more than anything else and I have become a real gym rat. I am simply having a blast and I hope you will, too.
Best of luck.
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:20 AM   #7
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IMO, a balanced, varied exercise program is not only best for weight loss, but also for overall health and wellbeing. A rounded program should include cardio, strength conditioning, stretching and balance work. And just as important is CONSISTENCY, finding a program that you can stay with and do regularly over time.

Weight training is how you can influence your body shape, so don't be afraid of it! Plus having stronger muscles helps in daily life, it's easier to bring groceries in, move furniture, carry kids, lift heavy stock pots, get the Christmas boxes down from the attic -- everything we need to do. For me, the exercise is as much about improving functionality and quality of life, as it is for weight loss.

For pure calorie burn, I'm also convinced that intervals are the most efficient way go - intervals of cardio and weights. You get your heart rate up with the cardio, and keep it up while working weights to build muscle, the best of both worlds!
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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Absolutely add weight training! I'm convinced I would not have the size, shape, stamina or health that I have now without it, and there is no way that I could have maintained a loss all these years without weight training consistently.

Yes, you can lose the weight without it, but it's harder and a lot of the weight that you lose will be muscle. Proportionally, you can end up being fatter at a lighter weight after dieting off pounds. Weight training makes it easier, makes you healthier, and just plain makes you look better

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Old 11-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #9
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I would definitely add weight training. It will make you stronger which is a good thing, and like everyone else mentioned you will not bulk up. When i'm just doing cardio i don't lose weight as quickly as when i'm lifting too. That is just my experience, but i love getting stronger along with losing weight. I FEEL healthier, and i love seeing progress in another area.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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I hope FB replies to this message...if not, seek her out and chat with her. She is AWESOME and has done much of her weight loss with weights.

Muscles burn calories and fat faster then less muscle. So lift weigts, get more muscle, and burn more calories!!!
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:52 AM   #11
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I've lost weight in the past pumping iron along with cardio and the results were great. This time around I've had more time for cardio and less for weightlifting and the results are not all that cute. The scale has come down as well as the clothing sizes but this is the SQUISHIEST I've ever been while trying to exercise and eat right. The weights are what is missing.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
but this is the SQUISHIEST I've ever been while trying to exercise and eat right.
That is SUCH a good description!

I haven't had time to get into the gym like I've wanted to lately. I've been travelling a lot and have slacked off the weights and resistance stuff, even though I know I could be doing more in my hotel room. I've been lazy. *sigh*

But I have kept up the cardio, either running, or by using whatever equip is available at the hotel.

And I was noticing today in fact, that I'm "jigglier" than I was a month ago. I haven't gained any weight, but things are shifting and my tummy an thighs are showing the downside of not doing my regular weight program.

Squishy is so dead on!!!

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Old 11-14-2008, 01:21 PM   #13
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Lifting weights changed my life.

Seriously. I would only get so far with cardio and calorie counting before I would hit a wicked plateau and give up---cause I could only run so far or eat so few calories. This time I added weight lifting, blasted through the weight that had always been my dreaded plateau, and I haven't looked back.

First, weight lifting is FUN. It is great to build power (and I love being a strong woman). Second, my arms rock. Totally. I get such a kick out of my biceps and triceps and delts. And....I have a waist!!! Third, I am now eating to build and maintain muscle. What does that mean? I eat a lot and I eat often. Lots of protein, fruits, veggies, beans, complex carbs. I am not depriving myself. And on the days I eat...crappy.....like birthday cake and pizza and chips...I don't gain. I probably would if I ate like that every day, but my body is VERY forgiving when I venture off plan.

I have found a way I can eat, exercise, function, etc., for a long long long time.

My body is smaller at this weight than it was at a lower weight years ago. Muscle is dense and firm. It's beautiful! Building strength has helped in every part of my life. Even my running is better now that my quads and hamstrings and calves are more powerful.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:59 PM   #14
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Photochick...which Body for Life Book? I see about three of 'em.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:08 PM   #15
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The one that I've read is the first one - the basic plan:
http://www.amazon.com/Body-Life-Ment...86074&sr= 8-1

I think there's a Body for Life for Women out as well, but I haven't read that one. If it's anything like the first one, I'd say that it's probably pretty good though.

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