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BERRY4 SparkPoints: (261,677)
Fitness Minutes: (109,095)
Posts: 13,743
12/1/13 9:33 P

1st & foremost, weight loss begins in the kitchen.
2nd - cardio is a great way to help in losing weight...but you can't guarantee you are maintaining muscle.
3rd - The older you get (trust me I'm there) you will wish you had made time to maintain muscle mass instead of waiting until sometime after 40 (or 50) to try to improve your condition. I WISH someone had told me how important it was to do, and what a difference strength training makes (the benefit to your whole body).

Edited by: BERRY4 at: 12/1/2013 (22:05)
SIMONEKP Posts: 2,700
12/1/13 8:17 P

you don't need a ton of money to get some weights, you can pick them up at big lots or other discount stores.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
12/1/13 5:32 P

I enjoy cardio too. I prefer cardio to strength training, but I still include strength training in my workout. You don't have to have a gym membership to make use weights. You don't even have to use weights, even though it does help. You can use your bodyweight to do a lot of strength training exercises. Since you were a dancer in high school, I would imagine that a lot of the body weight exercises would be things you could do (standing abduction, any variation of the lunges, etc.). You could slowly incorporate weights and a medicine ball. I have a 6 lb medicine ball that I got at WalMart. I forget how much I spent on it but it wasn't too much. Go to garage sales, Goodwill, and other similar places to look for weights. Also check out Craigslist and freecycle.

If you want to start with body weight exercises (without dumbbells) you could do:
lower body exercises:
-lateral lunges (glutes, quads, inner thigh)
-runner's lunges (glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips)
-forward lunges (glutes, quads)
-standing abduction (quads, hips, outer thigh)
-calf rocking/raising (calves)
-squats (glutes, quads)
-bridges (glutes, hamstrings, quads) - this one seems to help my lower back too

core exercises:
-bridge-ups (lower back, shoulders, abs)
-side plank (obliques, abs)
-plank (abs)
-airplane pose (glutes, hamstrings, back)
-t stand (hamstrings, lower back, abs)
-hip flexor (glutes, hips, upper thigh)
-dolphin pose (shoulders, abs, upper back)

upper body exercises:
-pushups (chest, triceps, shoulders)
-reverse plank (shoulders, back, triceps, core, quads)
*with dumbbells you could include:
-one arm dumbbell row (shoulders, upper back, biceps)
-seated dumbbell row (shoulders, upper back, biceps)
-dumbbell chest press (chest, triceps)
-dumbbell pullovers (chest, triceps, lats)

These alone could give you a full body workout without needing to use dumbbells or a medicine ball. You could pick a few from each group and do them 2 to 3x/week for about 20 to 30 minutes and be done.

Workout Generator (for strength training):

You don't have to give up cardio. Right now, I do cardio 5 days/week and strength training 2 to 3 days per week. If you enjoy cardio, then do it. I enjoy riding my bike and the rowing machine (use it a the gym). I am also working on running. Find something that you enjoy, but get the strength training in as well. If your husband likes weight lifting/strength training over cardio, see if the two of you can workout together.

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
12/1/13 12:36 A

Couldn't have said it better myself, M@L!


MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,438
11/30/13 8:43 P

Strength training has some significant advantages:

* Without ST, up to 25% of your weight loss can come from lost muscle, rather than fat. Including ST helps maintain your existing muscle, and ensure that more of your weight loss comes from fat alone. And as fat is bulkier than muscle this will result in more lost inches.
* ST boosts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day, not just when you are working out (including rest days). This helps your longer term weight loss.
* ST builds your muscles, and actually helps your cardio performance. Most dancers include ST in their program, as it improves their dancing. Strong thighs and back are surely a must for any dancer?
* ST improves your functional fitness, making everyday life easier. It improves your posture and balance, allows you to open tight jars and move heavier household objects safely.
* ST strengthens not just muscles, but the tendons and bones they are attached to. This reduces your risk of injury, and also of osteoporosis later in life.

Hopefully thinking about these advantages will provide some motivation.

Strength training doesn't have to mean weights. You can get in a great ST workout using just your own bodyweight for resistance. Resistance bands are a low cost ($10-20) and extremely versatile piece of ST equipment.

Also, choosing compound exercises allows you to work several different muscles at once, and you can get in all-body workout in just a few moves - 20-30 minutes. A very simple all-body workout would be:

* squats/lunges
* planks
* pushups (modified/wall/incline pushups if necessary)
* T stand/airplane pose
* bent over rows with band

(Demos of these can be found at

Most experts recommend resting the muscles 48-72 hours between ST sessions, which implies 2-3 ST workouts per week. So you don't have to give up your cardio, just add 2 ST workouts per week. Any good workout program includes BOTH ST and cardio, as they have different benefits

As for exhaustion, this is not uncommon when starting out. But if you stick with just a couple of weeks of ST, you will find your muscles adapting quickly to the new demands you are making of them, and you will soon experience less soreness and exhaustion.


ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,933)
Fitness Minutes: (186,910)
Posts: 15,781
11/30/13 7:46 P

The problem with doing cardio only is that it cannibalizes muscle mass, which can slow your metabolism. And having little muscle makes you look skinny fat.

KLUCAS35 SparkPoints: (803)
Fitness Minutes: (203)
Posts: 2
11/30/13 7:41 P

Ok, I am quite new to this site, so if this has already been discussed I do apologize.

I love cardio. I absolutely love it. I used to take dance classes two hours every day when I was in high school, and it did wonders for me. Now that I've been out of school for more than two years I've kinda let myself go, which is why I'm on here in the first place. I've looked online and almost ALL the sites I go on agree that in order to lose fat, one should mainly focus on lifting weights instead of cardio. One could do both or not at all, but almost everyone agrees that only ever doing cardio = bad. Now I really really really REALLY cant stand weight lifting. It always makes me exhausted, and i have sleeping problems to begin with (i sleep to much, and being exhausted makes me sleep even longer) plus, I've always been a weak little thing when it comes to lifting stuff. My Husband teases me about it sometimes. to top it all off, i'm unemployed and quite poor, so going to the gym and/or buying my own weights is kind of not in the cards.

I guess what im getting at is, what is the sparkpeople community's opinion on only doing cardio in order to lose weight? Is it exceptionally bad? Is it fine? Should I go ahead and try to lift things anyway? If so how do i get myself motivated to do something I hate?

Ok, I am done. :-)

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