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Cardio or strength training?



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ERICADURR
Posts: 241
7/7/13 1:58 P

Cardio doesn't make someone fat. It may increase cortisol (the stress hormone) if done too much, and it will eat into lean muscle mass, which technically increases your fat ratio and thus gives you a higher body fat percentage, but cardio in and of itself is NOT going to make someone fat. More calories in than expended is what makes people fat.

As far as strength training: I cannot emphasize enough how important ST is. It increases your muscle mass, thus increasing your metabolism. Also, cardio = cardiovascular system. Strength training = nervous system + muscles + bones + cardio (if done properly). Strength training targets just about everything, and is a more well-rounded form of exercise, which is why I prefer it to just cardio. Cardio is important and definitely has its place in the exercise scheme of things, but if I had to pick, I'd choose ST and make it high intensity for additional cardiovascular benefits.

As far as you getting upset about failing at goals...I'm finished law school over a year ago and passed two different bar exams in two different states back-to-back. I'm still unemployed, but I can't let that get me down. And you can't let these setbacks get you down. It sounds like you're mildly depressed, and I think getting out of your house and volunteering your services to those who are in need (as someone above me suggested) would benefit you greatly--both your outlook on life and your future prospects as well. If you volunteer, you'll get potential references for jobs, be able to actually put something on your resume (because, trust me, when an interviewer asks what you did this summer, you're not going to want to say "video games and workouts"), and broaden your perspectives.

Good luck.



JENNILACEY
SparkPoints: (72,370)
Fitness Minutes: (55,395)
Posts: 2,484
7/7/13 12:08 P

My opinion is that cardio may play it's part in getting the weight off... (it also has quite a few health benefits) but strength training keeps the weight off. If you're not strength training while losing you're negatively impacting your metabolism by losing a substancial amount of lean muscle. I lean more toward strength training.

It improves;

metabolism
body composition
strength of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles
improves glucose control
improves sleep
improves digestion
it also has a cardiovascular aspect that improves the heart (in fact it will give you all the benefits that a cardiovascular exercise will give you minus the immediate calorie burn)

I wouldn't say rely solely on a strength training program but I am a big proponent of strength training over cardio.

When it comes to weight loss/maintenance and general health this would be my list;

1) Diet
2) Strength Training
3) Cardio



BREWMASTERBILL
SparkPoints: (31,080)
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
Posts: 4,110
7/7/13 10:55 A

I'm a big believer that an effective full body strength training program should be high on your list. Diet, strength training and some cardio if time has been most effective for me. But I think this article distorts the truth to create some shock value.

If you haven't incorporated an effective strength training program, you're selling yourself way short.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,952
7/6/13 10:38 P

the article is right about many of its assertions about the benefits of ST. And it is right in that long duration cardio can be muscle wasting, and slow your metabolism. Although in pushing the benefits of ST, I think the writer is ignoring the health benefits of cardio.

The truth is that any good exercise program includes BOTH ST and cardio.

I may be overinterpreting the wording of your post (in which case I apologize in advance), but I couldn't help but notice that both references to exercise were in relation to time. The best measure of exercise effectiveness is intensity, not duration. I'd recommend cutting the duration of your cardio to 30-40 minutes, but increasing the intensity (possibly using intervals).

Likewise with strength training, it is only effective to the extent that you are genuinely challenging your muscles at close to their maximum capacity. This may only be a wording issue, but "Spending time" "doing ... machines", does not really sound like effective ST. Also, you should rest 48-72 hours between ST sessions, rather than doing them every day. You should be using a weight heavy enough to fatigue your muscles in 4-12 reps (this may sound odd, but the fewer reps you can do, the better). If you can do 12+ reps, it is time to move up to a heavier weight.

If I were to make some recommendations as to tweaks to your program to get more out of it, I would recommend:

* Cutting the duration of your cardio sessions to 30-40 minutes, but increase the intensity.
* Substitute a couple of full-body ST sessions for those cardio sessions a couple of days per week, rather than trying to do both cardio and ST in the same session.
* Also, because machines run in a defined track, they typically only work one or two muscles at a time, and it takes a long time to get in an effective all-body strength workout. Head over to that scary free weights section of the gym, and do your strength workout over there - the effort required to keep yourself balanced and stabilized works a lot of the smaller muscles in the body

M@L



LADYSTARWIND
SparkPoints: (19,777)
Fitness Minutes: (15,878)
Posts: 1,132
7/6/13 10:07 P

I can certainly understand where you are at....!! My son went through a similar time in his life....

You've had a rough year--especially if college goals were elusive, and jobs are definitely difficult to come by. Please don't give up the job market though...especially since many companies actually start their Christmas break hiring in late summer!! (Kroger, Costco, JC Penney---last year ALL had completed hiring in September when my partner's daughter moved here and was just starting looking!!) So I'd encourage you to really keep at it--even if it feels like you aren't getting anywhere. You certainly won't find one while playing a video game! LOL :) Try unusual places: Little Nickel Ads, Senior Centers,

And do consider finding a different volunteer situation! Check with the school system to see if there are volunteer tutors needed--kids can REALLY relate to someone who can beat them at a Video game....teach them to read, and then challenge themselves.....

You might consider limiting your video time, and catching up on some good reading, or an online class as well...

Have you considered that you might actually be depressed?? If you have access to a school counselor still, and student health services...I hope you will consider using this time to consult with them. (Or, if you are covered by parent's insurance....) Taking positive steps for ourselves are VERY powerful in so many ways.....

Sometimes it really does take a year or two to "reset" and find what path you will follow!! Take as many positive steps as you can!! You WILL get through this time!!
patti



SEEKEROFTRUTH13
SparkPoints: (115)
Fitness Minutes: (60)
Posts: 21
7/6/13 9:19 P

I'm a college student on summer break. I tried getting a summer job but failed miserably. I also failed in all my goals for the past two semesters so I am really upset. Getting a job was the last straw for me..

I tried volunteering by got screwed over so hard...now I'm just going to the gym and playing video games all day.



LADYSTARWIND
SparkPoints: (19,777)
Fitness Minutes: (15,878)
Posts: 1,132
7/6/13 7:52 P

I'm not a good resource on your fitness question....but having had insomnia for quite some time, I do have a suggestion or two for that part!

First off, I'm guessing you are unemployed currently...hence the need not to get up?? Or, maybe retired??!! In any case, if you want to reverse your sleep cycle, then just start getting up 30 min earlier every day or two until you are back at a reasonable time for you. Plan to go for an early walk right away to reinforce the "I'm wide-awake-now" ---only about 10-15 min of fresh air will do the trick.

Have you considered finding a volunteer position so you have a reason to get up??! There are SO many groups that could use your help...especially if right now you are available on a consistent basis! It can be something that's a learning situation for you, or something that you are already skilled in and can share...if you drive, there are many needs to transport Seniors; or volunteer at your local hospital..... (And if you are job seeking---then its a great thing on a resume too, and the Volunteer Coordinator can be a good, current Reference!)
Good Luck Changing this around--You CAN do it!!
patti

Edited by: LADYSTARWIND at: 7/6/2013 (19:55)


SEEKEROFTRUTH13
SparkPoints: (115)
Fitness Minutes: (60)
Posts: 21
7/6/13 7:17 P

Okay so I mostly do 45 minutes on the elliptical every day. Then I spend some time doing various weight lifting machines.
Today, I read this article:

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/yahoo-sp
otlight/why-your-cardio-routine-making
-you-fat

Now I'm wondering whether I should focus more on strength training instead of cardio. It made sense a little bit but still, I'm not sure.

Also, I'm wondering if my sleeping problem is preventing me from losing as much weight as I could be. It's caused by stress of pretty much not having anything to do every day so I can't sleep at night knowing there is no need for me to wake up earlier than 2pm and once I wake up late, I can't go to bed early. It's a viscous cycle.



 
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