Hello - answering your questions (I think those were directed at me)
HIIT is "High Intensity Interval Training" Basically any workout that takes me up into my anaerobic zone for certain lengths of time with brief rests in between at my aerobic zone. So... think of walking for a minute and then sprinting as fast as you can go for 30 seconds, then repeating that several times (although that's not how I go about it... I usually follow a workout DVD, like one of Cathe Friedrich's workouts like IMAX2, Intensity, etc.)
Core just means I'm focusing on working my core - and yes, planks can be one such exercise, but I'll do a lot of different core exercises.. crunches, reverse crunches, planks, side planks, v-sits and so on.
Without strength training, up to 25% of your weight loss can come from lost muscle. Strength training will help you maintain your existing muscle tissue, and help ensure that more of your weight loss comes from fat alone. And it's a lot easier to maintain your existing muscle mass, than it is to add it back later - I think this is behind a lot of the comments on this thread about wishing they had done it sooner. ST is actually a very effective fat burner.
As for "muscle weighing more than fat", I think it is more accurate to say "muscle is denser than fat". The numbers will go down, but the numbers you should be watching are the inches. The tape is a much better means of tracking your progress than the scale.
You don't need weights to strength train - you can get in a great workout using just your bodyweight for resistance. Planks are good, add in pushups, squats/lunges, deadlifts, and pull-ups/lat pull downs/dumbbell rows, and that should work most of the major muscle groups in your body.
Thank you all for your responses. For me personally, I love running and always felt like strength training was not fun and was taking away from my running time bliss. I knew that I could boost my metabolism by adding strength, but I resisted because running is what I was happy doing. I just recently started incorporating some strength training (using only my own body weight) and have seen good results in my cardio stamina from it. I still find myself dreading strength workouts, but knowing that it improves my cardio workouts, its a little more motivation to do them. Then reading everyone's good points in these comments REALLY makes me what to revamp my fitness routine. So thanks everyone!
Okay... I have a couple questions... What is HIIT? and when you say "CORE" what are some things that entails. I think of planks?? I will continue to weigh BUT... not focus on the numbers. I had lost 85 lbs. and kept it off for 8 years... happily... then had knee replacement surgery went on Zoloft... GAINED 50 lbs. in a matter of months..... frustration set in... I know how to lose and what how to eat but ... NOTHING would come off... so I am totally drug free!! Taking my vitamins and exercising daily... well 6 days a week.... I don't have any "fat" clothes so I was thinking desperate. I will do as encouraged for sure. Definately a good sell and factual! Thanks all.... I might have more questions in the future... and/or need that boost. I like the consistency here...
5/17/13 7:36 P
I was just looking at "Muscle weighs more than fat" theory and thought if I didn't then the "Numbers" would go down quicker.
Please stop putting your focus on the scale and adopt a broader vision of health and fitness. You could just focus on cardio and end up "skinny fat," meaning your weight might be at goal but you still lack muscle tone because your body fat percentage is high. There are many health reasons you want to strength train, but if you are concerned about appearance, strength training is the way to go.
If you have been overweight for long, you might have skin that appears loose. Those who look fit and tone do strength training to build up the muscle under the skin and give it something to hang onto. There are lots of variables, like age and genetics, to factor into it, but you definitely increase the chance you will be happy with your end appearance if you strength train.
I weigh more than I did at my lightest but went from an 8 to a 6 because I have less fat and more muscle, which takes up less space pound for pound. I also have a faster metabolism, which means I can eat a bit more in maintenance. Look at the big picture, not just the number between your toes.
My usual rotation is thus (unless I'm training for something special):
Sunday - Circuit workout (usually 30 min full body str mixed with 30 min cardio plus core) Monday - Cardio (45-60 min) Tuesday - Upper body strength + core (30 min) Wednesday - Yoga / Pilates / Tai Chi class (60 min) Thursday - Lower body strength - includes standing and floor work (30 min) Friday - Cardio - usually HIIT - sometimes followed with core (45-60 min) Saturday - Rest
I get in all the necessary stuff:
Cardio 3x a week (4 if you could lower body 'cause that kicks up the heartrate itself) Core 3x a week (4 if i follow a HIIT workout with it.... but not often.. lol) Strength 3x a week Extended stretch (yoga) 1x a week (of course after EVERY workout, I stretch, but the yoga one i count as an extended stretch).
So... you can totally do it. :)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
3,415 5/17/13 12:10 P
Ditto to the previous responses. I am an Occupational Therapist and see the value every day of weight training in my job. We are much more susceptible of injury when our muscles begin to atrophy. Weight training is much more critical to restore muscle lost everyday by attrition through aging. Cardio and weight lost can burn not only fat but muscles and this must be replaced via resistance or strength training. Yoga and pilates are important for your range of motion and flexibility but the muscles are also very important. I love cardio but by burning calories I need to keep the muscle mass at the same time by strenght training. Every year as we age we loose muscle mass proportunately.
Okay.... I see a trend here! I will continue. I just have to get it out of my head that the more sweat the better. That I get from cardio! I do have to say I have noticed a smidge of toning due to strength training. I need a balance of all. I started going to bed earlier and getting up earlier on 4-1-13. Then I try to add time for a workout in the a.m. at home. That is when I started back into yoga. I have lost 9 lbs. since then. I know slow and steady is the best but..... I guess I was getting impatient! Finding the time for all I want to do is hard but I am not giving up. I was just looking at "Muscle weighs more than fat" theory and thought if I didn't then the "Numbers" would go down quicker. I just need to be patient and persistent. I will incorporate it all. Cardio, yoga, weights, and floor... my upper body is sooooo weak. I want more... :) Thank you all. I should have come here long ago. I needed this.
5/17/13 11:59 A
Yoga is good for relaxation and flexibility, but if you are looking for the most bang out of the time spent, I would limit the yoga and opt for strength training. If fat loss is a goal, I would make sure one of those cardio sessions, preferably two, is interval training and put in two strength training days. You can still incorporate yoga daily, perhaps doing some sun salutations in the morning and relaxing moves before bed, but if your time is limited, opt for shorter sessions. Yoga doesn't build long, lean muscles. Those instructors and celebrities had that body type before they started.
I just want to add another voice that strength training is so important, and you should add it in to your routine as soon as possible.
I started ST as soon as I started trying to lose weight, though I didn't fully appreciate what it did until a couple months ago when I got sick with the flu and then bronchitis, and I didn't have the strength to do ST for almost 4 weeks. I still ate properly and walked when I could, and while I lost a couple pounds, I gained inches - my figure turned lumpy and bulgy almost right before my eyes.
As someone said upthread, if I had to choose between ST or cardio, I would choose ST all the way. ST gives me the shape that I want to have.
Look up "body weight training" or "weightless strength training." Some of what you're calling floor exercises counts as strength training-- you're working the same muscles, but using gravity and your own mass instead of iron weights. If you really, really don't want to lift weights, you can get almost the same effect with the right body-weight routine.
That said I think putting off strength training until after you lose weight is a big mistake. If I could change one thing about the way I lost my weight, I would go back and do more strength training earlier, even though I really don't like it.
Fitness Minutes: (268,374)
5/17/13 11:29 A
Hi, Beth !
While it's true that there are many poses in yoga that are body weight exercises, you should still have one workout dedicated to strength training. And you don't have to do an hour. You could start do a 15-30 minute session just to get you started. As you learn more about what your body needs, you'll adjust your workouts accordingly.
I've been taking yoga as well as strength training for several years now. I find that one is the complement of the other. Adding lean muscle has helped make some of those yoga poses (such as low push up position) easier to do. Because it takes a lot of upper body strength to be able to do a low push up or a handstand against the wall. So, yes, you should be doing some strength training. You will notice your yoga improve if you do and conversely, the added flexibility and coordination of yoga will help with ST.
I know it seems like a lot, but once you start adapting, you'll find everything does tie in neatly together. Depending on your fitness goals, a person only needs to ST 1-3 times per week. If you're not sure where to start, why not try a couple of Coach Nicole's online workouts ? that's a good place to get you started.
Fitness Minutes: (85,402)
5/17/13 10:58 A
Those activities are not enough to maintain lean muscle while losing weight. I have heard time and time again from those who have lost weight say that they *wish* they would have strength trained while losing because they are now "skinny fat". Cardio is not the be all and end all to weight loss. I've always gave equal time to cardio and strength training and alternated days. All you need is an approximate 30 minute full body strength training routine 3x a week with heavy weights/resistance that challenges your muscles (moving up in weight once you can preform more than 8-12 reps)
Strength training will improve your body composition (ie: help you lower your body fat percentage). Not strength training while losing leads to a high body fat percentage at a low weight.
IMO, strength training has done more for my body than cardio. If I had to choose between the two I'd hands down choose strength training.
I was just thinking. If I do a minimum of 40 mins cardio, yoga 45 mins every other day and floor exercises including planks, leg lifts, etc. do I still need to lift weights? Am I not getting stronger by doing those things? It's so hard to fit all the exericse I "need" into a day and/or a week. And if maybe I could lift weights AFTER I lose the weight?? (If I ever do?!)
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