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CARDIAC50 Posts: 748
1/20/09 6:11 P

I agree with Sergeant Major. Definitely to strength training. I improves self esteem, functional capacity, and therefore independence. Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to strength train. They are full of garbage.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,438
1/20/09 6:01 P

Creating muscle tissue requires protein as part of your intake - fat does not turn into muscle.

and generally, it's difficult to add a lot of muscle mass while dieting to lose weight, as the body tends to burn protein for energy, rather than using it to create new muscle tissue. Much of the improvement in strength will actually come from improving the quality of your existing muscle, rather than creating new muscle.

Strength training actually helps your weight loss in a couple of ways:
* Firstly, without strength training, up to 25% of your weight loss can come from lost muscle. Even moderate strength training will help you keep the muscle you've got, and ensure your weight loss comes from fat alone. And as fat is considerably less dense than muscle, this results in more inches lost than. This difference in density means that even if you completely replaced fat with muscle (which is an impossibility) you would look considerably slimmer. Try<
/a> for a photo of what fat and muscle look like
* Secondly, muscle burns calories even at rest. Over time, this lost muscle can slow your metabolism, leading to you burning fewer calories and making your weight loss harder. Strength training boosts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day, not just when you are working out.

Strength training should be part of any good weight loss program, alongside cardio and watching your intake.

I echo the comment that you politely suggest to the class participant who is giving you such wrong advice that they may want to do some research.


1/20/09 3:13 P

While I agree that people can lose weight by following a good nutrition programme and doing only cardio I see that as a long slow process which does not build total body fitness. In my experience by concentrating on strength work initially the quality of cardio one can do is markedly improved. To achieve the maximum effectiveness with cardio interval workouts work best and those require a degree of good muscle function. Long, slow,boring steady state can work but not as effectively.
The additional factor to consider is that both strength work and interval cardio have a carryover effect which slow, steady state cardio is does not.

We can carry on this debate forever and ever without resolution by finding a research citation which supports our personal bias. Only by experimentation can an individual find what works best for them. What works best for an individual is personality driven,some want to take a leisurely no sweat approach and others are willing to exceed their comfort zone to obtain the maximum results.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,000)
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1/20/09 2:33 P


here's the thing. I have read some "diet" books that do say that a person should do cardio to lose the weight prior to adding in weight training.

Who's right ? You're going to find differences of professional opinions because there is a lot of research and everyone can site websites proving their points.

I will say that one pound of fat does NOT weigh more than one pound of muscle. both are equal. where they differ is in density. Muscle is denser than fat. therefore, it takes up less space.

I think a lot of professionals just say that muscle weighs more than fat because then they'd have to explain the differences in density.

Personally, had I known what I know now about fitness, I would have started my strength training earlier. However, I didn't.

I do happen to be one of those folks who lost the weight with cardio long before I ever started strength training.

I strength train now, but yes I did lose weight just with a healthy diet and cardio.

I didn't start strength training until I wanted to improve my athletic performance.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 1/20/2009 (14:38)
XAVTAY SparkPoints: (0)
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1/20/09 2:26 P

I am so glad I stumbled across this message board! I was told by a trainer in the gym to only do cardio until I loose the weight. She said that muscle weighs more than fat and I would be gaining weight and that is really not going to motivate me! I am going to start doing my weights with cardio again.

Thanks so much and I enjoyed reading the articles

1/20/09 1:18 P

Weight training is critical to weight loss irrespective of age. This article will give you some insight on how to best lose weight.

As we age we lose muscle mass, women lose approximately twp pounds per decade after age thirty-sin and men lose three pounds. With my clients I start them with the strength training then add cardio since the increase in muscle function allows a better quality cardio workout.

I suggest you advise the person who took it upon themselves to share their misinformation with you to do some research before they harm themselves by doing things wrong.

TONSERS SparkPoints: (37,991)
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1/20/09 1:12 P

Also keep in mind that muscle burns calories just to exist - so as you gain muscle mass, your metabolism will boost.

TRAIL_HIKE3.14 Posts: 75
1/20/09 1:06 P

Yep, they were wrong. very wrong. Fat does not turn into muscle. When you exercise and take in fewer calories, your body utilizes the fuel that is stored in fat cells- this is how you lose fat. You body can then use some of that liberated energy and nutrients to build new muscle cells, but it is not a direct conversion.

As others have said strength training and cardio will both be helpful in losing weight.

And, even if you were to maintain your current body weight but decrease your percent body fat and increase your proportion of lean muscle mass you WOULD look different. Muscle is denser than fat so you would look "smaller" in addition to more toned.

Strength training and weight-bearing exercise is especially important with increasing age because it helps to maintain bone density and decrease your risk of breaking bones as well.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (196,000)
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1/20/09 12:33 P

The person who told you that information is incorrect. muscle cells do not change into fat cells.

Weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out.

As an older person, you'll benefit from strength training. Not only will you increase your lean muscle, thus increasing your ability to burn fat. But, you will also increase your bone density.

As we age, if we don't do some strength training, we increase our risk of osteoporosis. However, if you do some strength training and it doesn't have to be a lot. Even one day a week of strength training will make a difference.

Don't try to do too much too soon. Take it slowly.

If you can, find a trainer who specializes in working with older populations. Don't grab any old PT. Most aren't prepared to work with older people. that takes special training.

Work with an older trainer. they are out there. they can help design a program that suits your needs.

And good for you for trying a Body Pump class. that's not an easy class.

One thing you can consider is using resistance (rubber) bands. Rubber band workouts are a good way to increase your strength without using free weights. They are very effective.

But, congratulations for taking your first steps towards good health. Remember, take your time. there's not rush.

PS - yes, do some cardio and some strength. Also, because of your age, I highly recommend some flexibility training. Consider taking a yoga class.

A yoga class will not only help increase your flexibility, but it will also help you with your balance. As we age, our balance can deteriorate. Thus the importance of doing exercises that help our balance.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 1/20/2009 (12:35)
ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (192,101)
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1/20/09 12:20 P

I agree that you have been told outright lies about strength training.

Hopefully these 2 articles will help clear things up:

KAMARA853 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,546)
Posts: 550
1/20/09 12:08 P

Whoever told you that was full of crap! That's such a lie! You should be lifting weights in addition to doing cardio, and that's how you tone up and sculpt!

Fat can't become muscle, and muscle can't become fat. The two cells are inherently different.

BETHANYBOO Posts: 2,039
1/20/09 11:51 A

That is completely untrue!!

If you lift weights you may gain muscle. However, if you are in a calorie deficit (meaning you eat fewer calories than you burn) you will lose fat as well. It is easier to lose fat than it is to gain muscle so you will most likely see a decrease on the scale. If not, you should eventually have smaller hips, waist, tummy, legs, etc.

Also, fat never "turns into" muscles. You can lose fat and gain muscle but it doesn't literally convert into muscle.

Another thing to consider is that if you do cardio and JUST cardio, you will most likely lose muscle and fat. Since you only really want to lose fat, it's a good idea to strength train.

1/20/09 11:36 A

I'm overweight like my trainer told me that the average person my age and height should be in the range of 48-52kg and right now I'm 64. so today i tried the body bump class and one of the participants told me that I shouldn't lift weights and stuff because by doing that I'll turn my fats into muscles and still remain looking fat no matter what i eat or do, she told me that i should first lose weight and go to the average weight and once there i could start weight lifting! is that true? will i still look like what i look now if i lift weights? and that fat will just turn into muscles?

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