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more cardio needed - but how much?



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LOSINGFORBABY
SparkPoints: (4,739)
Fitness Minutes: (2,907)
Posts: 429
3/13/13 9:08 P

If your hour long boot camp classes are anything like the one I just attended (think male version of Jillian Michaels having us do circuit training running stairs, jumping with weights and high fivig a partner after each push up), I don't think you need to add anything unless you get to the point where you have tons of energy and want to.

As some others have said, start keeping track of inches lost. Sometimes it takes awhile for the pounds to follow the inches -- for any number of reasons. But your body is showing you that what you are doing IS working.

I'd also make sure you always track your activity and adjust your fitness goals accordingly. If I were to do this class for 4 days a week (only offered at my gym on Wednesdays), there would be no way 1200-1550 calories would be the right range anymore.



TACDGB
Posts: 5,920
3/13/13 6:52 P

I think you are doing enough cardio. I would add some strength training to the mix. I am a big believer in the importance of strength training. sparks has some good videos on this.



MPLANE37
SparkPoints: (62,360)
Fitness Minutes: (32,427)
Posts: 2,148
3/13/13 4:53 A

I agree - what works to get to the target weight is quite complicated.

Cardio burns calories. It is also a lot of fun. It is a very effective stress reliever too. However, as it has already been pointed out, burning more calories and creating larger caloric deficiency won't work. One can still have fun with cardio, but without creating too large caloric deficiency in the hopes that it would serve to lose more fat. Instead, a large caloric deficiency will cause bone and muscle mass loss. So it is important to control the deficiency and fuel the body to enjoy the cardiovascular activities.

Another problem with what works in weight loss is the parameter "weight". Most people mean "fat" loss while talking about "weight" loss, but they also make the mistake of monitoring the weight of the body, which contradicts fat loss. It is hard to monitor fat loss through scale, much more efficient methods of doing so exists (e.g. using skinfold calipers). If you keep insisting on monitoring your weight instead of your "body fat %", you may never be able to get the body you imagined. Instead, if you monitor the "body fat %", you are much more likely to get the body you want. Curiously, you may get your "dream body" at a much higher weight than you originally imagined.

This leads to "body transformation" or "body sculpting", which is the current popular jargon for transforming the fat-laden body to a lean one, which inevitably requires challenging strength training done religiously. It does not have to lead to DOMS all the time, and it does not have to be dangerous (you don't have to do squats, although they are arguably the best exercises you can do). But it does mean caloric surplus instead of deficiency during a certain period of time followed by a fat burning phase at a slight caloric deficiency, all the while being fully engaged in the challenging strength training.

Can you still do cardio? Sure. But on the condition of controlling the caloric deficiency/surplus, and without jeopardizing the strength training routine.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,642
3/11/13 11:06 P

When you start/increase an exercise program, it is a common response for your muscles to retain water. It takes 3 water molecules to bond to each glycogen molecule, and this will help deliver energy to your muscles more efficiently, and helps them cope better with the new demands you are making of them.

This increase in your lean mass can lead to little change (or even an increase) in the scale, even as you are burning fat.

However, muscle and water are considerably denser than fat, and this typically shows up as inches lost. You are saying your clothes are fitting better? Well, that means you ARE burning fat.

Everything seems to be working as it should. The only problem is that you are using the wrong measuring device - the tape is a much better means of tracking your progress than the scale.

And if you are doing 4 hours of bootcamp classes a week, adding more cardio may well push your energy demands to the point where you start needing to eat more to support that level of activity.

M@L



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
3/11/13 9:54 P

Then your goal date should be six months ahead.

It'd be nice to lose those 20 in 3 months, wouldn't it? But realistically, we lose weight more slowly the less there is left. To be honest, you can set it for six months now, but in three months time you'll probably have to set it for six months from THEN to still be realistic.

Your low range is most likely a reflection of an aggressively unrealistic rate goal, ie a too-soon goal date. Try putting that out to six months and see if you get something a little more reasonable. You will probably find you don't need more cardio at all, just to balance the deficit a bit more appropriately so that you're not "trying too hard" to "lose too quickly".



102OXFORD
Posts: 18
3/11/13 9:04 P

Thanks for all the replies. It sometimes gets so confusing of what works and what doesn't.

Deb - I have about 20 lbs to lose to get to my goal.

Thanks again.



102OXFORD
Posts: 18
3/11/13 9:02 P

Thanks for all the replies. It sometimes gets so confusing of what works and what doesn't.

Deb - I have about 20 lbs to lose to get to my goal.

Thanks again.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
3/11/13 2:12 P

1200-1550 is awfully low for someone doing four hours of bootcamp weekly.

How much excess weight do you have to lose? That is quite important as to whether such a low intake is appropriate for you or not.



SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,352
3/11/13 1:55 P

First point I want to make is that cardio as the key to weight loss is an urban myth, it is in third place in the formula for fat loss. The ranked order of the formula in order of importance is nutrition (diet), strength training and lastly cardio. Most so called boot camp programmes are largely cardio with any strength training of minimal effect, the weights used are far from challenging. You neither want nor need to add more cardio.

If you want to add an effect dimension to your fat loss programme add dedicated strength training using challenging weights and full body and compound movement exercises.

Edited by: SERGEANTMAJOR at: 3/11/2013 (13:56)


LOTUS737
Posts: 2,004
3/11/13 12:06 P

In addition to the great advice below, I would suggest investing in a heart rate monitor if you can- you'll get a more accurate idea of how many calories you're burning and can adjust your intake accordingly!



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (54,915)
Fitness Minutes: (14,158)
Posts: 9,520
3/11/13 11:13 A

Exercise is a part of a healthy living program, yes. You basically decide how much you want to work out (SP recommends at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week as a starting place) and then you adjust your diet accordingly. YOu do this by entering your fitness goals here on SP, setting a reasonable weight loss goal (about 3% of your remaining weight to lose per week) and eating in your ranges.

If you're not losing weight, there's a couple of things at play:

1) You're not giving it enough time. It can take 6-8 weeks for healthy lifestyle changes to show up on the scale. Especially when you add exercise!

2) You're eating too much. IF you're not measuring and weighing every morsel, then you may be underestimating your calorie intake.

3) You're overestimating your calories burned.

4) You're not eating ENOUGH. Undereating can have the opposite effect of what you desire; it can slow your metabolism and cause your body to hold on to fat. This happens when you don't account for your exercise, or you create too large a deficit for your body. For example, if you have 10 lbs to lose, you can aim to lose about .25-.3 pounds a week... but if you create a deficit for 2 lbs a week (about 1,000 calorie deficit per day) that's too much, and you won't have the results you want.

It all comes down to nutrition, in the end. :)



102OXFORD
Posts: 18
3/11/13 10:42 A

I do a bootcamp class at our local gym for an hour every Mon, Tues, Thurs and Friday morning. Each day focuses on a different area (arms, legs, cardio and mixer (which is a little of everything).
I have been in class for about 6 weeks and have not lost weight. My clothes fit better and my body feels like changes are happening. But the scale isn't showing a loss.
I try to keep my calories within the recommended amount from Spark People (1200-1550).
I know that cardio helps lose weight ---- I am looking for suggestions on how much more cardio I should get into my week. 30 extra minutes a day? Add Saturday and Sunday as cardio days?
Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.....




 
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