SergeantMajor - I am going to respectfully disagree with your comment about there not being any benefits to doing cardio 5 days/week. Yes, diet is first, strength training is second, and cardio is last. Maybe doing 2 to 3 days of cardio/week works for some people, it may not work for everyone. If someone wants to do cardio the same day they do strength training, perhaps the cardio could be less intense (like swimming instead of running or using the rowing machine instead of the elliptical) and could be 30 minutes. I think that a lot depends on what works for people. I can only speak for myself, but I my emotional and mental well being are better (as well as my physical well being) since I do cardio 5 days/week. The intensity and exercise is different each day, but it helps get my day started.
Personally, I think that there is no harm in doing cardio 5 days/week as long as the workouts aren't going over board. For example, if someone was on the elliptical for an hour 5 days/week and pushing it to the max everyday, then that might be overdoing it. So, maybe do the elliptical 3x/week for 20 to 30 minutes and then choose another cardio activity (like indoor cycling) for the other 30 minutes (or for how ever long you are doing the cardio). Then 2x/week, use the rowing machine and the treadmill. If you've never used the rowing machine, it would take some time to build up endurance (to go longer but aim to go for 20 to 25 minutes/session). Rowing is great because it helps with endurance and flexibility. Then you can go to the treadmill and spend the rest of the time walking at various speeds and at different inclines. The elliptical and rowing machines are great for low impact workouts. The rowing can be felt in the lower back and abs if you're doing it right.
With the cardio things that I mentioned above, you could do one of those activities first, then do the strength training, and then end with the the other bit of cardio. These are also things that you can do at high or low intensity and still leave knowing that you had a wonderful workout.
Yes, diet is important but is the hardest one to tackle. For me, it is still a work in process (2.5 years into weight loss & maintaining muscle mass - about 15 lbs to go to be within normal weight range). If you want to maintain your lean muscle mass be sure to get a lot of protein.
| Pounds lost: 24.3