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UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/31/12 6:51 P

The full article is linked from the link and free. Keep searching.

I was interested in how they performed their ST. They had people doing 8-12 reps and increasing the weight 5lbs if they could perform 12 with good form. Sounds ideal, exactly the typical recommendations. Sets were all done with a trainer, not alone.

12/31/12 3:57 P


All I found at that hyperlink was an abstract which seems to replicate the information contained in the article. There is no discussion of what the training consisted of, the duration of and what the workouts consisted of and how the results were determined. This is why I am curious as to how this radical set of results was obtained.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/31/12 3:27 P

The exact study is linked at the top of the article. Their methodology seems okay to me.

However, whenever a single study comes out that overturns the results of hundreds of others in the same field you have to ask ... why? Does this one study suddenly nullify the results of hundreds of others that say weight training has a greater effect on fat loss than cardio does? Do bodies work differently now? Was there something wrong in every single study that proved the opposite so far ... or is there something wrong in just this one?

Sometimes we learn new things and change old conceptions. That is how science works. Other times we find that certain results are only applicable in certain situations, or that certain studies were actually flawed or cannot be repeated.

Basically, more study is needed... and the bottom line is - always do both. Both are helpful for weight loss and both are essential for a healthy body never minding your fat percentage.

12/31/12 2:36 P

It is not an either or proposition it is a both. The cited study, if you read it all the way through says that weight training should not be overlooked or discontinued only that fat loss may be more rapid with cardio. I also noted that the authors went back and forth using the terms weight loss and fat loss, they are not the same thing.

I would like to find the exact study to determine who they measured body fat reduction and loss of muscularity. The study may be accurate and valid, the presentation by a news organization is more hype than substance with selected quotations.

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
12/30/12 6:04 P

cardio burns calories while you are doing it. strength training burns calories long after you have done it......can be up to 24 hours later. Cardio is good for your heart and lungs. strength training is good for your muscles and joints.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,152)
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12/30/12 5:13 P

If you google for "5x5 strength training" you will see many links, all different flavors/variations of building strength/muscle. Originally this program is very old, take a look at the following link for details:

BERTA6978 SparkPoints: (43,739)
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12/30/12 4:49 P

I came across this fairly recent article the other day regarding cardio vs weight lifting.

12/30/12 3:55 P

Both. By doing both you are actually going to lose a lot more weight than you would if you focused on one more than the other. Just don't forget to give yourself some time to heal in between working out. You don't want to tear a muscle or get some other type of injury.

GRATTECIELLA SparkPoints: (125,216)
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12/30/12 3:52 P

Thanks, MPLANE -- incredibly helpful! I like your 3 days strength/3 days cardio program.

Could you give me more information, or a link, to 5x5? I'd love to know more.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,152)
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12/30/12 3:24 P

I too have one hour everyday dedicated to working out. Let me tell you what I do. I do heavy weight lifting (a program called 5x5, there are several others too) M-W-F, the most intense Mondays, less intense Wednesdays, and lightest Fridays. This is because of recovery taking too long for me (I am no longer in my 20s unfortunately), but if you recover quickly, you can do intense heavy weight lifting in all of these 3 days. Then, T-Th-S I do cardio; either I go on a fast walk, sometimes cycle, sometimes run, sometimes jump on the elliptical. Running and elliptical usually 30 mins on average, walking and cycling 2 hrs on average.

If you do only cardio and no strength training, your body evolves to become efficient in cardio, and that means getting rid of all excess weight. So it burns fat and lean tissue, and scales down the body. Body fat percentage, which is the most important health risk parameter after cardiovascular fitness (it is not BMI, it is not your weight, it is the body fat percentage!) does not drop below a minimum and stays the same, and that minimum is actually not so low. Meanwhile, the weight drops a lot (because the mass lost is not only fat mass but also lean tissue mass, i.e. muscle and bone mass too).

If you strength train, now the situation is different. You force your body to repair the microscopic tear and wear caused by heavy lifting (or other challenging strength training), and that means the body must keep the muscles. But due to caloric deficiency, it must burn fat to compensate the difference. Now there is only one source of mass lost, the body fat. When too overweight or obese, burning the fat is no problem, but as the fat stores shrink, the body won't burn fat so easily. So within the overweight range, weight loss slows down terribly if you strength train, not to mention weight increase due to water retention. But over time, this strategy leads to reduced body fat percentage, i.e. the so-called "sculpted body". But this requires a lot of patience.

I have done both. It was easier for me to see weight dropping with cardio alone. At some point, I started to lift weights, as heavy as I can. Guess what? My weight started to increase, and I stopped weighing myself. I am now only measuring the circumference of body parts to see progress.

GRATTECIELLA SparkPoints: (125,216)
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12/30/12 3:01 P

Great topic! I guess my question is, what would the ideal breakdown be if I only have, say, an hour a day to spend working out? And what about stuff like yoga?

@MPLANE37, why do you say that cardio + strength training will lead to slower weight loss? This confuses me.

Edited by: GRATTECIELLA at: 12/30/2012 (15:01)
MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,152)
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12/30/12 2:30 P

Cardio is necessary for burning calories and increasing the cardiovascular fitness. Heavy weight lifting will help retain the lean body mass while losing fat. Ideally one has to do both, as already mentioned. However, overdoing cardio can adversely effect weight lifting performance. Also, doing both will cause a much slower weight loss, but will reduce body fat percentage, which is great, if one can manage to stay patient. Most people, though, are not that patient, and they tend to overdo cardio with little to no strength training, which causes massive weight loss, but inevitably not all weight lost is fat, some bone and muscle tissue are also lost in this case.

Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 12/30/2012 (14:34)
12/30/12 1:54 P

You really do need both. It might make sense to split your days and do an hour of cardio or an hour of strength. Strength training helps you tone up and slim down, while cardio burns fat, but if you are doing one followed by the other you you may be to tired to focus on the second one and then you might not be able to give it the attention needed.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/30/12 1:12 P

There is no "vs".

It's like asking "Should I focus more on protein?" You need all the macronutrients. And you need both ST and cardio. They serve different purposes.

If "losing weight" is your only reason to do any exercise you will fail. Exercise just doesn't work like that, so when it doesn't, you'll get discouraged and stop.

Adding cardio helps with increasing the amount of calories you burn per day, which allows you to eat slightly more than if you didn't, for the same 'daily deficit'. But that's NOT all that cardio does for you! It makes you fitter, improves heart health, and reduces the risk of a lot of diseases.

ST helps you ensure more of your "weight" lost comes from fat, and less come from muscle. All weight loss is partially fat and partially muscle. By doing ST, you reduce how much muscle you lose, so that you're losing more fat. It's possible that this actually slows your weight loss, as muscle is dense and weighs a bit so when you lose it quickly the scales seem to be your friend. But losing fat is much more important to your health than losing "weight" is!

They don't work the same way and you can't "focus on one" more than the other, really. Make sure you include good quality ST 2-3 times a week, and do some good challenging cardio 2-3 times a week. You don't need to forgo one to do the other.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (81,670)
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12/30/12 1:12 P

From what I understand on the fitness side of weight loss, strength training is more important than cardio. (Nutrition is the most important factor in weight loss, but that's not answering your question.) Here's my experience: for about a year, I did steady cardio and hardly any strength training (the strength training I did do was only using 5lb weights - not really gonna do much), running 5-6 days a week for 30+ minutes, and while I lost weight, I lost a lot of muscle and became "skinny fat"...just a few months ago I started running A LOT less (2 days a week at most) and strength training every other day with heavier weights plus pilates and yoga somedays, and I can already see a huge difference in my upper body and stomach. So I would do more strength training than cardio. It's great that you've incorporated it into your program already

VESNA1987 SparkPoints: (3,049)
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12/30/12 12:56 P

I think both are equally important. It is true that you burn more calories by cardio, but it is very important to build muscles, because your body may start "burning" your muscles instead of fat. Whats more, if you build muscles, they will consume more energy during everyday activities as well as during exercise, which means it will be easier for you to burn more calories. Big muscles require more energy for their functioning. You will also look thinner.
So in order to lose weight, you need both cardio and strenght training.

Edited by: VESNA1987 at: 12/30/2012 (12:57)
PUNKVIXEN0284 SparkPoints: (339)
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12/30/12 11:57 A

Just had a question regarding exercising. I've always heard that cardio is what causes you to lose weight. I've been going to the gym about 5 times a week and doing about 30 min of cardio and 30 min of weight training. Should I be focusing more on cardio rather than weight training?

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