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2/1/13 9:35 A

Wow! I'm sorry but that trainer sounds like a jerk; and his/her attitude is the reason why so many people get turned off by the gym. Don't let what they said get at you.

There are lots of different ways to do things "right". You just have to find what works for you, which sounds like you did. Be confident in that!

It's my opinion that whether you do cardio, weight training, or a combination of both, anything you do that is more than what you did before is infinitely better than sitting on the couch or doing nothing! For example, I've lost weight by making simple changes: eating more veggies and fruits, drinking all my water, being committed to taking the dog on a long brisk walk almost every day and martial arts 2 times a week, mixing in the occasional exercise video or xbox game workout. I know that eventually I can and will do more, when I decide I'm ready and when I decide what I would really like to pursue, but for right now that's working and I couldn't be more happy.

It's not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up again!!!! You did it before, you can do it again! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and don't let naysayers thwart you from what works for YOU! emoticon emoticon

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
2/1/13 8:50 A

Hi Kintra,

Cardio, just like carbs, has gotten such a bad rap and frankly there is no validity to it. Weight loss occurs when we expend more calories than we take it...and if expending the calories comes from cardio than so be it. I will add too, that trainers only get paid if they train clients and sadly that usually doesn't come from having a client workout for 30 minutes on the elliptical, stairmaster or treadmill, but in the weight section, so there may be some reason for them to downplay the role of cardio.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, belly fat (the fat surrounding the internal organs) will respond better to cardio training versus strength training. While ST is important for improving strength and lean body mass, it is aerobic exercise that torches the calories which in turn leads to a small mid-section.

In a Duke University study, aerobic exercise "burns up to 67% more calories than strength training." So if your goal is to shrink the fat than cardio is king. But that does not mean you should not do any strength training---BOTH ARE IMPORTANT!!! But one does not trump the other!

A great book I highly recommend to anyone looking at fact based data when it comes to health and weight loss is Alex Hutchinson's book Which Comes First Cardio or Weights? You will find the most comprehensive material that debunks the myth that cardio is not important--something that many trainers need to rethink--in fact you may be more surprised to hear that it is not so much your formal cardio activity that torches the most calories but what you do throughout the rest of your day--what the experts call active daily living--walking 10,000 steps, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, standing instead of sitting, etc. This is another way you can burn calories.

It is very difficult to build muscle on a calorie deficit diet...this is why it is so important to eat...when you keep your calorie deficit low (which means a slower weight loss) you have a better opportunity to build lean body mass.

Hang in there! You are doing just fine.

Coach Nancy

NOSTROMO Posts: 79
2/1/13 7:57 A

I respectfully disagree with ZORBS13. The statement that cardio "doesn't do much for weight loss" is completely wrong. Cardio is a great way to lose weight. I have been the same weight for 20 years, give or take five pounds, and cardio has been an implemental part of that weight maintenance.

And I have witnessed hundreds of people lose weight through cardio.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,866)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,152
2/1/13 5:32 A

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,750)
Fitness Minutes: (195,154)
Posts: 15,862
2/1/13 5:22 A

Although I think the trainer should have found a more diplomatic way of saying so, he/she is right - focusing on cardio to try to lose weight is NOT the right answer. Weight loss is a 3 pronged approach - nutrition most important, strength training 2nd and lastly cardio. Cardio improves your heart/lung health but doesn't do much for weight loss. :)

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,866)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,152
2/1/13 3:00 A


It sounds like your Trainer was totally void of any skills in diplomacy and interpersonal skills. That is NOT a desired skill for anyone, let alone a trainer. What your Trainer has failed to recognize is that any exercise is beneficial so long as it is done safely AND that you enjoy it. When the fun is taken out of it then havoc can be let loose - in your case with food and lack of exercise.

YOU have NOT failed - your TRAINER is the one who failed. It wouldn't be a waste of time your going back, either! I would suggest that you go back to doing what you enjoy. If you go back to that gym, I would be inclined to have a little talk with his superiors about what happened. He has done this to you and may have done it to others - NOT good for their business.

Another option is, is there another Gym you can go to? Is there a sports group you could join - something that you would LIKE to do? Are there some exercise classes you can go to? The Pilates classes I used to go to did mat Pilates, but occasionally they also did circuit training.

Good luck - and remember YOU aren't the failure - YOU were succeeding until some ignoramus opened his mouth in a very non-diplomatic way.


KINESSA Posts: 3
2/1/13 2:38 A

I started Sparkpeople a year ago and I was doing great- I lost 30lbs, I was getting my water in and exercising regularly. I was doing so well that I decided to try out a free workout session with one of the personal trainers at my gym. I thought he might be able to give me some tips on weight training safely.

The trainer told me I wasn't eating enough, that my time spent on the cardio machines were "better than sitting on a couch but not by much" and that if I wanted to improve my health, I should focus solely on circuit training. I was stunned. And hurt. And ashamed that I somehow screwed up, that I had been doing it all wrong somehow.

Anyway, I tried to make the recommended adjustments. I gained weight (none of it muscle) and the gym stopped being fun so I stopped going and one fast food snack treat turned into a bi-weekly habit and on it went. Six months later, I'm back to where I started. And of course, I'm starting over and I'm going back to what was working for me. But I'm having a terrible time overcoming that feeling that I'm going to fail, that my time at the gym will be a waste, that my results don't matter because I'm doing all of it wrong. I can't seem to get it out of my head. I really need some reassurance or support right now

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