Strength train - beginner. Advice please

I just started back 3 weeks ago. I have lost 5 pounds so far by eating 1500 calories a day and walking either on the treadmill at 3.8 mph (which is almost jogging for me) or pushing my 31 pound toddler in her stroller all around our neighborhood. I want to incorporate strength training. I did it before for a short time and loved it. I quit because I had just had my now toddler and she got sick, then I got sick and it just switched back and forth a few times and I never went back to the gym again. When I was going, I didn’t really have a set plan. I just did leg and arm machines that my husband showed me how to use and that’s all. Well I found a workout routine on for beginners that I want to try. It says it’s a total body workout and you can repeat this workout for 3 days a week. My question is, is it still ok to walk some of the other days and not undo what strength training I did in the gym? Or should I only do strength training? I read all these posts for research but it gets contradicting and confusing. I’m not trying to bulk up. I just want to lose about 51 more pounds and be left with a nice toned body. I’ve read that cardio takes away muscle and you will lose weight doing it, but you will just be a smaller version of what you are now. I don’t want that. I want to be tight and toned again like I did before kids haha. I hope I’m making sense. Thanks.


  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    Yes, you can still walk. In fact, I think it's a great idea.
  • kelly_e_montana
    kelly_e_montana Posts: 1,999 Member
    At the level that you're at you shouldn't worry about this too much. Walking would be a great addition to strength training at your beginner level.
  • aganey
    aganey Posts: 501 Member
    Great! Thanks ladies. I felt like it was because I need to lose so much weight but then I read more and start second guessing things. I just don’t want to be skinny fat. I want to have strength and definition. I danced ballet for 16 years and miss that toned physique.
  • flippy1234
    flippy1234 Posts: 686 Member
    I strength train and then walk on treadmill for 30 minutes at varying speeds and inclines. So yes, do it.
    Another piece of advice my daughter just learned even though I told her but apparently she knew better and is now VERY not work the same muscles back to back. Make sure you have a break in between. Your muscles need to recover in order to build.
  • aganey
    aganey Posts: 501 Member
    @brendonwhite84 thanks for the info! I have noticed my hunger increases on the days I do cardio so I usually eat back some of my exercise calories.

    @lorrpb that is so amazing! Truly and inspiration. Now I’m more certain I should do both from the beginning. Also I’m not trying to necessarily get back to my dancers body because then I was 118 pounds at 5’7 with very little body fat. I am now a soon to be 35 year old (in a couple of weeks) with two kids and I would like to be around 140 but have that toned look still. My legs are still in pretty good shape. My husband gets jealous of them because after all these years I still have crazy calf muscles from all that dancing. It’s mainly my stomach that needs all the help and my back door has lost its shape I’m afraid. I know I’ll get there. Just trying to figure out the best way how. Thanks for sharing your incredible journey. You are goals for sure!

    @flippy1234 I agree with your daughter. My husband has worked out since high school and has always said breaks allow time for muscles to heal. I was going to do the full body machine workout 3 times a week (probably every other day) and maybe walk some of those same days or maybe one of the in between days. If I’m too sore then I’ll take it easy. I told myself going to listen to my body and not rush this process. That’s what’s burned me out before. Thanks for the advice!

  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    Yea, definitely still do cardio. You can even bikr or run.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    aganey wrote: »
    I’ve read that cardio takes away muscle and you will lose weight doing it[/quote

    my data may be out of date, and i'm also just paraphrasing the stuff that i was told, just like you. but fwiw, the main thing i 'know' about that one is: your metabolism has a fixed speed at which it can metabolize fat. so that means that in a given day it's got a fixed amount of fat it can burn to make up for your exercise/deficit. if your deficit is greater than that then it has to dip into your muscle reserves. so afa my own information goes it's not what you do that 'takes' muscle away. it's how much you're doing, and whether or not that's more than whatever that fixed limit is. fwiw, i think this is the basis for the idea that you should not aim to lose more than two pounds a week, since two pounds of fat is about all the throughput your body can burn.

    aside from that, the only other thing i know is that either lifting OR cardio'ing aggressively might leave you with lead legs the next day. and that's not about losing muscle or fat. it's just that again, your body has its own pace for generating energy 'stores' and if you blow it all in a single workout then it's just like spending most of your paycheque on hte first day.

    i don't think either thing is worth getting too stressed about. if what you're doing feels like it's more than your body can keep abreast of, dial it back or adjust in some way. there's a whole lifetime ahead for working on working it out.
  • cnbbnc
    cnbbnc Posts: 1,265 Member
    I lost 45lbs by primarily strength training with just a smidgen of cardio thrown in. I did a lot of walking too.

    Cardio is fine, and everyone should be doing some simply for the cardiovascular benefits, but you don’t want to do so much of it that you can’t do your strength training. If you keep up with the weights (being on a good program if important!) then you won’t end up skinny fat.
  • aganey
    aganey Posts: 501 Member
    Thanks for the replies. All good info. I don’t plan on working myself to the bone. The beginner program I found on body probably takes about 30-40 minutes to complete. I haven’t started it yet. I’ve only been walking at a fast pace either on the treadmill or up and down the street. When I do walk, I usually only do 30 minutes as well. I don’t want to burn myself out and wanted to stick with an exercise regime that I could keep for life. 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week seems doable for me. Especially since I have young kids. Thanks again for all the feedback! It’s nice speaking with people who know a bit more than I do. It confirms a lot of questions in my head.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,693 Member
    Yeah, you should be doing cardio and resistance training...they are both essential to overall fitness. The only time cardio is really going to hurt you in regards to recovery from the weight room is if you're being overly aggressive and trying to do a bunch of HIIT sessions and whatnot, or if you're seriously underfeeding.

    I lift and I cycle on non lifting days.
  • TaffyBranwyn
    TaffyBranwyn Posts: 35 Member
    ...when I walk to work (~5 KM) I use a weighted vest that allows progressive overload. Right now I'm at 35 lbs, max on the vest is 60.

    Does walking with a weighted vest count as cardio (cuz you'd presumably be breathing harder) or weight training?
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,728 Member
    150to123 wrote: »
    ...when I walk to work (~5 KM) I use a weighted vest that allows progressive overload. Right now I'm at 35 lbs, max on the vest is 60.

    Does walking with a weighted vest count as cardio (cuz you'd presumably be breathing harder) or weight training?

    Rucking is Cardio/conditioning, whether you're using a vest or a ruck.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
    Walking would be excellent and recommended.
  • colors_fade
    colors_fade Posts: 464 Member
    cnbbnc wrote: »
    I lost 45lbs by primarily strength training with just a smidgen of cardio thrown in. I did a lot of walking too.

    Walking is an underrated exercise.

    If you dislike a lot of forms of cardio (like I do) then walk. It's actually an amazing way to add to your caloric deficit. And when the weather is nice it's a great way to get some fresh air and clear your head. It's decompression time.

  • aganey
    aganey Posts: 501 Member
    I agree I like walking. I absolutely hate running. Never been a runner. Dancing ballet is my all time favorite exercise and I found a barre workout on you tube, but it’s not something for everyday. Also I’m not a spring chicken anymore and have been out of the ballet scene for 16 years so it’s not as easy to do. Plus my toddler wants to be all up in my personal space when I do it. So lately we’ve been taking advantage of the rare pretty weather and walking outside.