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Too much cardio is unnecessary for losing weight while lifting

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  • gaidiesrgaidiesr Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    Just a little confused on the post. Can I be doing too much? 30 minutes cardio / 1 hour resistance more reps than heavy weight/45 - 60 minutes swim. I do this daily M-F and Saturday Sunday I only swim for 1 hour. Been doing it for about 5 weeks and dropped only about 6 pounds. Someone told me its overdoing it. I do find its getting harder to keep it up daily but I'm pushing it as I have a target I'm hell bent and determined to meet. I eat well, good food, good balance, lots of water, but am staying well below my daily calorie target and have a weekly deficit of around 5000 calories. I'm thinking I may need to meet with a nutritionist and maybe a trainer to get set straight. Something seems to be amiss.
  • MT1134MT1134 Posts: 143Member Member Posts: 143Member Member
    gaidiesr wrote: »
    Just a little confused on the post. Can I be doing too much? 30 minutes cardio / 1 hour resistance more reps than heavy weight/45 - 60 minutes swim. I do this daily M-F and Saturday Sunday I only swim for 1 hour. Been doing it for about 5 weeks and dropped only about 6 pounds. Someone told me its overdoing it. I do find its getting harder to keep it up daily but I'm pushing it as I have a target I'm hell bent and determined to meet. I eat well, good food, good balance, lots of water, but am staying well below my daily calorie target and have a weekly deficit of around 5000 calories. I'm thinking I may need to meet with a nutritionist and maybe a trainer to get set straight. Something seems to be amiss.

    The problem with this is "too much" for what?

    Depending on your goals, knowledge, training history, body type, and so much more...

    It's a vague question that is followed with a vague answer. The idea is to stimulate enough for adaptations but not too much that you're dampening your recovery.

    Are you following a progressive program or are you going at it on your own?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 13,658Member Member Posts: 13,658Member Member
    gaidiesr wrote: »
    Just a little confused on the post. Can I be doing too much? 30 minutes cardio / 1 hour resistance more reps than heavy weight/45 - 60 minutes swim. I do this daily M-F and Saturday Sunday I only swim for 1 hour. Been doing it for about 5 weeks and dropped only about 6 pounds. Someone told me its overdoing it. I do find its getting harder to keep it up daily but I'm pushing it as I have a target I'm hell bent and determined to meet. I eat well, good food, good balance, lots of water, but am staying well below my daily calorie target and have a weekly deficit of around 5000 calories. I'm thinking I may need to meet with a nutritionist and maybe a trainer to get set straight. Something seems to be amiss.

    If you're hitting the same muscle groups with the same weight exercises every day, that would definitely be suboptimal: Not enough recovery. Depending on your starting fitness and activity level, you may also not be getting enough recovery from the cardio/swimming, either, doing all of everything every day.

    That routine isn't inherently "too much" for anyone and everyone, but that's a fairly aggressive schedule, and fitness geneally is a gradual-build proposition, starting from wherever you may start fitness-wise and increasing duration/intensity/frequency as fitness increases. What's "too much" (maybe even impossible) for a beginner isn't "too much" for an elite, right?

    To some extent, age may also be a variable, too. I'm 64, and think we can achieve much more as we age than many people believe. However, I do find that for me - someone who's been quite active for the last 17 or so years - that I need a more well-thought-out recovery plan than I did when I was younger. I can still do whatever I want, but my resilience after overdoing is realistically just not as good as it was decades back. Rotating activities with different physical stresses involved is a better plan, for me, than hitting the same things relentlessly day after day.

    Recovery at whatever level is normal for you is also likely to be a little bit less when in a consistent calorie deficit, too.

    If you're targeting a 5000 calorie weekly cumulative deficit, and have lost 6 pounds in 5 weeks, you're pretty much right on, calorie-wise.

    How is your nutrition? That can play a bigger role in energy level and strength as the time under a calorie deficit gets longer. Do you routinely hit protein at 0.6-0.8g (or more) per pound of healthy goal weight? Fats at something in the 0.3-0.45g per pound of goal weight? Carbs sufficient for energy (how many to eat is very individual)? Getting plenty of varied, colorful veggies and fruits for micros and fiber? You can dial these in yourself, even before talking with a pro.

    In many places, anyone can call themselves a "nutritionist". Look for a "registered dietitican", i.e., someone with relevant academic degree(s).

    Best wishes!
  • jdh419jdh419 Posts: 36Member Member Posts: 36Member Member
    raven56706 wrote: »
    I have seen this countless times. So just curious.

    say your goal is the lose weight and you are on a calorie deficit.

    If you are doing a 45 minute weight session, would another 30 minute Peloton ride be too much? Means now you are working out for 75 minutes.

    why is it too much cardio hurts your results or is it not that serious?

    I myself have seen better results when I do a 5-7 minute warmup on a cardio machine, then 30-60 minute weight training and stretching and then a 15 minute high intensity interval training on a cardio machine. Then on off days I jog/walk which gets my heart rate up to a steady level.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,164Member Member Posts: 21,164Member Member
    gaidiesr wrote: »
    Just a little confused on the post. Can I be doing too much? 30 minutes cardio / 1 hour resistance more reps than heavy weight/45 - 60 minutes swim. I do this daily M-F and Saturday Sunday I only swim for 1 hour. Been doing it for about 5 weeks and dropped only about 6 pounds. Someone told me its overdoing it. I do find its getting harder to keep it up daily but I'm pushing it as I have a target I'm hell bent and determined to meet. I eat well, good food, good balance, lots of water, but am staying well below my daily calorie target and have a weekly deficit of around 5000 calories. I'm thinking I may need to meet with a nutritionist and maybe a trainer to get set straight. Something seems to be amiss.

    If you went from no exercise to this schedule, yes, it does sound like too much. 5 days a week on weights could also be too much, depending on the program - what's the program?

    You're losing just over a pound a week, which is probably a good pace - how much weight do you have to lose total?

    Possibly you haven't lost more weight because you are retaining water from all the exercise. But again, depending on how much you have to lose total, faster would not necessarily be better.
  • mmapagsmmapags Posts: 8,533Member Member Posts: 8,533Member Member
    gaidiesr wrote: »
    Just a little confused on the post. Can I be doing too much? 30 minutes cardio / 1 hour resistance more reps than heavy weight/45 - 60 minutes swim. I do this daily M-F and Saturday Sunday I only swim for 1 hour. Been doing it for about 5 weeks and dropped only about 6 pounds. Someone told me its overdoing it. I do find its getting harder to keep it up daily but I'm pushing it as I have a target I'm hell bent and determined to meet. I eat well, good food, good balance, lots of water, but am staying well below my daily calorie target and have a weekly deficit of around 5000 calories. I'm thinking I may need to meet with a nutritionist and maybe a trainer to get set straight. Something seems to be amiss.

    It sounds like overdoing it to me. There is a saying, "you can't outrun the fork". Exercise is great for health and it helps burn some calories but the primary vehicle for weight loss is calorie deficit.

    Faster is not better. Sustainable is the key. Don't push and be hell bent. The hierarchy: Sustainable calorie deficit, exercise, patience. You dropped more than a pound per week. Right on track based on your calorie deficit.

    That is a good sustainable rate but my concern is you are doing that through exercise and not diet control and the pace of your workouts will result in burnout at a certain point.

    There is nothing amiss other than your unrealistic expectations. How much do you have to lose?
    edited January 26
  • mullanphylanemullanphylane Posts: 40Member Member Posts: 40Member Member
    I'm not a scientist - rocket or otherwise - but if the goal of exercising is to lose weight, more is better. But it has to be done in a SAFE manner. Some folks can handle a lot of cardio on top of other exercises. Some can't. You have to know your own limits and don't push them too far at any given time.

  • SezxyStefSezxyStef Posts: 15,236Member Member Posts: 15,236Member Member
    1. Exercise is for health and fitness Calorie deficit is for weight loss.
    2. Exercise can help with the calorie deficit.
    3. Most people do not "over do" it...it is actually pretty hard to get to the point of "over training" that will cause injury and damage.
    4. Don't use exercise as a permanent method of weight loss because there may come a time where you can't or don't want to exercise then what?


    I used to use exercise to lose weight but then I would get to a point where i just didn't want to do that much exercise and I would gain the weight back. I yo yo'd weight for a long time doing this until I started here.

    5 years in and I am maintaining my weight and still exercising.

    But the exercise isn't for anything other than staying heart/bone/muscle/organ health.

    I still maintain my eating habits learned to keep the weight off.

    PS weight lifting doesn't burn a lot of calories anyway...cardio does...I do both.
  • allother94allother94 Posts: 454Member Member Posts: 454Member Member
    Correct. TOO MUCH cardio is unnecessary. However, the right amount of cardio IS necessary. Hope this helps...
  • asellitti6523asellitti6523 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    1. Exercise is for health and fitness Calorie deficit is for weight loss.
    2. Exercise can help with the calorie deficit.
    3. Most people do not "over do" it...it is actually pretty hard to get to the point of "over training" that will cause injury and damage.
    4. Don't use exercise as a permanent method of weight loss because there may come a time where you can't or don't want to exercise then what?


    I used to use exercise to lose weight but then I would get to a point where i just didn't want to do that much exercise and I would gain the weight back. I yo yo'd weight for a long time doing this until I started here.

    5 years in and I am maintaining my weight and still exercising.

    But the exercise isn't for anything other than staying heart/bone/muscle/organ health.

    I still maintain my eating habits learned to keep the weight off.

    PS weight lifting doesn't burn a lot of calories anyway...cardio does...I do both.[/quote]

    Totally disagree with that for a couple reasons. You can definitely arrange a weight lifting circuit with minimal rest periods that burns as much or more calories than traditional cardio machines or outdoor running. Even if you lift heavy and give longer rest periods to recover the benefit is more in the long run because your body is burning more calories at its rested state than it would be after a cardio session.

    I do agree with you that nutrition is paramount when it comes to seeing numbers decrease on the scale. Do I think that just doing traditional cardio coupled with a calorie deficit will help reduce body fat? Yes. Heck even just hitting the calorie deficit alone will lead to fat loss. Is just doing cardio or predominately doing cardio is the most optimal and efficient way to shed body fat? Scientifically no. The person that does more of a 70/30 Weight training/Cardio split is going to burn more calories overall than the person doing it the other way around. With all that said, the best approach is always finding the one you can stick with long term. If doing a 70/30 Weight/Cardio split is going to cause you to lose interest and stop coming to the gym then a 70/30 or even 100 percent cardio is the more optimal approach.
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,250Member Member Posts: 17,250Member Member
    Totally disagree with that for a couple reasons. You can definitely arrange a weight lifting circuit with minimal rest periods that burns as much or more calories than traditional cardio machines or outdoor running. Even if you lift heavy and give longer rest periods to recover the benefit is more in the long run because your body is burning more calories at its rested state than it would be after a cardio session.

    I do agree with you that nutrition is paramount when it comes to seeing numbers decrease on the scale. Do I think that just doing traditional cardio coupled with a calorie deficit will help reduce body fat? Yes. Heck even just hitting the calorie deficit alone will lead to fat loss. Is just doing cardio or predominately doing cardio is the most optimal and efficient way to shed body fat? Scientifically no. The person that does more of a 70/30 Weight training/Cardio split is going to burn more calories overall than the person doing it the other way around. With all that said, the best approach is always finding the one you can stick with long term. If doing a 70/30 Weight/Cardio split is going to cause you to lose interest and stop coming to the gym then a 70/30 or even 100 percent cardio is the more optimal approach.

    @SezxyStef comments weren't in a vacuum as general advice - need to read the posts.

    You are describing circuit training where indeed keep the rest time down, therefore the weight lifted will be down, therefore the stimulus for muscle growth will be down - and you can indeed burn as much calories as some cardio sessions during that chunk of time.

    But that type of resistance training is usually not called weight lifting for a reason, neither in the databases of calorie burns, nor the articles about weight lifting.

    The extra calorie burn in the 24-48 hrs after a weight lifting session for repair & recovery is indeed something you wouldn't get from a cardio session (despite the much touted EPOC effect) - but it's not that great overall - and especially not in a deficit.

    Now lifters that were eating at deficit/maintenance and start bulking first time are often surprised how high they have to keep raising calories before they start weighing more, as their lifting improves and they discover just how much damage they can now cause as their program improves on the weight lifted. That's extra repair calories.
    But a program while in a deficit, except at very start for newbies, isn't going to be that meaningful.

    If you are speaking of muscle burning more than fat while at rest, the difference between 6 & 2 cal/lb/day isn't that meaningful either, it's your metabolic organs (liver, brain, ect) doing the vast majority of your base burn, besides the amount of muscle mass that can be gained in a deficit is again rather small if any.

    Several have indeed suggested the same wisdom of do what keeps you doing something, but for transforming body some resistance training is better than none, same for cardio of course some better than none.
  • SezxyStefSezxyStef Posts: 15,236Member Member Posts: 15,236Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Totally disagree with that for a couple reasons. You can definitely arrange a weight lifting circuit with minimal rest periods that burns as much or more calories than traditional cardio machines or outdoor running. Even if you lift heavy and give longer rest periods to recover the benefit is more in the long run because your body is burning more calories at its rested state than it would be after a cardio session.

    I do agree with you that nutrition is paramount when it comes to seeing numbers decrease on the scale. Do I think that just doing traditional cardio coupled with a calorie deficit will help reduce body fat? Yes. Heck even just hitting the calorie deficit alone will lead to fat loss. Is just doing cardio or predominately doing cardio is the most optimal and efficient way to shed body fat? Scientifically no. The person that does more of a 70/30 Weight training/Cardio split is going to burn more calories overall than the person doing it the other way around. With all that said, the best approach is always finding the one you can stick with long term. If doing a 70/30 Weight/Cardio split is going to cause you to lose interest and stop coming to the gym then a 70/30 or even 100 percent cardio is the more optimal approach.

    @SezxyStef comments weren't in a vacuum as general advice - need to read the posts.

    You are describing circuit training where indeed keep the rest time down, therefore the weight lifted will be down, therefore the stimulus for muscle growth will be down - and you can indeed burn as much calories as some cardio sessions during that chunk of time.

    But that type of resistance training is usually not called weight lifting for a reason, neither in the databases of calorie burns, nor the articles about weight lifting.

    The extra calorie burn in the 24-48 hrs after a weight lifting session for repair & recovery is indeed something you wouldn't get from a cardio session (despite the much touted EPOC effect) - but it's not that great overall - and especially not in a deficit.

    Now lifters that were eating at deficit/maintenance and start bulking first time are often surprised how high they have to keep raising calories before they start weighing more, as their lifting improves and they discover just how much damage they can now cause as their program improves on the weight lifted. That's extra repair calories.
    But a program while in a deficit, except at very start for newbies, isn't going to be that meaningful.

    If you are speaking of muscle burning more than fat while at rest, the difference between 6 & 2 cal/lb/day isn't that meaningful either, it's your metabolic organs (liver, brain, ect) doing the vast majority of your base burn, besides the amount of muscle mass that can be gained in a deficit is again rather small if any.

    Several have indeed suggested the same wisdom of do what keeps you doing something, but for transforming body some resistance training is better than none, same for cardio of course some better than none.

    @heybales Not sure why I am mentioned here. I didn't bring up circuit training at all.

    I subscribe to the fact that for weight loss exercise is not necessary at all but it is good for health and fitness and that cardio and weights both have their place.

    And I subscribe to doing both...

    *shrugs* I did read all the posts...
    edited February 10
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 17,250Member Member Posts: 17,250Member Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Totally disagree with that for a couple reasons. You can definitely arrange a weight lifting circuit with minimal rest periods that burns as much or more calories than traditional cardio machines or outdoor running. Even if you lift heavy and give longer rest periods to recover the benefit is more in the long run because your body is burning more calories at its rested state than it would be after a cardio session.

    I do agree with you that nutrition is paramount when it comes to seeing numbers decrease on the scale. Do I think that just doing traditional cardio coupled with a calorie deficit will help reduce body fat? Yes. Heck even just hitting the calorie deficit alone will lead to fat loss. Is just doing cardio or predominately doing cardio is the most optimal and efficient way to shed body fat? Scientifically no. The person that does more of a 70/30 Weight training/Cardio split is going to burn more calories overall than the person doing it the other way around. With all that said, the best approach is always finding the one you can stick with long term. If doing a 70/30 Weight/Cardio split is going to cause you to lose interest and stop coming to the gym then a 70/30 or even 100 percent cardio is the more optimal approach.

    @SezxyStef comments weren't in a vacuum as general advice - need to read the posts.

    You are describing circuit training where indeed keep the rest time down, therefore the weight lifted will be down, therefore the stimulus for muscle growth will be down - and you can indeed burn as much calories as some cardio sessions during that chunk of time.

    But that type of resistance training is usually not called weight lifting for a reason, neither in the databases of calorie burns, nor the articles about weight lifting.

    The extra calorie burn in the 24-48 hrs after a weight lifting session for repair & recovery is indeed something you wouldn't get from a cardio session (despite the much touted EPOC effect) - but it's not that great overall - and especially not in a deficit.

    Now lifters that were eating at deficit/maintenance and start bulking first time are often surprised how high they have to keep raising calories before they start weighing more, as their lifting improves and they discover just how much damage they can now cause as their program improves on the weight lifted. That's extra repair calories.
    But a program while in a deficit, except at very start for newbies, isn't going to be that meaningful.

    If you are speaking of muscle burning more than fat while at rest, the difference between 6 & 2 cal/lb/day isn't that meaningful either, it's your metabolic organs (liver, brain, ect) doing the vast majority of your base burn, besides the amount of muscle mass that can be gained in a deficit is again rather small if any.

    Several have indeed suggested the same wisdom of do what keeps you doing something, but for transforming body some resistance training is better than none, same for cardio of course some better than none.

    @heybales Not sure why I am mentioned here. I didn't bring up circuit training at all.

    I subscribe to the fact that for weight loss exercise is not necessary at all but it is good for health and fitness and that cardio and weights both have their place.

    And I subscribe to doing both...

    *shrugs* I did read all the posts...

    I quoted someone else that quoted you (well, they screwed up the quote method so it doesn't appear as normal quote). I was responding to them.
    edited February 10
  • J72FITJ72FIT Posts: 5,393Member Member Posts: 5,393Member Member
    I like to keep things simple...

    Resistance training for strength, muscles and bone density.
    Cardio for heart, lungs and endurance.
    Energy deficit for fat loss.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 1,052Member Member Posts: 1,052Member Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    1. Exercise is for health and fitness Calorie deficit is for weight loss.
    2. Exercise can help with the calorie deficit.
    3. Most people do not "over do" it...it is actually pretty hard to get to the point of "over training" that will cause injury and damage.
    4. Don't use exercise as a permanent method of weight loss because there may come a time where you can't or don't want to exercise then what?


    I used to use exercise to lose weight but then I would get to a point where i just didn't want to do that much exercise and I would gain the weight back. I yo yo'd weight for a long time doing this until I started here.

    5 years in and I am maintaining my weight and still exercising.

    But the exercise isn't for anything other than staying heart/bone/muscle/organ health.

    I still maintain my eating habits learned to keep the weight off.

    PS weight lifting doesn't burn a lot of calories anyway...cardio does...I do both.

    Totally disagree with that for a couple reasons. You can definitely arrange a weight lifting circuit with minimal rest periods that burns as much or more calories than traditional cardio machines or outdoor running. Even if you lift heavy and give longer rest periods to recover the benefit is more in the long run because your body is burning more calories at its rested state than it would be after a cardio session.
    Totally disagree with this for two reason: First, a 400lb squat, 1 rep, burns about 1 kCal. I don't think anyone circuit trains with 400lb levels of squats.
    Second, while not determined, it seems that around the point of something that's less than 45% of 1rm, or more than 30 repeatable reps, something will no longer cause the kind of stimulus that leads to hypertrophy - it is cardiovascular work.
    Sure, those could be using weights, but I think they get away from the idea of what anyone means by weight lifting as synonymous with resistance training. It would be like calling wearing ankle weights or weighted vests to jog weight training.
    The calorie burn of muscle is often overstated. A pound of muscle uses around 6 calories a day per pound and fat uses about 2. So if a person gains a pound of muscle, and loses a pound of fat, they're probably using a whole 4 calories more per day. A whole year of training to gain 10 pounds? 40 calories a day, without assuming the person's weight has gone down.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 37,539Member Member Posts: 37,539Member Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    1. Exercise is for health and fitness Calorie deficit is for weight loss.
    2. Exercise can help with the calorie deficit.
    3. Most people do not "over do" it...it is actually pretty hard to get to the point of "over training" that will cause injury and damage.
    4. Don't use exercise as a permanent method of weight loss because there may come a time where you can't or don't want to exercise then what?


    I used to use exercise to lose weight but then I would get to a point where i just didn't want to do that much exercise and I would gain the weight back. I yo yo'd weight for a long time doing this until I started here.

    5 years in and I am maintaining my weight and still exercising.

    But the exercise isn't for anything other than staying heart/bone/muscle/organ health.

    I still maintain my eating habits learned to keep the weight off.

    PS weight lifting doesn't burn a lot of calories anyway...cardio does...I do both.[/quote]

    Totally disagree with that for a couple reasons. You can definitely arrange a weight lifting circuit with minimal rest periods that burns as much or more calories than traditional cardio machines or outdoor running. Even if you lift heavy and give longer rest periods to recover the benefit is more in the long run because your body is burning more calories at its rested state than it would be after a cardio session.

    I do agree with you that nutrition is paramount when it comes to seeing numbers decrease on the scale. Do I think that just doing traditional cardio coupled with a calorie deficit will help reduce body fat? Yes. Heck even just hitting the calorie deficit alone will lead to fat loss. Is just doing cardio or predominately doing cardio is the most optimal and efficient way to shed body fat? Scientifically no. The person that does more of a 70/30 Weight training/Cardio split is going to burn more calories overall than the person doing it the other way around. With all that said, the best approach is always finding the one you can stick with long term. If doing a 70/30 Weight/Cardio split is going to cause you to lose interest and stop coming to the gym then a 70/30 or even 100 percent cardio is the more optimal approach.

    When people talk about weight lifting, they're not talking about circuit training. Circuit training is an endurance training method and is more cardiovascular in nature than traditional weight lifting where ample rest is required for recovery to perform the next set and weight becomes progressively heavier over time.
  • tbright1965tbright1965 Posts: 841Member, Premium Member Posts: 841Member, Premium Member
    Not quite.

    Eat for weight control.

    Exercise for fitness and flexibility.

    As was alluded to before, you cannot outwork your fork.

    So unless the exercises you have in mind are table push backs and fork put downs, it's the calorie content of the food you eat that determines your weight.
    I'm not a scientist - rocket or otherwise - but if the goal of exercising is to lose weight, more is better. But it has to be done in a SAFE manner. Some folks can handle a lot of cardio on top of other exercises. Some can't. You have to know your own limits and don't push them too far at any given time.

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