Should I be doing more cardio

adriat
adriat Posts: 49 Member
My first go round with MFP - I was doing more cardio. I saw the pounds drop. This time around - I am doing more resistance/strength training and less cardio and it's sllloooooow. My question is - should I be more focused on cardio because I am over 200lbs and have 80 pounds to lose? If I should be doing both - what's a good way balance without spending forever in a gym?

Replies

  • KatieJane83
    KatieJane83 Posts: 2,002 Member
    I would keep up with a balance of the 2. Lifting now will help you to retain some of your lean body mass as you lose fat. Maybe you could incorporate more of a circuit-type lifting workout to also get the heart rate up, if you're having trouble fitting everything in. Or just designate days for lifting and days for cardio. You could do 3 cardio days and 3 lifting days, alternating. Or 2 of one and 3 of the other, depending how many rest days you want to take.

    Also, remember to take measurements as well, with a tape measure, in addition to just the number on the scale. This will help to give you the full picture of your progress. The scale can be very changeable, and isn't always an accurate indicator of progress.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    With 80 pounds to loose, do both. Cardio will help with keeping you heart and lung "healthy" and give you calorie burning to help you with your deficit. The strength training with help you maintain your muscle mass while eating at a deficit. This does not burn a lot of calories but it does a lot more than you think it does in terms of keeping your body from burning muscle and this is as long as you get adequate protein and do not have a large aggressive deficit.

    You can do a cardio day, lifting day(s), or add in 15 - 20 cardio at the end of lifting.

    You could very easily start loosing inches and the weight on the scale can be masked by a lot of things like water rentention for muscle repair, sodium, hormones, hydration, carb intake, etc.

  • adriat
    adriat Posts: 49 Member
    Thank you for the input!
  • Traveler120
    Traveler120 Posts: 712 Member
    Yes you should do more cardio since weight loss is driven by calorie deficit and cardio burns more calories per hour than lifting weights. I would spend 80% of exercise time on cardio and 20% or less on weights.
  • cdahl383
    cdahl383 Posts: 700 Member
    I would continue doing both. Not sure what your schedule is like, but I would try to get 2-3 hours of cardio in per week at least and maybe 1-2 hours of lifting in per week. Aim for 1-2 lbs per week of weight loss.

    Cardio is important not only to help you lose weight by burning more calories, but it also keeps your heart healthy and has a variety of other positive effects on your body. I always feel better, sleep better, and seem more alert when I do cardio regularly.
  • SliverBulletsUK
    SliverBulletsUK Posts: 267 Member
    I'd look to add both but definitely keep the strength training, I wouldn't increase to too much cardio.

    The overall benefits are so much better and as another poster said the retention in muscle mass will be key.

    Also as you build muscle it operates at a higher metabolic rate which means it burns more energy/calories even when you aren't active.

    As your programme progresses also and the muscles get stronger and more defined you will notice bigger changes in your body shape and physique, again as another poster said, take measurements. That will help a lot.

    Finally for the strength training look to lift heavy where you can but also try to add in more compound exercises ( which require more muscles) as these will have a better impact on your overall body, you an also look to complete higher intensity strength exercises which will give you that 'cardio' workout.

    Obviously without knowing what is available at your gym, completing the clean and press with a powerbag and then moving onto the battle ropes will really get your heart pumping!
  • fredgonzini
    fredgonzini Posts: 77 Member
    When I started off if I did too much cardio I would have hurt myself and quit. Now that I'm down 8 pounds I can do more cardio but a good balance is the right way that's why they call it CrossFit it makes the most sense
  • adriat
    adriat Posts: 49 Member
    Thank you for all the input!!!
  • spring913
    spring913 Posts: 158 Member
    I'm currently 235lbs. I do body weight training M-W-F and cardio Sun-Tues-Th. Saturday is my rest day. This is a good mix for me. I've been loosing steadily with this routine. I loose faster with cardio but I want to try to maintain as much muscle as possible.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    adriat wrote: »
    My first go round with MFP - I was doing more cardio. I saw the pounds drop. This time around - I am doing more resistance/strength training and less cardio and it's sllloooooow.

    So your rate of loss is driven by your calorie deficit, rather than how much exercise you do, although what you're saying suggests that you didn't refuel in the past.

    Resistance training and CV training are complimentary and have different effects, so there is value in both. The balance depends on your priorities.

    I'm assuming that as you're asking about cardio you're just talking about generic elliptical/ gym bike/ dreadmilling rather than having a focus on a sport like cycling or running? If that's the case then the effect you're gaining from CV work is largely about your aerobic capacity and endurance. Whilst resistance work will raise your heart rate it's not giving you the sustained effects of 30-40 minutes of sustained effort.

    Equally the resistance training helps with retention of lean mass, general strength etc.

    With respect to focus, some people will say do resistance work only, nobody who knows what they're on about would say do CV work only.

    Personally I would do dedicated sessions; resistance days and CV days, rather than combining, say three days of each with one rest day. That said I'd generally go for a run, swim or a ride, rather than using a machine in a gym.
  • RuNaRoUnDaFiEld
    RuNaRoUnDaFiEld Posts: 5,864 Member
    adriat wrote: »
    Thank you for all the input!!!

    You seem to have little ones in your profile pic. You don't need to spend time in the gym. Strap some good trainers on and get playing! A kick around in the park, a game of base ball or cricket. Make exercise a way to have fun as a family. It will give your children healthy habits and get you more active. A win win :)
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    adriat wrote: »
    Thank you for all the input!!!

    You seem to have little ones in your profile pic. You don't need to spend time in the gym. Strap some good trainers on and get playing! A kick around in the park, a game of base ball or cricket. Make exercise a way to have fun as a family. It will give your children healthy habits and get you more active. A win win :)

    Why not spend a little time in the gym/or at your home gym and still play with the children? There is not a limit on a mother not being able to care for herself and take charge of her life. I see that being a huge role model for her kids.

    sigh :(
  • vixtris
    vixtris Posts: 688 Member
    Do what you enjoy most. When I lost the weight, my exercises were about 80-85% cardio/15-20% lifting. Now in maintenence, its more like 90% cardio/10% lifting. I just enjoy cardio more (sue me!! lol).
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    If you want to see faster progress, you need to create a larger calorie deficit. You could do that by adding in some/more cardio, or by cutting back your intake, or with a little bit of both.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    If you want to lose faster you can lower your calorie goal, then if you do cardio you get to eat more and lose the same amount anyway.