Calories aren't all

While cardio and HIIT burn more calories, surely it isn't all that matters? An exercise such as cycling will not burn as much but you're using your legs more aka building muscle which could be more beneficial. Likewise with strength training- it doesn't burn as many calories but your building muscle. Am I right in thinking of my workouts in this way? Sometimes I go on YouTube and look for some new ideas and see then titled as 'burn 400cal in 20min' and Im thinking ok sounds cool, but then I look at something using weights which obviously burns a lot less but helps to build muscle, and I go for the second option because I feel like it does more for me.

Opinions?
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Replies

  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    I think you are underestimating how hard it is to build muscle
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,645 Member
    Oish. So much to this post. Where to begin...

    OK, um... Hmmm...

    You're right in thinking about exercise as more than just a tool for burning calories. Cardio and strength training have benefits far beyond calorie burning. Some of those benefits overlap into both cardio and ST, some do not. Preference and enjoyment can also matter.

    What you do or don't do should be based on your goals and your preferences, not on headlines or taglines used to sell a workout, magazine, whatever.
  • LizbethHeller
    LizbethHeller Posts: 37 Member
    "Up to" is a catchphrase and a half... I think that I'd be skeptical of anything promising to burn 400 calories in 20 minutes. Unless I verified that with a heart rate monitor programmed for my weight, age, etc., I flat out wouldn't believe it.

    As to the rest of your post, YES weights and strength training is very important. You may not "build" muscle, but it will help keep you from losing it along with the fat. And the previous poster is right... while it may be harder to track the calories, strength training certainly burns them. Especially if you do a circuit.

    So, short answer... YES, you're right in thinking of your workouts that way. :-)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,082 Member
    crevtion wrote: »
    While cardio and HIIT burn more calories, surely it isn't all that matters? An exercise such as cycling will not burn as much but you're using your legs more aka building muscle which could be more beneficial. Likewise with strength training- it doesn't burn as many calories but your building muscle. Am I right in thinking of my workouts in this way? Sometimes I go on YouTube and look for some new ideas and see then titled as 'burn 400cal in 20min' and Im thinking ok sounds cool, but then I look at something using weights which obviously burns a lot less but helps to build muscle, and I go for the second option because I feel like it does more for me.

    Opinions?

    Cycling is cardio...I burn quite a few calories cycling, but that's not why I cycle. I cycle because I love to cycle. I don't ever think about doing some form of exercise or another because of calories...I do the things I do because it keeps me fit and regular exercise is good for my overall health and well being. Mostly cycle and do some rock climbing...lift a couple days per week.

    Also, anything advertising a 400 calorie burn in 20 minutes is BS
  • crevtion
    crevtion Posts: 72 Member
    I'm not into bulking but i like to do exercise that makes me feel strong. Sometimes I feel like even yoga is more beneficial than cardio because of having to build up stenght in the core and arms. That's what I meant to say. Surely what matters is how the exercise makes you feel and not purely the amount of energy you use throughout
  • Rammer123
    Rammer123 Posts: 679 Member
    Weights burn more calories than cardio.

    You must have a CRAZYYYYYY weight training routine haha
    Cardio equipment have a 30% error factor. If the machine reads 300 calories... you probably burnt 180 to 200. Even then, you can amble on a treadmill and it will show you 300 cals after 40 min but you won't have dropped a sweat. Remember those people reading a book on the sitting bike? ;) They think they burned 400 cals but only burnt about 125ish.

    Because those machines are programmed to guestimate based on time elapsed and rpm's and weight entered.

    Well with a 30% error factor that have decided is fact for everyone, would make it 280 calories in 40 minutes. Willing to bet most people under 200lbs aren't burning 280 calories in 40 minutes with weight training.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,645 Member
    edited August 2017
    crevtion wrote: »
    I'm not into bulking but i like to do exercise that makes me feel strong. Sometimes I feel like even yoga is more beneficial than cardio because of having to build up stenght in the core and arms. That's what I meant to say. Surely what matters is how the exercise makes you feel and not purely the amount of energy you use throughout

    Beneficial is relative to one's goals. Someone who wants to be a bodybuilder might not find cycling very beneficial. A triathlete probably would. See what I'm getting at?

    If it's beneficial for your goals, then it's beneficial to you and you should do it. If it's not, then don't.

    Someone whose primary goal is to lose weight... calorie burning might be the most important factor in the exercise they choose. And that's fine for them.

    I'm sorry if I'm getting hung up on semantics and terminology, but I do think it's important to understand. Relative to you and your post, if you like feeling strong and want to be strong, then you are correct in your thinking that there's a lot more to exercise than just calorie burns. But those other activities aren't invaluable or whatever else, they just aren't as beneficial to YOU.
  • crevtion
    crevtion Posts: 72 Member
    Would anyone log walking into MFP if it's more than usual? For example today I did 10km, another day I did 13km etc. I never really think much of walking but then I guess I should add it in?
  • jessiferrrb
    jessiferrrb Posts: 1,758 Member
    crevtion wrote: »
    I'm not into bulking but i like to do exercise that makes me feel strong. Sometimes I feel like even yoga is more beneficial than cardio because of having to build up stenght in the core and arms. That's what I meant to say. Surely what matters is how the exercise makes you feel and not purely the amount of energy you use throughout

    depends on your goals really. i would advise doing the exercise you enjoy, if you prefer yoga and strength to cardio, then do that. there are benefits to all of them that far exceed the benefits of staying on the couch.

    if you're looking for a calorie burn to help you maintain your deficit then estimate conservatively and compare it to your actual results over time.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    crevtion wrote: »
    While cardio and HIIT burn more calories, surely it isn't all that matters? An exercise such as cycling will not burn as much but you're using your legs more aka building muscle which could be more beneficial. Likewise with strength training- it doesn't burn as many calories but your building muscle. Am I right in thinking of my workouts in this way? Sometimes I go on YouTube and look for some new ideas and see then titled as 'burn 400cal in 20min' and Im thinking ok sounds cool, but then I look at something using weights which obviously burns a lot less but helps to build muscle, and I go for the second option because I feel like it does more for me.

    Opinions?

    Cycling is cardio...I burn quite a few calories cycling, but that's not why I cycle. I cycle because I love to cycle. I don't ever think about doing some form of exercise or another because of calories...I do the things I do because it keeps me fit and regular exercise is good for my overall health and well being. Mostly cycle and do some rock climbing...lift a couple days per week.

    Also, anything advertising a 400 calorie burn in 20 minutes is BS

    I have this approach too. Running burns a lot of calories, but I do it because I love it. I'm not looking to absolutely maximize my calorie burn, I'm looking to really enjoy the time I spend being active.
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,645 Member
    crevtion wrote: »
    Would anyone log walking into MFP if it's more than usual? For example today I did 10km, another day I did 13km etc. I never really think much of walking but then I guess I should add it in?

    Personally, I would not... but that's based on how I chose to log and estimate. Others do, and that's fine if it works for them.

    There is no 1 "right" way to do thing... lots of ways to skin this cat.
  • timtam163
    timtam163 Posts: 509 Member
    This is why people combine cardio with weights. Cardio does burn calories! No matter what people say! I don't know how this got lost in the fray. Maybe not as much as you think, and doing cardio doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want, but ask anyone who starts doing cardio regularly and at the proper intensity for their fitness level, what happens to their weight. I started losing weight in college when I started doing cardio; I wasn't counting calories. But I also was eating healthier in general, so it's not like I was eating indiscriminately.

    That being said weight training can help strengthen muscles, prevent overuse injuries from cardio-related exercise, and up your TDEE. All of which is super important to overall fitness. I ran cross country all throughout high school and my roommate in college ran for our college team; neither of us had been on a running team that DIDN'T emphasize some kind of weight lifting routine.

    Both are important. And depending on your specific goals, one may be more important than the other. But it's not either/or.
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,932 Member
    crevtion wrote: »
    While cardio and HIIT burn more calories, surely it isn't all that matters? An exercise such as cycling will not burn as much but you're using your legs more aka building muscle which could be more beneficial. Likewise with strength training- it doesn't burn as many calories but your building muscle. Am I right in thinking of my workouts in this way? Sometimes I go on YouTube and look for some new ideas and see then titled as 'burn 400cal in 20min' and Im thinking ok sounds cool, but then I look at something using weights which obviously burns a lot less but helps to build muscle, and I go for the second option because I feel like it does more for me.

    Opinions?

    When I train, I do not think about or care how many calories I am burning. I focus on my strength, endurance, flexibility, balance etc...

    I let my diet take care of my calorie needs in reference to my goals...
  • Jruzer
    Jruzer Posts: 3,501 Member
    crevtion wrote: »
    Would anyone log walking into MFP if it's more than usual? For example today I did 10km, another day I did 13km etc. I never really think much of walking but then I guess I should add it in?

    I walk every day and log it. I usually get a few hundred kcal for it, depending on the day.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,187 Member
    I think you are underestimating how hard it is to build muscle

    ^This

    There's a difference between exercising muscles to gain strength and/or endurance and building muscle in terms of gaining muscle mass visually or what will effect scale weight. I advise picking your workouts based on your fitness goals (get stronger, improve cardiovascular health, get better at an active hobby, etc.) and use your diet to create a deficit (assuming you're here to lose weight like most using MFP).

    Here's a great resource https://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/wiki/index. There's a section that discusses the ever-controversial MFP topic of how many calories one should eat back from exercise; the solution for which involves a well-done spreadsheet that uses frequent weigh-ins and logged calorie intake to estimate TDEE (which includes exercise) and adjusts for target weight loss. I read the synopsis of a study (the link for which is eluding me) that showed a maximum weight loss rate of 0.7% body weight was optimal for losing fat without sacrificing muscle, as that seems to be of your concern.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,967 Member
    HIIT really doesn't burn very many calories.