Avatar universal

Weight lifting vs cardio? or both? Please HELP!

I have started a complete lifestyle changing initiative. I am currently 1 1/2 months into my new diet and exercise regiment. I weigh about 287lbs (my goal is approximately 215lbs mostly muscle) at the moment after losing about 25lbs last month. I do cardio 6 days a week for 45 mins each time. I alternate my cardio workouts between the elliptical, the treadmill, and I use the bike and stairmaster seldomly. I am noticing great weight loss with this routine. I also do a pretty decent ab workout (which is tough for a fat guy) one or two days a week. I have coupled this routine with an effective diet as well. High protein, low carbs, lots of vegetables, some fruit, multivitamin, EFA's, and Glucosamine so that my joints stay healthy. I think what I am doing is working very effectively and I have no questions as to how to change what I am currently doing.

My questions is the following: Do you think that I should implement a mild weight training routine as well? I was thinking about doing some weight training 3 days a week? Is that enough or too much? This 3 day weight training routine would be in addition to my cardio 6 days a week. I will in no way shape or form compromise doing less days of cardio to do weight training (especially since what I am doing is working), so all of this will be in addition to my original cardio. My plan was to do 30 mins of cardio on days that i lift, instead of the normal 45. Should I maintain the 45 mins on cardio after my weight training workout or should i decrease it like i was planning?

I do realize that if you want to lose "weight" then cardio is the most effective avenue. but my goal is to lose weight while toning the muscles beneath the fat. I'm pretty sure that losing "weight" generally includes losing muscle as well, unless you can exercise those muscles. I would like to find a good balance between both cardio and weight lifting.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
I'm a little envious to be honest.  It also makes me want to join a gym.  I was a previous gym junkie and weight training can tone muscles and make you feel so much better and more confident about yourself.
It's winter here and I'm cold (purple and white) most of the time and that is severely affecting my motivation.  Stories like this inspire and help to motivate.
Like you say, it's the journey (and life is a constant journey).

Congrats on the weight loss and lifestyle changes.  Good luck with the ab workouts.  And also reaching your goals.

Helpful - 2
921323 tn?1268675812
You are awesome!  Congratulations on making some amazing changes in your life.  I love your confidence, ambition, and general zeal about the future - extremely impressive.

To answer your question, I think that some low weight, high rep, slow lifting would be great for you.  I'm a big fan of purposefully slow movements using weights to minimize joint injury (a potential concern you mention) as well as build muscle in a shorter overall time investment.  Two or three days a week is a great way to do it, and I see no reason why you can't shorten your cardio a bit on those days.  Interestingly, basal metabolic rate tends to go up in people with more muscle mass, so despite the old adage that 'muscle weighs more than fat' there's actually some data to suggest that lifting modest amounts of weight can facilitate weight loss.

Congratulations, and keep me posted on your success!  I imagine that TonusR's story is inspiring to many of you visiting this site.  If so, please add your comments and show him your support!

Dr. Beckerman
On Twitter @jamesbeckerman
Helpful - 2

You are reading content posted in the Weight Loss & Healthy Lifestyle Forum

Popular Resources
14 super-healthy foods that are worth the hype
Small changes make a big impact with these easy ways to cut hundreds of calories a day.
Forget the fountain of youth – try flossing instead! Here are 11 surprising ways to live longer.
From STD tests to mammograms, find out which screening tests you need - and when to get them.
Tips and moves to ease backaches
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.