Saturday, 1 October 2016

Why do weight training and cardio?

Cardio? or Weight Training?

Should you only do cardio as that is supposed to help you lose weight faster, get your triglycerides down and make you healthier? Why do weight training? Should you concentrate on one and not the other? The straight answer is; USE BOTH. Cardio will get you fitter but sometimes you can lose more muscle mass than you mean to with the diet and exercise. WLS means you are on a permanent diet, in case you forgot. Weight training does not change the number on the scales as quickly but if you take your measurements on a weekly basis you will notice shrinkage. Your clothes get looser too.

The main reasons to combine weight loss and cardio are:

  • Your Basal Metabolic Rate remains higher if weight training is included. What this means is the muscles actually use more energy than fat cells do as they are working and repairing 24/7.  
  • Having a higher BMR means less chance of regaining lost weight as your body attempts to get back to the previous weight set point.
  • You lose more fat than muscle if you weight train which is the opposite to only using cardio. has a good article on this
  • Clothes fit better because your body shapes with the muscles being used to do the weight training
  • As you get older and less active the muscles get smaller and fat layers get larger, reverse this with WT
  • Calories get expended faster depending on the exercises so it may take less time at the gym to get the body you want, more time is left to do other things you enjoy
  • Exercising, as well as dieting, helps keep you on track as you don't want that time you have spent at the gym to be a waste
  • Exercise helps lower your stress levels and the hormones related to it. High steroid levels (from stress) means fat is laid down in the abdominal area which you don't want
  • Your mood will improve. Go and exercise for about 90 minutes and you will see what I mean. It doesn't have to be that long. Try out a good walk around your local area.
  • Doing a variety of weight exercises (circuit training) does raise your pulse a bit so it is having some cardio effect.
  • Most people find they are more productive after WT. I find I come home and get through my housework faster which lets me get to my creative activities quicker and I am more alert doing those as well i.e. more gets done. Your boss will love you at work for this result.
  • You could live longer as you are fitter than the average person, stronger, more focused on your health, have a reason to get up and out in the morning and socialise with others more often.
  • It has also proven to make you smarter ( I am not talking about those bulky idiots that take steroids and keel over early). Maybe your general circulation is improved. Increased oxygen levels within your body is better for your cells everywhere. Your short term and long term memory is improved.Your attention span increases as you consistently use it to make sure WT is done to form and the amount of reps you decided on.
  • Cardio can be used at the start to warm your muscles up and at the end to warm down.  

Reps vs Weight Amount

You can vary both of these.The higher the weight the less repetitions making it high intensity. The lower the weight the more repetitions giving low intensity. Women usually do less weight but more reps. This leads to a lean, sleek, strong body, not a pumped up "Arnold" body. Saying that, when the weight you have been using gets too easy then go up to the next weight. 

Strength = low reps + higher weights
Endurance = high reps + lower weights
Build muscle and mold body shape = moderate reps + moderate weights.

They actually all do the same job but to a lesser, or greater, degree and it is up to you to decide what you want to do. The aim is to do enough reps vs weights that the last1-2 reps are straining you as that is when your body is being worked enough to make a change. Check back with yourself periodically and decide when you need to increase your weight amount. You will have to as your body does get used to your normal exercise regime. A change is needed to continue muscle growth or weight loss. At a good gym the trainer there may come over and suggest a change of weight size if it is now looking too easy from their point of view. (Thanks, Dayna). Using weights after WLS helps to lessen the size of the saggy bits as the muscles grow bigger underneath. 

I still have a bigger abdomen but I can feel solid muscle underneath and it doesn't jiggle as much. My biceps look good and I am working on my triceps to lessen the batwing underneath. My calves look better and I am concentrating more on my thighs at the moment to tighten the inside thigh.

Routines from the Net

These are some of the routines I found on the Net. There are many more depending on what you want to do with your body.  Remember to check with your doctor when starting a  new exercise regime so you don't create health problems. Most gyms give you a free time with a personal trainer. Extract as much information from them as you can in that time as to what would help you the most. An occasional recheck will keep you on course. Have fun. Mix it up. Change what you do so your body doesn't get used to the same old thing. Maybe your body will even impress you as time goes on.

Good luck. Let me know how well you are going and if this made any difference to how you use your time at the gym. Results? Tell me, please.