(Closed) How to find the right balance between cardio and weights?

posted 4 years ago in Fitness
Post # 2
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

bluesparkles:  You absoutely need to be doing weights to lose lbs. Cardio is good, but it wont rev up your metabolism like weight lifting will.

If free weights don’t feel right try moves that use your bosy weight or join a class…. when I was trying to lose 30 lbs I would climb the stairmaster (not the stepper, the one with real stairs) because it’s using your muscles and it works your heart/lungs at a fat-burning pace. Then I’d use the assisted dip/pull up machine before hitting the mat and doing core exercises. 

You might want to also try different classes. You body needs to be surprised to lose weight, and they’re a lot more fun than doing the same thing each time. Plus, there is someone there to push you and watch your form.

Post # 3
860 posts
Busy bee

I am in exactly the same place. Almost zero weight loss after working my ass off for the past month. Commenting to follow.

Post # 4
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

You said you try to watch calories, but how closely?  Most of weight loss comes down to diet, and a lot of research shows that people often eat back much more than they burn when they try to make a lifestyle switch and start working out.  I’d recommend using My Fitness Pal or something to track your calories….

As for weights vs. cardio, I find I can’t do much more than weights 2x week (or up to 4x week if you split them into arm day, legs day).  Your muscles definitely need a couple days to recover.

Post # 5
1282 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017 - Baton Rouge, LA

i work out with a trainer 4x a week. we hardly ever do cardio. if we do anything, we’ll run a lap or 2 inbetween weight lifting sets.

that being said, i have only gained weight & fat since i started working out. (10 months ago) and that is 100% my terrible diets fault. i’ve been doing my best to change my lifestyle and eat better, but i overeat without even realizing it. its like i go blind deaf & dumb when im around unhealthy foods and gorge myself. or i have a extra sip of something, or bite of soemthing, and those little extras add up to an extra 600 cals out of no where. 

i highly suggest taking a closer look at your eating habits. make sure you’re drinking tons of water (which im sure working out 5x a week, you must be!), watching the amount of processed foods you eat. do high protein, moderate fat & low carb. keep track with my fitness pal. follow me- ericajane515. im trying my best to improve everyday. lets do this together!

Post # 6
444 posts
Helper bee

Abs are made in the kitchen. Weight loss is at least 80% diet, 20% exercise and proper sleep. I second the recommendation about using a site like myfitnesspal to keep closer tabs on the “calories in” part of the equation. 

Use a website like this http://www.fitnessfrog.com/calculators/tdee-calculator.html

to find an estimate of how many calories your body uses in a day, and aim to eat less than that number on average each week. 

Post # 7
129 posts
Blushing bee

In my experience, lifting heavy is all it takes to lose the lbs and squating heavy is all it takes to get dat booty.

I’ve always hated cardio and honestly never saw much improvement from it (probably because it was such a chore and I hated every second of it). I’ve lost ~20 lbs (149 to 126lbs  @ 5’4″) since I started actively working out on a regular basis since June with just lifting. My routine is just to lift (deadlift, weighted squats for that great butt, and bench press until failure for each 3-5x per week). Also, in case anyone wonders, this “tones” your whole body. Spot training your abs or whatever doesn’t work since muscles lay under the fat. Lose the fat, you’ll see the muscles. You could do a million crunches and have fantastic abs… under a layer of fat so you can’t see them. I don’t actively work my abs at all (except what gets used from the lifting) and am quite happy with my stomach area. 


If I ever feel worn out or worn down, I don’t push it. I just still go to the gym with the expectation of doing only a few reps, and then usually once I’m there I’ll do way more than I thought I would since I enjoy it so much. I’m playing the long game and making an entire lifestyle change, not trying to quickly lose weight and then fluctuate back up. When working out feels like a chore I don’t do a good job. So I never force myself to do anything other than just show up to the gym. Its amazing how much enjoyment you can get out of it once you find the workout that meshes with you. 

Also, through the whole thing I never gained any scale weight from “bulking on the muscle” and any woman that I’ve met who lifts hard says its very rare for anyone to gain pounds even though muscle may weigh more than fat unless they are actively bulking. I know a lot of my female friends avoid heavy weights because they think they’ll get too muscled (I wish!). 


As for diet, I keep my calories at the 2000/day mark. If I want a burger I eat a burger. If I want pizza, I eat pizza. The rest of the day I just make sure I’m eating within my 2k cals. For me personally if I have a craving that I resist, It’ll end up poorly for me later (I’ll gorge). Also, trading out easy everyday items for just a touch healthier choices can really add up in your favor. Instead of dressing on a salad (which has scary amounts of calories), eat only veggies you actually enjoy. I hate salad and would slather the thing in dressing to make it palatable. Now I’ll just grill up some asparagus and eat them without any topings. Or tomatoes, or avacados. Whatever.

Even fast food has some choices you can do that aren’t poor- there are many choices under 500k that are still favorites. 


So in short- I eat what I want under 2000cals and lift heavy and it really works for me. Hope this helps!

Post # 8
1120 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I know most people say that strength programs are more important, but personally, when I concentrate on strength I gain more than I lose.

So after trying many things, here’s what’s been working for me in the past month (lost 5 lbs, of the 10 I was trying to lose – the last 10 are notoriously difficult!)

I track calories. This is really important. no matter how much you workout and the kind of workout, if you have more calories going in than going out, you will not lose weight.

Once you have your calorie deficit, you lose weight. Then watch what your calories are. If you want to lose fat and not muscles, you need to have enough protein in your diet. MyFitnessPal is a great app to get you to track properly.

As for workouts, I do 45 minutes of cardio every other day (spinning or running). On the other days, I do resistance workouts. Right now, the 30 day shred and a 20 minutes pilates workout. Once I’m done the 30 day shred, I’ll move on to another resistance training program that I’ll do every other day, alternating between a cardio and a resistance day. 45 minutes per day is what I aim for, with 1 to 2 rest days per week.

Post # 9
1246 posts
Bumble bee

I wouldn’t focus on the number on the scale if you’re lifting but focus on how you feel and look. Muscle weighs more than fat so you might not see progress on the scale…

Cardio burns calories but weight ligting builds muscle which burns calories all on its own…. My main focus in my routine is weight lifting. In turn I’ve gained 25lbs (my goal was 20 in lean muscle) so I don’t love the results but I’m soo much stronger and I have energy like I never imagined.

pumilionis:  Agreed! I’m terrible when it comes to my diet and I know thats why I don’t look as great as I want… Myfitnesspal has really helped me focus! I was eating to few calories of the wrong food. Now I eat more and I see a diffrence in my muscle tone even after a few days. I just have to keep up with it.

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