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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Will doing weights at the gym affect my weight loss target?

Hi,

I lost four and a half stone in the past but put back on three of it. Used to go gym and now just started back. I only used to do cardio before but now I've returned to the gym and after reading some of your previous posts. I'm thinking of getting a programme done at the gym but I'm scared of doing weights (like most women) because although I know its better to do some weights I want to lose another one and a half stone!

I know that doing the weights will tone me up, lose dress size etc but I've got a thing about reaching my goal WEIGHT and I think if I do weights I wont get there??? and less time spent doing cardio = less calories burned = less weight lost?? Please help - confused. Will I still get to target? Currently doing: 20 minutes bike, 20 minutes treadmill and 20 minutes cross trainer.

Thanks

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

Ok, well I completely understand where you are coming from and appreciate the fear of such changes. Lets see if I cant reassure you somewhat by providing a slightly different perspective that might be useful for you to consider when looking at the cardio/strength training conundrum:

More time on cardio doesn?t necessarily mean more calories burned. What about less time spent on cardio because time spent is done at a higher intensity? You can burn just as many, (and actually more post-exercise), by training at a higher intensity of your heart rate and this method of training is what has led to the development of interval training, highly recommended in weight loss programming.

With relation to strength training it is all about how you do your strength exercises. If you sit on a machine, have 2-3minutes in between sets, then yes, you will not burn as many calories as you would doing cardio. HOWEVER, create a mini circuit of anywhere between 2-5 exercises (i.e. bodyweight squats, press ups, lunges, standing dumbbell shoulder press), doing 12-15 repetitions on each with no rest between them and you can burn MORE than from constant cardiovascular exercise, because again, you are achieving the higher heart rate method, as well as the added long-term benefit of lean muscle development which burns calories to exist on your body 24/7. This in itself means that long term any additional weight ,(which would be minimal!!!), from lean muscle tissue would have no influence.

A first step might be to integrate a small amount of strength training, i.e. two strength exercises back to back between two cardiovascular components of your workout, (like a sandwich-type format!). This will be a very different effort for your body that will appreciate the change but also, from a mental perspective it will seem like only a very small adaptation. Try it! :)

Hope this helps

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