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what is the right ratio...


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If anyone feels inclined, I was just wondering:

 

what is the best ratio of cardio to strength someone should do to lose weight (20 lbs) and gain some muscle?? I love cardio but I know it can be overdone and that strength is really the best way to increase your metabolism...

 

any thoughts would be appreciated!

 

thanks

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It depends on the intensity of your weightlifting sessions. Some people talk during their workouts and take 5 minutes break between each set and they almost fall asleep on the bench. They lose all the benefits of physical activities.

 

If your intensity level is low, do also some cardio sessions to burn more calories.

If it's high intensity, no need to do cardio.

 

If you only wanna do weightlifting and in a way that is optimum for burning more calories, try circuit training, which is series of multiple exercises each working different muscles simultanously with almost no rest between each. With 25 reps series instead of 8-12.

 

If your primary goal is to build lean mass, then I heard no cardio at all is ideal; only lift heavy weights, eat, rest.

If your primary goal is to lose weight, weightlifting at moderate intensity is still kind of cardio, so as long as you eat less than you should, you're gonna lose weight, and still build muscles at same time (the body can use the calories from bodyfat to build new muscles, as long as there's enough proteins in your diet)

 

I guess 3 cardio sessions of 30 minutes per week is not too much.

Doing 1h30 of cardio 5 days/week would be too much.

 

And preferably, do the cardio on different days then weightlifting, or at least 6 hours before if the same day.

 

But all this is theories.

The HIT system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_intensity_training) merges cardio and weightlifting in the same exercices and it seems to work. Actors from the movie "300" built their physiques using this method.

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thanks! that all makes a lot of sense. I have not used actual weight since I was about 8 months pregnant and stopped working out... post partum I have only done resistance and cardio... I think I should cut back on the cardio and add some weight. I hit the gym today for the first time after a 1 month hiatus and dang, it felt good to be back! I am looking forward to some more challenging strength training and I will definitely use your guidelines to reach my goals! thanks again!

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I don't believe there is any "right" ratio. I think that for women, whose body fat ratios are higher than men, it's very important to increase our muscle mass FIRST, before trying to lose fat by doing cardio. Cardio does not add lean mass and can remove lean mass along with fat. I weigh the same amount as I did a year ago but have exchanged about 12 lbs of fat for 12 lbs of muscle - with little or no cardio. I'm not suggesting that you leave out cardio if you enjoy it. I'm just pointing out that there are many ways to go about losing fat.

 

Good luck with your goals!

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Studies show that high intensity exercise burns more total fat than lower intensities - while more moderate "cardio" exercise may burn a higher % of FAT, the total amount is greater as intensitiy increases. Of course diet is the main factor in fat loss, see my other posts for details. Google "Effect of exercise intensity on 24-h energy expenditure and nutrient oxidation" and read the discussion section for a good review of the science. The researchers concluded:

"In conclusion, we have found that exercise intensity has no effect on 24-h EE measured by using whole room indirect calorimetry. Furthermore, low- and high-intensity aerobic exercise, matched for energy expended during exercise, have similar effects on 24-h nutrient oxidation. We therefore conclude that low-intensity exercise does not promote greater "fat burning," as has been popularized among the lay press. Women appear, however, to have slightly greater rates of fat oxidation during and after exercise, and this gender difference may be greatest after high-intensity exercise. This suggests that, as a result of high-intensity exercise, women preferentially rely on fat oxidation, thereby sparing carbohydrate reserves during waking and active periods."

 

Here is a direct link to the discussion section:

http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/92/3/1045#SEC3

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thanks DV and veganmaster! I really appreciate all of the input.....

 

 

"Furthermore, low- and high-intensity aerobic exercise, matched for energy expended during exercise, have similar effects on 24-h nutrient oxidation. We therefore conclude that low-intensity exercise does not promote greater "fat burning," as has been popularized among the lay press."

 

I was definitely under the impression (based on the stuff I had read in magazines and heard at the gym) that lower intensity exercise was more "fat burning"- thanks for that link veganmaster.

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thanks DV and veganmaster! I really appreciate all of the input.....

 

I was definitely under the impression (based on the stuff I had read in magazines and heard at the gym) that lower intensity exercise was more "fat burning"- thanks for that link veganmaster.

 

My pleasure! The reality reflected in the studies rarely makes a good transition into popular culture! My pet theory is that simple memes nearly always outcompete more nuanced truth memes, regardless of objective truthiness, but of course even that is oversimplification, lol. Quality evidence is the key to knowledge - and calorimetry is the gold standard in metabolism research. But it is restrictive and expensive so there are far more crappy correlational/survey studies done, and those are the types of studies that the mainstream likes to use, because you can always get the result you want by cherry picking correlational data. In fact designing a study to get the marketing result you want is a highly desirable and well-compensated talent in capitalist systems.

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I don't think there's any magic number. You should experiment with different workout routines and find what your body seems to react the best to. Everyone is different, and what is right for *you* may even change from week to week. Listen to your body and you'll find your balance.

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. I weigh the same amount as I did a year ago but have exchanged about 12 lbs of fat for 12 lbs of muscle - with little or no cardio.

 

That's pretty ideal as far as dieting goes, isn't it?

You lost some fat and your metabolism rate is higher which means the fat is not likely to return (plus, muscle mass is awesome)

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