Posted by: Jane | 2009/04/14

Cardio needs weight training?

Hi Fitness Doc,

I have a rather loaded question. I am a 24 year old female. I was always very overweight when I was young and I whatever. When I was 15, I decided to take control. I started off by speed walking 30min a day and went from 76kgs to 63kgs. I started going to gym a while after and went to the Biokineticist and she gave me some good advice and workouts to do and I went down to 58kgs whilst eating very healthily. My weight yo-yo' d quite a bit from 18 to now. I quite gym when I was 19 and started doing Taebo off DVD' s and went down to about 52kgs, but also went through a very depressive stage and hardly ate for 8 months and went down to 49kg' s. I sorted myself out and started eating healthy again and I don' t have issues with eating anymore. I started running last year around May, but only started pushing myself around November last year. I am on my 15km this week, increasing each week to try and get to half a marathon. I am not losing weight, but I feel that I should be quite a bit smaller for the amount of exercise I do. I run about 4 times a week and do Taebo once a week. I' m not at a gym, so I can' t do weight/resistance training even though I' d like to, but can' t afford it. I weigh 58kg' s and I' m 1.67m tall. I alternate breakfast between Oatso Easy (Apple &  Cinnamon) and Jungle B-Fast (Original) and the GI Lean Shake, lunch is Tuna Salad or Veggies and Chicken and occasionally Buckwheat Pasta or Sushi, dinner is GI Lean Shake or a lean piece of meat with salad. So, to the questions... (1) Am I eating right for the kind of exercise that I do? If not, how should I be eating to help me lose some weight? (gluten &  dairy intolerant friendly). (2) Is it very important that I do weight training with my running and will it help me with it? (3) Should I be losing any more weight or is 58kgs right for my age and length or should I just do exercises to tone myself up, because I don' t feel lean? If so, what should I do?

Apologies for the lengthy message. Thanks Doc!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Jane

So you're now at 58kg, which is a pretty good weight for you given your height. It's perhaps not that surprising then that you're not losing weight, because you might not have any weight to lose. The size issue is another story - I don't know your body structure so I'm guessing, but changing size (as opposed to weight) often takes a lot longer to do, and maybe you just need more time. Again, though, this is a perception, and you've gone through some pretty extreme weight changes in the last six years, so maybe on a settled, stable routine like the one you're hopefully starting out on, you'll see it start to settle with regards to body appearance as well.

As for the weight training question, that might help a little, and you could do body weight work as well - lunges, pushups, squats, dips etc. I'm not sure that'll help you that much, but it's certainly worth adding. On the diet, I'm going to have to pass and refer you to a dietician for advice in that area, because that's very specific. It's important and I'd certainly advise that you look into it. And I'd be treading into an unknown area to give that advice.

So bottom line, I think you should focus on working on your fitness levels, continue to improve your running and let the weight take care of itself. Just go for stablity, as I said, because things have been very up and down for you and the stable routine will be very helpful. So set a short and medium term goal, neither of which involves weight and then just stick with that.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jane | 2009/04/21

Thank you so much, FitnessDoc! I think I just need to tone up, because even though my size is not that big, I just feel quite flabby. So I will most definitely take up some weight/resistance/stability exercises. Thanks!

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