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Question
Posted by: halo | 2007/03/05

Cardio &Weights:What combination works

Hi there

I was wandering if you could please help me figure out the best combination for using weights and doing cardio training. I am 56kg and 155 cm tall. In recent years I have lost weight and gained muscle, meaning I weigh more-even though I am slimmer than before. I’d like to lose more weight especially around my hips and waist area. At the moment I go to the gym 3/4 times a week and run for 30 min s twice a week. I’d like to know when I go to gym should I concentrate the full hour on cardio one day and the next day a full hour on weights, or should I break it up into 30min cardio and 20 min weights 10 min abs?
Which combination will be most effective in me losing weight as well as toning?

Thanks in advance for your advice

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Our expert says:
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Hi Halo

I would actually advise against getting too focused on losing weight. I think that your current weight is within the normal range for your height and so that means that weight loss is going to prove more difficult than it would if you weight 80kg, for example. It's far easier to lose weight then than it is when you have maybe 1 or 2 kg to lose, at a maximum.

On top of that, you have seen progress in recent times, which means you may be approaching a plateau. That's not to say you cannot still lose weight, because of course, you may very well be able to. But it should not be your main goal. Instead, my advcie is that you focus on getting fitter, and making the most of those training sessions in the gym by focusing on how you feel and how you look. In fact, don't stand on a scale until about Mid-April, because that's the length of time you need to get past the initial increases in muscle that can easily be discouraging if you are stuck on the scale number.

So what I suggest is that you concentrate primarily on cardio, doing at least 3 or 4 days a week of 1 hour cardio, and on the other 2 days a week, do the weight training. So rather than alternating weights to cardio in a one-to-one manner, make cardio at least 3 out of 5 days of your training. So that's the current 2 running days a week, added to one more day of cardio in the gym (why not join a spinning class, or maybe taebo, or running in the gym?), and then on the other two days a week, do a decent weight session.

But as I say, if you can focus on getting fitter, so that you run further in those 30 minutes, then you will lose weight naturally, as a ceonsequence, and that's the way to do it.

Good luck

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