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24 Jan 2006

Training for Weigh less members
Hi Doc,
I recently joined weigh less and the 25kg of excess weight is coming off quite nicely - a kilo a week generally.

What I need to know is, I am doing cardio exercises about 2 - 3 times a week - 15 mins on bike (level 4 at random), 20 mins on treadmill (20 mins at level 6.5) and 10 mins on the stair climber (fat burning program level 5).

While I am doing these exercises, I am really working my body quite hard but am feeling no stiffness of muscles the day after. Is it true that I have to weight/resistance train in order to really burn the fat off or should I continue the cardio and up the level and time on each machine?
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Wendy

Congratulations on your progress, it's fantastic!

To answer your question, you are on the right track, cardio is without a doubt the best way to burn fat and lose weight. The only way you will be able to lift your metabolic rate, and therefore burn more energy including fat, is by doing regular cardio training. Weight training has its place, as I will explain, but the cardio is the vital aspect that needs to be there to kickstart weight loss.

Cardio would include the activites you have been doing. It is important to exercise between 4 and 5 times a week, for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes each session. For now, because you have achieved such good results on 3 days a week, don't make any changes. However, if you find that you reach a plateau of loss in the next month or two, consider increasing to 4 or 5 days a week. It is also ideal to work at a moderate to hard intensity, but for a longer duration. You should aim to do these sessions at an intensity that allows you to complete the session without feeling completely exhausted, but having worked up a good sweat and feeling that your breathing and metabolic rate are elevated.

now, with regards to weight training, it is important because lean muscle has a naturally higher metabolic rate than fat does. So, if you can increase your lean muscle mass (by weight training) then the idea is that you will also increase the metabolic rate, which means that you will, even at rest, be able to burn more energy. Hence, you will be able to keep weight off. So, that is where it fits in. However, the most important thing is to get started and to actually lose weight, you must be doing cardio training - the increase you get in metabolic rate during a 30 minute bout of cardio (and for the few hours after) far outweighs the weight training increases, and so if it's weight loss you are after, then cardio is the way to go. Once you have achieved weight loss, or you are still busy achieving it, then the weight training becomes important to sustain it.

Hope this helps
Regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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