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12 Aug 2010

Confusion over gym routine
Hi Fitness Doc
Thank you for answering my question regarding the krankcycle a while ago. If you don''t mind, I''d like to clarify something else with you. I am 1,54m tall, weight 90kgs, am HIGHLY insuliin resistant (not on medication as it affects me adversely). My BMI is 34 and my body fat %''age according to the gym''s machine is 45%. My normal routine over the last 2 months has been about 40 mins of cardio on the treadmill (power walking on an incline 1,5%), the eliptical trainer and exercise bicycle. I usually combine these three in one session. Then I do about 15 minutes stretching afterward. My question : is it compulsory that I do some weight training as well? I read conflicting opinions about whether one should weight train whilst trying to lose so much weight. I know cardio works best for weight loss, but I also know that more muscle increases RMR. Am I right? What would you recommend? Shall I stick to my cardio as is or should I include some weights as well? I''m also going to be increasing gym to 4 days a week. Pllllease help me with this. I am terribly overweight and altho'' my endocrinologist is not keen to put me on medication to aid my weight loss, if I haven''t lost at least 2 kgs within the next 2 months he will. I desperately want to avoid this. I do have an eating plan he gave me as well. I trust your opinion and hope you can settle this matter for me.

Thanks again!
Answer 410 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Noleen

No, it's not compulsory, certainly not, and there is a bit of split in the thinking, as you've seen.

I think that some weight training would be beneficial though, for a couple of reasons. One you mentioned - it increases lean muscle mass, and that is beneficial for everyone, particularly if you have insulin resistance, so that will help. Then second, getting stronger means reducing injury risk, also a good thing, so that's a good reason to do some.

Now might be a good time to add it, given that you're adding a 4th day to your weekly training. This gives you a lot of time and space to play with, and the addition of a gym session with weights will give you good variety, and also hopefully some good effects.

I know from our programme on weight loss at SSISA, a lot of people really respond very well to the weight training, others not as much, and I'm never quite sure why this is. But it's a good addition, if only because it hasn't been tried yet and there's nothing to lose from doing it - it's not as though you are taking away training to do it, you're adding it.

My question re your programme so far is whether you have gotten fitter as a result? If the answer is yes, then just hang in there, keep doing what you've been doing, maybe just a little more of it per day, or walk further, cycle faster etc - small increases. If however you don't feel that you're getting fitter, then I would suggest you look at that programme, because it may not be what you need. And if you can get fitter, then you'll get healthier too.

Good luck
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