To do cardio/weights or just cardio? To have protein or not?

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  • June 13, 2006 at 4:25 pm #551

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been reading this site for a while, but I’ve never posted. But now I’m confused and I need to ask some questions.

    I’m a 26 year old female and I have about 40kgs to lose.

    I’ve been looking through different discussion threads on this site, plus many other sites, and frankly I’m a little confused. 😕

    I’ve had people saying to me that I need to do nothing but cardio, that I have enough muscle (I was a dancer when I was younger), and that cardio will be enough to help me lose that much weight.

    I keep reading things, and it says to do minimal cardio and heavier weights?

    Then to do cardio every day or 2 or 3 times a week?

    Then, I read do cardio and light weights, with higher reps.

    Then I’ve been told, don’t have protein shakes, because you should be able to get enough protein out of your diet, and by having protein shakes 1 or 2 times per day, is more protein than a professional athlete uses.

    But then, other things I’ve read, say have protein shakes as meal replacements, after work outs etc?

    I am so TOTALLY confused by it all?

    I get bored doing just cardio, and really want to do weights, but feel useless doing light weights with high repetitions. I like the challenge of lifting weights. I’m not very fit either, so I know that I have to do some cardio to improve on this. So ultimately my goals are fat/weight loss and fitness.

    So what I think I would like to do is, cardio, followed by a challenging weight session, 3 to 4 times per week, followed by a protein shake after a workout? Can someone please help me.



    June 13, 2006 at 9:46 pm #2704


    You’ve pretty much worked things out for yourself.

    Stick with your weight training sessions, you can go heavy if you want, try keeping rest intervals short. Or instead, of increasing weight, decrease the rest interval.

    Do some form of cardio on non-training days, mix this up, even a good long hike counts. Daily training works best for females, males can get away with less frequent training.

    Don’t do cardio before weight training, do it after!

    Diet will be very important. You’ll need to sort what works best for you.

    Protein shakes are not essential but I’d certainly recommend having a protein and carb shake after each weight training session even if you’re low carbing it.

    Otherwise protein shakes and MRP just provide a convenient way of meeting your diet/meal plan at times when whole food meals are difficult (eg you should be having a meal with some protein every 2-3 hours). Aim for 90% compliance.

    That’s about it. Whatever you decide to do, make a plan, follow for a couple of weeks and then assess progress. If things aren’t going the way you want, adjust the plan and repeat. Theoretically this approach should work even if decided to spend the first week sitting infront of the telly watching the soccer because in two weeks time you’d find you needed to change the plan.


    June 14, 2006 at 6:53 am #2705

    Thanks very much for that Dr J. It’s cleared it up a bit. Now to get a weight program!!!


    June 14, 2006 at 7:52 am #2706


    Weight training will be ideal for you. You will get noticable results very quickly which is positive reinforcement and great for motivation/willpower. Also the additional muscle that your body has to support is burning calories all the time.

    You can work out whether you need supplements by working backwards. Determine the number of calories that you need in order to achieve your goals, work out the breakdown of protein/carbs and fats that those calories will come from and then as you plan your meals you just decide whether you can eat all the protein that you need or whether you need a supplement. Derek Amos had a great calculator on this site that did most of those calculations for you if you haven’t done them already.

    The real secret to fat loss is your total calories. You would probably be amazed how much exercise you need to do to lose a tiny amount of weight.

    Combining weights with cardio and a good diet you will get there as quickly as possible because all three will be in your favour.

    Good luck

    June 16, 2006 at 3:59 am #2707

    A weights program is a bit of a learning curve. You may take a fair while to work out the good and bad of a program. Actually after say 2-3 years it falls into place, with a good measure of what does what, and whats freakin useless.

    Unfortunately its trial and error, unless your father was a weight lifter and just passes on his experiences.

    So, you’ll need a trainer who is like a father to cut through the bullshit and get somewhere -> faster. DA

    June 18, 2006 at 1:05 pm #2708

    Thanks for all your replies, I’m lucky enough to have a personal trainer on staff at work. He’s available at any time to give us programs and to do assessments at regular intervals. (and even better, work pays for it!!)



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