This is just one question out of many! View the full listing of FAQs here.
Should I Lift Weights Or Just Do Cardio For Fat Loss?
I am a 16 year old guy, about 5' 7" and I've been working out for a year now. I've gone from 230 pounds to 194 pounds, so I have been making a lot of progress. I've been reading your Q & A articles and I decided to see if you can help me because you seem to know what you're talking about.
I am combinding weights with cardio... is that good or bad? I want to get huge muscle wise, but my goal is to get down to 180 first. Do you think it would be better to just do hardcore cardio and leave the weights for now, or continue doing what I'm doing?
P.S. You guys should do more articles for endomorphs!
Let me give you a very easy answer to your question...NO, you shouldn't drop the weight training from your program. The weight training is one of the most important factors in maintaining your muscle mass while trying to lose bodyfat. I would say that if you dropped it and continued to perform the cardio in the same manner you would lose a considerable amount of muscle mass. I call this "soft aerobics instructor syndrome". Now, before all aerobics instructors start emailing me hate mail let me explain. Ever notice how there are aerobics instructors that teach many classes a week yet look very soft and flabby? (Have you seen Richard Simmons??) Simply put, they are lacking lean body mass and have overdone the aerobics aspect. Another easy comparison is the physiques of sprinters versus long-distance runners.
Now, I can't really comment on your "cardio" program. What does cardio mean? I can make people's heart rate rise a million different ways. My preference is to perform high-intensity work with brief rest intervals. You can check my article on interval training for further details and I just posted some details on density training in my Q & A column.
Your last statement about endomorphs brings up an interesting fallacy. How has it become that we so easily accept that there are only three forms of body structure? Most people are a combination of various types. I am 6'4" and relatively long levers and small frame. However, I don't train much differently than other lifters. I will certainly be at a disadvantage in overall weights for certain lifts, but I can still remain very competitive. Don't use your body structure or genetics as an excuse for not accomplishing your goals.