Q: Not sure if you covered this already but what does a good workout schedule look like assuming 4-5 days a week at an hour a clip? And really do I have to lift weights? I am a cardio junkie but put a weight in my hand and I am gone. BTW, I am trying to lose weight.
A: I can’t call it. I mean, it isn’t that simple as “there’s a formula for everyone,” no matter how many times the industry tells you otherwise.
The reality is that creating a caloric deficit between the amount of calories you burn in a day and the amount of calories you take in during the course of a day is going to cause weight loss. In regards to weight, that’s the bottom line.
So really, I don’t feel like this question is about weight loss… it’s more about the speed of weight loss, and that concerns me just a tad bit… especially since the question includes “really, do I have to lift weights?”
Let me tackle the weights part of the question first.
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. It’s that simple. However, please note – I lift weights because I wanted curves – I wanted hips, I wanted a nice waist, I wanted nice thighs and I didn’t want flabby arms. When that fat melts away from all that cardio, I don’t want bat wings for arms and thighs – because that can and does happen. I didn’t want to look like a ruler, either – my former curves were attributed to the fat that had built up in certain parts of my body. If I was engaging in activity that was going to directly affect those fat deposits… then I’d better do something to replace those curves ASAP if I actually wanted to keep those curves.
There’s also the issue of sustainability – developing muscle helps you in the long term because muscle requires lots of calories in order to exist. Meaning, you burn more calories by carrying muscle; this also means you can eat more without the worry of weight gain by carrying muscle.
There’s also the issue of long term protection that having muscle provides. The greatest issue with women who are middle-aged and beyond is that they often don’t have enough muscle to help them to participate in regular activity… thus causing them to lose the ability to do so. Our elders who fall and break their hips often do so because there’s no muscle there to help them when they fall, as they fall, and in the process of healing from a fall.
So, no.. you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Just know that there are benefits you miss out on by trying to ignore and avoid it… and there are consequences you’ll have to suffer, as well.
That being said… what does a good workout schedule look like?
It’s hard to say, because everyone’s goals are different. I mean, someone who’s working out to maintain a weight is going to work out less than someone determined to lose 100lbs. I’d also say that the kind of activity being considered as “the work out” matters as well, because some things simply can not – and should not – be done 7 days a week, like strength training on the same set of body parts in comparison to things that can quickly be done every day, like yoga. A person’s eating habits have to be accounted for. These are things that have to be considered. Only you can say for yourself for sure.
For me, I work out 7 days a week but that’s simply because I’m self-employed. I work from my bed, and don’t really have to leave my house if I chose not to do so. Because I’m aware of the fact that I miss out on a lot of the walking and activity that the average person engages in when they leave their house, I work out every day to accommodate what would otherwise be an extremely sedentary lifestyle. I practice yoga, I lift weights and I get in a good run each day. Feels like a lot, but it keeps me fit.
That being said… I’d caution against trying to speed burn and quickly lose any weight. You have to remember that developing a sustainable lifestyle for you and your body is what’s most important here… and the weight will come off from there.
What about you? What does YOUR workout routine look like? Do you lift weights? Spill it!