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Cutting-back on exercise



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PRINCESSD1511
SparkPoints: (18)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 6
8/8/12 7:52 P

Thank you so much for your feedback! Although I am a little unsure about cutting-back my workouts, I know it is probably for the best. I have heard that toning down exercise for awhile and then upping it again can actually be beneficial, so I guess if need be I could always do that ... Lol. Has anyone else heard anything like that?

Also, when people say that the scale may go up a little at first, but then it all "evens out", does that mean the added water-weight comes back off? I know it all takes a little while to work itself out, but is it possible to normalize my metabolism again?

Once again, THANK YOU ALL SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,664
8/8/12 9:20 A

One more voice to add to the chorus about cutting some of that cardio, and adding in some strength training.

The big problem with lots of exercise, and not enough intake to support it is that over time the body can try to close the calorie deficit by slowing your metabolism, sacrificing muscle to preserve fat, etc. Not only is this unhealthy, but it hurts your longer term weight loss efforts.

Including ST in your program tells your body you need that muscle, and helps ensure that more of your weight loss comes from fat alone.

Also, generally speaking, once you get to being able to work out for 30-40 minutes, you are generally better off adding more intensity to your cardio, rather than more time. This gets your heart rate higher, giving you more fitness benefits, and will allow you to burn the same number of calories in less time.

M@L



DMJAKES
Posts: 1,546
8/8/12 8:23 A

Princess - you've been given a lot of good advice already. I would add to cut down/change things around SLOWLY. Try cutting a half hour out of each cardio session this week, then another half hour after a few weeks or a month. That way, the decrease in cardio/increase in calories won't be such a shock to your system, and any swings on the scale should be temporary.

Keep in mind that it's intensity that matters with cardio, not duration. Try a half hour of intervals on the treadmill, or adding some sprints to your run. It'll wear you out a lot quicker, and give your cardiovascular system a much better workout, thus giving you more bang for your cardio "buck".

I do want to chime in with those who said to add strength training to your routine. A full body workout 2 or 3 times a week will reshape your body and help build muscle you may have lost.

You are quite a trooper---I would rather poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick than do that much cardio emoticon



KFWOHLFORD
SparkPoints: (2,869)
Fitness Minutes: (2,501)
Posts: 729
8/8/12 7:20 A

I've been adding in 2.5 hour workouts a few days a week (taking one full rest day, and limiting other days to one hour or just yoga). Been wondering if i'm exercising too much, but yeah, it's addictive, you feel so great after!

To the original poster: strength training should be added in 2 days a week (you can do 30 mins cardio, 30 mins strength if you want), one day off and if you want, you can do longer workouts 2-3 days per week. Just make sure you're eating enough, you should be eating in maintenence mode now, and a bit extra protein on long workout days.

Remember that pro athletes and dancers exercise like 6-8 hours a day and humans used to farm all day long. We're built to be active more than 1 hour a day if need be, we're just raised to think it's normal to lead a largely sedentary life and maybe exercise a little if we feel like it.

Edited by: KFWOHLFORD at: 8/8/2012 (07:23)


BOB240
SparkPoints: (5,820)
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
Posts: 349
8/8/12 5:38 A

Just to add. As part of my "maintenance" plan I'm about to create a spark team with a detailed programme which is fully periodized to develop strength, lactic tolerance and VO2 max by using only 3 hours a week in the gym (like you I am guilty of liking the gym too much so must cut down) . The slight downside is that the routine has a quite stringent entry point so probably wouldn't be of use to you. But when it appears you might cast an eye over it to get a better idea of what might work.



BOB240
SparkPoints: (5,820)
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
Posts: 349
8/8/12 5:32 A

The unsaid thing here is that cardio at your level is a little bit addictive. I don't like cardio for training but I will quite often go out for a long relaxing run at 75% pace just to meditate - take in scenery - relax. I also use running to explore new cities - or wherever I'm staying which is new.You're probably at this point.

There is a difference between training to lose a lot of weight and training for health and fitness. The latter usually requires real strength training (lifting heavy weights) with a view to strengthening bones, balancing out muscle strength (prevents joint problems) and moving to very short high intensity cardio sessions (by short I mean bursts of one minute - no more) There is some evidence to suggest that the latter reduces cholesterol and blood fat, and develops your heart and lungs better.

As suggested above I think you now need a more sophisticated training programme - running/cardio in isolation is not "efficient"







SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,356
8/7/12 11:14 P


Your cardio is excessive unless you are training for a marathon or other endurance event, period. Cardio done in excess is a stress produced. Stress elicits the hormone cortisol which is a fat retaining hormone. You can reduce scale weight with diet and an exclusive cardio workout but you have also wasted muscle.

You have no need to do more than 30 minutes of cardio in a workout since cardio only improves your cardiorespiratory system not your total body fitness. You need to do strength training to obtain true overall fitness and not end up skinny fat.



JADOMB
SparkPoints: (74,845)
Fitness Minutes: (19,493)
Posts: 1,623
8/7/12 10:39 P

While you gave us good info on your workout, you didn't give us much info on your nutrition or even how much you lost in how much time, etc. So your times don't give anyone much to work with.

That being said, it sure sounds like you do way too much cardio. Do more reading on this site and you should be able to see what the general advice is. Such as 80/20 rule of nutrition over exercise. And exercise should be more focused on ST than cardio. Just so much info to work with in trying to help someone with their goals or maintenance.

Sounds like you did well in losing whatever amount of weight you were going after. But you may have done yourself some harm if you did it in the wrong way. Anyway, give us more data and we can try to get you on the right track. Keep the faith.



MPLANE37
SparkPoints: (62,547)
Fitness Minutes: (32,567)
Posts: 2,148
8/7/12 10:25 P

If you have been working out a lot but with basically doing the same cardio exercise, it may be that your body got extremely efficient and you were making do with the restricted calories despite working out too long.

However, this may be totally wishful thinking as well. It may be that you were consuming lean tissue too.

I think to maintain your current body you may be better off with a combination of ST and cardio than with too much cardio alone. If you do sufficient ST, you will either reduce your body fat % a lot, which is not as problematic as losing lean tissue, or you will get quite hungry so either way you won't be able to exercise burning muscle.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (55,021)
Fitness Minutes: (14,173)
Posts: 9,523
8/7/12 8:55 P

If you have been undereating for a while, you may see a slight upward shift when you return to a healthier calorie deficit, but it's likely just temporary, and you'll balance it out. Exercise is one of those things where less can definitely be more!

I actually did something like this. I was on a plateau for two months. I was eating a good bit, but I was working out a LOT...1-2 hours a day (usually two) with a lot of strength training on consecutive days (big nono) and I was basically overtraining.

I hit a lazy patch this summer... and I started losing weight! Nothing changed but less exercise.

You don't mention any strength training, and that's a big thing missing in your program. If you aren't strength training, your body is burning muscle as well as fat! Cut back that cardio, and add a good, challenging total-body strength program. YOu'll start to look better in the skin you're in!



EMMANYC
Posts: 1,702
8/7/12 8:15 P

Good for you for spotting the issue and trying to do something about it.

I would suggest that you make some gradual changes in your exercise and eating habits. For example, if you aren't already taking a full rest day from cardio, I recommend that you do so. Your body needs a day off per week to repair itself. On your rest day, you can do some light exercise (gentle walk, gentle yoga etc) but try to keep it mellow. If it feels like too much of a shock to drop one day a week altogether, try cutting your workout in half on Day 7 for a few weeks, and then transition to a full rest day.

Then try cutting back some of the cardio time on your workout days and replace it with strength training. (Not sure if you're doing anyway right now.) Strength training helps you build and maintain muscle, which keeps your metabolism up (so that you can eat more). For example, replace 20 minutes 3x per week of cardio with strength training.

Then after a few weeks, cut back some more on cardio on a couple of days per week. You might still have one "long workout day", but think about shortening your workouts on some other days. One day you might just do 30 minutes plus ST; another day you might do 45 minutes, and another you might do 60. On the shorter workout days, think about increasing the intensity and changing up the activity to challenge yourself in new ways. That will keep exercise interesting, so you don't burn out.



FITWITHIN
SparkPoints: (247,867)
Fitness Minutes: (178,080)
Posts: 19,492
8/7/12 8:08 P

Try taking a boot camp class a couple days a week. This way your getting cardio and strength training at the same time.



PRINCESSD1511
SparkPoints: (18)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 6
8/7/12 8:03 P

I have recently realized (and yes I am that clueless that it is only just occuring to me now) that I am doing a little too much exercise now that I am in maintance. For awhile now I have been doing 2.5hrs of cardio a day (1hr on elliptical, 1.5 running). Furthermore, I had been doing this without upping my caloric-intake...which according to my friend whom is in school for nutrition, is going to backfire big-time because I am creating too much of a calorie deficit. Now that this has all been brought to my attention, I do want to change it as my main goal/priority is of course to be healthy!!! However, after working so hard to get to my goal weight I am a little nervous how this change is going to affect me. As I have been doing this amount of exercise for awhile, is my body accostumed to it and now requires that amount of activity to maintain? If I tone-down my exercise to a more reasonable amount, do you think I'll have trouble maintaining? As I am still only eating my minimum level right now I definetly am not going to decrease my caloric-intake even though my exercise will be less. Will that matter, or should my body put the fuel I'm giving it into better use now, rather than "storing it" as my friend suggested? I seriously can't believe I messed this up...lol...I really am just trying to be healthly!!! The bottom-line is that I now know I need to make a change, so that is exactly what I'm going to do...I'm just not so great with taking that leap of faith and waiting to see what happens...lol. So, if anyone has been through anything similar and has advice, it would be much, much appreciated!!!



 
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