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Is lifting weights enough cardio?


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I am finding it really hard to do my cardio after working out.  I usually do 15 minutes before lifting, but then when I go to do the final 15-20 minutes of cardio after lifting I want to throw up within 2 minutes.  I have been lifting heavy weights (I think), 50 lbs on the squat bar, 180 on the leg press, 60 on the flyaway (where you arms are out to the side and you pull your arms together).  Just some examples :)  

5'10", female, 190 and 31 years old.  Trying to lose 15-25 more pounds, currently down from a high of 237 after my second daughter.  Just want to incorporate the best workout, and I usually go all out so it is really bothering me that I am so nauseous.

Any ideas?  Thanks!

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Weights generally don't sub for cardio unless you are doing circuits or cross training of some other specific program with weights for cardio. If you are just lifting heavy it's not cardio, it's good for many reasons, but it's not a cardio program.

You might want to try something like ginger for the nausea and see if it helps. If not you will have to examine your workout schedule, if you can't fit it in any other time you might have to do it before you lift.

Keep up the effort, its really paying off for you.

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Thanks, dabrock!  I used to do all my cardio first and then weights, but read on here that it is better to do it after.  I think my problem is that I had taken about a month off from the gym when both my daughters got sick with the flu, then I got it, so I have decided that I need to back off with my intensity a little and ease back into it.  I lowered my resistance and did 20 minutes after weights today!    

You may not be getting enough fuel to survive your workouts.  Make sure you're consuming enough complex carbohydrates so that you don't hit the wall and crash, which sounds like is happening.

"Lifting heavy" means that at about the 5th or 6th rep, it should already be burning, and getting in the 8th to 10th rep should be hard.  That last one should be a struggle.

Also try alternating days.  Weights M, W, and F, and cardio on Tues and Thurs.  Rest days are also critical.  That way, you're still getting in a good weekly workout (and calculate by week, not by day; you'll drive yourself nuts with obsession when you don't see measurable progress from one day to the next).

 

 

Original Post by dabrock:

If you are just lifting heavy it's not cardio...

Lifting heavy is absolutely cardio.

Whether it's enough depends on what you're worried about it being enough for. 

I second alternating days. 

If you work too hard......... your heart rate will get too high and cause a nauseated feeling that sucks and usually ends the workout .

Once i got a heart rate monitor to measure how hard i was working out, i was able to keep from over doing  it ; that way you can work out as long as you want.

for me....... when my heart rate gets in the 175 range i need to back off some; i can hit 180, but if i keep it going i will get that sick feeling.  So at 175 i take a breather break or just slow down (2-3minutes) and at 150 i start back going and i never get the i over did it yuk feeling.

i also dont count the time of my work out until my heart rate hits 140 - 150, i go for  40-60 minutes in the 150-175 range for cardio. i like 160-165 as my target area.

lately i have done nothing.........i hurt my shoulder.....dang it!

try a heart monitor and you can avoid the yuk feeling.

one other item.......if you still get the yuk feeling while keeping your heart rate in line with your age recommendations; you may need to see a doctor????

 

 

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by dabrock:

If you are just lifting heavy it's not cardio...

Lifting heavy is absolutely cardio.

Whether it's enough depends on what you're worried about it being enough for. 

Sorry, I don't understand your definition of cardio then...I've been lifting heavy for over 2 decades and it certainly has never been considered cardio.

 

Original Post by keithooo:

lately i have done nothing.........i hurt my shoulder.....dang it!

 

I know the feeling; shoulder injuries have been my big problem too. I've just started doing a routine to start working the rotator cuff more evenly since imbalance in the shoulder stabilizers is the big problem for many lifters.

 

 

 

I wouldn't consider lifting heavy to be cardio personally. Now lifting heavy may cause your HR to elevate. However, cardio exercise in my opinion is exercise that keeps your HR elevated for an extended period of time. Think about it. When you lift heavy, you do a set, rest a few minutes, do another set, rest a few minutes, etc.. Your HR is not being elevated for an extended period of time. There are two different ways to get a good cardio workout. The first is regular SS cardio for 30 minutes keeping your HR @ 60-70% or you can do HIIT for 10-20 minutes keeping your HR elevated in the max zones. I personally like to do cardio 4 times a week mixing it up with two HIIT sessions and two regular cardio sessions because both have their benefits.

In the past, I HATED doing cardio with a passion. However, if you can find a workout that allows you to get a cardio workout in that is actually fun (or as fun as exercise can actually be) then it isn't that bad. I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I had a great time the other night during my HIIT workout. I wasn't using any piece of cardio equipment. I will list below what I did.

My HIIT workout :

1) Burpees - 3 sets of 10 w/ minimal rest in between. This is to get warmed up.

2) Plyometric stool jumps. This was FUN! I had never done plyometrics before. However, it was great. With the stool jumps, the goal obviously is to jump up on the stool and then back down again as quickly as possible. There are four stools total and each one is higher than the one before it. I did 3 sets of 10 on each stool and took minimal rest in between each set. I really surprised myself at the end because I was able to land the jumps on the tallest stool which I thought I would never do. I guess all the squatting and deadlifting has really added to my vertical leap. By the time I was done with the fourth stool, I was toast. I was dripping sweat and huffing/puffing like nobody's business.

3) Sprinting in place. I did 3 sets of this with 20 seconds on and only 40 seconds off.

The whole thing took 15 minutes and when I was done I was literally sprawled out on the floor. However, it was the most fun I had ever had doing cardio and it felt like one of the best workouts I had ever done. I think it was the first time in my life I ever actually enjoyed doing cardio. So take it from someone who HATES cardio. It is possible to have an enjoyable cardio workout, if you manage to do it in a way that can be fun. I highly recommend plyometrics to anyone who hasn't done it. Great stuff.

Original Post by vyperman7:

 

In the past, I HATED doing cardio with a passion. However, if you can find a workout that allows you to get a cardio workout in that is actually fun (or as fun as exercise can actually be) then it isn't that bad. I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I had a great time the other night during my HIIT workout. I wasn't using any piece of cardio equipment.

It's funny, I absolutely HATED circuit training/cross fit when I was forced to do it, but now that I no longer am I actually take classes and LOVE it. Guess you just start to have fun with it when you understand the value and find a way to enjoy it.

 

 

Original Post by dabrock:

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by dabrock:

If you are just lifting heavy it's not cardio...

Lifting heavy is absolutely cardio.

Whether it's enough depends on what you're worried about it being enough for. 

Sorry, I don't understand your definition of cardio then...I've been lifting heavy for over 2 decades and it certainly has never been considered cardio.

 

I wear a heart rate monitor and when I am lifting heavy and hard and really working it my heart rate maxes out at about 167 - 170 -- understand I am 50 yrs old so this is maximum cardio workout IMHO!!!  When I do treadmill or my step aerobic classes I can't get my heart rate over 146 because my arms and legs just won't move that fast - so yea for me at least weight lifting is a much more intense cardio workout than I can ever do on a so called "cardio machine workout".  

Sitting doing measly little curls or kickbacks - no not cardio in fact I don't call those a workout. but doing a full body heavy lifting workout in the weight room is wonderful.

Original Post by dbackerfan:

Original Post by dabrock:

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by dabrock:

If you are just lifting heavy it's not cardio...

Lifting heavy is absolutely cardio.

Whether it's enough depends on what you're worried about it being enough for. 

Sorry, I don't understand your definition of cardio then...I've been lifting heavy for over 2 decades and it certainly has never been considered cardio.

 

I wear a heart rate monitor and when I am lifting heavy and hard and really working it my heart rate maxes out at about 167 - 170 -- understand I am 50 yrs old so this is maximum cardio workout IMHO!!!  When I do treadmill or my step aerobic classes I can't get my heart rate over 146 because my arms and legs just won't move that fast - so yea for me at least weight lifting is a much more intense cardio workout than I can ever do on a so called "cardio machine workout".  

Sitting doing measly little curls or kickbacks - no not cardio in fact I don't call those a workout. but doing a full body heavy lifting workout in the weight room is wonderful.

It's an intense workout but cardio requires a sustained, aerobic effort privileging the oxidation energy system and type I muscle fibres. Weight lifting in the heavy range (relative to the individual) may jump the heart rate but privileges ATP and Glycolysis as well as type II muscle fibres. 

VO2Max is what you work with cardio, so if you aren't working you VO2Max you aren't doing cardio no matter how high your heart rate spikes temporarily. I know a lot of guys who lift for 90mins or more 4 or 5 times a week who have horrible VO2Max and can barely pass the run on their military fitness tests yet they look fantastic.

I encourage more people to lift heavy, but it's not for cardiovascular training.


http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyand physiology/a/Endurance.htm

 

edit: got my muscle fibre types backwards Type I = slow twitch and Type II = fast twitch.

Original Post by dabrock

Sorry, I don't understand your definition of cardio then...

An activity that puts a stress on the cardiovascular system.

Ah yes the multiple-definition hits CC again/

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by dabrock:

If you are just lifting heavy it's not cardio...

Lifting heavy is absolutely cardio.

Whether it's enough depends on what you're worried about it being enough for. 

 Not enough if you want to exercise your heart. ENDURANCE cardio is VERY important..but you only need approx. 120 mins a week... coupled with 180 mins a week of heavy lifting..and you are doing your body very good. Most lifters take one to two min breaks bt sets...enough to bring the HR down to at least 60 percent. To keep endurance cardio, keep HR approx. 80 percent for at least 30 mins.

Supersets, a lower weight/high rep weight lifting routine is excellent strength cardio [I've hit my Max HR doing them] - - if you stick to what you should be doing.

 

Original Post by fitnessgirll:

Supersets, a lower weight/high rep weight lifting routine is excellent strength cardio [I've hit my Max HR doing them] - - if you stick to what you should be doing.

 

First time I did that type of workout I nearly threw up, it's a normal response from what I understand -- it's very intense.

 

I do cardio before and after lifting and I bring a jump rope with me. I use it between sets to keep my heart rate up and I don't "Heavy Lift" but I do increase my weights. I push the envelope on machines vs. free weights because with free weights I can get into trouble if I don't have a spotter which many times I don't. I find that the jump rope is a great way to keep the heart rate up.  

Original Post by dabrock:

Original Post by dbackerfan:


It's an intense workout but cardio requires a sustained, aerobic effort privileging the oxidation energy system and type I muscle fibres. Weight lifting in the heavy range (relative to the individual) may jump the heart rate but privileges ATP and Glycolysis as well as type II muscle fibres. 

VO2Max is what you work with cardio, so if you aren't working you VO2Max you aren't doing cardio no matter how high your heart rate spikes temporarily. I know a lot of guys who lift for 90mins or more 4 or 5 times a week who have horrible VO2Max and can barely pass the run on their military fitness tests yet they look fantastic.

I encourage more people to lift heavy, but it's not for cardiovascular training.


http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyand physiology/a/Endurance.htm

 

edit: got my muscle fibre types backwards Type I = slow twitch and Type II = fast twitch.

Well I test my VO2 max once a month and I do a variety of cardio level intensity workouts throughout the week.  Some days its just cardio -- aerobic class 2 times a week the other days tho I do weight lifting 3 days a week and then will do 15 - 20 minutes of treadmill interval training.  My VO2 averages Elite and I usually lower it just so my calorie burn isn't as much.  

I just know when I do weights my heart rate will get very hard and although I have a very quick recovery rate I can keep it elevated for some time especially while doing the NROL fat Loss III program.  Doing 10 - 12 reps of 4 different very intense lifts with no rest until the last set let me tell you 60 seconds is needed just to breath again!!

 

Original Post by dabrock:
 

VO2Max is what you work with cardio, so if you aren't working you VO2Max you aren't doing cardio no matter how high your heart rate spikes temporarily.

But heavy weight training does work VO2Max.

 

Original Post by fitnessgirll:

 Not enough if you want to exercise your heart. ENDURANCE cardio is VERY important..but you only need approx. 120 mins a week...

 

So, you need 2 hours of steady state cardio a week? says who? based on what?

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by dabrock:
 

VO2Max is what you work with cardio, so if you aren't working you VO2Max you aren't doing cardio no matter how high your heart rate spikes temporarily.

But heavy weight training does work VO2Max.

 

Original Post by fitnessgirll:

 Not enough if you want to exercise your heart. ENDURANCE cardio is VERY important..but you only need approx. 120 mins a week...

 

So, you need 2 hours of steady state cardio a week? says who? based on what?

So you mean heavy lifting always means Olympic lifting? I did Olympic lifting and power lifting and there is a world of difference and I doubt most people here have ever done a real Olympic lifting program -- including you. They are very intense, high volume low rep and several days per week.

Also, you study shows only a modest gain in peak VO2, but not running speed, exhaustion V(Max) etc. The biggest change was in anerobic V(Max) as would be expected since Olympic lifting is explosive. Pubmed is a dangerous tool if you dont understand basic science and research methodologies.

Here is something you, of course, avoided on your search http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7453510

 

 

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