Fitness
Moderators: melkor


Squats, lunges, and deadlifts...explain please!


Quote  |  Reply

Ok I see these 3 exercises thrown around this forum ALL the time. What are they? How do I execute them in proper form? What muscles am I targeting and what will it help do for my body. I'm trying to lose fat in my lower stomach. I know cardio is the only way to lose fat and I do a TON of it, but then I see everyone saying that you lose more fat if you do weight training and cardio and that lunges, squats, and dead lifts are the best for it. Help me please! I just want to get my body bathing suit ready!

46 Replies (last)
The best way to lose fat is eating right. Exercise(weight training and cardio) helps create your caloric deficit but to me food is most important. Strength training comes next. It helps reshape the body by adding lean muscle. building and keeping lean muscle keeps your metabolic rate up which will help keep the fat off. Cardio is good but not more important than diet and strength training concerning fat loss.

Squats, dead lifts and lunges are multi joint movements which incorporate many muscles working together at once. The body seems to respond better to full body/compound movements. You can find video of these exercises at exrx.net, but I would probably work with someone qualified who can show in person.

1. Diet!!! 2.Strength!! 3. Cardio!

First of all, cardio is not the only way to burn fat, the only way to burn fat is to burn more calories than you consume.  Cardio might increase the amount of calories you burn, but other forms of exercise can increase your caloric burn more efficiently than cardio.  This article explains it.

Here are videos showing the exercises you asked about:

Squats

Deadlifts

Lunges

Original Post by lafoutloud01:

 I know cardio is the only way to lose fat and I do a TON of it, but then I see everyone saying that you lose more fat if you do weight training and cardio and that lunges, squats, and dead lifts are the best for it. Help me please! I just want to get my body bathing suit ready!

 

 Actually you lose more fat lifting weights. Studies have shown dieters didn't lose any more fat when adding cardio. Dieters who lifted weights lost much more fat.

Here's a great resource for those exercises which shows you how to do them and what muscles are worked:

Squats
Lunges
Deadlifts

There are many different types of each, but those are the basics

I hate you floggingsully

Those weights look so heavy! I don't know if I can do that! I'm a tiny teenage girl, I don't want to bulk up!

 

Bulking up from lifting weights is not the common outcome; think "urban myth". The amount of additional calories that you need to consume over your base metabolic rate in order to increase the size of your muscles is significant.


If you lift weights, you will strengthen your muscles. You will increase your muscle density, which will then increase your base metabolic rate -which leads to your body consuming calories (and fat as fuel) faster. Weightlifting is the path to weight loss - not cardio. Cardio increases the volumetric capacity of your lungs and heart - moving more oxygen and blood through you system. If cardio was the only way to lose weight - can someone explain to me why there is such a thing as "Clydesdale" class in virtually every road race - for guys like me who run all the time and still weigh over 200 lbs? If cardio resulted in weight loss - there'd be no Clydesdale class.

Tiny and teenaged? I can't speak for the teenager part - but go to this link:

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.htm l

and scroll down to "Girls go Overhead". Watch the video. After that, tell me that  "tiny" can't lift heavy weights, and that lifting heavy weights will make girls bulk up. The two ladies in this video have been lifting heavy weights for years.


Stay safe - and lift


Rb

Original Post by lafoutloud01:

Those weights look so heavy! I don't know if I can do that! I'm a tiny teenage girl, I don't want to bulk up!

 Start with light weights and get your form right.  Lift in front of a mirror so you can watch your form or have someone watch you and help you with it.  Once you get the comfortable with the form after a time or two then start upping the weight until you get to a point where you are pushing yourself.  I generally try to stay with a weight that I can lift no more than 3 sets of 10.  Once I can do 3 sets of 10 I move up to the next notch (5-10 lbs).  If you are eating right along with the weight lifting you will be suprised at the results both in lost fat and gained strength.  Give it a solid 3-4 months of serious effort and see where you are at.  I think you will be pleased.

hey, spiro,

Studies have shown dieters didn't lose any more fat when adding cardio. Dieters who lifted weights lost much more fat.

You mean, someone who eats 1600 calories and goes running doesn't lose more fat than someone who eats 1600 calories and doesn't go running? Huh? What studies show that?  What about calories in / calories out?

Or do you mean that cardio doesn't burn more fat than other kinds of exercise?

From the study the melkor often posts, I think it is more that the relative amount of fat vs muscle that is lost between diet only, diet and cardio, and diet, cardio, and weights is different. I think diet only and diet and cardio both have around the same ratio, but if you add weights, more of the weight loss is from fat loss, not muscle loss.

Does that sound right?

yes, but that's ratio, but not total.   cardio burns calories, and that will results in more weight loss if the person's at a deficit.  if someone doesn't lift weights, they'll lose more muscle.

Ok well this is all very helpful! Today at the gym I did lunges. I held two weights of 5 lbs in each hand and did 3 sets of 10 on each side. I think it would probably be helpful. I also held plank position for 10 mississippi's a few times to help increase total body strength. I'm still a little wary of the squats and deadlifts but I noticed at my gym they just have weighted bars and I think I'm going to build up my confidence and try them the next time I'm at the gym (tomorrow). Does what I did sound good? I'm still going to keep up my cardio and healthy diet to make sure I'm losing weight and now I'll add the weights to make sure I'm losing fat not muscle

Original Post by alevin:

yes, but that's ratio, but not total.   cardio burns calories, and that will results in more weight loss if the person's at a deficit.  if someone doesn't lift weights, they'll lose more muscle.

 The study is looking at fat loss only since that is the most relevant part of weight loss. 

Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).

The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn't result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.

The summary is that by adding cardio to the diet it was 1 pound more lost but by adding the weight training it was 7 lbs.  Also think that it takes 3500 calories for a pound of fat so your typical 300 calorie burn from cardio would take 12 days to reach that pound.  But if you add weight training your 300 burn is coupled with another 100 calories for repair now your burn for the exercie for the day is 700 or 1 pound every five days.

There's also this one by Strasser et.al which compared the difference between a 500cal deficit from diet and a 500cal-deficit from essentially zero-impact exercise - what is normally termed NEPA or Non-Exercise Physical Activity.

 It's one of those studies that kinda makes you go "huh?" - because really, what made them want to figure out the difference between having a deficit from not eating enough calories to maintain your weight while not exercising or ..not eating enough calories to maintain your weight while not exercising?

 I mean, they used walking to create the deficit, and as the results show, there was negligible adaptive stress on the people involved in the study, there was barely any detectable difference between groups. Okay, some statistically significant differences in lactic acid accumulation and power output, but compared to the observable changes in a training regime with higher impact exercise it's el zippo, if you did 4 minutes of Tabata intervals 3 times a week you'd beat that result by the end of the first week, never mind after 8.

 Still. In the Kramer study, the people who lost an additional  pound of fat did cardio 3 times weekly for 12 weeks.  Lot of work for no real result, wouldn't you say?

 Well, considered for the impact on fat loss anyway. Betcha the participants reached a higher level of cardio fitness through the exercise regime, which is a valuable contribution to your life in and of itself. 

ok, I'm confused. In the kramer study did the people doing cardio run a larger deficit? Or did they "eat back" what they exercised.

Cardio 3x/week for 12 weeks. Say, 1200-1500 calories per week with one long, one medium, and one intense workout. That sounds like it would add up to 4-6 extra lbs. I don't see how the math works that you could burn more calories and not lose more weight.

On the deadlift exercise the guy at one point does not have his back vertical.... I thought this was a great way to injure your lower back?
Original Post by roj47:

On the deadlift exercise the guy at one point does not have his back vertical.... I thought this was a great way to injure your lower back?

 You can't keep your back vertical in a deadlift.  You need to keep it straight as you bend down and up with the weight.  Easiest to accomplish if you keep your head up.

Original Post by lafoutloud01:

Ok well this is all very helpful! Today at the gym I did lunges. I held two weights of 5 lbs in each hand and did 3 sets of 10 on each side. I think it would probably be helpful. I also held plank position for 10 mississippi's a few times to help increase total body strength. I'm still a little wary of the squats and deadlifts but I noticed at my gym they just have weighted bars and I think I'm going to build up my confidence and try them the next time I'm at the gym (tomorrow). Does what I did sound good? I'm still going to keep up my cardio and healthy diet to make sure I'm losing weight and now I'll add the weights to make sure I'm losing fat not muscle

 I think that sounds like a great start.  Way to go!  Starting with the weighted bars is a great way to go and build your confidence.  If you are easily doing the 3 sets of 10 though you will want to move very quickly up the weights until you start pushing yourself a bit more to really get some benefit.  As you go on this your legs and butt will get sore.  Give yourself a rest day or two in between your heavy workouts.   That's when you can do your cardio or some light walking.  Mix in some upper body work as well inbetween your lower body days.  You can do it.

I yet to see any study that compared a "normal" cardio exercise program to a "normal" weight lifting program to measure differences in fat loss.  Probably because there is no agreement on what is normal but I haven't even seen a study that compares the recommended 60 minutes a day 6 days a week of cardio versus the recommended 60 minutes a day three days a week of resistance training.  I would love to see that.

The only meaningful studies I have seen so far indicate that calories in vs. calories out is the only thing that matters for fat loss.
 True that - the prime determinant if success in weight loss is diet and energy balance. There's no way around that - you need a consistent calorie deficit; and cardio training is excellent for helping you create that deficit without excessively restricting calorie intake.

 From the Kramer study design it appears that all participants maintained roughly the same average calorie deficit over the course of the study - participants lost about 20lbs over the course of 12 weeks, roughly 1.67lbs a week. Which is consistent with maintaining a deliberate calorie deficit corresponding to the 1% of bodyweight a week rule, neh?  And you can see that the weight loss was basically the same between groups - which is what you'd expect to find, that the calorie deficit alone is responsible for weight loss. Which is the very unsurprising finding from Strasser.

 Thing is, there's a decided difference in effect on body composition from the different exercise regimes, as you can see in both the Kramer and Hunter studies. Strength training in a calorie deficit allows you to mostly retain your existing muscle mass, which neither diet nor diet+cardio does. But again, note that in the studies the groups are diet, diet+cardio, and diet+cardio+strength training. There's no diet+strength training group.

 Now, personally, I have only been doing consistent strength training along with my diet and have had considerable success - I've done intermittent and unplanned cardio in a haphazard fashion, but not enough to be called training by any means; and I've had the expected results - loss of fat while maintaining lean mass in a calorie deficit. But the sample size of me is far too small to say anything about the general effect of a resistance trainnig regime.

 So while I've had good results mostly dispensing with organized cardio, I don't recommend that you neccesarily follow my example - if nothing else, cardio is helpful in maintaining a calorie deficit on a sane dietary intake.

 Though the studies show, the combination of cardio and strength training appears to be more beneficial than cardio alone. In my personal experience cardio can be dispensed with when generalizing from my personal results, but doing so is bad science - and besides, fat loss/body composition isn't the only consideration here.

 You need some cardio in your life for health - whether that's swimming, running, biking or tennis doesn't matter all that much, which is why I'm trying to get the bike out and plod around the lake once or twice a week. The effect on my weight loss may be negligible, but the effect on my overall health and well being is considerable.

 Besides, it's fun. I like fun - it's what keeps you consistent about what it is you're doing. And consistency trumps efficiency every time.
46 Replies (last)
Advertisement
Advertisement