Should fat men and women stick to ONLY cardio exercise for their weight loss attempts?

If you’re obese and you’ve been grinding away hour after hour, week after week, on cardio machines–and doing nothing else for weight loss–there’s a pretty good chance you will never even get halfway to your weight loss goal.

For maximal weight loss as well as body reshaping, obese women and men should do both cardio exercise and strength training with weights.

If an obese person only does cardio or aerobic exercise, they’ll lose weight if they eat sensibly, but the weight loss power of ONLY cardio is limited — unless you plan on working up to running 10 miles a day or taking two intense aerobics classes a day.

And even then, there are limitations, namely, failure to tighten the entire body.

This is why you’ll often see people at the gym who spend a lot of time on cardio equipment, and even though they’re not obese, and often not even what you’d call “chubby” or “plump,” they still look soft all over.

Haven’t you ever seen a size 6 woman with love handles? I sure have!

Cardio exercise alone can help obese people lose weight, but often they end up with “skinny fat” bodies.

Lifting weights, along with cardio, will expedite weight loss (the weight will be fat, not muscle), while also reconfiguring your physique’s appearance.

Over time, the right kind of weightlifting program will change the shape of your body: sleek, tight, lean, shapely, fit-looking.


Lifting weights builds lean muscle: the core of the metabolic furnace. 

New muscle tissue requires energy for sustenance. 

This is why resting metabolic rate increases as you increase lean muscle mass.

Many obese individuals stick only to cardio because they believe lifting weights will “bulk” them up. Are you an obese woman and believe in this myth?

If so, take the challenge: Visit the free weights area of your gym and look at the women working out.

Are they difficult to tell apart from the men? You’ll likely think some of these women are on the thin side or have bikini bodies — yet they lift weights.

Are you an obese man who just wants to “look normal” instead of all built up?

Start lifting weights and you’ll look “normal” long before you bulk up, because bulking up is very difficult to do, and requires time commitment. Ask any “jacked up” man if it’s easy to get that way.

Obese men and women who do both cardio and weight workouts get smaller much faster than do obese trainees who do only aerobic exercise.

Many avid weightlifters used to be obese, and find they can actually eat more than they did during their heavy days.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


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