After 2 and half years of desk work and little to no exercise, I have decided to go back to the gym again and whoop myself into shape. Thanks to reading Tom Venuto‘s Burn the Fat guide a few years ago, I felt like I was right back into the routine in just a couple of days. But I had a little conundrum: should I focus on cardio or more on building muscle? That was the question.
Sure, it’s tough to commit to working out again on a regular basis, but if you are 50 lbs (23 kg) overweight like I was, you become disgusted enough with yourself that you don’t give yourself any excuses. The fat has to go!
For me, I did not just want to lose weight. Losing weight can be achieved by eating less and yet more nutritious foods (which I am now) and by doing cardio. Lots of cardio!
I do some cardio (approximately 15 – 45 minutes every day). If I go for shorter times because of time restraints etc, I make sure to intensify it accordingly as well. I want to leave the gym with my shirt thoroughly sweated through. Gross, I know. But I get a certain satisfaction out of it.
This has worked quite well for me and after just a week of working out, I can already see the fat dropping. I start to appear slimmer and my clothes start to get looser… a really good feeling if you ask me 🙂
Yesterday I made the mistake of stepping on a scale again and realized I had only lost about 5 lbs (a little over 2 kg). I was shocked and saddened at the same time because I knew for a fact I had burn more fat than that!
Then it hit me: I had not only done cardio. I had actually done some weight training as well. Aside from the cardio I mentioned, I would spend 15 to 30 minutes each day doing various forms of weightlifting – aka muscle building. Meaning, I had already started putting on some muscle weight.
In other words, my first week of working out had some pretty incredible results. Not only did I burn fat and lose weight, I gained strength and muscle weight as well. Instead of being depressed about my (what I thought) meager results, I became excited and pumped to keep going.
Should you focus on cardio or on muscle building?
If you are overweight (aka fat) like me, why not do both? Unless you don’t care about becoming stronger and more muscular – certainly do both. Gains are gains.
Personally, I put more energy towards cardio at this point just because losing weight is my #1 priority. As soon as I lose the excess fat though, I will be focusing most of my energy on muscle and strength building.
Cardio will always be part of my workout routine but more as a maintenance thing than a weightloss thing.
Either way, if you’re just starting out, I highly recommend you check out the Burn the Fat ebook by all natural body builder Tom Venuto. All successful workouts start with a solid understanding of what works and how to go about getting the maximum results for the same (or less) effort.