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Thread: Did you gain weight when you started doing less cardio? page

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    Sonnenblume's Avatar
    Sonnenblume is offline Senior Member
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    Did you gain weight when you started doing less cardio?

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    I am asking this out of curiosity...I have a background of long distance running. Since establishing the Primal lifestyle I have cut back on the cardio and started heavy lifting. I have intentionally put on some muscle. I still work out most days of the week (45-75 minutes, intervals, weight lifting but also a good amount of steady state cardio - but I can jog a 9 minute mile and keep my heartrate at 70% heartrate, so I do not overdo it). As I don`t have experience with longer periods of no endurance exercise and still have a tendency to use running as an excuse to snack more than I should I would like to ask out of curiosity how decreasing the time spent on endurance exercise affected your weight/body composition (to those who did it)? Did your calorie intake change?

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    john_e_turner_ii's Avatar
    john_e_turner_ii is offline Senior Member
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    My opinion is weight gain and loss is based mainly on diet. Sure, if you are exercising and burning 1000 calories a day, and you suddenly stop, then you will likely see some weight gain. You would have to adjust your food intake accordingly.

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    You might gain weight, but my understanding is that may be from more muscle that you'll carry. Distance running is sort of the antithesis of muscle...

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    ciep's Avatar
    ciep is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnenblume View Post
    I would like to ask out of curiosity how decreasing the time spent on endurance exercise affected your weight/body composition (to those who did it)? Did your calorie intake change?
    I've done both (dedicated weight training and dedicated long distance training) many times and in my experience I'm always leanest when I'm weight training. It's not a drastic difference, but it's definitely noticeable. During long periods of endurance training (marathon training for example) I tend to gain maybe 4-5% BF. I tend to weigh about the same either way though, just more muscle and less fat while weight training (and vice versa for running seasons).

    As to your second question, if you decide to fully transition from running to lifting then you'll probably go through an adjustment period with your diet. It won't be anything major (after all, you're just going from being active one way to being active another way) but it will be individual to you. I think I tended to eat more calories during endurance phases (which probably goes a long way to explaining the fat gain).. extreme cardio makes me very hungry. So if I were to hazard a guess I'd say your calorie count will probably go down a bit, but who knows - just gotta try it and see.

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    pyro13g's Avatar
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    My only planned cardio is the jump in heart rate during my strength training which is less than 30 minutes a week. Lack of it has never caused me a problem leaning up every summer. Boils down to calories and where they come from for me. I was going through some old notes I found from when I would be in the mid single digits of BF%. Protein(meat,fish, eggs, etc), boat loads of veggies, not a fruit in sight(didn't eat fruit at all back then except when the garden tomatoes were ready), white potatoes where a regular, very little grains since I would skip breakfast(wheat bread) during those times, and ate only a little pasta here and there. Glad i found the notes, 'cuz I'm really not crazy about fruit and obviously don't need to keep it in my diet accept for when I get a sweet tooth or want to use it(Banana) as a tool to up my carbs. I will make my shopping list shorter and reduce my time in the store.

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    MightyAl's Avatar
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    I lost another 20lbs when I stopped running. I was doing 50-60 miles a week and eating CW which was brutal compared to my lifestyle now. I just started running again but don't go over 40min at a time and only go out every other day. Running every day was brutal and a huge time investment.

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    arthurb999's Avatar
    arthurb999 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes muscle

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    shiggles's Avatar
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    The year before I took up paleo/primal I ran three times a week. It got up to doing a 5k every other day, and hikes on the weekends.This helped me lose some weight. However, as soon as I discovered PB, and read Mark's book, I stopped running entirely, and haven't ran since. I lost 30 pounds when I STOPPED running and started eating right and exercising the way PB suggests.

    Probably a good thing. Even though I had only been running for a year, I was already developing knee problems. Now my knees are perfectly healthy and I'm able to bang out some weighted squats with ease.
    A steak a day keeps the doctor away.


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