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-> What Would Happen If I Lift Weights Less Than 3 Times/Week?

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i heard that you should life weights at least 3 times a week...

i've been doing that (and sometimes even 4-5 times a week) for a year now..

but recently, im planning to change my routine.

im planning to do more cardio than lifting weights. i want to lose weight first - and more quickly by focusing mainly on cardio.

because now, my goal is to burn fat first, then build up more muscles.

however, that doesn't mean that i wouldn't be lifting weights. i will be, but not for that long nor often.

i go to the gym tuesdays, thursday, saturdays, & sundays. im plannin to do cardio for atleast 30 mins even if i don't have enough time. however, maybe tuesdays and sundays, i'll be only doing cardio for like a bit more than an hour. no weights during those days. that would mean that i'll only be lifting weights 2wice a week. what do you think about that? would that make me lose the muscles i already have? i don't want that, of course.

however, i'll be doing some sorts of exercises at home. like push ups, sit ups, crunches, and even more complex ones like dips, lunges, etc.

so what do you say?

:)  the future of my workout routine is in your hands!!!! type!!!! :)

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no one so sad... :( boohoo
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Befor this summer I had lifted weights 5-6 times a week for two years and almost never did any cardio.   I did tone up ALOT, but I also ended up gaining about 10 pounds.   I'm assuming it was almost all muscle becasue I still fit into all my clothes and I had my body fat % checked and it was very low.  However, I recently began to feel that the number on the scale was too high and wanted to lose just a few pounds of fat while trying to keep all my muscle.

I cut back to lifting about 1-2 times a week and doing cardio 2-3 times a week.

I honestly have not seen that much of a difference.  I've lost about 2-3 pounds on the scale, but I still feel like I am jsut as toned as I always was.  I've read alot sinse then about how someone serious about building muscle will only work out each muscle group intensely once a week anyways. 


You only need to do weights 2x a week.  (2-4 is recommended) cardio recommended 4 - 7.
depending on how your body reacts, you will probably loss a little muscle just because you will be increasing your cardio. you might get lucky and not lose any. try a total body workout on the weight days and push your self so you don't lose to much.

::: sweeti75 :::

i think ur body can maintain itself pretty well if you only lost about 2-3 lbs and was still toned!

::: trainerchick :::

2x a week?? are you serious?? :D hah!!! that's awesome!! hahahah. 

ideally, what's the minimum time for cardio?? 

::: bodyscience :::

everytime when im working out my muscles (not cardio) do you think it's better if i focus on a specific part of my body like lower body or upper body and really work them out very intensel, or do you think it's better to do overall , my entire body and not be too thorough with the work out? 

What my trainer mentioned two yearas ago (though, I've read varying opinions on this) is that you don't really start to lose muscle mass until 10 days.  Thus...if you go 7 days w/o doing a strength training session, you shouldn't lose muscle.  That's not saying that you should only do it once every 10 days though.

For me, I do 1 hardcore strength workout on Sunday, and then a more basic one (just the main large muscle groups) on Wed and Fri...and it works splendidly!

If you're concerned with timing, have one REALLY awesome strength training day (which may leave you sore 2 or 3 days later!  so plan that one a few days before your next strength day), and then throw in one or two more quick strength days (do some biceps, triceps, shoulders, lunges or squats, and calves...covers the basics and is much quicker)

Good luck

since you are only doing weights twice a week, it would be more beneficial to do a total body workout on both workouts.

::: jazzislove :::

yess! in fact, i heard exactly the same thing as you. 

if you don't work out for 10 days, you will lose muscles

however, im confused what they mean by "not working out". 

what if i do some basic muscle training at home?? what would that be?? 

would i lose muscles if i didn't go to the gym for more than 10 days but "worked out" at home??

im also curious (and worried) about what you said near the end.

what do you call really awesome sterngth training day? because.. all those stuff you wrote in parenthesis when you were mentioning quick strength days are pretty much what i do for... any strength days!!

what do you do when you're doing like.. a very INTENSE muscle work out?


::: bodyscience :::

thanks for ur advice bodyscience!!

well check this out, this is what i think ill be doing from now on - til i get down to my ideal weight!! Wink

i'll do like.. one day of moderate strength training but then for my second tiem fo the week - probably on saturdays - i'll be doing more intense strength training, as in.. i'll work out for a bit longer and perhaps even use more heavier weights??

what do you think of this plan? 

2 full body sessions per week.

dont worry about "heavy" or "light days". i recon u should always be going as "heavy" as your training goals demand (ie. for strength less than 8 reps per set, muscle growth 8-12, endurance 15+ etc).
it seems to me that unless ur doing sports-specific/plyometrics/endurance training, there should really be no need to have a "light" weights day. if ur really just too sore to go heavy enough where 10 reps is a struggle, just do another activity!! or better yet, have a sleep!

It sounds to me like your going into a cutting phase and then plan on bulking up afterwards.  It is important to know that you really cannot cut and bulk at the same time because cardio is important for fat loss but hinders muscle gain and bulking requires ~4500 to 6000 calories a DAY of lean eating which is going to make you gain weight including some fat.  But more importantly to your question I would answer lift 3 times a week.  Do chest and back one day legs the second and Bi/tri/shoulders the third.  This routine gives a minimum of 48 hours of rest for each muscle group AND avoids overtraining of secondary muscle groups which is a nasty little devil for bodybuilders.  I don't recommend a full-body workout for two reasons.  One - you quickly expend glycogen stores in your muscles after about 30 minutes of heavy lifting and you won't be able to effectively work out muscle groups that come later in your routine.  Two - you'll be exhausted for the rest of the day and it will take you at least 2 hours to complete the routine.  Here's my routine:  Monday Chest/Back 60 min of cardio, Tuesday 60min cardio, Wed Legs and 60 min cardio, Thurs 60 min cardio, Friday Bi/tri/shouldr and 60 min cardio.  Sat and Sun resting days.  This is my cutting phase.  I've lost 16 pounds in one and a half months and  have maybe lost maybe 2 lbs of lean body mass.  Lifting heavily and eating correctly will reduce lean body mass loss to a minimum.  Oh and always always always do cardio after lifting because you've already spent your glycogen stores and do aerobic not anaerobic cardio because your body requires oxygen to burn fat - don't do cardio for too long or intensely or your body will catabolize muscle to make up for the glycogen energy replacement.   Follow up your post workout with some L-glutamine to prevent muscle catabolism if you want to try some supplements.   Hope this info helps :)
if you are going to work twice a week, then go heavier on both workouts 8-12 reps for 3 sets per body part, you need to focus on really working the muscle, that is one of the only ways to ensure minimal muscle loss.
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