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Why cardio exercises are not enough

February 06, 2006

Many of you love your cardio workout in the gym or outdoors but tend to shirk weight-training. Is a cardio workout enough to get that well-toned, sculptured body?

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Fitness consultant Samreedhi Sharma Goel, who chatted with Get Ahead readers on February 1, says: Just doing cardio will not help you. Lifting weights is a must. Remember to choose the right people while seeking advice.

In matters of health, always seek expert advice. Watch your diet. Gym at least four times a week, do cardio daily, six days a week. Aim at 15-20 repetitions per set and do three to four sets per muscle.

Don't aim at lifting very heavy or very light weights. Vary your routine from time to time and watch your body change!

For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:


samreedhi sharma: Hello everyone! Welcome to the FITNESS CHAT! Please start your questions with your age, sex, height and weight. Ask away!


aaa: i want to know if weight training should be done for women or not...as weights lead to building muscles

samreedhi sharma: Hi! Women should definitely do weight training. As for your fears of gaining muscle, women have the hormone testosterone in very small amounts so it is not possible for us to gain too much muscle.

Weight training will help you tone up, lose weight, shape your body, boost your metabolism and gives you more leeway with food. So don't worry about bulking up and hit the gym!


aj: HiI am 24,male,5 ft 6 inches & 54 kgs.I want to increase my weight by 10 kgs.will going to a gym help me increase weight?please suggest me what king of workout should i follow to gain weight ?

samreedhi sharma: Hi Aj! Gym training is the only way to gain weight the correct way, as when you workout in a gym you gain muscle mass while if you just eat high calorie foods to gain weight you will just gain fat.

But let me warn you weight gain can be a slow process so be patient with yourself and train hard.

You can do a spilt routine where you target the leg muscles on one day, chest, triceps and shoulders on another day and back, biceps and forearms on another. Work your abs on alternate days only.

For your diet, do not overemphasise on protein foods. Eat foods from all food groups and soon you will have the body of your dreams.


Krish: Hi samreedhi. i m 28,M, 5'11'' and 90 Kgs. My waist is 38 and i wish to reduce it to 32-34 while losing about 8-10 kgs. I have tried joining a gym but whenever i start any kind of workout, i get injured esp back pains. what to do?

samreedhi sharma: Hi! You need to lose about 10-12 kilogrammes. When you join a gym it is important you join one that has sensible and qualified trainers who show you the right way to exercise. Warming up before the workout is a must or you will be more prone to injuries.

Stretching between all sets is essential and so is cooling down post workout. Do your exercises slowly and, if you can't figure out something or get any odd body aches, stop and ask the trainer.

Your back pain could also be due to weak muscles. Consult a physiotherapist before you join a gym so that you are made aware if there are any exercises to avoid.


arjun: Hi,I'm Male 27 5'10" and 74 Kg. Working out for past 1.5 years. I'm taking proteins supplements for past 6 months to increase muscle bulk.Is it ok to continue with protein supplements? It is benifitting me. Any side effects?

samreedhi sharma: Hi Arjun! Protein supplement, as the word suggests, is supposed to supplement your diet in case you are missing out on some nutrients from your food due to inadequate intake.

You have to have a goal clear in mind before starting on the supplements: Has your diet been looked into by a qualified dietician/ nutritionist? Are you training hard enough?

Just by taking a supplement and doing the same workout, you won't add bulk.

See that you train hard enough at the same time. Your diet should be a good source of all other nutrients as well. Side effects are not really documented but a lot of people do complain of hair loss, fat gain, indigestion when the supplements are not taken properly.


malvika: Hi,This is Malvika 35yrs,5.2ft,wt75kg,I do regular floor exercises but what should I do to reduce my arms?

samreedhi sharma: Hi! There is no such thing as spot reduction. If you want to lose/ tone up specific areas of the body, it is a must that you exercise all muscles equally hard and you will see the results.


jineshu: I am 28, Male and wt is 100Kgs, I go to the gym on and off, however what I want to know is, should I do weights or no, since most people advise me that I should just stick to Cardio and not do Weights? Can you please advise.

samreedhi sharma: Hi! Just doing cardio will not help you. Lifting weights is a must. Remember to choose the right people while seeking advice.

In matters of health, always seek expert advice. Watch your diet. Gym at least four times a week, do cardio daily, six days a week.

Aim at 15-20 repetitions per set and do three to four sets per muscle. Don't aim at lifting very heavy or very light weights. Vary your routine from time to time and watch your body change!


Akhil: Hi, I am 31 yrs, 6'1, 75 KG I have been excercising regularly for muscle building, however due to my workload, my trainer has suggested to adapt 3 day a week routine. I want to know whether it is suffecient? Also, I do cardio for 15 mins and weights for 45 mins. Is it suffecient?

samreedhi sharma: Hi Akhil! You are in your ideal weight zone. It is perfectly okay to train three times a week. Taking your age into account, you should also do cardio for at least 30 minutes per session three times a week as it will build your stamina.

When training with weights three times a week, increase the number of sets and keep the reps b/w 12-15. Aim for muscle failure in the last set. Check your body fat from time to time in your gym & keep up the good work!


rashul: Hi,I'm Male 24 5'10" and 76 Kg. What do you think the correct weight for me?Working out for past 6 months..but i m not able to reduce my tummy....it looks odd for me...can you help me regarding this?

samreedhi sharma: Hi, you are in your ideal weight zone. If you are not losing weight on your tummy it could be because of: 1) high fat intake, 2) high intake of processed carbohydrates ie soft drinks, cakes, pastries, chocolates, 3) inadequate water and fibre intake, 4) inadequate workout.

You might be training in your comfort zone, and your body has adapted to your current routine. Ask your trainer to change your workout to a more challenging one and see the difference. 


Gops: Hi Samreedhi, I am S/w Engineer. 32/M/5.6/68kg I am doing regular morning walk around 4KM and some normal exercises. I am getting pain sensation in left side of my back (kidney area) and burning sensation in back. Is it because of wrong way of sitting ? Can u please give me some suggestion? Thanks

samreedhi sharma: Hi! It would be best to consult a doctor immediately.


save: hi tis is save. do u proide personal training

samreedhi sharma: yes.


Nisha: Hi, I am 20yr/f going to the gym for the past 2 years. I understand that it is not advisable to do exercise during the menses. Is this true ? I also do some exercise for my chest. I find that my Breasts have increased in Size. Is it because of the exercise.Can i cont doing the exercise ?

samreedhi sharma: Hi! That is a myth. You can very well exercise during menses. If you don't want a particular muscle to increase in size, decrease the weight you lift and increase the repetitions.


ORACLE: IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO INTAKE 10 EGG WHITES AND 12 BANNANAS A DAY FOR A MONTH TO GAIN A LEAN MASS . i HAVE AN ECTOMORPHIC METABOLISM. HOW MANY CALORIES DO THEY MAKE UP/

samreedhi sharma: Hi! Ectomorphs should eat several small meals throughout the day. If you eat 10 egg whites and 12 bananas at a go (if that is humanly possible), all you will end up with is an upset stomach.

Consult a dietician/ nutritionist to make a more realistic eating plan for you.


bhavin: hi.. i am 23 yrs old, male, 5.7" 82 kgs... do u think kick boxing is a good way to loose weight

samreedhi sharma: Hi! Any activity is good enough to lose weight provided you also cut down your calorie intake at the same time.

However for kickboxing you need strong abs, shoulders and back. See that you do not take on too much too soon and train with a sensible trainer. 


abibaby: hi samreedhii am 26 yrs 6'2 and i weight 85 .going to gym for last 4yrs, i would like to know when is the right time to do the exercise for abs.After weight training its recomended that you should have some protien rich diet withtin 20 -30 minutes so if i take that diet i cant do exercise for abs and if i do exercise for abs , so what i do for my need of protien intake. pleaseeeeeeeeee answer my question

samreedhi sharma: Hi! You should train your ab muscles on alternate days only. You can work your abs at the start of your workout after warming up or after you finish with your weights.

It is not a must to take protein food immediately after your workout. Check with your nutritionist and I am sure she can give you a more flexible eating plan.


Next: Part II of transcript

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Sub: re:useful for beginners.

its a very nice article.Beginners will have lot of doubts and questions regarding what to do and what not ,at gym, so for them this ...


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Sub: Samreedhi, suggestions

Please tell me some neck excersices. i have weak neck muscles and prone to stiff necks that last for atleast 15dyas. i have it atleat ...


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Sub: Weight Loss

HI, I am 25 Years married female with height of 5 ft 5 inches. my present weight is 90 Kgs. 3 months back i had ...


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hi, my self bhuvan 26 years 5'10" weight 55 kg , i havenot join gym till date, and looking very silim. i want to imporve ...


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