Food & Fitness Friday: Cardio Crazy or Weights for Days?

Food & Fitness Friday: Cardio Crazy or Weights for Days?

I have ventured down both of these paths and when it comes to my body and my health, the advice columns have it right. Both. Both are needed for an all around fit, healthy lifestyle. Well at least for me.

As I’ve referenced in previous posts, I was the cardio queen in college. Running outside or on treadmills, stair steppers, ellipticals, stationary bikes, rowing machines. I did it all. And only all cardio. If your goal is to be skinny – just skinny, solely skinny – this works wonders. Don’t expect to get abs or leg definition. Don’t hope that all that magical cardio will make you look like a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader or an Olympian or whoever else you idolize. You won’t get muscle. You get fat loss, muscle loss, and skinny.

I eventually became bored of this regiment. I saw the “fit is the new skinny” movement and I was intrigued. I tried lifting weights for a bit on my own, and then I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere so I joined Crossfit.

For six months I poured myself into Crossfit with limited running and tons of weight lifting and strength. The Workouts-of-the-Day are high intensity so they resembled cardio, but if we’re being realistic, I was tossing 14 lb balls as high up on wall as I could get them and doing sets of 130-lb dead lifts. This was not your cardio bunny’s cardio.I told myself all this muscle tearing and healing needed fuel, so I let myself eat whenever.

Well 15 lbs later and I realized concentrating on one OR the other did not work for me. I put on and lose weight too easily. If I limit what I eat and runthe weight sheds with the muscle in weeks. If I eat whenever I’m hungry and lift, it packs on like crazy. 

Balance. My body was (still is) aching for balance.

SO I went back to running and stayed in Crossfit and I’m going to test this out the next six months. My typical weeks now look like:

Monday – Crossfit
Tuesday – Crossfit
Wednesday – Run
Thursday – REST
Friday – Crossfit
Saturday – Run and/or Yoga
Sunday – Run or REST (depending on exhaustion levels that week)

I try to do 3 runs (5K – 6 miles), 3 Crossfit classes, and one serious rest day. This fluctuates weekly because I always listen to my body. That’s the one thing I’ve learned from working out frequently – constantly being aware of what aches and what needs to heal.

This week in particular has been rough.  I’m nursing my upper right back because of an old injury that occasionally flares up and shin splints. Oh my good god – shin splints. If any runners (I’m convinced it’s also Double Unders from Crossfit) have any advice on how to get rid of shin splints, I would be so grateful!

This is me. Right now.

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Someone, help a girl out.

But besides all the injuries this week, running and Crossfit seem to be working! I’m not gaining weight rapidly and I’m still maintaining muscle. Brace yourselves for a super terrible post-workout photo. What is this? Why can’t I smile?

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It could be cardio. It could be weights. But I have a strong hunch it’s a combination of both. Eeeeek! Proud of all my hard work this year even if it took FOREVER to figure out what works for me.

It might take some trial and error – a majority of cardio or a majority of weights, 50/50, or maybe some combination of 75/25. There seems to be a perfect recipe for everyone. I have friends who swear by yoga, by running daily, and by solely Crossfit.

This is what works for me.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Agatha Christie

Camille Mae (2)

***I am not a nutritionist, physical therapist, trainer, or a professional in any health related field. My opinions are based off of my experiences***

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