Monday, April 1, 2013

Cardio or Weights?

Hey everyone! It's Ashley from The Teacher's Treasure Chest! Can we say Thank Goodness for Spring Break?!?!?!I was able to go to the gym in the morning today and I tell you was the best feeling ever! The gym was empty and I really could get everything in I wanted to. I had the best workout! Can we just have Spring Break forever?!?!?!   One of the things I hear ALL the time "To lose fat, you only need to do cardio". While cardio is necessary in any fat loss program, weights are just as important. Lifting weights burns calories long after you leave the gym. Trust me, I was scared to death to pick up a real free weight. Before I started this journey, I only used machines to work out. I had no clue what to do with a free weight. Now, I get kinda of cranky when I don't use weights! You don't want to be around me on an all cardio day! I'm no fun! 

My favorite weight lifting exercise is hannnnnnds down the *squat*. I squat two days a week. One day a week I use heavy weights. This is my favorite day of the week! I love breaking new records. I rotate between front squats and back squats. While front squats are a little bit more difficult for me, I still enjoy them. They are a new challenge for me to overcome...and I love a challenge.  On the second squat day (usually about 3-4 days after my heavy squat day) I do low weight but more reps.Squats are a great exercise for a variety of muscles and that's why I love them so much. No workout is complete without squats! Check out what WebMD says about squats HERE

The next thing my girlfriends tell me ALL the time.."Are you worried you will be bulky like a man?" The easy answer to that is NO I am not worried. Women do not have the ability on their own (without supplements) to create that kind of muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.  Here is article that is really a must read from Shape Magazine: reasons-why-you-should-lift-heavier-weights

The truth is a complete work out routine will include both cardio and weights. I do cardio 6 days a week. Three days a week, I also include some sort of weight training. Not always heavy weight, though. It's important to keep a balance of heavy and light weight. 

Now, onto my progress. When I started this journey, I was at 35.6% Body Fat. I am now at 23% BF and am striving to get under 20%. I still have a ways to go. The closer I get, the slower it comes off. But each week I am losing BF so I can't complain that much! I feel like I am almost to the finish line and can start "maintaining" instead of losing. 

Here's my progress in pictures:

Till Next Time :)



  1. Thank you for sharing this! Way to go, you look great!

  2. You are doing great! Keep up the wonderful work!!

  3. What kind of program are you following ?

  4. Ashley,
    I stumbled upon your blog through my Pinterest page. I am also a teacher and have struggled with my weight since adolescents. My senior year of high school I weighed 185 lbs and wore a size 14. Over the course of the last 12 years since graduating, I ballooned up to 225 lbs and a tight size 18! I couldn't believe that I had let it get so bad! I always knew I was gaining but it was always a pound here and a pound there, so I never really thought about it that much.

    In October, right around the time you started, I realized that my 30th birthday was only 3 months away. The idea of turning 30 and being unhappy about myself was like a bolt of lightening that lit a fire under my butt. I set a goal to lose 30 lbs by 30. The next day, I talked to my doctor about my diet and set a daily calorie goal of 1200 which I track using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. Then I joined my local Curves and began working out.

    The weight dropped off fast in the first month. I was seeing progress every week on the scale and I am happy to say that on my birthday in January, I had reached my goal! I was really excited and happy that I was able to accomplish something that I had struggled with for so long. I decided to set a new goal of an additional 20 by the end of the school year.

    I think that because it seemed such a long time until that deadline, I started to find excuses to not workout as hard or as much. Saying to myself, "I lost 30 lbs in 3 months, I dont need to work that hard to lose 20 lbs in twice that time." When spring break rolled around last month I had only lost another 5 lbs. Thats when I realized that I was losing my way. So I rededicated myself to this journey. Pushed my deadline up to May 1st. Started to run daily. Overall, just got back to it.

    I am happy to say that, as of today, I am now down a total of 41 lbs and I am sure that I will lose the additional 9 lbs by my May 1st deadline. I have gone to Curves less and less because I feel like I cant work as hard there as I can running and doing weight training. I absolutely recommend Curves to any woman who is starting out and may feel intimidated by gym equipment. Its nice to be able to go there and not have to worry about what machines you should use, or how much weight you should add. I just think that I have moved beyond that level of fitness and need something harder.

    I am starting Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred with some teachers at my school. These ladies have encouraged me by commenting on how well I am doing and telling me that they are inspired to lose weight by watching my success. That keeps me going and wanting to take this further.

    Sorry for this long comment, maybe I need to start my own blog too! LOL. Good luck with your journey!

  5. Doing cardio exercises is better for the weight loss rather than doing the gym workout.
    First do cardio such as jogging, running, swimming, and cycling to lose your excessive body weight, when you have lost your extra weight then you should join the gym to build your muscles and get your body in a shape.

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