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I've been doing lots of aerobic exercise to lose weight: almost 2 hours of vigorous boxing three times a week. I now want to dedicate more time to my regimen: should I complement that exercise with some weight lifting or it's better to extend the aerobic exercise to four or five days a week?

Thanks!

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How's your body holding up with such long stretches of boxing and are you already losing significant amounts of weight? Also what does your boxing exercise consist off, things like weightlifting, but what else? Please edit these things into your question, so we'll be able to help you better! –  Ivo Flipse Apr 6 '11 at 10:27
    
@Ivo: I think his question clearly states that his exercise currently consists of that actual act of "boxing" not a combination of boxing related exercises. –  matt Apr 6 '11 at 14:57
    
Is your only goal weight loss, are you training to compete as a boxer or do you have some other goals in mind? –  matt Apr 6 '11 at 14:59
    
Surely he's not boxing for 2 hours non-stop @matt, nor does Rocky during his training in all his movies ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Apr 6 '11 at 16:04
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@Ivo: That's because all Rocky's vigorous 2 hr boxing sessions get cut down into a training montage scored by a motivational 80s song, but you are probably right about konr. –  matt Apr 6 '11 at 17:02

2 Answers 2

Based on your stated goal, "to lose weight", you have to do one thing, expend more calories than you take in. It really doesn't matter what you do, eat, say, wear, or feel, that is the real and only answer.

But to put it in your context, what you want to do is a two things, 1) change the ratio of calories in to calories out by making tweaks to your diet and the way you eat, and 2) make changes to your routine, and thus your body, that will tip the scales in favor of weight loss.

The diet and nutrition variable can't be discounted! A calorie is a calorie, and you must alter the ratio of calories in and calories out in order to lose weight. Start small! Drop a coke here and there, try a low fat alternative for that ice cream. Start reducing the size of your portions a little bit. Eat more often, snacking and grazing (on healthy food!) rather than having a few large, heavy meals. Make small but constant and consistent changes to your diet that move you towards more efficient use of your calories. Small changes here and there add up over time, so start small and don't rush this step, or you'll find it difficult to adhere to.

As to your workout, you will burn more calories over time by consistently doing resistance training than you will by consistently doing aerobics. Most people will tell you that you burn more calories during a run than you will spending the same amount of time pushing iron. This is true. But it's not the whole story.

You get most of the weight-loss effect of aerobics during the exercise. When you stop, your metabolism quickly returns to normal levels. But with consistent and frequent resistance training (3-4 times a week), you are tearing your body down, literally, so that it must repair itself. This requires a lot of energy - a calorie is nothing more than energy. The more muscle you need to repair, the more calories your body will consume doing so. This effect lasts for hours after your workout is complete. You don't tear down much muscle during aerobic activity, so your body recovers from it much more quickly.

Definitely alter your routine by adding some resistance training. But don't stop the boxing, a balanced combination of the two is your best approach. You actually need both weight training and aerobics to lose the most weight in the shortest period of time.

And great job on the boxing! I tried it for a week, and found a whole new respect for how hard it really is!

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With any sport, repetitive motions can cause injury, so cross training is always a good idea as opposed to narrowing your training regimen by adding more boxing days.

Weight training can be a good compliment to boxing. In the beginning, you may feel as though it interferes with your boxing due to soreness, but that should pass as you adjust.

Plyometrics, olympic lifting, and/or kettle bell training may be an even better form of resistance training than standard weight training to add as part of your regimen. The explosive movements can help you to become faster and more agile in boxing. Maye sure that if you choose to take up this type of training that you have someone teach you proper form.

Any type of endurance training can also be a great complement to boxing training, so running, biking, or swimming between boxing days is a good idea too.

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