Alternative Cardio & Weight Lifting

  • Instead of doing cardio/ aerobic exercise on an elliptical or a treadmill, I am really into alternatives like Zumba, Tahitian dance, and water aerobics. I was wondering if that would still work with the BFL program, even if the cardio lasts longer, for example,  a 45 minute Zumba session or an hour long water aerobics class. I've over trained in the past and I really want to do something effective this time.

    As or weight lifting, can someone share examples of what a typical weight lifting session should be like??? Also, I'd love suggestions on varying intensity during the workout. Last question (lol) : When do I switch up my workouts (after how many days, weeks, etc).




    - Chelsea D. 

  • Hi Chelsea, the great thing about BFL is it is flexible to the individual's needs. More than any other work out plan that I have read.

    I am 3 weeks in and have lost 14lbs so far and feel great.

    When i started It was a little confusing for me as to where my 'level 5', 'level 6' etc lay and it is a case of trial and error.

    I chose running on a treadmill because it is what i'm familiar with and what works best for me. It doesn't matter what cardio you choose, it could be running on the spot, trampolining, swimming... whatever as long as you are comfortable and can control your effort levels, to 2 mins at a level 5 (I think of it as twice as much effort as walking) then 1 minute, level 6, level 7 and work up to a 10. A 10 should be where if someone was holding a gun to your head you couldn't do any more. In other words 'train to fail'.

    I dont understand what you mean by an hour water aerobics session or 45 minute Zumba?

    As stated in the BFL book you must stick to 'HITT' aerobics which are brief and high intensity and should last no more than 20 minutes.

    Before starting your cardio and your plan I would get familiar with the BFL plan and understand fully how and why it i designed the way it is designed.

    Regarding the weights, I am guessing you have the BFL book? In it there are some examples of the different exercises required to do the upper and lower body workouts in the plan. I wasn't so comfortable with some of the exercises in the book and actually felt that was the one weak parts of the book, so I bought Sylvester Stallone's book 'Sly Moves' which has some fantastic descriptions of different exercises for the body parts required. Better still there are great pictures of Sly doing the exercises for the guys and a whole section for ladies with his wife demonstrating the techniques. Buy it, it's a brilliant read and has many similarities with Bill Phillips' book.

    My upper body session today consisted of 10 minutes stretching then:

    Chest: Incline Bench press

                Incline DB Flys

    Back:   DB Rows

                Wide Grip Pull Downs

    Biceps: Seated DB Curls

                 Seated Bar Bell Preacher Curls

    Triceps: Cable Press-downs

                  Triceps dips

    Shoulders: Seated DB press

                        Seated DR Lateral Raises

    Hope this helps, I by no means am an expert, and in fact am only 3 weeks in myself. I was however in great shape 8 years ago so a lot of what i knew then is coming back to me. Anything i know about BFL i picked up from the book, or by asking questions here and trusting the views of the good folks  who have been through the whole 12 weeks and know what they are talking about. IMO it is important to get comfortable with exercises that suit you and when you've made some progress, you can switch about and fine tune your workout.

    Good luck and Happy New Year.

  • I am going to agree with the Searcher. BFL is laid out in a way to maximize results in the minimum of time. I was also doing a Tuesday spinning, vs the HIIT and I was advised to "follow the plan" so I do. Someone told me the alternative cardios are great for maintenance or once you get to where you want to be, but try and do the program by the book.

  • The exercise you choose is up to you, but if you plan on doing the BFL program I would suggest you stay true to the program.  

    Keep your workout to 20 MIns and a workout that you can control the intensity levels to max you HITT.

  • Zumba is a latin dance fitness thing lol

    The reason I'm asking is because I've already been over-training and my body has plateaued with the elliptical, cross trainer, and tread mill, where as Zumba has different moved with varying intensity so you're doing more moves than you would on a machine, while burning more calories.

    I have studied the BFL plan in detail, but I think I'm going with the alternative cardio anyway. It burns more calories and it's easier on my knees, which I hurt in high school as a dance.

    Thanks for the weight lifting tips!!!! I'm going to study 3 techniques per body part so I can mix it up.

  • I was wondering about that as well.  I'm starting tomorrow but my mom gave me classes for Christmas of cardio 2 days/week do go with her ...(she's 81 and needs to go so this will help her get there as well.)  I thought I could do it.  It falls on lifting days for me.  There are people that have very physical jobs(eg. fire fighters, ski instructors, gardeners) or hobbies so it won't hurt.  I will still do the 20 min. on cardio days.  Thoughts?