Integrating aerobic exercise with weight lifting

by Tracey
(Chicago, IL)

Hi Gemma,

I am a 48 yr old woman with PCOS. I began lifting weights a few months ago with the help of a personal trainer.

While I am getting a lot stronger in a short period of time (I went from a starting weight of 90 lbs on the leg press to 135 lbs in less than 2 months) I still have not begun to lose weight.

I'm wondering if I should incorporate aerobic exercise into the mix and if so, how often and at what intensity.




Hello Tracey and thank you for your question :)

Firstly a big well done with your workout improvement, it is a great thing to hear.

I personally would not care so much about “losing weight” but perhaps enquire into getting your fat percentage checked. The best method of checking fat percentages is by using fat% calipers and the jackson pollock method of 7 skinfold pinch sites. (your trainer SHOULD offer this service!) These sites include the chest, tricep, upper back, abdominal area, hip area, thigh and on your side just below your bra strap.

I use this method with all of my clients as many of them in the first 4 weeks DO NOT loose body weight but LOOSE BODY FAT!!! When you do get your fat percentage measured make sure that the person measuring you is qualified and measures more than just one skinfold site!!

I always suggest with my clients that we take measurements every 4 weeks – and to get the most accurate fat percentage measurement you must be well hydrated!!

Sometimes non loss of weight can be a hard concept to grasp for some people as many people immediately think that you instantly loose weight when you start to exercise. This is very often NOT the case! AND PLEASE BELIEVE ME!!! Most of my time with new clients is spent trying to explain that muscle weighs 3 times more than fat and jumping on the scales and watching your body weight is not a good measurement of how your body is changing through the effects of training!! Monitoring your fat percentage and amount of lean body mass you have is MUCH BETTER!!

As for the inclusion of aerobic activity that is always a great idea for women with PCOS to accompany HIGH REPETITION (about 20 each set) weight training. 30 minutes of steady aerobic activity AFTER your workout may make you feel very good and jump start your fat burning.

I hope that this helps you and do have great fun training :)

Personal Trainer for Women with PCOS
Author of the PCOez Fitness ebook

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