Becoming More Defined

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    Jun 11, 2007 8:52 PM GMT
    I'm making a film the last week of July, and trying to become more defined before that time (it's a film on gay and lesbian couples who have been together for 10 years or more, and I'm the co-host... It's NOT a porn LOL) I have very strong memories of an episode of "Friends" where they were looking at (fat) pictures of Monica, where she told everyone that the camera adds 10 pounds.... to which Chandler replied "How many cameras were there?" I refuse to let that happen to me. So, any suggestions guys might have for becoming more defined (diet, exercise, etc...) would be greatly appreciated. I've been working my ass off the last couple of months, and am down to 13% bodyfat, but I want to take things to the next level. Thanks in advance for your help.
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    Jun 12, 2007 3:36 AM GMT
    Hey GR8--

    To take this from the sublime to not quite the ridiculous, remember that Gollum, in the Lord of the Rings, is very defined, but also skinny.

    If you want the muscles to stand out, no matter what their size, then you need to get the body fat down to 8% or even less. You can mitigate that by making the muscles larger to some extent.

    I think the most difficult would be the abs, since for most guys, that's where the remaining excess fat resides.

    But, man, since for me the 11 out of 10 guys are the defined guys, not necessarily the huge muscle guys, I have sought advice from those...and that's what I have been told.

    No matter what the workout, you need to get the body fat down (not that yours is high).

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    Jun 12, 2007 8:45 AM GMT
    Build lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass burns calories at rest.

    Keep insulin levels low and stable. Insulin stores fat (and lots of other stuff).

    Do cardio. Cardio is good for your cardiovascular system and burns additional calories.

    Eat plenty to fuel the furnace. Low calories = slow metabolism.
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    Jun 18, 2007 3:40 PM GMT
    Hey Chuckystud, Thanks for the tips... Sounds like I basically need to do more of the same of what got me to where I am right now (I keep hoping there is a way around cardio, but there doesn't seem to be LOL). I found out I was diabetic a year and half ago, so I made drastic changes to my diet at that time (cutting out heavy carbs that raise your insulin level, etc...). Still, it's good to know that I'm on the right track. Thanks again...
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 18, 2007 4:16 PM GMT
    Seriously, the diets my diabetic friends eat are really excellent diets for anyone. One of my friend's moms was diagnosed as Type 2 (she did it to herself by eating poorly for decades) and since then, she cleaned up her act and eats a super-healthy diet of low-GI foods and has lost a ton of weight.

    Also, Gr8, if you find cardio boring, you could try one of two things: mix up your cardio activities (if you're doing stuff on stationary equipment in gyms, get a cheap bike and go on scenic rides, or find a lake nearby that has a dock that'll rent you a kayak or something) and also, mix up the intensity / duration (if you're doing long stretches of moderate-intensity cardio now, switch to four five-minute bursts of all-out lather-inducing sprinting instead for a while, or vice versa.) Maybe those would help? I know if my athletic routine starts to feel boring, it magically starts to feel a hundred times harder.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Jun 18, 2007 5:35 PM GMT
    Remember that activity burns calories. Any kind of activity.

    If you hate cardio, don't do it. You can burn calories effectively by cutting your breaks shorter while lifting. Or by going out dancing or hiking more often. Or don't and just resign yourself to cutting more calories out of your diet to create the same caloric deficit.

    Getting defined is based almost entirely on your fat composition. Fat composition is pretty much entirely dependant on your caloric intake compared to your caloric burn. Create a caloric deficit (higher burn than intake) and you will lose weight and get more defined.

    Keep in mind though, that if you create a very large deficit (by trying ot lose too much too fast) and don't also load on protein your body will head straight for your muscle in an effort to save it's fat. So you'll burn muscle, lose muscle mass, not fat, and reduce your ability to burn fat.
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    Jun 18, 2007 5:48 PM GMT
    Agree with Chuckystud and ATXClimber, disagree with Diverscience... Based on medical studies.

    Fat metabolism and storage, while indeed is caloric dependent, is a lot more dependent on the insuline/glucogon balance.

    We see this all the time with our patients in our hospital, and you will see the same thing in every clinics: Very heavy and obesse patients can cut down their caloric intake, but the amount of LEAN body weight is highly dependent on insulin activity. The more frequent the insulin spike, the less the ratio of lean body mass (not total body weight) and the more prone to developing DM II. You can ask all diabetics...

    Fat is the most calorie dense compared to protien and sugar/glycogen, but the body will not use it for energy until your glucose and its source, glycogen, level is low enough. Therefore, when you burn calories, the body is SELECTIVE with its ource of claories to get this energy from. It will go to sugar first, fat last.

    Therefore, just reducing the calories will slow down your metabolism, increase constatn cortisol and glucogon levels, become catabolic, and eat away your own lean body mass before you get to the fat. To become lean and have a 6 pack without exercising or eating low simple carbs, you would have to already have eaten up your own body's lean body mass SUBSTANTIALLY, and become cachetic, for this to happen. At this time you are also likly NEUTROPENIC as your body's lean body mass and ability to syntehsize protien is already greatly inhibited. Neutropenic means you have low neutrophile count, your immuno system down, you are prone to the slightles infections and illness.

    That is about the biggest misconception and GENERALIZATIon out there, you decrease claories, you will loose wieght. Yes, you will loose wieght, but not neccesarrily FAT...
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    Jun 18, 2007 6:00 PM GMT
    Please note that I am not disregarding the role of caloric intake on fat storage. If a person eats so much more calories than he or she is able to use (such using it for synthesis of lean body mass, protein synthesis), the excess calories WILL be converted to fat, because the body can only store so much amount of glygogen in the liver and muscle, while fat storage is only limited to when it kills you...

    However, having insuline spike would increase the metabolic process of the body to convert the excess food energy into fat, even if one is just eating somewhat limited fat but lots of sugar...

    If you look at the diet of many DM II, they are actually not that high in fat but high in simple sugars...
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    Jun 18, 2007 6:08 PM GMT
    AND..DO cardio...

    The rationale provided by Diverscience is not correct, sorry....

    Your body will only go for BOTH fat and protein for energy when the glucose supply is decreasing. The trick is to set the ratio for more fat to be used than protien.. How to do this? If you do cardio not a very high intensity over high duration, that will ues more protien than fat for energy. You need to check this with a trainer, but I think fat buring is sokething like 65% of the maxium heart rate (max HR is 220-your age.)

    The key is to burn fat, NOT just to burn calories. If you need to to verify this, get some urine strips and monitor your level of keytones. Keytones are metabolic byproducts of fat break down. If you do so much cardio and the treadmil says you burned so many calories, but your are not going into keytosis, youare not burning fat...
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    Jun 18, 2007 6:10 PM GMT
    Opps sorry, tha above should read: The hihger the intensity and duration of cardio, the more protein you will brun in comparison to fat.
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    Jun 18, 2007 9:45 PM GMT
    Hey NYMuscle... Thanks for your numerous responses. Question: Where do you get urine strips to monitor your level of keytones? Is that something I would be able to buy over the counter? Or is it a special test I need to ask my doctor for? And if I was able to purchase it over the counter, what in the hell would I be looking for? (just curious) Along the lines of cardio: Do you think it's best to do cardio first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach; or after you're done lifting? (Thanks again for your help) Mark
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    Jun 18, 2007 10:32 PM GMT
    Ketone test strips might be available from a pharmacy. They are most certainly available from vendors who cater to Atkins and other low-carb diets because the way to achieve ketosis is to severely restrict carbohydrate intake.
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    Jun 18, 2007 11:18 PM GMT
    You justpee on it and match the color code to see the value of keytones. I would check with a doctor for a liver function test and possibly renal test just to be safe as prolonged state of keytosis is stressful to the liver and kidneys.
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    Jun 18, 2007 11:32 PM GMT
    Oh forgot about the right time to do cardio...

    This is another big misinformation out there...

    Do it in the morning or after an intense resistive training session. This is when your blood glucose and overall systemic glycogen supply is low.

    When you wake up in the morning, although your GI track is not as active as when you were awake, you have not had a meal for hours and the body was maintaining its blood sugar supply with glycogen. You wake up with alredy lower blod sugar and glygogen reserve.

    When you train with intense weight resistive exercises, you target the fast twtich muscle fibers, which does not use O2 to make energy but rather glycogen and creatine phosphate for energy. Therefore burning up your glycogen reserve when the resistive training ends.

    You want to do cardio, at the intensity optimal for fat burhing, at these times becasue your body has no choice but to utilize protien and fat reserve for continual sustained blood sugar level. The right intensity and duration of moderate cardio will target fat more than protien.

    Many people fasely do a light cardio before a resistive training session, thinking that this will "warm" them up for the weight training. FALSE.

    It may wake you up, but it does not warm up adequately any specific musculoskeletal parts of your body (except perhaps lower extremity to a certain degree.) The only way to warm up for a high intensive activity is to do THAT spcific activity itself, at a lower loading factor/resistance and slowly push into full range of motion (you do not want to stretch a cold muscle.)

    Doing cardio before weight training does not warm you up for the resistive training session, thus does not prevent joint/muscle injuries, and it uses up the glycogen reserve you need for the fast twtich fibers, and it does not burn fat.... So what is the point of doing cardio before weights..?
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    Jun 18, 2007 11:40 PM GMT
    Forgot to stress avoding insulin spike even while traning this way...

    Insulin is what your body needs to manage excess blood sugar, as the body has no way to dispose excess blood sugar except to pee it out or let it stay in your ssytem until it turn into blood sugar alcohol, doing vast damages to joint capsule, blood vessle, and nerve sheath... That is.. diabetes.

    Insulin converst this excess blood sugar into fat and glygogen, indiscriminately. Now, if you eat very simple sugars that turns into blood glucos super fast, OR a HUGE meal (all meals will spike your blood sugar level), your body will over react by producing massive amounts of insulin, making you feeling a bit lethargic, because the massive insulin spike actually is too effective at converting blood sugar into fat and glycogen that you experience a temporary DROP in blood sugar...

    So, it is still wise to eat smaller and frequent meals and avoid simple sugar...
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    Jun 18, 2007 11:51 PM GMT
    Thanks guys... You guys are awesome!