To include or not to include aerobics in a fitness regime for a hard-gainer or a skinny fat 40 yo? Or what to do with a Total Concept II rower collecting dust.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 08, 2011 6:18 AM GMT
    I'm trying to gain muscle mass, lose lingering fat, and generally get hard everywhere in my midsection where I'm soft.

    Trainers think I'm a hard-gainer, a classic ectomorph. Given the soft areas bunched up my lower back, I cannot but fear that I'm skinny fat, rather than ectomorphic. Maybe the two are not exclusive, and maybe the remedies are similar/same for both?

    In either case, I am conflicted about aerobic activity, which is sometimes contra-indicated for ectomorphs hoping to gain muscle and indicated for skinny fat guys hoping to harden up.

    I have a Total Concept II rower, barely used, and wonder how I might include aerobic rowing in a workout regime that mainly consists of weights 3-4x/week, pilates on the reformer 2x/week, and walking 5-7 miles 4-5x/week.

    Any ideas what I should do with the rower and aerobics more generally? Should I do aerobics? If so, how frequently? What intensity? HIT?

    If you're in Northern California and want a rower, I might well be in the market to sell it given I belong to three very well equipped gyms, each with rowers and loads of other cardio equipment.

    Thanks for your help!
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    Jul 08, 2011 8:22 AM GMT
    Yes you should do aerobics.

    Based on your body type and your goals. 20 minutes of cardio twice a week.

    What ever you wanna do then do that. Intensity, what ever lets your work for 20 minutes.

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    Jul 08, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting this...I've been debating the same thing with myself. I'm growing everywhere else (finally, lol) but I'm still holding a little extra on top of my abs
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    Jul 08, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    To quote the vast majority of folks who have abs: "Abs are made in the kitchen."
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    Jul 08, 2011 4:02 PM GMT
    I'm a total hard gainer to. I've chatted with a few different personal trainers and both of them suggested not doing cardio until you are at your ideal weight and then for only a few sessions 20 minutes a week at light intensity.

    Every time I tried throwing in cardio I lost about 5-7 lbs in two weeks and it was everything I had worked for so I finally cut it out.


    Although I'm sure most people at your age are jealous that you are still a hardgainer icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 08, 2011 4:19 PM GMT
    I am completely a classic ectomorph and at the very end of my 30s I put on excess fat. Not a good look. I personally hate cardio more than anything in the known Universe. Last Summer I did an hour of jump rope every morning and wanted to kill myself by August. An early, artery-clogged death with my obese corpse buried in a piano crate would have been preferable.

    I ditched it entirely and just upped weight training and really got results I am happy with. I also lost about four inches from my waist including the evil back / love handle / lower abdomen area - and I just turned 43. I do HIIT with Burpees once or twice a week but never more than about four minutes (believe me - that is enough).

    Eat well - clean protien, never go hungry. Stay away from refined sugar and white rice. And give yourself more time between sets. We as ectomorphs seem to respond more rapidly that way. You will get the results you want!!!!

    Good luck!!!
  • Lincsbear

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    Jul 08, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    Cardio is generally a very good exercise as it strengthens your heart,lungs,circulation,etc..But in your case,you`re walking 5-7 miles,four or five times a week(?)-this may be partly why you`re a hard gainer,those walks will be using up plenty of calories anyway!I`d suggest you do nothing cardiowise extra than your walks for now.
    Continue with the weight training and step up as you get stronger/fitter.
    Crucially,you must eat more calories every day to sustain your muscle growth,especially protein(about 1.5g/kg. of body weight);larger portions or snacks,etc.Cut the fat,particularly saturated animal kinds,in your diet; that will go straight on to your stomach if you don`t.Eat regularly,don`t be tempted to skip meals,don`t go hungry for hours,then binge.
    And take plenty of fluid,rest,sleep,etc.
    All the best with your training!
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    Jul 09, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    Defenseon saidI'm a total hard gainer to. I've chatted with a few different personal trainers and both of them suggested not doing cardio until you are at your ideal weight and then for only a few sessions 20 minutes a week at light intensity.

    Every time I tried throwing in cardio I lost about 5-7 lbs in two weeks and it was everything I had worked for so I finally cut it out.


    Although I'm sure most people at your age are jealous that you are still a hardgainer icon_smile.gif

    Eat more, do cardio!
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    Jul 09, 2011 5:00 PM GMT
    Cardio can be a double-edged sword when it comes to hard gainers. On the one hand it can cause you to burn more calories that would be put to better use lifting weights. On the other hand, it strengthens your heart and increases capilarization (is that a word?) of your muscles. More blood supply=more potential for growth.
    I would recommend mostly compound movements (more than one body part) squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, etc to increase your overall musculature. Do about 5-10 minutes light cardio before weight training to warm up. Try easing up on the cardio for a month to six weeks and see if there is a difference. After that, if you do cardio and weights on the same day, do cardio after weight training. Also as Paul said, you need to really monitor what you are eating. Abs are made in the kitchen.
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    Jul 12, 2011 10:10 AM GMT
    Anomalous saidit strengthens your heart and increases capilarization (is that a word?)

    Yup capillarization is a word, cardiovascular activity promotes increased capillarization and mitochondria to help produce more energy within the muscles, it also increases blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to promote energy production, muscle recovery and helps you feel good icon_biggrin.gif

    But yes capillarization is a word hahaha
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    Aug 05, 2011 3:08 AM GMT
    Thanks for everybody's advice. While no clear consensus emerged, I've elected to augment my daily walking (to/from work) with HIIT on the erg. So far it's been tough to stay motivated, and I wonder if I'm not catabolizing away my muscles.
  • UnluckyTitan

    Posts: 106

    Aug 06, 2011 10:35 PM GMT
    partouse saidThanks for everybody's advice. While no clear consensus emerged, I've elected to augment my daily walking (to/from work) with HIIT on the erg. So far it's been tough to stay motivated, and I wonder if I'm not catabolizing away my muscles.


    Whatever its doing I think you look freaking great. I'd kill to have your problem.
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    Aug 25, 2011 5:15 AM GMT
    am abandoning cardio for now except my long walks to and from home and the train station each workday.

    ive only gained two pounds in the last two months despite lots of eating, drinking shakes, and doing compound lifts.

    i seem though to have gotten harder and leaner even if i only gained two pounds.
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    Aug 25, 2011 12:09 PM GMT
    partouse saidam abandoning cardio for now except my long walks to and from home and the train station each workday.

    ive only gained two pounds in the last two months despite lots of eating, drinking shakes, and doing compound lifts.

    i seem though to have gotten harder and leaner even if i only gained two pounds.
    Gaining one pound per month is excellent! That means you're doing it right. Even as a mesomorph, that's the fastest I'd want to gain. It's a very sustainable goal for the long term.

    Oh and I've love to feel that tighter body. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 30, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    thanks, paulflexes. given your postings are painfully frank, i'm always happy when you say something unambiguously positive (and frank and insightful)>