few questions about fitness after a long period of illness.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 13, 2008 4:12 PM GMT
    As stated on the subject I had a long period of ilness and I would like to do fitness to gain some muscles.
    I've always been very slim and skinny, but I eventually lost some pounds during this period and I became too skinny, even for my tastes. O_O
    What's strange is also the fact that I developed a "fat belt" (don't know the term in englis) on belly... it's very little but is something I never had and I would like to get rid of (not that I want to have a perfect six pack but... I would like to try to at least lol)

    The problem is, of course, that I can't do a diet... I mean, I'm already very thin so I don't want to loose mass but I would like to burn that little fat somehow, while gaining muscles... Is that possible?

    I suppose I am ectomorphic, since I'm slim and I can eat almost everything without gainig significant weight (since now at least) and I'm also vegetarian, wich makes things a little more difficult.
    Where I should start from?
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    Jul 13, 2008 4:24 PM GMT
    I have been told by my personal trainer that right after working out, the body is looking for protein to start repairing the muscles.

    He has recommended to me to eat protein within an hour of working out. He says it would be especially good, if the protein were in a liquid form. That way the body would not have to expend energy on digessing the solid food first.

    So I have one of those liquid nutrition drinks after working out.

    I would suspect that once you start working out and get your body's metabolism going again, that little roll of fat around your middle will disappear as your body uses the energy to grow muscle.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 13, 2008 9:16 PM GMT
    Depending on how strict you are with your vegetarianism, gaining significant muscle mass can be quite tricky. If you're OK with dairy products, you'll be able to make good use of whey protein powders. Eggs can also be quite helpful. Otherwise, you're probably looking at large amounts of beans in your diet, and those around you might not be too appreciative of that.

    It is possible to lose fat while gaining muscle, but it's much easier to do one at a time. With your fears about losing even more weight that you already have, you'd probably be better off focusing on gaining some muscle first, and then burning off the excess fat you don't want. Also realize that if you gain weight while keeping your body fat percentage roughly constantly, a small bulge in your waist will become less noticeable as you gain mass elsewhere in your frame.

    I'm well aware of the difficulties of gaining weight while having the metabolism of a hummingbird. Essentially, you need to train yourself to eat huge amounts of nutritious food at regular intervals, regardless of whether you feel hungry. You also need to make your work with weights be high weight/low reps, and possibly less frequent than you envision--every other day for 30-45 minutes, for example. Go for multijoint exercises which target large muscle group--bench presses, squats, and deadlifts--and leave the more targeted exercises like bicep curls until later. Move your cardio into interval training of short bursts of very high effort, rather than sustained duration endurance work. And, recognize that as much of a pain as this is, the only people who will likely show any empathy are the other really skinny people. Almost no one who struggles to keep weight off will see the similarities in struggling to reach a desired weight that is contrary to what your body does naturally, so it's best not to expect them to.

    Above it all, make sure your goals are reasonable. If you're the sort with the really high metabolism, aiming to gain 10 pounds is doable but a whole lot of work, and may well take a year. 20 is almost certainly a multi-year goal. Patience is important.