Help With Training Priorities... Cardio vs. Weights and Time Spent on Both!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 6:15 AM GMT
    I have a typical endomorphic body type - 6'4" and 175 lbs... It is hard for me to gain muscle weight and show it because I am tall and lean.

    I have spent the past year losing 25 lbs of flab and getting toned (I was in crap shape!) but now want to add muscle weight, at least 20 lbs.

    I am not a total bonerack, I am quite fit from running, swimming, and doing sit-ups and push-ups... but don't have a specific weight program - mostly because I don't think I have time in my week and am afraid my performance in my swimming might drop from being tired from working out between swims.

    1. What's a realistic timeline to add that much muscle?

    2. Part of my ability to get in shape the past year has been from discovering a love for cardio (swimming and running) - how do I add weights to my week without sacrificing these (swim 1 hour x 3 days a week; run 5km x 2 days per week) and adding weight?

    3. How much weight should I be lifting? And what are the best muscles to target for a tall, lean guy to show size?

    4. What's the deal with 'over'working out - can I do weights and cardio in one day? I have been told part of my problem might be that I am not resting enough between exercise.

    Thanks for the tips in advance... sorry if these questions are dumb, but like I said, I am relatively new to this.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 9:36 AM GMT
    If yuo can put fat on you can put muscle on it just means yuo are not stimulating the muscle enough and you are eating too many calories for your training.

    I think people place too much value in a pigeon holed classification, but I can relate to what you are saying in a way.

    But muscle needs recovery and somethings gotta give or your diet will have to be huge to add muscle mass. The thing is you need to start with looking at your diet and build up from there.

    Swimmers have great builds but if you want to train for swimming do just that. The running whilst it maybe a passion is going to detract from your muscle building and recovery process, and the latter is what you will be impairing. Some believe in active rest ie a gentle swim between training days or a gentle run. Somehow I dont think thas your bag :-)

    If you run on a weights day not only will your calorie requirement go up but one will detract from your ability to do the other efficiently ie you cant put 100% effort into both and whatever comes first will get the larger amount fo effort from immediate energy expenditure.

    So out of the three I would say something has got to give, it aint gonna be the swimming and running wont build muscle.

    Yuo could combine a cv impact into your weights routine and still bulk. ie supersets, triples quads and minimal rest. It will leave you heaving and sweating like a biatch and may satiate your need for the exhileration fo running.

    As for whats the best muscle to target well its all of them as you dont want to end up a gym gorrilla and a specific muscle will not help with your swimming. If anything swimmers have the classic X build ie broad shoulders narrow waist and powerful big thighs, sorry came over all unnecessary thinking about them then ;-).

    Start off for a few weeks with a full body routine to decondition and then move onto a 3 session split a week (can send you a programme but am a million miles away from a decent body yet having come down from being a lard arse!) but getting there quickly and efficintly
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Oct 04, 2007 10:59 AM GMT
    This is one of the most common problems guys have when they wanna start getting serious about working out
    20lbs of muscle...yeah it feasible
    timeframe...depends on you
    you want it sooner rather than later? that will depend on your resolve and the tools at hand
    muscle comes from eating right and weight training by and large
    diet is static...so that's a starting point
    lower cals ... lo carb... hi protein
    smaller meals more often
    weights...a good sensible full body regimen at least 3 times a week
    a trainer not necessary but will get you there faster
    and one thing more...you said you run and swim
    cardio is good and it will burn excess cals but it tends to burn muscle tissue as well if you over do it
    cardio no more than twice a week
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 4:32 PM GMT
    I am going to "ditto" GQ Jocks advice, though I would recommend 4days a week...with weights that you can control and keep proper form for 3 sets of 10 reps.

    Cardio no more than 2x a week...YES!!!!

    Slowly build up your weight....dont do too much too soon. Maintaining proper form is SOOOO important.

    Mix up your workouts...if you do chest and tri's for a couple of weeks....then change it and do Chest and Back....with Bi's and Tri's as a routine....then....change the type of exercises you do for each muscle group...always mixing it up...if you shock your muscles, they will repsond quicker...providing....and this is HUGE....you have the proper diet....its Key...as GQ Jock stated.

    Good Luck. You can do it!!

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 04, 2007 6:52 PM GMT
    Time frames vary a lot from person to person. It took me a year in the gym to gain 15 pounds, and then next 5 came a few months after that.

    The general advice for tall lean guys who have a hard time putting on muscle is to target the largest muscle groups with multijoint exercises, as they have the most room for improvement. Squat, chest press, and deadlift. Leave a lot of the more localized exercises, like bicep curls, out for a while.

    The amount of weight you need is also very dependent on you. You need to figure out what your current limits are to maintain proper form for sets of relatively few reps (5-6), and then gradually push past those limits, adding a small amount of weight and then working it until your form is perfect again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    That being said, to echo one of the prior comments--if you had 25 pounds of flab to lose, you may not be a true ectomorph, unless it was brought about as the side effect of a medication or something. People can get caught up in these terms, but if your metabolism allowed you to gain that weight as fat, then you're clearly able to eat more calories than your body will naturally use, and thus you have the possibility of turning that energy into muscle by working out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 8:31 PM GMT
    Thanks for the awesome info all - amped to change my routine and hit it! I have one question though...

    So, should I be only doing one thing per day - either working out with weights or swimming?

    I am used to doing activity a couple times a day, sometimes I run in the morning and swim at night - I think i might find it hard to do less.

    Also, should I do abs and core daily?

    Thanks again - this is the most useful website/members on the net!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Oct 04, 2007 9:39 PM GMT
    if you're doing cardio anymore than just a warm up
    don't do it on the days that you are lifting... you'll likely defeat the purpose

    as far as abs go I'll tell you what I do
    abs can be worked more than other muscles
    I do an ab workout for my warmup at each session
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    Oct 05, 2007 2:07 PM GMT
    carb low protein high hmmm dubious as most people only need 20% of the protein they are consuming anyway and without adequate carbs you wont have the energy to train full and hard

    And then to suggest run to burn off excess calories that you have just consumed to build muscle that makes little or no sense at all.

    Stick to your swimming for the cardio and incorporate it within your weights routine. Start of with the full bodies to decondition and kick start the process then you can move onto splits if needs be.

    As for the core and abs workout lifting hard and heavy that core is going to be pretty trounced one ab exercise at the end of a session is more than enough, as you reach your goal tho you can always increase it.

    As for diet, well you have already shown you are carrying excess fat I would gradually start to increase the calories by 200 a fortnight.

    Timescales? I added 16lbs of lean muscle mass in 6 months in 3-4 sessions a week, rough sessional time of 35 minutes

    can send you a link to a programme if ya want