Weight Loss OR Muscle Building - What first?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 18, 2009 5:56 PM GMT
    I have searched the forums and web and can't seem to find a consistent answer to my question: Should I focus on weight loss first and then work on muscle building or vice versa?

    I am 6' 6" and weigh 300 lbs. My normal weight was 200 so I was quite slim but not toned at all. My goal to to get slim again, get rid of this stomach I have (waist 48"), and then build muscle. From what I've read, you eat and exercise different ways for different purposes. I'm weary of so many varying opinions on the topic I thought I would try to find guys who have actually done this and tell me what has worked for them.

    So far, I have done the usual "no brainer" things - no fast food, no sodas, lots of water, salads with chicken breast, fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks. I returned to the gym (apartment complex fitness room, to be exact!) this week and was planning on doing strength training MWF and cardio TThSat. Just by changing eating habits in the last two months, I've lost 15 pounds, hence the 300 weight I am at today.

    I haven't posted a picture yet, because, quite frankly, my body would look like "Shrek" compared to the gorgeous guys on this website!

    Your help and advice would be awesome!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 18, 2009 7:24 PM GMT
    REad" Fit or Fat," 1978 (New York Times Bestseller List: 1983, 1984)
    prolly buy it for a buck on amazon.

    Fat weight can not burn fat. Muscle weight burns fat.
  • ftwcycle

    Posts: 111

    Apr 18, 2009 8:47 PM GMT
    I had to make the same decision when I first started back into the gym about 9 months ago. 242 pounds with 35% body fat...very little muscle mass, except for the legs; I ride a bike a lot. A very low metabolism as well. When I first got back into the gym, I decided to go with muscle building, the deciding factor that muscle mass burns calories...my "logic" was that increasing muscle mass would increase the metabolism as well.

    That approach has worked well for me...it took a while for me to see change in my body, but the weight came off steadily. About 4 weeks ago I switched to lighter weights, more reps to keep my heart rate up for about 45 minutes, then 40 minutes of cardio. I can see muscle moving under the fat now for the first time in YEARS, especially in my chest, arms and shoulders.

    So the building increased my strength, gave me energy to burn, I sleep better and feel great. This increased strength also made me more able to sustain a longer, more effective cardio workout.

    Hang in there! Losing 54 pounds (so far) has made me feel so good. There is a line I wrote in my fitness diary a while back and it sums up so many things for me. Something like "exercise it not just changing how I look, its changing how I look at myself".

    Whatever you decide, don't make it drudgery, or you will find it tough to maintain the workouts.

    I've also been reticent about posting more pics of myself, especially with all of the would-you-do-the-guy-above-you-type threads here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 18, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
    Hit the cardio!! I have noticed with me, if I start to feel pudgy, I do some weights but make sure I do 30 to 40 mins of cardio to 5 days a week. At 40 mins I can tell my body is trimming down in a weeks time. I prefer to use the cross training machines where you use both your arms and legs. Be determined! don't give in!

    When I trim down to the size I want, then I cut down on cardio and do more weights.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 21, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    You absolutely need to build muscle in order to increase your overall metabolism. With the right nutrition and right training program you can do both.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2009 6:35 PM GMT
    First, don't worry about how you look in comparison to people on a website.

    But to answer your question, focus on both. Weight training will put muscle on your body, making your healthier and increasing your basal metabolic rate, or how many calories you burn each day for just being alive. Do cardio to keep pushing your heart rate up, increase your endurance, and burn through calories. There's little reason to take a 'all this' or 'all that' binary approach.

    Myself, I'm essentially doing what you are suggesting, three odd days a week on cardio, three even days a week on weights.

    Congrats on your weight loss; never give up!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2009 6:58 PM GMT
    I hate when people talk about wanted to loose or gain WEIGHT. Because in truth, that isn't what you want to loose or gain.

    Most people who want to "loose weight" want to loose fat content.
    Most people who want to "gain weight" want to gain muscle mass.

    If you simply clarify that much, the process becomes so much clearer in my opinion. Ultimately it doesn't matter how many pounds you weight, it matters what that weight is made up of.

    A lot of people want to loose or gain 5 or 10 pounds, which is really the most ridiculous thing ever because your body fluctuates about 5 pounds a day depending on how much you eat, sweat, pee, poop, etc…