Progress Report

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 28, 2010 12:49 AM GMT
    So in December I decided I wanted to get jacked by summer. I'd been on my road to full fitness for about a year with mixed results and way too much money spent on the wrong things, utilized wrongly, and eating way too badly.

    Now it's the two months since my goal was set and I feel more fit, and I like to think I look more trim. I lost only five pounds but I look more defined, I think I'm building muscle, but my measurements have been a little wonky so it's hard to tell. My strength is up definitely, but not so much for size.

    I have a Bodyspace account: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/guy88/ . I've filled it in with all the pertinent information.

    I've had a lot of setbacks though, and other hindrances. To begin, I've been out of a job since October and only found employment at a grocery store just at the beginning of this month. I've been living off of beans and rice and sparing, very sparing on the protein. Anyone remember my Versatile Paste? Stuff like that. I've been also letting loose with eating bad food, drinking a lot of sugary energy drinks (no pop though, unless it goes with alcohol..) and alcohol about every week. On a shoe-string budget my commitments have waned and when I can get to the gym (averaging 4 times a week) any progress is stunted even a little by lack of proper and comprehensive diet, try as I might.

    The pictures are before and after, and I like to think I've made at least some progress from the before:
    DSC03721-1.jpg

    And now:

    DSC04619-1.jpg

    My new goal is for April 15, I want to continue losing fat while inducing hypertrophy. I'm going to continue working on arm size and trying to get my abs to "pop".

    QUESTIONS: On losing fat, I would like to ask those of you here how much cardio exactly do you think I could do before I would be burning muscle stores? I want to up my cardio to an hour or more a day, with a good 45 minutes for weight training. Can I do a half hour before weight training then a half hour after? Would I lose out of that golden hour of nutrition refueling if I do that half hour after weight training?
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    Feb 28, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    Mark, you'll want to study up on HIIT. It's vastly more effective ( 7 to 9 times more), and will help to protect your lean muscle mass. No one knows what program will work right for you. You have to learn that on your own. However, in general if you spend too much time with too few calories and low blood sugar, you'll compromise muscle. Remember, carbs are protein sparing, and that fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate. So, eat carbs...get busy. You'll be fine. Everyone has peaks and valleys.

    It would be highly unproductive, especially given your calorie intake, to try to do 1 hour of steady state cardio daily. Down right silly, in fact. Instead try doing 20 minutes, or even just 12 minutes, of HIIT after you're done with your workout. That's more than enough. The HIIT will increase your cardiac threshold, preserve your lean muscle mass, and be vastly more effective. It's the path you should take.

    Carbs are cheap: pasta, grits, oatmeal, farina. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Spend your money wisely on clean carbs, and get some decent protein and you'll be fine.
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    Feb 28, 2010 11:43 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidMark, you'll want to study up on HIIT. It's vastly more effective ( 7 to 9 times more), and will help to protect your lean muscle mass. No one knows what program will work right for you. You have to learn that on your own. However, in general if you spend too much time with too few calories and low blood sugar, you'll compromise muscle. Remember, carbs are protein sparing, and that fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate. So, eat carbs...get busy. You'll be fine. Everyone has peaks and valleys.

    It would be highly unproductive, especially given your calorie intake, to try to do 1 hour of steady state cardio daily. Down right silly, in fact. Instead try doing 20 minutes, or even just 12 minutes, of HIIT after you're done with your workout. That's more than enough. The HIIT will increase your cardiac threshold, preserve your lean muscle mass, and be vastly more effective. It's the path you should take.

    Carbs are cheap: pasta, grits, oatmeal, farina. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Spend your money wisely on clean carbs, and get some decent protein and you'll be fine.

    Lol that's really good advice.

    From the experiences I've had... don't set your goals too high. I know I do not have the attention span to do 1 hour of straight cardio A DAY. Don't punish yourself like that or you won't go back to it. Even when I was training quite a bit, I'd only do runs like that maybe twice a week. I've even heard that excessive cardio can be hard on your heart and that some interval stuff is healthier (ie sports and stuff).

    I have a friend who is 51 and looks like heman. It's insane. He says he spends 45 minutes in the gym a day... no more. Like Chucky said, he's found a routine that he has built on after decades of training that works for him.

    Mind you, I've never done training specifically for muscle mass. In fact, the weight training I did was sort of for the opposite. Get stronger with minimal growth.

    Good luck!

    Like Chucky said, it's whatever works for you.