There's got to be a better way?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 25, 2009 6:20 AM GMT
    My workout plan has ballooned to a ginormous elephant taking up way too much time. I'm there daily doing something and right now I'm sore all over, especially legs from monday.

    My plan includes
    Legs : squats, leg press, hamstring machine [laying down], calf [standing and sitting]

    chest: flat bench, dumbbell press, incline bench, cable flies, triceps pull
    alt chest: flat bench, floor bench, incline bench, closed grip bench, dumbbell press, flys and triceps pull

    back & shoulders: lawnmowers, t-bar row, upright row, militaries, shoulder press [dumbbells], cable crossovers, biceps with a short bar

    aerobics: elliptical daily for 30, running for 15 min at least 4x per week, spinning for 15 for 2-3x per week.

    My aim is losing weight. I'm 210 (21% BF), from 248 (28.1% BF) last year. want to get to the 180s (or 8-10% BF).

    It's just so hard and so slow. I'm committed to work but I've realized I've spent 90 minutes weight training and 30-45 running, that's a big chunk out of my day where could be studying.

    I'm also trying to fix my diet to aid in fat loss, from about 2500-2700 to <2000 calories. But that's a harder part, just little trip ups like 3-4 french toast sticks (400 cal) wrecked yesterday.

    So, any advice to cut down on time and still lose fat and gain muscle mass?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 25, 2009 2:04 PM GMT
    For me, the most challenging part of starting a healthy lifestyle was changing bad habits, which include eating habits. If you can do that, it makes the exercise part easier. Think of it this way... Yesterday before I went to the gym, I had a brownie that I made the night before. It was chocolate fudge with walnuts, toffee and marshmallow fluff. Mmmm! This brownie had about 300 calories (yes I counted). So at the gym yesterday, I stayed until around 8:45 pm because I had to work extra hard on the cardio to compensate for a bad decision. It tasted great, but I had to do more work to make up for it. Granted, I rarely eat sweets because that is one of the habits I changed.

    If you can fix your diet, you won't have to do quite as much training because you will be taking in less calories throughout the day. There are some good meal plans on this website, and tons of other sources on the Internet. Also, my roommate has a PhD in Exercise and Sports Science, and he told me that if you're lifting weights for more than about 50 minutes at one time, you're wasting your time. Apparently after this time period, your body starts to release a greater amount of cortisol, which can work against you.

    Check this out:

    "Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:

    - Decrease in muscle tissue
    - Increased abdominal fat"

    Granted, this is relating to chronic stress, but the principle is the same. The more cortisol, the less effective your workout.

    Maybe you could try shorter, higher intensity workouts. Lift for 45 minutes, but up your weight and lower your reps. If you do this, you'll also be raising your heart rate and burning calories faster when you lift. I think the average is 8 calories per minute, but if you look around your gym, those people who sit on the bench for a full minute or more between sets are not burning 8 calories per minute. As for the cardio, keep it up and you'll notice results. Remember, diet is key. Good luck! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 25, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    diet (not meaning, in any of the cases "don´t eat", but "don´t eat foods that harm you)

    shorter sharper exercise and go home.

    MD is right (though I barely do cardio... intervals are better than steady state if you want to do separate cardio)
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Mar 25, 2009 3:09 PM GMT
    have you tried breaking up your calories into 5 or 6 meals a day? It's helped me shed 45lbs of fat in the last 6 months.
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    Mar 25, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    One other thing you need to take into consideration is that you can't lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. My suggestion to you would be to try either the 1800 or 2100 calorie diet RJ has here on this site. You'll be able to lose the fat yet still retain the muscle mass you've gained. Try HIIT for your cardio as well to lose those extra pounds. Once you're down to what you consider a good weight, then increase your calorie intake with one of the other higher caloric diets here on RJ.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 26, 2009 7:00 AM GMT
    I am not sure exactly what you are lifting per day... I would try to split weights into a few routines that will each take you no more than an hour. If you prefer to lift every day, you could split it into three workouts, one day do legs, one back+chest, one shoulders+arms... Alternatively you can just split your workout into two days, one push and one pull. If you prefer to lift every other day, you could even develop a routine that is total body, but fewer exercises than you are now doing--keep it to an hour or so. But try to give every muscle group 48 hours off before you lift again. Its gonna take some time dude so don't expect results in days or weeks--it takes months or longer.

    As for cardio, yes the studies say HIIT is more effective at isolating fat loss while minimizing muscle loss than steady state cardio. If you can stand HIIT, you will get more results in less time than if you do steady state. Personally, however, HIIT makes me want to puke, but 40 minutes on the stair climber (step mill type) is much more pleasant. And I burn a ton of calories on it--more than possible on the treadmill or elliptical. Do whichever cardio method you prefer, but the best one is the one you will be able to do consistently. Good luck.