noob needs advice!

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keeganthevegan
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noob needs advice!

#1 Postby keeganthevegan » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:45 am

Hi Everyone,

Sorry about the crappy pic: I'll post better ones when I have someone to help me out! I was hoping to get some suggestions from you guys about my training. I've been lifting for about four years, but it was mostly boring circuit/isolation exercises and repetitive bouts of moderate cardio. I had pretty much plateaued--I was fitter than the average American, but still far from reaching my goals. Recently, after running across stumptuous.com and this site, I decided to get serious, lift heavy, and clean up my diet. So, here's the sitch:

Image

I'm 5'6" and currently about 137 lbs. I am one week into the four-day split routine on stumptuous.com, which is here: http://www.stumptuous.com/workout-5 It's much heavier on compound movements and I've definitely been feeling the difference. For cardio, I've been trying interval training--burpees or bear crawls mixed with walking, and high/low sessions on the arc trainer for 15 minutes at a time.

I've vegan for 13 years and my current diet is pretty clean: 5-6 small meals a day, Vega shakes, Brendan Brazier's recovery shake after working out, low carbs and high protein, a lot of raw or steamed veggies, at least an apple a day, tons of water. My weakness is beer.

I'm very happy with my upper body development, but need to lose quite a bit of belly/hip fat and firm up my legs, which I had been ignoring. Squats are currently killing me, but I can do 15 pull-ups!

My major question is this: should I try to cut my fat down by restricting calories, or should I try to build muscle and bulk up first? My ultimate goal is to be very muscular: I don't care about being "skinny" or fitting into a size 2 pair of jeans. I want strength, mass, and low enough body fat to see results! My ultimate goal would be to look something like Lisa Koehn on the Profiles page of this site.

So what do you think? I love the inspirational comments on this forum and am curious to see what you guys say. Thanks!

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Fallen_Horse
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Re: noob needs advice!

#2 Postby Fallen_Horse » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:48 am

keeganthevegan wrote:I'm very happy with my upper body development, but need to lose quite a bit of belly/hip fat and firm up my legs, which I had been ignoring. Squats are currently killing me, but I can do 15 pull-ups!

My major question is this: should I try to cut my fat down by restricting calories, or should I try to build muscle and bulk up first? My ultimate goal is to be very muscular: I don't care about being "skinny" or fitting into a size 2 pair of jeans. I want strength, mass, and low enough body fat to see results! My ultimate goal would be to look something like Lisa Koehn on the Profiles page of this site.

First off, congrats for what you have achieved so far. I wouldn't call 15 pullups a 'noob', especially as a woman. Great job!
Secondly, if your ultimate goal is really to be very muscular, then cutting calories is going to get you farther from that goal, simply because with fat loss you will also lose a bit of muscle. It's basically a decision of if you want some muscle with no fat, or lots of muscle with fat. I think your current diet plan is serving you well, why do you want to change it?
Learning how to be compassionate, gain wisdom, and love life.

keeganthevegan
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Re: noob needs advice!

#3 Postby keeganthevegan » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:21 pm

Thanks for the comment, FallenHorse! I should mention that the cleaner diet is new: I've only been on it for a week, so I don't really have a sense of what will happen. I am basically worried about eating too many/too few calories. Most diets seem to be calibrated for men, so I don't have a good sense of what I should be shooting for. I think my calorie intake right now is around 1800 a day. The idea of eating 2300 calories a day wigs me out! :shock:

I'm basically looking to build muscle without adding much more fat: I can always lose fat later, right? So, I'm wondering how much I should be eating to see those results.

Thanks for the help! I'll post some better pics soon.

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dropSoul
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Re: noob needs advice!

#4 Postby dropSoul » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:56 pm

I LOVE http://www.stumptuous.com/

I wish I could do pull ups!!!!! I joined a gym, finally, and am using the lat pull down thingy while standing (to engage the core) and slowly I'll work up to it.

The only way to build lower body muscle the same way you built the upper body, relentless attention to lifting heavier and heavier weights and doing the king of all, squats since it does a number on your entire body.

Between http://www.stumptuous.com/ and the book "Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess: New Rules of Lifting for Women" (sans the meat/whey advice) these have helped tremendously on where to focus. Women have more knee injuries because we have front dominance in our quads, so part of the reason why squats kill us is that we need to build the hamstrings up and the lower back, pay less attention to the alpha quads and really focus on lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.

I started doing the following two exercises to work on lower back, core, and hamstrings, and butt about a month ago and squats are less torture.





Get rid of the beer (empty carbs) for 2 weeks, with the same program you're on, and you will see a big difference in the gut.

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dropSoul
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More Hamstring Exercises

#5 Postby dropSoul » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:13 pm



This is a Bad Ass hamstring exercise.



Both rock your butt, hamstrings and core (even the second one since it's a whole body effort to curl)

I want legs like this:Image

keeganthevegan
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Re: noob needs advice!

#6 Postby keeganthevegan » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:45 am

Thanks for the exercise help, DropSoul! I've been working my hams on a machine, but these will probably be much more effective. Gonna add a couple of these to my leg day to help with squats.

Oh, and the pull-ups come one at a time, with nice long breaks in between. Still haven't mastered two in a row! :oops:

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dropSoul
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Re: noob needs advice!

#7 Postby dropSoul » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:43 pm

Lisa on the profiles page ROCKS!

For cardio, since I want to build my lower body, my cardio is 10 degrees on a treadmill or stepping on a stool 7 inches from the ground (got it at target in the kids department) or mountain climbing anything that is lower body that requires strength. This has helped a lot. And there's that stuff on the crossfit site which is the jumping on and off a high box. Really good for leg muscles. Also running in place on the balls of your feet while trying to kick your own ass, this you can feel works your hamstrings if you do it a certain way. Basically, I work in lower body work all the time, dishes, laundry, cat's pan, and one legged squats using only body weight. Just more and more concentration with mind and visualizing it too. Why not!

To build:
Training by the rules (pasted from somewhere)

When it comes to strength training, the old rule still applies: to get stronger, work with heavier weights and perform fewer repetitions. To promote endurance, use lighter weights and complete more repetitions.

It's encouraging to note that just like men, most women will experience a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in muscular strength after several months of resistance training.

Understanding your body type and how you might respond to exercise can help you set realistic goals and expectations. Avoid comparisons to others you see, at the gym or elsewhere, and remember that no two people are alike.

Focus on how good exercise makes you feel rather than how you would like to look. Accepting our bodies for what they are is a great way to get rid of the guilt or pressure we often feel to look a certain way.

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steffapeppa40
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Re: noob needs advice!

#8 Postby steffapeppa40 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:37 pm

dropSoul wrote:Lisa on the profiles page ROCKS!

For cardio, since I want to build my lower body, my cardio is 10 degrees on a treadmill or stepping on a stool 7 inches from the ground (got it at target in the kids department) or mountain climbing anything that is lower body that requires strength. This has helped a lot. And there's that stuff on the crossfit site which is the jumping on and off a high box. Really good for leg muscles. Also running in place on the balls of your feet while trying to kick your own ass, this you can feel works your hamstrings if you do it a certain way. Basically, I work in lower body work all the time, dishes, laundry, cat's pan, and one legged squats using only body weight. Just more and more concentration with mind and visualizing it too. Why not!

To build:
Training by the rules (pasted from somewhere)

When it comes to strength training, the old rule still applies: to get stronger, work with heavier weights and perform fewer repetitions. To promote endurance, use lighter weights and complete more repetitions.


It's encouraging to note that just like men, most women will experience a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in muscular strength after several months of resistance training.

Understanding your body type and how you might respond to exercise can help you set realistic goals and expectations. Avoid comparisons to others you see, at the gym or elsewhere, and remember that no two people are alike.

Focus on how good exercise makes you feel rather than how you would like to look. Accepting our bodies for what they are is a great way to get rid of the guilt or pressure we often feel to look a certain way.


i really like your advice, dropSoul- :D

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Re: noob needs advice!

#9 Postby DCNINJA » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:14 pm

The age old dilemma how to get rid of the stubborn fat. My experience has been that simple carbs are a real culprit here. Not the only culprit, but one culprit. 1800 kcal a day sounds good. I want you to change up your calorie plan. No carbs after 8 PM. No sugar ever no salt ever and no white flour, and nothing with alcohol. That is a good start. A better start (some really good people will disagree on me with this, but okay) is to eat no less than 140 grams of protein per day, and increase your fat intake to at least 60 grams per day. Keep the 1800 kcal diet. Your workouts sound good. Instead of hamstring curls, try straight leg deadlifts. Good luck!!


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