changes in excercise/eating habits

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sionkali
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changes in excercise/eating habits

#1 Postby sionkali » Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:05 pm

Hey everyone!

Just as a disclaimer, I am new to the strength training world (started as a new years resolution and discovered that I love it) so some of my questions might seem a bit obvious for those individuals who have been doing this kind of thing for a long time.

I've been doing cardio 3-4 times per week for 30 minutes and strength training 3-4 times per week (legs, arms, abs, back, stretch) for the past six weeks (I believe I'm on my seventh week, but I'm not 100% sure about that). The trainer I worked with in the beginning said I should start seeing some differences around the sixth week; unfortunately, nothing really noticeable has been happening. I realize things might be going on "inside" that I don't know about, but I had really hoped one of my measurements might have gone down a smidge or my weight might have budged even a couple pounds (that whole motivation thing).

I'm not expecting to drop massive poundage, since I am doing strength training, but I am concerned that I'm not losing any bodyfat (even a small amount would suffice) which would probably make all the work I've been doing difficult to see.

My main questions are: should I be including more cardio sessions to burn more calories in order to lose some noticeable bodyfat? should I be more strict as far as what I'm eating (I'm not a junk food person; I eat a good number of salads and fruit, but I also love to cook good stuff like veggie loaf and risotto)? or should I just continue what I'm currently doing and give it a bit more time before I start adjusting things? I don't plan on quitting, but I do think I might have to make adjustments in certain areas, whether they be excercise related, diet related, or both.

Thanks for tolerating my many novice questions!!

Jen :)

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#2 Postby Daywalker » Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:35 pm

Hi Jen, welcome to our forum :)


After six weeks, you can surely expect some first results.

Can you give us some more details on your routine, like: what exercises, how many sets/repetitions, how exhausting the training is for you etc. Do you do the same routine 3-4 times per week?

Details on diet? :)

I don't think that including more cardio would be the best way to lose fat faster, though it certainly is a way. I'd rather increase the intensity of the cardio sessions.

Peace,
Daywalker
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#3 Postby _raVen_ » Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:07 pm

Hi, sionkali, just here to say, "Hey, welcome" and give you some support, since I don't know squat about lifting, lol.

I've been working out for years, but I've been mostly involved in endurance activities and not lifting. so I'm learning!

You may want to start a journal here (there's a forum for it) to hold yourself accountable and get suggestions and help, etc., as well as record your results. You can look back and see how you've done, mistakes you've made, what did/didn't work...

Nice to meet you! :hello2:

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#4 Postby sionkali » Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:31 am

Daywalker wrote:Hi Jen, welcome to our forum :)

After six weeks, you can surely expect some first results.

Can you give us some more details on your routine, like: what exercises, how many sets/repetitions, how exhausting the training is for you etc. Do you do the same routine 3-4 times per week?

Details on diet? :)

I don't think that including more cardio would be the best way to lose fat faster, though it certainly is a way. I'd rather increase the intensity of the cardio sessions.

Peace,
Daywalker


Hey Daywalker!! Hiya _raVen_!! Thanks for replying to my post! I really appreciate the help.

My usual excercise schedule begins with 30 minutes of cardio (almost always the elliptical trainer) with 5 minutes of cool-down; I wear a heart monitor, and I usually keep an average heartrate of about 160-170 (I have a high resting heartrate). When you say "increasing the intensity" do you mean making my sessions longer or just mixing it up a bit?

My strength training is as follows; usually in this order, unless someone is hogging the machine, then I have to change things about a bit:

Leg Press
Leg Curl
Hip Adduction
Hip Abduction
Chest Press
Row
Overhead Press
Ab Crunch
Back Extension

I do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions, most of the time I can only do up to 15; if I can do more I either wait until the next time I train to see if I should move up 5lbs or I move up 5lbs at the second set. Most of the time it's a bit exhausting for me. I am new to it all, so I'm trying not to hurt myself early on (my right shoulder acts up sometimes, so I pay attention to what it feels like each time), but maybe I should be more exhausted at the end of my sessions. I have been moving the weight on each machine up, so something good is happening. I do go to the gym in the evening, but I don't know if that would make any huge difference, and a lot of times I eat some kind of dinner after the gym, which usually ends up being after 9pm (I'm guessing that might be working against me).

My diet is difficult to pinpoint; I hate counting calories, so I rarely write down what I'm eating every day (I'm sure I should be doing that, but it drives me crazy sometimes). I try to stick to fruits and veggies during the day, but sometimes I have a sandwich when I'm feeling especially hungry. Dinner is usually something I make from a book I have, or just whip together (tomorrow night will be salad with mushroom risotto and steamed cauliflower). I'm not a huge sweets fan, and I don't eat a whole lot of pasta or pizza (although I do make a mean broccoli pizza), however, I am a victim of caffeine (I know, bad bad bad, I'm trying to get myself off of it but it helps when I have really late nights).

I apologize for being vague and possibly indecisive, especially when it comes to what I eat, but I really do dislike calorie counting and writing down what I eat all the time. I've been dabbling in the Raw Food world, trying to make the majority of my daytime meals raw and whole (usually salads, fruit, etc.; I borrowed a juicer, so I might start trying to use that too).

If any other information is needed please let me know. I'm eager to start seeing all the good things that have been happening under my layer of bodyfat.

Thanks so much!!

Jen :)

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#5 Postby robert » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:11 am

Wow, thanks for all the info Jen. I'm sure you will find all kinds of great information here.

Please come on over to our Introductions page so we can properly welcome you to our group. :)

I'm about to go to bed, but I'll try to answer questions for you as you post them as well.

Welcome!

-Robert

Check out my Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness Book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Bodybuildin ... 497&sr=1-1

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#6 Postby offense74 » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:42 am

My 2 cents:
When you lift you should lift heavy. Always. Nomatter what your goals. After every set you should be blue in the face.
I never do lifting for more than 40 minutes simply because I can't take anymore. Therefore I have to divide the workout into 4 different sessions: Back, Chest, Shoulders and Arms (I don't do legs since I use them too much for other stuff).

Your diet seems good, although the amount of suffering (diet wise) is very different from person to person. What you can do is watch the starch a little bit (grains, potatoes, rice, etc).

Cardio. There are two ways to fit this in. Either you find something that you like and therefore involves very little suffering or you do it fast and uncomforteble (i.e. High Intensity Interval Training). Most bodybuilders despise cardio so if you read bodybuilder zines you will see that they usually prefer the latter. Again how much you need varies from person to person. You have to ease it in though, so you don't get injuries.

There are people who only needs to take brisk walks 2 days a week to lose all their fat. Most people don't fall into this category.
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#7 Postby sionkali » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:36 pm

offense74 wrote:My 2 cents:
When you lift you should lift heavy. Always. Nomatter what your goals. After every set you should be blue in the face.
I never do lifting for more than 40 minutes simply because I can't take anymore. Therefore I have to divide the workout into 4 different sessions: Back, Chest, Shoulders and Arms (I don't do legs since I use them too much for other stuff).

Your diet seems good, although the amount of suffering (diet wise) is very different from person to person. What you can do is watch the starch a little bit (grains, potatoes, rice, etc).

Cardio. There are two ways to fit this in. Either you find something that you like and therefore involves very little suffering or you do it fast and uncomforteble (i.e. High Intensity Interval Training). Most bodybuilders despise cardio so if you read bodybuilder zines you will see that they usually prefer the latter. Again how much you need varies from person to person. You have to ease it in though, so you don't get injuries.

There are people who only needs to take brisk walks 2 days a week to lose all their fat. Most people don't fall into this category.


Hey offense74!! Thanks for the added info!!

Lift heavy enough that I'm blue in the face after each set? Really? I would think that would be setting myself up for injury, especially since I'm new to training (only seven weeks in).

I was wondering what you meant by "High Intensity Interval Training"; I could take a wild guess, but I might be wrong, so it's probably better for me to ask. I definitely fall into the category of heavily disliking cardio; most of the time I suffer through it. Two years ago I only did cardio 45 minutes a day for at least 6 days a week and I don't think my weight budged much at all - it was such a lack of motivation for me.

I wish I could be one of those people who just do a bit of cardio a few times a week and drop bodyfat - stupid genetics!! That and I think I might have messed up my metabolism when I was in high school. I'm hoping to either fix that or make it better by weight training (crossing fingers, toes, eyes, etc.).

To the gym I go tonight, lets hope something happens soon.

Also, if it would help, I would definitely offer up my stats (height, weight, RHR, measurements, body fat percentage, etc.). I wouldn't have those things from this moment in time, but one of the trainers at the gym I go to did take all these things before I started my whole routine.

Thanks again everyone for all the great info!! I'm so scared that I'm not doing something the correct way; it helps to have a group of knowledgeable people to come to and ask questions!!

Jen :)

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#8 Postby offense74 » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:05 pm

Lift heavy enough that I'm blue in the face after each set? Really? I would think that would be setting myself up for injury, especially since I'm new to training (only seven weeks in).

I think you will be allright. If you're insecure just do the really heavy stuff in the machines for now. You're pretty secure in those.
I was wondering what you meant by "High Intensity Interval Training"

HIIT
It takes 10-20 minutes. If you hate cardio this is the way to go. I do HIIT in the morning for 20 minutes. It's defenately a good start for the day and supposedly you burn more fat in the morning.
I wish I could be one of those people who just do a bit of cardio a few times a week and drop bodyfat - stupid genetics!! That and I think I might have messed up my metabolism when I was in high school. I'm hoping to either fix that or make it better by weight training (crossing fingers, toes, eyes, etc.).

I'm in the same position as you. The reason that your metabolism is slower is simply because your cells are working slower than those who have high metabolism. This gives advantages in other areas (the cells live longer). I convince myself that it is good for my health :D
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#9 Postby sionkali » Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:42 pm

offense74 wrote:HIIT
It takes 10-20 minutes. If you hate cardio this is the way to go. I do HIIT in the morning for 20 minutes. It's defenately a good start for the day and supposedly you burn more fat in the morning.


The link you sent helped so much!! I do remember hearing about this kind of cardio excercise, but I didn't know it was called Interval Training (although, now that I think about it, the name makes perfect sense). I frequent the Elliptical trainer, which I believe has an Interval program; I'll check that out tonight when I do my cardio. Should I be starting with 20 minutes and working my way up?

Thanks again offense74!!

Jen :)

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#10 Postby offense74 » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:22 pm

Should I be starting with 20 minutes and working my way up?

Thing is that HIIT is very intense and it doesn't take long for your legs to get sore. I'd say start with 10 minutes and see if you can handle more. If you can then go up to 13, etc. There is no need to go over 20 minutes.
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#11 Postby 9nines » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:15 am

What exactly would constitute HIIT?

I quit running (knees were actually making clicking sounds when I walking on stairs) and got a good elliptical machine (knees much better now.)

One of the programs I run is interval training where I go 1 1/2 minutes at 139 beats per minute then 1 1/2 minutes at 156 beats per minute. I also have a program that goes 118 to 139 to 156.

Would that be similar to HIIT?

I could do it on manual mode and monitor my heart rate on my own, so I was not stuck on the 1 1/2 minute intervals of the set program.

160 heart rate will gets me taking rapid deep breath (on the fairly high resistance, the calories consumed shows I am consuming about 1400/hour at that point), after two minutes but I am not really winded. It feels close to if I sprinted at full speed.

What would be a good interval in (1) amount of time at each heart rate and (2) good heart rates (should I go higher than 160?)

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#12 Postby offense74 » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:00 pm

I think the basic idea is that you should get a light recovery between the intervals so you can go at it again but not enough that you recover completely. I bought a stationary bike with 8 gears and I do this approx. 5 times a week:
Light warmup (basically walking around the apartment, putting some clothes on, etc).
Min 1: Just trample light on gear 1.
Min 2: Go up to about 3 and increase tempo.
Min 3: Light trample.
Min 4: Go up to about 4 and increase tempo.
Min 5: Light trample.
Min 6: Gear 5-6 and increase tempo.
Min 8: Light trample.
Min 9: Gear 7-8 and increase tempo.
Min 10: Light trample.
Min 11-12: 1 1/2 min high tempo on 3 then 1/2 min on 7-8.
Min 13: Light trample.
Min 14-15: Same as Min 11-12.
Min 16: Light trample.
Min 17-18: Same as Min 11-12.
Min 19: Light trample.
Min 20: All I have left on gear 7-8.

On every interval I try to keep the same rythm for one minute, if I do I increase resistance on the next interval. The key (I think) is to push to the max on the intervals and then almost rest fully on the off minutes.
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#13 Postby sionkali » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:45 pm

I think I might have been doing the Interval Training incorrectly on the Elliptical machine last night. I was unsure if I was supposed to keep my heartrate up on the lower/easier portions or let it go down a bit and then have it go back up on the higher resistance/ramp portion.

I ended up doing 15 minutes with a 5 minute cool-down; my legs definitely were humming afterward, but I was concerned about how many calories I was burning (according to the machine). Should I even believe the machine? Or does something else go on when you do Interval Training as compared to just straight cardio?

Jen :)


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