Is it absolutely necessary for me to lift weights in order to lose weight?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by ogruskie, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    I've been lifting weights for several years now, and I'd say I'm pretty strong and muscular. However I've got some chubbiness in that I need to get rid to truly see the muscle.

    I was planning on doing just cardio (such as running and jump roping) to burn the fat, but I've read numerous times that in order to burn fat, I need to lift weights. I just find weight lifting boring (even if I do change the routine every time), and I'd rather run anyway.

    What do you guys think? Can I drop my weight lifting regime completely and do cardio? Or must I still lift the weights? And if I MUST lift weights, then whats the minimum amount of times I can do it per week?
     
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  2. The Home Run Kid

    The Home Run Kid Rookie

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    You can't hope to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. Period. To gain muscle, you have to take in more calories than you burn. Period. To lose weight, you'll have to cut down on all the eating you do, even if it is nutritious and the right kinds of foods, to drop your calorie intake.
     
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  3. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    There is zero need to lift weights to burn fat.

    Do cardio, like the elliptical machine, 40-50 minutes a day and you lose tons of weight and be ripped probably within a few months, granted you are eating well (cut out sugary and high fat foods).
     
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  4. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    Have you ever seen a fat long distance runner? ... aerobic exercise that is weight bearing is the fastest way to burn fat. If you break anaerobic threshhold, you lose less fat and tear down more muscle tissues .... running at 70-80% of your max heart rate is a good amount. It also depends upon how much tennis you play ... potential for over training. I am having to cut down the number of hours per week of hard running tennis in order to add in running--just to be on the safe side.
     
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  5. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Then how come world class sprinters have such a low body fat?

    [​IMG]

    World class sprinters rarely if ever perform running at 70-80 % of their max heart rate.

    To the OP, if you merely talk about WEIGHT loss, you do NOT need to lift weight. Just eat less and exercise more, and you will lose weight (from fat, muscle and water).

    However, if you talk about FAT loss, then you need to lift weight.

    It's almost impossible to lose bodyfat without the loss of muscle if you don't lift weight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
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  6. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    Figure skaters and ballet dancers normally do not do weight lifting with the goal of losing weight -- it is done for move-specific strength. But most of their training comes from lifting their own weight, as a runner does.

    Any world class athlete cannot afford to be over weight -- for recreational people who are not elite athletes, weight-bearing aerobic exercise is the easiest way for people to loss weight without adding bulk or interfering with flexibility.

    I know that adding muscle mass thru weight lifting will increase caloric need. But all exercise is not the same as far as fat burning or appetite control. Aerobic exercise tends to suppress appetite and burn fat, whereas anaerobic exercise tends to increase appetite and use muscle glycogen, for most people, individuals will vary.

    For people with bad joints, using a rebounder or doing power walking works as well. But that is just my opinion. You ask ten people and will get eleven opinions. But if you want to lift weights fine. But it is not necessarily a must for people who want to loss weight.
     
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  7. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    Whats the difference between losing WEIGHT and FAT? I thought it meant the same thing.

    In case there's any confusion, I'm trying to lose FAT. I've got the muscle. I just need to burn the fat.
     
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  8. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    And you could ask 100 people and odds are you wouldn't get 1 single reply with as much study, knowledge or experience behind them as Ano.

    Your reply meanders and in some places is very pedestrian, but I'm sure he'll point that much out.
     
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  9. Ano

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  10. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Weight loss can come from muscle and/or water and/or bodyfat.

    For example, go to a sauna for an hour. You can lose 5-10 pounds of bodyweight in an hour. It's weight loss from water, not fat. But you lose weight, right? Is that kind of weight loss that you want? I'm willing to bet that is not the kind of weight loss that you want.

    Another example, severely restrict your caloric intake and run 3 hours a day for a month. You could lose 20 pounds of bodyweight. However, you could lose 10 pounds of muscle, 5 pounds of bodyfat and 5 pounds of water. Again, this is not the kind of weight loss that you want.


    Now, combine good eating, weight training and interval training for a month. Perhaps you lose only 5-8 pounds in one month, however the weight you lose will come from bodyfat only, without the loss of muscle ( and if you are lucky, perhaps you could gain 1 pound of muscle).

    Clear enough?
     
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  11. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    You can lose "weight" from
    water loss (dehydration),
    muscle loss (atrophy from over-use or starvation), or
    fat loss.

    Obviously the sarcastic "experts" on this forum are not going to listen to common sense or anyone's opinion other than their own.

    A long term training plan for weight loss needs to be designed for a person's lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with weight training (I assume you are talking free weights or machines) but using one's own weight to exercise with *continuous aerobic activity* is well documented for fat loss.

    If you walk 2-3 miles a day at a brisk pace (or jog or run) and consume less calories than you burn (assuming you eat a healthy diet), you will eventually lose weight. If you "starve" yourself your body will canabalize itself.
     
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  12. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, mate.

    I very rarely post on this forum anymore, because I'm tired of wasting my time arguing with posters who clearly don't have an idea what are they talking about.
     
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  13. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Hey - this isn't the racquet forums, people (mostly) play nice here. Common sense is one thing, but most "common knowledge and opinion" in the weight loss and fitness arena tends to be, well, more grounded in rumour and myth than anything else.

    And if you do nothing to maintain the muscle that you have when doing the above, you will indeed likely lose some thereof, potentially more so in the un-exercised upper-body.
     
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  14. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Anytime. It's a shame to see such things win out, but I more than understand where you are coming from.

    It's often a fact (and shame) in life that people tend to only believe:

    a. what they want to believe, or
    b. what they're paying someone to tell them.

    It's always a shame when people can't see that sometimes people are willing to share knowledge and experience for free, and the 'upside' of forums like this - giving everyone a free and equal voice - can sometimes be a 'downside' too....
     
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  15. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I've learned never to waste my time arguing with people who have hardened, steadfast opinions, and to only spend time with people who are open and are willing to have a friendly discussion. Unfortunately most people seem to think they know everything about everything.

    "I'm not voting for Obama, he's a racist Muslim!"
    "Where did you hear that?"
    "I read it in an e-mail sent by someone I work with. It's got to be true."
     
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  16. albino smurf

    albino smurf Professional

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    "Whats the difference between losing WEIGHT and FAT?"

    For the last year I have exercised for at least an hour a day, six days a week, sometimes seven, at a very intense level. By not reducing my caloric intake I have gained 15 pounds in that time, yet look the skinniest I have in years and lost two pants sizes. Muscle weighs more than fat.

    I think some people misread what Ano said. He is right in my experience. Extended intense cardio will burn tons of fat, but you will lose muscle as well. You probably will want to combine weights with cardio so as to get stronger while losing weight. Or not losing weight.

    IMO a mirror is better indicator than a scale.
     
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  17. Fay

    Fay Professional

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    The original poster said he has been lifting weights and is muscular.

    This is a TENNIS list so I assume that the poster playing tennis.

    It takes more work to build muscles than to maintain them.

    And my personal opinion is that no one should lift weights year round, year after year, unless weight lifting is their primary sport.

    So taking a break from weights to run or jog is fine.

    The questions was can weight be lost without weight lifting. The answer is a simple yes. You can argue what is better for you, but that is not what he asked.

    And no matter who you ask you will get varying different opinions, so in the end the BEST thing is to experiment and find out what is best for you over the long term. Each person finds what training programs work by getting suggestions and trying them out and developing their own program.

    Training plans must withstand DECADES of fine tuning and people's bodies and needs change from year to year.

    You can drop the weight training and replace it with cardio for a while and give yourself a break from the weights if you want and you can lose weight. You can cross train with other sports and different types of exercise for a while which is better for your body in the long run.

    There are a lot more disabling injuries now in almost every sport because people are afraid to take time off.

    It is not going to hurt your training plan to take a break from the weights for a while since you already have the muscle mass you want ...

    and do something else for a while, like running, swimming, rowing, biking. But the fastest way to loss weight is to use a *weight-bearing* exercise.

    If you decide you want to go back to lifting after a break, your body will appreciate the time off.
     
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  18. snoopy

    snoopy Professional

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    They should just sticky a few of Ano's posts. Yes, there are different ways to lose weight, maintain muscle, and get fit but what Ano posts seems to be most up to date and most effective. Look through his old posts and follow what he recommends. I've learned a lot and follow what he has written with a few exceptions. Good results are guaranteed.

    To the OP: why do you find weight lifting boring? You don't have to spend hours in the gm everday of the week. You can get a good, hard full body workout done in about 15-30 minutes. You only have to do this 1-3 times a week. Try a barbell complex (more of Ano's advice), it's fast and effective.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
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  19. spikyblackhair

    spikyblackhair Rookie

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    What I usually do is go through a few months of gaining muscle and taking in as much protein as possible (including lots of meat, so I also accumulate fat) and then go through a month or two of cutting down on bf%. I still lift, but less often (maybe twice a week) and concentrate more on cardio and really cutting back on fat intake in my diet. It is near impossible to lose fat while gaining muscle, unless you maintain a perfect diet with heavy reliance on supplements.

    Weight lifting can be boring, but if you have good music with you, it can also be a good time to clear your head and relieve stress.
     
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  20. chess9

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    I've been lifting year round for over 30 years. I periodize my training, with light and heavy 6 week blocks. But, the major benefit-aside from looking buff for the chicks-of lifting is for injury prevention. Lifting builds strong bones, muscles, etc. If you fall, and are strong, you get up and continue play. If you fall, and are weak, you get a ride in the ambulance.

    If you want to be the best tennis player you can be-at least from a physical standpoint-listen to Ano's tips. By the time you are my age, you will be beating 40 year olds regularly.

    -Robert
     
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  21. Rafael_Nadal_6257

    Rafael_Nadal_6257 Semi-Pro

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    You are contradicting yourself.

    First, you say that the OP is trying to lose fat, because he already has the muscle, so he should do aerobic exercise.

    But then in this post, you basically imply in the bolded part, that with aerobic exercise, one will lose weight. While this is true, as Ano said, this weight lost will definitely not be pure fat loss. It will be water, muscle, and fat loss (most likely in that order.) Please read his posts, I get the feeling that your not even reading what he's posting.

    And contrary to what you have said, long-distance runners generally have low body fat, which is true, but also very little muscle. Short-distance runners/sprinters have both low body fat and have muscle. Long-distance runners do lose weight from doing what they do, but they also lose a lot of muscle, in addition to fat.

    In summary, aerobic exercise will help you lose weight, but anaerobic exercises and weight-lifting will help you lose fat and not all muscle.

    In the world of health and fitness, old-wives' tales abound and common sense can often be wrong, so just because it makes sense, doesn't mean its right. And in the short time I've been here, Ano has definitely been one of the fitness experts along with Rickson and several others.
     
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  22. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Yes, but with no work at all, they will waste. Use it or lose it...

    And your opinion comes from....what? Study in the area? Reading studies that support it? Give us something here to substantiate 'your opinion' as more than a 'gut feeling'.

    Also, if it is just your opinion... want to give us a why? as in: Why should people who 'don't lift as their primary sport' stop lifting, but why should people who do lift as their primary sport keep lifting? What is different about the inherent physiology?

    For the record: It was more than opinion, it was commonly held belief in the 70s and 80s amongst many runners that drinking water during a run was a sign of weakness! They who drank less were seen as 'harder / stronger'. We all now know that that is, well, rubbish, and that dehydration to even small degrees significantly affects performance.

    If he had have asked "Can I lose weight by drinking water alone", would a responsible person in any way simply say "Yes"? Unlikely. Would a responsible trainer ever simply say "Yes"? Never.

    Sometimes, in the name of safety, and moreso, in the name of what is right, we should explain our answers to questions, and provide additional advice.

    You keep saying this - but it's simply not true!. Many will have studied from the same texts, read results of detailed studies, etc etc. Many things are consolidated as knowledge - the study of sport is indeed a science. We're not talking about art here.

    If serious health and fitness is the goal (and why shouldn't it be?), there are very few people with the skills to effectively and efficiently design their own programs. Many "fitness addicts" over-train, or train with much less efficiency than is desirable. You only have to walk onto the average weights-floor to see inneficient (and dangerous) training.

    That's armchair-pizza-eating-BS. Very much "common, pedestrian opinion", and not in any way backed by anything.

    The fastest way to weight loss is create and sustain a caloric deficit.

    If someone is following a correctly periodised training regime, there is plenty of recovery built in to the program.
     
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  23. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    I see what you guys are saying...

    Well, how would this sound...?

    All throughout May, all I'm going to do is play tennis and jog. NO WEIGHT LIFTING. For a straight month, I'm just going to try to burn as much fat as possible, even if muscle mass is going to be sacrificed in the process.

    Then, in June, I'll start a jogging/tennis/weight lifting regime once again.

    What I have in mind is trying to burn as much fat as possible, then start over with the muscle building process.

    Its just an idea, so please don't flame me...
     
    #23
  24. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Professional

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    Hey Ano,

    Just wanted to say that I've been following a work out that you suggested on another thread, for the last 6+ mos, and it's helped me get closer to my target weight (lost ~30lbs).

    Just to give you a little history... I'm 5'4" and weighed about 205 about 15+ mos ago... with mostly changing my diet to low carb (exercise was only tennis 3x/week), I was able to get down to about 185, but I stalled there for about 4 mos. I changed my diet to start counting calories (ie. create a caloric deficit) as well as added HIIT dumbell complex lifting routines that you mentioned in another thread, 3x/week.... I'm happy to say I'm down to 155, but more importantly I feel like I'm stronger, and fitter than I ever was (even through HS and college), mainly from doing the HIIT exercises (and tennis of course!).

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that your knowledge has not fallen on deaf ears... and if I hadn't read your posts, I probably would never have been motivated to research the virtues of HIIT and weight lifting.

    Anyway, not everyone is out to refute you blindly... and I just want to say thanks.
     
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  25. chess9

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    Nice post, NYTA.

    -Robert
     
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  26. Chrystal

    Chrystal New User

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    If you want to lose weight then go to the moon :)



    To the OP:

    If you want to lose mass then this chap Ano seems to know his stuff. I'd go with the HIIT because that is the direction that academia is leaning towards in terms of best way to lose mass. Otherwise as described a million times elsewhere eat well and do some regular weight bearing (for quickest results) exercise.
     
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  27. MHEO

    MHEO New User

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    OK so basically to lose FAT people should do intense cardio, some weight lifting and a good diet right?
     
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  28. spikyblackhair

    spikyblackhair Rookie

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    Exactly.

    8char
     
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  29. Gonzalez_Forehand

    Gonzalez_Forehand New User

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    I used to think exactly the same - however, I now know that this is the long way round. Your objective, as I understand it, is to lose fat and retain the muscle that you spent hours in the gym building up.

    The easiest and quickest way to do this is as follows:

    1). DIET - hugely important. You can do all the weightlifting/cardio/tennis you want, but if you are consuming more calories than you are burning, you will not lose fat. Cut the junk completely if you haven't already, and eat lots of green vegetables and lean meat. You simply cannot lose fat if you're in caloric surplus.

    2). Lift heavy weight 3 times per week.

    3). Do HIIT cardio twice a week. No 60-minute steady state treadmill missions. Warm up, do 6 intervals of going hard with a minute rest in between, warm down. Cardio over.

    How do I know this?

    I spent a year in the gym going cardio nuts trying to get ripped (ie, lose fat). I would go 5-7 days per week, and do steady state cardio for at least 40 minutes every day, sometimes 60, in addition to weights (medium weight, medium rep). My diet did not consist of any junk - just breakfast, lunch and dinner, nothing unhealthy. I did not see any major fat loss. I did not get ripped.

    For the last three months, I have been following what I suggest above. My bodyfat percentage has gone from around 15% to around 9%. My abs are visible when relaxed. Fat has been flying off - and muscle has stayed on. Points (1), (2) and (3) are all important, but I really can't emphasize the dieting enough.

    If you do nothing but cardio, you WILL lose muscle - and since you have spent time and energy building it up already, there is just no need when you can lose fat extremely effectively without compromising your muscle mass. You would be taking a step backwards.

    I don't post here often but I have been around long enough to know that Ano, Rickson, OrangeOne - these guys know exactly what they are talking about. Read their posts very carefully, implement what they suggest, and you will see results.
     
    #29
  30. Ano

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    Nice post.

    Congrats on your abs!!

    To other posters, Gonzales forehand was telling the truth.

    I have seen his before and after pictures, and his progress is very good.

    In Men's Health magazine (May edition, USA version), there is a fat burning workout by Bill Hartman, PT, CSCS.

    The fat burning workout by Bill Hartman is very similar with Gonzales Forehand recommendation.
     
    #30
  31. MHEO

    MHEO New User

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    sorry for sounding like an idiot but what is HIIT...I'm pretty sure its intensive training...or something like that. thanks a lot, im around 15% body fat so im going to try your method of losing fat
     
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  32. The Home Run Kid

    The Home Run Kid Rookie

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    High Intensity Interval Training I believe, correct me if I'm wrong please.
     
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  33. Ano

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    Last edited: May 6, 2008
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  34. MHEO

    MHEO New User

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    alright and final question, is age a large factor in how fast someone can lose fat? i'm 15 soon to be 16.
     
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  35. iradical18

    iradical18 Professional

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    At your age I would start with my diet before hitting the gym to hard, that's what I did when I was your age and severely overweight (280+). Get a good, healthy diet going and then supplement that with exercise.
     
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  36. ten15

    ten15 New User

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    I've been lifting weights 3 days a week and doing HIIT for the other three days (alternating days). It's been about two weeks since I started, and I have yet to see much change. I know it takes a long time to actually see changes, but how long does it usually take?
     
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  37. snoopy

    snoopy Professional

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    ^^^

    What have you been eating?
     
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  38. Ano

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    Good question snoopy!!

    To ten15, read post number 29 by Gonzales forehand.
     
    #38
  39. ten15

    ten15 New User

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    Heres a typical day:
    7AM - protein shake and oatmeal

    10AM - bran muffin or fruit and a protein shake

    12 30PM - a sandwich (wheat bread and about 4-6 slices of turkey, ham, or roast beef)

    3 30PM - some kind of snack (today was a chicken burrito)

    6 30PM - roasted chicken or steak with potatoes and vegetables

    10PM protein shake

    Also, my main focus is to gain muscle btw, but I'm doing some HIIT to help me loose a little fat.
     
    #39
  40. Joker

    Joker Rookie

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    A protein shake at 10? You workout at night? What time do you sleep?
     
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  41. ten15

    ten15 New User

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    At 10AM, I don't really drink a protein shake. It's those protein things that come in a carton at costco. It's cheaper than protein bars and has about the same amount of protein. I usually work out after school, usually 4:30 - 5:30. i usually sleep at 10:30. I drink protein before I sleep because I think that because I am not eating for 8 hours, I need some protein to make sure I don't loose muscle when I sleep, and to make sure my body has what it needs to recover overnight. I might be wrong....
     
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  42. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    dont rely on protein shakes so much. real food is better.
     
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  43. Ultra2HolyGrail

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    Obviously, there are many athletes that dont lift weights.
     
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  44. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Sweat it off. Yes you burn alot of water but you also are burning fat. What i dont get what ano says is where are you going to lose muscle if you dont lift weights, in your arms? Certainly not your abdominal muscles. Or leg muscles.
     
    #44
  45. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    well the only problem is you cant PICK which one is burned... you can only make it more likely that you conserve most of your muscle while losing fat, any fat loos will include muscle loss as well.
     
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  46. Shaolin

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    Thx for the info Gonzalez_Forehand...Ive been doing steady cardio almost daily (elliptical machine 45min/a day) and losing body fat very quickly but Ill try it your way, maybe results will be even faster.

    Ano you always have great info also, I appreciate that you take the time to post...I respect your obviously well researched opinions.
     
    #46
  47. Ano

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    Thanks Shaolin!.

    I will give the proof that Gonzales forehand was telling the truth.

    Here is his "before" picture (after he spent 1 year doing cardio and lifting medium weight) :

    [​IMG]

    Here is his "after" picture (after doing relatively heavy weight training, HIIT, barbell complex and clean diet for 3 months):

    [​IMG]

    He lost more than 3 inches from his waist without losing size in his arms and neck (it means he lost bodyfat without losing muscle).

    I estimate that his bodyfat went from about 15 % to 8 % (I have never measured his bodyfat, since he is my online client. I have never met him in person).

    And Gonzales Forehand, I just want to tell you how incredible you've been as a client. You perfectly coalesced passion, determination and focus while giving intricate week by week accounts of your journey.

    I can't take credit for any of it - I just made up the training and diet recipes, you did the rest.

    I'm really proud of you, Gonzales forehand. It was absolutely my pleasure watching you go through the three month programs. And your results?! Very good.

    Stay focused, my friend.

    Now, it's time for the "bulking phase".
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
    #47
  48. herosol

    herosol Professional

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,184
    Okay. Ano I need some tips on this whole just losing body fat and building muscle at the same time, cause i have absolutely no experience at all.

    I'm 16 years old gonna be 17 by December
    6 feet tall and weigh around 175

    Although my weight is techinically sound or still a bit over
    It is primarily body fat for sure. I'm not fat, but definitely not in the shape i want to be.

    I read your posts about HIIT (interval training), and I'm actually quite overly excited to do it. I work hard, and i don't mind doing things suicidal like :p

    But i just wanted some details about interval training, running wise.
    Do you have like a specific training routine that would suit me well?
    What kind of weight lifting is "heavy" and/or efficient?

    Diet is okay with me, because i've already started.
    I'm not looking to gain muscle fast, but i want to lose body fat quickly without sacrificing any muscle. So any help would be greatly appreciated for helping my goals. thanks
     
    #48
  49. superman1

    superman1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,243
    Herosol, do a search. Ano has answered these questions in the past. Basically losing body fat while retaining muscle requires mostly weight training (hitting the big muscles, not the little ones), some cardio (HIIT is good, there are many, many routines you can find on the net), and most importantly diet (here's where you'll have to do the most research and work).
     
    #49
  50. Ano

    Ano Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    No, because I don't know your level of conditioning.

    However, I try to be generous. I will give you a sample "cookie cutter" interval training program (running on track, treadmill, rowing or riding a stationary bike)

    Warm ups : five minutes, very easy pace.

    Rounds : 3 minutes each round. Run as fast as you can handle for 1 minute. (start conservatively) Then back off by running at a very slow pace for 2 minutes.

    Cool down : 5 minutes, very easy pace.

    Sample 16 week plan, you perform these workouts on their own, or following a weight workout.

    Weeks 1-4 : do 3 rounds, 3 times per week. Counting the warm-up and cool-down, this is a 19 minute workout.

    Weeks 5-8: do 4 rounds, 4 times per week. These are 22 minute workouts.

    Weeks 9-12 : do 5 rounds, 4 times a week. These are 25 minute workouts.

    Weeks 13-16 : do 6 rounds, 5 times per week. Thse are 28 minute workouts.

    If your nutrition is dialed in, you can lose a pound or two of fat per week while using this program.

    Actual results may vary, of course. But if you do a strength training routine 3 times a week, you should see fast and continuous fat loss.

    Search my old posts, I gave a sample of whole body circuit weight training program for fat loss.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
    #50

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