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 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 1
increasing resistance/weightPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I've been working out steadily and regularly since April of 2009, in an effort to get in better shape and lose some body fat. Generally, when I work out I use machines, and memorize the weights I use for each machine (ie tricep pushdown is currently at 40 lb, pec deck is at 25 lb, etc etc.) I tend to make sure that I work my muscles enough that I don't feel sore, but there is a feeling of prolonged...fatigue (in a good way. I feel great, but I can feel all my muscles have definitely been used well the night before lol)...if that makes any sense, for most of the next day. When this feeling in the 1-2 days after a workout stops happening, I add another five lb to the weights.

My question to the gurus that hang out in the health forum is....is this proper technique for maintaining muscle mass during weight loss? My main goal in resistance training is to boost my metabolism, not necessarily to get ripped, but I have noticed some increased mass and tone, especially in my arms and legs, which I work 2-3 times per week, with a rest day in between, but I'm not sure if it was there to begin with, and I am noticing it because there's less fat on top, or if it's actually been an increase...

I also get plenty of cardio, as I walk daily to and from work, am on my feet chasing toddlers for most of the day, as well as an approximately 2 miles of running/brisk jogging as a warm up before I start my weight circuits. I've gone from around 290 in February of 2009 to 230 at my weigh in this past Sunday :)
 Scott3995
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 2
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 12:23:05 PM
When there is more muscle, there will be less fat, assuming you didn't gain fat. It's a game of ratios. You say you are memorising the weights, forget memorizing, don't be lazy, get a notebook and write down the weights and keep trying to increase it. If you are coming to a halt, change exercises for a while, and try to increase stength on another excersize, untill you plataeu on that one. If you find yourself plataeuing frequently every four weeks, you may be either under eating protein and carbs, or you may be over training, in that case cut back on sets, increase rest at night.


The key to maintaining or even increasing muscle mass while losing fat is diet 1st and cardio second. Looking at your profile, I see you are new so at this stage its very possible for you! Diet has to be made up of approximately 50% protein, carbs and fats you have to experiment with.


Your a newbie, so stick with free weights when possible, and don't forget free weight squats, Deadlifts, Stiff Leg Deadlifts, etc. getting muscular legs is one of the best ways to increase metabolism, and over all body appearance, especially for a girl!


Everyone here who knows me, knows I know my shit, so listen when I tell you something!
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 3
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 5:55:48 PM
Thanks Scott...I've definitely seen the awesomeness of your advice!

I've lost pretty steadily since I started working out and eating properly...I had a wicked plateau that lasted for around 4 months though...after losing the first 50 pounds in just over three months. I tweaked my cardio, started cross training, running in intervals, doing resistance with higher weights with more reps and sets until I hurt, but not the good way...adding more calories is what finally broke it. I was eating around 1900, increased it gradually and now I am eating 2200-2500, and am losing pounds as well as inches again.

My diet isn't perfect, I'll admit, but I don't want to change it too much into something that I won't be able to maintain once I'm ready to shift into maintenance mode as far as the weight loss goes. I eat whole grains, lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, and the occasional treats (maybe once or twice a week I'll have a single cookie or a bit of chocolate or something), but still make sure to stay within my dietary goals.

Like I said, plenty of cardio. I walk 7 miles a day (according to a pedometer) between my walk to work and being on my feet all day at work, plus 3 days a week I do intervals of brisk walk for 2 minutes, fast jog for 5-7 minutes, and repeat the cycle for 30 minutes. When I'm done that, I move to the weight room after a 3-4 minute cool down. I have knee issues, so at the gym I do my intervals on an elliptical. Every couple weeks I cut my jog time in half, and spend the rest of the 30 minutes on a stationary bike set at a resistance level of 5, and according to the readouts, I'm cycling at 12mph, again with a cool down period of 3-4 minutes of 6mph cycling before weights...and I switch back to just jogging every couple weeks.

seize de day...I have my measurements written on my bathroom mirror, and cross out the old ones each month (I weigh weekly and measure monthly) whenever there's a change, and have found that when I'm losing, I will either lose size or pounds...never both at the same time so far. Overall, I've lost 8 inches off my hips, and 6 off my waist. I'm very pear shaped, my waist is 9 inches smaller than my hips. As far as the hurt...there's definitely been days where I had to penguin walk myself down the stairs in my apartment building because my quads were so stiff it hurt too much to bend my legs
 Scott3995
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 4
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 6:17:54 PM

I eat whole grains, lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, and the occasional treats (maybe once or twice a week I'll have a single cookie or a bit of chocolate or something), but still make sure to stay within my dietary goals.



If your goal is too get leaner faster, lots of fruit and whole grains may have to go. Judging from your pics. I can tell you are carb sensitive, you probably would do better replacing those carbs with healthy fats. And in moderation, remember all those things are sources of sugar and sugar doesn't build muscle. Protein and healthy fats do, carbs (sugar) helps protect muscles when doing anaerobic activies, so eat them around your workouts, swith to protein + healthy fats (in moderation) around your other meals when you are less active.
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 5
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 6:42:39 PM
My goal isn't so much fast as in a healthy sustainable way. Two of those pics are also preweightloss, when I was still eating white bread/rice and WAY too much white sugar...I eat a lot less carbs and more protein than I used to, and almost all the carbs I eat now are whole grains/low GI...yams, beans, occasionally corn, rarely white potatoes...I cut out most of the crap I used to eat, stopped eating sweets except for those few treats. I've tried going low carb in the past, and couldn't handle it. I would binge binge binge on carbs any time I slipped, and couldn't get back on track afterwards. Now, eating the carb level I do now, when I do slip, its not impossible to stop myself, I can stick to that one cookie, or those few little squares of chocolate, and the next day I don't slip up again.

I make sure to get protein and carbs into the meals and snacks before and after my workouts, and there's plenty of healthy fat in my diet (not too much) and always less than 15 g of not-so healthy fats per day. Main meals have 1-2 small servings of carbs, 2+ servings of proteins, snacks are proteins, healthy fats and a small piece of fruit, generally
 Scott3995
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 6
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:57:59 PM

My goal isn't so much fast as in a healthy sustainable way. .



I had to read that a few times to understand what you were saying, ok, first off all if you lose fast cause you took out some of the carbs your body doesn't rely on and replaced it with better macros, how is that in any way unhealthy?? I think you are just trying to justify your lack of discipline here.



I've tried going low carb in the past, and couldn't handle it. I would binge binge binge on carbs any time I slipped, and couldn't get back on track afterwards. Now, eating the carb level I do now, when I do slip, its not impossible to stop myself, I can stick to that one cookie, or those few little squares of chocolate, and the next day I don't slip up again.



Thank you, the difference between a person who achieves their goal and a person who doesn't is the fact the person who achieves doesn't "SLIP". Because that person would rather suffer a little than look the way they look. If it was easy we'd all look good
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 7
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 8:39:10 PM
I have heard from several nutritionists and trainers that losing more than 2 pounds per week isn't healthy for the liver, kidneys and heart, and doesn't give skin a chance to shrink along with the rest of the body...and like I said before but maybe not worded the best way...I don't want to drastically change my diet to something that I'll never stick to, just to lose weight, then go back to something easier/more relaxed and end up gaining all the weight back. Yes, I could suffer a little, be more disciplined as you put it Scott, and get where I want to be even faster, but let's face it, once my goal is achieved, for me there's no way I would keep suffering and denying myself... I honestly believe that the best way for ME to eat NOW is to eat what I will once I reach my goals...just eat less. Period. I know from experience, from the last 10 months that I've been doing this, that increasing exercise intensity is going to work better for ME than going on a very restricted eating plan. Low carb works for lots of people, but I'm definitely not one of them.

Willy's Wild Wheaties...when I increased my calories, I increased everything healthful in proportion...I didn't just add carbs. I added proteins and increased the amount of higher calorie fruits (like bananas, pineapple etc) that I had been restricting, and switched from fat free yogurt to 2-4%.

dutchpirate, I've definitely noticed the leaner thing, especially in my arms and calves. Some areas don't jiggle at all any more when flexed, or have visible muscle or bone under the skin when relaxed...I have a clavicle again LOL
 Scott3995
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 8
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 8:56:44 PM
The 2lbs theory is B.S. if someone is pretty lean, yes. But if they are really fat, they can lose more without it being so bad. Trust me if your losing 5lbs a week just by cutting out most carbs and replacing them with healthier choices, then isn't your body trying to tell you something? And yes people who are pretty over weight can strive to lose that much and often do.


Anyways, do what you believe will work for you, and you set your own goals and whatever you like. But when you start with misinforming people here I'll be the first one to call you out.


 ImJayZee
Joined: 11/20/2009
Msg: 9
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History
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/7/2010 9:34:38 PM

I have heard from several nutritionists and trainers that losing more than 2 pounds per week isn't healthy for the liver, kidneys and heart, and doesn't give skin a chance to shrink along with the rest of the body...and like I said before but maybe not worded the best way...I don't want to drastically change my diet to something that I'll never stick to, just to lose weight, then go back to something easier/more relaxed and end up gaining all the weight back. Yes, I could suffer a little, be more disciplined as you put it Scott, and get where I want to be even faster, but let's face it, once my goal is achieved, for me there's no way I would keep suffering and denying myself... I honestly believe that the best way for ME to eat NOW is to eat what I will once I reach my goals...just eat less. Period. I know from experience, from the last 10 months that I've been doing this, that increasing exercise intensity is going to work better for ME than going on a very restricted eating plan. Low carb works for lots of people, but I'm definitely not one of them.


Good approach. Drastic changes are usually not sustainable for most, moderate ones are. If your current diet is working and it's sustainable for you, don't change it. The occasional small cheat snack is actually what's keeping you on track because it's not making you feel deprived.

You've been doing well. The keys will continue to be keeping your moderate carb diet low GI, keeping your meal food portions in check to lose weight, and continuing to push yourself with resistance training to get stronger so that your metabolism continues to increase. Prioritize compound exercises for legs, back, and chest for best results. What exercises do you do each workout, in what order?
 Edsta
Joined: 7/19/2008
Msg: 10
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/8/2010 2:02:15 AM

My question to the gurus that hang out in the health forum is....is this proper technique for maintaining muscle mass during weight loss? My main goal in resistance training is to boost my metabolism


Well your method of figuring out when to increase resistance makes sense. Where I'd suggest a change is shifting away from doing isolation exercises on machines---do compound exercises with free weights instead if you want maximum metabolism boost because they'll activate a much greater number of muscle groups within the same time frame.

Next time you're at a bookstore, pick up The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Comprehensive info on exercises, routines, and nutrition. Destroys a lot of popular gym myths with humor and scientific evidence.

Congrats on losing 60lbs in one year---slow and steady IS likely to be more sustainable in the long run.

Speaking of running (my favorite subject, lol) Google up "barefoot running"---invaluable tool for learning correct biomechanics, which will not only help you avoid injury but also make running a sustainable and very enjoyable lifelong activity. (You can BF on a treadmill btw, if the weather in BC doesn't cooperate.)
 Kunik
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 11
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/9/2010 5:22:00 AM

If your goal is too get leaner faster, lots of fruit and whole grains may have to go.


I'm curious why you'd recommend that (especially for the whole grains). Isn't choosing low-glycemic foods that provide your body with essential nutrients important to weight loss and overall health? I've heard of ketogenic diets but I always thought modified-ketogenic diets were the way to go for people who were looking for a lifestyle change rather than a quick-fix.
 Scott3995
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 12
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/9/2010 8:04:46 PM
[quotes]I'm curious why you'd recommend that (especially for the whole grains). Isn't choosing low-glycemic foods that provide your body with essential nutrients important to weight loss and overall health? I've heard of ketogenic diets but I always thought modified-ketogenic diets were the way to go for people who were looking for a lifestyle change rather than a quick-fix[/quotes]


The key word is "LOTS" of! You cannot eat Ketogenic for life, well actually you can, but really who the hell will, lol! There is no such thing as "modified ketogenic", your brain is either in ketosis or not, that's like saying modified pregrnancy! There are Timed Carb diets, diets with carb cut off, etc. Yes those are better for long term, if your goal is to stay lean, get lean, whatever!
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 13
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/9/2010 8:15:37 PM
ImJayZee...I have been using the machines at my gym, but following some advice from other posters, I'm going to try free weights, squats etc. I work my arms and chest first, triceps, biceps, shoulder and chest flies, pecs...then I do abs and back, then leg extensions, calf raises, hamstring curls and leg lifts (all machines).

\/\/Scott, apparently you missed the part where I said I am going to try the free weights?
 Kunik
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 14
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/10/2010 7:46:16 PM

There is no such thing as "modified ketogenic", your brain is either in ketosis or not, that's like saying modified pregrnancy! There are Timed Carb diets, diets with carb cut off, etc. Yes those are better for long term, if your goal is to stay lean, get lean, whatever!


Valid point. I supposed it is somewhat of an oxymoron. However, targeted ketogenic diets and cyclic ketogenic diets still allow you to eat some carbs while maintaining ketosis, so it is still somewhat accurate. I suppose the word I meant to use was modified-Atkins diet. I personally feel that hardcore keto diets should be left for bodybuilders and the like where it's only done now and again in preparation for a show or something along those lines. It just doesn't strike me as the healthiest option for the long-term. There's this little video clip that talks about it and made me chuckle. I wish I remembered the name of it but there was one line that said something along the lines of "Any diet that tells you you can eat a pound of bacon but you can't eat an apple is crap." I'd need to agree with that. Meanwhile, something like a modified Atkins diet which would focus on choosing the right types of carbs rather than restricting them altogether or only allowing them on a minimal level is far more feasible and healthy for your average Joe. If I remember the name of the video, I'll post it.
 Kunik
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 15
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/10/2010 7:48:58 PM
Found it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn-MlHlDhHs
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 16
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/14/2010 8:42:11 PM

My understanding is the main purpose of lifting during a weight loss program is to slow muscle loss...

Yeah this is part of the reason I'm lifting...that and metabolic increases are apparently bigger and last longer with resistance/weight training? Or so I've read. Otherwise I probably wouldn't bother...calorie for calorie I'm already burning enough to lose the weight I want in the time frame I've set out for myself. I don't even really factor calories burned while lifting into my burn counts for the week...
 ImJayZee
Joined: 11/20/2009
Msg: 17
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increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/15/2010 2:30:20 AM

ImJayZee...I have been using the machines at my gym, but following some advice from other posters, I'm going to try free weights, squats etc. I work my arms and chest first, triceps, biceps, shoulder and chest flies, pecs...then I do abs and back, then leg extensions, calf raises, hamstring curls and leg lifts (all machines).


Ok. You should prioritize compound exercises. These are exercises that work several muscles at the same time. Exercises such as chest press, shoulder press, lat pulldown, back row, squat or leg press, and romanian deadlift. They allow you to use more weight because they work several muscles at the same time, which also makes them more demanding. Because of this, they speed up your metabolism as you get stronger in them, better than single-muscle exercises, which are what you've been doing. Except for the romanian deadlift, you can do those exercises on machines before you learn the free weight versions if you don't know the free weight versions yet. You can add bicep curls and calf raises to the end of that list(not at the beginning or in between), and you'll have a very effective routine, much better than an all single-muscle exercises routine.
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 18
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/15/2010 9:52:32 AM
ImJayZee...I've searched the net and have picked some compound exercises to try out...Things like dead lifts, squats with a leg raise, T-raises etc...I'm trying them out for a few weeks to see what happens!
 Slipknot6
Joined: 6/3/2009
Msg: 19
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/15/2010 3:46:50 PM
@ scott, **** yah dude. you rock. the first thing people tell me when i try to help them with their fitness goals is that they arent going to change their diet, it really is just a lack of discipline.. its like those idiots telling beginners to not bench press all the way to the chest, or not to squat low.. just complete nonsense in order to justify an easier choice.
 Kunik
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 20
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/16/2010 7:49:53 PM
its like those idiots telling beginners to not bench press all the way to the chest


Many of them are taking the easy way out but body mechanics vary from individual to individual and in many cases, going all the way to the chest can either be detrimental or pointless. One size does not fit all... Furthermore, most people have terrible form or go too heavy when they start benching so not going all the way can prevent serious injury to the shoulders, rib cage, etc. Take a look at most people in the gym. I'd say that a solid 90% have their elbows flared straight out to the side.
 ImJayZee
Joined: 11/20/2009
Msg: 21
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History
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/18/2010 1:34:34 AM

Many of them are taking the easy way out but body mechanics vary from individual to individual and in many cases, going all the way to the chest can either be detrimental or pointless. One size does not fit all... Furthermore, most people have terrible form or go too heavy when they start benching so not going all the way can prevent serious injury to the shoulders, rib cage, etc. Take a look at most people in the gym. I'd say that a solid 90% have their elbows flared straight out to the side.


Good point. While flared out, the upper arms don't have to go much behind the plane of the body for the chest to be fully stretched, not to mention the shoulder joints aren't designed to bear heavy loads with the upper arms flared out much behind the plane of the body. If touching his/her chest with a heavily loaded bar causes pain, a few inches of less range-of-motion will not hinder chest development at all.
 Kunik
Joined: 8/23/2009
Msg: 22
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/18/2010 5:24:13 PM
We have a winner...I was just about to give up on this forum.
 Scott3995
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 23
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/18/2010 5:36:16 PM

Good point. While flared out, the upper arms don't have to go much behind the plane of the body for the chest to be fully stretched, not to mention the shoulder joints aren't designed to bear heavy loads with the upper arms flared out much behind the plane of the body. If touching his/her chest with a heavily loaded bar causes pain, a few inches of less range-of-motion will not hinder chest development at all.




You are absolutely right, however being flared out is one of the easiest ways to tear a pec, too. Turning a bench press into an isolation exercise is a bad idea, this is why flat bench is not often recommended for those who have a lagging chest.
 zarathustra00
Joined: 4/28/2009
Msg: 24
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History
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/18/2010 5:53:57 PM

You are absolutely right, however being flared out is one of the easiest ways to tear a pec, too. Turning a bench press into an isolation exercise is a bad idea, this is why flat bench is not often recommended for those who have a lagging chest.


For years I used to bench that way. Elbows flared and index finger outside the ring. Would have shoulder issues once in a while. I the last 3 years moved my grip so that my pinky is within the ring...usually an inch inside and much less shoulder issues. At least caused by the bench. Now my shoulder issues are caused by doing the oly lift snatches.
Oh well.
 ImJayZee
Joined: 11/20/2009
Msg: 25
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History
increasing resistance/weight
Posted: 1/19/2010 3:24:45 AM

You are absolutely right, however being flared out is one of the easiest ways to tear a pec, too. Turning a bench press into an isolation exercise is a bad idea, this is why flat bench is not often recommended for those who have a lagging chest.


Yeah, I don't know about all flat benching though. I think db flat benching is pretty effective for chest.
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