Hello everyone. I am looking for some cardio advice. If you have read my intro then you know I am new to training in the gym. My husband knows weightlifting, not cardio. I am down to 206 and my goal is 160. Starting this week I am doing 45min cardio 6xweek; 3.5mph on tred at 4.0 incline and 15min on ellipt or vice versa, depending on whats available. I go to a very small gym with limited cardio equipment. Is this amount sufficient to get to 160; anything to add or subtract from routine? Also once I reach my goal weight and start building mass what cardio routine is recommended to keep the fat in check? I carry my weight in my abdomen, waist, and lower back area as well as hips. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Ginger, cardio is good for burning calories but calories burned from cardio are just as likely to come from muscle as they do from fat. I've had much better weight loss doing no cardio at all, using only dieting and resistance training. I have gone from 40+% body fat to under 8% with as little as 10% coming from LBM. Im not saying that cardio is useless but would definitely suggest prioritizing a good weight lifting regime over it.
I agree largely with SugarFree...cardio is good, and is great for you, but I think you will find that doing a weightlifting routine will be your best bet to beat fat. I would suggest lifting 3-5 times a week to add muscle, and maybe do 2-3 cardio sessions (my preferred cardio is HIIT variety-not the long winded stuff LOL) and getting your diet set to a point just at or below your maintenance calories (even at maintenance or 200 calories under if you are working out you can add lean mass while dropping fat-best of both worlds). The more muscle you have, the more energy it takes to maintain that muscle. A lb of fat only needs about 5 calories to maintain, whereas a lb of muscle requires between 35-50 calories to maintain.
So, my suggestion to you:
1-figure out your BMR (basal metabolic rate) that will give you the amount of calories your body needs daily to perform basic life maintenance and start with that number to build a diet plan around.
-Make sure you are getting adequate protein in your diet, which is about 1g per lb of bodyweight (when you don't know your body composition i.e. how much is lean and how much is fat this is a decent method). So for 206lbs that would be shooting for 206 grams of protein (206x4kcal per gram =824 calories from protein)..this is going to be a bit more than you need probably-it would be better if you can get an accurate bf assessment then you can be even more precise with this number (1.2g-2g per lbm)
then divide the remaining calories into carbs and fats
it might look something like this for 1500(for examle):
752 calories (or about 50% of your calories from protein = 188g protein
500 calories (about 33-34% of your calories from carbs) = 125g carbs
remaining 248 calories from fat- =28g fat (about 16-17% ish)
2-train for muscle growth..push those weights at least 3 times a week and do it with purpose...the more muscle, the more energy is burned. Keeping in mind that lower body strength is very important to overall strength...the better trained your legs are the more muscle you can add everywhere else...plain and simple.
3-do cardio, but don't go overboard...2-3 times a week is just going to help with energy expenditure and get your body used to doing more and will help boost your metabolism..which in turn will help you burn more fat all the time. Try HIIT style cardio, it helps boost metabolism for a longer time than the traditional longer cardio sessions (according to some research).
4-try and be patient, the weight didn't show up in 3 weeks time and it won't leave that fast either....if you follow a good diet and exercise program and stick to it, you should see very visible results much sooner than you think...but don't expect to hit your target in a month..just keep on truckin and you will be there sooner than you think. And remember, the scale won't always show your progress so don't get discouraged. Muscle weighs more than fat, but is good for you So, don't think of it as losing weight, think of it as losing fat and recompositioning your body.
And...don't get discouraged if you feel like you aren't making the progress you should...most people figure out a diet plan and stick to it and it works for a while then they stop seeing results (they get discouraged and quit)...as you lose weight and recomp your body you will need to revisit your daily calorie requirements on a regular basis-probably at least once a month...(I do mine often, especially if I lose more than a couple lbs).
Good luck! and if you need help..don't hesitate to ask for it
frankly, after thinking about this some I definitely recommend figuring out your lean body mass (i.e. bodyfat %) so that you can be more accurate with developing the diet.
I also agree with Shan about this. In fact i'd suggest going and getting an accurate bf test done somewhere. You may wind up really surprised at the results (good or bad). After years of doing it, they still never fail to surprise me.
As Shan points out, it will give you a place to start for figuring out your diet. Also in time further tests will not only show your progress but comparisons will show exactly how much you may have lost/gained from LBM.
Wife and I had both Dexa & BodPod tests done last week. Dexa was new to us and the results surprised us both. The bodpod was used as our comparison though since this is what we both used previously too.
Thanks once again for all of the great info. I will definitely follow Shans calculations to see roughly where I am at and figure out how to enhance my diet; Im eating the same thing everyday so it wont be hard to figure out my intake. I will ask my doctor about the body fat composition when I go for baseline labs in May. My husband and I are just so anxious for results, and you are exactly right, the fat did not appear over a three week span. I am making some progress and clothes/uniforms fit much looser in certain areas. I am just overwhelmed by what to do and how much and when to do it. I need to start stacking my workouts and I probably can since my priority should be muscle gain and not so much on cardio. Thank you for the clarification. I will figure out my diet stats and thread the info and you guys can take a look and tell me how to improve. I appreciate all of the help and everyone taking their time to answer my questions. I am so glad I found this forum, I definitely feel that I'm in the right place!
No problem...thats what this board is for: learning, sharing and improving...no matter where we are now in the journey, we have all asked the same questions at one point or another
I would suggest looking for bf measurements via bodpod or better yet..hydrostatic weighing (my fav) which you can find at universities and some medical centers. Check locally or look here Welcome to Body Fat Test Home
The traveling fat checks are decent means of figuring it out and they seem to be just about everywhere at one point or another.
shan definitely hit the nail on the head. great advice!
weight loss (or gain) starts in the kitchen, not the gym
also, for the time being you could use this:
Body Fat (US Navy) Calculator - Fitness.BizCalcs.com
it does give a fairly decent gauge of bf%...probably as accurate as bioelectrical impedence devices LOL...while it isn't going to be perfect, it will give you an idea and you can start your diet planning around that and after you have followed it a week or two then you will know if you need to adjust it up or down calorie wise.
Yes thats true, but for a starting point it would be better than nothing, and yes, inches lost are good indicators or progress more so than weight..
There are no at home testing methods that I know of that are anywhere close to accurate but the tape testing can do a fair job if the tester knows what they are doing and more important then that is that it is consistent. Meaning if for example, if it says your 20% bodyfat it doesnt matter as much if thats 3 percent off from the truth just as long as when you lose 1% it shows that you lost 1% and now has an answer of 19%. I dont think you get the same with BIA type devices that could be high or low each time you use it.
For me, I tape test at home weekly and log the results. Every few months I'll schedule an appointment for a more accurate body fat test such as BodPod, Hydro or Dexa. With these tests I can then make any adjustments if my home testing has been off by much.
yep...the tape measure doesn't lie (unless the one weilding it does LOL)..so as long as the inches are dropping there is fat loss going on and for cheap it is a good way to monitor progress.
Diet is still best applied "if" a known bf is available, otherwise you can use a guesstimate to start and modify it up or down as needed.
Thanks for giving me a starting point. I had no idea that this "diet stuff" could be so complicated. I am down to 205.2 as of last night.
so, since that wasn't much change from your post last week, I would suggest dropping your calories by 100-200 a day and see how things go...you can shoot for 2 or more lbs a week at this point, it isn't until you get down closer to your goal weight that you will have to be more concerned about not losing more than 1.5-2 a week.