View Full Version : Need help!

11-12-2001, 02:41 PM
Hi I am wondering if anyone can help me - I am new to lifting. I have lost all my fitness since school - I am 21, female, 5'7" and 190lbs. Lifting is my favourite form of exercise and at present I am generally trying to build strength, following an unstructured program. Can anybody recommend a program for me? I can work out around six days a week.

How much aerobic exercise should I be doing compared to weights? How much should I be eating (currently around 1800 cals a day)?

I have a naturally large frame and I don't want to look big, I want too lose fat, build strength and improve fitness.

I would be grateful if anyone could help me!


11-13-2001, 07:05 AM
Welcome Juanita. Do you know your current bodyfat percentage? That would be a great help diet-wise. The first, most important factor in any training or nutrition program is diet. You need to be consuming 5-6 small balanced meals a day, complete with a protein and carbs. Added fat such as flax or even almonds will be beneficial as well. You need to be sure that you are getting enough calories per meal, but not in excess. This number will be a result of your complete stats.

Cardio is another important recommendation if your first and foremost goal is fat loss. You did mention that you wanted to build and lose so this makes it quite difficult. In essence, you can't go forward and backwards at the same time. I'm assuming that you most important goal at the present is to lose excess bodyfat so I would recommend beginnig cardio 3 days a week at 40 minutes of interval moderate to high intensity. This is only a starter and will increase gradually so don't get too pumped up and do more and get burned out. Are you familiar on how to cycle the intensity of the cardio?

Training, how fun!! To build mass and strength you need to lift heavy, intense and brief. Keep you movements basic. Make 8 reps your failure point of now.
Day #1
Incline Presses 3x8
Flat Presses 3x8
Incline Flys 3x8

Shoulder Presses 3x8
Lateral Raises 3x8
Front Raises 2x8
Rear Delt 2x8

Overhead Extensions 3x8
Skulls 3x8
Dips/pushdowns/kicks 3x8


Day #3
Pulldown 3x8
Seated Row 3x8
Hyper Exentsions 3x8

EZ Curl 3x8
Alternate DB Curl 3x8
Hammer Curl 3x8


Day #5
Squat or Leg Press 3x8(alternate the 2 per workout)
Exentsions 3x8 (use negatives and static)
Hack or Lunges 3x8/lunges 3x15 (alternate the 2 per workout)
Leg Curls 3x8 (use negatives)

Day #7 REST

Do abs and calves everyother workout. Calves, choose seated, standing and donkey presses. Again, 3 sets and vary the reps anywhere from 8 being failure to 25 being failure. Use static training on calves as well. Abs: lying floor crunches are the best. If you want thick, muscular abs do weighted rope crunches.

This work out is very basic and a lot I think. Most young enthusiast find it a breeze, I, myself, can't do shoulders and chest on the same day anymore as the chest movements fatigue my shoulders and I can't put as much emphasis on my shoulders. If this is infact a problem for you let me know. Since you are 21 it should be a piece of cake though. (no pun intended) hehe

11-13-2001, 12:53 PM
Hi MsFit, thanks for answering so quickly and so in depth!

I don't know my bodyfat percentage, I will try to find out and get back to you.

I am currently doing three days of cardio per week, if I do more than this, will it help to lose more weight? And no, I'm not familiar on how to cycle the intensity of my cardio - sorry!

Thank you for the training schedule, unfortunately I don't know what all the exercises are, so I will have to look at diagrams. My gym isn't very good, it has a lot of machines but not many free weights, especially barbells. I can't even lift the ones they have - is there any other way I can do squats? Currently I am using a machine for both squats and calves - will this be sufficient or do I need to use free weights? Also, I have dumbells at home, should I just forget about these and do all my training at the gym?

Sorry for being so clueless - I really appreciate yur help!


11-13-2001, 04:32 PM
Increased cardio will burn more calories. Cycling your intensity will keep the body in shock and prevent it from adapting. Example: Powerwalk for 2 minutes and lite jog for 2 minutes or Power walk for 4 minutes and light jog for 1 minute. Either one of these or something similar. Anything to keep the body from adapting.

For the exercises that you are not familiar with, get a book or ask someone at your gym. If you cannot lift the barbells, try the dumbells. You can do squats with dumbell or do the leg press machine. I find training at a gym much easier than at home. You will have more variety and weight in a gym.

11-23-2001, 05:47 AM
Hi again Ms Fit

I had a chat with the instructor at my gym and showed him a list of the exercises you gave me. He mentioned that the machines used more than one muscle at a time, unlike free weights, so I was probably better mixing the two, doing free weights at the end of my workout. He also said it was okay to do arms and legs on the same day (I lift three times a week).

Anyway so I altered my routine and was lifting much heavier weights than I was used to, which felt fine (3 x 10reps). I talked to a guy at the gym today, and told him I was trying to lose weight. He said I should be doing very light weights in a quick movement - 4 x 10 reps on the same machine/free weight - saying the faster movement will aid burning calories. He said there was no point in me lifting as much as I could as I did not want to bulk up.

I am confused! Should I be using lighter weights?

By the way, I am losing on average 2lbs per week - I sorted my diet out to cut out all the excess pasta and rice I was eating. I feel really good, just hungry in the afternoons and very cold all the time!

11-24-2001, 10:10 PM
You will not build massive, buky muscle, you do not have enough testosterone to build that kind of size. Lifting moderate to heavy will build lean mass, which aids in calorie burning. Increased reps and light weight will not produce fat loss. Fat loss is a combination of the diet and cardio.

You are losing at a good rate, don't lose any faster. If you are, add the pasta and rice back. If you are hungry in the eveings try a low carb protein drink, egg whites, veggies, chicken, nuts.....Don't go hungry. When did you notice that you are cold all the time? When you dropped calories?

11-25-2001, 05:56 AM
I starting dieting in early September (have lost 1 1/2 stone - 21 lbs) but it was still quite warm then. Since the winter I have really been feeling the cold, which is very rare for me so I presume it must be the extra calorie loss. Should I be eating more? An average days food currently consists of:

1 bowl of Special K (no milk) or 2 Weetabix (skimmed milk)
Fish or chicken sandwich (no butter etc)
3 pieces of fruit
Piece of lean meat, jacket potato, 3 x veg (usually green)

Occaisionally I have a low fat yoghurt and I only drink water. Sometimes I have diet coke. I switch the jacket potato with brown rice or pasta some days. This is the diet I switched to after advice to cut out extra carbs - my evening meal is now much lighter.

So if I lose weight any faster, I am losing muscle mass etc?

Would you recommend I did some extra cardio at the end of a work out?

Thank you again for the advice my dear!

11-25-2001, 09:43 AM
Good weight loss, but be careful. If you lose too fast you will be losing muscle. You lost a good bit already and it was much paced correctly so now it may not drop off as fast since your body will shift into a survival mode so to speak. Now this is the time where diet, cardio and training will become more detailed and percise.

I recommend 5-6 small meals a day. Each meal should contain a proten and a carb. So, add some egg whites to your cereal to make it a complete meal. Have a protein drink with you fruit. Also I suggest add some good natual fat to your diet. Eat some nuts or natual peanut butter once or twice a day. The added fat will boost your metabolism.

The fact thay you are getting cold is perhaps due to your diet. You lost a good bit :) and now looking at what you are eating, I'm worried that you are not eating enough. The added fat will help as well as increasing your protein intake.

Try a few weeks without the added cardio and see what happens.