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  1. #1
    Registered User occagymrat's Avatar
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    over 50 women: build muscle and fat loss

    I am 54, post-menapausal and have been lifting for 12 months. I am addicted to both the workouts and the results. I am very competitive and work diligently at becoming stronger. (I can do pull-ups, chin-ups, unassisted dips etc) But diet is a problem for me. I eat clean (6 meals per day), count calories (1200-1500/day) and am careful with monitoring proper protein intake and carb consumption. I am having a problem getting leaner. I only do cardio once per week (it bores me but I do keep my heart rate down so not to burn muscle). I lift 5-6 days per week (yes, I have been told to take a day off) and do yoga 3 days per week. I'm 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. I take multi-vitamins, CLA, omega 3's, L-carnitine, glutamine, and kre-alkalyn. I cycle on and off Jack3d. I am at 25% body fat and just can't get the number down. Any suggestions from someone who understands an older woman's physiology?
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  2. #2
    Dropping body fat TelusLob's Avatar
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    I am helping my mother lose weight, and she is about the same age as you, however, you are in MUCH better shape.

    Your plan looks good, although I would increase cardio. As long as you keep your protein intake high (i'd say about 110 grams per day), you won't lose LBM as long as you lift heavy when you do resistance.

    I do agree that treadmills and bikes are boring, but I found doing workout videos much more stimulating and tolerable.
    Aug of 2010 - 330 lbs <--- Never Forget
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  3. #3
    Registered User occagymrat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TelusLob View Post
    I am helping my mother lose weight, and she is about the same age as you, however, you are in MUCH better shape.

    Your plan looks good, although I would increase cardio. As long as you keep your protein intake high (i'd say about 110 grams per day), you won't lose LBM as long as you lift heavy when you do resistance.

    I do agree that treadmills and bikes are boring, but I found doing workout videos much more stimulating and tolerable.
    Thanks for the suggestion and the compliment. I have a feeling cardio will be the solution of choice, but it's getting someone to kick me in the butt to do that.
    Last edited by occagymrat; 01-13-2011 at 09:55 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Not Swimming. Emma-Leigh's Avatar
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    Results have nothing to do with eating clean. Nor age. I have a 61 yr old client (female) who maintains down at sub 12%.

    Essentially it comes down to diet quantities, and how adequate your diet is for your needs...

    And if you really are as active as you say - then you need to eat more than this.

    Check out my sticky for calculating requirements -> http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?p=436716771 Then form a plan and stick to it (then repeat lots)....

    The key is to eat a way YOU can maintain - not how the magazines tell you to eat.
    *perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim*
    "The greatest rewards are always reserved for those who bring great value to themselves and the world around them as a result of whom and what they have become." - Jim Rohn
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  5. #5
    Registered User occagymrat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Emma-Leigh View Post
    Results have nothing to do with eating clean. Nor age. I have a 61 yr old client (female) who maintains down at sub 12%.

    Essentially it comes down to diet quantities, and how adequate your diet is for your needs...

    And if you really are as active as you say - then you need to eat more than this.

    The key is to eat a way YOU can maintain - not how the magazines tell you to eat.
    Just checked the thread. Will reread thoroughly and process. Thank you very much. Viewed your recent photos. Impressive. Certainly wish I had started in the gym 30 years ago, instead of one.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    I am 54, post-menapausal and have been lifting for 12 months. I am addicted to both the workouts and the results. I am very competitive and work diligently at becoming stronger. (I can do pull-ups, chin-ups, unassisted dips etc) But diet is a problem for me. I eat clean (6 meals per day), count calories (1200-1500/day) and am careful with monitoring proper protein intake and carb consumption. I am having a problem getting leaner. I only do cardio once per week (it bores me but I do keep my heart rate down so not to burn muscle). I lift 5-6 days per week (yes, I have been told to take a day off) and do yoga 3 days per week. I'm 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. I take multi-vitamins, CLA, omega 3's, L-carnitine, glutamine, and kre-alkalyn. I cycle on and off Jack3d. I am at 25% body fat and just can't get the number down. Any suggestions from someone who understands an older woman's physiology?
    OK I get it that you are over 50 and feel like it's harder - cuz I am over 50, post menopausal and it IS harder. Falling hormones (through the floor) is a challenge but not impossible. Because you are older you have had more years to become insulin resistant (I don't know if you are or aren't). You may be suffering from chronically high cortisol levels (which I bring up because you exercise heavily without downtime and eat too few calories).

    I can't add anything to what Emma has already covered related to diet (thanks Emma). But what I don't really get is the whole She-Ra-Princess of Power role you are taking with the exercise. I like to think of myself as a BAB (Bad A** B***h) when I work out. I can do pull ups, chin ups, dips and more like you and I'm proud of it. BUT I also know my body needs recovery.

    You say you've been told to take a day off but you don't. Why? I think you need to address that issue as well as your diet. I always take off one day and often 2 a week depending on what my body is telling me. I'm currently doing 4 intense resistance workouts each week, 3 - 4 ab workouts and 3 - 4 short HIITs. But a body has to rest for recovery - and never more so than when we age.

    With a more measured approach with a more sensible eating plan (more calories) and some recovery time, you'll be able to drop the body fat. Good luck!
    Nancy
    "The heavier I lift, the leaner I get"
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    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    I am 54, post-menapausal and have been lifting for 12 months. I am addicted to both the workouts and the results. I am very competitive and work diligently at becoming stronger. (I can do pull-ups, chin-ups, unassisted dips etc) But diet is a problem for me. I eat clean (6 meals per day), count calories (1200-1500/day) and am careful with monitoring proper protein intake and carb consumption. I am having a problem getting leaner. I only do cardio once per week (it bores me but I do keep my heart rate down so not to burn muscle). I lift 5-6 days per week (yes, I have been told to take a day off) and do yoga 3 days per week. I'm 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. I take multi-vitamins, CLA, omega 3's, L-carnitine, glutamine, and kre-alkalyn. I cycle on and off Jack3d. I am at 25% body fat and just can't get the number down. Any suggestions from someone who understands an older woman's physiology?
    here is my experience, hope it can shed some light, i started exercising/lifting late in my years, i was 40 pounds over weight, i had tried many different styles of exercising, nothing worked, bodybuilding/weight lifting was the answer for me, the type of lifting when your bodybuilding will create more fat burning, i say again more fat burning(not muscle) then any exercise routine out there, now im not talking to be a girl bodybuilder but the same type of training but modified to my needs, shaping, curving, building certain area of the muscle to make my shape sexy rather manly, for me it was easy, i trained with a pro bodybuilder and so i got so see all the little secrets, example; carb cycling, carbs depletion, low carb, high protein, amount of cardio and the best supplements like fat burners.....the key is, training,dieting, supplements and a knowledgeable partner(bodybuilder that competes)....by the way, be cautious with some of these bid name supplement company product claims.. jack3d was bad for me, bad stomach pains, and jitters from the high caffeine...
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  8. #8
    Registered User Cape1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    I am 54, post-menapausal and have been lifting for 12 months. I am addicted to both the workouts and the results. I am very competitive and work diligently at becoming stronger. (I can do pull-ups, chin-ups, unassisted dips etc) But diet is a problem for me. I eat clean (6 meals per day), count calories (1200-1500/day) and am careful with monitoring proper protein intake and carb consumption. I am having a problem getting leaner. I only do cardio once per week (it bores me but I do keep my heart rate down so not to burn muscle). I lift 5-6 days per week (yes, I have been told to take a day off) and do yoga 3 days per week. I'm 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. I take multi-vitamins, CLA, omega 3's, L-carnitine, glutamine, and kre-alkalyn. I cycle on and off Jack3d. I am at 25% body fat and just can't get the number down. Any suggestions from someone who understands an older woman's physiology?
    I'm no expert on Physiology in general or, more particularly, the unique attributes as they apply only to Women. Also, there is lots of great information here so far from other posters. I'm 42 and Male so I have little standing as far as direct experience. BUT, I worked out with a woman off and on, at the last corporate gym I attended, who was 51 at the time. She, by far, without a second thought, had the best body I think I ever saw to that point or have seen since. I cannot think of a single 25 year old woman; in real life, movies or TV, that even comes close. SO, my observation is that being in your 50's is not a roadblock.

    Adding Muscle and Loosing Fat:
    Cannot be done at the same time. I know people will want to 'Blind me with Science' here but in real life, I have never seen one single example of it being done successfully. Over the course of months you might have periods of calorie surplus and some deficits; and, over time, build a little muscle and loose a little fat. Overall, pick one goal and stick to it for a while. Otherwise you'll likely half-ass both goals.


    Supplements:
    Glutamine supplementation is pretty much useles so I would save my money on that. I would far rather see you spend your money on a BCAA supplement, esspecially with all the work you're doing but even this isn't necessary if your diet is good. Kre-alkalyn? Is that Creatine? If so, monohydrate is the one proven in all the studies and a 6 month supply is about $20-. just sayin'. My advice to people is always this: The only supplements people really need are: Multi-V, Fish Oil, BCAA and, depending on diet, Whey Protein. When extra $ is laying around, then all the other stuff can be considered.

    Recovery:
    Definitely take time off. Whether you're goal is mass building or fat loss, you need recovery time. Building muscle is EVERY BIT as much about recovery as it is about the Weight Room. At your age and assuming your hormones aren't what they were, it makes no sense to pound your body beyond its ability to recover. There is lots of debate about what your CNS (Central Nervous System) will endure; however, one item on which everyone agrees is that until CNS recovers, your muscles wont. Lifting every day is one sure what to short circuit your effort in Building Muscle. Even for fat loss, you're recovery ability is already compromised due to energy balance. While you have to do extra work to keep improving body composition, there is a VERY fine line between pushing the scale and getting down a hole that's hard to climb out of.

    Cardio and Training:
    For fat loss, I would recommend training each body part once a week with a higher intensity (i.e., lower overall volume, less reps, increased resistance). Also, I would begin to SLOWLY increase your cardio. For a couple of weeks work in another session with higher intensity. Maybe HIIT or even Sprint work (if you can do it safely). when progress slows, add another session. DO this until you're up to, say, 5 sessions. I would start with 20 minute sessions. That's it!! But, work your ass off for that 20 minutes. ONce you're doing 5 sessions, as progress slows, add 5 minutes to each session; couple of weeks later, add another 5 minute. few weeks later, split cardio into two sessions on opposing sides of the day - 15 minutes each. keep adding 5 min. one session at a time. You may not even get this far by the time you shed whatever fat you have to loose. My logic here is based only on my experience. I respond better (body comp wise) to shorter and more intense sessions. Longer sessions, overdone, have me loosing lots of weight but the balance is definitely tilted towards more muscle loss than fat loss. People say it may have something to do with the extra Cortisol releases during longer cardio sessions. If that's true, it's your arch enemy at your age esspecially.

    Dont follow my cardio plan exact. DO what works for you. We are all different. Just consider the broad strokes and the concept.


    Good luck to you!
    "The best gift that you can give your children is to Love their Mother"
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  9. #9
    Registered User darjones's Avatar
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    Hi ccagymrat,
    How long have you been working out? I am 46 years and have been working out on and off since I was 20years old, more off than on..lol..However, I am now looking to do something different and my goal is to look like a bodybuilder without completing, I want to get my boday fat to 20%, I know I have a long road ahead but now I am looking to put forth the effort and give up bad habits.

    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion and the compliment. I have a feeling cardio will be the solution of choice, but it's getting someone to kick me in the butt to do that.
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    Smile Reply to Occagymrat

    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    I am 54, post-menapausal and have been lifting for 12 months. I am addicted to both the workouts and the results. I am very competitive and work diligently at becoming stronger. (I can do pull-ups, chin-ups, unassisted dips etc) But diet is a problem for me. I eat clean (6 meals per day), count calories (1200-1500/day) and am careful with monitoring proper protein intake and carb consumption. I am having a problem getting leaner. I only do cardio once per week (it bores me but I do keep my heart rate down so not to burn muscle). I lift 5-6 days per week (yes, I have been told to take a day off) and do yoga 3 days per week. I'm 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. I take multi-vitamins, CLA, omega 3's, L-carnitine, glutamine, and kre-alkalyn. I cycle on and off Jack3d. I am at 25% body fat and just can't get the number down. Any suggestions from someone who understands an older woman's physiology?
    Hi there, congrats on your new love of the gym. Hopefully I can give you some insight, my stats, I'm 48 post menopausal 5'4" 110 my body fat has remained at around 19% for decades. I began weight training at 19 and was very serious for about 15 years, the last 15 years I have been consistant with weight training, while other sports activities have come and gone. Overall I've been very active and super fit for anyt age.

    Your diet sounds good. I found the Zone diet, protien and carbs in each meal with a small amout of fat works wonders. There are a million Zone books, "A Week In the Zone", is an easy fast read and really explains the hormonal balance your body must maintain to burn efficeintly and keep an even steady energy throughout the day. It works, your not hungry and it's easy to get lean.

    Cardio, one day a week isn't enough. I would say MINIMAL 3 days at 30-45 minutes, and yes, you're right, don't go at a crazy heart rate and burn muscle. Steady is great, and iterval training is wonderful. Perhaps you could try some spin classes on the bike. Fun, sweaty and not so super boring.

    I lived through the drama of menopause, too young!!!!!. I can tell you that I found my body taking a turn for the worse. I spent close to two years reading, researching and went to 3 doctors. The bottom line was, I decided to do bioidentical hormone replacement. I won't go into detail as to the hows and whys of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. It would take waaaay too much space.

    Believe it or not the Susan Somers books are a great resource. One of the doctors she talks about was my OBGYN when I lived in California and I went back to her (flew from another state) and got myself straightened out. With blood tests and the proper replacement of hormones and supplements my body snapped back.

    I had gained 8 pounds, was loosing muscle, lacked sexy thoughts and overall felt off wack, it was scary to see my body stop responding to training as it had all those years and had I not experienced it personally I'm not sure I would have been so motivated to fix the "problem'. I think its' because I was so aware of my body and knew how to get results from training, when my body stopped responding and went the opposit direction, I KNEW somethig was off.

    With the hormonal replacement, (which I believe is the right choice after a lot of research) my body responds to my training again like it used to before menopause.

    That's my best advice to any woman our age. Work out, eat right, balance your hormones and be enjoy your beautiful body. Do yourself a favor and read up. I really hope you fiind what works best for you and feel and look your best!!!! Its' my firm belief that body building for women is the fountain of youth.

    To give you an idea, I take estogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, pregnenolone, Omega 3, Selenium, Magnesium, COQ10, chronium, D3 and HGH and a bio thyriod tab. The first year and half, I had my blood work done 3 x to make sure the levels in my body were getting to the ideal range and discovering where I felt best.

    Good luck!!!!
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  11. #11
    Registered User Fabmom49's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion and the compliment. I have a feeling cardio will be the solution of choice, but it's getting someone to kick me in the butt to do that.

    Hey there - I'm 49 and in a similar situation as you - bodyfat won't budge - my response is not towards that but the type of cardio ...... Try kickboxing --it's extremely empowering, burns mega calories and is just plain fun!!!!! Good luck on your venture
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    To reduce weight for my mom aged 64

    Hi BB,

    My mom have knee problems due to over weight.My mom height is 5feet,weight is 65kg.I would like to know whether fat burner can be given for aged people?.Currently i planned to make my mom follow the below diet:

    Morning Empty stomach Oxy Elite Fat burner,before breakfast calcium tablet ,after breakfast BCAA.

    Evening she do some knee exercises .Before knee exercise Scivation Extend.

    Have avoided Dairy products and white rice .As a replacement given brown rice.

    Please suggest me a good diet to lose weight for my mom.Let me know can she take fat burner ?


    Thanks,
    Maha
    Last edited by Mahavairavan; 05-13-2013 at 07:07 AM.
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    Registered User georgie430's Avatar
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    women over 50

    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion and the compliment. I have a feeling cardio will be the solution of choice, but it's getting someone to kick me in the butt to do that.
    Hi Don't know if your still working out?? I hope you are even if you cant loose more fat. I'm 51 and dealing with post menopause.
    Your post was/is such an inspiration for me. I would love to correspond with you. I think you can motivate many women in who
    were in your shoes before you got going.

    Hope you come back...................Denise
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    Registered User sellestad2's Avatar
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    After five children and turning 40 i decided to start taking care of my body better. I have always been active (5 kids will help that) and ate fairly good.

    When i went on a "real food" eating plan i dropped 40 pounds. Last year because of a few stressors (job change, move, daughter with cancer) i put on 10 pounds. And now I am feeling hormones changing.

    I will be 50 in four months and plan on being in my best health ever. I am struggling with getting body fat down too.

    I am finding success with some of the diet tips suggested and RESTING.
    Resting is the hardest workout of the week for me. But it is helping.

    BCAA occasionally is the only supplement I take. I believe if i cant get it in food i dont need it.

    Thanks for this post. Lots of good advice I am going to try.

    Thank y'all.
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    good

    Originally Posted by occagymrat View Post
    I am 54, post-menapausal and have been lifting for 12 months. I am addicted to both the workouts and the results. I am very competitive and work diligently at becoming stronger. (I can do pull-ups, chin-ups, unassisted dips etc) But diet is a problem for me. I eat clean (6 meals per day), count calories (1200-1500/day) and am careful with monitoring proper protein intake and carb consumption. I am having a problem getting leaner. I only do cardio once per week (it bores me but I do keep my heart rate down so not to burn muscle). I lift 5-6 days per week (yes, I have been told to take a day off) and do yoga 3 days per week. I'm 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. I take multi-vitamins, CLA, omega 3's, L-carnitine, glutamine, and kre-alkalyn. I cycle on and off Jack3d. I am at 25% body fat and just can't get the number down. Any suggestions from someone who understands an older woman's physiology?
    Wonderful at this age
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