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  1. #1
    Registered User cnaatwork's Avatar
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    Women trying to lose weight and build muscle

    I am trying to lose about 10 more pounds but I want to gain more muscle so I am not too worried about the scale. My question is, I have been training 4-5 days a week, 4-6 sets of 10-12 reps and about 30 min cardio 3-4 days a week. eating 1800-2500 calories a day and I don't see results. I eat clean and mainly protein. Don't eat bread at all. What am I doing wrong? I switch it up a lot so my body doesn't get used to it. I also don't feel sore the next day like I used to which I really liked. I am 6'0" 174lbs... I see a lot of information for men but not for women. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User getoutandabout's Avatar
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    if you want to gain muscle you need to really cut down on your cardio
    EVERYWHERE IS YOUR GYM

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  3. #3
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    I would suggest that your Calorie range is broad. People regularly under report Caloric intake, or omit items they forget about. On top of this, we have to question where these Calorie calculations come from.

    A Calorie is "the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 °C". Basically just an arbitrary way to measure energy. From what I understand, food used to be burned inside bomb calorimeters and they would measure the rise of the temperature of the water. Okay sounds good, but I read a web article (1) that suggests that they now use the Atwater system (2), which is an indirect method. Basically, there will be some level of error involved here.

    On top of this you have the error of all foods being different systems in their own right. Not every sweet potato will have the same Calories, water, etc. There is so much different error going on that I don't believe in counting Calories.

    That being said, what proportion of your diet is REAL food compared to processed food. Do you make most of your food or do you buy prepared foods?

    Another consideration is your actual intensity of training. 30 minutes of cardio could be running on a treadmill up a 15% incline, or it could be walking at 3 mph. Likewise, you might be using 30% of your 1RM on your strength training. If your level of strength is not high, you will not be burning as many Calories as someone who is lifting heavier weights.

    To further complicate things, you have lost weight which essentially decreases the metabolic activity of EVERY activity you do each day. This cannot be ignored!

    This is not an easy fix and that is why we do what we do. We sit down and think all of these things through, monitor progress, and change things accordingly.

    1. http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...-manufacturers
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwater_system
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by cnaatwork View Post
    I am trying to lose about 10 more pounds but I want to gain more muscle so I am not too worried about the scale. My question is, I have been training 4-5 days a week, 4-6 sets of 10-12 reps and about 30 min cardio 3-4 days a week. eating 1800-2500 calories a day and I don't see results. I eat clean and mainly protein. Don't eat bread at all. What am I doing wrong? I switch it up a lot so my body doesn't get used to it. I also don't feel sore the next day like I used to which I really liked. I am 6'0" 174lbs... I see a lot of information for men but not for women. Thanks!
    What is this for? If it's for aesthetic reasons then you shouldn't worry since a lb of muscle is much denser than fat and thus any gain in muscle will result in a trimmer physique. If you're trying to lose weight in order to qualify for a certain weight category for some competitive sport however that's an entirely different story. Still, the emphasis needs to be more on resistance training than cardio. Putting on muscle will raise your basal metabolism so you'll be burning more outside the gym as well. Not sure what type of resistance training you're doing but try to put more focus on compound, multi-joint lifts like squats, deadlifts, rackppulls, bent over rows, lat pulldowns, lunges. Put big emphasis on lower body since that's where your body's largest muscles are located.
    Problem is women tend to believe in a lot of stupid things like spot reduction so they'll only do virtually worthless exercises like dumbbell tricep kickbacks and crunches.

    There are no seperate training protocols for men and women. Anything that can benefit a man can benefit a woman so they should train the same way. The most fit women are the women who lift like men do. If anything women have even more to gain from resistance training since they're at higher risk of osteoperosis later in life.

    Also, you weren't very specific about diet but if you're eating just protein then your body is going to use protein as an energy source rather than use it for repairing and building new muscle tissue. Add some more complex carbohydrates to your diet from sources like fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Carbs are your body's preferred fuel source so don't neglect them.
    Last edited by USAWTitan; 12-02-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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  5. #5
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cnaatwork View Post
    What am I doing wrong? I switch it up a lot so my body doesn't get used to it.
    You've answered your own question. You don't need a variety of exercises, you need to do the same exercises and do a little bit more each time you come in, more weight, more reps or more sets.

    It's energy in vs energy out.
    If energy in < energy out, you get overall smaller.
    If energy in > energy out, you get overall bigger.
    If energy in = energy out, you stay the same size overall.

    Energy out is mostly your day-to-day life, but also comes from workouts. It comes not from the workout itself, but from the level of challenge of the workout. You need to push yourself during the workout; this does not mean until you throw up or so you can't walk the next day. It means each time trying to do a bit more than you did before.

    In your size there can be different amounts of fat and muscle. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Homer Simpson, same weight, look very different. How much muscle will you have? Depends on whether your body decides it needs it. If you lift heavy sht, your body will decide it needs muscle. If you "mix it up a lot" and do heaps of cardio, your body decides it doesn't need much muscle.

    Consider two women. Anna comes in today and does some leg presses, 40lbs for 10 reps. She writes this in her workout journal. Next time she comes in she does 40lbs for 10 reps, then 10 reps again. The third time, 40lbs for 10 reps for 3 sets. A week's gone by, the next week she does 45lbs for 10 reps, then 10x2, then 10x3. And so on. Maybe she gets to 145lbs 10x3, next week she tries 150lbs and can only do 8. That's okay, next time she does 8,8, and the third time she does 8x3. The following week she manages 9x3, and the third week it's 10x3, so the fourth week she's working on 155lbs. And so on. In every session she did the same exercise, but she always tried to do more weight, or more reps, or more sets. 12 months after starting she's leg pressing 225lbs 10x3.

    Barbara starts at the same time as Anna. She has no journal. Today she comes in and leg presses 45lbs for 10 reps. Next time she half-squats the empty bar for 22 reps. The third time she does some leg extensions. Next week she grabs a pair of 10lb dumbbells and does some lunges. And so on. Twelve months later she's leg pressing 75lbs for 10 reps.

    Which of the two women will have built more muscle in those 12 months? Anna, obviously, she has given her muscles a reason to grow. Barbara has not given them a reason to grow, and has had just small strength increases since even the half-arsed confused sht she's doing is more work than sitting on the couch watching Oprah and eating Oreos. Because she's not done progressive resistance training, Barbara has got poor results. In desperation she tries the Blended Vegetable And Sesame Seed Diet and spends two hours a day on the elliptical reading Marie Claire. Meanwhile Anna has an arse you could bounce coins off, and more importantly has become strong as fck.
    I see a lot of information for men but not for women.
    These principles are the same whether you have testicles or ovaries, or even if you have both or neither. To stimulate your body to build muscle, do the same exercises in each workout, or at most alternate two different workouts, and each time do more than you did before, more weight, or more reps, or more sets. This is why we call it "progressive resistance training", we progress the resistance.

    This stimulates your body to change, whether it can change depends on your diet. You must provide your body materials to build muscle and bones. Working out and then starving yourself is like sending the workers to the worksite with the blueprints, but not sending them bricks and lumber. Doing a half-arsed workout and then eating a tub of protein powder is like piling up bricks and lumber without sending workers there and not having done blueprints. You need both.

    I recommend you head over to the women's section. This is not because we cannot offer advice here, or because men's bodies are significantly different in their responses to physical training and diet. It's because much of the men's sections on this website are filled with fckwits, and the women's section will (unlike this PT forum) offer you some community along with the information. Physical training is a journey more easily and pleasantly taken in company.

    In summary, you need,
    1. a food and workout journal
    2. good food - ie lots of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and dairy, how much bread/pasta/etc you have is not a big deal so long as you don't gorge yourself, focus on getting the other stuff into you first
    3. a progressive resistance training programme, 3-6 basic exercises where you do more weight, more reps or more sets in each session
    4. someone to keep you company along the way, such as a PT, strength coach, training partner, a friend or two at the gym, etc
    Last edited by KyleAaron; 12-02-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User cnaatwork's Avatar
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    Well, I don't eat a lot of processed food. Mainly raw produce, canned tuna, whey isolate because I don't eat a lot of meat, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice occasionally. I think my main problem is I don't always count the calories because I get obsessive. I use sparkpeople dot com to calculate my calories and workouts but it takes hours from my day just to put it on there. When I use the elliptical, I go hard for 40sec slow for 20 and do this for 10 minutes then go moderate for another 10-20min. But mostly I lift, I use 8-15lbs for arms and 30-40lbs for bench press. And legs I usually use as heavy as I can take for 8 reps about 6 sets.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Botika's Avatar
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    You need to decide on your primary goal...fat loss or muscle gain. Unless you are taking advantage of noob gains you will be spinning your wheels trying to do both at the same time.

    To put on muscle you will need to eat a calorie surplus. To lose fat you will need to eat a calorie deficit. As mentioned above it makes no difference whether you are a man or woman, the principles are the same. Come over to the women's section. There is a first time bulkers thread with a lot of good info.

    BTW Myfitnesspal is better for calorie counting. You can use the web or phone app.
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  8. #8
    Banned USAWTitan's Avatar
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    I don't think lbs is a really good way to measure progress and often times I think it can give people the wrong idea.

    Try doing circumference measurements. For all you know you are getting trimmer but your weight is around the same since you're gaining muscle.
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  9. #9
    Registered User acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cnaatwork View Post
    I think my main problem is I don't always count the calories because I get obsessive. I use sparkpeople dot com to calculate my calories and workouts
    So what you're saying is "I have no idea how much I am really eating, and I don't know why I am not losing weight.".

    If you are not losing, and you can't figure out why, Count. I don't understand what "obsessive means. That you count everything that goes into your mouth? Good, you're suppose to.
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    Like other people have said either pick to lose weight or gain muscle. They require complete opposites since one is in need of a calorie deficit and one a calorie surplus.
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    Sorry I don't want to "hijack" the thread but how can I have a flat ab within 1 month? I have tried with tummy shaker but not sure this can take effect after 30 days...
    Just seen a website offering "shed belly fat in just 15 days". Sounds so sweet; just wondering whether it is possible...
    Last edited by CeliaFMurphy; 12-05-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by CeliaFMurphy View Post
    Sorry I don't want to "hijack" the thread but how can I have a flat ab within 1 month? I have tried with tummy shaker but not sure this can take effect after 30 days...
    Just seen a website offering "belly fat in just 15 days". Sounds so sweet; just wondering whether it is possible...
    well you're hijacking it.. the only way to have abs in one month is to be one month away from having abs.. aka.. you can see basically every ab already..

    this **** takes time.. do some research and stop hijacking threads for the sake of terrible questions..


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