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  1. #1
    Registered User Frenchfries1's Avatar
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    Will this workout program help me lose body fat?

    Hey, newbie here, and need some advice!

    First of all, I received a kidney transplant a little over a year ago, and as I’m now feeling great, I want to start taking care of myself and look good (lab results are great and I got the green light from my transplant team to start weight-lifting)

    I built up the courage to join my local gym a month ago and booked 10 lessons with a PT. He didn’t ask what were my goals, only what I would like to do, and I told him I’d love to start lifting. I have no idea what my body fat percentage is, that was never checked, but I’m definitely skinny fat:

    Height: 163cm (5ft3)
    Weight: 52kg (116lbs)
    Female

    My goal is the usual “lose fat, gain lean muscle mass, have a flat tummy”.

    We do a lot of compound movements and a typical leg day will include 4 to 5 of these exercises:

    2 sets of 20 lunges
    2 sets of 20 squats (or 3 sets of 10 barbell squats with no weight)
    3 sets of 10 single leg bench lunges
    3 sets of 25 leg presses at 25kg
    3 sets of 10 leg curls
    A bit of abs

    A typical upper body day:
    3 sets of 10 pull ups and dips on the machine
    3 sets of 10 barbell chest press with no weight
    3 sets of 10 tricep bench dips
    3 sets of decline crunches
    3 sets of 10 Russian twists
    3 sets of 10 cable pull down (25kg)

    I attend 3 times a week for 30 minutes and my PT now wants to add cardio to my routine instead of weight-lifting.

    In terms of nutrition, I eat between 1400 and 1600 calories per day (my macros are 50 t0 60% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein).

    I eat around 60 to 70g of protein and struggle to go higher (and hesitate to eat much more than this, given that high-protein diets are counter-indicated for people with kidney problems).

    I am now starting training on my own, and follow the same exercises my PT gave me, 3 times a week for 30 minutes. My question is, is this going to help me towards my goal?

    I also walk at fast pace 15min every day.
    Any help will be very much appreciated.
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    To start off with a pic may help to give you a better answer as your BMI is normal therefore excessive fat is unlikely and more then likely it is due to be undertrained. A pic will answer that question straight away.

    Your goal is the two opposite really and it may be more effective to choose one target either lose fat or build muscle.

    However the procedure is basically the same except for the calorie amount so I will explain both ways so you have the info for both to aid your choice:-

    Read this first as this explains the nutrition side and that is the most important factor

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=173439001

    Losing fat

    Start by deducting 300-500 calories from your maintenance TDEE (explained in the link above) and aim to lose around 0.5-1lb a week. Macros are explained in the link above it is best to use your body weight for the equation and not percentages therefore for you it is near 80g minimum for protein that said due to your medical condition slightly lower will be fine (70g). As you are having a tad lower amount of protein it is advised you take weight loss slower in order to prevent muscle loss. If you lose more then 1lb a week after the first 2-3 weeks then increase calories, if weight loss is less then increase deficit.

    Muscle gaining

    I advise starting at your TDEE maintenance calories and aim to progress of a balanced progressive training program (more info later). The idea is get stronger and increase total volume. After you have tried for a few months on maintenance calories I would then advise adding around 200-300 calories to your diet and aim to add around 1-1.5lb a month.

    That is really it on nutrition as the link stated above explains everything in depth.

    As for your training I personally think you would be better following a plan with adequate progression and actual weights which your current program is limited in I advise these:-

    https://liftvault.com/programs/stren...m-spreadsheet/ - Strong curves

    https://stronglifts.com/5x5/ - Strong lifts

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...9172473&page=1 - Allpro

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...2916931&page=1 - Fierce 5

    https://atlargenutrition.com/baby-got-back-routine/ - Baby got back

    One of these programs would be perfectly fine. Also you can do them on either goal (losing fat or gaining muscle). Start off light and sloely add weights and volume as described in the program.

    As for cardio add whatever you enjoy for health benefits and calorie control (if you choose fat loss as your goal). If you choose to gain muscle remember if you do choose to do some make sure it doesn't impair with your weight gain for muscle growth (if you choose that goal).
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    Registered User Frenchfries1's Avatar
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    Thanks Hardyboysare!

    That is really useful info! I have attached a couple of pictures, so hopefully that should give an idea of what we're dealing with
    I'm in my 30's BTW, not sure whether that's useful to know or not. I have never really worked out in my life due to my health, but I'm now really committed.

    Not sure which goal to start with first. Would it be easier to lose fat first then build muscle, or build muscle then become lean? I saw some videos on YT explaining that if you have never lifted before, then your body can lose fat and build muscle at the same time for the first few months, but I'm not sure whether this is BS.
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    Originally Posted by Frenchfries1 View Post
    Thanks Hardyboysare!

    That is really useful info! I have attached a couple of pictures, so hopefully that should give an idea of what we're dealing with
    I'm in my 30's BTW, not sure whether that's useful to know or not. I have never really worked out in my life due to my health, but I'm now really committed.

    Not sure which goal to start with first. Would it be easier to lose fat first then build muscle, or build muscle then become lean? I saw some videos on YT explaining that if you have never lifted before, then your body can lose fat and build muscle at the same time for the first few months, but I'm not sure whether this is BS.
    No its not BS this is called body recomposition.

    Now to achieve this you should start at maintenance TDEE (or slightly below maintenance TDEE like 200-300 calories less) and progress as much as possible on a progressive plan (again aiming to increase in strength and volume) and consume adequate protein. By doing this you are using your fat as the excess energy to grow muscle.

    The procedure is the same for the training its just you basically start at the caloric level that maintains your weight and use the exercise (weights and some cardio) to drive your weight to decrease slowly but not too fast in order that muscle growth doesn't occur. After you have progressed on your maintenance TDEE where weight loss is not occurring then you drop calories slightly (about 200-300).

    Personally I advised (and you in this situation based on your pics) all new trainers to start at maintenance TDEE as its surprising how much progress you can make just be starting training (especially weights that is the key which progressively overloads your body) and eating a diet higher in protein. And only reduce calories if you aren't losing weight at a rate of around 0.25-0.5lbs a week (for the beginning I advise the lower end in order to offer the best chance for muscle growth).

    You are certainly not overweight and are just undertrained but I understand losing fat is always a matter of focus therefore I advise trying what I have explained and slowly lose weight and you should gain some muscle being a beginner. But you will need to have a better program then you have so have a look at some I have linked.
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    Registered User Frenchfries1's Avatar
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    Thanks, the Strong Curves program looks great! I'll give it a go and will eat at TDEE. Sounds pretty simple
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Frenchfries1 View Post
    and will eat at TDEE. Sounds pretty simple
    This is actually the hardest part. Getting calories right. Overestimating TDEE, underestimating weekly calories and inaccurate counting & tracking mean that you'll be off some so you're really always in a deficit or surplus of calories. As a beginner it's best to go for a deficit in your case. Recomping, or attempting to recomp, will take a very long time to see any results and that alone is a motivation killer.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    This is actually the hardest part. Getting calories right. Overestimating TDEE, underestimating weekly calories and inaccurate counting & tracking mean that you'll be off some so you're really always in a deficit or surplus of calories. As a beginner it's best to go for a deficit in your case. Recomping, or attempting to recomp, will take a very long time to see any results and that alone is a motivation killer.
    I agree with Tommy. Start in a deficit. First of all it gives you some time to find your actual TDEE and gives you practice at tracking your calories/macros. Second of all it makes you feel good when you shed some fat to reveal what is underneath. Third, when you first start training you will be gaining strength even if you aren't gaining muscle. It takes time to get up to lifting weights that will really make a difference.

    That said, you are right that the whole concept of losing weight or gaining muscle is simple (calories in vs calories out). But it is not easy. Recomps are even harder. I would follow the advice above and start in a calorie deficit. The programs mentioned above are great.
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  8. #8
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maverick2015 View Post
    I agree with Tommy. Start in a deficit. First of all it gives you some time to find your actual TDEE and gives you practice at tracking your calories/macros. Second of all it makes you feel good when you shed some fat to reveal what is underneath. Third, when you first start training you will be gaining strength even if you aren't gaining muscle. It takes time to get up to lifting weights that will really make a difference.

    That said, you are right that the whole concept of losing weight or gaining muscle is simple (calories in vs calories out). But it is not easy. Recomps are even harder. I would follow the advice above and start in a calorie deficit. The programs mentioned above are great.
    This is correct about learning your calories better while in a deficit. You see progress and get a good feel for what your maintenance is based on your fatloss to calorie ingestion which will ultimately help you find your reasonably close TDEE.

    Beginners in general with fat to lose should concentrate on a deficit unless they're skinny fat then it will be more of conscious intuitive eating with an eye on weight and waist measurements and a solid training program (which all beginners should be on regardless of goals)
    Last edited by Tommy W.; 10-15-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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    Thank you all for your great advice, I'll see how things go. As you said, I need to first work out what is my exact TDEE, because I've been eating between 1400-1600 per day (I use MFP) and eat at a deficit from that.

    It will be a really long journey, but I'm ready! Because my health has always been an issue, I'm just excited to get started with something I am finally able to do. Just the fact of not being able to do 2 sets of unloaded barbell bench press a month ago, and now being able to complete 3 is absolutely amazing to me.

    I'm realistic and completely understand the challenges, and I may never reach my goal, but if I can gain strength and confidence along the way, then that will already be fantastic.
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    Originally Posted by Frenchfries1 View Post
    Thanks, the Strong Curves program looks great! I'll give it a go and will eat at TDEE. Sounds pretty simple
    I agree Strong Curves is a solid choice and very popular with women.

    As you can see people have different views on what you should do and the choice is yours. Although I don't agree with Tommy and Maverick stance on it fully as I believe in beginners getting the most of being a 'beginner' thus 'untrained' therefore keeping it simple and just training is a best place to start. And eating to maintain/ slightly less will be the best idea for simplicity and will offer the chance to reap 'newbie gains'.

    You can choose to just lose fat but I would question the point when someone with no weight training experience is just likely to look smaller version of themselves instead of the idea of 'toned' as they would lack lean body mass. It makes no difference in my eyes if the individual in question is male or female both must have a level of development before trying to lose fat unless they are overweight which you certainly aren't and your BMI is very health at around 20 so I feel focusing solely on fat loss will only develop you to become close to underweight.

    I agree with them that recomps can be hard but the process of just weight training (not technically a recomp just becoming more trained) to reap benefits is not and all beginners will progress by just incorporating weight training in their lives be that at maintenance, moderate deficit or surplus of calories.

    The choice is yours OP and follow the advise which you think will benefit you the most my only point is if you choose to lose weight I would have reservations with going any lower then 105-108lbs as that would be putting you in the underweight level for your BMI.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    I agree Strong Curves is a solid choice and very popular with women.

    As you can see people have different views on what you should do and the choice is yours. Although I don't agree with Tommy and Maverick stance on it fully as I believe in beginners getting the most of being a 'beginner' thus 'untrained' therefore keeping it simple and just training is a best place to start. And eating to maintain/ slightly less will be the best idea for simplicity and will offer the chance to reap 'newbie gains'.

    You can choose to just lose fat but I would question the point when someone with no weight training experience is just likely to look smaller version of themselves instead of the idea of 'toned' as they would lack lean body mass. It makes no difference in my eyes if the individual in question is male or female both must have a level of development before trying to lose fat unless they are overweight which you certainly aren't and your BMI is very health at around 20 so I feel focusing solely on fat loss will only develop you to become close to underweight.

    I agree with them that recomps can be hard but the process of just weight training (not technically a recomp just becoming more trained) to reap benefits is not and all beginners will progress by just incorporating weight training in their lives be that at maintenance, moderate deficit or surplus of calories.

    The choice is yours OP and follow the advise which you think will benefit you the most my only point is if you choose to lose weight I would have reservations with going any lower then 105-108lbs as that would be putting you in the underweight level for your BMI.
    To reiterate from previous post:


    "Beginners in general with fat to lose should concentrate on a deficit unless they're skinny fat then it will be more of conscious intuitive eating with an eye on weight and waist measurements and a solid training program (which all beginners should be on regardless of goals)"


    Training in a deficit maintains muscle eliminating the smaller version issue as noted and as also noted no development is better served without a deficit
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    Quick update!
    I bought a scale, the weight I gave was taken during my last Dr.'s appointment, with my clothes and shoes on. Turns out a more accurate reading is circa 49.5kg. The scale also gives a 18% BF percentage, which I think is completely inaccurate.

    I am now following the strong curves program and aim to go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week for around 45minutes per session.

    I am currently eating at 1500 calories. Given my low weight, I will slowly increase 100 calories per week to 1600 then 1700, as I sometimes feel really hungry and weak at 1500 after the gym. Will see if this causes an increase in BF.
    Ideally, I'd like to have an increased BMR and eat at around 1800-2000 calories, but I guess this will take time.

    Weight lifting is going great, and can see that I am quickly gaining strengths and can do more reps and increase weights.
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