Weight Loss Support - Strength training and weight loss




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ncuneo
05-04-2010, 09:57 AM
I'm going to start strength training this week (just 45mins 2xs a week) and I'd like to know how it will affect my weight loss. I've got about 10-20lbs to go and I'd like to stick to the pace I've been at and I know that when you start strength training your loss can slow down even though you may continue to get smaller. How do I do I do it and still lose 1-2lbs per weeks? I know that I might slow down anyway because I have less to lose now, but I'm anxious to get to at least 148...The last 10-20lbs will be bonus for me.


nelie
05-04-2010, 10:08 AM
It depends, what do you really care about? What the scale says or how you look?

I started strength training at my highest weight and I'm glad I did. Basically, when you strength train, your muscle have a tendency to hold more water as they are healing which means you may be losing fat but holding onto water and the scale will move slowly or not at all. Your size will decrease and your body will become more defined.

stella1609
05-04-2010, 10:13 AM
I think the visible difference increases dramatically with resistance training--I literally cannot go a day without someone at work telling me how good I look, and how much it shows that I've lost weight. Although I think the 26 lbs. loss has helped of course, I think I look much smaller than just the weight loss because of the toning. For me, I've had to try really hard to concentrate on my healthy new body and not the number on the scale. I'm a size smaller at this weight than I was when I was this weight before.


mkendrick
05-04-2010, 11:05 AM
I don't think my pace slowed down too dramatically, maybe some. But losing at 140 isn't the same game as losing at 183. But I still lose on average of about 1lb or more for the week over the course of the month. BUT, my weight loss did change.

I used to weigh every Thursday, and I didn't even get nervous about weigh ins. I had a 1.5-2lb loss every single week, it was practically guaranteed. I started exercising (started with strength training) at 150lbs. I didn't change anything eating-wise. And quit losing. So, I figured I'd need to start cardio and I added cardio pretty quick up to an hour every other day. Still wasn't losing. I stayed at 150lbs for a month.

I finally got serious about calorie counting, before I had just been estimating and trying to stay around 1200. When I started CC-ing, I actually upped it to 1400-1600. I immediately lost 3lbs over two days. I now keep my calories between 1200-1600, higher days are on heavy exercise days. MWF I do 60 min of cardio and 30 min of strength. Tues/Thurs I work at an active job at a barn for 4-6 hours each day. Either Saturday or Sunday I do an hour of cardio, the other day is rest.

So I'm still losing, but my weight loss has changed patterns. Instead of reliably losing 1.5-2lbs every week, I have mini-plateaus and whooshes. Week one, nothing. Week two, I'll drop 2lbs in two or three days. Week three, nothing. Week for, another 2-3lbs or so.

WarMaiden
05-04-2010, 12:12 PM
Strength training will cause you to retain some water and glycogen (carbohydrate) in your muscles--this is normal, natural, and necessary. It adds weight, though; after a day of training you could be up a couple pounds on the scale.

You may find that in order to make strength increases and train effectively you need to add calories to your diet. You may also find that at first, strength training makes you very hungry all day long. It's up to you whether or not to eat when that happens. The extra hunger will pass in time as your body adapts to training, generally speaking.

You should probably look into post-workout nutrition for strength training. I use a whole foods approach myself, rather than having a protein shake. Post-workout nutrition is VERY IMPORTANT and not to be neglected, if you want to see increases/improvements in performance and strength and appearance. A lot of women around here seem to take a very casual view of post-workout nutrition, but the fact is that if you are strength training and do not consume protein and carbs after a workout, then you are not taking advantage of the muscle-protective effect of insulin.

I highly recommend The New Rules of Lifting for Women if you are interested in strength training effectively. Although it's not written primarily as a program series that's to be done at a calorie deficit, it can be done thus for fat loss, and it contains recommendations for that.

Eliana
05-04-2010, 01:31 PM
I can't recommend strength training highly enough, but expect a slow down. I tend to lose big one week per month and stall the rest. BUT, I get comments all the time on how much smaller I look, just from week to the next.

Seriously though, strength training really causes that scale to go wonky on me. It depends on the day as to whether or not I care...today I care. :( I'm going on week four of a stall though and yesterday was the first day it really started to get to me.

Jesszika
05-04-2010, 01:35 PM
Maybe instead of stepping on a scale you should begin to take your body measurements and go from there.. Since you know already that your weight may not drop as quickly it may no longer be the best way for you to gauge your success. :)

oodlesofnoodles
05-04-2010, 02:09 PM
I can't be sure about my losses and stuff when I was STing, because I wasn't very rigorous then like I am now, but I do know that at 200 pounds, I looked smaller than I do now at 197. That's 100% truth.

My losses WERE slow, which could have to do with my eating habits, but I think it was in part due to the insane amount of muscle I was gaining.

After like 2 or 3 weeks you're going to be looking soooo good! This is a great decision, you won't regret it :)

beerab
05-04-2010, 02:56 PM
I've started some strength training and noticed a HUGE difference so far in my arms- I'm LOVING IT! The weight is slowly coming down still, BUT when I see my arms are shrinking and more toned I get a huge smile on my face. You'll laugh at me but I caught myself staring at my upper arms the other day and was like WOW- I'm SEXY! ;)

And there are people out there who keep losing "just five more pounds" and are still not satisfied and from my experience these people don't weight train so they don't tighten up- which is what they really need- to tighten up- not to lose more weight.

Beach Patrol
05-04-2010, 02:58 PM
Weight lifting is one of the most important exercises for a woman! - it's GREAT! Good for your muscles, sure! but also good for your bones, metabolism (muscle burns fat) and general body shape. But just keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. The number on the scale might go up a little, but your "inches" (clothes size, etc.) may go down a little.

Jesszika
05-04-2010, 03:36 PM
...but I caught myself staring at my upper arms the other day and was like WOW- I'm SEXY!

love it!! :D This is my goal.. no matter what weight I am able to get down to I want to be able to look at myself and think that I'm sexy.

WarMaiden
05-04-2010, 03:43 PM
I, too, flex in the mirror and admire myself. Despite the flab that remains, I love my arms and shoulders, and my quads and calves. I love feeling my glutes under the nice padding of booty I still have. I make my husband feel my biceps and triceps and calves, too, and he has to make admiring comments. I am hot, in a Xena / Amazon kind of way.

ncuneo
05-04-2010, 04:14 PM
You know I guess you are right, the scale doesn't really matter...if I still weigh 160 but am wearing a size 8 (although I doubt that would happen) I'd be thrilled! My legs are already really toned from running and my arms from holding a 20month old so I can only imagine how great strength training will be for my shape.

mkendrick - congrats on getting into the 130's. I know you changed your goal, but congrats anyway - great job!

aware210
05-04-2010, 07:15 PM
strength training is one of the best things you can do for your body. regardless of weather it slows your weight loss or not, you will look and feel so much better.

I think sometimes we focus to much on the scale. I know i do, im addicted to the thing. Weight training really helps slim your whole body though. I have to remind my self all the time, that being at the perfect goal weight is great, and while looking good is important, It is so much better to celebrate what your body is capable of instead of how just how it looks. I think everyone would feel a lot better about themselves if they really paid attention to what they're bodies achieve on a daily basis. That's another reason weight training is so good, it lets you see just how strong you really are, despite our sometimes harsh opinions of ourselves.

Veil
05-04-2010, 08:13 PM
I needed to read this thread tonight, so thanks ladies! I think I'm going to go measure myself, but probably not share on 3FC...

asharksrevenge
05-05-2010, 03:36 AM
But just keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat.

No, sorry. This is a common misconception but muscle does not weigh more than fat. Fat takes up a great deal more space than muscle, but a pound of one is a pound of the other.

I can't post links as I am still new, but I found a great article about this topic on MSN Health. I have copied an interesting tidbit below:

Why Doesn’t Exercise Always Affect Body Weight?

If someone is working out and not losing weight, or not losing as much as they want—or if they’re actually gaining weight—the first place to look is the type and amount of exercise.

Weight loss boils down to burning more calories than you normally use in a day. Cardio exercise burns more calories than muscle-toning or the average resistance-training workout. So dialing down the stretching and core work to just once or twice a week, and replacing it with more cardio should produce more weight loss. And the more minutes the better when it comes to weight loss: An hour to 90 minutes of aerobic activity per day on most days of the week will affect body weight.

Some people get overly obsessed about numbers on the scale. If you are happy with the way you look and feel, and you feel like you are improving your fitness and strength, then continue doing what you are doing. Exercise works, and every minute of movement helps your health in some way. Weight loss through working out may be slower than you want, but it’s likely to be longer term solution and a healthier way to trim down and shape up, or at the very least to stave off weight gain over the years.

yoyoma
05-05-2010, 05:07 AM
"No, sorry. This is a common misconception but muscle does not weigh more than fat. Fat takes up a great deal more space than muscle, but a pound of one is a pound of the other."

I think that when most people say "Muscle weighs more than fat," it's just a short cut for "A given volume of muscle weighs more than the same volume of fat," rather than a misconception. I guess it would be even terser to just say "Muscle is denser than fat," but folks are usually talking about weight.

To the strength training ladies reading this thread... do you work out at home or go to a gym? I have a few dumbells but I have not been able to stick with using them at home.

dayoneagain
05-05-2010, 05:12 AM
I'd really like to know what strength training exercises you guys do. I have posted in the exercise forum, but I feel like a bit of a newbie in there and am not really sure what anyone is talking about a lot of the time.

I tend to do squats and lunges with a weighted bar across my shoulders. Dead-weight lifts, although they never seem to feel like they're doing anything.

And then for my arms I basically have no idea what to do other than lifting the weights to my shoulders by bending my elbows.


Is this what everyone else is doing? If there are some strength exercises that would boost my workout I'd love to know them. I never come away from strength training feeling like I've achieved much.

Meg
05-05-2010, 06:31 AM
Re "muscle weighing more than fat" ... it's true that muscle is denser than fat, so an equal volume of fat and muscle have different weights, just like feathers and lead.

The problem is that people like to say that the scale goes up when someone starts to exercise because "muscle weighs more than fat". They're not talking about volume or density when they make that statement. No, what they're trying to do is make sense out of a scale increase by saying that muscle has some magical power that makes it heavier than fat or water or any of the other things that cause a scale increase. And it doesn't.

If you add a pound of muscle (yay!), then the scale goes up a pound. Not two pounds or five pounds. If you lose a pound of fat, the scale goes down a pound. If you retain a pound of water, the scale goes up a pound. If you have a big water dump, the scale goes down. The scale measures pounds of weight, not density, so as far as the scale is concerned -- a pound is a pound is a pound. The density of muscle doesn't have anything to do with what the scale says. :)

However, the density of muscle does mean that someone will be several sizes smaller and much tighter if they have a high muscle mass. And that's a very good thing!

But please don't worry about that muscle is somehow heavier than fat! If you add a pound of muscle, the scale will only go up a pound -- no more, I promise! And since that pound of muscle is going to increase your metabolic rate, you'll end up seeing the fat disappear faster. :carrot:

Eliana
05-05-2010, 08:05 AM
If you add a pound of muscle (yay!), then the scale goes up a pound.

Where are you in the mornings when my scale goes up a pound? LOL! ;) I need a cheerleader saying "Yay"!

Eliana
05-05-2010, 08:14 AM
I'd really like to know what strength training exercises you guys do. I have posted in the exercise forum, but I feel like a bit of a newbie in there and am not really sure what anyone is talking about a lot of the time.

I tend to do squats and lunges with a weighted bar across my shoulders. Dead-weight lifts, although they never seem to feel like they're doing anything.

And then for my arms I basically have no idea what to do other than lifting the weights to my shoulders by bending my elbows.


Is this what everyone else is doing? If there are some strength exercises that would boost my workout I'd love to know them. I never come away from strength training feeling like I've achieved much.

Do you have an exercise ball? I love to use a ball as my weight bench. If you have one, you can lay your head/neck on the ball, supporting yourself with the legs. Just doing this works the legs.
Then take the dumb bells, hold them up toward the ceiling so that the ends of the dumbbells face each other (palms facing up/forward) and lower to the chest and up again to the ceiling 10 times.
Next set, turn the palms inward facing each other and press out to the sides (fly) 10 times.
Next bring the dumbbells together (palms still facing each other) and press back up to the ceiling 10 times.
I do three sets of this combination and I feel it! ;)

You can also do pelvic lifts at the same time if you so desire.

Squats can be done with the ball also.

Another favorite ball exercise of mine is to do leg lifts. Lay on your back with the ball between your feet and with straight legs, lift the ball to the ceiling. It works the thighs a little as you squeeze the ball and the abs ALOT. Also hold the ball up toward the ceiling and then lower it just a little. Envision kicking the heels into the a corner of the wall, concentrating on the heels, not the toes. It's a harder move. Do ten of those and then hold the ball out to that corner of the ceiling for as long as you can with straight legs.


For triceps, grab a bench or chair. Standing on the floor, lean forward resting the left hand on the chair/bench for support. Hold a dumbbell in the right hand and bring the elbow up and back.

Push ups are awesome.

Planks are great!! For a plank, position yourself like a pushup but instead of being on your hands, lower yourself to rest on your forearms and elbows. Hold this as long as you can. 60 seconds is a terrific. Increase your time as you improve.

Meg
05-05-2010, 08:22 AM
Where are you in the mornings when my scale goes up a pound? LOL! ;) I need a cheerleader saying "Yay"!

:cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

Yay, Eliana! You're doing great!!!

time2lose
05-05-2010, 09:21 AM
Eliana,
Thanks for answering dayoneagain's question, especially as I have the same question. I work with resistance bands and a stretchy band. I want to do more but I am just lost. Tonight I am going to try the exercises you describe.

What size weights do you use? I have wondered if my 5 and 8 pound weights are enough. Should I be working up to 25 or 50 pound weights?

Lastly, can anyone recommend a DVD? I am such a visual person that working along with a DVD really helps me.

Thanks!

Eliana
05-05-2010, 09:50 AM
Cheryl, I think lighter weights are fine with higher reps. You may not feel the first ten, but I bet you'll feel the third set of ten. I'm up to 12 pounds and feel like that's pretty darn good. ;) I mess with the reps for instance:

Set 1: 10 reps
Set 2: 12 reps
Set 3: 15 reps

OR

Set 1: 20 reps
Set 2: 17 reps
Set 3: 15 reps

OR

Set 1: 8 lbs 10 reps
Set 2: 10 lbs 10 reps
Set 3: 12 lbs 10 reps

OR

Set 1: 12 lbs 20 reps
Set 2: 10 lbs 17 reps
Set 3: 8 lbs 15 reps

I'm not a big DVD person, but I'm sure there are some out there. I know there are some folks who swear by them. I'm not knocking them, I just like flexibility and the ability to change things up.

carter
05-05-2010, 09:56 AM
I can't recommend strength training highly enough, but expect a slow down. I tend to lose big one week per month and stall the rest. BUT, I get comments all the time on how much smaller I look, just from week to the next.


This. Strength training is awesome for you. But you have to take a longer-term view than many of us are used to. When you add strength training to your regimen you can't use week-to-week numbers on the scale as a guide of how it's helping you. Use month-to-month numbers instead, or even more than that how your body looks and feels in your clothes.

It won't "cause you to gain weight" in any meaningful way - you aren't going to bulk up like Ahnold or come out looking like a 'roid-amped bodybuilder, that's just not physically possible.

But it will cause you to retain fluid as your muscles adjust to the extra load - and you may be surprised by how much fluid weight you retain. When I am training hard my fluid swings can be as much as 4 pounds. I prepare for this and know I will see it the day after I work out so it simply does not faze me. I weigh every day to get a sense of my body's patterns, but it's really only the progress over the course of a month or more that makes a difference to me.

It will also, as others have mentioned, make you hungry. Don't be frightened of this - if you're hungry, eat. Eat protein. It will take a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to the new training. But a few weeks of eating at maintenance level of calories is totally, totally worth the benefits of strength training.

nelie
05-05-2010, 11:23 AM
I work out at home although I initially started in a gym. I recommend "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" although I'm thinking I'm going to start focusing on Crossfit Workouts of the Day (WOD).
http://www.crossfit.com/

That is what I did this morning, which was this workout. My last set I used 2 25 lb dumbbells.
Five rounds of:
5 Dumbbell deadlifts
5 Dumbbell hang cleans
5 Dumbbell push presses
5 Dumbbell squats

Increase the load each round. Rest as necessary between rounds.

WarMaiden
05-05-2010, 12:53 PM
I second what Nelie says about The New Rules of Lifting for Women, it's a great book with tons of exercises in it and a great program to follow. Most of the exercises are highly modifiable.

I am also soon to receive from Amazon The Female Body Breakthrough by Rachel Cosgrove (a trainer who is the wife and business partner of Alwyn Cosgrove, who wrote the workouts for NROLW) which is supposed to have 16 weeks of workouts which includes resistance band work. So I don't know how the book is yet, but I'm expecting good things from it.

I really love bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups. Most bodyweight exercises can be modified to make them harder, or you can add weights. At some point I want to get a pullup bar for home so that I can work on those, too. When you are just starting out, bodyweight exercises are plenty challenging enough. And, they can really make a difference in your strength and functioning, within just a month of regular training.

A good site for women and weight training stuff is http://www.stumptuous.com/ .

mkroyer
05-05-2010, 01:06 PM
i also recommend NROLFW-- great intro to lifting. You can also do the original NROL.

Google Full Body Strngth training routines for fat loss./ It will give you lots of ideas for exercises.
ANd stop worrying about the scale. Muscle mass/lean body mass makes all the difference.
I am 5 4 and tipping the scales at 133-137, BUT i wear a size 2 and xtra small in clothing, because i have so much lean mass and so little fat..... it is DEFINITELY possible to get into a size 8 long beofre you reach your scale "goal weight"

Eliana
05-05-2010, 01:18 PM
I am 5 4 and tipping the scales at 133-137, BUT i wear a size 2 and xtra small in clothing, because i have so much lean mass and so little fat..... it is DEFINITELY possible to get into a size 8 long beofre you reach your scale "goal weight"

This is SO going to be me!! I have of late been setting my goal to get to a size 6 rather than my original goal of 135 pounds because I just keep dropping inches without the pounds. I was assuming I'd be a size 8 at 135 pounds, but the way it's going, I don't think that's quite how it's going to level out. Time will tell. ;) And I have all the time in the world!

time2lose
05-05-2010, 10:12 PM
I found some video clips on the Mayo Clinic's site that I liked and thought that I would share.

Video: Biceps curl with dumbbell (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/biceps-curl/MM00736)
Video: Triceps extension with dumbbell (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/triceps-extension/MM00737)
Video: Reverse fly with dumbbell (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/reverse-fly/MM00740)
Video: Bent-over row with dumbbell (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bent-over-row/MM00741)
Video: Squat with dumbbell (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/squat/MM00743)