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Old 05-18-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default Honest opinion about my weight training routine please!!

Okay.. First of all my name is Andrea, I am 39 yrs old and am about 14 pounds heavier than where I would like to be.
A few months ago, I decided that I didnt just want to be a smaller version of the body I have got at the moment - I want to sculpt and shape my flabby, typically pear shaped body.. as well as get rid of the flab and fat. My Body fat measures in at 30%. I want to look "toned" and have muscle definition.

So I started doing some research and after just going to the gym for all these years and mucking around on cardio machines, I have learnt that I need to incorporate weights.
I am confused by all the conflicting info on the internet! Nevertheless, I decided to start the Body for Life programme. As I live in NZ, I cannot officially join it, but I am following the exercise programme.. but tweaked slightly to suit me and my schedule better.

So I have been doing the following:-

Instead of a three day split as per Body for Life (Upper Body, Lower Body, Cardio) I have split the Upper body into two and so now do a four day split. I go to the gym everyday but have only about 45mins maximum.

So I do a quick warm up on the treadmill then I choose one exercise from a list of exercises per muscle group and perform four sets (12x10x8x6) plus one final set of lighter 12x reps. Then I choose another exercise from the same list for the same muscle group and do 12 reps.

Then I move onto the next muscle group and do the same thing again.

There are about three muscle groups per day to do.

One of the young trainers at the gym suggested doing a five to ten minute session of fast paced cardio IN BETWEEN each muscle group. That way, she explained, I would be sneaking in some extra cardio into the routine which will ramp the fat loss up seeing as my problem area is my lower part of my body.. and as well as muscle definition, I am wanting fat loss. Doing weights while my heart rate is sky high is going to burn those calories and get results.. she said.

I have gone away and tried to find some info on doing this but I am confused! I have read that this will not get me anywhere as the cardio will be burning away my muscle.. and I have also read that she is spot on! (Jillian Michaels basically teaches this theory in her workout DVD's) I am confused and not sure what to do!!? Help!

Also - opinions on my routine in general would be great!

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Old 05-18-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Hmm. Tricky. I think the piece of info that will help you here is what is known as 'newbie gains'. New lifters are able to magically add muscle AND burn fat while eating in a calorie deficit. This effect goes away as your body gets used to lifting, but it does suggest that you can probably incorporate fat-burning into your workout and lose fat without compromising muscle.

I'm a big fan of the New Rules books (there are 4 now, all with different programs for weight training. They're great.) The trainer who designs those programs always has you finish each workout with a short burst of high intensity cardio--sometimes HIIT and sometimes not. You can do HIIT on a treadmill, kettlebell swings, a bodyweight matrix, or etc. These are intended to boost fat loss after your workout. I would suggest saving this cardio stuff until AFTER your weights so that you are able to use all your energy for lifting your weights. You want to expend maximum effort on lifting weights and then use whatever energy is leftover after your workout to do the metabolic fat burning stuff. This seems more sensible to me than trying to do it in between sets. The priority has to be moving weight to max out your muscles.

The other thing is that if you're doing big compound exercises with heavy weights, your heart rate WILL be sky high just from lifting weights. I wear a heart rate monitor while I'm lifting and my heart rate gets right up above 90% and averages higher than it does while I'm having a run.

So, to summarize, heavy weights first, then high intensity cardio with whatever you have left in the tank.
"Losing weight is easy; I've done it dozens of times."

(with apologies to Mark Twain).

Ultimate goal: Size 10 clothing.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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I would be looking at what your eating. Your doing lots of exercise, but your wanting to lose some fat. The amount of exercise your doing is more than enough to lose weight, so I'd look at the things your eating or drinking.

I think you need to look at a low carb, high protein diet, at least until you get the extra fat off. That way you'll be burning the fat first and still feeding your muscles with the protein.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:58 AM   #4
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Hi hun your doing great, try and mix your exercises up every now and then tho.
Id say if you dont have much time use most of it on weights and do a little interval training (HIIT) or have one day just for cardio.
Im no expert , but my workouts have been working for me ill put it below maybe you could take bits from it to add to your workouts.
I do spend about 1hour 15 to 1hour 30 in the gym tho if i do weights and cardio.
Me and my partner do it together and we do it over 4-5 days we do about 4 different exercises on the same muscle groups doing 3 sets to failure each session. then 20 mins either cardio machines or HIIT circuits.

so day 1 we'd work on chest
day 2 back and biceps
day 3 shoulders and triceps
day 4 abs and legs
and if we do a day 5 it will either just be cardio or a light lifting session

We do 4-5 days as it fits into our lifestyle on an evening and dont have time to do full body workouts so split the muscle groups throughout the week and we like to train on a weekend to keep us on track so if we have covered what we need to do we will do some cardio or light weights

Hope this helps x
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