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Old 12-20-2005, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default New here and have a question

First of all, hi y'all! My name is Jill and I can't wait to get to know the rest of you!

I joined a gym about a month and a week ago and have been working out about 4 times a week, 30 min. cardio and 30 minutes resistance, since then, excluding 2 weeks (not in a row) that I was sick. I am 5'10" and 141 pounds, which falls into a healthy weight range, but it's mostly fat and not muscle. Since I started working out, I have been able to tell that I am building muscle, especially in my arms, but I haven't lost any weight. Could this be because I am already a "proper" weight, and maybe I'm losing fat but building muscle that makes up for it on the scale?

I don't really care about what the scale says as long as I LOOK like I'm not overweight, but I thought that at least if the scale was showing less that I would feel like I was accomplishing something.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
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You could be an incredibly lean and fit 140+ pounds if you focused on weight training. I would forget about cardio for a while and focus on lifting and getting my diet in order. You certainly don't need to lose weight; you just want to gain muscle.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:30 PM   #3
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But wouldn't I just have a lot of muscle covered by fat if I cut out the cardio? I know that lifting weights burns calories, too, and the more muscle you have the better your metabolism is, but I know that cardio burns more calories and thus more fat.

Anyone else? I'm really new to this; I can use all the help I can get!
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:52 PM   #4
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I agree with Robert. You need to build your lean muscle mass, which you will do with weight training.
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellcatjill
But wouldn't I just have a lot of muscle covered by fat if I cut out the cardio? I know that lifting weights burns calories, too, and the more muscle you have the better your metabolism is, but I know that cardio burns more calories and thus more fat.

Anyone else? I'm really new to this; I can use all the help I can get!
Cardio also burns muscle. You won't see a lot of really muscular distance runners, for that very reason.

You don't need to burn fat so much as build muscle at 5'10" 141#. Only a fashion model would be considered heavy at that height and weight. Lift and EAT.

If you want to cut up later on you can bring back the cardio. I am pretty sure that is what a female bodybuilder would do. At 141# you can't be carrying all that much fat, and if you stay the same weight but add muscle you will be leaner.
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:17 PM   #6
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Cardio burns more calories during the workout, but weight training burns more calories the other 23.5 hours of the day. It speeds up your metabolism round-the-clock. More muscle = more fat-burning capability.
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:23 PM   #7
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Jill, I agree that you're a good weight for your height, and building muscle is the way to go. If I were in your position I'd do the minimum cardio to keep you cardiovasular system healthy (20 minutes 3x week or so) and spend the rest of your exercise time building muscles.
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:01 PM   #8
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Cool! Thank you so much for your posts and advice!

So if I cut back my cardio, how much time do you think I should spend weight training per day/week?
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:50 PM   #9
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So you wrote that you're doing "resistance" now. What exactly is that? Are you using free weights? Machines? What? Does your gym give you access to a free session with a trainer? You'll find a lot of opinions here but I'd say as a general rule that many of us use free weights rather than machines. Some of what/how long you should do is determined by your general fitness, and by your age. Most people need to start out with a few exercises for each muscle group and build up in number of exercises, number of repititions (reps) and of course in the amount of weight. A trainer can help you with this, but there are a lot of books out there as well as several websites that can show you the various exercises and even help you design a routine. Look at the sticky threads at the top of LWL. There's one about beginning bodybuilding that will give you the websites. If - as it appears - you have 30 or more minutes 4x a week, you have plenty of time for a good weights routine.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:06 PM   #10
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Thanks, Pat. Yeah, I generally use the machines but also do a bit of free weight lifting. Our gym did provide a session with a trainer, but it was mainly to show us how to properly use the machines so that we didn't hurt ourselves

I'll take a look at those sticky threads. Thanks!
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Old 12-21-2005, 01:52 AM   #11
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Jill, just wanted to pop in and say that I'm glad you located the right section and I'm sure everyone will be of more help than I was. Welcome to the boards!!
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:08 AM   #12
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Yeah, thanks for the link, Angela! I managed to find the right section okay, now I need to find some time to read through all the stickies.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellcatjill
Thanks, Pat. Yeah, I generally use the machines but also do a bit of free weight lifting. Our gym did provide a session with a trainer, but it was mainly to show us how to properly use the machines so that we didn't hurt ourselves

I'll take a look at those sticky threads. Thanks!
When I resumed lifting 4-years ago after a nine year layoff I trained on the Cybex machines at my gym for about three months to build my strength up enough to start handling free weights again. If you prefer machines, and are not planning on competing as a powerlifter or bodybuilder, don't feel that you have to train with freeweights. It is unlikely that you are going to get too strong to benefit from training on the machines. Some people, however, find that certain machines cause joint issues and injuries because the mechanics of the machine are wrong for them. None of the Cybex machines bother me, all though the weight stacks are bit too light for me on some of my stronger movements.

The main thing is to choose a plan and stick with it for a while. Try to take some before photos now, as well, since you are mainly going to be looking for changes in your physique rather than weightloss.
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:19 PM   #14
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Yeah, I hardly make a dent in the weight stack on the machines, so I don't expect to have a problem with having the weights be too light. I do a little bit of free weight lifting with dumbells, but spend most of my time on the machines. I really am noticing a difference with them so far, so I believe I'll continue what I'm doing for now (varying every few workouts so my body doesn't get too used to the exercises) as far as weights go but maybe cut down on the cardio some and spend more time in the weight room.

I did have my husband take some before pictures of me early in the month (scary!) and also took some measurements, so I'll be checking those every month or so, I guess, to see if there's been any change. Hopefully I'll start to see some changes soon.

Thank you so much for your reply!
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellcatjill
Yeah, I hardly make a dent in the weight stack on the machines, so I don't expect to have a problem with having the weights be too light.
If the jumps in weight are too big, you should see if they have any small weights (2.5-5#)you can add. I use little magnetic weights (plate mates) on my dumbells, but I am sure they work on weight stacks if the gym doesn't have any little weights to add.

Good luck with your training!
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