Featherweights For those with just a few pounds, or trying to lose those last few pounds.

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Old 06-23-2012, 02:20 PM   #181  
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Hi feather-lifters!!
I'm relatively new(read A LOT but haven't posted too much).

A little about me, I'm now mainly maintaining(tryna re-take off a few pounds) but I'm basically 5'0, 118pounds.
I've recently really got into lifting - as in enjoying it now. I do a lot of running otherwise.

My main goal is to try and TONE up my stomach. You incredibly fit ladies, have you found that lifting has done that for you? Or is it mainly a very healthy diet? I struggle with chocolate, that's my downfall, so I know I need to try and find a way to do better moderation with that!
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #182  
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Hi feather-lifters!!
I'm relatively new(read A LOT but haven't posted too much).
As you can see by my post count, I'm a lot newer to this board than you! Based off of my own experience and what I've read from others and the research I've seen, diet is absolutely crucial to not only the maintenance of muscle mass but also it's visibility - you can lift weights all you like, but if your body fat % is too high, you'll never get to see the results of all your hard work! It'll all be buried under a layer of fat, so to speak.

In the end, a healthy diet (high in lean proteins and green vegetables) and a good exercise regimen are both pretty important - but diet edges out the actual weight lifting aspect just the tiniest bit, in my opinion.

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Old 06-23-2012, 09:30 PM   #183  
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MrMagpie - Thanks for your reply!

I think my bodyfat % is very..healthy(Don't know what the exact word to use is! haha). Seems like the only fat I have is that little bit on the stomach that I'd love to tighten and tone. It definitely is "vanity pounds" at this point. I'm just not sure what exactly to focus on , when it comes to diet. I see all the ladies that lift and are so toned and I'm just sooo curious at exactly what kind of stuff they eat, and their exercise regiment!
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:46 AM   #184  
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I have a low bf%, but I have the problem where I could probably get dangerously low and still have a bit of a tummy pooch because of loose skin. Sucks, but what you can do, right? I'm not going to go get a tummy tuck when I'm planning on having children.

Lifting does do wonders for your abs though. I have a "two pack" (top part of a six pack when the rest is covered by loose skin) and I don't really even do crunches—I just lift.


You know what's funny? Last year in the fall I was about 40lbs down I think and I was lamenting the fact that I had a flat butt. Now I have a big one! Lol!! All those squats certainly pay off...

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Old 06-24-2012, 09:17 AM   #185  
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jamsk8r: I'm a vegetarian, so I think Paleo is out. I'm willing to accept the idea that my dietary choices may affect what kind of physique I can achieve. It is what it is. My brother eats Paleo (also does a lot of Crossfit stuff at his home gym) and is one of those "freakish" individuals you mention. Oh, and I know what you mean about the tea. I have a tablespoon of heavy cream in my tea every morning, and I consider it 50 calories very well spent!

sontaikle: Yeah, as you know, I was eating a lot-- most often ~2500 calories a day-- for the last few months, and didn't gain so much as a half-pound. When I do start working on bulking, I think I'm going to have to be conscious of my daily activity level (stop being quite such a busy bee ), which I think affects my weight way more than my workouts themselves.

LAKERSKB24: I think you need both lifting and good dietary control to get to a lean enough level of body fat to reduce/eliminate your last trouble spot(s). I'm relatively lean now (carry most of my fat on my thighs rather than my abs, though). I count calories (loosely now, but I was much more strict about it during my first year of weight loss) and aim for 100+ grams of protein a day (125+ if I'm eating at a deficit). Lifting has made a definite difference in my physique in terms of building muscle & reshaping my body somewhat, but honestly, fat loss has made a bigger difference. They say "abs are made in the kitchen"-- yup.

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Old 06-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #186  
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They say "abs are made in the kitchen"-- yup.
Never were truer words spoken! Aside from that though, not enough people pay attention to the role that HEAVY weightlifting plays in having abs. The abdominal muscles are like any other muscles in your body; you can lose as much fat as you want, but unless you have put in the time to BUILD ab muscles, you're going to be disappointed.

People's definitions are different of course. Some women refer to having abs as what I would call a flat stomach. Small frame, little fat, but no real muscles popping out. If you want a flat stomach you can get there with a proper diet, moderate amounts of cardio, and more traditional body weight exercises such as planks, pilates, crunches, etc. Example:



Now, if you want no-kidding ABS, that's going to require weight training. Using heavy weights helps build abs because you are using your core to stabilize. I have gotten my results mostly by using kettlebells and by doing heavy squats, barbell rows, etc. Doing weighted ab-specific exercises such as crunches with a plate, cable crunches, kettlebell windmills, etc. will give you the muscle thickness you need to have those abs pop when your bodyfat gets low enough (and will actually make you see them sooner because the muscles are larger). When I think of women with abs, I think of this;




Big difference.

What it will take for you to get there is individual, but generally we're talking heavy weight training, adequate rest, a predominantly clean/low calorie diet (thought that is individual to everyone) and more high-intensity work versus long steady-state workouts (in both cardio and weightlifting).

It's hard work. My avatar (and the pictures attached below - I tried to attach some professional ones from my photo shoots but the image sizes are too big for the site to support) show what my abs look like 95% of the time, though they have looked much better. I maintain that with a mostly clean diet, intense weightlifting and not too much cardio. They could look better, but I'm not willing to do what it takes to get them there!
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:28 PM   #187  
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sontaikle - I'm the same like you. I don't want to - and shouldn't - lose more weight because I'll look *too* thin everywhere else. I got down to 108 and I just don't like the way it looked on my frame. I also have that SAME 2 pack. I know this is SO silly to think about since it is just vanity pounds, but I guess i'm working so hard, I do really want to see the results..

sumire - Thanks for your reply! I am *starting* to see my body re-shaping due to liftin, without a change in the scales. It's certainly nice to see the changes. Grr..gotta keep my chocolate addiction in check for abs then!

Jossfit - you look phenomenal my lady! I'm listening and taking all your advice. It's funny, but I don't mind at all lifting and doing weights..but I find the regular types of popular "ab workouts" - crunches and planks - sooo hard for me to get into to DO! (Stupid, I know!)
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:36 PM   #188  
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also, Jossfit - What's your usual amount of cardio? I find it interesting that you don't do too much. It's almost ingrained in me that I don't *feel* good and don't feel like it's a successful workout at all unless I've done at least 30-45minutes of cardio!
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:23 PM   #189  
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Originally Posted by LAKERSKB24 View Post
also, Jossfit - What's your usual amount of cardio? I find it interesting that you don't do too much. It's almost ingrained in me that I don't *feel* good and don't feel like it's a successful workout at all unless I've done at least 30-45minutes of cardio!
I generally will do cardio for about 10 minutes after weightlifting days (4 days per week) - and it's usually rowing. On my cardio days (2 days per week) I will do about 30 minutes on the stair machine and then 15-20 minutes of running on the treadmill (about 45 minutes total).

So, all said and done I really only run maybe 30-40 minutes a week, with another hour on the stairs and 30-40 minutes of rowing. That's it!

Now, keep in mind that is "conventional cardio" - My weighlifting is intense, and I use kettlebells and do CrossFit and all kinds of high-intensity stuff - plyometrics, olympic lifts, supersets, etc. I'm huffing and puffing, and you can bet your butt it's demanding and gives me cardiovascular benefits.

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Old 06-24-2012, 04:36 PM   #190  
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Jossfit - I am really jealous of your abs!!

Sumire - I have the same problem... I'm too active that it's difficult to eat enough

Lakers - It was getting down real low that made me realize I was dealing with loose skin and not fat. I actually got down to 107ish for a couple of days and I looked like CRAP. My fiancé even started asking me if I was ok and said I looked tired. I had bags under my eyes, etc. right now I'm at 111-112ish and a little better, but I still need To get back up to 115.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #191  
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Jossfit - I am really jealous of your abs!!

...I actually got down to 107ish for a couple of days and I looked like CRAP. My fiancé even started asking me if I was ok and said I looked tired. I had bags under my eyes, etc. right now I'm at 111-112ish and a little better, but I still need To get back up to 115.
Thank you

It's a constant struggle to maintain a good balance isn't it? A couple of months ago I got down to 114 and I started looking stringy, and my face looked really gaunt in photographs. I put on a couple of pounds and was happy in the 116-117 range. Then of course I go on vacation and put on a couple of pounds, so I'm working on coming back down from 120. It can be exhausting sometimes just trying to maintain that equilibrium!
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:04 PM   #192  
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Jossfit: One more vote for nice abs-- and nice everything else, too.

Today I helped a friend move out of his 3rd floor apartment into a 3rd floor walkup. Two years ago, this would have killed me; even several months ago, it still would've been hard work. Today, I lifted the heavy stuff like a champ and bounded up and down those stairs, not even breaking a sweat. Functional fitness for the win!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:05 AM   #193  
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sumire - I love it when things like that happen! Especially when it's useful!

I was able to run up 4 flights of stairs with 30lbs of stuff in a suit with the heat all outrageous without breaking a sweat. Several people looked at me like I was some crazy person. Hahaha

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Thank you

It's a constant struggle to maintain a good balance isn't it? A couple of months ago I got down to 114 and I started looking stringy, and my face looked really gaunt in photographs. I put on a couple of pounds and was happy in the 116-117 range. Then of course I go on vacation and put on a couple of pounds, so I'm working on coming back down from 120. It can be exhausting sometimes just trying to maintain that equilibrium!
Yes! Totally! I don't want to eat too much and gain, but nor do I want to look sickly. Argh

Getting down too low made me realize I do need to regularly weigh myself. I decided to go all: "I'll be like those people that just take pictures and go by their physique! Yaaayy!" but then I started slipping, eating less (and saying: "oh well, I'll make it up tomorrow" and I never did) and when my fiance said: "oh my god you look so tired, are you ok?" I decided to weigh myself. I saw 109 WITH CLOTHES ON in the middle of the day and decided that whoops, I needed to weigh myself.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:11 AM   #194  
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Yes! Totally! I don't want to eat too much and gain, but nor do I want to look sickly. Argh

Getting down too low made me realize I do need to regularly weigh myself. I decided to go all: "I'll be like those people that just take pictures and go by their physique! Yaaayy!" but then I started slipping, eating less (and saying: "oh well, I'll make it up tomorrow" and I never did) and when my fiance said: "oh my god you look so tired, are you ok?" I decided to weigh myself. I saw 109 WITH CLOTHES ON in the middle of the day and decided that whoops, I needed to weigh myself.

I know exactly what you mean. If I mention off hand that I weighed myself a lot of people start tossing around the "You have an eating disorder" face or start lecturing me. It's hard to explain that it's good to keep your eye on it so you don't go too far in EITHER direction!
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:01 PM   #195  
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Hitting the gym after a week off due to back pain today.

Do you guys eat pre-workout as insurance against the dreaded "too hungry, must abort workout and go home and eat?" That happens to me more than it should. It's 3 PM and I've eaten about 600 calories. I am thinking about running to the store to get a protein bar or something...suggestions? advice?
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