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Losing the flab, gaining muscle and getting fit

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I have some excess wobbly bits i want to get rid of, i want to build up muscle all over my body without looking like muscle woman, and i want to generally feel fitter and healthier with more energy.

I've started off by starting to eat really healthily- i used to always do this but the last few months have been stressful and i lapsed into an eating out and cake diet which has caused me to gain over a stone in weight over the past 6 months. I now eat only enough to cure my hunger but i make sure everything is healthy, im getting my 5 a day (and more) then i allow myself a treat of a fun sized chocolate bar with my hot chocolate in the evenings.

Ive also ordered a couple of home workout dvd's and i hope to start doing these at least 3 times a week.

I plan to join the gym at the end of the month and go most weeknights. I know the induction might answer some of these questions but what would be the best exercises to do to burn fat and build muscle? How would i need to alter my diet in order to build some muscle?

And how long will i begin to notice results? Im not very patient and i fear i will give up when i dont notice that i look any different!

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Keep an open mind about the gym induction - mine was shit, and the dude who was doing it was hungover. He showed me a couple of exercises on the machines, but nothing on the free weights. It was basically a 'show us you can use the equipment so you don't fall off and sue' induction.

    If your induction is a bit better, I'd ask the trainer to show you some of the basic powerlifts i.e. deadlifts, bench press and squat. I haven't turned into a hulk at all by going these, and my fat has reduced and I feel I have gained a lot of strength. I try to do a workout which includes a pushing movement, a pulling movement, picking up something and a midsection work.

    If you want to build muscle, then you'll have to eat more than you burn. I don't know enough about bulking and cutting cycles - I tend to listen to my body after workouts and eat accordingly, but you can obviously be more precise. I think g_angel or cheeseontoast would have a better idea about this. In addition, read all of this. I try to eat at least 2 - 3 hours, get plenty of fluids etc. Also make sure that you spend time recovering in between the days that you do a workout, that's just as important as the workout itself. If you're into your chocolate, I'd advise you to buy some good quality organic darker chocolate, it worked for me when I craved something sweet.

    As for the time frame, it depends on a lot of things. If it took you 6 months to put the weight on, then it could take as long to lose it. It can take a lot of patience, but bear in mind the other perks of exercising such as more energy, all the endorphins, and all the things you can't see such as stronger bones, slowly building muscle etc. Also, the longer it takes you to lose the fat, the more likely it is to stay off.

    I don't think I've missed anything, you seem to be on the right track.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks :)

    The problem is i actually hate exercising unless its a gentle walk or climbing a tree! Which is why i feel i will fail, i'll just get bored when im not seeing results. If i notice a change then it will make me want to do it more and it'll be self rewarding, its just getting past the first bit

    which is why i need to see some form of result really quickly, is it possible to notice after 2 weeks?!

    One thing that confused me about what you said about eating more calories than i burn, wont that just mean i dont lose any fat?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think after about 2 weeks any visible changes would be very subtle, if any. You do have to be patient, but it's very much worth it in the long run. Might be worth keeping a photo log or something where you take a picture once a week or something?

    Believe me when I say until about a year ago, I absolutely hated exercise. Sometimes it takes finding your niche - if someone said to me a year ago I'd be hitting the freeweights area and loving it so much that I would give up cardio almost altogether, I would have laughed in their face. Go in with an open mind and try lots of different things - weights, those dvds, maybe some exercise classes.
    One thing that confused me about what you said about eating more calories than i burn, wont that just mean i dont lose any fat?

    Hmm, this is a little more tricky and I don't know if I'm qualified enough to explain it properly. But it doesn't mean you won't lose fat, muscle is a very active tissue, and building it can still burn calories long after a workout is done. A lot of it depends on your own requirements and goals. But I wouldn't get so hung up on losing the fat, I'd aim to try and find a workout that suits you first. I started measuring my body fat in May and just generally tracking my progress - in those 6 months, I lost 9lbs of fat without really noticing, and I was eating pretty much the same as I had been after my muscle workouts.

    Edit: This dude writes really well, I have just found this piece on phases of body recomposition, I'm sure he'll explain things better than I can!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »


    If you want to build muscle, then you'll have to eat more than you burn. I don't know enough about bulking and cutting cycles - I tend to listen to my body after workouts and eat accordingly, but you can obviously be more precise. I think g_angel or cheeseontoast would have a better idea about this.

    Definitely speak to CheeseOnToast about bulking and cutting stuff although saying that, I don't know if he is doing the whole cycles thing. I know Smitherz was if he's still around and not conked it due to steroid abuse! ;) I'm not into the whole 'body building' thing, per se. I just train hard, eat well, and am not as big as a lot of people think I am on here!

    My goals are a good shape with low body fat, not size/bulk, and I there is no way I could be bothered with the whole cycling thing!

    I'm also after being in good shape for snowboarding, pro-karting etc and so am liking endurance fitness as well. Lean and athletic, like on the cover of Men's Fitness/Health is what I am aiming for :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think no matter what you do, you can never be in good shape for snowboarding :D

    I found bulking/cutting too confusing, and I'm too impulsive to sit down and weigh everything I eat. That said, I need a bit of a kick up the arse in terms of eating clean, I'm eating more carbs than I should be, might be time to get some more protein powder in or something ;)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lacrymosa wrote: »
    go_away - How do you measure your body fat?

    For an accurate reading you use body calipers.
    Can fat be turned into muscle? I'd love to trim down a bit then build muscle (without bulking up obviously) and tone up nicely :)

    No, fat can't be turned into muscle. Two entirely different types of tissue.

    You need to burn the fat that lays on top of the muscle to reveal them, whilst also building the muscle to achieve that 'toned' *vomit* look.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away - How do you measure your body fat?

    I go by the very inaccurate method of using tape measures. I don't use it to measure body fat per se, I tend to use the measurements more to see if I'm losing around certain body parts. I would like to invest in a pair of calipers though, they're a little more accurate.
    Can fat be turned into muscle?

    Nope. You can gain muscle and lose fat (or the other way around) but one tissue type does not turn into the other.

    It's worth having a read of this
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    I think no matter what you do, you can never be in good shape for snowboarding :D

    Hahaha, so I've been told. I've lined up my trainer to engage in some specific training to help, but I know I'm gonna take a kicking :lol:
    I found bulking/cutting too confusing, and I'm too impulsive to sit down and weigh everything I eat. That said, I need a bit of a kick up the arse in terms of eating clean, I'm eating more carbs than I should be, might be time to get some more protein powder in or something ;)


    Aye, too much bollocks for me to be honest. I am not that much of a food Nazi, tbh, as I enjoy it too much. I just watch what I eat, as opposed to monitor it like it were on rations :lol:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lacrymosa wrote: »
    So, you have to lose all the fat first then? Then work on toning up? Or should I just work on toning up? I don't want to look like a man!!!!!! I usually do an hour of cardio then 30 minutes of weight/resistances stuff.

    I'll let Go_away handle this as I need to crack on to ever get out of the office.

    Seriously, read the 'gym rats unite' thread, it will answer all of your questions, I reckon :)

    1. You will NEVER look like a man unless you take many many supplements and other things.

    2. Losing the fat is happening at the same time you are building your muscles.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lacrymosa wrote: »
    So, you have to lose all the fat first then? Then work on toning up? Or should I just work on toning up? I don't want to look like a man!!!!!! I usually do an hour of cardio then 30 minutes of weight/resistances stuff.

    No, building muscle helps to metabolise the fat. Remove the word tone from your vocabulary, there's no such thing :D 'Toned' = muscle - fat.

    By the sounds of it your workout is too long. Please be careful if you're doing cardio before weights - your muscles are engorged with blood and you can be prone to overstretching and doing yourself some injury. I'd do a muscle workout then finish with some cardio if you want, but do be aware that cardio is not the most effective type of exercise to do if you want to lose fat.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hahaha, so I've been told. I've lined up my trainer to engage in some specific training to help, but I know I'm gonna take a kicking :lol:

    I was very sore after my first day, not just from falling over. It really canes your legs, but I see that as a good thing :D
    Aye, too much bollocks for me to be honest. I am not that much of a food Nazi, tbh, as I enjoy it too much. I just watch what I eat, as opposed to monitor it like it were on rations :lol:[/

    We're in the process of moving, so I'm sure once I get into my new lovely kitchen I'll feel inspired again. I'd say I eat clean 90% of the time, 10% is filth :D but I want to get into the gym again seriously once my surgical rotation is over
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »
    I was very sore after my first day, not just from falling over. It really canes your legs, but I see that as a good thing :D

    Aye, I have invested in some Forcefield Body Armour - wicked stuff as it's not a hard shell. That'll help soften the knocks... But aye, the burrrrrn will be good :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    go_away wrote: »



    We're in the process of moving, so I'm sure once I get into my new lovely kitchen I'll feel inspired again. I'd say I eat clean 90% of the time, 10% is filth :D but I want to get into the gym again seriously once my surgical rotation is over

    ... and too right on the filth. I had fish and chips for lunch as I was sick of healthy stuff all week :lol: You have to be able to treat yourself or you go craaaaazy!

    I'm working some really long hours at the moment which is sucking for eating well and gym time, but I'm getting by ok :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Eating clean is just speak for eating high quality foods that have no unnatural additives like hydrogenated fat, man made sugar etc.
    I've just had a portion of whole wheat pasta though with some red onions, a tad of pesto and a tiny bit of parmasan. Feel well guilty

    Why do you feel guilty? That sounds absolutely fine (and delicious) - the only thing I'd suggest is try and get some protein into that, maybe some chicken chopped up into it?

    Your diet sounds pretty good, but I would really try to get some more protein there, it sounds pretty heavy on the carbs at the moment (which is fine, you just want to balance it a bit, protein helps to build muscle and keeps you feeling fuller for longer - don't forget your good fats). Do you like eggs? I like them in an omelette with spinach and mozzarella :yum: or scrambled on wholemeal toast for breakfast. In terms of what's in the oven now, I have some chicken roasting, with some sweet potatoes and red peppers that have been seasoned and lightly drizzled in olive oil. Or sometimes I like chicken fried with peppers, onions and whatever else I can get, sprinkled with a little cheese then stuffed in a wholemeal wrap.

    You don't have to cut out rice or pasta at all, they're good carbohydrates, but if you wanted to go for it, then I'd suggest switching to slower release products, like brown rice (you already mentioned wholemeal pasta). Be aware that rice cakes have quite a high glycemic index, which might make you crave foods soon afterwards as it can shoot your blood sugar up and down. Might be worth trying something like peanut butter on toast, or some fruit with nuts?

    Try to eat every 2 - 3 hours, don't cut out meals, try to keep them balanced. When you work out, what you eat is even more important, your body needs that fuel so feed it well. I lost more weight by eating more, and more of the right things than I ever did by cutting things out, or trying to reduce my intake.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't view carbs as the enemy - good quality carbohydrates (like good quality fats) have a vital role in tipping you over, they help your blood sugar to stay relatively constant, the fibre is good for your bowels, and complex carbs are a good source of vitamins and minerals. I plug this woman a hell of a lot, but her essay on carbs is pretty interesting, you'll find the other parts at the bottom of the page. As she said, in the 80s fat was the enemy, now the carbs are getting a bad press - it's more to do with the quality of the food groups, rather than cutting them out altogether.

    You don't need to cut them out, the key is balance, and at the moment, I'd try to balance your carbs with some protein (turkey, chicken, fish, occassionally beef or lamb) and some fat (avocados, olive oil, nut butters)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd seriously suggest you up your calorie intake. Don't even worry about the calories, just focus on having 3 balanced meals each day, with 3 snacking times in between (that includes your snack in the evening after mealtimes if you're still hungry).

    My advice to women would always be lay off the cardio and try some work with the free weights. You can't bulk up like a man (I tried and failed :D ) because you don't have the same physiology, so don't worry about that.

    Also, if you're using scales, try not to. Muscle mass is more dense and heavier than fat, and the scales can't tell you what's being gained and lost. If you want to record anything, as I suggested before, take photos, or use tape measures (again, don't obsess) or just go by how your clothes fit.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oi oi, did I hear my name :D

    Personally I am a fan of bulking then cutting but you have other options like simply running a very strict lean bulk, although you would still gain some fat it would be minimal.

    TBH though, most women, who just want to be slim and slightly defined etc I don't think really need to go to that side of things, as usually their confidence will knocked when carrying a few extra lbs - whereas I love getting fat through the winter and looking like a massive bloater lol:D

    First port of call is make sure you make concrete goals, at the moment you say you want to lose weight, so target your training towards that.

    I would personally recommend at least 3, 40 min cardio sessions a week and maybe 2 light weight sessions for now..

    Cardio could be started as simple as 40 minute power walks etc

    I know others such as go_away (which has a lot of good knowledge) prefer to do it through diet and weights, which while is perfectly feasible, is A) not as fast and B) a bit harder as if you are doing cardio but struggling with hunger pangs, you can simple increase your cardio and take in a few extra cals!

    As has been said, eat very small meals about 3 hours apart, keep them clean with good carbs, proteins and don't forget your healthy fats.

    What kind of loss are we talking about here, are we talking about 2 stone or 7lbs or something?

    as go_away does, its good to use a combination IMO of scales, tape measure and the mirror! But only use the scales and measure 1x per week at most or it can become addictive!

    Don't know if that helps but if you have any specific questions about training or diet then gimee a shout :)

    I'm currently about a stone lighter than last year as I'm waiting for groin surgery in 2 weeks after a suspected torn abductor muscle or tendon.. which is quite painful especially as I kept training with it! lol

    Can't wait til it's over, back to getting fit and huge :D:D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just out of interest, how many more calories would constitute a bulking cycle? If I'm on say, 2000 calories a day at the moment? Not sure if I'm brave enough to take one on as I want to shave off some more fat and I'm happy enough with my strength gains, but if I was :D Would I see significant gains in strength?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd like to lose 1.5 stone as thats the weight i was when i was last happy, but obviously i want to build some muscle too which means i probably wont lose that much in actual weight. As long as i see a decrease in the amount of fat on my body then im not bothered about weight. I want to be firm not wobbly.

    Im currently eating about 2000 calories per day on my healthy diet. I eat lots of fruit, veggies and try to get a portion of protein in each day whether its fish, meat or eggs.

    If i was to stick to my current diet and start the gym would i notice a difference?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cool, would only bother weighing first thing in the morning, naked, and after you've been the loo if you need to go! haha.

    Don't weigh twice a day, it's not healthy, nothing will happen throughout the day of any meaning.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cool, would only bother weighing first thing in the morning, naked, and after you've been the loo if you need to go! haha.

    Don't weigh twice a day, it's not healthy, nothing will happen throughout the day of any meaning.

    Aye, weighing twice a day is just silly, and weighing every day is *almost* as daft as you will be losing grams, which you wouldn't see on an home set of scales.

    .... and yes, the going to the loo factor could possibly see the difference of a couple of pounds in weight ;):lol:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fucking right! lol

    I have been through terrible phases of weighing all day lol, ah well..
    !

    I'm moving my op back a few weeks now, going to try and cut a few lbs before xmas as I wont be training and it's the merry season in my house! lol

    Hard cut right after xmas then a huge bulk, I can't fuckin wait!!!!

    I'm going to be all whey and roids! haha
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