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24 - working out constantly - gaining weight :o(

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by corinnedh, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. corinnedh

    corinnedh Active Member

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    Well, here's my issue. I'm 24 and I work out VERY regularly. Up at 5:05 5 days a week to do 40 minutes of cardio (mix between treadmill and elliptical). Shower, off to work, back home by 5:20 to do another 35 - 40 minutes of "strength training". Its a circuit training style that hits your muscles multiple times in a row using lighter weights (no more then 15 lbs).. I alternate that work out from day to day.. one day I do upper body.. the next I do lower.. upper, lower... on and on. I do that 6 days per week and save Sundays as a day of "rest"...
    I eat pretty well (at least I think so). Bowl of fruit in the morning (strawberries and grapes... about 2 cups total). Light Yogurt mid day.. turkey sandwhich on 100% whole wheat bread with slice of cheese and mustard.. moderate dinner... examples: eggs... chilie...pasta...
    I drink a ton of water...
    Over the past 4 weeks I've been gaining weight... haven't changed my workouts.. or eating habits... but, I've put on about 8 lbs... And I can feel it in my clothes... so, I doubt its "muscle".

    Any adivce or suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm really at a loss here. I've been doing this for a few months now... and all of a sudden.. there's an issue. I'm 5'8 and now I'm 144 lbs. Grrrrr. :(

    Thanks All!
     
  2. George

    George Senior Member

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    Hi corinnedh, welcome to JSF. :) I think the first thing you should do is read the fatloss stickies at the top of the Intro and Advice for Beginners section, if you haven't already.
    Your diet could use some work. It looks like you're concentrating almost all of your calories towards the end of the day instead of spreading them out. For instance, I would definitely add more to your breakfast. Some form of protein should be put in there at the very least.
    I also feel that the way you have chosen to approach weight training is a mistake. Don't be afraid of lifting heavy. You won't turn into a bodybuilder overnight. :)
     
  3. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    There's no way to simplify things.... track your cals. Weight management is cals in versus cals out.

    Without some hard numbers you are guessing.

    Your "diet" is not very good by the way, and not very balanced.

    2 cups of fruit in the morning is not a meal.
    with a little 70 cal yoghurt midday

    So, you have zero protein till noon? That's not good at all.

    vegetables? Do you eat any?

    Your exercise routine needs work. Strength training with 15 lbs is great and all, but you should be looking to progress. Your body wants nothing more than to adapt to the stress. You have to continually change it up. Weight progression is a good way. Strength training is useful for so many reasons. No worries...you won't become big and bulky. If nothing else the added muscle has many benefits since after the mid 20's sedentary folks can lose 1-2 % of muscle mass per year and up to 50% of muscle mass over a lifetime.

    Also weight training helps maintain or increase bone density. This is extremely good where Osteoporosis is a concern.

    So while lifting only 15 lbs is great, don't limit yourself (For instance, your legs already carry your upper torso around all day and it weighs a lot more than 15 lbs so any leg work would definitely have to go beyond that weight to have any meaningful effect, mind you I've done workouts with just an empty bar that darn near destroyed me, so, there are ways to make 15 lbs hurt like hell ;)).

    Also 5 days/week 2x day means you are either doing too much and driving yourself into the dirt. Or not working hard enough, that you can do both an a.m. and a p.m. session. I would revamp your way of thinking and actually scale back the cardio and circuits.
     
    #3 Gordo, Oct 10, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  4. corinnedh

    corinnedh Active Member

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    I think you're right. I don't think its the amount of calories I'm eating... but, rather when I'm eating them and where they are coming from. About a year ago I had some GREAT success with eating total raisin bran for breakfast... sandwhich or soup for lunch (some type of apple or fruit in between) and a fruit smoothie (with yogurt added) for dinner. But, I was only running every other day. Since I've seriously ramped up my routine... I thought more substance would be required... but, now looking at the replies.. I've realized that I'm not getting enough protein and you're right, my AM intake isn't right...Eggs for breakfast w/ the yogurt seems like the better option... and have the fruit as my mid AM snack... or perhaps some veggies (b/c I love veggies... but, for some reason I just haven't been including them :o( )

    Weight traing does make me leary... I have a rather large frame as it is.. and that's not an excuse.. that's just how it is. My ribs are 36" around.. and you can see the bones (so, its not like I'm packing on a tone of fat around them)... my hips are also large.. but, the bones stick out... My shape is a mesomorph... and my legs pick up muscle like its nothing. I can squat some serious weight (for a girl that doesn't train for that regularly... I can do 2 sets of 12 reps at 530 lbs) my body really has no problem adding muscle mass (and I really don't want to do that with the way my stature is...) my height is bad enough.. I don't need to look like "the hulk" too.. LOL
    For certain muscle groups, how much weight do you think I should be using to train.. or how much do you think I should be trying to work up to?
    thanks for all of your help and suggestions! :)
     
  5. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    :eek:
     
  6. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    Not disputing that squat but.... are you sure it's a barbell squat to parallel? Because if you can do that 12X for 2 sets, you might be the world record holder in the squat.
     
  7. corinnedh

    corinnedh Active Member

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    Oh geeze, don't I feel like an idiot. I used one of the machines that you can lay on your back and press a large plate towards the ceiling. Not the same as a squat... but, its the only way I had of judging my leg strenth. I'm sorry... I guess I need to get a little more versed before I go out there and start asking for peoples advice.
     
  8. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    I disagree! We all start somewhere, and I'm glad you are here looking for advice. It is much worse to not ask questions than to keep doing what you're doing, if what you're doing isn't producing the results you want. Stick around. :)
     
  9. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

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    Haha I was so scared of you there for a little, :claplow:.
     
  10. goonie

    goonie Active Member

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    Hey, a 530 lb leg press for 12 reps is nothing to sneeze at. :tucool:

    If your body is capable of that, you gotta ask yourself what the metabolic impact is of a light circuit training workout. As long as your diet puts you at a deficit for the day, a significant increase in muscle mass isn't very likely.
     
  11. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    yeh...what you are doing is called a Vertical Leg Press.

    Personally I like these because if you let the weight come down so your thighs are very close to your abdomen, you really get the Glutes and Hams involved.

    I think the Vertical gives a slightly better angle than the Seated Leg Press where the back of the seat moves up and down.

    I can get my feet a little wider on the Vertical version.

    I dislike doing them with my knees at/or inside shoulder width.

    Maybe you need to challenge yourself a little. It sounds like your body has efficiently adapted to your routine.

    I, like the others have said, would go with more protein spread out over the day, while watching the portion sizes of meals and keeping the carb count where it should be.
     
  12. AnimalG

    AnimalG Active Member

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    As someone who lost 70 lbs, I disagree. Count your calories. Be very precise and I think you will find that you are eating more calories than you think. (get a cheap electronic scale to weigh what you are eating, they are great!)

    The amount of calories you eat affects your weight MUCH more than the time you eat them.

    Also, definitely definitely start introducing more protein into your diet. Replace some of the carb calories with protein calories. Protein will make you feel more full. It is easy to eat a lot of calories of carbs (like pasta) and still not feel satisfied. I can easily see myself eating a large bowl of pasta (probably 1500 calories), but trying to eat the same bowl full of chicken breast (probably half the calories) is nearly impossible because you will feel stuffed before you finish.

    I also agree with the suggestion to add some fibrous veggies, because it allows you to eat much more volume without adding many calories.

    Good luck! Its good to see you have the motivation and are asking the right questions!
     
  13. mattback

    mattback Active Member

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    if you can leg press 530lbs hon, you need to do alot heavier weights when you're in the gym on your weight training circuits, ramp up the intensity, and sweat and make it happen.

    and on the diet side, eat 40% protein 30% fat 30% carbs, and do bodyweight x11, and you'll burn the fat.

    protein with every meal.

    ramp up the intensity

    make it happen.

    <3
     
  14. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    LOL, no, no you don't. The whole point is to ask questions. If you knew all the answers you wouldn't make any mistakes and wouldn't need to ask questions. Mistakes mean you are learning. The only bad question is the one that isn't asked (as they say).

    That's still a fair amount of weight. You'd definitely want to start using heavier weight in your training sessions and challenge yourself. If nothing else, than to bring up your strength in the lacking areas to match your leg strength.

    I still don't think your morning calories are sufficient but since you seem to be gaining weight, the back-end of your meal schedule must be quite calorie heavy (for you).

    You need to write out a meal plan completely, and you need to balance it with a 4-5 meal schedule(meaning more than snacks in between). For the next little while, you need to be very consistent to get results. The consistency is key to your success. It is the best way to get positive results. If you can't commit to that for whatever reason for the next month or 3, it might be best to commit to a different plan and don't do a weightloss plan right now. The problem I've seen and read over and over is that if you set yourself up to fail, you make it harder the next go round. Also, have reasonable expectations of what you are trying to accomplish. Write it out and tuck it away for a day or so and then come back to it and re-read it. See if it sounds reasonable and then ask an independent body (like this board) if it sounds reasonable.

    It's good to set up a challenge for yourself, but if you ask for the world and can only commit 40% effort to it, you are setting up for failure or a major letdown.

    Always have some sort of plan that you are certain you can commit to, otherwise, you will spin your wheels.
     
    #14 Gordo, Oct 11, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  15. corinnedh

    corinnedh Active Member

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    WOW! You guys are really amazing. I went home last night and did some serious reflection on what I've been doing lately and I have to give the credit to this board. :) I went home feeling a little silly (b/c of my ignorance when it comes to really being fit) and energized b/c I realized how much good information is right at my fingertips :) I also took a good hard look at myself in the mirror and realized that I have a ways to go :( LOL

    So, I started my evening with a GREAT workout... It hurt LOL but, I felt good about it. I added extra weight to all of my sets. and I'm going to do some research today on a good set of "hand weights" that alows me to add or decrease the amount of weight easily to challenge each of my muscle groups until I move up to heavier weight range. (b/c I'm not currently going to a gym for my workouts) I'm also going to spend my weekend revamping my diet so I can start fresh on monday. IF anyone has any good suggestions of where I could look for meal plans that are low in carbs and high in protein it would be much appreciated. :)

    You guys have been awesome! Thanks for all of the encouragement! If anyone else has suggestions, please let me know.
     
  16. feather319

    feather319 Active Member

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    Hey there! I'm so glad I found your post. I am a 23 (soon to be 24 on Monday) female who is/was in the same boat you are. After graduating college 1.5 years ago, I had to plan my workouts around my work instead of going in the middle of the day.

    Being an extremely active person, sitting all day was hard for me and I put on a few pounds. I freaked out and made the committment to work out 2 times per day - cardio 45 minutes to an hour at 6 am 5 days per week, and weights 3 times per week in the pm. I thought I was in such good shape but I battled those workouts and fluxuated in weight over time even though I ate extremely healthy. I went from 122 to 155 and I WAS NOT HAPPY. My diet consists of eggs, flax, chicken with veggies, some fish, and lots of Peanut butter. I ate other healthy stuff too but that was my typical diet. In addition, I hardly ate grains so my energy levels were not sustained throughout my workout. And, I was ALWAYS HUNGRY. My body was literally starving in a different way by over exhausting my body. I wanted to be thin and I just thought "I was different than other girls" so if I worked out less, I would gain more weight. I even started taking "fireball" from vitamin world to get me up in the AM to work out until my blodd pressure sky rocketted. I gave that fake stuff up.

    2 months ago I burnt out. I skipped 2 workout days in a row and felt terrible. I got really sick. I was tired for weeks and still am. I knew I had to change the way I was workout out. I talked with a few trainers at my gym who watch me and told me I was overdoing it. I have since changed to a shorter, more intense workout where I workout SMART. My typical routine is bikeride to my gym for a warm up, then a bootcamp class I put myself through which consists of lifting weights and sprints, plyos, jump rope followed by HITT for 15 minutes 3 days per week. The other 2 days i just do cardio. I am actually working out less and my body isn't starved like it wa before. It is hard still for me to get to the gym knowing that I could over do it at any time. I just remember my vision and don't let others bother me or talk to me because I know if my goal.

    My diet has changed a small amount. I started eating more flax oil vs just the milled flax to get more omega 3. I also eat fish at least once a day now and try to get at least 20 grams of grain carbs per meal where as before I had maybe 3 for breakfast, 5 for lunch, and 5 for dinner. The rest of my carbs were from veggies and yogurt. I'm really sensitive to carbs - even the thought of sugar scares me.

    I feel for you on your weight struggle. I went from 183 to 122 with hard work and now I'm 150. 14% BF but my goal is 11%. The way you described yourself we sound similar body wise. I am pretty strong lower body wise for a girl as I usually squat 130 pounds (45 barbell with 40 on each side) to parallel for 12 reps. I just hope my advise helps. You sound very similar to me. :-)

    Good luck
     
  17. mattback

    mattback Active Member

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    feather: there's no way youre 14% bf hon.. you wouldn't have your monthly thing... you're probably somewhere around 24-30% bodyfat, and would be amazed if you were at 17%...

    get a good tester... accu-measure does wonders.

    But yeah.. holy crap though.. squatting 130 lbs for 12 reps is NO JOKE for a girl! that's awesome!! <3 <3 <3 marry me, lol
     
  18. Jedi

    Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Actually Matt in really depends on the woman. Rockenmama has been around 10%BF for quite a while now and as i understand correctly she is very healthy and regular;) Feather is 5'10 and around 150 so if she has a lot of muscle she could be around 14%, many female athletes can maintain that level with regular periods no problem. As for the squat a woman who has been weight lifitng a couple of years should be able to do around 1.25 their body weight.

    HOWEVER 11% may or may not be a healthy goal for Feather, as Rockenmama is certainly an exception and genetically able to be much leaner than most women :nod:
     
  19. feather319

    feather319 Active Member

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    Yes, I am 14% body fat. My weight flucuates between 141 in the AM (on a lucky day) to 155 at night if I've eaten a lot. I had one of those skin fold tests done at my gym.

    And no, I haven't had a menstral cycle in 5 years - even with medication it won't start.
     
  20. corinnedh

    corinnedh Active Member

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    wow, wait a minute. this seems like a whole new world to me. LOL I'm getting really confused/frusterated ;) For the past... 3 years I've been using a Tanita (I think that's how you spell it) scale to use as a guide for my weight/body fat % Granted.. it won't be exact, but it gives me something to gauge myself against over the course of time. So, over the past 5 weeks i've now gained a total of 11 lbs!!! Grrr... I just weighted myself this AM. I haven't changed my diet or routine and I've suddenly jumped... However, I did stop using my BC (birth control) b/c I was getting weird spotting inbetween my cycles, consitantly. So, I thought I would let myself get back on track regularly and go without for a little while... then give another shot a few months down the road. That change happened about 5 weeks ago... And I haven't had a cycle since. Is this normal? Are you telling me that you really haven't had a cycle in 5 years?! I am just really perplexed right now. My scale is telling me that I'm at about 30% body fat... which is an all time high for me... Grrrr!!!! I was cruising along at about 22%, which isn't good either, but, it wasn't what I am now. feather... any comments?
     

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