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critique my workout regime :)

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by Avy, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Hi there - here's my little story.
    I started weight training about 11 weeks ago now with my boyfriend. Our aim was/is to build muscle and lose fat at the same time (tough yes).
    Before starting I weighed about 56kg and now I weigh approx 59kg and my body fat is 20% (dont know what it was before as we didnt have the calipers - oops). I am 5'11 and have been slim my whole life. I used to be able to eat anything and stay a size 8 (australian size) but when i hit my late teens/early 20's i started to get a little tummy and wobbly bits here and there. I have always been a gym goer but never a serious one. Just some light weights and minimal cardio as i HATED it - probably because I was so unfit and could only run 500m before passing out :o Even though I was slim, I always wanted to be firm and fit. So now i am doing something about it after years of complaining!
    My workouts look something like this:

    Mon am - Calves, hammies and triceps
    Mon pm - 50 min cardio (15min HIIT in there)
    Tues am - Chest and bi's
    Tues pm - 50 min LISS
    Wed am - Quads and shoulders
    Wed pm - off
    Thurs am - Back and abs
    Thurs pm - 50 min cardio (15 min HIIT in there)
    Fri am - 45 min LISS (either swim or bike)
    Fri pm - off
    Sat - off
    Sunday - 30min weights on problem areas and 30 min LISS

    I do 2 exercises per body part in a session and 3 x 8-12 reps. I use as heavy weights as i can handle (doing 3 sets that is). I sometimes do supersets and never do the same exercise 2 weeks in a row.
    In 3 weeks I will be starting to touch body parts twice a week and not just once.

    The reason for weights in the morning is because the gym is so packed at night we found it hard to get on a machine so we switched cardio and weights around.
    My diet is good, we have a cheat meal once a week which is usually a main, 2 wines and a dessert :drool: best day of the week!
    Heres a sample diet for a strict day:

    - Nothing before weights in morning
    - Whey with water post workout
    - 1/3 cup oats with 1 cup skim milk
    - 10g almonds, 15g cranberries and coffee with skim milk no sugar
    - green apple
    - 100g tuna on 3 wholegrain crackers, 50g avocado, 50g light cheese, spinach leaves
    - fat free yoghurt
    - banana
    - Whey with water post workout
    - Grilled salmon steak with 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 types steamed veges (eg. broccoli, cauli, carrots)

    I also drink 2 litres of water a day (yeah could be more) and only diet cordial if i want something with flavour. I have noticed I am looking bigger and a little puffy in areas. I know I have gained muscle but i am worried i am not losing enough fat? I have been 20% bf for about 3 weeks now. I know that i need to build alot more muscle so my body can then burn more fat - i just hope im on the right track to do this?

    If i could just get some tips and advice on my regime and diet that would be great - my plan is to stay on this track for another 3 weeks then decide if i want to comete in a comp next oct (either sportsmodel or novice). Long way away but better to be completely prepared :bb:
    Thanks
     
    #1 Avy, Jul 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  2. Candyce

    Candyce Active Member

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    You really dont look like your eating enough...which is actually counterproductive and makes your body go into starvation mode and hold onto fat. When I added more calories to my diet, I started losing weight.

    50 minutes of cardio as well...with 15 minutes of HIIT?!?! How in the hell do you last? Are you actually getting your heart rate up that high? I tend to do 30 seconds of 100% effort, getting my heart rate up to 180 then going a bit slower for one minute. Lets just say Im struggling after 15 minutes and Im pretty fit, I dont know how you could do an additional 35 minutes of cardio.

    Bearing that in mind, 40-45 minutes of LIIS is sufficient but 20 minutes of HIIT is more effective at burning fat as you continue to burn calories even after exercising. Less is actually more when you put the effort in.

    Maybe try reading the stickies in the begginners forum? I used to be in your boat and then started a bulking routine and Im really seeing the results. Just because youre a woman doesnt mean you cant bulk. Ill be cutting in 6 weeks to get my body fat percentage down...You CANNOT gain muscle and lose body fat at the same time. Best of luck!
     
  3. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    3 kg in 11 weeks sound like good bulking progress for you. For being 5'11", you have very little lean body mass, so I think you've taken a good first step in trying to gain that weight and increase your strength.

    If you haven't already taken progress pictures, do it now. You don't have to post them if you don't want, but you'll be glad that you have them.

    Your work-outs seem really frequent. You might be able to cut back on them a bit. Your muscles will grow in rest periods only, and you don't have a lot of that. It's also a really good idea to take a week off from lifting every eight weeks or so. I only ever get huge jumps in strength and muscle gain after at least a week off from lifting. (If you feel you can't take the week off, at least change your sets and rep schemes around so that you're lifting more weight but less volume, or less weight and more volume.)
     
  4. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply! I did wonder if that may be the problem (no having enough calories). I guess I am still learning about my body and what works for me. I will take that on board and rethink my diet and let you know what I come up with.

    With the HIIT - what I do is the same as you, 10 min warm up then 15 min HIIT (30 secs at 100% and get heart rate to 180 then 1 min at 60-70% and so on for 15 mins) then 25 mins of LISS. Sorry if i didnt make sense in the beginning. So you think this is too much? I should only do warm up then 15 HIIT then 5 min cool down or somthing?
    Thank you for your help, i really appreciate it!
     
    #4 Avy, Jul 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  5. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I have actually taken progress shots - starting pics, 4 week pics, and 11 week pics. I am happy with my progress so far in regards to muscle gain, especially in my upper body. My legs are taking a bit longer to develop but i understand this could take up to 12 months before i see real muscle defnition? Especially since i started with very little lean muscle mass.

    I have actually decided to cut out one of the cardio sessions (on Tues night) and i have had a week off about 2 weeks ago which did wonders actually. I came back alot stronger which felt really good. I try to mix up the sessions and not be repetitive. But i haven't tried lowering the weights and doing more reps so i might work that into my workouts as well.

    Thanks so much for your advice, i'm still learning and trying to find what works for me. I may work up the courage to post some pics as well :o
     
    #5 Avy, Jul 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  6. J_W

    J_W Well-Known Member

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    I replied in your boyfriend's thread. What I said there applies here, too (especially my advice about eating pre- and post-workout!) with some modifications :). First, how many calories are you eating? If it's the same as your boyfriend (1900 kcal per day) and you're gaining weight (muscle) then that seems to be working for you. When bulking you should consider cutting back on cardio because that much cardio is really not necessary when you want to build muscle and is likely counterproductive.

    What exercises are you doing with weights? I wouldn't lower weights and do more reps if your goal is hypertrophy.
     
  7. Candyce

    Candyce Active Member

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    Id say go for 20 minutes HIIT...thats it. Im amazed you must have great endurance but 20 minutes of HIIT is really all you need..and to be honest its all you should be able to perform otherwise you need to put more effort in. I used to do 40 minutes of MISS and Im getting much better results with 3 20 minute HIIT sessions a week.
    I always do my weights and cardio on seperate days as well. Diet is the most important thing to get the body you want followed by weights then lastly cardio.

    As far as diet, just make sure you are eating clean and spacing out your meals. Youd be surprised how many calories you should be eating, cuz your sample diet just wasnt enough! Some days I struggle to fit all the calories I should be eating in to my schedule. You shouldnt have to feel hungry all the time your muscles need fuel, just feed them with the right things.

    The best thing Ive done is check out the stickies in the begginners section, theres some very valuable information in there.
    Do keep us posted! :)
     
  8. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip in regards to HIIT. I do put in 100% effort trust me! I feel absolutely exhausted after HIIT but then I slow it down to recover for about 3-5 mins then I can slowly start to pick up the pace and do another 20 or so minutes of LISS. I seem to struggle in the first 15 minutes of any cardio then I get my rythym and I am fine. I acutally feel better by the end than I did when I started. Very strange. But I am going to try what you said and just to the 20 mins of HIIT in a cardio session (with 10 minute warm up) and see how I go.

    Also I have increased my calorie intake slightly (eg. more oats to 1/2 cup in the morning, extra lunch and slightly bigger meat portion at dinner - from 100 to 125g). I am actually going on holidays for a week in 3 weeks and I have decided when I get back I am going to re-do my diet and exercise plan (strict, clean diet and weights and cardio on seperate days) so I will try and make it more of a bulking phase. Then around 1 Nov I will start cutting (if I am happy with the muscle growth). So that is the plan anyway. I will keep you updated on how this little tweak to my diet and routine works out.
    Thanks again! :tu:
     
  9. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    I am currently doing the same exercises as my BF:

    MON - Hamstrings, calves and triceps
    - Hamstring curl 20kg 3x8
    - Calf raises 41kg 3x12
    - Tricep kick back 7kg 3x12
    - Seated hamstring curl 41kg 3x8
    - Cable tricep pushdown 36kg? 3x10

    TUES - Chest and biceps
    - Bench press 26kg 3x12
    - Barbel curl 15kg 3x8
    - Flys 7kg 3x12
    - Hammer curl 8kg 3x12

    WED - Legs and shoulders
    - Leg press 100kg 3x8
    - DB shoulder press 7kg 3x12
    - Leg extension 41kg 3x12
    - Lateral and fron DB raise 7kg 3x12
    - Pushups 1x20 on toes, 2x25 on knees

    THURS - Back and abs
    - Lat pulldown 34kg 3x12
    - Hanging knee raises 3x12
    - Seated row 31kg 3x12
    - Fitball crunches 3x20

    The ones with a ? would be either 1kg more or less - I cant remember without my notebook in front of me. I will ammend later on.
    I know I am weak in some areas which I am working on but I am pretty happy with my progress so far. I absolutely love doing weights - I dont know why I didnt start earlier!? But I am still young so I guess I'm doing ok :tu:
     
    #9 Avy, Jul 20, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  10. tsk2264

    tsk2264 Active Member

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    I would definitely incorporporate deadlifts, squats and bentover rows in that routine you listed. Maybe do romanian DL's instead of hamstring curls, squats instead of leg extensions and bentover rows instead of cable rows.
     
    #10 tsk2264, Jul 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  11. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Well its been a while but I have changed things up a bit. Eating a little more and have cut down on the cardio as well. I have definitely put on about 2 more kg's of weight (muscle I hope) so that's a good thing. But I have also noticed that I feel 'fatter'. But I think this is because I still have this layer of fat around my muscles which have now grown so in turn I look fatter. I hope that I am right here - my diet has been very good except for one cheat meal a week. I am trying to not let it get my down because I know that it will pay off in the end. I will be starting a cut as of 1st Oct for summer - a nice slow one! I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the cutting diet advice there is out there but I have opted for calorie/carb cycling.
    Also I have incorporated some deadlifts and squats into my routine. I may post some pictures as well if I work up the courage :o
     
  12. Maya

    Maya Well-Known Member

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    Hi Avy!
    I would get rid of all the cardio and concentrate on lifting.
    When you look at the pictures in my first journal I actually looked better after bulking. The "cutting" and all the cardio made me look flat and skinny.

    Clean up your diet and build.

    Can you post your exact diet?
     
  13. ZxViCkYxZ

    ZxViCkYxZ Active Member

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    Hey Avy,

    Seems like you should be eating more protein in your diet. And carbs too. Carbs aren't evil if they're clean and they fit into your macros.

    You don't seem to give yourself a lot of time to rest between lifting. Your muscles grow outside the gym. Give yourself an extra rest day.

    15 mins HIIT on top of 35 mins LISS? You must be Wonder Woman! If you're doing HIIT correctly, you should only be able to do 20 mins at most. Like Maya said, maybe lose some of the cardio, and do HIIT 3 days a week at 100% effort.

    Also, you should seriously eat before you do weights or lift later in the day, for the reason that your body draws energy from carbs that you have eaten to help you lift. Lifting on an empty stomach only causes your lifts to be half-assed and unproductive.

    Last but not least, compounds are your friends. Squats, deadlifts, and bench press.. take the time to learn the proper form and do them regularly. They will train several major muscle groups, which gives you more bang for your time at the gym if you're pressed for it

    Read the stickies in the beginner's forum, and good luck! :gl:
     
  14. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Hi Maya!
    I have actually read your journal and am following it (when I get time to read it) so I have taken alot of inspiration from you so thanks :nod:
    I have cut out all but 2 HIIT cardio sessions now and am concentrating on lifting. The struggle with me is still the diet. I guess I am still learning what suits me and my body. Being skinny my whole life I guess I'm a bit apprehensive to gain weight - but I need to get over that otherwise I will never get anywhere!

    Here's my diet today:

    Post workout - 1 scoop whey with water
    1 - 1/3 cup oats with 1 cup skim milk + splenda
    2 - 20g almonds + 20g cashews (natural with no salt)
    3 - green apple
    4 - 4 wholegrain biscuits (sandwish size), 1 tin tuna, 4 slcies low fat cheese, 1/4 avocado, cucumber + low fat yoghurt
    5 - Banana
    6 - Chicken (1 breast) pizza on wholemeal pita with tomato paste (salt reduced), zuccini, capsicum, low fat ricotta, olive oil + diet jelly

    Thanks for your advice - really appreciate it!
     
    #14 Avy, Aug 20, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  15. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Hi ZxViCkYxZ,
    I honestly didnt think I was doing anything special with my HIIT? Another user asked me previously about it but I am doing it correctly, trust me! I get my heart rate up to around 180 - 190 at 100% effort. I do a 10 min warm up then 30 secs at 100% and 1 min recovery for 20 mins - then I have a few minutes going seriously slow to get my breath back and heart rate down then I can contine doing LISS for another 20 mins. But I havent dont that for a while now and only do the warm up, HIIT, then cool down.

    I would eat before but I weight train at 6am because my gym is too packed at night. I would have to get up another half hour earlier to eat and I just can't do it. Maybe I should have the whey shake before I go rather than after? I actually feel quite strong in the mornings and when I do go at night I feel out of wack a little. I think I'm just used to it now.

    I have only recently started doing deadlifts and have found them really good. The problem is I lose my grip on the bar before failure. I just put it down, get my grip and keep going! I do a total of 46kg for them so I'm not sure if that's good or pathetic.
    I have been doing bench press since I started weight training in May and love it. I have worked up from 16kg to 31kg in almost 4 months so I thought that was pretty good :D
    Squats I was avoiding :o mainly because I didnt have much if any strength in my legs. But I started light and have worked my way up now. I still have trouble getting really low with them but I just have to grin and bear it! I enjoy them more now though - I just love weight training.

    Thanks so much for your advice! I have also changed my days to:

    Mon - weights and HIIT
    Tues - weights
    Wed - off
    Thur - weights
    Fri - HIIT
    Sat - weights
    Sun - off
     
  16. ZxViCkYxZ

    ZxViCkYxZ Active Member

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    Avy:

    No prob! I really admire other women like you who appreciate the importance of lifting.

    I myself have been putting off HIIT for quite some time now. I usually do either 40 mins MISS (20 mins treadmill/20 mins elliptical) or 30 MISS elliptical depending on how tired I am after lifting. I want to start doing HIIT soon but I have this fear that my chest will cave in and I'll pass out, :lol:. But no worries, I'll work up the courage to do it one day.

    I have the same grip problem with deadlifts also. Currently I do them at 80 lbs or about 36 kgs (I always get confused with this conversion), but its been getting easier and I feel like I can do much more if I could only hold on longer. So don't feel too bad about 46 kgs.. that's a very good deadlift weight for a woman who just started doing deadlifts not too long ago :tu:.

    And I would definitely have the whey shake pre-work out. :nod:
     
  17. Maya

    Maya Well-Known Member

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    Post workout - 1 scoop whey with water
    1 - 1/3 cup oats with 1 cup skim milk + splenda
    ** you have carbs only in this meal. Add some protein like egg whites maybe 1/2 scoop of shake in the oatmeal

    2 - 20g almonds + 20g cashews (natural with no salt)
    ** fat pretty much only, add some lean protein (like 3 oz of cottage cheese etc)

    3 - green apple
    ** carbs only again. Add some lean protein

    4 - 4 wholegrain biscuits (sandwish size), 1 tin tuna, 4 slcies low fat cheese, 1/4 avocado, cucumber + low fat yoghurt
    ** thats better, you have carbs there, protein and fat.
    5 - Banana
    ** carbs only again, add some protein

    6 - Chicken (1 breast) pizza on wholemeal pita with tomato paste (salt reduced), zuccini, capsicum, low fat ricotta, olive oil + diet jelly

    Overall I would make the meals 2, 3 and 5 more balanced.
    I prefer 6 small/even meals then 3 meals and 3 snacks.

    Have 1 small serving of lean protein with each meal (3 oz will do).
    Personally I would choose little bit better carbs then biscuits or pita.
    Yams, potatoes, quinoa, beans are wonderful carb choices. You can always pre-make them so it doesn't feel like you are spending all day in the kitchen.
    Experiment with different fruit too. Add some blueberries, pineapple, grapefruit, kiwi, berries.

    Seriosuly, if you wanna add muscle (you wanna look fit, not flat right?) you have to give your body some building blocks.
     
  18. Avy

    Avy Active Member

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    Ok I have taken on your advice and re-done my diet - but for a cut. From my weekend measurements I have put on 4kg of lean mass and 1kg of fat in 4 months which now puts me at 21% BF (based on 3 measurements using a 7 point caliper test). Before I go any further I really want to lose 1 - 1.5% BF as I am feeling a little giggly around the hips and butt :(
    Here is my new diet:

    1 - 1 scoop whey with water + 1/2 cup oats with 1 cup skim milk
    2 - 20g almonds with 0.5 cup cottage cheese
    3 - 150g chicken breast, 1 cup sweet potato, 1/2 cup brown onion, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 cup green beans
    4 - 1 scoop whey with water + 1 cup strawberries
    5 - Low fat yoghurt, 50g salmon
    6 - 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 egg whites, splenda, 1 tablespoon natural PB (I just had to try this Maya - it sounds so tasty :tucool:)

    1815 calories - 43p/36c/21f - 43 g fat, 159g carbs, 189 protein
    This is about 300 calories less than my BMR so i'm hoping it works. Once I have lost some BF then I will increase my calories and start a really clean, but slow bulk. I will post some after pics once I have lost the fat and show my progress pics also - I'm feeling a bit fat ATM so i'll wait until then!

    Thanks again for your advice :nod:
    I
     

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