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Losing weight, gaining muscle?

Discussion in 'Introductions & Advice For Beginners' started by banderbe, May 23, 2007.

  1. banderbe

    banderbe Active Member

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    Hello everyone, I am hoping to get a little feedback on what I'm doing to make sure I'm on the right path.

    I am 6'1" and was 210 about a year ago when I began doing cardio a few times a week. By the end of the year I was doing four times a week for about half an hour and was down to 195.

    I started lifting weights a few weeks ago, and about a week after starting I began counting calories and limiting myself to ~2000 a day after calculating my maintenance calories using the information in a sticky at the top of one of the forums here. This morning I weighed in at 189.2.

    So I guess what I want to do is lose fat and gain muscle. Is it possible? If not, is it a waste of time to lift?

    I am getting 30% of my calories from protein, and gradually switching over to complex carbs, and healthy fats. I've begun to eat more, smaller meals during the day.

    Looking back at John's food logs, he seems to have gone on a pretty severe low-cal diet when he started in 2003, and appears by May of that year to have gained quite a lot of muscle. Or, maybe he just shed the fat so you can see the muscle?

    Sort of confused here.. :) Thanks for your advice. I'm glad to be here, looking forward to the future.
     
  2. Chameleon

    Chameleon Well-Known Member

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    okay... I'll try to clear a bit up, but first Welcome to JSF :)

    first: John admits that he went tooo low calorie when he went on his first cut

    second… yes, mostly he just revealed the muscle he already had, however he probably did add some muscle by way of what we call "newbie gains", that being that when you first start lifting your body will respond rather quickly to the new stimulus and you will gain muscle

    3rd … YES you want to lift... just doing cardio will make you lighter, but won't necessarily make you look better... by lifting you will reshape your body, you may or may not get much lighter, but you will become leaner, there is a difference between body weight and body fat %, the one you want to worry more about is the body fat %... also, the more muscle you have on your frame, the more fat you will burn :nod: muscle HELPS you lose fat ;)

    last -- YES you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, however it's slower than doing one and then the other... for example, some people want results NOW and will cut and then bulk... if you have more patience than that you can keep your calories close to maintenance and hit those weights hard, do cardio and keep your diet clean and you'll gain muscle and lose fat at the same time... the funny thing is, if those people who were so impatient to cut and then to bulk added up the time it took to do both it would probably come out to about the same amount of time it will take if you do both at the same time... but instead of a 3 month cut and a 3 month bulk you'll do a 6 month program that'll get you to the same place ;)... but there aren't many around here that agree with me... but I've seen it work first hand... you just have to have patience ;) Oh.. and I'd suggest something close to a 30% protien / 30% carbs / 20% good fats breakdown to start with for your diet... so it sounds like you're on track for at least the protien... you might find that you need to increase the protien and drop the carbs if you aren't droping fat very quickly... you can tell if you are by measuring your waist every couple of weeks.. if it's dropping you're losing fat ;) if you're dopping fat too quickly and not gaining much muscle you might need to have more carbs than protien... everyone is different... just pick a plan and stick with it for at least 4 to 6 weeks before you give up on it... it takes any change in diet & excercise a bit to take effect and show change ;)

    I'd also suggest reading the stickies at the top of this forum, they are very informative and well worth the read ;):gl:
     
  3. banderbe

    banderbe Active Member

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    Hi Chameleon, thanks for your reply!

    Something doesn't add up though in that part above.. 30+30+20 is 80..
    :)
     
  4. mattsesar

    mattsesar Active Member

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    Where do you suggest he gets the other 20%? :p

    Seriously though, you should probably consider cutting down to what you want in terms of body fat percentage, and go on a bulking cycle after that. It's much easier to lose body fat and maintain muscle than it is to lose body fat and try to grow muscle. Yes, it is possible, but you're going to see better, faster results if you opt for the former.

    That's certainly part of it. Everyone has muscle underneath their bodies - it's just that for most of us, our body fat percentage is too high to see some of that muscle. In the May image you're talking about, John went from 21-23% BF to 9-12% BF. That's a HUGE decrease in the amount of fat covering his muscles. Granted he was doing a lot of lifting then, but I think the majority of his results came from the drop in body fat.

    Frankly, there isn't a lot we can tell you about what you should do with your body. Obviously we haven't seen any images of you, have no idea of your bone mass, body type, etc., so we can't say what necessarily is a healthy weight for you. Personally I'm a big guy at 6'2". Even after I finish my cutting cycle (which will probably take at least a year) I don't expect to be under 200lbs. My wrists (which I've learned are one of the leanest spots on your body) are 8" in circumference (thank you, Myotape). That's 1" above the average male wrist size which means I have a fairly large skeletal frame. Even though my "ideal weight" as predicted by internet charts or calculators says I should be at somewhere around 170-180lbs, I think that I would look like Lara Flynn Boyle if I weighed that much.

    Anyway, yeah. My suggestion is to go on a cutting cycle until you reach your desired BF% then bulk up to your desired muscle mass. That's what most of us do around here and it seems to work pretty well.

    /end soapbox
     
  5. AnonIMust

    AnonIMust Well-Known Member

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    The forgotten macro-nutrient, ALCOHOL.

    (Just Kidding)
     
  6. mattsesar

    mattsesar Active Member

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    lmao :lol:
     
  7. Chameleon

    Chameleon Well-Known Member

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    LOL... sorry... I meant 40/40/20 ;)
     
  8. dixiedog72

    dixiedog72 Active Member

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    Good post Banderbe. I'm in a similar situation but a little farther down the road than you. I started my quest for "transformation" 20 weeks ago. At Christmas I weighed in at 200 lbs and 24% body fat. I set some achievable goals of 1 lb weight loss per week and ~0.2-0.3%BF loss per week. I started running like a fiend and got my weight down to 181 pretty quickly and ~19%BF(oh yeah, I limited calories to 1800 per day). I didn't really like how I looked there because I had lost muscle as well as fat. I've been lifting pretty hard and have been mixing up the cardio (45-60 minutes 5x per week). I increased my calories to ~2000 per day. In the last 4 weeks I'm up to ~184 lbs, but my body fat is down to 17%.

    So, in a nutshell, it is possible to increase muscle and lose fat at the same time. I guess I'm doing the "bulk and cut at the same time" method that Chameleon mentiond. It does take time, but hey, I didn't get fat overnight, I'm not going to get in shape overnight either.

    Anyway, just my $0.02.

    :gl:

    P.S. One other addition to my exercise routing has been flexibility training. I go to a class that is a combination of yoga, tai chi and pilates 1-2 times per week. The stretch you get from something like that feels really good after a hard lifting session.
     

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