Fat loss - how to lose the bulge and gain the ripples

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brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
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Some food for thought: a fellow student presented a research study that showed the effects of high fat, high carb, and high protein snacks postponed hunger. Surprisingly, the high fat group (for the same amount of calories) got hungriest the fastest. Then the high carb group got hungry (30 something minutes after the high fat group). Finally, the high protein group got hungry (I think ~60ish minutes after the high fat group). This is counterintuitive to me, even if you take volume of consumption into mind. So I may further stress protein for controlling satiation and hunger urges. Anyone care to comment?
From what I've seen, satiety is pretty complicated. Protein may make you feel more full than fat, but fat can slow digestion. Some carbs may not make you feel full, but others mixed with fiber can be more filling than any protein. When carbs, fat and protein are mixed together, the effects are different still. Add in variation from genetics, time of day, and a number of other factors, and things get pretty muddled.

Some interesting things to look at are the Fullness Factor and the Satiety Index, both of which try to quantify how filling various foods are. Some trends definitely emerge, but I'd say the question is far from resolved. To be honest, the biggest trend I see is that the whole/raw/natural/unprocessed foods that we recommend tend to be much more filling than the highly processed "food products".
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
35,547
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What's a good still healthy body fat percentage to target for athletic build?
I think I am about 10% now, and it's definitely taking more clothing to feel warm, but other than that I feel pretty good :) Six pack is starting to show, and riding up hill feels slightly easier.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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What's a good still healthy body fat percentage to target for athletic build?
I think I am about 10% now, and it's definitely taking more clothing to feel warm, but other than that I feel pretty good :) Six pack is starting to show, and riding up hill feels slightly easier.
It depends on your body composition and performance goals. Some people perform a bit better with higher body fat % while others don't. Only you can set that goal because it depends on a lot of personal factors.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
35,547
5,666
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One tip I would add is using same belt is excellent feedback tool on your progress. If you are unwittingly gaining weight and keeping belt on same hole, it will keep you from going too far without noticing, since it will start feeling tight soon. If you are losing weight, you can keep going down to the next hole and then leave it there, so you slowly ratchet your waist down. I don't mean make the belt tight, but once you can comfortably keep it on, then progress, it sort of acts as a backstop, you lock in the progress. Just get a belt that doesn't stretch over time :)
 
Mar 22, 2002
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One tip I would add is using same belt is excellent feedback tool on your progress. If you are unwittingly gaining weight and keeping belt on same hole, it will keep you from going too far without noticing, since it will start feeling tight soon. If you are losing weight, you can keep going down to the next hole and then leave it there, so you slowly ratchet your waist down. I don't mean make the belt tight, but once you can comfortably keep it on, then progress, it sort of acts as a backstop, you lock in the progress. Just get a belt that doesn't stretch over time :)
That's very sensible. Essentially you're measuring yourself (which you can also do with something like the MyoTape) and recording progress. If you want to actually add a number to your current measurement, go buy a MyoTape and record your progress.
 

norsy

Member
Jan 22, 2006
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Appologies if this has been answered already but..if I keep up with my current amount of calorie consumption (which I presume is in excess judging by my big waist) but keep working on gaining strength won't my muscle mass keep going up and fat % keep coming down? Or is this process too slow without some form of cardio added too to be actually noticeable?
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Appologies if this has been answered already but..if I keep up with my current amount of calorie consumption (which I presume is in excess judging by my big waist) but keep working on gaining strength won't my muscle mass keep going up and fat % keep coming down? Or is this process too slow without some form of cardio added too to be actually noticeable?
If you work out, the for-sure thing is that your muscle mass will increase. It is also likely that you will gain fat too. You have to keep in mind that while you're in a caloric surplus, your body deals with it accordingly. Therefore, it doesn't typically lower body fat %, but increases it. Then again, that depends on the proportion of fat to muscle that you put on. Generally though, we say if you want to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit. If you want to gain muscle/mass, you need to be in a caloric surplus. Cardio is a bad way to lose weight - it's great for overall health, but I would never use it as a way to control calories. It's much easier to cut back on a snack or eat more fibrous veggies.
 

shilpa5

Banned
Feb 10, 2010
1
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It is a recent fact that drinking a pomgranate juice can help to attain a reasonable weight. It is always reliable to console with the registered physicians before making a tour of weight loss journey.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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It is a recent fact that drinking a pomgranate juice can help to attain a reasonable weight. It is always reliable to console with the registered physicians before making a tour of weight loss journey.
Lol. Supplements are not what loses the weight. Diet is. You could just as easily say green tea extract or acai berries make people skinny. That's not true at all. A caloric deficit and discipline get you there. If you can't lose weight on your own accord, pomegranate juice won't get you anywhere. Yes, I realize this is likely spam, but I'm going to point out everything wrong in this thread.
 

darkxshade

Lifer
Mar 31, 2001
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In order to avoid being redirected here to read this, I'm going to post my question here since I've read the sticky several times already.

Can you explain how the fat burning process work[assuming diet and physical activity is in check]? This is what I understand from googling the subject... All physical activity aerobic or anerobic begins with the use of glycogen stores as energy? And it takes up to a certain time[say 20 mins] to use that up? Now this is where I begin to have difficulty finding a common ground between many opinions. Some say this is the point where fat burning begins, others say this is when your body goes into catabolism. So what exactly happens after 20 mins? What's the criteria to optimally set your body into fat burning mode? Specifically, what does a body have to do before it begins utilizing fat? Thanks in advance.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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In order to avoid being redirected here to read this, I'm going to post my question here since I've read the sticky several times already.

Can you explain how the fat burning process work[assuming diet and physical activity is in check]? This is what I understand from googling the subject... All physical activity aerobic or anerobic begins with the use of glycogen stores as energy? And it takes up to a certain time[say 20 mins] to use that up? Now this is where I begin to have difficulty finding a common ground between many opinions. Some say this is the point where fat burning begins, others say this is when your body goes into catabolism. So what exactly happens after 20 mins? What's the criteria to optimally set your body into fat burning mode? Specifically, what does a body have to do before it begins utilizing fat? Thanks in advance.
Let's see if I can first clarify some things for you. When you begin exercising, your body utilizes the phosphagen pathway, then the glycolytic pathway (carbs only), and then the oxidative pathway (carbs and fats). The oxidative pathway starts up after about ONE minute of exercise. That means fats begin to get burned almost as soon as you start exercising. During physical activity after that, you will burn a skew of both fats and carbohydrates - at lower intensities, you'll mobilize more fat and use that while at higher intensities, you'll utilize almost entirely carbohydrates.

There's a huge problem with thinking that, if you work out a lower intensities, you'll burn more fat. In all technicality, you will. However, there are many several sources of fats, primarily free fatty acids, muscular fat stores, and then finally adipose tissue (which is typically what people are concerned about). If you're eating at caloric maintenance, all fat stores and glycogen stores utilized will be restored. If you're eating in a caloric deficit, there's a order or priority for the body to restore certain compounds before others. Typically when recovering from endurance exercise, glycogen is the first to be restored, then fat stores, and then muscle tissue is repaired. If an individual is only doing aerobic exercise, then both the glycogen and fat stores will be restored first and foremost. This is why people CAN lose so much muscle while only doing cardio. Muscle repair is a low priority compared to fat stores and glycogen availability, since these are so necessary for good cardio.

However, if you engage in strength training, the load initiates genetic pathways for hypertrophy. This skews the order of priority quite a bit. Glycogen restoration is still very important, but muscle repair becomes one of the body's main focuses. Body fat restoration is less important at that point since there is no benefit for it during strength training. This sounds like I'm saying the body recognizes what's best during each situation: it's not that simple. As you engage in certain activities, there are specific genetic markers, enzymes, and compounds that are expressed that benefit development in response to a stress. This is why I mention to start on a strength training program while losing weight. It will help with fat loss a great deal more, while cardio's effects depend a bit more on genetics.

Now to approach which zone to work in. I feel everybody should work at high, moderate, and low intensities to mix things up. All of them will work to decrease the body fat percentage of an individual in a caloric deficit, especially if the individual is on a strength training program. Eating enough protein, being in a caloric deficit, and working out will be more than enough to burn fat. In my experience, cardio isn't typically where body fat % is decreased the quickest - strength training is. Hope that helps.
 
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norsy

Member
Jan 22, 2006
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A question on supplements and its effect on strength...
I have been working out without any sort of supplements so far. I think my diet is good enough with lots of chicken, eggs, millk, veggies, etc. So far I've had no problems with it but lately I have been stalling a lot.
Will taking a whey shake post workout help remedy this in any way?
 
Mar 22, 2002
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A question on supplements and its effect on strength...
I have been working out without any sort of supplements so far. I think my diet is good enough with lots of chicken, eggs, millk, veggies, etc. So far I've had no problems with it but lately I have been stalling a lot.
Will taking a whey shake post workout help remedy this in any way?
Whey protein, nor any other supplement, will push you through a plateau. Whey is a supplement for a reason. It's typically used for its ease (compared to eating a chicken breast right after training) and its cost effectiveness. The first thing to look at is your training program. What kind of program are you doing? How many sets and reps? What weights are you using? What's your height, weight, age?
 

norsy

Member
Jan 22, 2006
69
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Whey protein, nor any other supplement, will push you through a plateau. Whey is a supplement for a reason. It's typically used for its ease (compared to eating a chicken breast right after training) and its cost effectiveness. The first thing to look at is your training program. What kind of program are you doing? How many sets and reps? What weights are you using? What's your height, weight, age?
I'm on SS 3x5 right now.
One thing I would add to my previous post is that I don't have anything immediately after a workout right now. Usually my post workout meal is atleast 30-45 min after my workout because that's the time it takes for me to reach a place where I can eat.
So, in that context, would taking a whey drink (or any other protein rich food for that matter I guess) immediately post workout help me with better gains?
 
Mar 22, 2002
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I'm on SS 3x5 right now.
One thing I would add to my previous post is that I don't have anything immediately after a workout right now. Usually my post workout meal is atleast 30-45 min after my workout because that's the time it takes for me to reach a place where I can eat.
So, in that context, would taking a whey drink (or any other protein rich food for that matter I guess) immediately post workout help me with better gains?
Getting a meal in 30-45min after a workout is fine. It's typically suggested you get food/nutrition in you within an hour of resistance training. So no, whey will not give you better gains. Also, you didn't give me any info on your stats. How's your form? Stalling is frequently a form issue, especially if you aren't always actively trying to perfect it.
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
3
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Stalling is frequently a form issue, especially if you aren't always actively trying to perfect it.
Exactly. For new lifters, this is a VERY common cause of stalling. The other is not recovering enough: not enough sleep, not enough food, or too much other exercise along with SS 3x5.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Exactly. For new lifters, this is a VERY common cause of stalling. The other is not recovering enough: not enough sleep, not enough food, or too much other exercise along with SS 3x5.
Thanks for mentioning that. Recovery is a HUGE factor when you add resistance training to your life. It's a massive shock to the system, which requires significant recovery, especially in the early stages of training. Sleep, stress, diet, and training frequency (for both resistance exercise and aerobic exercise) all effect your progress. You need to eat enough, sleep enough, keep your stress levels low through logic and pre-planning, and listen to your body. If you are uncomfortably sore, then take a day off. Know when to say when. I appreciate you bringing that up, brikis.
 

norsy

Member
Jan 22, 2006
69
0
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Getting a meal in 30-45min after a workout is fine. It's typically suggested you get food/nutrition in you within an hour of resistance training. So no, whey will not give you better gains. Also, you didn't give me any info on your stats. How's your form? Stalling is frequently a form issue, especially if you aren't always actively trying to perfect it.
I'm 5'10" 82kg and 24 years old. My squats and deadlifts are coming along fine but it's the bench and OH press I'm having issues with. I've deloaded multiple times now to fix form issues but irrespective of what I change I still get stuck at around the same weight (60kgx5 on OHP and 95kg x5 on bench).
I will try to get vids but I think my form is ok enough now. The only improvement on the bench I can think of is to better squeeze my shoulder. I find it very hard to do that when lying back down on the bench. In many vids, I see lifters pulling them towards the bar, squeezing and lying back down. But for some reason, I can hardly feel my blades in that position let alone squeeze them. I still somehow try to keep them squeezed but would like better control over them.

brikis98 said:
Exactly. For new lifters, this is a VERY common cause of stalling. The other is not recovering enough: not enough sleep, not enough food, or too much other exercise along with SS 3x5.
Yes, I've always had problems sleeping soundly at night so that can be the cause. But even when I've been sleeping enough I see no improvement during the lifts.
Food wise I think I'm doing ok judging by my waist size :)
 
Mar 22, 2002
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I'm 5'10" 82kg and 24 years old. My squats and deadlifts are coming along fine but it's the bench and OH press I'm having issues with. I've deloaded multiple times now to fix form issues but irrespective of what I change I still get stuck at around the same weight (60kgx5 on OHP and 95kg x5 on bench).
I will try to get vids but I think my form is ok enough now. The only improvement on the bench I can think of is to better squeeze my shoulder. I find it very hard to do that when lying back down on the bench. In many vids, I see lifters pulling them towards the bar, squeezing and lying back down. But for some reason, I can hardly feel my blades in that position let alone squeeze them. I still somehow try to keep them squeezed but would like better control over them.



Yes, I've always had problems sleeping soundly at night so that can be the cause. But even when I've been sleeping enough I see no improvement during the lifts.
Food wise I think I'm doing ok judging by my waist size :)
Here's Dave Tate's "Bench Press Cure" video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh3t6T-nqP0. You don't have to bench like a powerlifter (with the leg positioning and the like), but he gives some solid advice on proprioceptive cues and how to keep your back tight. That may help your bench. Those numbers aren't bad, but you shouldn't have to deload that early on. How long have you been doing SS?
 

norsy

Member
Jan 22, 2006
69
0
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Here's Dave Tate's "Bench Press Cure" video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh3t6T-nqP0. You don't have to bench like a powerlifter (with the leg positioning and the like), but he gives some solid advice on proprioceptive cues and how to keep your back tight. That may help your bench. Those numbers aren't bad, but you shouldn't have to deload that early on. How long have you been doing SS?
I have been doing SS effectively since only the past 3 months because before that I didn't have a good way to squat (no power rack, squat rack, etc). In my new gym too I don't have a rack but there's a bench with reverse hooks which is atleast better than nothing... But I have been benching and pressing a lot longer than that and hence my bench/press numbers are higher than they should be in comparison to my squat/deadlift numbers.
I was thinking of reducing the reps/set on these. But heard you need to be an experienced lifter to try out triples/singles, etc. so not sure whether that's a good idea for me.
 

Denithor

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2004
6,300
23
81
Looking for answers to some basic questions here.

First, a few stats:
5'11" 223 lbs 36 years old

Got into the gym about three months ago for the first time in about 12 years. Have access to a scale that measures weight, % body fat, % water, muscle mass. In the three months have seen a significant reduction in body fat (from 30.3% to 25.2%) along with a small increase in muscle mass (about 5 lbs) and a small decrease in weight (from 231 lbs).

Typical workouts - alternate days between upper and lower body. On upper days focus on bench press, lat pull-downs, tricep extensions and bicep curls. On lower days do seated leg press, leg extensions (quads?) and contractions (hamstrings?). On lower days also do crunches on a machine (front and both sides) and back extensions. Bad ankle - doesn't flex well enough to allow proper squats.

I also hit the elliptical for 45-60 minutes every day I go to the gym. Focus on lower impact cardio, working more on the fat burn in theory.

Major questions are these:
-Should I focus on strength training (high weight, low reps) or endurance training (lower weight, high reps) in my lifting? I would like to get bigger muscles but my main focus is on getting rid of the excess body fat, which is more suited to that goal?

-Does it make more sense to do the cardio workout before or after the resistance training? Or is there any difference? Right now I do the elliptical after I lift, mainly because I would be too tired to do the lifting afterwards. Should I continue this way or perhaps split the cardio (some before and some after lifting)?
 
Mar 22, 2002
10,484
16
81
Looking for answers to some basic questions here.

First, a few stats:
5'11" 223 lbs 36 years old

Got into the gym about three months ago for the first time in about 12 years. Have access to a scale that measures weight, % body fat, % water, muscle mass. In the three months have seen a significant reduction in body fat (from 30.3% to 25.2%) along with a small increase in muscle mass (about 5 lbs) and a small decrease in weight (from 231 lbs).

Typical workouts - alternate days between upper and lower body. On upper days focus on bench press, lat pull-downs, tricep extensions and bicep curls. On lower days do seated leg press, leg extensions (quads?) and contractions (hamstrings?). On lower days also do crunches on a machine (front and both sides) and back extensions. Bad ankle - doesn't flex well enough to allow proper squats.

I also hit the elliptical for 45-60 minutes every day I go to the gym. Focus on lower impact cardio, working more on the fat burn in theory.

Major questions are these:
-Should I focus on strength training (high weight, low reps) or endurance training (lower weight, high reps) in my lifting? I would like to get bigger muscles but my main focus is on getting rid of the excess body fat, which is more suited to that goal?

-Does it make more sense to do the cardio workout before or after the resistance training? Or is there any difference? Right now I do the elliptical after I lift, mainly because I would be too tired to do the lifting afterwards. Should I continue this way or perhaps split the cardio (some before and some after lifting)?
If you're looking to lose weight and maintain muscle mass, low reps, high weight is the way to go (as stated in the original post). The body must maintain muscle mass due to the stress of loading and therefore utilizes energy from other sources (typically fat and glycogen).

There has been research to show that doing cardio after weightlifting inhibits hypertrophic pathways. If you want to do both in one day, I'd say split them up in time (one in the morning, one at night). How many days do you go to the gym btw? It would be more advantageous for recovery if you staggered days of lifting and cardio. Blood flow from the cardio can help purge the muscle metabolites created from lifting the day before. Plus, if you're lifting 4-5 days a week, that can definitely lead to overtraining.
 
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Denithor

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2004
6,300
23
81
Sorry for the delayed response, spent the last four days in Austin for my cousin's wedding.

Typically I try to hit the gym 4-5 days per week. Last week I did full upper + cardio on Sunday and Tuesday and a lighter upper + cardio on Thursday and Saturday (not as good of equipment available at the hotel). Hit the lower + cardio on Monday (full) and Friday (light).

I have been doing a blend of light weight/high reps and heavy weight/lower reps in most of my workouts. For example, on bench press last Tuesday I did 135 x 20 then two sets of 205 x 5 then 185 x 8 then two sets of 155 x 15. With about 2-3 minutes rest between sets. On triceps and biceps I usually do lighter weight/more reps (tricep extensions typically 60 x 25-30 first set then 60 x 20 for next two sets). Shoulders/back and legs I usually go for weight that I can handle 10-15 reps and do three sets.

EDIT: Splitting up workout really isn't much of an option right now and alternating days of lifting and cardio I think would basically reduce the number of days I lift.
 
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HomerX

Member
Mar 2, 2010
184
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If you're looking to lose weight and maintain muscle mass, low reps, high weight is the way to go (as stated in the original post). The body must maintain muscle mass due to the stress of loading and therefore utilizes energy from other sources (typically fat and glycogen).
I was under the impression that for burning body fat % the best training is high rep with short rests inbetween sets and not a low rep workout.

high rep workout should also prevent muscle loss during the cut. As long as the muscles are stressed, the body tries to sustain them.

There has been research to show that doing cardio after weightlifting inhibits hypertrophic pathways.
I´m not sure if i´m correct here, but if his goal is to loose BF% an weight, this should be no problem or atleast the benefit of the cardio would still be greater then the benefit of hypertrophy.
 

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