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How do I do this? Lose fat then weight train or vice versa?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am a total fitness noobie
I've no idea where to start, so I figured I might as well give a shot asking here. Most of you seem to know what you're talking about. Basically, I'm 5'11'' 140-145 lbs depending on what's in the tummy.

Now, that might sound great on paper, in real life it's nothing at all. I've almost the bare minimum muscles required to move, so the rest of me is all flab. I can do 20 real pushups tops and 1 real pullup, and my shirtless gut is something to laugh at

I recall someone saying something along the lines of becoming "skinny fat" and I suppose this is what I am. Now, what should I do first? Should I start cardio to lose the excess fat then start lifting to gain some muscle, or should I start lifting and hope that that'll boost my metabolism and get rid of the fat on it's own? I also read that it's not possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time... advise me!
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by inviscid View Post
I am a total fitness noobie
I've no idea where to start, so I figured I might as well give a shot asking here. Most of you seem to know what you're talking about. Basically, I'm 5'11'' 140-145 lbs depending on what's in the tummy.

Now, that might sound great on paper, in real life it's nothing at all. I've almost the bare minimum muscles required to move, so the rest of me is all flab. I can do 20 real pushups tops and 1 real pullup, and my shirtless gut is something to laugh at

I recall someone saying something along the lines of becoming "skinny fat" and I suppose this is what I am. Now, what should I do first? Should I start cardio to lose the excess fat then start lifting to gain some muscle, or should I start lifting and hope that that'll boost my metabolism and get rid of the fat on it's own? I also read that it's not possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time... advise me!

You need to lift weights. If you are new to weight training you will be able to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, because your metabolism will increase with the gain in muscle. This won't happen after you've been training for some time. If you lift weights while eating a nice balanced diet with good protein you will gain muscle while losing fat.
post #3 of 17
Alternately you could do resistance exercises against your own weight (ie. push-ups, sit-ups, don-yus) which eliminates problems of space and equipment availability.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by eg1 View Post
Alternately you could do resistance exercises against your own weight (ie. push-ups, sit-ups, don-yus) which eliminates problems of space and equipment availability.

Body weight exercises aren't going to solve his body issues, most likely, he should really use free weights.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117 View Post
Body weight exercises aren't going to solve his body issues, most likely, he should really use free weights.

I somewhat disagree - although I'm not recommending against free weights. If he is starting from scratch, body weight exercises are a decent way to start building some strength and definition, and it's obviously easy to measure your progress.
post #6 of 17
lift weights three times a week, some form of a complete body circuit, some form of cardio the off days when you don't lift, then one day off. Also, you will need to change your eating habits. Avoid food with high sugar content, foods with high frutcose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, eat more vegetables, fruits and lean meats, low fat dairy products. If you stick with it, you should start to notice changed within three weeks, and then notice results after six weeks.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by inviscid View Post
I am a total fitness noobie
I've no idea where to start, so I figured I might as well give a shot asking here. Most of you seem to know what you're talking about. Basically, I'm 5'11'' 140-145 lbs depending on what's in the tummy.

Now, that might sound great on paper, in real life it's nothing at all. I've almost the bare minimum muscles required to move, so the rest of me is all flab. I can do 20 real pushups tops and 1 real pullup, and my shirtless gut is something to laugh at

I recall someone saying something along the lines of becoming "skinny fat" and I suppose this is what I am. Now, what should I do first? Should I start cardio to lose the excess fat then start lifting to gain some muscle, or should I start lifting and hope that that'll boost my metabolism and get rid of the fat on it's own? I also read that it's not possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time... advise me!

Have you gotten the pinch test to check how much fat content you have? Its not the most accurate way to measure but its pratical and easily done. If you are around 14% or lower, its not soo bad. Over 15% then you might want to start something.

I would recommend 3 essentail workouts for you. Hit the gym and try the squats, bench, and dumbbell curls. Doing it three times a week for about an hour can really boost your strength. Also, with that try out periodization schedules.
ie.

First 3weeks is light weights to get the form correct
10 warm up reps
3sets of 10 reps (lower wieght if you cant complete all reps and sets)

second 3 weeks is basic strength with medium wieghts, which is about 75% of your max.
10warm up reps
3sets of 10reps

third 3weeks is power
10 reps warm up
6 intermediate (75%)
2-3reps heavy weights for 3sets

After that take a couple of weeks to just play basketball or other cardio sports to keep active. The periodization schedule is to keep your body from getting tired from the same work load. More or less it keeps your body in shock mode. Its also pretty essential to lift weights that you can handle in the beginning, if you lift weights that are too heavy, you train yourself for failure everytime if something gets too heavy. Start with good wieghts and gain confidence slowly, then once power week comes your nervous system kicks in and helps your muscles explode when lifting the heavier weights.

As for the gaining muscles and can't lose fat statement. Its true in a sense, but for your case it is not. It doesnt seem like you want to pack on alot of muscle, rather just get stronger. You can lose that fat (cut/expend 3500 calories per lb of fat) and make your muscles stronger. Now if you want to pack on the big muscles then you must consume 2400 calories more per day to gain 1lb of wieght. Plus you must make sure those calories have a good amount of protien in them. So it doesnt make alot of sense to try to do both at once. Subtract 3500 calories to cut the fat and then add 2400 calories to pack on the muscles.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
As for the gaining muscles and can't lose fat statement. Its true in a sense, but for your case it is not. It doesnt seem like you want to pack on alot of muscle, rather just get stronger. You can lose that fat (cut/expend 3500 calories per lb of fat) and make your muscles stronger. Now if you want to pack on the big muscles then you must consume 2400 calories more per day to gain 1lb of wieght. Plus you must make sure those calories have a good amount of protien in them. So it doesnt make alot of sense to try to do both at once. Subtract 3500 calories to cut the fat and then add 2400 calories to pack on the muscles.

What are you talking about? 3500 kcal = 1 lb, whether it's gaining or losing. If you have 500 more calories than you need per day, you will gain 1 lb per week, and vice versa when it comes to losing weight.

As far as the OP goes, a weight regimen is the best way to start. Some cardio may help as well, but the weights are more important, IMO. I wouldn't use body weight workouts just because actually going to the gym will get you better results because it forces you to dedicate a block of time for exercise. It's too easy to do pushups etc at home and say fuck it if you're busy but if you have a time set aside for gym then you'll get better results, at least IMO.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
Have you gotten the pinch test to check how much fat content you have? Its not the most accurate way to measure but its pratical and easily done. If you are around 14% or lower, its not soo bad. Over 15% then you might want to start something. I would recommend 3 essentail workouts for you. Hit the gym and try the squats, bench, and dumbbell curls. Doing it three times a week for about an hour can really boost your strength. Also, with that try out periodization schedules. ie. First 3weeks is light weights to get the form correct 10 warm up reps 3sets of 10 reps (lower wieght if you cant complete all reps and sets) second 3 weeks is basic strength with medium wieghts, which is about 75% of your max. 10warm up reps 3sets of 10reps third 3weeks is power 10 reps warm up 6 intermediate (75%) 2-3reps heavy weights for 3sets After that take a couple of weeks to just play basketball or other cardio sports to keep active. The periodization schedule is to keep your body from getting tired from the same work load. More or less it keeps your body in shock mode. Its also pretty essential to lift weights that you can handle in the beginning, if you lift weights that are too heavy, you train yourself for failure everytime if something gets too heavy. Start with good wieghts and gain confidence slowly, then once power week comes your nervous system kicks in and helps your muscles explode when lifting the heavier weights. As for the gaining muscles and can't lose fat statement. Its true in a sense, but for your case it is not. It doesnt seem like you want to pack on alot of muscle, rather just get stronger. You can lose that fat (cut/expend 3500 calories per lb of fat) and make your muscles stronger. Now if you want to pack on the big muscles then you must consume 2400 calories more per day to gain 1lb of wieght. Plus you must make sure those calories have a good amount of protien in them. So it doesnt make alot of sense to try to do both at once. Subtract 3500 calories to cut the fat and then add 2400 calories to pack on the muscles.
This is mostly poor advice so I wouldn't recommend following it. The best place to start may be a book. Look for The New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove. There are a variety of programs by Cosgrove: fat loss, hypertrophy, strength; as well as advice on diet. You can get for about $15 on Amazon. At your size, fat loss is the last thing you need to worry about. Eat and lift. Good luck. lefty
post #10 of 17
Quote:
. I wouldn't use body weight workouts just because actually going to the gym will get you better results because it forces you to dedicate a block of time for exercise.

Completely agree with the need to have a dedicated block. Once you get into a rhythm you'll feel like crap if you don't go. If you still want to do body weight workouts go to the gym and do you pullups, dips, etc. there. Most gyms have the assistance machines where you can use weight to help you do basic body weight exercises so you can do 10 pullups just at a lower actual weight.
post #11 of 17
Actually, start walking first. Then proceed to what most would consider "real exercise."
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post
This is mostly poor advice so I wouldn't recommend following it.

The best place to start may be a book. Look for The New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove. There are a variety of programs by Cosgrove: fat loss, hypertrophy, strength; as well as advice on diet. You can get for about $15 on Amazon.

At your size, fat loss is the last thing you need to worry about. Eat and lift.

Good luck.

lefty

O wow i didnt know the things i listed were poor advice. I was taught that during a weight training course in college. If thats the case, colleges need to update their ciriculum.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gqreader239 View Post
O wow i didnt know the things i listed were poor advice. I was taught that during a weight training course in college. If thats the case, colleges need to update their ciriculum.

It wont be the first time higher education has failed.

lefty
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by inviscid View Post
I am a total fitness noobie
I've no idea where to start, so I figured I might as well give a shot asking here. Most of you seem to know what you're talking about. Basically, I'm 5'11'' 140-145 lbs depending on what's in the tummy.

Now, that might sound great on paper, in real life it's nothing at all. I've almost the bare minimum muscles required to move, so the rest of me is all flab. I can do 20 real pushups tops and 1 real pullup, and my shirtless gut is something to laugh at

I recall someone saying something along the lines of becoming "skinny fat" and I suppose this is what I am. Now, what should I do first? Should I start cardio to lose the excess fat then start lifting to gain some muscle, or should I start lifting and hope that that'll boost my metabolism and get rid of the fat on it's own? I also read that it's not possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time... advise me!

First, what do you want to do? It sounds like you want to gain some muscle and lose weight but you don't HAVE to go to the gym and lift weights if you don't want to.

Martial arts, yoga, bicycling, weight lifting, beach volleyball, basketball, hockey?

Just giving you some options, all of which will help get you into shape if you aren't interested in lifting.

If you are interested in lifting then do it and do some cardio but I am just making suggestions so that you don't feel like it's the only thing you have to do.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merckx View Post
lift weights three times a week, some form of a complete body circuit, some form of cardio the off days when you don't lift, then one day off. Also, you will need to change your eating habits. Avoid food with high sugar content, foods with high frutcose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils, eat more vegetables, fruits and lean meats, low fat dairy products. If you stick with it, you should start to notice changed within three weeks, and then notice results after six weeks.

This is the correct answer.
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