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Intensity/sets question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I've made some progress in losing weight. I'm interested to lose a bit more weight, reduce bodyfat and put on some muscles. I would be very thankful if someone could address my concerns: (1) Should I go for high-intensity+low # of sets or low-intensity+high # of sets? Numbers would be helpful here. (2) How important are protein shakes after weight training? (3) I tend to hate cardio. How important is this? Thanks  a lot. PS: At the moment I'm doing weight training 3 times a week ... and cardio (bike) 2 times a week only 15-20 minutes each time.
post #2 of 6
1) yes. the thing about lifting is that you have to constantly change your routine. do something for a month, then do something else. if you're lifting for size or strength, always do high intensity...whether you're doing sets of 6, 10, or 12, do it to failure. if you want to do sets of 50, treat it like a cardio day and keep moving (no rest) for an hour at low intensity. 2) lots of controversy on this topic. just remember that food, whether it's in the form of a shake, equals calories. to lose weight, you have to eat less calories than you burn. that being said, it's important to eat after you workout. protein shakes are convenient, but not particurly good or bad for you. eat regular food if you can. but don't do both. 3) cardio is important, but doing it on those machines is soooo boring. they don't call it a deadmill for nothing. if you can, run outside. or if you like cycling, buy a bike. I can ride 5 hours out in the street, but you'd have to put a gun to my head to make me sit on a lifecycle for 45 minutes.
post #3 of 6
For the most part, this depends upon your goals. For most lifters, there is little point going beyond one set. The percentage increase in strength and mass is minimal. It is also extraordinarily difficult to lose weight ("cut") and add muscle mass at the same time. Most lifters recommend losing the weight and then adding the lean mass. Cardio and weight lifting ought work together as part of the program. Consider cardio for days you do not lift when you are in cutting phase. Cardio when adding leans mass will slow considerably the addition of muscle, but it is doable. If you truly find cardio boring, make it competitive. I am focusing on improving my 10K speed to keep my focus. There is some evidence that a mixture of simple carbs and whey protein taken within 3-60 minutes after exercise helps preserve muscle. In terms of reps - the fewer the reps, the greater the focus on strength. Power lifters are often in the very low rep. range. To add lean muscle mass, more reps (to failure) are advisable. Thus, a good lifting program if not powerlifting: 12-15 sets of different exercises targeting one area (e.g., chest and tri's or back and bi's) . Each set to failure in the 8-10 rep range. Do each part no more than 1 time per week. For example, Monday - Chest and tris Wednesday - Back and Bis Friday - Legs Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday - cardio Sunday - rest Good luck.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the helpful responses. My situation is this. I do not think I am considered large (sizewise) anymore now. But I still have lots of fat deposits in my body. Should I lose more weight first? If yes, what is a good way to do that? (cario without lifting?) I also have a lot of fatty tissue on the chest area -- I am keen to lose these. Any thoughts? Once again, thanks....
post #5 of 6
Quote:
2)  lots of controversy on this topic.  just remember that food, whether it's in the form of a shake, equals calories.  to lose weight, you have to eat less calories than you burn.  that being said, it's important to eat after you workout.  protein shakes are convenient, but not particurly good or bad for you.  eat regular food if you can.  but don't do both.
Actually you do want to do both, just not at the same time.  After working out/cardio your body is in a mode where it will suck up whatever you can give it.  This window, which is about an hour after you workout, is very critical.  At this point it is best to go with a protein shake, as your body will absorb liquid nutrients very rapidly.  You also will want to drink some simple carbs like Gatorade, as your glycogen stores (muscle energy) will be very low.  I also take a scoop of L-glutaime powder also, and that stuff is incredible for overall health especially when working out.  Then about 1-1.5 hours after your workout, you want to have some solid food with good complex carbs or vegetables (a chicken breast and some green beans/wild rice is primo at this point).  But by all means take postworkout nutrition very seriously.  It's a time where you can really help yourself out. Kevin
post #6 of 6
Quote:
My situation is this. I do not think I am considered large (sizewise) anymore now. But I still have lots of fat deposits in my body. Should I lose more weight first? If yes, what is a good way to do that? (cario without lifting?) I also have a lot of fatty tissue on the chest area -- I am keen to lose these. Any thoughts? Once again, thanks....
Fatty deposits are just fat. Fat is lost through a reduction of calories. Fewer calories consumed then expended will lead to weight loss. Unfortunately, with loss of fat, there will be some loss of muscle. To recipitate the weight loss, a combination of cardio and weight-lifting. To preserve muscle mass, weights. Sorry, there is no quick fix and cardio is a necessary component not only for weight loss, but for overall cardio-vascular health. Also, it is virtually impossible to spot reduce. Sadly, genetics controls where we store fat and each of us is slightly different.
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