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Changing body composition- so many questions

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Posts: 6,015
2/16/13 6:21 P

watch the cardio if you want to build serious muscles. Too much cardio distroys the muscle work your are trying to do. be sure and eat a lot of protein as weight training tears down your muscles and protein builds them back up. Good luck in this.........

Posts: 193
2/16/13 9:47 A

Thanks for responding. I am going to try to the letter NOLFW for a little while and see how it goes and adjust my clories up or down by that.

Posts: 13,911
2/15/13 7:41 P

It's difficult to add muscle while running a calorie deficit to lose weight, as the body tends to burn protein for energy rather than creating new muscle.

To add muscle, you really need to be running a moderate calorie surplus.

Most bodybuilders deal with this through alternate cycles of 'building' (muscle) with a calorie surplus, and then 'cutting' (fat) with a deficit, over several weeks. Over time, this adds muscle while reducing body fat.

Try setting your Spark weight goals to a moderate surplus (rather than maintenance) - say around 0.25 to 0.5 lbs per week. This will probably produce a result that is close to NROWLW.

Very long perdios of cardio can have a muscle wasting effect. There is no reason to cut running entirely, but keep it to 20-30 minutes.

You should definitely be lifting heavy. It is entirely normal to use different weights for different exercises - some muscles are larger than others. The key here is to genuinely challenge each muscle, and this will involve a range of different weights.


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2/15/13 12:07 P

Tis confusing, I'll agree. Let me attempt to simplify.

You need an effective weight training program. Starting Strength, 5x5, New Rules of Lifting for Women, 5/3/1 are all effective programs. Why? Because they all incorporate compound barbell lifts with a progression plan. So pick one of those programs, read it, understand it, practice the movements under the guidance of a trainer (or learn them on your own, but go very slow until your form is good). If you're selecting New Rules of LIfting for Women, you have a good program. Follow it, don't modify it to your liking.

Second is diet. Again, if you want to lose fat, eat at a deficit. If you want to gain muscle, eat at a surplus. Up your protein as much as possible. What your EXACT number is can only be found by trial and error. Try picking a number and sticking to it and see what the scale does for a few weeks.

Steady state cardio is going to interfere with your strength goals, so this is a matter of preference. You can do both, but they'll interfere a bit. Toning class sounds like a waste of time, no offense. If you're doing NROL for women, you can absolutely skip that. If you like to run, run. I will argue that you get enough aerobic stimulation while weight lifting. There is aerobic carryover for weight training. There is not muscle gain carryover from cardio.

Posts: 193
2/15/13 10:11 A

I am getting more and more confused as I read about how to change body composition. A little background, I am at a healthy BMI- between 21 and 22- and body fat composition is likely about 25% give or take a few (probably give). The only readings I have are for the hand held or scale readings which vary wildly so I am going off of picture comparison.
The main question is how much do I eat and how much do I lift? Calorie ranges are varying wildly as well. The calculations I did from New Rules of lifting for Women indicated 1900-2200 while doing that program, but another calculation from an online source was 1600 and spark maintenance range for me is about 1600-1850.
Do I still do my cardio while trying to gain lean muscle mass or just focus on strength?
I have been running and doing a toning class, which is a bit of strength training, but seems more for endurance and certainly isn't heavy lifting- lot of lunges, lot of planks, squats, and some arm, shoulder and back work with light dumbbells- max of 14 pounds (two 7 pound weights) I am getting to the point with the 7 pound weights that I can't lift it again on certain movements (particularly with the shoulder work) but not biceps, triceps.
Can I keep doing that class 2x a week if I am starting "heavy" lifting another 2-3 days a week?

Edited by: OMENDER at: 2/15/2013 (12:46)

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