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CLICKMASTER1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 89
3/26/12 11:22 A

Kudos for hanging in there. If you're doing a program that requires you to do no more than 12 reps, you may want to ask yourself why you're doing 20 pushup reps. Strength is determined by the max resistance you can move one time. More than one rep is endurance.

If you are restricted by the absence of equipment and must do pushups, you may want to fill a backpack with sand and use it for weight while doing pushups.

A typical diet in developed nations will suffice for building muscle. We live in a very protein rich world. The relationship between diet and fat is profound but much less so for muscle. Most people can build considerable muscle on a very average diet.

Building strength is a very slow process. An average woman developing her entire body can only expect to add a few ounces of muscle per month.

Good luck and good health!!

Fitness Minutes: (3,630)
Posts: 30
3/26/12 5:46 A

Thank you all for your help! I will keep tweaking until I find the balance that's right for me - it's good to know that it takes a while to figure it out for most people.

Clickmaster1, the New Rules of Lifting for Women is a program that encourages heavier weights and progressively goes from high(er) reps (say, 3 sets of 12) to low reps as the weights get heavier (4 sets of 4, for example). I was doing it 2x week with rest in between days, and I was seeing results in that I was getting stronger (I can now do 20 pushups in a row on my toes, all the way down! :D My next goal is an unassisted pullup) but I felt like I wasn't seeing the muscles on the outside since they are currently covered with a layer of jiggle - that's when I decided to start changing my diet, too. What's the point of putting in all that work if I'm negating the results with food? But I would definitely recommend the program!

CLICKMASTER1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 89
3/24/12 2:27 P

I don't know anything about your program or Level 5 or "new rules", what results you expected, etc. So, I don't really have a lot to offer. However, if you're training the same muscle(s) for strength more than twice weekly, you're over training.

In my experience, most people fail in training technique and not in diet. That's not to say bad diets are not common but your energy level may be more a state of mind than a state of fact. In my very short time in this forum I've seen a lot of dialogue about diets and running (aerobics) and almost nothing about how to strength train properly or the science that underlies it.

It's not possible to fix a bad diet with exercise but it's also not possible to fix bad exercise with a great diet. Your body has no choice but to follow your brain so the best diet you can have is one of good information resulting in at least a rudimentary education in exercise physiology as well as diet and nutrition.

Good luck and good health!!

Edited by: CLICKMASTER1 at: 3/24/2012 (14:29)
SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,435
3/24/12 1:39 P

How many pounds have you set your program to lose per week? Based on your ticker, you don't have much to lose, so I'd aim for about 1/2 lb per week. If you've set it for something higher, changing it will very likely make your calorie range go up. That way you might feel like you're able to eat enough to keep up with intense exercise more easily.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (41,587)
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
Posts: 16,790
3/24/12 10:18 A

Figuring all this out is an inexact science. There are so many variables so there are things like "recommendations" and "ranges". It took me about 90 days to figure out my right calorie and macro nutritional balance for my level of activity.

All I can offer is for what it is worth experience:

I have found that when you are doing cardio, it is super, super important to make sure you are in the right heartrate range. If you are exercising too intently you are working anaerobically, and you really aren't burning fat. So figure out your right heartrate range, which some people figure out with breathing or "talk tests", and then try to stay there while you exercise.

Also Sparks range is a recommendation of the average. When I started Spark, I was informed my range was 1200-1500 calories. However I found out my bedrest MINIMUM was 1550 calories! And that's to LOSE weight!

So my actual, being upright, doing normal things in my life, range is more like 1800-2800 calories, depending on my activity level.

You might actually need more calories.

Another thing I found is that it's important to get the right macro ranges. Calories are important, but if you're too low in fat, protein &/or carbs, you will get tired out. Also important is that you make sure you have food/fuel before you exercise. If you exercise first thing in the morning for instance, you're running on fumes, and you really need to eat.

Again, my for what it's worth statement is as part of that 90 days figuring it all out, I found I do best at 30% fat, 100-140 grams protein (depending on activity level - more protein when I'm more active), and the rest carbs.

I also found the more whole foods I eat, the better fueled I am, and I also to get most of my carbs from leafy greens and veggies, lighter on the starchy carbs and fruits.

Timing may also be a factor - if I am exercising later in the day sometimes I am going just when it's time to have a snack or eat, or a long time since I ate anything, so I might have a yogurt, some nuts or seeds, maybe some fruit, and that helps keep me going.

Don't forget water. I get tired out if I don't drink enough water.

I hope some of this might be helpful.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (78,417)
Fitness Minutes: (75,607)
Posts: 2,170
3/24/12 8:44 A

You will not perform at your best, but if you estimate correctly the calories burned during your exercise in your fitness goals at SP and if you have enough time to lose the desired weight, the SP should give you a caloric range that will keep you at a moderate caloric deficiency. But your target weight and duration to your target weight should not require too large a caloric deficiency.

Thus, if you want to perform better during the exercise and in general have a caloric range more sustainable for you over the long run, you need to (1) set your calories burned during a week goal to reflect as accurately as possible the exercises you do over the course of a typical week, (2) set the time period needed to reach your ideal weight large enough. As a result, SP will suggest a caloric range that may be better than it is now.

But in general don't expect to perform at your best while running a caloric deficiency. This is true for everybody.

Fitness Minutes: (3,630)
Posts: 30
3/24/12 8:28 A

So, before I started counting calories I was very active - 3-5 days a week of weight lifting (New Rules of Lifting for Women - I was at stage 5) and cardio (treadmill sprints or running outside). I really wasn't seeing the results I should have been for that much work, though (I had been at it consistently for 8 months or so)

Then a few weeks ago I started counting calories. If you take a look at my nutrition tracker you'll see I haven't really figured out how to stay in my calorie range yet (I'm trying!) but I'm finding that with the reduced calorie count I don't have the energy to exercise at the same intensity as before. And it's not that low! I'm trying to stay under 1700 (and failing miserably so far haha).

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to balance eating less with exercise? What I've been doing for the last few weeks is taking it a little easier on the intensity front - walks instead of runs and bodyweight exercises (still plenty hard!) instead of heavy weights, but I don't want to lose the fitness I built up.

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