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SASAHAMMER Posts: 129
1/3/13 5:55 P

Muscle doesn't replace fat, they are two entirely different types of tissue in your body. Through proper nutrition, and a consistent weight training program, you will lose body fat while maintaining the muscle tissue you have.

Remember, they are different types of tissue, but a pound of fat takes up a lot more space in your body than a pound of muscle. That's why when you lose fat and gain muscle your pants are much looser.

Don't be afraid to put on some muscle! Good luck!

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (13,420)
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1/3/13 5:15 P

I'm just going to go ahead and agree with everybody else so far, and then add some stuff.

Most guys at the gym head for the big weights, spot each other, take rest between sets, and down a lot of protein afterwards. It's the "dude" way to hit the gym (I love going with my three brothers because two of them are into body building and one just wants to be a skinny dude). You're going to want to avoid that. I'm a big girl myself so I have some sympathy on what tends to work for those of us who have lead-weighted bones.

For what you're after, I highly recommend taking up whatever you like that involves a lot of cardio. Running is hard for big people because it's tough on the knees, but if you like it, do it. Cycling, once you get used to bicycle butt, will generally allow you to work out longer than running because it's low impact and you're not as limited by your body's tendency to get blisters and sore muscles from the impact. I find swimming is one of the best workouts to improve my cardiovascular conditioning, because you have to control your breathing. It's also great the day after a run because it's so cushy there in the water.

The most important thing is to find something you really like that you will stick to. If you want to be an exercise omnivore and switch up your activities all that time, that's totally fine as long as you DO it. The advantage to the omnivore, I find, is that I can do an hour just about every day and avoid injury or burnout as long as I don't train the same thing two days in a row.

And then a couple of times a week, if you can manage it, I would add in weight training. I would suggest learning a circuit that you can get through in 20-30 minutes. I've not got one off the top of my head but if you look on youtube for "bodyweight exercise videos" or routines you're likely to find some amazing stuff. Nothing that's a bodyweight exercise is going to have you gaining masses of muscle, but it is going to maintain your strength, give you good exercises to maintain your core, and most importantly, they are generally routines that do not give you a break at all.

If you hate videos and want a routine that will challenge you and that you can modify to make harder as you go along, look up the "deck of cards" workout. Basically you assign each suit in a deck of cards to an exercise (e.g. hearts = squats, clubs = pushups etc) and then you shuffle the deck. Draw a card. If it says 5 of clubs, you do 5 pushups. Next card. Continue to the end of the deck with as little rest as possible. If you do those 2-3 times a week, that's really all the strength maintenance you need.

If you actually want to get *incredibly* fit, take up boxing if you can find a gym that you like. It'll shred you like nothing else and it's really quite fun. Nothing like it for your body and mind.

TL;DR - focus on cardio. 2-3 times a week do fast-paced strength training. Hope that helps!

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,872
1/3/13 3:35 P

You won't look bigger because you won't be building muscle, just maintaining it, due to eating at a calorie deficit. Muscle doesn't replace fat, they are 2 different substances. As you lose fat you will be able to see muscle more clearly, that's all.

It is your choice to strength train, or not to strength train, but I think neglecting it would be a mistake. To recap why:

- Up to 25% of your weight lost could come from muscle
- Lean muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does
- Lean muscle takes up less room than fat, which means you could put on a couple of pounds of muscle (unlikely) and they would take up MUCH less room than fat
- Fat and muscle are 2 different things. Your current fat deposits around your biceps (for example) won't turn into muscle. They will, however, disappear allowing the current muscle to show.
- There is no delicate way to say this, so I'm just gonna go ahead and say it. Without ST to preserve your muscle mass you could get to your goal weight, but you might be flabby because you have lost so much muscle (I did this once. I weighed the same as I do now and I looked horrible. This time, with regular ST, I look awesome.

I hope you trust us when we say that it is essential to fat loss, because it is!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
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1/3/13 1:47 P

Zgetman, you really can't change your basic body shape. Bulking up isn't really a concern, unless you're eating at a surplus. Those gigantic bodybuilders you see? Work out for HOURS, eat huge amounts of food, and are constantly gaining/losing weight to make themselves look like that.

You don't have to worry about building muscle like that, not while losing weight. Strength training IS critical, however, to preserve the lean muscle you have. Muscle doesn't replace fat, it is developed beneath it. As you lose fat, you will also lose up to 25% of your weight in lean muscle... not a good thing! Muscle is actually denser than fat, so as you lose fat and preserve muscle, your overall appearance will improve, and you will look and FEEL better.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 1/3/2013 (13:52)
ZGETMAN SparkPoints: (3,178)
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1/3/13 12:09 P

I want to be normal size. I am a very big person and don't want to be oddly shaped. I was told that muscle replaces fat. I want to slim down not bulk up. I have a lot of muscle mass already It is just layered with fat. If my thought process is wrong let me know. I just feel like if I start building muscle It will just make me look bigger.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,872
1/3/13 1:59 A

Why do you want to put off building muscle until you are done losing fat? Otherwise some of the weight you lose will be muscle, and you will just have to regain that muscle later. Sounds like more work to me! Lean muscle burns more calories than fat while at rest, so having muscle helps you to lose fat (in theory). You can't build muscle while 'dieting', but you can help to preserve the muscle mass you have.

Edited by: BUBBLEJ1 at: 1/3/2013 (01:59)
ZGETMAN SparkPoints: (3,178)
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Posts: 166
1/2/13 11:52 P

You guys are awesome. Yall are really helping me figure out what I need to do. I very much appreciate it.

DVDIAMOND SparkPoints: (625)
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Posts: 78
1/2/13 10:14 P

There is really no such thing as toning and I agree that high reps, low weight is kind of pointless. However form is tantamount when it comes to weights. If I am starting a new routine I will use lower weights until I master the proper form. Once I am on the right track I up the pounds.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
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1/2/13 8:20 P

Errr, allow me to clarify; I don't mean it's a "waste of time" I mean that you're literally wasting time; when you do the "low weights, high reps" thing, you're spending unnecessary time when you could get the same results in less time with heavier weights, and likely doing it for the wrong reasons. :) Low weights don't avoid building bulk (as explained in the Toning versus Bulking link)

I do agree that form is absolutely critical, though! No weights at all are better than poor form!

(Also, Coach Nancy, thanks so much for always being on the cutting edge of current research!)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 1/2/2013 (20:20)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
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1/2/13 8:14 P

Hi,

I am currently watching a video webinar via IDEA Fitness regarding joint health and exercise and while many believe that lifting a light weight is a waste of time, in reality it is better to lift a lighter weight with proper form than lifting a heavier weight with improper form. The deal is, many times one will lift too heavy a weight believing they are using good form until weeks, months and sometimes years when they are diagnosed with an injury.

Exercise science theory is often up for debate, but I caution to say that one viewpoint is wrong. it's all about perspective.

Coach Nancy

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
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1/2/13 7:50 P

KJBURDEN: Unfortunately, what you've been told is a myth. :) As explained in this article: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
les.asp?id=1662
the idea that "low weights, high reps" are for toning is a complete and total myth! All you're doing when you do that is wasting time. It's far more effective (and does not build more muscle) to lift heavier for fewer reps.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
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1/2/13 7:46 P

Don't worry about bulking up. As explained before, in order to truly build muscle mass, you need to be eating at a calorie *surplus* - strength training is critical while you're losing weight, because it's impossible to lose only fat... when you don't strength train, as much as 25% of your weight loss can come from lean muscle mass! That's not a good thing... less muscle = slower metabolism and slower overall weight loss.

Strength training while you lose weight will only improve your metabolism, improve the overall quality of the body you have, and make the fat you DO have look better! It's well worth it.

You don't need an expensive gym membership for challenging, effective strength training, either. Body weight and a set of resistance bands are all you need to get started (you can even do without the resistance bands, but at less than $20 for a set, why not?) and you can really get a good workout without needing the big weights.

Here's a great article that explains all this and more:

**Toning vs. Bulking Up: The Real Facts**
/5 Myths and Truths about Strength Training/
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
les.asp?id=1662


A quote from that article:

Myth #1:

Lifting light weights will tone your body and lifting heavy weights will bulk you up.

The Truth:

I'm not sure who first pioneered this idea that heavy weights will bulk you up, but it has stuck over the years and erroneously makes many people—both men and women—afraid of lifting heavy weights. While there is some truth to the idea that lifting lighter weights for more reps does a better job of increasing the muscular endurance, lighter weights will not help you "tone" better than heavy weights. In fact, because heavier weights build the strength of your muscles (and the size to a small degree—no Hulk action here), thereby helping to increase your metabolism and burn fat, lifting heavier weights with fewer reps (8 to 12 on average) and working until you're fatigued is more effective at helping you reach your toning goals than lifting lighter weights. Not to mention that it's more time efficient, too!

Myth #2:

Building muscle and bulking up are one in the same.

The Truth: If you've been avoiding weights because you think that building muscle means that you'll bulk up, think again. When you lift weights that are challenging, you actually create micro-tears in the muscle fibers. These tears are then repaired by the body (this is where soreness comes from!) and in that process the muscle becomes stronger and a little bit bigger. However, because muscle tissue is more dense than fat, adding a little bit more muscle to your body and decreasing your fat actually makes you look leaner—not bigger. To really bulk up, you have to really work with that goal in mind. Bodybuilders spend hours and hours in the gym lifting extremely heavy weights, along with eating a very strict diet that promotes muscle gain. The average person's workout and diet—especially a calorie-controlled diet—doesn’t' result in the same effects.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 1/2/2013 (19:48)
ZGETMAN SparkPoints: (3,178)
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1/2/13 6:31 P

Hi KJBurden,
I was going to the gym a few years back and was going with a friend. I kept getting pulled into to doing weight training with what I felt was to much weight. It wasnt the like it was to heavy, it was just that I wanted to get smaller in size not bulk up in muscle. I understand that some weight training is good and needed but I dont plan on getting a gym membership again unless my financial situation changes.

Thank you,
Zach


SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
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Posts: 46,222
1/2/13 6:29 P

Hi Zach,

It's not too unusual to lose more weight in the beginning, since we tend to lose more fluid early on, but if after a few weeks your weight loss is exceeding more than 2 pounds a week, you may want to re-evaluate your calorie needs at that time. I wish you all the best...sounds like you are on a mission. That is AWESOME!

Coach Nancy

ZGETMAN SparkPoints: (3,178)
Fitness Minutes: (1,348)
Posts: 166
1/2/13 6:26 P

Hi Coach Nancy,
I used a calorie calculator to find out how many calories I needed to lose weight and how many to maintain my weight. The calculator asked me how tall I was and how much I weighed. It then showed me the fewest calories I should eat at 2400, and the next value was 2750 and the last value was to maintain my weight 3400. I have chosen to keep my calorie intake between 2400 and 3000. I will try to zig zag my calories so that my body is not felling starved. I hope I am on the right track with my calorie intake.

Thank you,
Zach

KJBURDEN Posts: 29
1/2/13 6:14 P

From what I have been told, if you do weight machines at the gym, use a lighter weight and do more reps and you will lose fat while building slight muscle. However the more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat so it is good to do both at the same time. Of course, eating a balanced diet and cutting back on calories is a big contributor to losing fat as well.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/2/13 5:48 P

Hi Zach,

Whenever you lose weight you lose both fat AND lean body mass. You cannot build muscle in caloric deficit, state but you also don't want to cut back too severely on calories so that you lose a greater percentage of lean body mass (muscle, bone, connective and organ tissue).

The best way to lose weight is following a sensible diet, as well as integrating cardio, strength training and flexibility workouts into your day.

Coach Nancy

ZGETMAN SparkPoints: (3,178)
Fitness Minutes: (1,348)
Posts: 166
1/2/13 5:37 P

I am trying to figure out how to lose my fat without building a bunch of muscle. I understand that I will gain some muscle mass do to my size. It is given when you are 300 lbs, but I was wondering if anyone knew some exercises to help me. I want to put off building muscle until I have a bunch of the fat gone. I would appreciate your input..
Ty, Zach

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