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STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,698)
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7/3/13 12:38 P

Another alternative in getting your body fat tested is a 'BODPOD'. It's supposed to be the next best thing to being dunked in water.

I had mine done last year - It was pretty affordable ($60).
I uses air displacement to measure your composition.

ANGELCITYGAL SparkPoints: (38,869)
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7/2/13 11:48 P

Wow, thank you all for the fantastic input. Lots of great information in all your responses!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

THINKINMARQ SparkPoints: (8,612)
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7/2/13 9:50 P

I'm sitting in the same boat as you. I'm 155 and 35% body fat. In the past focusing on weight lifting, instead of cardio, really helped in the long run. It took a few months but I was toned and didn't do an ounce of cardio. When you gain more muscle it burns all the extra calories by itself.

Now I'm finally getting the motivation to start down the weight lifting road again. I second the advice of looking at Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess. There's a lot of solid exercises in there and great information on form. Plus the ladies are muscular so I find them much more appealing as inspiration. =)

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
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7/2/13 4:29 P

If you have access to one of the "dunk tanks" for body fat testing, that's the most accurate method I know of. I had that done last year and it was worth the $50 to get such accurate results.

JenniLacey has fantastic advice for you. To increase muscle you definitely need to do shorter sets with heavier weights. I'm a big fan of NROL for Women as a starting point. Doing that, and then continuing with the rest of the series, helped me put on muscle and become significantly stronger.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,498)
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7/2/13 8:10 A

Yeah. I was at 33% body fat before I lost weight. You can look at my before picture to see what 33% body fat looks like. You certainly don't look 35%.

The only way to lower your body fat percentage is to lose fat (by losing weight) while maintaining as much lean muscle as possible while losing weight. That means, losing weight slowly and strength training. Make sure you eat more on training days. If you eat enough and at the right times, you should be able to do both at the same time (build muscle/burn fat) but as others have already explained, it will be a slow process.

The alternative would be to focus on fat loss now (while maintaining lean muscle) and when you reach your goal weight or body fat % where you don't mind putting back on some weight. Give your body a surplus of calories on training days and gain weight back (muscle and yes, a little bit of fat) but if you train heavy enough and eat right it will be more muscle than fat. You can always go back and cut fat again after if you feel you need to but as long as you don't create too large of a surplus and eat right, you shouldn't have to. Maybe a surplus of 200-400 extra cals on training days and at TDEE on rest days. Limiting your cardio to 3x 30mins of HIIT a week.

I recommend picking up the book (or downloading the ebook): The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift like a Man, Look like a Goddess.

I took a peak at the Firm DVD's you spoke of. They appear to be more circuit training (cardio) than strength training. I would highly recommend you independently follow a compound strength training routine where you use ***heavy*** weights/resistance and a barbell and reach muscle exhaustion in 6-10 reps (3 sets) before moving up in weight. I'm 5'2 and 115 lbs and I don't pick up a weight any less than 40 lbs (for one-arm rows) and lift up to 150 lbs (deadlifts) and that only puts me half way through intermediate level. Of course, as long as there is no medical reason preventing you from lifting heavy.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/2/2013 (09:01)
SDAVIDSON33 SparkPoints: (5,501)
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7/2/13 7:54 A

Yeah - I'm with Angelcitycal, you don't look 35% at all!

And thanks for the advice about the caliper test vs the scale. I have one of those things too, so it would be good to know how accurate/not it is.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (190,565)
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7/2/13 5:54 A


How do you know your body fat percentage is 35% ? Are you using one of those body fat scales ? If so, I would take that reading with a grain of salt. Body fat scales are notoriously inaccurate. If you really want to know what your current body fat percentage is, go to your local gym and ask a personal trainer to do a 9 point caliper test. the PT will take a set of calipers and pinch 9 areas of your body. They'll take those readings and input them into equations. the result will be your body fat percentage.

Looking at your photo, you don't look like 35%. You strike me as somewhere in the 25-28% range.

If you do feel that you want to lose more body fat, you need to continue to eat right, watch your portions and get some regular exercise that includes that strength training. Continued strength training combined with a healthy diet WILL work long term.

It just takes time for women to increase lean muscle. It's because we don't have the same amount of testosterone that men do. As a result, it takes longer to increase muscle. It took me years to get to where I am now. So, don't beat yourself up if you don't seem to be losing or gaining muscle as fast as you'd like. Contrary to what the late night informercials say, you can't change your body in 30-90 days. Change really does take time.

ANGELCITYGAL SparkPoints: (38,869)
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7/2/13 1:37 A

I'm getting pretty close to my goal weight. My body fat percentage has come down a bit as I've been losing weight, but it's still higher than I'd like it to be (35% now). I'd like to aim to lower it even after I'm no longer losing weight.

Presently, I do 3 total body strength training workouts per week (usually using the Firm DVDs). I lift as heavy as I can with good form, to exhaustion. I work hard. I also do 3 cardio workouts per week, usually walking/jogging for about 50 minutes.

Is there anything else I should/could do after I get to goal weight to continue lowering my body fat percentage?

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