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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
5/15/13 6:30 A

As you are already at a healthy weight, presumably what you are seeking to do is to change your body composition, adding some lean mass while losing some fat.

I agree with Kelly and Sergeantmajor that strength training is where you need to put your emphasis. Strength training is a very effective fat burner.

There is some evidence that long cardio sessions can actually be muscle wasting and less effective in burning fat. This doesn't mean you should neglect cardio, but focus instead on shorter more intense cardio sessions.

And the emphasis of your strength training should definitely be on genuinely challenging your muscles at close to their maximum capacity. If you can do more than 12 reps of an exercise, it is time to move up to a heavier weight/more challenging exercise.

No specific exercise is going to help your problem areas - you can't target where you lose weight from. But strength training is a very effective fat burner, and will help you reduce your overall body fat - including the problem areas.

Track your progress with the tape, rather than the scale. Or even better, get your body fat percentage reliably tested.


Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 5/15/2013 (06:32)
MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (78,802)
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5/15/13 4:17 A

To get rid of those unwanted fatty masses, you need to reduce your body fat %. Your body fat % is very different than your weight, and they don't evolve parallel to one another. You could be losing fat and reducing your body fat % and your weight could be going up. That is what happened to me. But to do so, you need to prevent your body from consuming your lean body mass (bone and muscle tissue) while at a caloric deficiency. That means, you need to hit a balance of strength training and cardio. You can't do cardio all the time. You need to strength train as hard as you can, and in the non-strength training days, you need to do your cardio for cardiovascular fitness and also for controlling your caloric deficiency. This kind of exercise plan will help you reduce your body fat %, which over time will reduce the size of those localized fatty areas. That is basically what body builders do. If you push it to that extreme, you can even compete as a bodybuilder.

5/14/13 11:04 P

Strength training is the second most critical component of a fat loss programme, cardio is is in last place. You figure out the answer we can not help you there.

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
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5/14/13 8:41 P

Will strength training help the problem areas to look toner or will it actually help decrease the problem areas? And yes I totally understand that you can never spot reduce but sometimes it's a bit frustrating.

KELLY_R Posts: 3,032
5/14/13 6:15 P

If you're looking to "tone" without losing additional weight, then you're just spinning your wheels with excess cardio.

You don't have to stop doing cardio - cardio has a lot of important benefits for the body, but if you're looking at physical appearance, then strength training is where that happens.

Note that you cannot spot reduce. Your body's genetics tells it where to store extra fat and where to remove it. So, for example, if you're concerned about fat behind your calves, doing a ton of calf-raises isn't going to make that fat go away.

Strength training can give the appearance of a tighter body, however.

I mention this in other posts to folks who are continually dissatisfied with the reflection in the mirror - but I can tell you you're going to start looking like a total hottie if you start giving your hard-working body some appreciation. Look at that reflection and give yourself a huge hug and tell your body THANK YOU for all the hard work it does for you. There's no better "exercise" out there than self-love.

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
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5/14/13 6:05 P

Is reducing cardio necessary because I really like doing cardio. Have you heard of carb cycling? I was wondering if that will work or not. Thanks.

5/14/13 5:41 P

I suggest three things, take your measurements and get a caliper skin fold body fat test, cut the cardio down to three days a week of thirty minute interval based sessions and increase your strength training to three times a week of full body and compound movement exercises with challenging weights. Pick no more than six exercises for no more than 3 sets of no more than 8 repetitions. If in succeeding sets you can not do 8 do as many as you can with good form and work your way toward doing 3 X 8 then increase the weight used.

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
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5/14/13 5:23 P

I have asked my family and friends for their honest opinions so yes I do have an accurate perspective of my body. I'm not obsessed with my weight but I would like to lose my body fat and become leaner. I honestly don't want to lose anymore weight because I'm content with the number on the scale. As for weights, I'm trying to work my way up so that I can lift heavier weights. I don't know if I should up my cardio for fat loss or not but I'm afraid that my weight might drop.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
5/14/13 5:08 P

Strongly advise against losing more weight - you are towards the low end of healthy as it is (according to BMI).

Are you sure you have an accurate perspective of your body? Do you have friends that can give honest feedback?

For the strength training, are you working your muscles to exhaustion with heavy weights?

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
Fitness Minutes: (7,026)
Posts: 41
5/14/13 5:01 P

My stats: age-20
Starting weight-113
Current weight-103
Exercise-5-6x per week of AT LEAST 1 hour intense cardio. I attend a spin class 3x per week. Strength train 3x per week along with cardio.
Diet-clean eating 80/20. Barely any "cheat" meals. If I do have a "cheat" meal, I eat in moderation like eating only the patty of steak n shake single steak burger.
Question: even though I've reached a pretty low weight, but I still have some fats on my calves, thighs, and arms. What can I do to be leaner? Do I continue losing weight? Thanks.

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