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FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
6/20/13 12:38 P

I agree that cardio does have a feel good thing going when you finish. That is part of why I enjoy doing my cardio early in the morning. I do cardio 5 days/week for about an hour (Mon-Fri) and 30 min. of strength training 3x/week (Mon, Wed, Fri. or Tues., Thurs., Sat.). I do my strength training at home (body weight and dumbbells) and currently do my cardio at the gym.

If I understood what you wrote, you are doing spending 15 hours a week working out. That seems to be a bit much. I realize that you have more time during the summer, but you can get a great workout and spend less time working out. If you are 5'2 and 103 lbs, then you don't need to lose weight. As someone else mentioned...skinny fat. All that cardio may be eating away at your muscle mass. If you are using the gym at your school, see if they offer a fitness assessment. It may be free or for a small fee ($10 or $15). The fitness assessment should include getting a body fat percentage. This will help in gaining muscles. If you are wanting to gain muscle, then you will need to back off on the cardio and focus more on the strength training. Since you are a student I am assuming that you are using the gym at your school. There should be some classes that focus on strength training. Maybe see if there is a personal trainer at the gym. They should be able to help you come up with a workout plan based on things that you enjoy (that includes things that you enjoy). As someone else stated, you'll need to eat more if you plan on gaining any muscles (I would assume that also means a lot of protein).

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
Fitness Minutes: (13,224)
Posts: 130
6/20/13 11:18 A

"I'm a vegetarian if that changes anything. I really like tofu and such but I'm not a fan of beans."

That's what blenders are for.

I don't know how I'd live without my immersion blender. I can tolerate the texture of chick peas and beans more now than I used to, but I still love being able to throw things I'm not wild about into a pot, chuck in things I love, then blend it all together when it's cooked. Depending on how thick it is, you can have it in a bowl with a side of whole wheat bread or pour it over brown rice, barley or quinoa (if you don't already eat quinoa, you should definitely start!).

Also, nuts are a great, vegetarian-friendly way to up your calories and protein (if you need to).

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
Fitness Minutes: (7,026)
Posts: 41
6/20/13 10:36 A

On a side note, I'm a vegetarian if that changes anything. I really like tofu and such but I'm not a fan of beans.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
6/20/13 7:08 A

If you're trying to burn fat and build muscle you should be eating between 1600-2000 cals a day and cutting back on your cardio (especially if you're having trouble consuming enough calories) to about 30 mins of HIIT 3x a week.

Strength training on 1200 cals while burning that much through cardio is pretty much of waste of time. You're going to lose a lot lean muscle regardless which is in opposition of the goal you're trying to achieve; lower body fat percentage.

If you can't eat more than 1200 cals, how do you expect to maintain your goal weight at 1800-2000 cals per day? I assure you, you can eat and your body will adapt. There's plenty of ways to get your cals without filling stuffed. Eat more healthy fats, introduce some more meals/snacks into the day, drink a protein shake, etc.

I'm 5'2 as well and have 18% body fat at 115 lbs. I eat between 1500 cals- 2000 cals a day with minimal cardio. My cardio is HIIT, circuit training and metabolic resistance training (all contain an aspect of ST). Then a regular ST routine 4x a week.

Take your eyes off the scale. You can buy a skin fold caliper to track your progress for about $20-$30 and use that instead. Cut back on the cardio and eat!!!! :))

TCANNO SparkPoints: (351,644)
Fitness Minutes: (206,049)
Posts: 69,412
6/20/13 4:38 A

From what I have worked out you have a BMI of 18.25 which is just inside the healthy range. If you loose much more you will be under weight.

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
Fitness Minutes: (7,026)
Posts: 41
6/20/13 1:15 A

Thank you for the site suggestion! About the "skinny fat" status, I honestly see more definitions on my arms than before I started working out but I'm not very sure if that has to do with anything.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
6/20/13 12:34 A

It sounds like you've obtained "skinny fat" status from so much cardio. When you perform that much cardio, it begins to eat into your lean muscle. You're also DEFINITELY not eating enough to maintain any semblance of lean muscle (for the amount of activity you're doing, you should be eating far more). If you're looking for a cool site that gives you some heads up about strength training, I love

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
Fitness Minutes: (7,026)
Posts: 41
6/19/13 11:35 P

My strength training consists of kettlebell workouts and free weights. Sometimes I would use a medicine ball but I prefer free weights. I'm trying to build up to lift at least 25lbs because I do understand that lifting heavier is better.

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
Fitness Minutes: (7,026)
Posts: 41
6/19/13 11:32 P

I honestly have no way of assessing my body fat percentage because I do not have the necessary tools for that but certain problem areas do jiggle. I would like to throw out there that I have asked several friends and family members to get their perspective, so I'm sure that I don't have a false perception of my body. There are several reasons why I work out those number of hours. First, I just like the "feel-good" feeling after working out. My body feels pumped up and incredibly energetic. The other reasons are to lose the jiggles as well as building my cardiovascular health. I honestly want to keep my stamina up and since I have the time to do so, might as well. For calories wise, I have a difficult time eating more than 1,200 because I'm generally not hungry. When I am hungry, I usually have a craving for salads, fruits, veggies, or anything similar to those listed.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
6/19/13 11:31 P

I can't imagine you doing that much cardio and not eating into your lean muscle mass. Strength training, rather than cardio, should be your primary focus if you want to lose fat and gain muscle. What is your diet like? What does your ST regimen consist of?

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
6/19/13 10:52 P

What is your current body fat level? How was it assessed? Why do you think you need to work out so many hours? How many calories are you taking in daily?

FITNESS386 SparkPoints: (19,640)
Fitness Minutes: (7,026)
Posts: 41
6/19/13 10:29 P

First of, I apologize if this topic is repetitive to anyone but I'm still trying to find a balance when it comes to weight loss/toning up. I'm a 20 year old female 5'2 and 103lbs. When it comes to my daily diet, I follow the 80/20 rule but I honestly eat clean even when I'm "cheating" because I don't crave junk food anymore. As for my exercise, I workout 5x per week of intense workouts and then the other two days I go for a light jog/walk. During those five days I workout intensely, I do at least two hours of cardio which will include spinning classes, elliptical, treadmill, rowing, stationary bike, and stairmaster. On top of cardio, I also add in strength training for at least half an hour each day. So in total, I workout for about 3 hours five times a week. I'm currently a student and it's summer break so I have the time to workout that much. Ok, so my question is how much is too much cardio/exercise in general? My ultimate goal is to lose body fat percentage from my problem areas while gaining lean muscles.

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