Jump to content

Exercise/Nutrition Myths & Facts


Recommended Posts

Losing fat and gaining muscle-People who are new to resistance training or are coming back from a long layoff can often lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously (meaning sameday or week), but only for a certain period of time. After that, it's generally most effective to focus on one goal at a time - either fat loss or muscle gain. We call these "bulking" and "cutting" cycles, and they are referred to frequently in this community.

People often refer to losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously as "toning", but some people think of that word as having a different meaning. It should be noted that the word "tone" doesn't have any relevance to reshaping your body. There are no exercises to "tone", there are no diets to "tone", you can only lose fat and/or gain muscle. And of course, you can gain fat and lose muscle.

Losing fat-Unless you are new to lifting weights, coming back from a long layoff, or are on drugs, you can only lose fat by consistently eating fewer calories than you burn. To lose fat and maintain muscle effectively you have to eat fewer calories than you burn and have a good weight training program. Partitioning can be improved greatly by the specifics of one's diet and training program. Muscle loss on a diet is more and more likely the lower your bodyfat percentage is. (There are other factors as well)

Gaining muscle-Unless if you are new to lifting weights, coming back from a long layoff, or are on drugs, you can only gain a significant amount of muscle mass by eating extra calories and weight lifting and/or cutting back from daily activity while still weight lifting. By doing this most people will gain some muscle and gain some fat. Again, partitioning can be improved greatly by the specifics of one's diet and training program.

Losing fat from specific areas = "spot reduction"-A frequently asked question is to how to target and remove fat from certain areas of your body via exercise. This is called "spot reducing" and is generally impossible. When you diet, fat leaves your body in genetically predetermined patterns. When you eat excess calories you will gain fat in genetically predetermined patterns. No amount of crunches will burn stomach fat, and no amount of leg lifts will burn leg fat - exercising the muscle has no direct effect on the specific fat covering that muscle. Sad but true!

How to schedule cardio and weight workouts Many people ask which to do first, or if they should schedule them on different days, or what. The answer depends on your own personal schedule and what's doable for you, but there's one thing that's pretty definite - if you do a long and/or intense cardio session and then try to lift weights, you won't get the most out of your weight workout. You may even be more likely to injure yourself. Other than a warmup (5-15 minutes low-to-moderate intensity) doing cardio right before weights isn't a good plan. You can schedule weights and cardio on separate days, or do one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. Or if it's absolutely necessary you can do weights first and then your cardio. But please, don't do a major cardio session and then expect to lift well.

This advice is intended mainly for those who are training for strength sports or for general fitness, and your needs may vary depending on your goals and priorities. If your "cardio" is actually training for a sport such as running or cycling, and that's what's most important to you, then splitting workouts would be ideal. However, if you need to do both you might consider putting the sport-specific training first. If you have questions about how to arrange workouts for other sports or activities, please go ahead and post your specific questions, and/or consult a community that's geared specifically to that activity.

And lastly to clear up a common misconception, fat cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat.

Additionally, here are some very relevant and very helpful links that might answer your questions better than I can.

http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/index.php

The site is made for women but much of the advice is just as applicable to men (especially her wonderful descriptions of squat and deadlift form.)

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/

The website of author and trainer Lyle McDonald, with information on fat loss, muscle gain, and nutrition.

>>I'm personally a huge fan of Lyle, and was a dedicated cyclical ketogenic dieter for almost 2 years ..

http://www.exrx.net

A helpful site for exercise instruction and selection

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

for information on the composition of common foods.

http://www.fitday.com also has information on the composition of common foods. (Note - the estimations for caloric expenditure on this site are usually very wrong.)

http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_index.html

"HST" - A weight lifting program for muscle gain or fat loss.

http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/index.htm and http://www.weighttrainersunited.com/routines.html

great resources on training for strength, power, and more.

The Soft Science of Dietary Fat

http://www.timinvermont.com/fitness/fat.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I do not think that I want the impressive muscles you're sporting in your photo, I do want to get rid of my fatty arms and "tone" up my ass and legs-- I've been going to the gym 4 days a week and been doing 1/2 hour of cardio and then alternating between upper and lower body strength training. My cardio is all on the elliptical 'cause the treadmill hurts my knees. So, this is bad?? Should I do all of my strength training on two days and then double my cardio without strength training on the other days? Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I do not think that I want the impressive muscles you're sporting in your photo, I do want to get rid of my fatty arms and "tone" up my ass and legs-- I've been going to the gym 4 days a week and been doing 1/2 hour of cardio and then alternating between upper and lower body strength training. My cardio is all on the elliptical 'cause the treadmill hurts my knees. So, this is bad?? Should I do all of my strength training on two days and then double my cardio without strength training on the other days? Thank you

AngelaAnn:

Stick with at least 30 minutes of cardio a day.

You can do whatever you wish.

As your fitness & endurance increases, I can almost guarantee you'll become more brave, and before you know it you'll be up on the step mill sweatin' away! :P

As for weight days - recovery is important.

You can do cardio every day.

But weights, you don't want to work the same muscle groups every day.

This is a very popular upper/lower split:

Monday - Cardio / Upperbody

Tuesday - Cardio

Wednesday - Cardio / Lowerbody

Thursday - Cardio

Friday - Cardio / Upper

Saturday - Cardio

Sunday OFF

Then switch it up the next week ... repeat!

By setting a schedule ahead of time, you'll know exactly what you're doing, on certain day.

Keeping a workout journal is also key - it's awesome going back, and seeing how much you've improved.

In my w/o journal, I also keep track of my moods (just little key notes like: 'going to die' next to my squat set ..'could barely breathe' beside my step mill session!)

It's funny to go back, read the notes, and remind yourself how far you've come in such a short period of time.

I hope this helps ... i've always found it extremely motivating to go in with a plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second that, and say that it doesn't HAVE to be running or anything like that at all...you can do biking, recumbent stationary bike, swimming, walking. The key is not to go crazy, but get your heart rate up in that target zone where you're not going into anaerobic energy burning, and staying in the aerobic range. (anaerobic exercise makes lactic acid, it's what makes you sore and "feel the burn")...

AngelaAnn:

Stick with at least 30 minutes of cardio a day.

You can do whatever you wish.

As your fitness & endurance increases, I can almost guarantee you'll become more brave, and before you know it you'll be up on the step mill sweatin' away! :P

As for weight days - recovery is important.

You can do cardio every day.

But weights, you don't want to work the same muscle groups every day.

This is a very popular upper/lower split:

Monday - Cardio / Upperbody

Tuesday - Cardio

Wednesday - Cardio / Lowerbody

Thursday - Cardio

Friday - Cardio / Upper

Saturday - Cardio

Sunday OFF

Then switch it up the next week ... repeat!

By setting a schedule ahead of time, you'll know exactly what you're doing, on certain day.

Keeping a workout journal is also key - it's awesome going back, and seeing how much you've improved.

In my w/o journal, I also keep track of my moods (just little key notes like: 'going to die' next to my squat set ..'could barely breathe' beside my step mill session!)

It's funny to go back, read the notes, and remind yourself how far you've come in such a short period of time.

I hope this helps ... i've always found it extremely motivating to go in with a plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I do not think that I want the impressive muscles you're sporting in your photo, I do want to get rid of my fatty arms and "tone" up my ass and legs-- I've been going to the gym 4 days a week and been doing 1/2 hour of cardio and then alternating between upper and lower body strength training. My cardio is all on the elliptical 'cause the treadmill hurts my knees. So, this is bad?? Should I do all of my strength training on two days and then double my cardio without strength training on the other days? Thank you

anything that you can do to keep the impact off your knees is preferred. Recumbent bikes are a godsend, as well as swimming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, I don't know if I can do the gym 6 days a week at this point--right now, 4 is about where it's at for me.

So, would I go one day and just do cardio and then the next cardio/upper body? If I'm not going 4 days straight, wouldn't my muscles get a rest anyway? So every time I go I would do strength training with my cardio?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second that, and say that it doesn't HAVE to be running or anything like that at all...you can do biking, recumbent stationary bike, swimming, walking. The key is not to go crazy, but get your heart rate up in that target zone where you're not going into anaerobic energy burning, and staying in the aerobic range. (anaerobic exercise makes lactic acid, it's what makes you sore and "feel the burn")...

Hey Trav,

I just prefer the elliptical--I like that I sweat a lot and that it's low impact. Swimming...I like it, but still am not comfortable in a bathing suit and I find walking boring--maybe I'll try the bikes if I get bored with the elliptical. I am still just confused about if I should strength train on the days I go to the gym. I go 4x a week and always do my 30-40 minutes of cardio first. Then I either strength train my upper or lower body so, 2x a week upper body and 2x a week lower body. According to the myth/fact pamphlet that started this thread, I'm doing it all wrong. I just want to know if my routine is good? I generally go on Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun or some other combo but always on Sat and Sun. I know that I cannot do six days a week yet--shit, I didn't go to the gym for 10 years before surgery and I thought I was doing pretty good with 4x a week! I hope you and your turtleneck are well. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...