working out with no results
- 09-20-2009, 07:57 PM
working out with no results
ive been doing a lot of cardio for the past year. i've been running 5 miles 5-6 times a week (6mph/10 min mile). lately i've gotten bored of running and started swimming for an hour instead. i lift light weights and do ab exercises 4-5 times a week.
im a 22 year old female, i'm not overweight or anything but i used to weight 105 lbs-and i was pretty unhealthy. then my weight went up to 125 lbs, and now im at a healthy 118.. i eat pretty healthy-like oatmeal, egg whites, whole grains,and lots of fruits and vegetables.
ideally id like to be 115-110, but i haven't been able to lose the last few vanity pounds. am i doing something wrong? should i lift more weights and less cardio? i have muscles, its just that theres fat covering them it seems no matter how much i work out im stuck at 118. also, which is better-running or swimming?
- 09-20-2009, 09:35 PM
In such situations, there could be number of reasons for your plateau:
1. You could be eating too much or your macronutrient profile may not be what your body best responds too.
2. You could not be eating enough, preventing you from gaining muscle and making it harder to lose fat.
3. You could be "under-recovering" - that is, doing too much physical activity. Cortisol is not your friend.
4. You may have adapted to your current routine.
Analyze your diet. Most of the time for me, a change in diet provides the biggest leap forward in progress. Get plenty of protein and healthy fats, don't eat processed or sugary foods, and load up on veggies.
Try HIIT instead steady state cardio. Lift HEAVY - my wife deadlifts with over 200lbs regularly. Guejsn (another forum member here) pushes herself with very intense lifting sessions. Those "pinky" dumbbells are not going to burn nearly as many calories as a much heavier load.
I'm sure the ladies will chime in here with their own tips; for example I know Crader and BW seem to respond best to the exact opposite kind of routines.
09-20-2009, 09:52 PM
I agree with everything Resolve said, pretty much nailed it.
just a tid bit. I remember reading somewhere about a cardio routine to kill those last few pounds.
Try 5 mins of HIIT cardio, then sit and rest for 5 mins. literally sit and rest, do not do anything. The HIIT is what starts mobilizing your fat cells, then the rest gives your body a chance to start getting everything moving. Then follow up the rest with 45 mins of steady state cardio.
Personally I'd give straight HIIT a try first. i like to do it on the local schools football field, doing sprints and cuts, and cone drills and things like that because i'm more sport orientated than treadmill orientated, but thats me. If that doesn't work you might wanna give the other workout a try
but most importantly
Lift heavy. I never understood girls who didn't want to lift heavy because of getting "too big of muscles" Your bodies wont let you get that big. Lift big, then lift bigger, as hard as you can and you will see a difference.
09-20-2009, 11:50 PM
thanks for the info..im definately going to make a change to my workout routine
im about 5'3, 118 lbs...how many lbs do u think i should start lifting? on the arm curl machine..i usually life 10-15 lbs. what is HIIT cardio?
09-21-2009, 01:16 AM
For your weight, just push yourself. If you keep lifting the same weight the same number of times, you're going to have the same muscles. At the same time, don't sacrifice form for higher weight. Form is much more important than weight. If you're lifting incorrectly, you can injure yourself, or take the focus off the particular muscle you're trying to work.
What you could try doing is, when you can easily complete all the sets of your current weight, do one set with higher weight+lower reps, then the next week do two sets like that, so on and so on until all of your sets are at that weight, then up the number of reps and the process. You should be able to tell when the weight just isn't doing it for you.
I'd really recommend keeping a journal to help yourself make sure you're improving your weights (and to keep track of your body composition)...it's very easy to forget the last time you did more weight on each and every exercise if you don't write it down. But remember, certain exercises are going to take much longer to go up in weight. Curls, for instance, may not increase rapidly because you aren't lifting much weight (going up 5lbs when you're only lifting 15 is a lot harder than adding 5lbs to something where you're doing 50). You might want to try adding in "the big three", bench press/squat/deadlift, to your workouts if you don't have them already. They're great compound exercises, and very easy ways to gauge and facilitate your strength increases.
Good luck on losing those last few pounds, as long as you stay focused and determined, you'll be there in no time. There's lots of great information on this forum and tons of people willing to help, check the stickied topics if you haven't already.
09-21-2009, 02:00 AM
09-21-2009, 02:34 AM
Its all about the diet at this point. You need to lock it down and account for every calorie you are putting in. Keep the protein high, get your EFAs and watch the carb intake. No insulin spikes unless you are in your post workout anabolic window.
Reevaluate your calorie intake every week. If you didn't lose enough then drop 150-250 calories per day.
Keep training and don't over train. Remember that fewer calories mean less ability to recover. You do better off cutting out a little cardio then doing the cardio and then eating extra.
09-21-2009, 03:03 PM
Annac - 10-15lbs for how many reps? Also, if the "arm curl machine" is indicative of how you lift weights, that could be you problem right there. Ditch most isolation movements (like arms curls) for harder, heavier movements. You'll burn more calories and get stronger faster. Don't worry, you don't have the hormones to "get big."
You should be doing: squats, deadlifts, dips, chin-ups, pull-ups, bench press, bent rows, cleans, military press, etc. Some isolation work, like curls or calf raises, are ok here and there, but shouldn't be the mainstay of your routines.
09-21-2009, 04:16 PM
The 3 Keys to Fat Loss: This article will explain everything you need to know about fat loss from diet to exercise.
Most of the time the key to getting past a plateau is generally making a change in diet. If you know your body well enough, then it may not be diet (but most of the time it is) and you may just need to change your training. In your case I think a mix of both.
HIIT is explained in there.
How heavy you start lifting is up to you, but you need to push yourself to get any results. Use free weights such as DB and BB instead of machines. Stick to the compound movements, etc. It is all explained in the article.
09-21-2009, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the information! I've been going to the gym for months as well, but I feel like I haven't lost a lot of weight. I think I reached a plateau stage? I'm taking CosmoBody now (said to have L-Carnitine and Green Tea extracts), but I feel like it stopped working after a while. I'm thinking of adding ampheta restore to my supplements. I heard it helps keep the effects of fat burners like CosmoBody going. Has anyone tried this?
09-22-2009, 12:59 AM
thanks for the advice..i realized im pretty much a cardio bunny. i heard doing too much cardio can prevent you from losing weight? is there even such thing as too much cardio? i thought all exercise is good..and any exercise is better than no exercise
09-22-2009, 01:24 AM
Too much cardio can be a bad thing as you will burn muscle not fat. Result raising your bodyfat %.
Some simple tips for the novice:
Eat carbs early in the day, taper them off as the day goes on.
Include simple fats (ex. almonds).
Avoid excess caffeine.
More Lean Body Mass (muscle) the more fat your body will burn.
1)HIIT cardio as reccomended above. 15 minutes (30 second sprint, 30 second slow jog) 2) Rest 5 minutes 3) 30-45 minutes steady state cardio. 3-4 days a week.
Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift.
Watch the mirror not the scale.
Quality natural fatloss supps:
Fish Oils (golden supp)
Acetyl L- Carnitine 1200 mg pre workout 600 post workout
Green Tea Extract 2-3 times daily
Sesamin Oil w/ meals
Caffeine pre workout
L- Glutamine post workout and bed to preserve existing muscle
I've been doing this and have lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks. I don't know what that cosmo supp has in it but you should check the dosing on the active ingredients.
09-22-2009, 01:56 AM
i might be a little excessive but pre workout i do
l arginine ( AAKG )
anabolic pump ( before the meal before my workout, of course )
glutamine + AAKG 45 minutes before your workout will do 2 things : 1, burn more fat during your workout, and 2. reduce/negate post workout fatigue.
i just wanna say anabolic pump is great. also, i didnt see the 3 magical letters ECA anywhere in this thread either......
For me, the action IS the juice.
09-22-2009, 06:12 AM
If you have plateaued re fat loss (note that I said FAT and not weight loss; you should NEVER be focused on weight loss, as you can lose weight easily enough; but you should be concerned that the ONLY weight you lose is FAT) then look first at your diet, and then at your training. If you have been on low calories for a long time then it's time to start kickstarting your body by adding in cheat days every week. If you have been doing the same thing since you started the gym then you need to change your training programme up.
Using fat loss supplements for anything longer than 12 weeks without a break usually causes your body to become used to them and therefore effects lessen. If you have consistently been using a fat burner, then I suggest that you take a break from them.
09-23-2009, 08:15 AM
I agree with b18cyaaa, too much cardio is bad since it will burn muscles and not fats. If you really want results, combine cardio and strength training.
09-23-2009, 11:14 AM
Not to highjack a mostly female discussion so far, but I often have trouble losing weight as well without resorting to more extreme methods of thyroid and cortisol manipulation.
I am trying to help my girlfriend as well, and it looks bad when the methods I am using are not working as well as the did in the past.
I have tracked my calories using fitday, and consistly come in under what it calls my maintenance, with a fairly low, cycled carb regimen. I follow a WS4SB workout, but need to step up my cardio a bit. I just dont want to tire out.
I know I can get lower, I was about 15lbs lighter while doing martial arts 8 months ago, albeit weaker.
The little eletro resistance BF thing says I am about 13-14%.
At what point do you say "I need to eat more to lose more."
Which micronutrients shoul I look closer at for deficiencies that can be hindering changes?
09-23-2009, 12:05 PM
Next, BIA scales are INAccurate and should not be used as anything other than to see progress (because I can guarantee you that you are NOT 13-14% BF!
You always "need to eat more to lose more". Do you do resistance training? If not, then you need to start doing that. More muscle = faster metabolism = you can eat more and lose fat. If you do resistance training and you have a regular cardio schedule, then just add in 2-3 more cardio sessions a week. Make sure that those sessions are short and high intensity, such as intervals for no more than 20 minutes. Or change your regular cardio sessions to intervals every other.
You should NOT be lower than Maintenance all the time. You'll get better results by having 1-2 cheat days (no holds barred) a week. This will increase your metabolism and tell your body that it is not starving and will help you lose fat better than having no cheat days.
The macronutrients that you should really be concerned with in fat loss is protein. You need to ensure at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight is consumed, to aid in muscle retention. You also need to make sure that you are having at least 50-100g of carbohydrates a day to ensure proper fat oxidation.
You need to realize that just because something worked for you in the past re fat loss does NOT mean that it is going to work for you now. You must constantly evolve as your body evolves.
Read the article linked in post #9.
09-23-2009, 12:39 PM
Wthe the carb cycling, I get between 50-150 carbs, depending on the day. I found that even on my last cheat day, I only barely broke my calorie allowance. I used the calculator on your site, converted to Kcal, and came up with 2505. Seems like on a normal day, I get only around 1800-2200. Protein is always high, I take in at least 150grams a day minumum. I could probably get more from food sources, increasing Kcals and protein.
I know those handheld BF readers are not good, I dont believe I am at 14% for a minute. I have no way to prove I have more muscle now than I did then, but I do have more of a spare tire. I would like to think it is a combination of both.
Like I said the workout is a WS4SB, along with occasional golf and softball. I know I need to step up the cardio. I do a warmup bike or run, stretch, then jump rope between sets.
I want to get a skinfold caliper and tape to measure myself.
10-02-2009, 12:42 PM
10-02-2009, 04:19 PM
Carnitine helped me while doing mma, I was using plcar and alcar.
I also found over the last couple weeks, bringing my calories up in a healthy balance has triggered fatloss.
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