New member, have some questions.

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    Kalakbar's Avatar
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    New member, have some questions.


    Hey everyone!

    Just joined the forums, been working out pretty intense for three months or so and have some questions. First, some info about myself.

    I'm 6'1, currently 285, and around 29% bodyfat. When I started working out in January, I was 294 at 37% bodyfat. I've lost about 8 inches off chest, 10 inches off stomach, 2 inches off my neck, and gained 2 inches on each bicep and an inch on each thigh. It should be known at one point about a year ago I weighed over 350 (likely 370) and had around 50% bodyfat.

    When I started working out in January, the bodyfat kept dropping really fast, and the inches were flying off! At week 9 (on week 13 now) I really changed my workout routine (starting doing 4 second negatives, 1 second positive), and started doing HIIT during cardio. I keep seeing gains in strength, but haven't really noticed the bodyfat percentages changing much. Visually, I'm still seeing differences, but I'm worried that I might be plateauing.

    I workout 5 times a week, do a 20 minute warmup, 40 minutes of weights (alternating days between supersets for heart rate, and then higher weights with rests for growth), and then 40 minutes of cardio, with a 10 minutes HIIT portion in the middle (30 seconds of max effort, 60 seconds of light effort, etc). I do pilates every second day (doctor's orders, have a bad back and not great core strength since a surgery a few years back where they severed my abdominals), and also tend to play squash 3 times a week for about an hour and a half a session.

    As far as nutrition goes, I think I'm doing pretty good, I eat 5-6 times a day. I have protein shakes before workout, after workout, and before bed. Meals themselves tend to be smaller, lots of tuna/grilled meat, raw veggies, and usually some brown rice. Usually have one cheat meal a week, although it's not too bad (Subway type fair).

    Supplements are fairly simple. I take protein powder in my shakes, fish oil in the morning, BCAAs/glutamine before and after workout, creatine before/after workout, and a thermogenic (ThermaLean) twice a day.

    Here is what I'm curious about.

    1.) Should I be taking creatine if my focus is on weight loss? I've gained a lot of muscle in the past few months, and seen some really good strength gains, but I'm worried that it might be impairing weight loss.

    2.) Do I need to be taking a fiber supplement? The owner of the local supplement store (Fuel) raves about it, but I'm not sure if I need to be taking it, since I tend to get a fair amount of fiber in my diet as is.

    3.) Do I need more activity? I'm not working much right now (in between contracts), so free time isn't much of a concern. I'm already active most days, but would I benefit from adding in some cycling? I keep hearing that long duration cardio detracts from muscle growth, and I kind of want to keep my newfound "guns."

    4.) Cardio should be done after weight training, correct? And I'm assuming that my bodyfat is still quite high (29%) that I should still be doing plenty of it?

    5.) Are there any additional supplements I should be taking?

    Thanks very much, and sorry about how long-winded this was
    -Matt.

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    pmiller383's Avatar
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    1.) Should I be taking creatine if my focus is on weight loss? I've gained a lot of muscle in the past few months, and seen some really good strength gains, but I'm worried that it might be impairing weight loss.

    Creatine can be beneficial in your situation, because it may help you retain muscle that you already have, even though you are , or at least should be, in a caloric deficit. It may also give you the ability to increase workload which will increase caloric expenditure, so simply yes it can be beneficial .

    2.) Do I need to be taking a fiber supplement? The owner of the local supplement store (Fuel) raves about it, but I'm not sure if I need to be taking it, since I tend to get a fair amount of fiber in my diet as is.

    As long as you are getting at least 30g a day from whole foods you should be fine. Also if you feel a little "backed Up" you may want to consider one, but fiber is easily obtained through a diet high in vegi's fruits and whole grains.

    3.) Do I need more activity? I'm not working much right now (in between contracts), so free time isn't much of a concern. I'm already active most days, but would I benefit from adding in some cycling? I keep hearing that long duration cardio detracts from muscle growth, and I kind of want to keep my newfound "guns."

    Try to increase your NEPA ( non exercise physical activity). Just taking a few extra steps each day adds up quickly. Park farther away from stores, use stairs or elevators, take long walks when its nice out. You get the idea, don't have to break a sweat or anything, but the more you move the more calories you use.

    4.) Cardio should be done after weight training, correct? And I'm assuming that my bodyfat is still quite high (29%) that I should still be doing plenty of it?

    Cardio is definitely better after training than before, for many reasons but mainly you don't want to waste energy on metabolic work before strength training, also by lifting first you will clear out glycogen which will cause fat to be burned as a fuel and your heart rate will already be elevated. As for doing a ton of it, that really isn't necessary. After a certain duration of time training your body will start to become catabolic and your hormonal signaling will be working against you. You can delay this by taking your BCAA's during workouts, but steady state cardio does not need to be preformed for extended periods of times to reach benefits. On that note though you may want to research High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and things such as the Tabada Method and circuit training. These variation of cardio will create not only calorie burning during training but also in the hours afterward.

    5.) Are there any additional supplements I should be taking?
    If you are at 29% bf you can still lose a good amount of weight naturally, relatively easy with just solid nutrition and training. With that being said keep with your staple that you are using now and if your feeling crazy you should look into non-stimulant fat burners like sesamin and cla. These oils can be very beneficial to your weight loss efforts and overall health.

    Good Luck and I hope some of this information helped you!
    Muscle Pharm Rep
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    SilentBob187's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board. Good job so far on making a difference in your life. Keep up the good work.

    1. I'm not sure about creatine while cutting. Honestly not sure how to answer that one, my gut says maybe stop the creatine for a little bit. It's something that's normally cycled anyway.
    I redact the above regarding creatine

    2. How much fiber are you getting in a day? It's recommended to try to get 35g of fiber a day. I've also heard that people who are training should increase their fiber intake. That being said you may benefit from some added fiber, but that's all hinged on how much you're currently getting.

    3. Doesn't sound like you need any more activity.

    4. Cardio should be done after weights. Personally I think you should reduce the amount of cardio you're doing and increase the amount of lifting. Maybe shoot for 60 minutes of lifting followed by 30 minutes max of HIIT post workout.

    5. Additional supplements...sleep?

    A question though, how many calories are you getting in a day? You may be eating too far under maintenance if you feel like you're not reducing your bf% I could be wrong though. Either way it'd be something to look at.
    "I am legally blind and if I can Squat,deadlift and over all get myself to the gym then anyone can get their a$$ in gear and get strong!!" - malleus25
    WHITE WHALE!
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