Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

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Cycle
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Cycle » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:42 pm

coffeeblack wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:59 pm
The study you mention is observational. Very poor model.

Overtraining with HIIT or any other method will cause damage. Doing a mix of interval training, HIIT and low intensity cardio will benefit your body and allow it to recover while getting in your Mets throughout the week in a shorter duration and thus allowing for other activities such as weight lifting which is equally as important. Pulling something is possible for long distance non hiit or non interval training as well. The point of non-competitive training for health is to get and stay in shape and to keep it interesting. If someone is a powerlifter and all they do all day is lift that way they will eventually have some issues and will not be very athletic. The workout needs to be well rounded and then you can design the with a skew to strength or cardio if you prefer.

So if you say the benefits don't outweigh the risk and base the risk on a couple of article you read, then you don't know the risk because you are basing your risk on some obscure studies that may or may not be reproducible. As a matter of fact, the college of sport medicine and most other organizations can't even really agree on how much exercise one must get. The suggestions they made were done by expert consensus because so many of the studies gave so many different results. What they did agree on was that you have to stay active.

The blue zone people don't do HIIT. That's correct. You don't need to do HIIT to be fit. 30 minutes of walking per day at about 3 to 3.5 miles per hour will meet a 500 met requirement. Add 2 days of lifting and you are set to go. If you can't or don't want to do 5 day of that then you can do 75 minutes of more intense activity like intervals. If you get bored with that you can shorten that by adding in HIIT. HIIT is intervals on steroids. Anything else is just splitting hairs. Most of the benefit of exercise comes from just doing it and getting in shape. Once in shape, you can improve a small percentage at a time.

It's like when you read financial articles. Most of them are BS. The only thing we really know is that you can't stay sedentary, you need to exercise the heart and you need to have strong muscles (not big muscles) and you need to eat well. Mostly plan based with some animal based foods works well. Mediterranean diet works and meet most of those guidelines.
Specifically I'm avoiding a super elevated heart rate as part of training, opting to build heart health through low stress aerobic training for the most part.

I used to do the opposite with lots of interval swimming and running, as I do Ironmans. Ive been in a few events where long time fit people drop dead.

It seems logical to me that flipping tires or sprinting with weights regularly achieving 190+ bpm heart rate could cause vessel wallls to have microtears and scar over or for the conduction system to get disturbed from regular inflammation.

There aren't a lot of good studies on this theory, or really anything diet or exercise related.

And if one wants to lose some flab, diet (paleo or whatever) and walking are really the easy answer.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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Kalo
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Kalo » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:54 pm

Cut down to 1,500 calories per day. Won't be as hard as you think and you will see results. Worked for me.

Kalo
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steve roy
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by steve roy » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:59 pm

I won't give you tips on exercise. Any combination of cardio and muscle building 4-7 days per week will suffice.

The KEY is calorie counting (or whatever you want to call it.) It's all about diet and here's why I believe that:

I ran and worked out from the age of 18, and kept my 6' 2 1/2" frame in the mid 180s for years.

THEN I got married. Had kids. Still ran and worked out, BUT ... I ate the kids half-eaten big Macs, snacked, devoured three squares a day. And I steadily crept up to 210 pounds with accompanying love handles and gut. And noticed my cholesterol had climbed to 236.

FADE OUT

FADE IN:

NOW the kids are gone. I eat two meals per day and a handful of vitamins. I walk, do elliptical, do weight machines and floor exercises for upper body strength. My weight is now 157-160. FOOD CONSUMPTION is 80%-85% of the reason my weight is where it is.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by bengal22 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:24 pm

Pickleball. Good for your brain too.
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coffeeblack
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by coffeeblack » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:33 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:42 pm
coffeeblack wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:59 pm
The study you mention is observational. Very poor model.

Overtraining with HIIT or any other method will cause damage. Doing a mix of interval training, HIIT and low intensity cardio will benefit your body and allow it to recover while getting in your Mets throughout the week in a shorter duration and thus allowing for other activities such as weight lifting which is equally as important. Pulling something is possible for long distance non hiit or non interval training as well. The point of non-competitive training for health is to get and stay in shape and to keep it interesting. If someone is a powerlifter and all they do all day is lift that way they will eventually have some issues and will not be very athletic. The workout needs to be well rounded and then you can design the with a skew to strength or cardio if you prefer.

So if you say the benefits don't outweigh the risk and base the risk on a couple of article you read, then you don't know the risk because you are basing your risk on some obscure studies that may or may not be reproducible. As a matter of fact, the college of sport medicine and most other organizations can't even really agree on how much exercise one must get. The suggestions they made were done by expert consensus because so many of the studies gave so many different results. What they did agree on was that you have to stay active.

The blue zone people don't do HIIT. That's correct. You don't need to do HIIT to be fit. 30 minutes of walking per day at about 3 to 3.5 miles per hour will meet a 500 met requirement. Add 2 days of lifting and you are set to go. If you can't or don't want to do 5 day of that then you can do 75 minutes of more intense activity like intervals. If you get bored with that you can shorten that by adding in HIIT. HIIT is intervals on steroids. Anything else is just splitting hairs. Most of the benefit of exercise comes from just doing it and getting in shape. Once in shape, you can improve a small percentage at a time.

It's like when you read financial articles. Most of them are BS. The only thing we really know is that you can't stay sedentary, you need to exercise the heart and you need to have strong muscles (not big muscles) and you need to eat well. Mostly plan based with some animal based foods works well. Mediterranean diet works and meet most of those guidelines.
Specifically I'm avoiding a super elevated heart rate as part of training, opting to build heart health through low stress aerobic training for the most part.

I used to do the opposite with lots of interval swimming and running, as I do Ironmans. Ive been in a few events where long time fit people drop dead.

It seems logical to me that flipping tires or sprinting with weights regularly achieving 190+ bpm heart rate could cause vessel wallls to have microtears and scar over or for the conduction system to get disturbed from regular inflammation.

There aren't a lot of good studies on this theory, or really anything diet or exercise related.

And if one wants to lose some flab, diet (paleo or whatever) and walking are really the easy answer.
Super elevated. Yes not that good. HIIT doesn't with super elevated heart rate. The basic max HR formula is 220 minus age and then you can multiply it by 90% to get you max rate for intervals and hIIT. So if you are 50 you max would be around 170 and 90% of that is 153. If you do a vo2 max study that many people will get to their vo2 max levels at around 156 to 160.
So you don't have to do 190+ HR unless that's your 90%. That would mean you are 30 or so years old.

Logic has nothing to do with medicine. Really it doesn't. Many things that seem logical don't pan out that way in medicine. So we don't know if what seems logical to you is actually happening. One could argue the constant dilatation of the vessels is good and improves elasticity. Another could argue that the increase blood flow and thus increased oxygen and nutritional flow can improve flow and reduce inflammation.

HIIt workouts have been around since the 90's among competitive athletes. It has now become popular among people who want to get fit, don't have lots of time or want more intensity so they don't get bored etc. There is nothing wrong with good old low intensity jogging or walking. If you want to improve the intensity of walking increase the elevation on the treadmill. That will increase the mets per minute and you won't have to increase the mph. Thus less impact on the joint. If you want more intensity but not so much as a HIIt. Jump off the treadmill a few time and do some burpees or jump squats. Then get back walk and to some hill climbs. 30minutes of that 3 times a week is 90 minutes of high met per minute workout. Mix it up. Do some of each. Do low intensity and one or two session of higher intensity. It doesn't have to be HIIT. Do intervals.

Ironmans are competitive. So all bets are off. You have to train correctly to survive and perhaps win.

You can do paleo, whole 30 (just another way of saying paleo), low carb, etc. But these are good ways of eating most of the time. If you deprive yourself all the time it may be hard to sustain. If you are trying to lose weight then you need to just eat well until it's gone. Most people say they do but if they really track what they ate, they don't eat well.

I wish you the best in your future health. Just stay active. Walk, run, play squash, racket ball, tennis (last three are high intensity workouts by nature because of the stop and go that is done), cycle and lift heavy weights (heavy for you) and slowly go up in the weight. Not all weight lifting is the same.

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bottlecap
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by bottlecap » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:02 pm

To reiterate what others have said, diet is the key to losing weight. I learned - and was surprised by this - through experience. Exercise keeps you healthy, but only a tremendous amount of exercise is going to have a real impact on your waistline.

In addition, in my experience, if you think you are consuming 2000 calories a day, you are very likely consuming more.

Determine yourself (or with your doctor) how many calories you should be limiting yourself to to lose weight. Then stick to it. Add everything up. For the most part, I stopped eating anything and anywhere that didn’t have the calories listed on it when I ate out.

Eat healthily, but you have to watch those calories and resist the urge to cheat. Decline seconds. Decline desserts (most of the time). The first few months are the hardest. You are hungry at certain times until you stomach adjusts. Keep some healthy, not-too-high calorie snacks around.

And prepare to buy a new wardrobe, cause things aren’t going to fit right anymore...

Good luck,

JT

bstewie
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by bstewie » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:44 am

OP, what is the intensity of your cardio workout? Has your intensity increased over 9mo with each week or are you simply sustaining the same level of effort? If the latter, you need to push harder or go longer. The first 20m of each cardio session is a waste re: your goal. I would prefer 2h-3h sessions of cardio less frequently over many 40m sessions if I was trying to lose inches.

FWIW I’m a 32” waist and eat effectively anything I want to the tune of 4000-6000 calories a day. I row 26-52mi a week and do a random mishmash of calisthenics outside of rowing. Occassionally, I bike, jump rope, and lift weights (weights are rare for me). A combination of high intensity calisthenics following your initial cardio will help in your current routine.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:31 am

TNWoods wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:47 am
The key to losing weight is NOT exercise.

The key to losing weight is to reduce your caloric intake. It is much easier to reduce your consumption of calories in the first place than it is to burn off calories after the fact.
+100

In 2004 I decided to lose weight so I 1) cut caloric intake by 50% and 2) exercised fanatically [swimming every morning, hiking 3-8 miles per day - in the mountains, etc]. Result: 2 lbs / week weight loss.

Over the years, I went back to eating a lot and gained it all back + some.

2018 I decided to lose weight again. Unable to exercise this time I simply cut caloric intake by 50%. Result: 2 lbs / week weight loss.

The research has been pretty clear: want to live longer, reduce caloric intake.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

John88
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by John88 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:06 pm

This thread has quickly grown. OP I was in your shoes about 1.5 years ago. My 38s which I had been wearing for many years were not fitting anymore. I was faced with buying 40s or making a change. I am now into 34 slim or straight fits. I was already working out 3x a week and hiking but I also didn’t pay much attention to what I was eating especially with sweets. It didn’t help that office snacks were mostly donuts, bagels, etc.
IMO, for a while forget about the exercise advice do what you have been doing and focus on eating habits first. Without proper lifelong sustainable eating habits doing 5x5 compound lifts or HIIT/interval may not matter much.

About 1.5 years ago I watched a documentary on PBS by Dr. Mark Hyman and decided I needed to change my eating habits if I wanted to live a long healthy life. What I was eating was causing me to gradually gain weight and as a side effect lead to higher glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol. etc. Having these numbers go negative can lead to heart disease and obesity the major causes of death in aging adults.

I was also approaching 60 so at a crossroads of some sort. I cut out sugar and processed foods, and all the bad carbs. I did not want to count calories or macros for the rest of my life. It is easy and sustainable for me to just monitor what and how much I eat. The previous recommendation of ¼ plate good carbs, ¼ plate good proteins, and half plate veggies, salad, and/or fruit works for me. It is far easier than using any Apps, calorie or macro counting.

I don’t seem to be losing as much weight now which is fine I’m 6’ 2” so 175 lbs and 34 pants seem like a healthy numbers for me and I have eating habits that are sustainable. I do enjoy an occasional glass of wine, beer, cider, and routinely a small piece of dark cholate.
The most important numbers are the ones mentioned earlier. Glucose now is below 90 before was closer to 100, and all the other numbers our doctors monitor are very good.

Keep in mind genetics. Someone mentioned a sub 2:45 marathon earlier. A very small percentage of our population have the genetics to get to that level. Same with pressing/squatting, deadlifting a multiple of body weight. Find a training style that you enjoy doing. I have found The Fit Father Project YouTube channel to be very informative.

Good luck in your journey. Find something that that can work for the rest of your life. It is achievable.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by H-Town » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:23 pm

edge wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:03 pm
Losing weight is almost entirely driven by diet.
My opinion would go against popular belief here in this thread. From many years of tweaking diets and working out, I realize that the best route is building muscle. This works for both men and women. Not only building up muscle allows you to have more calorie intake, but muscle also burns calorie when you're not working out.

To me, it increases my quality of life. Once I reach the macro goals in my diet, I don't have to worry about any little details when I dine out with my family or enjoy a little feast in family gathering. I can go for a full course of meal at the restaurant. I can go for an ice cream without thinking twice. All this while keeping the body fat percentage at a decent level.

For my heart, I enjoy my sauna sessions that would keep my heart rate elevated similar to the heart rate while I run at 6 mph. I mix sauna with cardio so that I can rest between my weight trainings.

Just think about 2 scenarios below:

1) Person A prefers cardio over resistance training. Person A sticks to 1800 calorie diet. Any day that go over 2000 calorie, Person A will have to work harder in the gym to burn the extra calorie. Knowing this, Person A is very reluctant and very careful with his/her diet.

2) Person B focuses on resistance training and building muscle. Person B can burn 2500 calorie daily. Once muscle is built consistently over a few years and if Person B have to step away from training, it'll take a very long time to lose muscle and it will be quick to build it back up. With the density of muscle compared to fat, Person B looks toner and fit.

Like personal financial, health and fitness is very personal. If you put in your time and willingness, you will find a way that works for you.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by edge » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:11 pm

Yes, building muscle is great for quality of life - feeling good / being healthy.

But muscle weighs a lot too and the question was about how to lose pounds.

H-Town wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:23 pm
edge wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:03 pm
Losing weight is almost entirely driven by diet.
My opinion would go against popular belief here in this thread. From many years of tweaking diets and working out, I realize that the best route is building muscle. This works for both men and women. Not only building up muscle allows you to have more calorie intake, but muscle also burns calorie when you're not working out.

To me, it increases my quality of life. Once I reach the macro goals in my diet, I don't have to worry about any little details when I dine out with my family or enjoy a little feast in family gathering. I can go for a full course of meal at the restaurant. I can go for an ice cream without thinking twice. All this while keeping the body fat percentage at a decent level.

For my heart, I enjoy my sauna sessions that would keep my heart rate elevated similar to the heart rate while I run at 6 mph. I mix sauna with cardio so that I can rest between my weight trainings.

Just think about 2 scenarios below:

1) Person A prefers cardio over resistance training. Person A sticks to 1800 calorie diet. Any day that go over 2000 calorie, Person A will have to work harder in the gym to burn the extra calorie. Knowing this, Person A is very reluctant and very careful with his/her diet.

2) Person B focuses on resistance training and building muscle. Person B can burn 2500 calorie daily. Once muscle is built consistently over a few years and if Person B have to step away from training, it'll take a very long time to lose muscle and it will be quick to build it back up. With the density of muscle compared to fat, Person B looks toner and fit.

Like personal financial, health and fitness is very personal. If you put in your time and willingness, you will find a way that works for you.

randomguy
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by randomguy » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:48 pm

H-Town wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:23 pm
edge wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:03 pm
Losing weight is almost entirely driven by diet.
My opinion would go against popular belief here in this thread. From many years of tweaking diets and working out, I realize that the best route is building muscle. This works for both men and women. Not only building up muscle allows you to have more calorie intake, but muscle also burns calorie when you're not working out.

To me, it increases my quality of life. Once I reach the macro goals in my diet, I don't have to worry about any little details when I dine out with my family or enjoy a little feast in family gathering. I can go for a full course of meal at the restaurant. I can go for an ice cream without thinking twice. All this while keeping the body fat percentage at a decent level.

For my heart, I enjoy my sauna sessions that would keep my heart rate elevated similar to the heart rate while I run at 6 mph. I mix sauna with cardio so that I can rest between my weight trainings.

Just think about 2 scenarios below:

1) Person A prefers cardio over resistance training. Person A sticks to 1800 calorie diet. Any day that go over 2000 calorie, Person A will have to work harder in the gym to burn the extra calorie. Knowing this, Person A is very reluctant and very careful with his/her diet.

2) Person B focuses on resistance training and building muscle. Person B can burn 2500 calorie daily. Once muscle is built consistently over a few years and if Person B have to step away from training, it'll take a very long time to lose muscle and it will be quick to build it back up. With the density of muscle compared to fat, Person B looks toner and fit.

Like personal financial, health and fitness is very personal. If you put in your time and willingness, you will find a way that works for you.
Problem is that this is a fantasy. Adding 10lbs of muscle burns about 50-100 calories/day. You are talking about someone who would need to have 70-140lbs of muscle. That isn't remotely realistic. There is a reason why all the people who do lifting talk about how important diet is for weight loss. The cardio people talk more about getting enough calories as it is hard to maintain your weight when your burning 1000+ calories/day.

stoptothink
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by stoptothink » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:59 pm

randomguy wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:48 pm
H-Town wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:23 pm
edge wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:03 pm
Losing weight is almost entirely driven by diet.
My opinion would go against popular belief here in this thread. From many years of tweaking diets and working out, I realize that the best route is building muscle. This works for both men and women. Not only building up muscle allows you to have more calorie intake, but muscle also burns calorie when you're not working out.

To me, it increases my quality of life. Once I reach the macro goals in my diet, I don't have to worry about any little details when I dine out with my family or enjoy a little feast in family gathering. I can go for a full course of meal at the restaurant. I can go for an ice cream without thinking twice. All this while keeping the body fat percentage at a decent level.

For my heart, I enjoy my sauna sessions that would keep my heart rate elevated similar to the heart rate while I run at 6 mph. I mix sauna with cardio so that I can rest between my weight trainings.

Just think about 2 scenarios below:

1) Person A prefers cardio over resistance training. Person A sticks to 1800 calorie diet. Any day that go over 2000 calorie, Person A will have to work harder in the gym to burn the extra calorie. Knowing this, Person A is very reluctant and very careful with his/her diet.

2) Person B focuses on resistance training and building muscle. Person B can burn 2500 calorie daily. Once muscle is built consistently over a few years and if Person B have to step away from training, it'll take a very long time to lose muscle and it will be quick to build it back up. With the density of muscle compared to fat, Person B looks toner and fit.

Like personal financial, health and fitness is very personal. If you put in your time and willingness, you will find a way that works for you.
Problem is that this is a fantasy. Adding 10lbs of muscle burns about 50-100 calories/day. You are talking about someone who would need to have 70-140lbs of muscle. That isn't remotely realistic. There is a reason why all the people who do lifting talk about how important diet is for weight loss. The cardio people talk more about getting enough calories as it is hard to maintain your weight when your burning 1000+ calories/day.
You're on a roll in this thread. Yes, lean muscle tissue is "metabolically active tissue" (as is brown adipose), but the effect is generally hugely blown out of proportion. I'm a big strong guy, who doesn't do a whole lot of (what most would consider conventional) "cardio" these days, but my training goals don't change the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. Putting on enough lean muscle to significantly alter your basal metabolism is a very long and slow process.

alfaspider
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by alfaspider » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:03 pm

John88 wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:06 pm


Keep in mind genetics. Someone mentioned a sub 2:45 marathon earlier. A very small percentage of our population have the genetics to get to that level. Same with pressing/squatting, deadlifting a multiple of body weight. Find a training style that you enjoy doing. I have found The Fit Father Project YouTube channel to be very informative.

Good luck in your journey. Find something that that can work for the rest of your life. It is achievable.
Depends on what you mean by a “multiple” of body weight, but a 2x body weight deadlift or squat isn’t the realm of genetically gifted people. It’s much easier than a 2:45 Marathon for the vast majority of folks.

GT99
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by GT99 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:34 am

Cycle wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:42 pm

Specifically I'm avoiding a super elevated heart rate as part of training, opting to build heart health through low stress aerobic training for the most part.

I used to do the opposite with lots of interval swimming and running, as I do Ironmans. Ive been in a few events where long time fit people drop dead.

It seems logical to me that flipping tires or sprinting with weights regularly achieving 190+ bpm heart rate could cause vessel wallls to have microtears and scar over or for the conduction system to get disturbed from regular inflammation.

There aren't a lot of good studies on this theory, or really anything diet or exercise related.

And if one wants to lose some flab, diet (paleo or whatever) and walking are really the easy answer.
190 is excessive for most people. I'm 42. I just scanned back on my Fitbit heartrate data, and between Crossfit and HIIT Peleton rides, it's very rare for my heart rate to go over 160. It typically maxes around 155. Which is about right for my age.

Millions of people do HIIT workouts on a daily basis. There are hundreds if not thousands of studies about the benefits. If you're avoiding HIIT workouts for fear of dropping dead, you might as well live in a bubble and never leave your house because there are literally thousands of things in the world more likely to kill you. And I'd recommend only consuming liquid calories as your far more likely to die choking from eating food.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 am

I see many comments regarding HIIT training and reiterate their benefits.
I see many comments regarding increasing weight training and I agree with that as well.

I would like to comment on a few things:
1) If you are keeping calorie counts low by eating "diet foods," you will be surprised to know that nutrasweet has been shown to increase fat stores. Your brain tastes sweet coming in and releases insulin which tells your body to store and create fat. Therefor avoid "diet" foods. Also try to avoid eating out since you never really know what is in those foods. Try and eat foods on the outer edge of the supermarket and avoid foods in the middle that come in a cardboard box, bag, or can.

2) Slow long distance cardio such as jogging does not break down fat but muscle instead. It is why so many marathon runners have this skinny flabby look to them. Not all, but many of them do. Your body needs glucose for energy and when you do long distance slow cardio your body needs glucose constantly. Fat does not convert to glucose, ever. Protein has a 3 carbon chain backbone and when protein is broken down two of those 3 carbon chain backbones combine to make glucose a 6 carbon compound. HIIT training avoids that process as does heavy weight lifting.

3) As others mentioned. 1st build muscle mass by using heavy weights. Ignore the scale doing this process. Many will find themselves gaining weight, but they will look better at that higher weight and feel better. Then, after you put on a decent muscle backbone you can begin cutting calories to lose some of that fat. Your body can not put on muscle and lose significant fat at the same time. It is why you often see some of those huge muscle guys with large rears and a protruding gut. They are doing everything to build muscle but never diet to lose fat.

4) Increased muscle mass will increase your basal metabolic need (the amount of calories needed to sustain yourself at rest.) Therefor by having more muscle mass, you won't need to diet as much to achieve results when trying to loose fat.

5) When weight training, don't just move weight around. Every exercise needs to exhaust your muscles. I like to make a simple rule for myself. If I can do 10 reps, then it is too light and I increase weight (some people choose 12 reps which is also fine.) If I can't do 7 reps then I decrease weight. This will ensure that every workout accomplishes something as opposed to wasting your time.

I know it is a lot of info, but all of it is based on science and research. And, incase some moderated is concerned, there is no medical advice in my post.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:49 am

Just reiterating that weight loss is mostly diet. Get a food scale and use MyFitnessPal or Chronometer, and track everything for a month. As you're not gaining weight, you're eating at your maintenance level, but you need to have an accurate idea of what that is if you're going to make adjustments.

Beyond that, you can't spot reduce fat, but core exercises will help with posture and strength. For me, moderate cardio (cycling, swimming) and kettlebell workouts (mostly S&S) are sufficient.

rbaldini
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by rbaldini » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:56 am

My impression of this field is a lot like that of investing in the stock market: beyond the basics, no one knows nothin'.

What are basics? Calories in, calories out. To lose weight, eat less and/or exercise more. Given uncertainty in what foods are best, eat a variety of things.

I have no doubt that there is more to diet and exercise than these basics. Probably not all ingested calories affect your body shape the same way. Probably not all forms of exercise, even when expending the same amount of calories, result in the same weight loss. And so on. But, from what I can tell, even the "experts" of the field seem not to agree on these details - so how much faith do you put in any argument you read here?

Good old fashioned calorie deficit is going to cause you to lose some pounds. If you're curious about this diet fad or that exercise trend, by all means go for it. Trying new things can be motivating. But don't look around for The Secret That Will Finally Make Weight Loss Easy. It's not easy.

GT99
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by GT99 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:37 am

EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 am
I would like to comment on a few things:
1) If you are keeping calorie counts low by eating "diet foods," you will be surprised to know that nutrasweet has been shown to increase fat stores. Your brain tastes sweet coming in and releases insulin which tells your body to store and create fat. Therefor avoid "diet" foods. Also try to avoid eating out since you never really know what is in those foods. Try and eat foods on the outer edge of the supermarket and avoid foods in the middle that come in a cardboard box, bag, or can.

<snip>

5) When weight training, don't just move weight around. Every exercise needs to exhaust your muscles. I like to make a simple rule for myself. If I can do 10 reps, then it is too light and I increase weight (some people choose 12 reps which is also fine.) If I can't do 7 reps then I decrease weight. This will ensure that every workout accomplishes something as opposed to wasting your time.

I know it is a lot of info, but all of it is based on science and research. And, incase some moderated is concerned, there is no medical advice in my post.
Agree with most of this post - your point in #1 is great. I would focus more on avoiding things labeled "Reduced Fat" or similar - reduced fat is usually a warning label for "bad for you". Things labeled "diet" can be mixed - some good, some bad. And many people fall into the trap of thinking "organic" means healthy. It *might* be healthier than the non-organic version, but that doesn't make it healthy.

That said, I don't really agree with #5 - at least, not with setting rep guidelines. The key is going to failure regardless of reps. Lower reps generally equates to building more mass (I personally still build mass at higher reps). But there's nothing wrong with doing 15-20 reps to failure - or just 2-3 reps. The key is pushing to the point of failure (if you're strictly weight training). And much like it's good to vary what you're doing, it's good to vary reps.

randomguy
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by randomguy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:28 pm

GT99 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:20 am
You raise a good point here - IF is probably more about overall wellness than just weight loss (I've seen studies going both ways on the weight loss - some say it does reduce weight without reduced calories, some say otherwise). There is a lot of science on that - reduced risk of cancer, etc. For those interested in further information, some good sources are Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, or Dr. Peter Attia - google any and you'll find good information. That is not the case of the small meals approach.

Totally agree that carbs get demonized too much - one of the big reasons for longevity in Japan is the high consumption of vegetables and low consumption of processed foods and saturated fats. And relatively high levels of physical activity (I've seen studies showing that people who are overweight but physically active have higher longevity than those not overweight, but not active). I personally focus on keeping refined sugar and white flour out of my diet.
IF is very trendy right now and a lot of studies are getting down. The evidence right now of big health benefits is weak. It seems like we get something like IF every decade where someone takes a little fact, extraploits it out and makes some conclusions. We get a few studies that back it up but then when we try and confirm those studies it all falls apart. For some people though it works very well at controlling calorie consumption. Eating between 9-3 and then fasting (or skipping meals 1 day/week) makes compliance easier. As I said it is worth trying.

I have never seen it in a study but I have a feeling a lot of the low carb/high carb stuff comes down to activity level. The high activity people do fine with carbs cause they are basically always trying to replenish the glycogen in their muscles. They also tend to feel like crap on the low carb diets as it is hard to work at more than a moderate pace on a high fat diet. Going for a 6 hour hike is easy on a high fat/low carb diet. Doing 30mins of HIIT doesn't work as well.


The fit and fat versus slim and unfit goes back and forth. A lot depends on how they pick out their samples (do you adjust for smoking and current health status. It also seems to matter if you look at the whole population versus 60+.). It is important also to remember that a 5'10/185 lb guy is overweight in most of these studies that use BMI as a proxy. A lot of people would consider that skinny these days:) The general take away for me has always been worrying about those last 10-15lbs isn't worth it from a health point of view. Worrying about the extra 50+ is:)

rantk81
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by rantk81 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Eat less sugars and carbs. Carb consumption increases insulin production. Insulin is what prevents your body from burning fat, and causes your body to store fat. Eat more healthy fats. Fats don't spike insulin levels. Good sources are: avocados, olive oil, the fattier cuts of meat, fatty fish, coconut oil, the higher fat-dense dairy if you can tolerate it. Eat a lot of vegetables -- especially leafy green vegetables. Avoid white/starchy vegetables and grains/cereals. Maybe look into intermittent fasting occasionally. Look up LCHF diets or even ketogenic diets.

(I basically look at labels for everything I buy -- and if it contains more than about 6 or 7 grams of carbs per serving, I don't buy it.)

Exercising excessively at the gym is not an effective or sustainable way to lose weight. In OP's description, I'd do a little less cardio, and try to do a little bit more free weights. Having larger muscles gives your body a larger storage place for glycogen (energy from carbohydrates) instead of having it stored as fat.

In my experience, focusing on what I eat, is way more effective at controlling weight, than amount of time spent on a treadmill/elliptical.

Tigermoose
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Tigermoose » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Crossfit for the win. I had been sporadic and largely ineffective in my fitness routine for about 20 years, and then I joined a Crossfit gym 2.5 years ago and have been going 4x a week consistently since. I have seen my fitness and physique greatly improve. My biggest challenge now is avoiding overuse injuries since it is addictive and fun to break your past personal records.
Institutions matter

H-Town
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by H-Town » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:57 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 am
I see many comments regarding HIIT training and reiterate their benefits.
I see many comments regarding increasing weight training and I agree with that as well.

I would like to comment on a few things:
1) If you are keeping calorie counts low by eating "diet foods," you will be surprised to know that nutrasweet has been shown to increase fat stores. Your brain tastes sweet coming in and releases insulin which tells your body to store and create fat. Therefor avoid "diet" foods. Also try to avoid eating out since you never really know what is in those foods. Try and eat foods on the outer edge of the supermarket and avoid foods in the middle that come in a cardboard box, bag, or can.

2) Slow long distance cardio such as jogging does not break down fat but muscle instead. It is why so many marathon runners have this skinny flabby look to them. Not all, but many of them do. Your body needs glucose for energy and when you do long distance slow cardio your body needs glucose constantly. Fat does not convert to glucose, ever. Protein has a 3 carbon chain backbone and when protein is broken down two of those 3 carbon chain backbones combine to make glucose a 6 carbon compound. HIIT training avoids that process as does heavy weight lifting.

3) As others mentioned. 1st build muscle mass by using heavy weights. Ignore the scale doing this process. Many will find themselves gaining weight, but they will look better at that higher weight and feel better. Then, after you put on a decent muscle backbone you can begin cutting calories to lose some of that fat. Your body can not put on muscle and lose significant fat at the same time. It is why you often see some of those huge muscle guys with large rears and a protruding gut. They are doing everything to build muscle but never diet to lose fat.

4) Increased muscle mass will increase your basal metabolic need (the amount of calories needed to sustain yourself at rest.) Therefor by having more muscle mass, you won't need to diet as much to achieve results when trying to loose fat.

5) When weight training, don't just move weight around. Every exercise needs to exhaust your muscles. I like to make a simple rule for myself. If I can do 10 reps, then it is too light and I increase weight (some people choose 12 reps which is also fine.) If I can't do 7 reps then I decrease weight. This will ensure that every workout accomplishes something as opposed to wasting your time.

I know it is a lot of info, but all of it is based on science and research. And, incase some moderated is concerned, there is no medical advice in my post.
I agree with you. Those concepts work for me as the result shows.

On #2, I found out that sauna also gives me the same benefits for my heart as long distance cardio. And I enjoy sauna much more than running a constant 6 mph on a treadmill.

On #5, my thoughts is that doing high reps to build muscle mass while doing low reps to build strength. It does me well when I switch back and forth those two programs. Also, many years ago I used to exercise to failure but I realize that it does not give me much benefit. Instead, I stop at one rep before failure so that I don't need any spotters in the gym.

jmk
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by jmk » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:00 pm

Have you considered other dietary changes such as: few to no processed carbs (i.e. things made from flour); eat only "whole kernel grains" like barley and at that 100 carbs a day? Plenty of fiber? Few dried fruits or fruit juices. I personally found without these additional steps weight loss didn't happen.

These things together with moderate exercise will get weight loss and other benefits.
new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:32 am
I've been doing the following exercise routine for about 9 months now with only minor progress (i.e., loss of belly). Specifically, I am not looking for weighing less on the scale but the "pants test" - my pants should feel looser.

Day 1 - 40 mins of cardio (some combo of treadmill/elliptical, but 40 mins of elevated heart rate)
Day 2 - 40 mins of cardio
Day 3 - 45-60 mins of free weights
Day 4 - rest
Then repeat.

DW thinks that since I've crossed over the hill it is going to be exponentially harder to lose weight. My ideal is to lose 10 lbs (or go from a size 36 pants to 34), which is almost entirely in my middle section.

It could be that I am over/under exercising, not doing enough of one thing or the other, etc. My diet is pretty good and tend to eat around 2000 calories a day, plenty of water, some sugary snacks, no sodas. I've cut out what minimal alcohol I used to drink (used to be one drink a month).

Not sure what else to do, but seems like my exercising needs to be better tailored.

Any suggestions on what works?
Last edited by jmk on Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:21 pm

GT99 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:37 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 am
I would like to comment on a few things:
1) If you are keeping calorie counts low by eating "diet foods," you will be surprised to know that nutrasweet has been shown to increase fat stores. Your brain tastes sweet coming in and releases insulin which tells your body to store and create fat. Therefor avoid "diet" foods. Also try to avoid eating out since you never really know what is in those foods. Try and eat foods on the outer edge of the supermarket and avoid foods in the middle that come in a cardboard box, bag, or can.

<snip>

5) When weight training, don't just move weight around. Every exercise needs to exhaust your muscles. I like to make a simple rule for myself. If I can do 10 reps, then it is too light and I increase weight (some people choose 12 reps which is also fine.) If I can't do 7 reps then I decrease weight. This will ensure that every workout accomplishes something as opposed to wasting your time.

I know it is a lot of info, but all of it is based on science and research. And, incase some moderated is concerned, there is no medical advice in my post.
Agree with most of this post - your point in #1 is great. I would focus more on avoiding things labeled "Reduced Fat" or similar - reduced fat is usually a warning label for "bad for you". Things labeled "diet" can be mixed - some good, some bad. And many people fall into the trap of thinking "organic" means healthy. It *might* be healthier than the non-organic version, but that doesn't make it healthy.

That said, I don't really agree with #5 - at least, not with setting rep guidelines. The key is going to failure regardless of reps. Lower reps generally equates to building more mass (I personally still build mass at higher reps). But there's nothing wrong with doing 15-20 reps to failure - or just 2-3 reps. The key is pushing to the point of failure (if you're strictly weight training). And much like it's good to vary what you're doing, it's good to vary reps.
You are correct. Reps to failure is key and I did not make a point to saying so. I guess I wanted to give a reasonable plan on achieving that without pointing out the most important part, reps to failure.

disclaimers: reps to almost failure is adequate also and decreases risk of hurting oneself..

squirm
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by squirm » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:00 pm

Keep up the gym routine, just eat less, it's that simple.

squirm
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by squirm » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Forgot to say, my wife kept complaining to me that she couldn't loss weight. I told her to write down what you eat. She did that for a couple months and therefore ate less. It worked.

Dudley
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Dudley » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:47 am

Diet over exercise. Eat stuff that actually looks like it comes off a tree/bush/ground, not out of a supermarket package.

alfaspider
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by alfaspider » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:49 am

Dudley wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:47 am
Diet over exercise. Eat stuff that actually looks like it comes off a tree/bush/ground, not out of a supermarket package.
Diet is most important for determining how large you are. Exercise is most important for determining what you are made (fat or muscle) of and what your body can do.

It takes immense (and odd) discipline, but there are sub 10% bodyfat bodybuilders who eat junk. But they eat a very closely monitored number of calories of junk. It's not a healthy way to do it, and I wouldn't recommend it, but they are living proof that calories matter at the end of the day. The issue is that junk food is much less filling, and you loose out on micro nutrients. Eating 500 calories under your maintenance calories when you are eating junk will leave you constantly hungry, and malnourished over the long term.
Last edited by alfaspider on Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

mesmer
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by mesmer » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:50 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:41 am
My suggestion

Weights 3 times a week. Every other day.

Protein over Carbs - builds muscle.
This is good advice. Building muscle can take time; muscle burns more fat at rest. If you stick to a weight training routine for 6 months and beyond, there are lots of benefits in addition to weight loss. Personally I prefer to train up to my current calories than to cut calories from what I already eat. To lose weight you do need to reach a caloric deficit but there are multiple ways to do that. Cardio sessions are good for your health as well, but maybe keep it simple for now by increasing your daily step count (e.g., walk for a minimum of 20 minutes per day) and focus most of your efforts on weight lifting 3x per week. It’ll be hard to build and maintain muscle without having at least that many sessions each week. Make sure you including some safe stretching as well. You’ll know it’s working when you start to get hungrier. Up your protein especially during this time and try to get at least 30 grams per meal (possibly more depending on your current weight).

The book “fat loss forever” by Layne Norton, PhD is available online and is completely evidence based and goes over the research findings of those who actually lose weight AND keep it off over time. Might be worth reading. It will go over how to determine your needs for protein, fat, carbs, fiber, etc. Also could be worth investing in some sessions with a personal trainer if you can find a competent one in your area. It is your health, after all.

louiethelilac
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by louiethelilac » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:17 am

Chew every mouthful of food - 12 reps each bite. You will lose weight soon.

RobLyons
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by RobLyons » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:32 am

new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:32 am
I've been doing the following exercise routine for about 9 months now with only minor progress (i.e., loss of belly). Specifically, I am not looking for weighing less on the scale but the "pants test" - my pants should feel looser.

Day 1 - 40 mins of cardio (some combo of treadmill/elliptical, but 40 mins of elevated heart rate)
Day 2 - 40 mins of cardio
Day 3 - 45-60 mins of free weights
Day 4 - rest
Then repeat.

DW thinks that since I've crossed over the hill it is going to be exponentially harder to lose weight. My ideal is to lose 10 lbs (or go from a size 36 pants to 34), which is almost entirely in my middle section.

It could be that I am over/under exercising, not doing enough of one thing or the other, etc. My diet is pretty good and tend to eat around 2000 calories a day, plenty of water, some sugary snacks, no sodas. I've cut out what minimal alcohol I used to drink (used to be one drink a month).

Not sure what else to do, but seems like my exercising needs to be better tailored.

Any suggestions on what works?

Not sure if you got your answer in the 3 pages but here's what it boils down to.


Energy balance.


Your diet is the biggest area where you will lose or gain weight.
Meticulously track your caloric intake. Literally measure and weigh everything you eat for about a week to see where your calories come from.
Most people consume more than what they ball park. Way more.

From there, you can make adjustments. Even eating 500 calories less per day will add up over the coarse of weeks/months.

You are doing cardio 4x a week, that's plenty. And the old saying "you can't outrun a bad diet" is partially true.. Unless you are training for an ultra marathon or Iron man triathlon..


So lifting weights is great and it more will add muscle, not decrease fat.
Cardio is great but that 40 minutes a day is burning enough calories for maybe 1 small sugary treat.


I've been doing this for 20 years, feel free to DM me any questions or specifics
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

Deltoid
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Deltoid » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:35 am

Lots of good advice here. As many have said, it's mainly about caloric restriction in one way or another.

I've been experimenting with IF myself. I'm not a fan of the every day 18:6 protocol but I really like the protocol of a 24-hour fast one day a week. I've gotten very lean over the last eight weeks with it. I just don't eat from dinner one evening until dinner the next evening one day each week. In addition to getting lean, I've noticed other benefits as well. There are other ways to do it, too, and one may work for you.

A couple things that may be helpful:
1. The combination of weight lifting and walking is terrific. Interval training is great, too, but you may not need it for weight loss and body comp. If you are able, focus on the big, compound movements as others have said. Progressive overload is the key. Start light, take time to master the movements and progress in weight slowly over time at whichever rep ranges you like, preferably a mix of rep ranges.
2. It can be hard to get started. One's body likes to hold on to a weight and it will first get more efficient to keep it. Keep at it, though. Once you break the set point, progress will come much more quickly.
3. For longer-term progress, approach it incrementally rather than all at once. Decrease calories by 10% or so, maybe add some walking. After you plateau, decrease calories a bit more. Incrementally add walking or HIIT if you need it.

Good luck!

RobLyons
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by RobLyons » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:45 am

mesmer wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:50 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:41 am
My suggestion

Weights 3 times a week. Every other day.

Protein over Carbs - builds muscle.
This is good advice. Building muscle can take time; muscle burns more fat at rest.

Yes, more muscle burns more calories (not specifically fat) at rest, but its a highly over estimated amount.
1 extra pound of muscle burns about 6 extra calories per day.


I have a great chart which I can't figure out how to paste here. It shows contribution of organs and tissues to resting energy expenditure and actual body weight

It shows organ metabolic rate of muscle is 13 (kcal/kg/day) while liver is 200, brain 240, heart and kidneys = 400.
Now to figure out how to increase the size of my kidneys :D
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

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sperry8
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by sperry8 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:46 am

new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:32 am
I've been doing the following exercise routine for about 9 months now with only minor progress (i.e., loss of belly). Specifically, I am not looking for weighing less on the scale but the "pants test" - my pants should feel looser.

Day 1 - 40 mins of cardio (some combo of treadmill/elliptical, but 40 mins of elevated heart rate)
Day 2 - 40 mins of cardio
Day 3 - 45-60 mins of free weights
Day 4 - rest
Then repeat.

DW thinks that since I've crossed over the hill it is going to be exponentially harder to lose weight. My ideal is to lose 10 lbs (or go from a size 36 pants to 34), which is almost entirely in my middle section.

It could be that I am over/under exercising, not doing enough of one thing or the other, etc. My diet is pretty good and tend to eat around 2000 calories a day, plenty of water, some sugary snacks, no sodas. I've cut out what minimal alcohol I used to drink (used to be one drink a month).

Not sure what else to do, but seems like my exercising needs to be better tailored.

Any suggestions on what works?
You are eating way too many calories. Diet is 80% of weight loss. Cardio is for heart health primarily. I lost 25 lbs without one second of cardio. How? Ate 500 calories less than my maintenance # each day. Lost 1 lb a week over 25 weeks. Then after the weight loss went into gym and added free weights and limited cardio (cardio makes it harder to keep/gain muscle mass, which is important as we age). Stop the excessive cardio and lower calorie intake. Cut out ALL sugary snacks while dieting. If you provide height/weight I can let you know proper calorie intake - but it's likely in the 1,500 per day range.
BH contest results: 2018: #150 of 493 | 2017: #516 of 647 | 2016: #121 of 610 | 2015: #18 of 552 | 2014: #225 of 503 | 2013: #383 of 433 | 2012: #366 of 410 | 2011: #113 of 369 | 2010: #53 of 282

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:55 am

Cross training and variety is key. Add 2-3 miles of walking every day in morning or evening. Add several pilates and/or yoga classes per week.

Weight lifting and cardio are about intensity. I see people in the gym 5 days a week that are working out at a pretty leisurely pace that is roughly half the intensity that they need to make progress.

Don't worry about body weight, worry about waist size. High intensity workouts with weights and cardio should be building muscle mass which can add weight but should also simultaneously decrease waist size.

Also find a way to play a few games making workouts way more fun - anything physical is fantastic - volleyball, tennis, racquetball, pickle ball, ping pong, etc.

goblue100
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by goblue100 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:42 am

sperry8 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:46 am

You are eating way too many calories. Diet is 80% of weight loss. Cardio is for heart health primarily. I lost 25 lbs without one second of cardio. How? Ate 500 calories less than my maintenance # each day. Lost 1 lb a week over 25 weeks.
I agree with this post, but you want to make sure to avoid the skinny fat syndrome, which based on the OP I think the topic starter might already be in danger of. Every time you diet, you lose some muscle along with all the fat.

https://legionathletics.com/skinny-fat/

If we can look at ourselves objectively without trying to hit some arbitrary number on a scale we would be better off. Do my clothes fit better? Am I stronger? Have I lost some inches off my waist, and added some on my biceps? These are what actually matter a lot more than the number on the scale.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

huntertheory
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by huntertheory » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:05 am

Lots of good advice in this thread; as an aside I am curious if the Boglehead consensus on health/exercise is different than either the mainstream (as it is for investing) and if it has changed over the years, particularly around the value of strength training.

1) As others said, weight loss is essentially all about diet — calories in < calories burned, and eating less is (believe it or not) a lot easier than burning it all up (e.g., running for an hour vs a single cupcake, etc.). You simply must track your calories accurately, including portion size, additives, etc. In addition to MyFitnessPal I like the app “Eat This Much,” which creates meal plans and suggestions based on target calories. You should use good TDEE calculators and then build in a deficit; Eat This Much is good for giving you actual meal ideas (which I also find helpful for planning my own substitutes, when I see what 500-600 calories looks like in something comparable). It’s about a consistent daily deficit over many weeks/months. You will see the results.

2) Ultimately it’s all about calories in vs calories burned, though almost everyone on this journey finds that cutting/eliminating sugar, processed sugars/carbs, rich desserts and alcohol goes a long way to cutting calories, as they combine high calories with a lack of feeling full. Increased protein has lots of benefits when losing weight (don’t be afraid if a good whey protein powder), but among them is (anecdotally) the feeing of fullness vs calories is helpful.

3) The problem with a calorie deficit plus cardio is while it’s great for dropping pounds quickly (you decrease one side of the equation (calories in) while increasing the other (calories burned), you will cannibalizes your muscles, which then reduces your body’s daily natural calorie expenditure, so you need to cut calories further to keep losing, and so on. It’s kind of like a bad borrowing cycle for your body. This is where weight training comes in (in addition for its own sake) — the goal then is to steadily lose fat while maintaining/building muscle to get your body to a healthier equilibrium.

4) #3 is why the scale can be misleading (and unfortunately not many of us have access to those fat percentage submersion machines). But a good proxy is how you feel and how your waist size changes, especially if you can combine it with increasing numbers on your weight lifting.

5) Lots of good advice in this thread on exercises, weight lifting routines, etc. My advice on the lifts is to focus on the core lifts (bench, squat, overhead press, rows, chin-ups/pull-ups, deadlifts, weighted lunges), and then mix in the accessory stuff after your 3-5 sets on 2-3 “main” lifts — also to get in and out in 35-45 minutes (unless you’re 18 and have the time to kill, I don’t). I also think the easiest thing for tracking your progress is to target, say, 6-10 reps and on your last set do as much as you can. If you are doing 10+ on your last set, it’s time to move up in weight. Rinse and repeat. You can make it much more complicated than that but if you can do the above on those lifts for 6 months you’ll be on the right track. (I also think this is a safer approach for older/middle aged folks getting into it — some of the other common programs that tell you to start off doing 2-5 reps of max weight squats and move up in weight every time are great when you’re 16-22 years old, not so much when you’re 38-42 with kids and out of shape).

6) Of course, the best workout is the one you do, so if orange theory, CrossFit, P90X, etc. works for you, go for it — though a lot of those programs emphasize the endorphin rush of just obliterating yourself, which again may not be optimal. Nothing wrong with rest days as the goal is long run consistency; Again, just like saving, stay the course.

7) Finally, the “hack” to fitness and exercise is to have a more healthy/active lifestyle - walk more, bike instead of drive if you can, plan family activities hiking or moving vs. sitting inside, do pushups/pull-ups/lunges around the house watching TV and during downtime, etc. This Mr Money Mustache article hasn’t some ideas (as always, a bit excessive in spots but the punchline is good - https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/12 ... -in-sight/ ). My in-Boglehead-ish advice is my Apple Watch has really helped me on this score, as it tracks exercise, movement, etc. and encourages general activity.

Cody6136
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Cody6136 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:39 am

[q
[/quote]



As others have mentioned, food intake is huge. It's not just about calories - what you eat (and when) impacts what you burn.


[/quote]

Thank you!

The simplistic math of calories in and calories out is now recognized as a meaningless simplification. Only in a bomb calorimeter is this a reality. What you eat (fiber content and nutrient density) and when you eat it are huge variables.

AnonJohn
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:44 am

I've only skimmed all the answers, but will amplify some things and maybe add a few new (?) thoughts. Amplify: Lifting - compound exercises are good; HIIT is valuable for cardio; weight loss is mostly about food, not exercise. But exercise is worth doing anyway!

What I haven't seen:

1. The healthiest weight loss is not about going on a diet. It is about adopting a new pattern of eating that is sustainable for the long term. Yes, there is some pain while you are in a caloric deficit regardless. But you need something that is permanent. I recommend: Focus on nutrient quality and "real food" sources of fiber. This has worked for me (30+ lbs down for several years).

2. I've had some success and there is some animal model research that suggests time restricted feeding or intermittent fasting can be helpful. YMMV, but it's low/no risk to try. (edit - saw one other mention). Key point for me: no snacking after dinner!

3. There are many paths in terms of how you exercise, how you eat, etc. Don't feel like you have to adopt a particular approach (macronutrients! Fat! Carbs! Weights! HIIT! etc ...). They all can work ... if they are sustainable for you.

4. I wouldn't try to lose too much too fast.

John

deikel
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by deikel » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:05 pm

new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:12 pm

Looks like so far the action list is:
1) Diet - make sure I am not over consuming calories
2) HIIT - this will work better than long marathon types of cardio
3) Weights - add more days of better weight training
Reduce your calorie intake to 1500 and shift to chicken and salad and water

If you want to improve general heart health, sure, keep the cardio, but it will not help you loose weight (humans are perfectly designed to run around forever on very little calorie consumption), you would need to increase cardio to much more exercise to make that work

Arguably, weight training is actually the better heart training anyway (lots of publications on that), so I would replace one cardio unit for another weight training IF you like weight training better then cardio in general. Work on core muscles (back AND front) and upper legs/ass - skip the arm and upper torso stuff that males like so much, that should get you into smaller pant size eventually

But realize that belly fat is the 'best' fat storage (from body point of view), so it requires the hardest to get rid off.

I would do one each per day: weights, rest, cardio, rest, intensive weights, rest, rest - repeat the week.
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:08 pm

H-Town wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:13 pm
new2bogle wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:07 pm
BlueCable wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:34 am
Describe your lifting routine. How many sets, reps, and which lifts?
Goal is to do 5 sets, 8 reps per set for each exercise. I will move on to the next exercise if I get too tired to finish all the sets/reps so as not to injure myself. I try to minimize rest time between sets (around 1 minute) but longer rests between exercises.

Here's what I do:
- Single arm row
- dumbbell chest press
- seated bicep curls
- goblet squat
- farmers walk (focusing on side at a time)
- bent over row
- one arm swing
- cross body hammer curl
- scaption
- two arm tricep extension
- standing calf raise (weighted)

I have definitely gotten stronger.
Time to re-do your program. Focus on those compound lifting:
Barbell squat
Deadlift
Bench press
Overhead press
Rear delt row

Those will save you a lot of time in the gym and getting better result.
I'm all in favor of the big 5. But want to offer one point of disagreement. The dumbell chest press and dumbell single arm row are fine alternatives to the barbell versions; they may be better if you have injuries or asymmetries. They're the same compound movements.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by sperry8 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:10 pm

goblue100 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:42 am
sperry8 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:46 am

You are eating way too many calories. Diet is 80% of weight loss. Cardio is for heart health primarily. I lost 25 lbs without one second of cardio. How? Ate 500 calories less than my maintenance # each day. Lost 1 lb a week over 25 weeks.
I agree with this post, but you want to make sure to avoid the skinny fat syndrome, which based on the OP I think the topic starter might already be in danger of. Every time you diet, you lose some muscle along with all the fat.

https://legionathletics.com/skinny-fat/

If we can look at ourselves objectively without trying to hit some arbitrary number on a scale we would be better off. Do my clothes fit better? Am I stronger? Have I lost some inches off my waist, and added some on my biceps? These are what actually matter a lot more than the number on the scale.
Agreed. It's just harder for many to do two things at once. That is, when wanting to lose weight and gain muscle (which weighs more than fat), it's harder to see progress. A scale shows something tangible. You'll also find you're likely hungrier when lifting and it makes it that much more difficult to stick to the 500 calorie deficit. That is why I decided to lose weight first - then after achieving goal add muscle. And yes, you are absolutely correct, I was too "skinny" after achieving goal weight. But now 6 mos after free weights and lifting, I get more compliments than before when I was just skinny. Clearly for those that can do both at the same time, that is likely a better way to go. But for many, like me - it was easier to do in parts.
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by hotrodz » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:17 pm

I recommend classes. BodyPump, Spin, any HIIT. If you can’t go to any I recommend T25 at home. 30min a day and it’s an amazing cardio and toning workout with no equipment and not much room needed.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Utahdogowner » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:19 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:42 am
What is your diet like?

Many work out, their metabolism increases and they eat more. Offsetting any gains from working out.

You have a 2 phase problem:

1. Get to your goal weight (hard)
2. Stay at your goal weight (not as hard)

I would tinker with your eating/diet to see what works to assist with #1.

It might help to do less weights and a shorter cardio on day 3.
Also 8 hours of sleep is a very important component that many forget.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:01 pm

I removed several posts discussing the health effects of a food additive. As a reminder, health effects of a diet constitute medical advice and are off-topic. See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by Artful Dodger » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:02 pm

Do some cardio, weights, and yoga / stretching (for balance and aging).

Weight loss is calorie driven.

You can't spot reduce.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by NHRATA01 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:50 pm

Has Starting Strength been brought up yet? Apologies as I'm a late comer and I've read through most the first and then third pages.

It's been mentioned already but I'll add to the point by suggesting swapping 2 days of cardio training for 2 days more of strength training. 5 sets of 5-8 reps is a reasonable target - the weight needs to be light enough to do the movement with precise form yet heavy enough such that completing the final rep is taxing, or else you are not forcing the adaptation of the body to grow strength to move the load.

There's some benefits of strength training that tend to get overlooked vs. cardio, although it seems like every day some new article comes out reiterating the importance of it. Particularly as we age (only weeks out from 40 myself).
- Done correctly it is easier on the joints vs the repetitive stress of long duration cardio with high impact (namely running, but also tennis/racquetball, skiing, basketball and swimming can be tough too).
- Strength training has the ability to strengthen not only the muscle, but also the bones and connective tissue. As we know this is particularly critical in avoiding fractures down the line.
- Muscle mass has the ability to consume and store sugar, reducing your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity
- Muscle mass as oft mentioned to some extent has the ability to consume more calories at rest (but again not an excuse to overindulge)
- There's a logic I attribute to Dave Tate that says something like this: Base strength is essentially a foundational point. The more strength you build the higher base you start from when you suffer a life event that will consume that strength (such as injury, sickness, cancer, aging itself). If you start with a low base and have that erode from the aforementioned incidents, you find yourself in a deficit and unable to perform daily life tasks. That causes a swift decline, one I witnessed first hand with my father's passing at only 70.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by randomguy » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:51 pm

Utahdogowner wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:19 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:42 am
What is your diet like?

Many work out, their metabolism increases and they eat more. Offsetting any gains from working out.

You have a 2 phase problem:

1. Get to your goal weight (hard)
2. Stay at your goal weight (not as hard)

I would tinker with your eating/diet to see what works to assist with #1.

It might help to do less weights and a shorter cardio on day 3.
Also 8 hours of sleep is a very important component that many forget.
enough sleep. 8 hours is an approximation. 7-9 is the range for 95% of the population. If you are waking up consistently without an alarm clock, you are probably getting close to the right amount. There are few lucky people who only need 6. But yeah sleep often gets ignored in these discussions.

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Re: Critique my exercise routine because it's not working for me

Post by goblue100 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:06 pm

NHRATA01 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:50 pm
Has Starting Strength been brought up yet? Apologies as I'm a late comer and I've read through most the first and then third pages.
Starting Strength per say was not brought up, but many advocates of heavy weight training ITT.
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