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Question to all those who workout regularly

Tagged as: Health<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 June 2010) 10 Answers - (Newest, 12 August 2010)
A male United States age 36-40, *tudentForLife writes:

Hello everyone,

I am a 23 year old guy and weigh 62Kg (136lb). I have been going to the gym for the past 2 months. I follow the following routine:

(1) Cardio on elliptical for 30 mins every alternate day. In this, I take the interval training approach where I push myself for 2 mins and then slow down for a min and then repeat the same. I can burn around 400cals in 30 mins.

(2) Strength Training every alternate day for 1 hr.

I do stretching and cooling off before and after workout.

I eat healthy (no meat, only whole grains, fruits and vegetables and about 40 grams of protein a day).

The main reason behind my going to the gym was that it provided me a good stress relief. I can see that I feel good about myself after a workout. Also, I can observe that I get good sleep, have good appetite and I look at life in a positive manner after a workout. So I am happy with the psychological benefits of workout.

Furthermore, I look slim (but I look weak!! That is another reason I started going to the gym to tone down and add some muscle. Besides, I do not have flat stomach!!)

After 2 months of workout, I am yet to lose the fat on my tummy. I know that expecting to build muscle in 2 months is not justified. But I think I am justified in expecting to have lost some of the tummy fat by now.

What do you think guys? Am I doing something wrong in my workout? Or am I just being impatient? Or does this have something to do with my body type or genetics?

Will I get to see the physical effects of workout?

Also how do you guys keep yourselves motivated to workout (even when you don't see the expected results)??

Thank you for taking the time to read such a long post. All answers are greatly appreciated. Thank You

View related questions: muscle

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A male reader, Scott french Australia +, writes (12 August 2010):

I dunno whether ur workout program is right or not . But it seems like u missing a part of body training. It means u dont need too much cardio at ur age. About 15 mins is ok. Now the main point is u have to do weight trainning as well to gain more musle. U cant tone up ur musle without lifting the weights, or dumbbells. I'm also slim like u. I was 57kg a year ago. Since i wen to gym and do my work out. Ive gained about 5 or 6 kg. And i also see my muscle on my both arms but not on the breast. Now my goal is 70kg. I will try my best to make it possible. Hope this helps.

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A female reader, kitty-cat=] United States +, writes (28 June 2010):

kitty-cat=] agony auntthats a pretty good workout, your eating right and sleeping well. good for you! you should try running too. not on a treadmill but outside on trails. its such a rush! it works every part of your body and clears your head. every time im mad or upset i go for a nice long run. you should try biking too. sounds to me like your doing everything right, keep it up! to stay motivated, don't look for the results just think about how good you feel after a workout. feel those endorphins! you should make a hot cup of tea right after a workout. it sounds dumb because your hot and sweaty but it feels so good in your tummy! give yourself something to look forward to after a workout. hope this helps :)

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A female reader, maverick494 United States +, writes (28 June 2010):

Like others said, you're completely undermining yourself by skipping the protein. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. You need it to get a toned look.

So I would change up your routine to this

- 3 healthy meals a day. Lots of protein and lots of veggies. In this case I'd eat more protein than carbs from starch (potatoes, rice, etc.) So eat fish, chicken, eggs,red meat.

- Workout with free weights. This is really important. You're thin, so you're obviously not going to look like a stubby bodybuilder. What you should do is have someone at the gym help you set up a routine. There are often bodypump classes, which teach you how exactly to do the exersises. Form is really important, otherwise you might not get the strength you desire. Make whole movements, not short ones. You need to challenge the entire limb, not just a part of it. Also, change it up every 4 weeks. Our bodies adjust fast and you need to keep challenging it to get results.

- Keep doing interval cardio sessions. Forget calories, they mean nothing. What you need is to exert yourself. Get your heartrate up really high. Don't just use the epilleptical machine either: cycle, run, row, etc. Play around with intervals. You can do the high-low intensity approach, or the mountain approach. Try different things.

- don't take too many breaks. Ideally your workout should be 45-60 minutes of continues exercise. You can rest between sets for a few seconds. And waiting a minute for a new machine is okay. Just don't make it 5.

But really, abs are made in the kitchen. Skipping meat is not desired, not if you really want to get lean.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (28 June 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntAnd unless you are very very short, I doubt you have much abdominal fat at 136 lbs!

Good luck with your fitness program!

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A male reader, studentForLife United States +, writes (28 June 2010):

studentForLife is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks guys.

I know that dearcupid site has more to do with dating, relationships, sex, pregnancy etc. But I just thought I would give it a shot by posting my question here. And you guys have been really nice to me and given sound advice and suggestions.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 June 2010):

You're doing a huge mistake not eating meat.

Don't expect muscle, without a good protein diet, first don't go volume muscle, go shaping, burn your fat, then you can do volume, go protein but low fat. That will work out just fine.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (28 June 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntI'm not sure you're getting enough protein to help build muscle. I think you should consult a nutritionist to look over your diet. Perhaps you are taking in too much fat and don't realize it, even if it is a good fat, such as olive oil, it still is a fat to your body.

Record what you are eating/drinking and your physical activities and then ask a dietician to analyze it for you.

I'm not an exercise expert nor am I by any means a personal trainer or nutritionist, but 1 1/2 hours of cardio per week doesn't sound like enough to make a big difference in 2 months. I would increase the amount of time you are doing cardio and be sure to do a lot of walking--if you burn more calories than you take in, eventually the body will begin to convert the fat stores to energy. But it will also convert muscle to energy as well so be sure to get enough protein. I really think you need to speak to a nutritionist, or as another aunt pointed out, a board devoted to this topic might give you better (and more informed, lol) answers!

Congratulations on finding the link between exercise and its psychological benefits.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 June 2010):

You seem to be doing fine. Tummy fat does not go easily and would require a 4-6 months time window of consistent gymming to start seeing results. Be patient and keep working out. You did not mention ab exercises in your workout, but do these regularly as well. About 250-300 reps of different variations of abs crunching/sides would do your tummy good.

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A male reader, baddogbj China +, writes (28 June 2010):

baddogbj agony auntI can't tell you much about losing stomach fat but I can tell you about getting stronger.

You haven't told us much about what you do when you do your strength training so I can't comment in detail.

A few generalisations:

- it is hard to lose fat at the same time as gaining any significant amount of muscle. Focus on one or the other at any given time.

- I would cut back the number of strength workouts that you are doing to maybe 2 a week or at most 5 every 2 weeks.

- do your strength workouts before you do your cardio

- increase the weight and do fewer reps. Do a warm up with a light weight by all means but for your main working sets if you can do more than 8 reps then it is too light and is not going to build strength. Some days you should cut the reps down to 3 or 4. Load up a weight that you can only just complete 3 or 4 reps if you put your entire heart and soul into it.

- ignore any fancy exercises that you see in magazines. Those might make a difference if your aspiration is to get oiled up and pose in front of other men in a posing pouch, but they won't make much difference to your strength.

- More than 2/3 of your strength training time should be spent with a free moving barbell and some big plates, ideally in a power rack or power cage with a friend to help you and keep you safe. Do bench presses (proper ones down to your chest), for variety throw in some decline presses and maybe some wide or narrow grips. Do proper deep squats with the barbell. Do upright rows with the barbell. If you find yourself doing more than 8 reps in a set then slap yourself and make the weight heavier. Get someone in the gym to show you the correct way to do these exercises.

- If you have any time left over after doing the serious weights then you might do some lat pull downs or dumbbell curls.

- Eat more. Drink more water. Sleep more. (Failing to do these will handicap your workout).

Do this and you WILL get stronger. You will notice the strength gains first - within a couple of weeks and then you will begin to look stronger.

Oh, and it's a proven fact that listening to either Motorhead or Black Sabbath during your workout makes you stronger.

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A male reader, serenity80 United Kingdom +, writes (28 June 2010):

If you read on some of the many bodybuilding forums and if necessary post a question on there, you will get much more detailed and accurate information.

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