How to stay in shape!

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posted on Oct, 5 2011 @ 11:21 PM
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Yes, that all important question that everyone wants to know. Most people want to know, how can I stay in shape without having to do anything? The answer to that is, you can't! If you're still reading good! If you're not shame on you, you lazy person you! So, now that we've gotten out the rif raf, let's talk about what we need to do to get in shape. To do that, we need to understand what three things factor into our bodies physical condition. These are, your diet, how much and how often you lift weight, and how often and how much cardiovascular activity your life includes.

Diet
If you want to get in very good shape, you're going to need to improve all of these. The first and most important thing you need to do, is change your diet. More calories can be cut out, or packed on here, than anywhere else. In order to have a good diet you must first remove anything from your diet that provides calories, but not protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Once you've thrown out all of the junk food in your home and replaced it with real food, you can consult this website for the basics of how nutrition works, and how much you need of what.

If you find that you're having trouble keeping up with your needs, you can use supplements such as meal replacement bars, protein bars, energy bars, and whey protein powder supplements. You should also drink as much water as you can, in order to properly absorb the nutrients. Bottled water is not created equal and you should avoid mineral enhanced water, especially those with calcium in it. This can give you a kidney infection, and kidney stones. You should also take a daily multi-vitamin to help keep the proper levels of vitamins and minerals in your body.

Weight training
After you've gotten your diet squared away, the next most important thing in staying in shape, is weight training. This is because increasing the muscle size and mass increases the amount of calories you use at all times. Yes, you burn a certain amount of calories at all times, and the more muscle you have, the higher that number is. When you combine weight training, with cardio training, you get a very potent combination for fat loss. Which is good.
For directions on how to weight train properly, this website contains a wealth of information.



For fat loss: 1-3 sets of 10-12 reps using enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired reps.

To gain muscle: 3+ sets of 6-8 reps to fatigue. For beginners, give yourself several weeks of conditioning before going to this level. You may need a spotter for many exercises.

For health and endurance: 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps using enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired reps.


In addition to that website, I recommend this website as well for understanding how your muscles work.



One type of muscle fiber is designed for endurance activities (slow-twitch muscle fibers). A second type of muscle fiber is designed for strength and speed (fast twitch muscle fibers). The third type of muscle fiber lies somewhere in between the endurance and the strength/speed fibers.


If you want to build muscle size, you will want to do all three types of training on each muscle group. You can find a specific bodybuilding routine for this, on many websites. If you desire to become a body builder, you should read some of their guides and especially the information regarding diet. Bodybuilders require more protein and calories than a normal person would desire.

Cardiovascular training
Cardiovascular training is key to good health and long life. If you're overweight or want to lose a degree of body fat, for that toned look, weight training with cardiovascular or aerobic training is the way to do it. By increasing muscle size with weight training, you increase the benefits you get from cardio. Cardio also speeds up recovery time from weight training greatly. I recommend that you look over this website for basic direction.



Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs (which make up the cardiovascular system). During exercise, your muscles demand more oxygen-rich blood and give off more carbon dioxide and other waste products. As a result, your heart has to beat faster to keep up. When you follow a consistent aerobic exercise plan, your heart grows stronger so it can meet the muscles' demands without as much effort. Everyone, regardless of their weight, age, or gender, can benefit from aerobic exercise.


I would also like to add, that cross training can increase the effectiveness and the joy of cardiovascular training. A good combination is cycling and swimming.

Motivation
If you're like me, you get bored easily. I recommend you stay motivated by, changing your routines every now and then, and trying to do things that you enjoy whenever possible. I enjoy cycling and swimming, so I do that rather than run on a dreadful treadmill. When I get tired of those, I may feel like running for a day or two. Variety is the key to maintaining consistency. An ipod is a must have for cardiovascular training, and keeping a bottle of water nearby while weight training is a good distraction between sets. As you become more adept at each form of training, you will undoubtedly acquire new equipment at times. I recommend that you space out the purchase of new items so that you can use them to keep things interesting as well. Always exercise with a friend when possible. Not only does it add a degree of safety (avoid the awkward "hey buddy, spot me?"), it will keep you both more consistent.

Disclaimer
Please remember to consult your doctor before embarking a fitness/health plan, and always follow good safety practices.
edit on 6-10-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 



More calories can be cut out, or packed on here, than anywhere else. In order to have a good diet you must first remove anything from your diet that provides calories, but not protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Once you've thrown out all of the junk food in your home and replaced it with real food, you can consult this website for the basics of how nutrition works, and how much you need of what.


That's really confusing. Junk foods contain protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats quite often. Also, even the best researchers and doctors in the field know that counting calories doesn't work so well for long term weightloss. Stop worrying about calories...and focus on the food.

Our bodies are very good at auto-regulating caloric consumption and maintaining caloric balance (by making you hungry/satiated or tired/energetic) IF the right foods are consumed.


This is because increasing the muscle size and mass increases the amount of calories you use at all times. Yes, you burn a certain amount of calories at all times, and the more muscle you have, the higher that number is


Do you have any idea how many calories a pound of muscle burns daily? It's not as much as you think. It's a common myth that people lose fat when packing muscle because of an increased caloric demand from the muscle mass. It's retarded. And doesn't make sense.

It's as stupid as saying..."Gaining fat, and subsequently weight, will cause one to actually lose weight, because as weight increases....so does work." I mean, it IS true that as one gains weight, one must work harder and burn more calories to...say...walk, run, climb stairs...or do the daily chores that one is required.

Instead, you might check into what increased muscle mass does to insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Weight training, depending heavily on the type of weight training, can have drastically different effects on the body. Training one way will build primarily strength; training another way will build primarily size (hypertrophy); and training yet another way will build aerobic capacity and tone muscles. And all of these can be dictated simply by adjusting rep quantity and weight. That's it.

Cardio. If you really like doing "cardio", then more power to ya. But unless you love it, or are competing in long distance, endurance sports...avoid it. It's called cardio because it's supposed to be healthy for the cardiovascular system. Well, that's turning out to not be the case. In fact, long distance, steady-state cardio (like jogging or marathoning) is probably CAUSING heart disease...according to the research.

If you plateau or just have to do some cardio, Interval sprints, or somethign similar, is extremely beneficial. Otherwise, if you're extremely overweight and/or just getting started...it's not worth it and can be counterproductive.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Getting in shape means, all around shape. Cardiovascular potential is part of that. If you don't understand how muscle size directly relates to fat burning potential, I suggest you read about bulk and cut phases. The more muscle, the lower the body fat you can achieve. Which isn't necessarily the most healthy, but for most people weight training and cardio will result in a toned body.

You seem to have a lot of misconceptions. No style of weight training will tone your body alone. You gain a toned body by losing body fat. You don't have to touch a single weight in order to tone your body, but if you don't you will look like crap and probably be classified as anorexic.

If you want to be stronger, and are not concerned with size you do 6-8 reps at a heavy enough weight that will make the last rep too hard for you. If you want to gain muscle endurance, you need to be doing reps with a weight that will result in muscle failure in 16-20 reps. If you want to be good at activities that last 30 seconds-2 minutes (like sprinting), you choose a weight that will result in muscle failure in 8-12 reps. If you want to gain maximum size, you lift weights all three ways.

No way you're a personal trainer.
edit on 6-10-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


I suggest reading a biochemistry book and reading the research that specifically measures muscle mass and it's association with basal metabolic rate. I understand the effect muscle hypertophy has on the body's fat metabolism and hormonal state. I'm very well versed on "bulking and cutting", two terms often used by amateurs because they don't realize that both can be achieved simultaneously.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Only much slower than they can be achieved on their own.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


No. If you're a bodybuilder....a proffessional bodybuilder, then yes. But bodybuilding is a whole other animal. For most people looking to gain muscle, cut fat...get in shape, etc, a high energy flux can build muscle and cut fat simultaneously and extremely quickly. And it's healthier than "bulking and cutting". Of course, duration depends on the person's somatotype.



posted on Oct, 6 2011 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Which is why I recommend doing cardio and weight training at the same time. A professional bodybuilder will not touch cardio until he's ready to cut. Since we're not doing that, and a super low body fat is not required, or even wanted, I'm not sure why you're trying to debate something that's very much the truth. I'm guessing it's the same reason that you think weight lifting a certain way will tone your body. That's something that body builders made up in the 70s to cover up the fact that they are weak as hell in competition shape, and can't lift their normal weights.

You don't understand that a body builder wants to give up nothing in bulk, or body fat reduction. They do them separately and are in really bad health at competitions. That's where the myth, that you can't bulk and cut at the same time came from.

edit on 6-10-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 



You seem to have a lot of misconceptions. No style of weight training will tone your body alone. You gain a toned body by losing body fat. You don't have to touch a single weight in order to tone your body, but if you don't you will look like crap and probably be classified as anorexic


You certainly don't need weight training to lose body fat. But, here's something that's quite basic knowledge:

For strength, lifting heavy weights for 1-4 reps will suffice.

For hypertrophy (muscle growth), lifting ~80% of one rep max for 4-8 reps will suffice.

For toning, endurance and fat burning, lifting lighter weight for 10-15 reps will suffice.

Toning, or burning body fat, is achieved in the latter method by a much more metabolically demanding workout. Heart-rate is higher and the workout becomes more of a HIIT type training session. (that's high intesity interval training).

I'm really not sure where you're getting your information from...but it's completely false. If you'd like, I can cite everything I'm telling you. But it's coming from my head...because I've studied, practiced and/or trained it for the past 8 years.

Look...I know exactly how Bodybuilders cut and bulk...and how they prepare for competitions, etc I know why they first bulk and then cut...but...I also know how differen between bodybuilding and getting in shape. Getting in shape isn't bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is a proffessional sport. You don't go mimc Michael Phelps' training and dietary plans just so you can swim a little faster at the public pool. You don't pick up a marathoner's regime just so you can lose a few pounds.
edit on 7-10-2011 by DevolutionEvolvd because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 04:06 AM
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So what is your best advice to both of you for someone who wants to cut out a lot of fat and toning/definition



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


Your reps are too low. 1-4 reps is simply too high a weight, and can lead to injury. You should be pausing for one second between each rep when you're training your fast twitch muscle fibers. I've already cited all of my information in the links. The only fitness plans I've ever heard of that include such low amounts of reps, are bad ones. 8 years of lifting like that, you're due for a spinal overhaul (back surgery). Good luck!


Paul, as far as losing a lot of body fat, you need to evaluate your diet and make sure that you aren't taking in a bunch of unneeded carbohydrates, and fats. That's where most people stack on the fat, rarely does anyone have too much protein. Carbohydrates that are not burned, are turned into fat. Low or no carb dieting is highly effective at losing weight, but losing it too fast by removing too much of them, can result in weakness. The first link I provided can give you a ballpark idea of how many carbohydrates you need per day.

Once you've evaluated your diet, you need to start weight training. Some men with physical jobs are already pretty strong, so if you're a solid guy, you may not need much weight training. In addition to that you need to do some sort of cardiovascular exercise. Combining cardio and weight training is a potent way to put your metabolism back on a faster track.

When you start out, make sure that you're challenging yourself, but not trying to keep up with anyone else. Just go at your own pace and keep track of your own progress, not the guy that's been going to the gym every day for 8 years. Read as much as you can on each subject, and try to find a fitness plan that you can live with. If you think that you can't keep up with it over the long haul, then don't bother doing it, you'll just gain it all back. You have to make lifestyle changes to get in better shape. The biggest one, is what you eat.

I do weight training 3 days a week, and cardiovascular training 6 days a week. That seems to be a pretty solid schedule to shoot for once you're capable. You may want to start out much slower, and work your way up.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


Sure, injury can happen with heavy weights, but I've witnessed some pretty knarley injuries happen during core exercises....with 5lb dumbells. Injury happens with or without weights. I'll be clear...

To maximize strength gains, low rep, heavy weight sets are #1. That is 1-4 reps. Whatever you're reading, its wrong.

And no, I never once said that I have, or anybody else should be lifting that way for 8 years straight. I clearly made reference to 3 types of very general weight training facts that form the foundation of most training sessions. I was speaking quite broadly and not referring to specific technique and programt design.
I think you should stop trying to help people when you lack even basic biochemistry and physiology knowledge.



posted on Oct, 7 2011 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


You should stop perpetuating out dated information, and lies.



posted on Oct, 8 2011 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by Thestargateisreal
 


Ok. Let me show you how severely misinformed you are.

From your source:


Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn all day long.


This, while partly true, is absolutely over hyped and is the epitome of the perpetuation of misinformation. Advertising has a huge effect on nutrition/exercise mythology....and that's exactly what we have in this case. If you were to add a few pounds of muscle, say about 5 (which is a lot), you would still be burning less than 100 calories extra per day. And THAT is insignificant, at best. I'm sorry to burst your little bubble. ( www.nature.com... ) See...my sources are scientific. They're not google searched BS.

The real effect that increased muscle mass (and, really, exercise is what's causing the biggest effect) has on the body is, however, less about caloric balance and more about insulin sensitivity. An increase in muscle mass will increase insulin sensitivity and, therefore, increase fat oxidation.
diabetes.diabetesjournals.org...

So...are you just posting stuff you find in a search engine? Surely, you can understand why I'm extremely skeptical when you post an exercise article from about.com, that's the first hint, and then the first bullet point is regurgitated B.S. that has no scientific or physiologic merit...

Like is said, you should learn how the body works before you post advise in a public forum.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 01:08 AM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


I read that and agree that it's not the best information. The rest of the article was great though, so I included it.

I also said that an increase in muscle size/mass from weight training, will improve cardiovascular workouts. If you put on more muscle, you will burn more calories in a 60 minute session of cardio, than you would have, had you not done the weight training. If you do cardio right after weight training, that's even better. The affect of calories burned while sitting around is minimal, but overall it adds up quickly in a normal person's day due to general activity. Who has time to sit around?

I like to write for my audience. So I found the easiest to understand articles that would help people. No one wants to read a lengthy scientific article to get in shape.

You just said what I said, only slightly different. Good one.


Here's another article about how to gain a very cut look, but I'm guessing it's still not good enough for you.


article
edit on 9-10-2011 by Thestargateisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Thestargateisreal
reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


I also said that an increase in muscle size/mass from weight training, will improve cardiovascular workouts. If you put on more muscle, you will burn more calories in a 60 minute session of cardio, than you would have, had you not done the weight training. If you do cardio right after weight training, that's even better. The affect of calories burned while sitting around is minimal, but overall it adds up quickly in a normal person's day due to general activity. Who has time to sit around?


Well, most people who work sit around at a computer all day. And then, of course they go sleep for 6-8 hours...which is a sedentary behavior, wouldn't you say?

A couple points. Calories burned during workout is probably the most irrelevant measurement since researchers began using BMI to determine obesity. Just like building muscle, your body isn't burning really burning much fat during workouts, or calories. It's more about what your body is doing during rest and recovery. As you know, strength training damages muscle fibers during the workout, but it's the rest and recovery during which muscle is built. And, as such, cardiovascular training in a HIIT fashion, or a metabolically demanding workout, will lead to Excessive Post-workout Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). During the 24 hours following such a workout is where you'll burn the calories....and the fat.

Anyway, try and get away from the notion of calories burned and get into the mindset that it's about the hormones. That increase in muscle mass will certainly increase weight, work and calories burned...but you'll also be eating more as a result of having more mass and burning more energy.


Fuel Partitioning is the name of the game...and the game is officiated by hormones.



posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd
 


For a man, a large amount of calories is burned during recovery. For women, that's not the case. We have a much more narrow window of opportunity to burn fat stores.

As far as cardio goes, some argue that the best time is right after weight training, to exploit the heightened metabolism. Some claim that doing so damages your already torn up muscles. Others say that it further depletes already depleted muscles and causes them to grow back weaker. I've found that you can still do cardio right after weight training and gain muscle, if you're maximizing your diet. You won't be as big, but you'll be in better overall shape.

As far as the average person sitting behind a desk all day, maybe, maybe not. If that's your profession then it makes sense that you would know many people that fit that description. A lot of people do not.





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