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Unread 03-04-2015, 09:11 PM   #1
sandra03
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any tips to lose fat, gain muscle and a new gym routine

Hey guys. I haven't posted in here in a while but I need advice >_<

I'm wanting to get into shape for a con in May, and just in general. Sort of using it as an excuse to keep motivated but so far failing miserably lol. my husband and I go to the gym, but we seriously slacked off over the holidays because of travelling and just being busy in general, and it's been really difficult to get back into routine of going to the gym 3 days a week. We both feel that it's partly because our gym routine is getting a little stale. We don't enjoy it lately.

my goal is to lose fat around my waist and.. basically my whole torso lol but the belly is the major problem area. and also to build some muscle. I don't need to lose weight exactly, if anything I could stand to gain a bit, i'm at about 126lbs right now, 5'5". but I guess I'm what you call skinny fat. I'm seriously lacking in upper body strength and stamina. hubby is looking to do pretty much the same, trim up the lovehandles and gain some muscle definition. he's about 200lbs and 6'

We both do more or less a whole body weight lifting routine with 3 rotating days and 3 days a week (ie: monday is day 1 routine, wednesday day 2, friday day 3 - though fridays we've started doing a cardio class instead). We were following the dynamic warmup from nerd fitness but got bored of that and just started doing a quick warmup on the ellipticals instead. I feel like our routine doesn't do much for me lately, I'm not sore the next day, I don't go home feeling like I had a good workout, and yet I'm still not able to go up in weight for most things. I think he feels the same. So I think just changing things up and adding some variety to our workouts would help us a lot but neither of us are good at planning these things out. and some days I'm so tired after work that I just can't even think about going to the gym, so something less intensive for those days would be good too. sometimes half the battle is just getting TO the gym, once we're there we'll make the most of it even if we have to skip some things. but I work in a packaging plant where some days I just fold cardboard boxes together all day and other days I might be slinging 20-40 lb boxes for 8 hours straight and end up with sore wrists, shoulders and lower back so definitely don't want to go lift weights afterwards and am inclined to just go right home. if we had a less intensive backup plan for days like that maybe i'd be less likely to skip the gym. even just having a cardio day sucks when your feet are sooo sore. in a nutshell, i have too many excuses not to go, i need a kick in the butt.

diet-wise, i'm vegan but i know i need to cut back on sugars and up my water intake. water is hard, I can't drink much at work and then in the evening I won't have much or else i'm up to pee in the middle of the night. i so hate that lol.

so yeah, I'd appreciate any suggestions :3

Last edited by sandra03 : 03-04-2015 at 09:15 PM.
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Unread 03-04-2015, 11:45 PM   #2
FearTheAsian117
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Diet is huuuuge for trimming fat. If you have a smart phone, get My Fitness Pal. Its an awesome app and every lifter I talk to uses it. It REALLY helps on figuring out how much you actually eat.

Next, your work out....well....it sounds like you have rather contradictory things. Sort of. Yes you can build muscle and gain weight (Muscle is denser and heavier than fat) but trimming also is a different direction. Cardio and high intensity interval training will shred that belly fat with a proper diet (I am a good result of that). I also lift to keep up muscle mass. But trimming requires a calorie deficit while building muscle requires an increase in calorie intake (See the problem).

As for doing things when you're tired....well in short, you just gotta do it. And it will suck....a lot...But getting into good habits help.

Basically, Diet is everything, at least for cutting fat. For building and definition, I like a 40/40/20 diet (40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% fat) and you can calculate your calorie intake using MyFitnessPal.

Gaining muscle mass obviously requires lifting. It helps, if you can, have different days when you go, focusing on specific muscle groups. I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and do a full body exercise cause I can't go every day, or at least, I alternate lifting and cardio when I have time. But having specific muscle group days can help ease the boredom (You will hate leg day. Everyone hates leg day. Do not skip leg day. FRIENDS DONT LET FRIENDS SKIP LEG DAY).

For cardio, Insanity program is AWESOME. I will always recommend it. It will kick your ass. You will question yourself why you're doing it, but you will get results.

So honestly, I'd pick like a 3 day lift, 3 day insanity, (Or you can do all 6 with the days you lift ie. insanity and lifting in one day. 2 a days are soooo goooood but sooo baaaddd....)

I feel like I sorta went round about with that. So I'll put a quick TL;DR
~HIIT training will cut fat
~Proper Diet is just about everything
~Motivation has to come from yourself. Force yourself to go and get good habits.
~Lifting will help gain muscle mass. If you're getting bored, choose days to do certain muscle groups and stick to the cycle

Let me know if you have any more questions!

~Fear
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Unread 03-05-2015, 05:41 AM   #3
sandra03
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cool thanks Fear. how do you judge when you should increase weights and how often to you change up your routine?
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Unread 03-05-2015, 06:04 AM   #4
FearTheAsian117
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I do roughly every 2-3 workouts I complete. So If I'm benching 150, and I finish that work out 2-3 times without failure, up the weight 5 pounds. Unless you feel it's too easy. It's sorta hard to find that spot where you're not doing too light but not too heavy. Your last set or two, depending on how many sets you're doing, should be a struggle, you should have to push yourself.

As for changing my routine, you can do it every month or so -ish isnt too bad. Maybe two months. But a lot of the time I more change reps and sets vs changing the actual workout I do.

Like I said, I do a full body routine that usually looks something like this

5x5 bench
3x10-12 shoulder press
3x10-12 bent over single arm row
5x5 or 10 squat (Depending if I usually go for weight or reps)
5x5 or 10 Deadlift (same thing)
3x10-12 lat pull down
3x10-12 overhead tricep extension
Core every day I go to the gym

I generally have at least 4 or 5 of those in my work out. Its usually due to time constraints but there are a few others that can be done. Rule of thumb. Reps=more tone. Weight=more mass. I find 3x12 and 5x5 give a good balance for those lifts between the two but everyone is different

~Fear
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Unread 03-06-2015, 03:01 PM   #5
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How many sets and reps are you doing? Also if you are dieting pretty hard and have a bigger deficit in your calories it will be harder to increase your strength and the weights you do on your workout. Typically weight lifters do a bulk and a cut phase, where they eat more than their maintenance calories each day and thus increases the mass they have and makes progress on workouts easier (bulk stage) during the cut stage you can change your workout a bit or leave it the same but you probably wont progress in strength (it is still possible but hard).

Just my personal workout is I do A B days and workout 4 days a week, so Monday and Thursday is A day and Tuesday and Friday is B day. I typically do 3 sets of 8 reps for each of my exercises. From what I understand that is what is ideal for building size where 3 sets of 5 reps is good for strength (it has worked for me, others do it differently).

My A day workout looks like
Squats
Deadlifts
Leg Press
Bent over rows
Bicep Curles
Back Extensions
Pull ups
wide grip lat pull downs
cable rows
Leg curles
Glute kick backs
and Kettle bell swings

During my cut I changed it up a bit and it is now
Squats
Dead lifts
Bent over rows
Bicep Curls
Pull ups
30 minutes of cardio

B day is
bench
incline bench
up right rows
shoulder press
lateral raise
chest dips
tricep pull down
flies
reverse flies

During a cut it is
Bench
incline bench
upright rows
shoulder press
Chest dips
30 minutes of cardio

So during my cut I focus more on the compound lifts.

Again this is just something that has worked for me. But I have been able to go from barely being able to bench press the bar to being able to do 8 reps at 165 lbs (granted that did take a few years). Also it is a slow process, if you keep at it you could expect to lose about 10-15 lbs between now and May but it may not happen. I am kinda there right now. I was expecting to have a bit more progress than I did after two months. But it is still progress.

The other thing that will help a lot is finding a good source of protein. You want to get about 1 gram of protein per lb of body fat a day, so roughly 126 g of protein. That will help you get stronger. Main thing is to find what works for you and what you enjoy doing.
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Unread 03-07-2015, 07:22 PM   #6
sandra03
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Well, like I said, I'm not looking to lose weight. if I lost 15 pounds I'd be underweight. I'm pretty thin everywhere but around the waist. my belly is bigger around than my hips and I know that's super unhealthy and puts me at risk for various issues. Plus makes it really difficult to find clothes that fit me properly lol. So I want to lose some fat around the belly, muffintop etc without losing weight overall. I know it's impossible to target fat loss which is why I want to build muscle while burning some fat so I don't end up underweight. I don't necessarily want to bulk up a lot, but just to gain some strength and stamina. and some definition wouldn't hurt, but I'm really looking more at the health factors than the appearance factors. If I can look better in the process that would be fantastic, but I'm not the type of girl to put myself through hell to lose 3 pounds and beat myself up over eating a couple of cookies or that sort of thing. I aim to eat healthy but I don't deprive myself. I've cut way back on junkfood, soda, and late night snacking for my health. Hoped to see some improvement in the belly area but not so far. I don't need to diet though. I could probably re-evaluate some of my calorie sources and try to balance things out a little better, but I would not reduce my calorie intake. again, I only weigh 126 and am 5'5", that's a pretty healthy weight for my height and bodytype I think. I wouldn't want to lose more than 5 lbs or so.

we typically do 3 sets of 8 reps as well. Sometimes if we feel like we could do more but can't go up in weight yet we'll do 10 reps. I don't remember which exercises we do on which days, but it's a good variety of barbell and dumbbell for biceps triceps and shoulders, leg presses, calf raises, dips and pullups, back extensions and abs. Fridays we do a class at the gym that mostly focuses a lot on core and legs.

as for progress, my waist hasn't gotten any smaller but I have noticed more definition around my shoulders and upper back since we started the gym about a year ago. I can easily do some exercises that I really struggled to do in the beginning and have gone up in weights, though not as much or as often as I probably should. So I wouldn't say I haven't made progress, but not quite as much as I'd hoped either, and it's sort of discouraging. The amount of time it takes to get through a full workout and get home is a big obstacle for us. by the time we get home and have supper it feels like our whole evening is shot and we don't have much time to relax or do other things. I'd love to be able to go on weekends to free up some of our weeknights, but we either get busy or we get lazy and always ended up skipping it, so we just started doing 3 weekdays. Maybe we need to try to go on weekends again and see if it helps.
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Unread 03-25-2015, 08:16 PM   #7
IcelandicPickle
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As dramatic as it seems, I lost 9 pounds in a week and a half. I decided to go on a quick fat-loss diet, and cut out about 80% of food, cut out chips, sweets, any any drink besides milk, tea, or water. I've been wanting to try the vegan diet too, since I heard it's great for you.
I've also been walking, running on an exercise machine, and squats. This past week I've hit a bumpy road at school which caused me to fall into a pretty negative mood, and I haven't been as self motivated as I usually am, but I'm sure it will be plenty effective again.

For gaining muscle, I can't help you there. I just assume doing some sort of exercise will help?

The con isn't too far away, but is still long enough to change a bit. If you think you can eat, for example, a few carrots and call it a meal for however long, that would be my advice to you, lol.

Good luck, and I wish you well!
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