Jul 19, 2011

BUILD MUSCLE & LOSE WEIGHT: How I Do It

With my exciting news about losing 150 pounds came a lot of questions about what I am doing to lose the weight. I have posted bits and pieces as I have tried to hone in on what works for me and what doesn't. If you think I am a fitness pro, you have been fooled. I don't claim to have the answer to getting fit. All I can do is tell you what has worked for me so far. If what I am doing helps you, sweet. You need to get all medical obstacles out of the way as much as you can before anything else. Also, going hard core into a workout routine at 524 is not how it happened for me. There have been 3 stages I have gone through as I have developed my own workout routine.

STAGE 1 - "BABY STEPS INTO THE ELEVATOR"
At the beginning, I started VERY small. I was just a newbie and was trying to figure things out. I had no idea what I was capable of at that point and the way I looked at it, I needed to start making simple changes that got me moving. It was a far cry from a weight loss routine. Truth is, in the beginning I was focused more on getting my heart healthy enough that I wouldn't be a high risk patient for weight loss surgery. I started a limited cardio regimen soon after. Small and only 3 days a week. I started doing 20 min, then 30 min, until I could do a full hour of the elliptical trainer.What I was doing to get ready for weight loss surgery soon became what prevented me from needing the surgery.

STAGE 2 - RESISTANCE TRAINING & CARDIO
Not what you would think. The biggest changes didn't happen in the gym, they happened at the dinner table. I have heard this phrase countless times on the many fitness blogs I read but it applies here and I need to repeat it for those who haven't come across it yet.
You can't out train a bad diet
If you want to lose weight, you have to get your food fixed first. The resistance training that happened in this stage was food resistance. Reprogramming my mind about food, nutrition and eating. I learned to give up foods that where making me fat, overhauled my perception of a portion and scrutinized each meal by counting calories. In posts like this one I literally had to run from food at times. This was the most difficult but rewarding stage in my weight loss. It was emotional, hard and life changing. I followed a food plan loosely but was strict about calorie intake. I started to understand weight loss as basic math and not some unobtainable dream.

Workouts blended into my day. Even though I was going to the gym, I would run stairs during breaks at work and find ways to get my heart rate up for 15+ min. at a time. I used a GoWearFit monitor to measure calories burned in the beginning.

STAGE 3 - BUILD MUSCLE WHILE LOSING WEIGHT
Now that you know the back story, as Nocho would say, "Let's get down to the nitty gritty."

My current weight loss routine is much more structured now. I decided that the two guys I knew that were the most fit and had the type of body I want to achieve are my brother-in-laws. Tyler plays at Utah State University and Cody at Southern Utah University. Cody helped me build a weight lifting routine that would make the most productive use of my time at the gym. There are some spreadsheets I built as I tuned my workout. You will find them on the "Tools & Resources" page in .xls or .pdf formats. Feel free to use them and distribute them.

A few things that stick out to me about why this workout has been effective for me:
Download My Workout
  1. It keeps my heart rate up during the weight training.
    • I think the best part of the workout is focusing on keeping up my heart rate. It keeps my mind focused, my goal in front of me and I am amped through the whole workout. Rest AFTER the workout is done.
  2. Focus on less muscle groups each day but works each group to the max.
    • prior to this workout most of my weight lifting was circuit based. Sure I would hit all the muscle groups but it was minimal in effect and I didn't see much progress. These exercises really let you focus in on a muscle group and know you worked it out to the best of your ability.
  3. Interval training at the END of the workout.
    • by far the best advise Cody gave me was to interval train at the end of weight lifting. I know someone has a study somewhere that says that is backwards but it works. I get so much more out of my cardio when I do it at the end. It's not a warm up, it's a burn out. I love it. It loosens me up after weight lifting and I feel energized instead of worn out.
*Notes about the workout logs.
  • Expect to spend 11/2 - 2 hours for each of these workout sessions.
  • Interval training is about 23 - 25 min. I only do one session a day. I like to do the specified 20 min. and then continue on after the intervals are done to reach a specific calorie goal, usually at least 400 calories.
  • focus on good form (I can't stress this enough) If you don't know what good form is for an exercise there are great resources online that explain how to properly execute each exercise.
Any questions you have I would be happy to answer. I hope someone besides me uses these logs, they took a freekin' long time to make.

    3 comments:

    1. Great tips. I love the spread sheets! And I completely agree with the first. For some people its ONLY healthy eating and portion control for a while until they can get to the point of exercise. So true. Great post.

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    2. Great tips. I think people get scared to lift weights because they don't want to get "bulky". Honestly, there is no way to get "bulky" unless you start taking the 'roids. If it was that easy to naturally build muscle and bulk up everyone would do it!

      Sarah
      notaneffingdiet.blogspot.com

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    3. I couldn't agree more. I've always said that weight loss is more about FOOD in the beginning of the journey than about EXERCISE. However, I think exercise becomes more important the closer that you get to your goal--not to mention your body needs the extra boost to kick the metabolism in the butt. I also completely agree with your build-muscle method of working out for weight loss. Lots of women resist weight training because of what Sarah said--not wanting to get "bulky." But women aren't designed that way, and muscle just helps the body burn fat more efficiently and effectively. No wonder you're having success losing weight. Congrats on your success!
      Christine
      www.phoenixrevolution.net

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