Point Me in the Right Direction?
So about two years ago, I decided I didn't want to be fat anymore. I was very out of shape. I couldn't even begin to run a mile. Anyway, I started running, lifting, and eating better and dropped from 45 pounds. I got very busy with work and was away from home at least 20 days a month. It's hard to eat right and keep at it in that situation so of course I gained a little weight back but nothing drastic.
Fast forward to now. I am no longer working so I decided to try P90X and I did that for one month and then started doing Insanity too. I did both workouts for two months,(P90X in the morning and Insanity later in the day) and lost 13 more pounds. Could have been more, but I did not eat as good and as clean as I should have.
I have now joined the gym and I am trying to figure out what's best for my goals. My first and main goal it to cut the rest of my body fat to get to about 10%. Right now, I am 197lbs at 19.8%. I am 5'11". Of course, I want to gain some muscle mass in the process if possible or after I finish the "gut cut".
Since I joined the gym 2 weeks ago, I have been doing the SS workout but I don't think that is the right thing for me. I do not like the power clean and I have not desire to squat 3 days a week plus with all the cardio I have been doing, my legs are not recovering at all. I have been doing 45 minutes on lift days and 1 1/2 hour on non lift days with two days rest. The cardio is high intense interval as well as some that keeps me on the high side of my target heart rate. Maybe that's too much cardio?
I have a couple of questions. The first is what would be best for me to do to get to achieve my goals? My other question is about supplements. What would be good for me? You can ask 100 people those two questions and get at least 95 different answers it seems .
I have been taking 1400mg fish oil, GNC Sport multivitamin, and complex B plus C
I also drink one scoop of M5 Extreme creatine about 45 minutes before working out as well as one scoop of whey protein mixed with one cup of skim milk before and after workout.
On the days I lift, I am lifting and then doing cardio but I'm not even sure that I am doing that in the right order. I have just read something about drinking a recovery drink after lifting and before cardio so my muscles can begin recovering but what should that be?
Anyway, I will shut up now. Any advice or opinions is greatly appreciated. I am really serious and dedicated since I have the time so I want to really get it right.
One more thing. I know how to eat and what to eat but how many calories a day should I eat in order to cut weight and gain muscle or is that even possible? If not, can I at least maintain the muscle I do have? My BMR intake is about 1900 calories.
First and foremost you need to find a lifting program that fits your schedule, and that you will enjoy performing. Unless you are focusing on some form of progressive resistance, it will be nearly impossible to cut fat while retaining or gaining muscle.
Without progression on basic heavy compound lifts you will lose muscle and fat at the same time, making it hard to get ripped and hard to look good.
Second, you need to get your diet nailed down. A poor diet will yield poor results. My recommendation:
1) About 180-200 grams of protein per day, split into meals about every 2.5 to 3 hours.
2) 25-30% of your calories from fat.
3) The rest of your calories from carb sources, with a sizable amount of them eaten first thing in the morning and post-workout.
Calorie wise, you want to lose about 1.5 to 2 pounds per week. Any more than this and you are sacrificing more muscle than you want to. You have to find a calorie level that allows you to lose weight at this rate. If you are not sure, start around 2300 to 2500 calories per day. The first week you might lose more weight than normal due to lower than normal carb intake.
If after week 2 you are losing weight too rapidly, add about 300 more daily calories. if you aren't losing weight at ll, drop the calorie intake by 300 per day.
Once a week allow yourself an hour to eat whatever you want. Call this this the sanity, re-feed window.
This combination of a solid diet and progressive resistance on heavy compound lifts will get you started in the right direction. Minor changes may have to be made as you learn how your body is responding.
You have a good base. Fish oil and a quality multivitamin are foundations, especially when cutting. I also recommend while trying to lose fat that you consider BCAAs and or Scivation Xtend. BCAAs have helped me retain muscle mass on cuts.
I have run experiments and have seen a noticeable improvement on muscle retention using BCAAs. I don't use a lot, but I do generally take them with protein shakes that I drink in between major meals.
Scivation Xtend can help with recovery and muscle soreness, and is relatively inexpensive and a proven, quality supplement.
Creatine is cheap and rarely a bad idea. Whey before and after workout is a solid choice.
The debates may rage over the above supplementation, but I can tell you this...I work in the industry. I train with, talk to and film the biggest and baddest natural lifters on a daily basis. They all use the above supplementation and it never lets them down. I use these basics and they never let me down. And they are pretty inexpensive.
They aren't miracle products, they fill in the cracks and helps with health and recovery.
As far as a workout, I strongly suggest a fullbody approach of some sorts. We have some great programs on the site. I listed quite a few in this thread:
Which one you choose really isn't as important as sticking to it and pushing for more weight on the bar.
Thanks for the advice!
I got my BMR from the packet that comes with the Insanity workout as well from a calculator site and they both come up with around 1970. Of course that is what I burn from sitting in the couch all day. Do you think it is not right? I am 33, 197lbs and 5'11"
I am looking over the full body workouts to see which one I like best. I am looking for a M,W,F workout so I can use the weekends to recover and rest as well as not take any time away from my wife and daughter. I have been out of town for work for the last seven years so every minute counts.
As far as the supplements go, I think I will get the XTend or at least something like it. Some else suggested the Purple Wrath I think it is called. They also suggest this mix for a post workout drink. What do you think of it? He says it's about 330 calories. Whatever I decide upon, I am thinking I should be drinking it after lifting before I start my cardio?
What do you think about the 3 to 4 hours of cardio a week that I have been doing? Too much? Not enough?
Thanks again for all the advice. I fell a little smarter already!
Your BMR might be lower. Could be under 2500. I always recommend starting a little high when trying to but and then slowly backing down on calories. Give 2300 a try and see what happens. Give it a good 2 weeks unless you gain weight during the first week.
With supplements like Purple Wrath or Xtend I tend to recommend that you start sipping immediately after you workout and right through your cardio. You can really drink it through the whole pre to post workout period, but not a lot of us can afford to guzzle mass quantities of it so if money is an issue just drink in during your workout and right after or during cardio.
Regarding the post-workout mix...330 calories sounds reasonable as long as it has protein and something like waxy maize. See if you can find the product name.
Looks like you guys are telling about the same thing, sort of. The now foods dextrose and the carbo gain he recommended and the way maize both appear to be carbs if I am reading right.
The way maize is a complex starch derived from Non-GMO corn and the dextrose is a monosaccharide or simple sugar that is derived entirely from corn. The carbo gain is a digestible complex carbohydrate derived from corn as well.
So you think I would be better off with the waxy only or would that be something I could add to that as well?
And you are correct, waxy, carbo gain and dextrose are all carbs.
So if I get the waxy, there is really no need for the other two?
So you said 180-200 grams protein a day. What about carbs and fat? I know you said 25%-30% fat but how many grams of each. Would it help if I was able to make the fat lower than that or not since I am trying to lose fat?
I can't thank you enough BTW!
if i'm not mistaken most people use waxy maize during their workout to keep muscle glucose levels high and to maintain energy throughout the workout.
if money is not an a huge factor in the past i went in this order.
15-30 mins pre workout.........white flood
during workout.....................monster maize
30 mins post workout............protein of choice
that seemed to work well for me.
So I ordered a 90 serving of Xtend today. Watermelon flavor.
I was going to order some waxy today to and someone at the gym told me that they just make them selves a shake for post workout with chocolate whey, peanut butter, oatmeal, and water and ice. What do you guys think of that? It would save some money, that's for sure and I have read numerous times that if you can get your fuel from food, that is the best route to go.
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