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Skinny fat? (Q about body fat %)


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So I've spent the past 2-3 months losing weigh to get to a healthy goal, and I've been largely successful in doing so.  I'm a 5' 10" male, mid-20's, and I was close to 180, which wasn't huge, but certainly a bit husky given that I am only an average size frame.  I have dropped about 17 lbs in about 3 months (just over a pound a week), and just hit 160, which was my goal all along.  I didn't have much time for exercise, so it mostly came through healthy dieting, and cutting back on snacking, etc.  I did a little jogging every now and then, but it was mostly dieting that cut that weight.

So sure, now I look in the mirror and see a skinnier guy, but I still have flabby love handles that I can grab onto, a flatter, but still flabby-feeling belly, some fat that I can grab  onto on my upper arms, etc.  So I guess that, despite my weight loss, I am still at a high percentage of body fat, so losing weight obviously didn't cure that problem in itself since I haven't really been doing weightlifting recently.

So my question is this: What should I do to get rid of this fat, and build up muscle WITHOUT losing any more weight?  I feel like 160 is certainly healthy and quite average for someone of my age and height, so that should stay relatively constant.  But does that mean I am stuck with still feeling flabby and soft?  I started doing a resistance exercise routine of arm exercises (bicep, tricep, and forearm) every other day, and have also been doing some abdominal exercises and push ups as well (essentially whatever I can do in my house with just one 20 lb dumbbell lying around).  So what else should I be doing?

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I would start with an established weight training program like Starting Strength.

Original Post by dakatz:

So I've spent the past 2-3 months losing weigh to get to a healthy goal, and I've been largely successful in doing so.  I'm a 5' 10" male, mid-20's, and I was close to 180, which wasn't huge, but certainly a bit husky given that I am only an average size frame.  I have dropped about 17 lbs in about 3 months (just over a pound a week), and just hit 160, which was my goal all along.  I didn't have much time for exercise, so it mostly came through healthy dieting, and cutting back on snacking, etc.  I did a little jogging every now and then, but it was mostly dieting that cut that weight.

So sure, now I look in the mirror and see a skinnier guy, but I still have flabby love handles that I can grab onto, a flatter, but still flabby-feeling belly, some fat that I can grab  onto on my upper arms, etc.  So I guess that, despite my weight loss, I am still at a high percentage of body fat, so losing weight obviously didn't cure that problem in itself since I haven't really been doing weightlifting recently.

So my question is this: What should I do to get rid of this fat, and build up muscle WITHOUT losing any more weight?  I feel like 160 is certainly healthy and quite average for someone of my age and height, so that should stay relatively constant.  But does that mean I am stuck with still feeling flabby and soft?  I started doing a resistance exercise routine of arm exercises (bicep, tricep, and forearm) every other day, and have also been doing some abdominal exercises and push ups as well (essentially whatever I can do in my house with just one 20 lb dumbbell lying around).  So what else should I be doing?

160lbs for a 5'10 bloke is skinny... unfortunately, given the information provided, you are skinny fat rather than skinny muscular.

A 5'10 bloke with a decent amount of muscle should be more like 180lbs than 160lbs.

Starting Strength

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Stomach crunches will tone the mid section, but overall body conditioning targeting all muscle groups is best!

Crunches will not tone anything. You get tone by lowering your bf%. Crunches are pretty inefficient at this.  They are also not very effective for working your mid section.  

Your core muscles: abs, obliques, lower back, are designed to stabilize your body.  If you want to work them, then work your body hard and they will do work.  Lifting heavy with any compound lift will work your core, squats, deadlift, bench press, pullups, etc.  There are also moves that emphasize your core, planks, hanging ab raises, farmer's walk.  

But don't bother with crunches.  They don't do much.

Wow, I must be an anomaly, did crunches every day for weeks on end and toned it out. Wasn't building big muscle, just toning and it worked!
Original Post by scooby527:

Wow, I must be an anomaly, did crunches every day for weeks on end and toned it out. Wasn't building big muscle, just toning and it worked!


Before and after pics (me loves a unicorn)Tongue out?

What was your diet?

#7  
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Original Post by smashley23:

Crunches will not tone anything. You get tone by lowering your bf%. Crunches are pretty inefficient at this.  They are also not very effective for working your mid section.  

Your core muscles: abs, obliques, lower back, are designed to stabilize your body.  If you want to work them, then work your body hard and they will do work.  Lifting heavy with any compound lift will work your core, squats, deadlift, bench press, pullups, etc.  There are also moves that emphasize your core, planks, hanging ab raises, farmer's walk.  

But don't bother with crunches.  They don't do much.

I'm definitely going to start with some of these compound exercises this summer once I can consistently go to the gym.  So if I do resistance training consistently (something like every other day, with a rotation between upper body and lower body, with cardio days in between), and I eat enough to ensure that I'm not operating on a deficit, I should be able to get more muscular and lose some of this body fat without losing weight?  

Original Post by dakatz:

Original Post by smashley23:

Crunches will not tone anything. You get tone by lowering your bf%. Crunches are pretty inefficient at this.  They are also not very effective for working your mid section.  

Your core muscles: abs, obliques, lower back, are designed to stabilize your body.  If you want to work them, then work your body hard and they will do work.  Lifting heavy with any compound lift will work your core, squats, deadlift, bench press, pullups, etc.  There are also moves that emphasize your core, planks, hanging ab raises, farmer's walk.  

But don't bother with crunches.  They don't do much.

I'm definitely going to start with some of these compound exercises this summer once I can consistently go to the gym.  So if I do resistance training consistently (something like every other day, with a rotation between upper body and lower body, with cardio days in between), and I eat enough to ensure that I'm not operating on a deficit, I should be able to get more muscular and lose some of this body fat without losing weight?  


Yes but get a proper program.  "Cardio" is unnecessary, and may in fact hamper, your efforts if your goal is to appear more muscular.

A program is a must, or at least, a strong should.  It will cover proper form for the lift, and the lifts will be planned in a way that is optimal for beginners, which is typically full body 3 days a week.  

Whether or not cardio will impact your muscle growth depends on how intense your cardio is and how long you do it.  Intense cardio, running, fast biking etc, will start to inhibit muscle growth when done more than 90 minutes a week. Walking on an incline won't impact your growth at all and can be done as long as you can walk before you get bored.

If you are going low intensity (and assuming the person doesn't have two hours a day to spend walking), where is the benefit?

It will have almost zero effect on fat loss and won't have any great positive effect on the cardio vascular system over and above what a proper lifting program will provide.

Jogging is okay, but you don't need to lose any more weight. You need to build muscle.

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