What exercises should a person do to get a flat stomach and get rid of love handles? Details please
Fast-5 is one of a number of diets constructed around a type of IF - Intermittent Feeding or Intermittent Fasting depending on how the ratio of eating to fasting is structured.
The basic idea is that doing brief periods of medically supervised fasting has been shown to reduce insulin resistance in pre-diabetic individuals disposed to Type II diabetes.
Where it goes horribly wrong is that this therapheutic use of controlled fasting gets moved into an out-of-context use, as effed-up in its way as the current fad for "functional training" is.*
It's a very simple way of restricting calories, and the idea behind it - that there's some special magic about how and when you eat - appeals to people on an intuitive level as this thread shows. That this is in fact wrong doesn't change the appeal of the idea that you can lose weight just by messing about with when you eat, neh?
The basic idea is that you fast the whole day, and in the evening you have a "window" for eating that lasts 5 hours. While this "window" is open you eat whatever you want without restriction, and outside this time you stick to drinking water and black coffee.
I think this is basically a way to promote binge eating disorder while giving it a sheen of acceptability by calling it a diet. Considering how the human metabolism actually works, it's a fscd'up way of eating - but it's hard to convince a diehard convert that he's been had. His girlfriend is a cardiac specialist nurse, I'm - well, me and well-armed with nutritional studies out the wazoo, and there's still no convincing him for either of us. Since I want to keep him as a friend, tying him to a chair and beating him until he agrees with me is pretty much out of the question, hence my frustration that jettj45 got in the way of, because it's misinformation on the same continuum as the Fast-5 crap.
As for how long body comp changes take - well, that depends on both how effective your strength training protocol is for your body type, your cardio load, and your diet. I believe the rule of thumb is that you can drop about 1% of your BF% a week and mostly maintain your lean body mass - lose faster than this and you're burning muscle.
There are multiple dimensions of strength that you can train without neccesarily seeing much of anything in the way of hypertrophy effects for a while. But if your trainer is working outside the optimal median hypertrophy range you can go the other direction and try for lactate-based hypertrophy instead, for example. Though a whole-body workout twice a week should actually be in the lower hypertrophy range at least some of the time - see for example the Two-Day Workout by Tony Gentilcore. That's the one I'd use if I had limited training time anyway.
*Functional training is generally a good idea. But the current crop of idiot trainers who've jumped on the fad use rehab exercises for patients in physical theraphy and make healthy individuals do them. Exercises designed to restore function to patients are not a good idea for people with normal ranges of motion and muscle function.
I have a similar question as Samantha and I went to the Hierarchy of Fat Loss site and forgive for this...but it was a little over my head.
Could you help break it down for me Melkor? I don't have very much time during the week as I'm always on the go with my job and responsibilities around the house. My calories (the ones I eat) are coming into check with how many I burn during the day but I'd like to slim down (and of course...as quickly as I can). I walk in the evenings and do some situps/pushups (on top of the active day) but it seems like that site was saying that's soooooo not enough.
Any suggested activities???
If you've got limited time, you start with weight training, 3 hours per week. That can be 3x1 hour, 6x30minutes, 4x45min or any combination you can make work in your life. Once you've got 3 hours or so more doesn't make you lose faster, so then you add in HIIT training.
'Course you should also consider your NEPA - Non-Exercise Physical Activity. If you're always on the go, you're burning extra calories. That can only be a good thing.
Do you have room in your weekly time budget to lift weights an hour M-W-F or so? If not, how about an hour saturday and 1/2 hour Monday through Thursday?
Your weights don't have to be very complicated things to start with either - a small child weighing in at 20 lbs makes a dandy exercise implement. If you don't have one of those or yours isn't cooperative, a bucket of water at around the same weight will do :-P
Crunches and side bends will build up the muscles in your waist and abdominal area, making them larger as a consequence - hardly what you were looking for. The effect won't be all that noticeable if you just do the abs a couple times a week with a sensible strength training regimen for the whole body - that way you'll stay proportionate. But if all you ever do for years is ab work you'll simply fill out your midsection with muscle. Now, extra muscle is always a good thing I think, but Chad Waterbury points out that adding six inches of muscle to the waistline makes any extra weight you carry there very noticeable.
Waterbury's right about that, so in that limited sense adding more muscle is probably counterproductive.
So for body sculpting purposes I suppose doing weight work for the hips, hamstrings, quads and glutes on the lower body, and building up your shoulders and lats in your upper body is more what you're looking for. Build up those two areas and leave the abs pretty much alone, and your wastline will look proportionally much, much narrower.
Big picture though, the only way to get that really toned midsection look is to lower your overall body fat percentage while building up some muscle over your whole frame.
Do you have any sense of how important the diet part of it is to progress in the intended direction? What if you just eat normally?
Also, looks like a huge time commitment. How might you cut that down? (Not being lazy here... just realistic!)
Exercise is ridiculous. Every time you think you've settled on an exercise plan, you read something that completely nullifies everything you thought you were doing right... :)
It's one of many possible gym t-shirt slogans - Everything Works. Nothing Works Forever.
Though if you look at Weight Training's Dirty Little Secret by Chris Shugart you'll probably come to the same conclusion I did - the important thing is to pick one thing, stick to it until it stops giving you rapid gains, and then doing somethng completely different for a while. And as Chris notes in his article, diet is by far the most important factor in your results.
I'm just a bit sceptical that the low-carb diet Waterbury outlines in his article is essential, but then, I'm sceptical of low-carb diets in general after reading "Burn the Fat, Feed The muscle" - I'm sure it works, but I'm not sure it gives lasting results. Though I guess carb cycling is better than going completely bonkers like the popular conception of how Atkins and South Beach works.
I think that just following the general CC diet should work just as well over the long term, even if you might see a more rapid initial change if you go with Waterbury's thinking. Well, as long as you get your post-workout nutrition in order, anyway.
(Wow, that's a lot of qualifiers. The more I learn, the less dogmatically sure I grow. I sometimes think that training outside of the elite sports level mostly consists of a whole lot of rules of thumb with glaring exceptions in 50% of the cases - everything works, in other words.)
And then I read something like Nutrition for Newbies, Part 1 by Christian Thibaudeau and get confused all over again - oatmeal is now bad? Then why have I been living off it for the last 6 months with excellent results?
Overall, I think that just picking one thing and riding it until it stops working beats out any other strategy. Consistency counts for a lot more than perfection.
My body fat scale seems completely unreliable. At 113.6 lbs I have 26.2% body fat. At 115.4 lbs, 27%. These are normal fluctuations. Over time, it's just been steady, and consistently correlated with my weight (ie lower when the weight is lower, higher when the weight is higher).
The tape measure has been about the same. And say it had changed: if my measurements got smaller, does that mean I lost fat? muscle? water weight? Same if they got bigger.
Also, Waterbury's article brings up an interesting point: what IS progress? According to what he says (which I like), "progress" is waist line shrinking, shoulder width increasing, hip width increasing. But for weight training/muscle building, all measurements should increase as you build muscle?
As for Waterbury's workout: think it would work if I followed it as a 3 days per week workout, instead of a 4-day cycle? What if I did a weight training workout with moves that target the muscles he suggests building (ie more weights, less cardio than he suggests)?
Diet-wise, I am purposely trying NOT to regulate my eating, but I'd say my eating habits are pretty clean, so probably in keeping with CC's recommendations. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, and the like most of the time, and adequate protein, as far as I can tell -- but it's all from food. No post-workout shakes or supplements. Also, I am NOT eating weight x 10 cals/day (as Waterbury suggests) -- for one thing, that would put me below 1200, not incl exercise. I'd say closer to 1600 on average, mainly healthy.
I wonder if you would find 20 for 12: Back to Basics by Olesya Novik a useful read - it's a decent example of a 3-days-a-week program though it's a bit machine-heavy for my tastes. I'm also fairly sure you could use Exrx.net to find substitute exercises if you don't like the ones Novik includes or lack the machines :)
I think I like Shugart's main point in this regard - just do something. See what happens. Then change it up and do something completely different :)
I used to not believe in post-workout protein shakes until Bodyscience convinced me to give it a try - the difference between eating regular food and having a post-workout whey protein shake is really noticeable. Recovery really is faster, better, and more complete - I don't believe the brand makes much if any difference as long as you get actual whey and not soy substitute :)
Though if you read Nutrition for Newbies, Part 2 by Christian Thibaudeau he's got opinions on that as well.
Meh. I think I'm sticking to consistency being the most important part of any exercise program.
I know it sounds like I am all over the place being interested in every workout routine you post on here. I have been fairly consistent, going to a group weights class twice per week. But my diet hasn't been consistent (I recently upped my calories, and gained the inevitable few lbs as a result) so I don't know how valid a comparison from before that to now would be. But I'll measure and see and keep tracking. Also my weights class is not as much about hypertrophy even though I try to make it that way by using the heaviest weights I can use, and it is not consistent in that the order, exercises, reps, etc change every time (to make people keep coming back!). So I am trying to either supplement it with a 3rd day of something consistent, or just lift on my own. The problem with that is where I do the classes, I only have access to dumbbells. No pullup bar, no machines, no barbell. I am thinking of changing that by joining a gym. Life has been getting in the way of that, but I expect to be able to get to it in 2 weeks or so (me and the rest of the country getting ready for holiday season... as long as I don't hold off to Jan 1, I suppose I can avoid some of the crowds :) )
Anyway, the point is I've been KIND OF consistent, without seeing much of a change, but with calories below maintenance, I guess I wouldn't have seen much of a change. So I'll keep tracking. What difference do you feel with the shake? And do you have another one 2 hrs later? (I read that somewhere, probably in an article you linked to :) ) What I mean is -- how do you tell that recovery is "faster, better, and more complete"?
With the post-workout shake I could probably train twice a day if that seemed like a good idea at the time, without it my workouts leave me too wiped to even consider it. I didn't believe that I was working out at a level where Post-WorkOut nutrition would make much of a difference, but Bodyscience got me to thinking that it couldn't hurt to try.
Yeah, I was wrong about that - proper PWO made a distinct difference.
You might be thinking about that debate that I so neatly managed to derail by failing to include the link to Berardi's nutrition article despite going back to edit the damn thing for spelling errors no less than three times - when doing heavy cardio like long-distance bike rides and such the post-workout nutrition management strategy needs to take into account depressed protein synthesis for up to 8 hours after the workout. (Yeah, damn that was embarrasing. I meant to summarise my understanding of the article, but without the link it turned into something completely different. It's not like I am capable of writing at length without linking to T-Nation articles :-P Eastside may have a more complete picture of the current SOA in nutrition if s/he stops by.)
Heh, consistenly changing routines might also be a good idea - you know, I keep returning to the notion that just about anything will work. Quite possibly based on the core principle outlined by Shugart - it's the radical change in itself that stimulates your body to meet new challenges by growing new muscle, not what that change consists of. So just going by that you should be prepped to grow muscle radically fast by switching from the weights class with their constantly changing routine to a workout consisting only of the Olympic Lifts or even the basic 5x5 workout from Mark Rippetoe when you take the plunge to join a gym.
Reading everything you come across isn't a bad idea - gives you a larger set of tools to choose from in the process of becoming the world's leading expert on what kind of program works best for you :)
I'm not sure I train as hard as you. But, I guess I do get the shaky feeling in my muscles. Right after the workout I feel ok, but then it I get in my car and try to turn the wheel and my arms protest. :) Of course, that goes away after a few hours... today I'm not really sore at all despite lifting yesterday. Maybe I didn't work hard enough? But if the only improvements are decreased soreness and the hypothetical ability to train again the same day (which I wouldn't do anyway), then maybe I wouldn't gain much. On the other hand, CNS fatigue is something I could do without (is CNS fatigue where you can't bring yourself to do anymore even though your muscles probably have it in them? I think I get that pretty badly.) You're saying post-workout shakes help with CNS fatigue that occurs DURING a workout?
The second PWO shake article was actually this one. See myth #6. How's that for a little taste of your own medicine :-P
So now I'm more confused than ever.
I've actually noticed something that should theoretically be impossible - hypertrophy while in a calorie deficit. It's probably a combination of newbie shock growth, regaining previous muscle mass and simple water retention, but according to all the various body fat measurements I've shed fat and increased lean mass simultaneously while operating on a daily 1000-cal deficit. Admittedly, it's not a dramatic amount, roughly 6 pounds increase in lean mass while shedding 12 pounds of fat over one month - and considering the possibility of water retention it's probably a bit less. But it's still a far cry from the normal loss of lean mass I was expecting while in a deficit...
And yes, the post-workout fatigue-induced shaking and soreness you describe is part of what is improved or completely removed by PWO - at least for my metabolism. Getting them is a sign you're working hard enough for your body - workout intensity is relative to your own maximum capacity, not to some "poundage moved" standard. It's also a sign that you're probably in the category of people who'd benefit from taking Bodyscience's advice to drink a PWO protein shake.
I've actually tried pre-workout nutrition with some simple carbs, and I really can't handle working out in that state - if I take in anything closer to the workout than 1 hour my intensity suffers. Either that or I wind up headed for the puke bucket. Maybe I should give pre-workout protein a go though - post workout protein shake worked and drinking food is generally easier on the system than eating it.
And yep, as I understand it that's roughly how CNS fatigue works; you can't make yourself recruit muscles that really aren't all that fatigued. It's a precursor to metabolic overreach or overtraining, and it's why you will feel incipient overtraining in your motivation long before it hits your muscles. In a sense, the post-workout nutrition does help with the CNS fatigue you're experiencing during a workout - by making sure you're completely recovered before you step into the gym it will take longer for your CNS to become so fatigued that you run into performance issues.
Keep in mind that this understanding is subject to revision in about 5 minutes when I'm done reading a new batch of T-nation articles :)
To quote the article Flowerbud points to above:
Perhaps even more important than the pre-workout meal is the old standard: breakfast. No this article isn?t part of a conspiracy by MABB (Mom?s Against Bad Breakfasts) to promote the importance of this meal. Just think about it: being essentially fasted for 8-10 hours is incredibly destructive for muscle -yes even if you eat cottage cheese before bed.You're cheating yourself out of gains you could have made if you go burn muscle proteins by doing cardio in a catabolic state. Don't do it, it only makes life harder for yourself.
One thing I learned when in physical therapy for my back is an exercise that strengthens the muscles that wrap around your sides to your back.
Lay on floor, lift left knee and push on it (and resist) with your right hand. then alternate.
I just tried it and that seems wrong. I can't find the P.T. papers though.
Anyhow, love handles themselves are often made of fat. Lose fat, lose lovehandles.