I can't believe I'm not seeing better results this time around. I drink my protein drinks, eat lots of eggs, tuna, chicken, fish, etc. I do cardio, usually only 2 days a week, b/c I have some nerve damage in my right foot, and it just kills me, but I lift 3 days a week, rotating UBWO & LBWO, but I'm using all machines, since we've recently joined a gym.....however, I started doing this challenge ONLY using free weights @ home, so I'm wondering, should I go back to free weights for the next 3 weeks.....thoughts????
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That is an interesting question and not one that can easily be answered. You didn't state what very little results mean and what you are expecting to happen.
Machines can give you a good fat-burning workout as much as free weights can. Sometimes though machines can lull one into a moderate to low intensity workout due to the isolation and restriction of the muscle groups, but I think that to be a stretch.
If you are stalled out you need to look at intensity and food overall - review your nutrition, make sure the portions are good and the quality of the foods is high. Review your workouts, if you heart rate isn't up through most of your workout then your intensity is falling off.
If you provide more detail that'll help.
I personally didn't see results until right near the end. I use a mixture of machines AND free weights. Every 4 weeks I change up my rotation. Forexample, I'll do the shoulder press machine for 4 weeks, then barbell overhead presses for 4 weeks. Always gauge your intensity, you should be struggling to finish those last 2 sets of 12.
If I did free wieghts for everything all the time, my wrists would be killing me.
also, do you try different cardio machines? I rotate between treadmill, elliptical, and bike. They all impact my knees and feet differently.
Does your gym have a rowing machine for a cardio workout. That might work for you though not sure of your damamged foot but its a thought as that machine kicks my ass for cardio. And it wouldn't hurt to turn to free weights, to mix things up for your muscles, make the effort different than you have been doing. Try it out, experiment a bit, and make sure you hit the tens.
Hi Jim ~ I'm 5'3" 123 lbs. size 4, and I really wanted to be around 115 by the end of this.....but to be CUT, and it's just really hard to see that happening! I started off doing just free weights @ home, but then when I joined the gym, about 4 weeks ago, all I have done is the machines, for everything. I was just thinking maybe I would get more definition with using free weights, but really didn't know. I am tired/fatigued after my workouts, and usually sore the next day.
Optigirl, I have only been doing an hour of zumba 2-3 days a week since I started this challenge, but lately it's really been hurting my foot, so I'm trying different cardio machines this week. Yesterday, I tried the treadmill & it just killed my foot, so tomorrow I'm going to try the bike. Thanks for your input!
firesong - thank you for your advice also.....I'm mixin' it up this week :-)
Doin It - My suggestion would be to go easy on the carbs the last couple meals of the day. For example, I would eat cottage cheese & strawberries as my last meal rather than meat with rice or a pasta. This really helps me. Also, I learned the hard way that water is SOOO important. You won't lose weight without it. Last thing, I would try not to eat 3 hours before your workouts and 1 hour after.
Who knows, maybe you're already doing all of this? But maybe not??
The machines don't compare to the value of free weights - but I don't know that they would be the reason you have stalled out.
It is important to tighten up the diet - clean it up by not using sauces and condiments, double check your portions. Most people who stall out haven't really taken a hard look at what foods they are consuming. While BFL approved foods listed on the site may work for many, some folks require the basic good old fashion chicken breast, brown rice, veggies. Cut out excess fats, like cheese, nuts, natty pb, bars, spray butter, etc and limit high fat proteins like beef, some whey products, etc. for a week or two and see if that helps. As women begin to age their ability to burn fat begins to wane.
Cardio is the key to fat-loss, no way around it. You can lose scale weight without it through starvation but the value of circulating oxygen rich blood by getting that hear-rate up is vital to burning off the fat. Without getting into a technical discussion of cardio - you just need to find one you can do comfortably. If Zumba is hard on your feet maybe something lower impacting such as the eliptical which some of my clients use is key.
Overall your body is wanting to hold on to what it considers normal, you just have to convince it that it is not normal and you have to re-train it so it'll take intensity and consistency to do that. It all has to work synergistically to be effective.
No reason you can't achieve your goal - you just have to persevere and find that sweet spot where it all comes together for you. It's hard to battle through the frustration, but if you are serious you'll get there.
Jim - I totally agree w/you! The last time I did this challenge, (last year), I remember towards the end of it getting frustrated, so I did a "no sugar diet" for the final 7 days, being very restricted w/food, and I think it did make a difference.
I just looked @ your bio.......WOW, you and your wife look incredible!!!! That's my goal.....and it's going to take everything in me to get there! Thanks again!!
timetochange - I cannot eat cottage cheese....I have tried, but I just can't stomach the texture. I usually eat a small snack (apple or yogurt) around 3:00, then I workout around 5:00, however, I have been fixing a protein drink right after my workout. I do consume a lot of water (besides my protein drinks & my Spark drink in the mornings, that's ALL I drink is water). Thank you so much for your input! :-)
Will free weights give you more definition than machines? Yes, in the long run there's absolutely no doubt about it. You'll get a more thorough muscle workout. Even on the machines make sure you are waiting at least 45 seconds between each rep.
I'm familiar with what Zumba is, but I can't say I have any experience with it. For maximum fat loss the book specifically says to utilize HIIT cardio for 20 minutes, 3 days a week. Everyone who has achieved maximum results (as far as I have seen) utilizes HIIT cardio. They may have done it a few more times a week, or may have done it longer than 20 minutes, but it was HIIT. For less strain on your feet you may try a recumbent bike. I've used it with great results. Use the resistance levels on the bike to exaggerate intensity levels.
If you do some research online, there are reasons why you wait for 45 seconds to 1 minute between each rep (promotes HGH and maximum gains) . There are also reasons you limit your HIIT to 20 minutes (maximizes intesity of the workout and LESS MUSCLE LOSS). There are reasons you follow the 12,10,8,6,12 (intensity 10, failure) reps and do it as close to the intensity levels as possible (proven method of maximizing gains, although later on full pyramids seem to be even more effective but done a little differently). It's a proven science, and it works. Making substitutions or adding shortcuts is going to produce a different type of result. They aren't bad results, just not the results you may expect in the time periods you are expecting.
If you are making gains while making substitutions then that's terrific, you've accomplished something I wish I could and have found ways to modify the program to best fit your needs for your specific body. If you aren't making the same type of gains and the substitutions are neccessary, I'd just be proud of what you're accomplishing and just be aware you are using a modified program. As long as you're moving forward, you're moving, and that's what really matters.
MattM ~ thank you, and I agree w/you also.....I do see some changes, just very little. I want the 6 pack, I want the definition in my arms, (w/out flexing), and defined legs, etc., that's why I'm asking how to get all that. I'm not a very big person anyways, and I'm definately not overweight, and really don't have much to lose, but I feel like I have a LOT to tone up!!!!!!
I do rest in between reps, and try to increase the weight everytime I lift. As far as cardio.......I'll be honest, I hate it! Zumba is something that I've been doing 6 days a week since Sept., but still haven't lost much weight/fat doing that, and several people have said, it's not just about doing cardio 6 days a week, it's about incorporating weight training also, so I decided to do this challenge again, and that's about the time my foot starting hurting. Zumba is the 1 thing (cardio wise), that I absolutely love doing, and the hour just flies by doing it. I usually burn 400-550 calories doing it, however, I know it's not just about burning calories, it's about doing HIIT, so I'm doing that from now til the end of this challenge.
And you're right.....I making gains. I measured 2 days ago, and have lost another inch, so something is working! Thanks again!
Yeah I hate cardio too but it's a necessary evil for me at the moment.
An hour a day cardio, for 6 days a week is definately going to eat into your muscle unfortunately.
Looking at your pics, what results are you expecting LOL you look pretty good!
Thank you for the kind comment - old pics but it tells the story. The Real Solutions Magazine article does a pretty good job of detailing the process. No reason why you shouldn't have confidence in BFL to get you where you want to go. The principles are sound - I write very complex and strict competition diets and believe it or not the principles are all contained in BFL the magic is in how one applies them. Perusing the new forums here, there appears to be a lot of great support - put it all together and let the results come to you.
I wish you the best and look forward to see you finish strong.
HASAM~ thank you!!! I would love a more toned tummy, and to lose the saddle bags, ha!!!!! They say that fat stores in tummies & butts in women, and I'm a true example of that!
Jim, yes, this forum is very encouraging......I love it! I look @ other 40 yr. olds, and am so inspired to look like that in a bikini this summer! I tried this challenge last April and was determined to be in better shape when I turned 40 last August. I will keep "doin it"!!!!!
MattM............agreed!!! I'm not in any better shape than I was back in September, when I started doing zumba......frustrating! That's why I am realllllly trying hard on the weights now, and backing off the cardio some.
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