Circuits vs waiting the minute

  • Hi friends,

    This is my first post, and I am a bit lost. I am on Day 46, and I started at 166 and now weigh 161 (I am 5 foot 5). Very little changed in terms of actual size (clothes don't feel different), though on my scale my body fat went from 34% to 30%... Anyway, after lamenting at Gold's with a BFLer who has completed the 12 weeks and maintains her workouts into this third year, I layed it all out as to what I am doing wrong. I am pushing myself harder than I could ever imagine, so much so that on my set of 6's I am dying to get to 6. I vary the weights between machines, cables, free weights, I never do the same exercises twice in a row (bench dips on Monday, Tricep press on Fri, for example) so to keep my muscles surprised. I have added some extra stuff in my week, like a weekend hike with the kids, power walks in the afternoon, a ballet class or kickboxing on Fridays. This former BFL woman worked out with me but did shoulder press for 12 count, then immediately to biceps for 12 count, then shoulder press for 10, biceps for 10, etc.  I am tempted to try to work out this way because I really haven't seen the fat come off for what I would expect with the complete effort I am putting in. Has anyone used this circuit training well, or should I stick to biceps for 12,10,8,6 without other exercises in between? I feel like I can't push it anymore physically, I am eating so much better than I have my whole life, sticking to the plan near perfectly, but the results have yet to reveal themselves to me... could I be doing something else wrong that I have missed? Any advice would be so appreciated.... thank you.

  • Leanne,

    I have not yet completed the 12 weeks but what I have done is given up on it (after I pushed myself too far). If you push yourself too far, you will give up-your body will max out-I promise!

    Look for the posts where other people are in exactly the same boat as you are. There are plenty here that have completed the challenge and the promise is that you will be happy with the end results!

    That's my two cents....    :)

    "The joy of life is the fruit of discipline" -S. Randall

  • Hey LeanneK, I am at the end of Week 5, and doing the weights 12, 10 8,6 ... etc. with amazing results.  You seem like you are lifting really hard and very focused on weights.  Are you hitting your 10s with cardio and sticking firmly with clean eating?  If you are pushing yourself that hard on strength days, it sounds like you are going to build muscle either way, so perhaps it is another part of the program that needs tweaking.  I am no expert BTW, I'm struggling right along with you, trying to make every part of this program that I am working, work for me! :)  Congrats on your fat loss also, that's a big accomplishment!  Best of luck with the rest of the challenge - summer bodies, here we come!

    runninggrl :)

  • LEANNEK...POST a question or thread that reads..."HELP ME FIND BFLMIKE's LADIES document" or "WHAT"S THE PAPER TOWEL THEORY?"  I don't have them.  There's alot goin on inside that won't show for many weeks.  The 8 WEEK MIRACLE is sometimes the 10, 11, 0r 12 week miracle.  Stand back and watch yourself eat ALL DAY...is everything authorized, are you getting 6 meals of balanced CARB/PROT ?  It SOUNDS as though you are doing the lifing fine.  HIIT hitting the 10's?  Please remeber sometimes misery loves company...surround yourself in POSITIVE FORUMS....not negative becasue you may well not find yourself getting the info you are looking for or need.  

    Keep coming back for insights and sometimes you may need to repost questions, especially during the quieter days.  

  • LeanneK ~

    You speak a great deal of your weights. The fat loss is going to come 80% from your meal plans and then the cardio. The weights will help redefine your shape and increase the muscle to accelerate metabolism. Can you give details on your cardio and meal plans? Make sure that you spell out ALL additives/extras to your meals. Maybe someone can offer some insight that you have overlooked.

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • Everyone is on track here. Good advice.

    If you push your body to hard - you are heading for a crash.

    The added power walk is good. I do it, too.

    I also, added racquetball.

    But that is where I am going to hold for a while until I know the end result.

    Two good weeks of that should let me know my level of fatigue.

    The intensity level of your tens and pushing to failure of the last two sets of each exercise should be pushing to your full limits.

    You should be feeling your muscles to the 4th day.

    Your body should be drained from the work out, and rebuilding all the muscle tissue should be stripping every nutrient and mineral you put in your body.

    To go beyond that, and do more, may be over stressing the process.

    Just some food for thought.

    "What you put in, is what you are going to get back."

    - Terry


  • Thank you for your time in helping me sort this out. I didn't realize eating contributed that much, so here is my eating for yesterday, which is pretty typical:

    Wake at 5:20

    5:45 am Lower body, 16 oz water throughout workout

    7 am Myoplex choc shake mix with 1 c soy milk and 1/3 frozen banana

    10 am low fat string cheese and 1 slice ham with Wasa cracker, water

    12 pm 1 slice whole wheat bread with 2 boiled eggs, no yolks, cup of green tea

    2 pm walk to get kids from school

    3 pm Myoplex carb control choc peanut butter bar, water

    6 pm 4 oz flank steak grilled, 5 aspargus stalks, small salad with romaine, carrot, zuchini, 1 tea greek dressing, sprinkly of feta, 2 pieces of roasted potato the size of dice (maybe 1/4 small potato)

    8 pm 3/4 cup hi-protein cereal with 1/2 cup soy milk

    bed at 10:30

    I just found out yesterday that the recipes in the BFL cookbook are too much food, so I am being aware of eating less, and yesterday I was pretty hungry throughout the day.  I just see the photos in all the BFL books, and I am more than halfway done (monday is start of week 8) and I am trying to see if I can get more out of my workout to get me to my goal. Back to a question in my first post, is anyone training different muscles back and forth or is everyone doing the 12,10,8,6 chest, then 12, 10,8,6  shoulders, etc.?

  • You can change up order of exercises. It changes fatigue levels.

    Since we use assist muscles with the muscle we are focused on, other muscles are getting fatigued at the same time.

    So, the muscles you do last are partially fatigued before you start those sets.

    There are compound exercises that work out two or three muscle groups at a time.

    For instance, standing dumbell curls strengthen the core, because you are holding yourself upright, your triceps are the assist.

    Chest press work outs, are assisted by biceps, shoulders.

    Which is why focus on the muscle group you want to work, and make sure you are flexing them at the end of the extension and really feeling them, trying to use the assist muscles less.

    I am going to change the order on my 5th week.

    As far as the recipe thing goes, just stick to the portion sizes. You might get two or three meals out of the recipe. So, make the recipe's - they are quite tasty.

    I pre-make 6 or 7 meals in tupperware containers - so just pop in the micro-wave and go.

    I grill up a couple steaks, chicken bre-ast, pork or fish all at one time. Then do rice in some, and half of a red potato in the others.  They all get a little broccoli, and a few baby carrots.

    The rice gets a little dash of teriyaki sauce, the pork brushed with worcestershire sauce while grilling, steaks brushed w/ olive oil, salt and pepper. Chicken brushed w/ teriyaki.

    The steak a small dash of steak sauce.

    This makes it nice to grab and go.

    Or, if I don't feel like cooking, or messing up the kitchen.

    I usually get cottage cheese in every day for one of the meals, and protein shake for 4th meal as dinner works out to 5th meal.

    I use plain yogurt as sour cream on eggs, potatoes, and in my vanilla protein shake w/ half a banana.

    I have been experimenting w/ a Vietnamese noodle bowl by tweaking the portion amount of grilled thin sliced pork to rice stick ratio to comply with the proper portions for protein and carbs. It has a great tasting fish sauce, mint leaves, bean sprouts, lettuce or cabbage, shredded carrot, peanuts, ginger root, anis,  yummy. I do that once a week for one of the meals. Has a lot of fish oil in it.

    You are doing really good. BFLMike says that most woman don't start seeing results until after the 8th week. He says eating less is not the key, and to stick to the portion sizes. It is harmful to your rebuilding muscle tissue to eat less.

    The next four weeks will reveal your outer transformation, and I believe - you will not be disappointed.

    "What you put in, is what you are going to get back."

    - Terry


  • Hi Leanne,

    It sounds like you're fearful that the BFL training protocol isn't working for you since you haven't seen your size go down significantly.  Mixing up your exercises can help hit different muscle fibers and you could change your program to match the BFLer at your gym who trains opposing muscle groups rather than finishing out each muscle group.  However, I suspect that your body is just taking time to adapt to your new eating habits and trying out different programs in mid-stream might be counter-productive.  Before you decide to try a new program, why not spend a week counting calories (yes, I know BFL doesn't say that) to see exactly how much energy you are taking in.  No training program will address fatloss if there is not a moderate calorie deficit.

    In looking at your day's food journal, I'd make a couple of changes (if you want great results in 12 weeks).

    First, I would eat or have a protein shake before any weight training.  Our bodies need fuel to lift heavy.  Fasted state is reserved for HIIT cardio only.  Then eat a protein, carb serving 30 minutes after weight training.

    Myoplex is considered a complete meal.  Once you're in maintenance phase, you can add soy milk and fruit, but BFL eating protocol calls for 1 portion protein, 1 carb, which the shake contains.

    Meal 2 has 2 proteins (string cheese & ham).  Might want to drop one of those.

    Protein bars tend to have a lot of sugar, so I wouldn't eat more than 1 a week (unless it's free day)

    High protein cereal with soy milk....it's a good idea to save starchy food for early in the day.  I don't know the nutrient ratio of the cereal but the entire meal should total around 20 grams protein, 20 grams carbs and very low sugar.

    Hope this helps!

  • Leanne,

    Good for you for continuing!  I myself am on week 7 and sometimes I wonder if anything is "working" since I haven't seen much improvement in body shape.  I have lost some weight (but not what I want yet).  But we must look to more than that.  Body for life is a lifestyle and it's for your life.

    Start to enjoy everything you do, don't get caught up too much on how you should exercise, what you should eat, etc.  Keep it simple.   I follow the regimen pretty much to the tee.  I keep my foods simple Carb-Protien- Veggies....measured by a fist.....and then on Sunday....yay...just let it all go and have fun!

    Keep your faith in yourself up. Realize that fat is transforming to muscle and it won't show on the scale so much yet.  Change your goals to focusing on finishing, doing what you can daily and then what happens by week 12 accept it.

    As far as your question on body muscles, I may change the excercises but not the order.  For me personally I want to see how far I can push certain muscles and by the end on the curls, I feel like a wimp because I can't lift as much anymore and it burns, but that's ok, this is when it count's, this is the 4th Quarter, the last inning and this is where inner strength comes from.  Heck one time I even cried (felt weird in the gym) but I looked myself in the mirror and asked myself, what am I made of?  What is my goal?  Somehow I found the strength.  I didn't look outside, I found it within me.

    ~Marqui D.

  • Hey there!  This is my third challenge....first one 12 years ago put me in body builder condition, 2nd one after my baby was born lost all baby fat.  This challenge is my I'm going to be 40 and this last years free food (I was an Americorps VISTA worker and we're supposed to experience poverty) made me gain 20 pounds.........free food is the worst now I know why poor folks have so much trouble losing weight.

    So far the challenge is working great for me again and I hope to keep it up for many years this time. I lost 10 pounds in 5 weeks so far........in week 6 feeling a little sluggish but it's that time of month so......will get over the hurdle.

    Here is what I see in your diet that I would change.  I follow Bill Phillips diet from the book, not the plan on the web or the cook book.

    No cheese

    No bread

    No banana or additions to your shake

    No idea on Wasa crackers, what are they made of? Nutitional content? I do use Trisquets, low fat but this is one of my only substitutions from his food list in the book...

    never worry about yolks, gotta have the good fat

    no ham

    myoplex bars depend on nutritional content.......less than 3 grams sugar? 50/50 protein carb?

    no white potato for me.....he does authorize it but I find it raises my blood sugar, sparingly, sweet potato is better

    no salad dressing (I use plain Olive oil) unless you can find sugar free low fat (not sure the content of yours)

    no cereal

    no milk

    My feeling is that your diet is the problem.  It looks like a healthy diet, you probably are very healthy on the inside but you are not losing the fat you want to lose because most of what you are eating isn't on the list.

    Portions depend on the size of your fist of course.......My fist as a small build, 5/3 female is about 1/2 cup so I use 1/2 cup carb/1/2 cup protein for each meal.  So 3/4 cup of cereal might be too much depending on your fist size.

    I hope this helps.  I hope it doesn't make you quit!  

    Sample menu for me

    1. Myoplex lite shake with entire small ice cube tray in blender - no additions

    2. 2 poached eggs,  oatmeal with splenda (1/4 cup dry)

    3. myoplex carb control shake ready mix

    4.  Orange roughy and brown rice (sometimes with veggies sometimes not...I like portabellos and onions) with olive oil (make sure you get one oil a day at least) with spinach on side (leafy spinach plain or with olive oil)

    5.  chicken *** with whole wheat spaghetti and green beans - I vary the sauce here, there is a no calorie white sauce I tried, I put a tablespoon on it......or seeds of change sugar free red sauce, or just olive oil, or sometimes plain, or sometimes with a veggie medley I cook in the pan like green peppers and onion.   Just enough Sauce though to make it not hard and stick together a tablespoon or two at most.  Salsa also works.

    6.  non-fat cottage cheese with grapes (keep the fruits low glycemic, grapes, strawberries, apples, no citrus, no banana)  I like this meal last, sometimes use the nonfat/nosugar yogart in it instead of fruit or a double portion of cottage cheese if I'm out of other stuff before bed.

    I cook my fish and veggies and meats for the week.  I measure my cottage cheese and yogarts and fruits and crackers for each meal for the week every Sunday.  I have other dishes I make but these are the ones I eat the most.  I rotate some steak and some Tofu/cottage cheese lasagna and some buffalo in and out but stick mostly to fish and chicken.

  • Leanne

    doing the weight training in circuits versus this high point technique is pretty much up in the air.  Both strategies will give you results and no one style has been proven better than another.  I do the 12 10 8 6 just because the book lays it out plain and simple and I feel I can get a pretty good workout in minimal time, and Im not a huge fan of circuits.  So overall you can do the weight training anyway your want so try out the circuit training

  • Wow, I am so honored that all of you have taken the time to help me. I am now at day 55,  I made lots of changes from this collection of wisdom, and feel pretty good. This am I weigh 157.8, down from 161 on Apr 17. Things I have changed include:

    -no 1/4 frozen banana in shake

    -shake before weights

    -no ham with cheese

    -added cottage cheese (though I mix it with yogurt because I really don't like it

    -cut out most bread, just have low-carb whole wheat wrap once a day

    However, I just find that I don't usually want a meal 6 at night... if I don't want it, should I still have it? I don't overeat at dinner, so I don't leave stuffed, but does everyone eat at night or is meal 5 enough?

  • Leanne - First off great on the continuation!  Keep it up and gain more momentum as you go!

    2nd is Don't change the program....time and time again, from the book from the people, and esp. DebMO who takes the time out to make sure everyone reads the newbie checklist (the Post  New to BFL?  Read this first!!  :)   and right there pointer #3.  Eat 6, not 5, not 4 but 6 meals.

    Now my last meal is very simple, an AdvantEdge EAS Shake (they come in flavors of Vanilla, Choc, and Strawberry) they are only 11.5 ounces and that's perfect for me for my last meal.  Sometimes I'll have it with a few strawberries, a kiwi or whatever is fresh for the season.

    To make it very simple, think of your body as a car on a long trip.  You know the gas mileage and you know how far you need to go, so you add fuel accordingly.  You actually have a gas gauge to tell you when to fill up.  It would be absolutely ridiculous to drive furthur w/o any fuel.

    Same thing with our bodies.  We need the proper fuel, at the proper times to stay at optimal levels. (We are pushing our bodies hard, growing muscle burning fat)

    Believe in the plan, believe in the plan, believe in the plan.  Bill Phillips did his research and it's proven.

    Reread the book, but this time go on a search mission, keep reading until you find one thing, just one thing that makes sense to you, print it out and let it be your mantra.

    Here's my example that I have pinned up on my bathroom mirror by my toothbrush.

    You know darn well, deep down inside, that you should be doing something, and you're not, like excercising regularly, like eating right, you're lying to yourself.  Do it often enough, and your self-trust - your confidence- will fade away.  Into that emptiness will seep uncertainty, anxiety, and anger.

    That little piece helps me stay on track.   Eat six meals and come back on track!

    ~Marqui D. C1W7D48