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Old 04-03-14, 04:55 AM   #1
bikeguyinvenice
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My plan for weight loss

So here is my plan, Two months ago I joined the local gym(again) and have been hitting the gym 5 days a week for both cardio on the treadmills and weight training. So far I have seen some ok results. I'm 5'6" tall and before the gym I was 168 lbs. and about 29% body fat and 27 bmi, now I am down to 159 lbs, 24% body fat and 26 bmi. I think that is somewhat reasonable for me. I have been going to the gym for 1 to 2 hours per day, splitting the time between cardio and weights. I have the ultimate goal in mind of about 15% body fat and or 145lbs and about a 30 inch waist. I am going to be spending more time on the bike to speed the fat loss, hopefully. I think I am going to try to get on the bike for at least 2 hours twice a week. Any feedback?
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Old 04-03-14, 05:05 AM   #2
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So here is my plan, Two months ago I joined the local gym(again) and have been hitting the gym 5 days a week for both cardio on the treadmills and weight training. So far I have seen some ok results. I'm 5'6" tall and before the gym I was 168 lbs. and about 29% body fat and 27 bmi, now I am down to 159 lbs, 24% body fat and 26 bmi. I think that is somewhat reasonable for me. I have been going to the gym for 1 to 2 hours per day, splitting the time between cardio and weights. I have the ultimate goal in mind of about 15% body fat and or 145lbs and about a 30 inch waist. I am going to be spending more time on the bike to speed the fat loss, hopefully. I think I am going to try to get on the bike for at least 2 hours twice a week. Any feedback?
Yes. You are trying to achieve too much too quickly. I'd cut back the gym to two or three days a week. Rest will be an important part of your regimen as much as the exercising.

I think that you will probably achieve you weight goal, but you will likely end up floating up and down. I am a firm believer in taking your time in losing weight so the loss is sustainable. Look at your plan as a 12 to 18-month one.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:06 AM   #3
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What did you do to change what you eat?

Your goal of losing 23 lbs seems very doable.

Rowan, 9 lb loss in two months is not "overdoing it". It's slightly iver a pound a week, which is very sustainable.

And, hitting the gym 5 days a week, and the bike 4 hours a week... I get your point... that might seem like "binge changes" that aren't sustainable. That said... having a goal and going after it is important to see results.

Last edited by BikeAnon; 04-03-14 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:07 AM   #4
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Why stop at 15%? 10 seems like a better number to me.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:38 AM   #5
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Why stop at 15%? 10 seems like a better number to me.
Because, at his height/current build he'd either have to put on some serious muscle mass, or weight like 130 pounds. And no man, regardless of height should be that scrawny. It's not going to be beneficial to his health or performance.

15% is super easy to maintain, even for someone who previously had weight issues. 10% requires a bit of calorie restriction to stay that lean. If he were competing it'd be one thing. For living and being healthy it's pushing it.


To the OP, I'd dial back the cardio slightly and do a bit more weight training. Finding a solid lifting program would be ideal, and just doing some light cardio or interval on your "off" days. If you want to improve your bodyfat percentage, you need to gain some muscle, instead of just wasting away so put a little more focus on the weights. A more realistic setup would be something like:
M: Lifting
T:Cardio (low intensity longer session)
W:Lifting
Thurs: Cardio/Intervals
Friday: Lifting
Saturday: Bike
Sunday: off/easy ride

Obviouisly you could ride your bike instead of doing any of the cardio workouts. But feeling like you have to run and lift every single day isn't productive. Less is more in some cases.

Last edited by bmontgomery87; 04-03-14 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:11 AM   #6
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Yes. You are trying to achieve too much too quickly. I'd cut back the gym to two or three days a week. Rest will be an important part of your regimen as much as the exercising.

I think that you will probably achieve you weight goal, but you will likely end up floating up and down. I am a firm believer in taking your time in losing weight so the loss is sustainable. Look at your plan as a 12 to 18-month one.
I think your advice to seek a slower, more gradual weight reduction is a good one.
I think your advice to cut back on exercise is a bad one.
... I do not know of ANY adverse effects from too much exercise. In fact, IS there such a thing as "too much" exercise? (assuming that it is done in a reasonable and safe manner without beating up the body...)?

I think the human body is amazingly flexible and adaptable -- but mostly it likes to move and does best when you move it.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:40 AM   #7
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bikeguy-

Five days a week in the gym is ok for a 'jump start' period, but more rest between sessions is required over a long haul for full recovery, especially as we get older. How do you feel with your current workout schedule? If you're a bit tired when you roll out of bed in the morning, maybe cutting back a day is a good idea.

The excess weight many of us carry took years to accumulate, so we shouldn't expect it to go away in a short period. Patience, consistency, discipline and reasonable expectations are the foundation for a sensible weight loss program. A pound or two a week over time will get you to your goal weight, and you'll be healthy when you get there.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:19 AM   #8
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I'm just concerned that your "plan" has no mention of diet. Thats where all the important stuff happens in my experience.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:22 AM   #9
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80% of your success occurs in the kitchen, meaning nutrition is the driving force. If you try to out-exercise your less-than-better nutrition that will fail once your exercise tails off. Additionally exercise can't improve you internally (mostly) but nutrition can.

So.... work towards improving your nutrition and then your exercise is an added bonus.

Don't fall into the trap of exercising then over-eating to recover, prepare, etc.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:26 AM   #10
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80% of your success occurs in the kitchen, meaning nutrition is the driving force. If you try to out-exercise your less-than-better nutrition that will fail once your exercise tails off. Additionally exercise can't improve you internally (mostly) but nutrition can.

So.... work towards improving your nutrition and then your exercise is an added bonus.

Don't fall into the trap of exercising then over-eating to recover, prepare, etc.
Amen. Exercise is a very important, but secondary, part of a sound weight loss program.

Last edited by SwampDude; 04-03-14 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:26 AM   #11
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Kudos to taking the initiative and getting good results so far. Since you are still early on in the plan you may have lost the "easy" weight, but may encounter a plateau of sorts.

A previous comment mentioned diet modification. I can say from personal experience that diet modification helped me out tremendously. It was a couple of years ago now that I was pushing 200 lbs and kept buying bigger pants. I am 5'10ish" and this was as big as I had ever been. My wife and I took the initiative to eat not only better foods, but more controlled portions. Portion control was my biggest hurdle. I now maintain weight from 170-174 and don't have to work so hard at the diet piece of things. I know what's bad for me and I know how much is too much.

I have recommended this to others before so I will put it out here for you or others. The MyFitnessPal app (iphone and android) was fantastic at helping me to track the foods that I ate. It would calculate a daily caloric intake based on current weight and weight lose goals per week. Entering food was almost too easy. You could even scan the barcode on products to get the nutrition information.

Good luck in your endeavor.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:51 AM   #12
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What did you do to change what you eat?

Your goal of losing 23 lbs seems very doable.

Rowan, 9 lb loss in two months is not "overdoing it". It's slightly iver a pound a week, which is very sustainable.

And, hitting the gym 5 days a week, and the bike 4 hours a week... I get your point... that might seem like "binge changes" that aren't sustainable. That said... having a goal and going after it is important to see results.
Yes my diet has changed, I've cut way back on carbohydrates, cutting back on breads, pastas, and floury snack, and have been eating more lean protein.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:53 AM   #13
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Why stop at 15%? 10 seems like a better number to me.
If I was young and strong enough to be competitive in any sport maybe 10% would be a good goal, but I am far past those points., I don't want to look like a stick figure.
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Old 04-03-14, 08:57 AM   #14
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bikeguy-

Five days a week in the gym is ok for a 'jump start' period, but more rest between sessions is required over a long haul for full recovery, especially as we get older. How do you feel with your current workout schedule? If you're a bit tired when you roll out of bed in the morning, maybe cutting back a day is a good idea.

The excess weight many of us carry took years to accumulate, so we shouldn't expect it to go away in a short period. Patience, consistency, discipline and reasonable expectations are the foundation for a sensible weight loss program. A pound or two a week over time will get you to your goal weight, and you'll be healthy when you get there.
After 4 consecutive day in the gym I feel like I need to take a day off. This week Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in the gym, Thursday 1.5 hours on the bike. I might take tomorrow off from everything.
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Old 04-03-14, 01:12 PM   #15
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So here is my plan.... Any feedback?
Sleep. Get plenty of it. 8 hours a night is your minimum, but 10 is better. If you're in the gym that much and using your time productively, then recovery is going to be an issue. Sleeping helps you recover and keeps your hormones going the right direction.

Also, don't get too hung up with the scales. You say 145# and 15% fat. When someone mentioned 10%, you said you'd be too scrawny. Well, that's only one way to get to 10% bodyfat. The other way is to add muscle. If you would be happy at 145#/15%, then would you be disappointed if you were 150#/10%? My guess is that you would be happier with the latter. The scales can often cause unnecessary and unproductive stress.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:36 PM   #16
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Also remember that treadmills and stationary bikes is not the only way to do cardio. I say this because treadmills can get very boring after a while. You can do cardio with kettlebells, weights and bodyweight exercises all combined together and done as circuit training or a giant superset, that way you getting both cardio and strength endurance at the same time.
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Old 04-04-14, 05:40 AM   #17
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Sleep. Get plenty of it. 8 hours a night is your minimum, but 10 is better. If you're in the gym that much and using your time productively, then recovery is going to be an issue. Sleeping helps you recover and keeps your hormones going the right direction.

Also, don't get too hung up with the scales. You say 145# and 15% fat. When someone mentioned 10%, you said you'd be too scrawny. Well, that's only one way to get to 10% bodyfat. The other way is to add muscle. If you would be happy at 145#/15%, then would you be disappointed if you were 150#/10%? My guess is that you would be happier with the latter. The scales can often cause unnecessary and unproductive stress.
Well that might be a problem, I've never slept much more than 7 hours, unless I am really sick. Getting 8 hours is pretty unusual for me I am more in the 6&1/2 to 7 range most of the time.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:31 AM   #18
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Well that might be a problem, I've never slept much more than 7 hours, unless I am really sick. Getting 8 hours is pretty unusual for me I am more in the 6&1/2 to 7 range most of the time.
You'll tend to wake up whenever you are in a habit of waking up. You don't have much control over that. What you do have control over is the time at which you lay down. So shut the computer and TV off, turn out all the lights (the darker the better) and go to sleep. If you have trouble, then take a 200-400mg dose of melatonin and a bit of Mg about 30-60 minutes before going to bed. You can operate with reduced sleep, we often have to due to uncontrolled factors. You'd can't thrive on it though. 7 hours really just isn't enough, especially when you factor in your training.

Among other things, sleeping more will boost your testosterone and growth hormone production while reducing cortisol. It works wonders in terms of reducing belly fat, not to mention improving recovery which allows more/better training. You can often cheat on your diet and workouts without too many issues, but you can't cheat your sleep. The order of importance is sleep-diet-training.
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Old 04-04-14, 03:08 PM   #19
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.....The order of importance is sleep-diet-training.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say... that's silly. Were it true, more sleep would equal weight-loss.

The OP's stated goal was weight loss, not peak performance. If he were already at his weight goal AND plateauing in performance gains, then you might need to talk about increased rest. But to say that someone should lie down for forced attempts at sleep.... to help with weight loss...???

And to state that increased sleep is more important than proper eating?
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Old 04-04-14, 03:12 PM   #20
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Were it true, more sleep would equal weight-loss.
I would be 5 pounds...
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Old 04-04-14, 03:23 PM   #21
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say... that's silly.
Then do some research.
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Old 04-04-14, 03:35 PM   #22
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10 Surprising Effects of Lack of Sleep
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When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.
Sleep deprivation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the sleep research quoted on the "weight loss/gain" section of the wiki article on sleep deprivation... the researchers used 7 hours as the baseline of NOT sleep deprived.


Seriously, if you're going to post a smart-ass response of "go Google it", you might want to read the links that Google brought up.

The links show that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain (due to people overeating). The research does not show increased sleep leads to weight loss.

It certainly doesn't show that increased sleep is more important than food management (which is the point I was arguing). I'm not saying sleep/rest doesn't factor in, I'm saying it's not, as you mentioned, the most important thing.



I will side with you on one thing, though... eating in the evening can actually be a sign that you're tired, and not hungry. Setting a strict "don't eat after xx:xx time, and go to sleep if you feel hungry" can be very helpful.

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Old 04-04-14, 04:00 PM   #23
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Look, Jack. I'm just some guy typing on a computer. I couldn't give a 1/2 a turd if you agree with me or not. I'm giving good info to the OP.

To drop weight, specifically if you're trying to get that 'last 10 or 20 pounds', you have to get your hormone levels dialed. If you don't you're just spinning your wheels. The easiest way to screw up your hormones is to not sleep enough. It tanks all the good stuff and elevates all the bad. Our bodies evolved with a sleep/wake pattern that closely followed night/day. You've go to be pretty far north to be on a 7 hour night and even then, it's only going to be for a few weeks in the summer. In the winter at that latitude you're going to be having 17 hour nights. If you're consistently running 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep, then you're sleep deprived.

Go camping in a tent out in the sticks. Once the sun goes down, it's _tough_ to stay awake for more than an hour or two, especially if you've been active all day. Your body reacts to natural photo periods and without a bunch of artificial light, your body will just naturally shut down. A good book on sleep is called, _Lights Out_. The end recommendation is basically sleep as much as you can without getting divorced or fired and sleep in a pitch black room. It's a simple enough prescription and it works.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:24 PM   #24
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I think your advice to seek a slower, more gradual weight reduction is a good one.
I think your advice to cut back on exercise is a bad one.
... I do not know of ANY adverse effects from too much exercise. In fact, IS there such a thing as "too much" exercise? (assuming that it is done in a reasonable and safe manner without beating up the body...)?

I think the human body is amazingly flexible and adaptable -- but mostly it likes to move and does best when you move it.
too much exercise will most likely result to injury that might keep you off the gym for long causing frustration and probably weight gain. I like to take a day off to let the body heal. Rest is the time when you get stronger not during the 'workout"
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Old 04-04-14, 08:31 PM   #25
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Then do some research.
You forgot water. If you don't get water you'll die. Sufficient sleep (and water) is important but more than sufficient sleep (or water) isn't going to help.
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