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Tips for lowering your body fat...

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#11 SusanK

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    Posted 02 May 2007 - 03:19 PM

    Strength training is not synonymous with weight training. It's really about resistance training! Granted, weights are a great way to add resistance to your workout, but they are not the only way. If you do not have access to weights, there are many other options....including your body's own resistance (think squats, lunges, push-up, dips, etc.). Strength training classes often combine weights, resistance bands, and your body's own resistance. The most important thing is that you incorporate all major muscle groups into your workouts.
    Sorry to say, there is no such thing as "spot" training- you can do thousands of sit-ups a day and never get a six-pack. Our bodies are genetically pre-disposed to store fat in certain parts of our body (and lose fat from that place last). Some women are "apples" (tend to store fat in the belly), but most our "pears" (store fat in the hips/thighs/butt). "Apple" fat is more dangerous to the heart, but "pear" fat tends to be harder to lose. If you store fat in your thighs first, then that's also probably going to be the last place where you lose it. Hence, "spot training" does not work. Work-out all your major muscle groups 2-3 times a week for the best results. You can do a complete body work-out 3 times a week or rotate muscle groups (if you'd rather workout more days, for less time) (ex: rotate chest/shoulders/arms; back/legs; and a rest day. You need to work these muscle to fatigue. You are not going to do yourself much good if you don't push your muscles...that's where gains are made. Also, a note on "abs". Many people focus on abs, and ignore their lower back. These are opposite muscle groups and should be worked equally to maintain muscle balance. Lower muscle exercises will really help with the love handles too.
    My best advice is to meet with a professional to discuss your goals and set-up a strength-training schedule. You also want to make sure you are doing the exercises properly. You can definitely do more harm than good if you don't know how to do the exercises with proper form. Faithful strength-training will take your body to the next level and help you bust through "plateaus".
    Susan&Matt 10-12-07, Mia Lily 7-9-08, Charlie David 6-28-10

    #12 soulmates

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      Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:34 PM

      Susan, you've got great advice. I think we are all going to hire you as our PT.

      #13 LisaG

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        Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:22 PM

        Thanks for the tips, Susan!!

        #14 -Kate-

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          Posted 02 May 2007 - 10:25 PM

          Susan - you rock! Thanks for the great advice.

          I forgot to mention before that some muscle work is needed. I didn't start losing bf until I started with strength work. One thing that worked for me/was hard for me - building leg muscle. For me legs is an area where I don't see huge changes, so I work out my arms and core more because I like instant gratification. But legs make up more of your body weight %. When you start building muscle there, your bf percentage goes down more drastically. So don't ignore those legs!

          #15 tinabop

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            Posted 03 May 2007 - 11:26 AM

            Susan, I am glad you said strength training, because that is definitely the way to go. Cardio is great for the heart, but strength training burns fat hours after you have stopped working out. And the more lean muscle you have the more fat you burn. When I started stregth training (and eating healthy) I lost about 7% body fat in less than a year. I made the guy do the test again because I didn't believe him! Paul Chek is a leader in the industry, and he is really great because he encorporates all major muscle groups into each movement. It's not only about meeting your goals, but also about meeting your bodies needs. My trainer is Chek certified, and she is amazing. Here is the link to his website, and maybe you could find a trainer in your area.

            practitioner Search Page

            Mercola is also a great resource on how to eat healthy:


            Between the two of these, I have changed my way of thinking and feel better than I ever have. Good luck with everything!
            Kristina & Brian
            Playa del Carmen MX

            #16 Mrs.Morley

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              Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:50 PM

              Thanks everyone for the great advise!

              Susan, I went to that PowerFlex class and it was a resistance training class. we did lunges and squats with weights and many other things. I like it a lot. Since it is twice a week I may add one day of my own rt. We'll see, I don't want to get in over my head. Small changes will lead to a better lifestyle.

              #17 Heligirl

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                Posted 03 May 2007 - 03:10 PM

                Susan is right on.. great advice!

                #18 DaisyRae

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                  Posted 23 July 2007 - 06:56 PM

                  I came across this thread, read it and really needed to comment. I don't mean to be arguementative but you CANNOT turn fat into muscle - they are 2 separate things. Like saying you can turn a spleen into liver.

                  The strength training/weight training is excellent advice however I didn't see it mentioned anywhere (or did I possibly miss it?) about diet. I've been at this almost 3 years now (I weight train & do cardio on alternating days, ie. 3 days weights, 3 or 4 cardio & plyometrics) and I CANNOT stress how important diet is.

                  And when I say "diet" I'm not implying cutting calories. A good clean diet of about 6 small meals a day with ratios balanced between carbs and protein. This combined with your exercise regime. And while it is true that people carry fat deposits in different areas it all comes off the same - ever hear of the "paper towel" theory? Think of a brand new roll of paper towels, you use one square and the size of the roll doesn't change. You keep using the squares and before you know it the roll is gone.

                  Generally speaking this is how fat comes off. The first place you'll notice is areas where you don't hold alot of fat - whereas the problem areas you'll at times feel like nothing is changing, well it is. Just like the roll of paper towels, keep using them and they'll be gone and all you'll have left is the "skinny cardboard skeleton" - ha ha.

                  With all this training I've been doing I've also done a very good deal of reading. I'm interested in a very low BF%, ideally around 15% I guess, in order for abs to show you need to be probably below 17 or 18% for women, so with this reading, what I've learnt is an ideal body is built on 80% diet, 10% what you do in the gym and 10% genetics. After some time at it there are those that believe you get to the point where its 90% diet.

                  I workout sometimes 7 days a week, I've never been fat and I'm not trying to be a bodybuilder. What I'm trying to stress here is that I work my a$$ off and when I screw up with diet it shows. I'm a healthy eater but like my junk sometimes and alcohol, I stay away from processed and refined foods for the most part but if my diet is half good I look half good if its bad, I look bad. It doesn't matter how much weight I lift, how often or how many hours I sweat at cardio.

                  Now I realize everyone is different but I'm not one of those with a slow metabolism nor am I lazy.

                  Sorry for the lecture/rant. I guess I just wanted to stress how important diet is for your changes and its exciting to see someone start having amazing results. A good clean diet to start with could possibly be South Beach or there's a book out by Tosca Reno "Eat Clean Diet". You won't grow hungry and its fairly well balanced & outlined simply.

                  Again sorry for rant & length.

                  #19 Spazz

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                    Posted 23 July 2007 - 08:18 PM

                    I definitely recommend strength training. I was a pretty serious runner up until about 6 weeks ago. I now have a stress fracture in my right calf as a result of running way too much and am wearing a boot on my leg til it heals. I thought I would put on 5-10 lbs over the 6 wks since I couldn't do cardio and could only lift, but I seriously lost 7 lbs! I always thought that I had to run to lose weight, so it really surprised me that this happened. I've been lifting weights about 4-5 times a week. BTW - I didn't change my eating habits at all. I'm a vegetarian and generally a healthy eater, but do also have the weekly pizza/fries/beers!

                    #20 Spazz

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                      Posted 23 July 2007 - 08:27 PM

                      Originally Posted by DaisyRae
                      With all this training I've been doing I've also done a very good deal of reading. I'm interested in a very low BF%, ideally around 15% .

                      I agree with you that a good diet is essential, but be careful about getting your body fat percentage too low. A good bfp for women is around 21-28%. I had a very serious eating disorder that I had to be hospitalized for about 6 years ago and my body fat was less than 20%. Looking back, I definitely looked way way too skinny and was obviously very unhealthy. I think I have pretty good abs now and my body fat is probably around 21%(I'm guessing). As long as you watch what you eat and exercise almost daily, that's all that matters.

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