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Ok, for those who remember my recent posts about fitness, I apologize, it's just that each time I come up with a new concern or maybe I just read something new, and I figure it's easier to get replies by starting a new thread. Anyway, I'm gonna start with the details once again:

 

I turned 19 pretty recently, but when I was almost 18 already, I weighed 245lbs, and started a very strict diet (I probably should've stopped doing earlier) and in 6 months I was at 200lbs. I stayed at 200lbs for a while, then kept on dieting, until about two months ago after visiting a nutritinist that told me that diet was no good for me anymore and that I needed more calories because I was already at a healthy weight (180-185lbs... I've been oscilating in that range ever since, depending on my activity level, so I guess the reason my weight varies is just fluids and stuff).

 

Anyway, my problem is that I still look like crap (my butt literaly hangs... I mean, I tried on a pair of size 34 jeans, and the waist was the perfect fit, perhaps even a little loose, but they felt so tight around my butt and thighs even though they were supposed to be "relaxed fit" God, I know I'm sounding so NOT like a dude right now, I apologize, I won't do that again, and no offense meant to ANYONE, please), and I've got sort of this excess flab all around my body, but there's more of it in some specific parts of my body, and it's like fat but very light and soft and not THAT thick, I dunno what it is, but I'm guessing it's just excess body fat left, then.

 

Anyway, since my visit to the nutritionist at the end of november, I've pretty much worked out every day. In the beginning I did weights and cardio every day, but made the humongous mistake of doing exercise in the morning with no glucose whatsoever in my blood. I fixed this and I try to eat an energy bar at least 30 minutes before working out. Then I changed my routine and started doing weights only 2 days a week (upper body on one day, and lower body on the other), so I do monday, wednesday and friday pretty intense cardio for at least 30 minutes, then weights on tuesdays and thursdays for 30 minutes as well, I guess.

 

Now, I know results aren't supposed to be immediate, but after reading this:

 

link removed

 

I've started to wonder if this is my problem. I do 30 minutes of pretty intense cardio, to be honest. Perhaps that's not what I should be doing? Maybe I should be doing as that site says, and do maybe 60 minutes of not so intense aerobic activity such as power walking or jogging at a moderate pace instead of running like I do? Or is that just bogus and I just need to stick to my regime a bit longer? Please, any tips are welcome.

 

PS: I do not aspire to ever look like one of them male super-models or hollywood actors who can afford to work out 6 hours a day or those professional athletes with 5% body fat or less. But this just can't be the best I'll ever look man! That'd just suck...

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I'll tell you what my personal trainer told me. Cardio does burn calories, but once you stop doing cardio, your body stops burning. Strength training on the other hand does more than that. The muscle you build from strength training continues to burn calories even after you've stopped, I forget the exact number of hours that this happens. So you can get to the point that your body burns calories when you do... that's right.... nothing!

 

This is course necessitates that you keep doing the strength training, but anyways.

 

Another suggestion is to try and get yourself to eat smaller meals throughout the day, 6 is the suggested number. It's really more like 3 meals with 3 really decent snacks. Make sure you get lots of protein (whey protein powder is great for this, you can find it at any GNC) and fiber. Wheat and whole grain bread/cereal is awesome, lean meat (turkey, chicken), raspberries and peanut butter are good too. Protein shakes with banana, skim milk, natural yogurt and frozen raspberies with the protein powder ROCKS! Be sure that you scale back how big your meals are with this plan, and don't EVER skip breakfast. Studies show that people who don't eat breakfast are much more likely to be obese. It has something to do with kick-starting your metabolism by munching on something. Even a doughnut is better than nothing if you can believe that.

 

This probably all sounds really weird, but I swear it works. The only reason I started gaining weight again is cause I stopped working out when my marraige started falling apart. I just joined the YMCA today and I'm getting right back onto this plan. Once you start getting more solid beefy muscle from strength training instead of the lean muscle from cardio, I think you'll see the results you want.

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Ok, thank you SO much for your reply, you seem to truly know what it is about. Ok, I already eat about 6 meals scattered throughout the day, and I always eat lots of protein. I don't drink a protein shake per se. Well I do drink this after my workout:

 

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Except the one I buy is a newer one that has 17g of protein instead of 15g. And I guarantee you that's not all the protein I get. I'm seriously considering using creatine... But I dunno, that sounds like it is for more competitive body builder types. Anyway, Yeah, I guess I'll stick to the weight training, but I've got another question: How intense should the cardio be? Should it be less intense but for a longer period of time, or more intense but for 30 minutes only?

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Zerohalo is right! Strength training will burn more calories plus muscle weighs more and takes up less room so it will help you slim down at the same time PLUS help firm up your butt (problem area). Leg lunges are great for this also. Just losing the fat is not going to give your butt a better shape - you need to firm and tone also.

 

As far as the cardio goes keep doing it. It has a lot of health benefits plus it does help burn calories. It works better though if you stay in you target heart rate zone. If you work too hard it is not aerobic and doesn't burn fat effectively. My gym has target heart rate posters around the gym. If yours doesn't ask someone who works there what you target sone should be for your age.

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Yep, Cinder hit it on the head. If you can manage it (and I know it can be tough to get to the gym) 2 days cardio, 3 days strength and alternate them. Don't ever do strength training two days in a row, you need to give your muscles time to repair themselves.

 

You're starting to get me fired up about going to the gym again.

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Zerohalo is right! Strength training will burn more calories plus muscle weighs more and takes up less room so it will help you slim down at the same time PLUS help firm up your butt (problem area). Leg lunges are great for this also. Just losing the fat is not going to give your butt a better shape - you need to firm and tone also.

 

There's some good advice there. Thank you so much.

 

As far as the cardio goes keep doing it. It has a lot of health benefits plus it does help burn calories. It works better though if you stay in you target heart rate zone. If you work too hard it is not aerobic and doesn't burn fat effectively. My gym has target heart rate posters around the gym. If yours doesn't ask someone who works there what you target sone should be for your age.

 

I think that is something I've been doing wrong. I mean I just went to this site that said my target heart rate is around the 160's I believe, I dunno how bogus that might be, and according to the machines I get on, my heart rate oscilates above 180 sometimes reaching 200 which is pretty close to my maximum heart rate... So maybe I should slow down a bit when doing cardio?

 

Yep, Cinder hit it on the head. If you can manage it (and I know it can be tough to get to the gym) 2 days cardio, 3 days strength and alternate them. Don't ever do strength training two days in a row, you need to give your muscles time to repair themselves.

 

Yeah, I never do weight training two days in a row. But you said 2 days cardio 3 days strength and alternate them? Does that mean that one week I do 2 days cardio and 3 days strength, the the next I do 3 days cardio and 2 days strength? Cause I dunno... only 2 days cardio sounds like too little cardio to me... But maybe I'm wrong?

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I do cardio and strength training on the same days if I have time. But I never work the same muscles 2 days in a row. You should do at least 4 - 5 times a week of cardio.

 

Ditto.

 

I've been on a cardio/strength training kick for a while, and the results show themselves. I try and do cardio a few times a week (stationary bike, walking) to get my heart rate up to the target rate... which isn't difficult to do if you are pushing yourself. If you are on the stationary bike, bump up the resistance so you are sweating after a while. It shouldn't be a ride in the park (no pun intended).

 

You'll feel better once you start getting into the habit of exercising on a regular basis. But like it was mentioned, don't overwork one part of your body. If you are doing weight training, do upper body one day, legs the other... and if it is still sore after that, rest. It is better to be rested up before working out than to work yourself if your body is not ready for it.

 

Anywho, everything that you really need to know has also been said by the other posters.

 

Good luck on it!

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Got it. So it's ok to do cardio and strength training on the same day (I always used to do it before, but then I read somewhere it wasn't the best way, but I guess it could be wrong, cause I do think I was making more progress when I did it the other way). Can it just be immediately after? Because to be honest the only time I have to work out in the entire day, is in the morning, very early...

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