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Posts posted by Silo

  1. Seriously Silo, I would think that you would rock that look as you are right now??? Have you tried something similar on to see how it looks (and most importantly) gotten someone else's opinion?

    I share your bellyphobia, so I'm giving out advice that I'm not taking myself, lol! [emoji6]




    Yeah, unfortunately I have a belly roll similar to the one this woman had presurgery. When it's out of the way my stomach is fine but as it is, it makes a sizable bulge and often a weird visible roll on the front of my skirts/pants. I do a lot of strategic dressing and standing to cover it up. I pretty much always wear tops that kind of tuck in at the waist and if I can't, I wear a twinset cardigan on over top to disguise my midsection. The pictures below are me from the side with the roll out of the way (lol), in its normal spot, and then me from the front. Sorry for the terrible filter on the one on the left. I took it and then when I tried to put it together it was super dark so I had to use a filter that would make it at least somewhat visible.


    I spent the majority of last year focusing on improving overall strength so I didn't really get far with losing the final pounds. I've been cutting since January 1 though and my goal is to be finished at the end of May. So hopefully I can get a few cute summer skirts and tops to tuck into them by then :)



  2. Is that what you got out of what I'm saying?

    No, it's more like, "I've plateaued in the upper 20s/lower 30s for push-ups, with most of the next progressions suggested putting strains on my rotator cuffs which are starting to hurt when I run, so I'd rather modify the progressions in some way that will continue to give me the core and tricep work that push-ups will without relying on my pecs for support, which is what most male-focused training regimes will do."

    This is not "Wah, I can't do pull-ups."

    That's exactly what I got out of this thread. Next time detail your problem in the first post, not the second page.

  3. Women do not need female specific training programs. Might we want to focus on different things than men for aesthetic reasons (e.g., glutes vs traps for some--not all!)? Yes. But completely different programs? No. If a program calls for a lift that is difficult for me, I use lower weight and keep at it. If it calls for something I can't do (e.g., pullups) I find an alternative that works until I can (e.g., lat pulldowns, band assisted pullups, etc.) I don't say "I'm a girl, I can't do that" and that's it. Yes, my weight progressions are slower but that doesn't mean I need different programming. Worrying about wide grip pullup progressions and post workout lipid/carb burns leads to analysis paralysis. Pick a program and do it. If it's difficult, good. We grow stronger, mentally and physically, in tough times much more than in easy times.

  4. What I was talking about is tangentially discussed here: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/75813-pull-ups-and-long-head-of-the-triceps-sorenesslimitation/

    When you're doing an exercise which uses multiple muscles, you can only either (1) go so far as the weakest necessary muscle for the movement, or (2) adjust the movement somehow.

    We aren't smaller, weaker versions of males. We have the same muscle locations, but not necessarily in the same size ratios or the exact same types. This is why your typical, in-shape woman can crank out as many sit-ups or squats as an in-shape man, but will be very unlikely to be able to do as many pull-ups or push-ups. To explain another way, our ratios of slow and fast twitch fibers are different than men's typical ratios for some muscles, and our upper bodies generally contain less muscle mass while we have more equivalent muscle mass in our lower bodies.

    As another example, men are more likely to find pull-ups harder than chin-ups or find pull-ups and chin-ups to be of about equal difficulty, whereas women are more likely to find chin-ups easier than pull-ups - women don't usually activate our lats as much when doing pull-ups because our arm muscles tend to be stronger than our lats, and since we're using mostly arm and shoulder strength anyway the chin-ups (which are incorporating our biceps) are usually easier for us. This has implications for things like progression sequences - there's a popular body-weight routine out there (can't find the link now) which suggests people do diamond push-ups to failure, then Army push-ups to failure, then wide-spaced push-ups to failure. The wide-spaced push-ups are supposed to be last because they allow more support from the pecs, which makes it easier for men to dole out more push-ups; but for women, in comparison to most men our pecs tend to be underdeveloped vis a vis our arm strength, so whereas for men this exercise is supposed to be easy as strong pecs support tired arms for women this exercise is more about tired arms being forced into action again to make up for weaker pecs.

    Also, our lactate threshold is usually higher, so it means something different if we're training to muscle fatigue or muscle burn.

    Finally, most likely due to estrogen levels, females tend to burn more lipids than carbohydrates during exertion, so our post-workout dietary needs may be different than what males require.

    I admit to not being an expert in this, which is why I was hoping for more resources. We can use the same training regimens as males, sure, but I don't want to be straining some muscles out of ignorance because I'm overtaxing them while not really putting other muscles through their paces. It's all well and good to say that these things need to be individually tailored, but that's hard if we don't acknowledge what our needs are.

    This is majoring in the minors. Fine if you want to do it but completely unnecessary.

    • Like 2
  5. As far as lifting weights goes, if the progression (adding weight) is too fast for you, use smaller increments. Instead of adding 5 pounds, add 2.5, for example. Women can do the exact same exercise programs as men--we have the same muscles. When training varies, it is generally due to either sex tending to want a different look (e.g., more men than women want to build traps.) If you want a couple of programs that were written with women in mind, though, the books Strong Curves and New Rules of Lifting for Women might appeal to you.

    • Like 1
  6. I usually workout alone. I have equipment at home so I do it there. When I go to the gym, I just don't talk to people and they rarely talk to me. When they do talk to me, it's just to ask a simple question (how many sets do you have left on this machine?) I don't do classes (just not into anything that is done class-style.)

    • Like 1
  7. Hello All,


    I have been away for...quite a few challenges. Last year I did 2 (3?) as a Scout and then tried a few other guilds and then petered out a bit. Ended up being a fair weather runner last winter (meaning that I didn't run once it was cold) and then this year have barely run, though I've kept up with my strength training efforts. Anyway, I'd like to get back to running a bit more because I'm missing it and because I feel like it's the best cardio fit (other than walking) with my overall fitness goals/preferences. I need to rebuild a base and it seems like a challenge is a good way to work through it. Here goes.


    Main Quest:  Achieve a well-rounded state of fitness, which to me means proficiency/effort in the areas of cardio and strength training, as well as weight control.


    Goal 1: Rebuild running base. I'm a bit late to start so I'm defining these weeks as Thursday through Wednesday, with runs on Thursday/Saturday/Tuesday. My plans for each week are:

    • Week 1: Run 1.25 miles, walk to finish out 30 minutes.
    • Week 2: Run 1.5 miles, walk to finish out 30 minutes.
    • Week 3: Run 1.75 miles, walk to finish out 35 minutes.
    • Week 4: Run 2.0 miles, walk to finish out 35 minutes.
    • Week 5: Run 2.25 miles, walk to finish out 40 minutes.
    • Week 5: Run 2.5 miles, walk to finish out 40 minutes.

    Goal 2: Moderate expectations for strength training while while cutting calories.

    • Bench and OHP - continue with 5/3/1 program, hitting at least minimums on all sets but not attempting PRs on AMRAPs. Cut out additional sets if necessary if strength declines slightly in order to conserve energy for lower body work.
    • Squat, deadlift, front squat - continue with 5/3/1 and 5s progression. Lower body lifts don't seem to be problematic for me during a cut and this is the area I want to get stronger so if any special effort is to be made wrt getting stronger right now, it's going to be with my lower body lifts.

    Goal 3: Lose fat. I've been up and down with the same 5 pounds all year. I'd like to get past it and lose the final problematic chunk of fat around my middle once and for all. The plan:


    • Eat at MFP calorie goal plus whatever extra calories I get for exercise.
    • Have one free meal per week.
    • Use one larger refeed every 10-14 days, if necessary.


  8. For me, it was just a matter of doing my thing, providing her with information (whether is paleo stuff, exercise etc) and not giving her a hard time when she did what I thought she shouldn't do, but also being kind of her cheerleader when she did. I went paleo before she did, and as a result I did my own meals, and would cook the extra stuff she wanted. If she wanted smores for dessert, she'd get them and I wouldn't say anything. If she said something that I could make a point with, such as "I wish I had as much energy as you" I'd reply with, "Well I eat right" and that'd be the end of it, the intention being to get those seeds planted, then try and nurture them slowly.

    I think me getting into the gym, enjoying it and the physical changes REALLY started it up though. She's just now starting the Stronglifts 5x5 program after spending some time on dumbbells, and the excitement she gets after managing all reps is nice to see...

    She's now taking a REAL interest in what I do, and wanting to learn how to take care of herself better instead of just saying it and then letting it go. Keep in mind this is a good 3 years or so in the making...

    Yes. My husband did not start eating better or exercising when I did. Eighteen months later, he started working at it. Mind you, he didn't really complain about how he looked or felt in the meantime, but I think that seeing me stick it out and improve was at least a bit in the way of motivation.

  9. This really isn't a woman issue because it happens with all sexes. People don't like something about themselves but they don't dislike it enough to change. For a long time I didn't like being fat and out of shape but it didn't bother me enough to do anything about it. At a certain point I was bothered and that's when I was suddenly motivated to lose weight and get fit.


    My suggestion is to keep asking if she wants to go to the gym/run with you in an offhand way ("Hey, I'm headed to the gym. Wanna come? Okay...") and keep making your healthy meals whether or not she eats them. You can't really do more than that because the choice of whether or not to make changes is truly up to her. In the long run, you have to decide whether or not the behaviors and health and self esteem issues are something you want to see/hear about on an ongoing basis. It's okay for her not to actively try to be healthy but it is also okay for you to say it's not something you want in your life.

    • Like 6
  10. Have you ever tried this with gym clothes? Ten hours later they are pretty gross. 


    Put them in a plastic bag and then inside a gym bag. Leave the gym bag zipped up all day. Then in the evening wash your clothes. Adding white vinegar to the water helps. You might also try rolling the sweaty gym clothes up in your wet shower towel before putting it in the plastic bag.

    • Like 1
  11. I do close grip bench press and bench dips, which are compound exercises but good for triceps. For biceps, I do curls but this is the first exercise I drop if I'm short on time.


    I'm on an upper/lower split, 4 days a week. On OHP day, the CGBP is my main assistance exercise. At the end of my workout, I finish with tri-sets of barbell curls, band pull aparts, and bench dips. On bench press day, I finish with tri-sets of Zercher squats, hammer curls, and glute bridges. (I know that it seems weird to do ZS and GB on bench press day but I have my workouts set up to include some of the glute-centric stuff I learned through Strong Curves.) Like I said, if I'm short on time, I drop the curls from either tri-set. 

  12. My suggestions are:

    - Build muscle. I'm not sure what your current gym routine is but get on an established strength program for beginners, such as Stronglifts 5x5, Fierce 5, or All Pro's. If you prefer bodyweight training, You Are Your Own Gym is one option and there are tons more. Pick one and follow it to the T while eating properly (I'd suggest bulking.)

    - Stop comparing yourself to others and looking for a medical issue. You appear to have low muscle mass, not bloating. If it doesn't feel like somebody is sitting on your bladder or punching you from the inside, it doesn't feel like you're pregnant.

    - Stand up straight and stop slouching. Good posture is a matter of being "slightly flexed" like the picture on the left. Even the most fit people out there can have a pot bellied look by slouching around like the picture on the right.

    • Like 3
  13. I think you're confused. You can't spot reduce fat. If you're only working one specific set of muscles, of course you're going to see change. Building muscle and reducing fat are not the same thing.


    You lost fat while belly dancing because you were burning more calories than you ate. You likely lost inches all over, whether or not you measured other parts of your body and realized it.

    As far as targeting specific muscles for growth (in either size or strength), yes that is absolutely possible. If you're noticing growth in a short period of time, you're likely seeing the "pump" effect, which is increased blood flow to the muscles that you're working plus some water retention, which helps muscle repair. Muscle growth is more of a long term effort, especially for women, and is very possible but not what many people would call easy.

    • Like 1
  14. I started losing weight in Jan 2014 and through that winter I was cold a lot even though I had always run warm (rarely wore sweaters.) Last winter I was 50 pounds lighter, obviously with less fat/insulation but didn't feel cold as much. However, I was eating at maintenance. I think that calorie restriction can make you colder, no matter your size.

  15. Thank you for all your help. We only have one set of dumb bells and we tried to pick a routine that would be good for me and the husband.  Clearly not working and we need a rethink.. 


    Your help has been great..


    If they fit your budget, a set of dumbbell handles and plates could really go far. That's the set that I started with (the 105# version.) I now do a mix of barbell and dumbbell work but my barbell is the same diameter so I can still use the plates. And if you eventually decide to add something like a bench and barbell, a lot of the ones you find at garage sales are the beginner sets with plates with 1" holes, so also the same size. I've kind of cobbled together my home gym with mostly secondhand things (the only new stuff I've bought has been the dumbbells and an exercise ball) that all work together.


    The nice thing about a dumbbell set like that is that the handles themselves are 5 pounds, then you get 2 sets of 1.25# plates, 2 sets of 2.5# plates, and a bunch of 5# plates. Oh, and the spin locks are 8 oz. each but I don't even count that weight so it's kind of like bonus weight. The lateral raises you are doing, I do with 7.5# (ignoring the spin locks) in each hand, for dumbbell curls I use anywhere between 12.5# and 17.5# depending on the reps, and then I can go a lot higher with other exercises. They are very user friendly and have held up well.

  16. Hi,


    I have been doing a set of 6 dumbell exercises, 3 sets of 5 at 22ib in weight for about 3 weeks. I am having a low carb whey shake after the exercises and following a palaeo diet plan.  I am leaving a day in between doing routines, but my strength does not seem to be improving.  I am warming up but still feel like I have bee attacked by a herd of rhino the morning after. 


    In fact some exercises are becoming harder rather than easier.  I know it is no pain no gain but some of them nearly have me in tears.


    What am I doing wrong?  last time I tried this it was working for me.  Do I need to mix up the routines?


    Overhead pushup (difficult)

    bicep curls (ok)

    arm up to the sides (painful)

    bent over row (easy)

    squats (ok

    Arm one over my head (which I can't remember the name of) (ok)


    Any help gratefully received..  


    This is a mix of compound exercises and isolation exercises. You should not be using the same amount of weight for them all. A compound exercise uses more than one muscle group. For example, with your squats you are using quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc. These are the exercises that you will generally tend to use the most weight on. Isolation exercises use one muscle/set of muscles. Bicep curls work only your biceps, for example. You'll use less weight with isolation exercises. Plus, some muscles are just plain old smaller so you need to lose less weight. The "arm up to the sides" exercise, I am guessing is a lateral raise. You want to go quite a bit lower with this exercise.


    Do you have any other dumbbells that you can use? Also, where did you get this plan? You might consider finding a full body routine like this so that you have something that is well-rounded.

    • Like 1
  17. When you say a 3 day split do you mean something like push/pull/legs or a 3 day full body program?


    Strong Curves is a good program that is 3 days full body with a recommended 4th day of just lower/glutes. You can get the book (I recommend hard copy over ebook) but if you just want to see the program itself, google "strong curves pdf" because the author has it posted on his website.

    • Like 1
  18. Sure, you can do that. You could do it at any age so being 34 certainly won't hold you back :)


    The key to weight loss is eating fewer calories than you burn. It looks like you are off to a good start by having used the IIFYM calculator. I would suggest starting with the IIFYM calorie recommendation for TDEE-20%. You can either eat that every single day or average it over several days, whichever is easiest/preferable. I tend to look at my calories over a week as going longer than that gets to be a bit unwieldy since I use MyFitnessPal to track and that goes in weeklong periods.


    I have found that logging my food through an app/website like MFP makes the process really easy. I would suggest getting a digital kitchen scale and using it to measure any food that you can. If you can't measure with a scale, use measuring cups/spoons but be sure you use them correctly--level them off, don't jam the stuff in them in order to eke out another bite, etc. If you absolutely cannot use a scale or measuring cups/spoons (e.g., when you go out to a restaurant) get good at estimating portion sizes. If you google "portion size chart" you'll find a ton of good visual cues to help you with this. Once you have your food measured, log it using authoritative calorie data, such as that on food packages or from the USDA website. After you've been doing this for awhile it gets super easy to do and it takes very little time to do it.


    As far as exercise goes, you are off to a good start. The best exercise is the one you will stick with. That's not to say that you must always box and dance because you started out boxing and dancing. What it means is that you don't have to be a runner or do yoga or do Stronglifts 5x5 because you see other people doing those things. Just find exercise that you enjoy doing. I do think that a mix of cardio and strength training (whether with bodyweight exercises or weightlifting or a mix) is good though. I started off with just walking and then added the NF beginner's bodyweight workout and then later transitioned to the basic bodyweight workout from startbodyweight.com and then eventually switched my strength programming over to free weights, while keeping a 50/50 mix of it with walking/running. You'll get a better idea of what and how much exercise you like as you go along.


    Good luck to you!

  19. Week in Review:


    Goal 1 - Run 2+ miles twice weekly.


    I did not get this one done. In all fairness, I didn't set this goal until late and then it has been raining raining raining ever since I set it. And when it isn't raining, it is horribly muggy. In place of running over the weekend, though, I did a good inclined walk on the treadmill in our basement. If the rain continues this week I will probably do more treadmill walking this week. I feel like that's a good substitute because my point in all of this is to get more cardio in, not specifically to get in more running.


    Goal 2 - Do 1 conditioning session per week. This can consist of a barbell complex or a conditioning workout taken from the Greyskull conditioning book that I have.


    First session was on Saturday. The conditioning session I picked was supposed to be 200 swings with a 25 pound dumbbell. I made it to 35 swings ha ha. I kind of suspected that I would have a slow start, especially since I tacked it onto the end of deadlift day. My goal for next week will be 100 swings. I used my dumbbell handle and plates this week and couldn't really find a comfortable grip. Next week I might use a 25# plate since I have one with a handle on it.


    Goal 3 - Take at least 1 walk per week.


    Done. Walked with my husband on Wednesday night during our daughter's dance class.


    Goal 4 - Continue with 531 BBB program 4x/week.




    Life goal - Log all purchases and checking account transactions in our register spreadsheet as soon as they are made or hit our account.



  20. Best of luck! Those are some excellent goals for these 6 weeks.


    I really like your life goal, I am trying to get better with purchases and money as well.  





    Thanks! I'm kind of excited about the life goal because my husband (who tends to be the spender to my saver personality) is completely on board with it. Makes it much easier.

  21. Straight from the Land of Confusion (i.e., losing track of layoff weeks), I am showing up late.


    tumblr_nov7iq7Mmn1uofchxo1_400.gif                                           tumblr_ne0jpvHCS21tk68zio1_250.gif



    MAIN QUEST - Get lean and build muscle through recomposition


    My overall goal is to continue to get leaner. I've lost over 50 pounds and now instead of eating in a deficit and trying to lose fat that way, I've committed to a long term recomp--from now until July 2016, when I'll be turning 40. I've been lifting weights but my cardio has been slacking off a lot and, for me, that is a bad thing. I find that cardio helps keep my appetite down some and also just keeps my mood up, which is really helpful since changes aren't quickly visible with recomping.


    Goal 1 - Run 2+ miles twice weekly. - I was running 3-4 miles at a time last summer/fall but didn't run over the summer. I'll be working my way back up from 2 miles to that level. 


    Goal 2 - Do 1 conditioning session per week. This can consist of a barbell complex or a conditioning workout taken from the Greyskull conditioning book that I have.


    Goal 3 - Take at least 1 walk per week.


    Goal 4 - Continue with 531 BBB program 4x/week.


    Life goal - Log all purchases and checking account transactions in our register spreadsheet as soon as they are made or hit our account.



    A note on scoring/grading - Not going to score. This is something that has hung me up on past challenges and I don't find any value in it for me so I'm going to skip it. One less thing to worry about.


    Some cardio Phil Collins, for your time 
















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