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Am I doing this right?


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I'm cross posting this from "Help! I'm new to fitness" just because I feel I may get better/more lady advice here. LOL

 

Hi guys, I'm Jen. Have a couple of questions as outlined below. My personal stats are:

 

Age: 35 (on the 17th!)

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 239 lbs

I'm a chick! Just in case thats not obvious :playful:

 

I started Strong Lifts last week and I have to say I love it!! My stats are:

Squat 65 lbs
Overhead Press 55 lbs
Deadlift 135 lbs 3 x 5

Bench Press 55 lbs
Barbell Row 75 lbs

 

 

I know I jumped weight on a couple of things just to make them a little more challenging. I'm still able to complete all 5 sets at these weights so I feel like my progression rate is good for now. I even throw in about 30 min of low intensity cardio when I finish my workouts but I still feel like I'm not quite do enough, so my question is: should I be doing any accessory lifts with this program, if so what lifts to make it a more well-rounded workout?

 

Also, I workout Mon-Fri so my schedule looks like this:

M W F - Lifting & low intensity cardio

Tu Th - 45-60 mins interval traning cardio @ about 70-80% maximum heart rate (using elliptical, treadmill or bike)

Sa Su - rest days

 

Would it be better to take rest days during the week or does this schedule look sustainable long term? So far I feel like this is working pretty well but I know the heavier I lift the more recovery time I may need so any advice on this would be great. My goal is to obviously increase strength but I also need to lose about 75 lbs which is why I'm still doing so much cardio.

 

I'm kind of new to the whole working out thing, as in this is my 3rd month @ the gym and I just started a regimented program. Before I was working out with a friend who, in the last 12 months, has lost almost 100 lbs. We were mostly doing circuit training with some low weight/high rep lifting thrown in the mix. After some very long conversations it has become apparent to me that our goals are vastly different, she wants to be skinny (without being "bulky", I tried to science her but to no avail) and I want to be strong, so I need to start doing my own thing.

 

Staci's story is actually what inspired me to start lifting heavy now instead of waiting. I've lost 20 lbs since I started working out in June, 4 of which came off in the last week. That doesn't seem like a lot to me overall, but when I average it out its 1.5 lbs a week which is actually pretty freaking fantastic. I want to make sure this is a sustainable change instead of keeping up the yo-yo pattern I've followed most of my life: dramatic weight gain, followed by dramatic weight loss.....rinse & repeat!

 

As far as nutrition goes I'm trying to stay within 1800-2100 calories; Sedentary BMR is 1846 and TDEE is 2215 (used IIFYM). Trying to get at least 100g of protein daily but not really watching my other macros closely. Using Calorie Count app to track intake.

 

This is my food log for Wednesday, which is pretty typical give or take a few snacks here and there. Snacks vary and are usually 2 tbsp. of peanut butter, a small handful of almonds, a Nutri-grain bar or something along those lines. Occasionally I will have crap food for snacks like Nutella on Ritz crackers and once a week I will have a burger or some Thai food, but I really try my best to eat "clean". I realize that the pop-tarts are not by any means good for me but they're delicious and very portable which is great for someone who always wakes up late! Some days I do actually get up in time to make breakfast before work and on those days I have a turkey & cheese omelette made with 1 whole egg and 3 egg whites. I don't add salt to anything and I try to stay away from butter too.

 

Breakfast 475 cal:

Brown sugar & cinnamon Pop-tarts

Coffee w/ Splenda & 1% milk

Vits/supps

 

Lunch 400 cal:

Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Chunks 6 oz.

Broccoli 2 cups

Yoplait greek blueberry

Sublingual b-complex

 

Post work-out protein shake (in water) 120 cal.

 

Dinner 602 cal:

Fresh boneless chicken breast broiled (8 oz raw weight)

Steamed mixed veggies 1.5 cups

Sweet potato, cubed and boiled, 1cup

 

Bedtime protein shake (in water) 120 cal.

 

Total cals: 1,717

Total Protein: 170.7 g

 

 

 

Any advice/feedback on my program and nutrition would be greatly appreciated!!

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Hey Jen!

 

There's a lot of information in your post, but I just want to comment on 2 things.

 

1. 1.5 lbs per week is actually pretty stellar weight loss. Between 1-2 lbs per week for someone who has a lot of weight to lose (50lbs+) is normal and should be sustainable. Any faster than that is considered unhealthy.

 

2. Watch your carbohydrate intake as well. I'm no specialist, but from the way I understand it - when you are lifting heavy weights, you are straining the muscles and damaging them. Damaging requires immediate repairs and the macronutrient for that is carbohydrates. This is why it's important to eat carbohydrates shortly after working out (like a banana) to immediately repair the muscles that have been damaged. In the next 24 hours, your muscles will go through a rebuilding phase. This is where the protein comes in. So 100 g of protein is great, but if you aren't getting enough carbs you won't recover after your workouts and all your protein intake will be for nothing. Make sense? And don't forget healthy fats! They're vital to organ function and general health. I don't see anything blatantly wrong with your nutrition outlne, and you're probably doing pretty good if you're tracking your macros.

 

As for the sustainability... I get tired of eating chicken quick! Fish is a good lean alternative. Pork, especially tenderloins, are also quite lean.

Amazon Warrior

29, F, 5'11 ft, 159lbs

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5

 

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Also, I workout Mon-Fri so my schedule looks like this:

M W F - Lifting & low intensity cardio

Tu Th - 45-60 mins interval traning cardio @ about 70-80% maximum heart rate (using elliptical, treadmill or bike)

 

Sa Su - rest days

Would it be better to take rest days during the week or does this schedule look sustainable long term? So far I feel like this is working pretty well but I know the heavier I lift the more recovery time I may need so any advice on this would be great. My goal is to obviously increase strength but I also need to lose about 75 lbs which is why I'm still doing so much cardio.

 

this is my only thing to comment on really. 

 

you NEED rest days- maybe not right now- but at some point you will- either you're going to get a little burnt OR- you're going to start stalling on your strength gains.

 

I would say keep it up as long as you feel okay- but if you start dragging serious ass- then cut the cardio down. 

 

I'd drop the cardio on weight days to-- but that's my personal preference. 

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Thanks for the replies ladies! I appreciate the input. I'm going to start watching my carbs a little closer just to make sure I'm getting enough for muscle repair/refuling and I realize that at some point I'm going to have to re-evaluate my training schedule but for now it seems to be working, so "if it ain't broke......." I'm actually coming off a 2 week hiatus right now, my husbands grandmother and my great-grandmother both passed away within a week of each other and right smack in the middle of it we had a Disney vacation already planned. I'm REALLY looking forward to getting back in the gym and killing it!

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As you start to lift heavier, it is going to become more imperative to cut out the cardio and take rest days. When you are closer to your bodyweight on squats and deadlifts, you will start to become exhausted after workouts, into the next day, and much of the time.

 

Right now is probably not the time to add in accessory lifts. You want to spend a little more time developing your technique in the basic lifts. I'd say wait 8 to 12 weeks at least. At that point, you could add in lower volume, high rep accessory lifts.

 

Google "barbell complexes". These help get you some cardio/calorie burning while also helping you perfect your lifting form. They are also supposed to aid in recovery if done at a low weight with proper form.

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