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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Hi! I really enjoy the exrx.net site! I spent 22 years in the Marines and I am used to doing 20-30 min of jogging (approx 5.3-6.8mph) before I begin to lift. Anyway, I've heard time and time again that this is detrimental to my goal of bodybuilding...the goal of looking somewhere between fitness physique and heavier body builder.
For as long as I have been working out, running warms all of my muscles up and I use it as a primer to weight lifting. I actually feel weaker if I jump right into weight lifting. Being female and 49, I don't lift heavy weights to begin with (although I plan to start adding more weight for more muscle mass when I feel ready). I have plenty of energy after my cardio workout, and I truly feel it lessens my chances of injury.

Right now I am working the Advance Training Level I exercise program on page 206 of the Arnold Scharzenegger Encyclopedia of Modern Body Building. I really enjoy it, and I have seen some great changes in just 4 weeks.

My question is... I am really denying myself the chance of building more muscle/mass continuing this pre-weight training cardio workout? I have plenty more questions after this one. You gentlemen are great, and thank you very much!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Well good diet and good genetics can go a long way and may explain your good results. However if you don't do that you would do much better. You don't want to burn up your muscle glycogen before you lift and that is what the cardio does. You want to do quite the opposite and have some protein and maybe just a small amount of carbs before your workout to fuel it.

I do agree that doing your working sets cold is a bad idea. I can't lift much cold either. You want to use progressively heavier warm up sets. Like for example with squats, I'll loosen up and get the muscles a little warm with just the bar. Then I will do 3 warm up sets. Like maybe 95, 135, 185 and then do my actual working sets with 225 lbs.

I also wouldn't stretch before. I would do the stretching after.

You should definitely add more weight. Going heavy works for woman just like it does for men. lower reps, heavy compound freeweight stuff gets the best results.

You might have the genetics to look halfway between fitness and heavier bodybuilder. Are you familiar with how the figure girls look as apposed to the actual bodybuilders? You can get a look like that.

Now if you want to get fairly big, that's not likely to happen naturally. Women just don't have the hormones for it. So just keep that in mind and don't get discouraged. Just eat big and lift heavy and you can at least look like a figure girl.

Next point, I would advise against higher volume workouts and lots of isolation. For some reason these precontest type routines are being touted as mass builders and they really aren't. Compound freeweight is the way to go. Functional splits are better than random body parts too.

While you are bulking you should keep cardio to a bare minimum. It kills strength and muscle gains. If you do cardio, you just have to eat that much more to make up for it. Even when you are cutting you only want to add cardio a little at a time. Same thing with your diet, cut calories/carbs a little at a time. This keeps your metabolism from dropping too fast and preserves your hard earned muscle.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:11 am 
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Thank you very much....I will start using heavier weights today since I am on my 4th week. Also, I will follow your advice about weights before cardio. Jeez....the only problem I have with that is I am WHIPPED after weights! I enjoy that run so much, but it's time for a change to see what my genetics can do. Thanks Dad....he was 6'3"....Mom is a little powerhouse too.
I look forward to learning more from you, and thank goodness for this site. It is straightforward, professional advice...so different from some other sites I have been exploring. Thank you again!


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 Post subject: cardio before weights
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:01 am 
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Hi!!

you are probably more qualified than me given your experiences but reading your enthusiastic blog has inspired me to suggest occasional hill work rather than straight running each time.

do you have a stepper? I used to run 1/2 marathons and that was very much a means of keeping a slight frame with not much scope for building muscle!! i don't think your 20 mins is going to be too detrimental to your body building goals and if anything will maintain a lean defined tone. the routes i used to run were cross country round the hills and i miss it so much ( my knees are now pretty dodgy ) but the buzz you get from running is AMAZING isn't it!! you could compromise and do a range of different cardio warm ups to see which energises you the most so that you are not so whipped after weights.

anyway as i said you are probably more qualified than me to give this a good analytical approach!!

please keep me informed of how you are getting on as there are not so many women on this site and it's good to hear from you!!

nicole :0)

mbme wrote:
Thank you very much....I will start using heavier weights today since I am on my 4th week. Also, I will follow your advice about weights before cardio. Jeez....the only problem I have with that is I am WHIPPED after weights! I enjoy that run so much, but it's time for a change to see what my genetics can do. Thanks Dad....he was 6'3"....Mom is a little powerhouse too.
I look forward to learning more from you, and thank goodness for this site. It is straightforward, professional advice...so different from some other sites I have been exploring. Thank you again!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:38 am 
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I disagree. As I said earlier, Cardio kills muscle and strength gains. Why would you do cardio and then have to eat that much more to make up for it. That makes no sense. Then doing it before weights would be particularly bad because you burn up a lot of glycogen needed to get through the workout.

She is female, 49 and wants to get big. Good genetics or not, she is going to have to do things exactly right to achieve that.


nicolecarter'sfunfitness wrote:
Hi!!

you are probably more qualified than me given your experiences but reading your enthusiastic blog has inspired me to suggest occasional hill work rather than straight running each time.

do you have a stepper? I used to run 1/2 marathons and that was very much a means of keeping a slight frame with not much scope for building muscle!! i don't think your 20 mins is going to be too detrimental to your body building goals and if anything will maintain a lean defined tone. the routes i used to run were cross country round the hills and i miss it so much ( my knees are now pretty dodgy ) but the buzz you get from running is AMAZING isn't it!! you could compromise and do a range of different cardio warm ups to see which energises you the most so that you are not so whipped after weights.

anyway as i said you are probably more qualified than me to give this a good analytical approach!!

please keep me informed of how you are getting on as there are not so many women on this site and it's good to hear from you!!

nicole :0)



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:44 am 
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By the way, Mbme, do you work out late night in the St. Louis area? Just curious because the age, the cardio before hand, the workout, the light weights, and probably leanness since you mentioned being in the marines, exactly matches someone who works out at the gym I go to. She is always there if I go really late at night. Having said that, if that's you, you probably know exactly who I am at this point.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Thanks both of you for your help.

Nicole...I tried the stepper today before my leg workout, just 15min and it was enough to break a sweat. I know what you mean about running...there's no exception to the great feeling! My knees are fine, thank the Lord! It's my shoulders that got whacked with age!

Ironman, yesterday I worked out with a friend of mine without cardio first, doing chest and back. She has some competition experience and mentioned that she was doing lat pulldowns in the 100 range when she was really at it. Blew me away! We did 20 minutes on the treadmill afterwards and boy did I feel the difference, I was sucking wind the whole way! Plus my calves were mangled-feeling because I have begun to work on them. Oh, by the way, I'm not the woman in the gym - sorry!- If she's close to my age, I wonder if she graduated in my boot camp platoon at Parris Island!

Just a bit of thinking about this cardio issue...women store more fat than men, right? My body reacts in a negative way to a lot of food, especially carbs - even if they are eaten every 2-3 hrs. I store fat easily.

So....given the fact that we have more fat on our bodies as female, does it take us longer to burn fat than men? (I have always trained with the mindset that anything over 35min would begin fat burning). Would our fat to muscle ratio make it conceivable for us to be able to do our cardio first and (unlike the male physiology), perhaps have enough fat left for energy to burn lifting weights? I know this is way out there, let me know what you think!

Thank you...MB


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:00 am 
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No it doesn't work that way. It's not the fat you need for weight lifting it is the muscle glycogen. That is why you do the weights first. Women might burn fat slightly more slowly then men because of lower testosterone levels, but they don't have to do anything different.

I have trained females before. They respond to the same thing as males. Low carbs, lots of protein, lifting heavy, and adding intense cardio and or anaerobic intervals just a little at a time causes steady weight loss at a decent pace. Muscle is spared for the most part. Or in the case of beginners they put on quite a bit of muscle at the same time.

To bulk, same thing, but do virtually no cardio and kick the carb intake up.

Think of your energy as a barrel of wine. You drink most of it and then dump out the dregs. You don't want to dump out most of it and drink the dregs. So you use the energy and then waste the excess, don't start by wasting and then try to use the end of it. Like I was saying do warm up sets. Don't lift cold.

If you can do cardio as good after weights as you can fresh, you didn't do what you needed to do with the weights. If your trying to lose weight. When you are on a cutting type diet, by the end of your workout you should be pretty shakey, because you've used up your glycogen. Then you go a little further by pushing yourself through some intervals.

Weights are exponentially superior for losing weight. Cardio isn't even icing on the cake. It's like that little frosting dot over the i on a happy birthday cake.

Here is a very good explanation by Alwyn Cosgrove.
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alwyn8.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:05 am 
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Ironman: I am increasing my weights and going to feel REALLY wobbly when I finish my daily training. I will do 20 min of cardio AFTER my weights, 3 times per week planned.

Thanks so much for your efforts....REALLY great article and your explanation made me understand completely. I put the article under my favorites for this site, I am so motivated to hit the weight room!


I look forward to speaking with you again once I absorb all the info you sent...this is much more efficient than trying to get answers at the gym, where everyone has a different explanation or doesn't have the wind to explain cuz they are finishing their workout! Thank you again! I'll be talking with you soon!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:11 am 
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Ironman, I like that barrel of wine comparison. Explains why I lift and then train MMA - I drink the wine, and then I drink the dregs because that's what I have to learn to fight on. The body has a terrible way of burning all that energy you need in round two up during round one. Doing it the reverse - doing my MMA first and then lifting - is a fast way to bad lifting and poor results...

That Cosgrove article quotes 50 calories a day per pound of muscle...I'd thought that was regarded as way too high? Still a good article, though.

Peter


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:54 am 
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It looks like Cosgrove has changed his mind on the 50 calories a day per pound of muscle.

Quote:
Muscle mass is one of the biggest determinants of resting metabolic rate. While science continues to investigate and debate exactly how many extra calories are burned per day by the addition of one pound of muscle -- what IS clear is that muscle is metabolically active -- more muscle = more calories burned. And what is indisputable is that muscular work - resistance training is very metabolically demanding, not only burning a ton of calories while you are performing the exercise - but it also contributes to raising metabolism.


Stu


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:13 pm 
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50 is the absolute maximum for a very active person. I think it's more like 30 for a couch potato. So I would guess in the 35 to 40 range for most of us. It is also going to depend on other metabolic factors though.

You can get another barrel of wine so to speak. Bring gatorade or other carb drink to replenish during the workout. A very good idea for an athlete.


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