Build muscle, lose belly ideas?

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Build muscle, lose belly ideas?

Post by Dean » Wed May 10, 2006 1:04 am

Has anyone got any ideas on how to build muscle while at the same time burning of the fat off my belly? Is it possible? Or do you have to bulk up and then go on what I think is called a 'cutting phase'? And If the answer is anything to do with HITT, then would some one explain it to a simpleton like myself. Any routines you use would be a great help. And what about low carb diets? Some articles and books would suggests that these dont work. It seems to make sense to me though. Less carbs means no fuel, so when lifting and doing cardio we burn the fat stores instead. Or am I wrong?
Pss Thanks to all those who have replied to my previous questions. It's a minefield of information out there and often it contridicts it self and I often end up more confused.
Anyway, sticking with it though.
Thanks again.


Post by Ironman » Wed May 10, 2006 9:26 am

I can realte to how you feel there is a lot of contradictory stuff out there. A lot of good stuff and even more BS. Low carb diets are safe and effective. If you feel it works with the way you eat so you can stick to it, go ahead and give it a shot. It's worked great for me.

As for loosing belly fat, you really have to loose it all. It comes off all over and you can't see your abs until you get south of 10% normally.

It is possible to build muscle and loose weight at the same time. It seems to happen at about half speed for me. So while you might only gain half as much muscle as you normally could, you can drop fat while doing it. If you are a total beginner, you can probably gain a pound of muscle a week anyway though.

To do HIIT, you warm up. Then you do 30 second sprints and 1 minute or even 90 seconde jogs if you need longer "rest". You just do jog, sprint, jog, sprint etc. Then cool down. You can do it on a track, or use a cardio machine. Like I use an elptical and just use setting 6 to jog, and then I change to 18 and go as hard as I can for the sprint.

Some cardio might be good too. You don't need a lot though.

What kind of shape are you in? How fat are you? You might have to do cardio for a while (regular or aerobic intervals) to get in shape to do HIIT.

As for weights, are you a total beginner or what? Can you do pushups at all? Can you do 10 bodyweight squats (going down to where your thighs are parallel with the floor) keeping perfect ballance? No wobbling at all. Can you do situps? Can you bend at the waist with legs straight until your upper body is parallel with the floor and back up to standing 15 times without lower back pain?

I need to see what kind of shape you are in to know what kind of a program you can handle.

Can you workout everyday or maybe 4 days a week (some days will be short if you workout every day)?


Post by MattZ » Wed May 10, 2006 11:54 am

Depends on a number of factors including genetics. Generally speaking, if your carrying a lot of excess bodyfat you can lose unwanted weight and put on muscle at the same time. However, if your already pretty lean, this becomes much more difficult and mass/strength gains will either slow down or stop completely.


Post by Guest » Wed May 10, 2006 3:34 pm

Thanks Ironman for responding.
You asked a few questions and I'll answer the best I can.
What kind of shape am I in?
* Well I'm 5'7 Tall or should I say short.
* Aged 35
* I weigh only 136lb. Im not fat, people call me skinny. But do have a bit of a belly, but nothing really.
* I couldn't tell you what percentage of body fat I have, I don't have the equipment.
*Yes I am a complete novis at weights.
Because of low income I am forced to cycle to and from work 5 days a week. 20 mile round trip. It takes me approx 45 - 50 min to cycle each ten mile trip
I only have the weekdays to workout and sometimes an hour on Saturdays. However I am forced to do my weekday workouts twice during the day. Half an hour in the morning and then Half an hour in the afternoon. Is this problematic?
I work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday..(I am thinking of not cycling on Thursdays so that my body can do more with the fuel I give it)
This is a rough idea of my routine.
Bench press
Inc bench
Inc Fly
Shoulder Press
Front latt raise
Latt raise
Upright Row
Supine Row (I do this because although I can do Chin ups they hurt my Shoulder).
And some times I do Squats but rarely because of all the cyling I have to do. Yes I know I'm a WIMP.
I also do Some bicep curls and forearm exercises too.

If I was to do HIIT would I perform it on my days off? To be honest I thought I wouldn't have to do HIIT because of all the cycling but it don't seem to be burning off the fat.
To be honest I've only been doing this routine for about two weeks. Before I was doing a five consecutive day split routine. I did this for about 3 months but never really saw a big change in my physic. I could lift more yes and I gained about 8lb but I couldn't see much change in my physic, hence the change in routine.

Sorry, I know this is very long, but one last question for now. Low carb diet: What ratio of carb to protein and fat should I be looking at. And If lifting on a low carb diet will that not eat into muscle because you have no carbs as fuel, or are you burning fat stores? And should we eat differently on non lifting days?

Thanks again Ironman, I know theres alot there but Iv'e read so much as of late and now I think I'm suffering from over information.


Post by MattZ » Wed May 10, 2006 5:11 pm

It doesn't sound like you have very mych extra bodyweight to lose. If getting cut for sommer is a top priority for you, then you may have to put your mass and strength gains on hold for a little while. Otherwise, you can just focus on packing on some more muscle. At a bodyweight 130-140 lbs, adding just 5 or 10 pounds of muscle will make a big difference in your appearance. You may not notice this because the change is gradual, but other people will .... especially friends and relatives who don't see you everyday.

PS.) Even while bulking up, try to eat well. Lots of dietary fats and simple sugars won't contribute much to building muscle, unless your an extreme hardgainer and have trouble maintaining your weight. Meanwhile, any unwanted weight you put on may be dificult to take back off later.

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Post by Gsus » Wed May 10, 2006 10:34 pm

diet is key for everything losing fat or building muscle to lose eat more frequently 5-6 small meals if u can and to build muscle i say eat more to gain more but if u r trying to lose fat and gain muscle its pretty hard to do since u r new to weight lifting it probably will work for a bit but then after your body will get use to it and u will have to change your routine or diet plans it just takes time to see results but most important just be consistent good luck

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Post by Gsus » Wed May 10, 2006 10:39 pm

i got a question what is better to lose all the fat and then build your muscle or to add muscle then lose the fat right now i always been trying to lose the fat and i havent even actually bulked up because my calories r to low to add and muscle but enough to lose the fat right now im at 12% bf i lift heavy but im not to sure if im getting enough calories to add muscle because im trying to get down to a single digit body fat i know the more muscle u have the more calories u burn right now im not evening doing cardio just 3-4 weight training a week


Post by Ironman » Wed May 10, 2006 11:09 pm

For low carb don't worry about fats. Eat 130 grams of protein a day, it is ok to have more though. Start with 20 carbs per day, getting them only from veggies for the first 2 weeks. You can do it longer if you want. After that increase your carbs in 5 gram steps every couple weeks or so and feel free to eat other carb sources, but not sugar or white flour. This will leave the muscles depleted but that is what you want. The high protein will spare your muscle. Remember to take a multivitimin and drink lots of water. If you feel at all sick in the beginning due to rapid weight loss, slow it down by adding another 5 carbs per day in veggies. You should probably end up around 60 to 100 carbs a day when you are done losing weight. The lower you can keep it, the quicker it will be.

If you do all that cycling, don't worry about HIIT or cardio. Do your workout any time you can fit it in. It is ok if you have to do half in the morning and half after work.

Let's change the routine a bit.
bench press
inc bench
deadlift (try to use smaller plates or stand on plates to work legs more)
shoulder press
latteral raise or upright row, your choice
bent over row (this should be more effective then supine)
curls, hammer curls, and forearm work
tricep extensions
straight leg deadlift
calf raises

Do this 3 days a week. If you are splitting it up, do the shoulder, arm and calf work after. Do the other stuff in the morning. Pullovers could go either way, but do them first if you do them after work.


Post by Ironman » Thu May 11, 2006 8:49 am

Well Gsus, for you I would say bulk first. The reason is you are at 12% which isn't bad at all. You also have little to no added mass. If you get to single digit fat in that state you are going to look like an anorexic heroin addict. Try adding about 10 or 15 pounds before you cut. After that you can cut to 8% or whatever and look good. You won't be big, but you'll look healthy and buff.

Try this. Leave your carbs and fat the same. Then increase your calories with just a protein increase. Unless you already have high protein intake. In that case just get the calories up. Cut the sugar and starchy stuff if you are worried about gaining fat.

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Thu May 11, 2006 4:59 pm

PS.) If your able to add a large amount of muscle, your % of bodyfat may drop even though the actual amount of bodyfat your carrying increases slightly. Typically this would only happen if your new to weight training, coming off a long layoff, or unusually gifted however.

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