View Full Version : Advice for a friend just starting out

Augury

07-23-2004, 06:33 AM

I have a friend who is looking to get fit for the first time in her life.

She is 175lbs and 30%BF. Shes looking to end up at 126lbs and 18% BF.

This means she needs to lose fat mass AND muscle mass. (30lbs fat and 19lbs muscle).

Anyone got any suggestions as to how this can be most efficiently achieved? If she does weights will she not end up gaining muscle mass which would actually be a bad thing for her goals. I was thinking perhaps calorie restriction, a lot of cardio, high rep weights (15-25 reps, medium weight) for glycogen depletion but no hypertropy?

Anyone?

Augs

Anthony

07-23-2004, 06:46 AM

A decent diet combined with an aerobic activity should do the trick. For the diet, it doesn't have to be perfect, just consistent. For the aerobic activity, maybe she should join a sport that she enjoys and do it on a regular basis. Squash, swimming, biking, running, etc.

Paul Stagg

07-23-2004, 08:27 AM

I'd still have her doing weight training - very basic stuff.

Work on getting the bodyfat down, not where she'll end up, and let the chips fall where they may.

She might be very pleased with how she looks at 145 and 18%. Where did you come up with the 126 pound number, anyway?

Augury

07-23-2004, 08:52 AM

lol. 126lbs = 9 stone. shes 5'2 and has wanted to be 9 stone all of her life. I didnt come up with the number...she did. 9stone just happens to be a really wierd number of lbs :)

I posted a similar question on another board just for some more chances of responses and got this odd reply. I wonder if anyone here can see fault with the maths?

"Why on earth would she want to TRY to lose 19 lbs of muscle. That's ridiculous. If she's 175 and 30% BF, that means she has about 122 lbs of lean mass (nonfat mass). So if she wanted to have zero fat mass, she should weigh 122 lbs. Which is basically her goal, which is impossible. Or your calculations of her current BF % are wrong. Either way, regardless of the numbers, planning to lose muscle is just silly."

and my reply was:

"Perhaps I have my maths wrong but this is how i see this:

Current weight: 175 lbs (12st 7)

Current BF%: 30%

Current Fatmass: 52.5 lbs

Current Lean Mass: 122.5 lbs

Target weight: 126lbs (9st)

Target BF%: 18%

Target Fatmass: 22.5 lbs

Target Leanmass: 103.5 lbs

Change in weight: -49 lbs

Change in BF%: -12%

Change in Fatmass: -30 bs

Change in Lean Mass: -19 lbs

Where do you see my maths as having gone wrong? Can you explain to me how she can reach her target weight without getting below 18% BF and without losing any muscle? Im confused."

She is just so heavy, that she actually has a lot more lean mass (underneath all the fat) than she will need when she is down at her target weight. It needs redisributing though. she has a puny upper body and tree trunk legs that have carried her weight about for the last 27 years. I totally understand what you are saying about aiming for fatloss and seeing where the chips fall....thats cool. Just want to make sure my maths isnt whack. In the end the mirror will decide where she wishes to stop.

Augs

AllUp

07-23-2004, 09:17 AM

lol. 126lbs = 9 stone. shes 5'2 and has wanted to be 9 stone all of her life. I didnt come up with the number...she did. 9stone just happens to be a really wierd number of lbs :)

I posted a similar question on another board just for some more chances of responses and got this odd reply. I wonder if anyone here can see fault with the maths?

"Why on earth would she want to TRY to lose 19 lbs of muscle. That's ridiculous. If she's 175 and 30% BF, that means she has about 122 lbs of lean mass (nonfat mass). So if she wanted to have zero fat mass, she should weigh 122 lbs. Which is basically her goal, which is impossible. Or your calculations of her current BF % are wrong. Either way, regardless of the numbers, planning to lose muscle is just silly."

and my reply was:

"Perhaps I have my maths wrong but this is how i see this:

Current weight: 175 lbs (12st 7)

Current BF%: 30%

Current Fatmass: 52.5 lbs

Current Lean Mass: 122.5 lbs

Target weight: 126lbs (9st)

Target BF%: 18%

Target Fatmass: 22.5 lbs

Target Leanmass: 103.5 lbs

Change in weight: -49 lbs

Change in BF%: -12%

Change in Fatmass: -30 bs

Change in Lean Mass: -19 lbs

Where do you see my maths as having gone wrong? Can you explain to me how she can reach her target weight without getting below 18% BF and without losing any muscle? Im confused."

She is just so heavy, that she actually has a lot more lean mass (underneath all the fat) than she will need when she is down at her target weight. It needs redisributing though. she has a puny upper body and tree trunk legs that have carried her weight about for the last 27 years. I totally understand what you are saying about aiming for fatloss and seeing where the chips fall....thats cool. Just want to make sure my maths isnt whack. In the end the mirror will decide where she wishes to stop.

Augs

yeah, I would think 17-19lbs seems about right. If someone overweight is gonna get muscle anywhere it will most likely be the legs (hence the treetrunk legs I bolded in the quote). The muscular weight-loss is most likely to come from the thigh and calves, especially just starting off with the cardio and the resistance of the body-weight - insane cals will most likely be burned. Yeah, for a female on the legs, I can see that much muscle being lost.

Also, Medicine balls, swiss balls and a 10-12Lb body-bar should work well for light resistance training, balance and coordination. :)

geoffgarcia

07-23-2004, 09:22 AM

She is 175lbs and 30%BF. Shes looking to end up at 126lbs and 18% BF. This means she needs to lose fat mass AND muscle mass. (30lbs fat and 19lbs muscle).how do you know she is 30% bf? I wouldn't put much faith in any bodyfat analysis over 20% unless its one of the uber sophisticated models like the air pressure tube or the water tests.

If it was a skin fold or BIA test I'd be uber skeptical.

No cure for tree trunk legs....

Augury

07-23-2004, 09:33 AM

My best guess at her bodyfat was ding a 7 site caliper test. I did a test on a monday and a test on a friday with her eating at maintenance. I averaged the two results (29% and 31%) to 30%. i know that calipers arent super accurate....i was only trying to find out the bigger picture if you see what i mean. some data is better than no data. i get my training partner to use the 7 site on me and its pretty accurate for me (but im 10%). I know..i know..."how do you know you are 10%"....i look 10%. :) I only need the calipers to give me a relative measurement.

The main question was just checking that she does indeed need to lose muscle mass to get to where she wants to go. Posting that kinda thing on a BB board is like claiming to be the second coming. I just wanted to make sure i wasnt going mad. I didnt expect to have to be losing her muscle as well as fat. the numbers made me raise an eyebrow.

Augs

Aspect

07-23-2004, 10:02 AM

To be honest, it's going to be a relatively long-term thing anyway to lose that amount of weight. I'd personally say it might be best to just get her losing at a steady rate, and see what happens. Don't worry about whether she needs to lose some fat and some lean mass, or all fat, or whatever - she wants to lose around 50lbs, which is going to take 6-9 months anyway. Bear in mind that you may have done the skinfold tests perfectly, but the formulae you use still aren't necessarily accurate - she may actually be at 35% or even more. So just get her losing steadily, monitor her progress, and let what happens happen.

Just get her to clean up her diet and eat slightly below maintenance; lift weights on a sensible program that emphasises the big, basic exercises (explain to her that no number of crunches and thigh abduction/adduciton work will matter, and she needs to be working the large muscle groups); and do some cardio that she enjoys a few times a week. I'd say the number one most important thing is getting her to stick to it; so a diet she enjoys and exercise she'll keep at are key.

You may also need to help her manage her expectations. If she is indeed at 30% bodyfat, then she may struggle to lose that amount of lean mass. She may find she naturally levels off at a higher weight. However, she might love how she looks at, say 9st 7lbs, or 10st or whatever. If she gets down to her 18% bf goal, she'll probably look great no matter what the scale says; so if you can, try to take her emphasis away from the numbers on the scale, and more on the image in the mirror (though still use the scale and calipers to monitor progress of course).

Ğragons

07-23-2004, 10:10 AM

dont u lose 1lb muscle for every 3lb of fat?

Aspect

07-23-2004, 10:31 AM

dont u lose 1lb muscle for every 3lb of fat?

No, not necessarily. You often lose a small amount of muscle when losing fat, but there's no definitive ratio like 1:3. If the fat is lost slowly (i.e. you don't go on a crash diet) you can usually limit muscle loss quite effectively.

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