Ok guys, i'm just a beginner really. I am 5'8, weigh about 154lbs and can bench around 176lbs (dunno why everyone uses bench as a yardstick, but there ya go...). I am gaining mass, but SLOWLY. I eat a lot of small meals (tuna, chicken, whey shakes etc), and do each muscle group once a week. I workout about 5 times a week, sometimes 4 times a week (do biceps and triceps on same day).
What I would like to know is this: I dont want to increase my body fat, I like having a good power to weight ratio as I do a lot of rock climbing. I do my cardio (30mins on the cross trainer) BEFORE I lift each day, on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning), figuring that the ONLY place my body can get the energy from it needs is my fat reserves. I THEN do my weight lifting routine. I know people have said that I wont be able to lift intense enough as I will be starving, but i'm fine usually. Whether I eat or not doesnt matter that much, it's just a case of will power. Once I have finished my routine, I have within about 5 minutes of leaving the gym, some small meal with high quality protein (egg whites, tuna, etc).
Does this actually work? Am I burning fat reserves, or just simply creating a calorie defecit that i need to make up for by eating more? I am fairly defined/toned, but then I didnt have a high body fat level to start with. I dont want to stop doing the cardio, and "give it a try" because although i may over a few weeks gain more muscle more quickly than before, I may also gain muscle at the same rate and put on more fat, which id then have to work harder to get rid of. So before I change anything, I'd like opinions please.
It's hard for me to change my rotuine for some reason. It took me like 6 months to realise I dont have to do every body part intensively every day, and that I DO have to eat LOTS of food to grow.
Last edited by sp00d; 06-02-2004 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Im an idiot
Your thinking is off. You are doing more harm than good. Eat something in the morning.
Do a search on the topic.
given your routine its no wonder that your mass gains are slow...I imagine that SLOW is an understatement depending upon your age...
doing light cardio on an empty stomach in a catabolic state has some merit.
Doing 30 minutes of cardio before lifting weights has no merit that I'm aware of.
and doing that on an empty stomach is even less advisable...
You claim that you can lift at the same intensity and that its just a mental state...that might be true to a certain extent...you probably can lift a similar amount of weight...the difference is in your musucle growth...you'll be lifting that same weight for the rest of ur life since ur not eating appropriately.
The way your body feels to you, and the way its actually working aren't always aligned...This is why we do a lot of research and examine various studies that are done into nutrition, supplements and exercise, so we can take the guess work out of the equation (as much as possible)
I don't expect to change your mind as you seem fairly set in your ways....
just put a mental check down for me as a vote against what your currently doing.
Here is a tiny bit of info to get you going though:
Cortisol is termed catabolic as it has the opposite effect to testosterone, insulin and growth hormone in that it breaks down tissue.
Cortisol, which is released by the adrenal glands under conditions of high mental and physical stress and high temperature, is the bodyís primary catabolic hormone.
The three main functions of cortisol are:
The reduction of protein synthesis.
The facilitation of protein to glucose.
The halting of tissue growth.
It is therefore essential that cortisol release is controlled if one is to facilitate muscle growth. As well as being released under conditions of stress and high temperature cortisol is also released first thing in the morning.
Morning aerobics have been thought to be effective for this very reason.
However this is misguided thinking because exercising on an empty stomach first thing in the morning has been shown to actually intensify cortisolís effects thus resulting in further muscle loss, and consequently metabolic resistance to body fat loss.
The dangers of excess cortisol are:
Reduced growth hormone, and testosterone output.
Reduced muscle and increased abdominal fat.
Impaired memory and learning.
Reduced glucose utilization.
Last edited by geoffgarcia; 06-02-2004 at 12:29 PM.
Wow, I really appreciate the input geoffgarcia. So what should I do in your opinion? Do Cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, go home, eat, and come back in the evening to do weights? Or cut out the Cardio altogether? Or do it on rest days? Or sinply eat before i go in the morning and do cardio and then my weights as I have been doing (but then doing cardio seems pointless as im just going to be using up the calories i have just eaten...). It always striked me as odd doing cardio on rest days as it seems to be all you are doing is creating a calorie defecit on that day.
Any more input is greatly appreciated.
Last edited by sp00d; 06-02-2004 at 01:00 PM.
what are your goals? how much muscle do you desire to put on? or are you just interested in functional strength for your rock climbing?
bodybuilders tend to bulk then cut to add muscle+fat then lose the fat, kinda like a take 3 steps forward 1 step back, for fast muscle growth.
powerlifters tend to do an eternal bulk as fat is of little consequence so they take 6 steps forward and none back..at the sacrifice of some bodyfat
if you want to gain just lean muscle and no fat then ur progress will be very slow
and you'd probably want to eat at or a TINY bit above maintenance, and try to keep your body out of a catabolic state as much as possible.
We all have different goals, and I'm mostly familiar with my goal which is more inline with the bodybuilding concept.
Diet is the key to all the various goals though and is arguably the most important component of muscle gain.
ps, ur right about cardio creating calorie defecit...if ur following an active lifestyle with your rock climbing and lifting weights then I see no justification for doing any cardio other than for the cardiovascular benefit of a strong heart, increased VO2 max (oxygen uptake)
PS, I dont mean to come off like I know tons about this stuff...I have been interested in diet/fitness for a year or two now and have learned a little, but there are plenty of people on here that know a LOT more than me and will probably correct my posts!
Last edited by geoffgarcia; 06-02-2004 at 01:09 PM.
Well as far as my first post on here goes, you know more than anyone I have ever spoken to and I appreciate your input!
My goal is to be "athletically big", while remaining as lean as possible. I would ideally like to drop even more body fat (i think im about 8% at the minute), but I have a LONG way to go before I have the muscle gains I would like.
It is the cardio that is most confusing to me. Surely If im eating more calories, im going to put on fat as well as muscle. So if I do cardio, im going to use up calories, but then there is no point as I wont have enough calories to build muscle. So, as a body builder for example, you are constantly gaining muscle and fat, dropping fat (and a little muscle), and then gaining that muscle back and some fat, then dopping the fat and so on?? That would mean there are only certain times of the year when your body is in a "perfect state" ie one that you are happy with. I'd like to get to a point where I can just maintain the physique I have built up.
Could I ask for example, what sort of physique are you naturally, and how much cardio do you do now with your body building goals? I am physically small boned and naturally lean, but not very muscular.
you seem to know a lot more than most people, your statement about bodybuilders being in a "perfect state" for only portions of the year is very accurate for the reasons you described, however that is one of the best/fastest ways to get to that built up physique that we all seek to attain.Originally Posted by sp00d
The problem being that at what point is enough enough? how large is large enough?
Personally I'm a MESOMORPH-ENDOMORPH (body types), I don't do any cardio because I workout doing resistance training enough to gain most of the benefits cardio would offer.
You sound like you might be an ECTOMORPH, but that could be an age/diet/exercise or lack of the 3 that has caused you to be "small bond, lean, not muscular
If your against gaining any fat then be prepared for a long uphill climb to growing your muscles... you may only be able to put on 1-3 pounds of muscle per year while the cutters and bulkers can amass 5-12 pounds per year (and after a year be at the same bf% as you)
(granted this is dependent upon your age, diet, dedication, etc...if your still in ur growth spurt from 13-21 then my statements hold little water)
Last edited by geoffgarcia; 06-02-2004 at 01:56 PM.