Here is my situation, 5 foot 5 inches, 35 years old. I am oveweight by 50 pounds and have a beer gut but I am not weak. Decent strength. I have lost 25 pounds in last year by changing my diet, not eating fast food and starting to exercise very moderately. I recently joined the Volunteer fire department and I NEED to get stronger fairly quickly. I would like to lose some inches off my waistline and build up my cardiovascular endurance. Appearance not important, just want to get a little slimmer so I can fit in smaller spaces and be able to lift a lot more. Such as carrying 150 pound person by myself, being able to lift very heavy equipment for vehicle extracation and other very demanding tasks. As of one month ago I am trying to eat between 2000 and 2500 calories a day. lifting weights 2-3 times a week (all free weights focusing on upper body since my legs are already really strong). Walking on treadmill at 10% incline at 2.5 mph for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Use Jacobs ladder 2 to 3 times a week for as long as I can last. Rt now about 4 to 5 minutes.
Tips on diet?
tips on cardio vs weight training?
Can you gain muscle and lose fat at same time or is that impossible. If I had to pick one I would need to gain strength. but I still need to up my cardiovascular endurance so I am not so winded after a structure fire and I am running around for 3 hours. thanks for tips.
A beginner, and I think you fit the category at least relative to strength training can lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time.
Strength training is superior for body composition when compared to cardio. You should focus on a strength training program and augment it with 2-3 days per week of 20 min. of light to moderate intensity cardio. The alternative would be CrossFit style training. It might even better suit your needs. I am sure you have a CrossFit box near you.
If you want to do it on your own, check out our free HCT-12 program listed here.
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I think Chris is offering solid advice.
My one addition: don't neglect training the legs with weights. First, leg strength will be essential for you job as a volunteer firefighter and second heavy leg and back work is great for stimulating muscle growth.
Most established programs are built around squats and/or deadlifts.