The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    My girlfriend - thread number 2

    I made a thread a while ago about my girlfriend who is quite underweight and wanted to build some strength. She was terribly weak and used to struggle to carry files of paper, bottles of milk and text books etc.

    So far she's been doing really well. I started her deadlifting, squatting, cleaning, shoulder pressing etc and she's progressed at an excellent rate.

    She's 5'4 and weighs about 98lbs. She's chinese and has a very small frame (her wrist is 5.5 inches in circumference) so she's not skinny and body like you might imagine.

    Her whole body is kinda soft and she has some excess fat which gathers around her stomach area. Her body fat is only 18% and yet her stomach is still slightly pudgy.

    Today her doctor took her blood pressure and measured it twice at ~93/66. This is pretty low and explains a few things such as why her hands are always cold, why she feels faint sometimes etc. Her resting heart rate was also 90bpm.

    The doc also gave her a peak flow test (where you blow into a tube and it measures how hard you can exhale.) She scored a measely 310. I can get 550-600 no problem and I'm asthmatic!

    I'm thinking of adapting her workout to help remedy the low BP, high HR and improve her lung power.

    Any suggestions?

    I'm thinking to keep her on the strength/mass programme she's on now but to integrate some cardio to improve her fitness. As for her diet, I've already banned the sugary rubbish (sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks etc) that she used to live on and I've made her agree to eat at least 3 meals a day instead of her usual 1.
    Any other suggestions to help get her stomach flat and improve her strength and cardio fitness?

    Cheers

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  3. #2
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Hey Bud... We both know the only way to get rid of that pudge is to "diet it off". But since she is very low in weight right now, I would work on getting her a bit larger (more muscle). I think I would have her eat more than she is now and then have her start some cardio. She seems out of shape...

    When I came back 4 months ago, I couldn't run 1 minute without feeling like I was going to die from lack of oxygen. I can't begin to tell you how walking faster, incline and some running/biking has changed my athletic performance.

    Get her to do those things and raise the bar gradually. HIIT will also do nicely, but I don't recomend that until she gets in a tad better shape (cardio wise).

    Of course, I don't know the entire situation, but from what I know I think Bulk + Clean Feeding + Cardio = Better Look, Better Fitness, Healthier.

    Now I just need to get my wife in the gym... I told her once she delivers our baby that she better enjoy that rest, because I am bring her to the gym to start weightlifting.

  4. #3
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    Yep, I know the way to get rid of the tummy is to diet it off, but I was just confused since her body fat is reasonably low already and it would obviously be bad for her to lose any more weight. I'll put more muscle on her first though.

    I'm not sure at what % girls get a flat stomach... does anyone know. I see women like Jessica Alba who has a flat stomach yet still has curves and boobs and isn't bony at all. I don't imagine her body fat is *really* low either.

  5. #4
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    ok now knowing the whole situation. i can not believe you asked how you get rid of the pudge on her tummy. there is no reason what so ever she should be dieting.

    problems careing paper?!? something is extreamly wrong. im not a doc, but make sure you clear her from a doctor before you do any kind of cardio or weight lifting program
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  6. #5
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Sounds a lot like she needs to up her iron intake. Get her eating more red meat.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
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  7. #6
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    I didn't ask. I wouldn't dare!

    She's the one who brought it up in the first place. She has no psycological self-image problems or anything else and I would never let her do anything silly like trying to lose more weight etc.
    She just realises that she's fairly weak, underweight and wants a better body- part of which includes a flatter stomach. Like I said before, she has a VERY small frame so she's not a bag of bones.

    And by paper, I mean she bought two reams of paper (500 sheets each), walked half way up the street and then called me to come down and help her bring them back. :P

  8. #7
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    Yep, I know the way to get rid of the tummy is to diet it off, but I was just confused since her body fat is reasonably low already and it would obviously be bad for her to lose any more weight. I'll put more muscle on her first though.

    I'm not sure at what % girls get a flat stomach... does anyone know. I see women like Jessica Alba who has a flat stomach yet still has curves and boobs and isn't bony at all. I don't imagine her body fat is *really* low either.
    Well, honestly, the pudge could just be a protruded stomach. If she never works out, her stomach, just like many other peoples will protrude. Have her flex her stomach and then push in on it lightly with your fingers all over. If it goes in more than 1/4" before getting "firm" I'd say she does have some substancial fat to lose there.

    However, she might not be 18% body fat at all. Since most body fat measurements are based off of subcutinaes (spelling?) fat, it difficult to be exact on her body fat percentage. So, I guess I am skeptical of that 18% figure right off the bat.

    Built was 14% overall body fat in the picture she shows. Except that her gut area is at 7%. I am sure the majority of the overall rating is in her breasts and legs/glutes. With that said, I would say at 18% your girlfriend would be pretty darn lean everywhere... So, again, I doubt she is 18%. A more believable number based on the gut (if indeed it is one) would probably be 23-25%.
    Last edited by ArchAngel777; 03-06-2006 at 04:02 PM.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    Sounds a lot like she needs to up her iron intake. Get her eating more red meat.
    That's part of the guidelines I set her for her diet. One of her 3 meals should include a meat dish (she usually goes for beef) and she takes a multi every day too.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchAngel777
    Well, honestly, the pudge could just be a protruded stomach. If she never works out, her stomach, just like many other peoples will protrude. Have her flex her stomach and then push in on it lightly with your fingers all over. If it goes in more than 1/4" before getting "firm" I'd say she does have some fat to lose there.

    However, she might not be 18% body fat at all. Since most body fat measurements are based off of subcutinaes (spelling?) fat, it difficult to be exact on her body fat percentage. So, I guess I am skeptical of that 18% figure right off the bad.

    Built was 14% overall body fat in the picture she shows. Except that her gut area is at 7%. I am sure the majority of the overall raiting is in her breasts and legs/glutes. With that said, I would say at 18% your girlfriend would be pretty darn lean everywhere... So, again, I doubt she is 18%. A more believable number based on the gut (if indeed it is one) would probably be 23-25%.
    Thanks for that

    My little hand measurer electronic thingy says she's 19%. I know they're crap though but this always gives fairly repeatable results. It may not be accurate but it's fairly precise.
    She had her body fat measured at the docs today too. I didn't ask how they did it but I'd assume he used calipers. I'll definately check this one, cheers.

  11. #10
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    Thats still very weak not being able to carry 1000 sheets of paper a few blocks. I say get her cleared by the doctor first.
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  12. #11
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    David,

    After reading the post you just made, I am certain that she has what many people have. Out of Shape Syndrome. Also known as OSS. Ok, I made that acronym up. Anyway, first have her doctor perform some tests (just in case, to be on the safe side) and then take her to the gym and start a training program. Get her to start walking, up the speed to a fast walk over the training. Then incorporate some incline to the walk and lower the speed. Once she gets up to a decent walk pace, then have her start running for a minute at a time followed by a walk etc... This will take course over several months, but I'd be willing to bet my dirty smelly shoes over it. Oh, and the dollar in my wallet, provided my wife doesn't take it.
    Last edited by ArchAngel777; 03-06-2006 at 04:07 PM.

  13. #12
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    I dont mean to sound funny, but why should she be cleared by the doc first?
    If there was some underlying cause (i.e. some sort of heart condition, circulation disorder etc) then I'm sure he would have talked about it today with her when he did those tests.

    Other than that she's just someone who has eaten a crappy diet and done no exercise for 22 years.

    By the way, she's not AS weak as that now! Sorry if it was unclear but I used that as an example of how weak she USED to be. She's making progress and can now deadlift around 35kg and she carried a 10kg dumbell up the stairs for me the other day- not a bad achievement for her!

  14. #13
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    ArchAngel, thanks a lot for your post

    She walks to uni and back every day with me, and I'm a fast walker (i.e. always late for everything!)

  15. #14
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    Yep, I know the way to get rid of the tummy is to diet it off, but I was just confused since her body fat is reasonably low already and it would obviously be bad for her to lose any more weight. I'll put more muscle on her first though.
    You have her doing all the right things.
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    I'm not sure at what % girls get a flat stomach... does anyone know. I see women like Jessica Alba who has a flat stomach yet still has curves and boobs and isn't bony at all. I don't imagine her body fat is *really* low either.
    Just depends on the woman. I'm at 20% bodyfat right now, and my stomach is flat. I'm at 14% in my avatar (and my boobs were GONE!). Bodyfat distribution is not even all over the body. You carry it where you carry it. You drop it from everywhere, not just from where you want it to go.

    Edited because I noticed Archangel was on this already.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    You have her doing all the right things.


    Just depends on the woman. I'm at 20% bodyfat right now, and my stomach is flat. I'm at 14% in my avatar (and my boobs were GONE!). Bodyfat distribution is not even all over the body. You carry it where you carry it. You drop it from everywhere, not just from where you want it to go.
    Thanks for your input!

    So in a way you're saying that she may never get a flat tummy (unless, of course, she drops it really low and sacrifices other parts)?

    I'm similar in some way in that all my fat stores on my belly and NOWHERE else. Pecs are rock hard and not a trace of fat but my stomach just hangs out in front now

  17. #16
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    ArchAngel, thanks a lot for your post

    She walks to uni and back every day with me, and I'm a fast walker (i.e. always late for everything!)
    That is good! So, at least you don't have to start like she is a infant. Basically, if she walks fast already, get her to do some incline walks. Start out at a 4.0 incline and if she can handle that for 20 - 30 minutes easily, keep raising it a degree until she is feeling it a bit. Once she hits 8.0+ degree plus at around a 3.5 mph walk, then I would say to bring the incline back down to 1.0 and start some running intervals with her. Have her run at a slow pace at first maybe, 5.5 - 6.0 mph and then back it down to 3.5 mph until she recovers and rinse, repeat.

    If she simply watches what she eats a little bit, that will go a long ways to making her feel better as well. She doesn't have to make drastic changes. but if she is a big soda drinker, she might want to replace it with water a few times a day. There are many little things that you can do to make a big difference over time!

    Take care bud,

    Gabriel

  18. #17
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    Thanks for another great post Gabriel (such a cool name btw :P)

    Cheers for the cardio tips. I used to just try and beat times for 1000m on the rowing machine. Once she gets a lot fitter she could start doing that too.

    I'm going to keep a log so she can track her progress too. I always find it nice to look back and go "pfft... I used to struggle to do four reps of THAT!" Always helps when you feel you're not making progress any more.

  19. #18
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    Thanks for your input!

    So in a way you're saying that she may never get a flat tummy (unless, of course, she drops it really low and sacrifices other parts)?
    This might be the case, yes. For me, it's my ass. If I want to lean out my legs and ass, I have to look like an anatomy chart on top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidelmo
    I'm similar in some way in that all my fat stores on my belly and NOWHERE else. Pecs are rock hard and not a trace of fat but my stomach just hangs out in front now
    Yep, you're a boy, and I'm a girl.

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