What's wrong with this workout/nutrition plan? - ABCbodybuilding

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:13 PM
alvarto alvarto is offline
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Default What's wrong with this workout/nutrition plan?

Hello,

My wife has come to me for weight loss advice. I put together what I feel is a pretty solid plan for her, but through it she has only lost 1 pound over 4 weeks and she is discouraged. Anyway, now I'm coming here for advice. Please review below and let me know what you think should be tweaked, or if we should leave it alone and give it a longer chance....

She's 5'0", her weight is a secret even to me, but she feels that if she loses 50 lbs that will put her at a height appropriate weight.

Before:
Completely sedentary, did not exercise at all. Knee problems. Desk job. Eating habits - about 1200-1400 cals/day, did not pay much attention to protein/carb/fat in each meal, although she did avoid foods that were blatantly high in fat. Not too particular about clean vs white carbs. Pretty sensible about minimizing junk food. Any pop would be diet. Lucky to drink 4 glasses of water/day. With these habits, her weight was stable.

Now:
Gym routine 4 days/week (2 days on, 1 day rest, 2 days on, 2 days rest, repeat). Everything is 3 sets of 10-12 reps to near failure.

Day 1&3: Legs and arms, followed by cardio
Day 2&4: Back, chest, shoulders, followed by cardio

Leg day:
  • Leg press, hip width stance
  • Leg press, wider stance
  • Stiff leg deadlift
  • Tricep extensions
  • Bicep curls
  • 30 mins elliptical, moderate intensity

Chest/Shoulder/Back day- the following push pull movements are supersetted:
  • Chest press ss with seated row
  • Incline chest press ss with lat pulldown leaning backwards
  • Shoulder press ss with lat pulldown sitting nearly straight up
  • Pec flye ss with rear delt flye
  • 30 mins elliptical moderate intensity

Her caloric intake is roughly the same as before (1200-1400). We work 2pm-11pm, so we’re forced to workout around 10:30am. A fairly typical day might be:
  • Breakfast: 1 scoop whey, ½ to 1 serving oatmeal (need something to digest quickly)
  • Post workout: egg beaters (enough to get 25g protein), and 2 slices high fiber wheat toast.
  • Snack: light yogurt and string cheese
  • Dinner: grilled chicken salad, minimal dressing, or sometimes a Kashi or Healthy Choice microwave meal.
  • Snack: 1 scoop whey
  • Before bed: 2 servings low fat cottage cheese (25 g protein, slow digesting)

I notice in writing this she’s lacking healthy fats but that’s an easy fix. Anyway, the results of her efforts over the first 4 weeks include:
  • Lost 1 pound of body weight
  • No more knee problems.
  • Tremendous increase in strength.
  • Clothes seem to fit marginally looser.
  • Feels better

My wife feels that something is wrong that she went from being totally sedentary to this with only 1 pound to show for it. I realize she may have put on 2-4 lbs muscle, but what’s odd is I’d expect her to be super hungry given her calories haven’t changed, and she’s not. Even after leg day, doing multiple sets of leg press of up to 250 lbs, her appetite hasn’t increased.

Should she maybe focus more on cardio and less on weights, and do high/low intensity intervals? What about food cycling? How can I integrate that with what she’s currently doing, and is food cycling recommended? Does her caloric intake seem appropriate?

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully its length didn’t scare anyone away!

Regards,
Tony
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by alvarto View Post
Anyway, the results of her efforts over the first 4 weeks include:
  • Lost 1 pound of body weight
  • No more knee problems.
  • Tremendous increase in strength.
  • Clothes seem to fit marginally looser.
  • Feels better

Aside from only losing 1 pound, those are great results! Patience and persistence is the key.

Should she maybe focus more on cardio and less on weights, and do high/low intensity intervals? What about food cycling? How can I integrate that with what she’s currently doing, and is food cycling recommended? Does her caloric intake seem appropriate?

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully its length didn’t scare anyone away!

Regards,
Tony
Don't decrease the focus on weights, building lean mass will increase her resting metabolism and help her to get the body she wants. You may want to add in the intervals like you mentioned. Without a more info, it is hard to tell if the caloric intake is appropriate, but it seems OK.

Regarding some of your cycling questions, I am not qualified to answer. Hopefully someone else will.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:39 AM
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remember not to focus all your attention on the scale. She's only been going at it 4 weeks and her clothes are already fitting a bit looser, that is great! I would guess that she is probably putting on a bit of muscle while burning fat, the first 1-2 months are the time when the most muscle will be gained which will offset the weight of lost fat a bit. An increase in muscle will help give her the shape that most/all women want. I personally would add a fibrous carb to the cottage chees before bed. Broccolli or spinach would be perfect!

Again, let the mirror and the fit of clothes do the talking as much or more than the scale. Tell her to keep it up and that from that list of improvements above it sounds like she's doing very well.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:01 AM
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She should have lost more than a pound. In my opinion, I think calories are too low primarily on training days for the workload she's putting in. She's doing 15-18 sets per training day, that's probably around 180 reps on average plus cardio. My guess is that her metabolism has slowed down because she's not eating enough to sustain the big increase in activity level (from sedentary to working out full blown). Adding in healthy fats should help with adding in calories. I'd also encourage her to drink more water. She can get the packets of crystal light to add some flavor to make it tasty.

I'd also suggest taking pictures and taking simple measurements with measuring tape to keep a record of where she started. So even if the number on the scale stays the same she can take a look back at pictures and spot changes in the way she looks from month to month.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:34 AM
alvarto alvarto is offline
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Thanks everyone for the replies, and you all have very good points. I did stress to her the positives as you all pointed out, and she's more ok with it now. It turns out it's actually been just 3 weeks, not 4, so even better

I checked her calories more closely, and she's actually around 1500, both now and prior to starting her transformation. GMUnit, she and I also wondered if she's getting in enough calories. We'll add some EFAs and experiment with increasing her overall calories somewhat... maybe to around 1700? I quickly scanned the 13 week fat burning plan on this site, so when I get more time over the weekend maybe I can apply some info from there.

Thanks again all. I'll keep you posted with how things go so hopefully others can find it helpful.

Tony
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:00 PM
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sounds good, keep us posted.

That 13 week fat burning diet has helped A LOT of people to transform their bodies.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:31 PM
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I also agree she needs more calories. You didn't mention what her breakdown was on protein, carbs and fat per day. As a woman she needs to be open to increasing her calories beyond want she has been told through the years. Especially if she is working out.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alvarto View Post
My wife feels that something is wrong that she went from being totally sedentary to this with only 1 pound to show for it. I realize she may have put on 2-4 lbs muscle, but what’s odd is I’d expect her to be super hungry given her calories haven’t changed, and she’s not.
this is normal, it happened to me after surgery i kept calories low but after 2 week i'd gained weight, only reason i can think of is its the primary anabolic response of the body, like beginners can gain 20-30lb muscle in first year of training, she will gain weight at first as muscle mass increases
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