5k Training, Cutting,.?'s

Hi, I hope you’re in the mood to read. I’ve got some questions…hope you can make it through all of this crap and give me some insightful ideas.

So I’m sitting here right now at 205 pounds, and guessing around 15% BF. I got here from 217 (around 20% BF, guesing again) exactly 2 months ago which, if my math is right, means I’ve lost an average of 1.5 lbs per week, meaning I have maintained my lean muscle mass and lost about 12 pounds of fat. I took some pictures and am happy with the way things are going, though I’m nowhere near where I want to be.

My goals all along have been to lose fat and gain muscle over time, but last week when I hit 205 I realized I don’t want to go under 200lbs again and have to work back up to a lean 215. While WEIGHT loss has not been my goal it has happened and was expected. My mentality has been that alot of guys just try to throw on weight so that they can build some muscle under there, and I figure I already lack the six-pack, have some weight on me, so if I just keep eating as clean as I have been, but eat MORE, over time I’m going to level out at the place I want to be. I guess I should go over what I’ve been doing.

The first month I was basicly doing everything that the program from “The Body Sculpting Bible For Men” told me to except that I was running 1 mile every single morning except Sunday instead of doing cardio 20-40 minutes 1 day a week.

Right at about a month I had a little injury and took 1.5 weeks off from everything, then started back with upper body and running even though I could not do any lowerbody excercises for another week and a half.

Once I started back completely I changed some things about the program to fit my more personal needs. I cut out the running on leg days, and started using an X-Vest with 20lbs on my running days. I’ve also decided that my biggest problem isn’t an abundance of fat but a lack of muscle, so I’ve taken a look at my weak points and decided to hammer on those.

Basically my weak points are my calves, hamstrings, glutes, entire back, traps, shoulders, and abs. Haha, pretty much everywhere so on mondays and thursdays when I do arms, back, and chest I add in a couple extra sets of back excercises.

My leg workouts have changed DRAMATICALLY from the cookie cutter program I was following to incorporate heavy deads on Tuesdays along with lunges, calves, direct trap work, and EXTRA shoulder excercises. The only thing I change on Thursday is instead of deadlifts I do back squats. I’m not sure if this is how I should do it, but the first time I squatted and dedlifted heavy my legs were WRECKED and after talking with my former personal trainer he suggested that two excercises that put such a strain on the CNS be spread out a little bit. So I kinda came up with that routine to give those muscle groups a little more rest. (If you have input on this I’d like to hear it)

Wednesday and Saturdays I went from doing 50-75 crunches and leg lifts to buying a decline bench of the house and doing weighted situps and leg lifts. I’ve also tried to constantly think about little things like posture, and for anyone who’s got an overdeveloped chest and slouch like I do I suggest that you work on that IMMEDIATELY. I can’t believe how many compliments I’ve gotten lately since I started concentrating on keeping my back straight.

Like I said, I don’t think I have a great physique hidden under the fat, I think I still need to build one, but this is actually working for me, and while I’d always like to hear some educated input, thats not what my real problem or questions is about.

A week or so ago my cousin and I started a seperate myspace that only she and I could see so that we could blog our workouts and diets everyday. It’s been pretty cool and helped me think about how much I am eating, how much more I should be eating, and how I’m doing in the gym. For her though, it’s a bit different. She’s been involved in track since she was in Jr. Highschool all the way through college, and she still runs all the time. Her workouts are based around all cardio with some HIIT and some moderate instensity high rep weight lifting. Completely different from what I’m doing.

The other day though she asked me if I’d be interested in running a 5k on May 19th. I figure yeah, that should be fine. Running 3.2 miles isn’t going to kill me or my goals, but I’m wondering what the best way to train for this would be.

I at first thought that I would train run 2 days a week with the 20lb weighted vest alternating between a light sprint and a jog, run for speed 1 mile, 1 day a week with the weighted vest, and then have one day where I run without the weighted vest 3 miles. Since she has alot of experience with this kind of thing I asked her if she had any suggestions. This was her response:

"Guy #1 runs one mile with a vest twice a week at 8minute pace and one mile with a vest once a week at 7:30 pace. Once a week he runs an easy 3miler at 9:45 pace

Guy #2 runs 1, 3 miler at 8:40 pace and another at 9:15 pace. He does two 25 minute interval work outs a week, alternating longer easy spurts with shorter balls out bursts.

If these guys run a 3 mile race against each other, Guy #2 will win every time. Guy #1 will keep up for the first 1.25 miles or so (and probably feel lighter and stronger than Guy #2). However, by 1.5 miles or so, Guy #1 will tank, while Guy #2 cruises on through till the end. The reason for this is that Guy #2 has been training for 3 miles, while Guy #1 has been training of 1 mile with a vest. Of course, in a one mile weighted run, Guy #1 would kick #2s ass. Both are fine, you just have to decide what it is that you are trying to achieve.

If you are wanting to train for the 5K, this is the workout that I would suggest. I am basing the following workout plan on a 4 days a week of running presumption. I am going to include the vest, because I can tell that it means a lot to you and you really seem to enjoy it.

  1.  Weighted mile run, followed by an easy .5 - 1mile cool down.
  2.  2-4 mile run at an easy to moderate pace. The ultimate goal being 3.5-4 miles once you get into distance shape. The reason that I suggest this eventual distance is that with the exception of marathons, you always need to include a distance that is farther than your actual race. You can alternate one week of 3 miles and the next a 3.5 ? 4 miler. No problem with that. Also, when feeling good, you can throw in a few surges here and there to  mix things up a bit.
  3.  Few minute warm-up, times weighted mile run followed by a .5 ? 1mile cool down.
  4.  20-30 minute interval run (start at 20 and work your way up). 5 minute warm up, 3-5 minute cool down and in fill the middle with 2min easy, one minute hard.

One other thing, you seemed concerned about the balance between losing fat content and gaining muscle mass. Have you considered concentrating your efforts on slimming down (while still lifting for strength, but not stressing so much about muscular gains). Once you achieve your body fat percentage goals, you can reduce your cardio some, increase your caloric intake a bit and up the intensity of lifting. This is just a suggestion, I suspect that you may meet your overall goals faster than way and you won’t drive yourself crazy trying to find the delicate balance of calories to meet both goals.

Plus,as you lose fat, you will feel as thought you are gaining size because the muscles that you already have will look much more defined. Just my 2 cents. Really, whatever you decide to do will be good because you are taking care of yourself and getting in shape. I admire your dedication and drive."

It makes sense to me that not running 3 miles is not going to help me run 3 miles in a race, so her advice on that part sounds like something I should take to heart, but I’m really kinda not sure how to respond to her in general, especially the last paragraph.

I immediately thought that were I to be doing that much cardio and HIIT I will need to increase my calories by…hmmm, probably ALOT! It just goes against everything in my mind right now to think that I should shrink down to 190-195 just so that I can gain it back. My uneducated mind is telling me that I’m in a better position now to gain muscle and decrease my BF% by training hard and eating like a horse than I would be if I lost another 15 pounds to get down to 10% bodyfat.

It seems like that would be more like “cutting” rather than trimming down and I’m just not ready to do something like that.

I realize this is a long post and probably isn’t making a ton of sense. I’m here at work and it’s taken me over an hour going between working and this to get it all out, but I’ll be very appreciative if someone can give me some thought provoing information.

p.s. I have some before and after pictures. I didn’t think they’d be of any help so I’m not posting them but if they are I can.

She must be hot to make you run 3.5 miles. Assuming that is the reason your running, the appropriate response would be “Great advice, what time would you like me to pick you up tonight?”

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
She must be hot to make you run 3.5 miles. Assuming that is the reason your running, the appropriate response would be “Great advice, what time would you like me to pick you up tonight?”[/quote]

Yeah, the thing is the girl is his cousin. I don’t think most of us roll that way.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
She must be hot to make you run 3.5 miles. Assuming that is the reason your running, the appropriate response would be “Great advice, what time would you like me to pick you up tonight?”[/quote]

She’s my cousin…and I want to run because…well, I like to run, and I want to do well against other people.