T Nation

fat burning for women

I am trying to lose a little bit of body fat. I am 5’3 about 114lbs and ~14% bf right now. My goal is to improve the definition in my legs and obliques. I am pretty strong already and when training legs I always try to go to failure. I do squats, leg lifts, ham curls, calf raises (with weights also). I train abs twice a week and the exercises vary. I have reduced my calories and increased cardio. Weight training about 5x a week is all that I can put in right now with my schedule. I have half serving of oats (1/4c) and 2 egg whites in the morning, ProM3 protein shake about mid morning, 4oz turkey, tuna or salmon for lunch, another shake in the afternoon, eggs, tuna or something like that about 1 hour prior to working out, protein shake after workout.

I understand that it is harder for women to get “ripped” the natural way so any input from the women out there would be great (men please respond as well). Any help with diet, leg or ab workout will be appreciated.

I don’t believe it is harder for “women” to get ripped but for some “individuals” that may be the case. I believe that for ANY natural bodybuilder, no matter what gender, it is more important to pay attention to recovery and nutrition.

You're weight training 5x a week? I don't even train that much when in pre-contest. The maximum amount of days in the gym per week for me is 4. And that fourth is usually so that I can use the row machine and do some extra ab work. I stay at 11% year around and am working on getting to 8% by June. That won't be a problem, since I'm down to 10% now. I have built our routine around compound movements. Squats, deads, bench, and power cleans. We train 3x a week. I interval rope jump 2-3x a week and train abs in the gym and at home (abs are my weak spot). This Friday we embark on the 5x5 Program.

SO, it is possible for "women" to build and get very lean w/out drugs. Have you read some of the diet articles in T-Mag? "Foods that Make You Look Good Nekkid", "The Diet Manifesto", or even read the FAQ section? Also, take a long good hard look at what your routine is now. How long have you been training this way? Maybe time for a change. Do you perform any compound movements other than squats? As for obliques - I perform stick twists - and decline bench crunches with twist at the top (sorry, forgot the "tech" term for this). I have really good obliques - but I don't think it's due to the exercises, but mostly due to genetics. Obliques are there even when I'm a "fatty". he he he. But I also have a tendency to keep my "abs tight" even when not in the gym. How many calories are you consuming per day? And WHAT are you doing in the way of ab training now? (did I already ask this?). What's your set/rep scheme like now?

Patricia,
I have been on t-mag for about a year now. I have read all of the articles about what to eat and not eat. I included a typical day in the first message. I do other compound movement besides squats (deadlifts etc.). Oh by the way, I just started trying to diet down about a month ago. I want to get to about 10% (14% now). I don’t want to be buff I just want to be a bit leaner so that my legs will appear more defined. My abs area already prominent I just want to get them you know…leaner. Anyway, for abs I am pretty much doing what you are doing. Is there someway we can e-mail outside of this forum? I have more questions.

NOTE FROM MOD: E-mails aren't allowed, but please keep the conversation on the forum anyway. Many people who never post learn a great deal by following these conversations, which is one reason why we don't allow e-mail exchange. Thanks.

You certainly can email me. (Note to MOD: I know, I know…) - go to www.portfolios.com/PatriciaSmith

email provided on the site.

Patricia is one of the mos knowledgeable poster on this forum. My 2 cents is to add more fiber to your diet. You could add fiber in your shakes except post workout.

Thanks, Bobby D! Wow. That was a very nice thing to say!

Okay, Miss E., did email me and she let me know that she is considering competition (fitness/figure), at least that's what I understood her saying. She gave me a better idea of what she was eating per day.

'My diet usually consist of the following: I have half serving of oats (1/4c) and 2 egg whites in the morning ProM3 protein shake about mid morning 4oz turkey breast, tuna or salmon for lunch another shake in the afternoon eggs, tuna, or something like that about 1 hour prior to working out protein shake after workout 4oz turkey breast, tuna or salmon at night"

I'm thinking this exchange might be helpful for someone else, so I'll post some of it (thanks, to MOD for making me realize this). ---- Okay you say you "haven't done this before" - which I'm thinking means "competition"? Correct? And you want to use Figure/Fitness as a jumpstart. If thats the case, I'll tell you this: at 5'3" and 114lbs with 14% BF, right now, you need to GAIN some bodyweight. If you were to lean down to 10% w/out gaining weight - you'd be too "small" for even a Fitness show. And one more thing: by leaning down further, you would be too "cut" and look to "muscular". For either Fitness or Figure. By losing that 4% of BF on your frame, that's a large amount of weight - it'll make a big difference. My question then is: what contest are you planning on entering? When is it? How much time do you have to prepare? Why does you fiance have you on low-carb diet NOW? You can attribute your "almost passing out" to the fact that you're carbs are low to nil and so is your caloric intake.

If you want to compete - first thing to do is check out local contests. You'll notice that Fitness/figure competitors do not need to get down to even (below) 8%BF for contests. 10% is fine in alot of cases. That type of competition desires a "healthier" BF content than bodybuilding.

Second, you say you want to gain more definition in the legs. I don't know what type of EDT [she let me know she was beginning EDT] leg training you're doing, but I can tell you that from your diet now, you're going to have some difficulty achieving your goal. I would add some carbs to your diet, and not just for the weekend. And why is it that you don't eat "wheat based" foods? Pick up your calories. You ain't gonna get fat. As a matter of fact, you'll probably see a increase of energy, along with some increase of muscle size. Which will increase your resting metabolic rate, which will mean that your body will be using your consumed calories more efficiently.

Which means that when you're ready to compete all you have to do is slightly increase your activity level, play around with your carb intake only a bit and you will be amazed how easy it will be to drop 2-3% of BF. I diet for BB contests for only 8-weeks. And I get down to 6% - easy. Naturally. Most fitness chicks stay at 11-12% year round (well, I have seen some at a higher BF% between shows), and all that has to be done then for them to get contest ready, is work on their routines. And maybe pick up the level of their training. That's it.

Okay, so, as you can see: diet is key. As I had said, you need to consider increasing your calories and carbs. And MD6 [she is taking MD6 now] is good for that last little bit of "stubborn" fat - I wouldn't use it til you are deeply rooted into pre-contest. Like 2-3 months out. (And EDT was created by Charles Staley. One of the most knowledgable contributors to T-Mag. He's a former Olympic weightlifting coach as well as a former martial arts competitor and instructor. And yes, he's awesome.) (She wasn't aware of who created EDT - thought I should let Miss E know)

Please provide me some answers to the questions I posed, and I will certainly help you more.

I know there are MANY more knowledgable T-peoples -anyone else have a suggestion?

Have you tried MD6? Its an excellent fat burning agent.

Yes, I know about MD6 and I have been to shows before.

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I do consume some carbs…mainly veggies (lettuce, spinach, broccoli…). On the weekends (yams, bananas, apples etc.) I try to take my calories up some but not much. I know that I am not going to get bigger or stronger without food. So diet is key, please…HELP! Oh and the bit of useful info is I have been this size for as long as I can remember. I have never done a “diet” in my life. I can pig out or I can eat sensibly and I don’t seem to get any bigger. I eat just about anything I am not real picky.

Miss E. I hope my communication with you has/is helpful.

Okay, so you want to gain weight (LBM)? However you're "dieting" correct? From what I can see, you're not consuming enough calories for that goal. Have you read "The Skinny Bastard diet"? I wouldn't follow it per se, but I would at least take a look at it. It might help you understand the "I eat and eat but never seem to gain weight". One thing I would do is begin a food journal. Log whatever you eat. And log in, what you did, exercise-wise. At the end of a couple of weeks, read through and see if indeed, you've been eating enough calories according to your energy output. You might be surprised. If you haven't begun a food log, you should do so now.

Oh, I haven't checked my email at home, yet to see if you've responded, you can always post here. And was I correct in your want to compete?

I have been keeping a food journal and workout log for quite some time now so I already have a good idea of where my calories come from.

I read the “Skinny Bastard” article a while back. See I don’t think that is me. I EAT about 6-7 times a day. The thing is I am not consuming the stuff that he writes about in the article (except for the protein powder). You see I am more of a fish/turkey and chicken kinda gal. I am not really into cookies, bread or pasta so maybe that is my problem. I like peanuts, almonds, walnuts etc. I don’t really like milk but I do eat cottage cheese. Even when I wasn’t “dieting”, I kept a log that pretty much outlined my meals from about 7am until about 9-10pm. So with that being said what am I to do about being a “skinny bastard (gal)”? Are their some other foods that I can eat?

Hi Miss E,

Have you looked at John Berardi's Massive Eating? That may be the key to help you out since he does ask you to eat a lot of food on Massive Eating. BTW -- he did specify that the quality of food you eat is the key to gaining mass, not fat, on Massive Eating. Also check WINNING FORMULA PART 2 (written by JB) for protein, carb, and fat sugestions.

Hope this helps! :)