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Helping Fiance Tone Up for Big Day

Hey folks,
First things firt, I think she’s perfect how she is…But, lately my fiance, in the picture, has been asking me to help her tone up before her big day (June) as I workout and am naturally smaller (don’t carry much body fat) she’s convinced I know where she should start.

So, this being my haven of knowledge, I thought I’d come on here and ask about any dietary suggestions and workout suggestions from you ladies…and hopefully get lots of useful info to aid her.

What she wants to do:
Lose some of the fat…have visible muscle
Put a bit of muscle on: V Medialis/Lateralis region, Upper Back Region/Arms, Have visible abs

Her right now:
5’7
143 lbs
Neck: 12 Inch
Shoulders: 40
Chest: 36
Upper Arm: 12
Waist: 32
Hips: 38
Thigh: 19
Calf: 14

Oh, and I don’t even know if all that’s possible in 4 months…is it?

And of course the side shot

Jamie Easons live fit trainer is great.
It gives you a meal plan thats easy to follow as well as a training plan. Google it. (You can find the plan on another website)
I know lots of people that have done it with great results.

Also little b’s healthy habits is a great blog.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! She has already has a very nice, feminine shape. This will be awesome to follow, because she’s going to look GREAT. She’s proportional but puts most of her fat in her midsection, which means her waist/ dress size will come down quick.

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
Oh, and I don’t even know if all that’s possible in 4 months…is it?[/quote]

As for your question, absolutely. 4 months is plenty of time to see some MAJOR changes. I’d echo Coyote about Jamie Eason’s livefit trainer. If she’s never lifted, it’s a good place to start. It will just take her through a basic program everyday for 12 weeks. It covers nutrition as well.

Also, there’s a free program on the web called fitday.com - People who keep a food journal or log tend to be more successful at weight loss. I used fitday, but now I just keep a small notebook and food scale on my kitchen counter, mainly to make sure I hit my protein targets.

My recommendation is to make lifting weights the priority in terms of exercise. She will start to see results within 6 weeks, FOR SURE.

Can I ask what her current diet is like? If she’s just looking to loose a few pounds, it might come off pretty quickly with some minor diet tweaking. Stuff like cutting soda and alcohol.

If big portions at dinner are the main problem, then try substituting a protein shake like Metabolic Drive Low-Carb formula for a meal. That’s just a very simple idea that will cause a lot of people to drop some pounds.

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! She has already has a very nice, feminine shape. This will be awesome to follow, because she’s going to look GREAT. She’s proportional but puts most of her fat in her midsection, which means her waist/ dress size will come down quick.

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
Oh, and I don’t even know if all that’s possible in 4 months…is it?[/quote]

As for your question, absolutely. 4 months is plenty of time to see some MAJOR changes. I’d echo Coyote about Jamie Eason’s livefit trainer. If she’s never lifted, it’s a good place to start. It will just take her through a basic program everyday for 12 weeks. It covers nutrition as well.

Also, there’s a free program on the web called fitday.com - People who keep a food journal or log tend to be more successful at weight loss. I used fitday, but now I just keep a small notebook and food scale on my kitchen counter, mainly to make sure I hit my protein targets.

My recommendation is to make lifting weights the priority in terms of exercise. She will start to see results within 6 weeks, FOR SURE.

Can I ask what her current diet is like? If she’s just looking to loose a few pounds, it might come off pretty quickly with some minor diet tweaking. Stuff like cutting soda and alcohol.

If big portions at dinner are the main problem, then try substituting a protein shake like Metabolic Drive Low-Carb formula for a meal. That’s just a very simple idea that will cause a lot of people to drop some pounds. [/quote]

She eats fairly clean, Breakfast she usually has with me, and I have something with eggs/veggies 5 days a week, with a litre of water and she’s been taking fish oil and multi’s since meeting me…I converted her on that one. She does “Insanity” 4 mornings a week, as she’s convinced by everyone and their dog at work that it works wonders…so she’ll have a higher carb meal post workout.

Usually a small thing of greek yogurt for recess (she’s a teacher), then a spinach salad with a protein (Fish/chicken) for lunch and will have another small serving of cottage cheese sometime between after school and supper.

Supper brings a random meal that we try to keep healthy, but once a week it’s on the other extreme of things (Last night we went for nachoes and they were EXTREMELY good, but EXTREMELY greasy).

I think her main problem is that she snack (Alot) and doesn’t really think about things that bother her stomach until after the fact. One example being marshmellows, she eats a marshmellow and her stomach expands 7 inches (we were curious one night so we measured, then again the next day, as it’s actually oddly interesting to see) but she will eat them regardless of the discomfort.

I think another problem is that she’s a distance runner, who run’s for causes, she’s running Goofy (it’s basically a 1/2 marathon followed by a full the next day) next year to support Lymphoma Research, something she’s very passionate about as she had it growing up.
Now, I’ve managed to convince her that the distance running won’t help with the fat loss thing so she’ll be taking a 4 month hiatas off after she runs her 1/2 marathon this upcoming Sunday. In support of my argument I sent her to Rachel Cosgroves article on how she got chubby when training for an IronMan and then toned up again doing no cardio and lots of weights. From which she got the idea that she should lift weights (which I agreed with) but now she’s doing 4 days a week of Insanity in the morning and Cosgroves Female Body Breakthrough workout at night. Is that too much? Will it have her seeing results? I’ve done the 2 times a day but never with weight loss in mind…But, while I was actually trying to put weight on with Waterbury’s Next Frontier program (Which worked wonders) http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/bodybuildings_next_frontier

I also suggested she would need to lift weights if she wants a bit of muscle

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! She has already has a very nice, feminine shape. This will be awesome to follow, because she’s going to look GREAT. She’s proportional but puts most of her fat in her midsection, which means her waist/ dress size will come down quick.

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
Oh, and I don’t even know if all that’s possible in 4 months…is it?[/quote]

As for your question, absolutely. 4 months is plenty of time to see some MAJOR changes. I’d echo Coyote about Jamie Eason’s livefit trainer. If she’s never lifted, it’s a good place to start. It will just take her through a basic program everyday for 12 weeks. It covers nutrition as well.

Also, there’s a free program on the web called fitday.com - People who keep a food journal or log tend to be more successful at weight loss. I used fitday, but now I just keep a small notebook and food scale on my kitchen counter, mainly to make sure I hit my protein targets.

My recommendation is to make lifting weights the priority in terms of exercise. She will start to see results within 6 weeks, FOR SURE.

Can I ask what her current diet is like? If she’s just looking to loose a few pounds, it might come off pretty quickly with some minor diet tweaking. Stuff like cutting soda and alcohol.

If big portions at dinner are the main problem, then try substituting a protein shake like Metabolic Drive Low-Carb formula for a meal. That’s just a very simple idea that will cause a lot of people to drop some pounds. [/quote]

Sounds like she’s on track. Plan ahead to avoid the extreme meals, and the snacking and she should be good. For women who don’t have a lot of muscle, and have a slower metabolism, the big once a week cheat can completely derail weight loss. Daily snacking will derail it for almost anybody.

A lot of people try to cardio their way out of a bad diet, or severely underestimate how many mindless calories are coming in by snacking - the “I just worked really hard, then ate my results” syndrome. That’s where the food journal might really help.

Sounds like you know this already, but if you have to choose between exercise and diet - choose DIET.

Sounds like she’s already way motivated with the exercise. Awesome. IMO, 2-A-Days are going to be fine. It’s probably ideal for most of us. If she only has 30 minutes, then lift. If she has an hour to lift, and 30 minutes to an hour later in the day to walk/run/cardio-it-up/ even better. She already likes to jog, and brisk walking together after dinner is excellent. Some people claim that lots of cardio just stokes their appetite, making it harder to stick to their diet. I guess I’d watch for that, but most of us just flat out don’t move enough.

And Rachel Cosgrove gets a lot of love from women who lift. I’m glad she’s reading her. Oxygen Magazine is good. Girls Gone Strong has fewer writers now, but the women who blog for them are excellent.

Your girl is tall, with a nice balanced shape. A lot of women would love to have her body type when it’s leaned out a little. Keep us posted.

Will keep everyone appraised…so the two a day isn’t too much? I just don’t want her burning out and hating the whole experience either.

Two-a-days are fine. Women tend to have the ability (and do better) to have a higher volume workout than men, mainly because we’re built differently. Women have a harder time attaining their true 1RM, so we can rep out a weight, add 5 pounds and barely do one.

Looks like the type of foods she’s eating is well on track. I’d recommend you keep a log just to track her macros and calories. It gives you better perspective and will allow you to tweak it later on.

I dont think 2x per day is going to be productive. I think it will burn her out and I dont think her body will have time to repair between. Insanity is pretty tough and add to that weights?
It may be exciting at first but I dont see it ending well.

I would suggest a solid weight routine 3-4 days per week and a few HIIT intervals maybe 2 or 3 at the end of the weights session. That would be plenty!

2x a day is okay if the first is something easy like 20-30 minutes of fasted cardio first thing in the morning, and not every day either. 2 shorter sessions can be more beneficial to weight loss than 1 longer one, just be sure not to burn her out. Also 1 day completely off everything regardless of program.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding! You guys are going to have a blast that day!! It is TOTALLy possible to tone up, gain muscle definition, and lose fat within 4 months! I made a huge transformation 2 years ago (coming off a broken arm) and even ended up competing in my first figure contest. I wasn’t an athlete and didn’t have a lot of muscle to begin with. If I can do it (former coach potato), anyone willing to do the work can! My husband Stu designed a workout program and diet for me (I didn’t know much about weight training or dieting at the time, I just wanted my arm strength back). Following a well thought out diet & exercie routine will definitely get results.

Keeping a daily food journal is soooo important, it will allow you to keep track of your calories/carbs/protein intake and also accountable so you don’t cheat. You really think twice about milk and cookies or that slice of cheesecake when you have to write down the calories & carbs. Even paying attention to the nutritional labels on food is a big step.

I know a lot of people like Insanity, but for muscle growth & definition I think the time would be better spent lifting weights in the gym. After only a few weeks in the gym I started noticing tricep and delt definition. I used to really enjoy running, and did way more cardio than weights… it wasn’t until I switched things around and started focusing on weight training with maybe a day of cardio, that I started getting muscle definition.

I also started eating 6 times a day, which was really difficult at first. I had 3 meals and 3 snacks every day. Once you get used to constantly fueling your body with food that will optimize your training, your body will start using food more efficiently.

Best of luck with the wedding & training! :slight_smile:

Thanks Folks,
Thundercat, what were you eating as snacks?
She’s going on the “it should have protein and veggies” ideology (which I think’s great) but she’s having trouble thinking of things to eat as snacks…suggestions?
What about macronutrient breakdown? Carb heavy in the morning? lowering the carbs as the day goes on the way to go?

[quote]sufiandy wrote:
2x a day is okay if the first is something easy like 20-30 minutes of fasted cardio first thing in the morning, and not every day either. 2 shorter sessions can be more beneficial to weight loss than 1 longer one, just be sure not to burn her out. Also 1 day completely off everything regardless of program.[/quote]

Not familiar with Insanity, so I have no opinion.

I second the take a rest day approach. Sunday is a morning walk in the neighborhood and some stretching.

When I was training with a coach last spring, she had me lift, then if I had the time, get on the Step Mill for 20-40 minutes right after lifting when glycogen stores are depleted and your body wants to dig into some fat. I’m a former runner, and she advised me NOT to do a bunch of running because she was concerned about me trying to maintain as much of my muscle as possible during the cut. Intervals on a StepMill was her advice.

I believe that IF…that’s a big IF…you eat clean and strict 95% of the time you probably don’t need to do cardio at all - or only in the last couple of weeks to go after the last few pounds. This also depends a lot on body type and goals. Some people can get away with less, or none. BUT some cardio, even just lots of brisk walking for 15 minutes several times a day, is going to help speed things along, in my experience. When I first started lifting, I pretty much stopped the cardio for a whole year to try to gain muscle BUT I wasn’t trying to cut.

Of the women I know in real life - who’s figures I admire - athletic builds and not just skinny - ALL of them are very active. My friend who does bikini comps and stays lean enough to always be about 4 weeks out from competing, primarily lifts. She also bikes, and runs, and hikes, and spins, and when she’s getting ready for a comp she StepMills for 40 minutes a day until she’s leaned out. She often splits her training into 2-a-days.

Oh, and back to the OP. You mentioned that your fiance is interested in building up her quads. I got a lot of good advice on that topic on my Emphasis on Quad Sweep thread. You can find it in the Body Building Forum. She will see some pics there of me on page 3, after a 6-week cut from this December. Cat has a competition thread there too, which might be inspiring for her to follow. And UP logs in the Over 35 Forum. She’s also doing a bit of cutting right now.

Best of luck and keep us posted. We all LOVE to hear about another woman who’s lifting. I will say, I was a runner for many years. The shape of my body changed more in 3 months of lifting, than it did in all the years of running.

Thanks PowerPuff,
really enjoyed reading through your thread. Was definitely informative, may have picked up a tip or two for myself as well. The Summersault/frog squat, is of particular interest to me, looks like something I’ll be working in sometime soon.
She’s doing great so far seems to be loving the working out thing

In my experience, the most helpful you can be is to eat clean with her! :slight_smile:

Yes, exactly right, I have carbs in the morning and after my workout, the rest are incidental carbs. For snacks I usually have cottage cheese, protien shake, fage yorgut, or protien bars.

[quote]dennis3k wrote:
Thanks PowerPuff,
really enjoyed reading through your thread. Was definitely informative, may have picked up a tip or two for myself as well. The Summersault/frog squat, is of particular interest to me, looks like something I’ll be working in sometime soon.
She’s doing great so far seems to be loving the working out thing[/quote]

I’m glad.

How are things coming along?

Ha, guess I haven’t been on here in awhile.
Things are going good, she’s looking a bit better, but weight & measurements aren’t moving and she’s not liking that. Everything is exactly the same numbers wise
Any suggestions if stuck? Any little pre show tricks to get that last little bit of fat? She’s just wanting to look good for the one day then go back to her regular routine, still eating healthy and whatnot, but she’s killing herself trying to get to her ideal shape right now.