T Nation

Need To Lose Fat But Not Muscle

About a 1.5 years ago I got a personal trainer and over the next 7 months I gained a lot of strength and lost a fair amount of weight. I was losing weight and gaining muscle at a decent rate. I started at 238 and right around last xmas I was down to 214 or so, the thing was though I felt a lot stronger, when I started I could only do around 15 pushups, but by the end I was doing around 55.

Problem: Costs, my trainer cost too much money in the end. Once I had a big bill to pay (ie i had to buy a used car because my old one broke down). I no longer had the gold to pay my trainer so I had to drop him.

Then some family problems happened, I lost my motivation to go work out everyday.

So then basically from Dec to now i’ve been eatting bad and only working out once or twice ever two weeks. This is going from working out four to five days a week.

No suprise I’m back up to 229lbs.

I think I’m ready once again to go nuts though.

I think my main problem though is fat, I think i have a decent amount of muscle it’s just I need to lose the fat and I will be able to do a lot of stuff.

Thus why I’m posting here.

What should I do?

I know I should eat healthy, and I’m switching to that slowly, I’ve been eatting clean a few days a week over the last few weeks to re-adjust. I honestly think I get addicted to crappy food, because I get headaches when I switch to eatting clean, so I have to do it over a period of time.

So my plan is:

  1. eat better
  2. exercise 4-6 days a week

This is where people reading this comes in, please comment or offer other activities I can do.

A) Cardio on eliptical machine for 50 minutes, 130 heart rate. – I like this I can listen to a Audio book at the same time. Is this a decent way to lose fat but not muscle?

B) Ball exercises + lunges. Like having a ball on my back and doing bench exercises with weights in my hand. Doing crunches on the ball, pushups with the ball etc…lot of ball action but in between doing lunges with weights in my hand or on my shoulders. --kind of cardio with some weight training thrown in

C) Jogging/Walking – lots of parks around here.

D) machine weights + combo of A and B above.


Thanks for any information/advice.

[quote]Falling wrote:
About a 1.5 years ago I got a personal trainer and over the next 7 months I gained a lot of strength and lost a fair amount of weight. I was losing weight and gaining muscle at a decent rate. I started at 238 and right around last xmas I was down to 214 or so, the thing was though I felt a lot stronger, when I started I could only do around 15 pushups, but by the end I was doing around 55.

Problem: Costs, my trainer cost too much money in the end. Once I had a big bill to pay (ie i had to buy a used car because my old one broke down). I no longer had the gold to pay my trainer so I had to drop him.

Then some family problems happened, I lost my motivation to go work out everyday.

So then basically from Dec to now i’ve been eatting bad and only working out once or twice ever two weeks. This is going from working out four to five days a week.

No suprise I’m back up to 229lbs.

I think I’m ready once again to go nuts though.

I think my main problem though is fat, I think i have a decent amount of muscle it’s just I need to lose the fat and I will be able to do a lot of stuff.

Thus why I’m posting here.

What should I do?

I know I should eat healthy, and I’m switching to that slowly, I’ve been eatting clean a few days a week over the last few weeks to re-adjust. I honestly think I get addicted to crappy food, because I get headaches when I switch to eatting clean, so I have to do it over a period of time.

So my plan is:

  1. eat better
  2. exercise 4-6 days a week

This is where people reading this comes in, please comment or offer other activities I can do.

A) Cardio on eliptical machine for 50 minutes, 130 heart rate. – I like this I can listen to a Audio book at the same time. Is this a decent way to lose fat but not muscle?

B) Ball exercises + lunges. Like having a ball on my back and doing bench exercises with weights in my hand. Doing crunches on the ball, pushups with the ball etc…lot of ball action but in between doing lunges with weights in my hand or on my shoulders. --kind of cardio with some weight training thrown in

C) Jogging/Walking – lots of parks around here.

D) machine weights + combo of A and B above.


Thanks for any information/advice.
[/quote]

Eating better is obviously the key here, just make sure you have a basic grasp of what eating better is. If you would like to read a little more into this I like the stuff John Beradi has written on here so that’s a good place to start.

Also looking at the type of training you have outlined above, I’m guessing that your trainer was more of a fan of increasing reps as opposed to increasing load. If you think the ball exercises were good you wait until you start trying out some of the classic free weight exercises (Squats, Deadlifts, Barbell Bench Press etc.).

If you have the muscle underneath the fat won’t stop you doing anything as far as weights are concerned but you may struggle with the cardio. If you find out that you may not have that much muscle underneath and find the free weight exercises difficult just try to ease yourself into them gradually and use weights you can currently handle (while keeping in mind that progression is of paramount importance).

If you’re looking for a starting point read this.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640350

Good luck.

You can track the things you eat using

www.fitday.com

That is paramount, in my opinion.

Dont worry too much about the complicated things. Master the basics first. Which are diet and exercise.

You’ve done it before you can do it again, however this time you need to make it a part of you that will never change.

Dont let people pigeonhole you into doing a type exercise that you dont enjoy. Going to the gym should be fun, and enjoyable, it should also include work. That being said it’s not an excuse to be lazy saying, " well it should be enjoyable". However you should look forward to going to the gym, I know I do.

Anyways the most important thing to focus on right now is sticking with it. After a while you will find that you will not want to miss workouts. In fact you will start to feel bad when you miss them.

Why don’t you just do whatever it is you were doing when you had the trainer? That was working well, apparently.

Review what you learned from your trainer and reapply yourself. You mainly have to decide that being in shape is a lifestyle. You can’t make it a fad, or a groupie thing. Live it or else you’ll always go up and down.

I think your cardio is not very intense I usually keep my heartrate around 160+ and go for burning as many calories as possible in the time I have to perform the task. To apply intensity you have to actually commit to it :slight_smile:

My trainer always told me I would burn muscle if I kept my heartrate that high for extended periods of time. He said to lose fat it was abest to keep my heartrate around 125-134

Was this not true?