T Nation

New Person, Help?

I started running a mile a day about four months ago. Not to lose any weight, just tone up a bit. I have also been doing crunches everyday. I am still not seeing the results I want. I have never taken any supplements and was wondering if someone could recommend something for me.

My eating habits are not all that great (ie: sweets at night). But I drink lots of water and I am far from being overweight. I am 5’1" and weigh about 108lbs. Any advice would be great.

Welcome,

first of all: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=640350

As for suggestions, if you want to “tone up”, you should start to lift weights. 2-3 times a week or so.

The only part I am having issues with toning up are my abs. Everything else I dont seem to have a problem with. I can feel all my ab muscles but only the top two are visible.

No such thing as NON surgical spot reduction. you have two choices Build those abs like anyother muscle so there is something to see, and other then that its a case of lowering total BF%.

Hope that helps,
Phill

[quote]Shawnie6874 wrote:
The only part I am having issues with toning up are my abs. Everything else I dont seem to have a problem with. I can feel all my ab muscles but only the top two are visible. [/quote]

Are you working your abs? You only mention running. Like Phill said, you won’t see them until you drop your body fat and weight training will be a great help.

Yes, I do crunches everyday. I can see improvement, but it is just a small amount of fat I need to get rid of around my waist. I am guessing making a small change in my eating habits might make the difference?

[quote]Shawnie6874 wrote:
The only part I am having issues with toning up are my abs. Everything else I dont seem to have a problem with. I can feel all my ab muscles but only the top two are visible. [/quote]

As Phill wrote, you can’t spot reduce. In order to see your abs, you’ll have to decrease total body fat. The problem is, you’re alredy skinny, and most likely “last pieces” of fat are hanging onto your belly :slight_smile:

Now, if you take a look at female track & field athletes or fitness/figure competitors, who all have low body fat levels, you’ll see that they also all have noticable muscle mass in upper and lower body; and some numbers in gym/on track to show. In other words, in order to reach that level of leanness, they had to focus on building muscle and improving performance.

Anyway, you definetly have to look into HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Research has show it’s superior to steady state aerobic activity for fat loss. In essence, it’s a training protocol where you alternate between periods of maximal or near maximal output for 20-40 seconds, and periods of recovery for 20-180 seconds. You can, for instance, sprint for 20 seconds (or for a short distance 100-200 m), and than jog/walk for 40-60 seconds; and repeat it a few (5-10) times. It can also be done on a bike, eliptical trainer, with rope, with body weight exercises or with weights/machines. Every week, try to decrease the rest time a bit (5 seconds off is plenty), and also, after some 4-5 weeks of regular training, take a week off.

If you’re not certain about it, well, you can try it at home for 15-20 minutes with exercises outlined here:

Renegade Training (GPP section)
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459798

Also, check out: Running Man
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459414

And, you might find this interesting:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=634722

Hope this helps.

[quote]Shawnie6874 wrote:
I am guessing making a small change in my eating habits might make the difference?[/quote]

A big change in your eating habits might make a huge difference: no sweets at night. This might help too:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459493

Good luck.

Does that mean no sweets. McDonalds or beer EVER?

[quote]Shawnie6874 wrote:
Does that mean no sweets. McDonalds or beer EVER? [/quote]

In my humble opinion, no McDonalds. Ever. Beer occasionally, like weekends. And minimal sweets in the morning and holidays.

Slotan speaks truth. HIIT is without doubt the quickest way for an individual to drop fat/gain cardio fitness. In 27 years as a fitness instructor/strength coach, I have never seen this system fail to produce results when done properly.

I also agree that McDonald’s is not a good idea. However, beer in moderation (as with almost anything else) is acceptable. Extreme measures should only be used to acheive extreme results. The answer to most situations is usually balance, consistency and patience.

[quote]Shawnie6874 wrote:
Does that mean no sweets. McDonalds or beer EVER? [/quote]

Generally speaking, many diets have so called cheat days, usually 1x a week, when you’re allowed to eat a few not-very-healthy meals. So don’t think of it like you’ll never be able to eat that food again, think of it as eating clean and healthy 90% of the time.

You also have to realize that reaching, and, more importantly, keeping low body fat levels is not an easy task. Most of the people you see in fitness/sport magazines are NOT like that year round, OR they are professional athletes, doing it for a living, and the sheer workload of their training takes care of excess body fat.

Also, low bodyfat is not indicative of one’s health. And, for many sports, trying to be excessively lean can actually be counter-productive.

So, it all comes down to what you want, why you want it, and how bad do you want it :slight_smile:

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1125422464841.untitled4.JPG

Here is a pic of my results from working out all summer. Now mind you, my goal is not to be big, just toned. Please please be kind … I have a fragile ego :wink: And given the fact that I used to weigh about 140lbs(all fat) at 5’1" … I have come a long “weigh” and only weigh 108lbs now.

[quote]Shawnie6874 wrote:
Here is a pic of my results from working out all summer. Now mind you, my goal is not to be big, just toned. Please please be kind … I have a fragile ego :wink: And given the fact that I used to weigh about 140lbs(all fat) at 5’1" … I have come a long “weigh” and only weigh 108lbs now.[/quote]

um, your problem was what exactly?

Shawnie, you are a very good looking girl. Your training/diet have done you well. Keep it up!

-daMOJO-

What are you talking about? You look great!

Keep up what you are doing. With a little better lifting routine and some adjustments to diet, I can only imagine.

Where’s the fat you’re trying to get rid of it??? If it’s below the belt/shorts, then it could always be stress-related if you have a little pooch. But I fail to see this fat you speak of. Nevertheless, dietary changes will help you achieve your goals.

You look great. Keep it up. You can be my girlfriend if you want.

I must say very impressive. Very nice physique!

People have been very nice to you so far, so let me be a bit rude.

Not Bad Shawnie. Congratulations! (Not being rude yet.)

Young lady! We don’t use that kind of language here!! toned, toned, it makes my mouth burn when I say it!!!

This is a place where we worship strong bodies, capable bodies, bodies that can do things normal bodies can’t. If you achieve this, then your body will look good.

Too late! And remember that you started it by using the T word.

While that weight-loss is good, I think you might have lost muscle along the way (judging from your arms). If you follow the advice the charming T-Vixens give you, you’ll be able to lose a further 5lbs of fat, put on 10lbs of muscle, and actually look thinner!!!

I’d say you deserve a B for your work so far. If you’ve come to T-Nation it’s because you’re not happy and want an A+. Good! Cos you’re in the right place.

Rudely,

M.