T Nation

Supplementing for Females

So maybe someone can help me…I have recently started BFL to lose weight and have completely changed my diet. I am doing even carb/protein ratio, low fat, low GI carbs, 1600cal/day. I work out 5-6 days/week, lifting with a trainer 3 days, and trying to do cardio 5-six days, moderately on lifting days. I am using MD-6 and Methoxy 7, I have been gaining muscle super fast and muscels are great but the weight is coming off slow. My workouts are intense and usually last 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and I don’t fuck around in the gym so I am working the whole time. Why is the weight not coming off! I feel like I am working my ass off and I feel great but I want to look great. Is this too low callories? It seems like a lot to someone who is accustomed to the 800 cal/day crash diet. ALso, I find it difficult to find supplementation information for women (I am a T-virgin so apologies if this has been covered before). Should I cycle on and off methoxy7 or do you take it continuously? I have heard conflicting things about women taking t2-pro so if any women out there use it feedback would be great. Thanks-

Kinda hard to give you more specific feedback w/out knowing some more info: height, current weight? BF%? As for “supplementation for women” - there’s no such things, except staying away from the usual: pro-steroid, pro-testosterone delivery stuff. Regarding Methoxy-7, I haven’t used it. Neither have I used MD6 - but I hear that stuff is great. I’m going to wait until a month before my contest to use MD6 - when I have that last few bits of BF to “wring” off my bod.

What does your current routine consist of in terms of exercise? Why so many days of weight training? Wow. Plus 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the gym? Yikes. I train hard and I'm done, I mean flat out, "get me out of here, cuz I can't move" done in 30-40 minutes.

And are you measuring your BF% - not just weighing yourself. While the scale may indicate that you aren't getting anywhere, your body composition could be changing. How long have you been weight training?

Sounds like you’re trying to do too much. By exercising in such a high volume fashion coupled with a reduced calorie diet your body releases a lot of cortisol which will cause you to retain fat. Back off a little on the aerobics (maybe 2 or 3 days per week for a couple of weeks), consider implementing interval training instead of traditional cardio, and zig-zag your caloric intake (refeed) periodically. One thing I notice is once your body adapts to a certain level of exercise coupled with a certain caloric intake it will try to maintain a state of homeostasis, with the results being your exercising a lot, eating very little, yet your bodyfat is stuck.

Red flag time! First, it sounds like you’re new to this. If that’s true, you’re goingt o make some pretty fast gains in strength, and some quick muscle gains. True. But taking fat off is slower. Watching the scale is going to be a little depressing for a little while. It’s not uncommon for some one new to training that they would actually GAIN weight initially. Why? You’d be putting on muscle faster than you reduce fat. Don’t worry, it will even out and the fat losses will continue. My advice? Throw away your scale. Or just put it in the attic for 6 months. Use a mirror instead. Stay steady with the workouts, pay attention to the diet, and in time the results will come. BTW, you are cycling off the MD6, right? Follow the recommendations in the Biotest store on cycles.

Articles for you to read: Dawg School: Beginners Blast Off Program, Dawg School: Heirarchy of Needs, Foods that Make You Look Good Nekkid, The Diet Manifesto. Oh, and maybe The Essential Berardi.

So, it looks like a consensus so far: you're spending way too much time in the gym. I train 3-4 days (4-days MAX). And do as brider said: throw out that scale. I weigh myself maybe once a month (if that) - but generally don't weigh myself until the week before a contest. Really. Start using the mirror as a gauge.

I think you are doing way to much cardio and your body knows it. The body is a very smart unit and if it knows that you are not going to give it a rest then it will hold on to the fat. Speaking of fat, if you are cutting your fat intake low it would be wise to take some efa’s or some sort of fish oils. Also make sure when you are doing cardio that you are staying in your target heart zone.

Hey, thanks for the info. Patricia, I am definetly going to check out the articles. Also, I am 5’2", 210lbs, 29yo, about 37%BF but I haven’t checked for 3-4 weeks so maybe it has dropped a little (hope). I only lift 3 days a week but I have been doing cardio 5-6 days. On the days I lift I do the cardio after, about 1/2 hour.

Savannah are you sure about your bodyfat #s? If correct you have a lean body mass of about 132Lbs, which would be exceptionally high for a female of your height. If you get to 150lbs you would be at about 12% bf. If accurate you are gifted in the muscle dept. Since you will be determining your caloric intake on theses numbers make sure this is correct.

Shitdisturber, remember LBM includes water weight, so 132lbs is probably about right assuming she will be holding quite a bit of water being a female at that BF%. So savannah, don’t be discouraged if some LBM decreases as you lose weight, it could very well be H2O, so once again look in the mirror, see how your clothes fit.

Well, I am sure as I can be I guess, my trainer measured me with the fat calipers, is there a more accurate way to measure? Anyway that was two weeks ago, I am going to have him measure me again tomorrow. He has said that I am excetionally strong especially for a beginner and that he has me doing amounts of weight that most women couldn’t do, but his job is to encouratge me so who knows. I am fairly muscular and after a month of training I have really noticable (even through the fat)muscle growth, especially in my arms, I have visible contours in my shoulders, triceps, and biceps. Woo-hoo! (Not bragging, that part is just really exciting). The thing is I am only 5’2" and I don’t want to be one of those super short people with too big for their height muscles. Also, I am an actor and any extra looks really bad on film, especially on a shorty. I just want that really cut, toned, but super lean Janet Jackson type look. Thin but not skinny and really strong.

Marc, you told me the same thing! You said I had about 10lbs of water to lose. I followed your program only to go up in body fat % and lose muscle! I do not like your so-called “Water-reyhrdation Muscle System.”

Shitdisturber is correct: 132lbs at a height of 5’2" would make this woman Ms. Olympia Lightweight class material.

But note, to Savannah: at this point, the most important things are to learn correct form, function of weight training, along with nutrition. AND learn what works best for you. This is a lifestyle, not something that will end once you hit your "target weight". Keep that in mind. Keep asking questions on the forum, also certainly come here to receive a "kick in the ass" when you need one. I sometimes, do.

Savannah it sounds like you may well be above average. Good for you. Hydrostatic testing is very accurate but may be hard to find. Skin fold can be pretty accurate as well. Jason Norcross is the guy to ask about that stuff. He knows his shit. The numbers still sound high to me. My wife for example is early forties 5’4" 120 and about 20%. This gives her about 95lbs lean mass, while you being shorter and with about 40lbs more lbm is quite something. If my wife had the same lbm as you she would be huge. I just can’t imagine her with that much more mass. Of course she is not you. Even with water weight this is high, but like I said you may well be gifted. Methoxy 7 does not have to be cycled. Most beginners make good initial gains, but this usually slows. You are spending a lot of time training. 1.5-2hours is a long time around here. You likely won’t be able to do that too long before you hit the wall. What is the breakdown of you diet? How much protein are you getting? How much fat and what kind? I would ease off on the cardio as well. You have to give your body time to recover and build muscle. Recovery is not just localized, it’s systemic. Adding muscle is the best way to shed fat. You also have to adjust you calories as your lbm changes either up or down. Don’t get discouraged this is not as easy thing as you are discovering.

I have a slightly different opinion about the training time issue. Remember guys, this is a beginner. Even if she’s naturally strong and gifted, she probably isn’t able to really tax her nervous system yet in the same way that most of us do. Yeah, Patricia is in and out in 45 minutes, and so am I. But we’ve been at this for decades. I find it hard to believe that a newbie (any newbie) is going to be working out with the same intensity that one of the Forum regulars uses. Not trying to be elitist here, just my take on the situation.

So actually, I would say that the longer workouts are probably beneficial at this point. After all, her goal is to burn fat, and the longer she’s in the gym the better it will be for keeping her metabolism revved up. (It sounds like it’s really slow at the moment - 800/cal crash diet for a 200lb+ woman? Good god.)

Anyway, just my take. Savannah, learning from the people here and doing the necessary reading are both Very Good Things. But don’t lose the forest for the trees. If you’re making progress on your current program, stick with it for as long as you continue to do so. That’s the acid test: does it work for you?

For those of you who do not know, Jesse was in an unfortunate gondola accident in 7th grade halting his cognitive development. He is now 24 years old and still has to play memory so he can remember which way to put his pants on. He has post-it notes all over the hose with things written on them like “put these earmuffs on your head”, or “plug this in and stick it in your ass”. The “muscle rehydration system” he reffered to is when I switched his “drink this” and “pee here” post it notes.
Back to the point, I’ve had very large female clients that when figuring their LBM if they were to actually weigh that with a low bf% they would be on every magazine cover in the country. Guess what, they don’t ever weigh that at a lean % because THEY LOSE ALOT OF WATER. Men’s LBM is generally more accurate because they do not have nearly the amount of estrogen induced water retention.

Ok Marc, then what is Savannahs’ bf? How is she supposed to accurately measure it if water skews the results? Is there a rule of thumb when calculating the water weight? I had my bf measured on an Impedance device and that told me my body water. Would that not work for females? Would her personal trainer not know this info? If savannah uses her # would she not be getting a false caloric calculation and consume too many calories therefore slowing her fatloss? I’m assuming the bf reading will falsely read low.

The body fat value and LBM are probably correct, as long as her trainer is adept at proper caliper usage (I’ve seen it done wrong more often than right though). Unfortunately water/muscle/bones/organs cannot be distinguished with calipers. My point is that as her bf decreases, she will most likely lose extracellular water. One way to identify if a client is holding a lot of subcutaneous water is by watching how long the caliper reading takes to “settle”. Assuming a Lange or similar negative tension caliper is used (as you release the handles, the clamp gets tighter, an Accumeasure would not work for this test), as soon as you fully release the handle, watch the needle and see if it takes a long time for it to finally stop on a number. If someone has very little water, the reading should settle immediatly, but with high water content, it could take 3-5 seconds. I wouldn’t worry about calories being skewed too much, just adjust according to progress or lack of. Since LBM may not be a good indication of muscle lost/retained in a woman with high H2O, strength and weight training performance is a better judge. I’ve never been a big fan of Bioelectrical Impedance devices, they are too inconsistent.

Just wanted to add some encouragement, Savannah…keep up the good work!

Scale tip…get rid of it for now. Instead, go to Marshall’s or TJMaxx and buy a pair of pants that’s a couple sizes too small (or just dig in your closet for a pair–that’s what I did). Try them on the morning of your free day, before you eat. Much more effective than weighing.

Thanks! This site has been great for motivation especially when I start to get frustrated. It’s funny, I was so afraid to go to the gym initially (you know, I wanted to get in shape to get in shpe), because I was sure people would snicker, hell, maybe some of them do but it’s not to my face so who cares, but mostly it’s been really positive.

I couldn’t agree more with Kelly. Savannah, like Kelly said judge your progress by how your clothes fit, and by how you look and feel. Use your bodyfat % as a general guide, and forget about the scale. Don’t get caught up with the debate on how much water your holding and so forth. Your body is always going to be holding water because it supposed to, and the only time you should be concerned with it is if your going to be in a photo shoot or some type of competition. Keep working hard and good things will happen.