Starting Bodybuilding, Question for Cherish and Other Builders

CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
So, I've decided to take up bodybuilding. Well, at least, I'm committing to it for 12 weeks and we'll see what happens after that. I'm formerly a runner. I'm REALLY out of shape right now, so I'm kind of starting from square one.

My goal is to build serious muscle and lose fat. Weight loss isn't a concern. I suspect I may gain weight once I get serious with the lifting. I'm hoping I don't gain too much. Right now, Im 5'5" and somewhere between 129-133 pounds.

I've been to bodybuilding sites (namely bodybuilding.com) and the information out there is cumbersome!!! I'm probably going to do a three-day split (that's about all the time I have as a grad student). My questions are:

1) How much cardio should I be doing? As a runner, obviously, I'm used to lots of cardio. What should my cardio look like now? I like to run, swim and use the eliptical trainer. How much cardio should I be doing if I want to get cut, burn fat and build muscle?

3) Can I do cardio and weights on the same day? Can I do cardio right before I do weights?

4) What should my diet look like? I've seen 40 % carbs, 40 % protein and 20-30 % fat. I don't want to get obsessive about tracking and counting calories. I'm pretty good about diet when I commit myself to it. For the most part, I eat well, but I have cut out sugars! What types of carbs are "permissible"?

For breakfast I had:

steel cut oats cooked with soymilk, almonds, 1 scrambled egg with homemade red salsa.

For lunch, I'll probably have turkey breast with a baked sweet potato, with steamed kale and broccoli

For dinner, tuna with a little mayo, more sweet potato I suppose, and more vegetables

In between meals, I'll have fruit (apples, bananas, oranges,)

I've been reading that I should eat 4-6 times a day. I'll probably do 4-5. What should I be eating after I work out? I'll probably we working out before dinner? Is that fine? Or is there an optimal time?

Thanks, in advance, for reading and answering my questions.

Comments

  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    I am not a bodybuilder by any means, but I wanted to say GOOD LUCK! This sounds like a fun and empowering thing to do!
  • alisons79alisons79 Posts: 680Registered Users
    If you can, get to a book store and just *look* at Body For Life. It will probably answer a lot of your questions. Don't buy the book because a lot of the same stuff is free on the website so it would pretty much be a waste of money.

    He's very clear in the book to point out what types of foods are allowed and what not.
    3A/3B
    I love Jessicurl HCC, Jessicurl Too Shea, KCKT, KCCC, CK and HESMU...but it took a LOT of trial error to get to these products that consistently work for ME.
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    Hmmm....I checked out Body for Life online. Is this a weightloss plan/gimmick? It seems like it's targeted toward newbies versus (former) athletes who are looking to transition into bodybuilding. Just curious. I'm not too fond of their diet suggestions, either.
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    On the book front, I just bought a book called "The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women," by Lou Schuler after browsing through it at Borders tonight. I had read a lot about it on a women's weight lifting board on Spark People and the intro to the book really caught my attention. Schuler's guiding principle is that women should approach weight lifting like men do, rather than buying into the idea that women should "sculpt" and "tone" with light weights. He is also strongly against calorie-restriction diets. From what I read, I like the tone of the book - it seems pretty feminist to me and it seems to assume you're intelligent and fairly athletic when you start it. Those are all things that have been severely lacking in other books I've browsed through!

    It looks like it has good diagrams and sample workouts, which I desperately need, along with nutrition suggestions that I need to look over more carefully. I'm not quite sure what he advocates in terms of nutrition - I didn't get that far into the book yet! Anyway, it may be worth a look at the library.
  • CherishCherish Posts: 1,847Registered Users
    Hi Costenya!! (it's so good to see you posting!! :D)

    I'll do my best to hit all the questions and points that have been raised.

    BFL - Body For Life is for newbies. As a former athlete you would be over it within weeks. If you really want to buy a book, I would recommend Strength Training by a team of experts at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). It has just the facts.

    BB.com - it's cumbersome indeed, and there's a lot of misinformation. I have learned to skip over the nonsense to get to the good stuff.

    Gaining vs. Losing weight -
    What tips the balance one way or the other is cardio, diet and goals, not weight training in and of itself. If you cut (lose fat), and find that you don't have enough muscle mass or the "right look" for you, then you might want to bulk (add muscle and fat) then do another cut (lose fat). If you're cutting, you do more cardio and eat less. You do the opposite for bulking. The key to bulking the right way is that your diet needs to be pretty clean, which it is. The key to cutting is both diet and not doing so much cardio that you lose the hard earned muscle and allow your metabolism to drop.

    For example, years ago when I started out, my upper body was bony and carried most of my mass in my thighs and stomach. Cutting would have made no sense so I (clean) bulked first then cut.

    1. How much cardio
    If you're trying to lose fat, do 20-30 mins a day (intense) or 45 mins (walking) or a combination of the two, 5 days a week.

    2. Scheduling cardio and lifting
    The general rule is that you should lift first because you won't get as a good a workout if your body is depleted of glycogen from cardio. I follow this rule only if I'm working out in the AM. At night I eat a little while before I workout so I do cardio first and have not noticed a loss in strength.

    3. Diet
    The recommendation is 4-6 small meals a day. There was a great discussion about this recently (on bb.com) and I was surprised to find some like minds on this topic. I generally eat 3 times a day. If I need more cals, especially on days I lift, then I have snacks between meals. What I learned about myself is that the more I try to schedule food and the more meals I have to cook, the more I become obsessive about food and my diet. I aim for 40%/40%/20% fat in my macros, but there are other splits. The important thing is to get enough protein a day. I would aim for 100g. If you like to keep close track of things, you can keep a food diary. These are very popular, but not for me. I did take a week out to journal in order to figure out the different combinations to get the right split. It was useful for getting a good general idea from the foods I eat, and I have a food scale for when I'm not sure from eyeballing alone. In general I guestimate.

    Hope this helps!
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    Badgercurls: that book sounds interesting. I'll browse through it at Border's. The one thing I'll have to figure out are my workout times at the SERF. All the kiddies will be gearing up for spring break, so it gets crazy in there. If I had the money, I'd join Princeton Club. But, hey, you can't beat a free gym membership.

    Cherish: thanks for responding!!!
    Cherish wrote: »
    Gaining vs. Losing weight -
    What tips the balance one way or the other is cardio, diet and goals, not weight training in and of itself. If you cut (lose fat), and find that you don't have enough muscle mass or the "right look" for you, then you might want to bulk (add muscle and fat) then do another cut (lose fat). If you're cutting, you do more cardio and eat less. You do the opposite for bulking. The key to bulking the right way is that your diet needs to be pretty clean, which it is. The key to cutting is both diet and not doing so much cardio that you lose the hard earned muscle and allow your metabolism to drop.

    For example, years ago when I started out, my upper body was bony and carried most of my mass in my thighs and stomach. Cutting would have made no sense so I (clean) bulked first then cut.

    This is good feedback. I'll probably want to skim off some fat. We have similar body types (you've seen my pictures). My arms tend to be very lean and naturally "cut", but I'm scrawny on the top half. Like you, my bottom half is bulky (thighs, mostly). I'm a pear shape, so the challenge will be to develop a proportionate upper body.
    1. How much cardio
    If you're trying to lose fat, do 20-30 mins a day (intense) or 45 mins (walking) or a combination of the two, 5 days a week.

    2. Scheduling cardio and lifting
    The general rule is that you should lift first because you won't get as a good a workout if your body is depleted of glycogen from cardio. I follow this rule only if I'm working out in the AM. At night I eat a little while before I workout so I do cardio first and have not noticed a loss in strength.

    I started yesterday and did weights followed by cardio. I like it. I definitely felt like I had more strength to lift when I did it this way. I've been doing 30 minutes of intense cardio on the elliptical. I'm going to start with three days a week. And see what happens from there. I don't want to burn out. Right now, I'm not looking for drastic results. My goal more than anything is to 1) develop a consistent weight training schedule and 2) clean up my diet as much as possible. After 4-5 weeks, I will kick it up a notch. I don't think I need more, right now.
    3. Diet
    The recommendation is 4-6 small meals a day. There was a great discussion about this recently (on bb.com) and I was surprised to find some like minds on this topic. I generally eat 3 times a day. If I need more cals, especially on days I lift, then I have snacks between meals. What I learned about myself is that the more I try to schedule food and the more meals I have to cook, the more I become obsessive about food and my diet. I aim for 40%/40%/20% fat in my macros, but there are other splits. The important thing is to get enough protein a day. I would aim for 100g. If you like to keep close track of things, you can keep a food diary. These are very popular, but not for me. I did take a week out to journal in order to figure out the different combinations to get the right split. It was useful for getting a good general idea from the foods I eat, and I have a food scale for when I'm not sure from eyeballing alone. In general I guestimate.

    Yeah, I DO NOT want to be obsessed about food. My thing is, if I eat "clean" (for me that means, no excess sugar) I'll be fine. I just cannot see myself counting calories everyday. For the most part, if I get 25 grams of protein with every main meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), I should be fine. I'm also a three times a day eater. Maybe that will change once I lift more. But, with my lifestyle (a student on the go) i don't have time to walk around with bags of food. Generally, I eat every four hours, with fruit and, if necessary, a protein.

    My diet probably isn't as "clean" as a bodybuilder's should be--I use olive oil a lot in my cooking. But, hopefully, that will change over time.

    One more question for you, Cherish (or anyone), do you have "cheat" days? I don't like that idea. I believe that everything should be done in moderation. But, I'm curious to hear how you approach it.
    Hope this helps!

    It does! Thanks a lot. :thumbup: I'll keep you posted.
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    great thread!

    cherish, you're so full of great info! i wish we lived in the same city, i suspect you'd be a GREAT workout partner :wink:

    costenya, i'm wanting to get more sculpted arms and tummy so i'll be making some changes. i also want to be able to do an unassisted pull up and several real push ups so i've got to figure out the specifics but i'm changing up my workout too. i am going to try for more morning cardio to melt the fat...that really gave me a big shot in the past.

    as for resources, you might also try magazines like www.muscleandfitnesshers.com i like this mag a lot, it's designed towards women who work out in the gym not newbies. the bodies are inspiring and there aren't too many weird ads. i also like fitness which i feel is more fitness oriented than shape which is more beauty-ish to me. another good mag is www.oxygenmag.com.

    last thing i would suggest, and sorry if you already said you were going to do this but i recommend a fitness log. this one is EXCELLENT. it has 13 weeks and in one look you can write down info about your cardio, strength training, other cardio, if you worked out w/ a trainer or partner, all your meals, supplements, water intake, and there's a little open space where i've been keeping up with my sleep and i'll write my weigh ins (i weigh like 3 times a week). it contains 13 weeks which is great and there's some other neat stuff in the book. this is it. http://www.amazon.com/BodyMinder-Workout-Exercise-Journal-Fitness/dp/0963796844/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199558630&sr=8-1 you can see a sample page i think.

    good luck. let's stay in touch!!!
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    Luvmylocs: You look very strong and fit!!! :thumbup: Muscle and Fitness looks REALLY interesting. Thank you for the links! Okay, I looked at some of those bodybuilding diets, particularly this one :eek: I don't know if I can eat THAT much meat protein in a day. That is just too much meat for me in one day. Good grief! LOL. This is why I love distance running. LOL.

    Do you guys eat that much protein?

    It would be nice to be ripped, but I don't know if I can make the drastic dietary changes required to look like a fitness competitor.

    Also, I have dairy allergies that are exacerbated in the Spring and Summer. I don't know if my body can tolerate whey protein, considering that it derives from milk. Any suggestions? Do you guys consume lots of protein shakes, if so how much on a daily basis?

    I really do need a workout partner. Back in the day in college, I used to lift with one of my close friends, a fellow athlete. We were on fire! I would love to be that strong again.
  • luvmylocsluvmylocs Posts: 7,578Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    thanks costenya!! i found this book at the bookstore today and i bought it. it is basically all the best moves in the muscle and fitness hers magazine.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600780237/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

    i wrote a review for the book (merlot). i think you'd really like this book for ideas and tips.

    as for the diet question...that's something i need to be better about. i don't eat for body building. i try to eat healthy but not for slimming.
    a dreamy pisces :fish:
    please recycle, it matters...
    i change lives...through fitness
    i'm more relaxed being natural
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    Costenya ~ After reading the book today, I think the nutrition part would not be for you, because it suggests a lot of dairy and eating 5-6 times a day. You still might want to look through it at Borders or B&N just to see some of the workouts he suggests, though. My boyfriend, who's been strength training for several years, was really impressed with the descriptions & diagrams in the book - he keeps stealing it from me.

    Good luck finding a time at the SERF to work out! My cousin used to work out there every day (until his parents bought him a Princeton Club membership - brat!) and he said the best time to go to beat the crowds was very early in the morning. I was thinking about swimming or taking a class at the SERF a few times a week after my 8:50 class. I'm just afraid I'm gonna run into my students when I'm all sweaty and/or feeling chubby in my swimsuit.

    Cherish and luvmylocs ~ you two are awesome! Even though this is C's thread, I am learning a lot form you two!
  • CherishCherish Posts: 1,847Registered Users
    Costenya wrote: »
    Yeah, I DO NOT want to be obsessed about food. My thing is, if I eat "clean" (for me that means, no excess sugar) I'll be fine. I just cannot see myself counting calories everyday. For the most part, if I get 25 grams of protein with every main meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), I should be fine. I'm also a three times a day eater. Maybe that will change once I lift more. But, with my lifestyle (a student on the go) i don't have time to walk around with bags of food. Generally, I eat every four hours, with fruit and, if necessary, a protein.

    My diet probably isn't as "clean" as a bodybuilder's should be--I use olive oil a lot in my cooking. But, hopefully, that will change over time.

    Olive oil is wonderful!! If you're worried you use too much, how about pouring it into a spray bottle? You could control how much you use that way.
    One more question for you, Cherish (or anyone), do you have "cheat" days? I don't like that idea. I believe that everything should be done in moderation. But, I'm curious to hear how you approach it.

    I don't have cheat days as I understand the concept. The reason being, like you, I didn't have to overhaul my diet from McD's, KFC, deep fried foods, low quality snacks, etc to eating normal foods (or what others might call health food). I think people who consider junk to be normal food, need cheat days so they don't relapse into that eating pattern. If I want some haagen dazs or some quality chocolate or starbucks peppermint hot chocolate (my new find) then I will have it, but obviously I wouldn't have these everyday.
  • CherishCherish Posts: 1,847Registered Users
    luvmylocs wrote: »
    great thread!

    cherish, you're so full of great info! i wish we lived in the same city, i suspect you'd be a GREAT workout partner :wink:

    costenya, i'm wanting to get more sculpted arms and tummy so i'll be making some changes. i also want to be able to do an unassisted pull up and several real push ups so i've got to figure out the specifics but i'm changing up my workout too. i am going to try for more morning cardio to melt the fat...that really gave me a big shot in the past.

    as for resources, you might also try magazines like www.muscleandfitnesshers.com i like this mag a lot, it's designed towards women who work out in the gym not newbies. the bodies are inspiring and there aren't too many weird ads. i also like fitness which i feel is more fitness oriented than shape which is more beauty-ish to me. another good mag is www.oxygenmag.com.

    last thing i would suggest, and sorry if you already said you were going to do this but i recommend a fitness log. this one is EXCELLENT. it has 13 weeks and in one look you can write down info about your cardio, strength training, other cardio, if you worked out w/ a trainer or partner, all your meals, supplements, water intake, and there's a little open space where i've been keeping up with my sleep and i'll write my weigh ins (i weigh like 3 times a week). it contains 13 weeks which is great and there's some other neat stuff in the book. this is it. http://www.amazon.com/BodyMinder-Workout-Exercise-Journal-Fitness/dp/0963796844/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199558630&sr=8-1 you can see a sample page i think.

    good luck. let's stay in touch!!!

    LML, thanks! I wish we lived in the same city, too because I would LOVE to have a workout partner.

    I think the unassisted pull up is a great goal. The last time I tried was a good 3 years ago and I wasn't there yet. I am trying to dominate the lateral pulldown in hopes that this will help me get there. I think pushups should also help.
  • CherishCherish Posts: 1,847Registered Users
    Costenya wrote: »
    Lymylocs: You look very strong and fit!!! :thumbup: Muscle and Fitness looks REALLY interesting. Thank you for the links! Okay, I looked at some of those bodybuilding diets, particularly this one :eek: I don't know if I can eat THAT much meat protein in a day. That is just too much meat for me in one day. Good grief! LOL. This is why I love distance running. LOL.

    Do you guys eat that much protein?

    It would be nice to be ripped, but I don't know if I can make the drastic dietary changes required to look like a fitness competitor.

    Also, I have dairy allergies that are exacerbated in the Spring and Summer. I don't know if my body can tolerate whey protein, considering that it derives from milk. Any suggestions? Do you guys consume lots of protein shakes, if so how much on a daily basis?

    I really do need a workout partner. Back in the day in college, I used to lift with one of my close friends, a fellow athlete. We were on fire! I would love to be that strong again.

    I ignore those meal plans completely, and I'm convinced even a competitor only ever has to be strict with their diet when they're a few weeks away from a competition. I think all the strictness is at the root of a lot of the ED issues in BB that I read about.

    I would just focus on maintaining your good diet, and getting enough protein. Whey is well tolerated by people who have issues with dairy, and many of the products out there have lactase so you should give it a try. Also, see if you can tolerate yogurt. Beans and fish are also really good sources so it doesn't have to be chicken all the time.

    I aim for about 100g of protein from chicken, fish, beef, beans, dairy and whey. I rely on whey quite a bit.

    It sounds like you need to bulk a little so you will have to figure something out to get you there.
  • CherishCherish Posts: 1,847Registered Users
    Costenya ~ After reading the book today, I think the nutrition part would not be for you, because it suggests a lot of dairy and eating 5-6 times a day. You still might want to look through it at Borders or B&N just to see some of the workouts he suggests, though. My boyfriend, who's been strength training for several years, was really impressed with the descriptions & diagrams in the book - he keeps stealing it from me.

    Good luck finding a time at the SERF to work out! My cousin used to work out there every day (until his parents bought him a Princeton Club membership - brat!) and he said the best time to go to beat the crowds was very early in the morning. I was thinking about swimming or taking a class at the SERF a few times a week after my 8:50 class. I'm just afraid I'm gonna run into my students when I'm all sweaty and/or feeling chubby in my swimsuit.

    Cherish and luvmylocs ~ you two are awesome! Even though this is C's thread, I am learning a lot form you two!

    Awww... thanks!
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    Costenya ~ After reading the book today, I think the nutrition part would not be for you, because it suggests a lot of dairy and eating 5-6 times a day. You still might want to look through it at Borders or B&N just to see some of the workouts he suggests, though. My boyfriend, who's been strength training for several years, was really impressed with the descriptions & diagrams in the book - he keeps stealing it from me.

    Good luck finding a time at the SERF to work out! My cousin used to work out there every day (until his parents bought him a Princeton Club membership - brat!) and he said the best time to go to beat the crowds was very early in the morning. I was thinking about swimming or taking a class at the SERF a few times a week after my 8:50 class. I'm just afraid I'm gonna run into my students when I'm all sweaty and/or feeling chubby in my swimsuit.

    Cherish and luvmylocs ~ you two are awesome! Even though this is C's thread, I am learning a lot form you two!

    Badgercurls--I'm also a swimmer, albeit slow, and the pool is open from 11 am - 2 pm and from 5 pm - 7 pm. Unfortunately, you can't swim in the early morning because the swim team practices at that time and/or there aren't any lifeguards on duty.

    I do prefer going to the SERF in the early morning (6:45). It's nice at that time. I used to work out consistently at 5:30 am before I moved here. I'm hoping to become a morning athlete, once again. M
    I may consider joining the Princeton Club once I become a dissertator.

    In terms of workout, I'm doing full body workouts three days a week. Once I hit the four-week mark, I'm switching to split training three days a week. Right now, I just need to get my body back to the level of fitness I used to have and then I can start working from there.

    Everyone--Keep contributing to this thread. It's not really "my" thread.

    Oh, I also recommend Exercise Rx. The weight training section has most of the exercises for different muscle groups. And it also provides different workouts (full, split, etc.)
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    Costenya, I hadn't even though to look at the SERF pool schedule. Thanks for the reminder. It looks like they don't have any fitness classes at 10 am, either. I may have to schedule office hours from 10-11 and then go to the SERF afterwards. If you're really interested in early morning swimming, it looks like the NAT pool is open from 6:30-8:00am on M/W/F. I think there's a bus that goes from the Memorial Union up Bascom Hill to the Nat (and back) several times an hour.
  • CostenyaCostenya Posts: 520Registered Users
    Costenya, I hadn't even though to look at the SERF pool schedule. Thanks for the reminder. It looks like they don't have any fitness classes at 10 am, either. I may have to schedule office hours from 10-11 and then go to the SERF afterwards. If you're really interested in early morning swimming, it looks like the NAT pool is open from 6:30-8:00am on M/W/F. I think there's a bus that goes from the Memorial Union up Bascom Hill to the Nat (and back) several times an hour.

    Yeah, I used to do laps with a friend at the Nat from 6:40-7:30 am. Those were good times! It was fun, but I like the SERF pool better (it's a full, 50-meter pool). Plus, I have a year-long locker with all my equipment, towels and clothes at the SERF. Anyway, I've put swimming on hold for the winter. This place gets too darn cold and my hair is a crunchy, dry mess as a result of it. I usually jump back in the pool from May to September. If it warms up a little, I may consider jumping back in the pool sooner. I should probably purchase a diffuser for my hair.

    Are you sure there are no fitness classes at the SERF in the morning? They usually have fitness classes all day. Have they posted the spring semester schedule yet?

    As a runner, I'm very much a loaner when it comes to working out. But, I think I'm going to enlist a workout buddy. It's especially useful when lifting heavy weights. When I was doing serious bench presses, it always helped to have my best friend on backup to spot me and vice versa.
  • riotkittyriotkitty Posts: 1,307Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Good for you!!! Women weight-lifting makes me happy. I found that it not only has helped my body, but my self image as well.

    I wanted to add this site, http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/index.php
    to the list of informative sites. I love this one in particular because its written very intelligently and its geared towards women.
    Have several allergies and sensitivities.
    Current products
    Low Poo/Cowash: Rio Grande Herb Co Negrita and Amole Deep Treatment Concentrate, Magick Botanicals (MB) Shampoo (diluted)
    Rinse out/Leave in: MB with apricot kernel and jojoba oils added
    Protein Treatment: MB Conditioner for Thinning Hair, IAgirl's protien treatment
    Style: MB Gel mixed with LOTD Aloe Vera Gelly


    2b-c, need lots of moisture, likes protein in moderation.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file