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Runners that need some nutritional accountability

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  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    So, I need to add muscle. I had dexa scan today that put me at 32% BF. My Garmin says 20%, what ever method work uses puts me 27%.

    My goal BF was 15-17%. Well that puts me 98lbs by the dexa. So, if I do 20-25% that puts me 109. At 5'5" I can see that may be too low, I'm not an elite athlete. 112-117 is probably the least I should weight, which is my Fitzgerald racing weight.

    Suggestions on how to get there?

    I know I need to be going to the gym as often as possible.

    I can add more protein, up some calories and supplement BCAA's and maybe some creatine.

    Any other words of wisdom? Balancing running and weights?

    ETA the only number I'm chasing is a reasonably low BF, not starving, just lean enough for running faster.
    edited August 2017
  • RunRachelleRunRunRachelleRun Member Posts: 3,489 Member Member Posts: 3,489 Member
    Are you comfortable with the accuracy of the dexa results? That seems high for your weight/height. Does it seem to fit with the visual guides out there such as this? 1cobhv7f0k48.jpg

    I can't offer much since my body fat is 37.7% according to the online calculator I've been using. But it tells me I have managed to gain 5.5 lbs muscle and lose 45.5 lbs of fat in 2.75 years. The only macro I have paid much attention to is protein, and I do use BCAAs when I work out fasted. I've been sporadic about strength training.

    I am currently doing the Strong Curves program; it's made it hard to fit in much running. I bought another book called Quick Strength for Runners: 8 Weeks to a Better Runner's Body that looks like a really good supplement if running is the priority as it's only twice a week and isn't too intense.

    P.S. If you get a chance, would you go to and try out their Military Body Fat calculator? It is what I have been using to estimate mine, and I'm curious to see how it compares to your dexa results.
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    Thanks @RunRachelleRun . I'll do the calculation, I suspect that's the one work is using. As far as a picture guestimate goes, I am probably 25-34.

    BRB

    Says 22.5%. I knew the the dexa is going to be higher, it supposed to be the most accurate. I don't believe I should compare dexa to any other method. It's not that the numbers really matter, I just want to be consistent in how I'm gauging what I need to do. As far as I see, I need to gain muscle.
    edited August 2017
  • RunRachelleRunRunRachelleRun Member Posts: 3,489 Member Member Posts: 3,489 Member
    Wow, that's a big difference. Thanks for comparing them. I won't rely too much on the online one then.

    Yes, I've heard the dexa are accurate. I just wondered if an error could have been made by the human operating it (or reading the results).
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    Wow, that's a big difference. Thanks for comparing them. I won't rely too much on the online one then.

    Yes, I've heard the dexa are accurate. I just wondered if an error could have been made by the human operating it (or reading the results).

    I don't think so. It's all automatically calculated. He warned me that it'd be higher.

    I'm not alarmed by the number. It was in a normal range. I know 32 usually puts someone in the obese range. It just kinda hits close to I need seriously to add weights. I'm going to be a frail old lady with zero muscle if I dont!

    Weight loss just isn't where my focus should be at the moment. Eatting better and adding muscle is.
    edited August 2017
  • hanlonskhanlonsk Member Posts: 768 Member Member Posts: 768 Member
    When I was training for the half, I dropped all of my lifting accessory work, and went back to Stronglifts 5x5. Its simple, it's compound lifts. It hits all the major muscles. And it's relatively quick early on. I could often do it after shorter runs even. And if ya want more you can always add accessories.

    I know folks who do NROLW - and it just seems complicated and requires coordination I don't think I have. I keep meaning to look more at starting strength and strong curves... but I like having a plan. If I don't I wander aimlessly around the gym trying to figure out what I feel like doing (which is generally nothing).
  • RunRachelleRunRunRachelleRun Member Posts: 3,489 Member Member Posts: 3,489 Member
    Well, you've alarmed me from getting a dexa now lol. Ignorance is bliss.

    Yes, I was reading an article about how we lose 1% muscle mass per year after 50. Scary stuff.

    Hope you find a strength program you like. I am loving the Strong Curves so far (just finished week 5).
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    I have the NROLW, it did seem complicated unless I have someone telling me exactly what to do.

    I'll look at the strong curves and SL. My plan was to aimlessly walk around and halfass try to do something :blush:

    @RunRachelleRun definitely do the dexa if you want, just remember that you can't compare it to other methods.

    I liked finding out my bone density, which is excellent, average intraabdominal fat in women my age is 1-0.5%, mines 0.34, I have symetry in my muscle-right and left. Which is excellent since I was afraid that with nerve issues it's effected my muscles. So I learned a lot. And hopefully, it'll prompt me in to adding muscle, cross training some with more direction and purpose.

    It not only about the amount of cheese I eat :smiley: (which is a lot).
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    I did Strong Lifts yesterday. I'm sore enough to be cautious about running today! I wanted to run yesterday, but i felt sore and week driving from work. I'm going to enjoy getting back to the gym, figure I'll make an ideal schedule and see how that overlaps with real life...

    My legs just keep getting sore-er and sorer. :smiley:

    Now just to dial in the calories and nutrition
    edited August 2017
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    @karllundy

    Here is what my Libra looks like. I weigh every day and the day it looks like it's starting to go sideways I make adjustments.

    Wishing you much luck. I know it's hard to get back in the game when we let ourselves too much leeway. You've done it before, you can do it again.

    edited August 2017
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    hanlonsk wrote: »
    When I was training for the half, I dropped all of my lifting accessory work, and went back to Stronglifts 5x5. Its simple, it's compound lifts. It hits all the major muscles. And it's relatively quick early on. I could often do it after shorter runs even. And if ya want more you can always add accessories.

    I know folks who do NROLW - and it just seems complicated and requires coordination I don't think I have. I keep meaning to look more at starting strength and strong curves... but I like having a plan. If I don't I wander aimlessly around the gym trying to figure out what I feel like doing (which is generally nothing).

    I like the SL so far, but I'm going to complain that I'm still sore! Lol!

    I may cut it back to 5x3, or 3x3 the first few weeks. Legs still so sore... :hushed:
  • hanlonskhanlonsk Member Posts: 768 Member Member Posts: 768 Member
    What weight did you start with?? Squats with just the bar can still make me sore. I am at 95lbs for 5x5... but it's finally high enough that if I drop back I can work on increasing overall range of motion and depth... so the bar alone can still be deadly for me

    Although, I'm not about to fault someone for being sore.
    Sunday- trainer, leg day- he remembered i couldn't do the lunges he programmed so increased volume goblet squats, barbell squats, and leg press- speaking of the goblets- that would be an option if you wanted to drop weight more to prevent killer soreness to start with... but fair warning, can still be brutal
    Monday- PT- 30 minutes of balance exercise junk made my ankle hurt worse than the rest of me did from leg day....
    Tuesday-o'dark thirty trainer day, chest shoulder and tris - he decided to go for volume again- failure or near failure sets, drop down the weight and repeat... for tricep extensions, OHP and bench
    Today- repeat of o'dark thirty trainer since this week's work schedule SUCKS.... 4x12 band assisted pull-ups... and first time ever using big kid plates (45s) on a lift!! Aka 10lb PR (20lb increase in 2 weeks) on Deadlifts. :) and other stuff I was too asleep to remember.
    Let's just say I'm not entirely sure I can brush my hair tomorrow....

    As far as nutritional accountability - today is one of those good examples of why I should not be an adult... 12hr working fueled by coffee, protein shake, and grazing on cinnamon roll and fruit tray..... and bacon for dinner... because... umm I can?? And protein??
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    LOL! @hanlonsk ! I did use just the bar for the squats, and bench and half of the barbell rows.
    I'm not giving up!

    I ate 2 pints of lite ice cream yesterday because.. today I'm definitely feeling some real food is need. I am also bad about eating nothjng but protein shakes and bars!
  • shanabershanaber Member Posts: 6,006 Member Member Posts: 6,006 Member
    @RunRachelleRun and @Elise4270 - I haven't done DEXA but I did the water displacement measurement first several years ago. I weighed 137 at the time and it had me at 29% BF. 2 years ago I had a BodPod measurement which is supposed to be similar in accuracy to the DEXA scans. I weighed 130 at that time and it had me at 32% BF. Everyone, even the guy doing the BodPod thought it would be lower, like in the 25-27% range. I was pretty upset at the time and that is when I started seriously trying to increase my muscle and of course lower the BF. It didn't work out well though. All I did was gain weight and that is why I started with the nutritionist. With her help, yes I have gained about 3 more pounds (eating more will do that :) ) but over 2 of those have gone to muscle mass and my BF has come down a percent. It is definitely a step in the right direction and I am hoping I will start seeing more improvement and some weight loss too eventually. She uses an InBody 770 for the measurements which is also used by NASA and the military. I had to look it up to see how accurate it was considering it is one of those electrical impedance measurements but this model has been shown to be pretty close to the DEXA measurements (over 98%). Apparently there are other lower end models found in gyms that are more like the scales we have in our homes that measure BF in a similar manner and are similarly inaccurate.

    One thing to keep in mind is that all BF measurements are sensitive to your hydration. So if you measure your body fat after a workout (when most people are dehydrated) or first thing in the morning, the test will be less accurate and will overestimate your body fat. PMS and drinking too much alcohol the night before can also impact the measurements.

    I also think you can use any measurement consistently to track changes if you aren't super concerned about the precise accuracy but it doesn't work to compare measurements between different methods.
  • MobyCarpMobyCarp Member Posts: 2,927 Member Member Posts: 2,927 Member
    Day 2 of sprained ankle, no running. Yesterday afternoon I couldn't run 4 paces. Today I can run 10, and that's enough to show that I'd mess myself up bad if I tried to do some real running.

    So . . . the calorie allowance gets trimmed. As of this morning's cut, it stands at 400 calories less than the base I had for marathon training. And of course I get no add back for exercise, because I'm not running. Got here in 3 steps of 100, 100, and 200 calorie reductions.

    And the odd thing is, I've had enough non-running days in the past week that it's not driving me nuts today. Just have to be very vigilant about compliance with the limits. In marathon training, I had wiggle room to be kind of relaxed.

    And I may need to cut another 100 or 200 calories per day if this persists. But for now, I cherish the hope that I'll be able to run again in a week or so, even if I'm not race-worthy and my volume has to be decreased from where it was.
  • RunRachelleRunRunRachelleRun Member Posts: 3,489 Member Member Posts: 3,489 Member
    @MobyCarp I am in the same boat. I have a calf strain (I think) going on two weeks now. It hurts sitting/lying and standing/moving. I tried to work through it the first week but only made things worse. Today marks one week with no running or strength workouts. I am seriously missing those exercise calories. But I am managing on the lower ones. I lost quite a bit of weight this week, but I expect most of those pounds will come back as soon as I start exercising again.

    Went to the doc and she thought it might be a blood clot. That was scary waiting for the test to come back. I hadn't even considered that could be the problem. Anyway, I start physio on Monday. Hopefully he has a better (or some) idea as to what I have done and how to fix it.

    @shanaber that is really interesting. Thanks for sharing. The more accurate methods of bf testing results are higher than the online calculators, so I won't put much stock in the one I am using. I don't have much need for the info as weight loss is my primary goal; however, I would like to retain as much muscle as possible on my way down so ... maybe. I found a local place that does the DEXA but it is $120 for one (doesn't seem to include bone density - that's separate) or $380 for 4. Does that seem reasonable @Elise4270?
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Member Posts: 8,375 Member Member Posts: 8,375 Member
    @RunRachelleRun mine was 250 for 2 and if I lose 5% BF, I get a free one. which is why I am even more motivated to do weights.

    @MobyCarp sorry about the down time. I feel ya. I'm resting just because weight day kicked my *kitten*. For some reason I want to over eat. I think it's lack of exercise.
  • shanabershanaber Member Posts: 6,006 Member Member Posts: 6,006 Member
    @mobycarp - I think most of us have been there with the injury/recovery/surgery calorie reduction... it sucks but we have to get through it! Hope it doesn't take you too long though!
  • RunRachelleRunRunRachelleRun Member Posts: 3,489 Member Member Posts: 3,489 Member
    @Elise4270 That free one is good motivation. I will ask them to make me a deal like that. Though it is pretty hard to lose 5% ... no? I should figure that out before I ask.
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