Pushups/Situps/Planks

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This is sort of a vanity issue but figured I'd put it up there for debate/feedback: Do you think, based on my perceived bodyfat, that I could get more definition without using weights, just bodyweight exercises? Or will I reach a plateau without a) cutting more fat and b) lifting heavier? I mean I know i'd get BETTER results with the latter, but I'm just asking in theory.
I'm not sensitive, so please be as blunt as you like!

Weight 154.4
Height 5'6"

Front:
Photoon12-2-14at1122AM_zpsb991bce0.jpg

Side:
Photoon12-2-14at1122AM2_zpsf1b10154.jpg

Replies

  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
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    If you are currently doing no lifting at all, you can add some muscle by doing body weight work. Eventually you will need to find a way to add more resistance. Progressive tension overload is the key to adding more muscle. This means as time goes on you need to increase the load placed on the muscles. At first you can do this by adding volume but eventually you will need to increase intensity and that can be hard to do with body weight only. By intensity I am referring to the amount of resistance. In a gym to increase intensity you simply add more weight to the bar or grab the next size up dumbbells. This is much more difficult with body weight only work.

    Also, you will not lose fat by gaining muscle. Muscle gain usually has some associated fat gain with it. It doesn't have to be a lot if your diet is on point, but generally you need to do a phase where you focus on muscle building for a period of time, then do a phase where you focus on cutting fat until you achieve the look you want. Sometimes it takes a few of these cycles until you are relatively lean with a decent level of lean body mass built up.
  • JenMc14
    JenMc14 Posts: 2,389 Member
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    More definition will come with fat loss. BW exercise will be fine for that so long as your nutrition is I check. If you lower your BF and still don't have the definition you'd like, then you will need to gain muscle. It's possible with BW only exercise, I believe, but you'd definitely have to make sure you had a steady progression of more reps, harder variations, etc.
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 902 Member
    edited December 2014
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    Bench press, deadlift, squat. Go ahead and do pushups/situps/and planks as a bit of extra work on the side. You still have a good amount of body fat so go on a cut. You won't build muscle but you will look better.

    You'll thank me later.
  • js8181
    js8181 Posts: 178 Member
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    Thanks. I do know that I can't lose fat by gaining muscle. I forgot to mention that I'm eating at a deficit for my bodyweight. Sorry, that's key info, I realize now! So to rephrase, if I'm cutting fat by diet plus a little cardio, can I build muscle through body weight work? Or does the cutting fat negate any potential muscle building since I'm eating at a deficit?
    vismal wrote: »
    If you are currently doing no lifting at all, you can add some muscle by doing body weight work. Eventually you will need to find a way to add more resistance. Progressive tension overload is the key to adding more muscle. This means as time goes on you need to increase the load placed on the muscles. At first you can do this by adding volume but eventually you will need to increase intensity and that can be hard to do with body weight only. By intensity I am referring to the amount of resistance. In a gym to increase intensity you simply add more weight to the bar or grab the next size up dumbbells. This is much more difficult with body weight only work.

    Also, you will not lose fat by gaining muscle. Muscle gain usually has some associated fat gain with it. It doesn't have to be a lot if your diet is on point, but generally you need to do a phase where you focus on muscle building for a period of time, then do a phase where you focus on cutting fat until you achieve the look you want. Sometimes it takes a few of these cycles until you are relatively lean with a decent level of lean body mass built up.

  • lindsayvernon
    lindsayvernon Posts: 56 Member
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    I think what you're describing is a recomp. This is a super slow process, but it is achievable with proper diet and getting in your exercise.

    Is there a reason you don't want to lift weights? Or is this just for general information whether it is possible?
  • mymodernbabylon
    mymodernbabylon Posts: 1,038 Member
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    What you will be doing at a deficit by lifting weights is keeping as much of the muscle as possible so that the deficit is not coming from muscle loss - and by keeping that muscle, you will be burning more fat as well.
  • js8181
    js8181 Posts: 178 Member
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    Yeah, I have a mild hernia and so lifting weights until I'm able to get surgery is a no-go.
    I think what you're describing is a recomp. This is a super slow process, but it is achievable with proper diet and getting in your exercise.

    Is there a reason you don't want to lift weights? Or is this just for general information whether it is possible?

  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
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    If you choose bodyweight, make a more complete routine of it by adding squats (work up to one legged), pushups, arm dips, etc.

    As for whether or not you can build muscle...it depends. Have you been doing any kind of strength training up until now? How big is your deficit? How much protein are you eating?
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    Bodyweight stuff and a small deficit will get you more muscle definition
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
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    So reading you have a hernia changes my response. Whether BW or weights, its the intensity that matters more than the mode. One can do BW moves so intense that they pop blood vessels around your eyes and you can lift weights light enough without straining at all.
  • js8181
    js8181 Posts: 178 Member
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    I'm eating 1720 net calories per day, and aiming for 50g of protein (i'm also a vegetarian, so... lots of nuts and whole grains like quinoa, plus a little cheese and eggs now and then). This is how I was able to lose 20lbs about a year ago. I've been maintaining 153-155 for months, and now want to lose more, but not if there's no muscle underneath, y'know?
    If you choose bodyweight, make a more complete routine of it by adding squats (work up to one legged), pushups, arm dips, etc.

    As for whether or not you can build muscle...it depends. Have you been doing any kind of strength training up until now? How big is your deficit? How much protein are you eating?

  • vismal
    vismal Posts: 2,463 Member
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    js8181 wrote: »
    Thanks. I do know that I can't lose fat by gaining muscle. I forgot to mention that I'm eating at a deficit for my bodyweight. Sorry, that's key info, I realize now! So to rephrase, if I'm cutting fat by diet plus a little cardio, can I build muscle through body weight work? Or does the cutting fat negate any potential muscle building since I'm eating at a deficit?
    Most people end up retaining muscle and losing fat if they do resistance training while in a caloric deficit. Because of your medical condition, if weight lifting is out, body weight work is currently the best thing you have available so I would do it. Maintenance of muscle while dieting is very important in having a good physique once you acquire relatively low levels of body fat.

    Also just a word to the wise. After you have your surgery, eat at maintenance levels until you are healed. Dieting while trying to recover from something, unless you are obese, is usually a bad idea. Once you have recovered and received the okay from your surgeon, I'd recommend doing a beginners weight lifting program while continuing your deficit.
  • js8181
    js8181 Posts: 178 Member
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    thanks!
    vismal wrote: »
    js8181 wrote: »
    Thanks. I do know that I can't lose fat by gaining muscle. I forgot to mention that I'm eating at a deficit for my bodyweight. Sorry, that's key info, I realize now! So to rephrase, if I'm cutting fat by diet plus a little cardio, can I build muscle through body weight work? Or does the cutting fat negate any potential muscle building since I'm eating at a deficit?
    Most people end up retaining muscle and losing fat if they do resistance training while in a caloric deficit. Because of your medical condition, if weight lifting is out, body weight work is currently the best thing you have available so I would do it. Maintenance of muscle while dieting is very important in having a good physique once you acquire relatively low levels of body fat.

    Also just a word to the wise. After you have your surgery, eat at maintenance levels until you are healed. Dieting while trying to recover from something, unless you are obese, is usually a bad idea. Once you have recovered and received the okay from your surgeon, I'd recommend doing a beginners weight lifting program while continuing your deficit.

  • hamoncan
    hamoncan Posts: 148 Member
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    Lifting is great but you don't need to do it to get lean - it will affect how much muscle you'll see when you get leaner