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Recomposition: Maintaining weight while losing fat

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  • arditarosearditarose Member Posts: 15,610 Member Member Posts: 15,610 Member
    Thanks for the feed back. The owner of my gym is former bodybuilder & she has given my programs every 6-8 weeks. By the end of each program, I've either added weight to each lift or increased reps. Still pushing, still challenging.

    I'm moving back to the states in a couple of weeks for 6 months & won't have programs planned for me. I've been thinking of starting a new program such as PHUL or Strong curves. I really, really like a 5-6 day program tho. Wondering if I can do accessory work a couple of days as well & if I should possibly up calories a bit if I do PHUL or Strong Curves. I know it seems counter intuitive but thinking slight increase for a period & then drop to small deficit may kick things back in.

    Thoughts? Oh & encouraging to hear I'm almost out of newbie stage! But yes, getting harder to see changes.

    As Sumi mentioned, I also do PHUL with added glute work from Strong Curves. I don't add an extra day but I take out some of the calf work and add heavy hip thrusts on power day, and good mornings or Romanian deadlifts, cable pull throughs, glute bridges, cable kickbacks on lower Hypertrophy. The workouts are awesome and pretty intense, especially as you up your volume. I think this is a great program for maintenance/recomp especially if you like power lifting. It is not the most fun in a deficit as its a bit demanding
  • Carla1962Shaw2015Carla1962Shaw2015 Member Posts: 31 Member Member Posts: 31 Member
    Thank you arditarose & sumiblue. This sounds like what I'm looking for, especially adding a glute day in the mix. I think I'll give it a try once I'm back in the states & up my calories to maintenance.

    Thank you both for sharing your experience!
  • robininflrobininfl Member Posts: 1,137 Member Member Posts: 1,137 Member
    bmj2015 wrote: »

    2) This is maybe a silly question, but one of the biggest changes I have noticed since I started lifting heavy and working to failure about 3 weeks ago... my sex drive is through the roof!! Is that normal? Or am I just hormonal? Seriously, I am feeling more "awake" in that department than I ever have, and I have a pretty healthy drive to begin with.

    Thanks for reading. Happy to be in such good company here!

    Not a silly question. It's my understanding that testosterone is the major hormonal driver of sex drive in men and women both, even though we have so much less of it overall, so anything that raises it even marginally will likely increase your desire - also losing fat or just having lower fat can have the same effect because fat holds estrogen, that offsets the testosterone in your body. The problem with making predictions like that, though, is that sex is like 99% mental, so maybe you are just feeling better about your body, what it can do and feel, or maybe it's springtime, or whatever. But yeah, holding all other factors static, an increase in testosterone or decrease in body fat should increase your sex drive.
  • CJ_HolmesCJ_Holmes Member, Premium Posts: 759 Member Member, Premium Posts: 759 Member
    bmj2015 wrote: »
    I've read through most of this thread, there is some great info here!

    2) This is maybe a silly question, but one of the biggest changes I have noticed since I started lifting heavy and working to failure about 3 weeks ago... my sex drive is through the roof!! Is that normal? Or am I just hormonal? Seriously, I am feeling more "awake" in that department than I ever have, and I have a pretty healthy drive to begin with.

    Thanks for reading. Happy to be in such good company here!

    I have experienced the same thing. And I was already a very... energetic person. I am glad I'm not alone- I swear i feel a bit abnormal at times!

  • arditarosearditarose Member Posts: 15,610 Member Member Posts: 15,610 Member
    bmj2015 wrote: »
    I've read through most of this thread, there is some great info here!

    I'm NEW to lifting and recomp. I started about 3 weeks ago on a strength training program, working to failure with a trainer who seems like he really knows his stuff. I am LOVING it so far. I'm 34 and female, 5'4, 127 pounds, and I'm guessing between 23-24% body fat currently.

    I'd like to get my body fat down to 20%-ish. That was my goal for the end of 2016, but after reading this thread I think realistically it could take a bit longer than that. I'm good with that, I'm patient, and I am enjoying this process — the LIFTING and the eating at maintenance.

    A couple questions I have:

    1) Can you guys/gals talk a little about your rest days and your sleep? And just your strategies for recovery in general? I am finding that after my workouts I am pretty wrecked! BUT I am used to being VERY active, and I enjoy activities like HIIT, a very strong yoga practice (it's my "sport"), jogging, etc on a regular basis. I don't want to hinder my strength training progress (my trainer has said several times already to me that working in this way kind of eliminates the need for cardio), but I enjoy my activities and I want to find a balance.

    2) This is maybe a silly question, but one of the biggest changes I have noticed since I started lifting heavy and working to failure about 3 weeks ago... my sex drive is through the roof!! Is that normal? Or am I just hormonal? Seriously, I am feeling more "awake" in that department than I ever have, and I have a pretty healthy drive to begin with.

    Thanks for reading. Happy to be in such good company here!

    I think I felt that way at first but honestly when I was focusing on getting to 18% body fat I lost my libido.
  • RWClaryRWClary Member Posts: 192 Member Member Posts: 192 Member
    My own experience has been slow but steady.
    And I mean SLOW!
    That's OK. :)
    I reached my weight loss goals and have been cycling calories and macro balance while doing Intermittent fasting, performing High Intense Interval Training as well as a smart resistance routine.
    My results over 5 years have been solid.
    I am 5 foot, 9 inches tall, weigh between 175-180 lbs...and my body fat dropped from around 25% to around 15%.
    My pants size went from size 36 men's to size 32.
    Body recomposition works...and did I mention progress is SLOW?
    jac9o14lew5v.png

    edited April 2016
  • griffinca2griffinca2 Member Posts: 672 Member Member Posts: 672 Member
    bmj2015, I would follow my trainer's advice and not over do the cardio. If your trainer is having you do circuits you may not need cardio. Thing is, too much cardio will eat into your muscle gains which not what you want to happen if you are trying to increase your muscle mass. The yoga is fine but cut back on either the jogging or the HIIT. If you read thru this thread from the beginning you notice they don't do that much cardio. Good luck. B)
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,877 Member Member Posts: 18,877 Member
    griffinca2 wrote: »
    bmj2015, I would follow my trainer's advice and not over do the cardio. If your trainer is having you do circuits you may not need cardio. Thing is, too much cardio will eat into your muscle gains which not what you want to happen if you are trying to increase your muscle mass. The yoga is fine but cut back on either the jogging or the HIIT. If you read thru this thread from the beginning you notice they don't do that much cardio. Good luck. B)

    Who is "they"?
    I cycle over 100 miles and generally do a load of cardio. Remember not all people recomping actually have the same priorities.

    It's a horrible myth that you can't do cardio and have muscle too - think rugby players or rowers.
  • griffinca2griffinca2 Member Posts: 672 Member Member Posts: 672 Member
    sijomial, true; but it is harder for a woman to increase her muscle mass than it is a man (blame hormones), so too much cardio and not enough protein can hinder a woman's ability to increase muscle mass. And the more she adds when she is younger the better. I'm not telling her not to do any (and neither is her trainer); just not to do too much of it (still need it for heart health). And "they" are the folks who wrote earlier on this thread. Have a great day! B)
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,868 Member Member Posts: 5,868 Member
    RWClary wrote: »
    My own experience has been slow but steady.
    And I mean SLOW!
    That's OK. :)
    I reached my weight loss goals and have been cycling calories and macro balance while doing Intermittent fasting, performing High Intense Interval Training as well as a smart resistance routine.
    My results over 5 years have been solid.
    I am 5 foot, 9 inches tall, weigh between 175-180 lbs...and my body fat dropped from around 25% to around 15%.
    My pants size went from size 36 men's to size 32.
    Body recomposition works...and did I mention progress is SLOW?
    jac9o14lew5v.png

    Bravo!!!

  • robininflrobininfl Member Posts: 1,137 Member Member Posts: 1,137 Member
    griffinca2 wrote: »
    sijomial, true; but it is harder for a woman to increase her muscle mass than it is a man (blame hormones), so too much cardio and not enough protein can hinder a woman's ability to increase muscle mass. And the more she adds when she is younger the better. I'm not telling her not to do any (and neither is her trainer); just not to do too much of it (still need it for heart health). And "they" are the folks who wrote earlier on this thread. Have a great day! B)

    Yeah, I'm not buying it either. I think if you want to bulk up more than lean out, yes, burning too many calories through cardio might get in your way, make it harder to gain weight in general. (though, truthfully, I was starting from skinny and added muscle from running so it didn't play out that way for me) If you are just getting lean and fit, no. Overall fitness includes cardiovascular health, which is gained mostly from aerobic exercise, and almost nobody has enough time in the day to do too much of it.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,877 Member Member Posts: 18,877 Member
    .


    edited April 2016
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 18,877 Member Member Posts: 18,877 Member
    griffinca2 wrote: »
    sijomial, true; but it is harder for a woman to increase her muscle mass than it is a man (blame hormones), so too much cardio and not enough protein can hinder a woman's ability to increase muscle mass. And the more she adds when she is younger the better. I'm not telling her not to do any (and neither is her trainer); just not to do too much of it (still need it for heart health). And "they" are the folks who wrote earlier on this thread. Have a great day! B)

    Harder / slower for a woman to add muscle - period.

    Properly fuelled cardio really isn't here or there for the vast majority of people. Maybe some training/recovery interference depending on frequency/intensity.
    Think women rugby players, women rowers....

    "Too much cardio" means what?

    Not enough protein isn't a gender issue.



    edited April 2016
  • tigerbluetigerblue Member Posts: 1,623 Member Member Posts: 1,623 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    griffinca2 wrote: »
    sijomial, true; but it is harder for a woman to increase her muscle mass than it is a man (blame hormones), so too much cardio and not enough protein can hinder a woman's ability to increase muscle mass. And the more she adds when she is younger the better. I'm not telling her not to do any (and neither is her trainer); just not to do too much of it (still need it for heart health). And "they" are the folks who wrote earlier on this thread. Have a great day! B)

    Harder / slower for a woman to add muscle - period.

    Properly fuelled cardio really isn't here or there for the vast majority of people. Maybe some training/recovery interference depending on frequency/intensity.
    Think women rugby players, women rowers....

    "Too much cardio" means what?

    Not enough protein isn't a gender issue.



    So, if you are doing more cardio so that you raise your TDEE in order to eat more, and you are fueling your cardio properly, it should be okay?? That is my understanding, but I am not sure. . . .
  • Noot30Noot30 Member Posts: 54 Member Member Posts: 54 Member
    arditarose wrote: »
    Thanks for the feed back. The owner of my gym is former bodybuilder & she has given my programs every 6-8 weeks. By the end of each program, I've either added weight to each lift or increased reps. Still pushing, still challenging.

    I'm moving back to the states in a couple of weeks for 6 months & won't have programs planned for me. I've been thinking of starting a new program such as PHUL or Strong curves. I really, really like a 5-6 day program tho. Wondering if I can do accessory work a couple of days as well & if I should possibly up calories a bit if I do PHUL or Strong Curves. I know it seems counter intuitive but thinking slight increase for a period & then drop to small deficit may kick things back in.

    Thoughts? Oh & encouraging to hear I'm almost out of newbie stage! But yes, getting harder to see changes.

    As Sumi mentioned, I also do PHUL with added glute work from Strong Curves. I don't add an extra day but I take out some of the calf work and add heavy hip thrusts on power day, and good mornings or Romanian deadlifts, cable pull throughs, glute bridges, cable kickbacks on lower Hypertrophy. The workouts are awesome and pretty intense, especially as you up your volume. I think this is a great program for maintenance/recomp especially if you like power lifting. It is not the most fun in a deficit as its a bit demanding

    Is there a book/ site for PHUL? I've been doing NROL and thinking about the next steps. Thanks.
  • SumiblueSumiblue Member Posts: 1,584 Member Member Posts: 1,584 Member
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,868 Member Member Posts: 5,868 Member
    tigerblue wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    griffinca2 wrote: »
    sijomial, true; but it is harder for a woman to increase her muscle mass than it is a man (blame hormones), so too much cardio and not enough protein can hinder a woman's ability to increase muscle mass. And the more she adds when she is younger the better. I'm not telling her not to do any (and neither is her trainer); just not to do too much of it (still need it for heart health). And "they" are the folks who wrote earlier on this thread. Have a great day! B)

    Harder / slower for a woman to add muscle - period.

    Properly fuelled cardio really isn't here or there for the vast majority of people. Maybe some training/recovery interference depending on frequency/intensity.
    Think women rugby players, women rowers....

    "Too much cardio" means what?

    Not enough protein isn't a gender issue.



    So, if you are doing more cardio so that you raise your TDEE in order to eat more, and you are fueling your cardio properly, it should be okay?? That is my understanding, but I am not sure. . . .
    Correct.

    Doing all that cardio in a deficit without enough resistance training would more then likely result in some muscle loss.

    That said, when I'm in a cut, I reduce my cardio to a couple HIIT sessions per week, reduce overall volume of lifting while keeping weights and intensity the same.
  • Noot30Noot30 Member Posts: 54 Member Member Posts: 54 Member
  • bmj2015bmj2015 Member Posts: 31 Member Member Posts: 31 Member
    Thanks everyone for weighing in on my cardio... I know, it's kind of confusing sometimes!

    Basically my trainer says I don't *need* to be doing much cardio since I am happy with my weight and more interested now in gaining lean mass to replace fat mass. But he also said if I actually ENJOY it (which I do) that I should still keep doing it, but not to the extent that I don't get sufficient time to rest/recover. Personally, I enjoy my cardio activity and I also enjoy having at higher TDEE (because I like to EAT!) so I will keep it up but I've made some adjustments to fit in my strength workouts and allow for a bit more rest. Also, I've upped my protein intake significantly.

    In other news, I had a Bod Pod test today. Has anyone else done this? It gave me a measurement of 20% body fat and it also gave my my personal RMR, and TDEE for different levels of activity. It pretty much confirmed the numbers I had already estimated, but it was nice to know that I am on the right track and not grossly over or underestimating.
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,868 Member Member Posts: 5,868 Member
    bmj2015 wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for weighing in on my cardio... I know, it's kind of confusing sometimes!

    Basically my trainer says I don't *need* to be doing much cardio since I am happy with my weight and more interested now in gaining lean mass to replace fat mass. But he also said if I actually ENJOY it (which I do) that I should still keep doing it, but not to the extent that I don't get sufficient time to rest/recover. Personally, I enjoy my cardio activity and I also enjoy having at higher TDEE (because I like to EAT!) so I will keep it up but I've made some adjustments to fit in my strength workouts and allow for a bit more rest. Also, I've upped my protein intake significantly.

    In other news, I had a Bod Pod test today. Has anyone else done this? It gave me a measurement of 20% body fat and it also gave my my personal RMR, and TDEE for different levels of activity. It pretty much confirmed the numbers I had already estimated, but it was nice to know that I am on the right track and not grossly over or underestimating.

    To the bolded, you have yourself a good trainer!
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