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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    What am I doing wrong?

    Hi all,

    Some background on me: I'm a 24 year old male, who's 5'5". I've managed to lose about 45 pounds over the last year, coming down from 185 to about 140 where I am now.

    My goal is to reach 130. However, I've been stuck on 140 for quite a while now. Up until that point, I had been doing solely dieting and cardio, but increasing the amount of cardio and reducing my calorie intake just didn't result in any more weight loss.

    I decided to add some strength training in the hope to build some muscle and hopefully kick start my metabolism and get me back to losing weight. For two weeks this seemed to work wonders and I (seemingly) started losing a few pounds. (I say seemingly because my weight seems to fluctuate greatly over a day and weeks, making it sometimes hard to tell if I've actually lost a pound or two.)

    However, for the last week and a half, that trend seems to be reversing itself. The few pounds I thought I had lost have come back, and a few more. I thought that this might be due to increased muscle mass, but from looking in the mirror, my muscles don't seem to have increased at all.

    Moreover, my exercise progress seems to be going backwards. I can't do as many push-ups as I could before, and the speed on my stationary bike when I do cardio isn't as high as it used to be. I would think if I was gaining muscle these would be improving instead of regressing.

    My current exercise regime is as follows:

    On "Even" days:
    3 Reps of 25 crunches
    3 Reps of push-ups until exhaustion
    50 minutes on my stationary bike going roughly 17.4 MPH

    On "Odd" days:
    2 Reps of 25 crunches
    2 Reps of push-ups until exhaustion
    2 Reps of dumb-bell arm curls until exhaustion
    1 Rep of "shrugs" until exhaustion
    1 Rep of flat chest presses until exhaustion
    50 minutes on my stationary bike going roughtly 17.4 MPH

    I do these all in one block, with no breaks in between. I use 10 pound dumb-bells.

    Fridays is my rest day. I don't do any exercise at all on that day.

    As for my diet, I maintain a very strict 1600 calorie a day limit, and try to avoid going over 40 grams of fat a day (which I succeed at roughly 95% of the time).

    Any strength training I do right now is limited to dumb-bell exercises since thats all I currently own.

    Anyone have any suggestions about what I could be doing wrong? My primary goals is to lose 10 more pounds (and hopefully in the process burn enough fat to get rid of my gut!).
    Last edited by ColdFury; Aug. 15/07 at 10:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Congrats on losing the weight.

    You said you reduced your calories intake. That could be the problem. With increased exercises, so do the energy requirements. You cannot do as many push ups because your muscles are probably tired from all the weight lifting. Just looking at your exercise, you said, "until exhaustion," this could also be your problem. Having a set amount of reps and sets will develop your muscles far greater than doing it until exhaustion. This is also probably why you can't do as many push ups.

    Also, you should include squats, deadlifts, push, pull, lunge, and twist in your weight exercise. You can do all these things with dumbbells.

    As for cardio, sounds to me like you're doing the same thing every day. The key point is to mix it up and limit it to 20 minute sessions with interval training or fartlek.

    I think overall, you should set a strict diet of over 2000 cals (try finding your bmr and subtracting 500 from it), and you should revise your exercise plan to include a short session of intense cardio (interval or fartlek), and setting a set number of reps, and sets to your weight lifting exercises and including the squats, deadlifts, push, pull, twist, and lunge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    your training just isn't very good. you should not be training the same muscle (abs and chest/triceps) every day. So, put abs on cardio days if you like, and keep the weight training separate (including pushups).

    Also, moving a weight up and down once is a rep, and the collection of reps is called a set.
    You should not be doing sets to exhaustion/failure every time. Doing so will burn out your nervous system, leaving you cranky, tired, and feeling weak (only because the nervous system doesn't want to fire signals to the muscles, so you're not able to hit peak performance).

    I agree with what's been said so far: look at a full body workout (link is in my signature to a good routine).
    Re-evaluate your should include protein a plenty (like, 150-200g per day), healthy fats (natty PB and fish oil caps), and lots of green veggies. Starchy carbs should be moderated during fat have to find a balance on the carbs...enough to keep you from feeling tired, but not so much that your body doesn't have to tap into fat storage for energy.

    take it one day at a time and don't get so frustrated you quit. its normal to hit a plateau like this.

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