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  1. #1

    Recommended Routine for Stomach and Glute?

    Hello
    I'm getting back into the gym after a long time off. I'm looking for gain muscle mass, but right now stomach fat and glutes annoy me the most.

    Is there any routines out there that target stomach fat and glutes?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    I've seen a couple of routines that target specific areas, but they are pretty advanced and the research is not final on them. In my experience if you are returning after a long break, what you eat is far more important than what you do in the gym (take it from someone who just dropped 1lb or more every week for a straight month).

    If you never manipulated your diet, here are three easy steps that got me from 196 to 178 in less than two years.

    1. Track your food. Download MyFitnessPal (if you use JEFit, I presume you have a smartphone or iPhone, so hardware is not a problem) and just record everything you eat. At this stage you shouldn't aim to change anything, just spend a week or two gauging your food intake and recording where most of your macros come from. When I started food journal a real eye-opener was the sweets - I didn't realize that I can consume over 500 calories' worth of chocolate with tea after dinner. (I do a tenth of that now - on the days when I earn it - but that's a different story.) Another eye-opener was the carbs - apparently 60% of my caloric intake was carbohydrates, and not the healthiest kind.

    2. Start cutting calories. Once you've seen how much you eat, the simplest next step is to reduce calories. Don't aim for perfectly balanced macros, just cut to the level you need and keep adjusting for a couple of months. Don't cut too much, if you find yourself at 3600 a day and MFP suggests 2400, don't cut more than 200-300 daily calories per week, especially if you work on a busy schedule.

    I know a number of people on this forum and off it will take me to task by sticking to the old "a calorie is a calorie" mantra. Let me make it clear - I do not hold by it, moreover I'm now at the stage where I balance my macros not just per day, but per each meal, and calorie count is secondary to it. It took me almost three years to get to this point, and if I jumped to it on day one, I wouldn't last long. By simply cutting calories I immediately excluded most of junk food - potato chips disappeared entirely and I have ice cream maybe twice a month. It works for a simple reason: when you have limited budget and see that a bag of chips would keep you full for maybe an hour, while an average apple has fewer calories and lasts longer, you go for the apple and leave the chips for later (or for good!). To put it super simple: once you limit your caloric intake, a lot of good choices become automatic. This does not happen immediately, but in a a few months your diet is bound to change for the better and your weight will follow the suit.

    3. Once you are comfortable with your caloric intake you should start balancing your macros. There are many opinions out there on what should be a proper balance, but having 35-40% of protein and 30-35% of carbs and fat worked very well for me, and unless you are a competitor or want to get super thin in a hurry (not a good idea for most of us), this should work. If it doesn't, read up and start experimenting. This step is trickier than the first two, and it took me a long time to master it, but at the end I am glad that I did.

    I know that I didn't answer your question directly, but for me this was the best way to get rid of 36in waistline (presently nearing 31). I also know that when you get to the gym for the first time it feels like everyone is staring at your gut and snickering at tiny dumbbells in your hands, but this is not the case. Many of us would never do it because we remember how it feels, and most of the guys who were athletic to begin with are too busy with their program to pay attention to you (unless you ask them to spot you or you take turns on the same machine). True, there are a few jackasses out there, but just as anywhere else the best attitude is to ignore them and carry on.

    Good luck with your comeback!

  3. #3
    3x's a Senior Biggsamus's Avatar
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    I'll second everything that is304 said, and just add on two notes:

    1. Build up muscle - Increasing your muscle mass will increase your BMR, so you will burn more calories just by existing. This will help to speed along your fat loss when added to a good diet.

    2. Cardio - Aim for 3-5hrs of cardio a week to blast some extra calories. I like HIIT training as you can boost the number of calories that you burn without spending as much time on the treadmill.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Thanks. I'll working on things.

  5. #5
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member is304's Avatar
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    I agree with the above, but with some corrections:

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggsamus View Post
    1. Build up muscle - Increasing your muscle mass will increase your BMR, so you will burn more calories just by existing. This will help to speed along your fat loss when added to a good diet.
    Building muscle is beneficial in the long term, however I've seen fairly recent research that fat cells can convert testosterone into estrogen. Testosterone plus exercise make your muscles grow, estrogen makes your fat cells grow. So, if you have too much fat (and for most men the magic number is 15%), then the following happens: you exercise, your glands start flooding your system with testosterone, then some of it goes to fat cells, and they convert it to estrogen to grow even more fat cells and less muscles. That's why I would suggest getting body fat under control first. I've been working out like a fanatic for a year and my body fat (and my gut) kept growing until I started controlling my diet. It's not an either or situation, any time you go to the gym and perform a serious workout you build muscle, but for someone who's just starting I'd say to concentrate on losing fat first, even if it means slower muscle gains in the short term - just be persistent and it will pay off later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggsamus View Post
    2. Cardio - Aim for 3-5hrs of cardio a week to blast some extra calories. I like HIIT training as you can boost the number of calories that you burn without spending as much time on the treadmill.
    Here I'd say either or. Either 3-5 hours of steady state cardio at low to medium pace, or, if you can handle it, HIIT. For steady state even 40-60 minutes of brisk walk few times a week will do - that's how I kept my weight off after my shoulder surgeries. If you want something more advanced, HIIT is the best option if you can handle it, and it should take less time. Right now for my cardio I cycle three HIIT workouts at different resistances (the high intensity phase is longer for lower resistance). This week they are 12 minutes, 14 minutes, and 29 minutes, and that includes 5 minutes of warm-up. They are extremely effective, but also very brutal, and my heart rate goes to 170 and above for about 30 seconds. It took me a couple of months of steady state at high resistance to get ready for them, I think if I tried them right after my long break I'd just drop dead.

    If I understand correctly, the difference between steady state and HIIT is this - steady state burns a lot more calories (in part because you can do it for a long time) and it burns fat from fat cells directly. The downside - once you stop, you body goes to business as usual within an hour. HIIT burns glycogen from your muscle, not fat, but when done correctly it boosts your metabolic rate quite significantly for 48-72 hours and that keeps burning fat, so sometimes you burn more calories during and more fat after after 15-30 minutes of HIIT than during 2-3 hours of steady state. As an added bonus, HIIT will build more muscles.

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