View Full Version : Advice sought from anyone and everyone

06-18-2004, 02:02 AM

I was hoping to post a question I have been kicking around about my program.

First, I am a GREAT big'un, 335 lbs. 34% bodyfat per hydrostatic weighing (so I am pretty confident in the number). I have enjoyed a program along these lines for a few weeks:

Monday: Chest, Bis, evening cardio
Tuesday: 30 minutes cardio (heart zone type)
Wednesday: Legs, back
Thursday: 30 minutes cardio (HZT)
Friday: Shoulders, Tris
Saturday/Sunday: 2 a day cardio (one of which might be hiking, etc.)

Diet is strong, using the Venuto carb cycling and tapering program.

My question is this:
If you needed to lose the massive amount of weight that I do, how would you structure the cardio program? I am willing to do 2-one hour sessions a day. I have a son due in the next few months that I would love to see grow up.

I am leaving this vague to get the widest range of answers. As for my exercise program - NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE!(well, except maybe the twinkies!). I will take any advice with a solid rationale very seriously.

Thanks a bunch!


06-18-2004, 02:37 AM
I am glad you asked this question. I say this because I suspect a great many people are in your situation but don't post it.

The prospect of having to lose a great deal of weight is an entirely different one than many of the posts you may see on the board, asking how to get from 9% to 6% bodyfat or how to bring up the lateral head of the triceps.

While for the latter example, we might debate various forms of energy system training and the like, I think in your situation it is most important to burn calories. I think 30-45 minutes of cardio, 5-6 times a week, may be a good starting point. That's right, I said the dirty word. For an obese person looking to lose a lot of weight I think traditional cardio is fine. As a caveat, though, I would avoid running and instead use perhaps an exercise bike to save your knees.

Weight train either in an upper/lower alternation split M/W/F or use a full-body routine, depending on your experience. Don't get too much into the once/week per body part stuff when fat loss is your goal. Use big exercises like squats and deads and rows; they will burn a ton of calories when done for high reps and also build muscle mass.

Obviously diet is going to be a HUGE component of your success. Fighting obesity has much more to do with diet than exercise.

The diet in this ebook is much more geared to gaining muscle than losing fat. In your case I would instead adopt a sort of Paleolithic diet. In other words, eat only animal protein and green veggies. Drink water. That's it. If it wasn't available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, don't eat it. This still gives you quite an opportunity for variety as there are many ways to prepare these foods with a lot of flavor. But get rid of the pastas, breads, crackers, etc. Junk food is of course out the window. Cola drinks are out of the question; I have witnessed patients lose 80 pounds in six months by cutting out colas. You may reintroduce other veggies and fruit after a time if you begin to lose weight. Supplementation should consist of a multivitamin and some form of essential fatty acids; I recommend Udo's Choice Oil for the latter. Eat several small meals throughout the day. Starvation makes you fatter.

If you need help in this regard, feel free to post a typical day's menu for you and we'd be happy to suggest alternatives where necessary.

Hope that helps. Congratulations on making the commitment to improve your health.

06-18-2004, 02:56 AM
Your post makes a lot of sense.

Would you recommend spending the cardio time as heart zone or HIIT?

I previously lost 71 lbs. (down from 370 lbs. two years ago) but was in a car accident, after which a golf ball sized "black spot" was found on my MRI scans (and in my head, of course!) back in November of last year - the spot was unrelated to the accident, just a lucky find.

I didn't react well to the news and my eating slowly went to hell and my workout followed about three months ago. I post because I have read a lot trying to get back on the horse and found many ideas that ran contrary to the Body-for-Life program I was using.

Short story - long: I believe I have the technique and knowledge to work in the gym well. A whole body program (I bet I am up to it)? Thanks for your response!

06-18-2004, 03:06 AM
I would do whatever cardio makes it interesting for you and will make you stick to it. I was just pointing out that it isn't absolutely necessary for you to do HIIT at this point. Just burn some calories.

I think the BFL program is fine for sedentary individuals looking to lose weight--I just think that after a time, you have to consider other options if you want to achieve greater fitness goals. At your stage, I think a BFL-type program is great, but I actually would add more cardio. "But it's catabolic!"--you will hear the shrieks from others on the board. Damn right it's catabolic--catabolism is how you lose weight.

06-18-2004, 06:14 PM
To add to this I first off want to say good job for being serious about your health. It is a great step to take!!

I would agree with erp7e on doing more heart rate zone training for now. HIIT is great to burn calories and raise your cardiovascular output, but just starting out I think you could easily burn more calories with longer less intense sessions.

With the longer cardio sessions you will build a great baseline of endurance (your body will adapt by making more mitochondria, among other things).

This baseline is then what you can use for those intense HIIT sessions later on in your program. So if you are doing 4 days of cardio a week with 6 session my suggestion would be to make maybe 1 or 2 of those sessions HIIT and the rest HZT training.

Also try to keep it fun and interesting if you can I think the hiking idea is a great one!!:D

06-18-2004, 08:18 PM
A note on HZT. Even though the the so-called "fat-burning zone" of 60-69% MHR is supposed to result in a greater percentage of fat being burned, the total fat burned will actually be greater if you exercise for the same amount of time in the "aerobic zone" of 70-79%. Even though the fat-burning percentage is lower in that zone, the amount of calories burned is greater, and the total fat burned ends up being higher as well.

Another thing you might want to look into as a change of pace is bodyweight exercising. You can burn quite a few calories doing some bw routines. I highly recommend Ross Enemait's The Underground Guide to Warrior Fitness.

06-18-2004, 11:33 PM
I like the idea of a HIIT split and 2-3 times a week is what I will do - think on muscle training days. My HRT usually ends up in the 65 - 75% range to get a really good sweat up.

06-19-2004, 06:50 PM
Pizzaman is correct about the "zones"--which are misleading and one of my pet peeves. For example, your percentage of calories burned as fat is actually higher when sitting still, although the total calories burned is quite small. I wouldn't read too much into the "zones."

In your case Jeff, burning the most calories is a relatively important objective for now. And making exercise fun, another big objective. Sounds like you're on the right track.