How much can I achieve in 2 months?
Nov 13, 2008 11:34pm
I don’t want to sound like I haven’t done any research, but this is sort of a bird’s-eye view fitness question.
I’m 28, 6’2” and 220lbs. 3 years ago I ran 1+ hour per day, did a ton of rock climbing and was about 185 (although 180 or even 175 is quite comfortable for me).
Fast forward 3 years, a business and a relationship later and I’m 220 (down from 230!). I want to get back down to 180, but there’s a catch – due to a knee in injury (tear under my kneecap) running and rock climbing are out for now.
I’ve got 2 months of no responsabilities of any kind, access to a gym and a pool (both 5 minutes away). Currently I’m working out 4 days a week and trying to get cardio in 5-6 days per week, but I’m not seeing the kind of changes I’m used to. This is probably because I’m older and I used to rely on running to keep me fit – I’m on the crosstrainer now, and only at a very light incline.
Ok, long boring story over. If I can devote unlimited time to exercising and diet, how much can I achieve in 2 months? And where could I find “big picture” workout/diet information? I can do whatever it takes with complete discipline, I just need to know where I can find the tools, given that I have unlimited time to commit to doing this (for 2 months).
I’m sticking to some good strength training for upper body, and as I said I do crosstrainer and swimming (45 mins x 5-6 days a week), but I’d like to know how much more I could be doing to achieve maximum results.
I gyminee on my iphone at the gym every day – wonderful site. Thanks to anyone who is bored enough to read this entire thing AND reply.
|Nov 14, 2008 2:16am||
Do I win? :-)
This may sound silly, but you can achieve anything you want with proper exercise and diet. But I would recommend going with something you can stick with. For me, the Southbeach diet gave great results. But it was also very hard to stick with. So far, this website and a low calorie/fat diet has given great results I feel I can live with.
You mention you already do a lot of exercise. How has your diet been? I too was doing a lot of exercise and only recently got back into healthier eating. I’ve already dropped 5 lbs in 10 days.
|Nov 14, 2008 3:52pm||
I know someone will respond in more detail BUT…look up HIIT. I bet you could burn some knarly calories in the pool….
|Nov 14, 2008 3:58pm||
You can absolutely make huge changes in two months, if you go about it the right way. I recommend you go read the other thread that Mateo1041 started “Gaining weight even though working out,” because there is a TON of great info in there.
But to give you an idea…I’m a small woman. 5’1”. In June, I was 135 pounds, which for me is overweight. I started working out (running) and doing some bodyweight exercises at home. I also watched what I ate a little, but didn’t really get too serious about that aspect of things. I dropped 10 pounds in 2 months.
Then I plateaued. I ticked up two pounds and couldn’t really get anywhere. I started doing a more intense program (called Turbulence Training), which is weight training (using free weights and bodyweight exercises in a “circuit training” style) and high intensity interval training. I started on September 30.
Starting the program caused me to take a good look at what I was eating and I made some major improvements…starting eating very clean. By that I mean very little processed food, and lots of fruit, veggies, lean protein, nuts, legumes, etc. I spend less than 90 minutes during each workout. I work out at least 3 times per week, and try to get some activity on my off days (but I don’t always succeed).
So, remembering that I had ticked up 2 pounds before I started, I am currently down another 8 pounds, and just one pound above my goal weight. I’ve also seen major changes in my body composition. I’ve lost inches pretty much everywhere.
And that was in 6 weeks.
So yeah, you can do it. You just need a good plan. I think there are ones that are better than what you outlined, and you can hear more ideas on Mateo’s thread.
Best of luck!
Nov 14, 2008 5:25pm
Mmmiles, you can definitely make great strides over a two month period. However, I wouldn’t focus on fast weight loss but rather, use these next two months to develop a sustainable program that will help you meet specific goals.
That’s the first step. Specifically outline what your goals are. I understand that you want to get back to 180 lbs, but I’m also assuming that you want to maintain lean muscle mass. Ultimately, you want to think about body composition and not the number on the scale.
Start by getting your body fat measured. The simplest way to do this is to go to your gym and have a trainer measure you. These numbers will not be 100% accurate (DEXA or BodyPod would be better, although more costly alternatives) but that ok. It will give you a base number to work with.
Unless you’re looking to get super lean, 10 – 15% bodyfat is a good goal for men.
Next, take some photos of yourself in your skivvy’s and use a tape measure and take measurements of you chest, waist, hip, biceps, forearm, thigh, calf, neck. Measurements are the single best way to track your progress. Again, your goal isn’t simply to lose weight but rather, it’s to lose fat what gaining lean muscle.
With that said, your primary focus needs to be diet. You cannot out-train a bad diet!
I’m personally a fan of Dr. John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition (www.precisionnutrition.com; www.johnberardi.com). Another poster, Augie, suggests Will Brink’s BodyBuilding Revealed (www.bodybuildingrevealed.com). These are both great resources in regards to nutrition recommendations.
In regards to exercise, focus on efficiency. An hour of steady state cardio is not nearly as effective in creating an after-burn effect as high intensity interval training (HIIT).
A commentary in the December 9, 2005 of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure for two exercise tasks of equal work using a treadmill.
The results of the study showed that the steady-state exercise tends to burn more calories during the actual exercise than interval training, while interval training generates a higher EPOC leading to a much larger number of total calories burned.
I understand that running is an issue for you based on your knee injury. I’ve found that I’ve been able to effectively utilize a rowing machine for HIIT, which shouldn’t be an issue for your knee.
Also, per Liz’s suggestion, take a look at Turbulence Training which is based on a circuit training protocol. Like HIIT, these are short, efficient workouts. Remember, it’s not the amount of time you spend in the gym, but rather the quality of your workouts. This is most true when it comes to fat burning.
|Nov 14, 2008 6:01pm||
Echoing Susan’s comments, don’t focus on the short-term. Your training and physique goals will change all the time so it’s important to invest in a program that will show you how to design and modify your nutrition and training programs accordingly.
One piece of advice though is if you have 2 months to kill is get a hobby. Achieving your desired results equates to training smarter, not longer. Spending hours in the gym every day will only lead to over training and you’ll quickly see your body respond by shutting down. The toughest part for most folks is adhering to a strict nutrition program, especially in a case such as yours where you want results in a relatively short amount of time. However, sticking to your diet doesn’t take any time so if you have a lot of time on your hands then make use of it when you’re done at the gym. Too often people who don’t keep themselves busy will get distracted and turn to activities such as unnecessary eating because it’s easy to do.
Finally, if you are hell bent on losing fat quickly (which is different than losing weight) then check out Fat Loss Revealed by Will Brink. Susan referenced another Will Brink program above in her post which is excellent but FLR focuses primarily on fat-loss while maintaining lean body mass (and in your case probably adding some). There’s also a nice section that discusses advanced techniques for achieving the single-digit body fat % levels that a lot of folks strive for once they hover around 12%. Keep in mind that there are several, quality programs available targeted at fat-loss and adding muscle (e.g. Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”) but programs such as Brink’s comes with resources such as a forum community where experts reside and information is available outside the scope of what a book can offer by itself. Especially in the case of fat loss it’s also important to be in an environment with people who share your same goals, motivations, and challenges. Brink’s online community provides this mechanism of support and the same can be said for others such as Berardi’s “Precision Nutrition” that Susan mentioned. All of these programs will easily meet your needs and they also offer a full refund if you’re not satisfied. In the case of FLR, $40 is a sound investment.
BTW, I have no vested interest in any of these programs I’ve recommended. I have purchased all of them (and several others) so I simply speak from experience about their value. FWIW I did FLR to test its merits and I was able to hit 9% BF following the guidelines before changing gears and adding more mass. But IMO the Bodybuilding Revealed program is more extensive (at over 640 pages plus the forums how can’t it be) and conducive to a variety of training/physique goals (fat loss, strength, hypertrophy, athletic performance, etc).