Fat loss training for middle-aged women

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by spinach, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    So I got my mum lifting weights. This is good news. She weighs (my guess) between 140 and 150 and says she wants fat loss (but that's my idea because she still thinks 'toned' is a real word...) I've got her doing the Rippetoe program without Power Cleans, so the program consists of Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Press, and Lat Pulldown, done three exercises per day, three days per week. I'm sure everybody's familiar with the layout, but here it is anyway:

    Tuesday - Squat 5x3, Bench 5x3, Deadlift 5x1
    Thursday - Squat 5x3, Press 5x3, Pulldown 5x3 or 8x3 or something...
    Saturday - Squat 5x3, Bench 5x3, Deadlift 5x1
    Tuesday - Squat 5x3, Press 5x3, Pulldown 5x3
    Thursday - Squat 5x3, Bench 5x3, Deadlift 5x1
    Saturday - Squat 5x3, Press 5x3, Pulldown 5x3

    The lifts are moving slowly, but they're moving - Squats are around 100 pounds for the sets, and Deadlifts are close to 150. After all that stuff she'll sometimes ride the elliptical or the Concept rower for a bit. She walks everywhere she goes (she can't drive) and she's generally pretty active.

    Diet is good, about 2000 calories a day and she eats pretty much paleo except for once or twice each week. So she's getting protein, few carbs, good fats, fiber, and she's taking fish oil and a couple of vitamins.

    She's been doing this for the better part of a year now and it's a decent program overall, but the results just aren't coming. Or if they are, it's really slow. I'm trying to help her and I have to admit, I'm stumped. Is anyone familiar with this? I might be wrong, but I feel like there's something missing. More cardio? Fewer calories? More calories? More cowbell?
     
  2. Origins

    Origins Blue Belt

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    1. Why pulldowns rather than rows/chins?

    2. Are you talking about results in terms of weight loss or are you saying she doesn't actually look or feel like she has lost much bodyfat?
     
  3. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    Thanks for the response!

    1. Pulldowns are because she can't do pullups or chinups. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in a fat loss program I don't think the difference is very significant.

    2. She hasn't lost scale weight, and she still looks the same. Clothes fit the same, so probably not much improvement in body composition.

    As I said, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think for her to speed up her progress, the answer is not going to be "Switch to chinups or rows" or "Do more overhead pressing." I think it's most likely something much more generalized. Maybe a lot more work on the squats and deadlifts? Maybe some kind of dietary change?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  4. Origins

    Origins Blue Belt

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    I don't know, I personally wouldn't be too concerned about my mother busting out chins. I was just wondering. Rows are another option if she can't do chins, though.

    And she's been doing this for a year? Damn.

    She could try lowering the calories for a few weeks and see what happens. If that fails and you are sure about her dietary habits (protein intake, etc.), she might also try upping the carbs a bit and lowering the fat. Some people respond better to low-carb and others respond better to lower-fat.
     
  5. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    Strength training, while something you should do while losing weight, is not a good way to exercise for weight loss. Get me right, you need to do strength training before attempting weight loss (because muscles swallow calories) and whilst losing weight (so as to not lose muscle) but to lose weight you really want to do cardio and low-intensity exercising such as walking.
     
  6. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    True. I've wondered before if she's eating too much or too little. She sometimes complains about being hungry.

    I should mention this now: She's very old fashioned and VERY stubborn. I doubt she would agree to a bodyfat test, as it is she won't even tell me how much she weighs. She doesn't want to go on any "diets" or do any complicated exercise program. She's always asking me about some gimmicky machine or other, probably because they're shiny and they look easier than doing a squat, hence the pulldown machine in her program. Unfortunately she doesn't care about learning to do a pullup (I know, it breaks my heart) and it was difficult enough trying to get her into the gym in the first place.

    But you make a good point. I'll try getting her to tweak the diet for a couple weeks and see what happens.



    Not sure what you mean here. Are you saying more cardio? She's already doing quite a bit, but I could suggest some more.
     
  7. Giant Midget

    Giant Midget Blue Belt

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    A fat loss program without any cardio? For weight loss cardio is the only way to go, get the fat bitch on a treadmill :icon_lol:
     
  8. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    If you read the original post, you would see that she is doing cardio - using the elliptical almost every session. She also walks to and from the gym, about six or seven kilometers round trip, and probably totals between ten and twenty kilometers per day.

    If you're saying she should do more, then I will advise her of that.

    And don't call my mother a fat bitch.
     
  9. Origins

    Origins Blue Belt

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    Be careful, women can be very unpredictable about these sorts of things. I know I would be very cautious about trying to tell my mom that she needs to eat less.
     
  10. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    Heh heh, wise advice there sir.
     
  11. DevilMMA

    DevilMMA Orange Belt

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    Wal
     
  12. THeels934

    THeels934 Orange Belt

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    One of the reasons your mom's not losing anymore weight is because her strength training program is not suitable at all for fat loss. You gotta get that woman's heart rate up. The routine she is following now is much more geared toward pure strength gains and is not helping her cause at all with optimal calorie burn. She should be doing a lot of circuit work, complexes, etc with very little rest. Basically, you need to completely overhaul her program. Start with decreasing the resistance and rest while increasing the volume and and go from there.
     
  13. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    I think 2000 calories a day is kinda high for a woman that wants to lose weight..

    That said, I am not a woman so who knows.
     
  14. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    I think this might be the case as well, I'm always surprised at how little some women eat and maintain their weight. Since you mentioned she sometimes complains about being hungry, extra attention to drinking plenty of water, and including foods that are filling but low in calories, like a salads and certain vegetables, and limiting foods that have a lot of calories but aren't very filling, like nuts and cheese.
     
  15. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    Maybe she's big-boned.
     
  16. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    Sorry, i somehow missed that she was doing cardio.

    OK, then i'm going to paraphrase myself from another thread, but this time use more careful wording so as not to anger Tosa:

    If your mother is doing cardio, and isn't an athlete of some kind but just a regular housewife or something, then the problem with her cardio is in all likelihood that she isn't doing enough of it. Cut down on the strength training for a while, and get her on a burpee challenge.
     
  17. Giant Midget

    Giant Midget Blue Belt

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  18. Barbarian

    Barbarian Yellow Belt

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    This guy needs to be banned.

    Also, if your mom really wants to lose the weight she needs to cut 500 or so calories daily and perhaps switch to a 2 day a week strength maintenance cycle and do 60 minutes 4 days a week of steady state cardio. If the pounds dont start coming off then she is either lying to you about how much she is eating or she is not pushing herself hard enough on the cardio, but if she swears she is following the caloric intake and pushing on cardio then take another 150 calories off daily and add another 60 minute cardio day until she is at her ideal weight and then she can go back to full strength training. Just my opinion take it for whatever you think its worth.
     
  19. bobthebuilder

    bobthebuilder Special Belt

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    it's surprising she still trusts you after a year with insignificant fatloss. It's time for her to go to fitness dancing sessions, boxercise, circuit training, and replace the strength training with barbel complexes except one day per week for maintenance (and in practice I've found you can still improve on one day per week)
     
  20. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    This.
     

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