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lmdav lmdav
Thu, Apr 1, 2010 11:04
Working hard and still gaining!!??
I don't get it!

I've been working out 6 days a week for about an hour each day, I've been watching my diet and recording everything, I am doing everything that I should be - working really, very hard. And yet I've gained 2 lbs this week and an inch in the waist. ..

The only thing I can think of is that my sodium intake is always a little higher than it should be. Would have that have the slightest impact on my weight? What could be causing this weight gain?? Is it impossible for me to lose?

I'm getting very frustrated - I'm a part of a weight loss group at work and it's bringing me down to see the weight falling off people around me while I work hard and continue to gain. What's the point if I gain weight?

wolfkeeper wolfkeeper
Thu, Apr 1, 2010 19:04
I beieve you
When I was younger I was an amature fighter and body builder diet was not my thing I allowed others to deal with that how ever working out 6 days a week is prob over working and muscle waighs more than fat.
recently my doctor found I had high blood presure he put me on a sodium free diebetic diet low carbs and I followed it strictly and in 4 days Ive burnd 5 lbs how ever my cal intake is only 1800 no soft drinks no juices if you read the labals sevings per containor youl find the culprit.
One the work outs if its waight training cut back to high intensity 3 tames a week use the other 3 for cardio and rest if you do thease things any gain will be muscle dont be afraid of muscle also check your B/P .
When I was active I looked in the mirror waiting for a change youl be the last to see it trust me but it will happen owe muscle also burns fat best of luck I beleive you can acomplish your goal 6 work outs a week is hard emotionaly as well.

archive972 archive972
Fri, Apr 2, 2010 04:04
Working Out too Much
You're working your body too hard. Working out with weights on any given muscle group more than once a week causes the fibers in your muscles to break down. You're more than likely gaining because of muscle gain. Sodium intake can cause you to hold onto more water. Whatever your weight, divide it in half and drink that much water in fluid ounces each day. The extra water intake will show the body it doesn't need to retain and help flush any water weight you're holding onto. Cardio is very important, so don't forget that. It takes 7 days for a muscle to heal completely and repair the torn fibers, so don't work out any muscle group more than once a week. Make sure during cardio, after 30 minutes of cardio, you start replacing water with a sports drink as well, this will help keep your sodium levels in check. If the drinking additional water doesn't help you drop the weight, you can try eating more potassium, that will offset your sodium levels. So a Banana should help. Let me know if you need anymore info.

lmdav lmdav
Fri, Apr 2, 2010 12:04
Thank you for the replies.

Working out so often is emotional, but I feel really good doing it. I'm not going to stop at this point, even though I sometimes feel so hopeless. I don't see any alternatives that would help me, so this is probably it!

I do think that I need to strength train less and incorporate some more cardio into my weekly routine - everything that I have read tells me that I need to do both, but that I need to give my muscles a break, too. I've been doing cardio and strength training every day and it might be a nice change to do 3 days cardio and 3 days strength training instead.

I do drink a lot of water but I've started limiting my sodium intake anyway. Every little bit helps I guess!

What type of sports drinks are okay to drink after a workout? There are so many!

tmhill tmhill
Tue, Apr 6, 2010 01:04
You have to watch the sodium because it will make you retain water weight that will reflect on the scale.

tmhill tmhill
Tue, Apr 6, 2010 01:04
You have to watch which sports drinks you get. Gatorade has quite a bit of calories and sodium in it.

lmdav lmdav
Tue, Apr 6, 2010 10:04
I have been cutting down on my sodium intake. I've also been drinking more water. Since the last day I weighed myself (March 31) I have lost 4 lbs - so the extra pounds must have been water weight, which is awesome because I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel now.
However, it's really hard to keep that sodium intake down while getting enough calories, carbs and fat in a day, especially considering that I'm a vegetarian. It's going to take some tinkering but I think I can do it.
It just goes to show how much extra sodium I've been eating for goodness knows how long. It's a frightening thought!
Thanks again for the replies!
Re: Gatorade is bad, considering the sodium content - but what sport drinks ARE good to drink? I've seen a few at the grocery store but I'm pretty apprehensive about buying any if they'll do more harm than good to my body.

lelogosdemoi lelogosdemoi
Charlotte NC
Tue, Apr 6, 2010 10:04
inflammation leads to water weight gain
I do not think the extra weight is from muscle gain. Someone working out as much as you would be losing fat as fast as gaining muscle. I am certain the weight gain is from inflammation of your muscles from overtraining. Inflammation is a normal response to weight training - you're tearing the muscle fibers and they become inflammed as a result until they rebuild/heal. If you re-train muscles that are already inflammed they will inflame even more and not heal/rebuild efficiently. Inflammation attracts water (swelling = localized water bloat).
It is possible to weight train safely 5 days a week if you are doing body part/muscle group splits. You need to give your muscles at least a day rest b/f training the same ones again. I personally get the best/fastest results from full-body training 3x/week...but as long as you aren't reworking the same muscle groups consecutive days you will be ok. If you are training as hard as you should to see change it'll pretty much be impossible to work the same muscles again the next day . Be careful with the cardio too - if you are training hard and are sore, heavy cardio can interfere with the muscle recovery too...when you're sore, walking or light yoga are great cardio choices so you can still get a workout in w/o increasing inflammation.

As you noted, sodium also will make you retain water, but from your description I suspect the inflammation is causing you much more trouble than the sodium. Not drinking enough water will also cause your body to hold onto fluids (and toxins). Good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day...more if you're sweating a lot or it's hot/dry out.

Some dietary things you can do to decrease inflammation:
1) take vitamin e after you workout...same day. It will cut your muscle soreness the next day by about half.
2) take fish oil - 2000 to 4000 mg a day. I take 2000 in the morning and another 2000 in the evening
3) eat berries and other foods rich in anti-oxidants...they help combat inflamation

I personally am not a fan of sports drinks b/c of the calories and sodium they add....they ARE good for people who sweat so much and drinking so much water they actually are actually losing salt and need to replenish it (potassium levels will test really low if you have that problem and you'll also likely have issues with your heart racing) - that is not common. Plain old water and pre- or post-workout protein shakes (IF you are weight training hard; protein shakes for cardio workouts will do nothing more than increase your calorie intake) are better choices for most people.

lmdav lmdav
Tue, Apr 6, 2010 16:04
I am working out 6 days a week like I said, however I don't use the same muscle groups each day.

I start with cardio (about 10 - 15 minutes on the exercise bike at a moderate pace and 20 - 25 minutes on the eliptical trainer or treadmill) and I do work up a sweat. I try to make sure that I'm feeling good while I do that, and not working so hard that I'm falling over dead, while also keeping my heart rate up (I believe it's around 70% of my MHR, roughly.)

Then I do about a half an hour of weight training - Mon/Wed/Fri is legs, Tue/Thu is arms. I'm only lifting 12lbs dumbells right now (I'm 5'7" and around 165lbs and am not very strong!) up from 10 when I started which I think is reasonable.

I do Yoga on Saturdays, I drink a ton of water and I've just cut down on my sodium intake, which I believe has helped a little bit.

I DO tend to work my core every day - is it possible that I would be experiencing inflamation in those muscles?

Thanks for you response - I hadn't thought of that before!

lelogosdemoi lelogosdemoi
Charlotte NC
Thu, Apr 8, 2010 11:04
not too much!
I think your lower body MWR and upper T/Th w/ yoga on Saturdays is fine--not too much. You could still be showing false gain from inflammation but I don't think it's unsafe - if you took a week off and allowed the inflammation to completely go away you'd probably see a corresponding drop (not that you need to do that just to see the drop!). I see that you posted at the same time I did about drinking more water and your weight going down 4 lbs - congratulations that's great!

You can work your core every day w/o prob - your core stabilizes your body so works all day every day anyway - it's the only muscle group that you can workout every day to no detriment.

Are you working back on your upper body days?

A note about weights - I'm not sure what all you are doing but it's definitely not effective to use the same weight for every exercise, 12 lbs for a bicep curl or tricep extension may be very reasonably hard for you but if you're doing bent over rows or shoulder presses or dumbell bench presses you should definitely do heavier weights on exercises like those - twice as much or thereabouts - shoulders and back exercises use bigger muscles and multiple muscle groups so you can lift much more b/f you're working hard! You'd also need to do more to work lower body....deadlifts/squats/lunges generally any beginner could start with just the straight bar (45 lbs) or 20 lb dumbells and add weight as strength increases - lower body is naturally stronger than upper, the muscles are bigger and you're utilizing multiple muscle groups. Just something to think about... If you switch to heavier weights you may also find it works better for you to just do 5-10 mins cardio to get your heartrate up b/f lifting and and then either do the rest of your cardio time post-lifting or on different days so that you're not sapping your energy/strength before you lift (esp on lower body days).

Easiest way to cut down sodium is to prepare more food from scratch and reduce prepared meals/foods and restaurant food--which are very high in sodium. But it sounds like you are already on your way to reducing salt in your regular diet.

Keep up the good work!!

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