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Old 05-02-2010, 04:29 AM
mscomc
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Default Good cardio, but still lift weights

Hey guys:

So I have been wanting to get into a new regimen where I do more cardio as oppose to the heavy weights I have been doing for the last few years. I am leaning towards wanting to be more lean instead of bulky, as many of us want to be in our younger years.

Does anyone have any suggestions on good cardio regiments to shed fat, while still keeping your strength (or minimize loss). What I mean is, I have had several friends who were quite strong and bulky, and when they decided to trimp down, lost ALOT of their power....I am talking about losing an entire plate on their bench. Anyone have any tips on how to avoid that?

Rigth now I am about 6'3 - 6'4 and about 240-250 lbs, and im looking to cut about 20 lbs.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:55 AM
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Maybe try something like P90X or the Navy Seal Workout. You would probably lose some strength when performing a one repetition bench press but you would likely be more fit. Personally, I would rather be able to do a boatload of push-ups rather than benchpress a large amount of weight. It just seems more useful and functional to me.

I think it is smart to get trimmer. If you carry that much weight for years and years, you are probably going to develop osteoarthritis of your knees and hips when you are older. In addition, if you get injured or when you get older and have a slower metabolism or when you have less free time to work out (career, wife, children) you will probably put on quite a bit of weight because I would bet you are consuming quite a few calories to weigh 250 lbs. while working out.

Try to pick something easy and quick (30-60 minutes). A military workout with a lot of sprints, pull-ups, squats, push-ups can be performed quickly and with little equipment. When you are done with school and have a demanding job and have a wife and children with family responsibilities, time will be a factor. You need something quick and dirty. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:33 PM
County Mike
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It's really hard to become more lean without losing some strength. It takes a very strict diet. I've been working on getting bigger/stronger and I've lost some definition. Without steroids or an incredibly strict diet, it seems you have to pick one or the other.

You'll still be strong, just not AS strong. You will have more endurance and a better appearance though. Ramp up the cardio and keep the lifting. Cut the calories a bit. You'll see results. I'm planning to boost my cardio as well and just accept the strength loss.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:16 PM
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First and foremost, the important aspect of losing weight is diet. A distant second is your cardio and the distant third is your weight lifting.

Here was some advice I gave to a guy struggling to lose his "stubborn fat" last Spring. The same principle can still be applied to anybody trying to maintain strength while losing muscle. Keep in mind, you'll have to take the same equations and use them for YOUR body size. If you know your body fat % and would like help with the calculations, let me know and I'll edit this post to fit your body size.

Basic principles are:
  • Strict diet
  • Get plenty of sleep (you'll need that recovery!)
  • It's either a lifting day or a cardio day. Lifting is NOT for burning fat, but for (in a caloric deficit) maintaining your strength so you don't sacrifice muscle loss. Let your diet and cardio take care of burning fat.
  • Keep cardio very short and very intense - no need for long bouts of steady-state that only work your small muscle fibers and blast your cortisol levels through the roof.
  • Lift heavy so you're always activating your BIG muscle fibers. Lifting light weight and high reps will make you into a wimp.

1. Let's calculate your daily caloric needs:

146lbs. LBM x 12 = 1750 calories per day

40% of your daily calories from protein:
1750 x .4 = 700 calories from protein
1g of protein = 4 calories, thus 700 calories/4 calories per 1g of protein = 175g of protein per day

30% of your daily calories from carbs:
1750 x .3 = 525 calories from protein
1g of carbs = 4 calories, thus 525 calories/4 calories per 1g of carbs = 131g of carbs per day

30% of your daily calories from fats:
1750 x .3 = 525 calories from protein
1g of fat = 9 calories, thus 525 calories/9 calories per 1g of carbs = 58g of fats per day

2. Let's calculate your meals for cardio days:

A. Protein in all meals.

B. Carbs in meals 2, 3, and 4 only.

C. Fats in meals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, only.

This may seem a little strange, but we're going to go with carbs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th meals only (remember the "Stubborn Fat Protocol?". It calls for protein only 1 hour after cardio, then have a full meal containing protein, carbs, and fats 2 hours later. Your 5th meal every day is pretty simple, hard-boiled eggs. You're going to feel plenty full after 3-4 hard-boiled eggs

Meal Plan for Cardio Day:
175g of protein / 6 meals = 30g of protein per meal
131g of carbs / 3 meals = 44g of carbs per meal
58g of fats per day / 5 meals = 12g of fats per meal

3. Let's calculate your meals for lifting days:

A. Protein in all meals.

B. Carbs in meals 1, 2, 3, and 4 only.

C. Fats in meals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, only.

D. Pwout shake is 75g of carbs and 25g of whey protein.

Immediately after training, ingest 75g of carbs and 25g of protein pwout. This is still 400 additional calories pwout on lifting days.

Meal Plan for Lifting Days:
175g of protein / 6 meals = 30g of protein per meal
131g of carbs / 4 meals = 33g of carbs per meal
58g of fats per day / 5 meals = 12g of fats per meal
75g of carbs pwout
25g of whey protein pwout

4. Let's calculate your meal plan for non-training days:

A. Protein in all meals.

B. Carbs in meals 1, 2, 3, and 4 only.

C. Fats in all meals.

D. Double to triple your carb intake for this day.

Having 1 day where you double (or at least, dramatically increase) your daily carb intake has some great benefits including:
  • Gives muscle glycogen a boost, thus you will be able to lift heavier and longer, as well as increased energy for cardio.
  • Increases Growth Hormone, thus IGF-1, thus testosterone.
  • Increases overall energy levels and sense of well-being.
Meal Plan for Non-Lifting Days:
175g of protein / 6 meals = 30g of protein per meal
262g of carbs x2 = 262g of carbs / 4 meals = 66g of carbs per meal
58g of fats per day / 6 meals = 10g of fats per meal

5. Let's set your schedule.

Keep in mind, this schedule is set for AM Cardio and PM lifting.
  • Sunday - Cardio
  • Monday - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - Legs
  • Thursday - Cardio
  • Friday - Biceps, Back
  • Saturday - Cardio
I've always recommended a rest day prior to legs because when you do cardio the day before, even if it's light, it's going to affect your performance on leg day. Also, this is the perfect day to "carb up" as you will definitely want the extra glycogen for leg day.

6. Cardio

Cardio is pretty simple. I don't know your level of fitness just yet, but knowing you've been working on your cardio, you're probably in pretty good shape. What we're going to do is shorten your cardio sessions and/or make them much more intense.

I'm not sure if you're taking any thermos or not. At the very least, you should be taking 200mg caffeine and 81mg of aspirin about 30-60 minutes before you start your cardio, as this is VERY cheap. Caffeine will wake you up, increase your energy, and increase your blood flow. Aspirin simply thins the blood, thus, stripping more fat into the bloodstream to be used for energy (if you have a history of issues with your digestive system, don't use aspirin).

Sunday Cardio:
  • 30-60 minutes pre-cardio, take your thermo
  • 5 minutes warmup
  • 5-10 minutes of HIIT cardio (30 seconds on @ 100% effort, 30 seconds off)
  • 5 minutes of rest
  • 30-45 minutes of steady-state at 60-70% of MHR
  • 5 minutes cooldown
  • Stretch
  • 60 minutes later - 30-40g of whey protein (or whey/casein mix)
  • 2 hours later - eat a whole meal of protein, carbs, and fats.
Thursday Cardio:
  • 30-60 minutes pre-cardio, take your thermo
  • 5 minutes warmup
  • 30-45 minutes intervals (30 seconds on, 90 seconds off)
  • 5 minutes cooldown
  • Stretch
  • 60 minutes later - 30-40g of whey protein (or whey/casein mix)
  • 2 hours later - eat a whole meal of protein, carbs, and fats.
Saturday Cardio: Here's where we're going to see what you're made of!
  • 30-60 minutes pre-cardio, take your thermo
  • 5 minutes warmup
  • 5-10 minutes of HIIT cardio (30 seconds on @ 100% effort, 30 seconds off)
  • 5 minutes of rest
  • 30-45 minutes of intervals (30 seconds on, 150 seconds off)
  • 5 minutes cooldown
  • Stretch
  • 60 minutes later - 30-40g of whey protein (or whey/casein mix)
  • 2 hours later - eat a whole meal of protein, carbs, and fats (this is usually my cheat meal - lots of calories!)

7. Lifting

Your session should last 45 minutes or less - keep it hard, heavy, and quick - you're in the gym for 1 thing and 1 thing only. Lift HEAVY because you want to activate your Type II-B muscle fibers and keep them as BIG as possible while you're in a caloric deficit. You can basically take your some "power" routine, and trim it down just a bit (say for example, you currently do 4 sets on a lift, trim it to 3). Focus in the 2-8 rep range - I personally prefer 5x5s for this purpose (5 sets, 5 reps). At the VERY least, you should be able to lift the same amount of weight each week - this way, you know you're not losing muscle because you're maintaining your strength.

8. Cheat Meal

You're entitled to 1 cheat meal a week. Eat anything you want, whatever you want, without worrying about the calories. If you've been disciplined with all 41 other meals, you've EARNED the right to splurge!

Personally, I do this on Saturday when I've had my hardest cardio day as I feel I don't "wear it" as much. I've never tested it either way, but it makes me feel better about splurging ;)

9. Water

I try to make sure I'm drinking enough water to pee every hour. If you're peeing every 2 hours, that's probably good enough. 16 ounces of water at each meal is 96 ounces of water just with your food. This will also get you "full" at every meal.

10. Supplements

At the very least, you should be taking a thermo.

Others that I recommend but aren't necessary are:
  • Creatine Monohydrate Powder
  • L-Glutamine Powder
  • Joint Pills (Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin or any combination thereof)
  • Green Tea Extract (600-1000mg 1x per day)

11. Vitamins and Minerals

I don't consider these as "supplements" because they are essential for basic metabolic functions, hormonal functions, and general well-being.

You should be taking:
  • Multi-Vitamin
  • Vitamin C (1000mg at each meal)
  • Calcium (400mg 2x per day)
Others I recommend and why:
  • Vitamin B-50 (important for creating digestive enzymes - 2x a day)
  • ZMA (this will increase testosterone as well as REM sleep. My blood doctor also recommended an incrase in zinc and said ZMA would be perfect).
  • Selenium (also recommended by my blood doctor - extra 100-200mcg 2x a day)
  • Antioxidants (help with healing and lack of vitamins on a restricted-calorie diet - 2x or 3x a day)

12. Fiber, Fiber, Fiber

I can't stress the importance enough. Fiber has a multitude of benefits, especially to somebody who's cutting:I noticed you had a hard time trying to get your fiber levels to 25g. Here's some foods that will make a big difference:
  • Black beans
  • Chili beans
  • Red beans
  • Beans, beans, beans!!!!
  • Broccoli
  • Apples with skin
  • Banana
  • Grapefruit
  • Pear
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Avacado
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Popcorn
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Dry Oats/Oatmeal
  • Brown Rice
  • Fiber-One Cereals and Fiber-One bars (actually, these are VERY tasty!)
  • Bread (Nature's Own makes a bread that's only 50 calories, but has 5g per slice. Mrs. Baird's makes one that's only 60 calories per slice and has 6g of fiber)
Here's a great list of high-fiber foods, be sure to bookmark this and add the foods you like to your diet:
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art49479.asp

13. SLEEP!

This is when your body will have the greatest amount of recovery. Get 8 hours every night to minimize muscle loss and accelerate fat loss. The reason behind this is the body grows most while sleeping, plus, it's the time when the body releases GH (growth hormone) which will boost your testosterone and the muscle-building hormone IGF-1.

This shouldn't even have to be written, but I'll do it anyways...don't drink alcohol, this should be PLENTY self-explanatory. If you insist on drinking, at least don't binge and be sure you're still drinking plenty of water and eating protein every 3 hours.

If you would like me to post an example of my lifting days or diet, let me know and I'll post them.
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Last edited by rockdawg21; 05-02-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:42 PM
mscomc
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Holy moly....thanks rock! I will for sure give your regimen a try. And thanks to everyone else too.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscomc View Post
Holy moly....thanks rock! I will for sure give your regimen a try. And thanks to everyone else too.
No problem man, I just did some slight editing of a post I did on the massology.com forum last year. Take some before photos and take another one in 1 month and see how you look (would love to see them when you get ripped, I always like transformation photos!). 20 pounds make take 12-16 weeks, but you can do it if you're disciplined.

Good luck!
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