I'm 42 yrs. old and I've been thin my entire life. The past couple of years I ran long distance (such as marathons) but even that did not help with the effects of time & I'm not satisfied with the body of a runner.
I'm 5' 6½" and 115 pounds. I want to make a dramatic change by going from flabby with no shape to big, hard, and shapely (particularly my behind). I'm willing to do what it takes, but I realize that if I don't see some dramatic results fairly quickly I'll become discouraged & give up. Can you help me?
First of all Terrie, let me tell you something you probably don't want to hear: nothing worth doing is really easy with instant results! You can't start off saying that if you don't see results right away that you will give up. If you start out with an attitude of failure, you are mentally setting yourself up where the only thing you can do is fail.
Go in with an open mind and decide that no matter how long it takes, you are going to stick with it and you will see results. You are a marathon runner; that tells me you do have the willpower to stick to something until it is completed. I really admire people who run for long distances - I ran cross country in school, but the longest was 3-4 miles at a time.
Apply the inner strength you utilize in running to your diet, and start weight training. And if you are tired of having a runner's body, you might want to lay off the marathons, all that is doing is making you even skinnier! Keep running, just shorten the distance and alternate it with the elliptical rider, the precor machine, or the bike.
Make sure you keep cardio up 3 times a week. I wouldn't do it for more than 30-45 minutes if you are really trying to put on size. Get a great whey protein powder; Take a protein shake immediately after cardio, and before you go to bed.
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You are going to have to increase your caloric intake, but with good foods: lean proteins, veggies, complex carbs, 5 meals a day (all smaller). I would recommend for you to do different body part training with weights, 5 days a week: legs, arms, back, shoulders, and chest.
I have a girlfriend who really wants to be in shape in order to feel good in a bikini. She began last month running almost every day for 1 hour (rests on weekends), she does Tae Bo, and has started lifting weights. She also has a great diet.
My first question is, how long would it take for her to start noticing any progress? And how long does it take to have a body like yours? She has more or less 25% of body fat. She says that when she started she felt bulky, and every time this happens she feels like quitting.
So my second question is, is it normal to get bulky when you start doing a lot of working out? Will she start getting lean after a couple of weeks? I hope you can help me! Thank you!
This question hits really close to home for me. I have really good genetics, where I tend to put on muscle very easily. The first step to avoiding bulk is to make sure she's not eating too much protein, and gets good natural fats in her diet. Knowing I put muscle on very easily, I avoid training with weights heavily, some women can get smaller doing this, others put on size.
The only way to know is to see how your body responds. Recently, I have been acting a lot, so the smaller and less buff, the better. What I do, and would recommend to your girlfriend, is to have .75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, so for me this works out to about 100g of protein per day.
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I also keep my calories fairly low, at around 1200 a day. When I really want to get small, all the liquids in my diet come from water. I do circuits using mostly my own bodyweight, or light free weights (no more than 8 lb dumbbells) for upper body and a little heavier on the lower body (just enough that I keep lower body reps at 20-30 per exercise).
I would tell you to have her do a lower body circuit, upper body, then lower body every other day so that she was training with weights three days a week. The cardio and Tae Bo are great; keep it up 5 days a week. If she wanted to alternate one of the Tae Bo classes with Pilates, or an intense yoga class, or dance, this will help switch it up and keep her lean.
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It takes anywhere from 3 months to 6 months of hardcore training to completely transform your body, unless you just have amazing muscle memory or genetics. Tell her to be patient!
I've read all the information on your site and you have been a great inspiration for me. I am 23 and have dealt with an eating disorder for about ten years. I've had problems with anorexia, bulimia, and excessive eating. My focus right now is to get healthy and go into fitness modeling to promote and help people have a healthy lifestyle.
I am getting certified to be a personal trainer and nutritionist. Your website has offered me so much information and I would like it if you can be my mentor during this life changing time of mine. I am very proud of your success. I was wondering what kept you motivated and keeps you motivated during your training and eating habits?
It has been a great pleasure coming across your site - you really have inspired me to put health as my number one priority. Thank you.
Sincerely, Gladys E.
Thank you so much Gladys, I am always really happy to hear that I can help anyone, especially when it comes to eating disorders. I guess for me, I never experienced having an eating disorder (unless you count just eating a lot all the time prior to learning about nutrition!!!), but several of my friends in the entertainment industry have.
It is a serious issue that can be overcome. However, it will be an ongoing issue you will probably always have to deal with. I hope that you have gotten some counseling on the topics; I truly believe in the power of seeking help.
I would be honored to be any kind of mentor to you. I am also very proud of you for taking the first step, realizing that there is a problem and taking the steps to fix it.
To answer your question, different things motivate me at different points in my life. Right now, my friends, encouragement from letters like yours, and seeing physical results of my hard work that manifest themselves in my body are the top motivators. I constantly keep pictures of women I admire hanging everywhere, read books on nutrition, and consult with my fellow fitness athletes through forums like Bodybuilding.com.
I think the camaraderie of knowing you are not the only one dealing with food issues helps. If you ever have any specific diet questions, please don't hesitate to email me or any of the other awesome fitness athletes that write for Bodybuilding.com. You can do it!
I have just a few questions for you. First of all, I would like to thank you for your straightforward, no B.S. advice you give - it is greatly appreciated. I will be graduating from college soon with a degree in Exercise Science, with a minor in Public Speaking. I am not sure where I want to head from here.
This leads me into my next question. Modeling has always been a goal of mine and I could think of nothing better than fitness modeling and also being a spokesperson for fitness (put my speech minor into practice). I was wondering if you could give me any advice and/or contacts I could make?
I am training for my first show, which is this summer, and after that I plan on putting an all-out effort into pursuing my goal, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know this is a competitive field, but I am up for the challenge.
Also, I am graduating in May and if you know of any place that offers internships or jobs that can allow me to make contacts and learn more that would be great. Thank you so much, and keep up the beautiful work!
Competing in a show is a great first step, and while I have never personally competed, I have several friends who began this way, including Timea Majorova, Monica Brandt, and several other well known fitness celebrities. It is a great way to catch the eyes of the fitness industry professionals.
If your ultimate goal is to be a fitness model, the best advice I can give you is to get in great shape, get some beautiful pictures shot, and contact one of the legitimate top fitness photographers that have a reputation of booking covers.
The top three I would recommend are also close personal friends of mine. They are all very professional, have worked with only the best models and top magazines, and are not at all perverts! You may laugh, but when I started out, unfortunately, I had to weed my way through quite a few photographers I wouldn't send my worst enemies to shoot with!
Here are the top three (in no particular order). Email them your pics, and if they are interested I know they will be more than happy to shoot you.
- Eric Freimanis (fotoguy.net) - He is frequently published in all the top fitness magazines. Some of his pics of me that were published are also included here:
- Alex Ardenti (alexardenti.com) - He shot the recent ad campaign for Bodybuilding.com of me, seen in this month's STAR Magazine.
- Robert Reiff (magiclight.com) - He shot my recent American Curves Cover seen here:
Click Image To Enlarge.
American Curves Cover Courtesy Of Robert Reiff.