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Excercise/diet help (not acne related)

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I realise there's a number of well versed ppl here regarding exercise and body image, so I'll enquire here. I wanted to know whether there are any exercises (in conjunction with particular diets) that can tone/slim or elongate your body. I'm not at all big and don't need to lose any weight - roughly 80 kilos at 6' 1", but I'm somewhat of a stocky build. Can one change their body image effectively/sensibly, even though they are of a healthy weight?

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Your stocky build sounds like genetics to me. You can alway slim down with cardio and dieting, and weight training. Any kind of serious weight training will probably make your more stocky. You're not going to be able to elongate your body though.

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I realise there's a number of well versed ppl here regarding exercise and body image, so I'll enquire here. I wanted to know whether there are any exercises (in conjunction with particular diets) that can tone/slim or elongate your body. I'm not at all big and don't need to lose any weight - roughly 80 kilos at 6' 1", but I'm somewhat of a stocky build. Can one change their body image effectively/sensibly, even though they are of a healthy weight?

If you want to strengthen up without adding bulk, pilates is the way to go - it's form of exercise was actually invented by a man, and they're very good exercises for men, even though it's mostly women that take an interest in it. You might also want to look into yoga - or maybe tai chi?

As for weight lifting, lifting lighter weights with more repition is the way to go - fewer repitions with heavier weights will contribute to adding bulk.

I would also recommend a mostly vegan diet. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, one of the doctors for Discovery Health Channel, has great advice: (www.diseaseproof.com and www.drfuhrman.com).

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You are going to need to do some strength training and some fat burn to change your body image.

You don't need to lift huge weights and be ripped like a body builder to benefit from strength training. Use light weights, control the movements, and do quite a few reps.

It's best to workout two or three times per week but you don't have to do a lot unless you want to get big. Look at a split that has you doing 3~5 exercises 2 or 3 times per week. It is easily doable in 15 minutes and doesn't take a lot of equipment if you want to do it at home (a few dumbbells from Walmart won't cost a lot) or you can go to the gym.

You should also look at doing something to burn some fat. Everyone needs to burn fat. Everyone.

The body has a very efficient fat burning metabolic mode. It's easy to reach and it's easy to pass by. When you're body is most efficiently burning fat, you'll be breathing just a bit heavier than normal but will be able to breathe through your nose and you won't be pushing yourself particularly hard.

We've all seen someone who one day realizes they are over weight so they head to the gym, step onto a treadmill or elliptical, and go as fast as they can until they drop. This is exactly how not to do it.

You can burn just as much fat with a reasonably fast walk (but not a speed walk) as you can running. Running provides cardio training that walking doesn't but that's another story.

Basically, be active. Some light strength training is good, do some walking, perhaps try an aerobic sport, make sure you do some pre/post workout stretching. Do what you enjoy. Try pilates, aerobics, swimming, bicycle riding, squash, tennis, ..... anything that you enjoy and keeps you active. There is no bad exercise.

Working out can be a delight. It's the best part of my life right now. I don't spend hours and hours at the gym with dumbbells trying to isolate every muscle and/or get big. I do 40 minutes of strength training 3~4 times per week and 75 minutes of fat burn/cardio 4~5 times per week but you could do much less and have excellent results, depending what you want to achieve. The reason I workout so much is that I have become addicted to it.

Oh.... and strength training or cardio workouts beyond 45 minutes provide far less gains than the first 45 minutes spent. You still burn calories after 45 minutes but your body's ability to build strength and condition diminishes greatly after 47 minutes when your cortisol level shoots up. Again, you don't have to spend hours.

What you'll probably find is that your weight will drop slightly in the first few weeks. Not a lot but you may drop 1~3 pounds the first month if you do 3 workouts per week with strength/fat burn/cardio. After this, your weight will probably stay the same or even start going up if you train heavily. Also during this time, you will notice your waist will get smaller. Your pants will fit more loosely. Your limbs will look smaller, despite the strength training and general feeling of gained muscle size you'll have.

If you swim, you'll find you don't float as well. Fat floats very well. Muscle doesn't. As your ratio moves more toward muscle, you will become a stone in the pool... that is, if you do much swimming.

The goal is to lose fat and gain muscle. This will make you look slimmer and more toned. It sounds like that is what you're looking to do.

Check out http://www.bodybuilder.com/ . It's not just a site for huge gorilla men who lift massive weights. It's a great exercise resource. There are zillions of cardio related sites too. It's all out there.

Good luck! Let me know if I can help in any way. :)

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