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Old 01-18-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
Jason R O'Dell
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Help my wife

Hey guys,

I'm sure many of you have seen all my noobish posts in this forum and around the boards.

Well, you guys have helped me tremendously so far. But, I think my wife needs help.

I finally got her on board doing a modified paleo-diet. We've both been going to the gym and working out for a while, but neither of us see results. Since I've started CF I haven't seen the results I've wanted to either.

I think the main problem is nutrition. I've read about 50 times in various places over the last few days that 85% of fat loss is nutrition. Since we're cutting out all sugars and processed foods that should make a huge difference.

But I'm wondering, sticking to a nutrition plan like that, how hard do you have to workout to see results? Obviously I'll still be pounding out the CF and then doing sprints and long runs for my endurance since I play rugby.

But, if she's just wanting to lose fat and slim down and not looking for hard muscle definition and increased sports performance does she really need to be doing super intense CF or such?

Or would the HUGE change in diet combined with just normal "working out" do the trick for her slimming down? Right now she goes to the gym and spends about 30 minutes walking on the treadmill (i got her to turn the incline on) then she goes and does a bunch of machines. Her workouts have no intensity at all. I think I've convinced her to start using free weights though to help out.
So if she were to do this big change in diet, and then do her usual walking on the treadmill and then some free weights: such as lunges and overhead press and whatever else she comes up with. Can she expect to slim down?

She's a big girl and a lot of it is body composition. She's got naturally wide hips and big thighs. She was a catcher in softball in HS. So I don't think she's ever going to be petite. But, she could stand to slim down and she admits it. But, I just can't get her to ramp up the intensity.

So basically this long rambling post is asking if the nutritional change combined with her crappy workout habits will be enough to slim down a bit. Or does she need to go balls to the wall in the gym and murder herself?
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:17 AM   #2
Lauren Hall
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Re: Help my wife

I don't think your wife needs to kill herself in the gym to see results. I do think she needs to rethink how she approaches fitness.

One of the best things I did for my body comp (and overall health) was to focus on circuit training (basically CF) rather than a cardio vs. weights approach. If you can't get her to CF, she should be doing the next best thing: full body exercises like squat-overhead press, lunge/press, etc., in a rotation, with "cardio" sprints thrown in. Even without the sprints (since you say her intensity is low) she should still focus on total body moves that work multiple muscle groups at once. This means she should ditch the machines and focus on free weights. The best thing I ever did for myself was learn to love the dumbbells. Plyometrics (jumping lunges, jumping squats, box jumps, clapping pushups, etc.) are something to consider adding in once her form is good enough and she's fit enough to handle the intensity.

Long story short: you probably cannot make serious gains without intensity.

Walking on the treadmill, for what it's worth, is probably doing nothing at all.
Walking, according to my family doctor (who is a big fitness guy), burns many fewer calories than we assume and actually is harder on the joints than most people suspect. Get her off the treadmill and doing something else.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
Nancy Cohen
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Re: Help my wife

Jason, I have a couple ideas for you. I'm no expert, but I can share what worked for me.

1. Track your (and your wife's) food intake on an on-line site. I tracked my nutrition on fitday.com (wfs). Just write down everything you eat and drink all day, and at the end of the day, enter it into your profile. I tracked mine for 1 month, but really, after 2 weeks, I had a real good idea of what I was doing. This way you will know for certain (pretty close, anyway) how many calories you're actually taking in, and can make any adjustments.

2. Try doing high intensity intervals. Perhaps your wife could be coaxed into doing them on the treadmill....8 rounds of 20 seconds running/10 seconds slow walk recovery. I do a lot of interval training, and I think it's been really key to getting me in better shape and dropping some body fat. One of the beauties of interval training, at least for me, is knowing that I don't have to sustain the high intensity...a rest is always on its way! Also, I love that it doesn't take much time. Maybe that would be an appealing aspect for your wife.

3. Find something your wife thinks is fun...jump rope, rowing???????

I wish I had more ideas for you. It seems that, if you're not seeing results, then you need to increase intensity, and dial in your nutritional intake.

Good luck. Keep at it untill you find what works.

Oh, and to answer your question, NO, I don't think your wife has to kill herself in the gym. She just needs to work out more effectively, and consistently.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
Shawn Hansen
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Re: Help my wife

Short answer:

Nothing in life is free, if she doesnt want it bad enough to actually break a sweat in the gym...then she wont. The best thing you can do is be an example, and then when you start making your way toward your goals and she sees the progress, she wil join you if she really wants it.



Ive had friends who are like her, and for some of them what worked is me simply walking through the gym and pointing out all the people in there that do what she does. Let her in on something she might not know unless shes been there for 6 years straight....all those people looked the same when they started. So if it didnt work for them, why would it work for her.


You just gotta have the fire in your belly man, for some people it takes longer to stoke that fire and be fed up with their current situation.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
Jason R O'Dell
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Re: Help my wife

Yeah, but one of the things I'm asking is if just changing our nutrition will make any difference at all for her?
Because like I said I've read that 85% of fat loss is nutrition.

Let's say someone is huge and fat (obviously not me or my wife, though we are chunky). Now let's say they don't workout at all beyond their normal daily activities but they quit eating sugar and processed foods and get on a serious nutritionally sound diet. Would they then lose weight?

I would assume they would since they're not filling their body with absolute crap anymore.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
Brian Bedell
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Re: Help my wife

Yes, they would lose weight. But that is not going help her pick up her groceries or get out of a chair when she is 80. The human body was not meant to sit at a desk all day.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:11 PM   #7
Jason R O'Dell
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Re: Help my wife

Well, I got her to work out harder today.

She went and used 15 pound dumbbells. She's still stuck in the "Do upper body one day and lower the next" but I kind of broke her a bit of it.

She did Front Raises, Shoulder Press, Overhead Tricep Extensions and a Floor Press for 2x15 with a 15 lb. dumbbell. Then she did lunges with 15 pounders. It's a start. Before she would just use machines and have them on like 10 pounds. So I got her off the machines and on to free weights.

I told her next time to try using a weight she could only do 5 times and do like 2x5. She said ok, so we'll see how that works.

But it's a start!

She's afraid of getting bulky and big. I tell her that women aren't made to get all bulky and huge like men, but she thinks she will. She says she used to lift a lot playing softball and claims she did then.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:50 PM   #8
Annlee Hines
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Re: Help my wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R O'Dell View Post

She's afraid of getting bulky and big. I tell her that women aren't made to get all bulky and huge like men, but she thinks she will. She says she used to lift a lot playing softball and claims she did then.
Jason, Get her to look here (WFS) http://www.theiflife.com/2008/03/10/...er-the-basics/

or you look for her

Women's hormonal mix is different from men's - we WON'T grow big bulky muscles without testosterone supplementation, and I assume you're both smart enough to avoid that.

As for losing the fat, Zone helped me some, Paleo helped me some, but the fat is melting away now that I'm doing IF. It is boggling me - in a very good way!! - how much it has come off in the last month (15 Dec was my first day). I use Fast-5 (WFS) http://fast-5.com/, while other folks use other approaches. Dr Mike Eades gave some explanations here, too (several posts here, all WFS) - http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/c...ttent-fasting/

Bottom line - it a bogus worry that's fairly widespread and popular - and still bogus. If she really got bulky and big while lifting playing and softball, it wasn't all muscle, and proper diet will take care of that. Odds are good her softball coach had the team on high carb/low fat -- the exact opposite of what works in the real world.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:12 PM   #9
David Maerk
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Re: Help my wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason R O'Dell View Post
Yeah, but one of the things I'm asking is if just changing our nutrition will make any difference at all for her?
Because like I said I've read that 85% of fat loss is nutrition.
Sure! Lots of people lose weight by changing nutrition and little else. Add in walking or a sport and she'll be fit and toned, too. No need for much intensity for those goals, IMO.

Personally, I've never gotten anyone who didn't want to do it themselves "into" exercising at the gym. But they'll often go hiking with you, or shoot some hoops, etc.
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:35 AM   #10
Dennis Godfrey
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Re: Help my wife

I for sure would be happy that she is even in the gym. Don't push her to hard or she may not want to go anymore.

I also will second the statement that you should lead my example. When I started crossfiting I spent a month of reading(crossfit journal and robb wolf etc) before I even tried to share the program. That way I knew a little bit and could reference loads of articles and what not. But when i started zoneing and slimming down my wife got on board and I started to program her work outs and she zones now too. She has lost 25#s and the only problem i have now is I have to buy her new clothes all the time. ( since she is still losing weight)

LEAD FROM THE FRONT!
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