Posted by: Lands | 2011-05-30


I am 41 yrs old, about 152cm tall and weight 56.6kg, body fat 30-31%. I''ve been training 5 mornings a week for 1.5 years. I do 2 mornings of interval training, heart rate getting above 82% and 3 days weight training, heart rate getting about 80%. I don''t play at the gym, I work hard for the 50 minutes I have. I eat healthy, maybe go a little overboard on the weekends but am generally healthy, 5 small snacks per day. I cannot shift my body fat or tone up. I''ve been told to train weights 3 days a week full body.I want to know that if I do that, do I do the same full body programme for all 3 days or should I vary it.

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Our expert says:
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HI Lands

Very difficult one. You're training a fair amount, your body mass is not high and you're at the right intensity.

So my first thought is diet, and maybe that the weekends are costing you, and also that little things in the middle of the week might be affecting it too.

The thing is, when you get a case like yours of someone who is actually at more or less the right weight, but battling with a very specific problem (or area), then the little things start to matter a lot. It's easy for someone who weighs 100kg to make changes, not as easy for someone who is fighting changes in body composition.

So diet is the first issue.

In terms of training, I'd say that you should look at increasing the size of the weight you are using before changing what you do. The key is to increase lean muscle mass, and you might even find that your mass goes up to 58, 59, even 60kg if you do this. But that is what you want, because lean mass is important. And if that hasn't changed, then it suggests that maybe the weight training is not having the effect - it's not that vital that your heart rate gets up, more that the muscle is working hard. So maybe increase the weight, just by 10%, and if you need to drop the number of reps.

That's the first change I'd make. Second, I would suggest that if you can, you add one more day and maybe train longer but at a lower intensity, more consistent, if you can. Interval training is good, of course, but might be that your body will respond to a sustained bout instead.

Good luck

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