# Muscle definition

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by sargentlard, Aug 13, 2004.

1. ### sargentlardSave the whales motherfuckerValued Senior Member

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Now I have been told that in order to have results appear quicker from weight lifting I need to do atleast 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise beforehand....is this true?

Lets say I head on over to the gym and do not hit the treadmills but instead go straight to weights...will muscle definition be harder and take longer to achieve?

Usually I do 40 mins of cardio and then hit the weights but I am wondering can I skip the cardio on some days or do I even need in the first place prior to weight lifting?

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3. ### The SingularityThe last thing you'll ever seeRegistered Senior Member

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I strongly suggest not to skip the cardio part of the workout ... or yet alone alternate. I've been on a basketball team and done track & field throughout my entire 5 years in high school and I will say that pre-workout cardio is your best friend. Skipping the cardio can result in some nasty end results ... like severly injuring yourself.

The cardio workout allows your muscles to "loosen" up and allow them to become more flexible when it comes to pushing them to the limit. It also gets the body better prepared to deliver oxygen to the muscles when they need it. Weigth lifting is no different than being on a sports team ... if you don't allow your muscles the proper preparation prior to your main workout (whether its weight lifting or playing basketball), you will regret it down the road.

A cardio workout is more oriented to prevent injury ... it doesn't necessarily improve muscle definition.

Last edited: Aug 13, 2004

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5. ### chunkylover58Make it a ... CHEEEESEburgerRegistered Senior Member

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Weight lifting builds muscles. Cardio bruns fat so those muscles can be seen. Weight lifting also helps to increase metabolism so calories are burned more continually. Plus, more lean muscle mass needs more energy to move (think 12 cylinder engine vs 4 cylinder *beep beep* engine. 12 cylinder not so fuel efficient, i.e. - needs lots of energy to run).

More to your question: There are theories that say that if you do weight training and cardio on the same day, do the weight training FIRST, then do cardio. The reasons for this, the theory goes, are:

1. Weigh lifting is anaerobic. Since fat is not burned completely when muscles are in an anareobic state, muscles use glycogen stores to to get the energy they need to do the lifting. Cardio, when done at the right pace, burns glycogen for the first 12-15 minutes or so before it starts to burn fat. As per the theory, since the weight lifting has all but depleted your glycogen stores, your muscles have to turn to fat to burn much sooner after you start the cardio. Therefore, you can do less cardio than you normally would.

2. Sort of goes with 1: Since cardio burns up glycogen THEN fat, if you go from cardio to weight lifting, you won't have the energy needed to do a proper weight lifting work out.

That being said, as TS said, pre-workout cardio is your friend, being that most trainers recommend maybe 5 -10 minutes of light cardio (a bike or whatever ... I use a rower for this) before your weights workout helps to get your blood flowing to all your muscles, gets the oxygen flowing, and overall loosens you up for a good workout, helping you to avoid injury and to have full range of motion during your various exercises.

So....

5-10 minutes light cardio to loosen up
Pump iron
Full cardio

beef cake....beef CAAAAAKE!!!!!

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7. ### spuriousmonkeyBannedBanned

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I totally don't know what I am doing, but this is a bit my schedule.

I usually do 28 minutes (+5 coooling down) cardio before lifting weights, and then 30-45 minutes cardio afterwards. Only short brakes during the weightlifting part. 30 seconds or less. No heavy weights. I hate heavy weights. In total that would be 2 to 2 and a half hours workout each day. On a bad day I will struggle to fill 2 hours, but will fill it.

Been doing this now for two weeks and despite a strict diet of kebab the flat blobs have been flying off. Kind of amazing, usually it took me much longer to get back into shape from the kind of overweight shape I was in. 2 weeks is a new record. I have no clue what I am weighing at the moment (no scale), but it looks good in the mirror and my body feels good.

8. ### shmoeRegistred UserRegistered Senior Member

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Don't do cardio before weights. If you don't have the glycogen stores when you hit the weight room, your body won't turn to fat for fuel, it will start to catabolize your hard earned muscle in order to move the weights. Someone with more biological understanding of the different energy sources can probably explain why this will happen better than I can. Do your cardio after weights, or on seperate days entirely.

A small amount of light cardio as a warm up before weights is fine, but you can also warm up with lighter weights to ease yourself into your workout.

How to get muscle definition the fastest? It depends on what's holding you back, is it a lack of muscle or an excess of fat? Or both? The answer to this will help determine where your priorities should lie.

9. ### The SingularityThe last thing you'll ever seeRegistered Senior Member

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No one should do a 30+ minute cardio workout before or after the main workout ... that will wear you down quicker then the weight lifting alone. All anyone has to do before weight lifting is a 5-10 min pre-cardio workout and a 5 min cool-down cardio afterwards. Anything more then that is a waste of energy and time.

10. ### spuriousmonkeyBannedBanned

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I don't really care about muscles. I have plenty as it is (because I don't like to look of unnaturaly large muscles). I certainly don't want them any bigger. A body should be natural. I hate it that most men spend most of their time working their biceps. What is that for crap? I just push my body and see how it responds and grows to it. I'm not going to go into lenghts to acquire a specifically shaped body. I'm trying to adopt my body to a certain flexible exercize regime. I'm not trying to get a specific body by applying a certain exercize regime.

I started pumping iron when I was 20. Got in shape real quickly in combination with weight training/Judo/jiu-jitsu/swimming/running/bicycling. I was more sensible then following official guidelines (4 day program mostly). I was a fanatic. I exercized 1-4 hours a day. Then one day I stopped overnight (not very healthy apparently) because I thought I had become to obsessive with it . And since then it has been a bit of a joo joo. Periods of exercizing mixed with periods of not exercizing.

Nowadays I don't really care about any official program. I kind of follow the 4 day program losely except that I never really have a rest day. I honestly don't care. I listen to my body. If it complains I sometimes give in, and sometimes not. I gave my body a rest day yesterday, not because I felt it needed it, but my social program that day was just too busy. I didn't havime to go exercizing. Of course I had been drinking the night before, but that didn't stop me today from doing in 2.5 hours, without even having breakfast or anything.

Push that sucker (my body) until it drops is my motto. It might be unhealthy in a sense, but a body should be able to take in some punishment.

na ja..what a stupid rant.

11. ### spuriousmonkeyBannedBanned

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i can remember when I was young that I would go bicycling long distance (say 100-150km) with nothing but 2 bottles of water. No food whatsoever. Sometimes there would not even be any opportunity to refresh my water supply. Sometimes you meet the so-called 'man with the hammer'.

I once went the 150km and it had gone all quite well. I didn't plan it very well because I had a headwind on my way back. And then i still had about 30 km to go and the man with the hammer came. And he hit me bad. It was a pure struggle to get home. never been so empty in my life. Of course the next time I went again without any provisions or good preparation. You learn a lot about yourself in these situations. Do you give up and don't you...that is the question. can you haul yourself along on mental power alone.

I would sometimes bring some money along. Then it is rather more of a test. Will I step down and buy something to eat...or don't I? i would usually continue. A few times I was weak and caved in.

12. ### VortexxSkull & Bones SpokesmanRegistered Senior Member

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I am with chunkylover on this one.

I recommend to do some 20 - 30 minutes of moderate intensity after weightlifting, not any longer or more intense, because you could overtax the CNS wich is already stressed from the weightlifting or dehydrate yourselve wich hampers muscle growth.

Also consider doing High Intensity Interval training on off days, when not lifting weights, combine that with training abs and calves:

http://www.musclemedia.com/training/hiit.asp

Like:

Day 1: weightlifting+moderate cardio
Day 2: OFF day, abs+calves+HIIT
Day 3: weightlifting+moderate cardio
Day 4: OFF day, abs+calves+HIIT
etc.

training the abs is a nice warmup for the HIIT cardio to come. Also I throw in Calves before the HIIT, because I found that doing interval sprint training after heavy calve raises, totally shreds the dense fibers and really makes them grow!

also I feel the energy invested in weighlifting is nearly useless if you shun the heavy weights. It is like those females trying to get rid of the flabby backside of their arms by doing kickbacks with the pink colored dumbells....it doesn't build a nice thick horseshoe triceps, nor does it burn the surrounding fat to reveal it, totally waste of energy!

to get the most bang for the bucks It is absolutely imperative for bodybuilders and powerlifters alike to start a workout with basic compound exercises in the lower repranges followed by more direct work in medium repranges.

E.G. a typical "power" bodybuilding routine

CHEST:

benchpress 6,5,4,3,10 reps (the 10 reps is a backoff set)
incline benchpress 5 * 7 reps
weighted dip 5 * 7
flyes 3 * 10

DELTS:
millitary press 6,5,4,3,10 reps
behind neck press 5*7 reps
upright rows 5 * 7 reps
lateral machine 3 * 10
front plate raises 3 * 10

BACK
deadlift 6,5,4,3,10 or 5 * 20 reps deadlift for shockeffect
weighted chins 5*7
bent row 5*7
dumbell row 3 * 10
medium grip pulldown 3 * 10
weighted hyperextensions 3 *10

squats 6,5,4,3,10 or 5 * 20 reps breathing squads (dont forget puke bucket)
leg press 5 * 10
hack squat 5 * 10
leg press 5 * 30-20 reps
leg extension 3 * 15

HAMSTRINGS
5 * 7 stiff legged deadlift
5 * 7 leg curl
5 * 7 barbell lunges
3 * 10 one leg curl

BICEPS
5 * 7 weighted pullup/pulldown close reverse grip
3 * 10 barbell curl (vince gironda style)
3 * 10 dumbell curl or hammer curl
3 * 10 scott dumbell curl

TRICEPS (needs more reps and sets than biceps)
8,7,6,5,12 close grip benchpress or JM press or California press
12,10,8 incline overhead barbell extension
12,10,8 lying skull crushers
12,10,8 weighted dips between benches
12,10,8 cable pushdown

Last edited: Aug 14, 2004
13. ### chunkylover58Make it a ... CHEEEESEburgerRegistered Senior Member

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HIIT is a wonderful thing. Gets you fit. Wastes a lot of calories and fat, and keeps your body continually wasting calories and fat long after the exercise is completed. Long, slow, low intensity burns fat during the exercise, but then no more after you're done.

The only caveat I'd have regarding your advice, Vortexx, is that in this instance, we're dealing with Sarge. If he indeed looks like his avatar, I think he would be a long way away from being fit enough to engage in any high intensity cardio where his heart rate is getting near 90-95% of maximum. That could kill him. I'd say this for anyone just starting in a fitness routine.

I would recommend a few months of the low-intensity variety of cardio - 30 minutes at 65-75% of maximum heart rate, and then once that becomes just coasting, work in some HIIT once ever couple of weeks. Then continue to build up to a more regular schedule of HIIT once he is at a higher level of fitness. This will strengthen the CV system and the heart muscle to make the higher intensity safer and more productive.

Plus, I don't think someone just wanting to get fit and toned necessarily needs to follow a power bodybuilder routine.

In reality, the majority of getting lean and losing weight is in diet. Low in saturated fat, high in lean protein sources and complex carbs. This, in conjunction with a fitness program incorporating cario and weight training, are the way to longterm weight loss and fitness.

14. ### spuriousmonkeyBannedBanned

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i hope you are talking about kebab here!

15. ### chunkylover58Make it a ... CHEEEESEburgerRegistered Senior Member

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Depends on what you're kebabing. Chicken, lean beef, slamon, or tuna as the meat, some peppers and onions, little tomatoes, mushrooms ... a pineapple bit or two for the fruits and veggies. Grilled, of course. Served with rice (preferably brown or wild) would be a good, "clean" meal.

Portions are as important as the macronutrients. Need fat, but don't want to over do saturated animal fats and hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Protein is very good, especially if you're wanting to build muscle, but too much will just get converted to fat eventually, if it's not used. Same with carbs. Need carbs for energy, but unrefined whole grains are much more preferable to white flour and sugar. And too much will eventually be converted to fat if it's not used as energy right away.

The problem people get into is the "I want to bulk up and lose fat" notion. The difficulty in that is that you have to increase calorie intake to be able to add lots of muscle, but you have to be in caloric deficit to lose fat. So you just have to figure out what's most important. My main goal right now is to lose fat. I eat lean and do cardio, but I also lift to help maintain my muscle so that my body doesn't kill my muscles when I do cardio. Plus, as mentioned before, extra lean muscle mass helps boost metabolism. I don't have to worry about "bulking up" or getting "unnaturally muscular." I know I won't.

99% of the people who start weight training say that they don't want to get "those big muscles." They just want to get "toned." They don't have to worry. They won't get those big muscles. Unless you workout 4 hours a day every day, eat 5000 + calories a day, including 250-300 grams of protein and take lots of supplements (i.e. roids) you won't get bodybuiler big.

16. ### chunkylover58Make it a ... CHEEEESEburgerRegistered Senior Member

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Sarge: are you working with a trainer? Do you plan to? There are some good websites and forums out there that discuss a lot of this stuff. A few are:

http://forums.jpfitness.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi
http://forums.menshealth.com/category.jspa?categoryID=2
http://boards.mensfitness.com/ib/ikonboard.cgi

http://exrx.net/

Overall, I think it would be worth the $40 or whatever to get an hour with a trainer to put you on a program. This way, you can tell him your overall goals and he can set you on your way and help you make specific goals. He can get all your measurements like weight and body fat percentage (this is the most important figure. The lower the body fat, the more toned you will look, as the muscles you already have and the ones you are building will become visible as the subcutaneous adipose is burned away.) After a few months, you may plateau and feel like you're not making any more improvements. That would be the time to invest another$40 to start in a new direction.

17. ### certified psychoBeware of the Shockie MonkeyRegistered Senior Member

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I tried doing 10 minutes of cardio and then weight lifting and then cardio again. Doing cardio the second time around hurts reall really bad.

18. ### sargentlardSave the whales motherfuckerValued Senior Member

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This is pretty much what I do. I just want to burn the fat and evetually get into toned muscles.

Anyone see Fight Club....saw Brad Pitt in the movie?....That is my goal/dream.

19. ### rGEMINIFallen EntityRegistered Senior Member

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hmmm i suggest the all-fat and computer diet and excersize. pop open a coke and/or beer (burn: 1c). turn on computer (burn 1c) (if it has less then 500mhz throw it out the window (burn: 3c)). chug bevarage (burn: -40/-100c). do whatever u find intresting on the computer (burn: -300 to 100c (for all u porn fans))

this plan comes out roughly to about a lose of 60 to -335c.

20. ### RomanBannedBanned

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11,560
Do pull-ups. I did straight pull-ups for about a year ( no other exercise equipment), and totally beefed my back up. If you want to impress women, go for shoulders and back. They dig that shit. If you want to impress the men, build up the biceps.

Besides, being able to bust out 30 pullups or climb any surface known to man is always impressive.

Alternating cardio and weights daily is typically the better thing, but I do what fits my schedule.

As long as we go off on our opinions of the types of weight training, I can't stand the people who lift weights but never do any real work. Go dig some holes, work on the roof, move gravel, chop trees, bike up a mountain, shovel snow. Muscles need purpose.

21. ### chunkylover58Make it a ... CHEEEESEburgerRegistered Senior Member

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Yeah. That'd be sweet. Down to like 6-8% body fat? Will take time. I'm at like 17% now. 10-12% is where you start to show definition in the abs. Lower gets you to where you're basically skin over muscle all over. I'm sure that could be a doable goal for me, but I really don't want to work out THAT much. My goal now is to get back to around 180 where I was 2.5 years ago (193 now, 202 a month ago) and around 14% BF and fit into a size 33 jeans again. Once I get there, I'll be able to cut back on the working out and go into maintenance mode. (I had been about 230 5 years ago when I woke up one moring and realized my belly could be a stunt double for Homer Simpson's. I started to eat right and exercise and got down to 180lbs 8 months later. I felt SO much better and noticed the ladies checking me out a whole lot more)

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One thing to do would be to go online and find one of those calculators that tells you what your daily intake of calories should be. The better ones will allow you to input your age, weight, height, and activity level (sedentary, workout 1 hour per week, 3 hours per week, etc) and will tell you how many calories you need just to go through a day. From there, you have a couple of options. One would be to just subtract from 500 to 1000 calories from that (no more than 1000 and never go below 2000 total) and make that your daily intake. This will put you into a calorie deficit which will make you lose. Another option is to input the weight you want to be and input "sedentary" as your activity level and go with that amount as your daily caloric intake. Either should be lower than what you're getting now and would put you in deficit, but still within a safe range. Any lower than 2000 or so would likely put you into starvation mode, which would cause your body to hold onto everything you eat and store it as fat. So, you may lose weight while dieting, but once you stop that and go back to eating normally, you'll just put all the weight back on and more. Even worse, you'll lose muscle while in starvation mode and gain that weight back in fat. Not good.

The point of all that is, again, the way to get muscle definition is to remove the fat layer on top so the muscles you have will show. Diet is as essential for that as is exercise. A lot of people don't realize that EVERYONE has six pack abs, but there's just a huge layer of adipose on top that needs to go away before they can be seen.

Good luck Sarge! See you in Fight Club 2

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22. ### spuriousmonkeyBannedBanned

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I will put my money where my mouth is.

This is me at the age of 21, about 6 months after I started exercising for the very first time in my life. Sorry about the poor scan. I have nothing better. I used to have a better picture, but one of my ex's actually never gave it back. I wonder why.

http://sciforums.spuriousmonkey.com/me-muscle.jpg

(and arditezza, sorry I am not smiling, but I was in art school and everything was supposed to be dark and serious).

23. ### chunkylover58Make it a ... CHEEEESEburgerRegistered Senior Member

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Sarge .... update on progress?