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Will lifting heavy make me less "soft"?

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  • Will lifting heavy make me less "soft"?

    I have been primal for some time now, but over the past 6 months I relapsed into a SAD diet due to lack of willpower and money. I have been back on track for two months now(eating 80-90% primal), my main problem is I have a very soft pudgy look despite not being overweight. I have never really lifted heavy and I know this is part of the problem. My workout routine consist of low impact cardio and mainly bodyweight exercises(mainly yoga). I am 5'10 and 150lbs but I look much larger due to lack of lean mass. Building muscle has always been a challenge for me. I have started lifting heavy and I am starting to incorporate sprints at least twice a week. I want to know it I will lose the soft look by doing this.

    My lifting routine is:
    Bicep Curls
    Bent over row
    Bench press
    Weighted crunch
    Shoulder raises

    I use a heavy enough weight so that I can only get 6 reps in, once I can do 8 I increase. I do 2-3 sets of each.

    I use dumb bells for these exercises because they are most easity accessible and safer(the spotters at my gym are mediocre at best)

  • #2
    It should definitely make you look less soft.
    The important thing is to increase weight lifted over time, and you're doing that, so that's good.

    I would look into starting strength.


    • #3
      Too many exercises, do starting strength or Jim wendlers 5/3/1


      • #4
        I don't know if it'll make you look less soft but it'll certainly make you FEEL less soft. I look pretty much the same as I always have but if you were to touch me you'd be like WHOA that lady is hard as a rock.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


        • #5
          Losing body fat and gaining muscle will make you look less soft. So, a strength oriented routine like some of those mentioned above in which you focus on compound lifts would be your best bet.

          Good luck.
          My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:


          • #6
            make the bicep curls be pullups instead and i like it. and yeah if you actually stick with this you will have a new body in a few months. sticking with it and increasing weight lifted is key. you shouldn't need to go more than 2-3 times a week either. if you are sprinting 2x a week id probably keep it to 2.


            • #7
              I lifted for 4+ years with barbell, with the SL 5x5 and then intermediate programs etc. I even tried cross-fit WODs for a month untill I fell during double-under and f'd my knee. My best squat was 155 lbs, deadlift - 205 lbs, OHP - 70 lbs.

              I rarely skipped a week (maybe once or twice a year). It did not make me any less soft, but my shoulders & neck grew a little bit. The only time I grew less soft is when I lost weight basically to the lowest possible in my BMI.

              But after a couple of years of keeping it close to 120 lbs at the height 5'6 and 1/2" my body rebelled, I could not sleep,could not think of things beside food (I use chop-sticks as chewing sticks) and fatigue settled in, injuries and inflammation. I now sit at about 135 lbs, gaining the moment I start eating 3x a day every day to satiation. I am pudgy, but I lift 3x a week in 5x5 format loading back up to my former maxes, PT trains me for Olympic lifting, I also run, swim, box and do hap-ki do, not to mention walk and garden.

              In other words, I am fit and fat/flabby.

              Basically, I lost all hope to achieve firmness. Lifting is great, but it is not magic for everyone. I am a pear-shaped, middle-aged, non-athletically gifted woman, and muscle gain is very hard. My LBM alternated between 100 and 105 lbs in the last few years, and I could never get it to 110.... Fat gain is SUPER-easy; loss of muscle is super-easy in the upper body.
              Last edited by Leida; 06-25-2013, 07:21 AM.
              My Journal:
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


              • #8
                I think a lot depends on you. Crossfit with a hefty dose of weight lifting is making me firm up and thank god, beginning to see some changes in my arms.

                My body seems to love weights and it always has responded well to weight training. The last time I just stopped because I wasn't thinking and assigned my weight loss/improvements to cardio. This time, oh hell no. Sticking to it.

                For me, fat gain and muscle gain are fast, and fat loss is slow.

                Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                • #9
                  Too much. I'd do either deadlifts or squats not both and think deadlifts are vastly superior for many reasons.

                  I'd ditch the bicep curls and bent over row and do pullups instead, use a band if you need to. Deadlifts and pullups will work your back plenty making the rows unnecessary and the biceps will also get hit by the pullups.


                  • #10
                    Lifting heavy things might help... Lifting heavy things and getting your nutrition down will definitely help!