[QUOTE=Leida;991277]So far for 3 years I lifted heavy (5x5, 3x5, Madcow, Wendler), starved, bulked up and cut, Leangained, cardio'd, did HIIT, bootcamps, get certified as a group fitness instructor, staggered macros and calories, belly danced, went to steam room, ran 4x a week, drunk dandelion tea and creatine among other things, and I am still plump. I am putting in 2 hrs a day at least for Lyle McDonald's training regimen.
Wow! that is like a dozen different things in such a short period of time.
Perhaps you need rest.
[quote]You have to get big first (no starving), then lean out. Lift heavy, skip the cardio. Lift hard, eat big and rest. Once you reach a goal (for instance, 1.5x bodyweight squat), reduce the calories, add some metcons, continue to lift heavy as you can until you reach your body fat goal. [quote]
I can't do a 1.5 BW squat - that's a completion level for women, and I am not gifted athletically enough to compete & never was, but I squat above body weight. Tried to bulk up following sport's nutritionist' laid out program to a 't'. I gained 75% fat, and 25% muscle, which is an unacceptable ratio (gotta be below 50% fat gain). When I cut, I cut every ounce of muscle that I gained, and it took 6 months to get those 12 lbs off, and I looked like a total shit. I am afraid to do it again, because I believe it has the same potential as yo-yo dieting to make me even fatter at my age when I am getting more and more vulnerable to fat gain.
This is an oversimplification that all you get to do is to lift heavier and heavier and eat a ton and you shall succeed. Bullshit. You hit your athletic ceiling, and that's it. Linear gains for novices make a lot of people giddy with expectation. But most of us, the average Janes, can't improve very much on the max lift after just a few month. I am working with the PT now and he told me: "I can't guarantee you gains" even though we are trying the plateau pushing techniques. My wrists go, my back goes, lately even my knees are going whenever I push, and I keep getting an odd shit in my right thumb (WTF?). I f'd my feet with running (bunions). I am scared that the knees and wrists speaking out now mean that I am getting arthritis.
I do metabolic conditioning, KBs and HIIT on the x-trainer, hitting 225 cals in 20 min intensity that corresponds to the conditioning sessions intensity (~ 1000 cals per hour).
[quote]Wow! that is like a dozen different things in such a short period of time.
Perhaps you need rest.[/quote]
Did that too. Took ~ 2 months slow movement and gardening break a couple years back, did a couple of 1 week breaks, did a 2+ week break this summer in July. Three years is a long time....
MY POINT is that not everybody can get a body they want , no matter how hard they try, and if they do everything RIGHT and work really, really HARD. Lyle McDonalds explains it in gross and depressing detail. I think I work FAR harder than an average person to get AVERAGE result, and that's just the luck of the draw, so I will never be able to look good. ALl I can hope for is a cut with preserving as much muscule as I can, because I am such a hopeless endomorph coupled with a below average athletic capacity (far below average I suspect; I am neither strong, nor fast, nor flexible. The only thing I have is endurance (some)).
I have picture, as you can see you can never tell that I am working hard on my body, just 'Oh, you are not fat!' kind (that's actually 4 lbs less than now, so I look better here than now, but overall, the same idea, smooth, plump bottom and waist line, too much BF% overall, and not enough upper body muscle).
I want to EMPHASIZE that I UNDERSTAND, that it is better than a LOT of women get at my age, and yes, there are many who would not mind a body like mine. I just want MORE, am willing to work for it, and tried many a recommendation, read books, experimented, and still no dice. That's why Lyle speaks so much to me and that is why I do not believe any more that "One only has to work harder and she can achieve any body she wants!" "Why Women Need Fat" also cover that as a fallacy in the gross and depressing detail, basically saying that in our society we have the fetish of being able to achieve anything, but it's just impossible to push your body beyond the genetic restriction, yes, even if you do drugs, even if you do everything right, everything by the book, all the things that work for other people....
So, I call it a fallacy to say that 'you are just not working hard enough', 'you are just not sacrificing enough', 'you can get everything you want out of your body if you only try hard enough'. It's the same fallacy as to say that everyone can become a PhD in Physics if they only try hard enough. Some people are not as intelligent as the others; some people don't have the athleticism, genetic fat deposition pattern, and drug sensitivity to get their body to be that muscular or that lean.
That's why really really fit looking women are an exception, HECK, even women with a pronounced deltoid and skinny upper legs are a RARE exception in the 30+ age group. It just doesn't happen to a lot of women, no matter what they lift and how they run.
We, the womanhood, are ready to do anything, and always did. Eat under 1000 calories! And we did. Run 10 K daily! And we did. Now it's Lift Like Men! And we do. (Sigh)
Leida, if you can't have the body you want maybe you should just want the body you have. If you have a gift of endurance, maybe you should focus your attention there. I have a gift for endurance and exploiting my potential and seeing how far I could go has brought me enormous joy throughout my life.
One of the greatest days of my life was the day I stood alone in a sea of tourists on the balcony of the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon. I looked into the haze at Mt. Jefferson over 60 trail miles away and I was floored that just the day before yesterday I was standing on the shoulder of that mountain and I had walked all that way in less than 2 days. It was a profoundly lonely and triumphant moment for me. Did I spend one single second of that moment thinking that I was plump or a hopeless endomorph or below average because I know there are lots of people who've done the same thing and done it even faster than me? Not for a second.
Do I care that I only squatted 55lbs today? That's pretty wimpy don't you think? There's not a single person in the gym that did as poorly as I did today. There was only one other person in the gym close to my endomorphic body shape and I'll bet she can do better than me. But I feel triumphant anyway.
Something clicked in my brain about 3 weeks ago. I realized that I've wasted a lot of time worrying about how I look. The only important thing in life is what I can do. Not just exercise-wise, but everything I can do. There are always people who can do better, but who cares. Embrace the mediocrity. Do everything for fun and for free.
I think what most people respond to is the "ick" factor of such low body fat on the body builders. It's really hard to get that way.... if you start looking like that. EAT. As for fat and muscular look, SB Hikes, you don't come close to having that. I understand not wanting to look like a female heavyweight powerlifter, but you don't come close, and unless you start eating more and really logging hours of weight lifting, you won't acheive that look either. There are some people that are built like brick houses.... that's just genetics.
Our bodies are what they are. I am a very nice hourglass with thighs that would make a track cyclist green with envy. Not much I can do about that, so I am working on getting stronger and toned. None of us are inadvertantly going to end up looking like a big bulky weightlifter or eastern european swimmer unless we enjoy a side of steroids with our bacon and eggs.
I enjoy what I have. But that's not the point.
My point is to refute the fallacy that one can get the body she wants if she only tries hard enough/does the right thing (of the day). There *are* reasonable limitations and it is NUTS to expect that anyone can look as good as the body builder, if only she sacrifices, diets, lifts, runs just the right HIIT and eats exactly 3.735 sweet potato harvested when the full moon rose in Sumatra at precisely 2:37 am daily....
The bodies we are looking at are not "C+" or "B-" as my mom graded me back when I was a teen. They are A+ bodies. Not everyone can get A+, no matter how hard they work at it.
[quote]None of us are inadvertantly going to end up looking like a big bulky weightlifter or eastern european swimmer unless we enjoy a side of steroids with our bacon and eggs.[/quote]
I think most people won't get a super-muscular shape EVEN if they use drugs. People keep talking about using drugs like it's some magic escape to where it all is possible. But Lyle McDonald's notes (and I believe him) that athletes and body builders whose bodies shape into picture quality bodies because they have a higher than average response to the drugs. That rings true to me, because every supplement I read about, every single one had comments from 'studies did not prove effectiveness' to outcry 'they do not work for me!'
And I was looking at the 'tried and true' Creatine, L-carnitine, ephedrine... That's not counting multiple snake oils.
Granted, I have no access to the illegal performance enhancing drug markets, but something tells me, that steroids or no steroids, hormones or no hormones, I will not be able to get my deltoids to rival Michelangelo's David.
Oh, I'm not worried in the least I'll turn out bulky; I just misunderstood what the definition of bulky was. Actually, I'd be thrilled if I turned out super muscular. But I'm not going to specifically attempt to either look thin and muscular like Knifegill's picture a few posts back or super manly like that one in the crochet bikini. What I would like is to be able to do a freakin' pullup. I'd also like to be able to crush a man's skull with my thighs, but I'm not sure how to measure that.
Well, you can go on the thigh abductor machine and see how much weight you exert on the plate. Measure the area of your thigh. Calculate psi. Compare to the psi unnecessary to crush a skull...
[QUOTE=Leida;991928]The bodies we are looking at are not "C+" or "B-" as my mom graded me back when I was a teen. They are A+ bodies. Not everyone can get A+, no matter how hard they work at it.[/QUOTE]
Leida, this sentence makes me want to cry. I am appalled that a mother would say that to her daughter. That would be incredibly destructive to her self-esteem and ability to love her body.
I think it depends on your body structure. I have found that I am one of those types of people who bulk with muscle naturally. (for example, mens shirts generally fit me better because they accommodate my structure better. I don't see too many women with that problem) And I'm a woman. I have TONS of extra fat (its coming off irritatingly slow) but building muscle has never, ever, been a problem for me. I think your standard women doesn't build muscle like someone like me might but she's afraid of that "bigness" because looking muscular, in general, isn't attractive, though I enjoy it for myself.
Edit: Magnolia said it right, build like a brick house. That's kind of how I am. At least, I think, because I've never really been thin. I can't remember a time when I was under 200lbs. Seriously. I've always been big and in one way or another, I always will be.
As a guy, I was also once enthralled with dreams of being rail-thin. Girls usually like that look! But my legs are as thick as my head! I have no chance! So I guess I'll settle for that Spartan/gladiator/Danzig look. I guess having thick abs and being able to hurl a rock hard enough to kill an animal beats being able to crawl under a low fence...most of the time.