Fat loss confusion

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Gags
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Fat loss confusion

Post by Gags » June 13th, 2020, 4:25 am

Now then,

Iv been rowing on and off for the last 4/5 years. I bought a concept 2 and have been through phases then always let it go.
Im 35 yr old male, 5ft 11 and in march i was 16st 7lb.

Since then iv changed my diet, cut out bread, pasta, pies, pizza, cut beer to one day on the weekend etc and have started a training regime of cardio and light weights. Today 13th June i am still 5ft 11 and weigh 15st ish depending on time of day. My shape has changed and my body fat is something like 25-30% . I feel a lot better. Even at my heaviest when dressed I never looked particularly fat even tho my BMI was obese, until the clothes come off. I think the terminology is skinny fat, its been a thing for me.

Anyway, in the last few weeks i seem to have hit a wall. My training is struggling and the weight isn't coming off. Nothing seems to be happening. I reluctantly tried eating more and got some protein shake but its not really changed anything.

My training regime the last 3 weeks or so has been 2x sets of 4 exercises on weights then 20mins rowing, aiming for 5000m usually land between 4700-5000m then repeat weights and rowing. It usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours after which I am destroyed. I do this 3 days on then 1 day off. I have been finding my self totally drained and my workouts are suffering.

So Iv had a few days off and done some reading. Now i am totally confused. I start reading about fat burning zones, loosing muscle due to over exercising, body becoming more efficient, oh man what a night mare.

So I decided to change my regime. I bought a heart rate monitor and this morning early doors decided to row 10000m at 130bpm. It felt really easy, the hardest part was going slow enough to keep my heart beat below 130 and in the end i rowed for one hour about 1300m. The final cal count on the rower was around 660cal. After it I feel ok, not the usual totally destroyed. Apart from a sore bum. So this afternoon after a good feed at lunch I plan to do the weight training. I am hoping the weight training will go well due to me having more energy available.

My question is, am i making a mistake my taking my foot off the pedal with regards to rowing intensity? My goal at the moment is to loose fat and maintain/build muscle if possible. Have I lost the plot or should this work for me? Does rowing at 130bpm actually burn body fat? Im utterly confused. I don't want to be on the rower for an hour per day 5 days a week if its pointless but Inalso don't want to be destroyed 5 days a week by going hard on it either.

Any good advice/experience would be much appreciated

Cheers 👍🏻

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hjs
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by hjs » June 13th, 2020, 5:45 am

Training hard is fir fitness reasons. Training volume is key in burning energy.

The good thing about training easier is being able to do it more. So use the rower to make the meters. Use weight to train your muscle.
There is zero need to distroy yourself and think this is the way to go.

Think about it, you now, rowed 3 days. That was 3x (2x5k) 30 k. Roughly speaking that burns 2000 cal. That alone would be say 0,25 kg per week. 1kg per month. Not a lot. Solution, make more meters.

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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by Dangerscouse » June 13th, 2020, 7:27 am

Your body has adapted to what you're trying to do and you were probably training in the 'grey zone' ie too fast to be easy, and not fast enough to be hard, so you weren't recovering properly after each session and there was a subtle diminishing returns for each session but little in the way of fat burning.

It seems counter intuitive but rowing longer and slower does make sense for fat loss and getting off the rower feeling like you're capable of doing more isn't a bad sign.

If you're not trying to get faster on the rower then keeping your HR to circa 130, or slightly more, is a good way of losing weight but you also need to accept that you have lost the 'easy' weight and it will be slower from now on. Your body has a natural bodyweight that it almost wants to be and cutting out too much food can be detrimental as your body goes into starvation mode.

Try and stick to healthy foods, but don't starve yourself, and keep things in moderation. When I did my ultra distance training I steadily lost about 10kgs, and since lockdown I have notably increased my weekly distances and I've lost a few more kilos.

It does work, but it won't happen overnight and you've got to enjoy the process otherwise you will be constantly checking for results. I seem to recall something that I read ages ago, that said after four weeks you'll feel it, after eight weeks other people will see it, and after 12 weeks you'll see it.

Other people who haven't seen you for a while are a great barometer of progress as they notice it far more than you, or anyone who sees you regularly, will
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

mict450
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by mict450 » June 13th, 2020, 2:26 pm

Gags wrote:
June 13th, 2020, 4:25 am

Since then iv changed my diet, cut out bread, pasta, pies, pizza, cut beer to one day on the weekend etc and have started a training regime of cardio and light weights.
Good for you! Making a positive change in fitness & lifestyle is always a great choice!
Gags wrote:
June 13th, 2020, 4:25 am

in the last few weeks i seem to have hit a wall. My training is struggling and the weight isn't coming off. Nothing seems to be happening. I reluctantly tried eating more and got some protein shake but its not really changed anything.
Both Henry & Stu have advised you to dial back the intensity of your erging sessions. Diet-wise, you are eating just enough to sustain your current weight. If you want to continue losing weight, you will need to eat less & be in a caloric deficit. How you do that is up to you...vegan, plant-based, keto, IF, OMAD, potion control, potato, military, etc, etc... Just keep in mind that this eating lifestyle will be for the rest of your life. Once one get to their goal weight, if they revert to their previous eating style of whatever they want, when they want it, as frequently & as much as they want....guess what? The blubber will be deposited back on at a rate faster than it took to take it off.

Gags wrote:
June 13th, 2020, 4:25 am

My training regime the last 3 weeks or so has been 2x sets of 4 exercises on weights then 20mins rowing, aiming for 5000m usually land between 4700-5000m then repeat weights and rowing. It usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours after which I am destroyed. I do this 3 days on then 1 day off. I have been finding my self totally drained and my workouts are suffering.
Sounds like too much, too fast, too soon. Common senario! We've all gone through that!
Gags wrote:
June 13th, 2020, 4:25 am

My question is, am i making a mistake my taking my foot off the pedal with regards to rowing intensity? My goal at the moment is to loose fat and maintain/build muscle if possible. Have I lost the plot or should this work for me? Does rowing at 130bpm actually burn body fat? Im utterly confused.
No mistake....stay with the long slow distance as recommended previously. I am not a believer in loosing fat & building muscle at the same time, both by intuition and by experience. To build muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus & to lose fat, in a caloric deficit. Stick with your light weight lifting regimen to maintain what you have.
Best wishes on your quest. You're at a good age to start. I was able to maintain my "prime" weight from college to my mid 30's with relative ease. After that, it gets harder.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

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Ombrax
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by Ombrax » June 14th, 2020, 6:17 pm

I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like you're getting plenty of exercise. I'm guessing that you're taking in more calories than you think. I have two ideas to offer, neither of which is particularly easy, but they might help:

1) Get really serious about tracking your caloric input. Start a log and keep good notes. You don't have to be like the pro cyclists who weigh everything they eat, but be honest and don't cheat. That should allow you to figure out where you'll get the most bang for your buck to reduce even more.

2) Many very serious athletes (and I'm not one of them) in a sport where keeping body weight low is super important go to bed slightly hungry. You obviously have to provide your body enough energy in order to perform, but for many people there's a big difference between that and what your brain tells you to do. And unfortunately, the difference is such that you end up taking in more calories than you really need, rather than less, and that ends up being stored as fat. Bottom line, if you're going to bed sated you're probably eating more than you need to be. Unless there are other medical issues at play, if the amount of fat you're carrying is too high (assuming you're measuring it accurately) that's most probably a sign that you could eat less and not harm your exercise regime.

Good Luck

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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by lsufan1972 » June 15th, 2020, 9:16 am

Ombrax wrote:
June 14th, 2020, 6:17 pm
I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like you're getting plenty of exercise. I'm guessing that you're taking in more calories than you think. I have two ideas to offer, neither of which is particularly easy, but they might help:

1) Get really serious about tracking your caloric input. Start a log and keep good notes. You don't have to be like the pro cyclists who weigh everything they eat, but be honest and don't cheat. That should allow you to figure out where you'll get the most bang for your buck to reduce even more.
Honestly, I'm closing in on 50# lost, and one of the biggest keys for me was measuring and weighing EVERYTHING, at least at first.
It really doesn't take that long, and once you're used to doing it, it's easy.
Once you realize exactly where you are on caloric intake, you can adjust and/or add longer slow distance rows for greater calorie burns.

My trainer has me taking in 600 calories below my BRM (basal metabolic rate), and then anything I burn is extra.
If I'm lazy that week, my diet helps me lose 1 pound. If I'm on it my rowing gets me an extra 1-2.

Just tracking calories alone will make you mindful about how much you are eating, and especially what you are eating.
It's an inconvenience, but it's one that is more than worth the extra time/effort.

Best of luck to you!

MiddleAgeCRISIS
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by MiddleAgeCRISIS » June 15th, 2020, 6:26 pm

i am rowing to lose weight. I row at 120bpm to 135bpm based on the Maffetone formula. Google Phil Maffetone.

I row for 10km in the morning and 10km in the evening. I am fasted in the morning. I lose a stone every 600km. I am up to 1400km since March the 7th.

The phil maffetone interviews are on youtube plus he has his own website.

my logic is 1) i dont want any more muscle 2) i need consistency 3) i need to not get injured doing it.

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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by iain » June 21st, 2020, 7:41 am

MiddleAgeCRISIS wrote:
June 15th, 2020, 6:26 pm
i am rowing to lose weight. I row at 120bpm to 135bpm based on the Maffetone formula. Google Phil Maffetone.

I row for 10km in the morning and 10km in the evening. I am fasted in the morning. I lose a stone every 600km. I am up to 1400km since March the 7th.

The phil maffetone interviews are on youtube plus he has his own website.

my logic is 1) i dont want any more muscle 2) i need consistency 3) i need to not get injured doing it.
I am horrified that anyone would advocate any heart rate training that does not take acount of the maximum that the individual is capable of. Many middle aged people have maximum heart rates of >200 while some are <170. Broadly the cardiac stress of a workout is dependent on what proportion of the capacity (difference between maximum and resting) is being used. So 130BPM someone whose HR was 50-170 would be exercising at 80/120 = 67%, while someone else with HR of 60-210 of the same other components would be exercising at 70/150 = 47%. A moderate effort level for the first and easy for the second!

I know doing a step test to accurately identify maximum HR is stressful and potentially dangerous alone and wiring up to measure resting HR is a pain, first approximations from seeing HR when relaxed and when working hard is easy for all and adequate to start with. I would have thought working out at 50-60% depending on his adjusting factors would be reasonable start for most wishing to do regular long sessions, pushing towards 70% for those that like the challenge or who are more limited for time. His bands are designed so that no-one is too far away from reasonable levels, but they cannot be optimum for the majority!
46, lightweight currently training 4-5 times a week after a long break. Free Spirit, come join us http://www.freespiritsrowing.com/forum/

MiddleAgeCRISIS
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by MiddleAgeCRISIS » June 22nd, 2020, 6:08 pm

The way I've applied it , is to go fairly easy for a long period of time and use volume instead of intensity. So my HR is 105 to 120.

I did a HIIT on my watt bike the other day and my own perspective is that i definitely know my heart rate is at a max effort during the HIIT and I definitely hate the after effects. By contrast , I am unsure whether during my Low intensity session whether my heart rate is too low but basically its not killing me, im losing weight and i can do the same for 100 days straight. Thats the simplicity of the equation for me.

mict450
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by mict450 » June 22nd, 2020, 7:18 pm

MiddleAgeCRISIS wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 6:08 pm
The way I've applied it , is to go fairly easy for a long period of time and use volume instead of intensity. So my HR is 105 to 120.

I did a HIIT on my watt bike the other day and my own perspective is that i definitely know my heart rate is at a max effort during the HIIT and I definitely hate the after effects. By contrast , I am unsure whether during my Low intensity session whether my heart rate is too low but basically its not killing me, im losing weight and i can do the same for 100 days straight. Thats the simplicity of the equation for me.
I say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." You're losing weight with a combination of diet & LSD training. I would suggest just using RPE....can't get simpler than that.
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by Dangerscouse » June 23rd, 2020, 4:31 am

mict450 wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 7:18 pm
MiddleAgeCRISIS wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 6:08 pm
The way I've applied it , is to go fairly easy for a long period of time and use volume instead of intensity. So my HR is 105 to 120.

I did a HIIT on my watt bike the other day and my own perspective is that i definitely know my heart rate is at a max effort during the HIIT and I definitely hate the after effects. By contrast , I am unsure whether during my Low intensity session whether my heart rate is too low but basically its not killing me, im losing weight and i can do the same for 100 days straight. Thats the simplicity of the equation for me.
I say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." You're losing weight with a combination of diet & LSD training. I would suggest just using RPE....can't get simpler than that.
Yep. Sometimes the simplest method is the best
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

MiddleAgeCRISIS
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by MiddleAgeCRISIS » June 23rd, 2020, 2:29 pm

mict450 wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 7:18 pm
MiddleAgeCRISIS wrote:
June 22nd, 2020, 6:08 pm
The way I've applied it , is to go fairly easy for a long period of time and use volume instead of intensity. So my HR is 105 to 120.

I did a HIIT on my watt bike the other day and my own perspective is that i definitely know my heart rate is at a max effort during the HIIT and I definitely hate the after effects. By contrast , I am unsure whether during my Low intensity session whether my heart rate is too low but basically its not killing me, im losing weight and i can do the same for 100 days straight. Thats the simplicity of the equation for me.
I say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." You're losing weight with a combination of diet & LSD training. I would suggest just using RPE....can't get simpler than that.
Thank you. I am doing RPE but the RAD version. Repeat Ad Nauseam.

I was wondering whether to do more but I've just found out Im on the honours board for metres on page 3. So I will just trying to maintain it.

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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by Gags » June 27th, 2020, 11:24 am

Thanks for all the replies. Im so grateful people would take so much time to reply. Thank you.

I work on a ship so poor access to the internet, thats why I have been away for a few weeks. Its not because I'm rude.

So good news. I got my fit bit and changed routine. 1hr rowing btwn 130-140 bpm roughly for 5 days per week every morning and 5 days per week of light weights but when the weather/ship movement allows some heavier compound lifts. Since my last weigh 2 weeks ago i have lost another 3kg which i’m very happy with. I have also gained strength and have a lot more energy. Dropping the rowing intensity has worked very well for me.

It is very difficult to track my calories as suggested because on the ship food is cooked for us. Its not like we can just nip to the supermarket for fresh food either. I am trying to stay away from bad carbs and sugar + drinking lots of water. I have also been having a protein shake once pre day for the last two weeks.

Good news is I'm making progress and motivated again. I can see and feel a real difference. I still have some way to go tho. Iv just taken a photo of myself and compared it to three months ago and its a nice change. Thanks again for your reassurance and motivation.

mict450
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by mict450 » June 27th, 2020, 12:47 pm

Good to hear from you again, & happy that you're again making progress. So often, we have people seeking advice & never hear from them again. Sort of leaves me wondering if they just gave it up, supposing it was too difficult. Your 3 kg loss in 2 weeks is great!! Keep in mind that as you get closer to your goal weight, the rate of weight loss will slow down. Enjoy your success, cuz you've earned it!
Eric, YOB:1954
Shasta County, CA, small town USA

MiddleAgeCRISIS
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Re: Fat loss confusion

Post by MiddleAgeCRISIS » June 28th, 2020, 5:43 pm

Gags wrote:
June 27th, 2020, 11:24 am
Thanks for all the replies. Im so grateful people would take so much time to reply. Thank you.

I work on a ship so poor access to the internet, thats why I have been away for a few weeks. Its not because I'm rude.

So good news. I got my fit bit and changed routine. 1hr rowing btwn 130-140 bpm roughly for 5 days per week every morning and 5 days per week of light weights but when the weather/ship movement allows some heavier compound lifts. Since my last weigh 2 weeks ago i have lost another 3kg which i’m very happy with. I have also gained strength and have a lot more energy. Dropping the rowing intensity has worked very well for me.

It is very difficult to track my calories as suggested because on the ship food is cooked for us. Its not like we can just nip to the supermarket for fresh food either. I am trying to stay away from bad carbs and sugar + drinking lots of water. I have also been having a protein shake once pre day for the last two weeks.

Good news is I'm making progress and motivated again. I can see and feel a real difference. I still have some way to go tho. Iv just taken a photo of myself and compared it to three months ago and its a nice change. Thanks again for your reassurance and motivation.
That is a great result . I think the key is to judge yourself over a decent period of time and be consistent in volume of exercise and food. Over 100 days the up and downs in your weight will average out but you will definitely progress. Dont forget to stay hydrated and dont forget that good hydration does add kgs. So my own experience is my weight is moving downwards but its moving around by 2 -4 pounds.

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