Author Topic: Upper body  (Read 3069 times)

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Offline kae m

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Upper body
« on: April 07, 2008, 09:05:53 pm »
I'm sure I'm not the only one that this drives crazy...I've been making it to the gym about 5-6 times a week, and I'm making real progress which makes me real happy.  But I'm about 1/3 of the way to my target weight, and I'm kinda not sure what I should be doing and what I shouldn't be doing to get there.  My chest and shoulders are bulky, and I hate it, so I want my upper body to shrink.  So I've been afraid of doing anything that works my upper body at all, because I don't want to risk it getting any bigger.  But I can't imagine this is a smart thing to do.  Not to mention going to the gym and basically only doing cardio is mind-numbingly boring...

What I've been doing is about an hour on the bike at a moderate resistance going as fast as I can, then I usually do about 20 minutes at about 4mph on the treadmill to sort of cooldown.  Boring, but so far it seems to be doing what I want it to...but what else is safe to do that won't really build up my upper body?

Keira

Re: Upper body
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 10:02:12 pm »

Do lower body muscle building exercises,
especially upper leg, bottocks and core,
more of those muscles make you look both
more feminine and help you lose weight.

If you just do cardio, even with resistance,
you'll lose muscle mass even in the lower in
those areas and it will get tougher and
thougher to lose weight. This is a common
mistake.

Offline Just Mandy

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Re: Upper body
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 01:02:27 pm »
Hi Vivian,

I know they are "manly" but I think squats with fairly heavy weights are the best exercise you can do. The
amount of HGH released because of the number of large muscles involved is very high and that is
good for everything in you body. And the number of calories burned by building the largest muscles in your
body cannot be beat.

Remember muscles are what burns the calories. You lose the muscles then you will lose the ability to lost weight
or keep it steady because your metabolism will drop. For most of us we need to lose muscle to get to a normal female
shape but you really need the bigger muscles in your quads, hamstrings and butt to offset what you lose in your
upper body. A lot of men, that are not athletes, have the majority of muscles in the upper body with relatively
small lower body development.

Weight loss really comes down to determining the calories needed to maintain your current weight and then
doing weight training to increase the size of your lower body muscles to make them burn more calories. The bigger
they get the more they burn at rest and the more you can eat and enjoy food. Then through a combination of reducing
your calorie intake and upping your cardio to create a calorie deficit you will lose weight. For us it is a
more delicate balance because we do want to lose upper body muscle and spare the lower body. Squats will help
in that regard. If you try to do it through calorie reduction and cardio alone you will not be happy with the results
because you will need to eat less and less as all your muscle is lost. The body is really very smart and muscles
only need small amounts of exercise for the body knows to spare them from being used for fuel.

The type of cardio you do also plays a part and it is dependent on the type of muscle's you have. If you have a lot
of slow twitch muscle you are probably good at endurance but don't have much speed, if you have a lot of
fast twitch muscle you have a lot of speed and explosiveness but no endurance. I have fast twitch muscles and
high intensity cardio is what I require to burn fat. I don't burn any fat at lower intensity. So using a heart rate monitor
I exercise at 80% of my maximum heart rate which is equal to 220 less your age. If you have a lot of slow twitch
muscles you can exercise at a lower heart rate, around 50% of your max and burn the most calories. A fast walk
will get you to 50% sometimes.

Also... I always exercise on an empty stomach, the body will not have any blood glucose stores and will rely on fat stores
for the most part for fuel. Also make sure your protein intake is fairly high, you need it to build the lower body muscles. There are
charts on the web to determine the correct amount of protein. Once all your boy fat has been lost (belly mostly) you can work
on the muscle, but I think you REALLY need to lose the fat first because it will become that much harder to lose if
you deplete your muscles first. I don't agree that you need fat to look feminine, I think all you will do is look fat. HRT will
move the fat around but you have to lose it first from the boy areas if you want a feminine looking body.

I had no where near a beer belly but I had a typical layer of fat on my chest and stomach six months ago and my goal
was to lose that before I started HRT. I dropped from 185 to 155 before starting HRT some. Mostly fat and I had all my big
upper body muscles intact which is what I wanted. I had a small tummy as I started HRT and that is now very flat and
female looking. I'm starting to trade my upper body muscle for fat in my lower body. I'm very slowly losing weight
because the HRT is reducing the muscles of my upper body and at the same time E is making my thighs and butt
soft and rounded. I don't think that would have happened if I started HRT at 185. I'm coming up at three months
of HRT and I feel if nothing else changes I would be happy with how feminine my body looks now. But I think
I think I can lose 20 pounds of upper body muscle the same way I've gotten to this point losing the boy fat.

I was a college athlete and my sport required tremendous strength but not much mass so during training I was constantly striving
for the highest strength to weight ratio I could obtain. Proper nutrition and training provided that and the same principles
can be used for weight loss and it can be very easy if you're smart about it. But if you do anything, build the big lower
body muscles as much as you can and lose the boy fat first... it's the best way for us to get the body we all want
in my opinion.

Amanda


Posted on: April 08, 2008, 12:24:48 PM
I hope this does not gross anyone out and I hope it's ok to post this picture :)

This is me at about 60 days HRT and my thighs had already softened considerable. I
know it's still like my face, a lot of  boy still and no defined waist yet but I think that will come
with time as my hips continue to pad out and my belly area gets even flatter.

Photo removed for privacy reasons.

Amanda
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 09:17:42 am by AlwaysAmanda »
Something sleeps deep within us
hidden and growing until we awaken as ourselves.

cluelessparent

Re: Upper body
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 01:06:54 pm »
To prevent gaining muscle mass on your upper body, ya need to do many reps w/very light weights.
That tones the bod without adding muscle or bulk.

Other side of teh coin if ya want to build big, hefty muscles: heaviest weight you can handle and very low repititions.

good luck

PS _ Amanda gave you some excellent info a couple of posts above. Good stuff...........


Offline Just Mandy

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Re: Upper body
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 01:41:40 pm »
Hi Cluelessparent... I've followed your saga and I hope things are better and I
wish I had a parent like you :)

I hate to disagree since you were so kind but the light vs heavy
myth needs to die :) I believe that it has been proven that
lighter weights do not affect whether you add bulk or not. Testosterone, genetics
and it's affect on HGH is the determining factor in muscle bulk. That is not to
say you cannot be strong, but you will have slim toned muscles, not
large bulky muscles.

Most GG's simply cannot "bulk up" regardless of the amounts of
weight they lift. Women that you see that are body builders either
have the top 1% of the genetics or are using steroids. No woman
should fear lifting heavy weights... you simply cannot build big muscle's
unless you are in that rare 1% genetically.

Due to mostly genetics as a male I was never able to "bulk up" either through training even though I was
lifting the heaviest weights possible and following a strict training/diet regime and was ridiculously strong.  I
had friends that trained with me daily that started at the same place I did and grew to enormous proportions
following the same intensity, diet, training regime I did. I simply did not have the genetics for it.... which I'm
very thankful for now :)

I did bulk up in my 30's but that was just due to visceral fat not muscle from less exercise more
calories and age :)

Amanda
Something sleeps deep within us
hidden and growing until we awaken as ourselves.

cluelessparent

Re: Upper body
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 02:23:01 pm »
Well, there ya go folks.  Methinks that she sounds waaaay smarter than I do. ::)
So go with her advice over mine.
What do I know? I'm clueless  ;D

Amanda, thanks for the correction and especially Thank You for the nice words!
My son has his top surgery scheduled in about 20 hrs. Yea, the little fella is PSYCHED !!

thanks again

OP - Sorry, not going to hijack your thread any further than this..........

Offline Just Mandy

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Re: Upper body
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2008, 02:31:44 pm »
I just hate that heavy vs light myth, many topics here are subjective but
that myth has to die :)

Congrats to him, I hope things go well! With you around I'm sure they will. Let
us all know how it goes :)

Amanda

Something sleeps deep within us
hidden and growing until we awaken as ourselves.

Keira

Re: Upper body
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2008, 02:59:15 pm »

Just one adjustment Amanda,

If you do high intensity exercises with low glycogen stores (carbs),
you'll not be using only fats unless you've got a ton of visceral fats,
you'll also be using some muscles.  Fats can't be used for too intense
exercises.

So, in general, not sure if its ever a good idea to exercise on an
empty stomach unless your doing light to moderate intensity exercise.

Offline Just Mandy

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Re: Upper body
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2008, 03:58:01 pm »
I would agree with that 100% Keira if you have a low bodt fat
percentage.  When my body fat percentage was between 5% and 8% there is no way
I could even begin to try to train on an empty stomach. I could not even finish
the session. I had to have carbs a lots of them prior to a workout because
that is all I had to burn, unless I wanted to burn hard earned muscle.
 
I know I had a lot of visceral fat six months ago because I did not have a big
belly but was able to lose 30 lbs of weight, so I was burning fat. None of my
max's changed either. I seem to remember 12% body fat as the number where as
males if we are over that it will be mostly visceral fat.

I think for me now (and probably most of us) as non-athletes, we have higher than
12% body fat. I know I do still and I'm fairly skinny compared to today's male
population. So I think it's safe to say that it is OK to do high intensity exercise
with an empty stomach and not burn muscle. But that's just what has worked for me
and only after my body fat was considerable higher than 8%.

So if anyone is worried, do as Keira says and drop the intensity or have some carbs
before, worst case is you will not burn as much fat but you will spare muscle. But
do try to spare as much muscle as you can while trying to lose the fat.

I'm getting close to the point where I can start to work on the muscle but I really want to
get my body fat percentage just a little lower because once my bigger chest/shoulder/back
muscles are gone I'll need to adjust my calories lower (or offset the loss of upper body with
quad/hams/butt) to prevent gaining a lot of fat and weight and inches :)

I'm also curious to see the ongoing affect of HRT on strength, thus far it
does not seem to be affected. None of this is easy but it can be done and it's no harder than
anything else we have to put ourselves through.

Amanda
Something sleeps deep within us
hidden and growing until we awaken as ourselves.

Offline kae m

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Re: Upper body
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2008, 08:09:58 pm »
Wow...that's a ton of extremely detailed information and I'm very thankful!  This is why I love this place :)

Yeah, I've been doing the gym thing for about two months, with about 2 weeks off in the middle because I got sick, well and then our stupid clocks changed and threw me all off...  Getting my body under control and actually taking care of myself was something I couldn't be bothered to even try to do a year ago, and it shows.  I'm delaying HRT until I get my weight to a reasonable level so that I start healthy and my body can develop properly.  I'm not the most patient person, so it is pretty frustrating, but I know it's what I have to do and I want to do it right.  I'm just kicking myself for not pushing myself sooner.

My worst was about 8 months ago.  I'm 5'11", I'm not especially tall, and I let myself balloon to 230 lbs and my waist to 40".  Bleh.  I'm big for a guy, I let myself get disgusting, and I hate myself for it.  My goal is to hit 150, then see what happens on HRT and try to lose the rest after that.  I'm at 200 now, which is still bleh, but it's progress at least.

Thank you so much for the very detailed info!

Offline Just Mandy

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Re: Upper body
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2008, 10:04:23 am »
We have so many great people here that know so much about their area
of expertise. I feel like I can talk exercise, computers, finance (and maybe
a few other topics) all day long but that's about where it ends for
me :) I'm so glad to have people here with experience and knowledge
that I can rely on.

It's awesome to see the changes in your body on HRT and I think your plan of
losing the weight first is excellent. I know for me it has already begun to get
more difficult to lose. You've already made great progress so I bet you will
do fine. Weight loss kinda snowballs and you look up and your only few pounds from
your goal... it's a way cool feeling :)

Amanda
Something sleeps deep within us
hidden and growing until we awaken as ourselves.

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