Good fitness plan?

Just got a gym membership after several months of paying the entry fee to the swimming pool each time I went.

I’d like an opinion on my fitness plan. Relevant info: I’m male, 60 kg (140 pounds), 193 (6’4") …Skinny, yes, but since coming to Taiwan I have gained what I call my Taiwan beer/carb belly. I’d like to get rid of it while not changing my eating habits which are fairly healthy anyway. Other motivations for exercising: heart disease and diabetes on BOTH sides of my family. :discodance:

Plan: Go to the gym ALMOST every day switching off swimming and running on elliptical. Swimming: 30 min including warm up and warm down in the water. Generally my heart rate is at ~126 beats per minute during this half hour) …Then running : also 30 minutes including warm up and warm down. Heart rate is faster; about 3 kilometers / 2 miles. Lastly, at the end of each workout: 5 minutes of sit-ups

I know 30 minutes is not long for swimming OR running - BUT if I’m going to go every day I need to keep it modest or I will run out of steam and just stop. I know myself well enough to know this is the case.

But is this rigorous enough given my goals? Should I consider changing anything? I want something that will work my heart and work off my awkward looking belly. As I said, I’m not willing to change my diet (which includes the weekend beer, carbs, chocolate, etc) Thanks!! :slight_smile:

p.s. Does anyone else swim? How do you work with boredom? What ways can I switch up how I’m swimming or have more fun with it? It’s not as exciting as it was when I first started…

Holy crap! You weigh 20 kg less than I do, and I’m the same height as you and I’m also fairly skinny.

Your plan sounds good as a starting point. Any workout is better than no workout, that’s for sure. Which gym did you join?

At 6’4 and 60kg, why not alternating a running/swimming day with a weights day? I’d recommend using free weights and doing body-weight exercises for the best results. fwiw

I swim, but overall I find swimming not very time efficient when it comes to getting into shape (personally I prefer “maximum results within the shortest time possible” because i am lazy :p). Back in Canada, for a period of time I used to swim every day and i did get bored, even though i tried alternating between four stroke types and i loved the calmness and peace i felt when i was in the water.

Your plan looks good if you are just starting, except I’d use swimming for conditioning and use running as my primary fitness routine; and swim for 1 hour per session with max two to three sessions per week. I think swimming is a good complimentary activity, like yoga, for your main fitness routine because they help you develop nice elongated muscles. But as for losing the belly fat and getting into shape, you need land aerobic activities like running or ellipical, and of course, weights!

After a while, you’d need to bring the intensity up more a bit though…as your body will eventually adapt to your current exercise intensity and your tummy-sculpting effort may plateau.

If you run outside (instead of on the treadmill), 30min is definitely a good amount, and certainly more challenging than running indoor because of wind speed etc. Not sure which area you live, but I’d totally recommend the Riverside Park(s) in Taipei if they are close to you. I’ve been running there for a little while and find it the best outdoor place to run in a city like Taipei, location and distance-wise. Also, if you run correctly (ie. in good running posture with tummy sucked in, etc), you’d definitely feel your abs sore after even just 30min.

Taipei Riverside Parks: riversidepark.taipei.gov.tw/

Some friends of mine have been doing Body Rock, which is a free online HIIT program that’s update everyday, and swear by it: bodyrock.tv/
I’ve attempted it a few times before; but each time I kinda just wanted to die lol

Planking is an alternative to sit ups and it works your entire core all at once.

Good luck!

[quote=“Jialin”]Just got a gym membership after several months of paying the entry fee to the swimming pool each time I went.

I’d like an opinion on my fitness plan. Relevant info: I’m male, 60 kg (140 pounds), 193 (6’4") …Skinny, yes, but since coming to Taiwan I have gained what I call my Taiwan beer/carb belly. I’d like to get rid of it while not changing my eating habits which are fairly healthy anyway. Other motivations for exercising: heart disease and diabetes on BOTH sides of my family. :discodance:

Plan: Go to the gym ALMOST every day switching off swimming and running on elliptical. Swimming: 30 min including warm up and warm down in the water. Generally my heart rate is at ~126 beats per minute during this half hour) …Then running : also 30 minutes including warm up and warm down. Heart rate is faster; about 3 kilometers / 2 miles. Lastly, at the end of each workout: 5 minutes of sit-ups

I know 30 minutes is not long for swimming OR running - BUT if I’m going to go every day I need to keep it modest or I will run out of steam and just stop. I know myself well enough to know this is the case.

But is this rigorous enough given my goals? Should I consider changing anything? I want something that will work my heart and work off my awkward looking belly. As I said, I’m not willing to change my diet (which includes the weekend beer, carbs, chocolate, etc) Thanks!! :slight_smile:

p.s. Does anyone else swim? How do you work with boredom? What ways can I switch up how I’m swimming or have more fun with it? It’s not as exciting as it was when I first started…[/quote]

If you’re not willing to change your diet, you’re wasting your time. If you weigh 60kg at 193cm, and still have a paunch, your diet is undoubtedly terrible. It can’t possibly be “fairly healthy”. Simply fixing your diet will meet all your goals. Going to the gym will not, however hard you try. I know from painful experience!

I’m skinny but I’m prone to getting fat around my belly. I’ve tried various ways to deal with this, and the only method that works is Atkins. Basically, six weeks on Atkins and it’ll be gone - as a useful side effect, you’ll have trained yourself to stop eating crap. That’s the fat loss part dealt with. You can go to the gym, or not, while you’re dieting - it does seem to give a more reliable result if you do, but it’s not essential.

Now you need to gain some muscle mass. I would seriously recommend weight training rather than swimming/cardio - if you enjoy these, that’s fine, but do some weights anyway. Weights on their own will also give you a good cardio workout. Once you’ve lost your body fat, you can start reintroducing the carbs you like, and weight training is the most effective way to burn them off by building muscle (you really are dangerously underweight).

You don’t need to go to the gym every day though - you’ll just burn out. You need one day between workouts to allow your muscles to repair and recover. Start with three times a week and see how it goes. If you’re under 30, then you could do four times a week as long as you split your muscle groups (that is, don’t target the same muscle group on consecutive days).

I’m shorter at 188 and 25 kilos heavier, and people still call me skinny! I’m having a hard time imagining 193 cm and 60 kilos. How about your bodyfat percentage?

If I were you I’d skip the cardio and get started with some serious 3-days a week weight training. Squats, bench press and deadlifts. The extra muscle you’d be adding would help get rid of the extra calories. And I’d aim to get to at least 75 kilos at 15~20% bodyfat.

Whoops! I meant 65!! Not 60 kg…

I’ve started weight lifting! Just doing it after running for about 15-20 minutes. WOW do I get sore. Holy s***…I took a weight lifting course in college so I know what I’m doing…

You may be right that my diet is maybe not “fairly good” after all… :unamused: But I love the food and carbs too much. My parents have done atkins on and off and they both lose weight each time. But I’m not feeling up to doing it…at least not right now.

In your case, I’d do the weight training before the running. It sounds like you’re the ‘skinny-fat’ body type, so you’d be aiming to increase muscle-mass while also decreasing body fat.

Some more info on running and weight training sequence
livestrong.com/article/21154 … g-weights/

On a relates topic, does anyone know what the best diet is when trying to seriously build muscles? I am fairly skinny and I am getting in a nice shape lately doing mostly hiking and running, but I am sick and tired of my skinny arms and shoulders. I’ve tried weights in the past but results were less than spectacular.

Thanks.

jebus! that’s skinny. I’m 6’0 and 90 kgs.

but i disagree with one of the posters above on swimming. I think it’s very good way to get in shape if you do the work, either real sprints or fast endurance runs. the problem I see with swimmers who see no results is they are casual, non-intensive swimmers. they do a few laps at casual pace, get some sun, do a few more laps, lie around, and showers.
I got in the best shape of my life swimming combined with biking with high intensity. being able to swim is easy, able to swim well (with much less drag, etc.), you have to work hard at it.

that said, I think 30 minutes everyday (with real intensity) of any exercise will be good for your goals.

[quote=“Novaspes”]On a relates topic, does anyone know what the best diet is when trying to seriously build muscles? I am fairly skinny and I am getting in a nice shape lately doing mostly hiking and running, but I am sick and tired of my skinny arms and shoulders. I’ve tried weights in the past but results were less than spectacular.

Thanks.[/quote]

The short answer would be a diet with plenty of protein.

The slightly longer answer is that to seriously build muscles you need to make sure you get enough calories as a calorie deficit will lead to both fat and muscle loss. You also need to try to get a larger portion of your calories from protein. So, less carb food like rice, bread and pasta, and more meat and vegetables. You also want to reduce fat, so lean chicken or turkey instead of pork chops and steaks. Egg whites, but not egg yolks, etc.

The standard Taiwanese restaurant meal rarely matches the above requirements, so if you’re not doing much home cooking, and don’t want to leave half the plate full of food when you leave the restaurant, you may want to use a protein supplement. At least, that’s been my experience.

[quote=“elburro”][quote=“Novaspes”]On a relates topic, does anyone know what the best diet is when trying to seriously build muscles? I am fairly skinny and I am getting in a nice shape lately doing mostly hiking and running, but I am sick and tired of my skinny arms and shoulders. I’ve tried weights in the past but results were less than spectacular.

Thanks.[/quote]

The short answer would be a diet with plenty of protein.

The slightly longer answer is that to seriously build muscles you need to make sure you get enough calories as a calorie deficit will lead to both fat and muscle loss. You also need to try to get a larger portion of your calories from protein. So, less carb food like rice, bread and pasta, and more meat and vegetables. You also want to reduce fat, so lean chicken or turkey instead of pork chops and steaks. Egg whites, but not egg yolks, etc.

The standard Taiwanese restaurant meal rarely matches the above requirements, so if you’re not doing much home cooking, and don’t want to leave half the plate full of food when you leave the restaurant, you may want to use a protein supplement. At least, that’s been my experience.[/quote]

Thank you.

It looks like I’m already doing 90% of what I should (I still eat whole eggs). Taiwanese cooking styles are not a problem since I cook almost all of my meals at home and get chicken or turkey for lunch at work. I am cutting down on carbs by not eating any rice, drastically reducing bread (only sometimes for breakfast with eggs or jam) and limiting pasta to hiking lunches ('cause it is easy to prepare and carry).

[quote=“elburro”][quote=“Novaspes”]On a relates topic, does anyone know what the best diet is when trying to seriously build muscles? I am fairly skinny and I am getting in a nice shape lately doing mostly hiking and running, but I am sick and tired of my skinny arms and shoulders. I’ve tried weights in the past but results were less than spectacular.

Thanks.[/quote]

The short answer would be a diet with plenty of protein.
[/quote]

I would add that the body only needs so much protein per day (as a function of body weight for simplicity’s sake), excess protein is just eliminated and probably taxes your kidneys unnecessarily. would be wasting $$ too.

He means if you’re bodybuilding, in which case elburro’s post would be good advice. When weight-training, the aim is actually to “damage” your muscles, and you need to increase both protein and carbohydrate intake to allow your body to effect repairs.

Sounds like the OP has made a good start anyway - well done, and hope you see some results!

I’ve never been convinced by this. You need a certain amount of fat, and it’s a perfectly good source of energy as long as you don’t overdo it. Egg whites by themselves just don’t taste very nice! I doubt a person’s fat intake makes any difference either way to weight-training results as long as you’re putting in enough effort. Friend of mine is huge, and he’ll happily wade through half a tub of (full-fat) icecream after a workout.

Sure… if you are burning enough carbs, you can eat triple-chocolate filled pork-rind burgers with cheese for breakfast! :slight_smile: If you are very active and need something like 8,000+ calories a day to cover what you are burning, I think you’ll find it difficult to cover that with a high-protein diet. There’s a limit to how many chicken fillets you can stuff in yourself per day before you just feel too full to eat anymore. Protein is more filling than carbs, and especially if you are only doing 2~3 meals a day, you may find it difficult to event get up to 3,000 cals a day on a high protein diet.

I made the assumption that we’re not talking about that level of calorie burn here. Also, we need to make a distinction between bodybuilding and building muscle. A buddy of mine is a weight lifter and is at about 6,000 calories a day. As a weight lifter (not a body builder) he is not so concerned about the bodyfat percentage, so going in excess on the calories is not a concern. He’s huge. But he is probably at 25% bodyfat.