Strength Training/confused


I am 5'1", 40 year old female with a resting heart rate of 87. I work at a desk job. I weigh 134 pounds. I have started working out now for 12 days. I do weights every other day (leg extension, prone leg curl, chest press and seated rows) I do 3 sets of 12 attempting to increase my weight each weight day. I do cardio of 30 minutes every day with elliptical at about 154 ave heart rate (this is about 60% or so of my heart usage). I am also logging in my food on fitness pal and on average I am taking in about 800-1000 calories a day (eliminating as much white carbs as I can). this is definitely a deficit but I have now gained 2.5 pounds. My goal is to burn fat and loose weight ( I accumulate in the belly). What am I doing wrong or how can I make the most of my workout and loose weight the fastest?

Hey Daina, You are doing pretty much what I would recommend to a client. Strength training 3-4 days a week doing a whole body routine of about 10 exercises 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps with 1-2 mins rest between sets. Aerobic exercise 5-6 days a week for 15-20 mins working up to 40-50 mins. Do not try to increase your weight every workout in your strength training but go up 10% when you can complete all reps and sets with say 90 secs rest between. If you follow your routine and eating plan religously, you will lose the body fat. You may add a little muscle mass along the way but that is a good thing. Don't worry so much about weight but check your body fat regularly to see if you are losing fat. You cannot guage your plan after just12 days as it takes time for your body to start adapting to the change. Just be consistent and you will succeed.....

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Joe Gunn


Master's Degree with majors in Exercise Science and Psychology. Teach college courses in weight training, jogging/fitness, and wellness. Expertise include strength training, long distance running, sprinting, general fitness, weight loss, and nutritional education.


Over 30 years as a personal trainer of athletes as well as average individuals.

Certified strength and Conditioning Specialist with the the National Strength and Conditiong Association. Certified Club coach with the United States Weightlifting Association. Certifed Level II long distance coach with the USA Track & Field.

M.S with majors in exercise science and psychology

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