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Your Questions Answered: Fat Loss vs. Muscle Gain During Weight Loss Challenge




Question:
I am in several "Biggest Loser" type weight loss competitions with friends, family, and co-workers. I weighed myself on Sunday. I dropped 5 lbs week one and this week I only dropped one more pound. I've been working hard in the gym doing interval training on the treadmill, the stair stepper, elliptical, etc. I'm also doing outdoor running (I did that 5k yesterday :)) I've also been doing a lot more strength training than in the past. However, I am concerned that I'm doing something wrong. I'm not really losing weight. I might be gaining muscle, but obviously my main goal is to lose the weight. Do you have any suggestions? Should I focus more on cardio so I can get the weight off?


Frugal Fitness Answer:
I get this question a lot. If you are in the beginning of your weight loss challenge, then keep doing your strength training and don't worry about it. If you are getting to the middle or end of your weight loss challenge, switch to 3 times a week of light-medium weight training with reps in the 15-20 range primarily. This will promote slightly smaller and higher endurance muscle fiber stimulation and even less bulk. You would also increase your cardio and intervals like you are doing. Glad you are doing a variety of cardio activities and machines, that is good keep mixing it up.Anyways, the strength training is great for reducing bodyfat and creating/maintaining long term weight and fat loss. Maybe just tweak the repetition scheme you are doing, also make sure you are doing mostly free weights and exercises that work multiple muscle groups so you are burning as many calories per exercise as possible. Example, bicep curls are so-so, reverse grip rows are better. 

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