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'Sculpted' in 2 months on 2 workouts per week? Naturally?

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Hi, I started my dieting regimen about 2 1/2 weeks ago and am down 5 pounds so far - right on schedule! I'm looking to shed another 15 by May 1st which will bring me to my current goal weight. I say current because I'm not sure whether or not I'll be as trim as I'd like once I get to 175lbs - have to wait and see.

Obviously dropping 20lbs will mean a significant change in my physical appearance in the 'slimmed-down' department but I'm also hoping to be more muscular by the May 1st deadline for 'beach bod' reasons haha.

The tricky part is that we have a baby boy and with my full-time job, aside from weekends, I only get to see him for a couple of hours in the evening. So I prefer to only hit the gym a couple of nights a week. Is it possible to achieve visible muscular results in 2 months with only 2 workouts / week ?

I'm not interested in taking supplements (creatine, etc.). At most I'd be willing to have a protein shake after a workout. I want to keep this natural & healthy.

What I'm looking for is how to achieve maximum sculpting in 2 months on 2 workouts per week and what I can expect as far as results.

If I'm being unrealistic, that's fine too, just looking to find out where I stand.

Thanks! Laughing

18 Replies (last)

Push ups and sit ups man.

I'm not sure if you will get visible gains in 2 months, but I'm betting with the wieght loss you will uncovering some muscles you aren't seeing now because of the padding. 

It's hard to gain muscle, while losing wieght, but you want to make sure you are keeping your muscles challenged.  You want to maintain the muscle you have and lose the fat, so keep up the lifting. 

Make sure you get enough protein, especially right after ou lift, and you should do fine.

If you spend those 2 workouts REALLY pushing it, you will achieve results. I would suggest trying full-body workouts, using a mix of body weight resistance (push-ups, pull-ups, dips) and heavy weighted exercise (lunges, deadlifts, squats, presses). Don't waste your time on isolation exercises, stick to exercises that use multiple muscle groups at the same time.Your diet will need to be on-point to really build significant muscle, but if you are starting from a place where you have never done any weight training you will definitely see some results. You may want to pick up the book The New Rules of Lifting - they have some great routines and you can do them at home.

When you say 'enough' protein, what does that mean? My current daily intake includes:

- an egg in the morning
- some sort of meat with lunch (chicken, ground beef, roast beef, ham)
- same with dinner

Snacks are always fruit / veggies so no protein there. Following workouts I usually have a can of tuna.

I hear about these protein shakes with 25-30g of protein per serving and wonder if that is the amount that I 'need' following a workout to see muscle gains.

Original Post by djeffroy:

When you say 'enough' protein, what does that mean?

If you're trying to build muscle, 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. 

Wow, that sounds like a lot. That would mean 190-270g of protein per day,  or 5-7 chicken breasts !

Honestly if you are in a losing weight mode, and eating at a calorie deficit don't worry so much about packin in all the protein. You need that amount of protein to build significant muscle mass, but you can get results and get stronger on a weight loss diet. Start lifting, keep your diet clean and make sure you get your protein, but don't worry about supplements and how many grams you get etc. until you are at your goal weight. You will get results without stuffing in the protein. Once you have the fat off you can switch your focus to serious muscle gain, trying to do them together now will make your head spin.

Wrong. Protein needs are related to diet and training, not to goal. Dieters will in any case need approximately 1.4g/kg of protein; that protein needs increase in a calorie deficit have been known since 1958 so why this hasn't made its way into nutritional guidelines I'd like to know.

 Anyone doing strength training needs 1.6-1.8g/kg protein; note that this is in relation to lean mass so a rough 1g/lbs lean mass approximation works out to be in about the right neighbourhood.

 Try Two-Day Workout by Tony Gentilcore, CSCS, CPT - not perfect, but one of the better approximations of a twice-weekly program. Add in some bodyweight calisthenics or something at home - like this set of exercises and take a walk or three, and you should see results at the very least.

Original Post by melkor:

that protein needs increase in a calorie deficit have been known since 1958 so why this hasn't made its way into nutritional guidelines I'd like to know.

 That's easy, protein producers don't spend as much money lobbying the groups that publish nutritional guidelines as carb producers.

I agree with the post about The New Rules of Lifting for Women. You can do it 2x/week and see results. Also, eat MORE protein like Melkor says. You can also push your child in a stroller or incorporate him in your weight lifting workouts! Warning, as you gain more muscle and burn off the fat, you may not drop as much weight as muscle weighs more than fat (and thankfully, is more compact) So, take your measurements NOW so you won't get discouraged. You may also slow down your weight loss the closer you get to your goal. Try walking during your lunch break at work. Drink more water. Good luck!

I feel your pain.  Good luck. Watch your diet, eat whole foods, not a lot of processed stuff and stick to protein, vegetables and good carbs. 

I work out on sundays and wednesdays.  compound movements.  I like that two-day work-out Melkor sent out.  Mine is kinda similar.

Sun: A: Squats, B: Pull-ups & DB Military press, C: DB Bench and DB row, D: planks on ball, reverse hypers & hanging leg lifts.  All lifts 25 reps total not including warm-up sets.

Thurs: A: Dead lifts, B: DB Bench and DB row, C: Pull-ups & DB Military press, D: planks on ball, reverse hypers & hanging leg lifts. All lifts 25 reps total not including warm-up sets.

Mon & Friday I'm doing some simple dumbell complexes at home.  You could do bodyweight exercises.  Try this:

Push-ups, Body weight squats, crunches, pushups (fingers in), lunges, leg-lifts, squat thrusts.

Perform as many reps for each exercise as you can in 30 seconds then rest 30 seconds then move on to the next exercise.  Do the circuit three times.  This will get your heart-rate up and keep you burning on your off days from the weight room. 

I think it'll take more than 2 months though.

Oh yeah, cute baby by the way.  I love the baby cheeks. 

I hit the gym last night and thought I'd try the 'Two-Day Workout' approach suggested by Melkor. I didn't really follow either of the two workouts to the letter because I forgot to bring my print out of the workouts with me. However, I managed to at least remember exercises that were included on one workout or the other and improvised.

Combo 1: Squats / Bench Presses. (4 sets, 8-12 reps each)
Combo 2: Shoulder presses / Reverse Crunches. (4 sets, 8-10 reps shoulders, 12-16 reps reverse crunches)
Combo 3: Deadlifts / Roll-outs, forearms on ball. (10-12 reps deadlifts, 12-16 reps roll-outs)

Followed this up with a 15 minute 30sec/90sec sprint/recovery 'afterburn' on the eliptical.

Wow! This was a way more out-of-breath, sweaty workout than my typical trip to the gym. 30 seconds between combo sets is definitly not much of a rest. I dreaded starting the next set, especially on Combo 1. I can barely walk today - ugh, squats.

My heartrate on the eliptical was up to about 192 at the end of each sprint and down to about 172 by the end of each recovery. Does this sound ok? My cardio is horrible so it's not surprising to me that the numbers are so high. What should I be entering in my activity log for the weight training and cardio portions of this workout? I only burned about 140 calories in 15 minutes on the eliptical, which equals out to 'light' effort according to CC but it sure didn't feel light...?

Thanks Melkor, can definitely see this type of working out burning way more calories.

Hey, that's great! And don't worry, you'll soon have those cardio numbers up - or down, actually. Interval training is a great way to improve cardio performance over the short haul.

 Intervals, like anythign else can be taken too far though. Most of the benefits happen in the first 3 weeks of an interval program, so for best results you'd do the inteval workout for 3 weeks followed by 3-4 weeks of a steady state program at the new, higher level of fitness, and then repeat another 3-week "block" of intervals. Leads to fast gains of cardio fitness in the 3-week interval period that you then "lock in" in the 3-4 week maintenance/recovery period ;)

Melkor, thanks for getting back to this thread :) What would you suggest for my steady state cardio program in 3 weeks? Should cardio still follow the weight training portion of my workouts for that 'afterburn' effect? What should my duration and intensity (heart rate) be for cardio sessions during the 3-4 week lock-in period?

Yeah, generally for fat loss you'd want to follow up any high intensity exercise with a bout of some lower-intensity. Both because it makes for better recovery and because then you use up some of the free fatty acids you just mobilised as a result of the high intensity training.

 I think that for the lock-in period you'd want to follow something as close to a standard endurance training protocol as possible; somewhere around a 5-6 on the Paige Scale where you're pushing just outside of your comfort zone ;)

Can anyone comment on the appropriate activities / intensities to enter in my CC Activity Log for the workout described in post #12 ? As mentioned, according to the eliptical machine, I only burned 140 calories or so in 15 minutes, which works out to equal 'light effort' in the CC Activity Log but my heartrate was between 172-192 the entire 15 minutes - hardly light effort!

Also wasn't sure what to enter for the weight training portion of my workout either. I currently have it entered as 45 minutes of "Circuit Training - Including Some Aerobic Movement With Minimal Rest, General" for a total of 516 calories.

Thanks Laughing

Based on my HRM, when I hit the 90-99% HR for 15 mins from intervals (the gasping for air, really could not talk for more than a second or two stage) I burn 300-350 kcals in 15 mins. 

I find my Polar f11 an invaluable tool for this process.  The numbers can vary so much without it.




Original Post by lemonjello2323:

I find my Polar f11 an invaluable tool for this process.  The numbers can vary so much without it

 I agree! I love my polar F11! it's amazing the calorie difference burnt even from 10 beats average more. I wear it when I do weight and if I average 115bpm for 40 minutes, it is between 50-100 calories less then when I average 125bpm. That really adds up!

18 Replies