3

votes

Can waitressing be a valid, main form of exercise?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 02, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Hello there! Just turned 20 and I'm back home this summer from college. I'm slowly (with a lot of road bumps), integrating Paleo into my lifestyle. This is something I want to do my health, not just for weight loss.

So I'm also trying to find a good exercise regimen. In high school I played sports, and then I started to do Crossfit when I graduated. I absolutely loved it the first time, did it for 6 months, but ballooned from the 160 lbs to 210 lb. And this was fat, not muscle. And no one could at that Crossfit gym could explain it, or help me, so I left in fear that would just become obese. I was not eating Paleo, but was counting my carb intake and eating a lot of the right foods.

I tried Crossfit again my sophomore year of college, 2x a week, for about another 6 months, at a different box. I still did not lose any weight. This time, the coaches were a lot more informed and told me I needed to not have as much stress in my life, once I told them my school schedule. I decided to stop that time around because it just became too much of a financial burden without seeing results. Now I've been glued to 175 lb, give or take (at 5'6").

Now I am server at a busy restaurant in the evening. I work about 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I'm very tired at the end of every night. I wake up at 10am, aching from the night before, and leave for the next shift at 4pm. I have tried going to the gym, but I hate because it isn't Crossfit, I'm tired from work, and the cheapest membership is $20 for two weeks. But maybe I'm just a baby and should suck it up and get to the gym anyways?

Should I just do some weight lifting? I'm not sure what to do or what is best for my health anymore, especially when it comes to exercise. Is the job I'm doing enough?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Wonder if people would pay to do the bar back workout? Coming soon to a box near you, scoop that ice, lift that bucket, run it out to the bar over your head. Sprints with racks of pint glasses at arm's length. Squat and lift that bus bin. I can see it now.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 03, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Word. I actually like refilling ice as it gives me a second to breathe and stretch without anyone looking at me. Ha.. the happy pee dance is not actually happy even though it looks like it is.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 08:04 AM

Anyone who thinks it isn't exercise hasn't pulled a 6-10 hour shift with a few good rushes in it lifting and carrying bins of dirty dishes, racks of clean dishes, and trays of food and drinks, and in the down time running out bags of trash, carrying buckets of ice, filling and carrying buckets of bleach water, restocking bar towels, sweeping and mopping, cleaning windows, wiping down work surfaces, and restocking bathrooms, all done as quickly as possible so it can look like you are available to the customers at all times. You're lucky if you get to sit down long enough for a proper wizz.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 08:03 AM

Anyone who thinks it isn't exercise hasn't pulled a 6-10 hour shift with a few good rushes in it lifting and carrying bins of dirty dishes, racks of clean dishes, and trays of food and drinks, and in the down time running out bags of trash, carrying buckets of ice, filling and carrying buckets of bleach water, restocking bar towels, sweeping and mopping, cleaning windows, wiping down work surfaces, and restocking bathrooms, all done as quickly as possible so it can look like you are available to the customers at all times. Your lucky if you get to sit down long enough for a proper wizz.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:19 AM

If I had the time or the money I would! I asked this question because while I know work is work, it affects me like a workout, with aches in the morning and feeling very tired.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:08 AM

I didn't downvote. I agree, whether or not I should keep going to the gym, I can at least do these things to improve my strength. Thanks

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:06 AM

Thanks Jessica! I know I need to start yoga, for those reasons and I know it would help my stress. And @ben61820, I wish that was true for me! I do all those things at college, plus work in a theater shop, yet I'm still this big :(

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:11 AM

I stand by my advice. If she is dependent on this waitressing job, the last think she wants to do is set herself up for injury, and possibly not being able to work. Just like any physical activity, she will adapt eventually. Once that happens she may want to branch out and add more exercise. But to do so before is foolish.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 03, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Totally agree. I do some bar work and am all over the place, there is definitely some heavy lifting on occasions and I'm moving pretty much the entire time up to 8-hour shifts. Tip: I never wear the same shoes twice in a row, either, keeps my feet in good shape. Epsom soaks are fantastic. Body weight exercises rule, loads you can do, add weights when you want or feel the need. Try some stuff at home, just to see, and if you don't like then you can always join a gym :) Good luck!

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:15 AM

I stand by my advice. If she is dependent on this waitressing job, the last think she wants to do is set herself up for injury, and possibly not being able to work. Just like any physical activity, she will adapt eventually. Once that happens she may want to branch out and add more exercise. But to do so before is foolish. Go ahead and downvote me again.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:11 AM

They seem to be an epidemic. Apparently you can't disagree with some people.

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Also -- for your sanity, take time and/$ out once in a while to go to a nice restaurant where YOU can get served. It does wonders for a server's psyche!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:19 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise because I'm competitive and I enjoyed playing sports. It wasn't done with the intention of getting lean- that is a happy consequence. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should be able to eat whenever you are hungry. If you have to fast regularly to make your diet work, maybe you're not making wise food choices.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:18 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should be able to eat whenever you are hungry. If you have to fast regularly to make your diet work, maybe you're not making wise food choices.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on July 02, 2012
at 09:55 PM

anonymous downvote?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 09:35 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should be able to eat whenever you want and not have to fast for so long. Having to fast to meat your composition goals indicates to me you don't know how to make proper food choices.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 09:33 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should have to fast for so long.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 02, 2012
at 08:20 PM

In college all I did was wait tables, have sex, ride my bike, and go drinking. I stayed pretty lean. Wasn't in shape or strong but active as hell

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 08:15 PM

you need to break down your muscle in order for it to adapt to new stimulus and grow stronger. Breaking down muscle is a good thing. So is breaking down fat (which you'll be doing when you're exercising), only you won't be rebuilding it because your food will go to repairing muscle and rebuilding that. Eat more food is good and exercising allows you to eat more food, without getting fat, and while improving your health.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:56 PM

@ the other kelly- I WISH I still woke up sore everyday.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:49 PM

@ trjones- Yeah I loved rowing crew, but I just had to keep a really really strict diet to stay at a level of leanness I was comfortable with. That was mostly very lean cuts of meat, some fatty wild caught fish, green vegetables, and very well timed carbohydrates. You need carbs if you're going to work out consistently, and you need protein to repair your muscle and keep a lean physique. Mind you, I still ate low carb compared to the vast majority of athletes. I was able to do this because I timed the so well to get the most "bang for the buck" if you will.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:42 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:38 PM

that I'm bashing rowing. I'm not I'm just saying it's hard to keep a balanced hormonal environment conducive to fat loss while doing it. I wouldn't advice rowing on erg to anyone not in the sport.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Yeah, I have rowed for many years and found that my diet had to be incredibly tight (only very lean proteins, some fatty fish, green vegetables, and very well timed carbs) to keep a really lean physique. Now that I no longer row competitively, it's so much easier to maintain my physique while being more relaxed on the diet end. I'm not trying to bash it though. I think rowing competitively on a team is one of the best activities a man could ever do as it is humbling, builds a deep sense of camaraderie, and pushes you physically incredibly hard but mentally even harder...Don't get the idea..

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:31 PM

I'm disappointed to hear that about rowing too. The erg is the only cardio machine I can use at the gym without wanting to gouge my eyes out from boredom. Truthfully though, I haven't been seeing good weightloss results while using it, so I guess what foreveryoung might be true.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:27 PM

This doesn't directly address your question or goals, but my instinct would be to add regular foot care (massaging, soaking in epsom salt) and yoga/stretching to distribute any uneven muscle stress and relieve tension in overworked areas. This is for general health, not weight loss or muscle gain, although it could help in those areas over time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:25 PM

@ the other Kelly- I don't know, call me old fashioned but I think doing things that are hard to do builds character. Especially if you need to lose weight and reverse some metabolic damage a proper resistance training regimen will be hugely beneficial.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:19 PM

@ the other Kelly- I don't know, call me old fashioned but I think doing things that are hard to do builds character.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:18 PM

@ the other Kelly- I don't know call be old fashioned but I think doing things you don't want to do builds character.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:17 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing to be out on the water. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism- like 7 other oarsman who are depending on you and a hot little girl in the stern telling you to "pull harder."

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:16 PM

She said "I'm very tired at the end of every night. I wake up at 10am, aching from the night before..." So long as this is the case, telling her to work out MORE is ill-advised.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:15 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing to be out on the water. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism- like 7 other oarsman who are depending on you and a hot little girl in the stern telling you pull harder.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:08 PM

No, I am not skinnier, but I have a lower body fat percentage and more muscle mass. I think being skinny not attractive for girls but especially for boys, and that's what you'll get if you calorie restrict and don't exercise.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:06 PM

@ Gerg, again again- I killed myself exercising in HS because it was fun and I liked the competitiveness of sports. I do less exercise now that I've graduated high school and have a better body than I did then.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:02 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing to be out on the water. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:01 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:57 PM

@ Gerg, again- and btw nice "gravatar" pic- I am a pilot as well :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:56 PM

@ Gerg- and btw nice David Clark headset you got going on in your "gravatar." I am a pilot as well.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:49 PM

I didn't know that about rowing. That sucks, because that was one of the many things I enjoyed about it. I have exercise-induced asthma and can't afford the inhaler, so the rowing really helped me do the things I couldn't do with running without an inhaler.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:48 PM

Eating a lot of fatty wild animals is a great way to build up your fat reserves, and since most here ascribe to the insulin drives fat hypothesis, why do you keep forgetting that most animal proteins are more insulinogenic than natural carbohydrates?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:45 PM

I will believe that you can get a respectable physique (i.e. one your not ashamed to walk around naked with) when I see it. So far I have not seen it. And before you say Mark Sisson, the guy was an exercise maniac and a carbolic for the vast majority of his life.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:41 PM

IT's an absolute fantasy that our paleolithic ancestors were running around shredded. Not until agriculture was invented and we had a steady food supply was this possible.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:40 PM

@ Gerg- Yes, our nomadic and purely paleolithic ancestors did spend a lot of time walking and hunting. With such sporadic access to food (being pre agricultural), the only ones that would have survived are the ones with significant adipose tissue (stored energy).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:38 PM

I used to row lightweight crew, I can attest to the fact that it does make staying lean harder. What I mean by the right type of exercise is resistance training with a high intensity and short rest periods, but with specific body part isolation in addition to the core lifts. Additionally, sprints 2-4x a week for 20 mins is enough to get you absolutely in the top 10% level of fitness.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Cross fit and sprints are entirely different. Cross fit involves heavy loading of the spine with high speed compound lifts in a short duration. Yes, in both sprints and cross fit you get a great anaerobic workout, but in crossift you are repeatedly stressing your CNS. Read up on studies of rowers. Crossfit is similar to rowing (rowing is a repeated deadlift, FYI) and rowing is very stressful on your CNS, and cortisol levels in rowers are consistently elevated above other athletes.' Doing that type of activity in a persistent carb depleted state is a recipe for hormonal disaster.

98d897c716fab334d015b8004ed0537f

(639)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:31 PM

If you are eating correctly, you shouldn't need to kill yourself on the exercise front. Our human ancestors spent a lot of time walking, gathering, and carrying stuff...sounds a lot like waitressing to me.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Those are all great questions, and you're right, the type of exercises I did in high school are great for someone who is fit and healthy, but, why would they suddenly be not great for someone who wants to be fit and healthy? The reason that you lost weight eating very low carb and then gained it back as soon as you ate carbs again is because you did nothing to improve your insulin sensitivity- all you did was mask your symptoms, like I said earlier. There is no short term solution for a long term situation.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:05 PM

like me, where I have weight to lose. Sorry for all the questions, I just can't go off with just eat more carbs and work out more.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Ok, I have a few questions for you. What do you consider the "right" form of weightlifting? I just find that term very general. And why is Crossfit wrong, especially when you recommend HIIT sprinting? How are these different when it comes to hormonal patterns? What do you mean by eating carbs at the right time. In my personal experience, I've never lost weight unless I ate under 20g a day, and I lost whether I was exercising or not. Whenever I ate more, weight came back. Also, it sounds like the type of exercising you did in high school is for someone who is already fit and healthy, not...

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13 Answers

9
98d897c716fab334d015b8004ed0537f

(639)

on July 02, 2012
at 03:36 PM

I think your job as a waitress would cover most of your needs, assuming you were busy and not sitting around, it's a lot of movement and carrying stuff around. I'd probably still try and lift heavy weights once or twice a week if possible.

3
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on July 02, 2012
at 04:08 PM

I think there's a middle ground here. Waitressing (if busy) should be good for most of it, but maybe add pushups/pullups/lunges at home 2 or 3 times a week. Once you can do 10-12 pushups easily with good form, then you could switch to clapping pushups. For pullups, You could get a pull up bar, or find something at home to hang from, or find something at a park or a tree branch/etc. For lunges, you can do them without weight and once that gets too easy, just carry anything (e.g. heavy book). Until you can do 10-12 clapping pushups, 10-12 pullups, weighted lunges with good form, you may not have to worry too much about a gym. Instead of lunges, you could probably do sprints.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:11 AM

They seem to be an epidemic. Apparently you can't disagree with some people.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on July 02, 2012
at 09:55 PM

anonymous downvote?

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:08 AM

I didn't downvote. I agree, whether or not I should keep going to the gym, I can at least do these things to improve my strength. Thanks

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I got in pretty good shape working as a busser, and either walking or riding my bike as transportation for my 2 mile commute. I suspect waitressing has a similar amount of walking and lifting. The best way to find out, is to give it a shot.

Movement is movement, I don't think we need to get hung up on the idea that exercise happens in gyms. 100 years ago people would have looked at you like you were crazy paying to exercise your body because they had active jobs just like you do.

And, if your feet are still achy the next day, making sure you have really flexible-soled shoes, and Epsom salt foot soaks can help.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 03, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Word. I actually like refilling ice as it gives me a second to breathe and stretch without anyone looking at me. Ha.. the happy pee dance is not actually happy even though it looks like it is.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 03, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Totally agree. I do some bar work and am all over the place, there is definitely some heavy lifting on occasions and I'm moving pretty much the entire time up to 8-hour shifts. Tip: I never wear the same shoes twice in a row, either, keeps my feet in good shape. Epsom soaks are fantastic. Body weight exercises rule, loads you can do, add weights when you want or feel the need. Try some stuff at home, just to see, and if you don't like then you can always join a gym :) Good luck!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Wonder if people would pay to do the bar back workout? Coming soon to a box near you, scoop that ice, lift that bucket, run it out to the bar over your head. Sprints with racks of pint glasses at arm's length. Squat and lift that bus bin. I can see it now.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 08:03 AM

Anyone who thinks it isn't exercise hasn't pulled a 6-10 hour shift with a few good rushes in it lifting and carrying bins of dirty dishes, racks of clean dishes, and trays of food and drinks, and in the down time running out bags of trash, carrying buckets of ice, filling and carrying buckets of bleach water, restocking bar towels, sweeping and mopping, cleaning windows, wiping down work surfaces, and restocking bathrooms, all done as quickly as possible so it can look like you are available to the customers at all times. Your lucky if you get to sit down long enough for a proper wizz.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 08:04 AM

Anyone who thinks it isn't exercise hasn't pulled a 6-10 hour shift with a few good rushes in it lifting and carrying bins of dirty dishes, racks of clean dishes, and trays of food and drinks, and in the down time running out bags of trash, carrying buckets of ice, filling and carrying buckets of bleach water, restocking bar towels, sweeping and mopping, cleaning windows, wiping down work surfaces, and restocking bathrooms, all done as quickly as possible so it can look like you are available to the customers at all times. You're lucky if you get to sit down long enough for a proper wizz.

2
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on July 02, 2012
at 04:58 PM

Short answer is yes, waitressing is a valid form of exercise. If you want to stop reading that's fine, but I absolutely do not think it's enough to gain any health benefits or improvements in body composition.

First off, I would seriously question of the credibility of people telling you that if you want to lose fat, don't do any exercise other than waitressing and maybe some bodyweight work. The rationalization they are using is that it's stressful and that your body will start burning muscle. Yet, these are the same people who recommend intermittent fasting on the basis that autophagy (just another word for catabolism) is beneficial- only when it involves exercise, apparently, it's conveniently not. Clearly some people pick and choose, and dispense the information they like to hear.

If you are doing the right form of weightlifting (i.e., not cross fit) you will definitely improve your body composition, increase and/or retain lean muscle mass, improve your insulin sensitivity, decrease the rate of brain aging, and improve psychological and emotional health. IF you're doing marathon cardio sessions OR short, intense cross fit sessions, you'll certainly let loose an adverse hormonal pattern that is not conducive to improving your body composition (i.e., getting lean).

I used to caddy at a country club all through high school for 3-9 hours a day, which is pretty arduous labor. In addition to that, I played soccer competitively in the Spring, swam competitively in the fall and winter, and lifted weights 4-6x per week all throughout. during that time frame, I managed to put on about 40lbs of muscle, and maintain or reduce my body fat percentage. Of course I went into catabolic states at certain times, but, everyone would agree that sometimes that is healthy- burning fat is a catabolic state, and so is burning muscle. I improved my body composition because I did the right kind of lifting in conduction with my other activities and I emphasized performance before, and recovery after every single one of my workouts. I didn't eat TONS of carbs, but certainly more than most paleo hackers advocate. The key is to eat them at the right times, which is tedious work and takes some forethought, planning, and effort, but it is definitely worth it and I wouldn't go about it any other way.

I would suggest adding weight training at least 4days per week, with sessions lasting from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. In addition, I would do 3 HIIT training sprinting sessions and additionally some optional recovery cardio (I like swimming). Waitressing is not enough if you want to improve general physical and emotional health, and especially if you want to improve your body composition significantly.

You will never improve your insulin sensitivity by avoiding carbs and not exercising. All you will do is mask symptoms of insulin resistance andy type 2 diabetes. To increase insulin sensitivity and improve body composition you gotta work out and eat carbs.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:05 PM

like me, where I have weight to lose. Sorry for all the questions, I just can't go off with just eat more carbs and work out more.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:17 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing to be out on the water. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism- like 7 other oarsman who are depending on you and a hot little girl in the stern telling you to "pull harder."

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:31 PM

I'm disappointed to hear that about rowing too. The erg is the only cardio machine I can use at the gym without wanting to gouge my eyes out from boredom. Truthfully though, I haven't been seeing good weightloss results while using it, so I guess what foreveryoung might be true.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:49 PM

@ trjones- Yeah I loved rowing crew, but I just had to keep a really really strict diet to stay at a level of leanness I was comfortable with. That was mostly very lean cuts of meat, some fatty wild caught fish, green vegetables, and very well timed carbohydrates. You need carbs if you're going to work out consistently, and you need protein to repair your muscle and keep a lean physique. Mind you, I still ate low carb compared to the vast majority of athletes. I was able to do this because I timed the so well to get the most "bang for the buck" if you will.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:42 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:41 PM

IT's an absolute fantasy that our paleolithic ancestors were running around shredded. Not until agriculture was invented and we had a steady food supply was this possible.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:49 PM

I didn't know that about rowing. That sucks, because that was one of the many things I enjoyed about it. I have exercise-induced asthma and can't afford the inhaler, so the rowing really helped me do the things I couldn't do with running without an inhaler.

98d897c716fab334d015b8004ed0537f

(639)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:31 PM

If you are eating correctly, you shouldn't need to kill yourself on the exercise front. Our human ancestors spent a lot of time walking, gathering, and carrying stuff...sounds a lot like waitressing to me.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:38 PM

I used to row lightweight crew, I can attest to the fact that it does make staying lean harder. What I mean by the right type of exercise is resistance training with a high intensity and short rest periods, but with specific body part isolation in addition to the core lifts. Additionally, sprints 2-4x a week for 20 mins is enough to get you absolutely in the top 10% level of fitness.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:19 PM

@ the other Kelly- I don't know, call me old fashioned but I think doing things that are hard to do builds character.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:06 PM

@ Gerg, again again- I killed myself exercising in HS because it was fun and I liked the competitiveness of sports. I do less exercise now that I've graduated high school and have a better body than I did then.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:48 PM

Eating a lot of fatty wild animals is a great way to build up your fat reserves, and since most here ascribe to the insulin drives fat hypothesis, why do you keep forgetting that most animal proteins are more insulinogenic than natural carbohydrates?

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:16 PM

She said "I'm very tired at the end of every night. I wake up at 10am, aching from the night before..." So long as this is the case, telling her to work out MORE is ill-advised.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:45 PM

I will believe that you can get a respectable physique (i.e. one your not ashamed to walk around naked with) when I see it. So far I have not seen it. And before you say Mark Sisson, the guy was an exercise maniac and a carbolic for the vast majority of his life.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:15 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing to be out on the water. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism- like 7 other oarsman who are depending on you and a hot little girl in the stern telling you pull harder.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:38 PM

that I'm bashing rowing. I'm not I'm just saying it's hard to keep a balanced hormonal environment conducive to fat loss while doing it. I wouldn't advice rowing on erg to anyone not in the sport.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:57 PM

@ Gerg, again- and btw nice "gravatar" pic- I am a pilot as well :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Yeah, I have rowed for many years and found that my diet had to be incredibly tight (only very lean proteins, some fatty fish, green vegetables, and very well timed carbs) to keep a really lean physique. Now that I no longer row competitively, it's so much easier to maintain my physique while being more relaxed on the diet end. I'm not trying to bash it though. I think rowing competitively on a team is one of the best activities a man could ever do as it is humbling, builds a deep sense of camaraderie, and pushes you physically incredibly hard but mentally even harder...Don't get the idea..

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:18 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should be able to eat whenever you are hungry. If you have to fast regularly to make your diet work, maybe you're not making wise food choices.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Those are all great questions, and you're right, the type of exercises I did in high school are great for someone who is fit and healthy, but, why would they suddenly be not great for someone who wants to be fit and healthy? The reason that you lost weight eating very low carb and then gained it back as soon as you ate carbs again is because you did nothing to improve your insulin sensitivity- all you did was mask your symptoms, like I said earlier. There is no short term solution for a long term situation.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:56 PM

@ the other kelly- I WISH I still woke up sore everyday.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 09:33 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should have to fast for so long.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 09:35 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise in high school because I'm competitive and I enjoyed that sports. It wasn't done at all with the intention of getting a lean physique. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should be able to eat whenever you want and not have to fast for so long. Having to fast to meat your composition goals indicates to me you don't know how to make proper food choices.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:02 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing to be out on the water. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Ok, I have a few questions for you. What do you consider the "right" form of weightlifting? I just find that term very general. And why is Crossfit wrong, especially when you recommend HIIT sprinting? How are these different when it comes to hormonal patterns? What do you mean by eating carbs at the right time. In my personal experience, I've never lost weight unless I ate under 20g a day, and I lost whether I was exercising or not. Whenever I ate more, weight came back. Also, it sounds like the type of exercising you did in high school is for someone who is already fit and healthy, not...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:40 PM

@ Gerg- Yes, our nomadic and purely paleolithic ancestors did spend a lot of time walking and hunting. With such sporadic access to food (being pre agricultural), the only ones that would have survived are the ones with significant adipose tissue (stored energy).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:01 PM

@ Kelly- I enjoy rowing too, and I still do it from time to time in a scull. I just don't row 2ks and do it a low/moderate intensity mostly b/c it's so relaxing. Competitively though, a 2k race lasts all of 6 minutes and it is not at all rare for people to pass out (like cross fit) and sometimes even die. It's the most stressful activity I know of and to complete a race takes something beyond physical athleticism.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:25 PM

@ the other Kelly- I don't know, call me old fashioned but I think doing things that are hard to do builds character. Especially if you need to lose weight and reverse some metabolic damage a proper resistance training regimen will be hugely beneficial.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:56 PM

@ Gerg- and btw nice David Clark headset you got going on in your "gravatar." I am a pilot as well.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:18 PM

@ the other Kelly- I don't know call be old fashioned but I think doing things you don't want to do builds character.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:08 PM

No, I am not skinnier, but I have a lower body fat percentage and more muscle mass. I think being skinny not attractive for girls but especially for boys, and that's what you'll get if you calorie restrict and don't exercise.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Cross fit and sprints are entirely different. Cross fit involves heavy loading of the spine with high speed compound lifts in a short duration. Yes, in both sprints and cross fit you get a great anaerobic workout, but in crossift you are repeatedly stressing your CNS. Read up on studies of rowers. Crossfit is similar to rowing (rowing is a repeated deadlift, FYI) and rowing is very stressful on your CNS, and cortisol levels in rowers are consistently elevated above other athletes.' Doing that type of activity in a persistent carb depleted state is a recipe for hormonal disaster.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:19 PM

@ Gerg- I "killed myself" with exercise because I'm competitive and I enjoyed playing sports. It wasn't done with the intention of getting lean- that is a happy consequence. And I still kept a good diet, so it wasn't to "out train" a poor one, like you're suggesting. In fact, you could say my diet was so good that it allowed me to train at a high level on a regular basis. Also, if your diet is good you should be able to eat whenever you are hungry. If you have to fast regularly to make your diet work, maybe you're not making wise food choices.

2
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on July 02, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I agree with the others. If your goal is to lose fat, don't do any exercise other than your job or do some bodyweight exercises if you feel up to it. (...and by "feel up to it" I mean feeling energetic enough to complete a good workout, not "Oh my God, if I don't exercise I'm going to get fat." If you're tired, rest.)

Also, my opinion is that if you want to reduce the stress in your life, you should avoid Crossfit like the plague. There are a lot less stressful ways to get fit.

1
F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

on August 27, 2012
at 04:28 AM

I was more fit when I was waiting tables than ever in my life. 8-9 hours with no breaks, constant walking, heavy lifting, etc.

Ironman who?

1
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on July 02, 2012
at 11:25 PM

It's a slippery slope, trying to consider your job a form of exercise. A lot of people I know would say to not consider your job, no matter what it was, a form of exercise and you should still have a separate exercise regimen. Mainly because the more you exercise, the better your body will be equipped to handle your job, probably, yes? And therefore the less tired you shall be because you have more strength, stamina, etc.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:19 AM

If I had the time or the money I would! I asked this question because while I know work is work, it affects me like a workout, with aches in the morning and feeling very tired.

B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

(877)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Also -- for your sanity, take time and/$ out once in a while to go to a nice restaurant where YOU can get served. It does wonders for a server's psyche!

1
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 02, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Skip the gym. You're very active at work and you don't need the added stress. If you feel like you need to do heavy work occasionally, you can do some bodyweight exercises once a week. But only if you can rest the next day.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:11 AM

I stand by my advice. If she is dependent on this waitressing job, the last think she wants to do is set herself up for injury, and possibly not being able to work. Just like any physical activity, she will adapt eventually. Once that happens she may want to branch out and add more exercise. But to do so before is foolish.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:15 AM

I stand by my advice. If she is dependent on this waitressing job, the last think she wants to do is set herself up for injury, and possibly not being able to work. Just like any physical activity, she will adapt eventually. Once that happens she may want to branch out and add more exercise. But to do so before is foolish. Go ahead and downvote me again.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 02, 2012
at 03:49 PM

Put on a pedometer and find out. 2000 steps to the mile. And avoid eating the restaurant food at all costs.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 02, 2012
at 03:46 PM

Don't worry about exercise. In any kind of weight loss situation, the best advice is to do just enough to keep your muscle mass and nothing more, because exercise tends to ramp up your hunger- and in your case you'd likely start breaking down muscle because your muscles need rest from work.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 02, 2012
at 08:15 PM

you need to break down your muscle in order for it to adapt to new stimulus and grow stronger. Breaking down muscle is a good thing. So is breaking down fat (which you'll be doing when you're exercising), only you won't be rebuilding it because your food will go to repairing muscle and rebuilding that. Eat more food is good and exercising allows you to eat more food, without getting fat, and while improving your health.

0
Caa90834b686209942e7ba2af80edb0b

on August 31, 2013
at 07:13 AM

Been a waitress for a long time now. I don't eat at work. I barely even have time to drink anything. I get two days off a week (maybe) get my 40+ hours a week. Sometimes I work doubles. Like a early morning shift then a graveyard shift. (I work at IHop). If I was to work out in my time off or after my shifts I would NOT have a life. Being a waitress you have to juggle schedules. And you have to make time to eat and have personal time. Me personally I have time to grab a quick bite. And I'm kinda over weight. But I have to stay energized when I work those doubles... So energy drinks is what kills me. I have a step counter and I walk about 5 miles on a busy day. ( and depending on my section and how far it is from dish pit) the doctor says I'm physically in shape. But with me being tired and exhausted, not eating on schedule and when I do it's not much, and with my energy drinks it's causing me to have a slow metabolism. I can honestly say if I wasn't a waitress I could loose weight better. It's un healthy. And you deffiantly don't get paid enough for what you do, and have to put up with!! But it does pay the bills.

0
444dca1cff0d1108644bd55f0b86b228

on August 27, 2012
at 04:19 AM

I am a server as well. Totallly understand the feeling. I can be up at 8 in the morning and be so ready for bed by 9pm. When I get off work I dont have time to excercise. I get off, come home to kids and cleaning up the house and make dinner, help with homework and get kis ready for bed. Not much downtime. I wouldn't be able to go to the gym becuase I dont have a day care and no family around me. I got blood work done though and have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Maybe you should get that checked. Becuase if that doesn't work it's nearly impossible to loe weight. Goodluck

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Dang, thought it said can waitresses be a valid, main form of exercise. Sounded good to me.

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