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How to change 'skinny-fat' look without heavy lifting?

Commented on January 21, 2014
Created October 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Is there any other way to change body composition? have any of you achieved this?

Thank you!

UPDATE: I'm so sorry if I didn't make this clear. What I meant is:

It's not that training is out of the answer. It's that I'm just wondering if there is any way of changing body composition without lifting HEAVY weights. I always hear people using heavy weights to change body composition. What about lighter? Or body weight? Could you use your body weight instead or 10 lb dumbells at most and still get good results in change of body composition? Have any of you done this? What results came out of it? How did you do it?

Medium avatar

on January 21, 2014
at 06:49 AM

Any change in body composition doesn't happen overnight. It takes weeks and weeks of dedication to get results, especially from "heavy weights." Did you know that lifting heavy weights burns more fat than running? Also, lifting heavy weights will get you slimmer than running or another type of cardio. You will not just get big by lifting big, you need to feed / fuel your system in order to gain size. Give it a shot, I bet you will love being able to live heavier and heavier things!

Medium avatar

on January 21, 2014
at 06:47 AM

Do you consider strength training the same as weight training? You can drastically change your body composition with body weight excercises such as walking lunges, squats, planks, push ups, etc.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 09:13 PM

If you can do 6 sets of 40 reps with your 10lb weights, then I agree they're not enough. (though adding just 2-3lbs could tip the scale.) Bodyweight is where I like to exercise (though, if you're unable to do the sets with your weight, you'll need to lift less.) 10-20 reps in the 5-6 set range should do it, then just adjust how much you're lifting to kick the effort level up. It really depends on your current strength level. (Ideally, you should be keeping track of how much you're lifting, how long it takes you to do the exercises, and the measurements of your muscles.)

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 23, 2013
at 09:09 PM

What about just bodyweight? It seems like dumbells won't be as affective, or maybe I'm not reading it right. If I were to use my bodyweight how would I go about it? Would it help with both strength and body composition? Would I constantly go to failure? How many sets/reps?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 08:35 PM

“If you use a weight that is too light you will recruit the slow-twitch fibers into service, but because they fatigue so slowly, by the time you have started to recruit the intermediate fibers, some of the same slow-twitch motor units will have started to recover. They will then recycle back into the contraction process, thus preventing you from ever engaging the higher-order muscle fibers.” Depending on your strength, 10lbs might not cut it, or it might be perfect.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 08:31 PM

I’d start here, maybe.

http://i.imgur.com/vJHNL7l.png

“If the weights become light as you progress, add a few pounds from time to time, until it becomes an effort to do the last few repetitions of each set.”

I’d do this 3 times a week, with about 5 sets to failure.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 08:30 PM

This comment thing is horrible. I'm tempted to just post a reply somewhere else and put the link here.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 07:50 PM

For what it's worth, I would use heavier weights if there wasn't a risk of a valve blowout, haha. I much prefer that style.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on October 23, 2013
at 07:49 PM

LOL. FWIW, I use both styles in my routines for different reasons.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 07:48 PM

“If a maximal—or near maximal—effort is applied at the end of a set of repetitions, the evidence strongly suggests that the different external forces produced with different amounts of resistance elicit similar outcomes.”

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 07:32 PM

My bad, I thought your point was:

“Body weight exercises, by definition, cannot be more effort than a similar movement with added weight.”

To which I was saying that No, I disagree, I usually put in equal effort with my body weight to that of heavier weights. “Forget Heavy, Think Effort” as is recommended by guys like Carpinelli.

What are we even talking about, haha.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 07:32 PM

My bad, I thought your point was:

“Body weight exercises, by definition, cannot be more effort than a similar movement with added weight.”

To which I was saying that No, I disagree, I usually put in equal effort with my body weight to that of a heavier weights. “Forget Heavy, Think Effort” as is recommended by guys like Carpinelli.

What are we even talking about, haha.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on October 23, 2013
at 02:16 PM

And now you're getting to what I initially described - literally working for a longer duration with lighter weights or no weights. With a longer duration, comes more work and effort in a literal, physical sense.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 12:23 PM

But, it's not 10lbs 10 times and 20lbs 10 times. To get your muscles to fail at 10lbs might take more than 20 times (compared with 20lbs 10 times), and those last 10 are going to suck. It really extends the amount of time you spend pushing yourself toward the burn. It's not like you just do a few light weight exercises and stop, you do it until you cannot (and this makes you spend more time in the almost-cannot high-effort territory.)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on October 23, 2013
at 12:02 PM

I stand by, what I would like to think, was a very fair differentiation between colloquial and scientific defintions of work. Lifting 10lbs, 10 times is simply less effort than lifting 20lbs, 10 times. Struggling to lift 500lbs, 1 time don't factor into the idea of physical work we're talking about.

Also, that article talks about anabolic response, not "effort". It's actually pretty awesome that scientists confirmed what most body builder types new intrinsically / culturally for a long time.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 11:48 AM

I still argue that it IS in fact effort. As that article shows (Science, bitches), higher reps of lower weight is more effective than lower reps of higher weight. It takes a lot longer and more effort (especially the stronger you get) to get your muscles to fail at 30WM compared with 90WM. (To get my muscles to fail at 1RM, I only have to lift a single thing and in 10 seconds I'm about done for a day or two.)

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on October 23, 2013
at 11:38 AM

Body weight exercises, by definition, cannot be more effort than a similar movement with added weight. ;-) However, if people find weights unsatisfying or annoying, and they find they desire to work more vigorously or for a longer duration without them, that may be where you find it's "more effort" (albeit in a colloquial sense).

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 23, 2013
at 06:28 AM

Checkout http://home.fuse.net/clymer/bmi/

Play with the calculator, read the body of webpage & take a look at some of the linked to information.

Comment character counter still jacked up... :(

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 23, 2013
at 06:27 AM

Recomp ...improve body's muscle to fat ratio...muscle up, fat down. I'm a big believer in waist to height ratio as fitness / shape factor indicator. BMI sucks, Waist to Height makes much better sense. Two people same height / same weight have the same BMI. If one has a 40" waist & one has a 34" waist, who is more likely to be "in shape"? The guy with the 40" waist? Not likely.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 23, 2013
at 06:24 AM

Check out Mark Sisson's videos on self weight exercise and look in 4 Hour Body (used copy on Half.com) I do push ups (all sorts), air squats, donkey raisers. Kettle bells? No, back surgery 15 years ago has me gun shy.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 23, 2013
at 06:21 AM

I just turned 60. Days of power cleans, dead lift and squats are LONG gone. My objective now is to stay healthy & strong by proper diet and a bit of exercise and work to avoid injury. Started a bout a year ago with Hyman (Blood Sugar Solution), then 4 Hour Body, then Primal Blueprint & finally paleo.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 23, 2013
at 05:56 AM

For most people Crossfit is great.... a great way to get hurt and generally unsustainable as one gets older. Maybe a good thing for the under 45 crowd but I don't think so. I've always wondered if crossfit was developed under a grant from AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 11:30 PM

**i meant, "without heavy weights" I always hear of people changing body comp with heavy weights, but never low weights or body and I was curious if anyone experienced different

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 11:26 PM

I'm not apposed to dumbells at all. I don't mean it to sound that way. I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience changing body composition without weights. I personally enjoy dumbells.

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 09:32 PM

Thanks. But speaking of using 'bodyweight' what do you generally do? How do you do it? Do you go to failure? Do a certain set of reps and sets? What is recomp? I've heard of it before but never have I fully understood it.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 22, 2013
at 07:19 PM

the answer is yes, pretty much anything thats not cardio, the goal is to build muscle. squats/pullups/pushups...ect are all very nice, but adding weights just gives you more versatility to spot-build/tone specific spots or build/tone to a greater degree than being limited to your body weight.

if your not challanging yourself then your just wasting time/spinning your wheels.

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 01:55 PM

I don't enjoy Weight Training as much as yoga and sprinting. I'm just curious if there is anything else I could do to improve my body composition without weight training involved.

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14 Answers

0
Medium avatar

on December 20, 2013
at 09:54 PM

Body weight is fine and I would say do to failure. Let each muscle group rest a day before you train it again.

Good luck, and let us know what the results are!

0
Medium avatar

on October 24, 2013
at 07:22 PM

Using heavy compound movements will burn more fat and build more muscle. Although, I am not sure if you do not want to use weights due to medical limitation or another reason. If it is medical related, drop the machines and weights and focus on closed chain bodyweight movements, or tweak them so they are easier (pushups against a wall or couch, pushups off your knees, resistance bands in place of pullups, etc). Just be sure to gradually increase intensity, even if you think you can do more, drop your ego and go gradual as you will have much better results. You can do compound body weight movements and get the same results,if not better stability and balance. If you are able to do 30 push ups with perfect form, then super set 20 pushups then 60 second planks then 40 body squats. You can ALWAYS make things harder by removing rest, adding super sets, or doing both and creating mega sets. The argument that you need heavy weights is absolute rubbish. @maleska training to failure every workout can be very taxing on your body and central nervous system, reserve train to failure once every so often, especially if you are new to this as you may end up hurting yourself.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on October 24, 2013
at 12:00 AM

Try it. You'll definitely make progress with light lifting and body weight based exercises. I think different people respond to lifting different weights differently. Heavy lifting isn't for everyone.

I don't really enjoy heavy lifting much but have made major strides in body composition with Crossfit workouts that don't involve a lot of weight (the "metabolic conditioning" workouts). I weigh about 215 and the most I typically lift is 135 (63% of body weight) and I can state for a fact that the workouts are incredibly intense and build a lot of muscle.

0
Medium avatar

on October 23, 2013
at 08:02 PM

@paleot and @greymouser

Sorry, the comment thing isn't working. But I have a question for you both. What about bodyweight to failure vs dumbells with 3 sets and 10 reps, or any other that you think is best (10 pounds at most because that's all I have at the moment) for changes in body composition and overall strength. Which do you think is better? And if failure, how often should I do it ..?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 08:30 PM

This comment thing is horrible. I'm tempted to just post a reply somewhere else and put the link here.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 08:31 PM

I’d start here, maybe.

http://i.imgur.com/vJHNL7l.png

“If the weights become light as you progress, add a few pounds from time to time, until it becomes an effort to do the last few repetitions of each set.”

I’d do this 3 times a week, with about 5 sets to failure.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 08:35 PM

“If you use a weight that is too light you will recruit the slow-twitch fibers into service, but because they fatigue so slowly, by the time you have started to recruit the intermediate fibers, some of the same slow-twitch motor units will have started to recover. They will then recycle back into the contraction process, thus preventing you from ever engaging the higher-order muscle fibers.” Depending on your strength, 10lbs might not cut it, or it might be perfect.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on October 23, 2013
at 10:28 AM

Don't fear the weights, they are your friend. You're more capable than you imagine. Start slow and low and work your way up. Gain confidence, and you can increase the intensity.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 23, 2013
at 07:32 AM

I find it's more about effort than weight. I tend to prefer the lightweights / bodyweight exercises, as I have a bi-cuspid aortic valve and heavy lifting is discouraged. But, when I work out a muscle group, I usually do it to failure. I'll see if I can dig up the article that comes to mind.

Here it is:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012033

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on October 23, 2013
at 11:38 AM

Body weight exercises, by definition, cannot be more effort than a similar movement with added weight. ;-) However, if people find weights unsatisfying or annoying, and they find they desire to work more vigorously or for a longer duration without them, that may be where you find it's "more effort" (albeit in a colloquial sense).

0
Ad47f6f8d30f74fa3d7db41d555f58cf

on October 23, 2013
at 12:23 AM

Consider a program like p90x, especially if you want to workout in your house. It can be done with just pushups, pullups, some bands, and bodyweight. I'm a big guy who can lift pretty things, but I got good results looking more solid with p90x. It's totally scalable.

As I got better at it, I sucked it up and joined Crossfit.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 23, 2013
at 05:56 AM

For most people Crossfit is great.... a great way to get hurt and generally unsustainable as one gets older. Maybe a good thing for the under 45 crowd but I don't think so. I've always wondered if crossfit was developed under a grant from AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

0
Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

on October 22, 2013
at 10:35 PM

I am unsure why you are completely opposed to even 3 or 5 lb dumbbells but there are still plenty of body weight exercises you can do. Pushups (tons of variations ie gamer pushups), jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squat thrustjumps (burpees), squats, jump squats, tons of sprinting, bench dips, wall sit, plank, sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, Turkish get ups, get ups, lunges, bicycle kicks, throw downs (you need a partner), more sprints, skaters, cross countries, toe dogs, bird dogs. I would do these under high intensity often. I have gone to bootcamp with 10lb dumbbells for 10 months now at 3-4 hours a week and I have gotten really great results. I am going back to the gym as well to increase muscle mass and cut my remaining body fat (I'm 6ft 156-160lbs)

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 11:30 PM

**i meant, "without heavy weights" I always hear of people changing body comp with heavy weights, but never low weights or body and I was curious if anyone experienced different

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 11:26 PM

I'm not apposed to dumbells at all. I don't mean it to sound that way. I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience changing body composition without weights. I personally enjoy dumbells.

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 22, 2013
at 08:13 PM

This started as a comment but the comment system "hung"... :(

@Melaska

Body weight exercise definitely counts. I recomp'd over a period of ~7 months using only walking, self weight and yard work & working around the house. I'm 6' & now ~190 (down from 220). I have a long history of muscle gain & fat loss and vice versa. Since ~2004 I've been as high as 225 & as low as 188. The previous cycles are long.... like 6 months to a year to go from high to low or low to hgh.

I've often used the techniques of Seth Roberts (Shangri-La Diet) to lose the fat, usually it took several months to lose ~20 to 30 pounds but I'd just go back the old way of eating. In my old age I really don't have the patience or motivation for the long / heavy workouts. Plus old injuries make heavy lifting problematic; painful & potentially disabling. I'm definitely into an 80/20 thing....looking for 80% of the benefit with only 20% of the work / cost / effort. :)

As wtfgod says.... weights give you the ability to spot train but don't think you must join a gym or do crossfit. If you don't have any injuries / disabilities kettle bells are awesome as are dumb bells.

The human body is a dynamic / reactive system....

appropriately applied stress along with rest & food will yield great results, give it time. :)

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 09:32 PM

Thanks. But speaking of using 'bodyweight' what do you generally do? How do you do it? Do you go to failure? Do a certain set of reps and sets? What is recomp? I've heard of it before but never have I fully understood it.

0
Medium avatar

on October 22, 2013
at 07:11 PM

It's not that training is out of the answer. It's that I'm just wondering if there is any way of changing body composition without lifting heavy weights or weights in general. Could you use your body weight instead? I'm sorry for not making it more clear.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 22, 2013
at 07:19 PM

the answer is yes, pretty much anything thats not cardio, the goal is to build muscle. squats/pullups/pushups...ect are all very nice, but adding weights just gives you more versatility to spot-build/tone specific spots or build/tone to a greater degree than being limited to your body weight.

if your not challanging yourself then your just wasting time/spinning your wheels.

0
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on October 22, 2013
at 04:31 PM

You can go from skinny-fat to skinny without training with diet alone.

But ... why would you want to do that?

0
Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

on October 22, 2013
at 02:48 PM

Diet helps a lot but it will only take you so far... You should incorporate some HIIT which will dramatically improve your body composition

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 22, 2013
at 02:47 PM

booo, hisssssss.

0
Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

on October 22, 2013
at 01:33 PM

Why is training out of the question?

Medium avatar

(0)

on October 22, 2013
at 01:55 PM

I don't enjoy Weight Training as much as yoga and sprinting. I'm just curious if there is anything else I could do to improve my body composition without weight training involved.

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