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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

It's actually possible to maintain weight by losing lean tissue and gaining fat. I'm not suggesting that this is happening in your case; it's more to illustrate that weight is a poor indicator of fitness, conditioning, progress, etc. Afterall, most of us have known at least one person who brags about "weighing the same that I did in high school"... but who now has a big ol' gut.

As for what might happen in your case... assuming that your diet is good and that you're hitting the weights hard... I would wager that your most likely result would be an increase in muscle mass. This isn't to say that you're suddenly going to get huge... it's just that it's very likely that, by giving your body more recovery time, you'll gain a few lb's of muscle. Gaining muscle, even if your bodyfat stays the same, will reduce your percentage of bodyfat. Also, extra muscle (remember, fatty acids are the preferred fuel for muscles at rest) will allow your body to metabolize more fatty acids when you're just sitting around doing nothing. This makes it even less likely (assuming that you're not eating a lot of donuts!) that you're body will store fat.

But, eventually, the only way to really find out is to give it a try. If you did experience a sudden weight gain (sudden gains and losses are invariably always water) then just go back to your old workout. From personal experience 'tho, I don't think that cutting back on the cardio is going to do any harm... and will likely do good.

There are much better ways to track progress than the ol' scale. Here are a few:

- Ideally, the best way is to have someone who has a good eye for this stuff assess your physique on a regular basis. However, not everyone has easy access to someone who's good at this. And, it can be kind of intimidating having someone honestly critique your physique. Anyway, in this regard, be honest with yourself when you look in the mirror. If you're looking leaner/tighter/more defined then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Conversely, if you're not pleased with what you see then admit it, but don't get down on yourself about it. Just get to work on getting going in the right direction again.
- use photos. Take a few photos now; and shoot the same shots 4 weeks from now; compare.
- use measurements. Not the best way, but can be useful. If you're gaining weight and your waist is getting bigger.. this is bad; if you're gaining weight and your waist is getting smaller, or staying the same... this is good.

Lastly, don't be afraid to change things in your workout... this is a natural part of the process.


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