Tips for Weight Lifting and Carb Cycling
Hey everyone, even though there is no new Arrow or Flash this week, I'm having a great time, so I'm feeling pretty ambitious. I'm gonna tackle not one, but two questions today :) The first one up is from my friend Jess, who asks: "I do T25 4-5 days a week & want to incorporate going to the gym to do weights (toning arms, legs, etc). Since I'm a beginner, how many days a week should I shoot for? Also, for how long?"
Alright, so I'm not 100% familiar with T25, meaning I haven't done it before. I did watch some of the footage and got the idea, and it's not too different from how I utilize bodyweight circuit training with my clients.
If you want to incorporate free weight training and lose weight, I would suggest a full-body approach using compound, multi-joint movements rather than isolation exercises. For example, instead of doing a bicep curl, which only works your bicep muscle, do a seated row, which will involve not only your arms, but your lats and trapezius in the back, as well as the rear deltoid in your shoulder (there are really a lot of muscles involved, but you get the point, I'm sure).
Using compound movements over isolation exercises will definitely save you time in the gym, especially if you are doing a full-body workout. As far as how much time you actually should be spending, you should be able to crank out a good workout in an hour or even 30 minutes, depending on how many sets you want to do.
If your focus really is on building muscle to achieve a more toned appearance, three days a week with rest days (or even T25 days) in between should serve you well :)
My next question comes from another awesome friend, Ang, who asks:
"When you do carb cycling, on reward days, do you eat like a low calorie day plus the extra calories? Or? Trying to wrap my mind around it."
Great question, and this is where a lot of people get off track with their weight loss, as it's easy to underestimate your calorie intake on a reward day.
The way I would structure a weight loss-targeted carb cycle plan for a client is pretty much doing what you described in your question, so following the strategy for the low calorie day and adding the extra calories. The amount of extra calories you do eat varies depending on how frequent your reward days are. If reward days are less frequent (once every two weeks) I would recommend not going above 3 times what your low-calorie allotment is. More frequent reward days (every 3-4 days) would mean fewer extra calories you'd get to eat, so limit that to about 1.5 times what you have on your low-calorie days.
Of course, make sure you get some exercise on your reward days, and carefully track your numbers so you can adjust to what your body is telling you ;) Also, I am a member of a private carb cycling group on Facebook with plenty of nice people to help you with your questions. If you'd like an invite, let me know!
I hope those were helpful tips for everyone, if you have a question of your own, feel free to send a message over any time!
Now I'm all hungry from these questions. I think I'll have a reward day ;)