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TOPIC: 2 hour work outs- is this too much?

 
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June 23, 2011 10:50 AM
Hi guys,

This past weekend I hit an all time low weight wise, and since I'm going home to visit family over 4th July weekend I wanted to step my game up and really push myself, mostly because I have at least 1 more lb I want to lose before I go home and I'm afraid of hitting a plateau.

I use a HRM to track my calories burned so I feel it's pretty accurate, but I have been getting in 2 hour workouts since tuesday night:

Tuesday- 2 zumba classes back to back- 1165 calories burned
Wednesday- Aeroboxing 1 hour, Zumba 1 hour back to back- 1150 calories burned

Coming up:
Tonight: Zumba toning 1 hour, Regular Zumba 1 hour Back to back
Tomorrow: 6am Personal Training, Evening Zumba
Saturday: 2 hour Zumba master class
Sunday: Aeroboxing, Zumba back to back.

I am averaging over 1000 calories burned from doing 2 hour workouts. Not sure how long I will be able to keep up with 2 hour workouts but I guess my questions are the following:

1. Am I doing more harm than good to my body by pushing it like this or is switching it up for a week or 2 a good way to confuse my body and prevent it from plateauing?
2. Will my body get used to 2 hour workouts and stop responding as well to 1 hour workouts if I take it back down a notch when I get home?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Just trying to switch things up before I go home, but I just want to make sure it's not going to hurt me in the long run. Feel free to take a look at my food diarys as well.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
  7470973
June 23, 2011 10:55 AM
I'm interested to hear more on this, also.
June 23, 2011 10:55 AM
I'm no expert, but I would think it's ok as long as you're properly fueling your body as well (calorie intake and fluids).
  6609759
June 23, 2011 10:57 AM
i think as long as your eating enough and you feel good, then go for it. But if you ever feel like you need a break, by all means take it.
June 23, 2011 10:58 AM
I've been doing hours of work outs together for a few years, but more in the recent months.

(possibly addicted but a few people are similar in my gym also).

If you are feeling good about it, I dont see why you should stop it, just make sure you are eating properly.

But one thing i've always remembered a trainer said, if you're doing more than one class water isnt good enough because you are losing alot more than water in sweat.
  2862508
June 23, 2011 10:59 AM
QUOTE:

I'm no expert, but I would think it's ok as long as you're properly fueling your body as well (calorie intake and fluids).


i agree. i usually split my two hours up over the day though, so i can have 2 metabolism boosts. I don't know if that's true or not, but i've read that your metabolism is increased for several hours after you work out and then slows back down, so i want that to happen twice in a day for me.

i wonder if doing 2 hours at once makes your metabolism stay elevated for a longer period of time?
June 23, 2011 10:59 AM
as long as you are eating enough calories its probably fine, however i wouldnt recommend doing this for months at a time, you should probably give your body a break next week...recovery and rest is important too for seeing results :]
June 23, 2011 11:00 AM
Not at all but I think if you get much over 2 hours you're really not pushing it hard enough. Perhaps you have become a Zumba goddess and should focus on the weights or cardio machines more?

I believe your fitness like your weight can plateau and it really is necessary to do something different now and then.
  7050097
June 23, 2011 11:00 AM
QUOTE:

I've been doing hours of work outs together for a few years, but more in the recent months.

(possibly addicted but a few people are similar in my gym also).

If you are feeling good about it, I dont see why you should stop it, just make sure you are eating properly.

But one thing i've always remembered a trainer said, if you're doing more than one class water isnt good enough because you are losing alot more than water in sweat.


Good to know!! I'll ask my trainer about that this evening to see what she says since she runs the Zumba studio I go to!! Don't want to put in all this hard work if I'm not replenishing myself correctly!
  7470973
June 23, 2011 11:01 AM
QUOTE:

Hi guys,

This past weekend I hit an all time low weight wise, and since I'm going home to visit family over 4th July weekend I wanted to step my game up and really push myself, mostly because I have at least 1 more lb I want to lose before I go home and I'm afraid of hitting a plateau.

I use a HRM to track my calories burned so I feel it's pretty accurate, but I have been getting in 2 hour workouts since tuesday night:

Tuesday- 2 zumba classes back to back- 1165 calories burned
Wednesday- Aeroboxing 1 hour, Zumba 1 hour back to back- 1150 calories burned

Coming up:
Tonight: Zumba toning 1 hour, Regular Zumba 1 hour Back to back
Tomorrow: 6am Personal Training, Evening Zumba
Saturday: 2 hour Zumba master class
Sunday: Aeroboxing, Zumba back to back.

I am averaging over 1000 calories burned from doing 2 hour workouts. Not sure how long I will be able to keep up with 2 hour workouts but I guess my questions are the following:

1. Am I doing more harm than good to my body by pushing it like this or is switching it up for a week or 2 a good way to confuse my body and prevent it from plateauing?
2. Will my body get used to 2 hour workouts and stop responding as well to 1 hour workouts if I take it back down a notch when I get home?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Just trying to switch things up before I go home, but I just want to make sure it's not going to hurt me in the long run. Feel free to take a look at my food diarys as well.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


As long as you are fueling your body you should be fine (by fueling your body I mean eating your exercise calories). That being said for long workouts are you backing out the calories you would have burned had you not worked out over that time? If not you are double counting maintenance calories for the period you are exercising as you HRM gives you total calories burned over that time, not extra calories burned. As an example if in 30 minutes your HRM says you burned 280 calories, but at rest you would have burned 45 anyway (1.5*30min) then the extra calories burned, that should go into MFP and be consumed would be 235 (280-45) not the full 280 or the 45 gets counted twice, once in your dialy caloric goal on MFP and again if you enter the total burn on your HRM, this becomes more important to back out if your workouts are longer.

If you maintenance calories are 1800 you would burn 1.25 calories/minute while not working out, So if you workout for 120 minute you should back out 150 (120*1.25) from your HRM total.
June 23, 2011 11:02 AM
QUOTE:

Not at all but I think if you get much over 2 hours you're really not pushing it hard enough. Perhaps you have become a Zumba goddess and should focus on the weights or cardio machines more?

I believe your fitness like your weight can plateau and it really is necessary to do something different now and then.


Haha definitely not a zumba goddess but I am really enjoying the workouts. I do strength training with my trainer once a week and I'm trying out the Aeroboxing classes they offer too which is switching it up for me (and I'm feeling it today believe me). Hopefully that'll help with not plateauing. I do the zumbe more for the cardio.
  7470973
June 23, 2011 11:05 AM
Looking at your diary, you are not eating nearly enough. With the amount you have to lose your goal should be 0.5lbs/week to ensure you don't burn much muscle, and you should be eating 100% of your properly calculated calories burned. On some days you are running on 200-300 Net calories, eventually your body will shut down and you will burn more muscle than fat, which slows your metabolism down and once you go back eating normally you will pile weight on as your metabolism would be slower than ever. Be careful. MFP already gives you a deficit to lose weight, and with not much to lose you must eat back the burned calories or you can do much more damage and good.

I don't think it was the getting use to the 1 hour workouts that stopped working, I think it was the lack of fuel you are providing to your body, not that you are pushing to 2 hours you are forcing your body to lose, but most likely it is a high % of muscle, not the fat that you want to lose. If you are eating the way you are, you should be doing very little exercise. On top of not hurting your metabolism, eating more will allow you to push harder and get better results in what you can do physically.
Edited by erickirb On June 23, 2011 11:10 AM
June 23, 2011 11:09 AM
Thank you for the advice everyone. I'll try eating more during the day and I'll definitely be giving myself a rest next week when I go home.
  7470973
June 23, 2011 11:09 AM
I think it is awesome you are getting 2 hour workouts in! I believe you can do it without hurting yourself..I just finished my freshman year and I had volleyball practice 4-5 hours per day...too much!! But 2 hours is great. I think you need to mix up your workouts...running is the best for weight loss! Also try the stationery bike or the elliptical trainer! I have also been working out 2 hours a day this summer and I have to mix things up a lot so I am not pushing my body too hard.
June 23, 2011 11:11 AM
I try not to set a time limit for myself but rather I set minimum goals of what I want to accomplish and if I feel like I can push forward with more work and NOT hurt my ability to recover for tomorrow's workout then I will push-on. Most of my workouts are an hour 1/2 to two hours. Work hard but never work yourself past the point of recovery, you'll know it when you get there because you won't want to wake-up, move, do anything; you'll feel drained and lethargic. It's okay to leave the gym not feeling totally destroyed.

As for eating calories back... there are two schools of thought on that and no real proof to support either claim. Personally, if I eat back calories I don't hit my weight loss goals. Yes MFP sets you up in a calorie deficit but I only shoot for the calorie target and manipulate my own macro-nutrient ratio.
Edited by JNick77 On June 23, 2011 11:12 AM
June 23, 2011 11:19 AM
QUOTE:

I try not to set a time limit for myself but rather I set minimum goals of what I want to accomplish and if I feel like I can push forward with more work and NOT hurt my ability to recover for tomorrow's workout then I will push-on. Most of my workouts are an hour 1/2 to two hours. Work hard but never work yourself past the point of recovery, you'll know it when you get there because you won't want to wake-up, move, do anything; you'll feel drained and lethargic. It's okay to leave the gym not feeling totally destroyed.

As for eating calories back... there are two schools of thought on that and no real proof to support either claim. Personally, if I eat back calories I don't hit my weight loss goals. Yes MFP sets you up in a calorie deficit but I only shoot for the calorie target and manipulate my own macro-nutrient ratio.


This is fine that you want to do this, but you will end up losing a much higher % lean mass than you would if you ate them back. Assuming you calculate calories burned correctly you should eat them all. You may hit your weight goal quicker without eating them, but you will be a higher % BF when you get there than if you did eat them.
June 23, 2011 11:29 AM
I feel like I get a little confused and thrown with the numbers when it comes to eating back calories. I log my calories burned based on what my HRM says (I know that MFP calculates an approximate 90 calories burned per hour in "resting calories" or something like that because I have my status as sedentary for most of the day (I have a desk job) but I do get in the occasional walk with my dog or happen to make an errand run that I don't log extra calories burned for anticipating that I didn't take out those 90-180 calories for the 1-2 hour work out I put in. I'll start taking those resting calories out of my calories burned moving forward though...just to be more accurate.

In terms of eating back my calories, my problem i'm finding is i'm not actually hungry. Working out in the evening, I have a protein shake right afterwards, and then it's usually about 9:30pm and I don't want to eat a big meal or i'm too exhausted or not hungry enough to eat anything else and end up showering and going to bed (I try to be out by 11ish).

I'll try eating more earlier in the day, but if you anyone has suggestions (based on my food diary prefarably) of improvements I could make that would be absolutely fantastic.

You guys are awesome, thank you all so much for taking the time to read and reply.
  7470973
June 23, 2011 11:30 AM
One thing i'm ABSOLUTELY trying to avoid is burning muscle so I'm trying to get as much protein in as I can, but still feel like I fall short. I want to make sure If i'm busting my ass working out that I'm doing everything possible to make sure that it's fat i'm burning and i'm not going to put this weight back on at a later date from making wrong decisions at this stage.
  7470973
June 23, 2011 11:36 AM
QUOTE:

One thing i'm ABSOLUTELY trying to avoid is burning muscle so I'm trying to get as much protein in as I can, but still feel like I fall short. I want to make sure If i'm busting my ass working out that I'm doing everything possible to make sure that it's fat i'm burning and i'm not going to put this weight back on at a later date from making wrong decisions at this stage.


If you want to burn fat instead of muscle I would suggest working out less. For cardio try HIIT, it only takes 20-25 minutes including warm up.

As for diet, don't eat any lite or diet foods. instead of skim milk drink 1%, add olive oil to soups and sauced, add avocado to salads and sandwiches, have nuts, seeds, and dehydrated fruit as a snack. have a glass of juice in place of a glass of water. It is important when you have less than 15 lbs to lose to have a small deficit (250/day) 0.5lbs/week loss goal and eat back 100% of exercise calories burned to avoid burning muscle, and have protein set at a minimum of 20% (25-30% is better)

Looking at your diet yesterday you had a net of 116 calories (1306-1190) which would be like eating 116 and not doing a workout, this is not enough for anyone. If your maintenance is 1800, you should be getting 1550 Net based on your goal and stats. (1550 + everything you burn) so yesterday if 1190 is correct you should have eaten 2740 calories to net 1550 instead of a net of 116.

having net calories of under 1200 will lead to a large amount of muscle loss.
Edited by erickirb On June 23, 2011 11:39 AM
June 23, 2011 11:41 AM
Your body only has so much glycogen stores, usually enough for 30 to maybe 45 minutes of cardio (depending on how hard you go). After that is used up, it will start burning muscle because it cannot convert fat that fast (it must be mobilized, broken down, transported, etc.) As eric was saying, you can do more with less.
June 23, 2011 12:17 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I try not to set a time limit for myself but rather I set minimum goals of what I want to accomplish and if I feel like I can push forward with more work and NOT hurt my ability to recover for tomorrow's workout then I will push-on. Most of my workouts are an hour 1/2 to two hours. Work hard but never work yourself past the point of recovery, you'll know it when you get there because you won't want to wake-up, move, do anything; you'll feel drained and lethargic. It's okay to leave the gym not feeling totally destroyed.

As for eating calories back... there are two schools of thought on that and no real proof to support either claim. Personally, if I eat back calories I don't hit my weight loss goals. Yes MFP sets you up in a calorie deficit but I only shoot for the calorie target and manipulate my own macro-nutrient ratio.


This is fine that you want to do this, but you will end up losing a much higher % lean mass than you would if you ate them back. Assuming you calculate calories burned correctly you should eat them all. You may hit your weight goal quicker without eating them, but you will be a higher % BF when you get there than if you did eat them.


If that's your theory then please explain why this is happening. I started following different strength coaches that promote higher frequency training and I follow two nutritionists with PH.D's in their field. Between December and March I wasn't on any mass diet or a calorie defiicit, just maintainance, and my 3RM on the Bench Press improved about 40lbs's and I hit a 350lb back squat. At the end of April I started dieting with a calorie deficit and managing my macro nutrients pretty closely as I felt plateaus creep in. My bench press is up another 10lbs, on the conservative side, and my OHP is up 20lbs meanwhile my bodyfat is at 15%. My bodyfat was measured at 22% last September. So... bodyfat way down, bodyweight is down about 10lbs, strength is on the up-and-up. The only supplements I take are a Whey Hydrolysate and pre / peri workout drink with some carbs. Thoughts?
June 23, 2011 12:23 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I try not to set a time limit for myself but rather I set minimum goals of what I want to accomplish and if I feel like I can push forward with more work and NOT hurt my ability to recover for tomorrow's workout then I will push-on. Most of my workouts are an hour 1/2 to two hours. Work hard but never work yourself past the point of recovery, you'll know it when you get there because you won't want to wake-up, move, do anything; you'll feel drained and lethargic. It's okay to leave the gym not feeling totally destroyed.

As for eating calories back... there are two schools of thought on that and no real proof to support either claim. Personally, if I eat back calories I don't hit my weight loss goals. Yes MFP sets you up in a calorie deficit but I only shoot for the calorie target and manipulate my own macro-nutrient ratio.


This is fine that you want to do this, but you will end up losing a much higher % lean mass than you would if you ate them back. Assuming you calculate calories burned correctly you should eat them all. You may hit your weight goal quicker without eating them, but you will be a higher % BF when you get there than if you did eat them.


If that's your theory then please explain why this is happening. I started following different strength coaches that promote higher frequency training and I follow two nutritionists with PH.D's in their field. Between December and March I wasn't on any mass diet or a calorie defiicit, just maintainance, and my 3RM on the Bench Press improved about 40lbs's and I hit a 350lb back squat. At the end of April I started dieting with a calorie deficit and managing my macro nutrients pretty closely as I felt plateaus creep in. My bench press is up another 10lbs, on the conservative side, and my OHP is up 20lbs meanwhile my bodyfat is at 15%. My bodyfat was measured at 22% last September. So... bodyfat way down, bodyweight is down about 10lbs, strength is on the up-and-up. The only supplements I take are a Whey Hydrolysate and pre / peri workout drink with some carbs. Thoughts?


Your strength can still increase even if you lose a little muscle mass, as mass isn't the only way to get stronger, but if you lost less mass you would have probably increased your maxes by more than you did, and your BF may have been lower, at least lower once you got to the same weight anyway.
June 23, 2011 12:29 PM
QUOTE:

Your strength can still increase even if you lose a little muscle mass, as mass isn't the only way to get stronger, but if you lost less mass you would have probably increased your maxes by more than you did, and your BF may have been lower, at least lower once you got to the same weight anyway.


But being in a calorie deficit isn't going to allow you put on muscle mass anyway, nothing substantial. Even if I ate back 800 calories for example, I'm not going to gain appreciable muscle mass. I've done the calc's for me to gain muscle mass, I need to consume right about 4,300 calories. You can't lose weight and body fat and put on decent mass. That's why bodybuilders go through phases of bulking and cutting and why powerlifters don't go through calorie deficit diets.
June 23, 2011 12:29 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I try not to set a time limit for myself but rather I set minimum goals of what I want to accomplish and if I feel like I can push forward with more work and NOT hurt my ability to recover for tomorrow's workout then I will push-on. Most of my workouts are an hour 1/2 to two hours. Work hard but never work yourself past the point of recovery, you'll know it when you get there because you won't want to wake-up, move, do anything; you'll feel drained and lethargic. It's okay to leave the gym not feeling totally destroyed.

As for eating calories back... there are two schools of thought on that and no real proof to support either claim. Personally, if I eat back calories I don't hit my weight loss goals. Yes MFP sets you up in a calorie deficit but I only shoot for the calorie target and manipulate my own macro-nutrient ratio.


This is fine that you want to do this, but you will end up losing a much higher % lean mass than you would if you ate them back. Assuming you calculate calories burned correctly you should eat them all. You may hit your weight goal quicker without eating them, but you will be a higher % BF when you get there than if you did eat them.


If that's your theory then please explain why this is happening. I started following different strength coaches that promote higher frequency training and I follow two nutritionists with PH.D's in their field. Between December and March I wasn't on any mass diet or a calorie defiicit, just maintainance, and my 3RM on the Bench Press improved about 40lbs's and I hit a 350lb back squat. At the end of April I started dieting with a calorie deficit and managing my macro nutrients pretty closely as I felt plateaus creep in. My bench press is up another 10lbs, on the conservative side, and my OHP is up 20lbs meanwhile my bodyfat is at 15%. My bodyfat was measured at 22% last September. So... bodyfat way down, bodyweight is down about 10lbs, strength is on the up-and-up. The only supplements I take are a Whey Hydrolysate and pre / peri workout drink with some carbs. Thoughts?


The difference between you and the OP is that she is doing 2 hours of cardio while you are strength training, so I would expect your strength and muscle to increase and your BF% to decrease.

If you are eating the right foods (high protein, etc) you will gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. There are multiple testimonials on stronglifts.
Edited by hroush On June 23, 2011 12:33 PM
June 23, 2011 12:35 PM
QUOTE:
The difference between you and the OP is that she is doing 2 hours of cardio while you are strength training, so I would expect your strength and muscle to increase and your BF% to decrease.


Yes. The point / theme of my intial post is that you can train as much as you can take as long as you don't push yourself past your point of healthy recovery. As long as she feels good and she's working out for two hours, go for it and don't change a thing. If she's working out for two hours and feeling destroyed then re-evaluate things a little.
Edited by JNick77 On June 23, 2011 12:36 PM

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