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Got a quick question: What are the business hours at Nutrisystem? Hoping for any answer or 2. My 2nd question... I originally posted this in Bill's (hugebear's) thread - apologies to Bill, I wasn't trying to hijack your thread (and your I-made-my-goal thread, to boot)..

I'm trying to lose weight, but I would also like to be muscular when I reach my goal. It doesn't seem to get mentioned much in the forum, but I suspect my real goal isn't an uncommon one - I'm tired of being unattractive to women, and I want to get laid a lot more..

Here's the original post -.

You brought up something I've been wondering about - gaining muscle while losing weight and whether it is even possible. If you google around, you'll find that people seem to be pretty evenly split on this one. Some say that while in calorie deficit your body will never build muscle, others say otherwise..

I've been lifting weights as part of my Nutrisystem program for about 10 months now. And while I'm definitely stronger, I don't really think it's due to having more muscle mass..

Assuming it IS possible, can it be done on only 1800 calories a day, or is that deficit too great?.

Also, I've heard from various people in the gym (no shortage of opinions, ever) that the intensity of the cardio I'm doing is working against me building muscle mass. I do about 45 minutes a day on the elliptical and keep my heart rate around 80% of maximum (~147 for me). What they're saying is that since I'm in calorie deficit, my body goes into something called "ketosis" to supply itself with energy while I'm on the elliptical, and ketosis necessarily involves the breakdown of fat AND muscle..

I just hate to think I'm wasting time lifting weights when all I should really be doing is cardio and diet..

Aaron..

Comments (18)

I would like to know the answer too. Anyone here know what is the answer. I'll do some Googling and get back to you if I bump into an decent answer. You should email the people at Nutrisystem as they probably could give you an answer..

Comment #1

Welcome, Jose!.

Possible, but tough. I started lifting toward the end of my loss phase and the muscles appeared, but scale loss slowed and even stopped. You'll probably have to add some suplements if you work out hard while on NS. You'll find out your best calorie/exercise balence for you with some experimentation..

Everyone's different. If I were to give advice (Heaven Forbid!.

), I'd say concentrate on the cardio, while still doing some lifting - 1 set instead of the intense 3 consecutive sets needed to really build. This will help retain what you've got and maybe add just a bit. You'll find it easier to add the muscle bulk later if you want it..

The lean, grayhound look is IN, but I've got to work harder for that than I did to just add muscle. For me, lifting is actually easier than running/cardio..

Gordon..

Comment #2

Really? Wouldn't lifting weights be a form of exercise that burns calories even though it isn't cardio per se?..

Comment #3

I thought that was a typo on Niners part.

I mean he makes an argument for lifting right after. * shrug *..

Comment #4

He meant shouldn't..

I do my lift after cardio and keep heartbeat up by going station to station. I alternate sets (e.g. dip/curl/dip/curl) to allow given muscle to rest but not heart. It may not be optimal for ginaing muscle, but I still get benefit over not going at all..

I am actually gaining strength slowly and could gain more if not joint limited. Stength training is a lot like doing Nutrisystem when in a plateau. You have to keep going and benefits come eventually...

Comment #5

If you did your cardio starting 20-30 minutes after your weight lifting, you would get much better results overall...

Comment #6

Mis type. I should have said "shouldn't". Thanks Robert. I'll correct it...

Comment #7

I have to agree here. Glycogen levels need to be full to get the best out of your lifting program and cardio before lifting can lower those levels...

Comment #8

I don't think the lifting changes how well your aerobic workout will be...but aerobics first will definitely change how well your lifting workout will be. I always lift first...aerobics takes your energy away - lifting (at least they way I did it) was a good sweat, but not panting.....

Comment #9

This is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic excercise..

Comment #10

I could move my arm strength to be before 40 min of main bike ride (still have 15 min transit to get to gym.) Would be a move in the Privateer direction...

Comment #11

I'm not saying what I've done is either right or wrong..

I did only cardio while I was losing. Partially because I had a messed up rotator cuff in my right shoulder and partially because my total focus was on losing weight. I reached my goal weight in August of '07 and didn't start lifting until 4 months after having the shoulder surgery in Febuary of this year. I will tell you that I'm now much stronger after 3 months of lifting than I was before I started losing weight and I feel that my muscle mass is greater than it was before I lost the weight. At 54, I've had no problems at all re-gaining (and exceeding) the muscle I had before..

I've read some studies on this issue that state that muscle loss is minimal during weight loss and others that say the opposite. Do what works for you but most of the guys that I've seen on these boards in the three years that I've been coming here that have tried to gain muscle while trying to lose weight don't ever reach thier weight loss goal. Admittedly, there are exceptions like Gordon..

I know this isn't a popular viewpoint but it is the method that I used and it worked. I sat on my ass for years doing nothing and I really don't think that I lost much muscle at all during my weight loss. A few more months of not lifting didn't really seem to make much difference...

Comment #12

I don't think the lifting is HURTING me. It might be a waste of time, but it is at least decent cardio. And I am happy spending the time. Keeps me out of bars. Also, I have some knee and shoulder issues and about half of my lifts are sort of remnant therapy...and even the major muscle group stuff could have a benefit in compensating for injuries (admittedly I ride a line in terms of trying to build up without exacerbating injuries). And I really feel kind of happy and zen like about my program. Just me, individually...

Comment #13

Strength training retains lean muscle on a calorie deficit program. Science has proven this through many independent clinical trials. But there are other factors too. The amount of HGH and free testosterone that flows through your body will also have an impact on how your body will burn fat, and how muscle will react due to stress. I don't want to get into the "deep" scientific discussion, but know all in all that strength training will enhance your overall physique as you try to attain it. Will it take longer than just a straight cardio program alone? Maybe.

From my knowledge and experience in the fitness field, I know that most people can attain a physique they are proud of if they just work at it...

Comment #14

There are so many differences between individuals that there is no "right" way. I think anything that gets your butt moving is in the plus column..

Genetics are strong influencers to what body type you've got and what kind of results you'll see from various approaches. You've got to find out what works for you and what you really want your goal line body to look like..

I'm pretty much in Larry's (mobay) camp on this thing, even though I had some success lifting. I believe that serious body-building is contra-indicated while shooting for the 3-4 lb/week loss we'd all like to see..

I know this is also not popular, and a bit hypocritical, but who needs bulging muscles? Yeah, they look cool, but unless you're a blacksmith, or competative body builder, they don't do much pratical good, other than making you feel studly. They may actually increase the cardiovascular workload similar to fat? The hardest working, toughest, strongest men I know of are all whipcord built..

I'm in awe of a 71 yr old guy at my gym who is a competative marathon runner. He's got an amazing pysique. Well muscled, but grayhound lean. That's what I'm talking about!.

I'm preaching to myself here. I"ve been hitting the weights for the past 3 weeks and the muscles have popped, but my weight loss is stalled. Need to stop that and need...to...run...ughhh. Did I mention that I hate running?.

Gordon..

Comment #15

I think the weightlifting at high calorie deficet does not stop the weight loss, Gordon. It's just that most people don't seem to get benefit of strength gains since their body uses the protein for fuel instead of growth. But if you can actually grow muscle while dieting...more power to you!..

Comment #16

I'm kind of in the niner camp that at least it helps stop loss. And...just looking at my records, I have been seeing gains. Not steroidal crazy stuff. Not blessed genetic stuff. But still respectable..

Was lifting for a month regularly (several irregularly) before NS, similar program. So gains are not just neurological. Over last 100 days of NS/lifting, I have lost 30+ pounds of weight while having following increases in strength:.

Exercise: Increase (rounded to nearest 5%).

Bench: 15%.

Row: 30%.

Dips: 30%.

Curl: 30%.

Shoulders: 25-40% (various exercises).

Abs: 10%.

Hip flexor: 20%.

Groin abd: 10%.

Groind add: 15%.

Leg extension: 15%.

Hamstring: 35%.

Calves: -15% (including body weight changelifted non-body weight has increased)..

Comment #17

And I even did (the bulk of) the cardio after the workout today...so privateer/niner don't be too mad at me. Not sure how to incorporate 20 minute delay short of bringing a book to YMCA to read (I guess I could do that...)..

Comment #18

I've been lifting since I was 19 and have maintained my body for most of my life. There was a 6 year period (92-98) that I quit lifting and my bodyweight shot up over 210lbs. But all in all I've hovered at 185-195 for the past few years now..

I lifted to create a better physique, and to be honest to get laid..

I feel it worked and even today get the "flirty" eye stairs at the gym. So yeah, it's an ego thing. But then again, about 3 weeks ago I played flag football with my cousins and nephews, who were all in their early 30's or mid to early 20's. There were amazed at how I could run as fast, if not faster, and how cardio fit I was. I was agile, quick and explosive off the line. So I do know that my physical condition had alot to do with how I played and am very grateful that I could still play that way without injury or lack of athleticism. Can't wait till next year to play again...

Comment #19

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.