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Measuring fat loss, building core muscles, building bone strength, exercising after a heart attack

Question:

My #1 question is: How can I measure my fat loss along the way with this program?

 

My #2 question is: How much muscle can I build around my belly core?

 

My #3 question is: I am in osteopenia...can I build my bones stronger than what they are now?

 

My #4 question is: I had a heart attack, (Dr. says I am an anomaly, because I was treated in the first hour of my heart attack and I now have a stent, and I am as active as ever) However, I have another artery that is 50% blocked (as of two years ago). My cholesterol needs to get below 150, last check it was 200 (with meds). My eating habits have been atrocious, but, getting better and I am eating lots of salads, and drinking lots of water now, and I am off caffeine. When will it be SAFE to be off meds? I know that you may ask me to ask my doctor about this last question, but, thought I would ask anyway.

 

For a 5'2" female, at now 119 lbs and 60 1/2 years old to reiterate. I take 1000 units of calcium a day. I want to live to be old, but very healthy. Thank you in advance for answering all my questions.

Osteopenia

Answer:

These are just absolutely great questions!

 

#1) How can I measure my fatloss along the way with your program? The answer is, either skin-fold calipers (just go to a local gym and have them take your body fat percentage for $7) or infrared scales. The latter can help a lot- you just have to make sure you have the same amount of hydration everyday and that you’re always measuring body fat and weight at the same time every single day. You can also measure bodyfat through bio-electrical impedance machines which are a lot more high-tech but considerably more accurate than the scales. It’s actually the pattern that matters and not really the numbers. Just as long as you measure yourself at the same time of day and have consistent hydration, it can turn out really well.

 

Question #2) How much muscle can I build around my belly or core? That’s very independent- it really varies person to person. Especially with cut abs muscles, my suggestion to you is to innervate as much of the muscles as you can. In other words, when you’re doing an abdominal exercise or an exercise that requires the use of your abdominals, touch around your abs- feel around in the different areas. If you’re not sure where the muscles are, check-out Google images or an anatomy book. You have to check if there are areas that don’t feel like the muscles aren’t contracting when you know there should be muscle. You want to tap on those areas. You want to tap on those areas- you want to get them active. Once you get them active, then we can start talking about how much muscle you can build. Now that’s the right sequence to think about things because if the muscle’s not fully active, you can grow in one weird little place but you’re not going to grow the whole thing and you’re body’s going to shut down the signal. This is because your body doesn’t want you to grow asymmetrically- it wants you to grow in balance.

 

Your third question is: “I’m an osteopenia, can I build my bones stronger than how they are.” Osteopenia is a weakening of the bones- it’s not actually deterioration of the bones. The answer is absolutely yes. Now, you have to be careful because if it’s severe osteopenia, then you’re bordering on osteoporosis. At that point, you can actually fracture your bones by doing the wrong exercises or too great of a load- make sure you have clearance from your physician. However, stimulating the longbones through stepping exercises- step-ups, lunges, squats etc. and then gradually more aggressive bodyweight only plyometric type stuff. These kind of things tend to result in a lot of extra bone growth in the lower part of your body- meaning your lower legs and upper legs and then upper-body strength exercises for your shoulders and arms and stuff like that. You always want to build up to it- do it gradually. You don’t want to add tons of impact on day 1 before you know how your body’s going to respond. Before a bone would break (unless it’s severe osteopenia or osteoporosis) it would cause inflammation that day and the next day so it would feel a bit achy so you’d know if you may have overdone it. Again, you always want to get clearance from a physician.

 

Question #4: You’re right- I do have to ask you to ask your doctor about your question, but there are some things that you can do. For example, in WeightossCardio which is an eBook and videos that I put together wherein I teach about lowering cholesterol through steady-state cardio, one of the techniques I suggest is keeping your heart rate at 40% max heart rate for an entire week and then 45%. What you’re doing is teaching your body how to adapt to a specific demand or increase in circulation throughout your body. Oftentimes, if you take your medication and immediately do your exercises you can actually increase the effect of a smaller amount of medication. This means you can take less and get more. However, because you’ve had a heart attack and there’s some risk there, you want to make sure you’re never being too aggressive by getting rid of your medications. The long term side-effects of cholesterol-lowering agents is not that bad generally speaking. I do want you to eventually get rid of your meds and help you build muscle and lose fat, but I do want you to be safe first.

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