Problem with belly fat after following a workout routine

by Dwight
(United States)

Hello Azri,

I have a question about muscle building. I have been following a "Hardgainer" program from a popular magazine. I have been doing very good and get a lot stronger and muscles are getting a lot bigger very fast.

However, my stomach is starting to collect excess fat from all the food I am having to eat to counteract my super fast metabolism. I actually didn't do the cardio 2x a week like they suggested with quick sprints and interval training. I think that is the reason that I have developed my first "belly".

Should I continue my high protein and lean eating diet and add cardio to counteract the fat increase?

Azri's reply:

Hello Dwight!

Thank you for asking me this question because it makes me feel that you trust me enough to help you with your fitness problem.

I am glad to hear that you are having great results with the "Hardgainers" program that you talk about. I can see that you are quite disciplined, working hard and seeing your efforts pay off.

What you are facing is not uncommon. First of all, men tend to store fat in their abdominal region, which therefore becomes a problem. Women, on the other hand, store body fat equally throughout their entire bodies.

Yes, I would attribute your problem due to neglect of cardio activity. The thing is, although you are nourishing your muscles with protein from your diet, the excess calories from the food is stored, as you do not engage in any higher level activity after exercising.

I strongly suggest that you continue with what you are doing, but remember to do cardio. I suggest increasing it to three times per week, and cutting down your muscle building exercises by one day, just to get your metabolism up and running, so that the problem doesn't worsen.

However, if time is a problem and you feel worried that you might lose your hard-earned gains, then you could spend more time doing cardio during your twice weekly sessions. Increase the intensity and time, and you should gradually see an improvement in your stomach.

Should you need tips on what kind of aerobic exercises you can do, head over to examples of aerobic exercises and you can get more ideas there for your cardio workout. I know that after a while, running and intervals can get really boring.

I hope my advice has helped you somewhat. Do feel free to reply me with further questions, if you have any.

Azri
Webmaster of Exercise For Beginners

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Oct 20, 2010
Good luck with your fitness journey Dwight!
by: Azri

Hello Dwight. I'm glad that you found my information helpful. You do not need to worry about the fat cells in your body. Yes, you cannot lose them per se, but if you watch your diet and engage in aerobic activities regular, it will be fine.

The only dangers is if you were to start paying less attention to your meals and start eating unhealthy foods. This will threaten your previous weight loss by possibly put on unwanted pounds once more. I wish you all the best in your training. If you do need any more help, do feel free to drop me a mail again! Or use the health question and answer section on my site!

Also, I'm quite curious to read about that "Hardgainers" program you are using. Mind sharing it with me so that I can possibly feature or discuss it on my site?

Azri
Webmaster for Exercise For Beginners

Oct 20, 2010
Thank you
by: Dwight

Thanks for the information Azri. I am glad to hear that all I have to do is get back to doing my cardio. I am actually an amateur cyclist that spent all of the last 2 years training 6-7 months during the fall, winter and spring riding my bike for 2-5 hours a day developing my endurance. I just can't take all that time anymore with my job and the fact that I would like to keep my job until I am financially free.

I will cut back my 4x a week workouts to 3x a week and do 3x a week cardio for 30-45 minutes to hopefully cut back on the fat I have developed. I heard that once you develop fat cells you can't make them go away, you can only empty them. This makes you suceptible to getting fat again easier. The only way to remove fat cells is by surgery.

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