So Many Questions So Little Time

So my post last night obviously went belly up somehow.  Title, but no content.  bahhh.

Anyhow…  So many folks have been asking questions lately, it’s been hard to keep up.  My apologies for taking so long to respond.  My plate has been relatively full on both the home front and at work.

Rather than answer each person individually that have commented recently, I figured I would throw out a post to everyone to benefit from.  Where do I start?  How about I answer the questions directly:

How long did it take you to lose the weight?
About 4 months for the bulk of it.  It took an additional month or so to get to where I really wanted to be.  There were several times in there it seemed that I had a plateau, but persistence paid off.

How long before you started to see results?
About 4-6 weeks.  Well, it was hard for me to tell as looking in the mirror each day, you don’t see the small changes that begin to happen.  However, after about 4 weeks, *others* begin to comment and tell me.  At about 6 weeks, I started keeping a log of weekly measurements.  It’s hard to tell from the scales sometimes, as you may be losing fat, but gaining muscle.

How did you do it?
Well, read throughout my blog.  I don’t really want to bore my regular readers with stuff I’ve already said.  The short answer is: 3 days cardio, 3 days strength training, 1 day off.  I also eat 6 *small* meals per day (many diets and books promote this) with one day off (eat anything I want).  However, you have to *earn* the day off.  It’s a privilege, not a right.  Eat proper and train for 6 days, and you *earn* a day off.

How long do you do cardio on your cardio days?
It varies depending on my mood.  Most days it is 20 minutes of varied exertion (usually intervals on an eliptical).  Some days I may do more.  Any more than about 20 minutes and you may be burning muscle, not fat.  Cardio sessions: Keep them short, but intense.

Can you tell me which exercises are good for burning fat?
That’s a tough one.  If you are trying to target a specific area of fat, it can’t be done.  It is scientifically impossible to target a specific trouble area of fat.  Your body uses fat stores throughout your body, not just from the area around the particular muscle you’re working.  However, if you are looking for which exercises you should do to burn fat in general, both strength training AND cardio work provides the best results.

Can you suggest any reading?
Absolutely.  I read a TON of books, papers, websites, etc.  Be careful what you read, some of it is hype (see the next question).  However, here are the books I’ve used primarily:

Cover Model Workout – yes, I know, kinda cheesy title, but a great book.  My wife and I both used Owen’s (the author) workout program for the first 6 months or so (we’ve come up with our own since).  This book is awesome from a workout perspective but is a little light on the suggestion for meals (he promotes the 6 meals per day).

Eating for Life – great book for recipies for eating 6 meals per day, but that’s it.  I don’t promote the Body for Life diet or exercise program.  Neither one of us cared for his workout program.  Also, be careful with the Eating for Life book as he tends to push supplements (myoplex, etc). which is really just for his own financial benefit.

Book of Muscle – everything you want to know about muscle.

Did you take any supplements or fatburners?
The *only* supplement was a multi-vitamin.  That’s it.  You don’t need it.  There are no shortcuts.  If you read the disclaimer of ANY weightloss miracle, whether it is a machine, supplement, whatever, you’ll usually see something like: "best results achieved when combined with an exercise and diet program".  Well…  DUH.

Hope I helped answer some of the questions.  Any more?  Just post a comment below (you can do so anonymously).


  1. Afternoon, first I\’d just like to thank you for this blog, your transformation is amazing and I would really consider you an inspiration.Now more to the point:You say that it\’s a good idea to work out 6 days a week, alternating cardio and weight training days; But what about combining the two?I am sixteen, with an average built, but I could certainly stand to be slimmer. When I go to the gym, I normally run on a treadmill for a mile or so, then go on the Olyptical for 10-15 minutes, adding up to about a half hour of cardio. Then I spend another half hour weight training and doing ab workouts before leaving. So…Is there anything wrong with that? And if that sounds like a good plan and it seems odd that I\’m inquiring is because I just don\’t do it consistently enough, which is why I\’m still unhappy with my body.Any feedback would be awesome, thank you!p.s. I\’m not sure how msn really works, and if you have my email address to respond to, so i guess I\’ll just put it here:

  2. 5\’7", before:193, after 155. When I go thru a cutting phase, I usually get down to 150ish. However, my sustained weight is 155. As for workouts, there are some great ones in both of the workout books mentioned in this post.

  3. Marcus, fantastic site! What is your height and before/after weight? Would you share the specifics of your workout plan? I trying to start and need some help. Thanks, Gary

  4. Very good question.Unfortunately, the body will not burn fat from areas that have the most. You will experience fat burn from all over, potentially also losing size in your bum and chest. This is a very common challenge for women. However, this is also where weight training will help. You can firm your bum and shape it with exercises that target your gluteals (squats, lunges, etc). Likewise, chest exercises that focus on your pectorials(bench press, flys, etc) will help to increase your upper body.

  5. Hiya, I like what you\’ve written here and the advice sounds very helpful. What stood out the most to me was the concept that it\’s impossible to target one area when wanting to burn fat. Does this mean that the body will automatically target the area with the most fat stored when burning? I was just wondering because I\’m petite (about 5\’2", 105lbs), but I have some stomach fat I\’d like to get rid of. The rest of my limbs seem alright, but if I did some intensive cardio would I lose the same amount of fat all around my body? My concern is that there are parts were I -wouldn\’t- want to lose (chest, bum, for example). I\’m imagining the possibility that I\’d come out a few months later after an intensive routine and I\’ve happily lost my tummy fat, but then end up like a flat board with skinny limbs, and that would be just awful lol. Embarassing question and sounds a bit unlikely, but I had to ask for some clarification :P I know a few people who have a similar problem (thin, but with some tummy fat.)

  6. Thank you so much for the responce. I really enjoyed this. Thanks for the help as well. I\’ll take your advice.

  7. I think this is one of the best blogs you have ever written. Im glad that you remembered what you wrote. 13 days left….*sigh*

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