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Let me start by saying that I am a Systems Engineer and have been working professionally for the past 10 years, in a very demanding and stress oriented environment. This has not allowed me to care for my physical body for that period of time. Before that, throughout high school and college I was in fair shape.

I am currently 5'11" weight about 185lbs and would guess to say that I have about 10-15% body fat. My skin stretches due to the fact that I have that much body fat, and that I've gained and lost weight repeatedly throughout these 10 years.

Starting from late November 2010, I begun working out mainly concentrated on losing body fat and gaining endurance and strength. Currently, I have 2 session exercises, broken out as follows:

Session #1 (morning time)
- 30 minutes of working out the chest, biceps, triceps, and sit-ups
- 40 minutes of elliptical
- 15 minutes of treadmill at 3.5 speed

Session # 2 (night time)
- 30 minutes of working out the chest, biceps, triceps, and sit-ups
- 35 minutes of cycling
- 15 minutes of treadmill at 3.5 speed

I've lost about 10 lbs since I started, and gained strength and endurance. However, I have not gained any muscle mass on my upper body, and my lower body (legs, thighs, buttocks) is full of fat and not proportional to my upper body.

So my question is, why am I not gaining enough muscle on my upper body, and why am I not losing the fat on my lower body. Any advice on what type of work out to do to lose more fat and strengthen my lower body, at the same time gaining muscle mass on my upper body.

Thanks!

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10-15% is actually rather good. I don't think your estimate is correct though. Nine months ago I started working out at the local gym for the same reasons as you. My trainer did a fat measurement. I'm 6'1" tall and at that time I weighed 185lbs. At that time, my measured fat percentage was 21.3. I was quite shocked :-) At this moment I'm still 6'1" tall (hehe) and I weigh 167lbs and my current fat percentage is around 16. –  Kristof Claes Mar 10 '11 at 15:04
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

IF the sessions you mention are done every day, then the answer probably is, that you have too little rest.

Muscle needs rest to be able to recuperate and grow. Usually muscle won't grow properly if you do the same muscle group exercises 2 days in a row, but twice a day could actually diminish your muscle mass more than they grow. Therefore, You should try giving your muscles some time to recuperate, probably at least a day before another hard workout for that particular muscle group.

As for the legs, I don't see any lower body exercises on the list. Sure, the amount of cardio you are doing is great for the overall body fat level to drop, but is not enough for your legs. It may be the case, that there is actually quite little fat on your buttocks and legs, but it just looks a lot because of lack of muscle.

Either case, you should introduce some lower body exercises in your training programm. At least some squats and deadlifts. They should be the bare minimum to start growing your lower body.

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It sounds like you are focusing too much on exercises in the gym and too little on your diet. I have been weight training and exercising for about 10 years now and nutrition is the absolute most important part.

I suggest that you read The Abs Diet. It really has helped me over the years to understand what causes fat and what types of food you need to gain muscle and lose fat. It also has great exercises and recipes!

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