Q: “I am based in India and read your interesting article on Bodybuilding.com. I would be obliged if you can guide me in the following case. I am a forty year old guy weighing approximately 105 Kg with the height of 5 feet and 9 inches. Per my doctor my ideal weight should be around 80 kgs. I have been able to reduce my weight from 112 kgs to the current 105 kgs.
“I am going to the gym everyday and devoting thirty minutes each to weight training and cardio. I do one body part weight training every day and thereafter cardio. Hence I cover chest, shoulder, back, biceps, triceps, legs weight training in a week with half an hour of cardio every day.
“Do you think that the above routine is sufficient for weight loss? Also I would like to know whether cardio should be done before the weight training or after the weight training in order to be more effective. Kindly reply keeping my objective (i.e weight loss and toned body) in mind.”
My Answer: Congratulations, Manu, on your progress so far. Keep it up. To answer your question, I’m not sure which article of mine you’re referring to, but I’ll assume you mean my recent Strength Training for Fat Loss article. If you’ve read it, then you should know what my answer is. You have a one body part per day split, and that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. You should train full body at least 3 times per week. The article gave you a sample routine with sample set and exercise arrangements. Follow all of the precepts in the article, you will lose more fat.
With regards to cardio before or after strength training, it doesn’t matter too much. I do prefer cardio AFTER a strength workout. Cardio before is a nice warm-up, but it is the type of warm-up that will drain you and cause you to underperform when you hit the weights.
Now let me give you another piece of advice. Since you’re in India, I’m assuming you’re Indian. I have to tell you that Indian cuisine is one of the worst cuisines in the world to get lean and toned on. There are a number of reasons for this:
1) Your protein intake is way too low with Indian cuisine. If you can, then make sure you get enough animal protein in your diet. If you are vegetarian, then your protein is extremely low, and you will need to seriously plan on how to up your protein intake without upping your carb intake.
2) Even if you are vegetarian, Indian cuisine has a lot of starchy carbs and a lot of sauces. Starchy carbs like naan, rice, potatoes, peas, etc. soak up the sauces and will bloat your physique and smooth out your muscles. Couple this with the lack animal protein, and your muscles will look smooth, soft and not very dense.
If you are vegetarian, then you should eat what? VEGETABLES. Green leafy vegetables, not pureed into saag sauce. Eating vegetables in a raw form or with a minimal process (such as steamed or stir fried vegetables) is much better than vegetables turned into sauce. I go over what makes a good diet (whether you are vegetarian or not) in my book Strength and Physique V1, so check it out.