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How heavy should your hand weights be?

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Initial post: Jul 5, 2008 3:53:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2010 3:35:04 PM PST
AnnieL says:
First off, I absolutely love this DVD!!! I'm stronger and more confident because I am so proud of myself that I have mastered Level 3.

The problem: After using this DVD for 2 months, I haven't lost fat. Before anyone asks, I completely understand the concept of "gaining muscle". I have absolutely gained muscle. But that muscle is hiding beneath the same layer of fat that I had BEFORE I bought this DVD. My new muscles have no definition. So now, yes, I'm gaining muscle but overall I just look like I'm gaining weight. I don't look more fit. I used to be Kelly Ripa petite and lean. Now I'm more Britney "four-frappacinos-a-day" Spears. My arms and legs are just getting bigger, not defined. They're just thick like tree trunks. At 5' 2" and 103 lbs I'm pretty small, but want to get rid of about an inch of fat that has appeared all over my body over the last couple of years, despite regular workouts. This DVD is so hardcore that I am very surprised it hasn't helped me lose that one inch of flab. I've cut back calories to try to aid the fat loss, but nothing's working.

On another note, I am using 5 lb weights. Is that too much weight? Perhaps lighter weights would give me that lean, defined look I'm going for? Being short, gaining too much muscle just makes me look bigger and "thick", not lean and lithe, which is what I'm going for.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 1:40:51 PM PDT
How are you eating? No matter how hard you're working out, you need to be eating well to lose bodyfat.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 10:45:46 PM PDT
NLB says:
Exactly, muscle weighs more than fat and even though you're getting stronger, you're not getting leaner. This is where diet plays a really big role. I'm a female in the military and at 5'3" 140, I have more muscle than fat, but it doesn't look like it! I changed my diet and threw in a little more cardio - because cardio isn't really at fault for building muscle, but it does burn calories. I do this workout every other day and run every day...but even if you ran a few times a week or hit an elliptical, you should hopefully see loss of fat and those defined muscles start to shine through. I added just lean, lean meats (fish, chicken) and made sure that every meal had less than 15g of fat. Hope it helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2008 8:49:45 PM PDT
Mysti says:
ya, you definitely have to eat well :)

...I am using 3lb weights and they are working great. I am getting super toned but not bulky at all, just firmer. Maybe go down to the 3's.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 8:58:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2008 12:37:16 PM PDT
Lindz says:
I agree with what everyone is saying about eating well that is a must. I have had a lot of luck loosing weight without gaining too much muscle mass with Cardio video's. You might want to try and switch your workout routine towards a routine with less muscle building activities. Hope it helps!

Also about hand weights I have been using 1.5 or 2lb hand weights when I do the cardio videos.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2008 8:54:14 AM PDT
Do not decrease your weight from 5 pounds. Women do not get "bulky" from lifting heavier weights, only men can gain muscle that way because only men produce testosterone. You should increase your weight as soon as you can do all the reps.

I can't imagine you having ANY fat at 103 pounds (have you ever had it measured?), but if you want to get even leaner, you have to eat balanced meals and snacks (Jillian recommends 1400 calories a day, kind of steep for us 5'2" people, but look at the results she gets), and cut out everything made with flour, processed food, and calorie dense carbs.

I suggest the Zone diet of 40% lean carbs (nonsugary fruit like berries, canteloupe, nonstarchy vegetables) 30% protein (this is hard for me, but CRITICAL) and 30% good fat (almonds, avocado).

Of course, there may be other secrets of the extremely skinny that no one shares outside of the TV and movie industry, but that is what the conventional books/magazines/internet recommend. Good luck and love the beautiful body you already have.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2008 9:04:10 PM PDT
AnnieL says:
Thank you everyone, for responding. While I love Jillian Michaels and her no-nonsense, non-girly attitude and her old school techniques, I've come to the conclusion that her work-outs aren't for me. I'm sure they're invaluable to many people, but the workout doesn't appear to work for my physiology.

The day after I posted my original question, I stopped doing Jillian's workout and went back to my old Stott Pilates 40 minute sessions. They're easy, fun, relaxing, no-nonsense, and I don't even break a sweat. Within two days I was feeling better, and almost a month later, pants that were too tight a month ago are almost falling off! Ironically, I haven't done any cardio since and yet the jiggly stuff is gone for the first time in over 2 years. I'm dumbfounded. I just think there is a workout for everyone and that heavy weights just aren't for me and my body-type.

I'd highly recommend Stott Pilates for anyone interested in pilates. It changed my body four years ago, and is doing so again. I won't abandon Stott workouts again.

Love Jillian, but this DVD is not for me. But I would recommend this DVD to others: it has some amazing moves that really work your butt (can you say sumo squats? Best butt exercise ever!)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 11:34:20 AM PDT
N. Williams says:
You need to look at your diet, that is 80 percent of the big picture!! And you definitely need to add more cardio to the mix. Sorry there's no shortcuts.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2008 5:38:12 AM PDT
Elizabeth says:
I get so frustrated when people claim that women do not bulk up like men. This is just not true and I am living proof. Some of us do bulk up. I love Jillian's video which I have only been doing for a week. My fear with it was that I would bulk up. I have also done Stott Pilates which I love. If I may make another suggestion, callanetics is also wonderful for our body type. I am trying to do Jillian's video along with Super Callanetics and am hoping to not bulk up too much but reading your email does concern me.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2008 5:39:27 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 7, 2008 5:42:03 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2008 8:17:33 AM PDT
A. Simeone says:
I am 5'3 and 138lbs and I develop muscle like you wouldn't believe - I am very muscular and I do not lift weights. How do female bodybuilder gain so much muscle if only men can gain muscle from lifting heavier weights? Is there something i can do so i don't have so much muscle?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2008 7:32:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2008 7:33:48 AM PDT
G. Cox says:
these guys are giving you the right advice. in short, you need to eliminate junk food from your diet, consume less calories in general, and do cardio for at least 30 minutes, at least 4 days per week and you'll lose the fat. personally, i wouldn't use more than 3 lb. weights if you're going for the lithe look. i've just started '30 day shred' and i'm loving it...can't wait til i get to level 3...that's quite an achievement Bo Girl!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2008 7:14:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 11, 2008 7:16:23 PM PDT
J. Goode says:
I feel sorry for you because you have a warped sense of what your body should look. You weigh 103lbs1?!! What weight are you trying to lose? FYI: Brittany Spears is not fat, she is normal. Wake up before you find your self with an eating disorder. As for a workout and eating plan it sounds like everyone has given you great advice and you ignored it. Good Luck you will need it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2008 6:54:54 AM PDT
AnnieL says:
Gee, sorry to have elicited such a visceral reaction.

I absolutely agree with you that I am on the small side. I hesitate to complain because most other people have your reaction: "You're small, so shut up about it." I also agree that I have a warped sense of how my body should look: my mother has been anorexic my whole life, and my sisters are taller (5' 7" and 5' 10") and gorgeous and are absolute bean poles without any effort. My grandmother has told me that although I am the "fat" one in the family, that I look good "fat".

But compared to the rest of the world, I've always been petite and trim, and while I've always exercised, I've been able to eat pretty much anything I wanted and not gain weight, until this past year or two: it's probably age, so in response I have cut out sugar (sodas and candy bars and cookies and the like), watched the types of carbs I consume and started eating salads for lunch and lean meats and veggies for dinner, and drink nothing but water. Then I picked up Gillian Michaels' DVD and started gaining weight and inches. My pants became too tight to wear: sorry, but that's not the expected result anyone would be looking for in an exercise program.

So while I agree with you that I have some "issues" with my body, I still believe this DVD shouldn't have caused me to gain inches and NOT lose fat. But it did. It's not for me, but I still believe this DVD is excellent for people who don't have a background in fitness and really want to get fit and build strength and endurance quickly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 10:02:13 AM PST
GaoXinNi says:
Since you have a small frame already and very little fat you probably should stay away from programs that encourage strength training since it is aimed towards getting rid of fat. If you don't have much fat it will only build muscle. That is probably why you bulked up. Glad you found something that works.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 10:02:14 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 15, 2008 10:02:26 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2009 6:28:19 AM PST
I use 8 lb weights for everything but the pec workout thing (when you lay on your back and start with your arms straight up in the air and bring them down to the floor).

I'm pretty small: 5'5" and 120 lbs, but my arms are definitely getting buffer. I, personally, haven't really bulked up, but you can definitely see that my arms are stronger than they were. And carrying my groceries home from the store isn't as awful as it used to be :)

For getting rid of extra fat, I would suggest adding cardio to Jillian's workout. And keep eating right. Keep up the video, though, so that your muscles are still getting a harsh workout.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2009 9:05:50 AM PDT
L. Murphy says:
Completely agree!! I bulk up very easily, and it's not just a "guy" thing. However, I love this DVD because it's low enough weights and reps that I don't bulk up quickly. I can actually do weights and not worry I'm going to get too jacked.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2009 6:57:30 AM PDT
Leslie Lopez says:
I know... lots of women with hormonal imbalances (like myself) do bulk up if we use weights that are too heavy. My doctors tell me to train, but to train with lighter weights and more repetitions. I know we are not the only women in this boat. I just bought the DVD and havn't tried it yet, so am anxious to hear how it works for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2009 6:59:16 AM PDT
Leslie Lopez says:
I had the same issue a few years back; turns out I had a hormonal imbalance- too much Androstindione (sp), the hormone that makes men bulk up and not girls. It may be worth asking your doctor-

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 12:39:37 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 1, 2009 8:18:53 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 1:49:17 PM PDT
I agree with GaoXini. Since you have such a small frame and already small frame, you should stick to pilates or yoga and cardio. Maybe you would even like kick boxing or tae-bo as something different.
I am a firm believer that everyone has to shop around and find the workout and diet plan that works for them. And keep a food diary!! I cannot stress that enough. I worked out for a year like crazy and couldnt lose any weight at all, and it turns out, that although I was eating very healthy, I was consuming too many calories. Also, I'm not a runner or an eliptical machine person, which is what I was doing. For my cardio to be effective, I need kickboxing, step class, or circuit training in order to remove the fat. ( I gain it all in my thighs and butt and for some reason, running and spinning just exacerbate that problem)
I use 8lb weights for all her excercises. I'm 5'9 and carry all my weight in my lower body like I said, so that's what's inportant for me to focus on.
That being said, I've lost a jean size in the last month with her dvd, the firm's get chiles'd and a yoga tape

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2009 6:37:30 AM PDT
If you feel you have too much muscle, the answer is to overtrain. That's how most ab workouts go--just think, if every time you did crunches and core work, your ab muscles got *bigger*? Nope. You train abs every day/every workout so the overtraining keeps the muscles strong but small!

I've always had large thighs, for example. I'll never have skinny sticks down there, but I've lost a lot of mass overtraining legs. In my case it involved about 100 lunges per day (yowch!) but it brought the 'he man' thighs I had into something a little more feminine.

Also, pilates, which helps stretch out muscle so it's long and lean?

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2009 8:41:20 AM PDT
Maria says:
Yes! Just dumbells and a mat.
For a few of the moves that impact your knees, you might want to use a towel.

Posted on May 10, 2009 1:09:29 PM PDT
Is this video specific to women, or men can benefit from it too. For men, what weight will you suggest. Is 5 lb enough for me or should i go with 10 lb. I am thinking of doing 30 mins running in the evening daily and doing this 20 mins exercise in the morning daily. Please suggest me if this is the right approach. I am 215 lbs and my height is 5 10. I will appreciate your help.
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Participants:  54
Total posts:  65
Initial post:  Jul 5, 2008
Latest post:  Apr 21, 2015

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Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred
Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels (DVD - 2008)
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