Couch to 5K
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New starters hoping to lose weight - take your measurements instead!

Hello everyone

There are often posts here from people who are starting Couch to 5k in conjunction with Weight Watchers, Slimming World or self-managed diet changes to lose weight. There are also lots of responses that Couch to 5k is not on its own a weight loss programme. Remember, newly-built muscle is denser than the fat it replaced.

I agree as I have lost a modest amount of weight (about half a stone) and only from about week 6 onwards. HOWEVER...I have noticed a much more marked change in my body dimensions. Clothes fit better, the belt has come in a notch or two and I can fit in my interview suit again.

So, I would urge those of you looking to lose weight instead to focus on your measurements. I really wish I had measured my waist, hips, thighs, etc. at the start of the plan so I had a quantified reduction in black and white on paper now. It's great motivation to continue running when you have the numbers to look at as well as feeling fitter and not straining to do up your jeans!

Also, don't get obsessed with weighing and measuring every day as normal small fluctuations can be disheartening.

Happy jogging/walking :-)

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A really good point, well made.

It is often said it is better to be fat and fit than fat and unfit, but as you say C25k will make many people lose inches and if they continue to run further after the plan then burning fat becomes much easier. Once you get the taste for exercise there is no limit where you can go.

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I ditched scales almost from the outset.. it is all about how I feel and how my clothes fit me :)

This is, as you say not a weight loss programme... I put weight on,,, which was good, for me:)

Our sister site is great and many of the folk on here are on that forum too.

healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

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Good points, although do bear in mind you are not building any muscle while running. Not during C25k, not during a marathon, not ever. Nor is it possible to simultaneously burn fat and lose muscle with any kind of exercise.

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Maybe not building muscle like the strongest man on earth has, but there is definitely some moderate muscle building going on on my legs! I thought slow running was good for that? Repairing those micro tears to strengthen the muscle after exercising...

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Nope. Resistance exercise builds muscle. Which is why elite runners do a lot of leg work in the gym. Running will ultimately cause muscles to reduce in size. Which is why those Ethiopean marthon runners do not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

if you consult your measurements you will find that your leg measurements are decreasing, not increasing.

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I didn't measure mine at the start for comparison which is why I am urging others to now!

I consider myself to be in a maintenance rather than change phase now.

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I consider myself to be in a pre-pupal Hungry Hungry Caterpillar phase now. But one day I will emerge a beautiful butterfly.

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Lol

Got to read from you again, man.

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Waiting for the emergence Rignold - have David Attenborough and a camera crew on speed dial for the event 8-)

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But my calf muscles have increased , although this could be from leg presses and extensions at the gym. I wish I could decrease my calves somehow...

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Your calf muscles have increased from doing resistance work at the gym, yes. Are you doing high reps? Try training your legs for strength rather than hypertrophy. Do heavier weight and lower reps. 3 sets of 4 to 6 instead of anything over 8. Or stop training legs for a while. Also perhaps bring your calories down to maintenance. You can only be gaining muscle if you are in surplus.

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I do three sets of 12 but weight is quite low - about 20 it 30kgs. Maybe I will give these exercises a break and see what happens. I’m wondering if the swimming is contributing too.

But at least they are no longer wobbly. 😂😂

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Wise words! :)

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