How much exercise do you do and do you look fit?

(42 Posts)
Anothernumber99 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:00:04

I know several people who do lots of exercise (triathlons, marathons etc) but don't look especially fit. And by fit I don't mean skinny. One lady I know exercises almost every day and is still a bit overweight but also does not look toned and has a flabby stomach. Sorry if that sounds unkind, but it's just an observation.

I'm starting to exercise again myself and want to look super fit. My bum in particular needs work as it's pretty wobbly. What's the best way to achieve this and make sure I'm not slogging away in the gym for nothing?

Also do you think your figure has more to do with genetics than anything else? A friend of mine does loads of running and looks amazing but I saw photos of her before she discovered running and ate junk food every day and she looked just as amazing back then too so I'm thinking maybe it's genetics rather than the running.

Oh and I do realise there are other benefits of exercise (psychological, health) as well as looking good
grin

dementedpixie Mon 01-Jun-15 19:20:17

I do about 6 fitness classes a week - body pump, zumba and powerhoop.

I am also fat but a lot more toned than I used to be

Grumpyoldbiddy Mon 01-Jun-15 19:24:58

I was running 5k about 4 times a week, doing 30 day shred or yoga as well most days and looked ripped. Then I had an op and have been laid up - now I look flabby and tired.

shushpenfold Mon 01-Jun-15 19:25:12

3-4 times per week of 30 mins high intensity cardio/cross training/bike in the gym and then 20 more mins of hand weights (upper body/arms) and tummy exercises. I'm tall and slim and look fit. My muscle definition in my arms is now far better than it was and the upright row exercises makes you put on muscle which then pulls your boobs up and out..........cunning!

lastqueenofscotland Mon 01-Jun-15 19:53:10

I run about 11 miles a day and am slim but I don't think I look super fit.
Most of the people I know who look very fit do the following : eat incredibly clean, a huge amount of weights work in the gym, a v small amount of cardio.

ragged Mon 01-Jun-15 19:54:05

People tell me that I'm very fit.
I think I have lots of flabby bits & am slow & weak.

Mostly, I get maybe 2 minutes of cardio exercise maybe 12-14 times a week.

ginmakesitallok Mon 01-Jun-15 20:29:04

None and no. DP on the other hand, runs or cycles about 15 miles a day, does HIT some lunchtimes. He's very slim, not muscly though. Friends of his do cross fit and look fit

ishouldcocoa Mon 01-Jun-15 20:31:45

I do 3 x dance classes a week, 1 x pilates, and walk the dogs most days. I'm still fat (16/18), but less flabby than I could be.

bikeandrun Mon 01-Jun-15 20:48:13

I think its genetic to a great extent, I run competitively and I am very slim and pretty toned, but I wasn't much different when I did very little exercise. I don't eat clean or follow a strict diet but I do notice I am really full on half the amount of dinner my dh would eat so I think I have good awareness of much food I actually need. I have always been naturally fit though, could run 5k in 22 minutes when i never really ran and with training can get it down to 18 minutes on about 30 miles a week. I know a lot of people who train a lot harder than me and struggle to get these times. Sorry to be a big show off but i think i got lucky genetically with diet and exercise. Cant catch or kick a ball, completely unmusical and utterly crap at maths though!

pootlebug Mon 01-Jun-15 21:05:15

Unless genetic, I think you need to do lots of weights and eat little crap.

I do triathlons and so a fair amount of cardio. I do it because I love swimming, cycling and running, and love racing (either myself or everyone else) - not so that I look fit. If i wanted to look fit I'd do weights.

For bum - squats. Squats with weights. More squats.

AyMamita Mon 01-Jun-15 21:28:31

In an average week I do:

3-4 hours of really intense dancing (cheerleading style with jumps, kicks, spins etc)
4 hours in the gym - mostly resistance and flexibility work, some treadmill
5 hours of fast cycling - high-speed, lots of stops and starts, fast corners, standing up in the pedals a lot (think bicycle courier!)

I look very fit/toned - am slim with defined arms and legs, toned flat tummy (six-pack). Women at the gym ask me for tips and I have been told quite a few times i look like a fitness model!

There definitely is a genetic element: I'm quite tall and very small-boned, and naturally quite lean - I have to be careful not to overtrain/undereat or I start getting a veiny bodybuiding Madonna look, which isn't really what I want. BUT I did not look like this when I wasn't exercising and eating the way I currently do.

ThursdayLast Mon 01-Jun-15 21:31:22

It's in the eating I think.

I exercise regularly, and am slim-ish but I don't think anyone would pick me out in a super fit line up. Because of my body shape, and because I enjoy eating. A lot.

prepperpig Mon 01-Jun-15 21:35:15

I do nothing and haven't for 20 years really (before that I did gymnastics competitively). I look very fit (at least I do when clothed). I'm not at all fit.

I am going to start doing something though.

Anothernumber99 Mon 01-Jun-15 21:50:52

Where do people who exercise that many hours per week find the time? I work full time with a long commute so struggle to fit much in.

PhoebeMcPeePee Mon 01-Jun-15 21:58:32

I do HIIT 2 x a week, cycle 2-3 times a week (usually 30-40km inc lots of hill work) & run 1-2 times a week. I'm certainly a lot slimmer & more toned than a year ago when I didn't really do anything, but I also eat too much to be described as fit looking.
My arms & legs do have muscle definition BUT there is also a definite layer of wobble & the only way that's going IMO is reduce food intake. Which is difficult if you're exercising a lot as you're bloody hungry all the time grin

AggressiveBunting Tue 02-Jun-15 06:52:56

I run about 30- 80k per week, depending on the season and do Crossfit 2-4 times as well. I have good muscle definition and I think I am genetically blessed in that regard as I seem to gain muscle tone quite easily (and my dad is 70 and still quite buff smile). The muscle tone comes from weights, not running though. I do watch my diet to an extent in terms of calorie intake so my body fat is relatively low (22%ish). There is definitely an element of genetic predisposition but I think everyone can get a good result from resistance training. The 'ripped' look is dependent on low body fat though.

RattieofCatan Tue 02-Jun-15 07:12:53

Swimming is my miracle workout, I tone up a lot more quickly when I swim. I am relatively slim anyway (I go from an 8-10 on top and 10-12 on the bottom, purely through genetics!) but I range from podgy to toned. When I'm swimming even once a week, that can happen within a couple of months, whereas when I don't swim I don't seem to tone as easily.

My Mum is one of those people who can exercise a lot but still not "look" as though she does on first sight, she attends classes and then gym or swims most days and is a paddler who teaches it too. DH also doesn't look the part even when he exercises loads too. At his most "fit" state he still had a bit of a belly and his arms never gain muscle tone.

Womaninsack Tue 02-Jun-15 07:16:27

It's down to the type of exercise you do - I do horseriding, weights and cycling and can eat what I want but I am very toned with flat stmach etc.

Runners dn;t generally have toned torsos and arms at all - you need resistance work to get that.

Chchchchangeabout Tue 02-Jun-15 07:28:19

To look toned you need to do weights and lose the fat layer. Tim Ferriss 4 hour body has effective but fairly extreme fat burning diet info.

Grumpyoldbiddy Tue 02-Jun-15 08:00:37

I disagree about the weights, if I do yoga daily I get a six pack and very defined muscles in my arms and back. Legs and bum get more defined with a combination of running and yoga.
Weights make no difference at all to me and are boring

038THETA Tue 02-Jun-15 09:02:45

‎IMO much depends on genetics.

Body composition without specific exercise training depends on genetics, the degree and speed with which you respond to exercise training ‎depends on genetics.

People who gain muscle easily tend to stick with strength training, those with good baseline aerobic capacity and high trainabilty in that area tend to be attracted to endurance training. ‎

LastGleaming Tue 02-Jun-15 09:28:42

Genetics I think. Until a couple of years ago I was far from fit, stuffed my face full of junk and smoked like a train. Yet I was a size 8 and had what people would describe as an 'athletic figure' - I always read that as skinny but broad and no boobs.

Now I do run three times a week and an odd day at the gym. Nothing's changed body wise on the outside except I have larger calf muscles from running. The inside is different, I'm definitely much calmer, not as stressy and that's why I do it. Would like to get toned myself (arms and bum mainly) but can't be bothered with the effort on top of running after a toddler all day.

tbtc Tue 02-Jun-15 09:39:33

My slim figure is down to genetics I think. I happen to be a good runner and love it so I run 3 or 4 times a week and do one boot camp session a week as well.
I am 44 and if I didn't exercise I think I would still be slim (scrawny even), but my sport means I am quite muscular and toned.

People tell me I have a good figure for running so for me, my genetics (body shape and running ability) work well with my love of running.

If I don't run I lose weight.

Naicecuppatea Tue 02-Jun-15 09:39:36

I do about 30 mins 4 times a week, which is a combination of running, spinning, HIIT, and body weight exercises (squats etc). I have been doing this consistently for the last 6 months and have got very defined leg muscles, my bum has changed shape from flat to more lifted (this is the major change!) and I have the beginnings of abs and a much more toned stomach/core. Before this I was slim (size 10) but more wobbly. I've lost minimal weight but have definitely toned up.

Exercise is not a quick fix. You have to keep doing it consistently to get results and you have to go at it hard! Find something you like to do and stick with it.

I feel amazing for it, much fitter, and I get grumpy and restless if I can't get my exercise hit.

holmessweetholmes Tue 02-Jun-15 10:10:35

I do a fair bit of exercise, but a) eat too much, b) spend too much of the rest of my time MNing sitting down and b) have major lapses in my exercising.

Sooo... I am able to run 10 miles (slowly!) but probably don't look like I should be able to! I would love to be slimmer and more toned, but don't seem to have the sticking power to quite get there. But I stick at the exercise (with lapses) because it makes me happier and healthier. Plus of course I would be even fatter and less toned if I didn't grin.

Like everyone else, I know how to be slimmer and more toned, it's just making myself do it that's the problem!

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