September 1st, 2014, 11:59 AM #1
Fitness Folks: What Should I Be Doing At Gym?
I don't really "get it".
I understand that diet is far and away the most important aspect of losing weight and getting healthy. Lower calorie intake, cut out junk food, etc. etc. That all makes sense to me.
What I'm not understanding is what I'm supposed to be doing at the gym. Let's say I bike for a while and burn 300 calories. Considering there are 3,500 calories in a pound, I'd have to do this 12 times to lose a single pound?!? I'd just as soon not do it at all. Of course, there are other benefits to cardio (healthier heart, it is supposed to help with metabolism), but is it really worth it?
So I've read all over the place that cardio doesn't do much, and that you should stick to weight training. Okay... but what regiment should I follow? How many reps, etc?
I thought getting the will power to get off your ass was the hardest part. As it turns out, actually doing something efficiently is much harder. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
September 1st, 2014, 12:26 PM #2
I started off a regime I found on bodybuilding.com and it is the best thing I have done. I am on "lean" program and have lost 20 lbs. since May and feel much better. It is 12 week program of weight training two days on and one day off with cardio mix-in. It has worked great for me but there are other programs on the site. It is up to for what you want to do and what your goals are. I am sure I could pay more and get a personal trainer but I am giving this a try first and it is working ok. After 12 weeks I am just going to start the same routine over for another 12 weeks. If I can lose another 15 - 20 lbs. I will be right where I want to be but at 51 losing the weight has become harder. Good luck.
September 1st, 2014, 04:12 PM #3
What gym do you go to? I've been going to the YMCA since January. They have people there that can advise you. I wasn't looking to lose weight, but they gave me some great strength workouts.
September 2nd, 2014, 10:01 AM #4
I know where you are, trust me. Part of the problem is we are surrounded by instant gratification almost everywhere we go. But instant gratification with weight loss is not the way to go about it. Losing weight gradually is the best way, as it is safer and is less likely to leave you with that....hanging skin.
Originally Posted by USCKingsFan31
Like you mentioned, diet is one of the most important things. I use an app called MyFitnessPal to log what I'm eating. I have a 1500 calorie-a-day limit, and do my best to stay within it. On the weekends, I'm a little looser. I'm not crazy with what I eat (like vegetables all day long, etc). I just watch portions and eat virtually whatever I want. The real eye-opener comes when you log what your "normal" diet is like - what (and the way) you've been eating before you decided to get the monkey off your belly. I did that, and seeing that a "normal" day for me could be 2500 to 5000 calories was like a kick in the groin. Easily helps you stay on track once you have that in your mind.
But you also do need to work out. This will further the calorie deficit (plus allow you extra room with your calorie intake. Whatever you reduce by working out becomes a buffer that you can then add on to the day's intake). Cardio is good, and so is weight training. Just keep in mind with weight training, you may not see as rapid a weight loss (in pounds) as you might expect. Reason being is that as you lose fat and add muscle, the muscle weighs more than the fat that's dropping off. You may even see no weight loss at first - so just focus on measurements, body composition, how your clothes fit or how you look and feel. I haven't seen my numbers get as low as I'd like, but my belt is 2 notches tighter and I can fit into pants that are 3" smaller in the waistband and my gut is noticeably smaller. Personally, if you have access to a pool, I highly recommend swimming. It burns a ton of calories, and is both a cardio and strength exercise. I'd be doing it for hours every day if I could. If you don't think it's a great exercise, remember this: Michael Phelps would eat 10,000 calories a day during his peak training season, and still come out looking the way he did.
I also did a program called Power 90. It's by Tony Horton, and is the precursor to P90X. It's a lot easier than P90X, but is definitely challenging for someone who hasn't been working out in a long time. Trust me - get through the 90 days it takes, and you will be amazed at the difference you see and feel. You should be able to find it for around $50.
September 2nd, 2014, 10:39 AM #5
I do P90X and T25 every day! I have lost 60 lbs. and have kept it off for over a year now. Just remember that the more you workout the more calories you will burn. So you do have to eat to keep youe energy levels up. With that being said you need to find a blance diet and keep it rich with protien. Im not a trainer nor do I even clam to be one but those two programs work for me. Plus you can do them in the confort of your own home. You just have to find a program and a new eating habit that will work for you and it will all payoff trust me! I would be happy to talk with you at anytime if you would like. PM me and we will chat.
Originally Posted by USCKingsFan31
September 2nd, 2014, 10:54 AM #6
I work out quite a bit but never in a gym setting. Getting that part was always really hard for me for multiple reasons. The largest being I don't want to spend 20-40 minutes of my workout time driving to the gym and back.
If you're looking at the calorie count side of it alone anorexia is where you end up. The activity portion of working out is meant to be a mental push.
So "working out" for me is home workouts of various natures to keep me moving, stretching and generally trying to combat my otherwise sedentary lifestyle. Biggest bonus for me is that I have more energy when I'm working out. This particularly helps on recovery days where you think you're going to sit and veg out or something and instead find yourself getting up and actually doing something productive even if it's just take down all the games you've been playing and actually organize them or something.
Other aspects of working out which may help for you. Cardio exercise may seem a bit boring, but if you can use that time to concentrate/meditate I find that it's good training for the mind. Some people need help to learn how to do something for 20-30 minutes straight without stopping to distract themselves. I know you play poker, you probably visualize games and scenarios. If you can do that while doing the cardio now you've got a double bonus going.
Anyway no matter what going into it you have to want the workout benefits because no matter how you cut it, it's either a lifestyle or you're just going to put the pounds back on if you can't win the moderation game on the calorie side.
September 2nd, 2014, 12:33 PM #7
I use the YMCA as well and have bought P90X and used it. I lost 7 lbs. in 3 weeks with P90X and totally believe in it. I would just rather work out with free weights in a gym atmosphere. Good luck!
September 2nd, 2014, 02:34 PM #8
I'm sure if you ask 100 people for advice on weight training, you will get 1000 answers, so really it is finding something you are comfortable with and that you enjoy. I would also recommend hiring a trainer for a few days if you can afford it as that is the easiest way to learn, and they will make sure you are doing it correctly and won't hurt yourself.
As for general advice, when I had more time and was able to go to the gym, the general pattern I followed was something like the following. It was a four day a week schedule, which followed a five week pattern:
3 weeks regular weight / reps (enough weight to where 8-12 reps per set is challenging)
1 week heavy weight / low rep (4-6 reps per set)
1 recovery week, low weight / high rep (16-18 per set).
The 4 day per week schedule would look something like the following. Four sets on each movement, so on normal weeks that would be four sets each 8 to 12 reps for each movement. Super setting is where you do one movement then without much rest work on another area of the body while the first area is recovering. Doing this I could get my weight training in (I did that first) and a bit of cardio all in in about an hour.
- Monday - Chest, Back, Shoulders, abs
Bench press, super set with Wide grip pull down
Inclined bench press, super set with Dumbbell row
Dumbbell press, super set with pullover / stiff leg raise crunch
Dumbbell shoulder flys, super set with decline crunches
- Tuesday - Arms, Legs
(four sets on each movement)
Preacher curls super set with tricep dips
Hammer curls super set with tricep extension
Legs I usually wouldn't do any super setting because they were so tiring for me, the exception was when doing leg extensions super setted with laying leg curls
Squats (I used the hack squat machine for a long time because real squats scared me)
Standing calf raise (this is usually a higher rep affair, 16-20)
Then you basically repeat, but you can change the movements to keep it interesting.
- Thursday - Chest, Back, Shoulders, Abs
Dumbbell bench press super set with cable row
Decline bench press super set with London Bridges
Upright row super set with cable crunch
Standing low-pully delt raise super set with leg lifts
- Friday - Arms, Legs
Cable curl super set with cable tricep pull down
EZ-bar curls super set with scull crushers
Leg extensions super set with leg curls
donkey calf raises.
It looks dorky, but bring a notebook and keep track of what weight you are lifting and how many reps and sets. It not only helps you when you go back and are deciding how much weight to use, but is also a great way to track progress and feel good about how far you have come when you are feeling a bit stuck.
Good luck, have fun, and be safe
Last edited by VF; September 2nd, 2014 at 02:36 PM.
September 2nd, 2014, 06:00 PM #9
Remember that whatever you are doing raises your metabolism and you continue to burn calories from doing the workout long after the workout is over.
Also muscle burns energy. So weight training is important, especially as you get older because it helps maintain bone density along with several other benefits.
Hockey's original bad boy. The "Cowboy" Howie Young
September 2nd, 2014, 10:33 PM #10
I completely agree with use of a book to keep track of your daily workouts. This is the first time I have done this and it helps tremendously.