Some help with daily routines please...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 24, 2009 1:14 AM GMT
    I'm not very good with figuring out what the best plan of attack is in the gym for losing weight on my own. That's why I had a trainer when I lived in the States - who I loved because I saw results.

    Right now I'm doing Spin classes M, W, F (6:30pm) for an hour each day. They're pretty intense depending on the instructor, but some classes I don't feel like I actually accomplished all that much.

    Tuesday and Thursday I do hour long "boot camp" classes (6:30pm) which really kick my ass. I know I'm getting a ton of cardio out of the classes, but I never feel that "pain" in my muscles a day or so after. So, I don't think I'm getting enough weight work in.

    I take Saturday off and usually go hiking or walking the beach on Sunday.

    What do you guys think of what I'm doing? Should I stop the spin classes and do weights in the gym on those days? The boot camp classes kick my ass every time, so I don't really want to give those up. But, I'm open to suggestions.

    I'm doing well on a low calorie (1,600) low fat diet, drinking tons of water and taking multivitamins. I just want to make sure I'm doing all the right stuff in the gym.

  • Brian888

    Posts: 14

    Apr 24, 2009 5:38 AM GMT
    Resistance training is always the best route to go for weight loss over tons of cardio, followed by a good balanced diet. For the best results, consider HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) because it keeps your heart rate up and uses a lot of different muscle groups.

    If you have a moment, let me explain it to you this way: Everybody is made up of two different type of muscle fibre, fast twitch and slow twitch (and the ratio is different with everybody). The fast twitch are primarily used for heavy lifting and require tremendous amounts of energy to perform. They also exhaust very quickly. Bottom line is when they're active with heavy loads, you're burning calories and will keep on doing so for up to 24 hours afterwards as they recover. On the other hand, your slow twitch fibres are used almost daily for every day tasks and for cardio. They're primary source of energy is oxygen as well as glucose and fat cells. Problem is the fat cells are excellent fuel sources (you can get a lot of mileage out of one fat cell) and could take a very long time to make a dent in this energy source, and as long as the muscles (while you do cardio) aren't complaining (through lactic acid build-up) they're getting plenty of oxygen and will hum along without a complaint (because that's what they're designed to do). So, I would limit the cardio for your respiratory system and hit the weight room.

    And if you have the experience to try this, do 20-25 reps of a compound movement like back squats, deadlifts or power cleans (full body movements) for 2 or 3 sets at the end of your workout a few times a week. You'll catch on to what I'm saying pretty quickly.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 24, 2009 5:52 AM GMT
    The biggest problem with doing the exact same work out repeatedly is that a) your body gets used to it, b) gets more efficient at it (so that a given pace will gradually burn fewer and fewer calories as you acclimate), and c) the exact same muscles are targeted constantly.

    I get that you're enjoying cardio--it's great when you're trying to get yourself into better shape, because you can notice improvements much more rapidly in normal life from beginner cardio work than from beginner weight work. Still, a small amount of resistance work would probably be a good idea. You don't even necessarily need weights at this point. Pick a few body weight exercises like pushups, pullups/chinups, chair dips, squats, and lunges, and learn the ideal form for them. All the exercises are detailed on this site, but plenty of us would be willing to give pointers if you like. It's a lot easier to learn everything correctly from the start and add weight later than it is to try to unlearn bad form after you're used to it.

    Have you considered taking the occasional day to not ride a bike and instead swim? It's not the highest calorie burn at recreational levels, but it's one of the few forms of cardio that's a fully body exercise, and it functions as some degree of resistance work as well. It's also generally more enjoyable than some other forms of cardio--climbing stairs is great for your legs and rear, but far less fun. Add to that the fact that while you're still trying to lose weight you can more easily float to catch your breath, and that swimming kicks your ass when you're not used to it but that you can make a huge amount of progress in a short amount of time, and it starts to look like a good activity to toss in. When you're first starting in the pool, don't be surprised if 15 minutes of slow laps has you wheezing; that will pass if you keep it up.

    Personally, in the summer I love to get 30 minutes of swimming in 3 days a week or so, though it takes a few weeks to be able to swim even 20 minutes of the front crawl without stopping if I haven't been doing it regularly in the winter.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 24, 2009 12:09 PM GMT
    I've worked out in the gym for years by myself and with a trainer, so I know the basics. I'm so busy at work, that I tend to just stay at work and skip the gym if I don't have a class to get to (or training session). That's why I've been doing Spin and Boot Camp. But, like you said, I've been doing the Spin for so long, it doesn't seem nearly as hard as it used to. The Boot Camp is relatively knew for me, so it's definitely kicking my ass. It's mostly body weight (step ups, abs work, sprinting, jumping jacks, jump rope, circuit workouts with 20lb weights, sometimes cycling, squats, lunges, etc...). The instructor is awesome and in six weeks, we haven't done the same class yet.

    I think I'll stop the Spinning for the time being and grab one of the workout series from this site to do M, W and F. I'll throw some jogging on the treadmill into those circuits too. I'll pick up some swimming on Sundays too. I can't remember the last time I went swimming, so that should be good for me. Plus, the ocean is only a few hundred feet from my front door. No excuses there.

    Do you think I should keep spin in at least once a week? Maybe only do weight training twice a week, boot camp twice a week, spin once and swimming once? I'm a very regimented person and that's why I tend to be most successful with a schedule. Then, change that schedule once every couple of months.