Kicking it up at the gym

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 03, 2010 3:18 PM GMT
    Hoping for some thoughts from people.

    I'm pretty much at my max in terms of time I can spend at the gym. I go before work, Monday-Friday, 45 minutes of strength and 30 of cardio, except for Wednesdays when I skip cardio completely and spend the entire time on strength.

    I want to kick it up at the gym without bulking up on weight. But as it is, I'm getting to my daily morning meeting at work just as it's starting, and really can't add any more time.

    What thoughts do people have for kicking things up without adding more time? Meaning, as I plateau I want to be able to feel the burn again (best way I can describe it) but I don't want to be pumping a ton of weight. Can't really add reps or sets, because of time. Is adding weight the only way?

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    Mar 03, 2010 8:36 PM GMT
    If you hit a plateau, then try switching up your routine. Or try adding some different techniques like reverse pyramids or drop sets.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 03, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    It still cracks me up when people say they don't want to lift heavy weights cause they don't want to get too bulky.

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    Mar 03, 2010 10:22 PM GMT
    TexanMan82 saidIt still cracks me up when people say they don't want to lift heavy weights cause they don't want to get too bulky.




    So glad I could make you laugh. Thank you for contributing.
  • DrewT

    Posts: 1327

    Mar 03, 2010 10:26 PM GMT
    The best advice is what xrichx said. Switch up your routine. Change up the different exercises you do, with new ones working the same muscle groups.
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    Mar 03, 2010 10:41 PM GMT
    I know some guys here don't want to get too muscular. But sometimes that's a little hard to avoid, cuz of that darn testosterone thing we got running through our systems. icon_wink.gif

    But I think it's ok to lift heavy once in a while to break up a plateau. Because you can control your size with diet. If you consume more calories while lifting heavy, your muscles will grow. If you keep the calories the same, then your muscle gains will be minimal.

    Try lifting heavy for a week or two. Then go back to your regular routine.
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    Mar 03, 2010 10:42 PM GMT
    Wow great thoughts. Super sets as a way of saving time seems too logical for me to have not thought of it.
  • Neon_Dreams

    Posts: 352

    Mar 03, 2010 10:57 PM GMT
    Also, you may want to try swimming, jump rope, intense cardio, or a class that your gym might offer.

    Keep things interesting. And, like the others said, change up your routine to do so.

    Good luck.

    Keeping positive,


    Joe
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    Mar 03, 2010 11:00 PM GMT
    djdorchester saidHoping for some thoughts from people.

    I want to kick it up at the gym without bulking up on weight. But as it is, I'm getting to my daily morning meeting at work just as it's starting, and really can't add any more time.

    What thoughts do people have for kicking things up without adding more time? Meaning, as I plateau I want to be able to feel the burn again (best way I can describe it) but I don't want to be pumping a ton of weight. Can't really add reps or sets, because of time. Is adding weight the only way?



    Before posting, and given that you've been on RJ for some time, I recommend you study up on hypertrophy.

    You WILL NOT get bigger if you continue not to eat. Repeating, you WILL NOT get bigger if you continue not to eat. As thin as you are now, you would likely do well to CUT BACK on your training if you're wanting to make gains, and aren't willing to consume more calories. It's obvious you're almost certainly running a deficit on calories, and are either close to over training or ARE over training.

    What is "kicking things up?" Bigger? Leaner? Smaller? Shorter? It makes no sense. It's ambiguous. What is "I want to kick it up at the gym without bulking up on weight?" What's your version of kicking it up? Perhaps you could try to communicate more clearer as to what kicking it up is.

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    Mar 03, 2010 11:02 PM GMT
    xrichx saidI know some guys here don't want to get too muscular. But sometimes that's a little hard to avoid, cuz of that darn testosterone thing we got running through our systems. icon_wink.gif

    But I think it's ok to lift heavy once in a while to break up a plateau. Because you can control your size with diet. If you consume more calories while lifting heavy, your muscles will grow. If you keep the calories the same, then your muscle gains will be minimal.

    Try lifting heavy for a week or two. Then go back to your regular routine.


    Good point. Makes sense to switch things up, which I don't do a lot of. When I'm working on arms, for example, I kind of fall into the same routine, working on doing them really well. But long-term, it's not keeping things interesting enough.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 03, 2010 11:07 PM GMT
    As usual, Chucky took the words right out of my mouth
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    Mar 03, 2010 11:11 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    djdorchester saidHoping for some thoughts from people.

    I want to kick it up at the gym without bulking up on weight. But as it is, I'm getting to my daily morning meeting at work just as it's starting, and really can't add any more time.

    What thoughts do people have for kicking things up without adding more time? Meaning, as I plateau I want to be able to feel the burn again (best way I can describe it) but I don't want to be pumping a ton of weight. Can't really add reps or sets, because of time. Is adding weight the only way?



    Before posting, and given that you've been on RJ for some time, I recommend you study up on hypertrophy.

    You WILL NOT get bigger if you continue not to eat. Repeating, you WILL NOT get bigger if you continue not to eat. As thin as you are now, you would likely do well to CUT BACK on your training if you're wanting to make gains, and aren't willing to consume more calories. It's obvious you're almost certainly running a deficit on calories, and are either close to over training or ARE over training.

    What is "kicking things up?" Bigger? Leaner? Smaller? Shorter? It makes no sense. It's ambiguous. What is "I want to kick it up at the gym without bulking up on weight?" What's your version of kicking it up? Perhaps you could try to communicate more clearer as to what kicking it up is.




    My photos are several months old. I've made significant gains. Because of tips I've had on this site, including many from you, I've dramatically changed my eating habits. I've added supplements, I've increased my calorie intake, boosted my carb intake to compensate for my pretty intense workout routine, I eat several times a day in small quantities. I stopped losing weight at about 155 lbs middle of last year (for sure underweight) and weighed in this morning at nearly 165 - definitely the right direction since I'm positive (just from looking in the mirror and noting how clothes fit me) that it's muscle gain. What I mean by kicking things up is that sometimes I finish at the gym and feel like I could have kept going except I ran out of time. I want to have definition and not a lot of muscular bulk. Please tell me if you think this is a stupid goal, the point is that I want to improve my physical fitness, define my physique, be as lean as possible. Cut. However you describe it, that's the best I can do. But I don't want want to be a hulk (no offense). And BE KIND. There's no reason to be a prick in your tone or your words.

  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 03, 2010 11:14 PM GMT
    Drop sets
    Super sets
    Heavy
    Light
    Intervals


    Trust me, you won't turn into a hulk unless you're trying. You don't wake up one day after putting an extra 50 lbs on the bar the day before looking likr the Hulk. It just doesn't happen like that. So yes, you need to use heavy weights at times. One misconception is also that you only get bigger with heavy lifting. Not true.
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    Mar 03, 2010 11:20 PM GMT
    I agree with MUCHMORE about doing super sets and drop sets. They can really help you change things up and challenge you. You can also add cardio to your weight workout by doing them as well.

    Another thing you might want to consider is doing Body for Life. I did that a few years ago when I had very little time and was able to get a great workout in before I went to work. I always felt like I had pushed myself.

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    Mar 04, 2010 3:27 AM GMT
    If you want to be lean, do HIIT, 20 minutes, every day, eat small meals often, avoid foods that cause a fast and hard insulin response, and lift. If you consume just slightly less calories than you consume (you have to judge this by "feel" and the scale), you'll lean out, and, won't gain weight. The key is keeping the insulin response moderated, and the the calories just slightly less than your expenditure. Repeat for about 18 weeks. If you are losing about 1 to 2 pounds a week, on average, you're right on track. Don't be surprised, though, that if you de-load, you drop 10 pounds of water. That's normal, and to be expected. Once you're deloaded, the weight comes off much slower.

    If you restrict your calories too much, your metabolism will slow, you'll catabolize muscle, and get fatter in what's known as "The Famine Response."

    45 minutes in the gym, with about 45 second to 60 second intervals is plenty. More is NOT better, especially if you're in a slight calorie deficit. It will be counter-productive. Get in; get out. Unless you're taking a magic potion, you'll quickly over-train, and go the wrong direction in your training, if you try getting longer, and fancier. Weight training is extremely intense activity.

    You may find that HIIT at 70%, 80%, or more, of your maximal heart rate will leave you feeling invigorated. My max suggested heart rate is 171 (220 - 49 (my age)), but, when I'm in high gear, I'll routinely bring my heart rate up to 190 in bursts of 45 seconds, with 45 seconds to 1.5 minute slower intervals. When I'm not in high gear, like right now, I'll routinely bring my heart rate to around 155 to 165, which is nearly 100%. The cardiologist says it's fine, but, you don't want to do it if you're not ready. If you're doing HIIT right, you won't be able to do it for very long. Perhaps as little as five minutes in the beginning working up to 20 minutes when you're well trained.

    Again, for your goal of definition and muscularity, without gaining much more weight, you'll want to avoid over training like the plague, and get busy with HIIT, and get in, and get out, of the gym.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2010 3:35 AM GMT
    Drop sets are awesome. If done right, they will leave you sore like a mother f******
  • victor8

    Posts: 237

    Mar 04, 2010 3:41 AM GMT
    yep...switch it up....and these days not only are there drop sets...but doing functional work between set...plyo, bosu, balance, weighted balls....tri-set w/jumping jacks between sets...or lunges between sets...keep that butt high and tight...if you keep your heart rate high by never stopping you can go straingt into a workout after stretching...drop the cardio machines...
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    Mar 04, 2010 1:13 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the tips. Those are good thoughts, Chucky, thanks for taking the time. There is definitely a mental hurdle to getting over the "if I'm not in the gym for long enough, I'm not pushing myself hard enough." But your reasoning helps get around that. I'll be working on some of these tips, thanks again!
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    Mar 04, 2010 4:07 PM GMT
    Perhaps the best way to really understand at a visceral level that more time is not necessarily harder work is to do this.

    One day

    45 mins steady state cardio

    next day

    10 mins warm up

    Tabata protocol: 20 seconds ABSOLUTE effort (don´t hold back) 10 seconds rest- do this 8 times in total. (takes 4 minutes)

    5-10 cool down.

    Do not try and save yourself for the last reps. Go all out. If you can only manage 6 reps that´s not a problem. Try not to pass out. Be sure to have some fruit after and eat properly asap and preferably do when you have nothing important to do for the rest of the day.

    You will never again think that more time = harder work out.

    As to gym time: super sets, drop sets, a circuit once a week, try a body weight session every now and again...



  • WILDCARD73

    Posts: 545

    Mar 04, 2010 4:20 PM GMT
    why dont you try one of those classes that the gym offers like spinning, zumba or some yoga?
    something different