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Workout/Weight Loss Tips & Tricks

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Workout/Weight Loss Tips & Tricks

Postby Big Pimpin » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:31 pm

Ok, let me preface this by saying I've never worked out for fitness' sake. My working out in the past was always with one purpose in mind - swimming as fast as possible. Anyway, being that it's been about four years since swam in my last race and I'm bigger than I should be and want to be, I've decided to finally do something about it. I'm 6'4" and about 260, and could stand to lose anywhere from 30 to 50 lbs. I eat pretty good for the most part, so I'm not gaining weight any more, but I'm not losing any either.

Now, it used to be that I swam for about four hours a day. No time for that any more, obviously. Also, muscle mass was never a goal in the past and not particularly useful. While I'm at it, I'd certainly like to build some strength and get some tone. I don't think my body's built to ever put on a ton of muscle, but I can deal with that. What I am very interested in, however, is that muscle seems to help with the old metabolism and everything else, so that would probably be good.

I picked up a membership to a Bally's that's close to my house, so I'm thinking I can make time to hit it for an hour or so four or five times a week. It has a pool, which I will use for cardio. Low-impact, works the whole body, plus it's something I know and enjoy, etc. Plus I can gear up the intensity a bit once I start getting my feel back.

But what else should I be doing? Should I be swimming three times a week and doing some weight stuff the other two days? Should I be swimming all five days but throw some weights into the mix on a couple of the days? Anything else in particular that I should be focusing on with regards to building some muscle?

I know there are some meatheads around here that can probably help me get on the right track. Thanks for any input.
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Postby Pacman » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:38 pm

Can u work some other cardio into your plan, instead of always swimming? Break it up with a run or two a week on a treadmill, or an eliptical cross trainer, or a bike (spinning classes are actually an amazing cardio workout and low-impact).

I've done 'em all, and while I like swimming, i don't get results with swimming, the way I do when I run regularly on a treadmill, and use other cardio machines to break up the running routine (as mentioned above, eliptical, spinning, etc.)

Good luck.
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Postby Big Pimpin » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:50 pm

Pacman wrote:Can u work some other cardio into your plan, instead of always swimming? Break it up with a run or two a week on a treadmill, or an eliptical cross trainer, or a bike (spinning classes are actually an amazing cardio workout and low-impact).

I've done 'em all, and while I like swimming, i don't get results with swimming, the way I do when I run regularly on a treadmill, and use other cardio machines to break up the running routine (as mentioned above, eliptical, spinning, etc.)

Good luck.


Yeah I don't see why I couldn't. I just know I can't run. Well, I can once and then I can't walk again for a couple weeks. !+)

Although the one thing I will say about swimming is I don't think it's for everyone. Reason being that most people can't (or won't) build up the endurance necessary to make it useful. Regardless, the key seems to be getting to a point where you can keep your heartrate up for a prolonged period, which is something I know I can do swimming. But I'd have no qualms with doing an elliptical machine or a spin bike or whatever else either.
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:38 pm

its fine to swim all of the days if you want to and have enough time. running and swimming are both very effective at burning calories. elliptical/stationary bike arent as effective. imo, the best thing about them is that they are convenient. its easier to hop on a bike for a few minutes before a weight workout than it is to jump in a pool.

there are any number of ways you could do it but i would probably hit the weights three days a week.

monday- cardio warmup for 10-20 minutes (bike, elliptical, or treadmill), weights the rest of the time.
tuesday- swim or other cardio
wednesday- same as monday.
thursday- swim or other cardio
friday- depends on schedule. do the monday/wednesday workout or take the day off. i prefer to take friday off and workout on saturday.
saturday- do a longer cardio & weights the rest of the time. doesnt really matter if you do weights or swim first.
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Postby Big Pimpin » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:36 pm

Any tips on specific weight excercises? Typically, the few times I've actually lifted, I just go around the room and hit everything once. :-D
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Postby Yoda » Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:54 pm

Big Pimpin wrote:Any tips on specific weight excercises? Typically, the few times I've actually lifted, I just go around the room and hit everything once. :-D


Isolate your muscle groups. I used to do shoulders/legs, back/bi's, chest/tri's, rest a day or two and then repeat.
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Postby Another Blown Save » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:14 pm

Yoda wrote:
Big Pimpin wrote:Any tips on specific weight excercises? Typically, the few times I've actually lifted, I just go around the room and hit everything once. :-D


Isolate your muscle groups. I used to do shoulders/legs, back/bi's, chest/tri's, rest a day or two and then repeat.

I don't like focusing on specific muscle groups for a day and doing another muscle group the next day.

It just makes your muscles go sore which is not good.
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:55 pm

start with the larger muscle groups and work toward the smaller ones. variety is also good. you can switch in some different exercises every couple weeks. you dont want to work the same muscle group consecutive days though (unless its something like abs which you can work on every day).

you could try the specific muscle groups on specific days (body split approach) or just go with a general all muscle groups every other day approach. some say the body split approach is best for the body builder types. some say there really is no clear difference between the two. to properly do the body split approach you will need to work each group to exhaustion which will generally take 1.5 to 3 hours per day. thats more than what most people want to do. the traditional general approach is usually an easier program for beginners to follow.

you could talk to a personal trainer. the quality of personal trainers at big chains like bally's can vary. many of them are more salesman than trainer. you might sign up for one session to get an idea of what to do. it would probably be just as productive to ask other people at the gym. most of the people in the gym are pretty friendly.
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Postby Grouperman941 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:16 pm

BP,

I was a swimmer also, and then an amature bodybuilder for a while. It's been way more than four years since my last race. ;-)

A lot of ex-swimmers find that it is very difficult to get a good enough cardio workout swimming after an initial training period (usually a few weeks). Eventually, even if you are up to sprinting 100s, you need more than 45 minutes to really get your body going. I think that the better you were when you were competing the more pronounced the effect. I also run into a problem of motivation with swimming. It is a lot different when you are not training for anything.

Treadmills are great because you can adjust the intensity and monitor your heart rate to keep it in the proper zone for the right amount of time. You don't have to run -- 3-4 MPH is a comfortable walk and you can increase your incline to make it more intense.

As far as exercises, I do best working opposites -- chest/back; bi/tri & shoulders; legs & abs. I would do legs/abs in between the other two and have a day off in there, too. Working opposites correctly should reduce soreness. This is a personal thing, I think, though -- try a few ways and see how it feels.

Just find a couple of exercises for each area that you like and can do correctly. Form is more important than weight. Lighter is better, especially when teaching your muscles the exercises.
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Postby RugbyD » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:27 pm

ex-swimmer here as well. swimming will be good to mix in, but not use exclusively for cardio. i prefer elliptical b/c its non-impact, but i run once in a while as well, but only on grass or fine aggregate to keep away the shin splints. treadmills are a bit of a waste IMO b/c there's no resistance.

30 people will tell you 30 different things about what to lift and in what order so find whatever routine works best for you after trying a bunch. general rule is that if you aren't sore within about 24 hours of lifting, your're wasting you time if adding muscle weight is one of your goals.

FORM FORM FORM FORM!!!!!!!! Do it right. You'll notice some smaller types lifting more weight than it looks like they should be. they can do it b/c they throw and contort their body around in an effort to get to final position of the lift. These people don't lift weight, they shift it, and they are wasting their time. Don't be that guy.

Keep safe. in any sort of exercise where your are pressing your hands away from your body, dont let your elbows go narrower than 90 degrees. over time, rotator cuff damage is the result of not following this advice.

adding muscle is intergral to losing weight. the more you have, the more calories your body burns in daily maintenance. cardio can have a catabolic effect on muscle mass, so if your doing tons of it, don't expect to add a lot of muscle mass. your body prefers to burn protien rather than fat when really stressed b/c its easier fuel.

the business about the fat burning heart rate zone can be misleading. that is really just the range where your fat burning efficiency is highest for the amount of exertion you're putting out. bottom line is higher heart rate = more calories burned.

low reps and heavier weight is better for adding pure bulk and maxing strength. higher reps will add less mass, but more defined and conditioned, generally speaking.

when lifting getting the weight from point A to point B is not as important as feeling it every step of the way. study muscle anatomy to know what muscle is where and be able to picture it contracting with every rep. helps you focus on your lifting and usually get you through the last bitch of a rep or 2. i highly recommend this book. very highly: http://www.amazon.com/Strength-Training ... 740&sr=1-1
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