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Fitness questions

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Fitness questions

Postby GiantsFan14 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:38 am

Hey guys, i have a few questions for any of you guys who work out regularly or know anything about fitness... i gained some weight over summer as i basically didn't do anything but sit on my butt and eat. Right now I'm sitting at about 5'11" and 200 lbs, I basically have pretty big thighs and a bit of a gut. My goal is to get down to about 175-180. Over the last few days I've started jogging 2-3 times a day for 30 minutes at a time (when i first started i'd have to take constant breaks and walk as i would get winded easy, but i'm doing much better now). I'm also a few sets of crunches and squats throughout the day and trying to eat better.

Basically I want to know how important running shoes are to jogging and if they are worth buying. Can wearing regular sneakers while jogging cause back pain? (this has been starting towards the end of my jogs recently) If you recommend buying running shoes is there a certain type i should be looking at? i basically know nothing about this sort of thing.

Secondly, are there any other exercises/routines that I should be doing as well? I've never really done much exercizing before this as i was in marching band through high school and college which kept my weight down. (ya i'm hella cool)

thanks for any help guys
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby BitterDodgerFan » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:47 am

to your second question, i would prioritize resistance training over cardio. building muscles will be more beneficial in burning up calories in the long run than those long jogging sessions. if you're really a cardio guy, then i would go for HIIT (high intensity interval training) over just plain jogging, which doesn't have to take 30 minutes. remember, there's no such thing a spot reduction; doing crunches will not make your belly go away. instead, concentrate on resistance training big muscles of your body with compound motion over isolation. squats are excellent, so are things like bench presses, military presses, deadlifts, etc.

lastly, i will tell you that getting back into better physical shape is more about your diet than anything else; fitness experts claim it's 80-90% of the solution. you can be doing cardio or lifting weights all day long, but unless your diet cleans up, you won't see any long lasting changes as you grow older. just start with small things, like having all your carbs early in the day and if you have to eat something late at night try to eat protein and fats (healthy).
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby Inukchuk » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:48 am

100% agree on the diet. It absolutely sucks not eating what you want, but the thing that helped me the most was using the one cheat day a week where you're allowed to break your diet (or if you're really good, one cheat meal). It gives you something to look forward to, and your cheat meal will taste so much better than you remember.

I also think one of the biggest hurdles to getting in shape is trying to be mentally strong about sticking with it. What worked for me was that I treated it as a one week at a time thing. I'd tell myself that all I had to do was make it to my cheat meal. It made it easier to push away cravings for just a few more days, rather than forever. The other mental trick I used was if I was planning to break the diet, I'd try to flash forward to after I cheated and I felt crappy and guilty. There is no worse feeling. A lot of the time, it trumped the craving, at least until I could fill my stomach with something healthy...

I cut 50 lbs in a few months, and my magic food was tuna fish. My dinner would be a sandwich with hot sauce and vegetables almost every night. I hated it, but I just tried to keep thinking about the cheat meal waiting for me...


As far as exercise goes, I think it has to do with your build and what you'd like to accomplish. I've always been stocky and I pack on muscle very easily. What I wanted was to slim down so I focused on high reps and cardio. I absolutely despise jogging, and I think it gets boring doing the same stuff all the time, so now I switch between biking, my row machine, and jumping rope (whichever one I feel like doing that day). The best thing I ever did was buy wireless headphones that plug into my TV. When I want to row or jump rope, I just plug em in, zone out, and watch TV. Makes the time fly by.

Sorry if I went a little long, just trying to help you out. We've all been there at some point... ;-D
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby Inukchuk » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:51 am

Oh yeah, and running shoes (or cross trainers, to a lesser extent) are definitely more comfy than regular sneakers. I had all sorts of foot pain until I switched. Of course, if you're biking or rowing or jumping rope, it doesn't matter what kind of sneakers you wear... :-D
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby rlode67628 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:57 am

Agree that diet is very important.

As to the running shoes, I do 3 seasons of track and running shoes are extremely important. Shoes are to runners like bats are to baseball players, you don't just pick any old one. I don't think the shoes are the cause of your back problems, but it is possible they could. If you don't have good running shoes your ankles will really start to hurt if you run enough miles. There are also running stores that have special technology that determines the area(s) of your foot that you put the most pressure on, so that they can put more support there. I think Sports Authority has this. Running shoes are good for about 300 miles before you need to get a new pair, and make sure that you take a day off every week to give your legs some rest. ;-D You'll immediately feel the difference once you put on a good pair of running shoes.
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby Mookie4ever » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:30 am

BitterDodgerFan wrote:to your second question, i would prioritize resistance training over cardio. building muscles will be more beneficial in burning up calories in the long run than those long jogging sessions. if you're really a cardio guy, then i would go for HIIT (high intensity interval training) over just plain jogging, which doesn't have to take 30 minutes.


I don't agree with this at all. Cardio training is just as important as muscle building. Your heart is the most important muscle in the body to work out and you do that with a cardio work out and you need at least 20 minutes of sustained cardio to have any effect at all. 30 minutes is ok to start but you should add to that.

I would agree that you should mix it up. Weight training alone is not good but by the same token cardio training alone is not ideal. I weight train 3 times a week and run 3 times a week, generally 5 miles a time but I'm up to 8-10 a run now b/c I'm training for a half marathon. The thing with cardio and/or endurance training is to set yourself a goal or it gets too boring. I would recommend a specific weight by a certain date or find a 10K race scheduled 5 months from now and sign up for it. Goals are good.

lastly, i will tell you that getting back into better physical shape is more about your diet than anything else; fitness experts claim it's 80-90% of the solution. you can be doing cardio or lifting weights all day long, but unless your diet cleans up, you won't see any long lasting changes as you grow older. just start with small things, like having all your carbs early in the day and if you have to eat something late at night try to eat protein and fats (healthy).


Diet is very important. High protein (chicken, fish, yoghurt, protetin shakes - if your ideal weight is aroung 180 you should be taking in 180 g of protein per day) and low fat. Carbs are not bad but you should concentrate on good carbs, whole grains and brown rice.
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby Inukchuk » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:35 am

Good point on the healthy carbs, Mookie. If you can get >30g of fiber a day, you're almost guaranteed to cut weight. I also look for omega 3s wherever I can (some fish, flax seed, supplements)...
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby Yoda » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:11 am

Running shoes are very important if you want to avoid foot/leg related injuries. If your soles tend to wear out on the inside then you are an overpornator. If they wear out on the outside then you are an underpronator. Here is more info and you can determine/find your shoe type.

Cardio is very important and the best way to lose weight. I'd also recommend running prior to lifting weights.
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:01 pm

Wearing shoes specifically for running is very important and I don't mean those Court Classic cheap shoes you can buy for $20 at Costco. Find a pair that has relatively comfortable cushions that ideally support your feet from ankle to the bottoms. Wearing the wrong kind of shoes might cause shin splints if your shoes aren't a comfortable fit as you'll be forced to rely on your lower legs for power and if you torque your hamstrings or quads, well, you're just asking for a strain, or worse, a tear.

I agree that cardio is equally as important as muscle building (I think endurance training is a little more important than muscle build as well). Running before lifting is a great help. Getting the blood flowing from going on a run helps you keep active during your lift session.

As for the diet, I think it depends on what you're aiming for. I'm usually exercising to retain my weight and so, watching exactly what I eat to the milligram isn't all that important for me. What you're aiming for here is more substantial weight loss. High-protein/low carb is the way to go but always keeping in mind that a balanced diet, concentrating on proteins over excess carbs is the way to go.
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Re: Fitness questions

Postby Snakes Gould » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:44 pm

to be honest, if you are running 3 times a day for 30 minutes at a time, you're well on your way. thats enough desire and will power to cut off 15-20 lbs. if you do crunches while you still have your belly, you're just going to have a tight bigger belly. not the best idea.

yes running shoes matter. you can probably find a good cheaper pair of new balances (my favorite) or asics for about $60-$70. id recommend it.

as for the diet, you dont seem to be in the danger zone, so i would just watch what you eat. you dont need to eat tuna every meal or cut out all junk food, but just be cautious and wary of what and when you eat. watch what you eat and continue doing some running (make sure you leave your body some time to rest! very important) i think you'll find the results you're looking for.
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