Fitness and being Healthy

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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:59 am

There is not a really meaningful difference between 5x5 and 4x8. There is a tendency to do higher reps on the supporting muscles versus the large muscle groups, because those exercises tend to be really easy to break form or "cheat" on. By doing a little bit less of a percentage of your one rep max, you are likely to maintain better form and get a better workout.

It's kind of difficult to cheat your way to more reps on squats or bench presses. You either lift it or you can't. You may be able squeak out an extra rep or lock out one that was iffy, but by and large the proper form is also the strongest lift. Whereas with something like curls, you just swing your hips a little or flare your elbows, and you can add quite a few more reps albeit of much less effectiveness.

I can't say for sure that that is what your trainer has in mind, but that's not uncommon.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Arnock » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Well, it's difficult to cheat on the core lifts if you're using proper form, but most of the guys at the gym that I see "squatting" are barely getting within 45 degrees of parallel.


On a somewhat related note

Achievement unlocked: 200lb x5x5 squat.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:43 pm

Congrats!

Next up...two plates!
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby firstamendme » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:36 am

Another question!

I've maxed out the possible weight on several machines. If start doing more reps/sets with that weight, will that continue to build? I know I could just do each limb independently, but I was hoping to not have to extend my gym time. Also, some of the machines would be awkward with a single limb. Thankfully the leg press at my gym is with rack weights so I can pile that on to the sky, but things like the lateral pull down and leg curls are capped at 245/165lbs.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:49 am

In the short term it could work ok, but it's not nearly as effective as being able to add weight. As you get increase your reps it will get less and less effective at building strength.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:20 am

1.5 weeks of the worst stress (resulting in almost a complete loss of appetitie) I have ever experienced in my entire life and I dropped 8 pounds. Not healthy, certainly, but I hit my first goal weight because of it. Heh. On to the next ten pounds. That's 36 total pounds down since I started this calorie counting business.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Skye1013 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:13 pm

Congrats! Even if it wasn't quite the way you expected to get there :D.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Aubade » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:51 am

Mmm local YMCA did a no-join fee weekend....girlfriend and I signed up. We're not going to be working out together due to work schedules but I'm excited to get back into the fitness game. Gained a bit of weight this holiday season =[.. I think I'm gonna start out with some swimming workouts!
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:36 am

That's awesome. I've always had really positive experiences at the Y. I used to have a membership in my hometown (Ottawa) and had one as a student in Toronto as well. I'm also trying to hold out for a no fee signup weekend because I'd like to get back into the gym as well. If only for the classes!
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:32 am

Not really sure where else to post this and I didn't want to make a new thread. Enough fitness/health junkies post in here so I figured this was the best place.

I'm trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my friend. She had a bunch of blood tests lately and it came back that she's got something that's attacking her red blood cells and her white blood cells are on the decline. She needs to get regular blood infusions over the course of the next months in an attempt to "fix it". She said that what she has can also lead to nerve damage, amongst other things. She has to take a bunch of prescription pills as well. I realize this is all incredibly vague, but she will not tell me what the heck she has. She is a regular anemic as her body just doesn't retain enough iron. So I was thinking it was some form of anemia, but googling was a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack.

The reason I'm curious is that we both had the exact same symptoms that lead us to go to the doctor for tests. Mine all came back clear, but clearly hers did not.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fenrìr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:40 am

So I'm taking a rather large step out of my comfort zone and entering into a Body Building Comp in late April with a couple of guys from work; one of which has done this before and is, in a way, our coach. However, my main problem I foresee is my addiction to caffine. I'm not particularly looking forward to the migraines I'll be getting once this kicks off on Monday.

Any tips on how to keep them to a minimum until my body has adjusted?
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Arnock » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:59 pm

What's wrong with caffeine? It can give you a nice kick before a workout, and I've been told (potential broscience here) that the stimulants can help keep your metabolism up?


At any rate, what I've done in the past that's helped me reduce caffiene for awhile is to start drinking black tea instead of coffee for a week or two, then dial it down to green tea, then caffiene free coffee/tea.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fenrìr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:03 pm

Mostly because I don't drink good caffeine. It's from cokes and such.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Kanta » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:48 am

Ugh, time for me to get healthy. Or something. The doc had me on a statin and was concerned about me being prediabetic. I brushed off the prediabetic part because I figured the Monster I drank 5 minutes before walking into the office probably threw off the blood glucose levels. Fast forward a few months (I'm bad at follow-ups) and I go in for another test. This time I don't drink anything for 24 hours except water and I stop eating ~10 hours before the blood draw.

Doc calls me a week later and My blood sugar is fine, and the doc is no longer concerned about me being pre-diabetic, and my total cholesterol levels and LDL are fine, but my HDL goes down further each time I visit. He's recommended exercise and a Mediterranean diet. Guess I will go back to lifting and see where I end up on a diet heavy in fish and chicken breast (doc said low carbs too)
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:08 am

When a doctor says "start exercising" my first thought is to get into cardio, not lifting. Maybe someone else can shed some light on that?
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Amirya » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:40 am

I'm not real clear on the why, myself, but I can confirm that since I joined the gym about 6 weeks ago, I'm doing more resistance/weight lifting with the trainer than I am cardio.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Arnock » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:29 pm

Unless you're out of shape to the point where you get winded doing every day activities, weight/resistance training can have a better effect on overall health and quality of life than tons of cardio.


Building muscle helps burn calories quicker than cardio. Having a stronger core and greater bone density from weight training can make you less prone to injury. Being physically stronger is frequently more useful in day-to-day activities than being able to run long distances.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:17 pm

Nikachelle wrote:When a doctor says "start exercising" my first thought is to get into cardio, not lifting. Maybe someone else can shed some light on that?

Cardio is great at improving cardiovascular health which is often a priority for doctors. Plus I think the value of strength training has been undervalued a bit because a lot of people don't like to do it and doing it wrong can cause injury.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Ruldar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:14 am

I have been having a lot of success at weight loss recently. I'm your fairly standard office worker with no real exercise in my day to day life with lots of diabetes, heart disease, and blood pressure issues in my family medical history, so getting some weight off is a real concern. Especially with how much extra weight I've been carrying.

Started going to the company gym a few years back, but I never made much progress just doing that. What has made the biggest impact is when I started using Libra for weight tracking just over a year ago and (to a far greater degree) when I started using My Fitness Pal at the beginning of January. Since I started going to the gym I've upped my time on the bikes and elliptical machines from about 30 minutes 3-4 days a week to an hour and a half 5-7 days a week, and since I started using it I've been holding myself under a 2+ pounds per week weight loss diet plan in My Fitness Pal. I'm down 25 pounds since the start of the year and should be near my weight goal by the middle of the year.

My Fitness Pal has been a godsend.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:33 am

Ruldar wrote:My Fitness Pal has been a godsend.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:29 am

I'm old fashioned when it comes to cardio training, I guess. I always tell my friends when they ask for advice on where to start a new training program that they should focus on cardio for the first month or so, because while it has a small (but noticeable!) effect in and of itself, it's good at increasing the benefit you get from the strength training once you start focusing on that. The main reason is endurance - regular cardiovascular exercise lowers your resting heart rate. Essentially, it makes your body more efficient, so your muscles won't get oxygen starved quite as easily and you'll be able to lift heavier, longer.

Oh, and it also has a greater effect on weight loss than weight training alone. Cardiovascular exercise increases your basal metabolic rate, which is just fancy talk for the amount of calories you burn at rest. So while weight training might burn more calories per workout cardiovascular training helps you burn more calories even while you're sleeping, sitting on the couch watching tv, or working at a desk job.

So if you're exercising for overall fitness, and are dedicated to maintaining a workout program, a good mix of cardio and weight training is what I'd recommend. But if you want the biggest gains for the least effort, join a running club or find a lap pool. And I would definitely advise against completely ignoring cardio and just picking up some free weights.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:32 am

Finally increasing my mileage to where I want to get to. Currently doing 7 and 8k runs three times a week with the intention of being able to do 10k three times a week in about a month or two. However, it's gotten to the point where I *want* to run every day as if it's a craving. But man... it sure is a time investment once you start doing 45 minute+ runs on top of weights/strength training.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby katraya » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:29 am

I've hit such a wall and I am beyond frustrated. I started really trying to lose weight in August 2011. In the first 6 months or so I lost 30 pounds. In the last year I have lost 7 if you go by my current weight.

Twice I have gotten near a short term goal and then ballooned up nearly 10 pounds. It isn't a short term gain either, it sticks around. And when I seem to have gotten it off it comes right back. I've been dealing with this for months.

I use MFP, I wear a heart rate monitor. I stay with in my calorie goal most of the time. I don't have the best diet as far as quality of calories go, but even when I do decide to cut out all alcohol and focus more on the quality - I don't see progress.

My goal right now is to try and meet with a trainer at my gym next week. I can't afford to see one regularly but maybe they can help me out. It seems like I need to change things up but I am not sure what to do. I can't run and I suck at working out at home. My gym has some weights but I don't feel like i know what I am doing with them.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Barathorn » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:20 am

Kat have you tried swimming? I lost a lot of weight through swimming and it stayed off.

I swam lots when I was under 11 and after 15 years of smoking when I got back in the pool at 32 I could only manage 8 lengths. Within 6 weeks I was swimming 64 lengths in an hour again.

It really does burn calories and for an 2-3 hours a week you get amazing results. Much easier on the limbs and joints than running as well.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:23 am

The trainer can at least give you an idea of what to do with weights. I don't feel like I know much about weights either, so when I use free weights at the gym, I just do most of the moves in the 30 Day Shred, but with higher weights.

You said you can't run, is that due to anything in particular? (knees, etc.) Or just "haven't done it, aren't interested". There's always the Couch 2 5k program that seems to have worked for a lot of people. Running's been the biggest thing that's helped me lose weight so I feel like I want to like... wish you to want to run, if that makes sense.

Man, I was coming in this thread to say I finally hit 40 pounds lost after struggling at 39 pounds for a month. But now I just feel like a dick bringing it up. :s
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