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Weight and Resistance training.. how much, when to start?

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Old 02-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
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Default Weight and Resistance training.. how much, when to start?

Good Day everyone.

Im sort of new.. but not really I been lurking for a while now.

Anywho, does anyone weight train? How much? how often? Do you use free weights? machines? Im afraid of building muscle so I pretty much avoid it at the gym.


Thoughts, experiences...
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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I would suggest you look at our weight lifting and resistance training forum:
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-resistance-training-80/

I have to say that it honestly makes me sad to hear a woman say she is afraid of building muscle. Muscle is very important for our bodies. It helps us do things in our daily lives and it is metabolically active meaning it burns calories!

At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I couldn't do any cardio as my knee was injured so I started with weights. I lifted heavy weights 5x a week and the pounds started falling off between that and my eating plan. I think doing weight training is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Free weights are best but if you've never done any weights before, I recommend hiring a trainer to show you proper form and help you design a program. There are many resources in the weight training forum that I linked above.

Also remember that it is extremely hard to build muscle and after the age of 30, we start losing it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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I'm glad that you posted about starting weight training. I had questions and reservations about beginning but now that I know there is a forum dedicated to information about it, I shall definitely do some research!

Also, I think that there are common misconceptions about women building muscle. I wont lie, I fear doing so myself because I keep thinking I will look like the female body builders but I also realize there is a difference between the building I would be doing and the building they are creating.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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I love weight training. I love having muscles. I love being stronger than the other women around me, which I have pretty much been my whole life; I love being unafraid to replace the 40-lb water bottle on the office cooler. (The MEN aren't afraid of it!) I love seeing muscles flex on my arms and legs when I'm just doing stuff around the house, like dishes and laundry. I love it when my husband touches me and is impressed by the firmness of my arms or hips.

Don't be afraid of being a strong woman. Even if you build muscle easily for a woman (like I seem to do), you won't find it possible to get "bulky" by accident. What you will get instead is: the ability to bound up stairs, the ability to swing a child off her feet, the ability to haul grocery bags into the house two or three or four at a time, the ability to stand up straight and tall for hours at a time.

I do free weights at home, using dumbbells, bodyweight, and resistance bands. I started a couple of months ago doing hillwalking to develop my lower body muscles, and pushups for my upper body. The program I am currently following is New Rules of Lifting for Women. This is not my first outing into strength training, though--I did it consistently but with only fairly light weights about 15 years ago. So getting some training from a personal trainer, or a program from a book or something, is really helpful.

Strength training, and exercise in general, TOTALLY helps with my weight loss.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slegab View Post
Also, I think that there are common misconceptions about women building muscle. I wont lie, I fear doing so myself because I keep thinking I will look like the female body builders but I also realize there is a difference between the building I would be doing and the building they are creating.
Be aware that female body builders only really look like that 'in competition'. Female body builders are generally 'gifted' either naturally or with supplements, mostly supplements to help them build muscle. They also spend hours lifting weights on a daily basis. Lastly, for competition, they get their body fat levels to extremely low levels so that the muscles show up. Normally, they have a lower than average body fat percentage but for competition is can be sub 10% which is very low. In contrast, an athletic woman may have a body fat percentage of 14-18%. An average woman at healthy weight may have a body fat level of 18-22%.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream8 View Post
Good Day everyone.

Im sort of new.. but not really I been lurking for a while now.

Anywho, does anyone weight train? How much? how often? Do you use free weights? machines? Im afraid of building muscle so I pretty much avoid it at the gym.


Thoughts, experiences...
you may want to consider starting with machines. unless you have a trainer ( I WISH I had a trainer) it is much easier to get your form right and avoid injury.

I highly recommend it....muscle helps FIGHT FAT!!!

also it will help to sculpt your body as you lose. you won't grow big muscles...don't worry.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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Honestly, I'd avoid most machines as they don't allow your body to move in natural movement and they try to work your muscles in isolation of other muscles. There are some good books out there such as Body for Life (and body for Life for Women) and New Rules of Lifting for Woman. There are also some websites out there that are useful for learning form. I think 1 training session from a good trainer can be invaluable but I also believe you need to express your goals upfront with them. (ie I want to learn good form using free weights).
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:10 PM   #8
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I have has very good success with machines, and I believe they are a good tool for a newbie, esp w/o a trainer.

ANYONE can use machines...thats what's great about them.

if you decide you want to get hot and heavy into weight training, then you will want to use free weights, for sure.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:43 PM   #9
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ANYONE can use machines...thats what's great about them.
Anyone can also use bodyweight and/or 5-lb dumbbells. For functional fitness, as nelie refers to, machines are quite inferior.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:52 PM   #10
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Anyone can also use bodyweight and/or 5-lb dumbbells. For functional fitness, as nelie refers to, machines are quite inferior.
I was sharing my experience with Dream8 of when I first tried out strength training...I didn't intend for it to be a debate.

yes...anyone can do anything...

but my point is the same...machines are great for starting weight training esp. if you don't have a trainer or feel intimidated by the process. ask anyone who goes to Curves. (I don't, but alot of women just starting strength training do)

good luck Dream8!!!
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:14 PM   #11
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I started out on machines but honestly if I knew now what I knew then, I wish I had started out with free weights. In this thread, there is a good article discussing why machines should be avoided:
Train for functional fitness- great article on why to avoid machines!

Here is also a thread about ineffective but common workouts, many of which are based on weight machines:
10 Most Ineffective Exercises

There is also a sticky to a discussion about machines versus free weights. The first 2 replies are from personal trainers:
Machines vs. Free weights

Also, in the last few years, the word 'core' has become ingrained into our brains. Part of it comes from the fact that people using machines use muscles in isolation. Using free weights, which you can learn easily, uses multiple muscle groups including your core. Besides that, machines can make your body move in an unnatural manner which can cause injury. There has been some complaints some of the Curves machines for just that reason. I've heard at least a couple people say they had to quit Curves because the machines started causing them injury type pain.

So yes I can understand someone's enthusiasm for machines but just based on what I've read and experienced, I believe free weights are the way to go and much less injury prone.

Also you don't have to be 'hot and heavy' into weight training to use free weights. Beginner and advanced can use them alike. You don't even have to use a barbell, exercises can easily be done with dumbbells. Alternatively at home, resistance bands are also great.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:12 PM   #12
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Thanks so much everyone.. I do not have a trainer so I was thinking starting out with machines.. at least is better than nothing. But I also have heard that free weights were better.

thanks for the links I will read the articles
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:01 PM   #13
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For beginning weight lifting, here is another sticky to look at:
Basic Bodybuilding Information - gettin' started

Its a bit old so it doesn't have some of the newer books. There is a book Body for Life but also Body for Life for Women. Although one of my favorite books is New Rules of Lifting for Women. It is an entire program and explains in detail form and how to perform the exercises.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:22 AM   #14
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Weightlifting when to begin right away! how much aim for high reps and low weights say 15-20 reps. do this for the first 2 months or so using free weights

the reason is if you havn't done weights before you will have very little strength in your soft tissue that supports your joints high reps on low weight will help to build the strength in your supporting tissues aswell as allowing you to learn the correct form.

musle burns many more calories than fat so its good. it keeps you warmer than fat as it generates heat. it helps reduce injury. you wont get big women don't have enough test in their systems to get big, most female bodybuilders are of a genetic disposition to be like that and even then they have to eat extremely clean and train ultra hard on an almost daily basis for looking it at them the best part of 5 years to even get to amateur competition standard.

avoid machines as they only move in one plane and therefore dont' work the stabilizing muscles (fixators)
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:57 AM   #15
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Great thread - I am considering starting with Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim Fast Firming DVD. I like her walking DVDs and thought this might help me get started with toning. Anyone try it?
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