Okay, I think something is off in my exercise program as the scale is standing still and I hate that. What I am currently doing is a mile or a little over on the treadmill...a mile is taking me about 20 minutes. From there, I move onto the machines, which takes me minimally 45 minutes. I have increased the weights on some that had become too easy and I am doing 4 reps of 10. I am doing this 3-4 times a week. I have been at it for 6 weeks now. What do I need to change??
I am fascinated by this machine http://www.precor.com/cpr_efx.php But when I asked the kid that worked there how to use and he showed me, I only last a minute and a half! I was too embarrassed to go back and ask him if I did something wrong. It felt like I couldnt stand up straight...like I was walking around with my knees bent in a kinda half squat. It just felt uncomfortable. Anyone ever used this thing before?
What has worked for you guys in a workout routine? I need help!
Ask someone to help you with the machine. It's the only way you'll ever know.
Also, you can't do weights 2 days in a row. Your muscles need 48 hours to recuperate. 3 reps of 10 is all I ever did @ the gym, they say if you can do more than that, you should increase the weights.
If I were you I'd meet w/a trainer & get a professional perspective. He or She can go through your routine with you & point out what you're doing wrong & what you could be doing better. Almost like having my mother there,
Oh & another thing-muscle weighs more than fat. You could be losing plenty, just not on the scale. Are your clothes fitting differently? Are you getting around easier? Etc.
Good luck to you!
"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot
First, I'd recommend doing weights before cardio. Next, you can do weights 2 days in a row BUT not on the same muscle group. Thirdly, the elliptical is an awesome machine but you do need to build your cardio endurance. A couple months ago, I got on the elliptical (after not being on one in a year or so) and got off after 4 minutes. I was disheartened because I could've done at least 10 minutes the time before that I did it. Well I'm up to 25 minutes and that isn't my max. Keep trying at it and you'll build up your endurance
My routine is the following:
Day 1: Weights (chest and triceps), abs (optional) then cardio
Day 2: Weights (back and biceps), abs (optional) then cardio
Day 3: Weights (Shoulders), abs then cardio
Day 4: Weights (legs), abs (optional)
Day 5: something (cardio, pilates or other)
Day 6: something (cardio, pilates or other)
Day 7: something (cardio, pilates or other)
Of course I intermix the weights and something days, so it doesn't necessarily go in that order. It has worked to help me lose the weight I've lost so far.
Muscle does weigh more than fat so I would highly recommend measuring yourself.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
The elliptical is definitely my favorite piece of cardio equipment in the gym. I use two different models on different days -- the LifeFitness elliptical machine (w/arm movement) and the Precor "Crossramp" (with no arm action but with an incline.) My husband likes the former and hates the latter, so I think it's a matter of personal preference.
HOWEVER, what you're describing is something I noticed when I used an older model of elliptical machine. It was in a hotel, and I kept feeling like I was standing way too far forward. Is the machine a new one or an old one? I know over time they've definitely improved these machines ergonomically.
If you don't think it's a problem with the machine, you may want to stick with it a bit. I know the first time I tried, like Nelie, I could barely do any time on it at all -- the trainer had me do 6 minutes, and I thought I'd die after.
Plus, you have to get used to the motion, which is sort of odd. Another thing that might make the transition easier is to forego the arms part at first (if it has one) and just hold on to the handles in the middle. That way you can get used to the leg movement first.
As far as weights go, I've tried both before and after my cardio session. I think which you do first depends on which you want to emphasize, honestly. If I do weights (legs) first, I feel like I short-shrift my cardio a little bit, but if I do cardio first, I feel like I can't really do a full-on weight workout. But I think I've heard Nelie give the scientific explanation before (something to do with glycogen!) of why you should do weights first.
Feel free to ask any more questions! I love to talk about exercise.
Teapot, there is a scientific explanation which I'll reiterate but I also have a practical explanation.
In the past 6 years, I've been trying to lose weight off and on with visits to the gym and doing a mixture of weights and cardio. When I was on Jenny Craig, I dilligently did the program for a year along with going to the gym 5 days a week. I emphasized cardio with doing weights after my cardio workout. For the first 3 months, I lost 30 lbs, then nothing for 9 months. I tried changing up my workout program and even worked with the counselors at Jenny Craig but I couldn't break the plateau. Anyway, I gave up on diet/exercise for a while. Every time I went back, I did a similar thing where I'd exercise with cardio before weights and every time I hit a plateau around the same point (330 lbs).
It wasn't until this past year when I started reading more about weight lifting and such and started doing primarily weights and secondarily cardio. I lost 30 lbs before I did any cardio at all. I have shown more success in doing this than in doing what I did before and I've lost 50 lbs in about 4 months doing this, so I can testify that it has worked for me.
Now for the scientific reason. I may muck this up a little but I'll try my best. There are 3 sources of energy that your body stores ATP, glycogen and fat. We all know about the fat ATP is burned really quickly early on in your workout. Your muscles depend on glycogen to help them lift weights and cardio can use either glycogen or fat, if glycogen is available it'll use that, otherwise it'll use fat. So if you do cardio before weights, then your body uses the glycogen which doesn't leave much energy for your body to lift the weights. If you do weights before cardio, then your body uses the glycogen for lifting and then uses the remaining glycogen and fat for cardio.
So basically in my personal experience, I know I am exhausted after doing a weight workout and it takes a lot for me to do cardio, but if I do cardio before hand then I just can't do weights as well. Your other option is to alternate days that you do cardio and weights.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
Lakegirl, I would definately get a trainer to take you through a new routine maybe some new machines to shake up your workout. Have you been keeping a log of what machines you have been doing, how many reps/sets and at what weight for each of your workouts? I have been doing this since I started and I find it is much easier to see where I am improving. Also you can show it to the trainer and it will give him/her an idea where you are.
I have to correct a misconception. Muscle weighs the same as fat. A pound of anything is still a pound. However, a pound of muscle is more dense and takes up less volume than a pound of fat. That's why someone who weight trains and weighs 150 lbs. can look a lot trimmer than someone who is 135 lbs. and doesn't exercise.
Thanks for all the great advice! The last two days, I increased my walking time to two miles and yesterday did no weights at all. Today, as I was pressed for time, I just did upper body weights with my cardio. Tomorrow, I'm shooting for 2 miles and lower body, but again, Thursday mornings, I am pressed for time.
I do feel better with the way things are fitting, so I'm going to forego the scale for a bit.