Exercise! - Please critique my exercise plan!!

04-16-2007, 03:54 PM
I am really looking for constructive criticism on this new routine I've created.

My goal is to lose between 7-20 lbs (I really don't know!) and define my muscles, while trying to add some "height" to my 5'4 frame.

I like strength training for muscle definition, and yoga/pilates for both the body and mind aspects. (My short little limbs always look longer if I'm including yoga and/or pilates in my routine.)

3-mi run (soon to become a "long" run as I continue to improve distance)
Yoga (*not* power yoga)

30-min intervals
Full body strength training

3-mi run; 25 min elliptical (to 60 mins total)
Yoga (*not* power yoga)

30-min intervals
Full body strength training

3-mi run; 25 min elliptical (to 60 mins total)

60-min power walk
Full body strength training


It takes about 45 mins (with warmup, cooldown) for my 3-mi run. (I've just reached this level of running, so I don't think I'm in danger of plateauing yet.)

I've been aiming for 60 mins of cardio daily, adding 25 min elliptical to my run days and doing 60 mins of some other cardio on my non-run days. But maybe that's too much?

I really do have all this time to work out, but only through the summer. Once work starts in the fall, I know I'll have to cut back -- BUT if I'm at my goal weight by that point, I'll feel more comfortable cutting down on the cardio.

Thanks for any opinions!!

04-16-2007, 04:03 PM
Sounds like a great plan to me, but I am FAR from an expert. Hopefully Meg or Mel will chime in.

I would like to know if it's true that yoga and palates helps to make ones body longer??? If this is true, I am soooo there!

04-16-2007, 04:32 PM
Diva, yoga and pilates both improve posture and flexibility, making me feel longer and leaner. I wish it gave me extra vertical inches, but no such luck. :)

04-16-2007, 09:39 PM
lol, when you figure out how to get taller please let me know!

My personal opinion is you aren't doing enough weight training and you are doing too much cardio- but that's my bias.


04-16-2007, 09:51 PM
I'm with Mel, I would definitely do more weight training... Instead of full body workouts I would do a 3 day split with different body parts daily, you'd also be able to lift heavier, do more per body part and get more "toning" aka muscle definition...

A question, when you run 3 miles, why do you do more elliptical? I would just intensify the 3 mile run by adding hills or intervals to it ...

04-16-2007, 11:16 PM
Mel and Ilene, thanks so much for responding!

Some (pathetic!) answers:

I do a full body routine because I like to follow a DVD and use free weights in my home, and most DVDs geared towards my intermediate level are full body. Right now, I'm using Amy Bento's All Pump with not very heavy weights (between 3-8 lb free weights and 16 lb barbell).

Unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in my ability to put together a strength routine -- either with free weights or the limited weight machines in my fitness center (in my condo building; I don't belong to a separate gym). I just feel more comfortable following a video.

As for the cardio, I can barely finish the 3 mile run, as running is still somewhat new to me (just finished C25K). For some reason, I have energy remaining to do the elliptical, but I'm not sure I could push myself any harder on the run.

I'm hoping that for my interval days, I will be able to run at faster speeds and/or at an incline. So, my 3-mi runs are like my "steady state" days, with intervals two other days, and a longer run (eventually) as well.

Given that information, how could I improve? Is it easy to do a 3-day split at home? What cardio should I cut?

Thanks so much!

04-17-2007, 12:36 AM
Hey poppins!

Wow you are ambitious!

I do intervals on the run days. I try to make one or two of my runs interval days.

With weights I have done full body workouts and its really fine to do that in the beginning some people say its better. Most of the time I have been putting leg day on run day because I run hills and otherwise I don't get enough rest.

What I do most of the time is an upper lower body split. Upper body on non run days and lower on the run days but thats just what is working for me right now.

If you are feeling comfortable with the tape then I think you should stick with it especially if you have just started out. After awhile you will stop seeing progress and you will need to do something different. At that point (and even before) go to stumptuous.com and exrx.com and check out the ladies who lift thread for other cool things to do and start putting together your own routine.

You might consider runs alternating with upper body workout and no cardio or at least do weights first on weight days. You want to make sure that you are putting 100% effort into your weight workouts. Get heavier weights if and when you need them. If I am doing hard full body workouts I don't have a ton of energy for major cardio. If you do and you enjoy it then that's great. I do think that a full body workout AND interval training is probably a bit much and if you are doing it intense enough it could burn you out.

That said you are 100% doing the right thing. You are experimenting with what works for you. You have ambitious goals and you are getting advice from experienced people (and people like me who just like to chat...hope you don't mind).

04-17-2007, 02:33 AM
If you want more advice on putting together a strength-training routine, Stumptuous.com has some great ideas, advice, and workout plans.

04-17-2007, 12:40 PM
I think it's good that you are keeping an open mind regarding weightloss results. I am starting to learn that at a lower weight, losing weight and wanting to look more toned don't always coexist in perfect harmony. I also echo Mel (although I consider myself a cadio junkie at times ;)) that for your specific goals, you may want to include more strength training. I bit the bullet last fall and dug into a more extensive strength training routine for a beach trip and I lost maybe 7 pounds, but I swear it looked like I lost 15 and I got great definition to boot!

04-17-2007, 11:17 PM
Junebug, what was included in your extensive strength training routine?

I would love to look like a million bucks for a wedding I'm in this June!