Weight and Resistance Training - Best exercise to start off if you need to lose 100 + lbs?




stacysreadytolose
08-03-2008, 04:04 AM
Hello, I'm currently more than 100 lbs overweight. I've noticed several of you have lost 100 lbs or more in an amazing time period. I've got the eating part under control, but I'm concerned about my exercise. I currently do yoga, and have just started Turbo Jam. I have an exercise machine my parents are letting me use, but it needs to be tweaked b/c there's too much slack in the line. I also have free weights. The exercise machine has basically anything you want to do. Any suggestions on what exercises, when, how many reps, etc? I don't just want to lose weight, I want to be more active and tone. Sorry if this is a generic question, but I'm looking for help and ready to lose! I also walk when I can.


rockinrobin
08-03-2008, 07:54 AM
I think Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVD's are a GREAT way to start exercising. There is a 1,2, 3 Mile Express package that is great for beginners. They're very, VERY easy to follow and effective. It comes with a resistance band which is something I used with her dvd's and then on it's own.

mxgirl737
08-03-2008, 08:28 AM
do some free weights... they seriously work wonders! My trainer told me most women don't lift as much as they should be, they underestimate it... He has me doing 15lb free weights on the exercise ball. But really, I'd say weights and walking is the best way to start. Don't start out too crazy or else you'll never stay with it. ...I shoudln't say never, but I know I woudln't stay with it...


JerseyGirl69
08-03-2008, 08:35 AM
My advice--make an appointment with yourself for one hour, 5-6 days a week. Do 3 days of weight lifting (free weights) and 2-3 days of cardio (or if you have more time, do cardio all 5-6 days.

I haven't lost a full hundred, but am more than half way there. I started on my journey by hiring a personal trainer. At one point I was working with a group to do the same and notice that I've been more successful than they. Why?

Well, one, I think it's food--I don't believe in most commercial diets--I don't believe low fat is ideal (check my blog for research supporting that theory); I track my food and stick to the intake appropriate for loss (which changes ever 10-20lbs); I am consistent with exercise and diet and don't give much room for going off; I have realistic goals--I don't believe in 3-4lbs a week, but more modest .5-1lb a week average; and I believe that hard work pays off. The women in my former group who have struggled take the easy road--rarely pushing themselves hard at exercise, always allowing themselves to go off on their intake...I made instead a lifestyle change.

You'll get there. Just make a plan and follow it.

ladybugnessa
08-03-2008, 08:49 AM
start with anything you like as long as you are moving

swimming is good if you like to swim and can access a pool
or walking is the best there is.

if you have never exercised.. my advice move slowly start slowly don't overwhelm or demand too much of yourself

Depalma
08-03-2008, 03:48 PM
You've gotten some excellent advice so far, so I'll throw out a few things many of which will echo the above. Since you are a total beginner:

1. Like Nessa said, find something you like. That will be the best because it will be something that you will be able to do consistently.

2. I LOVE walking. For beginners it is fairly low impact and it allows you to build an aerobic base. For advanced weight trainees, it is great for active recovery. It pushes blood into the muscle without causing much stress to the muscular or nervous systems. It enhances recovery.

3. I really think it is of absolute importance for all people beginning a weight training regimen to develop core stability first and foremost. It is going to come into play on every (non-machine) exercise you do. Planks, Side Planks, Supine Bridges, Pallof Presses, etc. Learn to stabilize.

4. Form is key to staying healthy and balanced and in the long-term will allow you to advance further. In the beginning don't worry about how much weight you are moving. Make sure you are performing the exercises correctly and using the right muscles and joints to perform the movements. Faulty movement patterns will eventually lead to muscle imbalances and injury. Abort your sets as soon as you reach technical failure and can no longer perform a movement with correct form.

5. Master the basic movements and make compound movements the core of your workouts.

denvertechchick
08-05-2008, 01:08 PM
I'm inspired to throw my $0.02 in.... Some of these might sound harsh or something but they are the rules that keep me in the game!

NO MATTER WHAT - do your daily plan. You'll be stronger for it and you'll learn to use stress to your advantage.

Try something new every 4-6 weeks. You don't have to change your workout, just take a class and try something you haven't before.

All the people with amazing bodies that you see at the gym and elsewhere really work hard for it. They earned it, and so can you.

Everybody slips now and then. Forgive yourself and move on to the next thing on your plan. Get right back on the horse - don't beat yourself up.

Make sure you get enough sleep.

Get great music for your iPod or MP3 player. Change it often. There are some music threads here on 3FC where people post their fav workout tunes.

Make it fun! My favorite cardio is cycling on my beach cruiser. It's a blast, and I can't wait to get out there! (for the record, I don't use my iPod when I ride - too dangerous!) If you look forward to your workouts, you are more likely to keep them.

Write everything down in a journal or on FitDay or something. It really helps you see where you are on your path, and years down the road you might need to recall how exactly you broke a particular plateau. If you write everything down, you'll have all your own answers handy.

Hope this helps! BEST OF LUCK to you!!

JerseyGirl69
08-06-2008, 02:49 AM
One other thought--work hard.

I see swimming and walking above and for someone who is sedentary, if the above are mild efforts, "maybe" they'll see results. But more often than not I see women choose the above, take it light and not achieve results. That is...if they're not pushing hard. Now, if you're swimming 72 laps and walking 3.5mph, okay. But a stroll like attitude will not deliver results.

While I do believe "just get moving" and "find something you like" I think some people don't put in the level of effort necessary.

JMHO.

fiberlover
08-06-2008, 05:13 PM
One other thought--work hard.


While I do believe "just get moving" and "find something you like" I think some people don't put in the level of effort necessary.

JMHO.


Very true. It's important to monitor your fitness level. It's really easy to get into a routine, and not realize that your body has become so efficient at the same movements that you are not getting as good a workout as you used to.

So, changing things up will help, and also setting goals, like reaching your destination quicker than before when walking, or doing an extra set of reps for weights, increasing weights, trying a new workout, etc.

ladybugnessa
08-06-2008, 05:22 PM
One other thought--work hard.

I see swimming and walking above and for someone who is sedentary, if the above are mild efforts, "maybe" they'll see results. But more often than not I see women choose the above, take it light and not achieve results. That is...if they're not pushing hard. Now, if you're swimming 72 laps and walking 3.5mph, okay. But a stroll like attitude will not deliver results.

While I do believe "just get moving" and "find something you like" I think some people don't put in the level of effort necessary.

JMHO.

baby steps in everything.

if someone came to me when i weighed 286 pounds and said WORK hard. I'd be 386 pounds now.

i started slow... i'm still not working 1000% (yes one thousand) BUT i do something every day. whch is more than i was doing 2 years ago.


when i swim it's not so hard that i can't breath but i do put in a goodly amount 72 lengths in my pool is one mile. 72 laps would be 2 miles. that would be hours of swimming for me daily.

my first swim was 14 lengths
my second 22
now i do minimum of 36 on days that I'm not doing other water work and try for more even.

build up. don't set yourself up for failure.

PhotoChick
08-06-2008, 05:55 PM
While I do believe "just get moving" and "find something you like" I think some people don't put in the level of effort necessary.I so totally agree with this.

If you're motivated, then make that motivation work for you now. Motivation is often fleeting and if you can use it now to create a rhythm and a routine and to push yourself, then you'll be that much further ahead during those times that motivation fades and you have to continue with sheer force of will. And those times will happen, believe me! :)

There are two things I'd recommend.

If at all possible, hire a personal trainer, even for 1 or 2 sessions. A good personal trainer can help you build a routine you can do on your own and help you develop good form and healthy habits. It doesn't have to be hugely expensive and it will be some of the best money you've ever spent.

If you can't hire a trainer (or even if you can) investigate two books: Body for Life and The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Both have EXCELLENT advice on getting in shape and adding exercise - complete with photos and diagrams and descriptions of the various exercises. You don't have to follow either plan to the letter (although some do), but they'll help you learn about exercise and proper weight lifting.

Oh, and a third thing - PUSH YOURSELF. If you find you can lift 15lbs, then try 20lbs. Maybe you only lift 20lbs 3 times and then you fail. But you'll have done it once and can then do it again. Too many women get sucked into the whole concept of lifting "girl" weights. They hear that they can lift 5lbs 100 times and build muscle. It ain't so. Lift as heavy as you can. And take pride in being able to do so and being (and becoming) stronger. It's better for you to lift as heavy as you can once than to lift girl weights 100 times. :)

.

txsqlchick
08-06-2008, 06:53 PM
I've lost 15.2 lbs in one month and I started off slowly both on cardio and weights, gradually building up to the workout I do now. I wouldn't have been able to do it a month ago.

I started on cardio because my blood pressure and resting heart rate are both too high. I wanted to address that problem immediately, before even taking weight loss into consideration. Both have come down a bit in the last month. They remain my chief concerns, even though I may not voice them here (mainly because nobody else seems to ever discuss it).

As for weights...I agree that many women are needlessly afraid of free weights and don't lift enough. That being said, if you do 3 sets of 10 reps with 15 lbs, you will probably hurt yourself, particularly if you don't know what the correct form for each exercise is. I would recommend trying any exercise involving free weights with no weights at first so you can get your form right. Then, add weights in small amounts. Do 3 lbs at first. If you're not sore the next day, try it with 5 lbs. And so on. Try talking to a PT or at least watching a video on proper form. My mother tore her rotator cuff badly when lifting weights improperly, stopped going to the gym, and has put on 15 lbs in 2 months. She's diabetic, so she really doesn't need the extra weight. She'll probably need another episode of DKA to light a fire under her to get back in the gym.

Basically don't try to do too much right away or you might injure yourself. If your knees are killing you and you can't raise your arms above your head, you're more likely to skip your workouts and get out of the habit of exercising.

My $0.02.

JerseyGirl69
08-06-2008, 09:08 PM
baby steps in everything.

if someone came to me when i weighed 286 pounds and said WORK hard. I'd be 386 pounds now.

i started slow... i'm still not working 1000% (yes one thousand) BUT i do something every day. whch is more than i was doing 2 years ago.


when i swim it's not so hard that i can't breath but i do put in a goodly amount 72 lengths in my pool is one mile. 72 laps would be 2 miles. that would be hours of swimming for me daily.

my first swim was 14 lengths
my second 22
now i do minimum of 36 on days that I'm not doing other water work and try for more even.

build up. don't set yourself up for failure.


I hear ya, but I guess it's to each her own. I look around at the heavy people I know and the difference is they take it light. There are three women in my neighborhood who walk for exercise. Their weight hasn't changed in years, but they're over 100lbs overweight. A couple of mild walks won't cut it.

The women in the gym who haven't lost much don't push. They do the recumbant bikes or walk slowly on the treadmill. ...They then talk to me about how far I've come and ask for advice.

I understand some people if pushed too hard will walk away, but they also need to know they need to work to achieve anything.

Hard is defined by each of us. I found the Arc hard at first and increased in single minute increments. But I allowed myself to not fear a high heart rate, sweat, or aching muscles.

Had I just walked a little or swam a little (not saying this is you), I would still be 320.

PhotoChick
08-06-2008, 09:52 PM
I have to agree with JerseyGirl.

Back in December 2006, my best friend and I started going to the gym together. We started out with the same mindset - any exercise is better than none. We bought bought into the whole "get on the treadmill and walk" or "get on the elliptical and keep the little dot in the yellow (fat burning) area" mindset.

Then I started doing some reading, decided to hire a trainer, and really put some effort into it. Now what's interesting is that my friend said she wanted to do the same. So we both started lifting weights and we both put the same amount of time in at the gym every day for nearly a year. But the difference is I pushed myself to lift as heavy as I possibly could with my weights. I pushed myself to get my heart rate up high on the elliptical and the treadmill. I worked really hard and sometimes it wasn't all that much fun. :)

My friend, OTOH, kept with her same intensity ... she did the exact same things I did, but never pushed herself to see how far she could go. She stuck with the "yellow" area on the cardio machines. She would lift 1/2 the weight I would with double or triple the reps and talk about how good she was doing keeping up with me. She rarely broke a mild sweat and would dab at her forehead and neck with her gym towel and say "whew - that was a good workout". When I end a workout, I can wring out my headband and my shirt is sticking to me. We did this for over 8 months.

I have lost 70+ lbs and have gained strength that I never thought I could have.
She has lost about 20 lbs, stalled, and is no stronger than she was a year ago.
She gave up months ago ... now I go to the gym without her and about 2x a week she says "I really ought to meet you at the gym ... " and trails off. She's put back on the weight she lost and then some.

I love her dearly but every time she says "I just don't understand - we had the SAME workout and you lost and I didn't. It must be in my DNA to be fat!" I want to SCREAM.

I think Meg posted something in one of the other forums about how studies have shown that the previous recommendations about exercising for 30 mins a day to maintain are wildly optimistic and that ideally people need to put in an hour or more of intense exercise per day in order to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness. And all **** broke loose! :)

For someone who is morbidly obese and hasn't exercised in years, getting up and moving is FANTASTIC. I applaud anyone who makes that first effort, even if it's a walk around the block or climbing the stairs one extra time a day. I understand that some people are scared off by the idea of working hard and it *is* true that getting up and moving is better than not. But at some point people NEED to know what simply strolling around the block is NOT going to get them the weight loss and the body they want.

I see so many people here and in real life who get so discouraged and give up becuase they're doing everything they're told and not losing weight. It's not fair to them to tell them that a "little movement" will get them where they want to be ... when all it'll do is discourage them and make them give up in the long run.

FWIW and IMO and YMMV and all that jazz! :)

.

JerseyGirl69
08-08-2008, 05:08 AM
For all I wrote about exercise intensity...what you accomplish is still 80% nutrition, so having your diet in order will lead to more weight loss and having your exercise at the right level will lead to effective body compositioning....

nelie
08-08-2008, 12:57 PM
I would agree that weight loss is MOSTLY what you eat. I'd put it higher though, somewhere around 90%. You can work your butt off in the gym every day and not lose a lb, it has happened to me numerous times.

I also think creating the habit is the most important thing of all. I think some form of exercise every day is important. Once you create the habit, you can intensify it/change things up.

I started at my highest weight, doing weight lifting 5 days/week. No cardio. I lost 70 lbs before I added in cardio. I still hate cardio :) I do try to do it but I much prefer weights or even a mix cardio/weights.

If you have no experience with weights, I highly recommend spending the money for a couple visits with a personal trainer. They can show you how to properly lift, which is important to avoid injury. They can also set you up with a program to start.

stacysreadytolose
08-08-2008, 03:30 PM
Nelie- Are you referencing free weights or a weight machine. The exercise machine I am using has leg lifts, butterfly, curls, etc, but I do have free weights as well.

As far as working at my max, I have always been told that is harmful for you. I participated in every sport imaginable all through school, and it was always do the most you could do WITHOUT any strain what so ever. I do not want to hurt myself so that I cannot continue with my exercise.

I appreciate all the answers, and if anyone else has any opinions please let me know. I have cut out soda (my weakness), and have been doing very well sticking to my calorie count plan. I do not have the proper ratios yet, as I'm not sure how that works, but read what I can when I can. It's an ongoing process.

nelie
08-08-2008, 03:40 PM
stacy - either free weights or weight machines, although I'd focus more on free weights versus weight machines. Weight machines are good for some things but free weights are a better choice.

Heather
08-08-2008, 04:22 PM
I started slowly with exercise. The first month (starting at 295) my exercise was walking the dogs around the block, parking further away, etc. I never broke a sweat. But then, back then I didn't sweat even when the exercise was more intense.

I gradually added in exercise -- which I was never excited to do. For a few months I walked on our treadmill -- gradually adding time and intensity, but not more than 30 min usually.

After a few months, we joined a gym and started trying weight machines and I tried an elliptical. I think my first time on an elliptical I couldn't last 2 min, but I started doing more regular/intense cardio.

It all worked -- after a little over a year I'd lost over 100 pounds and was in better shape than I had been. After 8 months of that first gym we then joined a new gym, and got a trainer. I started doing yoga and really learned more about how to integrate fitness more into my life.

Now I work out 4-5 days on average, less when I'm really busy and more when I'm not. I'm not thin, but probably in the best shape of my life (with a lot of improvement to go!)

jtammy
08-08-2008, 04:46 PM
My experience is pretty similar to Heather's. The first few months, I didn't exercise at all, I changed my food but didn't start exercising until I had lost about 40 - 45 lbs. Then I added walking, probably at a pretty slow pace, around our neighborhood. I saw the Walk Away the Pounds dvds and tried those, and made it about half way through the one mile dvd. I was so proud when I could do the full mile, and continued increasing it until I was doing the five mile. I joined a gym about 10 months ago, and have added other types of exercise.

If someone had told me at 346 lbs, that I had to immediate change my food, and start working "hard", I wouldn't have done it. To clarify, I wouldn't physically have been able to do it. But it sounds like you have gotten the food part settled and are ready for the next challenge, so that may work for you.

Good luck!

BlueToBlue
08-10-2008, 04:49 AM
As far as working at my max, I have always been told that is harmful for you. I participated in every sport imaginable all through school, and it was always do the most you could do WITHOUT any strain what so ever. I do not want to hurt myself so that I cannot continue with my exercise.

I appreciate all the answers, and if anyone else has any opinions please let me know. I have cut out soda (my weakness), and have been doing very well sticking to my calorie count plan. I do not have the proper ratios yet, as I'm not sure how that works, but read what I can when I can. It's an ongoing process.

I work out with a personal trainer and from what he has told me and from what I've read on my own, when you are lifting weights, either free weights or the machines, you want to get to the point of failure in 10 to 20 reps. Failure means that you almost can't finish the last rep. You can do fewer reps with higher weights or more reps with lower weights, but either way, you want those last few reps to be really hard. Otherwise, you're not building any muscle.

Based on what my trainer has told me about his own coaches in high school (and he is a total jock--did all sorts of sports as well), I wouldn't be so sure that your high school coaches were the experts they seemed to me. My trainer is studying kinesiology now and has realized that a lot of what his HS coaches told him was wrong. HS coaches are often volunteers and teachers with limited or no training in physical fitness (and are also probably worried about lawsuits if people injure themselves).

I second what a couple of other folks have said about hiring a personal trainer, even if you can only afford a few sessions with one. Having a personal trainer has made all the difference for me. A trainer could help you with a lot of the questions you have and would also make sure you are starting off using proper form, which is also super important to getting the results you want (and not injuring yourself).

Stumptious.com (http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/index.php) is a great (and free) source for information on weightlifting for women. And you can find some great ideas for workouts at Self.com (http://www.self.com/fitness/) (they even have videos of how to do the exercises).

Heather
08-10-2008, 08:40 AM
I agree with what Barbara said about lifting to failure -- just wanted to comment that this is different than working with pain. You do strain to get to that point, but that's different than if you have pain (at least to me).

I second or third the notion of getting a trainer for at least one or two sessions. If you can't do that, most gyms will have a trainer at least show you through the equipment for free, but it's better to have someone help you plan a weight program to start with.

Depalma
08-10-2008, 09:39 AM
Stacy,

You don't have to work to failure to build muscle. You have to follow the principle of progressive overload and that overload doesn't always have to be increasing the weight. Overload applies to all fitness adaptations as well. In fact, in my view the ladies walking around the block in Jersey Girl's examples didn't fail because they chose to start their exercise regimen at too low intensity, but rather they failed to progress. That is what seperates them from those like some of the posters in this thread that started out with a light walk or swim and increased speed or duration as they went along or moved on to more difficult modes of exercise as their primary exercise.

I haven't failed a rep in about 3 months, but my I have set multiple personal records in that time and according to caliper measurements my body composition has improved.

As far as what her coach told you, keep in mind that if you participated in many sports in school, you were probably "in season" just about the entire school year. In season training and off season weight training are two very different animals. A strength coach who pushes his athletes too hard in the gym so that they are sore or worn out and unable to play at their best or worse gets them injured in the gym, will soon be unemployed. A training effect must still be achieved, but safety and recovery are paramount.

Also, it is quite probably that your coaches used the term "max" to mean maximum intensity and not working to failure. They are very different things. Intensity is measured my % of a maximum effort. In cardio, that is generally determined by % of max heart rate (or theoretical max heart rate). In weight training that is determined by % of a 1 rep max lift (or % of 1RM approximated by using a 3 or even 5RM). Too much true maximum intensity work is going to overwhelm your nervous system.

RobertW
08-12-2008, 10:30 AM
Too much true maximum intensity work is going to overwhelm your nervous system.


That is very true. It took me years to accept that. I used to think that you should train to failure every workout and that CNS fatigue was psychological.

jillnicole03
08-17-2008, 12:11 PM
STACY you said you had Turbo Jam, how often are you sticking with TJ or do you not really like it?

stacysreadytolose
08-17-2008, 04:11 PM
JillNicole03-I really like Turbo Jam. I'm following the schedule that came with my order. They had a beginner's schedule and an advanced schedule. I'm following the beginner's. The first week had 3 rest days, but I did something 2 of the three days. Usually the 20 minute workout. This last week had two rest days, but I did two of the workouts on one day. I start the new week today. It only has one rest day this week, and it's the first week that I'll do Turbo Sculpt and Punch, Kick, Jam. It's great. I've lost 8 inches off my waist and 8 lbs total.

jillnicole03
08-17-2008, 09:46 PM
wow thats so awesome =] i cant wait till my dvd comes.. i ordered the 5 kickin workouts cd

Kelly46
09-14-2008, 09:20 PM
So, ladies. The free weights help you lose and not gain muscle mass? I've been worried about that .

nelie
09-14-2008, 09:26 PM
well the weights help you lose weight and do help you gain muscle. The amount of muscle you can gain as a woman with even lifting a lot of weights is very little. I'd be impressed if you could gain 5lb muscle/year because gaining muscle mass is very hard as a woman. We just don't have the hormones for it. Great thing about muscle is it can help shape your body but also can help burn calories.

luvja
09-14-2008, 09:32 PM
Simple old walking. Best exercise there is. Works every muscle in your body!.

PhotoChick
09-14-2008, 10:17 PM
The free weights help you lose and not gain muscle mass? I've been worried about that .
Free weights help you maintain and build muscle. That's something that you NEED. When you lose weight, you don't just lose fat, you lose muscle mass as well. It's important to do exercises that help maintain and build muscle to make up for what you lose as you are losing weight.

Don't be "worried" about building muscle. Too many women avoid weights becuse they're afraid of "bulking up", but it's quite simply not possible for a woman to bulk without serious effort to do so, both in terms of diet and exercise. We simply don't have the levels of testosterone in our bodies to build that kind of muscle.

.