Weight and Resistance Training - Would love a critique of my gym work out

02-22-2011, 06:19 PM
So, I am trying to figure out how to effectively work out at the gym. I can only go 3x a week as it's just too far away (about 35-40 minutes) for me to go more often. Here is what I have been doing:

22 minutes on the treadmill, at a walk
12 minutes on the elliptical machine

a set on the weight machines (they have a timer that goes for 60 seconds, then indicates you should change to a cardio, like step-up or bicycle, but I just move on to the next machine lol)

10 minutes on the elliptical machine
10 minutes walking the treadmill

then I go home

So, could someone tell me what I am doing wrong, and why it's wrong...and maybe could ya explain it to me like I'm 5 (cause I have NO clue) please?

My goal is to burn fat the most effective way possible, gain strength (but not Herculean strength or anything, just don't want to be a flabby weakling), and over all, just get healthy and look it!

Also, what can I do at home on my off-gym days to keep working out. I only have 2lb and 3lb dumb bells at home right now, but could invest is some others if you thought it was a good idea. I have been horribly out of shape, and I have quite advanced arthritis in my knees which, at this weight, makes it almost impossible to do things like squats.

I would love any advice/help that I could get!!

Thank you

02-22-2011, 06:35 PM
I will take a stab at this. ;)

I'm not going to say you're doing anything wrong. ;) If you like what you're doing and making improvements, then you are doing exactly what you need to be doing. The key is to take what you are doing and improve on it with intensity, strength, and endurance. (More effort, more resistance, more time)

For cardio, you are doing basically a total of 45 minutes, which is great! You are breaking it up into a sort of warm up and cool down pattern. What if you warmed up for 10 minutes, really got to some hard stuff for 30 minutes, and then cooled down another 10 minutes instead of breaking it up into two sections? Also, the recommendation for cardio/lifting is to lift first and then do cardio because you want your muscles to be at their best for the lifting.

It's hard to know what you are doing with the weights, but if you are "lifting for 60 seconds", it sounds like perhaps you aren't stressing your muscles much. I prefer to think in terms of reps and sets. So maybe you do a bicep curl 10-15 times (reps). You maybe choose to do exactly that 1, 2 or 3 times. (sets) Then move on to the next set. I prefer to exercise A then exercise B then exercise C straight through, then return to exercise A for a second set.

At home, I think all a home gym needs is an exercise ball and dumbbells. You can purchase dumbbells as you graduate to harder ones and would eventually have a collection. Google exercise routines for an exercise ball and I think you will be amazed. It can even act as a great weight bench.

You might consider separating your body focus something like:

Day 1: shoulders/back/abs
Day 2: lower body/abs
Day 3: biceps/triceps/abs

The abs you can hit every other day as they recover quicker. The others you want to give a chance to rest more than a few days.

02-22-2011, 06:44 PM
Thank you!!

What would be your input (and this is for anyone/everyone) on some resistance bands? An exercise ball is something I have absolutely been planning on adding to my home "gym", and have been planning it for a while. I have thought about trying one out at the gym, but I think, if I fall off and crack my head open, I'd rather do it at home where no one can see me.

Honestly, the main reason I break my cardio up is because I can't do as much if I do it all at once. I can't do 22 minutes on the elliptical, but I can do a 12 minute go, and then a while later do a 10 minutes go...and also, I get boooooooooored.

I should also say, I have been pretty sissy and just just been working out on the "ladies side", and haven't ventured into the main area of the gym (for fear of people looking at me funny). The ladies' side has a 20 minute limit per cardio machine, but if it's quiet, it wouldn't be a big deal to go over that.

katy trail
02-22-2011, 06:54 PM
resistance bands are great for all levels of fitness and for the home gym. great for when you're traveling, or throw it in your purse. you can use it on your lunch break, traveling. i really think they are great. i just bought a set of 3 at walmart for my mom. she was thrilled!

for the boredom and increasing endurance, work on doing more intervals. and are you using music? do you have an mp3 player, or could you bring a radio with you?

02-22-2011, 06:57 PM
More cardio boredom advice...does your gym have classes, like Spin, or Zumba, or the like? I thrive on the class environment! I get bored too. ;) Also, maybe try a good juicy book on tape.

I second the resistance bands, though I haven't used them myself. But I've heard great things about them.

02-22-2011, 06:59 PM
I do bring my MP3 player, and they have 3 TV's that I keep an eye on, but I have always been more...well more inclined towards mental work outs, I love trivia, and anything that works the brain, so to me, the mindlessness of the treadmill, for example, about kills me! If I had a home treadmill, and could walk while I was watching one of my favorite shows (therefor my brain is somewhat engaged) I would be ok....but the TV's are small....at least in the lady's section....maybe I should brave the main gym, where there are TV's in the treadmills! lol

katy trail
02-22-2011, 07:01 PM
could you do something like this? http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/l/bllowerbody2.htm

katy trail
02-22-2011, 07:03 PM
what about a podcast? there's lots of interesting podcasts. i love listening to npr, they have lots of interesting shows that are podcasts too. there's lots of other ones out there too.

katy trail
02-22-2011, 07:05 PM
and when it's warm enough, maybe you'd prefer being outside. i love just walking outside, even if i'm just looking at woods and cornfields. bike riding, canoeing, whatever you enjoy.

every time i hit post, i think of something else hehe

02-22-2011, 07:06 PM
what about a podcast? there's lots of interesting podcasts. i love listening to npr, they have lots of interesting shows that are podcasts too. there's lots of other ones out there too.

well time to fess up....i dunno wtf a podcast is! lol

katy trail
02-22-2011, 07:08 PM
it's just listening to the show on your mp3 player or computer. so unlike the radio, when you have to be right there at 9am to listen to diane rhem, (famous interviewer) now you can listen whenever you want for free. well the ones on npr are free.

here's more podcasts. i've listened to inside out weightloss. it was really good. http://personallifemedia.com/

02-22-2011, 07:09 PM
could you do something like this? http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/l/bllowerbody2.htm

I couldn't do the Pulsing Squats, or the Front and Reverse Lunge, but I think I could do everything else...the only 1 I am questioning aside from those 2 is the assisted squat, but I could sure try it! I am totally game to work out, I just need to work within limits until I can get enough weight off, and then hopefully my stupid knees will be able to take a lot more (mostly it's just the left knee)

02-22-2011, 07:11 PM
well that's interesting, I will have to look into that (the podcast that is). My husband is technologically gifted and can find me pretty much anything (web-wise) for free lol.

02-22-2011, 07:19 PM
More cardio boredom advice...does your gym have classes, like Spin, or Zumba, or the like? I thrive on the class environment! I get bored too. ;) Also, maybe try a good juicy book on tape.

I second the resistance bands, though I haven't used them myself. But I've heard great things about them.

The gym does have some classes (I don't know which ones though) but apparently they are early, so I couldn't make it there in time on week days, maybe they have something on weekends though. I am still pretty new at the gym (had a 1 week trial, and then actually joined last week). I am just trying to develop good habits early on.

katy trail
02-22-2011, 07:20 PM

this is the page for npr podcasts. even if you don't usually listen to national public radio, there's probably a topic to interest you. i love diane rehm, talk of the nation science friday, radio lab is often facinating, and i get all my news from there too.

can you use a step?

02-22-2011, 07:27 PM
Yes I use a small one on my Wii Fit, but my husband has said we could pick up a step for the house in the near future.

katy trail
02-22-2011, 07:31 PM
so you have the wii fit game? you could make a routine of different games mixed together. like hoolahoop for 1 min, step class for 5, skate boarding, walking/running, more hoola hooping, some yoga...

and you could step on it while you watch your fav. shows. just do the..um i forgot what that's called. it's the one where you step by yourself. it's just counting steps. then change tv to your show. it will go up to 30 mins.

02-22-2011, 07:49 PM
the free-step, I have been doing that for 10 minutes at a time when I do it. I have NO problems with it.

I didn't know I could do 30 minutes at a time...I did Super HulaHoop for 6 minutes today, omg I almost died LOL TOO MUCH!

katy trail
02-22-2011, 08:47 PM
yea you have to unlock the longer time feature, just like on the runs. you can run up to 30 mins at a time without a trainer too. i find that harder to do while i'm watching a show though. you could do walking or marching in place too.

this is a leg routine i like to do, there's a lot of squats,lunges you could do a substitute exercise for those, there's a lot that you CAN do though. especially all the floor exercises at the end.
legs and glutes:

Standing Leg Work:
Leg Press on High Step (2 sets)
Hover Squats
Rear Lunges with heel elevated (rt side)
Plie Squats (varied tempo hold)
Rear Lunges with heel elevated (left set)
Plie Squats (varied tempo pulse)
Drop Squats on High Step
Explosive Plie Squats
(with curtsey lunge insert)
Calf Raises
One Legged Deadlifts
Plie Squats (traditional)
Sculpting Drills slow motion on High Step
Explosive Lunges (no weights or equipment)
Outer Thigh Leg Press on high step with ankle weights (2 sets)
Calf Raises
Standing Leg Extensions with ankle weights
Standing Outer Thigh Lifts with ankle weights

Floorwork: Glute and Hamstring Tucks on high step with ankle weights
Glute and Hamstring Raises with ankle weights
Outer Thigh and Glute Sweeps with ankle weights
Inner Thigh Lifts with ankle weights

i'm not saying your workout at the gym was wrong. i think it sounds like you are getting a good workout. i just offered suggestions, because you said you were bored and we all need to mix it up. challenge ourselves.