Weight and Resistance Training - Okay, okay. I'm convinced. But now I need some serious guidance.




DandelionCupcakes
06-28-2012, 02:51 PM
Hey everyone :]
So here's the deal.
I am SO sick of cardio. I get way too bored way too quickly. 45 minutes on the elliptical feels like a lifetime.

A little birdie told me that if I'm not all that interested in endurance, but more fat loss, weight lifting might take the place of most if not ALL of my cardio work outs?

I'm sort of desperate here. I've lost 40-ish pounds in a few months and that's great but I can't take spending that much time on a machine.

So cutting to the chase:
Could weights/resistance training be the way to go?

If so. I need some MAJOR guidance.
If I do this, I'll need to sign up for the gym again which is sort of pricey but I don't mind doing it.
However I walk into the weight room and have no idea what to do.

So if anyone feels like this would be a really good option for me, would you give some support? And by support I mean tell me what the heck to do when I step in that door. Because I have no idea. Everything looks heavy and intimidating. Even the little pink ones :C

So. Anyone up to giving a play by play plan to a beginner? :p
Oh, and before anyone suggests classes- my gym has NONE. It's an un-staffed walk in work out room.


Blueberries
06-28-2012, 03:03 PM
Do it! But be prepared for your rate of scale weight loss to slow down. Your fat loss will be way better, but the number on the scale can play mind games with you. My advice: weigh if you want, but do.not. get invested in what the scale says.

Pick up New Rules of Lifting for Women or Starting Strength. Or better yet, pick up both! Read first, then hit the weight room with confidence.

DandelionCupcakes
06-28-2012, 03:10 PM
Thank you!
I haven't actually weighed myself in a month now, ha. I don't really care about the number, I just want to see a difference when I look in the mirror :D

Thank you so much <3 And congrats on your 65 pound loss. :] That's quite the inspiration!


DietVet
06-28-2012, 03:43 PM
Programs like Starting Strength and the New Rules series are a great place to start. I've done New Rules for Women and loved it, but I think I'd recommend that you start with one of the newer books--probably the New Rules of Lifting for Life. That is geared towards gaining strength and fat burning, so it is pretty good for people in our situation. I've never read Starting Strength but it is a benchmark place to start. The books are helpful because they help you to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.

If you didn't want to start with a program and just wanted to try things out for yourself for starters, I'd recommend putting together a basic compound lift program for yourself. You could either do a full body workout 3 times per week, or you could alternate upper and lower body days more often. It depends what you want to do, how often you want to go to the gym, and how long you want to stay there.

This is what I usually recommend (and what I do myself when I'm getting back into things and not doing a program). The internet is filled with videos that help you to do these exercises correctly. I'd probably start with two or three sets of 10 for each exercise. During the first couple of workouts, you'd want to focus on getting your form right (ask trainers at the gym, if you're not sure). After that, the goal is to lift HEAVY: you want to be close to exhausted at the end of every set. And you should be striving to increase your weight on each exercise every time you workout. (You won't be able to do that, probably, but that is your goal). Take 30-60 seconds to rest between sets.

Lower body:
These exercises work all the big muscle groups in your lower body. There are millions of variations, but this is where to start.

Squats Begin with goblet squats and build up to barbell back squats.

Deadlifts: Deadlifts are an absolutely brilliant and critical exercise, but it is really important to do them properly. Before you start, watch lots of videos and make sure you get the form right. If you want to start with a baby step, I'd do Romanian Deadlifts to begin with, and then move onto regular deadlifts once you get more comfortable.

Lunges/step ups: You can alternate these or do lunges for a few weeks and then do step ups. Or whatever. Variety is good and both of these are great exercises that work your quads and glutes slightly differently.

Planks: the new research shows that crunches are bad for your spine. Planks are better. Start by holding for 30 seconds and work your way up to 90 seconds.

Upper Body.
The simplest and most effective way to work your upper body is to do big compound lifts (that means lifts that use LOTS of muscles working together rather than just one little muscle working alone--such as bicep curls or tricep extensions. Life is too short for those unless you're a body builder.)

The way to think about this is that you want to do a PUSH and a PULL and you want to do each of those HORIZONTALLY and VERTICALLY. There are LOTS of variations you can do, but here's what it would look like:

Horizontal Push: the push up is the benchmark exercise for this. If you can't do a regular push up on the floor, do them on an incline. Any old piece of equipment that you can push up against will work. Walls work too, if you're starting from scratch. An alternative to the push up is an incline chest press, with dumbbells. Those are a bit friendlier to start with. :)

Horizontal Pull: Rows. There are millions of variations. You can do the seated row on gym equipment, you can do a barbell row, you can do a 1 point row with the help of a bench (my favorite), etc, etc. Lots of variations. Play around and find what you like. It's important to do these with a heavy weight so that you engage your back muscles rather than just your arms.

Vertical Pull: Latt pulldowns. You do these on a machine, usually located with the free weights rather than in the general machine section of the gym.

Vertical Push: Military/dumbbell press, standing up. Awesome exercise.

That's a pretty basic but effective place to start. Warming up is good--I used to run for 10 minutes but the new NROL books have you doing some fun dynamic warm ups instead. (I love the squat-to-stand exercise).

With whatever energy you have left, you do 10-20 minutes of HIIT to shake up your metabolism and burn some fat--this can be on the treadmill or elliptical or something else. My new favorite are kettlebell swings: 20 seconds of fast, hard swinging; 40 seconds of rest.

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask questions.

DandelionCupcakes
06-28-2012, 04:06 PM
Wow! Thank you so much.
That really helps. A lot.

I'm just really terrified because our gym is unstaffed so I feel like I'm going to hurt myself or do something the wrong way so many times that I get used to doing it that way. And no one will be around to correct me D:

Also, do you think this is a realistic way to lose weight then? Like I could replace my really long repetitive cardio with weight training and see results? :o
I hope that wasn't offensive, I'm truly curious. I've always been taught strictly cardio is the only way to go and while I've never believed it fully, I'm excited and also a bit nervous about tossing it. Yknow?

DietVet
06-28-2012, 04:17 PM
Just start slow, and check your ego at the door. You'll be fine. :)

Yes, you can lose weight lifting weights. For what it's worth, I wear my HRM while I'm lifting and I burn only slightly fewer calories in a weight training session than I do doing cardio. Usually about 500 in an hour. Also, you get all the extra benefit of the afterburn, and you're building muscle.

Read this article:

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/854/Lose_Weight_For_Summer_Top_Five_Training_Tips_For_ .aspx

Just expect water gains in the immediate couple of days after you start. And you might see a slow down on the scale. Your goal here is to simultaneously build muscle and lose fat (this is a fairly magical thing to be able to do--mostly only possible for newbies. They call it 'newbie' gains. :) ) and that might confuse the scale a bit!

I hope you enjoy it. Doing extra stuff like walking or riding your bike or doing yoga is good for you too. (And I find that light cardio helps with the dreadful DOMS! --Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.)

calluna
06-28-2012, 04:21 PM
I would add that endurance is more than an elliptical. If I ride my bike on the trainer in the garage, it is tedious. If I ride it on the road, it is exciting and interesting. Consider diversifying your cardio and/or going outside in addition to the weights (which are also a good idea).

DandelionCupcakes
06-28-2012, 04:24 PM
Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I've ordered a few books and am so excited :]

Brandis
06-28-2012, 06:45 PM
I hate cardio. Anymore I find that I am doing more lifting and a lot less cardio. I am doing a fairly intense whole body routine 3 times a week. Then I do cardio and abs on the days in between, and only cardio the next day if I am too sore. When I do cardio now, I usually don't do steady state more than once a week. I most often do 20 minutes of high intensity intervals. It is a lot less boring and I can kind of time it to my music.
I would tell you that if you haven't ever checked out Oxygen magazine, it is a good magazine for women's fitness-especially weight lifting and clean eating.
Before you do any complicated lifting, watch videos for form. And as to whether or not you can lose weight doing strength training? The answer is yes. But while the scale may not move as fast, you will have better fitting clothes and less jiggle than if you were just doing cardio alone.
When I ramped up my lifting, people in my gym started noticing and telling me how much I have lost recently, even though my loss is now slower. I have not lost anything in over 2 weeks, but I put on a pair of pants that fit me last week, and now they are too big! Join the world of weight lifters- you will not regret it.

ValRock
06-28-2012, 06:59 PM
I pretty much hate cardio, too. It's boring.

I'm losing weight a lot more slowly with heavy lifting... BUT, I can also eat a lot more nutritious foods without gaining, and I feel a lot better. OH, and my body is smaller. I need to stop relying on the scale so much. It doesn't know half the story.

Being strong is such a benefit. It reshapes your body in amazing ways and allows you to do all sorts of things you never thought you were capable of! I love never having to call anyone to help me move furniture ;).

Exhale15
06-28-2012, 07:02 PM
Yes! to Oxygen mazagine. Also check out FitnessBlender on YouTube - lots good stuff.

NateC
06-28-2012, 11:09 PM
The New Rules of Lifting for Women is great, and I'd also recommend Female body breakthrough.

A good mix would be 2 strength sessions (focused on getting stronger and building lean muscle) + 1 or 2 conditioning sessions (again, depends on your current fitness levels and experience. Any chance of getting a personal trainer to show you how to do the exercises from the NROL book?

A good bodyweight complex that you can do straightaway that will burn fat and also work on your strength:

(adjust the reps according to your fitness)

Mountain climbers x 20
Pushups x 12
Squats x 20
Lunges x 10/side
Front plank 30sec

Rest for 1-2min. Then repeat another 2 times (3 sets total)!

DandelionCupcakes
08-12-2012, 02:43 AM
NateC I didn't see your post until just now! I know it's a bit late but I did want to say thank you. :3

No chance with the physical trainer :C The gym I was going to and might start up again, funds allowing (new job, yayy!!!) is completely unstaffed. I'm usually the only person there which is why it's so terrifying.

StephanieM
08-12-2012, 11:46 AM
DandelionCupcakes,

When I did New Rules of Lifting, I spent a lot of time online reading about each exercise, and the ones I wasn't sure how to do I looked up videos on. Then I practiced the moves a barbell with no weights on it.

I hope that helps :)

I'm doing it again, and I have to say it is a good work out. I did it before and one of the biggest things I noticed was that my body composition changed. The number didn't go down as quickly but I started looking better at a higher speed.

DandelionCupcakes
08-12-2012, 02:35 PM
Thank you! I'm reading through New Rules of Lifting now. I think what freaks me out is that I have no idea how heavy to start but maybe if I keep reading there will be something int he book that might help with that :]

That absolutely does help. :3

Congrats on the baby by the way, soooo cute.

carter
08-12-2012, 02:48 PM
Thank you! I'm reading through New Rules of Lifting now. I think what freaks me out is that I have no idea how heavy to start but maybe if I keep reading there will be something int he book that might help with that :]


There is no need to be freaked out. Here is how you figure out how heavy to start on any particular exercise:

Pick up a weight. Try to do a few reps of the exercise with good form. Can you do 5-8 reps with good form before getting too tired to maintain good form? If so, then it's the right weight for that exercise. If you can't get to 5 reps with good form, then the weight is too heavy; try a lighter one. If 8-10 reps with good form doesn't tire you out, then the weight is too light for that exercise.

Follow the same principles when deciding when it's time to increase the weight you use on any particular exercise. Bear in mind that it's good to challenge your muscles.

That's all. Nothing to be freaked out about.

ParadiseFalls
08-12-2012, 04:16 PM
I won't be any help in terms of whether it's a good option (sounds like it from what others say!) but my gym has a workout generator system called ActivTrax that helps me SO much. Basically it gives you a slightly different workout each time you go so you're working different muscle groups. It gives you a full-body routine (mine usually takes about 45 minutes) and then at the end you can enter whether each set was too heavy, too light or just right and it adjusts accordingly. I definitely wouldn't be able to keep up with the strength training without it. I like having everything laid out for me :) We have the machine in the gym so I print my workouts there, but I believe you can do it online as well.

shcirerf
08-13-2012, 08:03 AM
There is no need to be freaked out. Here is how you figure out how heavy to start on any particular exercise:

Pick up a weight. Try to do a few reps of the exercise with good form. Can you do 5-8 reps with good form before getting too tired to maintain good form? If so, then it's the right weight for that exercise. If you can't get to 5 reps with good form, then the weight is too heavy; try a lighter one. If 8-10 reps with good form doesn't tire you out, then the weight is too light for that exercise.

Follow the same principles when deciding when it's time to increase the weight you use on any particular exercise. Bear in mind that it's good to challenge your muscles.

That's all. Nothing to be freaked out about.

This is super good advice.

I've completed the New Rules of Lifting for Women and am now doing the New Rules for life.

It took me a few workouts to figure out what the right weights were, but once you do, it's all good!:carrot:

I've been a few pounds under my goal since October 2011, but with the strength training I've lost another 6 inches off my body and it looks really good for a granny!

StephanieM
08-13-2012, 10:24 AM
Thank you! I'm reading through New Rules of Lifting now. I think what freaks me out is that I have no idea how heavy to start but maybe if I keep reading there will be something int he book that might help with that :]

That absolutely does help. :3

Congrats on the baby by the way, soooo cute.

It will be a little trial and error until you figure out your strength and get comfortable :)

And thanks! She is 7 and a half months now.

DandelionCupcakes
08-14-2012, 05:09 PM
There is no need to be freaked out. Here is how you figure out how heavy to start on any particular exercise:

Pick up a weight. Try to do a few reps of the exercise with good form. Can you do 5-8 reps with good form before getting too tired to maintain good form? If so, then it's the right weight for that exercise. If you can't get to 5 reps with good form, then the weight is too heavy; try a lighter one. If 8-10 reps with good form doesn't tire you out, then the weight is too light for that exercise.

Follow the same principles when deciding when it's time to increase the weight you use on any particular exercise. Bear in mind that it's good to challenge your muscles.

That's all. Nothing to be freaked out about.

That makes me feel a lot better. Nothing to be freaked out about at all. I'm actually really excited now. I haven't lost anything for a few weeks and it's bumming me out, so changing things up will be really good
:hug: