So far, I have really been enjoying the gym. I didn't think I would. I was sure I was going to hate it and dread it and be bored right away. Well I love it, but this is only the beginning of week 2. I am trying to come up with a routine for myself, getting in as much cardio as I can with some upper and lower body strength training. I was discussing my plan with a fellow gym goer and she looked at me in like I had 4 heads when I said I wanted to go to the gym before and after work at least 4 days a week.
My plan is this: Monday-Friday 45 minutes of cardio in the morning before work. (Elliptical, treadmill, bike) then Mondays and Thursdays after work, 45 minutes of cardio with 30 minutes of upper body training, and Tuesdays and Fridays, 45 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of lower body training. Weekends no gym. Last week my workouts were sort of random and sporadic as I was just starting to learn about the gym and what machines do what, so now I can spend lest time wandering and more time working!
So, for someone just starting out, does this seem like too much too soon? At the moment, I am at a light to moderate effort for most things, I don't have much stamina or strength yet :(
03-18-2013, 03:05 PM
I think it's an AMAZING effort! In all honesty, though. I think it is too much too soon. I absolutely love your dedication, but I think it's important to be realistic with how much time you can dedicate to the gym. What happens if you have a morning you don't make it? Will it throw your whole day off? Will you feel guilty you didn't make it, and blow it off again that night?
I think your overall idea is great, but once a day at the gym should be plenty. Cardio for 30-45 minutes is perfect, working each muscle with strength training twice a week is great, and weekends off is a good rest period.
Maybe I could make a suggestion of instead of hitting up the gym for cardio in the morning, is doing something else in the morning realistic? Walk around the block, bike in the neighborhood? Something you do for the simple pleasure of movement, not just to burn calories. Or even, does your gym offer a workout class you might enjoy? That is a great way to keep a variety in your cardio. You could do a class when you want, and walk/bike on the machines during the opposite time of day. That would be good if you really want the twice a day gym habit, without it getting old. I ask because it's not the amount of activity I'm concerned of for you, but the burn out effect. Going to the gym THAT much, doing the same machines, can get old, fast. That way, if you need to miss a morning walk, you still have your gym time later to rock it!
03-18-2013, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the response! Here are some explanations for my plan :)
I convinced a friend to join the gym with me as neither of us wanted to go it alone, the morning is the only time that she can go, so 5 am is when we can go together. I am more OK going alone than I thought I would be, but she said that she wont go unless I do. I feel like I should stick with her (for a while longer at least) since I convinced her to go in the first place. (If we miss a day for good reasons, not a big deal) besides, I like the cardio first thing in the morning as I am finding it is giving me extra energy throughout the day. If I had more time in the morning, I would probably try to fit the whole workout in, but since I don't I figure after work is the next best bet. I kinda figured the extra 45 min of cardio in the afternoon would be kind of a warm up - cool down thing, not super intense or anything.
I go to a very very basic gym, no classes, no extras. Just equipment. (CHEAP!) Otherwise I would be totally into classes and whatnot! The gym is a 3 minute drive from my house and is directly on the way too and from work, so stopping in is easy :) That was most of the appeal of this gym.
Now none of these numbers are set in stone, since this will be the first week, anything could change!
I don't really plan on sticking to the same machines the whole time.. not the strength training ones anyway, there are so many, plus free weights and all that jazz, so I haven't come up with a routine for that part yet. Cardio, I will probably stick with the same machines since I really like the elliptical and I want to work towards running on the treadmill eventually.
03-18-2013, 07:11 PM
Ok, here are my thoughts.
Your motivation is high right now and that is great, but it does take time for your body to build strength. Going from zero to 100 is priming you for injury. It's not just your muscles, but your tendons, ligaments, bones. ALL of it needs to get stronger and looser to do what you are asking of it.
HOWEVER, if you are being cautious - walking, not running. Using the elliptical, versus pounding the pavement for all of that time, stretching properly, doing good form on the machines, then there is nothing wrong with doing what you are doing.
Your motivation is high right now and that's something I've learned about this LONG a$$ed weight loss effort - determination comes in waves. When I'm really into it, it pays (in the long run, for me at least) to go at it strong as sooner or later, my determination will hit a wall and it will be a chore. I still do it, even when it's a chore, but I don't enjoy it. Then, after awhile, for whatever reason, another snap of extra strong will hits me and I hit it hard again. So, now I use those strong motivation times to really push myself.
I know I'm not at risk for quitting. I haven't quit in over 2 years, especially with the exercise/fitness. I have times I get pretty darn fit and times I'm just hanging on by my teeth and only making it 3 times a week, but it's a commitment I now know I will keep up with - no matter what life throws at me. So, like right now I'm super motivated (spring, I think is pushing me) and so I'm going every day and sometimes doing more than one thing a day (like last Friday and tomorrow and plans for Wednesday).
Just listen to your body. Listen to injury cues especially, but also energy cues. Sometimes we just need a mini break for a day or two to let the body rest. But it seems you have made weekends a breather (which is a good idea).
So, there's my 2 cents.
03-18-2013, 09:43 PM
Then I think you have an EXCELLENT plan! Good luck, and way to go on helping a friend!
03-18-2013, 10:05 PM
Thank you! Just the right amount of caution and encouragement, just what I needed to hear. :)
I didn't quite nail my routine today, but I have a lot to learn about form and everything else, so I am giving myself a week to get into it and make any changes as I need! I worked hard, got a good sweat on, nothing hurt it was great. I call it a success. Tomorrow is leg day, should be interesting. I will take it easy though as sometimes my knees can be a problem. Tonight, I will be You Tubing how to do all of the things I plan on doing tomorrow :tread::wl::D
03-18-2013, 10:45 PM
Good for you for planning ahead and taking the time to become informed about proper form, etc! And while I do think you may be going a bit too much cardio time-wise, it sounds like you're flexible and are just testing things out to see what works best for you. It sounds like you have a great attitude about your exercise plan!
When lifting, don't forget to do compound lifts first before doing isolation exercises (ex. start with squats or the leg press, and save smaller muscle groups like calves until later in your workout). And if you have any knee pain at all, stop right away and see if you can find alternative exercises that'll work those same muscles. :) (I have joint pain too, so there are some lifts I can't do - luckily, there are lots of variations for just about any muscle group you can think of)! Congrats on your great start today, and keep up the good work!