Weight and Resistance Training - New to weight machines, Need Ideas Etc

09-02-2013, 01:36 AM
I'm just looking for input, I think....I posted awhile back about being really new to the weight training machines at my gym, having to stop running for awhile due to hurting my foot :( Back then when I posted, I also said that I will not be doing free weights because that area of the gym is out of my comfort zone. I also am extremely protective of my back due to past spinal injuries and am going to stick with the weight machines for now. I've been doing the machines for about 2 weeks and have seen a big gain in muscle strength and definition, especially in my arms and legs. This is the routine that I have now. And I don't know the correct name of each machine either. I'm doing 3 sets of 10 reps each and these are the highest weights that I can handle at the moment:

- biceps 20 pounds
- inner thighs 100 pounds
- outer thighs (hip abductors?) 80 pounds
- seated chest press 70 pounds
- oblique twist 30 pounds
- seated ab crunch machine 90 pounds
- lower back extensions (very carefully!) 115 pounds
- leg extensions 30 pounds
- seated leg press (like a squat) 10 at 190, 10 at 210, 10 at 230 and 10 at 250...max that I've pressed is 290

Should I try to figure out more machines to add to this? I'm aiming to keep calories around 1500 and so far I'm doing good with that. I can see my body changing although the scale has not. Which is to be expected and doesn't bother me.

My plan for the moment is to keep those up and keep increasing the weights so that I'm not doing more sets/reps but rather doing harder and harder weights.

09-02-2013, 08:38 AM
I don't see anything for the back of the legs, upper back, triceps or calves. I've read that in women, there is generally an imbalance that can cause knee issues from not working the back of the legs. A true squat will generally work the back of the legs some but a seated press generally focuses on the front thighs.

For the upper back, you'd either see something like a row machine (not a rower) or something to pull down. My favorite is the assisted pull-up machine, the weight you put in offsets your own weight. Also, if you do pull-ups/pull downs with your palms facing toward you, it works your biceps as well.

I'd also personally recommend dropping the inner/outer thigh machines and do some presses on the leg machine with your foot turned outward. For your calves, you can also use the leg press machine by moving your feet to he bottom with you heels hanging off and your legs fairly straight. You can do one foot at a time as well.

09-02-2013, 04:52 PM
thank you! those are great ideas!!

09-04-2013, 01:36 PM
Glad to see more people joining the weight lifting crowd. For creating a routine on your own, I think it's important to work symmetrically. So try to incorporate pairing exercises like: horizontal push (bench press, push ups) / horizontal pull (row machine, cable rows); vertical push (military press, shoulder press) / vertical pull (lat pulldown, pull up assistance machine); quads (squats, leg press, lunges); hams (deadlifts, back extensions).

Nelie's advice about working the hamstrings is very important mainly for women who tend to be very quad dominant. I would also add glute exercises that you can easily perform on a mat like glute bridges or hip thrusts.

If you have problems with your back I would try to check if whenever you are standing, bending or just walking you are placing the weight of your upper body in your lumbar region. If you are, then try to engage your glutes. Your hips should be supporting your weight, not your back. You can work on retrain your posture, whenever you are standing at your kitchen counter think: "glutes" and engage them. Working on your posterior chain (glutes, hams) could help you with back problems.

There is an exercise you can perform at home to learn how to bend properly: hip hinging with a broomstick or a bar on your back: http://www.soheeleefitness.com/exercise/training/the-hip-hinge/ You don't have to use weight for this and of course always try it with caution.

And last I like to finish my routine doing some planks, crunches, push ups on a yoga mat and then I relax a little and strech the muscles. Hope you enjoy your weight training and I think it will help you with your back problems.

09-04-2013, 04:45 PM
thank you! great ideas! when I was a teenager I fell about 6-7 feet and landed on the metal ring that goes around a trampoline and I landed on my lower back while twisting (trying to avoid the metal)....later xrays showed that my spine was twisted, collapsed inward and that I was born with an extra vertebrae, making my spine naturally a bit twisted...ive had many ruptured discs since then in my lower back, some healing within a week, some taking years to fully heal

I went through a series of chiropractic treatments about 5 years ago that straightened out my spine as much as possible and have not had any more ruptured discs....however some vertebrae are still twisted backwards and cannot be fixed...I was a hairs-breadth away from spinal surgery at the time but have not had any issues since the chiropractic treatments...

however I live in dread of the day I rupture another disc....I could barely walk for 2 years when the last one ruptured....and I am SO SO careful not to do anything that might cause it (last disc ruptured when I coughed mildly with strep throat ugh)

09-05-2013, 12:24 AM
I restarted lifting about 18 months ago, with the help of "The New Rules of Lifting for Women." Great place to start.

The New Rules of Lifting Supercharged! Amazing.

The books are reasonably priced on Amazon and the authors have a forum at jpfitness.com. They are always helpful in answering questions and helping you to adapt the program to fit your personal needs!:hug::D