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When do you stop?

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Old 11-03-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default When do you stop?

Hi everyone,

I'm a beginner at all this exercise stuff. Mostly I have been doing a mix of cardio (mixing C25K and walking) and weight training.

Unfortunately, my treadmill needs a part replaced and has quit working. So, instead of doing nothing yesterday I decided to try one of the fitness routines from FITtv.

Okay. I *ONLY* did a total of 30 minutes, and I was pretty awful at doing all of it. I'd never done a lunge or a squat. I did do my best though because I have been working out for as close to 60 minutes as I can and I only planned to do 30 minutes yesterday.

Welp. That 30 minutes *really* did me in. I'm sore all over today. I managed through it until I went down to try to do my weight work. I just couldn't make myself do it. I just hurt too much all over.

So. Now I'm left with a dilemma. Did I cheat because I gave up today? Should I have just 'worked through' the pain/soreness? Am I trying to do too much and how can I know when I'm trying to do too much.

Just as a point of reference, my schedule was something like this:

Mon - 45-60 min cardio
Tues - 45-60 min weights
Wed - cardio
Thursday - weights
Fri - cardio
Sat- weights
Sun - rest

Any advice so I don't feel like I've cheated today? Or, did I cheat? Eye yi yi.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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your routine looks good--- and if you only did half hour thats fine too---as the bare minimum is to aim for at least 30 min a day --- but yes pull through the pain -- i always find the second day as the toughest because youre sore from day one but then the third day is much better --- keep up what you're doing and see what works--- more importantly stick to whatever plan you choose and change it up often to keep from getting bored with it
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:37 AM   #3
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I think it's fine to take a day off. I work out with a personal trainer and if I tell him that a particular body part is really sore, he'll often have me take it easy on that muscle group. For example, if my legs are really sore, we'll focus on upper body stuff. Recently my abs were ridiculously sore, so we just skipped abs altogether for that workout.

In your case, your whole body was sore; you couldn't just focus on a different muscle group. So I think taking a day off to give your body a rest was an appropriate response. A little soreness isn't a bad thing and it is sometimes okay to just push through it, but you know your body better than anyone else. If things really hurt, it's time for a rest. It's sounds like you put in a great week of workouts and got a great workout from FitTV. Plenty of people who put in that level of exercise would have taken Sunday off whether they were sore or not. Lots of people take at least one day off per week and many fitness experts recommend it. I don't actually take a day off but I have one day where my exercise is much lower in intensity than the rest of the week.

In terms of knowing when you are overdoing it, I think the general signs are chronic pain (soreness that persists for more than a week), pain in your joints (rather than your muscles), frequent illness (coming down with a lot of colds, etc.), and feeling fatigued all the time (not just when you have just finished exercising). There is some great information on overtraining at About.com.

Also, I want to point out that I'm not a "fitness expert" by any means, so take my response for the amateur and completely unqualified opinion that it is.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:29 AM   #4
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Just my thoughts -- I don't think it's good to work out TOO hard on muscles that are exhausted and very sore. However, I've found that a light workout -- easy cardio and stretching - can help the soreness go away faster. Sometimes even just taking a nice walk can help get the blood circulating and the muscles loosened up a bit.

That said, I also don't think it is wrong or bad to take a day completely off. The important thing is to keep working out regularly over the long term! Just keep working at it and build little by little and you will be surprised at how quickly you will progress.
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Mon - 45-60 min cardio
Tues - 45-60 min weights
Wed - cardio
Thursday - weights
Fri - cardio
Sat- weights
Sun - rest
That's a REALLY ambitious schedule for someone who is new to exercise.

Don't beat yourself up. Honestly, I'd scale back a bit here. Start with 30 mins of cardio and weights. Work your way up if you feel you need it. Honestly, I do 30 mins of weights, and 30 mins of cardio and that's it. I just don't want to put in more time than that. Of course I make sure that what I'm doing is pretty intense and effective ... but I just am not a 2-hour at the gym kind of person. I don't think most people are.

If your muscles are really really sore, then you shoudln't push them. Recovery time is what builds muscle - so you need to allow recovery time. A little gentle cardio or stretching is good and will help relieve the soreness. Piling hard work on top of painful muscles is not good.

Also when you start off working out to the point that you're miserable and can't finish the next day, you're kind of setting yourself up to give up before you even get started. I know - I've done it to myself many times in the past.

Like I said, scale back a bit. Give yourself 30 mins of intense exercise every other day, and on the days between give yourself 30-45 mins of medium cardio just to work out the kinks. Build up slowly to harder and harder stuff.

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Old 11-04-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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Thank you, ladies. I really appreciate all the great words of advice and encouragement.

In this case, I really do think I worked too hard and needed the break.

I'm just so new to all of this, I'm so afraid I'll quit.... that I look for any and all warning signs.. and, see them when they don't really exist.

I'm done whining now! Thanks again ladies!
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