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Old 05-07-2006, 08:58 PM   #1
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Question No Strength Training for a While?

I've been exercising on my treadmill 5-6 days a week for 45 minutes (30 jogging, 15 walking) and have been having pretty good weight loss results. I've also been counting calories, not too strictly, and have been eating between 1500-2000 calories a day.

In February I started some strength training with Kathy Smith's Lift Weights to Lose Weight DVD. During that time, I started feeling too hungry and had a hard time conrolling my eating. I also started to feel mentally down and depressed. I ended up taking a break (for about a month) from all exercise because I didn't know what was going on.

About 3 weeks ago I started my treadmill routine again and I'm feeling super great, which is such good news, but now I'm feeling scared to start any type of strength training because I'm afraid of what might happen and I'm scared that I will totally give up. I just can't stand that depressed feeling since depression is something I've struggled with in the past.

I know the benefits of strength training, but I'm wondering how bad it would be if I just stuck to my cardio routine for a while and added that in down the road when I'm feeling more in conrol. I am looking forward to hearing any advice that anyone may have. You are a great bunch of people, and even though I hardly ever post, I'm always here!
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Old 05-07-2006, 11:50 PM   #2
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Hi Sunrose:

I'm no expert on strength training. I can just attest to how absolutely wonderful it's been in my progress. When I first started working out, I was doing straight cardio. I lost 2 inches in the first 2 weeks and maybe a pound or two after about a month. Then I started strength training. Nothing huge. Small weights and about 24 - 48 reps per machine. Then when I measured myself the next time I had lost 9 inches after only 2 weeks. Then I weighed myself after 3 weeks and lost 6 lbs. Then I did the strength training for another 2 weeks and measured. I lost another 8 1/2 inches and weighed in after 3 more weeks and lost 6 more lbs. I slowed down a bit after those first initial measurement and weigh-ins, but not by much.

The fact of the matter is, strength training made the difference for me. You mentioned about your appetite increasing when you started strength training. Well I used to eat a couple of extra 100 calories on the days I strength trained. Did I mention that I only strength trained 3 days a week for 30 mins? I did about an hour of cardio on the days I strength trained and on the days I didn't I did about 45 mins to an hour of cardio (2 - 3 more days a week). Increasing my calories on the strength training days (mostly in protien) helped to heal my muscles and gave me extra stamina I needed to get a great workout in. I also take Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules and on my strength training days I would take an extra one. They help ease your joints back to normal the next day. I always had a day or two break in between my strength training days. That really helped too. When we work our muscles, they need time to heal and rejuvinate. Also, when we build lean muscle, it helps burn fat more effectively and faster. You don't have to be buff, just get stronger. It really does make you leaner.

I am sorry you had such a bad experience with strength training. Perhaps you need to try a different approach. Work on machines or small free weights. Talk to your doctor about it and hopefully you will consider giving it another try. It has made a world of difference for me.

Best of luck in all your fitness and health conquests!
God bless you,

Starting Weight 6-20-05 216 lbs
Lowest Weight 11-30-07 116 lbs
Current Weight 3-10-2014 175 lbs
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:05 AM   #3
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I get the opposite from strength training, I feel almost high and very happy after strength training.

Was it definitely the strength training causing depression?? I'd try reintroducing one or two lifting days a week and keeping a mood diary. Also plan your calories so you can have a high protein snack right after lifting. A protein shake, cottage cheese, eggs (if you can stand them), chicken breast etc. Protein will help build your muscles and make them strong, and effective little calorie burners, and will also help quell hunger pangs.

My other thought is it could be a problem with the dvd, having not seen it it's hard for me to comment. There are loads of lifting strategies and routines you can follow. Perhaps the dvd was too long and you were lifting too much?? Is going to a gym or hiring a trainer even for just one session an option for you? I have been lifting for a year now, and still don't feel confident enough to put my own workouts together, and always like having someone to show me correct form, and to talk through any issues. My trainers at my gym are like psychoanalysts and therapists too!!!
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:24 AM   #4
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My suggestions is to keep doing the weight training don't stop ... As someone mentionned muscles help burn the fat and speeds up your metabolism ...

... If you are ravenous when you weight train, like a LOT of us/me are, just add more lean proteins every meal (chicken breast, eggwhites, lean meats, fish) to you food plan... also eating a protein/carb meal within an hour after your workout helps ... When I train legs, the next day if I am not consistent and eating every 3 hours, 5 or 6 mini meals during the day, I am sooooo hungry I could eat everything in sight ...
I l e n e
Falling down is not failure....Failure is staying down.

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Old 05-08-2006, 09:49 AM   #5
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I agree with Ilene. You can get a kind of low blood sugar depressed feeling from lifting. I never lift on an empty stomach and I usually have a protein snack in mind for almost immediately after.

I have a magazine article about that. I could look it up and repeat the basic highlights, if anyone would like.
... Susan
Eat good food. Move yourself. Lift something.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:52 AM   #6
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I believe very strongly that some exercise of any kind is better than no exercise. I'd get re-established with your cardio. Enjoy it, get comfortable again, and then if you want to, add strength training back in. You might go slowly, or take another approach next time to be more comfortable with it. Everyone above has good suggestions. But nothing works for everyone, and if you find it damaging your moods--depression is a very serious illness and not to be taken lightly--or just wrecking your motivation to get any exercise in you might want to take a different path.

FWIW: I love strength training and it does great things for my body and self esteem. Do try again when you're ready. But there are times I need to back off--when I'm recovering from being sick, when the baby's having a rough spell, when I'm in the final stages for a big race, it just becomes too much and I need to back off. For me personally, strength training and fatigue (real fatigue, not just an off day) don't mix well. So I back off when I need to and come back to it when I can.


Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life.
-from Song of Myself, Walt Whitman
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