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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 10-29-2006, 09:13 AM   #1
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Question Strength Training without weights?

You know, I really, really do not enjoy weight lifting at all. Nor do I enjoy gym machines, etc.. I have a very decent home gym upstairs that I used when I was doing Body-For-Life a couple of years ago. But, man, I could never get into it. I hated it so much that after I completed my first BFL Challenge and had lost all my unwanted weight (which I gained back and have now lost again) I simple stopped strength training altogether. I cannot stick with a strength training program for the rest of my life if I don't get any enjoyment out of it. Cardio is not a problem for me - I love cardio. It's the strength training that I'm having a really hard time figuring out. I know I have to incorporate it into my life again but I'm stuck as to how to go about doing it in an enjoyable way.

So, I guess my questions here are:
  • To all of you who despise weights/gym machines, what are you doing for strength training?
  • How long have you been doing it?
  • Do you truly enjoy it?
  • Is it working?
  • Do you see yourself sticking with it for the rest of your life?

Thanks for lending an ear. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:31 PM   #2
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I use weights, but the alternatives I can think of off the top of my head are:

1. Using bands to train with. They stretch, and provide resistance, which provides resistance training and can build muscles.

2. Using your body's weight as resistance. This is for things like squats, pushups, etc., etc.

3. Doing natural activities that increase strength. Like, hiking probably is good for leg muscles, while rock-climbing will help with arms and shoulders I'd imagine.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:42 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for your reply.

I like your suggestion about using my body's weight as resistance. I keep thinking about movies I've seen (silly, huh? lol) that show the way the military train their recruits in boot camp (just an example) and I don't remember ever seeing them use weights. Yet, that's the way it appears that they build up their strength/tone muscles/etc..

Is there any specific place on the web or a book or anywhere that I can find out about body resistance training techiniques in more detail?
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:39 AM   #4
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There's some funky links I found in my favourites! I did do a google search for bodyweight exercises and found a great site, but unfortunately i can't find it in my favourites
Just. One.. More... Rep.... space Eat rubbish, FEEL rubbish!

Tune In Eat When You're Hungry Eat Whatever You Want Sit Down, Put It On A Plate And Focus Enjoy! Stop When You're Satisfied
Own Your Body Move Support Yourself Be Your Own Guru

The perfect weight for your body is the weight which it settles at naturally when you are eating a balanced diet and exercising moderately
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:02 AM   #5
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Have you tried Pilates? People who do that regularly seem to be quite toned. I tried it once and I liked it, but I haven't gone back to it this time. I may in the future. Right now I'm having difficulty mixing in strength training, too. I enjoy it sometimes, but I'm kind of addicted to cardio now so I've been doing so much more of that.

People who do Pilates, yoga, martial arts, etc. always seem to have great muscle definition.

Yesterday after my jog/walk, I flipped to FitTv and happened to catch Gilad's Total Body Sculpt. I mixed in some of my own upper body stuff during commercials and did his squats, etc. His squats KILLED me. He did some variations on the usual squat -- keeping the legs together, holding the move for a while, etc -- and my thighs are CRAZY sore today. My inner thighs are sore, which is interesting. I wish I'd recorded it so I could do it again, but I'm sure they'll replay it or I'll catch him again and remember exactly what he does.

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -- St. Francis of Assisi
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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I have two suggestions-yoga and pilates.
Both are great forms of exercise that use only your own body weight, and lots of people who do one, the other, or both are lean and muscular JUST from doing that. Yoga is more relaxation/breathing based. Pilates is more difficult and requires more use of strength. I've done yoga for years, and it's all I had to do to maintain my weight (before I got pregnant, stopped everything and gained 80 pounds). I decided to try weight lifting a few months ago, so I'm familiar with the aspects of that, and I have to say even after strength training with machine weights for several months Pilates can be pretty strenuous. You can get started with either with just a cheap video and try them at home. Of course if you go to a gym already, they probably offer classes-I was just always more comfortable doing them at home, and it's easy to fit it into a schedule that way. Yoga requires no other equipment. Pilates, depending on what type you do, may require a set of small hand weights, a pilates ball, or a resistance band.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:35 AM   #7
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You could also use a balance ball. I do push ups with feet on the ball, sit ups, ect. A really good total body strengthener, feet on the ball, body extended, arms straight and lift a foot off the ball, hold 3 sec, alternate. Good stuff. Squats, ect.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:47 AM   #8
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I think of myself as a malcontent. I can never stick with any one thing for long. Variety is the spice of life! Do whatever works for you.
Get some bands and do that for a while. Play with dumbells for a while ... change it up when you get tired of it.
... Susan
Eat good food. Move yourself. Lift something.
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:42 AM   #9
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Thank you so much to all of you for your suggestions!

After taking a couple of days to look into the different types of strength training that you've all suggested I've kind of come to the conclusion that what I really enjoy and have always enjoyed is goal/reward/means-to-an-end oriented activities.

For instance, the cardio that I do and can't get enough of is the Playstation 2 "Dance, Dance Revolution". It gets my heart rate up, makes me sweat like crazy, makes me "huff and puff" sometimes to the point of breathlessness (gotta watch that I don't overdo it most of the time), and all the while I'm progressing and getting better, faster, and most importantly for me, I earn a Grade for every song that I dance to. Those grades are what really keeps me going and even though my grades get better and better as time goes by, I can see that it's going to take me at least another couple of years before I can even get close to beating all the songs on my only game CD. And there are a lot more DDR games out there to buy and new games come out all the time, so this is something that I can see will last, well, it seems forever.

So, my point is - I'm longwinded, huh? lol - that I think I'd really enjoy some sort of Martial Arts training where I'm constantly working toward a goal (i.e., belt colors). Now THAT would keep me going. But how would I find the one that is right for me? I know that there are so, so, so many different forms of martial arts just like yoga, but I'm lost as to which one would be best for strength training. Does anyone here have any experience in the different types of martial arts programs?

My starting point is total flab. Even though I'm down to about 116lbs I'm still "flabby". I lost all of my weight by diet and cardio alone and so now I'm left with that "skinny fat person" body that I've seen you all talk about so often. Believe me - it's not pretty especially after having had two kids. Also, I'm 48 yrs old and that doesn't help much.

Anyway, now that I've rambled on for so long, I better shut up now. lol. Forgive me my big flappy mouth but I just wanted to be really clear about what kind of help & experience I'm asking you all for. Thanks so much for listening and any possible help you could offer. You're all such terrific women and I'm SO glad I found this site!

Oh, and 2frustrated, why would I want to tear up a phone book? hee hee....
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