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Advice on my routine?

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default Advice on my routine?

I may have posted this in the wrong forum. Still finding my way around

I met with a personal trainer for the first time in my life. She did a fitness test on me and put together a routine.

My stats: 5'7", 264 lbs (starting weight of 280 lbs)

Day one: 15 minutes of cardio for warm up
Circuit I: Chest press - 50 lbs resistance - 3 sets of 15
abduction/adduction - 70 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Biceps curl - 30 lb resistance - 3 sets of 12
Back extension - OBW - 3 sets of 15
Ab Balls - 4 sets of 20
Repeat circuit I x 3

Day 2: 60 minutes of cardio: 15-20 on elliptical
25-35 on treadmill
15 - 20 on stairclimber

Day 3: 6o minutes of cardio (same as above)

Day 4: 15 minute cardio warm up
Circuit II: Overhead press - 50 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Lat pull downs - 60 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Lat pull down (leaning back) - same as above
Triceps - 80 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Rotary torso - 45 lbs resistance - 4 sets of 20
Repeat x 3

Day 5: 60 minutes of cardio

Day 6: 15 minute cardio warm up
Circuit III: Seated pulley rows - 30 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Leg press - 150 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Glutts - 15 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Leg curls - 40 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Ab hoist - 40 lbs resistance - 4 sets of 20
Repeat x 3

Day 7: 60 minutes of cardio

I also eat at a 1000 cal/day deficit. I eat around 2000 cals/day in 4-5 small meals, incorporating protein, carbs and fats. I started out at around 1200 cals per day, but was told that that was entirely too low for my size and activity level. Once I increased, I have had better luck.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #2
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Well your trainer put you on the plan and normally I'd say trust the trainer. I'm guessing though that most of these exercises are on machines?

If I was working with a trainer, I'd tell her/him that I want to focus on free weights and avoid machines.

Also 60 minutes of cardio, unless you love cardio, seems a bit of overkill. I'd look at High Intensity Interval training (aka HIIT).

Other than using machines, things slightly concerning about your plan are:
1) All reps are fixed
2) All weights are fixed
3) Certain machines I'd skip - Abductor/adductor and rotary torso

Oh and here are some threads to read over on what I based my above comments on:
Train for functional fitness- great article on why to avoid machines!
Machines vs. Free weights
10 Most Ineffective Exercises

And here is a website that goes over HIIT
http://bodyforlife.com/exercise/cardiotraining.asp
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Last edited by nelie : 05-01-2009 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
Well your trainer put you on the plan and normally I'd
If I was working with a trainer, I'd tell her/him that I want to focus on free weights and avoid machines.

Also 60 minutes of cardio, unless you love cardio, seems a bit of overkill. I'd look at High Intensity Interval training (aka HIIT).

Other than using machines, things slightly concerning about your plan are:
1) All reps are fixed
2) All weights are fixed
3) Certain machines I'd skip - Abductor/adductor and rotary torso
I agree. Some of the machines are fine but you could do a lot more with free weights if you would like.

Last edited by LandonsBaby : 05-01-2009 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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I know I sound like a broken record, but Krista Scott Dixon has a great site for women lifters, beginners and otherwise: www.stumptuous.com. See, in particular, her articles about getting started and about training.

My insta-take on your routine is that it has too much cardio relative to weight training (assuming your goals are to lose fat and at least retain muscle mass). The weight training sessions contain too many isolation exercises that at best are inefficient and at worst don't work.

For example, instead of the abductor/adductor exercise, have your trainer show you how to do squats, even if at first they're assisted or body weight only. This will work more muscle groups (legs, butt, abs, back, and, yes, abductor/adductors), build functional strength that will help you in real life, prevent injuries caused by muscle imbalances, and give you a better metabolic boost than the ab/ad machine can.

Kudos for getting started!

Be strong,
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
Well your trainer put you on the plan and normally I'd say trust the trainer. I'm guessing though that most of these exercises are on machines?

If I was working with a trainer, I'd tell her/him that I want to focus on free weights and avoid machines.

Also 60 minutes of cardio, unless you love cardio, seems a bit of overkill. I'd look at High Intensity Interval training (aka HIIT).

Other than using machines, things slightly concerning about your plan are:
1) All reps are fixed
2) All weights are fixed
3) Certain machines I'd skip - Abductor/adductor and rotary torso
Thanks for the response. I plan to end up with free weights eventually. I am absolutely the most uncoordinated person you will ever meet. I thought I would start with the machines until I could get to the point that I could find out enough about the free weights to move to those.

I've read a bit about HIIT and I know it's definitely the way to go. I've tried it and I guess I don't have the endurance or strength yet. My knees are really bad, prolly from carrying around all this weight all of my life and I'm hoping that as I improve, I can move to this.

As far as the reps and resistance, I've been increasing that as I can.

I will definitely check out those links. I appreciate it so much. I'll do some research and take up those suggestions. Thanks again

Quote:
Originally Posted by LandonsBaby View Post
I agree. Some of the machines are fine but you could do a lot more with free weights if you would like.
Thanks for your response. I'll definitely try to move more toward the free weights. I just have to figure out how to do it first

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaw View Post
I know I sound like a broken record, but Krista Scott Dixon has a great site for women lifters, beginners and otherwise. See, in particular, her articles about getting started and about training.

My insta-take on your routine is that it has too much cardio relative to weight training (assuming your goals are to lose fat and at least retain muscle mass). The weight training sessions contain too many isolation exercises that at best are inefficient and at worst don't work.

For example, instead of the abductor/adductor exercise, have your trainer show you how to do squats, even if at first they're assisted or body weight only. This will work more muscle groups (legs, butt, abs, back, and, yes, abductor/adductors), build functional strength that will help you in real life, prevent injuries caused by muscle imbalances, and give you a better metabolic boost than the ab/ad machine can.

Kudos for getting started!

Be strong,
Kim
I know I'm doing too much cardio. Just like I was eating too little in the beginning. I'm just trying so hard to do this and I have the attitude (even though I know it's wrong) that a little change is good and will give good results so maxing out must be great and give even better results. It's so hard to move myself away from this, even though I know it's right. I finally started eating more (about 2000 cals/day) and am actually doing much better. I was only eating 1200 cals/day when I first started. I just have to make myself do the right thing. That type A personality in me gets me every time!

I had heard that the abduct/adduct machine and rotary torso weren't great so I wanted to get other opinions. I guess that the reasons I do the machines is that I can actually see my progress. Doing squats and lunges are just so hard for me and I guess I'll feel like I'm taking a step backward because I can't do it well.

I'll definitely take your advice into consideration and will most likely start to make some changes into better exercises by incorporating them into my routine until I can wean myself away from the machines.

Thanks for the link too
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
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Default Question about HIIT

I physically cannot run on the treadmill for more than 30-45 seconds. What do you think about this... If instead of increasing speed on the treadmill, I concentrate more on the incline to increase the intensity? Would that work at all until I get to where I can increase the speed? Or should I just concentrate on getting faster and more fit until I can start to run?

Or what other areas would be good for this method? What about the elliptical? Any suggestions?
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #7
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HIIT doesn't mean running. HIIT means varying YOUR intensity. For some people, walking at various speeds/includes can be HIIT. You can also try using the elliptical and bicycle as well for HIIT. I've actually only done HIIT on an elliptical. Personally, you'd have to drag me on a treadmill (although I do walking/running outdoors)

I also have bad knees so I understand. I started with machines and honestly I wish someone had told me from the start to do free weights. You don't have to be incredibly coordinated but it involves multiple muscle groups and you have better control at the angle to decrease your risk of injury. In my opinion, even if you start with NO weights, it is better than starting on a machine. Meaning, learn the form, build up with the weights as you are able. Do squats, do lunges. I know they are hard for you but it gets better over time. Don't expect to be an expert/master at weights from day 1.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the information on HIIT. I researched it a little more and I think I'll do it on the elliptical. That doesn't hurt my knees at all. Can I do that alternating with a circuit training program?

The only concern that I had about starting to use free weights is that my weight loss could stall or I could end up losing some muscle in the interim. Any thoughts on this? I plan to use free weights now, espcially after all I've read. I just hate getting discouraged (and I know that stalls in weight loss and occasional gains go along with it). I just cannot give up this time.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:35 PM   #9
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As long as you are following a consistent weight training plan, with weights as heavy as they can be in order to maintain good form along with eating enough calories, you should be able to minimize muscle loss.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:26 PM   #10
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Hi 2fluffy,

Have ever done any resistance training prior to this? Some of the numbers (in terms of resistance) seem awfully high to me. I am definitely no expert but for example the triceps exercise - EIGHTY pounds??? You didn't say what kind of exercise it is. But if you do 3 set of 15 at eighty pounds, I will wash your feet and drink the water every night. :-)
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2fluffy View Post
Day one: 15 minutes of cardio for warm up
Circuit I: Chest press - 50 lbs resistance - 3 sets of 15
abduction/adduction - 70 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Biceps curl - 30 lb resistance - 3 sets of 12
Back extension - OBW - 3 sets of 15
Ab Balls - 4 sets of 20
Repeat circuit I x 3


Day 4: 15 minute cardio warm up
Circuit II: Overhead press - 50 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Lat pull downs - 60 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Lat pull down (leaning back) - same as above
Triceps - 80 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Rotary torso - 45 lbs resistance - 4 sets of 20
Repeat x 3

Day 6: 15 minute cardio warm up
Circuit III: Seated pulley rows - 30 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Leg press - 150 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Glutts - 15 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Leg curls - 40 lb resistance - 3 sets of 15
Ab hoist - 40 lbs resistance - 4 sets of 20
Repeat x 3

Did I read that correctly? You're doing 3 sets of each and then repeating it 3x? How long are you at the gym. Maybe I'm missing something but that seems like a lot to me....
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #12
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Hi 2fluffy,

Have ever done any resistance training prior to this? Some of the numbers (in terms of resistance) seem awfully high to me. I am definitely no expert but for example the triceps exercise - EIGHTY pounds??? You didn't say what kind of exercise it is. But if you do 3 set of 15 at eighty pounds, I will wash your feet and drink the water every night. :-)
I've never done resistance training before. I went for a fitness test with a personal trainer. She put me through some stuff to find out my max for each machine then gave me a list of what to do each time. I started at 3 sets of 15 with a 70 lb resistance on the triceps machine, but have built up to 80 lbs over 4 weeks. I use a triceps extension machine. Tried to post a pic, but it wouldn't let me yet. I basically sit at the machine, put my arms over this pad, pull up on the handle and extend downward.

Someone told me that the machines help you out some so I probably wouldn't be doing that with free weights. I had no idea how much to lift. I'm just kinda following what she said to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacque9999 View Post
Did I read that correctly? You're doing 3 sets of each and then repeating it 3x? How long are you at the gym. Maybe I'm missing something but that seems like a lot to me....

I'm usually at the gym around an hour. I spend 15 minutes on each circuit, then repeat it 2 more times. I started out with doing the circuit twice and have worked up to 3 times. The trainer said it was circuit training, but I haven't worked up to doing the cardio between circuits. I just keep my heart rate up as best I can.


I'm pretty motivated and believe in working really hard. I'm drenched in sweat and pumped up and exhausted at the same time after leaving the gym. I honestly came here for help and I really wouldn't benefit at all if I exaggerated about the amount of work I'm doing. That would only hurt me. I'll just do some research on my own. Thanks to everyone that helped me.

Last edited by 2fluffy : 05-01-2009 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 2fluffy View Post
I'm usually at the gym around an hour. I spend 15 minutes on each circuit, then repeat it 2 more times. I started out with doing the circuit twice and have worked up to 3 times. The trainer said it was circuit training, but I haven't worked up to doing the cardio between circuits. I just keep my heart rate up as best I can.
Oh I see, so you are doing all the reps very quickly then, right? I just couldn't imagine doing that many reps/sets at a slower pace which is what I do. Actually I did a full body circuit workout (set up by my trainer) today which took me an hour and a half..I know, I know...it was too long...we will adjust it, but here's how it went:
  • 10 min warm up
  • alternated between upper and lower body exercises doing 3 set of 15 reps
  • in between each set, I did cardio for 4 minutes.
  • I was moving the entire time....I didn't rest much between sets.

The more I read on these boards the more I realize that EVERYONE is different and EVERY trainer is different. I guess what it comes down to is that if it's working for you....do it....it might not work for someone else, but all that matters is that it works for YOU!!!

You were doing circuit training even without the cardio....you were moving and switching things, so IMHO, that is circuit training....Keep it up!!!
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:44 PM   #14
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Hi 2fluffy,

I am terribly sorry if I offended you, please accept my apologies. It is not that I did not believe, I was completely stumped at the # of lbs. The thing is you did not originally say what kind of an exercise it was, and for some reason, what popped into my mind was triceps pull down. Here is a clicky for a picture.

I have to try the triceps extension machine, if my gym has it. It will be interesting to compare.
Again, I apologize if I offended you - that would be the last thing I'd want to do!
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:00 PM   #15
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Hi Tomato...

I sent you a PM. I'm sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying. TOM must be sneaking up on me ... lol
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