Fitness and Athletics Sports

Sempai

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Dear FGMsters,

Is there someone interested in an exchange of (his own) experiences and/or discussion of fitness and/or athletic sports? I would think this as an open minded thread where not only is talked generally about that topic but where You can find maybe specific training schedules and their rationale why the schedule is as it is and so on. Or where You can get suggestions for a specific goal one is looking for. Or whatever - as long as it is earnest and serious/sincere advice/discussion.

Greetings
 

Meat Grinder

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Funny you should post this. I just recently resolved to lose weight and get fit again. Diet is the biggest factor in weight loss/gain, and I have made significant changes there and have already lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks.

As for the fitness part, my work schedule usually gives me four consecutive days off a week, in exchange for working three consecutive 12 hour shifts, so all my training will necessarily be during those four days off. I plan to, and have been, doing both cardio and strength training during those four days. The cardio, so far, has been in the form of using my home treadmill on cold or inclement days, or, when weather permits, walking/running on a public trail that is within a fifteen minute drive from my house. I plan to also switch that up with bicycling when warmer weather arrives.

For the strength training, I rejoined my old gym. This is mostly a weightlifting gym.....plenty of free weights and strength machines, very little cardio equipment, which is exactly what I want. I'm starting off with a standard "4 day split", working out different muscle groups each day.

Day 1: legs and abs
Day 2: chest and triceps
Day 3: back and biceps
Day 4: shoulders and abs (again)

Those are just the muscle groups I plan to work on those days. The exercises themselves will vary, as I think it's a good idea to switch things up and not do the same exercises each time.
 
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Hedgehog

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Funny you should post this. I just recently resolved to lose weight and get fit again. Diet is the biggest factor in weight loss/gain, and I have made significant changes there and have already lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks.

As for the fitness part, my work schedule usually gives me four consecutive days off a week, in exchange for working three consecutive 12 hour shifts, so all my training will necessarily be during those four days off. I plan to, and have been, doing both cardio and strength training during those four days. The cardio, so far, has been in the form of using my home treadmill on cold or inclement days, or, when weather permits, walking/running on a public trail that is within a fifteen minute drive from my house. I plan to also switch that up with bicycling when warmer weather arrives.

For the strength training, I rejoined my old gym. This is mostly a weightlifting gym.....plenty of free weights and strength machines, very little cardio equipment, which is exactly what I want. I'm starting off with a standard "4 day split", working out different muscle groups each day.

Day 1: legs and abs
Day 2: chest and triceps
Day 3: back and biceps
Day 4: shoulders and abs (again)

Those are just the muscle groups I plan to work on those days. The exercises themselves will vary, as I think it's a good idea to switch things up and not do the same exercises each time.
Well Done Doug, sounds like you are taking this serious
 

Concord

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Early last year I embarked on a fitness journey to apply for the Paramedics.
But my dad fell ill half way through the year, and I had to focus all my spare time to getting my parents moved and secure.
Job complete, just in time for Christmas. But despite being extremely busy during this time, I went backwards fitness wise.

This year I have turned my attention back to it, and it has been going really well.
Joined a local gym, and I go 5 days a week. Had to break through the initial procrastination barrier...sometimes on 'off days' too.

My older son is into fitness, and he suggested going on the Keto diet, which is mainly protein and vegetables.
However, to put the whole family on it proved to be way too expensive.
That said, I have been cooking very healthy meals, with a minimum of carbs, and smaller servings. No sugar! (my wife and I had ice cream last night, but it was Valentine's Day, so it doesn't count!)

One thing that I was surprised to learn is that strength training is actually very effective at burning up fat!
I thought I needed to do mostly cardio training, but doing both has a double benefit.
And let's face it, what guy doesn't want to have some extra muscle. :cool:

Since I started back at it, I've noticed a surprisingly increased energy - both physical AND mental. And more relaxed too.
I read an article yesterday that a study recently completed showed that strength training has a huge positive effect on people with Alzheimer's disease.
I never knew that strength training could affect weight loss, mental fitness, and 'mood'! Psst!...it's also good for testosterone levels.

One last thing. There's a machine at the gym where you sit and 'lean' forward to do ab crunches. Very effective. Abs are one muscle group you can do every day.
It has been a long time since I have done ab work, and I have been experiencing 'ab cramps'. It's like a leg cramp, but much less painful.
It started with a kind of rippling tremor across the muscles, and then the cramp. Thankfully, it releases quite quickly. A very odd sensation.
But I now leave my ab sets as the very last thing I do at my gym sessions. I've also been taking Magnesium tablets, which combat muscle cramps.
 
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Meat Grinder

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@Concord Good going, mate! You are looking quite fit in your profile pic. Yea, you can work abs every day. My gym has two of those sitting ab machines and one incline bench to do situps on. I just started back in the gym this week. I did legs Tuesday (barbell squats and calf raises). Haha, by Thursday my legs were so sore I was having trouble trying to sit down on the toilet or walk down stairs. I was like an elderly man hobbling around the house, lol. No pain, no gain, I suppose. ;-) Next week I expect to not be nearly as sore.

And yes, you are correct. Weight training does burn a lot of calories. Also, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns even when you are resting or sleeping.
 

Hardradi

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Keep it up fella's. (y) Its a war of attrition.

I usually run, bike and swim. I do weights sometimes.

For weights, if you don't like gyms and are self motivated enough, I recommend getting yourself a basic Power Rack and some free weights. It allows you to squat and bench press in a safe environment by yourself at home. Compare this once off cost to ongoing yearly gym memberships. ;) You don't need the best of the best equipment, just a basic Power Rack and a set of basic free weights (bar, dumbbells and a bench). Try for second hand weights and rack, if possible.

Right lads... running shoes and shorts on … lets go.
(The question I want to ask is how much time do you allocate to get fit in a day?)
For me, a lot. I am at one end of the scale. If you were to just run you would probably want to do at least 3-4 days a week. Starting out at 20 minutes for 3 days and 30 minutes for the other day. Walk/run if you have to. If you want to improve, increase the time week to week but slowly.
 

Sempai

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Ok, guys,

That´s nice for a start! So lets see what is the opinion of everyone of us concerning what You wrote! I start.

@Meat Grinder: Your training schedule covers all 6 general body parts. That are, only for the ones not yet knowing this, shoulders, chest, abdominal muscles ((abs), legs, arms, back. You do a split training what means You concentrate on different body part(s) per day. If I see it right You train every part only one time per week. Only exception are the abs. Did I understand right You do all four days cardio training? Assumed I understand all right I have questions:
- How well works Your schedule/training for You? Means what are the effects and what time they need?
- What work are You doing? Office work, manual labour, a mix of both or whatever?
- How long You are training - means a) years of experience and b) per training session?
- When do You do the cardio - before, after or between the weight lifting?
- Do You do a warm-up, a cool-down, stretching?
- If that isn´t too nosey - What are Your exact exercises, sets, weights and so on?

That has to be all for the moment. I would love to continue today in the evening. Then I would also like to comment the other FGM-comrades.

Greetings
 

Sempai

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@Meat Grinder: Fine with me. Then I spare the rest of questions for later.

@Concord: Currently I train with a guy who is 76 by now and never did any sports during his life - until now. He had two strokes and high blood pressure before we started. He as well says his memory works better again since he is doing sports.

My personal opinion is that a mix of athletic sports/fitness and running is the best to loose weight. As I wasn´t handicapped yet my training routine consisted of about 1,5 h or 2 h of that mix every day I did sports. Running is the most natural human moving what to the same time is sport. And lifting things with a greater weight is almost as natural as that. You can already see children who do that during their development. Nobody has to persuade them. Contrary You have often to hold them off so they don´t hurt themselves. But back to the topic: The exercises weaken Your muscles. After that the current regeneration starts and Your body wants to decrease the stress to decrease the strain. But the running between this and the next exercise holds Your heartbeat high so the body works "full pressure" to the same time he is regenerating. Can´t explain that better in english. That means the regeneration is an active recreation- You do something physical during the recreation. The carb burning holds on for a long time this way.

My questions to You, Conacord:
- You train 5 days a week? For how long You already do so? And is Your training schedule always the same? And a split or full body training or what?
- Do You train until the breakdown/collapse of the muscles or to a certain limit?

@Nelson1812: Your question needs one or two counter questions what concern Your age, health, already made sports experiences and so on. But my general recommendation, if You are a newbie, would be 2 days per week doing moderate training for about half a year. That start shouldn´t go longer as 1 h per training session. And not more then 10 exercises - better start with 6 or 8 exercises what cover all general body parts. You can start with single set training or two sets for every exercise for the first quarter of a year. Then You could change to a three-sets-per-exercise routine. But that´s only general. For a more specific advise You would have to give more personal information. The first positive effects You will feel almost immediately. If You are interested in earnest to do something You can mail me or we post questions and answers here at FGM. But You would have to give some private information away concerning health, age and so on.

@Hardradi: Sounds not bad what You do! But what do You mean with power rack - free weights or guided weights?

Greetings
 
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Concord

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I have been going to the gym this year for 5 days a week (sometimes 6), and I aim for an hour each time.
If I am short on time it is occasionally less.

I am told that the best thing is to have 3 strength days and 2 cardio days, and each strength day concentrates on a different set of muscles on the body.
I haven't been very strict with that though...I usually do some cardio and some strength each time (to my surprise, I have actually been enjoying the strength training too much to skip it entirely).
So not optimal, but at least I am going regularly. I listen to my body - if my muscles are really sore from a previous session, I will skip that area and give them a chance to 'repair'.

I haven't been using the 'free weights' much (except dumbbells for biceps) and use the machines instead.
I don't tend to set the weight levels to where I am seriously struggling to do them.
I set the weight so that I am struggling by the third set, and I take a rest between sets for about 30-60 seconds.

Interesting to note that when I go to the gym it is never very crowded, but there are all kinds of people who do go there.
Old, young, fit, unfit. Thankfully there are no 'posers' who go there who take selfies in the mirror. :rolleyes: I like my gym. :sneaky:
 

steve

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If you want to get fit after a long lay off from regular exercise then swimming is a good way to start - you use all of your muscles without putting too much strain on them as there is no impact involved.
It’s what they do to get racehorses back to full fitness without risking damage to the muscles and bones.
For most people the hardest thing is finding exercise that they actually enjoy doing, and then having the discipline to maintain the regime all year round, along with the diet change.
Steve
 

Sempai

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@Concord: That´s a very serious training schedule. And You as well use a split training. I haven´t the time to do training for me every day. So I can´t do such a time consuming one. My aim/goal is currently to do between 2 and 3 training days per week. Most of the time it is only two times but it´s compensated a bit by working with others for their training. So my training schedule says always all main body parts training until the muscles collapse plus cardio after that. Relatively often my accident consequences hinder even that. Then I do a bradytroph training what is different in feeling but nevertheless pushes a progress. Only disadvantage then is the much more time one needs for a training session. That isn´t what I was accustomed earlier but it works for now. And it seems that with that training combination I even get my health problems resolved in a way - even it needs time yet.

I assume You do between 8 and 12 repetations per exercise. Your rest lengths of 30 to 60 seconds let me believe that. It would fit to a classic hypertroph training. And that plus the cardio is almost what I see as best training to loose weight.
- Do You plan to change the current schedule, exercises and/or weights in the foreseeable future?
- Would You mind to post Your training schedule (sets, weights, exercises and so on) as well?
- What are the effects of Your current training and what time they need?
- Do You do a warm-up, a cool-down, stretching?

You see most questions are the same as for Meat Grinder. And by the way, You are lucky to have such a fine gym at Your disposal. I´m currently in search of a new gym for me. But all I´ve tested so far have just that problem - posers and worse. :(

Greetings
 

Nelson1812

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Hi @Sempai

Thanks for you kind offer, but a little past tone up now (67). In addition as a younger man (30ish) suffered work related back injures and poor advice regarding fitness training and have since suffered from backache's that after a few weeks will have me immobile for 3-4 days if I get into any fitness routine... however, I do not class myself as unfit either!

You have all inspired me to do more walking...
 

Concord

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@Sempai: How do you work with others for their training? What accident consequences (if you don't mind me asking)? Have you always been into physical activities?

Yes, I aim for 10 reps per set...but sometimes I struggle to make that by the 3rd or 4th set. I push fairly hard, but I don't go totally wild and strain too much.

I don't have plans to make any changes - it's still early in the year. Maybe later I will get more scientific about it, but for now I am concentrating on keeping up the momentum with regular sessions.

For warm up, I do cardio (walking on the treadmill, and sometimes the 'ski machine'. I have been considering doing stretches before workouts too.

The weights I use vary widely. For some machines I set them quite high, but for most only around the 30-40kg. Some I need lighter...like the 'push up above the head' one.
I guess I don't use that motion much in life. Maybe one day I will be able to do 'hand-stand push-ups'. :sneaky:

When you say some gyms have posers "and worse", what are examples of worse?
 

Hardradi

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@Hardradi: Sounds not bad what You do! But what do You mean with power rack - free weights or guided weights?
I use free weights as they are supposed to recruit all the smaller tendons, ligaments and supporting muscles to help co-ordinate the lifts. With guided weights you could theoretically/logically unbalance your muscles, eg, over develop your pecs to much and leave your other supporting muscles weaker by comparison. Perhaps more chance of doing an injury. This view makes sense to me although you can always injure yourself (and most likely will) doing any exercise.

Thus free weights provide more functional/practical strength as far as I understand. Also, the same can be said for power lifting exercises, the squat, dead lift and bench press. They use multiple muscle groups and are said to provide more functional strength. These are "compound" exercises are opposed to "isolation" exercises like, curls for biceps and triceps presses. Body builders generally use isolation exercises to work on their weak points to develop size and definition of specific muscles. Power lifters generally use compound exercises to build strength for one lift max reps.

TIP: A time saving weight lifting technique is to "super set". Here you might do a set of weights for biceps immediately followed by a set for triceps for 10 repetitions. You might do this three times. This not only saves you heaps of time but also gives you a bit of a cardio hit because you are going immediately into the next exercise and might be breathing hard from the last one. I will also add in a third sometimes.

TIP: One annoyance with free weights is having to pull off the calipers and change the weights all the time. You need to just change your mindset and view this as a hand and forearm workout, part of the workout.

TIP (OPINION): If you are after strength, then concentrate on your core bigger muscle groups: pecs, abs, lats, glutes and hamstrings. Less emphasis on biceps, triceps and calves.

TIP (OPINION): There is no substitute for good old hard work out in the yard or on the job. I once put on 20 kilos on my bench press after doing two weeks of limestone block work (heavy reconstituted bastards).

My go to weights routine is called Stronglifts 5 x 5. I think there a multiple versions and you can look them up online (I think my brother was using one called Gray Pubes :)) I use a modified version which includes body weight exercises (push ups, abs and pull ups). Its built around doing the squat in every session and progressing the weights up every session. The squat is also supposed to boost testosterone levels. Note the push ups and pull ups are also compound exercises.

Picture of power rack below. You can lift the safety bars when bench pressing so that it "catches" the weight and doesn't crush you head/neck. Likewise you can squat in the rack and it will "contain" the bar if you have to drop it. You also get a pull up bar.

 

Meat Grinder

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@Meat Grinder: Your training schedule covers all 6 general body parts. That are, only for the ones not yet knowing this, shoulders, chest, abdominal muscles ((abs), legs, arms, back. You do a split training what means You concentrate on different body part(s) per day. If I see it right You train every part only one time per week. Only exception are the abs. Did I understand right You do all four days cardio training?
Yes, I do cardio and strength training all four days.

Assumed I understand all right I have questions:
- How well works Your schedule/training for You? Means what are the effects and what time they need?
Well, I just got back into it. This is week two. But, I already feel better. I've been into fitness before in my life. There were a few years (mid 1990s to early 2000s) that I was a fairly serious road bicyclist. Rode with a club and everything. Had a very nice road bike. Was able to do 50+ mile trips regularly, in the mountains. That was when I was almost certainly in the best "cardio shape" of my life. The only strength training I did during that time was pushups and situps. Then, sometime in the late 2000s, there was about a three year period that I really got into weight training with my nephew. I still did some cardio, but the weight training was definitely the main focus.

If you do cardio regularly, your endurance builds up rapidly. Google "couch to 5k", for a 9 week plan to get you from sedentary to being able to run a 5k. Same goes for strength training. If you lift regularly, and increase the weight in small increments each week, you will get stronger quickly.

- What work are You doing? Office work, manual labour, a mix of both or whatever?
I work in medical imaging, in a hospital. I would say a third of the time I am sitting, a third standing, and a third walking/pushing stretchers/pulling and pushing patients on and off the CT table. I don't own a pedometer (need to buy one), but I would estimate I typically walk at least two miles at work during a typical 12 hour shift. So, not nearly as sedentary as an office job, but neither am I doing construction work or digging ditches. ;-)

- How long You are training - means a) years of experience and b) per training session?
I already pretty much answered the first part of this question. As for how long per training session, I typically do 30 minutes of cardio, then go to the gym and do weight training for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The gym I go to isn't very crowded, and since I usually go around 10am, I'm often the only one there, which makes things go quickly and I don't have to wait on machines, etc.

- When do You do the cardio - before, after or between the weight lifting?
I think the thing you want to focus on most is the thing you should do first. Right now I do the cardio first, followed by the strength training. Back when I was weightlifting with my nephew, it was strength first, then cardio.


- Do You do a warm-up, a cool-down, stretching?
Warm up for me is the cardio. I do very minimal stretching. I'll also typically do a warm up set on most exercises, with something like half the weight I will use for my final set. I tend to do three or four sets of eight reps for each exercise, adding weight between each set, so the final set is the heaviest.


- If that isn´t too nosey - What are Your exact exercises, sets, weights and so on?
Well, as I said earlier, I like to switch things up and not do the same exercises all the time. I'll tell you what my routine is right now, but it will likely change in a couple of months.

Day 1 - Barbell Squats (aka "the king of exercises") , Calf Raises (gym has a calf machine), Situps on the "slant board/situp bench"
Day 2 - Bench Press (gym has a Hammer Strength machine that I use for that, as I feel the barbell bench press is a dangerous exercise to do without a spotter), Dumbbell Pullovers, Rope Pull Downs
Day 3 - Deadlifts (if Barbell Squats are the king of exercises, Deadlifts are the Crown Prince, IMO), Seated Cable Rows, Seated Cable Pulldowns, Dumbbell Curls
Day 4 - Overhead Barbell Press, Shrugs, Lateral Dumbbell raises, Ab Machine, Core Machine (don't know what else to call it....you sit on it, grab the handles and twist your upper body side to side, lifting plates via a cable)


I highly recommend the book Starting Strength, Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe. "Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general."

Found an old pic of me using the leg sled (alternative to barbell squat) back when I was working out with my nephew around 2010. No way I could do that much weight now, but I plan to build back up to it. Took me about a year to get to that point.

legpress.JPG
 
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Buckykatt

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Wow, you guys are some tough cookies!! I’m gonna be 64 in June, my wife and I walk 4-5 days a week either outside (When weather permits) or on a treadmill in the basement. I do 35 minutes each day with an incline and fast walking speed. I have always thought about a doing the whole gym thing but I’m quite sure I could never keep going. we try and do what’s good for us and what we can do without getting tired of it and saying “Hell with it” Kudos for you guys that “keep it up”
 

Concord

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@Meat Grinder Riding in the mountains sounds like a great way to exercise.

I was using a machine like the leg sled last week.
Although I didn't feel anything at the time, I think I overdid it a bit - had a sore knee and surrounding tissue for about a week.
I've probably stretched a ligament or tendon or something. I have banned myself from leg strength exercises until it heals. Hmm. :cautious:
 

olaf

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Ive been through the whole weight training regime for decades.

Honestly what did the trick for me was 100 burpees every day on the living room floor. It takes me about 10 minutes.

Its the best overall excercise imo and you dont need any equipment or good weather.
 
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