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I love the gym! But am I doing it right?

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I love the gym! But am I doing it right?

Postby Puffer » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:06 pm

Well I can't believe it I think I am turning into a gym freak. It's like my sanctuary I walk through the gym door and think 'I love being here'.

I would never have though a month ago before I joined I would be one of those gym people. I always thought gym people were a bit weird and couldn't imagine the attraction :lol:

But I am wondering... am I really getting enough out of it? Let me start by telling you about my 'routine': I love the cross trainer and could happily spend all of my gym time on there but I try to mix it up a bit and do 20mins cross trainer then 20mins on the bike or treadmill and then some weights and swiss ball stuff. I really enjoy the cardio - it seems 'easy' despite the heart rate monitor on the treadmill reporting me at 185bpm after 15 minutes of jogging on 8kph. I don't really enjoy the swiss ball and weights stuff though... I'm too lazy to push myself although I do feel a little bit of soreness the next day :shock:

I have been to a couple of classes and plan to make myself go to at least 2 a week but I don't enjoy them as much because they really make me push myself (I know that is actually a good thing but I am a lazy gym junkie!).

So my question is - am I really getting enough fitness/exercise for my body if I spend 80% of my time on the cardio machines? The machines say in 40 minutes I burn 1500-2000kj but I have also read alot of people saying they didn't see much in the way of results until they started really getting into weights and muscle toning exercises (like swiss ball). Are classes better for you because they force you to 'mix it up'?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions :D
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Postby Ed » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:51 pm

Hi Puffer,

the key to exercising long-term is doing what you enjoy.

Over time you'll go through phases and you'll enjoy one thing more than another and then later you'll start enjoying something else.

The general rule of thumb between cardio and weights is that cardio will help you burn a maximum number of calories during the workout itself, and will improve your cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs).

Weight training also burns calories during the workout (but not usually as much as cardio unless you go real heavy and do lots of sets) but also helps raise your resting metobolism (the calories you burn just sitting around and doing day to day stuff).

The other great thing weight training does is help tone and shape your muscles, which when you burn off the body fat gives you that athletic look.

For maximum weight loss and good health you should try to include cardio, weights and stretching in your workouts.

What the balance is between these in your routine will depend on what you enjoy, what your goal is (short and long term), what injuries (if any) you have and what time and effort you are prepared to put in.

When it comes to exercise, the most important rule to remember is:

"It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters that you do!"

Keep doing what you're doing and experiment with other things when you feel like it.

When things become too easy, try to increase the intensity of your workouts a little and mix things up.

And keep having fun!

Ed. :D
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Postby KimE » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:15 pm

Great advice there Ed!

I too love the gym Christina and like you never thought I would. There is something about the atmosphere. I don't talk to anyone while I am there but I know everyone else is in the same frame of mind and it just gets me going all the more.

Enjoying whatever you choose is certainly first and foremost but your body likes to be challenged and will respond better if it gets that. For example the cross trainer is my fave machine and I would happily never go on anything else, however, I get into it fairly intensely on it so I have to do other things for a break and so my body doesn't get too used to working at a high intensity regularly. I burnt out once from this you see. So I also go on the bike and the treadmill. I do weights at home as I have some spiffy equipment and I love using it. What I really enjoy about doing weights is I can really feel my progression. Each time I can do one more rep or one more crunch etc on top of that I can now see some of the muscle as the fat layer is being reduced.

I have done body jam and body pump at the gym but none of the others. Loved body jam it is soooo much fun...if you like dancing that is. Body pump is also great and a very good weight work out. Yes, the classes work you harder and push you more than you might but personally I like that as I push myself anyway.

Just wish I could go more but I fit in what I can into my lifestyle.
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Postby alex_bilson » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:57 am

Hey Puffer-

I definately agree with Ed, in that the key to maintaining exercise is to do what you enjoy.

This is why today I decided that I'm not using the cardio machines anymore, as the bore me to tears!!

I also include soccer, and oztag as exercise, I love them- so it's no chore to exercise.

The one thing I would re-iterate, regarding yoru question, is the importance of weight training. To get the most out of the gym, you should really include strenth training/weights. Does your gym have a pump class? That is a class where you do weights to music. It is loaaaads of fun, and challenging, yet, not in the same way as you are talking about with the other classes you've done? I agree that cardio classes are REALLY challenging. Pump is a different kind of challenge- not cardio, strength, and you feel GREAT after. I noticed results in the look of my limbs (haha) after about two weeks.

Muscle burns a lotta fat all the live long day, so it's an asset to build your muscles.
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Postby KimE » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:34 pm

Yep that's right.

Also pump works you through a few exercises per muscle group rather than one that we often do on our own. I miss doing that class....ok will have to see what I can do to catch it on Sundays. The only thing that puts me off is I lose an hour in the travel there and back and I have my own weight stuff at home but it really is a great class. Don't mind me, talking out loud here. :D
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Postby Puffer » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:30 pm

Yes we have a pump class :) I have been planning to go but they have a special 'tech' class the first saturday of every month which I think I have to go to first? I have missed it the last two months because I have had other commitments... maybe I will go tomorrow and ask if I can do the class anyway
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Postby KimE » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:10 am

I know the tech class you mean and I never attended one. The first time I did pump the instructor asked if there were any newbies and I put my hand up. She said to start off with the lightest weight and see how I go. I had a few more weights to the side in case I needed to add more. It is different to doing free weights on your own as you work at a reasonably fast pace and there are often more than one exercise per muscle group. Plus they often include pause and slow reps. So you know you have worked that muscle by the end of each song.

Hot damn all this talk of weights has got me pumped! Time for a workout in my new gym gear!
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:41 am

enjoy kim!!! Image
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Postby ~Ash~ » Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:36 am

hey puffer,
i've always been hesitant about the pump calss and body attack too.. they sound so hard and i don't wanna have to leave halfway thru cos i'm too tired, lol..
reading what everyone's said about it though i think i may have to give it a go..
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Postby Mandie » Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:15 am

Pump class is great for beginners.. tell the instructor at the beginning and they will tell you to grab the lightest weights, don't worry about not being able to keep up - the most important thing to get right is the technique first!

Then you can work your way up in weights.

Watch out for the second day after pump.. that's when your muscles ache the most! It's a good ache though, you know they are working!

Body Attack is a really hard cardio class - very full on! But my group is great, and the instructor always shows a low impact option - you can always walk instead of run, or step touch instead of jumping, that kind of thing.. so you will always get a great workout but you can go at your own pace..

I love both of these classes.. I'm sure you'll love em too! :D

Let us know how you go!
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Postby Chelle » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:12 pm

Hi puffer,
Just doing cardio is't going give you the maximum results quickly!!! Doing weights no more than 3 times a week with cardio will not only tone but it will help you lose thoes extra kilo's that you want & will get you to your goal much quicker. Maby someone at your gym can set out a routine or show you how to use them propley & don't be afraid of the after effect like pain & aches it only mean that it is working & that you have had a good work out & go back to the gym the next day!!! Try to mix it up do a different style of workout every visit to the gym or your body will platou. & Don't be afraid to do some classes It will only make you stronger & fit even though it dosen't fell like it a the time :D
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Postby aramat1980 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:37 pm

How much weights is enough?
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:04 pm

i just use items from around my house like cordial bottles and wine bottles and canned food. i do weights about 4 times a week for about 30 minutes each time
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Postby ISparkyI » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:48 am

aramat1980 wrote:How much weights is enough?


Definitely what you feel comfortable with.

I am finding at the moment I like to do weights with all of my Gym Sessions. The thing that I have also started doing is targetting a couple of specific areas each time so I let the targeted muscles heal for a day.

I do Arms, Shoulders, Upper Back for one day, and the alternate days I do Legs, Stomach, Lower Back. I always follow up my Weight Training with 700 calories burn off on the Cardio machines.

Ive only just started so I am sure there are others that could help with this question.

At the moment I now do an hour and a half gym session 6 days a week.

Get your measurements done as well so you can start learning what areas are not receiving attention. Its pretty simple and painless getting Skin Folds done but honestly I wouldn't go any other way about it . . unless you wanna look in a mirror all day :lol:

Hope thats helps

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Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:29 am

kate_turner2000 wrote:i just use items from around my house like cordial bottles and wine bottles and canned food. i do weights about 4 times a week for about 30 minutes each time


do those wine bottles start getting lighter half way through the workout???? :wink: :P
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