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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA

    The Fitness Thread

    This thread is for the discussion of any and all fitness-related endeavors. Several of us are currently engaged in weight loss/self-improvement projects, and here, we can trade tips, offer encouragement, celebrate successes, etc.
    To recap my post from the LTE:

    I started my workout plan mid-Januaryish. I have the near-term goal of fitting respectably into my wedding tux and the long-term goal of being fit enough for a rigorous hike in Glacier National Park in June. I also want to lose weight and get more toned, which will happen automatically as I train for the hike.
    I'm doing 35-40 minutes of resistance training, followed by 20-25 minutes of cardio, 4-5 days a week. This is my first ever effort at establishing an extended, consistent resistance training program. It's paying dividends, but also leading to various aches and pains that I don't always know how to address. I'm down about 8 pounds so far, plateaued a bit in recent days.

    Here are my initial questions:
    • How to prevent and/or alleviate aches and pains that come especially for a novice weight trainer?
    • Ideas for alternative exercise on days when I'm looking for a change of pace...I don't generally mind the weights-treadmill sequence, but occasionally I am bored with that and/or too achy to spend much time on the treadmill. I have access to a robust array of group classes, etc. at my gym.

    Congrats to everyone who's working on their own fitness project. Let's support each other here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC

    Cool/Timely Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    This thread is for the discussion of any and all fitness-related endeavors. Several of us are currently engaged in weight loss/self-improvement projects, and here, we can trade tips, offer encouragement, celebrate successes, etc.
    To recap my post from the LTE:

    I started my workout plan mid-Januaryish. I have the near-term goal of fitting respectably into my wedding tux and the long-term goal of being fit enough for a rigorous hike in Glacier National Park in June. I also want to lose weight and get more toned, which will happen automatically as I train for the hike.
    I'm doing 35-40 minutes of resistance training, followed by 20-25 minutes of cardio, 4-5 days a week. This is my first ever effort at establishing an extended, consistent resistance training program. It's paying dividends, but also leading to various aches and pains that I don't always know how to address. I'm down about 8 pounds so far, plateaued a bit in recent days.

    Here are my initial questions:
    • How to prevent and/or alleviate aches and pains that come especially for a novice weight trainer?
    • Ideas for alternative exercise on days when I'm looking for a change of pace...I don't generally mind the weights-treadmill sequence, but occasionally I am bored with that and/or too achy to spend much time on the treadmill. I have access to a robust array of group classes, etc. at my gym.

    Congrats to everyone who's working on their own fitness project. Let's support each other here.
    I, too, have just started on this journey. Our cases seem very similar and our workout approach is similar except I'm only working out Mon, Wed, Fri. I decided to start out with that schedule because of a few reasons, one of which would be the sudden aches and pains on a 39 year body that isn't used to regular exercise anymore. Another is that I'm very new to this, so I don't want to overdo it and get burned out/give up.

    Did a lot of research before starting, and trying to go too hard for a noob is a big reason why a lot of people don't stick with it. I'm 6'1" and weigh 243 when I started. According to the Dr., I should weight around 185 for my build, but that seems a little extreme. I was thin as a bean pole in high school and weighed 185, and I was shorter then. So my goal weight is 200lbs. When I get there, I'll reassess if I think I should lose more, or do more weights to add muscle/tone.

    For aches and pains, most of my research says to drink plenty of water, it helps with the soreness. Ice baths are supposed to be the way to go if you're aching from head to toe. I haven't hurt that bad yet. But like I said, I'm taking rest days in between workouts at least for now.

    Alternative exercise: I bought a stationary bike and do spin class on Monday, run on Wed, and spin class on Friday. It gets boring too, but it does break up the monotony. Do you have a basketball, volleyball or racketball courts at your gym? You could sign up for a league, and just let that be your workout on game days. Much more fun than just working out. I want to do it, but don't have the free time right now(full time job, 3 kids in sports, I'm back in school myself). I've done good to sneak in the workouts I'm currently doing.

    Anyway, I've been at it seriously for 2.5 weeks now, and I'm down 10 lbs. But I'm sure the next 10-15 llbs will be harder to lose than the first 10 were. I think that was mostly due to diet change, which is half the battle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Epsom salt baths are supposed to be nice for aches and pains too. And massages don't hurt. But the body gets used to the exercise over time and the post-workout soreness gets less and less, provided you don't overdo it. And if you do overdo it, a brief rest/recovery is probably the best action. Exercise should ultimately be enjoyable for it to stick as a longer-term gameplan, and working through pain isn't a recipe for success in that regard.

    I'm also looking to drop a few lbs. I'm 5'11", and about 195 right now. Would like to get down to around 175-180, as I feel sluggish when playing sports these days. Some of that is post-ACL repair, some is just not exercising enough since the birth of my son. I'm probably going to focus more on cardio than strength training, but will probably mix in some weightlifting too. Just to keep things fresh, but also to help reshape/sculpt things. Essentially, if I could redistribute the weight around my belly to my pecs/back/arms, that'd be nice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Epsom salt baths are supposed to be nice for aches and pains too. And massages don't hurt. But the body gets used to the exercise over time and the post-workout soreness gets less and less, provided you don't overdo it. And if you do overdo it, a brief rest/recovery is probably the best action. Exercise should ultimately be enjoyable for it to stick as a longer-term gameplan, and working through pain isn't a recipe for success in that regard.

    I'm also looking to drop a few lbs. I'm 5'11", and about 195 right now. Would like to get down to around 175-180, as I feel sluggish when playing sports these days. Some of that is post-ACL repair, some is just not exercising enough since the birth of my son. I'm probably going to focus more on cardio than strength training, but will probably mix in some weightlifting too. Just to keep things fresh, but also to help reshape/sculpt things. Essentially, if I could redistribute the weight around my belly to my pecs/back/arms, that'd be nice.
    From your lips to God's ears.

  5. #5
    Can you give us your age range? I lost 40 pounds in a month while a Duke student (at 21), but couldn't replicate that in my late 30's. At the time, I concentrated on drinking a lot of water (drank almost no other drinks but water), massive amounts of sleep (went to bed at like 8pm every night), strict calorie limits, and something like 45 minutes to an hour of cardio 6 days a week. I was pretty much still exhausted all the time that entire month.

    My current fitness plan is running between 2 and 2.5 miles every other day, with weight training on the off days. I currently have a broken arm (greater tuberosity fracture of my proximal humerus), so the weight training is on hold.

    Occasionally I will switch the run up by either running significantly faster than normal (normal pace is about 8 minute miles, faster pace is like 6:45 miles) or farther (3.5-4 miles). This takes a greater toll on my body, though, and I have to add an extra recovery day for my knees / legs.

    In the recent past (ie. last year), I would, at times, run two days in a row. I started having problems with bursitis in my knees, tendonitis in my ankles, etc. I find keeping the mileage down and not running two days in a row really helps alleviate this. My normal runs are trail runs with substantial hills.

    When the weather is nice, I will also break out the road bike. I enjoy that more, and it doesn't require recovery days. On the flip side you have to ride probably 4 times as long to get the same workout as a fast run (so requires a greater time commitment). And I hate riding in cold / rainy weather, where as I run in temperatures as low as 5 degrees, and don't mind running in light rain.

    The only other thing I'll add is that a lot of fitness / weight loss is diet. Sweets, alcohol, snacking; it's mostly common sense. My diet is still not where it needs to be, but the one thing that makes a huge difference is absolutely no eating anything after dinner (ie. no late night snacking). I still allow myself a glass of red wine or a beer while watching a movie or a Duke game late at night, but not ice cream or popcorn.

    I can't stand the treadmill (I don't mind running, but it has to be outdoors), but enjoy the rowing machine, cross trainers, and exercise bikes.

    ETA: Currently 6'1, 205. Got as high as 215 in college, but dropped to 175 in that month of exercise, and then to 165 in the next month. That was too thin. I think ideal weight for me is around 185. I stayed around that for much of my 20's and early 30's, but gradually gained 25 pounds with small kids, work travel, and lots of entertaining clients / eating out.

  6. #6
    Water absolutely helps with aches and pains, and Alleve is a wonder drug. Definitely take rest days from running at first. Eventually you won't need them anymore and can get by with a lighter/ slower run, but until your body gets acclimated you will need days off to recover.

    And yea, don't overdo it. (This is my bugaboo.) If it's too hard you won't stick with it. A reasonable regimen is enjoyable and will quickly become part of your routine.

    Also get a fitness tracker. I use an Apple Watch, have used a Fitbit in the past, and the little goals and badges and stuff make nice incentives to keep moving.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
    Can you give us your age range? {snip}
    I'm 35. I've actually been pleasantly surprised at how quickly I've seen results this time around, and I'm truly hoping that this can be the beginning of more mindful lifelong commitment to physical wellness instead of my past on-again, off-again habits, because I know it will get harder for me to get (back) in shape very soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    {snip} Definitely take rest days from running at first. Eventually you won't need them anymore and can get by with a lighter/ slower run, but until your body gets acclimated you will need days off to recover.

    And yea, don't overdo it. (This is my bugaboo.) {snip}
    Just in the past week or so, I've noticed my next-day soreness dropping off somewhat. That moment when you start to feel like you're in a rhythm is really gratifying.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Excellent thread, thanks for starting it!

    For me, it all starts with proper hydration; getting sleep; and having a system that encourages a calorie deficit. Then put it into auto-pilot.

    Calorie deficit for me is achieved by weekly exercise goals (cardio and resistance); being mindful of calories eaten (roughly) in relation to average daily calorie burn (several calculators available online); and swapping good carbs for bad ones. No liquid calories besides milk and a veggie juice before going to the gym.

    Just turned 52. Have dropped 14.2 lbs. since Jan. 1. Would like to knock off a handful more, then maintain.

    It all sounds much more regimented than it is. Really, all I am trying to do is best my best score on the scale from yesterday or this day last week. Galaxa for the body.

  9. #9
    With two young kids (4 and 6 months) time is the biggest issue for me. I used to work out in the morning before work, but that is no longer possible unless I am going to wake up at 5 (spoiler - I am not going to wake up at 5). I now generally try to work out at lunch or in the evenings when the kids go to sleep. My current routine is to try and integrate resistance training and cardio together with the following routines:

    (1) A modified "Murph" (run 1 mile, then 20 minutes of 15 squats, 10 pushups, 5 pull-ups, every minute on the minute, then run 1 mile) (about 40 minutes total);

    (2) Go for a 30 minute workout with 10 burpees every two minutes (while jogging between sets);

    (3) Run 1 mile then 20 minutes of 20 squats, 10 pull-ups, 5 lunges on each leg, 15 pushups, every two minutes).

    I have no idea what these do from a physiological perspective, but they seem to crank the heart rate and they don't take too long. Any other suggestions of similar routines would be welcome!
    My Quick Smells Like French Toast.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    (1) A modified "Murph" (run 1 mile, then 20 minutes of 15 squats, 10 pushups, 5 pull-ups, every minute on the minute, then run 1 mile) (about 40 minutes total);
    15 squats, 10 push-ups, AND 5 pull-ups every minute for 20 minutes? Sounds awful.

    Sadly, at the moment, doing 5 pull-ups (even just once) isn't an option for me.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    I wish this had been a topic 30 years ago!

    I lost 60+ pounds between age 50 and 60. Goal is to lose 20 more.

    Bad news, pain is part of the process. Worse news, it doesn't get better as you get older.

    My chief recommendation for pain is flexibility training, eg yoga. Properly stretching the muscle allows for optimum blood flow through the muscle which allows for the muscle to optimally repair itself. Static stretching is OK, but the muscles don't really stretch until they have warmed up. For example, warm up on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes, then step off and stretch the legs and hips, THEN do your cardio workout.

    Foam rolling is a related remedy, worth trying for 5-10 minutes after a workout. If you have never tried foam rolling, you will not thank me for this suggestion. Remember, pain is just weakness leaving the body. Once your muscles become acclimated to foam rolling (particularly the IT band) it really cuts down on DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

    Rest days are critical for recovery, at least one per week, two if you are weight training three days a week. (I found yoga is perfect for rest days).

    For weight loss, nothing beats interval training, eg mixing sprints into a run, or weight training with supersets focusing on opposing muscle groups and limiting the break between sets to keep your heartrate up. HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes will leave you with a feeling that you really worked out.

    From a dietary standpoint, I'd recommend cleaning up your diet, primarily by eliminating processed or pre-packaged foods. It is amazing how much better for you food is if prepared from scratch. There are plenty of food services ie Blue Apron that will deliver all of the ingredients and recipes for some pretty good and easy to prepare meals.

    Last, I recommend DietBet or StepBet or their sister running app. You place a wager that you will lose 4% of your body weight in 1 month (or 10% in 6 months) or meet certain step goals or mileage goals and you split the "winnings" with everyone else who meets the goal. There is not much profit, less than $10 on a $30 bet, but it is amazing how much incentive having some "skin" in the game can add.

    God luck all! Community support is very helpful in achieving goals. Just telling others your goal makes it more likely that you will achieve it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    I'm in pretty good shape, but there's not a chance I could do 10 pull-ups every minute for 20 minutes. More power to ya!

    I've always been a runner and ran a decent half marathon in November. My training peaked at about 60 miles a week. I could eat whatever I want during training. Unfortunately, I think that was the last of my serious running. It's a big time commitment and I've already had two knee surgeries (ACL and meniscus). Just not worth it.

    Now, I try to exercise at least a little bit every day. I'm fortunate enough that my office has a pretty nice gym, so I generally go down during lunch. 3 days a week I do a circuit based class. An instructor comes up with the workout. 30-45 minutes long and hits all muscle groups with a little bit of cardio. It's a nice way to break up the monotony of working out. The other 4 days I run. Just depends on how far I feel like going. Right now, it's not very much because of the cold weather. When it warms up, I want to make sure I'm getting 20-25 miles a week in still.

    Diet wise, I typically eat lean meats and vegetables. Carbs in moderation. Beer on the weekends primarily. Maybe 1 or 2 during the week. Occasionally I'll have a coffee at the office. One soda every Sunday. Otherwise I strictly drink water. Bringing my lunch to work helps immensely. Keeps me from getting something unhealthy from the cafeteria.

    I think sticking with a healthy diet is more challenging than getting in some exercise. A bit of both goes the long way!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    ... Occasionally I'll have a coffee at the office. One soda every Sunday. Otherwise I strictly drink water ...
    I hope you're not recklessly doing that before the Sunday-only crank of the car and weekly drive to church.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
    Can you give us your age range? I lost 40 pounds in a month while a Duke student (at 21), but couldn't replicate that in my late 30's. At the time, I concentrated on drinking a lot of water (drank almost no other drinks but water), massive amounts of sleep (went to bed at like 8pm every night), strict calorie limits, and something like 45 minutes to an hour of cardio 6 days a week. I was pretty much still exhausted all the time that entire month.

    My current fitness plan is running between 2 and 2.5 miles every other day, with weight training on the off days. I currently have a broken arm (greater tuberosity fracture of my proximal humerus), so the weight training is on hold.

    Occasionally I will switch the run up by either running significantly faster than normal (normal pace is about 8 minute miles, faster pace is like 6:45 miles) or farther (3.5-4 miles). This takes a greater toll on my body, though, and I have to add an extra recovery day for my knees / legs.

    In the recent past (ie. last year), I would, at times, run two days in a row. I started having problems with bursitis in my knees, tendonitis in my ankles, etc. I find keeping the mileage down and not running two days in a row really helps alleviate this. My normal runs are trail runs with substantial hills.

    When the weather is nice, I will also break out the road bike. I enjoy that more, and it doesn't require recovery days. On the flip side you have to ride probably 4 times as long to get the same workout as a fast run (so requires a greater time commitment). And I hate riding in cold / rainy weather, where as I run in temperatures as low as 5 degrees, and don't mind running in light rain.

    The only other thing I'll add is that a lot of fitness / weight loss is diet. Sweets, alcohol, snacking; it's mostly common sense. My diet is still not where it needs to be, but the one thing that makes a huge difference is absolutely no eating anything after dinner (ie. no late night snacking). I still allow myself a glass of red wine or a beer while watching a movie or a Duke game late at night, but not ice cream or popcorn.

    I can't stand the treadmill (I don't mind running, but it has to be outdoors), but enjoy the rowing machine, cross trainers, and exercise bikes.

    ETA: Currently 6'1, 205. Got as high as 215 in college, but dropped to 175 in that month of exercise, and then to 165 in the next month. That was too thin. I think ideal weight for me is around 185. I stayed around that for much of my 20's and early 30's, but gradually gained 25 pounds with small kids, work travel, and lots of entertaining clients / eating out.
    Fun coming back to this after nearly 7 months.

    My commitment to working out has been really good this year. I think I have run something like 18 of the past 21 days, so averaging 6 days a week. It hasn't been that good the entire year, but probably has been at least a 4 day a week average in any month.

    I still run generally between 2 and 3 miles, with the occasional foray to a 4 mile run maybe once or twice a month.

    My arm has mostly healed, but has affected weight training, and I think I may still need surgery next spring for a torn rotator cuff. I have had to stop doing pushups, but can still do curls, flies, triceps work, etc.

    I also took a new job that probably doubled my work hours, from 35 to 70 per week, so am pleased I have been able to keep up the fitness kick.

    On the flip side, my eating habits have slid. Snacking is still mostly under control, but honestly, too much alcohol and coffee. As a result, my weight has pretty much stayed stable all year (200-205lbs), even thought my stamina has improved and my clothes fit better.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Before Thursday, I had never done a pull-up in my life, and then I did 10 at the gym.
    Today I did 10 more.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    Before Thursday, I had never done a pull-up in my life, and then I did 10 at the gym.
    Today I did 10 more.
    I lack vocabulary and creativity, so all I can come up with is THAT IS AWESOME!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC

    Help from friends

    About a month ago a friend of mine started a group text of 6 friends to basically help us motivate each other to improve our fitness (both in terms of exercise and diet). It was right around the time he turned 49 and I know he's freaking out about the 5 oh!. The accountability has been great. Some weeks we set goals or challenges like lots of pushups and most days we report in with what we did or didn't do. It's really helping to motivate us all, plus it's opened lines of communications (side discussions about life ensued in addition to fitness). One week we had a goal to do 1000 pushups. I started that week by doing 500 on Monday! After a few weeks of hitting these push up goals, however, I can tell it's making a difference. I was able to bench 45lb dumbbells on Friday...the most I've done since I separated my shoulder in May of '17.

    Not long before that group text started I had my "yearly" physical (where yearly was the first one in 5 years). The results were pretty good but they didn't like my sugar and A1C numbers and labelled me "pre-diabetic". Add that to the fact that my older brother was recently diagnosed as type-2 and I saw that as a call to action. For me that meant that I was going to try and pull a good bit of the sugar out of my diet. I have lots of low hanging fruit when it comes to sugar because I love snacks. A day wouldn't go by when I didn't have cookies and/or ice cream or something similar. It's been about 6 weeks. Between the diet changes and the group-text fueled workouts I'm down about 11 lbs and I'm adding some good weight and feeling stronger. It's a good start. I have so much to learn about diet and sugar, however. So much of what I eat is pasta and bread and snacks. Somedays I just feel like I just don't eat anything that I like to eat. I know as I learn more I'll find the right balance (I freaked and didn't have a single sugary snack for weeks).

    And wilson...great job 10 pull ups is something most people can't do (and most don't even know it). Those of us that have done p90X know all about how hard pull ups really are.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by elvis14 View Post
    About a month ago a friend of mine started a group text of 6 friends to basically help us motivate each other to improve our fitness (both in terms of exercise and diet). It was right around the time he turned 49 and I know he's freaking out about the 5 oh!. The accountability has been great. Some weeks we set goals or challenges like lots of pushups and most days we report in with what we did or didn't do. It's really helping to motivate us all, plus it's opened lines of communications (side discussions about life ensued in addition to fitness). One week we had a goal to do 1000 pushups. I started that week by doing 500 on Monday! After a few weeks of hitting these push up goals, however, I can tell it's making a difference. I was able to bench 45lb dumbbells on Friday...the most I've done since I separated my shoulder in May of '17.

    Not long before that group text started I had my "yearly" physical (where yearly was the first one in 5 years). The results were pretty good but they didn't like my sugar and A1C numbers and labelled me "pre-diabetic". Add that to the fact that my older brother was recently diagnosed as type-2 and I saw that as a call to action. For me that meant that I was going to try and pull a good bit of the sugar out of my diet. I have lots of low hanging fruit when it comes to sugar because I love snacks. A day wouldn't go by when I didn't have cookies and/or ice cream or something similar. It's been about 6 weeks. Between the diet changes and the group-text fueled workouts I'm down about 11 lbs and I'm adding some good weight and feeling stronger. It's a good start. I have so much to learn about diet and sugar, however. So much of what I eat is pasta and bread and snacks. Somedays I just feel like I just don't eat anything that I like to eat. I know as I learn more I'll find the right balance (I freaked and didn't have a single sugary snack for weeks).

    And wilson...great job 10 pull ups is something most people can't do (and most don't even know it). Those of us that have done p90X know all about how hard pull ups really are.
    Great progress!

    We have 2 grandchildren so we have a bit different concept/image/description of "pull-ups."

    220px-Wet_vs_Dry.jpg

    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Great progress!

    We have 2 grandchildren so we have a bit different concept/image/description of "pull-ups."

    220px-Wet_vs_Dry.jpg

    LOL, I have 2 in high school so I'm in between the "pull ups" years on the Huggies front.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    aerobic lawn mowing (and apres mowing beer swilling) to commence post lunch, all welcome. Ninety minutes of heck.

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