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Disappointed with first weight workout...

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by Persephone, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday was the first day of my weight training schedule and I have to say, where did you learn the correct form and way to use the weights?

    I went to bb.com and used their resources so I could know what exercises to do. Lots of great information, however I felt silly looking down at the sheet of paper everytime I wanted lift.

    I used 5 lb weights for everything except the lunges. (ouch!) I felt like I rushed everything and wasn't working the muscles very hard. I did 3 sets of every exercise with 10-12 reps. Today, there is no sorness or evidence that I actually worked out. :confused:

    My cardio lasts about 50 minutes and that includes warm-up and cooldown. I feel GREAT after cardio! I just felt a little let down after lifting. How long did it take before you felt like you had a routine down and how long do you ladies usually lift for?

    Have a great Tuesday,
    Cori
     
  2. Jonesy

    Jonesy Well-Known Member

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    I'm not one of the "Ladies", but thought I'd chime in. Seeing that you are very, very new to the concept of weight training, it would be very benificial to get some help from a personal trainer for a week or two. They will be able to help you do the excercises properly, making sure you use proper form. This will help you out in the long run. I've been working out on and off for over 10 years, and to this day I'll have someone check my form on any given excercise from time to time. It's easier for someone to watch and correct you, espically if they know what they're looking for.
     
  3. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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    I agree that time with a trainer would benefit me greatly.

    I want to work harder and shorter to get results faster. I don't want to waste my time doing something that might hurt me. I just need to spend some time learning the names of the exercises, and what muscle groups are being worked. :read:

    It's not as fun as the cardio though...

    Thanks for the help and kind words,
    Cori
     
  4. daveo

    daveo Well-Known Member

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    That's probably not going to happen. I'm not saying you have to spend half your day in the gym, but the whole process is going to take a while. I think it took John about 6 months to drop most of the fat, and he was busting his ass the whole time.

    <newbie, feel free to tell me I'm dead wrong!>
    You also need to check your definition of "results" -- are you thinking pounds on the scale, or body fat percentage, or lean mass weight? Different goals will take different amounts of time. If you want to drop pounds on the scale, lose your water weight. That's a pretty quick thing to do. If you want to lose fat it's going to take a while. And if you want to increase lean mass it's going to take much longer.
    </newbie>

    Either way, reading a lot really helps. Watching people who know what their doing helps even more. Those cheesy exercise TV shows on ESPN (or whatever channel you may have) tend to be bad. There are a few that will stress good form and show you exactly what you should be doing.
     
  5. HobbesAB

    HobbesAB Well-Known Member

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  6. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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    I have realistic goals set in place now. I don't expect to get results overnight. I do have some patience. I own a Jack Russell. As far as the comment I made about working hardest in the shortest amount of time I meant, I don't want to be doing weights for a year only to find out I could have been doing it better with faster results. I would like to lift for the rest of my healthy life.

    My weight is currently 133 and I would like to be my original weight of 115. Most of my fat is located in my arse and thighs. I would like to be back to a size 6 by June. Not looking to beef up with muscle, just looing to have some defintion and tone. I am eating 1550 in cal per day in 6 meals and do cario for 45 min. almost every day. I limit my salt severly and I drink a gallon of water per day. I am trying to lift every other day. I am not a gym person, so I will have to bust my ass at home, which I have been doing for 1 and 1/2 months now. I have lost a total of 9 lbs, and have the most energy I have had since I was 23. Diet is not my problem. I think most of the 9 lbs. I lost was water weight. So now I am moving on to fat. Right? I haven't invested in any fitness tapes other than the pilates one because my mom has it and it is great for Sundays when I can't get my butt moving.

    I was just a little discouraged with the workout I had. That's all. I took me 2 weeks before I could do a complete pilates/cario workout and know all of the moves and steps without tripping over my feet, so I guess practice makes perfect.

    Thanks for the encouragement,
     
    #6 Persephone, Jan 28, 2004
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2004
  7. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links. I have been using the exrx.net site for a few days now.
    The biomechanics site looks great!
     
  8. Ansett

    Ansett Well-Known Member

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    Coreen,
    Since you are new to lifting, I think you are right to take it kinda easy - but you seem to be taking it too easy with regard to the amounts of weight you are using. 5 lbs for everything, right? Step one for you will be to experiment and see what weights you need for your various muscle groups (once you've figured out the movement of each exercise, of course. That biomechanics site looks good.). If I were you, I'd dedicate one workout just to the effort of figuring this out. After that, you can just go in there and workout.
    Plan your workout. If you are going to do back and biceps, make a list of the muscles you want to work and the exercises you want to do for each of these muscles. (Mainly biceps, trapezius, and latissimus dorsi...maybe some lower back too if you want.) Watch the exercises on the biomechanics website. The key to any exercise is to isolate the particular muscle group you are trying to workout. That means that only that muscle is doing the work. Example: If you have a dumbbell in your hand and are sitting down, rest your elbow on your leg. If you lift that weight up and down pivoting at the elbow, it's a good bet that you are only using your biceps (and a couple other little muscles, but don't worry about those). Now if you stand up and lift that weight, bending at the elbow, but give it a little swing at the beginning to help it up, you've just cheated by using your shoulders to get it started. You aren't isolating the muscle, see?
    You also want slow and controlled movements. Don't rush each rep, trying to get through them. Each one should be slow, controlled, and go through the full range of motion for that muscle.
    To know how much weight to use, gauge it by how you feel. Is the 10th rep kinda hard to do? It should be. By the 6th rep of your third set, are you having trouble completing the exercise (still in a smooth controlled way, don't cheat just to try to finish)? You should be having trouble by then. It's ok, you've just worked to "muscle failure". When you do experience this, that's the weight you need to be at. Write it down. Every muscle group will have a different weight it needs. You do this, and I guarantee you'll feel it the next day.
    Don't worry about getting all bulky doing this - those bodybuilders do way more work than you are even thinking of.
    Also, make sure to do 5-10 minutes of cardio before you start lifting to get all the muscles warmed up and juicy.
    Here's my lifting schedule (basically same as John's) if you want something to go by:
    Monday - treadmill 30-45 min.
    Tuesday - treadmill 5-10 min. weights: back and biceps
    Wednesday - treadmill 30-45 min. Abs.
    Thursday - treadmill 5-10 min. weights: quads, calves, hamstrings
    Friday - treadmill 30-45 min.
    Saturday - treadmill 5-10 min. weights: pecs, delts, triceps
    Sunday - treadmill 30-45 min. Abs.
    Looks like you have all the other parts of your workout routine figured out. Cardio, diet, water...way to go! :tucool:
     
    #8 Ansett, Jan 28, 2004
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2004
  9. makstaks

    makstaks Well-Known Member

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    Hey, im a guy but do have a recommendation for getting a good workout. If you go to a gym, do a leg routine that includes squats and stiff leg deadlifts. They are both exercises that are hard to cheat yourself out of. The squats will really work your thighs and butt. Use a smith machine, they are at just about all gyms. Then grab a barbell and do stiff leg deadlifts making sure to not exactly lock your knees throughout the whole movement. Bend down so the bar is at the floor and straighten your back at the top of the movement. Keep the bar close to your body. These exercises have really toned me quick, especially the whole backside. They can be done very safely too. Ask someone for help if you don't know how to use the smith safely.

    Squats: 4 or 5 sets. Add 5lbs each set. You may want your last set to end at a weight where you can do 8 reps at most. This ensures you are pushing yourself and will give you a good workout.
    Stiff leg deadlifts. 3 sets. same as above.

    BTW, i noticed that most people in great shape don't do 10-12 reps. They usually do 6-8. I use max-ot and do 4-6. I probably have better, faster results than anyone else there at this moment. Got a few comments too :)
    I also take a workout plan to the gym that makes sure i never cheat. I don't feel dorky because i look organized and focused. Definitely take the log with you, it ends up giving you a better workout.
     
  10. kirby

    kirby Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cori,

    It's been a while since I've considered myself a "newbie" to lifting, but I do sometimes feel a little uneasy when I'm at a new gym. I imagine the scary feeling of being in the non-cardio side of the gym probably wasn't helping your workout too much...?

    So how did I learn? Some of it I picked up in HS. I did track for my last year and did some stuff there, mainly on the machines. The rest of it I learned through watching others, reading, looking at my form in the mirror and just thinking a little about what each exercise is trying to do. Like a curl, for example, is for your biceps. So...you don't want to move your whole arm...b/c then you're not focusing on your biceps...

    If you're not going to use a PT, I'd suggest starting out on the weight machines - maybe do a full-body circuit (6-15 reps, 2-3 times). The machines are easier to use because there's always pictures and a set range of motion. Make sure they're set up properly and modify the weight so it's difficult/easy enough to get you in that 6-15 reps range...or whatever range you choose.
    Then...once you get the hang of the motions, move on to the free weight area. The movements are essentially the same, but will require you to support your own weight.

    Other ideas...find a workout partner, try to go to the gym when it's less crowded...

    Definitely agree with others that you need to go in with a plan! Also, most of us do keep track of our exercises, so no need to feel silly w/pen and paper at the gym.

    So many women focus only on the cardio...kudos to you for branching out into weights as well!

    Kirby
     
  11. Skipernicus

    Skipernicus Well-Known Member

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    Women who have a little muscle are hot. It's a fact. If anyone argues that with you, kick their butt - you can because you have some muscle.

    in my humble opinion, weight loss is weight loss. So long as you're moving toward better health, I wouldn't worry so much about it.
     
  12. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all for the sound advise!

    THANK YOU to all of you who have given me some GREAT advice and encouragement! :D

    I have taken some time to familiarize myself with the form, names and types of exercises. I have worked out a schedule of the days I will lift and the days I do cardio.

    My schedule is as follows:

    Monday- Cardio (I have switched to HIIT for 23 mins and I do my ab work on my cardio days.)

    Tuesday- Shoulders, traps and Quads (squats, lunges and deadlifts)

    Wednesday- Cardio, Abs

    Thursday- Biceps and Triceps (3-5 exercises per group)

    Friday- Cardio and Abs

    Saturday- Lower back, middle back and glutes (3-5 exercises per group)

    Sunday- Ahhh, yoga...

    I am using 10lbs. to do 12-15 reps for the first set, then I increase the weight to 15lbs. and do 2 sets of 12 reps, or until failure. My workouts with the weights take much, much longer (and painful in a good way) now that I do not have to figure out what groups I want to work and I have a set schedule. Am I overtaining in any areas? Is my workout effective?

    Thanks guys and girls,
    Cori
     
  13. kirby

    kirby Well-Known Member

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    Woo-hoo! A schedule. Looks good...just a few comments -
    1. You don't have any chest in your workout. Quads, back & chest (and abs in a different way I think) are your major muscle groups. Don't neglect the chest. Doing some bench pressing (use dumbells if you're working out w/o a partner!) isn't going to make your boobs change...don't worry about that (incidentally, doing cable work and flys have helped me get a little bit of cleavage, due to muscle, not breast tissue)
    2. Deadlifts are more glutes/hammies than quads
    3. Do you use 10/15 lbs for *everything*? When I lift, I use all sorts of different weights...

    :claplow: to you!
    Kelly



    My schedule is as follows:

    Monday- Cardio (I have switched to HIIT for 23 mins and I do my ab work on my cardio days.)

    Tuesday- Shoulders, traps and Quads (squats, lunges and deadlifts)

    Wednesday- Cardio, Abs

    Thursday- Biceps and Triceps (3-5 exercises per group)

    Friday- Cardio and Abs

    Saturday- Lower back, middle back and glutes (3-5 exercises per group)

    Sunday- Ahhh, yoga...

    I am using 10lbs. to do 12-15 reps for the first set, then I increase the weight to 15lbs. and do 2 sets of 12 reps, or until failure. My workouts with the weights take much, much longer (and painful in a good way) now that I do not have to figure out what groups I want to work and I have a set schedule. Am I overtaining in any areas? Is my workout effective?

    Thanks guys and girls,
    Cori[/QUOTE]
     
  14. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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    I know, I know. I need to invest in a bench, soon. ;) Or at least get one of those exercise balls that are so popular now until I can invest in a decent bench.

    I just started buying weights at .30 cents a pound. That's why I only have 10 and 15 lbs. (I have 3, 5 and 8 also, but they are useless to me now.) I wanted to make a commitment to proper nutrition and exercise before I spent too much money. Before I found John's site, I was one of those people who looked for an easy way out. You know, thinking a "magic pill" would come along. I have never been this heavy (132) in my whole life. I barely tipped the scales at 110 lbs. 3 years ago But I know now that I was completely unhealthy and too skinny with absolutley no muscle.

    I will move the deadlifts to my glute day. I need to increase my crunches too. I've been cheating myself and only doing 50 per workout.

    Thanks for the time!
     
  15. makstaks

    makstaks Well-Known Member

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    Making a plan is the perfect way to start. Yours looks great. The deadlifts are definitely hams and glutes...squats are quads and glutes. Those are the two best exercises you can do for those areas. Lunges are quads...i think glutes if you go low but i have stopped using that exercise.

    Abs is a muscle so i keep mine with my workout. Im not sure which order you do cardio and abs in but i would think that the latter would suffer in intensity because you are tired by the first routine. Personally, my ab workout kicks butt. Its currently down to 2 exercise and i do it just once a week. I start out with this exercise below...it kills my lower and mid abs. All you need is a flat bench. 2 sets, 15 reps, 90 seconds rest between sets:

    http://www.ast-ss.com/training/exercises/abs/leg_raises.asp

    Sorry, the other exercise i do is on a machine. Its 2 sets, 10 reps of cable crunches. 50 total reps on ab day and im done and feeling thin for the week. I have heard there are great exercises on the ball but i haven't tried it yet. It is very popular at the gym though. Its cheap so i say get it...it will only motivate you further.

    If you get a bench, you may want one with adjustable angles. You will at least be able to get a few more very effective shoulder and tricep exercises out of that.

    Oh yeah, you will be your own judge if the workout is effective or not. Like my ab routine, for me it is very effective and efficient. I found that my workouts are taking less time these days but are a lot more intense and effective. You will be that way too with experience. The great thing is that every week you are going to get better, look better, and you will notice it. It just keeps on building. Good luck
     
    #15 makstaks, Feb 11, 2004
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2004
  16. kirby

    kirby Well-Known Member

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  17. Persephone

    Persephone Well-Known Member

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