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Is there a real benefit?



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OUTDOORGAL1
SparkPoints: (10,827)
Fitness Minutes: (21,535)
Posts: 65
9/25/12 8:56 A

Congratulations Emily B2 on quitting smoking! I quit three years ago and it still makes me so happy every time I think about it. I also struggle with strength training, but I find if I put an audiobook on my ipod or so some while watching TV it makes it less boring.



MARITIMER3
SparkPoints: (93,163)
Fitness Minutes: (54,087)
Posts: 4,914
9/24/12 11:06 P

I have to force myself to do ST. I usually end up doing about 30 minutes, twice a week.



CATMAGNET
SparkPoints: (38,918)
Fitness Minutes: (51,134)
Posts: 1,183
9/24/12 9:42 P

If you work the muscles to exhaustion (you can't do another rep in good form), then it is beneficial.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (54,986)
Fitness Minutes: (14,173)
Posts: 9,523
9/24/12 9:38 P

If you don't want to do 30 minutes of 1, 2, 3, then don't!

Strength training isn't about quantity. With a properly designed program, you can bang out one *heck* of a workout in 15 minutes, or even less. I've never been bored strength training... with sufficient challenge, you don't have TIME to be bored!



LARISSA_NY
Posts: 113
9/24/12 5:57 P

The thing about strength training is that, if your starting position is "completely sedentary and can't do more than two wall push-ups in a row," then yes, anything is better than nothing. But most people will progress pretty fast past the point where doing a handful of reps of easy exercise will do you any good. If you want the benefits of strength training, you're going to have to put in the effort and increase the amount of work that you do until you're actually putting moderate stress on your muscles. Calf raises at the copier won't help anyone who's not just barely on the right side of medical disability.

Strength training is hard work. Do you feel like you're working? Are those wall push-ups a real effort? Do you feel like it would genuinely be more than you could do to add another set? If not, then you're not putting enough stress on your muscles to make them get stronger, and you're not likely to see any real benefit.



EMILY_B2
SparkPoints: (1,726)
Fitness Minutes: (1,149)
Posts: 143
9/24/12 4:30 P

I do most of the exercises you described at work - wall pushups, calf raises, seated leg extensions, etc...because they can be done at work without breaking into a sweat (not something I'm interested in at work!) and do not require crawling on the floor (also something I'm not intrested in doing at work!) They are not as effective as a more involved ST workout, but something IS better than nothing, for certain. I do these things sort of randomly through the week (M, W, F, or T, Th, whichever days leave my lunch mostly free) with ~2 or so days at home with more intensive ST efforts (all those crawling on the floor or sweat-causing versions). Next week or so, I plan on adding another home day.

Maybe start with the at-work options you described, and in a week, add 30 minutes one day of the week for some more intensive options at home? The next week after that, add another 30 minutes on a second day? And the week after that, a 3rd?



SLYSAM
SparkPoints: (35,553)
Fitness Minutes: (84,591)
Posts: 1,379
9/24/12 3:42 P

Not useless, but maybe not enough...

Quote: "Today (as an example) 15 wall push-ups, done 6 sets today at about 1/1:30 minutes a set. Good, useless?"

Wall pushups are good, but since you can do 15 of them in 6 sets.... You possibly should progress to a harder version of the pushups (and fewer reps). I realize wall pushups are great to do in work clothes, etc. But... I think you might get more benefit from doing a couple short strength workouts where you are focusing on exercising and choosing challenging enough exercises. And make sure it is full body. You can still do what you are doing (calf raises, pushups), but just focus a little more. I.E. 10-15 (or fewer if challenging enough) pushups, squats or lunges, planks, calf raises, pushups, squats or lunges, planks, calf raises. Cycle through 2 or 3 times. Then do your elliptical or walk your dog if you want. Or something like that, there are a lot of good exercises that use your body weight. Sneaking exercises in is great, but since you are even asking the question and are already pretty active... I think you will get better results with a little more focus. I prefer cardio myself, and I was surprised to actually notice results after focusing more on finding a way to add in strength training. It would even be better to do less cardio if you need to to find the time (I know the dog needs walking, but the other cardio). I use to tell myself I can do cardio after strength if I want. Remember, you don't need to do strength everyday, with a good full body workout that challenges you, you only need to do it two or ideally three times a week or every other day.



KAPELAKIN
Posts: 1,970
9/24/12 3:19 P

I don't rest between sets unless I'm really panting. Usually do alternating upper body and lower, or jump rope 50x between sets. I get more done faster this way AMD it keeps my heart rate up, too.

As far as yor original question, no, its not useless. Getting the muscles activated throughout the day can help them use calories and decrease fat storage, as well as strength benefits.



BIGPAWSUP
Posts: 8,511
9/24/12 3:09 P

Why? I find it boring. I'd rather be outside walking a dog or playing on my elliptical. I don't have a gym I can get to (the two in my area are only open while I'm at work - and not on weekends!) for any sort of class. 30 minutes of 1, 2, 3, ... rest 1, 2, 3, ... makes me want to pull my hair out!



CHERIMOOSE
Posts: 370
9/24/12 3:04 P

====
"Ok, I'll admit, ST is my downfall. I don't do it."
====

Why don't you do it?



DMJAKES
Posts: 1,546
9/24/12 2:39 P

Bigpaws - if you're brand new to strength training, what you're doing is a good start. Once those wall pushups get easy, you need to move to doing them on a kitchen counter, set of steps, or a sturdy table. Tha way you're increasing the difficulty in increments toward a full military style pushup. Add some body weight squats and lunges in and you're making a good first step toward the wonderful world of strength training.

I would recommend getting a couple of books at the library. The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler totally changed the way I look at the free weight area of the gym and changed how I spend my exercise time. Another good one is Your Body is Your Gym (I think that's the title anyway). It's got a lot of body weight exercises to keep things interesting if you don't have access to a full gym.

You will NOT regret adding strength training to your regimen, I promise!



BEAUTY_WITHIN
SparkPoints: (45,644)
Fitness Minutes: (42,638)
Posts: 1,709
9/24/12 2:34 P

II know my reps have increased this way. This is almost all of what I do for ST; I just don't have time to make it to the gym most days :( I'm sure you would get MORE benifit from a longer session, but even the short ones do do something.



BIGPAWSUP
Posts: 8,511
9/24/12 2:23 P

Today (as an example) 15 wall push-ups, done 6 sets today at about 1/1:30 minutes a set. Good, useless?



CJADERUN
Posts: 653
9/24/12 2:20 P

I guess it depends on how many and how frequently you're doing these things. I mean, if you do five push-ups every four or five days, that's not going to do much of anything. However, if you do as many push-ups as you can in the morning, then as many crunches/sit-ups as you can around lunch, and as many squats as you can before bed every 1-2 days, that would certainly be beneficial. I chose those three because they work out the major muscle groups and are simple to do just about anywhere.

You really should find a way to do ST that you would enjoy. I hate doing the machines at the gym, but I found a class that I LOVE that works on my ST endurance. Due to my busy schedule, I can no longer attend that class. However, I am going to find a personal trainer (once there is a deal at my gym again in a few weeks) for a few sessions to show me what I can do with my body and free weights, then do that in my available time.

Things that changed when I started ST seriously:
1.) Changed the shape of my body to be tighter and more well-toned, so I look slimmer
2.) Increased my metabolism to account for building muscle

These will help a LOT in finding the beautiful body you're looking for. Good luck!



BIGPAWSUP
Posts: 8,511
9/24/12 2:15 P

Ok, I'll admit, ST is my downfall. I don't do it. So several people have suggested I just "sneak" a set of something in here and there. Wall push-up when I go to the bathroom, calf raises at the copier, etc.

What I want to know is are these little 1 or 2 minute sessions really any benefit to my muscles or does it just make me feel better that I'm doing something? I want blunt honesty.

Thanks.



 
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