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When will my legs adjust??



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LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/29/12 9:09 A

The aqua class I take is aqua fit- its focus is on more toning- arms, legs, core work. My heart rate gets into the high teens is all. I take that class as kind of a break from the more intense cardio that I do on other days.



EMMANYC
Posts: 1,702
1/28/12 5:24 P

I see you're doing some aqua classes, but if you're finding that they're not intense enough to get your heart rate up, maybe there are some adjustments you could make to make the workout more challenging. Do you wear a flotation belt for the class? If so, you could try subtracting a "foamie", so that you have to work a bit harder to keep your head above water. You also might be able to change the position of your hands to increase the resistance, or do some "eggbeater"-type moves with your legs, or simply add a minute here and there of treading water. You also could try deepwater running - my husband and I did one of those workouts last week and it was really challenging (and we're training for a half marathon).



LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/28/12 12:37 P

Norigrey I do an aqua class one to two times a week. Tuesday was my aqua class so a light day, wednesday I did spinning and some walking on the treadmill, thursday I had my training session, yesterday I was off. Today I had an aqua class and I have to say my legs are feeling much better- pretty good actually. I guess I will keep mixing it up and see how I feel.



NORIGREY
SparkPoints: (2,505)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 344
1/28/12 11:28 A

You might benefit from switching to aqua aerobics because you can get your heart rate up without your leg muscles supporting you. I'm wondering if it will take strength training and getting some of the weight off before your legs are able to keep up with your ambitions.

I know someone who's overweight and suffers from arthritis; she wants to workout but her legs can hardly support her through walking. She's working with doctors to get weight off so she is able to workout. I'm not saying you're in this bad of shape, just that it's possible that it will take more time than you anticipate.

Good luck!



JACK419
SparkPoints: (4,163)
Fitness Minutes: (2,439)
Posts: 274
1/28/12 8:39 A

I read that article and I am not convinced its correct. I know if you have stress you can have adrenal fatigue and excessive cardio can make it worse which can lead to lack of weight loss, but that can be fixed within in a short period of time. You do have to stop all exercise, and not just cardio. And anyhow not not losing weight is not Lisa's issue she is over doing it, and her body is not being allowed to heal so she is always sore. Hope you are feeling better Lisa! Yesterday I ran 11 miles and I made myself sit in an ice bath... it really worked, you might try it!



LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/25/12 9:49 P

Interesting article thank you. So how much do you think I should cut back?



SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,412
1/25/12 1:07 P


I will wade in with the comment I think you are over training, period. There is no rationale for spending that much time in exercise unless you want to be a world class athlete. Nutrition is the key to fat loss which is your goal, weight loss is a misleading term. An increase in muscularity will minimize the change in the scale numbers but reduce the amount of body fat.

I suggest you start depending on your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) instead of the numbers from a heart rate monitor. The algorithms used to determine a persons supposed heart rate are based on averages and are not individual specific. Your body will recalibrate your RPE every day adjusting for everything which can affect your performance. Excess cardio can be self defeating as stated in this link . articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-ar
ticles women-running-into-trouble/


Many of the beneficial strength training, yoga and Pilates exercises and movements do not require you to get on the floor or engage your hands and wrists so improving your strength is possible. Talk with your trainer to research those which will benefit you the most.



JACK419
SparkPoints: (4,163)
Fitness Minutes: (2,439)
Posts: 274
1/25/12 11:30 A

Ok so you said in one of your former post that prior to two years ago you never exercised. Then you also said that you injured yourself from over doing it? I honestly think you should scale back. Start with taking two full rest days instead of one. And instead of doing one of the cardio days just do the aqua fit class. I am telling ya it happens all the time; people go all out and then get injured then they have a major setback, or worse they never go back! That is one reason I canít stand shows like the Biggest Loser! The people on that show are closely monitored, they are working out hours at a time, and their intake is very low. That is why so many of them gain it back! Or you also have the ones who go on and on looking for the next challenge cause that is how they keep the high they were on during the show. But really only a very small percentage of our populations are cut out to be true athletes, and there isnít anything wrong with that! There isnít anything wrong with a moderate exercise program. Good luck!



LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/25/12 10:23 A

I hear ya all, but neither my physical therapist or my trainer think I am doing too much. That has to count for something. Unfortunately, yoga is out for me- can't bear any weight on my hands. The intensity is slow - I usually start on effort level 3 on the elliptical and build to 6 by the end- if I stay on three my heart rate doesn't get into the target zone. On the stairmaster my trainer suggested 40/min but my heart rate explodes so I do it at between 30-35. That is slow but my heart rate gets in the 160's at that pace. On the treadmill I am only going 3.2. I am only doing 60 minutes a day- when I am doing 90 it is very low intensity on the treadmill for 30 of it where i am barely breaking a sweat. The reason I am even doing the treadmill is to build up tolerance in my joints so that I can do the walking necessary for my upcoming vacation- from a fitness standpoint is it barely worth it. So- 3 days per week of higher intensity- two of those are spinning and the other is elliptical and stairmaster. Two days per week I am with a trainer for strength to which I might add some walking or elliptical 30 min max. One day is light aquafit and one day is complete rest. Is that really too much? Honestly? If so, how do I approach my trainer and physical therapist on this?



JACK419
SparkPoints: (4,163)
Fitness Minutes: (2,439)
Posts: 274
1/25/12 9:47 A

Lisa without reading all the post I can say I think you are over doing it. Ive seen this so many times in the gym. People jump right in and go all out, and then get injured and cant do anything! If you are not allowing your muscles to recover you will get injured. I would cut back on the cardio, add more strength and also do yoga at least 2x a week. If your legs feel like rubber I think your intensity is too high. Start out slow working up to a high intensity only the last 5-10 mins. I am surprised your trainer hasnt address this issue. One time when I was working out with a trainer I was doing 60 mins on the Elliptical before I worked out with her, but then she told me I was exhusting myself and she made me only do a short warm up before working out with her. Then I would do the cardio when I wasnt with her. Now I run, weight train and do yoga. I feel stronger then ever! Also make sure you get in enough protien for recovery!



LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/25/12 9:26 A

Yes, my trackers reflect my actual eating and activity. I am also working with a Registered Dietitian and she is monitoring my eating and activity. Calorie range is 1200-1500 and I eat depending on how I feel. I have days that I will go 1200 and then I will have a high day or two. I don't beat myself up for going over- I really think your body tells you what it needs. My RD says I need to learn to trust my what my body tells me. So far so good. I am going to Hawaii in April- hence my goal and I will fit into my clothes from last summer. Once that goal is met, I plan to relax the calories a bit depending on how I feel so I don't hit that wall where I feel too deprived. My RD is supportive of that. I really think the legs are just tired- no other part of my body feels like that and most of my workouts are very leg intensive. I did aquafit last night, which is a light day and nothing else- they do feel better today although my hip flexors are still tired from my last workout but my quads feel better today. But that is a prime focus of my trainer and physical therapist- strenghten those muscles. Maybe my body just takes longer to recover or maybe I am just making a mountain out of a molehill- for example we did core work at physical therapy on Friday- I was extremely sore the days following and still felt slightly sore on Tuesday from that workout. I will talk to the Physical Therapist today about the issue too. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about this stuff.



DMJAKES
Posts: 1,583
1/25/12 8:57 A

Lisawmi - I agree with a lot of what the other posters have said, but when you mentioned your legs feeling "rubbery", I took a peek at your food tracker. Are your goals, exercise minutes, etc. set up in Spark to reflect what you're actually doing and a reasonable length of time to achieve your goal weight? What calorie range is it giving you? For all the exercise you mention, you could be undereating. I know when I eat on the light side or too far in advance of my workout, I can get that wobbly feeling and just seem to wear out before I get finished.

Based on what you tell us, I'd say it could be a combination of overtraining and diet. Is your trainer aware of how your legs are feeling? Sometimes different parts of our bodies respond more slowly to increased demand, and this might be what's happening to you. A good trainer can give you exercises to do to strengthen your tendons and ligaments and make sure that you don't have any compensations that are affecting your ability to work out.

Remember that you work out for LIFE, not to reach a finite goal. Cardio isn't really about how many calories it burns--it's about getting fit and staying healthy, even when you get to be as old as dirt like I am.





LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/25/12 8:15 A

Thank you EMMANYC, That is exactly how I feel, from a cardio standpoint I feel ready to do more but my legs are not cooperating. My trainer is definitely working on those areas and I started with a new physical therapist last week and she is focusing on those areas as well. I do an aqua fit class about three times a week- for now it is helping with toning but my heart rate doesn't get above say 110. I suppose I am just impatient because I feel ready and am motivated. But believe me I have learned not to push too hard. This time last year I way overdid it and created a lot of injuries I didn't even mention- it took months to get over that and I got depressed and gained my weight back. Part of my problem is that prior to two years ago I was a life long nonexerciser. Doctors when I was a kid kept asthmatics out of gym class so that became my excuse not to get active. I have a real hard time knowing when I have had enough and when I need to suck it up and keep going.




EMMANYC
Posts: 1,702
1/24/12 9:31 P

Although I don't have exactly the same injuries/limitations as you, I'm very prone to injury and have to work around some existing injuries.

One of the things that I've found most challenging is to draw the line between challenging my body and overusing it. It helped me to learn and keep in mind that my cardio capacity tends to increase faster than my leg, bone, ligament and muscle strength do. Before I learned that lesson, I would increase the amount and intensity of cardio I did too quickly, and then end up with injuries like stress fractures because my bones, for example, couldn't keep up the pace.

I also try to say to myself that my goal is to still be exercising next year. If I overdo it now, I might burn some calories and lose weight a bit faster, but I'll end up injured and unable to to exercise, and my weight will slow down, stop or increase. So, unless I'm training for an endurance race, I limit my moderate or intense cardio to about 4 sessions of 20-40 minutes per week. (I lost weight with this amount of exercise, too.) I also do 2-3 strength training sessions.

Also, because I'm prone to injury and over 40, I take more than one rest day per week. I typically work out 2 days on, 1 day off, then 3 days on, 1 day off. If I'm feeling more tired or sore than usual, I might do 2 on, 1 off for a couple of cycles. Also, based on the advice of my sister (who is 50 and an experienced marathoner and triathlete), I take a "quasi" rest week every 5 to 6 weeks, where I significantly cut back my exercise. For example, if my normal week has two 30 minute, one 40 minute and one 60 minute cardio workout (because I'm training for a half marathon) plus three strength training sessions, a rest week might have an easy 30 minute walk, a fun activity (e.g., ice skating), and a 20 minute elliptical workout, plus some stretching (but no strength training). That leaves me feeling refreshed and stronger the next week. In addition, as I try to build up endurance for my HM, I don't try to do a "long" workout every week. Instead I aim to do one once every other week.

I have a couple of questions for you:

1) Is your trainer having you do exercises that build up the strength and stability of your core, hip and leg muscles, joints and ligaments? That will help support the cardio you want to do.

2) Do you have access to a pool? You might want to consider doing deepwater running, swimming or acqua exercise.

Edited by: EMMANYC at: 1/28/2012 (17:18)


LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/24/12 11:41 A

I will give some thought to cutting back but I am in a challenge at the gym for that encompasses weight loss and exercise. Something I really need to help me stay on track. There are a lot of limitations of what I can do due to injuries, I cannot do anything that puts weight on my hands so that excludes yoga and pilates. I have developed carpal tunnel and arthritis in my thumb joints. So that is why I workout with a trainer, she knows what I can do from a strength training standpoint without further aggravating my injuries. She has recommended the elliptical and stair climber since I already do spinning a couple of times a week. My treadmill problems are due to a foot issue and I am building my time on that. I have a goal to be able to handle the 3 hour walk to the Lava if it is flowing when we go on vacation to Hawaii in April. Doesn't the American Heart Association recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of cardio on most days of the week?



ARCHIMEDESII
SparkPoints: (139,108)
Fitness Minutes: (208,630)
Posts: 20,606
1/24/12 10:38 A

Lisa,

Perhaps your exercise program is too ambitious. You're asking your body to do alot in a short period of time. Part of the reason your legs are fried is because you're doing a lot of leg intensive exercise with next to no recovery time between workouts. If you want to see an improvement in leg strength, you've got to cut back on your workouts. Sounds strange ? Well, if your legs are still fatigued from the previous workout, the won't be at their max for the workout the next day.

What to do ? How about a yoga or pilates class a couple of times a week ? How about working out 4-5 days a week instead of six ? Do this for a few weeks before trying to increase the amount of exercise you do. Give your body more rest time between intense workouts. You may find that your strength and cardiovascular abilities will improve.

You don't have to kill yourself with exercise to be healthy or thin. the right amount of exercise will keep our bodies fit and strong. Too much can break down our immune system.

You just may be trying to do a little too much for your body to handle. A person should slowly ease into a regular exercise program if they've been sedentary for a long time.





LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/24/12 10:24 A

I do strength training twice a week with a personal trainer. With my weight loss goals I want to burn as many calories as possible. Also my husband is a triathlete and I want to improve my conditioning so I can do some activities with him. So my question remains, how long can I expect it to take for my legs to be able to handle more? If I add intensity, I burn my legs out faster. I can keep a good pace on the elliptical for 20-30 minutes where my heart rate is in a good zone of 135. That is at about a 5-6 level on the machine. If I increase speed or level I would only be able to sustain about 10 minutes before my legs are fried. I am not looking for immediate results, just wondering what to expect and getting tired of jello legs.



SPARK_COACH_JEN
Posts: 55,777
1/24/12 9:43 A

Honestly, you probably don't need an hour of cardio exercise. Are you doing any strength training? My advice would be to cut back your cardio to 30-45 minutes, 4-5 days per week and definitely add in 2-3 sessions of strength training if you haven't already. If you feel like you're not getting a good enough workout, then try increasing the intensity instead of adding more time. You'll find that cutting back on the length of time as well as adding strength training will make your legs stronger and give you more endurance.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen



LISAWMI
Posts: 822
1/24/12 9:36 A

I have been doing a lot of cardio 6 days a week. I am new to the stair master and elliptical. I also do a spinning class about twice a week and work out with a trainer. Because of injuries my time on the treadmill is limited to about a 3.2 pace so I can't get my heart rate up very high with treadmill walking. So when I do my cardio I am spending about 20-30 minutes on the elliptical (whatever my legs can handle), I do the stairmaster in 10-5-5 intervals taking a walk when my heart rate gets too high. Then I spend about 30 minutes on the treadmill (trying to build up my tolerance). I could handle more time on the elliptical but my legs are just in a near constant state of rubber. So I am taking another day off my legs and doing aqua aerobics (again doesn't get my heart rate up or burn many calories). Mentally I am ready to do more, When can I expect my legs to catch up with me? I look forward to the day when I can crank out an hour on the elliptical.



 
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