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BERRY4 SparkPoints: (146,379)
Fitness Minutes: (87,476)
Posts: 7,188
6/17/13 9:12 P

Excellent presenting of FACTS JENNILACEY!
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LOSIN_IT4GOOD Posts: 588
6/16/13 10:28 A

MRSTIGHTWAD-thanks for the UTube Link, It is very helpful.

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (2,592)
Fitness Minutes: (3,903)
Posts: 130
6/16/13 5:34 A

Yesterday I did three sets of 5 push ups (I didn't know I could do that many!) and three sets of dumbbell rows (where "dumbbell" means "DF's toolbox), then two sets of incline push ups and tricep push ups on the kitchen counter. My shoulders and arms are aching today :D

Edited by: YOGAGEEK at: 6/16/2013 (06:35)
YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (2,592)
Fitness Minutes: (3,903)
Posts: 130
6/15/13 5:33 A

That's a good idea, Jennilacey. I could do one workout with three sets of 15 knee/incline push ups and three sets of two (or however many I can manage) regular push ups, then the next with six sets of full push ups.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,917)
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6/14/13 7:17 A

Quote from previous poster: "Smaller amount of reps at a heavier weight (i.e. 4 sets of 6, 3 sets of 5, 4 sets of 8, 5 sets of 3.. etc.) are geared toward strength and mass gains in your muscles. bulk so to say.
A lot of reps at lighter weight (3 sets of 10, 3 sets of 15 etc.) are geared toward toning, muscle cutting, and leaner muscle mass."

-- none of this is true. First, there is no such thing as "toning". "Toning" is a marketing gimmick that essentially lies to women and tells them there's a difference between building muscle and changing the shape of their muscles (without gaining bulk). You a) build muscle and b) build strength when you strength train, there are no other options.

When women gain muscle, we look "toned". We don't get bulky because first, that would require a calorie surplus (most of us here are on deficits) and we don't have enough hormones to get "bulky" (testosterone). We get lean.

Lifting low weights and high reps is a complete waste of time. The goal is always to build muscle/strength (or maintain lean muscle on a calorie deficit). You do this by reaching muscle exhaustion and making micro tears in the muscle fiber (that later heal and build muscle/strength) by lifting a weight that is heavy and challenging. Lifting Barbie weights for X amount of reps isn't going to accomplish muscle exhaustion... or it will take an unnecessary amount of time to reach. It's pretty much just light cardio, not real strength training.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/14/2013 (07:23)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (76,917)
Fitness Minutes: (71,987)
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6/14/13 7:06 A

For bicep curls I had trouble going from 15 lbs to 20 lbs but 15 lbs was a wee bit too easy and I could only manage 4 reps with the 20's.

I don't know if this is correct... but it helped me reach 20 pretty quickly. I'd perform 3 sets with 15 lbs and then rest, work some other muscle groups and come back and do 3 sets 20 lbs as many as I could before reaching complete muscle exhaustation. Sometimes I'd cycle and do 15 lbs one day a week and then my next workout do low reps with the 20's.

You can always up the number of sets you perform too. If you can only do 3 military push ups, perform 4-6 sets.

I was in a similar boat to you with push ups. I started with modified push ups. Or as my husband coined them "girl push ups". He teased me a bit about them and then told me I was quite capable of doing "real" push ups. So I went for it. Although I was able to perform 7-8 my first go, it didn't take long before I upped my reps to 15 and had to do more challenging push up positions.

Men always seem to overestimate their strength, us women tend to underestimate it.

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (2,592)
Fitness Minutes: (3,903)
Posts: 130
6/14/13 4:23 A

Thanks for the routine, MrsTightwad. That looks seriously hard! It also looks doable, though, because nothing's done for more than fifteen reps at a time; quite apart from physical fatigue I find it incredibly boring to do more than 12 or 15 reps of an exercise.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (9,737)
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6/12/13 6:41 P

I don't know about you but my purse weighs about 8#

PINK4YOUTOO Posts: 508
6/12/13 1:26 P



Started at 5# and now seems those are easy so will increase my weights doing same exercises...

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,411)
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Posts: 9,661
6/11/13 1:08 P

"Smaller amount of reps at a heavier weight (i.e. 4 sets of 6, 3 sets of 5, 4 sets of 8, 5 sets of 3.. etc.) are geared toward strength and mass gains in your muscles. bulk so to say.
A lot of reps at lighter weight (3 sets of 10, 3 sets of 15 etc.) are geared toward toning, muscle cutting, and leaner muscle mass."?

I hate to be that person, but unfortunately, you're completely wrong about this.

The idea that "low reps" will bulk you out and high reps won't is simply old school hoakum that needs to die. ;) It's a persistent myth, and one that Sparkpeople and reputable bodybuilding resources have worked very hard to dispel.

Lifting high reps/low weights is for endurance, but will not build "lean muscle" nor "tone" in a way that somehow lifting heavy will not. It just takes longer to get the same results. Since most of us don't have hours to devote to strength training, it's best to bang out heavy and get it done, and you get the same results, but FASTER.

Here's SP's explanation:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
les.asp?id=1662


"Those who lift weights in sport usually to what you said first, smaller amount of reps larger amount of weight. Heed warning however, these workouts are also designed for you to gain weight. Because muscle weighs more than fat."

Lifting heavy weights WILL NOT make you gain weight. If body builders want to gain true muscle mass and weight as a result, they have to eat at a calorie SURPLUS... you are not going to gain significant weight or muscle while eating at a calorie deficit.

And the idea that men and women need to lift differently? also a myth. It leaves women doing workouts that are a waste of time.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 6/11/2013 (13:10)
FLANAGANSH SparkPoints: (6,424)
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Posts: 133
6/11/13 8:40 A

This is in reply to the first question about reps and weight. You may have heard that a smaller amount of reps is better at a higher weight from someone who lifts to make gains. There is no better option, it is simply your preference :). Smaller amount of reps at a heavier weight (i.e. 4 sets of 6, 3 sets of 5, 4 sets of 8, 5 sets of 3.. etc.) are geared toward strength and mass gains in your muscles. bulk so to say.
A lot of reps at lighter weight (3 sets of 10, 3 sets of 15 etc.) are geared toward toning, muscle cutting, and leaner muscle mass.
Most body weight exercises are usually higher reps but once again it is all your choice. Those who lift weights in sport usually to what you said first, smaller amount of reps larger amount of weight. Heed warning however, these workouts are also designed for you to gain weight. Because muscle weighs more than fat.
hope this helped out a little.

MRSTIGHTWAD SparkPoints: (1,172)
Fitness Minutes: (2,769)
Posts: 80
6/11/13 8:35 A

Here's a good routine for you to do.....and it will kick your butt. SERIOUSLY.

Get a good warm-up in....running in place at a gentle pace, speed walking, jumping rope....whatever trips your trigger. But do it for 3 minutes.

Then, for 12 minutes, you will do as many rounds as possible (but work at a pace that is comfortable for you) of the following....

5 pushups (try for the full, not modified. Your arms get a break for a couple of minutes)
10 situps
15 airsquats

Make sure your form is perfect on the air squats.....butt out, squat down until your hips are in alignment with your knees, raise back up, and relax the pelvis back into starting position. DO NOT LOCK OUT YOUR KNEES. Your weight needs to be on your heels. Here's a good video to help you:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1FpWEfJW1s

This routine is one that I did at cross fit the other day. Warning.....you will be sore, but your caloric burn will be high for a longer period of time. A nice warm bath followed by stretching helps alleviate the ouch.

Make sure you stretch afterwards....you will be working the dickens out of your muscles, they will need it and it is part of your cool down.

Edited by: MRSTIGHTWAD at: 6/11/2013 (08:37)
ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (105,004)
Fitness Minutes: (105,284)
Posts: 13,246
6/11/13 7:05 A

there's a middle ground...

find counters, coffee tables, or progressively work your hands down stairs and do modified pushups with your body straight until you can do full sets with your hands on the floor.

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (2,592)
Fitness Minutes: (3,903)
Posts: 130
6/11/13 6:52 A

I don't have access to any weights or equipment at the moment, so I did a search of beginners' bodyweight routines here. Several of them feature two sets of 15 modified push-ups. Now I can manage around 15 modified push-ups, but only a couple full ones, but I was under the impression that you're generally better off doing a smaller number of reps at a heavier weight than a higher number at a lighter weight. Does that still apply when the number of reps at the harder level is only two or three? Or should I do the modified push-ups for now until I can manage five or six full push-ups?

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