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SWALSH329 Posts: 335
6/22/14 1:44 P

Thank you so much for the information, I appreciate it. :)

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
6/21/14 2:25 A

A good thing to remember is shoulders and biceps are smaller muscle groups so u do lift
lighter. Legs u can go heavier. I can do 90 lbs. Calf raises...and only do 25 lb. Bicep curls.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,118)
Fitness Minutes: (294,298)
Posts: 27,075
6/20/14 1:41 P


a good strength training program can help tighten up your body and give you some definition. However, what it can't do is keep your skin from sagging as a result of weight loss. Whether or not a person skins pops back is dependent on a couple of things. one, age. as a person gets older, their skin losses it's elasticity. So, the younger you are (say under 35), the better the chances of some skin popping back. two, genetics. Some people do have more elastic skin than others. if you come from a family with good skin, then that too will help.

I'm probably a lot older than you. I didn't lose as much weight, but some of my skin did pop back and some didn't. I strength trained for a number of years now. I still have sagging skin on my tummy. Can I get rid of it ? Some day, I might consider having a tummy tuck. For now, the excess skin from my weight loss doesn't bother me too much.

How much excess skin will you have ? It's really hard to say. If you've been taking the weight off slowly, that will allow your body more time to adapt. But, what most people don't like talking about is that when a person losses weight, they do end up with some sagging skin.

Try not to worry, let's see how your body adapts over time.

As far as learning strength training, I would also encourage you to check out YOUTUBE. there are some very good beginner to advanced level ST workouts posted on youtube.

This is an example of a good beginner workout.

This one is more intermediate, but the person's form is excellent.

SWALSH329 Posts: 335
6/20/14 12:55 P

I didnt' say that I cannot use a cardio machine for 20 minutes. I normally use them for about 30. But to tell me to use it at a level that I know that I cannot do- especially just starting out, is setting me up for failure. Even doing intervals of speed walking/jogging is better than saying "oh here, run for 20 minutes, bye."

I don't have issues with cardio machines. I use the treadmill, the elliptical, and sometimes i use the bikes. I know how to use them, they aren't my issue.

I was asking about toning, because I don't want to have a ton of loose, flabby skin.

VEG_GIRL04 Posts: 2,637
6/20/14 12:43 P

While I find what your trainer said incorrect - I find some of what you're saying wrong as well.

You can't say you can't use a cardio machine for 20 minutes. Perhaps you can't RUN on the treadmill for 20 minutes - but you can push as hard as you can for as long as you can. You are going to feel your heart pumping, your adrenaline going, your body hurting, your lungs pulling hard - trust me, I know - it's what I do. Don't push yourself to the point of injury - but working out is not supposed to just be easy.

Completely agree on the idea of toning all areas of your body. Start with some cardio to get your heartbeat up, then use a number of the machines, finishing up with light cardio.

Ask at your current location if someone can go through with you on a few of the machines you don't know how to use properly. They can help you figure out weights and reps.

I truly don't believe bigger fancier gyms that are more expensive have better people working at them. I'm a member at our local rec center and they take you around your first day and show you every machine and help you establish your weight and reps to start at. If they see a person struggling to use a machine correctly - they come and help. My other half and I only pay $170 a year for the gym, indoor running track, indoor basketball courts, outdoor basketball courts and outdoor tennis courts. That's for 2 people - and is quite a steal!

SWALSH329 Posts: 335
6/20/14 12:30 P

Thanks for the info.
It seemed very obvious to me that the woman I met with (I wouldn't call her my trainer, I haven't even seen her since that day, and I'm now using a different locatin, so I won't see her again) had no interest in actually helping me, and that she was telling me some kind of random workout that was not catered to my needs at all. it was extremely unrealistic and i left my training session with her (15 minutes of her writing random stuff down and handing me a piece of paper) feeling very unmotivated and upset.

There is a 30 minute circuit at PF, I might give that a try too.

MCROW35 SparkPoints: (1,865)
Fitness Minutes: (174)
Posts: 30
6/20/14 11:54 A

Your trainer is a little off base. The best weight loss method is to eat less than you burn and do a mix of strength training and cardio. Cardio burns more total calories (depending on duration) but strength training has a much longer residual burn after a lifting session (as long as 48-72 hours of increased metabolism opposed to a few hours for cardio).

Strength training is also often easier for overweight people than cardio and more enjoyable and the best way to obtain good compliance is let people do stuff they like and keeps them active. Not only that but it is very easy to track progress and achieve goals with weight lifting, you can just look at the weights you lift at the beginning and a month later and see a big difference. So, IMO, strength training is not only good for fitness and weight loss but it is also a good motivational tool because of how easy it is to see progress.

MCROW35 SparkPoints: (1,865)
Fitness Minutes: (174)
Posts: 30
6/20/14 11:49 A

Best thing to do when starting out with lifint weights is go to the gym and do a full body workout. Hit up every muscle group. The first time you go you are just going to be finding the right setting on the machines and the right weights. I would take a notebook with you or use some sort of app to track it.

Get on the machine and adjust the seat height and other settings to fit you right. Just pick a weight you think you can do at least a few times and try that. If you think you can do more than 10-12 reps, up the weight by 5-10lbs (more weight for larger muscle groups, like the legs) and do a few more reps. Keep repeating that until you get to point where you can do 10 reps or so of the weight.

So, for instance maybe you get on the chest press machine and you put 30 pounds on and you do 3 reps but it seems very light so you add 10 pounds. Now you are at 40 pounds and you can do 15 reps, still a little light. Add 10 punds to get to 50. Now at 50 pounds you are getting 9 reps. GOOD! Stop right there.

Keep in mind, you will likely do more reps on the 1st set than the last set. So, if you do a few more reps on the first set than then 10-12 range, that's OK because set 2 & 3 you will likely be down to where you want to be.

SWALSH329 Posts: 335
6/20/14 11:45 A

I had my "personal training" with a trainer at Planet Fitness... I met her at like 6am one morning, told her my goals. she told me "focus on cardio" and gave me a ridiculous regime that I couldn't have possibly STARTED with. (like "run for 20 minutes on this step machine"... i'm severely over weight, i cannot RUN for 5 minutes let alone 20). So when I asked her about machines for toning she looked at me like I had three heads, told me that I shouldn't worry about that right now because the important thing is to burn fat, but that if I wanted to, fine. And jotted down a few machines for me to use 2x per week and never showed me how to use them.

I don't find their workers very helpful... you get what you pay for, I guess. I have been a member of other gyms (that are more expensive) and had the trainers walk around and actually show you the machines, etc. I can't afford those places anymore. So I figured PF was a good option.

I haven't seen the video. I'll look into it. And I'll keep experimenting with weights, I guess.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,118)
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6/20/14 11:09 A

Some muscles are stronger than others. You may find that 30 pounds on one machine may seem like too much for a bicep curl, but not enough for a row or chest press.

I seem to recall that Planet Fitness used to offer a free personal training session to new members. Is this still true ? If so, I would highly recommend working with a trainer so that they can show you how to use the machines. I believe that PF has a circuit training workout. If so, you might want to start there. Have them show you how each machine works so that you are using good form.

In traditional strength training, it is suggested that a person do 2 sets of 8-12 repetitions. The weight should be enough so that your muscles fatigue in that number of sets/reps.

However, if you are new to strength training, what's much more important is learning good form. The last thing you want to do is try to lift a heavy weight with poor form. If you do, you significantly increase your risk for injury.

My advice would be to learn some basic exercises with good form first. Thus the reason to work with a personal trainer for at least one session. let them watch you to ensure you're using good form. Once you know you're using good form, then you can think about how much weight you'll need to use to fatigue your muscles.

Considering finding or buying this book

Body for Life by Bill Phillips. it is an excellent book on strength training that will teach you some basics. Because at some point, you will need to consider moving from the machines over to free weights. I know many women don't like using barbells or weights, but using free weights will provide a much more efficient workout.

But, let's not worry about that too much. Let's find a way to help you learn good form first. Have you checked out any of Coach Nicole's videos ? she has several short strength training videos posted in the fitness section. try some of those workouts. Those will also teach you some basics.

SWALSH329 Posts: 335
6/20/14 10:54 A

What is a good weight to start with- and is it true that i'd rather have a lower weight to do more reps in a set? (is that the right terminology? i feel pretty clueless).

I went to planet fitness for the first time in a while last night, so i was using like 30lbs on most of the machines (i was working my arms/upper body. on some of the machines, that didn't feel like very much, but on others (like biceps) it was too much, so i lowered it to 15.

anyone have any advice?

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