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The gym equipment almost ate me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I think I'm having a neurotic moment; I was on the elliptical at the gym and a woman was telling her friend that if you do cardio for more than 30 minutes, your body starts eating muscle instead of fat (she was practically yelling it through the whole gym, which made me wonder if the machines were about to turn into zombies and attack all of us. Maybe she was having a neurotic moment and spread it to me).
So I stopped today after 30 minutes, partly because I started freaking out about my muscles being eaten (I wish there was a way to put my brain right on the pedals and work out some of my anxiety!) but also because I need to make sure I have enough energy to do some ST at home tonight.
I've been reading through the fitness articles, FAQ's and message boards and haven't seen anything confirming such neuroses, whew! But I did read a lot about how important rest days are, and varying up your work outs, both of which are my greatest work out challenges. I could easily "Zen out" on the elliptical every day, so I'm trying to do ST twice a week and find some kind that doesn't bore me. In my search for info about muscle-eating, I learned that it's perfectly fine to do ST exercises that involve aerobic activity, which will help a lot. I guess if my heart beat isn't invited to the party, the rest of me isn't interested either.
As far as rest days, I've been eating as if I'm trying to fatten myself up for zombies. Not exercising makes me feel lazy, and feeling lazy gives me a (very poor) excuse to be lazy about preparing food for a streak of days. Then I start thinking about how since I'm exercising so much, I shouldn't have to worry about what I'm eating, which we all know is another poor excuse, and you know how that all goes.
So yet again, here is my attempt to re-direct some of my exercising energy to eating well. I love to think I don't need to plan, that I can just find things I like to eat and track/control the calories in them. Does that work for you? Does that work for anybody (who doesn't have A LOT of practice at that?) Doesn't work for me either, even though I love to deny it after a year and a half of Sparking! I don't wonder why I have struggles with my weight, since this is the way my brain works.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hahaha! It's the ellip zombie apocalypse, everyone run!! In all seriousness, getting to the gym is good. I fell off my exercise wagon... I've missed two strength training sessions and one cardio session. I hope to get back there today. Luckily I'm still eating well!
    1797 days ago
    Too funny! And I was thinking of getting on the elliptical tonight...alone...in my scary basement...next to the furnace and ductwork that cast shadows like a BIG ZOMBIE waving its arms!
    1797 days ago
    I like the comments made here, but will add what I think is correct: You can do cardio for (x amount of) time, and then if you haven't eaten sensibly beforehand, you do start using/losing muscle instead of burning fat. I'm in no danger of that (LOL) and I don't know the 'magic' formula. I THINK if you have a bit of good carbs before a workout you'll be fine.

    Thank you for giving me a good belly laugh today. I'll be careful of my treadmill from now on. Maybe offer it a bit of peanut butter or something. Hahaha!
    1797 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    I was laughing at just the title and then reading you really got me chuckling-I was picturing the elliptical gnawing on your leg. Keep up the humor and you will make it thru it all!

    1797 days ago
    I have a number of videos I go to. The first one I encountered was Coach Nicole’s 20 minute seated resistance band work out.
    I thought at first, seated, this will be a breeze.
    OH NO. You might be seated but you can feel those muscles work against those bands, I find if your mind is really engaged in what you are doing there is no room to be bored.

    The reason I love to go back to it is I concentrate on form and I am always telling myself it will get easier. It actually does not get easier, BUT you will suddenly realize it is YOU! getting stronger.

    If you can learn to read your body, then don’t just do the exercise, think about things like “Was I able to do this yesterday' or am I doing better or worse today.
    So long as you keep your mind in the moment you can give yourself A PROGRESS report, every day you do ST.
    HUGS Pat in Maine.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1797 days ago
    OMG, my neighbors must think I'm nuts because I laughed out loud so hard and long.
    Kept reading it over and over again and it didn't lose its effect.
    I can't even respond to this blog. I am laughing too hard.
    1798 days ago
    Just like any other diet myth, it starts in fact and then gets all distorted. So, here it is: if your muscles are already sore and maxed out, and you then keep working them, you are tearing your muscles down. But...what happens when we tear our muscles down? Yep, they rebuild, stronger. But you really don't want to work a muscle until it's so broken down that you tear it to the point of having to stop working out until it heals. So, we listen to our bodies and do what feels right. If your legs are screaming at you to stop (as opposed to a crazy lady in the gym), then you stop. But if it's your mind telling you, golly, this is hard, let's go get ice cream...don't believe it!

    One caveat, if your muscles are deeply sore from a ST session, you should probably go light on those muscles until they're not so bad.

    And um, if when you get near a machine you hear a low rumble that sounds like it's saying, "muuuuussssscccccllllleeeeesssss" maybe pick another machine, b/c that one could be the zombie
    1798 days ago
    I laughed so hard while reading this blog. I had a customer on the phone looking something up and I'm sure he though I was crazy.
    It's funny how myths like the lose muscle instead of fat gets passed around.
    If you only do cardio and never ST you will eventually lose muscle . For the body can't tell the different when it starts to lose. that's while ST is so important. Especially after big weight loss, like mine. I had a test taken to measure my fat, muscle . I recently had another test and I had regained muscle. Thats the circuit training and ST I am doing. Besides the cardio I do 6 days a week.
    When you said the machines might eat you. I thought of my friend Pam, she got stuck in the ab machine, couldn't get her arms out of the straps. I had left to change so couldn't help her. I stick with her now, just in case any of our Zombie machines get hungry.
    As far as planning what I eat. I have to plan. i used to hope that with all the exercise I did, I would have more leeway to eat a little freer. But it does'nt work that way. Sometimes I feel the more I workout the more I want to eat. I need the calories for the energy to continue to work out. it's a vicious circle.
    I am sure when I start on the machines tomorrow I will be chuckling, wondering if any of them are hungry.
    You take care.
    Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1798 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2012 5:34:09 PM
    (Snort, giggle, LOL) I love this woman who is the fitness expert at your gym. What a wonderful excuse to stop exercising!! You have to do a LOT of exercise to lose all that muscle. Certainly more than 30min a day, or an hour a day for that matter.

    In the meantime, if you find a good way to reprogram your mind without effort, please let me in on the secret. I've been working on it for years.
    1798 days ago
  • CANDOK1260
    okay as you think of doing some dvd that both cardio and strength that what i do sometime not only sansonw but also janne fonda has some. Aslo i learn in my meeting last night you also need to add a day or two of flexibity. bbt i think i am out of day. three strength day three cardio day two flexibity day and one day off . seem to me that add up to 9 days and we only have 7 day in a week i think . lol
    1798 days ago
    1798 days ago
    you might try something like Jillian Michaels, which is really a combination of ST and cardio (and more cardio than it says but very definitely ST). actually some of Coach Nicole's bootcamp DVD is similar ... they keeping you moving while using your weights etc ... which means you burn more fat at the same time as you're doing ST.

    1798 days ago
  • MONIKA1948
    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. I wish we would have a gym near me to join. Unfortunately, the closest one is 1 hrs. drive away. emoticon
    1798 days ago
    True - chronic cardio, without the proper nutrition, and without any ST can cause you to lose muscle.

    Look at the physiques on competitive distance runners and road cyclists - they don't have bulging muscles - they also don't have any fat on their bodies.

    You won't lose muscles if:

    1) you eat whole foods, a good balance of protein, fat and get most of your carbs from veggies.

    2) your % of body fat is above 15

    3) you incorporate ST into your exercise routines

    Stay Strong

    1798 days ago
    If rest days cause you to lose momentum, consider doing some vary light exercise like low-intensity pilates, or just taking a gentle walk for thirty minutes. Do whatever works for you.
    1798 days ago
    Sorry about the lady at the gym. It is a good idea to get some ST in, though. You could do the circuit training type that is both cardio and ST...that should help.
    I've been eating pretty crappy, too. I know how you feel.
    1798 days ago
    i get bored on machines. that is why i like water exercises.

    but i am going to a zumba gold exercise class. i think that you need to mix up your work out so different muscles get used.

    sitting down all day is the worst thing you can do. so get up and move for 5 minutes every so often.
    1798 days ago
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