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5/7/12 11:39 A


Because some muscles are stronger than others, you may find yourself using different weights for different exercises. Example, your quads/hams/glutes are your strongest muscles. As a result, you ought to be able to handle heavier weights when doing squats. an exercise would be dumb bell squats. However, let's say you use 15 pound weights for the dumb bell squats. Those 15 pound weights may be too heavy for a shoulder press. For shoulder press, you may need 8 or 10 pounds.

If you were at a gym and had access to different weights, I would tell you to experiment with the weights to see which would cause your muscles to fatigue in roughly 2 sets of 8-12 reps. You might need 8s for shoulder press, 15s for chest press, 10s for chest flies, etc... that's just a guess. But because some muscle groups are stronger than others, a person needs different weights.

Also, don't be afraid to lift what you might consider a heavy weight. women are a lot stronger than they give themselves credit for. How much is too much ? If you find yourself struggling with the weight and can't control it, it's too heavy and you need to go lower.

If you're still feeling sore from your previous workout, then do some light cardiovascular exercise and some stretching. that will help reduce the DOMS you're feeling. When I first started strength training, there were days when it felt like I was crippled. the soreness will subside.

One last point, if you're doing something like the 30 Day Shred, then you may find you need to use not as heavy weights. When doing something like the 30 Day Shred, that uses higher reps with lower weights. That's for endurance. If you want to increase strength, you go higher weight, lower reps.

And if you are new to regular strength training, you can start with one day a week.

WERNERETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/6/12 12:40 P

I appreciate everyone's comments and feedback but now I feel more confused than ever lol.

For the record, I have lived quite a sedentary life until now. I am weak and don't have any muscle tone really. I didn't really know where to start, so I basically took a workout that Spark made for me, and added a few other moves that I got from a fitness magazine.

I used 3-5-8 lb weights and was able to do 12-15 reps for most of them. That was on Wednesday. I was very very sore the next day. I had planned to strength train again two days later but was still so sore I held off again. As of today, it had been 3 days since my last strength training, so I decided I was feeling ready to go again.

This time, I stuck with 3-5 lb weights, as I was afraid to have the same painful results from last time. But now based on people's advice, I'm worried I should have used heavier weights? But I'm scared to hurt myself if I use anything heavier.

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
5/5/12 7:09 A

@WERNERETTE, Barbie weights are dumbbells at very light weights, so-called because they're usually pink and marketed toward women. I love how people think I said something snide and horrible to you by calling them that, but I actually didn't. That's just what they're called, because that's what they're reminiscent of. They won't do you much good unless you're very, very deconditioned or rehabbing from an injury.

Being sore mostly just means you did a lot of reps. It doesn't mean you're getting stronger. You can get stronger without being sore; just lift heavier weights for fewer reps. Find a weight where you can only do about five reps without getting too tired. That may be five pounds, or you may surprise yourself and be able to lift something a lot heavier than you thought you would. Keep doing a few sets of five with that weight until you get tired of it and want to move on to something heavier. You'll see gains.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,457
5/5/12 5:54 A


It is a good idea to start with light weights until you find what represents a genuine challenge for you (better too light than too heavy), and also to concentrate on developing the correct form.

Don't let the 'barbie' weights comment get to you - you are doing the right thing at this stage. But for the kind of results you want, over time you will have to PROGRESSIVELY move to heavier weights.


INFINITEJESS84 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/12 7:48 P

I second the suggestion of compound movements and heavy weights. However, if you, like me, don't have the equipment for some of the moves involving barbells and don't belong to a well equipped gym, don't forget body weight exercise! I have had particular success with decline pushups, dips, Burpees and plank variations. Best thing about them, you can do them anywhere. No excuses.

LADYV2010 Posts: 77
5/4/12 11:23 A

You won't see a lot of difference right away from 3-5-8 pound weights. I think that is what is meant by Barbie Weights.

If you want to see a big difference, you need to move HEAVY weights and do compound weight movements.

Squats (with weight on your back)
Lunges (with weight)
Dead Lifts
Bench press

I am not a fan of light weights, they teach your body to endure. You don't want your body to endure if you are trying to lose fat. You want your muscle to break down and totally rebuild themselves. as this burns calories. Do as much weight as you can for 10-12 sets, meaning you could not possibly lift it a 11-13th time. If you can, up the weight. Soreness doesn't always mean you are doing something right, there is a 50% chance it means you are doing something wrong.

Edited by: LADYV2010 at: 5/4/2012 (11:25)
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5/4/12 11:17 A


If you're interesting in strength training without using weights, consider buying a set of resistance bands. Resistance bands are a great way to challenge your muscles without using hand weights. If you're interested in learning more about using resistance bands, I recommend joining SERGEANTMAJORs resistance band team. He has a ton of workouts you can do at home with the bands and body weight exercises. Most people don't realize that body weight exercises can be every bit as effective as using hand weights.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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5/4/12 10:42 A

Don't worry about the "barbie" weights comment. You have to start somewhere, and not all of us can start out with massive weights, even on leg exercises. It's not helpful or safe to try and lift more than you're capable of.

What matters is whether or not you're challenged in 8-12 reps - not what you're lifting compared to someone else.

I upped my weights today on my leg lifting from two 7 1/2 lb weights to lifting 2 10 lb weights (on a barbell.) It's taken me quite some time to get there, but I've still seen marked improvement in muscle quality over the last few months!

LUCKYNUMBER23 SparkPoints: (12,425)
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5/4/12 10:09 A

You will have more energy.

WERNERETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/4/12 9:07 A

Wow thank you everyone for all the information! I guess I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and if I see anything in 2 weeks it will be a nice surprise, but if not I won't let it discourage me!

I don't know what you mean by "barbie" weights Larissa, I'm pretty new to strength training in general, are those the same as dumbbells? That's what I used, mostly 5 and 8 lbs depending on the exercise, and 3lbs for one move that the 5s were just to heavy for. I definitely wasn't using anything that was 45 lbs lol. But I can say that two days later my arms are still sore and I know I definitely did something right, because they wouldn't be sore otherwise, right? I hope? LOL. I rested yesterday and today and tomorrow I'll be back for session #2.

Thanks again everyone!!

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
5/4/12 7:06 A

I actually did see changes in two weeks of doing heavy compound lifts, but I'm pretty sure they were too small for anyone to notice but me. That doesn't mean they weren't awesome, though.

That's doing things like squatting a 45-pound Olympic bar for three sets of five across, though. If by "strength training" you mean "Barbie weights," those are going to take longer to show results.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
5/4/12 2:29 A

After 2 weeks of strength training I felt better about myself, and that can be just as rewarding as a smaller pair of jeans! Never underestimate the power of confidence in yourself.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,457
5/4/12 1:18 A

Most of the initial gains in strength come from improved muscle quality, and the way your muscle fibers work together, rather than increases in muscle mass.

However, it is common when starting an exercise plan for your muscles to retain water, and this can lead to the appearance of improved definition in just a few days. This isn't really muscle tissue, but it sounds like it is something that might be welcome anyway?


5/3/12 12:37 P

Seeing results from strength training depends on several things--

What TYPE of strength training are you doing? Free weights/ barbells are more effective than machines. You want to make sure that you strength training with someone who is experienced, because improper form can hinder results, and worse can lead to injury. I highly recommend joining a gym that has a full body strength training class -- the YMCA offers a class called BodyPump that's great. Each class is 60 minutes, and I go twice a week.

What muscle groups are you working on? You need to make sure you are always working alternating groups during the same session (for example, biceps and triceps or back and chest).

How often are you strength training? You need to allow 48 hours of rest before working the muscle again. So at most, you could strength train every other day. However, when you're first starting out you will be weak and you have to build up slowly. For beginners, I wouldn't reccommend more than 2-3 times a week.

It's also important to make sure you're providing your body with plenty of protein afterwards so that the muscles can repair. When you strength train, you are essentially tearing muscle fibers apart...the protein helps them to heal faster.

Remember that there is no "quick fix". It takes time and effort to change your body. Be realistic -- don't expect a drastic chance in 2 weeks!

WERNERETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/3/12 12:36 P

Thank you so much everyone for your inputs!

I am definitley not discouraged and I plan to keep up the strength training regardless, I was just hoping to see maybe just a tiny difference in two weeks, knowing it wasn't very likely. I wasn't even hoping so much for muscles I think, but just maybe improving the current situation.

I'll definitely keep doing what I'm doing and hope that in 6 weeks I see something noticeable.

Thanks again!!

INFINITEJESS84 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/3/12 12:06 P

You can definitely improve your strength, but cosmetic results will likely take time, especially for women.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (79,204)
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5/3/12 11:38 A

You can easily improve your cardiovascular fitness in 2 weeks, but it is hard to see any noticeably big improvement after strength training only 6 sessions (assuming you train 3 days a week), especially if you will be at a caloric deficiency. As the PP mentioned, you need to train at least 5-6 weeks to see significant changes because of ST.

But don't take this as discouraging news. ST is important, because it minimizes the muscle and bone mass lost during weight loss. Also, a larger lean mass means that the likelihood of keeping the fat off is higher, because muscle mass takes more calories to maintain than fat does.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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5/3/12 10:51 A

It depends on what you mean by results. You will be stronger, yes, but don't expect massive weight loss and inches loss. Many people find that they even gain a little weight after they start training, in the first couple of weeks!

More likely, you'll start seeing a difference in about 6-8 weeks. It's technically possible, but unlikely before then. And even then... it's not going to be super amazing. :)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 5/3/2012 (10:54)
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5/3/12 10:42 A

It really depends on how much strength training you've been doing in those two weeks. If you've been like the contestants on the Biggest Loser and working out for 4-6 hours a day, yes, you'd definitely see changes.

However, if you're strength training 1-3 times a week, for two weeks you won't see anything dramatic. I blame the late night infomercials as well as the grocery store fitness rags for convincing people they can see results in 10 days or less. If weight loss and fitness were that easy, America wouldn't have an obesity problem.

One thing I will say is that because women don't have the same amount of testosterone or lean muscle (by weight) that men do, we won't see the results they get when they strength train. It will take more time for a women to see definition. Now that's not to see you won't see improvements. You will, but once again, you won't see dramatic change in two weeks like they do on the Biggest Loser. that's just not the norm.

I can't tell you how long I've been strength training to get where I am now. It really is a slow steady process that takes time, but it is worth all the effort.

WERNERETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/3/12 9:02 A

Hi everyone!

I don't know if this is a crazy question, but I was wondering if it's possible to see results in about 2 weeks?

I've lost about 37 lbs with no real exercise plan, and now I'm seeing the sad results of sagging and drooping. I've decided to definitely start a workout plan, both cardio and strength.

I'm going away in 2 weeks and I'm just wondering if I might be able to make enough change by then to see a difference? Am I ridiculous for even asking lol? Is there anything specific I could do to speed things up? I'm doing cardio every day and strength 3 times a week, using the plans I found here.

Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!!

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