A female, non-athlete's gym log and(at first)more
This first installment is long, because I am including my thoughts on this subject and how I got to this point. I have been very torn, regarding exercise since so many LC followers have posted about opinions from experts that cardio (especially), and exercise in general is not necessary for weight loss. The diet is supposed to be able to do the whole job since adequate protein intake is supposed to be muscle sparing, and indeed seems to build muscle to the degree necessary for good results. With all the rejection of this WOE, I wanted to prove that it could do the job alone. I didn't want anyone I know to say, "Well sure, any diet will work if you go to the gym enough." However, since the LC doctors do, of course, agree with the practice of resistance exercise, especially for older, sedentary women, I decided to go along with my husband when he decided to join the no-frills gym nearby. I am in my fifties (52) and not particularly active, especially in the winter and I want faster results. This gym is a budget-type place, with no locker room, sauna, hot tub or pool. We have our own hot tub at home and their restrooms are big enough to serve as a personal changing area. You can get personal training but I don't usually like those guys. They are usually about as limited as registered dietitians in their attitudes toward our choice of diet. I also don't respond well to being pushed by another person when I am already trying something really difficult. I tend to push back.
I'm on PP and use the 'Slow Burn' method endorsed by Dr. Eades. It is the technique described in the book The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution" by Fred Hahn. I like it because it doesn't involve lots of reps with low weights, which bore me to tears and don't make me feel like I'm really doing any good. This method has you use the heaviest weight you can safely lift. For example, you are supposed to take three full seconds simply to engage the weight and make it move at all. If you can't move it with that level of effort, it's too heavy. You are never to jerk it or force it with any other motion except the proper form and speed so as not to injure yourself. The correct weight to lift is one that allows you to perform three to five reps over a span of sixty to ninety seconds before utter failure. If you can do another rep after ninety seconds, it's too light. He instructs to go super slowly, like about thirty seconds minimum for the up as well as down directions. Many lifters go faster on the 'up' or higher exertion part of the rep and very slowly on the release or 'down' part. He says to do them the same speed. It really makes it hard, to go slowly the whole time. Of course, the part that is hardest for me is the part about only stopping when you simply can NOT lift it another second. He says that you are not done with the weight until you physically fail to move the weight with proper form. This is good for me because I get discouraged when there is no sharply defined end to my activity. I always say I never know when I'm finished. With this, I do.
I would recommend Fred Hahn's blog but I found it boring. If you write a book and then start a related blog, you should make the questions from readers a big part of your interaction. So far, not so much. Still, I believe in the method for the reasons outlined in the book. Also, I feel like my body has responded well. Not everyone has people skills, I guess.
SO! Here is the start of my exercise journal.
I do a minimum of cardio but I am under doctor's orders to do at least some, to aid in proper healing of my chest wall after a surgery in November. No heart attack/heart disease but a surgery anyway. I walk on a treadmill for a mile. They have a good selection of machines and some free weights. Steve likes the free weights but I don't have enough control so I use the machines. When we started, a few weeks ago, I would kind of wander around and see which machines I could do based on the diagrams and on whether they worked large muscle groups. Dr. Eades said, in the original PP book, that you should maximize your efforts by setting up a burn in large muscles. Then, I started imagining loose upper arms in my otherwise slim at-goal self and added some arm work as well. I have now streamlined my routine by the use of a list I made in a small notebook, of the machines I use and the weight settings/reps done. I also note what setting for the seat or other part of the machine I need to use. Way less futzing around, that way. I have only recorded two sessions this way and I will now cite those here, as my first workout entries:
LEG PRESS...................4 reps ~150#
BACK EXTENSION.........wt. and no. of reps not settled. 70# is light but 90# made my back hurt.
TORSO ROTATION..........3 reps ~15# each side (this one started out really hard for me)
HIP ABDUCTION (pushing out with knees to lift the wt.).............4 reps ~55#
HIP ADDUCTION (squeezing in with your knees to lift the wt.).....4 reps ~40#
ROWER..........................4 ~50# (try more next time)
ARM EXTENSION.............4 ~25# Went super slow to make the 25# work. 30# seemed too heavy. Not sure how many reps because I tried both weight settings.
CURLS............................1 ~30# I felt very weak and puzzled as to why that would be
CHEST PRESS.................3 ~35#
OVERHEAD PRESS...........2 ~50#
My arms felt very weak. I do know that I am weak in that area, so I decided to do those exercises first at my next workout.
OVERHEAD PRESS............3 ~50#
CURL................................3 ~25# (feel like I could do more next time)
ARM EXTENSION...............4 ~25# (try 30 next time)
CHEST PRESS...................3 ~35#
BACK EXTENSION..............4 ~ 80#
TORSO ROTATION..............4 ~15#
HIP ABDUCTION.............could not do this exercise. Left leg/hip very weak
HIP ADDUCTION................4 ~#40 - squeezing weight in (try 5 more)
LEG PRESS........................4 ~150#
AB EXTENSION (? not sure of the name)...4 ~40# (add 10 next time)
Last edited by CallmeAnn : Mon, Mar-04-13 at 14:14.