Starting the Gym

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Shaun.P, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Shaun.P macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    #1
    I'm starting the gym up again after a four years to try and get back into shape.

    I'm mainly only interested in using the treadmill. Before I used to just see how fast/far I could run in 30 minutes - my best was 4.7km. Is this any good?

    I'm not going to build muscle, but mainly to burn fat and to just become generally healthier by giving my body a workout.

    I want to focus mainly on the running. Should I time myself to increase my distance (e.g. to run further in 30 minutes every time I visit) or run a set distance each visit and try to reduce my time? Would 5k be a good place to start?

    I bought these trainers and they fit but when I lean forward I feel the front stretching slightly (at my big toe). Do trainers become a bit more slack with wear?

    Any obvious pieces of advice that you'd recommend before I begin?
     
  2. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #2
    A) I wouldn't do just cardio, I would recommend also doing core exercises as well. It will encourage fat loss around your abdomen and increase your flexibility. Also having abs doesn't hurt. ;)

    B) Just running at the gym won't give you the best fat loss results. Doing high intensity cardio does make your fitter, but it isn't the best way to loose flat. Most people I know do a combination of High intensity and low Intensity cardio.

    c) Actually warm up and stretch before your main exercises. You can still cramp just form walking.

    D) I would still recommend doing some weight training. High Reps, Low weight will encourage fat loss.

    If you want a really extreme weight loss plan. Try as soon as you wake up doing an hours worth of cardio/core exercises. Then in the evening do your weight training in the form of a 4 day split.
     
  3. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Good for you Shaun!

    Morphing was correct on every point.

    while cardio is great, the fat loss benefits are pretty much over 30 mins after you're done whereas weight training will promote energy / fat burn up to 24 hours.

    i used to do cardio and noticed some loss, but I noticed the bigger loss when I started weight training.

    Then I noticed an even bigger loss (and maintained the loss more consistently) when I hired a nutritionist to help me re-program how to eat properly :)
    imho, it's 90% of the issue. You give your body the right fuel then burn it properly and it's mint :)

    Good luck!
    Keebler
     
  4. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #4
    Cut down on calories and figure out how to get a daily calorie deficit without putting your body in starvation mode

    Muscle gain will increase your metabolism over time and increase your RMR over the next 24 hours, but the main thing for fat loss is diet. 40 mins of running burning 250-300 calories over your BMR = that snack you didn't need to eat in the first place
     
  5. foidulus macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 15, 2007
    #5
    Treadmills are actually pretty bad for long distance running, you are much better off going outside for a run, weather permitting.

    That being said, treadmills are excellent for doing high intensity interval training(google it). If you want to burn fat I would definitely start doing some hiit, maybe mixing in some cycling and long distance running just to mix it up.

    Also, even if you are a dude(I am!) look into any of the classes your gym might offer, especially high intensity step aerobics that incorporate dumbbells. You simply cannot get a better workout. With minimal diet changes I lost about 10 kg(22 pounds) in a couple of months just doing step aerobics twice a week. Not the most "manly" workout, but very few exercises burn fat faster.:D
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    If you want to lose fat, the best thing you can do is alter your diet and eat foods with less fat. ;) Eat less fat, and avoid saturated fat by not eating as much meat, cookies, cake, etc. If you're going to eat meat, try eating dishes that include chicken breast. Don't eat that extra cookie, don't have that Grande Caramel Mocha (or whatever) from Starbucks.

    As for running, try doing it outdoors. ;) You don't need to increase the speed that you run, or/and the distance you run, every time you go to the gym. I wasn't sure if you were being literal when you said that. :confused: Try increasing the distance every 4-5 visits, but without increasing your speed. Also, running faster won't help you burn calories as much as running a longer distance, so increase your distance while running at the same speed. Otherwise you'll just burn out and run slower. Try to run at a speed where you don't start running quickly, then slow down after awhile because you can't handle it, and then speed up again when you have regained some energy. Try to run at a steady speed. Of course, "interval training" is a good way to run or train, but it only counts as interval training when your running speed is varied intentionally. ;)
     
  7. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    #7
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with your remarks about fat. Yes in general the OP should reduce fat but generalizing it like that isn't exactly right. The op should focus on cutting out saturated fats and excess sugar. Doing that will help push him in the right direction. Fats from olive oil, nuts, and other natural sources in unsaturated form are very good for you and can actually help with weight loss.
     
  8. Abstract, Feb 6, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012

    Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Sure, but reducing fat is definitely a step in the right direction. Yes, it would be good to change your ratio of saturated and unsaturated fats by cutting out saturated fat, but doing so by consuming more unsaturated fats while keeping everything else constant isn't good for weight loss, either.

    So really.....reduce your total fat consumption by reducing your saturated fat consumption, and keeping your unsaturated fat consumption the same. Of course, reducing both is better. I know they say that unsaturated fats have lots of health benefits, but if your saturated fat intake is low, then you'll probably have lower cholesterol anyway, so you may not need the help of unsaturated fats to lower cholesterol, if cholesterol isn't a concern. If it's not a concern, you may as well consume fewer unsaturated fats as well. Unsaturated fats have a number of other health benefits, but if I were trying to lose weight, I'd reduce my intake of both, and cut down on unnecessary sweets.
     
  9. X5-452 macrumors 6502

    X5-452

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    #9

    I agree with reducing bad fats, but eternal gladiator is right -- never cut the good fats. Carbs are far worse than fat, saturated or otherwise.

    To the OP - Running a treadmill is a great way to increase cardio and get in shape - however, don't let that be the only thing you do. It's like only eating Apples. Yes, they're good for you, but they won't give you everything your body needs to survive. Even simple weight training with light weights is great. Maybe incorporate walking lunges with dumbbells? Another poster mentioned classes and those are a brilliant idea. Even once a week, aerobic/weight classes will give your body enough of a mix up that the cardio will be more effective.

    Good luck!!
     
  10. foidulus macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 15, 2007
    #10
    I've stopped caring about fats and carbs(to a lesser extent) per se, instead focusing on calories. If you keep your calorie consumption between 1200 and 1700 a day, you will almost certainly keep fats and carbs at a low level, as both of those are quite calorie dense(now thats not to say it's impossible to eat tons of fat while staying under the calorie limit, but if your diet is isn't totally borked up that shouldn't be a problem)

    And I have gone from 105 kg(230 lbs) to 85 kg(188 lb) in 10 months or so on a 186 cm(6'1) frame, the only macronutrients I worried about besides calories were protein, calcium, and fiber, all of which I tried to maximize.

    Much easier than trying to worry about fats or carbs in my opinion.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #11
    I'd recommend getting outside once the weather turns warmer in place of the treadmill. I avoid the dreadmill as much as possible for a few of reasons.

    First its easy to quit when you're tired. Turn it off. Running outside, you need to turn around :p

    Secondly its boring, you're not moving, maybe there's a tv on it, and that helps but nothing is like being outside.

    Thirdly, the machine is doing some of the work for you, outside, you're doing all the locomotion.

    Treadmills aren't bad but there are better alternatives if the weather is good. I generally run outside until the temps dip below 30 degrees. (under 0 for you Celsius folks).
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    For fat loss, the more the better. I.e. it's better to do one hour of slow-medium tempo cardio than half an hour of high tempo cardio. Why? Because you burn more calories that way. If your #1 aim is to lose weight, then I would suggest you to do long workouts with slow tempo. Decide that you will do cardio for lets say one hour. Don't worry about the mileage or resistance, those play fairly small role in the total calorie consumption. Besides, the mileage will go up automatically anyway once your body gets in better condition.

    Later on, you can start doing high tempo cardio as well (e.g. twice a week or how you feel). Actually, it could even be dangerous to start with high tempo if you haven't worked out intensively for years. Start slowly so your body will have time to adapt.

    Like others have said, nutrition is the key here, though. Cut down "empty" calories (sweets, desserts, sodas, alcohol etc) and concentrate on food. Getting 2000 calories from plain, real food is actually fairly hard. Try to eat enough protein (about 1g per lb is enough) because protein is used to repair your muscles after workout. Protein also keeps hunger away and low-fat products are fairly low-calorie as well (e.g. low-fat meat/chicken/pork/fish, cottage cheese, milk etc). Eat balanced though, you will still need fats and carbs, just try to eat the better ones (wholegrains, veggies and unsaturated fats). In the end, the calories matter. You can eat doughnuts and lose weight, but that means either lots of workout or lots of starving :p

    FYI, I was 105kg two years ago. Today I weighed 75kg when I stepped on the scale in the morning. Fat loss isn't nuclear science like some people think it is. Consume more calories than you intake.

    Not all carbs are bad. Cut sugars, alcohol, white flour and all that crap - focus on wholegrains and vegetables. Balance is the key here. None of the three main nutrients is bad for you, in fact your body needs them all. Yes, even fats and carbs, protein isn't enough. The point is that our body doesn't need as much fats as it needs carbs and protein. Plus fats have lots of calories (9cal per 1g) so cutting fats is an easy way to cut the amount of total calories (people usually get way too many fats from junk food).

    There is no such thing as spot-fat-remover. Doing abs won't magically remove the life-buoy around your waist. We all have 6-pack abs but most of us have fat covering them. Muscle exercises (be that weightlifting, crunches etc) are never a bad idea but they don't really have a big effect on one's fat loss because they don't burn that many calories. Cardio is way more effective.
     
  13. Samskeyti macrumors member

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #13
    Lose fat without muscle gain? :confused: Is your goal saggy skin?

    The keys to proper fat loss...

    (a) Free weights 3 times a week
    (b) A balanced diet with a caloric deficit
    (c) High intensity cardio (optional)

    You certainly can expect to lose weight by sticking to cardio and eating less, but you'd probably achieve the acclaimed skinny-fat physique. You'll have no muscle because engaging in long periods of cardio will lead to that catabolic state that primarily digs into muscle for energy.
     
  14. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    #14
    Thanks for all the help guys.

    I'm 6' 2" and weigh 280lbs, so I am terribly overweight.

    My diet has improved and I am already doing (or have been doing) a lot of the right things - such as drinking plenty of water and very little sugar or caffeine etc.

    I want to start generally getting healthier in order to "feel" more energetic.

    I enjoy running and I'm mainly looking to increase my stamina and get my "blood pumping" so to speak.

    I do not want saggy skin afterwards - although I think this is a inevitable possibility because of my current size. I am 24 so relatively young.

    The only part of my body I'd like to build muscle on is my upper arms. The thought of sit ups or whatever just really puts me off. You are talking to someone who currently does zero exercise. I am trying to improve and make a positive change in my life.
     
  15. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Quebec, Canada
    #15
    You can eat fat and saturated fat and still lose fat. The fat in your body isn't really related to the fat in the foods you eat. Your body fat is storage for the extra calories you take in.

    Fat foods are usually more calorie dense, hence why it's a good idea to avoid them when trying to lose weight.

    OP: 4.7 km in 30 minutes is good. After a hard 2 years of gym work, I can do about 6.4 km in 30 minutes, but I workout 5 times a week and never missed a beat in the last 2 years.

    I started out like you want to, basically set a distance over 30 minutes and steadily increasing the threadmill speed to cover more and more distance in the same given time.
     
  16. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #16
    I'm about the same as you. You got 2 inches *vertically on me though.

    You've kickstarted me to go join a gym tonight.

    Let's do this!
     
  17. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #17
    I was 5' 9" and 265 lbs myself. So don't give up, it's doable. I'm 145 lbs today.

    Actually, "saggy" skin is just unburned fat areas. This article should give you a bit of pointers on that :

    http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm

    Basically : If you have loose skin after losing weight, keep burning fat and it'll go away as the pockets of fat get burned away.
     
  18. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    #18
    But the skin's been stretched?
     
  19. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #19
    We aren't "Biggest Loser" size (yet) so I think acting now will stop it from being stretched so much that we end up with lots of loose skin....
     
  20. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #20
    Skin is an organ, not an elastic. ;)
     
  21. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    #21
    Sure it is... what about those people who wear the big earrings in their ears. They're stretched permanently!
     
  22. Samskeyti macrumors member

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #22
    At your age and height, saggy skin is avoidable if you incorporate free weights into your regime. Of course this partly depends on your genetics, but I'm pretty confident you won't have to worry about it.

    I could say some other things, but I'd prefer to refer you to this and this and this routine.

    This'll be the best starting point for you.
     
  23. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #23
    You ******** me? that is like 120kg for 6'2" that is not terribly overweight... hell I'd love to be there instead of 65-70kg although ideally 95-105kg would be good... muscle not flab though :p

    Just go to the gym and get a personal trainer who knows there stuff to give you pointers for a couple of weeks, that is what I am doing as sure advice from others is great but a professional is better imo.
     
  24. Shaun.P thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

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    #24
    Aye but it's all fat though! No muscle! :p

    I'm about 100lbs overweight!
     
  25. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #25
    Uh ? 120 kg for 6'2" is a BMI of about 36. I was at 38.5 myself, and I can darn assure you that it is quite overweight.
     

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