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Old 08-14-2010, 10:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question About Free Weights

I've only just begun on my journey to regular fitness, and I have been using some 2 lb. handheld weights during some walks & cardio exercises. However, I was wondering, "When do you increase the amount of weight you are using?"

Is it just a matter of what you're comfortable carrying? Or should there be set intervals for increasing the size of your weights?

I don't have any goals, at least not currently, to become a body builder... but I would like to get stronger, toned and fit as I lose weight.

My workouts are done at home, and my husband also has his 'manly' weight set that I stay away from. LOL

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Smoosh
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Walking with 2 lb dumbbells and resistance training are a lot different. Walking with 2 lb dumbbells really isn't resistance training at all. Weight training is meant to be short bursts of power, something not maintainable for long periods of time or many repetitions. I would try and separate your cardio from weight lifting.

My suggestions is to ditch the weights for your walks and try to ramp up your pace, the dumbbells are probably just slowing you down and could be making the walk less intense. You should try instead to alternate jogging and walking during the same routine for 30 seconds at a time or something like that, it would have a greater effect than the 2 lb weights.

If you are going to start lifting weights good for you! You should look into weight lifting routines that help weight loss, or look at doing compound lifts. Start with low weight and make sure you have good form. Once you know you have good form you should use a weight that you can do 8 reps with, if you can do more reps the weight is probably too light. I like to increase resistance every 2-3 workouts or so, to know that I am continually pushing myself harder and making progress.

And using your husbands "manly" weight set Is a good place to start. Don't worry about bulking up unless you inadvertently slip on a fully loaded syringe of anabolic steroids several times over the next few months while pumping iron for hours a day
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It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali

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July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Smoosh,

Basically I agree with midwestj, with cardio and weight training being two separate things. However, I can also see where you're coming from as a beginner. When I first started the "lifestyle change" thing, I was using weights only during those workout DVDs that combine them with cardio moves. That worked well at first, but your fitness level will progress to needing more. As another poster, Beth, told me, "Muscle is a girl's best friend!" Muscle tissue burns a lot more calories than fat even at rest, and regular weight training will improve your metabolism.

I don't know about your hubby's manly weight set...how low it goes...I started really light because of wrist and elbow problems...so if his lightest weight is 20 pounds, don't do that to start off with! Just get a set of dumbbells in the next weight up (the ugly ones at Walmart are cheapest but also, I find, easier to hold onto than those neoprene ones) and when you feel like those are "easy," go up by a couple, three pounds. Different exercises will call for different weights, too, depending on the muscles they use.

I basically put together my own program from reading various books and cruising the internet. I have about 32 different exercises, upper body, lower body, and combination, and twice a week I do about half of those, so I'm not always doing the same thing. I typed them into a spreadsheet and print them out, marking off the ones I do and what weights I'm using on that date. Do NOT worry about getting "bulky" at all...I've been doing weight training for five months and I am not bulky in the least, but my muscles are "defined," I guess, and I can still pick up my 13-year-old, who weighs more than 100 pounds.

So glad to see you thinking about this. It really will boost your metabolism! Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great to hear you are looking at starting some resistance training. I agree with Jason and Cassie. I suggest you check out BodyBuilding.com. There you can find suggestions for a beginners workout as well as descriptions and explainations of different exercises.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Like the others, I too recommend you focus on intensity over resistance. However, don't push yourself so far that you hate the work out and you burn out.

More than anything else, I would focus on core strengthening exercises. Yoga or Pilates would be great. If you start weight training without a conditioned core, you might cause yourself to develop some back or neck problems. You might want to consider an evaluation by a personal trainer to see if you have an postural problems which can tell you which muscles to focus on strengthening, and which ones to focus on stretching. This might help reduce the chance of injury.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have been reading up on Yoga/Pilates, as it's something that interests me very much and I like the low-impact approach.

A body building friend of mine recommended this site to research:
Welcome to CrossFit: Forging Elite Fitness

However after viewing some of the videos there, specifically a training technique called "Tabatas", I am a little concerned about my eventual ability to do it -- it looked dangerous and jerky in movement.

My husband's weight set starts at 20 lbs. and goes up from there. So I don't think I'll be using his weights any time soon.

Thanks to everyone for your input and advice so far. For now, I'll keep my 2 lb. handheld weights and maybe move up to 3 lb. or 5 lb. in a few months.
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Highest Weight: 294 (11/10/2006)
Starting Weight: 265 (08/01/2010)
Current Weight: 235
Pounds Lost: 30 lbs. (Total: -59 lbs.)
Mini-Goal: 225 (by 1/31/2011)
Ultimate Goal: 140 (by 12/31/2011)

http://fitday.com/fitness/PublicJour...smooshmcsmeesh
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd like to chime in and 1st of all just agree with everything said here.

A few bullet points if I may add?

-Cardio <> Weight Training albiet both can be done at the same time (Circuit training)

-Intensity is key for improvement - either speed, or weight or both - but good form is a MUST.

-Push yourself through a good sweat

-In whatever you're doing try to push yourself through the pain for another 1 or 2 reps (lifting) or 1 or 2 extra 30 second sprints (or higher-intensity walk/jog)

-Last but not least is consistency - whatever you're doing, keep at it (and every once in a while 'up' it a smidge).
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooshmcsmeesh View Post
I have been reading up on Yoga/Pilates, as it's something that interests me very much and I like the low-impact approach.

A body building friend of mine recommended this site to research:
Welcome to CrossFit: Forging Elite Fitness

However after viewing some of the videos there, specifically a training technique called "Tabatas", I am a little concerned about my eventual ability to do it -- it looked dangerous and jerky in movement.

My husband's weight set starts at 20 lbs. and goes up from there. So I don't think I'll be using his weights any time soon.

Thanks to everyone for your input and advice so far. For now, I'll keep my 2 lb. handheld weights and maybe move up to 3 lb. or 5 lb. in a few months.

Cmon SMOOSH! I think you could stand to be a little more ambitious with your exercise! You never know if you don't try it, and waiting a "few months" to increase your resistance is waiting way too long, your results are going to halt in a few workouts if you don't increase resistance! Those workouts may look difficult but it just takes some repetition, you have to train your body to make the movements, and it learns fast. I dunno what you mean by starting at 20 but if they are 20 pounds dumbbells you could try doing squats with them, bench press with them, shoulder press with them, deadlifts, and if that amount of weight is still too much try using full milk jugs. 3-5 lbs of resistance could barely give your fingers a workout. One thing you should know about weight training, if you are constantly using the same weight or doing the same exercise you stop benefiting from it, your body trains itself so well to be efficient in the movement that you need something new to "shock" your body. This is why most people constantly increase resistance and switch programs every month. I actually think for many compound lifts 20lbs is a good place for you to start, (if they are dumbbells.)

Just tryin to point you in the right direction.
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It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
Total weight loss 48 lbs.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Jason =), I appreciate you trying to motivate me... and I am motivated, but I'm a little frightened by doing too much too soon. I'm really just 15 days into these changes, and the fact that I've managed to do some form of exercise every day is a big accomplishment. I'm having fun, and want to research more about the weights.

I just know that right now I have very little upper body strength and weak knees/ankles. So I don't want to push myself too hard too fast.

You guys inspire me though, and I want to keep learning and talking to you about your experiences. I am going to look into bodybuilding.com and give myself time to ease into a healthy regimen. If I go all out too quickly, I know I'll get overwhelmed.
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Highest Weight: 294 (11/10/2006)
Starting Weight: 265 (08/01/2010)
Current Weight: 235
Pounds Lost: 30 lbs. (Total: -59 lbs.)
Mini-Goal: 225 (by 1/31/2011)
Ultimate Goal: 140 (by 12/31/2011)

http://fitday.com/fitness/PublicJour...smooshmcsmeesh
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Smoosh,

I think you should really look into Turbulence Training:

Fat Loss Workouts | Turbulence Training and TTMembers.com

This program will definitely give you a great foundation to jump start your lifestyle transformation.

The workouts start off simple, they are never too easy and they are always effective. Its perfect for someone like you looking to learn about the hows and whys of lifting weights. They start off with a lot of bodyweight and range of motion exercises, the workouts move on to general weight lifting, and intense weight lifting. Each workout is 4 weeks long and there is plenty to keep you busy for probably at least half a year, between the workouts in the original tt manual and all the freebies he gives you.

On top of all the workouts, there are nutrition and motivational books that come with the system.

Its hard to get started with no destination or guidance so I hope this can help.

P.S. You are doing great, keep truckin! If you decide that you want to purchase TT make sure to let me know because I get bonuses for referrals, I use this program and today I begin the 2k3 workout!
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It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
Total weight loss 48 lbs.
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