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anderson02 05-20-2010 03:28 PM

What exercises and how much?
Hi, I wanted to see what types of exercise everyone was getting and how many reps or how long they are going for. I think I get enough but sometimes wonder if I should up it a bit more.

Here's mine:
-Treadmill 5 days a week for 40 minutes at 3.3 mph, incline of 6 with wrist weights
-Around 15-20 minutes of step ups and lunges 4-5 days a week (just started last week)
-10 minutes of abs (exercise video) 4-5 days a week (also just started last week)

MichelleKoren 05-20-2010 04:15 PM

That's a good question. How long are you on the treadmill? Are you getting your heart rate up? Are you sore, one to two days later?

I've read that we need to keep our heart rate up of for 20 minutes before we start to burn fat, so my goal is to exercise at least 45 minutes to an hour a day 4 to 5 days a week, more if possible. However, if u are just starting out, you do what you can and build your stamina.

What do I do? Well, I've progressed over the years. About 5 years ago, I started out with Denise Austin exercise tapes and her show that used to be on Lifetime (shame she isn't on anymore). I struggled with those, at first, then progressed to doing two shows consecutively(I tivo'd them).Simply doing that and keeping 1500 cal's a day allowed me to lose the weight. Then had 3rd child and unfortunately aged a bit. Had to start from scratch, but it was working for me. Then I was talked into trying a kung fu class. Had fun. One year later, I'm still doing the Kung fu and still enjoying it. It still makes me sore as he!! and there is always something new to learn to keep it interesting, important for me.

anderson02 05-20-2010 04:47 PM

Hi Michelle,

Thanks, I forgot to put my time for the treadmill. I have edited my original post now. Right now I do 40 minutes which is all I have time for in the morning before work. I have increased my incline steadily as I felt the workout getting easier. Note that I have not increased the speed because my treadmill tends to wig out at 3.5 - I will be at 3.5 then it will jump to 6, then down to 2...YIKES! :p

By adding the lunges, my leg muscles feel pretty fatigued by the end of the week. I am also steadily increasing my lunges as I feel I can without making it to where I can't walk at all the next day due to soreness. ;)

tandoorichicken 05-20-2010 06:20 PM

My cardio is usually a 6-mile walk once a week and a 10-minute, moderate-high intensity "sprint" on a rowing machine once a week. I also do free weight circuits with high or plyometric reps that keep my heart rate up. Each session lasts between 15-20 minutes.

Other than that, I do high "bang for buck" heavy lifting, like squats, deadlifts, olympic lifts and assistance movements (clean and jerk, push press), pull-ups, dips, and variations on the bench press. I change up the lifting scheme every 4-6 weeks or so to keep from plateauing - right now I aim for high load, 5 reps or less on 3-5 movements per day. Every ten days or so I'll take a few days off just to let my body completely recover.

IMO people should be doing this type of lifting more because it burns fat like crazy and forces your body to adapt, building muscle and strengthening bones and joints, but I realize that a lot of the lifts are a tad technical and it really helps to have a coach/trainer. has a dictionary of all these exercises and can provide some more familiar substitutes.

anderson02 05-20-2010 07:01 PM

Hi Nik,

Thank you for your response. What exactly do you mean by heavy lifting? Heavy weights or something else?

tandoorichicken 05-20-2010 08:54 PM

Hi anderson02,

By heavy lifting I mean high load, low to moderate reps. Generally for each exercise I find a weight I can lift just once before pooping out, drop it down to around 75-85% of that and do a couple sets of 4-6 reps. I'll occasionally go up to 10 reps a set only if I'm doing recovery work with lighter weights, but most of my lifting is done in fewer than 6 reps per set. I also keep a regular workout log so I won't forget what my one-rep max (1RM) is for a particular movement.

I could go into some detail here but suffice it to say there are two types of hypertrophy (muscle growth) that your muscles can undergo: sarcoplasmic (or structural) and myofibrillar (functional). With high-rep, moderate-load training that most people are familiar with, your muscle takes a real beating (i.e., "feeling the burn") and your body adapts to this by adding more cushioning to your muscle cells by absorbing more water into them. This extra water increases the volume of the cellular liquid aka sarcoplasm. This creates a lot of bulk muscle, much more prominent in men but occurs to a slight degree in women too, and causes some people to flip out and stop lifting altogether.

For me, low-rep, heavy-load training leads to the latter type of hypertrophy, in which, because you're lifting really heavy weights, your body adapts by making it easier to lift heavy weights, i.e., you add more muscles fibers to each muscle cell, and your strength increases by a lot while you build lean, dense muscle. The size of your muscles will increase a tiny bit but they will become noticeably harder to the touch. During this type of exercise you don't feel as much of a burn or get as much of a "pump," but it does take a lot of steam out of you. To recover well from this type of exercise, you have to shoot for a good amount of protein every day (at least 0.5g/lb body weight) and getting a good night's sleep is essential. But your metabolism spikes so much, you won't believe it.

anderson02 05-20-2010 09:37 PM

So I am guessing my whimpy little 5 and 8 pound weights won't do the trick with that sort of work out. :D Ha ha...

Where do you get your research? I would like to look into it more. Not cause I don't believe you ;) but because there's tons of stuff out there saying just the opposite - lower weight and higher reps for women...

I would like to view both sides.

tandoorichicken 05-20-2010 11:45 PM

These are a couple of sites and people that I have come to trust over the years.

Straight To The Bar: Another forum, also an article database dedicated to different forms of strength training for health purposes, rather than pure aesthetics (kind of the opposite of

Testosterone Magazine: Unfortunately cluttered with crude humor and supplement ads, but they host articles written by a number of trainers and coaches well-respected in strength circles. Many of them run their own blogs which are far more user-friendly and accessible: Dr. Jonny Bowden, Eric Cressey, Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, and Cassandra Forsythe.

Stumptuous: A women-lifters' blog about women lifting heavy things. I don't think guy writers exist on the site (at least last I checked). Also covers nutrition, general health, and women's health.

I hope you find these useful!

gungac2 05-21-2010 02:37 PM


I like Tandoor's approach and do it myself. Beware though that heavy lifting is really the realm of experienced weightlifters or people with trainers. Basically people who can control the movement of the exercise. If you have a hard time controlling the movement you expotentially increase the chance for injury. You also have to notice that Tandoor is frequently chaning routines to offset plateaus.

What I want you to think about are your goals. Do you want to gain muslce mass? Get that model's body? Or just lose weight? Once you have your goal, then you set your workout regiment around the goal.

What I see in your workout is that you are killing your legs and getting Ab workouts in. I would continue the pace for another week to get your metabolism up....then switch things up. I would recomment adding some upper body movements such as push ups, tricep dips, clean jerks, etc while cutting back to three times a week on the Abs (increase the work out time to 20 minutes).

anderson02 05-21-2010 05:04 PM

Thanks gungac2

You are right, I don't focus on my upper body at all really. I do some curls and shoulder lifts as part of the lunges workout and wear wrist weights while walking but I do not have a dedicated upper body workout. I assume a lot of women do this that carry their weight in their hips and thighs. My abs and waist are actually pretty good but I like to work them as I see results quickly there. I am looking to slim down and firm up. I do not want any real muscle defintion - just firm if that makes sense.

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