How to start workout regimen

Old 03-26-2011, 07:47 AM
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Default How to start workout regimen

Hey everyone. I recently tried to start working out again after over a year of becoming increasingly out of shape. The problem is, I don't even know what to do for a workout anymore because I'm so out of shape. I ran a half-marathon two years ago, and I used to run 5 and 10k races all the time, but I can't even do half of the training I used to do anymore. I find it hard to stay on track considering all the workouts I used to do (and measure my progress/fitness with) are literally impossible for me now. Any tips?

Also, any strength training tips would be good as well. I don't lift weights nearly as much as I should, probably because I don't feel or see the progress as quickly as I do with running/cardio.

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Old 03-26-2011, 07:51 AM
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Wow congrats on the half marathon 2 years ago. You clearly have the capability to achieve. Set your goals (modestly) and get someone you trust to help you build a workout plan.

I am not sure what your fitness level is....however, generally start slow and pace yourself. If you start with a walk, it will become a power walk, which will become a jog or run later.

How do you like to workout? At home? A gym?

I find variety is best. But we are all different.

Don't be hard on yourself....take it one day and one step at a time.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:06 AM
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Depending on your specific goals, I would highly recommend New Rules of Lifting and/or New Rules of Lifting for Women, both by Lou Schuler. For me, they helped restructure and refocus my workouts. They come with a lot of information, log pages (which you can photo copy or use as a template for your own system), higher protein recipes, and about 6 months worth of workout plans.

These are not books for someone who LOVES steady state cardio -- and by that I mean someone who truly enjoys it. They emphasize sprint/interval workouts secondary to the lifting program. You might be in this category with your running history, so I don't know if they'll match your goals precisely. They are, however, perfect for people who are trying to achieve weight loss goals through long sessions of steady state cardio and getting bored with it or not seeing results. If you want to lift more, have a specific program to follow and lose body fat, these books can really help you do that

I'm not usually one to "drink the kool aid" when it comes to following a specific program, but New Rules of Lifting For Women was the first and only book I have ever read that seems both logical and do-able. I have lost inches, gotten a lot stronger and have more energy since doing the programs.

Just my two cents, hope it helps!
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:37 PM
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Just do it. If you have trouble kicking it off, make a plan, walk first, then walk a minute - jog a minute, walk a minute - jog for two, pretty soon you'll be running marathons again. For lifting, my best suggestion is to go to the gym, and just get started. Warm up a little, then go through all the machines and see what you can lift, then work on increasing your strength on each one. If you're one to workout at home you might try something like EA Active II for the Wii, it's starts off a little slow, but I'm in pretty good shape and it brings me to an all over sweat pretty much every day. For me it takes the "thinking" out of a toning workout, I just get up out of bed throw on the workout clothes and pop in the disc and do what the cyber trainers tell me to do. The other suggestion I have is to find a personal trainer or a workout partner and just make a plan from there.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:06 AM
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Default Try Hal Higdon or Couch to 5K

I like the suggestion about lifting above. The books sound really interesting.

If you want to get back to running, I would first try getting back to a 30 minute run. How far can you go now and increase it about 10% per week until you get to 30 minutes.

There are all sorts of beginning runners sites out there. I've heard good things about the Couch to 5K program. I've also used Hal Higdon's training plans to train for half-marathon. He has programs for novice, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Even if you aren't training for a specific event, it will give you a guideline on how to step up your running. Just google either of those and you will find them. Runners World magazine web site also has a whole beginning runners area.

You might want to get into a running training group. My local groups have subgroups with the goal "just want to run the whole way and finish". Its a great way to meet others in your same shoes and find people to run with and get a coach as well. Since it's spring, they might be starting up for some local races.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:29 PM
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Wow, I've never gotten near a half marathon so getting started for you should be no problem. I agree with the poster about starting with the C25K program, I think it has a lot going for it. I've also started keeping a fitness journal and excercise log for the past two years. Its just a little notebook that I carry around with me to make sure I look like a geek at the gym but it keeps me going. If I have more than a day or two with no workout entered I don't like it. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:04 AM
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Default Exercise is my lifeline

I lose weight when I exercise. It's just that simple for me. With varying climate changes where I live, I go to my local YMCA and get on the treadmill, set it for a low incline and walk thirty to sixty minutes. I do weight-lifting on the machines and walk my active boxer in the neighborhood.

Knowing I'm doing this for more than just weightloss makes me more motivated to get there and do it. I thought I had a knee that was probably going to need replaced. It was that painful everyday. The knee problem is gone from walking and getting strong.

At home, recorded on my dvr I have many different types of exercise shows by Sharon Mann. She is awesome and her routines can be brought down to my level. Cardio, boxing, kick-boxing, strength training, Pilates...she does it all. I bought the tension bands and just do this along with her on Saturday and Sunday the days I cannot get to the Y due to hours open.

I'm off nine medications and I'm losing weight. I want to be naturally thin, able to lie around the couch and eat candy and fritos without gaining an inch. Since that dream won't ever happen, it's off to the gym for me.

There is joy in this. I played basketball with my twelve year old son last night. We just shot around and played. My physical shape did not hold me back from running without thinking about it, and I did not tire out. In January this would not have been possible.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:35 PM
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Default Start slow, ease into things

Yes, best advice is to take it slow. I'm not sure what your current routine is, but try walking at least half an hour a day, and then longer walks, and then running as you gain endurance. As far as workouts go, if you can get ahold of the Women's Health or Men's Health Big Book of Exercises (about $15 used on or about $25 at your local bookstore, that's a great start for workouts. They have 619 exercises in either book, as well as color photos illustrating how to do the exercises. On top of that, they have 14 workout programs that vary 12 weeks in duration, even referring you to the exercises in the book to follow. It's the best exercise book I purchased. .have been following one of the program for three weeks now, and my pants are more loose. .can fit in my smaller pants size.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:43 PM
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Starting a workout routine will help you build your strength, tone your muscles, and improve your overall physical fitness. Figure out what is most important for you and your workout routine and go from there. Knowing what your objective is will help you shape your workout to suit your needs. If you don't have a main objective and just want to get active, that's fine too. It's not a bad idea to just start small and figure things out as you go along.
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