Does anyone else enjoy doing weights/kettle bells/trx training?

(290 Posts)
rhondajean Fri 17-Feb-12 18:35:01

I'm just looking for a few people who love doing this type of training rather than just running/cycling/swimming.

I do A bit of martial arts too and I've got some friends who do that but I don't know a lot of women who like the weights and resistance bit and it would be nice to know some more.

It's circuits I do rather than powerlifting btw.

Petesmum Fri 17-Feb-12 18:51:46

Hi before DD my trainer always made me use free weights & kettle bells during sessions. I've only just got back to the gym after 10 months off so I'm now using baby weights again grin though I've one arm much stronger than the other due to carrying DD around. Popeye on one side, olive oil on the other!!!

Wiifitmama Fri 17-Feb-12 19:02:06

I just started doing TRX exercises recently but injured my knee this past week and am on compete rest. I am seeing a specialist on Wednesday and wil shave an MRI scan and am hoping to discuss which exercises I can do, especially n the TRX as it is not weights.

I also run (or did til this week!) and do Body Pump classes, but was starting to do gym sessions where there was no class so was interested in the kettle bells too. Hopefully I willbe backin track soon soapy to hear any tips from you!

rhondajean Fri 17-Feb-12 20:01:58

Hooray! Hello you two.

Trx is quite new to me. DH just bought it and we were at the park this morning trying some things from the climbing frame while several dogs were very curious about what was going on. Maybe we can swap exercises?

Petesmum you will be surprised how fast your muscles remember. I fear I might be using baby weights. What weight kettle bells does he have you using?

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 17-Feb-12 20:05:01

I use free weights and kettlebell most of the time with my trainer.
Currently using 7.5 kg for arms and kettlebell is 8kg.
Love them.

rhondajean Fri 17-Feb-12 20:15:16

Do any of you do barbell lifts, like deadliest and clean and presses?

Wiifitmama Fri 17-Feb-12 20:26:17

I did that as part of Body Pump class. For working your back muscles.

lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 12:12:28

Hi rhondasmile I'm very into free weights/ strength training / bodybuilding type stuff...and like you I've met very few women who have the same level of enthusiasm.
I'm invariably the only women in the 'mens' section of the gymconfused
I think women just see it as a male only activity and just dont go there

I feel like cheering every time I see a woman in the gym doing any kind of serious strength training grin

jellibelli Sat 18-Feb-12 13:58:15

Oh! Can I join in? I am very new to weights and feel like I am muddling through. I do enjoy it though, but not sure I am doing it 'right'! Can I pick your brains please?

I am doing it at home though. DH has We have variety of weights and bars but I am just using hand weights and this workout at the moment but am confused by how heavy I am supposed to lift as DH is not here to advise me atm. I can complete all the reps the first time round and could do more, should it be heavier? Any advice would be super welcome grin. If it should be heavier do I just take break, for example in the second set, and then just go again until I finish all the reps?

I have found it hard to filter the information as mostly people want to sell me their super duper programme/products. I know the answer is in the exercise and nutrition but it's all a bit buried. I have also dropped my carbs and increased protein to help melt the fat and build muscle.

Thanks in advance.

rhondajean Sat 18-Feb-12 14:58:16

Oh hooray there are more of us!

I've been off training this morning and feeling good except tht my gym is very small and I couldn't get near the smith machine. I've got a twelve week programme and it said to do three sets of chin ups today, but I don't have the upper body strength to do that yet so was going to do pull up/reverse push ups on the smith machine, bit annoyed I couldn't.

Jelli someone with more knowledge might correct me but I was told, if you do three sets, you use a weight that is comfortable the first set, makes you push a little second set, and hurts for the third set. You don't rest in each set, so if you do three sets of twelves you do twelve in a row then rest. If you aren't pushing it and a bit achy afterwards, you aren't working your muscles hard enough.

If you want to build lean muscle, you do more reps, so have to use a lower weight. Your programme says 6-12 reps per set and I'd do the 12, that would mean in order to finish each set you will need to use a lower weight than if you did 6. Does that make sense?

Diet is where I fall downsad but basically, lots of protein, complex carbs so whole meal everything and leafy veg, drink tons of water, avoid processed foods and eat the rainbow.

Abra1d Sat 18-Feb-12 15:01:57

I do kettlebells at home and have found some routines on Youtube which I follow. I am amazed how quickly they have strengthened me up. They're fun as well.

lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 15:57:45

Jellibelli 'am confused by how heavy I am supposed to lift ' if the programme says do 10 reps then you should use a weight that you can manage 10 reps with, if you can only squeeze out 6 reps the weight is too heavy.
If you can do 15 reps the weight is too light.

Generally if you can do more than 15 reps the weight is too light for strength training purposes.

Take a break of a minute or 2 between sets.

Make the first set a lighter high rep set..acts as a kind of warm up prepares your body for the heavier sets.

Hope that makes sense! smile

lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 16:01:40

rhonda 'If you want to build lean muscle, you do more reps, so have to use a lower weight.'
all muscle is lean muscle, perhaps you mean that using lighter weights will make it more of a cardio workout so that you'll burn fat at the same time?

Generally the heavier the weight/lower the rep range the more muscle you will build.
But women dont gain muscle in response to strength training to the same degree that men wont get 'hench' grin

rhondajean Sat 18-Feb-12 16:10:19

This is reading too many fitness magazines grin I was meaning the difference between lean muscle and bulking up which seems to be the terms they use?

Lovesa explained it much more clearly than me.

lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 16:31:10

hmm, I'm thinking what you're getting at is the difference between a lean and toned physique and a 'bulkier' more muscular physique?

Very few women have the genetics achieve a high level of I'd suggest using heavier weights, it's good for your bones and you'll get stronger more quickly

rhondajean Sat 18-Feb-12 16:35:54

I'm always curious as to what other women class as heavy weights? I know I can't keep up with the boys so I don't really have anyone to compare to.

I'm all for going as heavy as you can, but I think the high reps are good too?

lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 16:42:15

by heavy I mean heavy relative to your own strength.
So heavy would be a weight you can handle for 5-8 reps, light is a weight you can do higher reps with.

generally speaking heavier weights will get the job done quicker, really if you can do more than 15 reps there's not much point from a strength training perspective

MrJelly Sat 18-Feb-12 16:43:03

I love the idea of weight training and truly believe it gives you a lovely shape - unfortunately I am a bit of a novice and blunder along doing what I have always done so I don't think it works that well blush

Basically I do a weights routine on weights machines at the gym twice a week (2 sets of between 9-12 reps depending on the machine/weight) on 7/8 machines depending on how much time I have.

I do lift more than some men as I quite often put the weights up when following a man on the machine.

However, I am overweight so my muscles just look big hmm

Would love to do kettlebells but have absolutely no idea what to do with them so daren't pick them up in the gym. I watch the personal training sessions that go on at the gym and they look fab - lots of weights/kettlebells etc - but just can't afford to pay extra on top of my gym membership.

I also do 4-5 cardio classes a week (mainly to aid my weight loss attempts and plus I love them grin)

lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 16:48:42

hey mr Jelly, have a browse on you tube, there's loads of vids that will give you tips on weight training.
Cardio & weights is a good way to shape up!! smile

Babieseverywhere Sat 18-Feb-12 16:55:32

I'm a beginner but really like my kettlebell (9kg) exercise.

I was doing the Kettleworx dvd but as I'm 4 months pregnant I had stopped doing that dvd.

I am waiting for my new Baby Bell, a pregnancy kettlebell dvd, which should arrive some point next week. So in the meantime I am just doing small amounts of walk/running, rowing and basic swings, cleans and presses with my kettlebell. Plus eating tons of chocolate

cornsilkteamdixon Sat 18-Feb-12 17:00:48

I fancy trying with a kettlebell. What weight do people use?

rhondajean Sat 18-Feb-12 18:38:23

Ahhh Lovesa I get you now. I usually do 8-12 reps with something that makes me grunt terribly the latest two (I am not very ladylike in the gym, I'm usually refaced and sweaty and making strange noise!). Does that sound about right?

I love the sound of the baby bell.

Cornish, I use between 12 and 20k kettle ell for strength work and a 8 if I do the kettle bell cardio class at my gym, but it would depend on your own strength and how long you've been training etc. I'm a bit wary of kettle bells now as the only proper injury I've had was when I did a swing and it went one way and my back refused to follow, it is a very old injury from over reaching trying ti catch a vase that flares up from time to time though and probably my own fault for not stretching properly.

Babieseverywhere Sat 18-Feb-12 19:53:32
lovesadirtylie Sat 18-Feb-12 21:40:30

yep that sounds about right to me Rhonda! smile

Ambrosius Sat 18-Feb-12 22:01:54

Hi! I've been thinking of starting this thread! I don't use kettlebells but I am very into strength training, been doing it just over a year, Louise Rogers is my idol! not that I look ANYTHING like her.....
I need to figure out my cardio as I hate it at the moment. and my diet I am such a sugar addict and that isn't good for muscle! :s

VickityBoo Sat 18-Feb-12 22:02:57

I wanted to start weightlifting just before I fell pregnant. I'll have to put it on hold for a while now.

Petesmum Sun 19-Feb-12 05:16:16

9weeks after CS & 10months of no gym work at all, I'm using 5-6kg on hand weights & 6-7kg on kettlebells but no big swinging movements yet as that puts too much strain on my abs.
Bizarrely that exercises that make my CS muscles work hardest are tricep pushdowns! I've always had weedy triceps & hated training them so I suspect it's more poor technique and I'm using my entire body in the movement rather than triceps confused must practise more!
NB I am working out with a PT who's put my programme together with input from a physio & GP as I know exercising within 12 weeks of a CS is frowned upon!

Foxinsocks Sun 19-Feb-12 05:24:04

I love weights and do a weight circuit every time I go to gym.

I pile on muscle v v quickly though so have to be careful otherwise I look like Arnie in no time! So I tend to do a weight category lower than I can manage to tone muscle rather than build.

I sometimes do free weights but not often.

Foxinsocks Sun 19-Feb-12 05:28:09

There's a good app called 'ifitness' which I use for weight exercises at home and new ideas. You can click on a muscle and it shows you exercises/weight routines!

AlpinePony Sun 19-Feb-12 06:29:08

Yay! I've found my women! smile

I love weight training although am just 6 days post cs so not good to go for a while yet.

I'm in the heavier/fewer reps camp.

Reasons I love weights:
1) early morning sessions leave me feeling powerful/invincible all day
2) the change to my bodyshape is fast and dramatic and I find that it works well to promote an hourglass shape
3) it's hard to wipe the smirk off my face when I watch a man get on a machine I've just vacated and lower the weights. By half! ;)
4) massive mental health boost
5) I feel physically strong and healthy
6) it improves my posture
7) regular bowel movements
8) triceps

Oh I can't wait to get back to the gym. I sorted out all my gym podcasts last week - chomping at the bit a bit eh?

RubberDuck Sun 19-Feb-12 06:31:36

I do martial arts and have tried various strength training programs including kettlebell, have enjoyed them all.

Currently, I'm using UFC Trainer on XBox which is mostly bodyweight exercises but you can add weights in on some of them. I thought I was fairly fit when I started but the program put me on "beginner" and I have rapidly discovered my core strength sucks grin The Kinect bit is a bit crap - often get frustrated when it doesn't properly register the movement - but I'm getting decent exercise with it and have noticed the difference in Krav class with my overall fitness. I do like the variety in routine that I don't have to think about as well.

lovesadirtylie Sun 19-Feb-12 11:06:34

Alpine 'it's hard to wipe the smirk off my face when I watch a man get on a machine I've just vacated and lower the weights. By half! ;)'
dont you just love love love having the power to emasculate grin
(oops! my mistandrist tendencies are peeking through)

Foxinsocks Sun 19-Feb-12 13:02:13

Ds likes doing weights too. I wish we had a bigger house because I'd get a proper set for home!

rhondajean Sun 19-Feb-12 16:42:44

Oh this is brilliant there are so many of us!

I bought DH the UFC trainer for wii at christmas, he's had a go at it but I haven't really tried it. He occasionally does an MMA class for variety so I thought he would like it.

Petesmum if you are a fast healer and you are under professional supervision and you aren't pushing it too far, then that's brilliant being back training nine weeks in. I hate triceps too but it's got to be done!

Alpine that's a brilliant list of why weight training is good for you! I usually train at lunch or tea times but I can second the way it makes you feel stronger, I love it. Guy at the gym was talking to me today and saying how not many women will do what I do and approach the barbells and big weights, I think if they realised how big a difference it makes to your posture and body shape they would though.

I'm currently doing a programme from, it's Jamie easdons livefit programme and I'm on week five if anyone fancies a look.

iamaLeafontheWind Sun 19-Feb-12 18:44:43

Pokes nose in door

So, should I splash on a brief personal trainer so I make sure my technique is right? Just getting back into proper training but never concentrated on weights before, however being able to train without leaving the house appeals. Where's the best place to start?

rhondajean Sun 19-Feb-12 21:42:15

I'd say a pt is useful if you haven't done it before to make sure you don't hurt yourself, and if you want to do it t home kettle bells are good asa you can do loads with one or two of them

There is amwebsite for finding pts but I can't remember the name sorry. Check he is a reps member which will mean he is qualified and has full insurance - or she but he can be fun!

jellibelli Sun 19-Feb-12 22:50:57

<snurk Rhonda's male PT>

Thanks for the tips ladies, from what you say I think i need to up my weights a bit, i will rummage in DH's collection.....

My diet is ok, mostly, i think, although I do struggle to get more protein down me. But I have only been doing it for four weeks and am seeing a change in my body and the tape measure so I am happy with that so far.

Hi, can I join too ? I regularly lift weights, recently took up kickboxing and also own the evil piece of kit that is the trx for when I can't get to the gym or dojo or bring myself to run in the cold/rain grin.

I swear by the effects of heavier free weight training and high intensity interval training and like others, often find myself the only female in the free weights corner of the gym. It is so hard to convince other women of it though, so many are fixated on hours of cardio and maybe lots of light weight high rep rubbish sad.

I include clean and press in my routine and also am trying to do more plyometric stuff like jumping lunges with light weights and squat and jump over a step to try and make my gym routine more cardio intensive IYSWIM? What cardio do you other weight lifting regulars do?

AlpinePony Mon 20-Feb-12 08:03:22

sleepwhendie for me just generally HIIT running, I say running which is perhaps an overly-generous word. ;) There's a Serena Williams/Nike podcast I use which I love, she says something like 'now I want you to really turn some heads with your speed' - oh dear. But I often do one minute on, one minute off and if I'm wanting a bit more I ramp up the incline on the treadmill.

foxinsocks my husband is setting up a weights bench in our spare room yay! Will be able to grab 15 mins here and there when a real gym trip is not possible.

rhonda I will take a look at that website thank you.

Has anyone got any advice re: lunged - is there an alternative or are they a necessary evil?

GeneCowan Mon 20-Feb-12 08:31:32

Can I join please? I think I might be the only woman in the free weights section at my gym too.

sleepwhenidie I do 'finishers' after my weights workout sometimes instead of an HIIT session. Two of my favourites, (no that's the wrong work, perhaps most effective would be more appropriate!) are Cosgrove's leg matrix:
24 squats, 24 alternating lunges, 24 jumping lunges, 24 jumping squats. Rest for twice the length of time it takes you to do and then repeat... you will cry!

Another good one is to pick a weight you can do 10- 15 reps of a goblet squat with. Do 10 burpees (squat thrust with a jump at the end) and one goblet squat, 9 burpees & 2 squats, 8 burpees & 3 squats.... you get the picture.

AlpinePony any reason why you can't do lunges? If not then I think they are a fantastic exercise for your legs, so many different variations, there is definitely no machine substitute.

notyummy Mon 20-Feb-12 08:36:22

For a quick cardio blast as part of a wider weights routine, I would thoroughly recommend tabata. I have been banging on about it on another thread. Only 4 minutes, but you really have to push yourself. It's not pretty, so do it at the end of a session, or as a one off when short of time, because you won't be doing anything else afterwards if you do it properly wink

Right, just off to drop DD at nursery, then gym, will try your goblet squat thing gene...not feeling brave enough for the leg matrix yetgrin...will report back with thanks - or curses! Have looked at Tabata before too notyummy. do you do it at the gym or elsewhere?

notyummy Mon 20-Feb-12 09:16:13

I either do it on the crostrainer at home, or to finish off a short run (3 miler). I once tried it in the middle of a longer run as an interval seesion. BIG mistake. When I finished I was still 4 miles from home and felt dizzy and faint. Had to sit down on the pavement blush

It can be done with squats/lunges/burpes etc but I can never bring myself to try....

prettymum Mon 20-Feb-12 09:38:24

I'm also a weight training lover, got into it last September and I use the Chalean Extreme dvds. It's a 3 month weight training programme, 3 days weights and 2 days high interval training, longest dvd is around 45 minutes so easy to fit into daily routine. I am now nearly coming to the end of round 2, and I have had great results, I have never had abs before and now have lovely abs and my thighs and arms look great.

What I love most is how strong I feel and I don't worry too much about food any more as my body constantly needs feeding with the more muscle I have.

I am 5ft 4, used myfitnesspal to go from 9st4 size 10-12 down to 8st 10lbs size 8. I have been maintaining this weight since last September and I am still shrinking in inches despite eating a lot more calories.

cornsilkteamdixon Mon 20-Feb-12 10:08:16

notyummy tell me more about tabata...I can handle 4 mins grin

Mrsrobertduvall Mon 20-Feb-12 11:21:12

I am just off for a pt session..wonder what I'll be doing!!
I am 6feet tall and have gone from 11 stone 12 to 11 stone 2 since the summer, and from a 14/16 bottom to a small 12.
I especially love my arms and shoulders.

notyummy Mon 20-Feb-12 11:31:38

Tabata - 8 intervals. 20 seconds maximum effort followed by 10 second recovery. During the 20 seconds you work at absolute maximum capacity. It starts off feeling ok, but 10 seconds is long enough to recover, so by about half way through you start really feeling it. A really great cardio workout, but only if you fully commit. Not fun. But short!

Ok, am back, did the burpee/squat thing, OMG it was hard...had to rest in between each set of burpees/squats, until I got down to 4 burpees...was I supposed to confused not that I could have managed it otherwise! Did 12 mins intervals on the stair machine afterwards.

cornsilk take a look at YouTube for some tabata workouts...they look evil

prettymum I have the same experience with weight training/food, I find I can pretty much eat and drink what I like (lots!) and not gain weight as long as I keep up the weight training. Also I love feeling strong and proud of my shoulders/arms in particular. Am going to check out your Chalean workout, always up for a change.

lovesadirtylie Mon 20-Feb-12 12:26:08

Alpine lunges are good, I prefer a long stance with all reps done on one leg then change rather than alternating with each rep.

Also check you tube for russian split squats.
Pistol squats are good..but very hard!! confused

GeneCowan Mon 20-Feb-12 13:33:28

No rest sleepwhenIdie I'm afraid, it's meant to be continuous. Must admit when I first started I started from 5 burpees and 1 squat and worked my way up. Even that was bad enough!

I love bulgarian split squats, if I just had to do one leg exercise these would be the ones. I cannot do pistols with a full range of movement at all, still to weak, but I really like single leg exercises as they utilise your core even more.

iamaLeafontheWind Mon 20-Feb-12 14:09:47

What is a bulgarian split squat? I have to ask

lovesadirtylie Mon 20-Feb-12 14:16:36

look on you tubesmile

GeneCowan Mon 20-Feb-12 14:26:26
iamaLeafontheWind Mon 20-Feb-12 14:27:04

Oh ok, I used to do those in kickboxing, never knew they had a proper name. I'll just add it to the list of things I need to remind my body that it can do, really, two kids later.

I knew that would be your answer re rests Gene, body said NO though smile. Will keep at it.

Kickboxing tomorrow, my favourite workout..while I love the effect of the weight training it's not really fun! Also I haven't been for a couple of weeks as I was ill then mostly sat around eating cheese and drinking red wine skiing at half term so I have really missed it.

rubberduck if you want to focus on improving your core strength give a TRX a go, nothing else comes close to it IMHO.

How did all of you end up getting into weight training, given that it's not typical "female" exercise? I got a PT a year after having DS1 and he was fantastic, introduced me to proper weight training and gave me a real appreciation for the results it achieves.

rhondajean Mon 20-Feb-12 20:57:38

Yknow, I've just come in from the gym feeling sore anda a bit sorry for my self and this has really cheered me up!

Sleep I do a bit of Thai boxing, not much time just now because I'm doing do many weights but I think I'll book in and go do an hours sparring with a pt soon for a bit of fun.

Split squats - have you tried one legged kettlebell deadlifts? Similar idea.

I got into weights through a programme DH had which I did with him - four weeks later I was half a stone lighter and looking and feeling great! He is actually training to be a pt but I find it easier training with other people cos I take the huff with him if he implies I could do better?

I did go train in the park with him on Friday and as a finisher we used the badminton court ad ran across, did ten situps, ran back, ten squats, all the way down to one. If you can find a space to do shuttle runs, you can pick any two exercises, it's a killer.

For cardio, I do a boxing class, or interval trotting (you couldn't really call it running ) or I put a &#373;eights circuit together with lighter weights and belt through it as fast as I can go without losing form. I like the burpee/squat thing - I hate burpees so they must be good for me...

GeneCowan Tue 21-Feb-12 06:04:00

Those of you who use a TRX at home, what do you attach it to? I have been dying to try this for ages and there is not a chance my rubbish gym is ever going to have one installed.

I am doing single legged romanian deadlifts as part of my programme at the moment, but I have to use dumbbells rather than kettlebells. The problem I have a the moment is my grip strength is rubbish. I find towards the end of my workout I am having to use lighter weights than I actually need for the muscle group I am working simply because my hands cannot hold onto the heavier ones for long enough if that makes sense? I suppose this will keep improving with time but it's really frustrating at times.

I got into weights because I was sick of yo-yo dieting in an effort to be slim and failing miserably. I decided to switch my focus to getting strong instead and everything just started to fall into place from there.

Sleepwhenidie I think weight training is fun! I love that each time you train you have a goal to try and improve on what you did last time and the sense of satisfaction when you get that extra rep, hit a new PB is great.

Really nice to find people to discuss this with finally!

AlpinePony Tue 21-Feb-12 06:04:49

sleepwhenidle I'd lost about 7 stone and wanted to get fit, so I got my nerve together and joined a gym and for the first time in my life took them up on their introductory PT sessions. He gave me an enjoyable yet wimpy weights regime.

I found I really enjoyed putting the weights up week after week and then started the Google... And then it kind of all fell in to place - 'free' calorie burning just by simply being present (muscles I mean).

And I'm a skiier and rider, as I said before my posture improved greatly and I had greater core strength and balance across my torso. The muscles in my legs and abs meant that my skiing was better (not technically perhaps, but I had more stamina and confidence). And the horse didn't fuck around as much when I had thighs of steel! ;)

There's also perhaps the fact that I am essentially lazy and uncoordinated. Weights do not require fancy footwork and even if I do my 'full' weights work-out and HIIT I can still be in and out in an hour.

Like so many others I saw bums wobbling week after week on the bikes... And I saw the women on the machines looking sculpted and strong - didn't take too much to put 2+2 together.

As an aside though, I have always been very strong and I build muscle easily, so perhaps this is better suited to my body than a woman who is very, very slight and weighs 6 stone wet.

Oh dear, I'm waxing lyrical about something I can't yet do.

Btw, I would put my almost non-existent baby bumps down to strong abs. My mw told me with number 1 that it was difficult to feel the baby due to the muscle mass.

AlpinePony Tue 21-Feb-12 06:06:41

Ps wrt 'why don't I like/do lunges?' - to paraphrase rhonda I hate them, so they must be good for me! ;)

gene I use a door strap/support that I bought with my trx. You can usually get both for around £100 on Amazon if you keep an eye out. DH has been using it more than me lately because of lack of time to get to the gym, it is making a real difference to his physique, better than weights do in fact.

Wow alpinepony 7 stone? That's amazing, How did you do it, especially before starting to exercise? I bet you still get such a kick out of how different your body must look and feel now, especially when skiing/riding. I do and that was just after losing two stone after DC3. Your comments about observing the wobbly bums on the bikes and the sculpted bodies lifting weights made me nod in's amazing to me that other women don't see it too, do you have to sometimes fight the temptation to go up to a woman waving 2kg around and say noooo, you are wasting your time.... try this heavy one...and these exercises! Maybe I am a frustrated PT deep down smile

lovesadirtylie Tue 21-Feb-12 15:37:14

'do you have to sometimes fight the temptation to go up to a woman waving 2kg around and say noooo, you are wasting your time.... try this heavy one...and these exercises!'

yes frequently, but in reality I think many women are afraid of becoming muscular and looking 'manly'
I also find that alot of women just dont like exerting themselves and dont want to push themselves

GeneCowan Tue 21-Feb-12 16:50:01

I agree about the fear of becoming manly. I lost a couple of dress sizes when I started training (nothing compared with AlpinePony, wow!) and everyone kept asking for the 'secret' but didn't want to know as soon as I mentioned weights. The immediate reaction is always, 'oh no, I just bulk up really quickly, I just want to tone and do exercises which give you long and lean muscles'. I really wish womens magazines would stop using the word 'tone' and explain properly what gaining lean muscle mass means and what it does for you.

Thanks sleepwhenidie have never seen the door anchor before, that is definitely going on my wish list. Such a versatile piece of kit, shows just what you can do with your own bodyweight.

Just make sure you use it strictly according to instructions though gene, not like me when I stupidly put it over a door that didn't close properly and opened towards me....the inevitable happened and I really hurt my bum and head on the patio blush.

notyummy Tue 21-Feb-12 17:15:47

<Nods heavily re the 'manly' worries.>

I actually really rate some of the Jillian Michaels DVDs, but like anything, they only work if you keep pushing yourself and introducing heavier weights. Now because there is a fair few reps and lots of cardio, I struggle with anything more than 5 or 7kg, but when I have mentioned these weights on the Shred threads most people have the same reaction as you have outlined, and appear scared of 'bulking up'. The fact is that a lot of the 'celebrity physiques' that you see must have involved a reasonable amount of weight - even if it is just clever use of your own body weight. I do get frustrated when women tell me that they will 'never be able to do push-ups.' Unless you have a disability you can do push-ups. It may feel bloody hard at first, but you CAN.

notyummy Tue 21-Feb-12 17:17:22

Jillian would approve of this thread. I was doing Bulgarian split squats with her the other day. Ouch.

lovesadirtylie Tue 21-Feb-12 17:35:43

It can take some courage to even go in the 'mens' (ie free weights) section of the gym, it's also an intimidating place for alot of guys

RubberDuck Tue 21-Feb-12 18:04:57

Yes, I agree. I loathe pushups but can now crank out a fair few, avoiding the "girlie" knees version (mainly because I have weak knees and that version HURTS rather than any particular principle grin).

My love for bodyweight exercises though comes from chin-ups. I have a door bar and when I started I could barely get myself an inch off the ground. I used to stand on a chair to get up there, then lower myself down until the muscle group got stronger. Built that up to being able to do a total of 18 chin-ups in a session. The feeling of achievement was immense.

The other plus of bodyweight is that it's cheap to do (no expensive equipment needed) and that it's so many little muscles being used as well, unlike machine weights which are very specific and sometimes an unnatural range (especially if you're short) which doesn't help with practical everyday strength. Though I do miss the very obvious tracking of progress you get when you're increasing the weights smile

lovesadirtylie Tue 21-Feb-12 18:12:44

18 chin ups is damned impressive!!
I agree there's alot you can do without gym equipment, I've sometimes used a weighted backpack to add resistance to leg exercises such as lunges & squats

notyummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:18:42

Many, many years ago (erm.... about 20) I was at University and considering joining the Army as an officer. I went for a 2 day 'taster' session to see what it would involve. It included a circuits session where a female Sgt demonstrated all the exercises....including 10 one armed pull-ups shock (watching the blokes jaws floor hit the floor must have been a highlight of her day!) A few years later I was watching TV and thought 'I know her!' Turned out that the Army Sgt was....Dame Kelly Holmes.

notyummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:20:15

Oh yes - I am also impressed by 18 pull ups. I can do 2 on a good day. There is no way DH could do 18. I can do quite a lot of press-ups though. About 45 in 2 minutes at last count....but haven't tried measuring in a while.

RubberDuck Tue 21-Feb-12 18:43:09

I remember being really gutted that I couldn't get it up to 20!

I used this iPhone app to build it up in sets: Twenty Chinups

I probably couldn't manage the full 18 now but I can do about 20 pushups in one set before I collapse, so I've not lost too much upper body strength. As I say, it's my core that's a bit pathetic, though I did manage to do 10 V-sits the other day without ending up curled up in agony with cramp which is a huuuuuge improvement grin

RubberDuck Tue 21-Feb-12 18:48:54

Oooo notyummy - 45 pushups in 2 mins that is good! I've never timed myself I don't think, and I'm also really quite slow doing them and need a decent pause between sets!

I've been ill today - got horrid sinus headache thing which is making me feel nauseous every time I move my head. Still feel guilty for skipping my exercise though, even though I know it was the only sensible choice.

GeneCowan Tue 21-Feb-12 19:24:44

So impressed by the 18 chin ups, it is my aim to be able to do at least one from a dead hang by the end of this year. I do negatives at the moment like you started out, starting from the up position and then slowly lowering myself. I stopped doing press ups a while ago and have just been doing dumbbell bench press. My new training program calls for press ups and I can barely do any anymore (properly that is, so my chest touches the ground each rep)... shows that one exercise cannot substitute for another. Have had to go back to doing them leaning on the bench to build up the strength again.

myermay Tue 21-Feb-12 21:07:23

i've been following this thread with interest! wow super fit ladies on here

I am trying to loose a stone - i've already lost one. I run 2/3 x 4 mile runs each week plus body pump 2/3 x a week - but would love to get into free weights/kettlebells more, but no idea where to start or what kind of weight to start with. Think i may ask my gym for a kettle bell lesson.

Where do you all get your exercises from? is it magazines, internet?

lovesadirtylie Tue 21-Feb-12 22:02:48

You tube is very good for exercises...I started training around 20 years ago and back then mostly picked up stuff from other people in the gym and body building mags

Hi myermay congrats on your 1st stone starting training, if possible, a few sessions with a pt, as mentioned earlier in the thread, is a great way to start to give you a basic routine and make sure you understand correct technique, particularly for exercises such as squats and lunges where it is important to get it right and avoid injury. There are also some great books around (Eg New Rules of lifting for women and The Body sculpting bible for women) and magazines such as Bodyfit or Women's Health always have good exercises to try.

I mistakenly ordered two copies of The Body Sculpting Bible recently, if you would like my spare one I'd be happy to send it to you, take a look at it on amazon and if you want it pm me your address.

I am also seriously impressed by your chin ups rubberduck, I can crank out the push ups but chin ups still elude me, I still use the negatives machine (whatever it's proper name is!) must try harder, maybe try it at start of routine rather than end like I usually do [ponder].....

lovesineffable Tue 21-Feb-12 22:27:36

I think it's important to bear in mind that you dont have to look for exercises specifically for women..the same basic principles apply for men and women smile

rhondajean Tue 21-Feb-12 23:18:21

Wow. 18 chin ups. My new hero.

I SWEAR by week 12 of my current programme I will do at least one proper full chin up.

GeneCowan Wed 22-Feb-12 07:58:11

I really really recommend New Rules of Lifting for women, that's what got me started. It is a great progressive program with really sound advice which addresses the whole ,'women mustn't lift heavy as they'll bulk up' myth. I have just started the program in one of their other books: New rules of lifting for abs.

Men's and Women's Health both do a 'Big Book of Exercises' which is a really good reference book with loads of exercises for each different muscle group. It has programs for you to follow but also shows you how to put your own together. Do not buy both the Men's and Women's version though as they are exactly the same book just with different models in the pictures.

sleepwhenidie OW at headbutting the patio! Thanks for the warning, it sounds just the sort of thing I would do.

prettymum Wed 22-Feb-12 16:38:05

Wow 20 chin ups, I can do one and then get stuck at the top as I still can't lift up for the 2nd one. I can do 25 push ups, it's tricep push ups I hate, I have to go on my knees to finish them off.

Needabitofsunshine Wed 22-Feb-12 20:23:35

Where have you lot been before? Had almost given up looking in this section as no-one seemed to be into this sort of stuff! Glad I´ve finally found you all smile

I LOVE weight training and do a strength programme alongside Crossfit sessions and interval running.

I do all the major lifts and it´s free weights all the way for me - heavy and low reps, usually 5 x 3.

Very impressed with the 7st weight loss and 18 pull ups! Way to go Ladies!

I got into it all about 2 years ago and now love it so much I´m training to become a PT. Know what it´s like in a normal gym with all the guys hogging the free weights. Must say that Crossfit gyms are so not like that at all, as if you´re there, you´re obviously into weight training of some kind.

I find strength training super empowering and don´t know why most women are scared of it. You just don´t get super bulky by accident...

notyummy Wed 22-Feb-12 21:39:52

Oh yes....tricep push-ups. I don't know how many I can do, but its not that many frankly...and they HURT.

How are you finding the PT course sunshine? How far into it are you? I am a SAHM at the moment but frequently think about whether qualifying as a PT might be an idea for when all DC's in school....

What about everyone else, how and how often do you fit training in between DC's/work etc?

rhondajean Thu 23-Feb-12 20:49:06

I train six days a week, I'm fortunate in that I work from home some days and can go to train at lunchtime etc. it isn't easy fitting it in but I manage it mostly.

If I could just stop eating crap and get the diet sorted, I would be in great shape.

notyummy Thu 23-Feb-12 21:00:21

I train 5 days a week. All at home (or in the local area when I run.) I have a fairly decent selection of free weights, a really good selection of (properly challenging) circuit training DVDs and a crosstrainer. Basically I just cannot get to a gym regularly. I work 4 days a week, with a 2 1/2 commute on those days, and DH is in the military and away a lot. With no family nearby, just holding down a job and looking after dd becomes hard work. DH bought me the crosstrainer because he worked away 6 days a week for 2 years and it meant I could get some cardio in. At the moment I try to circuit train/weight train 3 times a week, and run between 5 and 10 miles twice a week. If I can fit a 6th session in then I go low impact - pilates or yoga session. I certainly feel fiter at 40 than I have ever have. I can heft some pretty good weight around, do a 1 hr 45 1/2 marathon and stay a size 10 whilst eating cake. It's probably all downhill from here, but hey ho grin

Quodlibet Thu 23-Feb-12 21:26:05

Wow, marking my place here with you strong and impressive ladies!
I'm really curious about kettle bells but don't belong to a gym and can't afford a PT - is there any way of introducing oneself to then or do you need specialist guidance really?

Will look up some of the exercises/regimes people have mentioned - I'm really enjoying training myself for strength at the mo.

lovesineffable Thu 23-Feb-12 21:36:54

frequency of training?
I usually get 4 resistance training sessions in per week, with a 3 way split routine..legs/back & biceps/ chest and tricep.
3-4 cardio sessions 20 - 40 mins each, and do about 30-50 minutes yoga most days.
I'd do more cardio but I tend to feel a bit under the weather if I do too much on top of resistance training.
I should add that I'm single and my kids have left home so it's not hard finding time these days smile

jellibelli Thu 23-Feb-12 22:46:01

Following the tips on here I have upped the weights I have been using for my routines this week grin. Now I find my hands and forearms tire before the 'exercised' muscles. Is it just a matter of sticking with it and waiting for my hands to strengthen or can I be more proactive?

I have been following my (first) workout routine for almost five weeks. How long should I use it for before moving on to a different routine?

Thanks again. I am inspired by this thread to achieve more. For those of you already in the shape you want to achieve (or getting towards it) don't you want to shout from the rooftops what you've discovered/achieved?

rhondajean Thu 23-Feb-12 22:53:49

I do shout jelli women don't listen!

I also tell them they need to eat more - people cant seem to get that if you eat the right things you can eat loads and loads of them.

I find if I shake out my hands and arms between sets I can do more, you can use gloves to improve friction and grip too, I find them really good cos my palms were callous ing at one point.

You should change routine eight weekly I think but aim to increase weights by about ten per cent every two weeks if you can while you do the same routine - that's what I do, others may have better advice.

Enjoy and stick with it!

lovesineffable Thu 23-Feb-12 22:59:10

Jelli, I'd be inclined to stick with it, your grip strength should improve, but you could add in some things that dont require grip so much
Much of the early gain in strength is down to increases in neuromuscular efficiency (ie your body gets better at the movement)
there are also changes to muscles and tendons which occur in the long term, and resistance training improves insulin sensitivity and makes your body much less inclined to store fat.

you dont necessarily have to change the routine after a set period (unless you want to to keep you motivated)

lovesineffable Thu 23-Feb-12 23:01:24

as for shouting I dont bother, if someone asks advice I'll give it but most people I find regard physical exertion as something to be avoided at all costs!

rhondajean Thu 23-Feb-12 23:14:47

Loves ineffable are you lovesadirtylie too or are you two separate people?

lovesineffable Fri 24-Feb-12 00:32:53

same person Rhonda, I just shifted my usernamesmile

Impressive schedules you lot - notyummy I am in awe, I am pretty motivated but if I couldn't get to the gym I can't imagine being committed enough to work as hard as you at home, particularly with DH away. Rhonda I hear you re the diet grin - bet you're not in that bad shape though! Any sensible diet went out of the window for me tonight, shared a pizza and burger and fries with a friend with a cocktail and couple of glasses of wine-its what it's all for! Feel better about it than I might as I got out for a run earlier for the first time in about 6 weeks, it was so beautiful out today, like Spring. Running was tough after a break (albeit doing other training) though.

I wear gloves for the gym too, was also getting callouses...v sexy hmm. I don't really vary my weight routine much, just try and increase the weights. I am now at a point though, where I can't get the weight I want into position safely (eg chest press/ rack or smith machine at my gym) to do the exercise itself - very frustrating. Any helpful suggestions not requiring a spotter v welcome!

Was chatting to a friend tonight about protein shakes/bars. She does the marketing for a certain brand but doesn't train herself. Do any of you use/recommend them?

lovesineffable Fri 24-Feb-12 01:08:10

I think normal healthy food is fine..protein shakes make it easy to consume extra calories, so unless you struggle to eat enough not really necessary

Thanks lovesineffable - what's your excuse for being up so late? I didn't expect a response tonight grin - that is what I thought too though, but I wondered if better to have a shake straight after training than the quick snack of nuts or a banana that I usually do. Instinctively 'real' food seems the better choice to me but they do seem popular.

lovesineffable Fri 24-Feb-12 01:36:18

I'm just one of those night owl typesgrin
I guess they are marketed as something which will take some of the hard work out of achieving fitness or physique goals..a quick fix kind of thing, and that accounts for the popularity.
It's hard not to be attracted to short cuts and easy solutions!

GeneCowan Fri 24-Feb-12 05:56:46

I have a protein shake with banana post workout simply because it is the easiest and quickest way to get a big hit dose of protein in that 15 minute period where your body is going to get the most out of it. The last thing I want to do straight after I've eaten is eat a chicken breast or can of tuna, and whilst nuts etc are a great snack at other times the high percentage of fat means they are not a good post workout snack as the fat slows down how quickly the protein is digested. Whilst shakes are processed the fact that they are liquid means they are digested far more quickly.

I weight train three times a week, total body routine, and on the other days I foam roll, do some yoga, and go for a walk or a run. The running is going to need to increase soon as I've committed to an event in a couple of months time.

jellie I have the same problem with grip strength that it fails especially on exercises towards the end of my workout. It will improve as you carry on so just keep at it. There are exercises you can do which will specifically address the grip strength such as simply hanging from a pull up bar, picking up and holding weight plates (roughly 2.5kg size) with each hand. The more plates you hold at once, the wider your grip is and this really improves the strength in your hands. Farmers walks are also another good way to do this, you can offset just carrying one weight at a time alternating sides to make this a good core strengthener too. I have callouses as well, once your hands toughen up a bit they won't be a problem.

sleepwhenidie I have the same problem about not being able to get the weight into a safe position and my gym doesn't have a squat rack either. I occasionally get over to one which has to do back squats but otherwise I have had to adapt exercises. With squats I started doing goblet squats instead, I found I had to go much lighter to start off with and really developed my range of motion, concentrating on making sure I was dropping below parallel. I also found having the weightload in front of me rather than on my back much more challenging at first. Another thing you could try is overhead squats, I am doing these at the moment and am having to use a broomstick rather than a bar! For bench press I have to stick to dumbbell bench press, mainly because there aren't any barbells at my rubbish gym but also because they if you do get stuck you can just drop them either side rather than getting trapped underneath!

RubberDuck Fri 24-Feb-12 08:18:40

I do somewhere between half an hour to an hour using the XBox UFC Trainer that I mentioned before 5 times a week, and an hour's Krav class, plus I do a lot of walking where I can. Was fairly easy to fit it in until I went back to work a couple of months ago - technically part time, but the hours are such that I'm starting very early in the morning and am knackered by the time I get home, so I'm finding it much harder to fit exercise and particularly Krav into my day. sad

Managed to keep the exercise going, though, until this week when I came down with a nasty sinusy/chesty virus thing and I haven't been able to do much all week, so I've lost my momentum.

RubberDuck Fri 24-Feb-12 08:23:45

Oh, meant to say, if I had to leave the house to exercise, I'd never bother grin Gym membership would be a really bad idea for me.

Quodlibet: re kettlebells, I just bought the Kettlebells for Dummies book blush and watched the Phil Scarito basics series on YouTube for form: Basics - The Kettlebell Press. Although I did double check with my Krav Instructor who is also a kettlebell instructor on a couple of them that my form was safe. I've never been to a class. Not ideal, I know.

lovesineffable Fri 24-Feb-12 11:09:08

GeneI bought a foam roller a little while ago, barely used it though cuz it kinda hurtssad
I take it you find it worthwhile?

I never use gloves for lifting, mostly because I feel I can grip more securely without, but this thread has got me inspecting my palms..
..some callousing at the base of my fingers but not much, thats after 20 years of training 3-4 x per week with barbells & dumbells

Needabitofsunshine Fri 24-Feb-12 12:55:58

I only work part time, so have plenty of time to fit it all in. We also just got some bumpers, bar, squat rack etc for home and converted our little granny flat into a gym - no excuses!

Generally I do 2 full body weight sessions a week, 1 sprint session + bodyweight circuit, then a couple of Crossfit sessions and maybe a longer run (5 miles). Usually some combination of these to get 5 sessions in a week. Depending on the week that can be overkill, so am careful to listen to my body ánd have a couple of days off if I start to feel I need some more rest.

I´m doing my course with Fitness Industry Education distance learning as I´m overseas. Just passed my level 2 Gym Instructor (yay me!), so now I get to start the level 3 Personal Trainer more fun bit. Level 2 is compulsory and pretty hard to take when you´ve gone down the HIIT + weights road...

Those without a squat rack - have you asked your gym to get one? They´re not that expensive and will allow you to do so much more.

Know what you mean about the calloused hands. Maybe I´m a bit weird, but I get a certain amount of satisfaction from having them smile

Deadlifts, shoulder press & overhead squats for me later, along with a few other bits & pieces.

Happy lifting ladies smile

GeneCowan Fri 24-Feb-12 14:18:23

needabitofsunshine so jealous of your granny gym envy. My dream is to find somewhere to learn olympic lifting, but I don't think there's a chance of that around here unfortunately. I am doing overhead squats at the moment, but just with a broomstick! Partly because of crap- no equipment- gym, mainly because anything else would be too much. They are really making me concentrate on my form and technique.

loveineffable I blogged about just that the other day funnily enough. My foam roller had been gathering dust unused as it had hurt so much the first time I tried it. I resolved to stick with it this time round and it has definitely helped this last week and I no longer feel like I am peeling the muscle away from my bones grin

Ouch, eloquently put gene!

There's a girl who comes to kickboxing with me who is, I believe, entering the Olympics this year, powerlifting, she lifts 130kg shock over her head...amazing.

I have tried asking about the gym getting a squat rack and supports for the barbells but they seem to have the strange notion that these would turn the (friendly, council) gym into some kind of steroid driven, meat head hangout hmm.

Following on from the "bulking up" theme, a pt I am friendly with approached me at the gym this morning, asking about what weights I lift...he said he has a female client who resists using the heavier weights he is asking her to because she doesnt want to get bulky. I repeated what we have all said and he agreed, said next time she is in at the same time as me he's going to point me out as evidence that heavy weights don't mean huge muscles for girls...feeling quite chuffed with that smile

GeneCowan Fri 24-Feb-12 17:01:39

My gym wouldn't let me use the box to do weighted step ups on as I might fall off it and have an accident. I asked what it was there for then if we couldn't use it for what it was designed for and they said they turned it upside down and kept things in it ... hmm Pretty sure a squat rack will be out of the question.

Great compliment sleepwhenidie, lets hope his client is inspired to follow his advice.

longdays Fri 24-Feb-12 19:59:15

Hi ladies,
Just thought I would see if I could join you here. I have recently started venturing into the scary weights and kettlebell section of the gym. My background is long distance running and tris. The reason I am doing the heavier stuff is that I just cannot face doing the long steady stuff with little return for speed etc. Anyway someone mentioned Crossfit and I am doing the multisport WODS from that, I am still learning the weights but I am getting better.
I am amazed with the 18 chinups that is awesome, I tried one and could only lift my knees up and just sort of hung there for a while. Look forward to catching up with you all.

lovesineffable Fri 24-Feb-12 20:29:58

'My gym wouldn't let me use the box to do weighted step ups on as I might fall off it and have an accident '

fgs you could fall off anything and have an accident..did they actually tell you off for doing them?

I've had similar issues in my local gym, tried to have a rational discussion about the actual risks of any kind of weight training but they just keep repeating the phrase 'health & safety'

LadyOfTheLift Fri 24-Feb-12 21:26:08

Hello, I've been lurking, coming to join in now! I got into weights a bit by accident, and started doing New Rules of Lifting after reading about it on here. I really love it, I've lost weight and inches and feel better about my body than I ever have. My gym is crap though, no squat rack and only one barbell to go around, so I have to try and go when it's quiet. I still love the look on the faces of some of the men when I venture into what they assume is the men's gym!

Has anyone got any tips for improving my press ups? I still struggle to do 1 full press up and I'm on stage four of NROLW.

GeekLove Fri 24-Feb-12 21:52:51

Hello! I am into strength training although it doesnt look like it!
I currently do 2 strength workouts a week with free weights plus some short body weight exercises when I'm not knackered. I do 'pick and mix' workouts where I find some exercises and do them for a minute each or until failure for the heavy reps. I dont have time for the gym as I have two under 4 so my gym is currently under the sofa. I have a set of light weights 1.5 to 5 and a 8kg and 10kg dumbell. What I am also doing is using bags of compost as weights.
Still can't do chin ups yet - could do 6 consequtive chin ups before ds2 was born.
Glad I found this thread!

GeekLove Fri 24-Feb-12 21:54:47

Hello! I am into strength training although it doesnt look like it!
I currently do 2 strength workouts a week with free weights plus some short body weight exercises when I'm not knackered. I do 'pick and mix' workouts where I find some exercises and do them for a minute each or until failure for the heavy reps. I dont have time for the gym as I have two under 4 so my gym is currently under the sofa. I have a set of light weights 1.5 to 5 and a 8kg and 10kg dumbell. What I am also doing is using bags of compost as weights.
Still can't do chin ups yet - could do 6 consequtive chin ups before ds2 was born.
Glad I found this thread!

Ephiny Fri 24-Feb-12 22:08:17

Lurking too, as I've recently started going to the gym for strength training - using the resistance machines, not the free weights for now, but I hope to work up to using those. Can only do the pathetically small weights at the moment, but you have to start somewhere...

I'm doing it mostly because I have family history of osteoporosis and apparently this sort of exercise is good for keeping your bones strong? If that's true, I'm surprised more women don't do it!

GeneCowan Sat 25-Feb-12 05:21:55

Fantastic to have so many people on here!
lovesineffable yes they actually came over and told me I couldn't do them quoting the normal Health and Safety rubbish.

Ladyofthelift NROLW is great isn't it? How have you been doing your press ups? I followed the progressions in the book so started by doing them against the arm of the sofa, then a low coffee table and finally on the floor. If your gym has a smith machine then this is a great use for it as you can adjust the bar to the height you need and then slowly lower it down so you are gradually changing the distribution of weight to your arms and chest. If you are doing them at home then using your stairs will also create the same effect.

Do you still do push ups in stage 4? I have found I can no longer knock out many reps having done none in my last program, just focusing on bench press for chest and tris. There really is no substitute exercise for them. Once I have improved on them again I am going to add them in as part of my dynamic warm up so I always do them regularly.

Greeklove Great idea about using a bag of compost, similar to sandbag training! You could try looking into getting a set of adjustable weights or if lack of space is an issue look into a TRX that people have mentioned above, you can sling it in a drawer when you're not using it.

Ephiny resistance training is fantastic for increasing bone density. Don't be put off from trying free weights because you don't think you are strong enough. I read an article recently that looked at the effect of machine based weight training and it showed that after a year people had increased the amount of weight they could lift on a machine, but their overall actual functional strength had not improved at all and in some cases was worse. A lot of the movements machines have you do are not actually movements you do in day to day life, (think seated leg curl). Moves like lunges, squats, deadlifts, press ups and shoulder press are all basic movements that you do on a daily basis so it makes sense to train using them. Don't be put off by just using your own bodyweight at first, especially on squats and lunges, good form and developing a good range of motion are vital before you start adding weight. There is no such thing as 'pathetically small weights' just use the weight that is suitable for you for each exercise. I really recommend reading New Rules of Lifting for Women if you are new to free weights.

GeneCowan Sat 25-Feb-12 05:27:02

longdays I have read a bit about crossfit but there is nothing like that anywhere near me. What are multisport WODS? Really impressed by anyone who has done tris, when I think how my legs feel after a run, or how knackered I am after a swim session I cannot imagine doing one after the other and adding in a bike ride on top!

Needabitofsunshine Sat 25-Feb-12 08:52:37

sleepwhenidie - how fab!

Totally agree with genecowan - just walk over to the free weights section and do it. Have a look on youtube for demo videos for the moves she mentions and then have a go. Even better if you can get some of the gym staff to do a free weight induction for you. You´ll get way more bang for your buck by doing free weights. Many are compound moves that are working many muscles at once and allow you to strengthen your core better than any situps.

Crossfit is great. There´s loads of info out there on it - start with If many of you are getting health and safety gip doing weights then I can´t imagine Crossfit will go down well in your gym... Here´s a link to some bodyweight workouts that you can do anywhere, park, gym, back garden smile

Rest day for me today, my legs are struggling smile

Ephiny Sat 25-Feb-12 09:40:00

Hmm, maybe I do need to have a go at the free weights sooner rather than later. Thanks genecowan for the book recommendation, I'll have a look smile

Rest day for me too, running on Thursday, followed by a rubbish nights sleep, made the gym a real struggle yesterday. Lazy morning so far but will get myself and the DC's dressed soon and head for the park or zoo, it's a beautiful day again here in London.

rubberduck are you feeling better? It's horrible being ill and unable to train sad, don't rush back before you are better though, I made that mistake at the end of last year and ended training at half strength for weeks and eventually having to admit defeat and rest completely for 10 days, it was miserable.

I'd second getting straight to the free weights Ephiny, no reason to put it off, as Gene said, there's no such thing as "pathetic" weights, whatever is right for you is great and you will probably be surprised at how quickly your strength increases.

Rhonda look what you started! Who knew there were so many of us around grin

longdays Sat 25-Feb-12 10:58:08

gene The multisport wod are from I am still getting used to it. My gym is not a crossfit gym but they seem ok about it all (not sure they wouldbe too pleased about doing ball slams into their mirrored walls though). Will post later as I have a 2 year old climbing on me.

LadyOfTheLift Sat 25-Feb-12 11:26:41

gene thank you, I had never thought of using the Smith machine for press ups! I think stage 4 of NROLW is basically a repeat of Stage 2. I always used to do push ups on my knees but I do try to do the full ones now. Having progressed steadily upward in the amount of weight I could lift, I kind of assumed I might be able to do a press up, but obviously not! I struggle with knowing where to place my hands as well. In the book photo she seems to have her arms right next to her body, but that's even harder. I will try the Smith machine.

I am so so glad I found NROLW. The most amazing thing is the effect it has on your abs. Who knew you could get such great abs by not doing hundreds and hundreds of boring crunches! It's changed the whole way my body feels. My joints feel a lot more stable now, if that makes sense.

lovesineffable Sat 25-Feb-12 11:32:56

lady, you might find that having your hands lower, in line with your mid chest rather than in line with shoulders,helps.
Also try tucking your elbows in...have a browse through you tube vids to give you an idea of different techniques

LadyOfTheLift Sat 25-Feb-12 11:38:28

thank you - I will try that and report back

GeekLove Sat 25-Feb-12 11:55:25

At the risk of sounding dumb what is a TRX? How much are they and how much space do they take up?

To answer the question about why women don't do more weight training I think there are two main factors: it is seen as a largely male pastime and there is the myth that you will bulk up - this doesn't happen unless you are ingesting more calories than you are burning up and women's hormone balance doesn't lend itself to rapid muscle gain.

TRX - look here, it's an amazing piece of kit, allows you to do hundreds of different exercises using your bodyweight as resistance, so you can adapt to suit the most unfit beginner or incredibly fit marine for example. It does the most fantastic things for your core in particular. It can be fixed to a tree or post or, using a door strap, indoors to a door. Fits into a small bag so easy to put away or take with you when you travel. I believe it was designed by a navy seal for training anywhere. Lots of clips of people using them on YouTube.

If you keep an eye on Amazin you should be able to pick one up (make sure you include door strap) for about £120, the prices vary quite a lot. It seems a lot but DH has been using ours a lot recently instead of going to the gym to do weights, he is so pleased with the results he's talking about binning the gym membership and just using the trx training with running/cycling on alternate days.

notyummy Sat 25-Feb-12 13:35:32

Press-ups with hand directly under shoulders or slightly behind will work triceps more than anything else and are definitely harder than a 'classic' press-up. Was trying to do some today as part of a Jillian Micheals workout and couldn't finish them all before dropping up my knees. I think there are some useful vids on YouTube re classic press-ups but am on iPhone so can't link.

Thanks for link to TRX- looks really interesting and potentially up my street as I exercise at home and both DH and I go away a lot so like to be able to maintain a workout routine.

RubberDuck Sat 25-Feb-12 15:36:12

Sleepwhenidie no, feel worse if anything. sad Has been a week now. I've tried to do something active for at least half an hour a day rather than "proper" exercise (if only to reserve the time slot and make it easier to get back into it when I'm well, rather than to 'keep fit') - been playing on the kids' Kinect Adventures and finding it surprisingly energetic (or that might just be that with this virus I get exhausted easily grin) and today I went for a brisk half hour walk.

It's really annoying though, because I keep thinking of how far my progress is slipping back each day I'm not doing any strength training - you lose it so quick sad

lovesineffable Sat 25-Feb-12 16:15:11

the trx does look like a nifty invention...although I cant help thinking you could sort of make your own with rope & handles etc

rhondajean Sat 25-Feb-12 19:57:59

The thing with the trx that surprised me is how strong it it! Our gym has gymnastic style ropes on the smith machine but the trx looks liked nothing and I was really worried it wouldn't hold me...

I have been hung over all day and no training. Tut.

I can't believe some gyms are giving you hassle about free weights! My gym is attached to a martial arts club and it's small but reading you guys, it's actually quite well equipped and also I have never had any rows about using equipment - except for the gym manager "encouraging" me to up weights/reps/treadmill speed on his way past haha. What a nightmare not being able to do step ups!

cantfindamnnickname Sun 26-Feb-12 15:33:45

I started weights when i did Chalean Extreme which encourages you to lift heavy. I now go to circuit training twice a week and we all use heavy weights.

I have fantastic definition in my arms and stomach and my legs are getting there too

cornsilkity Sun 26-Feb-12 17:58:47

I've looked at some you tube vids today. This one looked good I thought. small weights but nice definition.

I did my first circuit kettlebell class last Tuesday and really enjoyed it. I'll be back for more next Tuesday. I'll only do one class per week as I also do gym training on the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike, Zumba and aqua aerobics.

cornsilkity Sun 26-Feb-12 18:17:25

I quite fancy a trx I think.

rubberduck you poor thing, it is horrible isn't it. Try thinking of all the weeks and months you have to regain and further improve your strength and fitness though....whilst hard it is fascinating and gratifying to work hard then notice positive changes. Maybe just a couple of days complete rest, give your body a chance to just fight the virus? You can come back stronger!

domesticgoddess can I suggest that if you want to see some real changes in your physique and strength you replace one or two of your cardio based sessions with kettlebells or weights? Or better still do the kettlebells/weights then just do 12-15 mins of HIIT cardio on those machines three times a week, keep the zumba and aqua aerobics as they are? Then let us know how you feel after say a month? Obviously feel free to ignore me if you are happy though grin!

lovesineffable Sun 26-Feb-12 22:21:13

I agree with Sleep, if you want to see the benefits of resistance training you'll need to do it more than once a week!

GeneCowan Mon 27-Feb-12 09:52:21

rubberduck don't be worried about taking time off to get better. I regularly take a week's break from training to give your body a break and your muscles a chance to really recover from all the training, it can be really beneficial (providing I don't combine it with lots of chocolate and pizza). Hope you feel better soon.

longdays any chance of a link to the WODS you mentioned, I had a look at the website and saw it mentioned briefy in a couple of places but couldn't make much sense of it blush

Agree with everyone else about doing strength training more than once a week if you want to feel/see the benefits. Minimum of twice, ideally three times if you are doing full body workouts.

I am housebound for a few days so am trying to motivate myself to drag my old weights out of the garage to fit some training in. It is times like this where a TRX would be ideal.

Wow, have just seen Erin Stern on YouTube....if ever there was an advert for female body building she is definitely it! Not what anyone could ever call bulky! I can't figure out how to link to it but search throws up lots of clips of her (some ads but still...)

Ok, had a look at a few more pics of her and competition ready she looks a bit different shock....but in "normal" mode such as here fantastic (excepting the boobs maybe) wink IMO.

lovesineffable Mon 27-Feb-12 15:38:16

thanks for the heads up Whendiesmile there are some good exercises on her you tube channel, worth a look!

Nyac Mon 27-Feb-12 15:51:11

Haven't done it for a while because I had trapped nerves in my shoulder, but Shovelglove is fun. Doesn't require expensive bits of kit - just a sledgehammer and some padding. It's also more engaging than lifting weights.

Have you seen which is for women who do strength training?

Stumptuous is good...and funny smile. Also just come across which is quite full on but had this great article, though I have to admit I didn't wade through all the supplement sections though.

GeneCowan Tue 28-Feb-12 10:19:05

Love Stumptuous, never heard of Simply Shredded, off to have a read.

longdays Tue 28-Feb-12 21:24:34

Hi sorry haven't been on here for a couple of days. These links may be of some use.

Gene click on the read more link (in green) in the black box and it will open out into the WOD. The FAQ section should help to explain it (scroll down to the section titled "How should I plan my week?"

I did the Run 2x12 minTT on the way home from work today. I don't follow it religiously as it doesn't fit my schedule but doing the weights at the gym a few times a week and the WODs has definitely made running feel easier. I guess I will find out if I am fast when I race in 7 weeks.

I was doing back squats in the gym last night and had one of those horrible moments when I wasn't sure if I could get the barbell back over my head at the end of the set. Fortunately it was ok.

rhondajean Tue 28-Feb-12 23:22:12

I often have those moments with back squats! I use the rack all the time now after a particularly embarrassing experience where I had to ask for help.

Stumptuous was fab I haven't seen it before! I love the crossfit stuff. I'm felling this week because I had a hangover sat and been too busy to train much but that's me fired up to get into it properly tomorrow.

Did anyone see the horizon tonight about exercise? Not seen it but on NBC breakfast this morning there was a man saying you can get fit in three minutes per week!

lovesineffable Wed 29-Feb-12 00:54:54

yes I watched it on iplayer, I thought it was interesting, much more to it than the 3 minutes a week bit wink

Nyac Wed 29-Feb-12 07:47:23

The shovelglove thing I linked to recommends five sessions of exercise a week, 14 minutes every time, and it yields very impressive results.

cornsilkalala Wed 29-Feb-12 09:03:59

nyac did you trap the nerves doing shovelglove? How long does it take to work?

Nyac Wed 29-Feb-12 09:42:56

I think it was an existing postural problem that was probably exacerbated by SG.

It took about a month to see results - much more muscular shoulders, steadily getting stronger, and it continued to improve from there. I used to row, but this was the first time I had proper upper body strength.

Needabitofsunshine Wed 29-Feb-12 18:48:52

Ha, Shovelglove looks fun! We have sledgehammers and tractor tyres to play with at the gym - very good stressbuster!

I must look up the Horizon programme. Some of the most hellish workouts I´ve ever done have been well within the single digit time range. At that intensity, you´re also frying yor central nervous system too, so killer all round.

A crossfit workout that I do probably about once a month, is Tabata something else. Really fab and total killer. Google tabata protocol for pretty impressive background. Each exercise is performed for 20 secs max effort, then 10 secs rest, 8 times - pullups, push ups, squats, sit ups (sub ring rows or do machine/band assisted pullups for mere mortals). Count the number of reps you do (or, just concentrate on surviving...).

Tabatas can be done with pretty much any exercise - sprints, rowing, KB swings etc.

Sprints in the lovely spring weather with my running group this morning smile

longdays Thu 01-Mar-12 16:57:21

Right just back from the gym. Did 55kg back squat (3 reps) very pleased with myself. Have been taught hang clean, press, scarecrow etc then did turkish get ups. It was really good and my arms are now aching. I tell my dh this and he says it's too heavy and you need to do light weights and high reps (I ignore him he he)

lovesineffable Thu 01-Mar-12 17:03:16

well donesmile
yeah ignore him
he should be cheering you on not criticising!

rhondajean Thu 01-Mar-12 17:15:22

Yes ignore him!

I'm just heading in to do a legs sessions today. Did shoulders and back yesterday and manages to up the weights for my bench press so feel sore but string today!

rhondajean Thu 01-Mar-12 17:16:19

Btw, the horizon programme is on iplayer, I haven't managed to watch it yet though.

Needabitofsunshine Thu 01-Mar-12 17:40:50

longdays - are you clean & pressing that 55kgs overhead, then onto traps for back squat (since you mentioned having a stuck moment the other day)? Please be really careful of your neck smile Are you working out with someone?

longdays Thu 01-Mar-12 17:56:35

Don't worry no i'm not doing a clean and press with 55kg. I was using the smith machine. I have booked a PT to teach me for few weeks. The 55kg was only the back squat the other lifts were A LOT lighter.

Needabitofsunshine Fri 02-Mar-12 12:35:51

I was about to be really impressed!

It´s such a gorgeous sunny day here, nearly sacked the strength training in for a run.

Back squats, shoulder press, cleans & a few other bits and pieces for me today. I bloody love the feeling after a good weights session - I feel invincible!

Anyone workout with a buddy? I´m just losing my strength training partner as she´s moving away. Very sad. Makes it so much more fun if there´s someone to natter to between sets. My kids come into our gym sometimes for a bit of chat (and a swing on the rings) but I scared my DD last time as I was grunting and groaning so much on heavy back squats...

lovesineffable Fri 02-Mar-12 16:22:55

it's handy to have a training partner if you need a spotter but really I find it easier to focus if I train on my own.

I very much train by feel and can never exactly predict which days I'll be training or exactly what I'll be doing so just logistically I cant see that having a training partner would work.

brighthair Mon 05-Mar-12 00:11:24

I am doing a team training thing with lots of resistance and weights
So far - sled drag up to 60kg, farmers walk 20kg each hand. We use kettlebells too, I really really enjoy it
Have lost no weight but 10cm from round my waist in 4 weeks

Needabitofsunshine Mon 05-Mar-12 11:51:33

Wow Brighthair - 10cm in 4 weeks, well done!

After a mammoth hangover yesterday, feels good to be alive today. Just done some deadlifts and push presses, with a sprint session to follow later today smile

Everyone still around or have I killed it...?

notyummy Mon 05-Mar-12 12:16:01

What is a farmers walk? I quite like the sound of those sorts of sessions - not possible for me with commute/childcare etc - but appealing!

brighthair Mon 05-Mar-12 12:55:08

Farmers walk is with the disc type weights? Basically just one in each hand, shoulders back, chest out and walking with the weights

brighthair Mon 05-Mar-12 12:56:32

Should add we do other stuff like crunches, press ups, plank...
I usually go through 3 litres of water in an hour session and come out looking like a tomato but the difference in my fitness is amazing already. Even though I can only make 7 sessions in 3 weeks out of 12 sessions due to work

I sometimes think it would be good to have a workout partner but in reality I would probably waste lots of time chatting! I quite like to focus and have my own bit of space in the day too. Really enjoy working with others at kickboxing though, also occasionally, if childcare/schedule allow, DH and I run together, chatting your way through definitely makes 5k or so seem easy smile.

Gym session this morning was hard..felt pretty feeble and the only thing I can attribute it to is giving blood on Friday confused. anybody else had any effects like that after giving blood? Or is it psychological hmm

Gene I did your burpee/squat thing again, managed it with just two rests this time but blimey it's a killer. Followed with 20 jumping lunges 10 press ups, repeated 3 times. I usually do my HIIT on the stair machine but have a groin strain that is hugely aggravated by that (but weirdly nothing else), so trying to come up with alternatives that don't involve a treadmill either (hate it).

Brighthair the team training thing sounds great, is that like military fitness stuff in the park?

brighthair Mon 05-Mar-12 14:16:01

It's with a training company that work within my gym
We train as a group and basically split Ito partners and do a circuit. Last session was: sled drag, battle ropes, prowler, farmers walk, shoulder press, box jump, squat jump and crunches
We do 30 secs then our partner does 30 secs and we move to next station. Usually do 4 times round the circuit

Needabitofsunshine Thu 08-Mar-12 19:37:42

What´s everyone been up to?

Rest for me today and strength tomorrow smile

brighthair Thu 08-Mar-12 20:34:29

Bootcamp today!
Kettlebell swings, row with bar and weights, press ups, plank, broad jumps, shoulder press, bastards, squat jumps
45 secs on each, 15 secs rest between. Did 4 circuits

rhondajean Thu 08-Mar-12 22:00:50

Shoulders triceps and abs here, reverse grip bench presses anyone???

I killed my legs yesterday doing all variations of squats and lunges and leg extensions and ended up with thirty minutes on the cross trainer and I'm not expecting to be able to walk tomorrow...

I'm half way through week seven of my twelve week plan and I can see the difference, plus I'm lifting bigger weights and feeling stronger. Its a bloody intensive programme though!

Managed the pull up yet Rhonda? wink Your plan sounds tough.

Kickboxing for me today, but I was at the gym yesterday and got chatting to an older lady who I often see working hard and looking very trim...turns out she will be 80 this year shock! She was really inspirational, hope I am still doing that when I reach her age.

I managed my usual routine of bench press, pistol squats, Bulgarian split squats, walking lunges, clean and press, tricep dips, assisted dips and pull ups, followed by gene's burpee/squat torture and 3 sets of 20 jumping lunges/10 push ups with feet elevated, planks and side planks. Bounced out of there but felt totally shattered by mid-afternoon, caffeine assistance needed to get through to dinner/bath/bed for DC's grin

rhondajean Thu 08-Mar-12 23:07:23

Five weeks till pull up day I have decided!

I am missing my Thai boxing but I just do not have time to do it as well. It's doing me good mentally too though. I like the focus of a long term progressive plan.

I can't do side plank at the moment, my right shoulder is a bit sore and not in a good way, but I only feel it in lat moves like the side plank so it's not really holding me back.

(I did do 45 knee ups on the tricep dips bars today so upper body strength getting there!)

lovesineffable Fri 09-Mar-12 14:14:06

re pistol squats, I found this tutorial interesting:

BUT, I cant help wondering about the cost benefit ratio of this exercise, that deep knee bend from the full version feels quite nasty.
I like the 'sitting on a bench and getting up one legged' version so may add that in on leg day (if I can remember confused)

Needabitofsunshine Fri 09-Mar-12 15:44:47

Ha ha, I love the way he makes it look so easy in the video!

We were doing these a couple of weeks ago. Balance and flexibility is key. Since I struggle a bit with flexibility in my ankles, I find it hard to get below parallel on these. Really good to try with a partner facing you, holding your hand for stability. Also good to have a low target too - maybe med ball on a bumper plate, or something a bit lower than a bench.

My day hasn´t gone quite as planned, so will have to do a hardcore workout tomorrow!

80 year old is certainly inspiring! Good for her!

Rhonda - go for it, good to have a target!

Has anyone other than brighthair done a boot camp? Am contemplating starting one here for May & June. Any tips for elements that really work for you in boot camp? Do you always follow the same structure? Think I might just have to take a leap of faith and do it...

I do the version with a step behind me and touching my bum down to it loves, not strong enough (yet) to go down to the floor!

I am really grumpy today, feeling shattered after less than 5 hours sleep last night thanks to dc's, also in need of rest day from exercise as last 4 days I have trained hard, but DH is away all weekend - no childcare around so I won't be able to get out for a workout and even the trx is likely to be a challenge. The thought of 3 days off makes me feel really unsettled - does this mean I am addicted hmm? Thinking I may try and get a swim in this evening while I have the chance but I really don't feel like it! WWYD grin?

lovesineffable Fri 09-Mar-12 16:22:49

I can't do the full version so I console myself with the thought that it has to be bad for your knee's

I guess I would maybe go for a swim, and then make it a short easy swim if I still didnt really feel up to it once I started.

Thanks loves you were the boot up my bum to get me to the pool, cranked out 50 lengths so now not feeling bad about the huge Chinese takeaway and wine I've just demolished smile...also ready for a couple of days rest messing about with the DC's.

Anyone got anything exciting planned for the weekend?

lovesineffable Fri 09-Mar-12 22:00:08

nice one!
I've always found swimming gives one of the best exercise highs..sort of 'blissed out' grin

rhondajean Sat 10-Mar-12 00:03:27

Ive got a quiet weekend this weekend - housework and a friend visiting, Ive been out a lot lately so its nice.

Ive got a legs weights day tomorrow, my bum and thighs are still sore from Wednesday tonight! I like the look of those pistol squats but my balance is aawful, Im doing one legged squats with the other leg behind me on a bench, does that work the same muscles?

lovesineffable Sat 10-Mar-12 00:28:33

cant be that bad!
anyone legged stuff takes quite alot of balancesmile
yes same muscles I would think but the relative stresses on muscles & joints will vary..I tend to go by what hurts the next day grin

I should add that I'm not necessarily advocating pistol squats!
I think they look quite iffy for the knee's

brighthair Sat 10-Mar-12 01:08:13

<limps into thread> the strongman challenge in training finished off my already sore muscles. 50 punches, 10 bastards, 10 press ups, 10 jump squats, 10 Danish bastards... Repeat x 3
All that after 4 circuits grin

Needabitofsunshine Sat 10-Mar-12 08:23:36

Fuelled by 2 days rest and 3 cups of coffee, I now need to get to the gym before I explode!

What on earth are Danish bastards??? Sounds tough....

Last minute dinner party tonight, so lots of eating and drinking for me later. If only I could decide what to cook...must involved chicken as was on offer yesterday...

Glad you asked sunshine grin c'mon brighthair tell us about the bastards!

Nigel Slater has a great and v easy chicken dish with garlic, cream and tarragon... basically involves browning chicken pieces then leaving them in a big pot for 40 mins with garlic, then making a sauce from juices by adding wine, parsley, tarragon, lemon and cream. Delicious with crusty bread and a big salad. Chicken thighs work best but you can use any/all pieces, skin on.

brighthair Sat 10-Mar-12 11:55:49

Well I can't find a link so will have to describe!
Start like a burpee so legs kick back but you end up face down with arms stretched out, spin round so you are on your back legs and arms outstretched then jump up grin

myermay Sat 10-Mar-12 15:25:40

just wondered if anyone could give me some advice as yesterday whilst doing my usual body pump class, i experienced face and scalp tingling whilst doing chest press routine - i'd upp'ed my weight but only by an extra 1.25 on each side. By the end of the set which is quite long and i was starting to strugglie the tingling started. Never had it before and am physically fit, i do cardio 3-4 x week and body pump 2-3 times a week, so unsure what could have caused it.

When i lowered the weight it stopped, anyone else experience this?

lovesineffable Sat 10-Mar-12 15:45:13

well I flush maybe? blush grin
doesnt sound life threatening though

rhondajean Sat 10-Mar-12 22:52:38

I often feel awful mid lift, isn't it more about lower weights, plastic bars and high reps with body pump? Could it be either too hot in the room or you just in an uncomfortable position? Or just of working your cardio hard?

I am vv pleased with self today, am now lifting 50k deadlifts for sets of eight reps. This is a massive improvement in the last four weeks and I'm sure I've got more in me.

Spoke to a mate at the gym about pistol squats today and she does them with her trx - using the handles to hold - which takes some of the strain off but also because they are a bit unstable by nature works you hard at the same time? Any thoughts?

Needabitofsunshine Sun 11-Mar-12 07:13:16

myermay - you were obviously working hard. I´ll often get tingly or light headed if I´m lifting heavy (although bodypump more about endurance).

Thanks for the chicken recipe - which I´d seen it before as sounds much more sophisticated than my pie & mash effort (although it was yum and we were low key rugby watching...) smile And the best team won smile

Brighthair - sounds awful...

Ronda - great stuff smile

I´ve been trying to drop a few lbs before going on holiday at the end of the month and I can definitely feel it in my lifting - back squat and deadlift stalling but upper body ok. Frustrating but understandable...

Gorgeous blue skies and sunshine here today but still only 2 degrees.... Maybe spring is finally springing in Scandinavia!

Hi everyone, it's been a gorgeous day here today, had a fab superplaydate with three friends whose DH's also weren't around for various reasons...11 shock children here from 10am til 4.30! It was deafening great, thanks to he sunshine and our newly laid garden they mostly played outside - no doubt to our neighbours' horror - while we drank coffee and chatted. Who needs dads around! Now trying to settle all 3 to bed on my own though, so "me" is probably the answer to that grin

Rhonda I agree about the pistol squats and trx...would think that holding the trx handles would keep you more upright and so work your core harder, as it always does smile. You can also do Bulgarian split squats with one leg in the handle behind you, but that is harder than having your foot on a solid surface IMO.

Needabitofsunshine Which rugby match were you watching? Could you possibly be a fellow Valleys girl grin?

LadyoftheLift Mon 12-Mar-12 13:40:00

I have a question for you ladies....we are TTC and I'm wondering if any of you have carried on with any type of training during pregnancy. Is there any kind of weight training that is safe in pregnancy? I didn't exercise at all in previous pregnancies and put on a ton of weight...I'd like to exercise this time if all goes well!

brighthair Mon 12-Mar-12 13:52:33

My friend carried on walking, swimming, running and riding through her pregnancy - she dropped back to her prepregnancy weight in 5 days!
No bootcamp for me until Thursday sad work in the way. It's bring a friend day on Thursday though which I am really looking forward to

brighthair Mon 12-Mar-12 13:59:06

Does this help? Seems quite informative on weights and pregnancy

LadyoftheLift Mon 12-Mar-12 14:36:47

Thank you - yes that is very helpful
5 days! wow!! mind you, I did look at a book today which did a breakdown of what the extra pregnancy weight gain is made up of - only about 5-10lbs of it is meant to be the mother's body fat!

The general rule is it is fine to stick to what you are already used to fitness wise and listen closely to your body during pg. Only do what is comfortable and don't push yourself/try new things (possible exception of pg yogasmile.

Beware of over stretching, your joints become much more mobile... To me wrt to weight lifting that would translate as not lifting too heavy and being obsessive about form being perfect.

Also be especially careful with anything using your back muscles, they are already under extra strain (possibly sit with back supported for things like bicep curls and shoulder presses) and nothing that involves lying on your tummy, not that you probably would anyway.

This is my experience and understanding btw - I am not an expert!

LadyoftheLift Mon 12-Mar-12 20:22:15

Thanks sleep, that sounds like very sensible advice.

rhondajean Tue 13-Mar-12 21:33:42

I have really struggled today, I did my full workout but I am just not feeling the love.

Lady, also remember as your bump grows your centre of gravity changes and some exercises will be almost impossible. However if you start now before you are actually pg, it will help loads, and especially work on your ab muscles if you can.

Has anyone tried carb cycling? I've not been following the diet in my training plan, although I have tried to eat well, but in a couple of weeks it's talking about carb cycling andim intrugued...

Hi Rhonda I am feeling the same at the moment, dragged myself through usual gym routine yesterday but felt tired from start to finish, even after two days rest (if crazy weekend with houseful of kids counts as rest wink.) Felt really tired and achy this morning, so much so that I couldn't even face kickboxing, which I usually love. Don't know why I'm feeling like this, the only things I can think of is either it was giving blood the other week (low iron levels) or over training or not eating enough protein/right stuff after a workout confused. I am also eating far too much sugar, which isn't like me, possibly also a contributor? Why do you think you are feeling jaded, is your programme maybe a touch too demanding alongside the rest of your life?

Have never heard of carb cycling, is it riding your bike whilst eating pasta grin?

rhondajean Tue 13-Mar-12 23:05:59

I'm eating way too much sugar for a start. It's also a tough programme but I'm getting great satisfaction from getting it done, and I'm seeing results.

Works awful just now, end of financial year, and I am training harder than I ever have for six days a week, and I think I have pms, I am a hormonal mess with a huge boil on my chin! Been avoiding the pus porn lot.

Carb cycling seems to be to lose body fat - You eat little for a few days (high protein, low carb and low calorie) and then you have a day you eat as much as you want. I think I could follow it - I'm going to try, I'm building good muscle and need to strip fat to see it.

Sleep, I always feel more proud of myself the days I have to drag me through it, I hope you do too grin well done.

Ha, you sound exactly like me, I keep thinking I must have pms but it's a bit early...I am also a bit spotty and am having a sudden flare of psoriasis, which hasn't been a problem since before first pg....usually stress related but nothing especially stressful going on for me compared to usual. I am going to address the sugar consumption, it is EVIL! Interestingly, I gave up sugar in my coffee at new year, which I had no problem with, but I seem to be overcompensating with cakes and biscuits/chocolate that I could honestly take or leave before, maybe I should go back to my one sweet coffee a day and kill the cravings.

I will be back in the gym tomorrow, bouncy or not, you are right about feeling proud afterwards. Yesterday was a very encouraging first too, there were two shock other women who put in admittedly brief appearances in the free weights section but whilst there they both lifted proper weights - hurrah!

LadyoftheLift Wed 14-Mar-12 12:43:51

Thanks Rhonda.
Felt exhausted during my workout today so I think I'll give myself a week off.
I'm finding the New Rules a bit boring at the moment, I'm really needing to motivate myself to get through it!

GeneCowan Wed 14-Mar-12 13:18:17

I have coming seeking inspiration and motivation please... I have done nearly nothing for the last few weeks. I wasn't well for a couple of them but have no excuses for my laziness now and am struggling to get back to the gym. It doesn't help that I have to switch to lower weights/high reps for the next few months either as I have to concentrate more on endurance and running until June. Any tips or suggestions for a program to follow? I was going to go back to stage 1 of the New rules, but have done that twice now and really want something different to try. It is times like this when I wish I had a training partner to help come and kick my arse out of the kitchen and back into the gym.

Rhonda I tried carb cycling last year. It was really effective and I was probably the leanest I've ever been (compared with where I am now after 3 weeks of comfort eating on the sofa that's not hard!). I did it slightly differently to how you described, I split the week into low, medium and high carb days: 2 high, 3 medium, 2 low. High carb was always on a training day, and the majority of carbs would be consumed pre and post workout to get the most out of them. I would still (try to) stay away from sugar, white flour, but would eat whole grain bread and pasta. Carbs on medium days would come from fruit and and potatoes etc. Low carb days I stuck to basically green veg (apart from peas).

Whilst it was effective I found that when I had PMT I just dived head first into the nearest cake and didn't surface for a few days, so the gains, or rather my leanness, was very short lived. It did teach me a lot about how my body responds to different foods though. I find that wheat has the same effect as sugar, it just makes me feel totally lethargic. Knowing this however does not seem to make it any easier to stay away from though unfortunately <insert comfort eater emoticon here>

lovesineffable Wed 14-Mar-12 15:41:24

not really sure what to suggest GeneC, except just go there for gosh sakesgrin
the longer you leave it the harder it gets! wink

lovesineffable Wed 14-Mar-12 15:47:36

I quite often save my fave podcasts to listen to in the gym..might help? smile

LadyoftheLift Wed 14-Mar-12 17:16:16

Have you tried the New Rules of Lifting for Abs Gene? Not sure if it's much different but it might have some routines that are different enough to get you motivated!

How strange that lots of us seem to be going through a patch of low enthusiasm...maybe it's the time of year?

I still didn't feel like the gym this morning so went for a run instead. It was blimmin freezing but great to be outside having things to look at. First time ive run outside for a few weeks. I'm not a natural runner at all, certainly not my favourite exercise, but for endorphins afterwards and calorie burn, it's pretty hard to beat. I came back vowing to try and squeeze a run in once a week now that the weather is (sort of) improving. Kickboxing tomorrow and gym on Friday I think.

Gene, lovesineffable is right about the longer you leave it the harder it gets. Get off your bum and do something...anything! You know it's true -grin. Is there a new sport you could maybe try, to mix it up a bit and refire your enthusiasm? When I started kickboxing it changed my (then) slightly jaded attitude to weights and cardio, made it so the latter were helping to improve my kickboxing, rather than just for the physical changes they prompt IYSWIM?

lovesineffable Wed 14-Mar-12 22:33:19

I think it's handy to have some little tricks that you can use to keep yourself motivated, I dont have any problems with strength training (find it harder not to do it than to do it iyswim)
but cardio can be a bit torturous so I like to mix it up a bit, I also find it handy to use a pedometer and make sure I get 10,000 steps per day

rhondajean Wed 14-Mar-12 22:41:44

Didn't make it to train at all today - unbelievably busy at work, then road closed and stuck on way home after I left late, rush to get to out of school club agm and then home about eight having had a pitta bread and hummus to eat all day - no way I could train without food. So no gym.

Not happy.

Gene, I think after a couple of weeks off its hard getting back but the longer you leave it the harder it gets. Remember how good you felt on the way out of the gym after one of your favourite workouts - you want that feeling again don't you?

Btw read a bit more about carb cycling and it sounds much more like how you described it, I'm going to try from next Monday for four weeks (eek)

GeneCowan Thu 15-Mar-12 08:24:43

Thanks for the kick everyone, will definitely make it to the gym tomorrow, no time today but do have a run planned for this evening. I have cut sugar out of my diet for the last couple of days and it has made such a difference to how I feel.

I have New Rules for Abs and got halfway through it last year but my gym has so little equipment (eg no barbell, no weight plates, kettlebells, steps) that I ended up having to adapt the routine until it was unrecognisable. I have still been following the ab progression side of things, putting those at the beginning of my other workouts.

I would love to try a martial art or something but the time's that I can workout changes each week so there's nothing I can really commit to. I will get back to the weights, this is the first time in 18 months where I have struggled to get back into it, normally I cannot wait.

lovesineffable Thu 15-Mar-12 11:03:31

I can see the benefits of martial arts but I do think it takes alot of time, commitment and dedication to reach any level of proficiency.
If your main goal is to stay in shape and time is limmted then it may not be the most efficient option.

Very disappointing when your gym doesnt have good kit, mine is pretty good but wouldnt it be a dream to train in one of those huge gym with rows and rows of all every piece of equipment there is.
<sigh> blush

oh well

I've just bought another pair of press up handles (gave the last pair away) they make press ups harder but more effective and easier on the wrists, worth tryingsmile

Hi everyone, glad to hear you are feeling more enthused Gene. I am sure you'll feel even better after your run. I know what you mean about fitting in workouts you have to commit to such as martial arts, one of the great things about running or getting to the gym is its flexibility time wise. I am lucky to have found sessions that mostly work for me. I have to disagree on martial arts not being best for keeping in shape though, loves. The kickboxing classes I do are usually a killer workout, combining technique and a bit of self defence with lots of punching and kicking pads/bags alongside bursts of push ups, crunches and star jumps touching the floor and shuttle runs. I guess it depends which discipline you go for though, I would imagine some martial arts focus purely on technique which wouldn't necessarily improve your fitness much.

So Rhonda, are you going to share your vital stats before and after the carb cycling? It would be great to know how effective it isgrin.

lovesineffable Thu 15-Mar-12 15:35:56

my point was more that martial arts require more commitment and dedication than types of fitness training which require less skill.
I'm thinking it probably takes several years to become truly proficient @ a martial art, where as if you use the cv equipment in a gym you can pretty much get on and go

rhondajean Thu 15-Mar-12 18:43:08

I duno, the Thai boxing I do is vicious from the outset. To be honest, the cardio a lue is instant from martial arts, the technique takes longer but you don't need to be brilliant at it to get the effect. It's almost interval training in the class, bursts of high intensity followed by short rests, and it's fun.

Erm I'll share any drops in size and fat percentage (if I can work it out) is that okay?

I think I have a virus, second evening feeling dizzy and a bit sick, so I holed up on couch a bit sad and twitchy but I couldn't train, just not up to it sad hope you all had fun though.

Sorry to hear you are feeling grotty rhonda, how miserable sad, it does sound like you have been putting yourself through a lot. Focus on resting and coming back stronger smile. I would be fascinated to hear how you find the carb cycling and what the outcome is. Do you feel that you want/need to lose weight, or just reduce fat %?

Loves, yep, I think it would (will, for me) take years of commitment and practice to get good at a martial art but that doesn't make the class less of a workout. I find the hour I do there much tougher than an hour's swimming or running for example. As rhonda says, lots of it is effectively interval training, but I can only speak for the classes I go to smile

Gene, how was your run? Your gym doesn't sound so great, must be quite frustrating. Why do you need to focus on endurance btw [nosey]?

lovesineffable Fri 16-Mar-12 00:23:42

ah mus' be thinkin' of the more 'zen' style martial arts grin

GeneCowan Fri 16-Mar-12 08:21:05

Hope you feel better soon Rhonda. You've motivated me to give the carb cycling another bash. I definitely need to lower my fat% and have not been eating particularly well since christmas the last couple of weeks.

Run was good thanks sleepwhenidie (do you have an abbreviation for your name?? swid??) and am off to gym in a bit, still not sure about what program to follow so may be a bit random today but I will be there. Am switching to endurance to support someone else in achieving their goals, so all worth it.

Agree with what you are all saying about martial arts basically being interval training just for longer! DH used to do it and whilst it definitely takes time to perfect the kicking/punching/blocking technique wise, the training is hard core from the start.

Needabitofsunshine Fri 16-Mar-12 11:51:25

Heeeellllllooooo! Sorry, I´ve been a bit awol. Hectic..

Sorry to hear many of you have been feeling knackered. You know the difference between not being arsed to go to the gym and being bone achingly tired. If you´re at the bone achingly tired end of the spectrum, then listen to your body and take at least 3 days off. Go for a walk or something or dance about your living room, but lay off the high intensity stuff. The world will not fall apart smile

Funny that you are talking about carb cycling - have also been looking into that. I try to eat Paleo, but with wine smile Doesn´t always work...will I ever be free of sugar cravings? Evil stuff. I love the simplicity of it - eat lean meat and loads of veg. Easy. I don´t miss bread/potatoes/rice etc at all any more (have been doing it almost a year). I have been adding porridge with spiced apple for breakfast for a bit as energy reserves do suffer if you go too low carb.

I need to change things up a bit as I do have some fat to lose to show all the lovely muscles I´ve built, but am totally stuck at a plateau that I cannot get past. Frustrating. Anyway, decided that carb cycling sounded too much like hard work, so have started to try Intermittent Fasting (IF). Anyone done it? There are a few versions, but the one I´m doing is basically fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. Am going to do twice for the next 2 weeks as am off on holiday after that!

I´m basically going evening meal to evening meal. I did a hardcore cf session in the morning of fasting and it was fine. I had a really busy day, so tbh didn´t really notice that much. I also drank plenty of water smile

Gene - hope you´re back into it by now smile If not, consider this another kick up the arse! Don´t think about it, just do it.

I´d love to try a martial art too, in fact am going to book a Thai boxing session when we´re there on hols in a couple of weeks. V excited!

Hi sunshine, nice to see you again smile. Now I need to know about how your fasting works too, be interesting to compare with the carb cycling! I would like to lose a bit of fat too. Probably just cutting out sugar would do it tbh, but it's so hard! I haven't had my body fat checked since about six months ago, but I think it's slightly higher than it was just before Christmas, I am certainly 2-3lbs heavier.

I had a good workout at the gym this morning, this week's routine of gym Monday, rest tues, run weds, kickboxing Thurs and gym again today seems to be much better than my usual week which is similar except for kickboxing Tuesdays. I'm not sure weights followed by a day of punching and kicking works so well as the other way around, makes me too tired!

Gene, just Sleep would be fine! How was the gym?

GeneCowan Fri 16-Mar-12 14:06:44

Gym was good, and am at the pool this evening for some intervals.

Good luck with the IF sunshine, will be interested to hear how you get on with it. I read quite a bit about it last year but I cannot imagine going that long without eating. I aim to eat in a Paleo-esque manner, but I still love my bread (and cake) far too much which leads to a lot of lapses grin

brighthair Sat 17-Mar-12 09:33:25

Did bootcamp on Thursday and took my friend (was bring a friend day free)
Hard session! We did shoulder press, bastards (burpees!), squat jumps, press ups, kettlebell swings, plank, broad jumps and a thing I don't know the name of. Basically you were in a push up position with hands on weights and one hand at a time brought the weight up to your chest?
Very sore, mainly my thighs and upper abs sort of near my ribs grin

Needabitofsunshine Wed 21-Mar-12 12:41:38

Anyone around still?

It´s a glorious day here, so perfect for a spot of interval training & bodyweight circuit by the sea with a bunch of wonderful ladies smile Some even skinny dipping afterwards...

I did my 2nd day of IF yesterday. It was fine - thought it might be harder after the first one! Especially since we had friends staying over the weekend, with plenty of eating and drinking involved. I even worked out pretty hard right at the end of it, then ate dinner afterwards. Might do it twice for the next couple of weeks as a last ditch attempt to drop a couple of lbs before hols. Beats self up for lack of self control beforehand...

Any chat anyone?

Hi, I really enjoyed the sunshine today too, made my run almost enjoyable grin.

Where are you sunshine? It sounds wonderful!

brighthair when you did the thing like a push up with the weight, did the weights move at all? I tried a similar thing a few weeks ago but was nervous of the dumbbell rolling and me falling flat on my face blush!

Needabitofsunshine Thu 22-Mar-12 10:11:39

Ha ha, skinny dipping makes it sound a bit tropical.

No, insane nutters - I´m in Denmark! It´s all the rage to have a daily dip in the Baltic sea (complete with cracking the ice open when the sea freezes in winter...). No matter the weather, there will be some hardy vikings (and a few crazy expats) doing it.

Ok now I'm not quite so envy, just suspecting that you are a bit loopy grin!

brighthair Thu 22-Mar-12 20:56:23

Sleepwhenidle - nope but the dumbells are funny end shaped, not round? If that makes sense!!

GeneCowan Tue 27-Mar-12 08:18:29

How's everyone doing?

When I do plank rows I tend to do them on the mats so they sink in a bit to reassure me they are not going to roll out from under me.

Spending most of my time running and swimming at the moment so am going to have to stick to some bodyweight circuits I can do at home for the next couple of months I think. I am buying a chin up bar this weekend and my aim is to be able to do at least one chin up by the end of May. I find I am having to keep the leg work quite light at the moment anyway or I struggle to get out for my runs, so I think sticking to some single leg work like pistol squats, bulgarians, and then chin ups and press up variations should keep everything going until I can go back to usual routine.

How is the carb cycling going Rhonda? Last week didn't go to plan for me, too many last minute dinner invites and a friend dropping round with a cake, last few days have been much easier.

rhondajean Tue 27-Mar-12 20:57:38

Hi gene!

I'm running behind schedule. I had a very woozy couple of weeks, my sinuses often play up and it makes me a bit light headed. So I had to bring the training down a good bit. As a result I had awful cramp and a heavy period the next week (which brings the training down too). I am now better! So back onto week 8 of my programme and the carb cycling will start next week with week 9.

I feel strong though- I bench pressed 42.5 k last week, 5 reps (with DH spotting) which is a brilliant gain for me, I was doing about 25k in week 1.

I've also started a wee jogging club for the no runners at work and we are going to to the couch to 5k programme because I hate running so the company and competition will push me on.

How's everyone else getting on?

GeneCowan Wed 28-Mar-12 10:47:20

Glad you are feeling better Rhonda. Were you able to go right back to where you left on in your program or did you take a session or two to get back into it? Great gains on your BP; that is what I love about weight training, it's the numbers on the bar that motivate you, not the numbers on a scale grin Can you link to the training program you are following or was it put together by a PT?

Good luck with the running club, sounds like a great idea. I quite like running alone, it's the only time I get some peace and quiet! I managed to get to the gym last night, and it was heaving. All cardio and weight machines were full and you could barely find space in the free weights section, but sadly I was still the only woman in it sad Short 4 mile run early this morning, interval session in the pool this evening, and medium carbs for me today.

rhondajean Thu 29-Mar-12 22:35:05

Id managed to train a couple of times each week, just not the six times that the programme asks for! so I was able to jump more or less straight back into it.

You can have a look at it, its online at:

I have not been very good with my diet at all so far - I am on week 8, four days in, and when I start phase 3 I am going to try the carb cycling.

I have not lost any weight (I weighed yest) but definite muscle gain, loss of body fat and reduction in inches eg waist size. Whats really impressing me is that after seven weeks of the programme I am developing veyr good definition in my arms. Ive had to really reduce the weight for calf raises though as I was bulking them up (I have very muscular calves, I can seated calf raise a 25k powerbag with our gym manager at 85k sat on top haha). Sadly I weight quite a lot but I know a lot of it is muscle, there is still a lot of fat on top though but its burning off.

Sadly I am not looking like Jamie Eason yet.

I love the way you say short 4 mile run....!I will crack it with the running, I will, if it kills me...

rhondajean Thu 29-Mar-12 22:35:38
brighthair Fri 30-Mar-12 16:03:41

<limps in>
was week 8 of bootcamp last night, and we went to the park. Running up and down hills, up and down steps... My calf muscles were crying
Mini death circuit - 30 secs each of bastards, press up crawls, squat jumps and lunges. All followed by a celebration meal as that was the final week. Except obviously I am insane and have signed for another 6 months grin
Off for a sports massage now very sore!

beatenbyayellowteacup Tue 10-Apr-12 20:13:41

Can I join? I used to hate strength training but started with a PT about 6 months ago and now just love it!

I try to go a few times a week doing my own programme but I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in sharing programmes?

I just did 30 of each of these (can't remember the order):

squat jumps
tricep pressups
pressups with feet in the TRX
mountain walking in the TRX
1 min plank with feet in the TRX (only did one of these!)
Round the world plank
weighted lunges (arm with weight raised in the air)

I had to break up most of them into sections though. Couldn't do two rounds - was shattered.

Anyone interested in sharing programmes?

I really need to shift fat as well as get as strong as possible, and have just started the Get Running app, but my glutes play up a lot so this is tricky and I'm taking it slowly.

brighthair Tue 10-Apr-12 21:04:15

Bootcamp tonight so here is what we did before I forget!
40 secs on a station, 20 secs rest. Circuit done 3 times
Squat jumps
Bicycle curls
Kettlebell swings
Press ups
Hurdle jump over a low box
Shoulder press

Followed by a challenge of 15 press ups, 10 squat jumps, 5 pulls ups. Repeat as many sets as you could in 4 minutes

beatenbyayellowteacup Tue 10-Apr-12 21:45:04

Thanks brighthair

What weight kettlebell swings were you doing?

brighthair Tue 10-Apr-12 22:09:21

12kg. We have different weights available and I try not to overload or I get to circuit 3 and keel over grin
6kg weights for shoulder press, sometimes use 7 or 8

beatenbyayellowteacup Tue 10-Apr-12 23:33:15

OK I use 12kg for swings too but there's nooo way I could do 6kg for shoulder press. I have no shoulder strength at all - but now I'll aim for that wink

brighthair Tue 10-Apr-12 23:55:16

Shoulder press with normal weights btw, am not doing some freaky version grin
I struggle with 7kg if doing 40 secs on 20 off but fine with them for 30/30

beatenbyayellowteacup Tue 10-Apr-12 23:57:59

I struggled with 30 x 3kg for shoulder press...I sometimes wonder if I even have any shoulders.

Oh there they are, underneath all that soft flesh blush grin

brighthair Wed 11-Apr-12 00:00:14

I am no slim thing, size 16 here (and very achy now)
Week 9 of bootcamp, and 6 months to go

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 00:03:46

I'm size 16 too - only a size 12 under the fat though! I am stronger than I was, and quite fit CVwise, but need to reign in the drinking and eating in order to lose the weight and let the ripped body show.

This is the hardest bit.

If anyone has any advice on how you eat I'd be grateful!

brighthair what are your goals for 6 months time?

brighthair Wed 11-Apr-12 00:06:53

Paleo is recommended for us with a cheat day once a week. Basically meat, fish, veg, eggs, water, multi vits and omega oil with some stuff reintroduced like small amounts of nuts and fruit
6 months - hmm. Not sure yet grin
I am mainly doing it because I love the endorphin rush, it helps my panic attacks, and it's sociable. Also good for my horse riding fitness. I love my body - but I am heavy, even though I don't look like I weigh as much as I do wink

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 00:13:10

Ah I looked up the paleo diet a while back and I thought it looked good. Can you fill up on it, or are you always slightly hungry? blush

brighthair Wed 11-Apr-12 00:18:06

Well they are always telling us to eat more!!
I find protein fills me up more anyway which helps. In a day I might have
Breakfast - scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, (good!) sausages
Lunch - huge salad with tuna. Vegetable soup
Tea - chicken breast with herbs/spices, as much chicken as you like plus loads of veg
Snacks - protein shake, berries, handful nits, salmon...

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 00:24:02

Mmmm yum that sounds great! I'm a real protein lover.

So no carbs except in veges? I usually have porridge for breakfast, when I get to work (I cycle to work and am pretty hungry by then).

brighthair Wed 11-Apr-12 00:29:25

Yep! Found this in my file
Day 1-14 has to be strict. Aim for 150g protein a day. No fruit except lemon and lime. Can have salsa, vinegar, horseradish, green olives
Day 15 - eat whatever you like as long as you meet protein goal
Day 16-30 100% strict but can introduce berries
Basically after that can introduce low GI fruit and every week can have a cheat meal
Then it recommends adding in sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice (one at a time) and seeing how you are on it
Main carbs from veg

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 00:40:12

Ok just bought apples and grapefruits today. Will eat them up and spend a few days checking it out then see if I'm up for it! Helps with fat loss, yes?

brighthair Wed 11-Apr-12 00:41:51

Best loss in our group was nearly 2 stone in 6 weeks. I haven't lost any weight but have lost 12cm round my belly button measurement

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 00:44:04

Woop that's great! Well done! V impressed.

Hi, glad to see there's still some life left in the thread! All a bit quiet due to Easter hols I expect. I have been particularly lazy, we have been away (still not back) and I'm not adapting as well as I planned to the change in routine and location, I was going to run and TRX in absence of the gym and kickboxing, but failed! I have tried a few Jillian Michaels dvd's (curiosity got the better of me and tbey arent bad at all) and managed a swim though!

Don't have time to type out workout routine/diet now but will come back later to do so grin

GeneCowan Wed 11-Apr-12 16:33:58

Glad some people are getting down to it because I'm not! Am fitting in my runs (because I must) and not much else at the moment. Had been planning on doing carb cycling throughout this month but after a week I ended up feeling drained and exhausted so clearly was missing something. Decided to go back to just regular eating until I reduce my mileage again but I am now overindulging, especially in bread and easter eggs which makes me feel equally lethargic. Really struggling to find a balance at the moment.

Good news is that I have my chin up bar installed and am determined to at least manage one full one before the year is out. At the moment when I try I just hang there twitching like a fish on a hook- same as this time last year in fact so I clearly need to look for a better gym program and work harder grin

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 17:37:33

I just hang there twitching like a fish on a hook perfect imagery grin

what is carb cycling?

GeneCowan Wed 11-Apr-12 18:26:55

Carb cycling basically means that you vary the amount of carbs you eat each day and divide the week in to low (very few carbs, mainly just from veg) medium and high days. On high days you still ideally try to get your carbs from unprocessed sources such as oatmeal, sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice etc, not bread and chocolate unfortunately! The idea is to consume higher carbs on the days you train and to eat them before and after your training session when your body needs them the most. Will try and link to an article later which will explain it far better than that!

beatenbyayellowteacup Wed 11-Apr-12 21:49:45

Just been beasted challenged, no, in fact BEASTED is correct - by my personal trainer - one hour of kettlebell training (the program her and two other trainers do).

First time I've done a full hour of those. Oh.My.God.

Meglet Wed 11-Apr-12 22:39:01

hello! I've been pointed in this direction as I want to know a bit more about TRX machines. Will read through the thread.

Ok, now I have a few mins, here is my typical gym workout...

5 mins/1km rowing machine to warm up

Superset 15x3 bench press with 25kg on barbell with 30 walking lunges/Bulgarian lunges holding 8kg dumbbells

Superset 15x3 tricep kickbacks with 8kg dumbbells or barbell lying tricep extensions with squats holding 10kg dumbbells

12-15x3 deadlift clean and press with barbell with 20kg

Superset 8x assisted pull ups and tricep dips (25kg on machine...I too do the fish thing unassisted grin)

Until recently I would then do 15-20 mins HIIT on the stairclimber (1 min on L20, 1 min at L14) but I have injured my abductor and that is now agonising so have had to I do Genecowans burpee thing (see earlier in thread) then 25 jumping lunges straight into 15 push ups with feet on bench or stability ball then 20 squat and jump from side to side of a bench followed by tricep dips or push ups with 6kg rows.

Then a few planks/side planks and a good stretch.

I usually do this Monday and Friday, kickboxing tues and Thurs then often one of either a run, swim or extra gym visit on weds/weekend. I love it all.

I lost about 2 stone in six months from the beginning of 2011, after a year of breastfeeding dc3. I was training about six days a week during that time, diet principally involved lots of protein...typically porridge and berries/banana or toast with almond butter for breakfast, eggs and toast or a big salad with protein for lunch, a skinny latte with one sugar at some point when needing a boost. Snacks of protein /a few raw nuts, half an avocado, miso soup, couple of squares of dark choc. Low carb, high protein dinner with a glass of wine most nights. Went from a good size 14 to an 8 by autumn, smaller than I have been for most of my adult life (even though I have always exercised and been reasonably fit) and I mostly credit the weight training - not to take away from the HIIT at all! I usually eat loads now, although I have kept the protein habit. As long as I keep up the training my weight stays pretty stable - it will be scary interesting getting back on the scales next week after these two weeks of anarchy grin. will soon get back on track though.

Hi meglet! Think it was me who sent you-welcome smile

Needabitofsunshine Tue 17-Apr-12 20:02:48

Hi all!

Back to reality after 2 fabulous weeks in Thailand. Super devastated to be back...

Didn´t keep up the usual regime, but did manage a few workouts a week - mostly bodyweight circuits. Looking forward to hitting the weights again smile

I finally took the plunge and have advertised my boot camp on facebook... V nervous and hoping that I have a few crazies turn up. Starts Monday! Scary stuff...

I did a few weeks of IF (Intermittent Fasting) before holiday, just doing 1 fasted day per week. I really liked it, but think I was a bit more lenient on the other days... I usually eat Paleo plus wine and maybe the odd bowl of porridge. Going to be strict after eating and drinking WAY too much for the last fortnight. Fun, but no good long term!

brighthair Thu 19-Apr-12 00:04:26

Still doing boot camp but I am crippled with Sciatica at the moment sad vast amounts of drugs and stretches aren't working so work have referred me to a physio (free) grin
I have now lost 14.5cm from around my belly button - but still no weight

Sandlewardle Fri 20-Apr-12 13:49:29

This is such an inspiring thread! I've just started a strength training routine at the gym, using mostly cable machines, some bodyweight stuff, and one or two dumbbell and barbell exercises. I'm really enjoying it so far. I do find the barbell area a bit intimidating though - many beefy blokes - hopefully that'll lessen with time?

Is anyone here on Fitocracy ?

LingDiLong Sun 27-May-12 21:46:57

I hope no-one minds me resurrecting this thread...I'm interested in starting Weight Lifting but not sure where to start. I've been reading the New Rules of Lifting For Women but the routines in there use a Barbell and I don't have money to spend on expensive equipment or gym membership. Can I realistically get started just with a set of decent dumbells? Someone on this thread linked to a Dumbell only workout so I was thinking of mixing that in with the routines on Lifting for Women. Does that sound ok?

I've managed to lose 18 pounds with a low calorie diet and jogging/exercise DVDs but I've been stalled for a couple of months now and despite a decent weight loss I'm frustrated that I've barely dropped a dress size. Everything I've read suggests that weight lifting will help with all this...

brighthair Mon 28-May-12 21:33:38

No weights for me today but a bootcamp session - omg the heat!!
We did squat jumps, burpees, press ups, squat thrusts, lunges, crumps grin

Hi everyone, good to see this thread resurrected! How are you all doingsmile?

Welcome lingdilong, great that you are keen to start weightlifting and yes you can definitely get started with some dumbells and body weight exercises grin. Be aware that for a short period initially when you start lifting that you may feel you are bigger than before, this is just your body's initial reaction - it will settle down and get used to the idea grin. It may also be a good idea to take lots of body measurements before you start, then repeat every few weeks/once a month to track progress, rather than just relying on the scales. As you build more muscle though, you will burn more calories and so, in the longer term, can eat more without gaining weight - yay!

LingDiLong Wed 30-May-12 19:37:10

Thanks sleepwhenidie. I'm off on holiday for a while now so I'll definitely be noticing my body get bigger before I even start!! Will take measurements though as I'm really more interested in that than the scales anyway.

brighthair Wed 30-May-12 20:04:54

Everything hurts today grin mainly my arms and abs. I have skinned my knees and they hurt. Oh an I decided to do a gentle intro to spinning by doing a 1hr extreme spin class. Clever grin
Bootcamp tomorrow, riding lesson Friday and some spin in between

I have only read the first page and this page of this thread so this may have already been suggested but it sounds like a lot of you would really like crossfit. If you don't know what it is take a look on youtube. It's addictive!

Needabitofsunshine Thu 31-May-12 10:44:03

Woo hoo - another crossfitter! Not many around these parts...

Glad someone resurrected this thread, was a bit disappointed when it died.

Lingdilong - check out gumtree/ebay etc for 2nd hand weights. Often people buy them then don´t use them... A set of adjustable bumbells would be a great start, as would a medicine ball and a kettlebell.

I started my boot camp about a month ago, so that´s been keeping me busy doing all the programming and have got a handful of PT clients now too. In fact, so busy that my weight training has suffered as I´m knackered doing everything else. Have started it up again a couple of weeks ago and was pleased to see that I hadn´t lost any strength in deadlifts and just a little in back squats (probably mostly rusty technique).

Go on everyone else, check in smile

GeneCowan Thu 31-May-12 13:03:20

Wahey, the threads been resurrected! Just in time for me, I started back with weights yesterday and am following the programme RhondaJean recommended. ~It's the first time I've done a body split before, I've always stuck to funcitonal full body workouts until now so am interested to see how it goes. Chest and tris yesterday, back and bis today and now feel like the top of my body is worked out and sore, whilst my bottom half is all relaxed, really weird! Legs tomorrow which is the part of the programme I'm a bit disappointed in as it mostly depends on machines so may switch things around a bit, although I suppose that defeats the object of following a programme! Would much rather lunge and deadlift than do seated hamstring curls and leg raises though.

GeneCowan Thu 31-May-12 13:07:29

Congrats on the bootcamp and PT clients Need, sounds like it's all going well.

Lingdilong, I started out following NROL for Women and brought adjustable dumbbells and a barbell. I justified that it was the equivalent of less than 4 months gym membership and I would always be able to sell them at the end. I still had to adjust some of the exercises etc but it was still a great programme to start and I saw a real difference from it. Whereabouts are you, I still have the equipment kicking around unused as have a gym membership at the moment.

LingDiLong Thu 31-May-12 13:27:00

I'm in South Wales so I find not a lot comes up on Ebay that I could feasibly collect you know? Will keep watching just in case. And it's good to know I can at least give it a try without spending too much, if I like it I'd be happy to pay for more equipment.

brighthair Thu 31-May-12 21:12:51

Massive amount of DOMS from extreme spinning, I am walking like a cowgirl that lost her horse grin

crikeyitshot Tue 05-Jun-12 08:32:58

Hello all, I've been lurking on this thread but thought I'd just surface to share my new inspiration. I was looking around for an introduction to kettlebell exercises and discovered Marianne's workouts.

She has an amazing, strong physique, plus she's a cardiac staff nurse and a qualified Fitness and Extreme Kettlebell Instructor. The fact she manages her workouts and does night shifts at times doubles my respect for her. Plus her accent is so calming, her website is over here if anyone else is interested.

Needabitofsunshine Thu 07-Jun-12 18:45:38

Yes, she´s great! Super workouts and from Norn Iron too smile

Tired legs this week...loads on trainingwise, so haven´t had the energy to do my own strength work. I really miss it, but have learned to listen to my body and lay off it if I´m feeling low. Maxing out really fries the central nervous system....

Needabitofsunshine Thu 14-Jun-12 11:38:49

Woo hoo!!!! PR´d my deadlift today with 95kgs! Happy days smile

Anyone else still around?

Claggis Tue 10-Jul-12 21:13:24

Hi, have only just discovered this thread - was beginning to think there was no exercise section on mn, thank you for starting!

Wow 95kg? Sounds great :D I do kickboxing but took up kettlebells a couple of months ago, just to do at home which I'm enjoying. I used to run but had to stop for now due to ligament pain. Not pushing the kettlebells too hard though (and no contact in kickboxing, just hitting pads) as am 28 weeks pg. So far so good but really hard to get decent advice about what to do - they say if you exercised a lot before pregnancy that the worst thing you can do is stop, but equally I don't want to overdo things or risk straining anything. Any advice? Am just listening to my body and doing what feels ok, plus read an American book on research on pregnancy and exercise (which put my mind at rest about myths like keeping your heartrate under 140bpm).
Anyway sorry for long post - and great to see you many of you into weights! :-D

Hi Claggis, welcome - and congratulations on your pregnancy!smile

this is a really interesting article on weight training during pregnancy, as the writer says, there's not a huge amount of encouraging advice out there. You sound like you are doing fine, not pushing yourself to the max, not risking injury (in the sense of getting hit at least) kickboxing and most importantly, listening to your body. The only thing I would be cautious about is any kettlebell exercises with a large range of movement IYKWIM, that you may overdo and risk injury,especially to your back, due to being more flexible than usual? Other than that, training to try and maintain your level of fitness, rather than improve it, Doing what you are already used to, or a modified version, for as long as you feel comfortable, is the way I went and think works smile

brighthair how's the sciaticasad? better I hope.

sunshine - 95kg shock - wow. Very impressive. How long do you reckon it's taken you to get there?

Sandlewardle Mon 23-Jul-12 16:06:57

95kg is great!

Needabitofsunshine Mon 30-Jul-12 21:39:04

Oooh, thread's alive again!

Congrats on the pregnancy, super great to keep moving. Keep focus on form and enjoy!

I was messing around and thought I'd test my 1rm on my DL. Was secretly hoping to hit the big 100kg but couldn't manage it... Soon... I've been doing weight training for about 2 years. I haven't been doing too much recently but am going to follow a proper program when I get back to reality next week. Goals for the remainder of this year: drop about 5% body fat, master the ever elusive pull up, plus a few more.

Have been on holiday all month, so totally out of normal schedule, lots of body weight stuff and tons of running. I'm much more suited to sprinting, so running lots has been a REALLY tough slog, especially given the relentless hills here in Cornwall. Still, good for the soul.

Anyone else got any chat?

brighthair Tue 31-Jul-12 01:43:12

Sciatica still ongoing and waiting for hospital referral. Modified bootcamp still, and if it hurts I stop. Really missing spinning sad but apparently it's one of the worst things I can do?
Had a horse riding lesson today and clever horse was excellent and I was very sweaty grin
Have lost 3.5kg this week. Total off waist is from 115cm at biggest to 99.5cm last week

Brilliant thread! I've only got in to exercise the past 3 years and have just started out weight/strength training.

I'm nothing like you gals yet I'm very weak on upper body but I'm getting there, doing weights most days and working on core.

The difference to my body in just 2 weeks is unbelievable, not just that but the strength in my arms and legs has improved noticeably. Wish everyone would do weights to see how good it can be!

crikeyitshot Tue 31-Jul-12 18:53:22

May I ask for some help from you experienced peeps? I use dumbbells/kettlebells at home a lot and have definitely increased my strength and seen massive changes in my body over the last year.

As I'm thinking of re-joining a gym to access a wider range of weights I'd also like to start learning how to deadlift and use the Olympic bar in my workouts. How did you learn? Did you employ a personal trainer or similar to learn the best technique?

Meglet Tue 31-Jul-12 18:55:04

I've finally started on the TRX. It is so good. 10 painful minutes on that and I can feel it in all my muscles.

Suprisingly good for stretching too. My hips have been feeling tight for a couple of years but I think it's pulled them out a bit and they feel looser now.

Needabitofsunshine Tue 31-Jul-12 20:55:26

Crikey, go for it! Always best to start with a trainer if you can. They can show you the ropes and ensure your form is tip top before you carry on yourself.

I started with a trainer, who was a friend and then we morphed into training partners. Nothing I loved more than those strength sessions with her in an otherwise empty CF gym. Good times, lifting heavy and chatting about everything under the sun. She has moved away now and I am still floundering without her sad

Going to start with another trainer soon (even though I am one myself). Would recommend the odd session every now and again to correct the bad habits that we all slip into...

Meglet Tue 31-Jul-12 21:06:15

yes, I think I will treat myself to the odd personal trainer session to make sure I get the most out of it. My gym used to have free sessions but they've changed it now so I'll have to save my pennies up for them.

One of the trainers at the gym said they were going to do TRX / Kettle bell / viper (?) masterclasses in the Autumn so I will try and get along to some of them.

longdays Sat 25-Aug-12 21:29:23

Hi all, I haven't been on here for ages. Anyway I have been carrying on with my lifting and have seen some big improvements for me. I managed to deadlift 90kg today for 3 reps. My back squat is up to 65kg, front squat 55kg, OH press 30kg but my bench is still down at 30kg all for 5 reps. I really am loving it now but it is leaving my legs trashed for my running, I guess I need to decide which I need to focus on more. Hope everyone else is well.

Needabitofsunshine Tue 28-Aug-12 12:01:55

Hi Longdays! Nice numbers, sound pretty similar to mine last time I checked. I know what you mean about trashed legs, rest & recover is soooo much more important when lifting heavy. I´ve been doing lighter and longer circuit training recently for my boot camp, so haven´t really been hitting the strength training - I miss it. Also been running more (on holidays) and I´ve been enjoying (!) that too (mostly...). Anyone else?

AlanMoore Thu 29-Nov-12 10:38:21

I found this linked from another thread, hope nobody minds me resuscitating it!

I'm planning to wean my baby off the breast in a few weeks and then make a serious effort to get fit. I need to lose 30lb just to get into healthy bmi range and my cheapo asda scales reckon my body fat to be 42% sad

What would you recommend as a start? Going to aim for 5k run 3x week, with hopefully a session of kickboxing and gym twice to do wt, how does eggs & an orange, oatcakes & banana, tuna salad and chicken & veg sound for a days food? TIA

longdays Sun 09-Dec-12 16:22:15

Hi Alanmoore, good to see this thread resurrected. Tbh that amount of food is a LOT less than I eat in a day. I am still BFing my daughter but I weight train x4 a week and only minimal cardio. I used to be an endurance runner and I look a lot better now. I am going for a new PB in my deadlift this week (100kg 1rm) and if I get it I will probably explode with excitement. How old is your baby?

BsshBossh Tue 15-Jan-13 21:28:20

Hello. I'm new to strength training and I have a question. I still have weight to lose and would like some inspiration please: can you lose weight by doing majority weight training and have you? On paper it makes perfect sense (muscle burns more calories so you continue burning more even at rest compared to cardio) but would like to hear from anyone if they lost primarily through weights.

Also, I'm already losing weight (30lbs so far) on high-ish calories (1800 at 15% of my TDEE). Have you increased your food intake as you've progressed through your strength training programmes?

Hi Bssh, IMO it would be very difficult to lose weight doing strength training alone. In general, the usual advice is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. This is because muscles need calories (protein) to grow whereas to lose weight you obviously need a calorie defecit. As I understand, the exception to this, where both can happen, is when you are just beginning a programme and have excess weight to lose, perhaps the first 6 months?

FWIW I think the best approach is to take the focus off weight loss and instead take lots of measurements of your body, even photos of yourself in underwear/gym kit. Find out your body fat % (a PT with callipers if poss). Monitor your measurements every 2-4 weeks.

Adjust your diet so it has a high ratio of lean protein (to aid muscle growth) and lower carb and fat. Try keeping same calories, you certainly shouldn't need more.

To build muscle do the regular weight training but make sure you keep up the cardio to burn fat - interval training is the best for this. You may lose weight, but as you build muscle you may not....what should reduce is your measurements and your body fat % and you will look smaller, burn more calories at rest - and feel amazing!

brighthair Wed 16-Jan-13 02:25:57

Ow ow ow! Do not have 5 weeks off and then do a circuit grin

I'm trying to remember what we did now. Sprints, burpees, press up with feet in trx thing, kettle bell swings, shoulder press, medicine ball slam, lunges with weights, and pull ups
My abs are screaming and my thighs aren't much better!

Shoulder press was a 10kg bar I think, kettle bell 12kg, and lunges 6kg in each hand. 3 circuits, 50 sec on, 10 sec off

BsshBossh Wed 16-Jan-13 13:15:08

Thanks for the advice, Sleep.

Since I haven't picked up weights in years, I started yesterday with 3kg dumbbells and did 2x10 reps of:

Bicep curls
Shoulder press
Overhead triceps extension
Dumbbell chest press
Calf raise with dumbbells
Lunge with punching
Bent-over fly
Dumbbell side bend

I plan on doing this routine twice a week to begin with as I do (and enjoy) cardio three times a week (for fat loss).

I'll increase weight and reduce reps in a week or too and build up strength that way.

Needabitofsunshine Wed 16-Jan-13 13:19:01

Longdays, not sure if you´re still around...did you get your 100kg 1RM on your deadlift? Awesome if you did smile

Poor you Brighthair, DOMS suck.

Bssh, if you´re new to weight training, you should be able to add a ton of strength whilst still losing weight, but this will taper off. More importantly, you´ll notice lovely changes in your body shape and composition. Plus increased strength will help you do more running/cardio/circuits etc. Long term, I don´t believe you can lose weight consistently when only weight training. I´m a great fan of circuit & interval training and running too smile Have fun and enjoy experimenting!

hi Bssh how are you getting on?

I am aching too today, one my new year's fitness resolutions was to do at least one unassisted pull up so I practised yesterday on the assisted pull up machine at the gym, then at kickboxing this morning the sensei really went to town on the push ups.. my poor chest, shoulders and lats don't know what's hit them. Maybe a rest tomorrow.

BsshBossh Thu 17-Jan-13 20:26:05

Had a good week:
Monday 45 mins cardio
Tuesday 20 mins weights
Wednesday 45 mins cardio
Thursday 20 mins weights
Tomorrow 45 mins cardio
Weekend Rest
Plan to follow this every week and keep calories at 1800.

The weights felt slightly more manageable today so will start increasing weight (kgs) next week.

BsshBossh Thu 17-Jan-13 20:28:30

Forgot to say, Wednesday's cardio session (the day after my first strength session) was terrific - I felt stronger and ploughed through the session. I can see how strength training will benefit my cardio.

bacon Fri 15-Feb-13 23:57:30

Kettlebells class' are fantastic great for strength and core. My teacher is great he goes around the class checking positioning and depth of swings etc (sadly lacking in many classes).

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