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Am i doing the right things at the gym?

(24 Posts)
LovleyRitaMeterMaid Mon 22-Dec-14 16:12:19

I'm really enjoying going. It fits in with everything else I've got on and I get to listen to music!

I have a lot of weight to shift. Like 5 stone.

I go for around an hour 2 to 3 times a week. I also do yoga and one other aerobic class a week. I'm getting my money's worth!

Anyway at the gym I'll do -

Cycling - 20 minutes, varying speeds and intensities

Cross Runner - 15 minutes, not much variance in the level

Step - 5 minutes sometimes bit more

I'll then do some weight. Nothing heavy duty but some arm ones then the hip extender one that focuses on my bum and thighs. Should I be doing any weights at all, given my chunk? I don't want to be this big and muscly!

Sometimes brisk walking for 10 minutes to cool down.

It's a council gym, I'm sure there would be someone I could ask but I don't even like making eye contact with anyone at the gym!

SwingingBalls Mon 22-Dec-14 16:17:16

Do they not do programs? My council gym devises a program according to needs. I think you need to keep "mixing it up" a bit rather than getting into a routine.

The fact that you're enjoying it is the biggest hurdle smile

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 22-Dec-14 16:34:14

Weights are good as they build muscle which helps to increase your metabolism and burn fat. I also think that you burn more calories weight lifting than cardio.

As long as you are building up a sweat and can feel the workout then it must be doing some good.

Have you thought about looking online for a work out program you can do in the gym?

Disclaimer I am not that knowledgable and what I have said it what I have read myself on the internet.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 22-Dec-14 16:35:14

Weights are good - the heavier the better. Not weights machines though, free weights.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Mon 22-Dec-14 17:08:40

I use the machines. I have no idea what to do with the free weights! There's handheld weights and kettle bells. I'm scared I'd look like a twat!

actiongirl1978 Mon 22-Dec-14 17:51:22

Lovely Rita, me too. I was lucky enough to have enough cash for some sessions with a personal trainer who has just given me loads of confidence and I can now use kettlebells and dumbells though it would take a lot of convincing to get me to do barbells on my own!

Can you ask for half an hour with one of the gym staff? My gym is council too and I think part of the signing up package is an hour with a PT getting a program started. I didn't get once as I was already seeing he PT privately ifyswim.

I have dropped a dress size using the free weights and I speak as someone who used the machines and cardio stuff religiously for years and years. I just never thought I could do the weights thing.

If you can afford a PT even for one session,sometimes this can be a half hour it will give you a starting point with the weights.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 22-Dec-14 18:04:43

Resistance machines absolutely can be useful, I use a mixture of machines and free weights. I'd suggest doing big compound movements rather than isolation movements.
EG, instead of arm exercises use a chest press, shoulder press and the 'lat' pulldown, thereby working whole muscle groups at the same time.
Try the leg press rather than just focusing on the glutes.

Try searching you tube for different exercises, look for video's with the equipment that you gym has to give you an idea of how best to use it

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 22-Dec-14 18:04:58

What's wrong with weight machines? I use them during a normal gym session. Also do a kettlebell and a metafit (intervals using bodyweight exercises) class. I can feel the muscles working when using them.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 22-Dec-14 18:12:29

both machines and free weights have pro's and cons, cables are also very useful.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 22-Dec-14 18:14:28

furthermore you wont get big and muscly, women dont respond as strongly to strength training as men to, out potential for muscular development is on average not as great

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 22-Dec-14 18:16:40

What's wrong with weight machines?

NearTheEdge Mon 22-Dec-14 18:35:15

This website has some great information which should answer your questions and address your 'concerns' about lifting weights

RJnomore Mon 22-Dec-14 18:36:47

Yes yes yes get the weights out!

amidaiwish Mon 22-Dec-14 18:49:29

definitely do some weights, is there a body pump class?
if you do lots of cardio you burn calories, great, but most people more than make up for the calories burned unless really disciplined.
if you do weights you build muscle, so you burn more calories all the time just living! try and use the machines that use the big muscles in your body - bottom and legs.

if you really do like cardio best introduce some intervals, so 60 seconds flat out as fast or as hard as you can. then 3,4,5 minutes at a lower pace. Your heart rate will be high from the 60 seconds burst. If you can get a heart rate monitor it's quite entertaining/distracting and keeps you motivated.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 22-Dec-14 18:58:10

Thanks for the link ItsAllGoingToBeFine I had no idea that the machines are bad, just assumed that free weights were better, hence why I also include the two classes in my weekly routine.

So why don't the fitness instructors at the gym encourage more free weights then? Whenever I've joined a new gym all my inductions and programs have included the machines and no free weights. I also often see the personal trainers at my gym using the machines more than the free weights. This current gym has only been open 6 months and one trainer has not long been qualified.

cardamomginger Mon 22-Dec-14 18:59:55

I think what you are doing is great and it's so good that you are enjoying it! The yoga and aerobic class is good, as it mixes it up a bit. 40 minutes cardio total sounds about right. As you get fitter and stronger, it will be helpful to make sure you keep pushing it. If you stay doing the same things, at the same intensities, as your body gets used to doing them, you will start to plateau out and won't feel the benefit. I'm more familiar with running, where to stop this happening, you'd introduce things like longer, but slower runs, shorter and much faster ones, hills, intervals where you do sprints interspersed with slower running. But there's no reasons why you couldn't work something out similar with the bike, etc varying speeds, gradients and programmes.

I second the benefit of the machines. When you get our confidence up, it's a good idea to ask someone to help you with a programme for these, so you know which settings to use (where the chair should be, etc) as well as how to combine the different machines to make sure your body is exercising in a balanced way.

Well done you!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 22-Dec-14 19:05:33

So why don't the fitness instructors at the gym encourage more free weights then?

Potential for injury lifting heavy weights with poor form. Also I would guess they are less popular for women because of the myths about bulking up etc.

RJnomore Mon 22-Dec-14 19:07:45

A lot of women just point blank refuse the free weights.

Dangermouse1 Mon 22-Dec-14 19:30:01

Sounds like you are doing great. Keep on with the weights - they will help you lose weight and tone up, stick to light weights and you won't bulk up at all. My normal gym session would be warming up (say 5 minutes easy cross trainer), then weights, then 20 mins cardiovascular, then maybe some core stuff (like sit ups or plank), then stretching to finish. But you do need to make sure you're doing weights etc properly to avoid getting injuries and to get the most out of your workout. I'm sure the staff at the gym would be really helpful if you asked for a few tips, but otherwise try going to some more classes instead - things like circuits or body pump or legs buns and tums type classes you will learn things you can do to the gym too.

Also doing intervals (1 minute hard work then 1 minute to recover) is a good change from just plodding along on the cross trainer. As it gets easier, make the hard work bit longer). And try the treadmill. If you're not ready to run yet, put it on a bit of an incline and do some power walking, then work up to jogging.

KittyandTeal Mon 22-Dec-14 19:48:16

If it want to shift weight you're better doing 45 mins on the cross trainer on the interval setting where it jumps right up for 30-60 seconds then down for 10 then up again and so on.

Interval training is a great way to shift weight. I found metafit classes the best for high impact weight loss.

RJnomore Mon 22-Dec-14 19:57:55

Ignore the stick to light weights advice. Waste of time.

Intervals are good.

Lift as heavy as you can. You won't bulk up. Women don't have enough testosterone.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Mon 22-Dec-14 21:30:47

Thanks for all the advice! Just back from the gym, it was really quiet. I used the cross runner for 30 minutes then I had the place to myself so felt able to have a good explore of the weight machines and the free weights. Happy I've established a wee circuit I could do with the hand weights.

It's stupid that I worry so much about looking stupid!

goodasitgets Tue 23-Dec-14 00:38:28

Make the most of it while it's quiet! I worried at first but I got into it. I do have a PT and he pushes me beyond what I think I'm capable of. If I'm not drenched in sweat, he's not happy grin
Mainly we do free weights, some weight machines and cardio - always intervals so 30sec on, 30sec off

goodasitgets Tue 23-Dec-14 00:41:19

Here's the workout I did the other day. Harder than it sounds! I am a size 16 so not a lean fit gym machine

3 min run, 2 min walk warm up

20 power kicks
20 mountain climbers
20 hack squats
(Rpt x 3)

Leg press
140kg x 10
160kg x 10
180kg x 10

Air squats for time (1 min)
Lunges "" (1 min)

Leg extension x 10 x 3

Stepper 1 min
15 jump squats
Rpt x 3

Medicine ball slam x 10
Medicine ball squat x 10
Then x 9, x 8 and down to x 1

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