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Gym vs class

(31 Posts)
Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 12:53:57

I'm returning to exercise following physio for a long term hip problem. I can't do high impact exercise so the gym works in that sense.

I've tried two classes recently, body pump and body balance. After body pump I couldn't use my arms for days so I haven't been back but the body balance I really felt the effects the next day but not to the point of being useless!

When I go to the gym I usually have an hour. I do a circuit of 15 minutes cross trainer, 20 minutes on the bike and then maybe 5 minutes on the rowing machine. I then move on to the weights machines and do three sets of 15 on each of the machines.

I don't feel like I work my body as much at the gym as I don't have the muscle pain / ache the next day at all.

Am I looking at this the wrong way round? The times of the classes make them almost impossible for me to get to so I need to do gym sessions. How would you get more out of the gym or quantify the benefits of the sessions?

MaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 13:40:20

How would you get more out of the gym or quantify the benefits of the sessions?

You should lift heavier. 3 x 15 means you aren't working to fatigue. Once I can manage 3 x 12 and still have one more rep in the bag, the weight goes up.

MaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 13:41:14

Which weight machines do you use?

MaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 13:43:06

Caveat: if lifting heavier is problematic for your hip, then maybe it isn't the best thing for you to do right now. I bet we can still find stuff for you to do though!

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 13:49:54

Chest press
Shoulder press
Lat pull down
Seated row
Leg curl
Leg extension
Leg press

There is a dip assist but most of the time someone has dumped a massive weight on it so I don't use it.

Hip doesn't care about the weights, only running aggregates it really.

JustGettingStarted Tue 22-Nov-16 13:54:07

The pain after doing something new doesn't last forever. Your body adjusts to the moves and its not as severe after subsequent sessions.

Chewingthecrud Tue 22-Nov-16 14:07:32

Don't use those machines

Either do body weight exercises (jump squats, burpees, lunges etc) or get someone to show you how to use free weights effectively and safely.
Kettle bells are awesome too

Those weight machines are shot frankly

Look at something like the fitness blender website for some body weight exercise sets.

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:30:28

I can't do body weight exercises due to my hip issues. I can't do squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers or anything like that. The reason the fixed weight machines work is that they are low enough impact for me. My gym doesn't have kettle bells I don't think and the free weights are too busy / dominated my men who spend hours and hours there. Really it's use these machines or nothing.

MaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 14:36:53

Can you do push ups and pull ups?

Well, not can you actually do them (although you maybe can) but would those hurt your hip?

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:39:22

I can do push ups. Badly. I have zero upper body strength but I am not banned from pull ups.

Lalsy Tue 22-Nov-16 14:40:22

OP, I use the machines and they have made me stronger and a different (better!) shape [50 year old, creaky, started weights age 49]. I do three sets of 12 and put the weights up regularly (make a note on my phone) as they start to feel easy, going down to 8-10 reps if need be. That is roughly what the trainer advised. I do some classes as well but feel safer pushing myself on the weights machines when I am on my own. What about aqua classes? They can be very good exercise. I was going to suggest Body Vive but it does involve squats and lunges (doesn't Body Pump have squatting?)?

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:40:46

Oh yes I forgot, I have hyper mobility syndrome (recently diagnosed) so I'm not really supposed to do push ups as I can't control my elbows.

I really am a physical wreck it seems. My hip doesn't allow me to swim. I'm trying to build muscle and stamina.

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:41:51

Body pump does have squatting, I do a sort of half squat without a bar. I do the lunges but I can't continue for the whole track.

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:42:23

Aqua only runs here during the day and I am a sahm so can't get to one unfortunately.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 22-Nov-16 14:44:11

Body Pump does wreck you a bit the first few times, or if you've not done it in a while - especially across the chest. But it gets better - and you can always lower your weights, which the instructor should tell you.

Body Balance is nice - not sure how useful it is, but you'll stop feeling achy the next day after a much shorter time than with Pump.

MaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 14:44:34

OK, bottom half:
I would lose the leg extensions/curls and focus on the press. It's essentially the same movement as a squat but without the requisite stability control (so your hips aren't so involved). Are you doing these on an incline? Big sets at a weight where you can only manage 8 before you can't do another. A good two minutes rest (or longer) in between.

Top half:
Chest press is good - big compound exercise working lots of muscles. Same for shoulder press although this better as a free weight movement with a squat dip ("push press"). Again, lift heavy, 8 reps max, with lots of rest. Chest press can be supersetted with rows; shoulder press supersets excellently with pull ups. Superset your lat pulldowns with push ups.

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Tue 22-Nov-16 14:45:16

Also, could you do something like Abs Blast?

MaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 14:49:41

Note: I would separate your top half exercises over two sessions. Don't try and do a heavy chest press in the same session as push ups, for example - this works the same muscles twice and one workout per muscle set should be enough to make you scream.

Both sessions: leg press. Session one: chest press + rows. Session two: shoulder press + pull ups.

If you can't do push ups, don't!

I lift (free weights) once or twice a week and I do one "big" arse/leg/hip/lower back exercise (deadlifts or split squats) followed by an upper body set (chest press + T-bar rows; shoulder press + pull ups; inverted rows + push ups). So I only do three exercises a session. It's enough.

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:53:23

Maid - I'll give that a try. It sounds very sensible! I hopefully will work up to being able to do free weights eventually in terms of ability and confidence. I still feel like I'm stared at when I walk in!

StillMaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 14:57:39

If you try to build your core, free weights will be easier when you start.

Can you plank? Or leg/knee raise hanging on a pull-up bar?

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:59:07

I can plank, not for long, but I can build it up.

StillMaidOfStars Tue 22-Nov-16 14:59:24

I know what you mean about gyms (and free weights) being intimidating. To be honest, if your going to lift heavy on free weights, you'll need a buddy anyway.

I solved both problems by hiring a personal trainer with his own studio grin

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 14:59:46

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to respond on this. I am very grateful for your time :-)

Mummyshortlegz Tue 22-Nov-16 15:02:23

If we didnt have the children issue me and dh would go together. He does weights mainly at the gym and then runs outside. We did go together years ago, he worked me hard! But now I have no strength, stamina or tone and very little confidence.

I do wonder if 10 sessions with a pt would be a good investment once I've got my attendance and basic fitness up.

SapphireStrange Tue 22-Nov-16 15:07:53

Totally different, but how about Zumba-type classes?

They're non-weight-bearing and you can work as hard or as lightly as you need. You get a cardio workout as well as strength.

I can't do weight-bearing due to RSI, but I find Zumba keeps my arms and upper body toned and strong, probably because there's a lot of different arm movements and positions.

Plus it's huge fun.

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