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General Chat Thread, Random Fitness regime critique in General; I'm quite into my fitness, nutrition, etc and have done the Insanity program (damaged my knees) and the T25 program ...
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    simongrahamuk's Avatar
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    Random Fitness regime critique

    I'm quite into my fitness, nutrition, etc and have done the Insanity program (damaged my knees) and the T25 program (great program, but got bored with working out in the garage). Anyway I have decided to change my workouts at the gym, and only have a limited amount of time to do my workout, so I have devised 5 different 30 minute workouts based on what I enjoy doing at the gym and want some critique from those of you who also hit the gym as to whether you think they are any good or not.

    These are for General Fitness / Conditioning

    1. 30 mins cross trainer - Reasonable resistance, 30 seconds flat out every minute and a half.
    2. 30 mins treadmill various speeds
    3. 5mins treadmill
      15 mins weights -3 x 8 Reps, heavy weights - Chest Press, Rear Rower, Pull Downs. Visit each machine twice.
      2000 metres rowing machine - flat out as fast as I can
    4. 10 mins Weights - Less weight higher reps - Chest Press, Rear Rower, Pull downs
      20 mins cross trainer - High resistance
    5. 5 mins treadmill
      10 mins rowing machine
      15 mins cross trainer - high resistance


    I also do the odd 10k runs, but they're just for when I'm in the right mood!

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    I've been told you should do your weights first, then do the cardio.

    I'm on with deadlifts at the moment. Up to 80kg

    That's an extreme workout. I'm never in the gym for more than an hour a time :P

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    simongrahamuk (3rd June 2014)

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    iceman85's Avatar
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    The cross trainer is an extremely inefficient method of cardio, its basically running made easy. Unless your knees are terrible you should be running or using the stair master, if your knees are bad I would still choose the bike over the cross trainer. 15 mins in a stair master and you will easily burn 150 calories.

    For your weights stick to the basics, deadlift, bench, squat.

    mon - 2000 meter row then deadlift
    wed - run then bench
    fri - stair master then squat

    etc

    * I'm a pt and nutritionist.

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    simongrahamuk (3rd June 2014)

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    Miscbrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman85 View Post
    The cross trainer is an extremely inefficient method of cardio, its basically running made easy. Unless your knees are terrible you should be running or using the stair master, if your knees are bad I would still choose the bike over the cross trainer. 15 mins in a stair master and you will easily burn 150 calories.

    For your weights stick to the basics, deadlift, bench, squat.

    mon - 2000 meter row then deadlift
    wed - run then bench
    fri - stair master then squat

    etc

    * I'm a pt and nutritionist.
    Not sure I'd agree with the crosstrainer being less than the bike. Hell I get about 200 calories done in 15 minutes on the crosstrainer. You can kick your ASS with it if you need! Then again, treadmill gets about the same off in around 10 minutes. I just cannot stand running. Gotta do it anyway but as I'm forced to I split them up and to 200 cals on the crosstrainer and then run for ten minutes or at least 150 cals.

    FOR GOODNESS' SAKE get your form right on deadlifts and squats. Start very light and maybe get a PT in for a session or two at the start, and then again every now and then to check on it. I can promise you from experience you don't want to be messing those up. I've aggravated a kickboxing hip injury no end with squats and I absolutely CANNOT do deadlifts, with NO amount of support or form videos on YouTube or real life patient sessions in the gym, so now avoid both.

    These three big compound exercises are all well and good, but you can take advantage of more if you're willing to do a 3-day split and build more muscle. However, in the OP you've stated 'general fitness' is what you want, not 'becoming huge' so I'd say Iceman's got it pretty much as I'd put it. For more exercises within your criteria I'd add pullups (best back exercise,) dips/weighted dips for triceps, 21s for biceps and maybe military press for shoulders.

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    simongrahamuk (3rd June 2014)

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    Treadmill
    20 seconds on
    10 seconds off
    15% incline
    6mph

    As many reps as possible

    Alot tougher than it looks!

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    simongrahamuk (3rd June 2014)

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    simongrahamuk's Avatar
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    I have to agree with @Miscbrah about the cross trainer.

    From my experience I burn a lot more calories on it than I do on a bike I'm also dripping with sweat when I come off. 200 Calories in 15 mins seems normal to me. My gym no longer has any Stairmaster's. Might give the bikes a go though just to see how I feel.

    The reason that I use the weights machines rather than free weights is because I feel my form is better on them than when I simply lift. Its also easier to get to them rather than having to fight past 3/4 people standing round the weight benches chatting!

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    Machine weights work the mainly just the primary muscles. Where as free weights use a lot of secondary muscles, making it slightly harder imo

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    simongrahamuk (4th June 2014)

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    Miscbrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simongrahamuk View Post
    The reason that I use the weights machines rather than free weights is because I feel my form is better on them than when I simply lift. Its also easier to get to them rather than having to fight past 3/4 people standing round the weight benches chatting!
    Just walk up to them and ask how many sets they've got left. Then just 'hover' if they're dawdling. Or just ask if you can work in (do sets while they're resting and vice versa.) Machines are ok if you can do the full range of bodyparts you want in your gym. Best thing about them is it's harder to get your form wrong, but you'll often not get to work the supporting muscles you do in pretty much every exercise you'd use free weights with. Our gym has no real way to free bench, just a sort of hefty smith machine. I'd rather not use it, but if there's no choice then there's no choice. Better that than free bench with no spotter and drop 100kg on my chest.

    From a hazy past, front squats are harder to get wrong than regular squats, so I'd say do those if you've got a rack. Be prepared to start off with mega baby weights though! I'd recommend them because you need to balance that weight to get it up there, and you just won't round your back - it'd topple you forward if you did.

    If you don't fancy deadlifts, you could probably substitute a few sets of abs, side plank, calves and quads on machines and get similar benefit. If you DO fancy deadlifts though PLEASE GOD get the form right. If you can they are a great exercise.

    Bench is pretty much instinctive to do. What you shouldn't do however (though opinion is divided on the subject) is lift the base of your back/ass off the bench. Lie flat and go to it, bar down to just above nipple, nice and slow and controlled reps (2 secs up, 2 secs down to start.) You'll see power lifters in all sorts of tantric bloody yoga positions benching:





    Not sure I can say outright these are wrong, but I can say that EVERY big lifter in my gym benches laying flat (unless incline bench but that's another story) and I get a better workout from it laying flat with a naturally expanded chest and shoulders pulled close together, because the range of motion is that much fuller doing so.

    Other hints in no particular order would be 2 secs up 2 secs down for any rep to start, at the very least no jerking anything up or down ever ever.

    Keep a workout log of every rep and set.

    Never sacrifice good form for another rep. Failure is ok, ALMOST getting that last rep out is ok, strict A1 form failing you on the last rep is probably ok, sacrificing safety isn't.

    If injured, don't lift until you're better.

    Read this though nutrition you're up on as you say so lots of this might not be news to you.
    Last edited by Miscbrah; 4th June 2014 at 10:17 AM.

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    simongrahamuk (4th June 2014)

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    bondbill2k2's Avatar
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    MyFitnessPal app is great for recording workouts, reps, sets and burn then you can easily compare and view progression

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    I favour body weight exercises where possible, so I do pull-ups and chin-ups rather than pull downs and dips rather than tricep extensions. I also superset these for the extra burn, typically 60-80 pull-ups in sets of 8 and dips in sets of 12. I work out with minimal rest between sets, no more than 60 seconds. For chins & dips, the rest period is walking between the equipment.

    For bench press and shoulder press, I usually use a Smith machine. I reckon you can lift 10-15 kgs more on a Smith than with a free bar. Actually I use both, as in the Summer I lift in my garage and I only have free weights. I train "close to the edge", which is sets of 10 of what you can lift, and if you run out before the 10, you have a slight rest and keep going until you complete the set.

    Exercise while you are doing something else is good to. While you are watching the TV, do a set of push ups during the commercial break. I do. I've been wondering if you could lose weight by getting rid of the furniture and watching TV standing up. Actually you don't have to get rid of the furniture, just don't use it. You could do pliés while watching TV for that extra calorific burn. Any exercise you do is good.

    I have seen those strange bench presses on youtube, but I've never seen anyone do them in the gym. Where I go, there are a lot of body builders and they are always happy for me to join in with them, even if it does mean taking most of the weight off and putting it back on again. It doesn't take very long and I get inspired watch them lift ridiculous weights.



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