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 Post subject: Looking for some training advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:58 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:46 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Pittsburgh
I guess I'm confused. I'm really not sure how heavy I should go, how many reps/sets I should shoot for...

My goal is to build some bulk and a lot of strength in my upper body, and to maintain size and tone my legs.

I have a nice 6-pack coming along, but I would like to see a tad more definition.

My current training routine is:
Mon: cardio kick-boxing class
Tue: chest & shoulders, 20-30 minutes of cardio
Wed: abs/sculpt class
Thur: biceps, triceps and back, 20-30 minutes of cardio
Fri: legs
Sat or Sun - one day is a long, lower-intensity cardio-60-90 minutes, and one is rest.

I also typically do about 30-45 minutes of yoga each morning - routine varies.

I have some pockets of fat (some are vestiges of my weight loss and excess skin issues) - mainly underarms and thigh saddlebags. I realize I can't spot reduce, so I'm working on my body fat ratio. I eat pretty clean, but I definitely see areas I can work on. I was at about 25% body fat, according to the last time I had it read, which was a while ago. For my age (43) it said it was okay, but I would like to see it lower.

So - after all that blathering on, my question is - currently I'm lifting weights for my upper body that I can do about 3 sets of roughly 10-12 reps with the third set being quite difficult (for me - weakling - that means about 8-10 lb dumbells for most upper body stuff). My legs are strong and get strong quickly - right now I'm doing about 12-15 reps on my leg exercises. I have a tendency to just randomly do squats - like when I'm brushing my teeth, and lunges when I'm talking on the phone. Can you tell I like to work my legs? :wink:

Should I shoot for higher reps and lower weights? Lower reps and higher weights? I think that to build strength and bulk I want higher weights/low reps, but will that also provide definition, or just bulk?

Sorry so long - just thought I'd try to give as much info as possible...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:58 pm
Posts: 446
Location: pittsburgh, pennsylvania
you need to seriously overhaul your leg routine. over 40% of your muslce is in your lower body. think of your legs as your attitude and as the cowboy in Mulholland Drive said, "a man's attitude determines to a large extent how their life will unfold". you need to do squats (knees parallel to hips), some type of deadlift (stiff legged or perhaps good mornings as a substitute), and lower back work (back hypers). i would give you more advice, but proper lower body work is the most important.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:15 pm 
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Manatee
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Location: pittsburgh, pennsylvania
sorry, i guess i read your post wrong the first time and thought you said "leg extensions" and that the "i like legwork" remark was sarcastic. anyway, think of my last post as just a reminder to hit your legs even harder.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:32 am 
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Rabbit
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Posts: 65
"Toning" is nothing but building muscle while losing body fat. That said, diet is about 95% of the equation. :) You will need to eat super clean to lose the rest of the fat.

If you want to gain muscle, you should do low reps - in the 6-8 range. For your legs, you might want to try HIGH rep, like 15-20. That will build endurance and keep any gains minimal.

I also want to dispel the myth that women *bulk*. Most don't. What happens is they lift, but don't clean up their diet so they end up building muscle while maintaining the same level of body fat. Of course, you are going to get a little bigger. Muscle is A LOT smaller and more compact than fat. So, even if you lifted as heavy as possible, you will not *bulk* if you are maintaining the right diet.

~ Adrienne

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:01 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:46 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh
Hi Wannalift - yeah - given my druthers, I'd work my legs all the time and skip the upper body LOL - because it's easier.

Thanks for all the advice Adrienne. You are the second person to let me know that women don't really "bulk" up, but your explanation made a whole lot of sense.

I have a long torso and relatively short, squat legs. I don't work my calves at all (except what they get during cardio) because they're already huge (17.5"). When I was having my skin removal surgery, the surgeon looked at my calves to see if there was anything to be done and he said, nope, they're basically solid muscle - nothing he could do to minimize them. :)

So I will try and up the reps and lower the weight on the legs.

I've been shooting for 10-12 reps on the upper body - so you think I should up the weight a bit and lower the reps a bit?

I have some confusion about how often to change things - I have only been lifting for about 6 weeks. I have increased the weights since starting as I built strength and it became to easy to do what I started with. But I wasn't sure if there is some general wisdom as to how often to increase weight, how often to change the routine, when to add new exercises, etc. Any thoughts?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:18 pm 
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Rabbit
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Location: Australia
Hmmmm. They say you should change your routine around every 3mnths, but I really think that depends on the individual. Truth being, you will read one article with one school of thought, and then another article that states the opposite. This is because we ALL build muscles differently
My opinion is change your routine,either, when you stop noticing any gains, or when you are bored.

I'm a hard gainer, with long limbs, and have more slow twitch muscle fibres as opposed to fast, so I will never get exceptionally muscular. What may work for me in the gym may not work for you. I do however reccomend that women do very high reps on their legs-around 30 reps(as well as keeping the weights as high as possible). If I can walk (properly) the 2nd day after my leg workout then I haven't trained hard enough :shock:

On my upperbody I never go over 15 reps (and that is just for a warm up for whatever muscle group I am training). As low as 6 reps with very heavy weights (don't try and sacrifice form if you haven't been training for so many years that you can afford to get a few cheat reps in).

8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:07 am 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:46 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Pittsburgh
Wow - 30 reps! Hmmm.... I've only been doing 15 or so on my legs - trying to build strength. Something to maybe rethink...

Had my first Dragonboating practice of the season on Saturday (in a pool, not in the boat) and I'm painfully reminded today of the muscles I don't seem to use other than for that LOL (it's mainly the core that works - torso stroke, not arm). I realized that I need to work on my obliques more. And to get a darn seat pad - my butt bones are SORE from sitting on that hard pool-side surface for an hour and a half - and the boat seats are not much better! But man it felt good to have that paddle in my hand :)

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