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Knowing What You Know Now...


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I know many people on the Vegan Bodybuilding forum have been lifting and exercising for years. I just joined the forum and posted my introduction yesterday (needless to say, I haven't been lifting and exercising for years ).

 

I've been lifting and walking regularly since February of this year. I have a bunch of dumbells hidden away in the living room (weights ranging from 5 lbs. to 40 lbs.), and my wife and I go for at least a two mile brisk walk several times a week. On days I lift, I do my best to push myself, but not overdo it.

 

My immediate fitness goal is to lose weight without losing what little mass I do have. My ultimate fitness goal is to have a body where all the muscle groups work together--not a body that just looks big (i.e. I try not to isolate muscle groups too much when lifting).

 

I know many of you have lifted and exercised for years...knowing what you know now--if you could go back to when you were still new to lifting--what would you do differently?

 

I look forward to your answers.

 

Christopher

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When losing weight I think you'll find your legs will be awkwardly larger than the upper body. This didn't bother me because I'm a cyclist but if you want to be well proportioned I'd keep doing leg work but focus a bit more up top. This is the exact opposite of most others since they focus on the upper and have puny legs. Most overweight people have really muscular legs once they lose weight...especially calves and quads. Hamstrings may be a bit weak though.

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Thanks, potter.

 

One of the things I've been concerned about is working my legs, since I really don't. You're right--my legs have always been muscular (they have to be to carry all the weight I've carried over the years ). Since I'm only lifting dumbells at home right now, the only leg work I get is when taking walks, doing squats with dumbells, and when climbing stairs at work and home.

 

I've mainly been working on my upper body and core and feel like I've been neglecting my legs. But your reply has eased that concern about if I should be working my legs like I'm working the rest of my body at this point in my weight loss and bulking up.

 

Christopher

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Yeah you probably don't need to concern yourself too much about them since you'll find that if you lose 50lbs your squat max will pretty much go up anywhere from 30-50lbs depending on how good you are at maintaining strength. Also if you don't plan on getting really muscular it will take you a while before you'll need to make your legs catch back up to your upper body. Leg muscles deteriorate much slower since you have to use them to do pretty much anything, but the upper body never really carries anything of load unless your job makes you do that.

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Although I think Potter has good advice there, one thing does jump to my mind. Leg muscles are large, and to work them burns more calories and ups your metabolism more than working upper body muscles. So working legs (and glutes for that matter) might aid in your weight-loss goals, so don't leave them out entirely!

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So working legs (and glutes for that matter) might aid in your weight-loss goals, so don't leave them out entirely!

 

Very good point, Crystal. Thanks.

 

Right now I don't have a lot of options for working my legs outside of walking and squats, but I'll definitely keep this in mind.

 

I appreciate the answers.

 

Christopher

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If you have dumbbells a great way to work your calves is to sit in a chair, and put a dumbbell on your knee. You can do calf raises like this, but the exercise is limited if you don't have large dumbbells. Something to consider.

 

The heaviest dumbell I have are 40 pound dumbells, but enough of them seem to work the calves.

 

Thanks for the tip!

 

Christopher

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knowing what you know now--if you could go back to when you were still new to lifting--what would you do differently?

 

I would say try to find a form of exercise you enjoy, and get really good at it. Just focus on that. If you find a type of exercise you like, then you'll stick with it just for the fun of the exercise, and you'll get in good shape without even realizing it.

 

... I just took a look at your Web site. Good stuff. I like it

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I would say try to find a form of exercise you enjoy, and get really good at it. Just focus on that. If you find a type of exercise you like, then you'll stick with it just for the fun of the exercise, and you'll get in good shape without even realizing it.

 

... I just took a look at your Web site. Good stuff. I like it

 

Thanks for the suggestion, Will. It's taken awhile to get to that point, but yep--the exercising I'm doing is stuff I enjoy and it's made all the difference. I no longer feel like it's something I have to do...it's now something I want to.

 

There are a few other things I need to incorporate (I've juggled since I was 12 and kind of strayed away from juggling in recent years), but I'm having a lot of fun focusing on the exercises I'm enjoying.

 

Oh, glad you dug the Web site

 

Take care, and thanks again,

 

Christopher

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