Let's talk gym!

Got anything to talk about relating to working out, here's the place

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ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
18/12/2011 at 23:09
LOL!! CrossFit term

Glute Ham Developers - using a back extension bench face down, lower torso to floor and then raise back past parallel pushing chest out

Will try and find pic link on web

Have more of them tomorrow with a 10-15kg plate supersetted with one leg bodyweight squats (3x10's) - then back squats pyramid to 80kg supersetted with weighted chin ups 5-10kg (5x5's) and finally bicep curls (prob about 5kg will be all I can manage after chins!) supersetted with 55kg front squats (3x8)

Steel - Nordic track I think do some decent ones, and check eBay people always trying shift bulky stuff around Christmas (to make room for more bulky stuff) - tr looking at yaktrax pro/ microspikes/stablICERS in the specialist off road/outdoor/ultra online stores cheaper than a treadmill and lots of fresh air don't know how much you should lift, everyone is different, start low and work up - you should be looking to almost "fail" on rep 8-9 of a 3 sets by 10 rep lift (IMHO) if u can do 3x10 easily up the weight in 2.5kg increments until you find your niche. Like running never try to add too much to your previous week total, safe lifting would be 2.5kg per week.

ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
19/12/2011 at 17:25

I have a nice little spreadsheet, which shows the number of sets and reps to aim for depending on your training goal i.e. Power/Strength/Hypertrophy/Endurance and also allows you to fill in the weight lifted for number of reps to ascertain your one rep max (1RM) and therefore your associated target weights in each of the aforementioned categories - i built it myself based on some other versions i've seen and used previously as well as my own thoughts and research.

If anyone would like a copy (it's in open office format) message me your email address and i'll send it next time i'm on the main computer....

19/12/2011 at 19:50

Gastank, you said that you used exercise machines for two years with no results - why do you think that was?  Did you find them too easy - could you easily do 8-10 reps without muscle fatigue?  After all, lifting a weight surely has the same effect on the muscle whether it's attached to a machine or not?  Speaking for myself, I am definitely noticing results with the Total Trainer 2000. 

This is my current routine - based on one I found online, with some tweaking - two different formats, so one should open.

http://www.mediafire.com/?rwi0b7zmyp88b3e

http://www.mediafire.com/?1pc3mqraxrd9k46

Using that, I have tweaked it until I reach between 8-10 reps for each exercise, apart from some exercises - I'm not sure if you're meant to train those muscles as intensely - could you clear that up for me, Gastank?  Calf raises, for example - the routine I found online recommended 20 reps, but should you also aim for 8-10 reps with calves?

It's not easy to tell how much I'm lifting - it's a case of lifting increasing amounts of your own body weight, depending on what incline setting the machine's on.   There is a way to find out how much you're lifting, but I can't be bothered to do it.  All that matters is I'm reaching muscle fatigue (failure?) around rep 8 or 9 on most exercises.  The leg exercises are getting too easy now, or they were before I stopped doing them because of my knee, so I might have to get some extra weights for the 'Power Bar'.

Edited: 19/12/2011 at 20:04
ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
20/12/2011 at 06:08
RR - it's not that machines didn't work for me it's more a case of they worked well for an initial period of time but then progress slowed and my personal trainer moved me in to free weights. So it's not a case of not working or being to easy, more the case of core strength... When you lift something heavy in real life, you don't just use that primary muscle you've been training but also many others to stabilise the load. I also found that with free weights my progress accelerated again, having stalled somewhat on the machines following my initial progress. Another to consider is that Abs aren't build on machines or using Situps and crunches, in reality they're build from core moves as the body uses them to stablise as mentioned previously. Having said that of course they're still eluding me BUT they are there just not visible, diet is still the issue for this former fat boy (abs may be something you already have or are not really interested in)

Calves, again depending on what you're training for, calves are hard to develop so a lot of people would train them for hypertrophy I.e. 8-12 reps OR combination of strength and hypertrophy (5-8 reps) - 20 reps would be training them for endurance and would be my preference since in my case I have substantial valves, and really what I need out of them is stop getting injured during long runs or periods of intense training for martial arts.

With regards to "effort" I would say you should always be failing on the last two reps of the final set, whatever rep/set range you choose, but the number of reps vs. sets are specific to training goal.

Going into gym now, they've just opened the door!

Let me know if I've missed something, remember mate I'm no expert but done a heap of reading and found what worked for me.. There's literally hundreds of different views out there and probably more than 50% all work to a greater or lessor extent - trial and error my friend, if it's working go with it, if it stops working change it - simples!!!
Edited: 20/12/2011 at 07:35
20/12/2011 at 08:30
Alternatively, for a far more fun way of developing your calf muscles, run up hills and down again. Running down hill also helps core muscles because you are trying to stop 50kg from over balancing. Certainly feel it after working on our local HC1 rated hill.
I have strong leg muscles, but very flabby arms . Can I work on them using dumbbells and what should I be doing?
20/12/2011 at 09:57
A few years back I was going to the gym regular doing all the normal stuff that you see everyone else doing (bench pressing, bicep curls etc), initial gains in strength were good but they did slow down, I would change it up every few weeks to shock the muscles and keep it interesting, even after a year going 3 to 4 times a week for about an hour at a time, I.still could only manage 2/3 assisted pull ups. Then I stumbled across something called crossfit on the internet, thought it sounded interesting so gave it a go.
I set up a few things at home (not sure is my normal gym would like me taking over the entire gym for 20 - 30 mins) and started doing the WODs (work oh of the day), within about 2 months I could easily do 10 unassisted pull ups. A lot of the WODs take less than 30 mins, but in that time you push yourself all the time, and the lifting moves used are all functional movements so you use more muscles than normal.
It also improves your fitness, at the time I stopped running training but still improved on my half marathon pb.
I would recommend taking a look, it probably is not everybody's cup of tea, but I would never go back to bench pressing and bicep curls.
20/12/2011 at 10:11
I was using whey protein from sci-mx, it was around half the price of maxi muscle, but not sure if that was just because the shop I got it from sells it cheaper. It seemed to be just as good as maxi muscle too.
ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
20/12/2011 at 17:36

I would back everything that Robert has said and add to it, I too only learned how to do a pull up this year thanks to CrossFit - pull ups and chin ups are your classic strength move and despite YEARS of time in the gym on more programmes than I can think of CrossFit is the only one that got me to do unassisted pull ups and chin ups. For the record today's workout included 5x5 chin ups with a 5kg weight, not a lot but that's on top of the 82kg that I weigh!

I would however also ask people to consider the rather new school idea of CrossFit Endurance or CFE for short, it combines everything that is great about CrossFit with the WoD (workout of the day) with Dynamic and Max Effort traditional Strength Training + your selected discipline i.e. running

When training for my first half marathon, I didn't have the time to fit in a traditional running plan, and instead had a CFE programme devised to deliver the result. I trained for 16 weeks having NEVER run using the programme and completed the Great North Run in 2hrs13mins, not great but i was pleased, especially since my longest run during training was around 6.5 miles and purposefully took 90 mins.

I am still currently only running once a week (which will change in the new year) but my normal distance is around 7-10 miles without too much problem i.e. I still haven't actually followed a traditional running plan yet I can manage a reasonable long run without too many problems.

It's another thing worth looking at and By' Eck you could do a lot worse than look at CFE for toning those arms and upper body. In fact I would say that you could probably tone your upper body better without dumbells and sticking to bodyweight excercises/WoD's, after all you don't want the bulk, so it would be worth considering? Do you have a smartphone/iPod touch there are a number of WoD/CrossFit apps available and you could try the CFE and CrossFit websites, both of which post a new WoD daily.

yes the terminology is confusing, but thank goodness for the internet, there is a wealth of information out there and loads of tutorials and how to's on You Tube

20/12/2011 at 22:55

Hi RR, Gastank and Byeck *waves*. Popping in to say hello.... but all this serious talk and different exercises that I've never heard about is a bit scary. Lol!

Actually it reminds me of when i started running 2 yrs ago and people mentioned, tempo, race pace, intervals.

So if my goal is to be able to do a pull up (or is it chin up? or is there a difference?) what do I need to do... other than buy a bar to stick across a door frame so i can actually attempt one of course?

I need things really, really simple. 

ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
20/12/2011 at 23:20


Pull up - palms facing away from you when gripping the bar - hardest variant more dependent on "lats" back muscles than arms

Chin up - palms facing towards you when gripping the bar easiest variant

There are others in between of varying degrees of difficulty but that keeps it simple

Step 1 - buy a bar

Door mounted is fine, although mine is a little low, so I have to fold my legs to properly hang from it. Wall mounted is better since you can mount at your ideal height. Pro is door mount can be removed, doesn't leave marks etc - I learnt on a door mount

Step 2 - mount it somewhere you walk past frequently! Idea is that a number of times during the day / evening "you have a go"

Step 3 - focus on the lowering phase i.e if you can't get your chin above the bar from a "dead hang" (arms fully extended and body hanging) you need to focus on controlling the lowering phase of the movement. To do this two options a) jump with hands in position to get chin above bar and then "lock out" that position b) place an object either side of the door frame that you can stand on to get your head above the bar and then take the strain and remove feet from pedestals/objects to a "feet together" position. Initially focus on a 30 sec lowering movement, 10 secs head above bar, 10 secs head just below, 10 secs dead hang

Step 4 - Repeat often!

Step 5 - Be patient, every week at a similar time try to do just one chin up properly, you'll be amazed the first time you do it! Don't get disheartened, the lowering method does work! Perserverence is key here

NO SWINGING pull ups and chin ups are a core strength exercise and momentum is not required / permitted - if momentum is used it's called "kipping" a gymnast technique often seen on the parallel high bars

that's it... Good luck, let me know how you get on
20/12/2011 at 23:28

Hi, Chili!  Nice to see you, to see you... NICE!!!!

Like you Gastank, my running's going to be limited for now.  The problem I've got right now is the fact that I have to walk to the common before I can have my run (doc's orders) - for the first two weeks back.  That means because you can't pile on loads of layers because you'll overheat as soon as you start running, I freeze to death on the way to the common.  I'm going to try and get out there when it's not too frigidly cold but it'll only be to keep things ticking over.  My main focus for now will be my resistance workouts - and I'm going to try and get some rowing in even though I find it more boring than the treadmill.

Tomorrow, I'm going to order some Promax from the Predator site you linked to, it's so much cheaper there!  

Edited: 20/12/2011 at 23:28
20/12/2011 at 23:32
hello RR and gastank, hello by'eck and chili *waves*..........erm, guys this IS scary..arghhhhhhhhhh...............oo RR, i dunno about this...i have dumbells here but im not sure i want to look like fatima whitbread
20/12/2011 at 23:32
no layers???????? i wear FOUR !!!
ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
20/12/2011 at 23:36
I'm about three layers running, two when training... Chipping the ice off car at 5:45 in the morning is becoming a pain in the butt!
20/12/2011 at 23:38

i had on 4 tops on sunday, 2 pairs of gloves, headband , leggings and 2 pairs of socks...i was warm-ish

20/12/2011 at 23:44

I'm definitely no expert, but my understanding is more reps with lighter weights will tone you, not bulk you up.  You look pretty toned already, Loula.

Of course I wouldn't just go out running with just one layer - I don't want to become an icicle.   What I mean is that I can't run as soon as I leave the house, because I'm usually only cold for a short while before I get warmed up when running, but walking to the common means a ten minute or so walk, do the run, then another ten minute walk home.  Things would be so much simpler if I could just run straight out of the door. 

I read this on this very site:

You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. "The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer," says Maine Track Club president Mark Grandonico. "You should be slightly cool when you start." Think layers of technical fabrics, to wick sweat, with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. You'll learn your own preferences, but readers Darrell Arribas, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, and Eric Maniloff, of Stittsville, Ontario, both helped create these general guidelines.

That's a problem if I have to walk ten minutes there and ten minutes back.  Actually, it's probably more like fifteen minutes - it takes about eight minutes slow jogging to get there.

Edited: 20/12/2011 at 23:48
20/12/2011 at 23:49

Guys, remember we're runners, not body-builders!  If you want to lift big weights, get huge muscles and not be able to run, then follow Gastanks advice.  It would seem to me that Gastank is a weightlifter/ex-weightlifter, which is no good for runners, whatsoever.

If, however, you want to do some winter strengthening, like all runers should be doing at this time of year, lift light weights but do lots of reps (15 - 20).  Some people...

20/12/2011 at 23:51

Even if I had the body type for it, I wouldn't want to get 'huge'.  Nope, just pack on a little muscle, broaden out a bit and get more definition.   As you said, real muscle bound men do not generally make good runners.

An end result of looking like a footballer would do me.  (Pipe dream).

Edited: 20/12/2011 at 23:53
21/12/2011 at 00:01
if you want to 'broaden out', you're gonna have to lift big weights, which means your running times will slow.  If you want visible six pack abs, eat less, eat healthy and do more cardio.  You could do 1000 crunches per day and you wouldn't see your abs.  Everyone has abs, the big problem is that there's that layer of fat that's hiding them.  Get rid of it and, bingo!, you'll see your six pack!
21/12/2011 at 00:11
I know - that's what's so infuriating.  I can actually feel my six pack.  I just can't see the damn thing!  
Edited: 21/12/2011 at 00:12
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