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fitness question

I have many questions about fitness- it's so frustrating reading magazines because they seem to contradict each other, actually themselves also. Does anybody know for example- lifting weights builds muscle- muscle burns fat and calories. Great but how much lifting is suggested? 1/2 hour every other day? an hour every day? I've asked the fitness people at my gym and they seem more motivated to get you to spend money with them. Does anybody know of a fitness expert or are there any of you that are knowledgeable? I know that everybody is different but there must be some baseline and standard. I'm trying to lift weights- I'm 53 so I'm not lifting tons but I'm trying to do about 20 minutes every other day- is that even affective??? thanks!!

Tue. Feb 19, 2:45pm

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I think what you're doing is effective and just make sure you're working every major muscle and doing adequate amount of reps/sets to make your muscles some what fatigue (like 3 sets of 12 reps) with enough amount of weight. I think people focus on the muscles they can see and forget about their back, chest, lower back, the different abs muscles (many ppl tend to just work their upper abs). I hate doing this, but what is also effective is doing 2 in 1 exercises. For example, squats while doing bicep curls....that sorta thing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 3:26 PM

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What 3:26 suggests - combining 2 moves in 1 - is best for fat-burning because it gets your heartrate up. If your gym offers classes, try some of the ones that use bodybars (6-16 lbs) and dumbells, then stick with the ones you enjoy. I find it's the only way I can circuit train effectively. Bootcamp style is ideal, but some instructors are hardcore, it's not for everyone. Whatever you do, don't make yourself miserable!

If you're over 30, try to get in at least one session with heavy weights for reasons of metabolism and bone density. There are many approaches to this - as much as I like the Body For Life program, I find it too fiddly. So I just do mostly machines (chest press, shoulder press, lat pull down, etc), 3 sets of 12 reps making sure the muscle is at failure by the end of the 3rd set. It takes a few sessions to figure it out though. I do it kind of fast by alternating sets between two machines so I'm not sitting there twiddling my thumbs for 45 seconds between sets. It takes me 30 minutes for upper body and 15 minutes for lower body and does not include specific ab work (I do that separately).

I'm not saying that what I do is ideal, but if you're looking for an idea of what other women are doing for their resistance workouts, I thought the above might be useful.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 5:58 PM

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I was doing some other reading and came across this, which appeared in O Magazine awhile back. It's about what kind of exercise to do in our 20's, 30's, etc. ...perhaps it will help


Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 7:55 PM

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Jillian's (Trainer from BL) "Last 30 lbs"

You MUST get this book. She has 30 days of great exercises - mostly strength with cardio mixed in to keep your heart rate up. Once you get the exercises down, it's really easy and takes ~45 mins. She's awesome. Everytime I go to the gym with one of her workouts on an index card I feel like I'm saving $100 because I don't need a personal trainer!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 3:58 PM

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I too am 53 and started weight training at home, no trainer, 6 months ago. I got most of my information from where there is a wealth of information plus videos on how to perform the exercises correctly. I bought an inexpensive set of barbells w/ dumbells and I already had a bench. I do about 12 exercises covering the major muscles 3X a week and it takes from about 30 to 40 minutes. I lift heavy--meaning I use a weight that I can do at least 8 reps with and when I can do 12, I up the weight about 5%. I also do a 'warm-up' set at half my target weight. All of this is explained on the site. I will tell you the results have been phenominal. I am so much stronger and have so much more stamina. Best of all, all those little aches and pains that I put down to getting older were really because my muscles were atropying. They are all gone and I feel at least 10 years younger. My cardio workouts never did that for me. It's the best thing I have ever done for myself.


Thursday, February 21, 2008, 11:41 AM

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7:55 - thats for that was really interesting to read how different the exercises should change for each age group!

Thursday, February 21, 2008, 8:00 PM

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