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when your "heavy things" aren't heavy any more

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  • when your "heavy things" aren't heavy any more

    Hi Mark, I'm not a fitness guru, so please forgive the newbie question. I'm a 33-year-old woman who is just slightly overweight (120lb at 5'3"). I currently lift heavy-for-me adjustable hand weights, but I'm quickly getting to a point where I will be using the weights with the heaviest plates (24lb). I use them for an hour-long session once per week, doing compound exercises like squat presses, simple exercises like bicep curls and weighed squats, deadlifts, flys, and more. I'm not at a place where I want to join a gym or invest in more equipment, so my concern is that the weights will become too light and I'll be doing sets of 20 reps and it will be become a cardio workout. What do you think? Is this a valid concern? How should I proceed?
    My other workouts every week are an hour of yoga, a few walks, and a bodyweight workout, sometimes tabata-style and sometimes longer, doing them to failure.
    Thanks so much!
    Kelly

  • #2
    Originally posted by kellyjean81 View Post
    Hi Mark, I'm not a fitness guru, so please forgive the newbie question. I'm a 33-year-old woman who is just slightly overweight (120lb at 5'3"). I currently lift heavy-for-me adjustable hand weights, but I'm quickly getting to a point where I will be using the weights with the heaviest plates (24lb). I use them for an hour-long session once per week, doing compound exercises like squat presses, simple exercises like bicep curls and weighed squats, deadlifts, flys, and more. I'm not at a place where I want to join a gym or invest in more equipment, so my concern is that the weights will become too light and I'll be doing sets of 20 reps and it will be become a cardio workout. What do you think? Is this a valid concern? How should I proceed?
    My other workouts every week are an hour of yoga, a few walks, and a bodyweight workout, sometimes tabata-style and sometimes longer, doing them to failure.
    Thanks so much!
    Kelly
    Hi, Kelly. I hate to break it to you, but it sounds like it's already a cardio workout.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      Because it's an hour long? I'm not lifting that whole time. It's more like sprinting- do a superset of 2 exercises, 8 or 10 reps, then wait until I catch my breath, then another set.

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      • #4
        At 120 pounds you are not overweight. You might want to exchange some fat for muscle (or maybe not - can't tell without seeing you) but you are definitely not overweight.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kellyjean81 View Post
          Because it's an hour long? I'm not lifting that whole time. It's more like sprinting- do a superset of 2 exercises, 8 or 10 reps, then wait until I catch my breath, then another set.
          Do you think sprinting is strength training or cardio?
          The Champagne of Beards

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          • #6
            Wow, everyone around here is so helpful! I'm so happy that I'm getting such great advice! What a welcome this newbie has received!

            So... Let me rephrase. I'm 33 and, for my athletic/boyish body shape, I'm flabby, even if, at 5'3" and 120lb, the numbers put me at a healthy weight.

            I'm concerned that lifting weights that are too light will put me in a state of cortisol-raising chronic cardio, whereas right now, I'm seeing improvements in things like muscle definition and strength and I feel like I'm becoming more lean.

            So, is there anyone out there who can actually help, or should I just expect my post to be picked apart some more?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kellyjean81 View Post
              Wow, everyone around here is so helpful! I'm so happy that I'm getting such great advice! What a welcome this newbie has received!

              So... Let me rephrase. I'm 33 and, for my athletic/boyish body shape, I'm flabby, even if, at 5'3" and 120lb, the numbers put me at a healthy weight.

              I'm concerned that lifting weights that are too light will put me in a state of cortisol-raising chronic cardio, whereas right now, I'm seeing improvements in things like muscle definition and strength and I feel like I'm becoming more lean.

              So, is there anyone out there who can actually help, or should I just expect my post to be picked apart some more?
              I'm trying to help you see that some of the assumptions inherent in your question are flawed, not trying to be critical.

              If you want to get stronger, you need to lift more weight. For someone of your level of training advancement, a novice linear progression is the most efficient way. But you can't do that with the equipment you have, and you say you're not willing to obtain more.

              Here's an article about how wonderful it is to be a novice, if you'll actually do the strength training program:
              http://startingstrength.com/articles...t_rippetoe.pdf

              And here's an even more important one for you:
              T NATION | The Biggest Training Fallacy of All

              I truly hope this helps you.
              The Champagne of Beards

              Comment


              • #8
                I think what's trying to be said in a confusing, obstreperous, and roundabout way is that not all cardio is cortisol raising chronic cardio. Unless you're pumping those light weights at such a speed and length of time that you're keeping your heart overworking for an hour or two each day, you're not in dangerous territory. You're just losing out on returns for time invested unless you increase the weight.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Abyss View Post
                  obstreperous
                  Is that a word?
                  The Champagne of Beards

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kellyjean81 View Post
                    Wow, everyone around here is so helpful! I'm so happy that I'm getting such great advice! What a welcome this newbie has received!

                    So... Let me rephrase. I'm 33 and, for my athletic/boyish body shape, I'm flabby, even if, at 5'3" and 120lb, the numbers put me at a healthy weight.

                    I'm concerned that lifting weights that are too light will put me in a state of cortisol-raising chronic cardio, whereas right now, I'm seeing improvements in things like muscle definition and strength and I feel like I'm becoming more lean.

                    So, is there anyone out there who can actually help, or should I just expect my post to be picked apart some more?
                    I used to think that when I posted questions, but everyone does want to help.

                    I say this out of experience, I've learnt so much about lifting and how to go about it as a fellow newb that I wouldn't even be in a gym if it weren't for the info people have provided (especially Rich).

                    Sent from my GT-I9506 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                      Is that a word?
                      Yup! I used it because in three posts in this thread, you didn't answer OP's concerns in a way they would understand, and it came across as a bit belligerent (mine may have come across the same way to you as well, and for that I apologize). I know you were answering the question, and I'm sure others know that as well, but I feel like taking the approach to explain the difference between any cardio and chronic cardio before going into proper training would have helped.

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                      • #12
                        OP apologies for any offence caused. I strongly dislike the way many women use the word overweight to refer to themselves and/ or others who are at a perfectly healthy weight. I feel it is unhelpful and unhealthy for everyone. Especially since we women are designed to have a certain amount of fat and just because it may not fit your or society's particular ideal, doesn't mean that it is bad for you in any way.

                        I hope someone comes along and provides helpful answers to your question.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abyss View Post
                          Yup! I used it because in three posts in this thread, you didn't answer OP's concerns in a way they would understand, and it came across as a bit belligerent (mine may have come across the same way to you as well, and for that I apologize). I know you were answering the question, and I'm sure others know that as well, but I feel like taking the approach to explain the difference between any cardio and chronic cardio before going into proper training would have helped.
                          I get that. It's hard sometimes when someone asks a question that they're not prepared to hear the answer to.

                          Which color traffic light do I stop at, green or yellow?

                          When you tell them that there's a third color, and that they stop at neither green nor yellow, they sometimes see it as an attack. I'm just trying to help her think through her question a little better so we can get to the meat of what she's really asking. Because she's proceeding from a flawed set of assumptions.
                          The Champagne of Beards

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                            If you want to get stronger, you need to lift more weight. For someone of your level of training advancement, a novice linear progression is the most efficient way. But you can't do that with the equipment you have, and you say you're not willing to obtain more.
                            Pretty much sums it up. If you can't purchase weights to get to a gym you are going to be hard pressed to "challenge" your body with bodyweight only training which; while sometimes a good deviation from the weights; is not a good replacement for the weights! Go figure..........
                            You'll never see the light if you're in someone else's shadow, or said another way, life is like a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes

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                            • #15
                              I know you asked the question of Mark, but i think you'll be waiting a long time for him to answer

                              Originally posted by kellyjean81 View Post
                              I'm not at a place where I want to join a gym or invest in more equipment, so my concern is that the weights will become too light and I'll be doing sets of 20 reps and it will be become a cardio workout.
                              With this section in mind, my thoughts are:

                              1. Yes, your current weights will become too light and you will end up doing too many reps. This will turn it into more of a muscle endurance workout rather than strength. You can slow this affect by showing the cadence of your lifts to reduce the number of terrors that you are able to do. E.g. uf you ate able to perform 10 reps, slow the stored of the movement to 6 secs up / six secs down and see how many reps you can now perform.

                              2. If buying heavier weights or joining a gym isn't for you, I'd recommend a good bodyweight training program ie. One which includes movements which progressively require more strength to perform.

                              I highly recommend Mark Lauren's program You Are Your Own Gym (yayog), for which he has made a very good smart phone/tablet app which gives you 10 week programs with built in periodisation and progression (basically like having a personal trainer in your pocket), all for a few dollars (under US$5 i believe). He also has other programs which look just as good, but which i haven't tried so can't personally vouch for.

                              While bodyweight training won't get you as strong as lifting heavy weights would, it can still get you good results and quickly.
                              If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                              Originally posted by tfarny
                              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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