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How much exercise is enough?

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  • How much exercise is enough?

    Hi all,

    Thank you in advance for any advice...

    For about 8 years I was extremely active both as a college athlete, then as a Crossfitter and then as a powerlifter, runner, etc. Recently, however, I quit my job and started med school.

    I thought I could keep up a steady routine but I'm swamped and haven't been lifting more than once a week (maybe) for a the past month. I do, however, bike to and from school since it's a nice hilly route and, let's be honest, saves on gas and is quicker than trying to fight traffic in the car. My ride is about 40 minutes each way and I ride with a backpack full of books, lunch, and change of clothes...maybe 20 pounds? So that's 80 minutes a day plus any riding I do on the weekends to run errands (I live in a major city).

    My question is, is this enough? I can tell I'm losing muscle already but then again, I was deadlifting about 250 and squatting 190 and I'm realizing that kind of regimentation just isn't realistic right now.

    Is there anything else I should be doing or is the biking daily enough? Like maybe a quick at-home BW workout or something?

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    The biking will do wonders for your conditioning, but you will likely lose too much muscle if you don't do any strength work.
    I'd probably do some BW workouts at home, and then try to get to do squats and deadlifts when I got the chance to go to a gym.

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    • #3
      There are a couple of books that cover body weight training, like Be Your Own Gym. You can also get minimum of equipment if you have a bit of space, like kettlebells to add some zest to it. If you are a Uni student, don't you have facilities on campus?
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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      • #4
        Yeah they do but it's clear across campus and with a job and workload, it's more time than it's worth just to get over there and back...lame excuse I know, but it's painfully true.

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        • #5
          Well the real question is enough for what? What are your goals? Enough to be healthy and fairly fit.... yeah probably along with a primal diet. Enough to retain or improve lean muscle mass.... probably not.

          My recs for an exercise minimum would be at least one heavy resistance day a week with high intensity.... and then as much movement as you can muster in the low and slow range outside of that.

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          • #6
            For years and years stuff like riding my bike to work and going for hikes on the weekend was the only exercise I got. I was able to be reasonably fit and healthy, and in my own little circle I was actually quite elite. Not muscular or strong, but my general health was great and I could ride or hike up any mountain.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by camay001 View Post
              Yeah they do but it's clear across campus and with a job and workload, it's more time than it's worth just to get over there and back...lame excuse I know, but it's painfully true.
              You can knock off a few push ups and squats as you are reading your medical textbooks in your room. You are biking as well. That's good enough for a medical student with a job on the side. Something gives?
              Few but ripe.

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              • #8
                Hi,

                https://www.facebook.com/Fitmir2012?ref=hl

                You can do these workouts before you ride to campus, they require nothing but bodyweight and will maintain lean muscle. There are different workouts everyday so you don't have to think about it, you just have to wake up, check online and do the workout.

                I usually do 50% of what he does, for example if it says 4 cycles ill do 2 which is more than enough.

                Workouts take about 15min.

                Sav

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                • #9
                  I got back into strength training without a gym membership-- using Al Kavadlo's progressions and You Are Your Own Gym (and lately the 12-minute Foundation Training workout), and getting to one-arm push ups, sets of 12 pull-ups, "windshield wipers" and handstand pushups kept me busy for over a year. Granted, I wasn't starting where you are, but if you're short on time, I concur with Neckhammer: one really intense training session a week (20-30 min.) and then "greasing the groove" for the rest of the week can keep you fit. I walk and bike a lot (commuting, not "exercise"), and look better than I ever have, though I probably can't bench or squat what I used to...but on the other hand, I feel like my overall conditioning is better since bodyweight puts the core to work for its intended job, which is holding it all together.

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                  • #10
                    Try Clarence Bass' routine. 3 sessions a week. High intensity so that each session is about 20 minutes. Alternate 1 session resistance training, the next workout is sprinting... either on a bike, running, rowing machine, swimming etc.

                    Therefore the one week is 2 resistance 1 sprinting, then the next alternate week is 2 sprinting, 1 resistance.
                    Last edited by Vick; 07-26-2013, 03:08 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by savsta View Post
                      Hi,

                      https://www.facebook.com/Fitmir2012?ref=hl

                      You can do these workouts before you ride to campus, they require nothing but bodyweight and will maintain lean muscle. There are different workouts everyday so you don't have to think about it, you just have to wake up, check online and do the workout.

                      I usually do 50% of what he does, for example if it says 4 cycles ill do 2 which is more than enough.

                      Workouts take about 15min.

                      Sav
                      This is awesome! Thanks! These are perfect to knock out in my room right before I leave in the am.

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                      • #12
                        I am using the work-out developed by Charles Lewis Armstrong, the guy who wanted to break the world record in number of pull-ups. It is not my intention to do so but I like calisthenics and it is a good template to build strength and keep or increase muscle mass. I have been on and off this program due to home duties but the little I did during the last 2-3 weeks have already changed the way I look. I plan on following the program straight for 6 weeks, and then we'll see. In the in-between, I walk and bike quite a lot, and sprint 1x to 2x week (20mn session, loose Tabata style).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by camay001 View Post
                          My ride is about 40 minutes each way and I ride with a backpack full of books, lunch, and change of clothes...maybe 20 pounds? So that's 80 minutes a day plus any riding I do on the weekends to run errands (I live in a major city).
                          I'm going to suggest that you consider getting some sort of panniers for your bike to take the stress off your shoulders. There's just no purpose in carrying that weight on your body.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by camay001 View Post
                            This is awesome! Thanks! These are perfect to knock out in my room right before I leave in the am.
                            No problem, the routines are really good and I have made solid strength gains and my physique has improved even though I only do 50% of what is stated. The best part is you don't have to think about a routine, you just wake up check online, do the workout for 15 min and get on with your life.

                            Sav

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                              Well the real question is enough for what? What are your goals? Enough to be healthy and fairly fit.... yeah probably along with a primal diet. Enough to retain or improve lean muscle mass.... probably not.

                              My recs for an exercise minimum would be at least one heavy resistance day a week with high intensity.... and then as much movement as you can muster in the low and slow range outside of that.
                              Yeah 2nd this. Med school is hard and you are likely to be under a lot of stress too. Just make sure to get plenty of sleep, I would prioritize that over anything else.

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