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  • Beginner - need advice

    Hi,
    I have done the diet part of PB for two months now but wanted to lose some weight before doing the fitness part.
    I just kept on doing what I did before, hiking once or twice a month (around 20 miles), and two hours a week dancing flamenco.
    I have lost 17ish pounds now, so it's time to do better !

    I went to a gym today and I don't know if the programme the owner settled for me is OK or not according to PB standards.
    The programme is : 15 minutes on the rowing machine and 4 x 15 movements on different machines (for shoulders, triceps, arms, legs, buttocks) with a weight from 30 to 45 pounds. The session lasts about one hour.

    What do you thing of that programme ? Does it fit PB ? Can it fit the lift-heavy-things part ?
    The coach is more into little weight/more movements.

    It would be nice if you could tell me what you think about that ! (sorry I am a total beginner with fitness)

  • #2
    I think many around here would agree that free weights or body weight exercises (pushups, pullups/working up to pullups, planks, squats) would be better than machines. You'll have to gradually work your way up, but the idea is to have a few high intensity workouts each week, focused on major muscle groups (bench press or pushup, not triceps machine!). The foundation of PB fitness is lots of slow movement, though, so add more walking or cycling if you can.

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    • #3
      Thank you.
      I plan to add more walking. It is definitly the easier way to improve my health. And I so enjoy it !
      I wanted to try machines because I thought it would be more motivating to have a place where lots of people are working out and where I can't do anything else (at home it's more : oh, I should do some plank or pushups ! pfff I'll do that later ! Not proud about that ).
      Anyway I realise that if I asked for advice, it's that I wasn't comfortable enough with the place and with that coach programme. So, it would probably be better to buy a pull up bar and a good gym mat. Plus find a good place to sprint. And I will save money for quality food and gas to go to great walking places.

      Comment


      • #4
        You can still go to the gym and not use the machines. My workout yesterday was 40 minutes and I only used one machine - for cardio! The rest was free or body weights. You don't have to only do running sprints either. You can do sprints on the stair stepper, rowing machine, bicycle, etc.

        Good luck!

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        • #5
          Thank you for your encouragements !
          I am not really comfortable about the running but I will try and see. Maybe go up and down the stairs too.
          I don't know about the US but the gym is quite expensive here. So don't want to go just for cardio. I will read again the fitness blueprint and try to find a routine in which I am comfortable. I did a lot of trials for nutrition, can do the same for fitness !

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Myrtille View Post
            Hi,
            I have done the diet part of PB for two months now but wanted to lose some weight before doing the fitness part.
            I just kept on doing what I did before, hiking once or twice a month (around 20 miles), and two hours a week dancing flamenco.
            I have lost 17ish pounds now, so it's time to do better !

            I went to a gym today and I don't know if the programme the owner settled for me is OK or not according to PB standards.
            The programme is : 15 minutes on the rowing machine and 4 x 15 movements on different machines (for shoulders, triceps, arms, legs, buttocks) with a weight from 30 to 45 pounds. The session lasts about one hour.

            What do you thing of that programme ? Does it fit PB ? Can it fit the lift-heavy-things part ?
            The coach is more into little weight/more movements.

            It would be nice if you could tell me what you think about that ! (sorry I am a total beginner with fitness)
            Here are my thoughts for what they a worth!

            Instead of 15 mins on the rower do one Tabata session going as hard as you can, HIIT training will help you lose the extra pounds far quicker than steady long sessions.

            Regards the machine exercises, they will work just fine, your muscles don't know whether they are contracting against a barbell, machine, pulley, resistance band or anything else, all they know is that they are contracting against resistance........anyone that tries to tell you any different doesn't know what they are talking about.

            Keep your reps strict and slow ( at least 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down). You want to hit failure between roughly 6 and 10 reps, anything less and the weight is probably a little too heavy and anything more and it's too light. Make sure that you do actually work to failure, you are trying to force your muscles to adapt.......if you manage seven reps and despite your best effort only manage to raise it half way as you attempt the eighth then that will hopefully cause an adaptation so the next time you try it you will manage eight complete reps.

            Congrats on losing the 17 lbs by the way !
            Last edited by OldSchhool; 09-16-2013, 02:33 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
              Regards the machine exercises, they will work just fine, your muscles don't know whether they are contracting against a barbell, machine, pulley, resistance band or anything else, all they know is that they are contracting against resistance........anyone that tries to tell you any different doesn't know what they are talking about.
              That's true for an individual muscle, not for the general application of the gained strength. Your deltoids do not know if they are contracting on the shoulder press machine, or if they are pressing a barbell overhead. However, the entire chain of muscles involved in the movement of pressing an object overhead gets trained, along with the deltoids, when performing a barbell press. If your goal is to get good at contracting and strengthening muscles in isolation, machines are the way to go. If your goal is to get stronger at actual natural body movements, you need train with tools which are in a natural body movement framework.

              Furthermore, isolation training does not produce nearly the same systemic effects within the body, as compound movements, which makes them even less effective.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by quikky View Post
                That's true for an individual muscle, not for the general application of the gained strength. Your deltoids do not know if they are contracting on the shoulder press machine, or if they are pressing a barbell overhead. However, the entire chain of muscles involved in the movement of pressing an object overhead gets trained, along with the deltoids, when performing a barbell press. If your goal is to get good at contracting and strengthening muscles in isolation, machines are the way to go. If your goal is to get stronger at actual natural body movements, you need train with tools which are in a natural body movement framework.

                Furthermore, isolation training does not produce nearly the same systemic effects within the body, as compound movements, which makes them even less effective.
                I agree with to a point but people seem to think far more isolation is possible with machines than there actually is. Lets take a seated shoulder press, do you really think that you could just isolate the movement to the delts ? Apart from the obvious Triceps etc it is still requiring all the muscles of the core to fire once the resistance is applied. Once I have a barbell shouldered to begin military presses there is very little secondary recruitment over that of a machine press. With the barbell I tighten my core, lock my hips up tight and always maintain strict slow form.

                I should add that my reasoning is with like for like exercises. Ie Squat/Hack squat/Leg press, Military press/Seated shoulder press machine, Bench press/seated chest press machine.

                Not comparing apples and pears.....

                Bench press/ Pec-dec, Squat/Leg extension, Military press/ Side lateral machine......etc !
                Last edited by OldSchhool; 09-16-2013, 03:04 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                  I agree with to a point but people seem to think far more isolation is possible with machines than there actually is. Lets take a seated shoulder press, do you really think that you could just isolate the movement to the delts ? Apart from the obvious Triceps etc it is still requiring all the muscles of the core to fire once the resistance is applied.
                  Of course you are not using just the deltoids, but the number of muscles involved in the movement is greatly reduced. To perform an overhead barbell press, your whole body is involved in the kinetic chain of the movement. Your feet are tensing up under weight, your ankles and knees are locked to stabilize your legs, your hips are tightened by your posterior chain and your abs, stabilizing your trunk, your back is tight helping keep your spine properly aligned, along with your abs, and, of course, your shoulders and the rest of your arms are working to press the bar above your head, fighting changes in direction, fighting the bar deviating from your center of mass, fighting the bar from moving unevenly.

                  With the shoulder press machine, your lower body is absent, your abs are tightening due to effort, but spine stabilization is not nearly as necessary, since the machine is providing a lot of support, and the weight is moving in a fixed plane, removing a lot of the natural stabilization work, and not training your body to fire all the necessary muscles to move an object upward against all directions and gravity.

                  There really is no comparison, in my mind, between machines, and free weight compound lifts. At least as far as strength is concerned.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by quikky View Post
                    Of course you are not using just the deltoids, but the number of muscles involved in the movement is greatly reduced. To perform an overhead barbell press, your whole body is involved in the kinetic chain of the movement. Your feet are tensing up under weight, your ankles and knees are locked to stabilize your legs, your hips are tightened by your posterior chain and your abs, stabilizing your trunk, your back is tight helping keep your spine properly aligned, along with your abs, and, of course, your shoulders and the rest of your arms are working to press the bar above your head, fighting changes in direction, fighting the bar deviating from your center of mass, fighting the bar from moving unevenly.

                    With the shoulder press machine, your lower body is absent, your abs are tightening due to effort, but spine stabilization is not nearly as necessary, since the machine is providing a lot of support, and the weight is moving in a fixed plane, removing a lot of the natural stabilization work, and not training your body to fire all the necessary muscles to move an object upward against all directions and gravity.

                    There really is no comparison, in my mind, between machines, and free weight compound lifts. At least as far as strength is concerned.
                    So are you judging the effectiveness of an exercise by virtue of how many muscles are involved in the lift ? By that line of thinking I'd imagine it would improve incrementally by removal of each physical crutch, standing as opposed to seating, dumbbells as opposed to barbells.....would that be correct ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                      So are you judging the effectiveness of an exercise by virtue of how many muscles are involved in the lift ?
                      I'm judging the effectiveness of an exercise by its effect on the natural movement that is strengthens.

                      Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                      By that line of thinking I'd imagine it would improve incrementally by removal of each physical crutch, standing as opposed to seating, dumbbells as opposed to barbells.....would that be correct ?
                      This depends on the movement and on practical considerations. In some cases yes, in some cases, no.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by quikky View Post
                        I'm judging the effectiveness of an exercise by its effect on the natural movement that is strengthens.



                        This depends on the movement and on practical considerations. In some cases yes, in some cases, no.
                        Man your difficult to pin down, LOL. How can I analyze the theory if the theory won't stand still !!!! If we are striving to improve natural movements then wouldn't an exercise like the Zercher squat make more sense than a standard squat, after all that would be a far more likely scenario than someone squatting up and down with a large load resting across their back no ? When you actually study the design of the spine it is akin to a pyramid, you would never try balancing a load on the peak of a pyramid as it would make no sense yet that is what many people advocate you do with a standard barbell squat.

                        To my way of thinking an effective exercise would be one where you could transmit the most effort in the safest most stable manner.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                          Man your difficult to pin down, LOL. How can I analyze the theory if the theory won't stand still !!!!
                          I'm the lubed up naked deaf guy from Family Guy

                          Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                          If we are striving to improve natural movements then wouldn't an exercise like the Zercher squat make more sense than a standard squat, after all that would be a far more likely scenario than someone squatting up and down with a large load resting across their back no ?
                          In the case of the squat, while it strengthens the body all over, it primarily strengthens the lower body. The way it strengthens the lower body is by driving the force produced by it, via the spine, to an external resistance, i.e. the bar. The vast majority of the time when you use your leg strength in a real movement, it typically involves the transfer of that lower body force, via the spine, to something external. Pulling something, pushing something, carrying something (Zercher style if you will, or on your back), grappling with someone, your spine is always the transmission, and your legs the engine. The squat trains this exact paradigm.

                          Part of the problem with Zercher squats is it produces a far more vertical back angle, more like the front squat, which does not develop the posterior chain nearly as well as a proper back squat, and also it introduces a much weaker muscle group into the mix, your arms, which are not part of the movement being trained, the leg/spine chain.

                          Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                          When you actually study the design of the spine it is akin to a pyramid, you would never try balancing a load on the peak of a pyramid as it would make no sense yet that is what many people advocate you do with a standard barbell squat.
                          Alas, the legs deliver their force via the spine in many cases when heavy strength from them is needed, see point above. If not at the top, how else would you load the spine?

                          Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                          To my way of thinking an effective exercise would be one where you could transmit the most effort in the safest most stable manner.
                          I agree, certainly on the safe and stable part. I think we think of the effort in different ways though. You're thinking more in terms of specific muscle contraction, for example, how to make the deltoids contract the hardest. I think in terms of how to produce the most overhead force in a natural movement framework, i.e. the standing barbell press. It doesn't concern me that with a machine I could contract my deltoids harder, because I care about making the press movement stronger, not the deltoid stronger on its own.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for your advices, they are helpfull even if I don't get all the details.
                            I think I will try to get the motivation to do Mark Sisson's exercices. I like the fact he gives several levels so that everybody can do them. Anyway, whatever łachines are good or not, the coach is far too directive (didn't want me to skip the rowing machine) and not very listening. And he does not have the same opinion than you both (wants me to do more mvts instead of adding weight for instance).
                            THank you very much again

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Myrtille, I think it's wonderful that you are taking the plunge to do some exercise even though you are a beginner.

                              Personally I think that the programme you have been given will be great for now. I did something very similar when I began (many years ago) and I found it a lot of fun and very motivating, lots of variety with the machines, company in the gym, help from the coach and very easy to measure your progress.

                              Sometimes people only want to do whatever will absolutely maximise results but I don't honestly think that is necessary. I see no harm in doing lots of repetitions at a lighter weight, since you are a beginner whatever you do will be progress.
                              Annie Ups the Ante
                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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