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  1. #1
    bobbitt81's Avatar
    bobbitt81 is offline Senior Member
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    Doing enough?

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    So, working out is pretty new to me. I've done it on and off before, but never consistently and never very well.

    So now that I'm doing it consistently, I'm struggling to know when I've done "enough"...because I always leave the gym feeling like I haven't.

    Here's a typical week:

    I've been training for a 5K, so I do 3 days of 30 minute run/walks to get ready for that. (I'm worried that's taking me into chronic cardio, but the run is coming up in 3 weeks, and I'm at least gonna see that through.)

    On those days, I may do some light weights.

    2 days a week I'll do lifting. It usually looks like this:

    I'll start with pushups on a bench. I do the first set until failure. Rest. Do another set until failure. I usually keep going until I can only get like 2 out without failing.

    I pretty much repeat that with leg press, chest press, and shoulder press. I threw in some lat pulldowns today, but I'm not super comfortable with that exercise yet.

    I'm seeing gains (though not really losing right now), I just wonder if I'm doing "enough", and how do I know when I am?

  2. #2
    Roy G. Biv's Avatar
    Roy G. Biv is offline Junior Member
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    Definately stick with the lat pulldowns, they will complement the other things you are doing very well. They aren't as good as pullups, but pullups are a pretty difficult move when you are just starting. It seems like you are hitting most of the major muscle groups. I would suggest adding some kind of ab exercise to round things out a big. A strong core is the foundation of a strong body, you know!

    With all those sets to failure, you should be feeling a pretty substantial burn and/or sore muscles the next day. If you feel these things, then I would say yes, you are doing enough. The fact that you don't think you are doing enough makes me think you aren't feeling the burn/soreness the next day. If you are NOT, then your exercises aren't intense enough. As long as you are going to a gym and using machines, I would suggest using enough weight so that you have a difficult time accomplishing 10 reps for your first set, and then failing at less reps on each subsequent set. Really blast those muscles. It will make your workout a lot more intense, and there should be no way you leave the gym wondering whether you did enough or not

    BTW, I would say that working up to a 5k isn't really risky chronic cardio territory. Its just lying a bit on the outer boundry of the primal workout range. I ran my first 5k last year or so ago just to prove to myself I could do it, and I still run the distance every week, but I do it for speed now. I'll leave the longer distances to pros.
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  3. #3
    jens522's Avatar
    jens522 is offline Senior Member
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    I'd ditch the weight machines and focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, press, pushups. Also throw in a day of sprints.

  4. #4
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
    Coach Palfrey is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbitt81 View Post
    So, working out is pretty new to me. I've done it on and off before, but never consistently and never very well.

    So now that I'm doing it consistently, I'm struggling to know when I've done "enough"...because I always leave the gym feeling like I haven't.

    Here's a typical week:

    I've been training for a 5K, so I do 3 days of 30 minute run/walks to get ready for that. (I'm worried that's taking me into chronic cardio, but the run is coming up in 3 weeks, and I'm at least gonna see that through.)

    On those days, I may do some light weights.

    2 days a week I'll do lifting. It usually looks like this:

    I'll start with pushups on a bench. I do the first set until failure. Rest. Do another set until failure. I usually keep going until I can only get like 2 out without failing.

    I pretty much repeat that with leg press, chest press, and shoulder press. I threw in some lat pulldowns today, but I'm not super comfortable with that exercise yet.

    I'm seeing gains (though not really losing right now), I just wonder if I'm doing "enough", and how do I know when I am?
    Without getting too technical it would make sense to leave the gym feeling like you've done enough. So up the intensity a little.

  5. #5
    PatrickF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbitt81 View Post
    I'll start with pushups on a bench. [...] I pretty much repeat that with leg press, chest press, and shoulder press. I threw in some lat pulldowns today, but I'm not super comfortable with that exercise yet.
    Pushups and chest press are very similar exercises, doing both probably isn't worth it when you are missing other important areas at the same time. Lat pulldowns are a good addition, but you might want to add some more exercises that target the back. Some kind of seated row and/or doing squats instead of leg presses.

  6. #6
    bobbitt81's Avatar
    bobbitt81 is offline Senior Member
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    Got it.

    I've been thinking for a while I need to add in squats. I know they're a big deal, but I HATE them. Time to get over it!

  7. #7
    Abu Reena's Avatar
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    Running a 5k isn't even close to chronic cardio. Running for a half hour 3x a week is not even close to chronic cardio.

    And once you start adding in squats, particularly heavy ones, you'll learn to love 'em . Just make sure to do them first, when you're fresh.

    And I agree with the Coach. You need to leave the gym with a feeling of satisfaction that you've done enough. Go in with a plan and know exactly what you're going to do in terms of lifts, order, what weights, how many sets, and do it. If it doesn't feel like it was enough, up the weights until it's enough.It will only take a week or two until you've reached the point where it feels like enough!

  8. #8
    bobbitt81's Avatar
    bobbitt81 is offline Senior Member
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    I switched it up today, and I added squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, bench, and overhead press, all with free weights.

    I felt it today, and felt like I did enough, which is awesome. Thanks for the suggestions. I might cussing all when I'm sore tomorrow, but it's what I need!

  9. #9
    ScottJames's Avatar
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    In starting it is good but make yourself consistent, consistency is key of success. If you want to make your health good then take exercises consistently.

  10. #10
    bobbitt81's Avatar
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    I sat down and hammered out a weekly plan. I think that's gonna help too. I also plan on recording reps/weight so I know what I've done. That should help a lot too. I'm feeling it really good today, especially in my legs, which I really like.

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