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Thread: Newby - how does this plan sound? page

  1. #1
    bahk's Avatar
    bahk Guest


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    Hello all. I'm new to primal and feel very overwhelmed/confused about the fitness aspect of this lifestyle.

    Last April I finally decided to take control of my life and make a commitment to exercise. I've been overweight most of all my life. My most was 230lbs at 5'9, large frame. When I began exercise I was about 205 and now I'm down to about 180. I haven't been consistent completely, but I have been doing pretty well as of late.

    I work out 5 days a week with 40 mins of somewhat intense cardio which includes the tredmill at a speed of 4.0, and an incline varying between 3.0 - 8.0 (just to give you an idea). Then I'll do weight training every other day. I use machines because I'm not really sure how to use much else. I do 3 sets of 15 reps of:

    chest press @ 20lbs

    leg press @ 120lbs

    leg extension @ 50lbs

    leg curl @ 50lbs

    arm extension @ 40lbs

    vertical traction @ 40lbs

    In short: I feel like this is weak and it probably stinks.

    Thinking primal, what can I change? I feel like I am not seeing much fat loss.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry if this was newb-ish. I've been browsing the site all night.

    Oh by the way, I am female.

  2. #2
    wug's Avatar
    wug is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2009


    I'm not really the exercise guru of these forums, but my first impression was that it appears to be all isolation exercises.

    The PB advocates full body exercise/movements. A lot of this can be done with your own body weight. There are a lot of posts, with examples and/or videos, etc on this.

    Personally I don't really do any of those exercises. Maybe try switching them.

    First thing I see is, instead of chest presses, do push-ups. Instead of all those legs machines, do some lunges and squats (with some hand weights or a bar if you feel up to it.)

    Perhaps invest in a few sessions with personal trainer if free weights and bars is a bit intimidating, and also to learn proper form. I work with one, mainly because otherwise I probably would never push myself with heavier weights!

  3. #3
    jspegel's Avatar
    jspegel is offline Junior Member
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    Jan 2010
    Midland Michigan


    Google Burpees and Thrusters... do a few sprints each week.

    Find some crossfit workouts. Don't let it scare you off we all go to start somewhere.

  4. #4
    fable's Avatar
    fable is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2010


    Just want to say congrats on taking control of your life! Seems like you've already come a long way.

    I'm no expert either, but I would also recommend you to switch to some compound exercises. Keeping it simple is key! Mark has a post on this topic here:

    My favourite (body)weight training exercises are:

    - Pushups (on your knees or hands on a bench if you can't do the regular ones to start with - I definitely couldn't)

    - Inverted rows (check out this video for good form:

    - Squats (regular or static)

    - Pull-ups/chin-ups (most gyms have a machine where you can add counter-weights to make it easier)

    - dips (can usually also be done with counter-weights, or do them on a bench or chair with your feet on the ground)

    Key is: Anything will usually do as long as you keep adding weight or sets/reps over time. Just add a little bit every time or every other time, and you'll be amazed how quickly it adds up

    Oh, and by the way, I think varying the incline on your treadmill sessions is a good idea! Just keep making the hard parts harder (and maybe also add a little speed), and you have yourself a good interval training

    Best of luck!

  5. #5
    mstrudle's Avatar
    mstrudle is offline Member
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    Nov 2009
    Marin, California


    "chest press @ 20lbs

    leg press @ 120lbs

    leg extension @ 50lbs

    leg curl @ 50lbs

    arm extension @ 40lbs

    vertical traction @ 40lbs"

    Lots of isolation... you will stimulate the most growth if you use the most muscles...

    Instead of chest press, do assisted dips which will also hit shoulders; replace the leg press with bodyweight squats until you can start using a barbell, which will also eliminate the need for the extensions and curls; for your back, deadlifts are good if you can do them. Start slowly and listen to what your body says, gradually increasing loads or intensity.

    Also, high reps work but you will recruit more muscle if you use greater weight and lower reps. For example, 5 sets of 5 repetitions.

    Final word: read, read, and then read some more! You want as much information as you can get, the Internet is a great source for information (both good and bad), and ebooks are great. Pavel Tsatsouline, Anthony Bova, Brooks Kubrik, all write great fitness books you should check out.

  6. #6
    Grumpycakes's Avatar
    Grumpycakes is offline Senior Member
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    May 2009
    San Diego, CA


    Your exercise may not be the issue if you are concerned about fat loss. Tell us what you're eating.

    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  7. #7
    ThePrimalBrett's Avatar
    ThePrimalBrett is offline Junior Member
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    Jan 2010


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    I believe Mark is a proponent of fewer reps and heavier weights. For instance, if you're doing a bench press, you should do 3 or 4 sets of 5, and base the weight you're benching on what will make you struggle on the 5th rep; this will tell your body it needs to get into gear and grow more muscle to help you more easily do the movements in the future. Of course, be sure you have a spotter or are using weights with safey measures in case you can't get the 5th rep up once in a while.

    As mentioned earlier, it seems to me like you could use different exercises that use more muscle groups at once. I do pull-ups holding a weight between my feet (the same with dips), bench press, barbell squats, deadlifts, planks, explosive pushups and platform jumps holding a weight. I know a lot of people here are fans of kettleball workouts and sandbag workouts. Muscle definitely catalyzes fat loss, so you're on the right track. Cardio looks good, as long as you're not overdoing it. Good luck!

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