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  1. #1
    afroette's Avatar
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    Question Help with fitness

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    Hey all,
    I am very overweight with recovering knee pain, weak shoulders, and occasional neck pain from arthritis. Three weeks ago I began going to the gym to do elliptical work for 30 minutes. I began twice a week and last week I did three times a week. The third day I did intervals for about 20 minutes and then I was too tired to do more than casually walk for the remaining 10 minutes. My elliptical work is moderate effort, like 1 mile/15 min. I do not feel winded and my heart rate averages around the low 120s.

    I am thinking that I should increase the number of days I walk on the elliptical. I also want to do some lifting. I have resistance bands and an exercise ball at home. And then there are the weights and machine at the gym. I am also not an entire novice as I have taken 4 weight lifting classes when I was a smaller size. Any suggestions? I failed at the Primal Fitness pamphlet exercises. I want to lift heavy as everyone says but I am not exactly sure how to create the program. I am used to doing 3 sets, slight increases in weight.

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by afroette; 01-29-2012 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Sets, not reps!
    5'9", 31 yr old female
    SW 364 - Started Primal about 12/5/11
    CW 293
    2nd GW 270

    YAY! Vit. D deficiency gone and HDL finally over 40! 1/20/12

  2. #2
    szorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afroette View Post
    Hey all,
    I am very overweight with recovering knee pain, weak shoulders, and occasional neck pain from arthritis. Three weeks ago I began going to the gym to do elliptical work for 30 minutes. I began twice a week and last week I did three times a week. The third day I did intervals for about 20 minutes and then I was too tired to do more than casually walk for the remaining 10 minutes. My elliptical work is moderate effort, like 1 mile/15 min. I do not feel winded and my heart rate averages around the low 120s.

    I am thinking that I should increase the number of days I walk on the elliptical. I also want to do some lifting. I have resistance bands and an exercise ball at home. And then there are the weights and machine at the gym. I am also not an entire novice as I have taken 4 weight lifting classes when I was a smaller size. Any suggestions? I failed at the Primal Fitness pamphlet exercises. I want to lift heavy as everyone says but I am not exactly sure how to create the program. I am used to doing 3 reps, slight increases in weight.

    Thanks for the help!
    Not sure what you mean by "I failed at the Primal Fitness pamphlet exercises" but you should not attempt to lift heavy weights until you can complete basic bodyweight exercises, regardless of what anyone tells you. Many trainers make their clients master push-ups, crunches and bodyweight squats before even letting them touch weights. This is done so the client can learn proper body mechanics, as well as build basic strength and muscular endurance.

    If you insist on using skipping the bodyweight exercises and going right into weights, you need to start with light enough weights that allow you to perform reps in the 12-15 rep range. Unless you have been lifting regularly for the last 3-6 months, you are considered a beginner and you need the higher reps to build the skill of lifting weights. Not only that, but lifting heavy weights for less than 5 reps will do nothing but injure you unless you have a solid strength base, especially if you already suffer from joint issues. Low rep training serves little purpose for the average lifter unless they intend to compete in weightlifting or powerlifting. Also, low rep training does little to burn bodyfat.

    Pick a simple push exercise, a pull exercise, a leg exercise, and a core exercise. Start off with 1-3 sets of each exercise with a weight that allows 12-15 reps per set. When you can complete 15 reps on all sets of each exercise, add a small amount of weight and continue training in the 12-15 rep range. After a month or two you can gradually start increasing the weight and dropping the number of reps down into the 8-12 rep range. After a while, if you feel the need to go heavier drop down to the 5-8 rep range. Only add weight when you can complete all sets at the top of the rep range. To get a better cardio and fat burning effect perform the exercises in circuit fashion. The workout can be performed 1-3 days per week, but 2 days should be plenty, say Mon & Thur. Then perform other activities on the other days- move slowly, etc.

    Steve

  3. #3
    afroette's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I am going to do what you recommend. I also meant to say 3 sets, not reps!
    5'9", 31 yr old female
    SW 364 - Started Primal about 12/5/11
    CW 293
    2nd GW 270

    YAY! Vit. D deficiency gone and HDL finally over 40! 1/20/12

  4. #4
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    the great thing about some of the primal fitness videos is that they show you the progressions, and i think they all start with bodyweight and proper form. this is really key, as szorn said. also, consider walking rather than the elliptical machine. i never feel like the elliptical is a very natural movement.

  5. #5
    afroette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakey View Post
    the great thing about some of the primal fitness videos is that they show you the progressions, and i think they all start with bodyweight and proper form. this is really key, as szorn said. also, consider walking rather than the elliptical machine. i never feel like the elliptical is a very natural movement.
    What you say is true of the elliptical but I feel that the precor elliptical (not the arms one) is as close as one can get. I need the lower impact of the elliptical for now. Plus, I live in New England! Re bodyweights: squats hurt, can't do a pull up or push up.
    5'9", 31 yr old female
    SW 364 - Started Primal about 12/5/11
    CW 293
    2nd GW 270

    YAY! Vit. D deficiency gone and HDL finally over 40! 1/20/12

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