New and clueless

jlapey
jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
HI, I just joined your group today. I am no where near as advanced as the people in most of the threads I've read here so maybe I don't belong, but... I would love some input on what I should be doing. My goal is really to just be healthy and comfortable with my appearance. Not wanting to look like a body builder nor do I want to look like a scrawny run-way model. I just want to look strong and healthy.

INFO about me:

AGE: 42
GENDER: Female
WEIGHT: 151
HEIGHT: 5'0"
BODY FAT % 39.3 last time I checked using online calculator at Fat2fitnes.com
BODY SHAPE: Pear

I started my fitness pal in August (I think) doing the same 1200 calorie limits as all newbies start with and walking a few times a week in my neighborhood. I joined Planet Fitness gym in October (upped cals to 1500+exericise cals) and used ALL the strength training machines (2 sets of 20 reps each) on Saturday and the 30 minute circuit on Tuesday and Thursday. Each of these 3 days also included 30 minutes cardio on the Arc Trainer. Occasionally, I would still go for a walk in the neighborhood or spend 4 hours raking leaves once a week. I lost 12 pounds and a few inches. In December, I got distracted with family obligations and holiday stuff and chose to fore go the gym for 30-day shred. At one point I actually put off the DVD for over a week. I'm sure that hindered progress. Keep in mind, that I seldom actually ate the full amount of calories I allotted myself after the increase, and December was not tracked very well at all.

So here we are in January. I've got 5 days left to complete 30-day shred. I would very much like advice on where to go from here. I have not lost any weight in two months nor have my measurements changed although I think I look different. (wishful thinking maybe?) I want to get back into the gym at least 3 days a week but not sure exactly what I should be doing. I am not at all familiar with lifting, I don't even know what the moves are called. But if that's what you recommend, I will certainly do my research. I'm am somewhat imitated at this point. I'd hate for the fellas in the weight room to think I was in their way and wasting time if they have to wait on me. Can I get a decent workout using the machines? If so, what type of sets should I be doing, how heavy (I know that's relative but...)?
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Replies

  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    HI, I just joined your group today. I am no where near as advanced as the people in most of the threads I've read here so maybe I don't belong, but... I would love some input on what I should be doing.

    People of all fitness levels are welcome here. I'll get to the rest of your post shortly.

    Have a nice day =)

    Regarding machines vs freeweights and your being intimidated: While I think you should work towards getting over your fears (I think this issue exists more in your head than in reality), you do not need to use freeweights. I think eventually it's a good idea, I think learning about it would be a good thing to put on the agenda, but if I tell you to:

    "Learn these lifts and do this program and start deadlifting and squatting"

    then there's a very real chance that your adherence to this plan could diminish and you could get frustrated.

    This is where internet advice and reality need to compromise because truth be told, barbell lifts are fantastic but what's even more fantastic is sticking to a plan and making progress.

    I'm rambling, I'll provide some more concrete info soon.
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Thank you, I've been reading all the post in the group and I think you guys are great.
  • Chief_Rocka
    Chief_Rocka Posts: 4,710 Member
    Read the stickies
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    I will look at the specifics in a bit - but regarding the lifting - would you be able to hire a trainer for at least a couple of sessions?
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    I will look at the specifics in a bit - but regarding the lifting - would you be able to hire a trainer for at least a couple of sessions?

    Depending on cost.. There is a trainer available at the gym for questions, but I think he makes group appointments rather than individual training. Certain day of the week are dedicated to specific body sections. Groups consists of 4-5 people.
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Also, just to note: I wore my HRM for a full 24 hours (ended this morning) Calories burned minus my 30-day shred session (181) was 2077. I subtracted 20% from that and got 1661 as a calorie limit. Is that sufficient? I assume I would eat back calories burned since this number does not include exercise.
  • shorty35565
    shorty35565 Posts: 1,425 Member
    Also, just to note: I wore my HRM for a full 24 hours (ended this morning) Calories burned minus my 30-day shred session (181) was 2077. I subtracted 20% from that and got 1661 as a calorie limit. Is that sufficient? I assume I would eat back calories burned since this number does not include exercise.

    I dont think you're supposed to wear a HRM all day. I think those are only accurate during exercise. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong here tho. but that is what I always heard. You would need to get a bodymedia/bodybugg/fitbit if you wanted something to wear all the time.
  • lacurandera1
    lacurandera1 Posts: 8,083 Member
    Everyone's goals are different and when SideSteel said doing what you will stick to is most important, he was totally right. But anytime someone asks the free weights vs machines question, I feel compelled to give them this link to an MFP member who posted some pictures comparing a year using machines two 2 months of free weights.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/744311-free-weights-vs-machines-holy-crap


    And so I've made my case for free weights. But any weights are better than no weights. :)
  • lacurandera1
    lacurandera1 Posts: 8,083 Member
    although I think I look different. (wishful thinking maybe?)

    Probably NOT wishful thinking, especially if you're approaching your weight goal. I haven't lost pounds since probably September. I haven't lost more inches than one on my waist since...November? But my body keeps changing.
  • vjohn04
    vjohn04 Posts: 2,276 Member
    I will look at the specifics in a bit - but regarding the lifting - would you be able to hire a trainer for at least a couple of sessions?

    Depending on cost.. There is a trainer available at the gym for questions, but I think he makes group appointments rather than individual training. Certain day of the week are dedicated to specific body sections. Groups consists of 4-5 people.

    Do you go to planet fitness by chance?
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    I will look at the specifics in a bit - but regarding the lifting - would you be able to hire a trainer for at least a couple of sessions?

    Depending on cost.. There is a trainer available at the gym for questions, but I think he makes group appointments rather than individual training. Certain day of the week are dedicated to specific body sections. Groups consists of 4-5 people.

    Do you go to planet fitness by chance?

    Yes, I do.
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    although I think I look different. (wishful thinking maybe?)

    Probably NOT wishful thinking, especially if you're approaching your weight goal. I haven't lost pounds since probably September. I haven't lost more inches than one on my waist since...November? But my body keeps changing.

    I'm a good 30 pounds from my goal weight
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Also, just to note: I wore my HRM for a full 24 hours (ended this morning) Calories burned minus my 30-day shred session (181) was 2077. I subtracted 20% from that and got 1661 as a calorie limit. Is that sufficient? I assume I would eat back calories burned since this number does not include exercise.

    I dont think you're supposed to wear a HRM all day. I think those are only accurate during exercise. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong here tho. but that is what I always heard. You would need to get a bodymedia/bodybugg/fitbit if you wanted something to wear all the time.

    I don't wear it ALL the time. I only did it for this 24 hours to see what I would burn in a day.
  • jlapey
    jlapey Posts: 1,850 Member
    Everyone's goals are different and when SideSteel said doing what you will stick to is most important, he was totally right. But anytime someone asks the free weights vs machines question, I feel compelled to give them this link to an MFP member who posted some pictures comparing a year using machines two 2 months of free weights.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/744311-free-weights-vs-machines-holy-crap


    And so I've made my case for free weights. But any weights are better than no weights. :)

    I hear free weights are the way to go from many people and I'm trying to get myself 'ready' for that. I'm a tad intimidated. I was seriously considering "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" book. Unfortunately it's not available in the library yet, and I'm not sure I want to purchase it just yet. Should I be closer to my goal weight before starting lifting or is anytime good? I FEEL silly asking but I'd BE silly if didn't ask, right?
  • mmddwechanged
    mmddwechanged Posts: 1,688 Member
    A good start would be to lift with the group at your gym so that there is a trainer there to help make sure that you have good form.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    Everyone's goals are different and when SideSteel said doing what you will stick to is most important, he was totally right. But anytime someone asks the free weights vs machines question, I feel compelled to give them this link to an MFP member who posted some pictures comparing a year using machines two 2 months of free weights.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/744311-free-weights-vs-machines-holy-crap


    And so I've made my case for free weights. But any weights are better than no weights. :)

    I hear free weights are the way to go from many people and I'm trying to get myself 'ready' for that. I'm a tad intimidated. I was seriously considering "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" book. Unfortunately it's not available in the library yet, and I'm not sure I want to purchase it just yet. Should I be closer to my goal weight before starting lifting or is anytime good? I FEEL silly asking but I'd BE silly if didn't ask, right?

    Free weights overall will be more thorough and more efficient but this doesn't mean they are mandatory for you to achieve your goals. I would still recommend them but there's nothing wrong with easing your way into them by transitioning from machines to free weights.
    You don't need to be at or near goal before you begin lifting.
  • vjohn04
    vjohn04 Posts: 2,276 Member

    Do you go to planet fitness by chance?

    Yes, I do.

    So do I! The tough thing about the "trainer" at planet fitness, is that from what I have seen most of the focus has been on the machines and cables with what the guy at mine shows folks.

    I'd talk your situation over with said PF trainer and ask him if he can show you form on the free weights. If you get the gut instinct that he's not got a clue about what he's talking about, then I would consider hiring a personal trainer for a couple sessions.

    I went out an bought the NROLFW a few weeks ago. It's a good read. I took a lot away from the nutrition portion of the book.

    As far as the weight training in the book, it's going to be difficult to do at PF, because they do not allow dead lifts-- and it's a decent portion of the workout plan. Until a sufficient substitute for the dead lift is developed (hehehe) I think we're both in trouble. Unfortunately, my issue is two fold, I can not perform the moves to my liking because of a previous injury, so I think I'm SOL either way. :-(
  • Amazon_Who
    Amazon_Who Posts: 1,092 Member
    Work up to it when you are ready and add a few exercises at a time. I am just getting back to the gym after a looong break (20 years!!!). I am starting back up on machines only. When I am ready I will star incorporating free weights. Just playing it by ear.
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    Everyone's goals are different and when SideSteel said doing what you will stick to is most important, he was totally right. But anytime someone asks the free weights vs machines question, I feel compelled to give them this link to an MFP member who posted some pictures comparing a year using machines two 2 months of free weights.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/744311-free-weights-vs-machines-holy-crap


    And so I've made my case for free weights. But any weights are better than no weights. :)

    I hear free weights are the way to go from many people and I'm trying to get myself 'ready' for that. I'm a tad intimidated. I was seriously considering "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" book. Unfortunately it's not available in the library yet, and I'm not sure I want to purchase it just yet. Should I be closer to my goal weight before starting lifting or is anytime good? I FEEL silly asking but I'd BE silly if didn't ask, right?

    Free weights overall will be more thorough and more efficient but this doesn't mean they are mandatory for you to achieve your goals. I would still recommend them but there's nothing wrong with easing your way into them by transitioning from machines to free weights.
    You don't need to be at or near goal before you begin lifting.

    ^^agreed.

    If you are uncomfortable using the free weights, then do not feel pressured to use them. As SideSteel says, you can get good results, especially as a beginning without them. Is it all free weights that intimidate you or just barbells. What do you feel about using dumbbells or the cable machines?
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
    Do not feel like you 'do not belong' or anything just because you are knew to all this. This group is here so people feel comfortable asking questions without having to go through the bullsh!t of the forums. Everyone started somewhere after all.

    With regard to you being worried about getting in people's way - don't. As long as you use common sense and courtesy, then you have as much right to be there as anyone else. There is a pretty good thread here discussing tips for people who are new to the gym and includes tips on lifting 'etiquette' . http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/827476-tips-for-gym-newbies

    If you answer the questions I posed on the post above, I can give you some suggestions for a routine.

    With regard to you calorie intake - the 1,500 looks reasonable. How are you estimating your exercise calories?