Struggling at the gym

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  • nicolega2001
    nicolega2001 Posts: 48 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    jemhh wrote: »
    I do not do anything with regard to a target heart rate while exercising. I know that Orange Theory gyms are big on this. Are you going to a gym that has you aim at that or have you decided to do it on your own? In general I think you should cut yourself some slack, with the understanding that it will get easier as time goes on.

    The gym folks did an assessment and then gave me a target heart rate range to stay within.

    What is the range?

    I knew someone would ask that! I can't remember exactly what it was to be honest. I sort of rounded it in my mind as between 120-140.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    jemhh wrote: »
    I do not do anything with regard to a target heart rate while exercising. I know that Orange Theory gyms are big on this. Are you going to a gym that has you aim at that or have you decided to do it on your own? In general I think you should cut yourself some slack, with the understanding that it will get easier as time goes on.

    The gym folks did an assessment and then gave me a target heart rate range to stay within.

    What is the range?

    I knew someone would ask that! I can't remember exactly what it was to be honest. I sort of rounded it in my mind as between 120-140.

    I would not stress about target heart rates. However, if you are interested in them, I would follow the American Heart Association's suggestion to start out aiming at 50% and gradually increase from there.

    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Target-Heart-Rates_UCM_434341_Article.jsp#.WeY5YGhSyM8
  • FatWithFatness
    FatWithFatness Posts: 315 Member
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    Coffee, caffeine is your friend.
  • nicolega2001
    nicolega2001 Posts: 48 Member
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    Coffee, caffeine is your friend.

    You're the second person who has said that on this thread. Very interesting to me! I had never considered that before. I think I assumed it would make me feel dehydrated.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    It provides more water then it would cause you to lose - unless you are just over-reactive to it.
    If it keeps you up at night because of drinking too late - that's no good then.

    And if it's a matter of muscles are too tired to push your HR up to a level you reach other days without too much difficulty - look at why muscles may be tired.

    Lack of sleep, didn't recover well from last workout because of that or too big a diet, lack of food or wrong foods for you and blood sugar is lower this time.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
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    Coffee, caffeine is your friend.

    You're the second person who has said that on this thread. Very interesting to me! I had never considered that before. I think I assumed it would make me feel dehydrated.

    I would take HR zone training with a grain of salt as there are numerous things that can affect it. It's something I watch when I'm riding, but I don't get too wrapped up in it.

    A nice conversational pace endurance ride in the afternoon usually has me somewhere between 130-140...that same ride done in the morning after a cup or two of coffee will have me at 150+. It doesn't really mean anything...my level of effort is the same, it's just that my HR is "artificially" raised with the caffeine...and likely some raised cortisol levels as they tend to be high in the AM.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
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    Well congrats on the life change and welcome aboard! The most important part in the beginning is to make small changes that you can maintain for your lifetime. Make friends at the gym if you can to keep you going.

    When I got back into shape I was doing ~30 mins on the various cardio machines and mixing in some light lifting. As the weight came off I pushed it a bit harder and increased the intensity slowly, but steadily.

    Some tips that kept me going - I drank coffee (I limit myself to 1 cup in the morning and 1 in the afternoon) ~1 hour before workouts if tired. I kept a small pouch of jelly beans and ate 1 every 5 mins. I carried a 16 oz water bottle and took small sips to stay hydrated and usually finished this off in the daily 1 hr workouts.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
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    Coffee, caffeine is your friend.

    You're the second person who has said that on this thread. Very interesting to me! I had never considered that before. I think I assumed it would make me feel dehydrated.

    Some people may use coffee as a preworkout but I wouldn't suggest it in this situation.

    As of a month ago, you were completely overweight and out of shape. It is reasonable to expect that there will be days when you struggle in the gym. That's just part of working your way into shape and even most in shape people have bad gym days now and then. If anything, my concern is the focus on a target heart rate. I don't see the point of it when starting from zero and just getting up and moving on a regular basis is a fantastic goal. I mean, I've been there--sedentary and obese--and I think that focusing on a heart rate would only have been a distraction, or an unneeded complication.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
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    jemhh wrote: »
    Coffee, caffeine is your friend.

    You're the second person who has said that on this thread. Very interesting to me! I had never considered that before. I think I assumed it would make me feel dehydrated.

    Some people may use coffee as a preworkout but I wouldn't suggest it in this situation.

    As of a month ago, you were completely overweight and out of shape. It is reasonable to expect that there will be days when you struggle in the gym. That's just part of working your way into shape and even most in shape people have bad gym days now and then. If anything, my concern is the focus on a target heart rate. I don't see the point of it when starting from zero and just getting up and moving on a regular basis is a fantastic goal. I mean, I've been there--sedentary and obese--and I think that focusing on a heart rate would only have been a distraction, or an unneeded complication.

    Agreed...

    Heck, all I did for awhile was go for walks everyday...I doubt my HR was up much.
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,086 Member
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    @nicolega2001 - awesome job on the life style change. And, it is exactly that - a life style change. All I would like to add to this thread is that you continue....day in, day out. Even when you do not feel like it. Adherence is super important (now, it is also SUPER important to take diet breaks and gym breaks.....we are not there yet, right?).

    What I mean by "day in, day out" is that you are creating a habit. A new habit is hard to keep and easy to loose. So, from that perspective.....

    Make small changes slowly....give your body time to react | respond.

    Hey, you got this! It is simple, right? Now, I did not say that it is easy.....that it sure as <kitten> ain't. But, it is simple!
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,469 Member
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    About a month ago you started? 4 or 5 weeks @ 3 times a week=12/15 times to the gym. While a very good start, it is a start. How long was it the your profile picture was taken and now? How much have you gained in that time? You really cannot expect to lose the weight much faster than you put it on. Most people don't realize how long they have been gaining to get to where they currently are. They, therefore, don't understand how long it will take for the weight to be shed. (Hint, it takes a while). Well begun is have done, to quote Mary Poppins. All that's needed is the determination to continue and achieve what ever goals you have planned. Diet for weight loss, exercise for general fitness. Way to go in getting started, keep it up and see results.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,177 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Part of it is the fact that fitness takes time to build...it doesn't happen overnight. Part of it is the fact that some days are just better than other days. I've been training well for 5+ years and I have good days and bad days.

    There are moments where I'm like yes I got this I'm killing it and then other times I'm like what on earth am I doing? This is hard!

    Haven’t been obese for a few years now, exercise daily and I still feel like that some days. You’ve got it, just keep going. No one kills it every time.
  • rhtexasgal
    rhtexasgal Posts: 572 Member
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    I mix my protein powder with a cup of cold coffee. I find that the protein gives me the energy I need to get through the workout but the caffeine from the warms up the muscles a bit faster than without. I went for over a week without the coffee and discovered that I did not really get warmed up enough until my workout was almost over. Added the coffee back and I warmed up faster ... for me personally, it is just a bit of a boost and may not work for everyone.
  • nicolega2001
    nicolega2001 Posts: 48 Member
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    pondee629 wrote: »
    About a month ago you started? 4 or 5 weeks @ 3 times a week=12/15 times to the gym. While a very good start, it is a start. How long was it the your profile picture was taken and now? How much have you gained in that time? You really cannot expect to lose the weight much faster than you put it on. Most people don't realize how long they have been gaining to get to where they currently are. They, therefore, don't understand how long it will take for the weight to be shed. (Hint, it takes a while). Well begun is have done, to quote Mary Poppins. All that's needed is the determination to continue and achieve what ever goals you have planned. Diet for weight loss, exercise for general fitness. Way to go in getting started, keep it up and see results.

    I predict I was about 70 pounds lighter in my profile pic. And I think it was taken about five years ago.
  • ladyhusker39
    ladyhusker39 Posts: 1,406 Member
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    When it comes to physical activity particularly to going to the gym when you don't have "a gym body" showing up is the biggest part of the battle especially early on where you are now. Just keep showing up. Keeping doing your best and stop when you're done or when it gets too hard. I'm not saying do this forever, just long enough to get into the habit of getting up and going. Over time, it will get easier or you'll find different activities that you enjoy that keep you going back. You can always amp up your activity over time.

    I am only slightly overweight now, but I have some pretty tough cronic pain issues and sometimes it's just downright hard to get up and go when I have trouble walking around the house. But I go anyway. Some days I might do 5 minutes on the treadmill, walk the trail outside for a single lap, or do 10 minutes of heavily modified Zumba.

    It will get easier over time. All the best!
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,344 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Part of it is the fact that fitness takes time to build...it doesn't happen overnight. Part of it is the fact that some days are just better than other days. I've been training well for 5+ years and I have good days and bad days.

    There are moments where I'm like yes I got this I'm killing it and then other times I'm like what on earth am I doing? This is hard!

    A great quote from Greg LeMond - "It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster."

    I've exercised (on and off - with some long "off" stretches) for most of my life. This time I've been back at it very consistently for almost two and a half years. Lifting weights hasn't gotten any easier, but I'm lifting a lot heavier weights than I was when I started back. Running/cycling hasn't gotten any easier, but I can run/cycle a lot farther and faster now, and I don't get the crippling muscle soreness like I did in the beginning. I'll never set world records, but I just turned 55 years old and I'm in the best shape I've been in in the last 35 years.

    As cwolfman13 said, I still have days where it feels like I'm slogging through mud rather than running, or I have to double check the amount of weight I put on the bar because it feels twice as heavy as it should. It's just how it goes - we can't be "on" every time and not every workout will be a new personal record. But eventually, consistency yields dividends.
  • nicolega2001
    nicolega2001 Posts: 48 Member
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    I updated my profile pic today so that people can see what I actually look like now.
  • tammyr150
    tammyr150 Posts: 2 Member
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    Congrats on deciding to make a change ! I too decided to do the same. June11 I stopped smoking ( a 20 year habit ) and August 23 I joined the gym . I started slowly just trying to find my way. I too use heart rate to monitor my cardio. I shoot for an hour a day and start at the low end of my range and go up as I feel it throughout hour. Some days are way harder than others and yes caffeine helps!
  • lilac_bunny
    lilac_bunny Posts: 137 Member
    edited October 2017
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    I had a lot of problems with fatigue when I first started. I found the main causes were dehydration, lack of quality sleep and too much sugar in my calories (believe it or not I only eat about 1/2 of what I use to). When you have a cap on calories and you eat a lot of sugar, there isn't enough good nutrition going in to support exercise.
  • Mithridites
    Mithridites Posts: 595 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Part of it is the fact that fitness takes time to build...it doesn't happen overnight. Part of it is the fact that some days are just better than other days. I've been training well for 5+ years and I have good days and bad days.

    There are moments where I'm like yes I got this I'm killing it and then other times I'm like what on earth am I doing? This is hard!

    Me, too. ;)

    Me three! Most days going to the gym is a struggle.
    But that means that your sense of accomplishment after completing each planned workout can be proportional to how hard it was to finish it. We are re-training our brains as well as our muscles here. There comes a time when the self-pat on the back after a completed session starts to make us feel good. Good in ways that overeating and lounging around in front of the tv never did or could. That’s the eye-opener. We just have to stick to the new good habits long enough to get to that point. Please be proud of what you are doing. Because it IS hard. Yet, here you are. Doing it.