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Need some feedback on how to adjust my workout

Greybird3339Greybird3339 Member Posts: 6 Member Member Posts: 6 Member
I'm fairly new to fitness, and I'm trying to find a workout that gives me what I need, while at the same time fits with my schedule and resources. Right Now, I need to make an alteration to my workout, going from six days per week to five, and I need advice on how to do that.

I'm a male, 48, 6'1", 287 pounds. I don't have any dangerous medical conditions, although I do have some limitations in regards to movements (I have permanent reduction in the strength and mobility of my left shoulder due to long-ago surgery.) My HRR averages about 30 after 1 minute, 50 after 2. My resting heart rate is generally in the mid-50s.

I started exercising about two years ago, consisting only of 30 minutes a day on a stationary bike. I continued for about a year without missing a day, then dropped the habit with the lockdown. I resumed workout out in January, and have been steadily adding to my routine as I've learned, improved, and gained resources. I've lost 26 pounds of scale weight sine January, while gaining noticeably in both strength and endurance.

Prior to that, I spent the last 20 years sitting probably 14 hours per day, minimum. I'm paying for that now, and trying to undo the damage.

My biggest limits are that, for a number of reasons, I don't have access to a gym, nor do I have a lot of financial resources. I have to make due with what I have. Right now that's a decent quality stationary bike, a set of good quality resistance tubes with accessories, some floor space, my own body weight, and a handful of minor accessories (a mat, a foam roller, etc.) I do not have the money, nor the space for additional machines or free weights. I have to move furniture to get room on the floor as it is. I do use a fitness tracker (Garmin watch) and have a chest strap that I use when needed.

My goals are: To lose weight, obviously. Mobility and control - I got tired of having to climb out of chairs instead of just standing up. Beyond that, general fitness and health. I'm not terribly worried about impressing the passerby with bulging muscles, attracting a mate (my wife of 25 years wouldn't like that), or being the best at any particular sport.
So, here's what I'm doing now. I currently work out six days a week. I do pay a great deal of attention to form. I'm not perfect, but I pay attention, am always learning, and always double checking myself and trying to improve how I do things.

Four days, cardio and mobility:

• A general light warm-up consisting of high knees with arm swings, stepping jacks, fore/back and lateral leg swings, plus one set each of bodyweight squats and push-ups.
• Planks, 3 at 35 seconds currently. I started at 20, built up to here, and will continue to progress
• Bridges, two sets of 15, three seconds up, two held, controlled down, repeat
• Prone leg lifts, two sets of ten on each leg
• 30 minutes on the bike. I keep my speed at 90 RPM and control the intensity with the resistance setting to keep my heart rate in the 80-85% range for the majority of the workout. I usually get 25-28 minutes in my target zone per day this way.
• A variety of stretches to cool down, including a prone spinal twist, hamstring stretch, ankle stretch, figure four stretch, and butterfly stretch. I'm working on getting the form right to include a 90-90 stretch in this set.

Notes: One big problem I have discovered is that my hips are both tight and weak, so I've been putting some extra attention into strengthening/stretching that area.

Two days, resistance training and mobility:

• A general light warm-up consisting of high knees with arm swings, stepping jacks, fore/back and lateral leg swings.
• Bodyweight squats alternating with push-ups. I normally do 20 squats, then do push-ups to failure, then wait one minute and repeat for a total of three sets. I'm not able to get many push-ups in, usually five or six per set, and that's using my knees. I haven't used my upper body for much besides pushing a mouse or turning a page in probably 30 years. I'll get there, though.
• Resistance bands: Curls (23 lbs) alternating with lateral shoulder lifts (8 pounds.) I do three sets of each, with the goal being 10 per set. I usually hit it on the first two sets, then fail somewhere around 7 or 8 on the third.
• Resistance bands: Tricep pull-downs (19 pounds) alternating with forward shoulder lifts (8 pounds.) Again, I go for three sets of 10 on each, and usually hit it on the first two sets and fail close to that on the third.
• A variety of stretches to cool down, including a prone spinal twist, hamstring stretch, ankle stretch, figure four stretch, and butterfly stretch. I'm working on getting the form right to include a 90-90 stretch in this set.

Notes: This is brand new. I've only been doing this a month or so, and I'm still trying to dial in what I need. I'm aware that I'm missing some muscle groups, like the chest and back, rear shoulders, some parts of the leg, etc. As I progress, I intend to add more exercises in. One priority has been my left shoulder, as I have permanently reduced mobility there due to damage to my accessory nerve from surgery (partially paralyzed trapezius.) I've already discussed this with professionals and know what the medical advice is, which I take into account. With all of the resistance exercises, once I can hit the target reps 3 out of 3 times consistently, I'll up the resistance.

In addition to the six days, I have become more active, sit much less, and do other activities that keep me moving throughout the day. Getting a VR rig as a gift a few months ago helped with that quite a bit. It's enough that I'm getting an extra hour or so of moderate intensity cardio most days on top of the workouts.

Diet: I'm currently eating at a 1,000 calorie deficit from my BMR, and I'm eating back any calories I work off beyond that. I track everything that goes into my mouth, and I'm being careful to make sure that I'm getting the necessary amounts of fiber, vegetables, and nutrients. I'm currently working toward 40% protein, 20% fat, 40% carbs. This gives me about 200 grams of protein per day (and the rest in balance.)

Net results so far: My goal was originally to meet the CDC/WHO exercise recommendation of 75 minutes of intense activity or 150 minutes of moderate per week. I'm currently hitting about 100 plus 250, respectively. I'm very happy with that. I have just recently added in the resistance training as I began to learn how important it was. My current workout is to get me into the habit, after which I hope to start expanding it. As I mentioned earlier, I've lost 26 pounds of scale weight since January while gaining noticeable strength and endurance, plus my pants are much looser than 26 pounds of just fat loss would suggest. A variety of aches and pains have vanished (especially once I realized how much of my back pain was actually my hips), and my range of motion in my bad shoulder has also increased (I can lift my left arm to shoulder height for the first time in 7 years.) I've been very happy with the results.

Why I'm here, posting this:

When I started in January, it was the cardio routine five days a week. When I saw how many minutes of exercise I was getting compared to my goal (about triple the goal), I decided to cut one day of the cardio and work in a day of resistance training. As I started to learn more about it, I realized that I needed at least two days of resistance, to I added in an extra day (thus my current four cardio/two resistance routine.) I've made that work for the last few days, but it's starting to be a problem.
Six days a week just isn't working around my schedule. It isn't the days I'm working out, it's the lack of days that are free. One is absolutely locked down (I'm not able to work out on Mondays), which means that I have zero flexibility through the week, and that's a problem. I need to trim the routine back down to five days per week, and I could use some advice on how to do that. The way I see it, I have three choices, using the same basic workouts I have now:

1. 3 days cardio, 2 days resistance
2. 2 days cardio, 3 days resistance
3. 2 days cardio, 2 days resistance, 1 day mixed*

*I know nothing about circuit training, don't know if my equipment would work for it, and don't now if it's a good idea, but it would be an option, and I could use that day to work in the chest/back muscle groups I'm missing right now.

I'm personally leaning toward #1, given that my #1 goal is weight loss, but for every expert that says cardio is better for weight loss, there's another that says resistance is better, which would mean #2, although that would take out half of my high-intensity cardio, which is something I'd rather keep. And I can really see the potential of #3 if it isn't a terrible idea, as it would mix things up and keep my body from adapting, plus would give me the chance to work in some other muscle groups.

So, I'm coming to all the experts here and asking for some input that's more knowledgeable.
And while my primary question is there at the end, if anybody has any observations about the rest, I'm happy for that, too. Thank you!


  • pridesabtchpridesabtch Member Posts: 953 Member Member Posts: 953 Member
    How much time are you dedicating each day? It may have said, but by the time I got to the end I forgot what was at the beginning...
  • tcunbelievertcunbeliever Member Posts: 8,059 Member Member Posts: 8,059 Member
    There's no reason all your days can't be mixed days.

    Personally, I prefer at least 3 days of strength training per week, and I prioritize my strength work over my cardio, so I typically do strength first, and then follow with 30-60 min of cardio (depending on the day and how much time I have available)

    In terms of other workouts to try, check out for lots of workout options including individual days or whole programs, and you can filter by equipment so you don't have to dig through a bunch of workouts that use equipment you don't have. You can also filter by muscle group so you can look for workouts that fit what you are currently missing in your established routine.

    Also, maybe try to add some balance and flexibility work - even just 15-20 min a few times a week, it will be important as you continue aging.
  • pridesabtchpridesabtch Member Posts: 953 Member Member Posts: 953 Member
    I'm not expert, but this is how I break it down.

    I tend to go for 1 - 1.5 hours 4 days a week, just how my life works right now. I always start with sort of intense cardio to get things flowing 15 minutes on leg days, 30 minutes on other days, abs ever day I do 15 minute cool down on the bike or treadmill after, and I should stretch but I rarely do...

    Monday: 30 Minutes cardio coupled with Biceps, triceps, shoulder & abs 15 minute cool down.
    Tuesday: 15 minutes cardio coupled with legs & abs, cool down
    Thursday: 30 minutes cardio coupled with back & chest
    Friday: 15 min cardio with legs & abs

    I tend to be leg/core heavy because my goal is to ride better on my bike. You can work all of these parts with body weight and bands just search on-line for examples.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,891 Member Member Posts: 1,891 Member
    This is great for a warm up, cool down or just drop to the floor and do this routing a few times a day, a series of "get back ups". Will do wonders for your mobility.

    edited April 16
  • Greybird3339Greybird3339 Member Posts: 6 Member Member Posts: 6 Member
    How much time are you dedicating each day? It may have said, but by the time I got to the end I forgot what was at the beginning...

    My typical workout is probably an hour or a little over, depending on the activity that day.

    The unscheduled workouts (IE - doing fun stuff that isn't planned or scheduled) is usually anywhere from half an hour to two hours, although it isn't always every day. Again, I think of that as a bonus workout rather than as part of meeting my goals.

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