Is this enough resistance exercise? (Disclaimer: Planet Fitness)

bradkcrew Posts: 1,509 Member
Okay, so I accept that I need resistance exercise of some sort, but don't really know what is sufficient.

I am female, will be 60 in October, and currently weigh 141 (5'4").

I have been doing the 30 minute circuit at PF, minus the cardio portions, so just the 10 machines. I am doing 25 continuous reps on each, at the highest weights I can get through. Additionally I do 3 one minute planks each day. For cardio I am currently running, and have started treadmill fartleks after the circuit.

I am trying to lose weight and exercise to improve my health and fitness and would like to know if the circuit is adequate. I want to avoid muscle atrophy as I diet and age and increase strength, but much prefer cardo.

I would appreciate any advice.


  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,483 Member
    Doing a PF circuit is fine, not optimal but like you say you prefer cardio.

    What I would suggest if breaking those 25 reps down into sets using a weight that is challenging but you could do one or 2 more.

    Maybe 3 sets of 8, or 5 sets of 5, or any permutation that works for you.

    Before you start on your ‘working sets’ do a couple of warm up sets first at a something between 50-70% of your working weight.

    Doing 25 reps in a row is working more on endurance rather than strength. Splitting it into sets with fewer reps (lifts) will mean you will be able to progress the weight moved at a better rate.

    I’m older too and follow a programme that has me start at 8 reps and progress with that weight over 5 weeks up to 12 reps, then I up the weight. I find that format not as stressing as following a straight 5 x 5 routine.

    For a full body workout 3 times a week would be good. 2 would be OK as it is not your priority.
    (Happy to see you are fitting it in)

    If you are running and doing circuits you may want to look at also doing a yoga, Pilates, or other class that helps with mobility, balance, and flexibility.

    This is extremely general and based on what I, as a post menopausal woman, has benefited from.

    Cheers, h.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    bradkcrew wrote: »
    I am doing 25 continuous reps on each,

    25 !
    That's almost turning strength training into cardio. :smiley:
    Break it down to less reps at higher weight to get more benefit from your efforts. If you can manage 25 reps the first 20 really aren't doing anything for you, it's a very inefficient way to train.
    I'm not seeing that strength endurance is your resistance training goal so there's a mismatch between your goal and your training style.

    Are your 1 minute planks difficult for you? If not then increase the duration or change style to make them more intense.

    How many times a week are you training?
    (Through 40+ years of training twice a week has generally been enough for strength maintenance or slow increase if detrained but x3 a week sees good progress.)
  • bradkcrew
    bradkcrew Posts: 1,509 Member
    @middlehaitch @sijomial Thanks for the input. I really don't know what I am doing as I have always done cardio and exercise dvd(vhs lol) programs for strength and am definitely intimidated at the gym.

    I just jumped right in and randomly picked the 25 reps, so I appreciate hearing it is the wrong approach. I have been at it a couple of months and none of it has gotten easier so I haven't changed any weights. I've actually dropped down on the 3 leg machines since I am dealing with a quad strain that has done a number on one of my knees.

    I neglected to mention that I am going 3 times a week. I am headed out today and I will try the 8x3 suggestion with higher weights and will report back.

    Yes the planks are challenging as I jumped right in after not doing them for quite awhile. I don't have access to any types of classes like yoga.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    Please don't use the 30 Minute Circuit area as your personal campground. Use it as directed or don't use it at all. There are better versions of all of the machines out on the floor, go use those. You'll even get a few more steps in walking between them, since they aren't two feet apart from one another.

    To answer your actual question, the guidelines I've seen for resistance training are:

    If your goal is endurance, aim for 3-5 sets, 12-15 reps per set.
    If your goal is building strength, aim for 3-5 sets, 8-10 reps per set.
    If your goal is muscle hypertrophy, aim for 2-3 sets, 3-5 reps per set.

    I'll +1 sijomial that anything you can do for 20+ reps isn't really worthwhile as resistance training, so up the resistance until you have to fight for that 15th rep.
  • bradkcrew
    bradkcrew Posts: 1,509 Member
    @goal06082021 No camping..that being said noone uses it as intended-am probably the only person that actually goes through all 10 machines in a row. Fortunately it isn't that busy. I wouldn't know where to start with the other machines, and this has to be simple or I won't do it.

    So, with the sets, is it okay to do all 10 machines and circle around 3 times, or do I have to do each machine continually for the sets. How long should I rest in between?
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    bradkcrew wrote: »
    So, with the sets, is it okay to do all 10 machines and circle around 3 times, or do I have to do each machine continually for the sets. How long should I rest in between?

    You can go in a circle 3 times. For the 1st cycle, i'd choose a medium weight as a warmup, and then for the next 2, choose a weight that tires you out between around 8 and 12 reps. It should be heavy enough that can't really do more than around 16 reps. To make it more enjoyable, you can listen to music or a podcast. Rest between machines as long as you need to put a good effort into the next set - probably under a minute, since you're alternating muscle groups. Keep a log of what weights you use - it will change as you get stronger.

    After a few months, consider exploring the free-weights section. More benefits in terms of stabilization & integrating muscle groups. :+1: