Does it matter? Question about type of exercise.

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I am trying to figure out if I am doing right by me. I am 'exercising' at least 3 days a week if not more. And all I am trying to do is exercise. I am not really looking to build muscle, but if I gain some I am cool with that. I am just trying to be steady and do 45minutes to an hr and 15 minutes of 'exercise' 3 to 5 days a week.

So some info about me.
weigh around 400lbs
I have basically no hip and severe nerve damage in my left leg. So I don't do squats or leg exercises.
I mostly use machines, and the cable exercisers
I do at least 20 minutes of cardio on a Upper body cycle.

What I am trying to figure out is that enough. I sweat like the dickens and feel winded and tired when I am done. I am losing weight eating 1800-2000 calories a day and doing the exercise routines.

All that said I am starting to get the gym gurus buzzing in my ear about super sets, and building max muscle and endurance etc etc.

All that stuff seems really confusing, and I feel it sets me up to fail.

So am I doing OK by what I am doing now?

Replies

  • Ian_mc84
    Ian_mc84 Posts: 41 Member
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    Hi, is what your doing achieving the aims you have? From your description it sounds like it’s helping you to loose weight and if that’s your goal yes it’s ok, supersets, lifting to fatigue, assisted lifts are all there if you want to build muscle.
    Another question that are you achieving towards your goal is, are you enjoying it? I ask this as doing something you enjoy your more likely to continue it, if you continue it then it becomes a habit, rather than if you feel that you have to do something because someone else told you to as that can lead you to regret, and frustration which can be the first step towards walking away from what you have achieved so far.

  • Fattyohfat
    Fattyohfat Posts: 51 Member
    edited November 2023
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    Ian_mc84 wrote: »
    Hi, is what your doing achieving the aims you have? From your description it sounds like it’s helping you to loose weight and if that’s your goal yes it’s ok, supersets, lifting to fatigue, assisted lifts are all there if you want to build muscle.
    Another question that are you achieving towards your goal is, are you enjoying it? I ask this as doing something you enjoy your more likely to continue it, if you continue it then it becomes a habit, rather than if you feel that you have to do something because someone else told you to as that can lead you to regret, and frustration which can be the first step towards walking away from what you have achieved so far.

    Thank you for your response. I do enjoy it. I don't have much going on, and going to the gym gets me out of the house. I like my gym except i guess its not cool. I go to Planet Fitness.
    I enjoy swimming more because of my injuries and limitations, but the public pools don't have a way to get me out of the water in a dignified fashion. They could hoist me out using a small crane(hand cranked winch/pulley) but it would be in front of people and I don't want the embarrassment.

    I appreciate your response because it sounds like my plan is working. I just get these younger pretty people putting ideas into my head that somehow I am still a loser and failure. I have no self esteem and people telling me I am wrong just lowers it, but again sounds like I am fine. Low self esteem would get me to quit. Knowing I am on the right track gets me to continue.
  • _John_
    _John_ Posts: 8,642 Member
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    Basic strength training is achieved with a push movement, pull movement, and a leg press/deadlift type movement. If you’re doing those with good enough form for progressive overload, you’re doing at least 90%+ of the best you can do. Strength training doesn’t have to get much more complicated than that for general fitness.

    How hard does your workout have to be? Harder than last time.

    I’d think a horizontal machine leg press would be about the lowest impact starting point for lower body fitness, but obviously I am not a physician so I’d consult before starting that.

    Congrats on making it up to the gym. That’s most of the battle.
  • Fattyohfat
    Fattyohfat Posts: 51 Member
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    _John_ wrote: »
    I’d think a horizontal machine leg press would be about the lowest impact starting point for lower body fitness, but obviously I am not a physician so I’d consult before starting that.

    Congrats on making it up to the gym. That’s most of the battle.

    I have an appointment with a physical therapist that is supposed to introduce me to some lower body exercises including using a machine leg press. Right now I have to admit the idea scares the *kitten* out of me because if I fall I have to call the fire department or get a bunch of stout people to lift me up. So again because of the embarrassment factor I don't put myself in those situations.


  • Melwillbehealthy
    Melwillbehealthy Posts: 888 Member
    edited November 2023
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    Hi. It sounds like your doctors have given you some good exercise plans. I’ve been trying for the last 8 months to get healthier. Diabetes, hbp and high cholesterol arthritis, etc. I’m on blood thinners for a clot, the list goes on. I’ve seen a lot of doctors over this time. They all stress the importance of exercise. It seems to be integral to all of my health issues.They don’t care what I do as long as I move.
    When I started exercising, I was pretty weak. II sometimes had to vomit in the beginning. I could barely breathe while walking up a slight incline. I started doing things I liked. I swam . I didn’t walk as I don’t like going for walks .
    I guess I just want to tell you to do something you like and will want to do. This week I joined a ladies dance class. I loved it. I’m also lifting very small hand weights so I don’t lose too much muscle during weight loss.
    I’m getting healthier, taking less drugs and the exercise has increased my energy.
    In the future maybe I’ll be more focused on certain parts of my body. I’m a little intimidated by the way people talk on the fitness forums here and I don’t usually participate. For now, what I’m doing is working. I’ve lost 45 lbs. good luck. I think you’re doing exactly what you should be doing.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,429 Member
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    You're doing fine. The sweet spot for exercise is something that's relatively enjoyable, fits into one's life well, and presents a manageable challenge to current fitness capabilities.

    You're doing a mix of cardio and strength exercise. You're sweating and winded when done. You enjoy it. Your exercise is helping you achieve your goals.

    That sounds pretty great, honestly. Still, there is no obligation to to be absolutely ideal in all ways all at once. We all learn more as we go along, become capable of more as we get fitter, so gradually progressing in exercise duration, intensity, frequency and type is a good way to go about things.

    Overdoing for current capabilities is a bad plan. Exercising to exhaustion (beyond that short "whew" feeling after the workout) can bleed calorie burn out of daily life, because we drag through the rest of the day, moving less and resting more. Overloading frequency, duration, or intensity isn't good for fitness: It impairs recovery, which is where the magic actually happens as our body repairs and builds back better.

    Too many relative beginners with ambitions will overdo, think they need loads of maximum intensity exercise every day, then burn out or even worse get injured.

    What anyone else is doing is irrelevant. Your current state and goals are relevant. Other people's opinions are irrelevant - unless you hire them specifically for their advice based on expertise and education. (It's good that you've engaged a physical therapist to help you do additional exercises safely!)

    If anyone at the gym is giving you the side eye or saying negative things . . . well, I think they're jerks. (No need to pay attention to jerks.) But I have to say, it's easy to think that others are judging us when it's just our own self-consciousness or lack of self-confidence at play. (I say this having myself been - for example - an over-55 obese woman in a bathing suit at my gym, completely flat-chested because post-mastectomies, swimming incompetently and splashily.)

    Also, there's nothing wrong with Planet Fitness if it has what you need, and you like the atmosphere. They have a reputation for being clean and pretty well maintained, and they're affordable. Nothing wrong with that.

    I think you're doing fine: Keep up the good work!
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,874 Member
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    What you're doing is 100% fine. I would wager that the main priority right now is to get the weight off and get your body moving some, which it seems you are.
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 9,348 Member
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    Supersets, drop sets, max strength and endurance, all these things have a place. And that place is almost always NOT with someone new to exercise. Complex lifting techniques shouldn't even be talked about until someone has at least six months to a year of basic lifting experience under their belt. Before that, what you say you're doing sounds like EXACTLY what you SHOULD be doing.

    These "gym gurus" buzzing in your ear are likely NOT, in fact, gurus of any kind. They have a little experience in the gym, heard a few buzzwords, and are probably trying to show off their "knowledge." They may have hearts of gold and are honestly trying to help, but if they were true gurus they would know you are not ready for what they're recommending.

    Trust the process. You've already checked off so many items on the fitness checklist:

    - Determine an eating plan with lower calories than maintenance
    - Go to the gym and engage in some version of strength and cardio exercises you enjoy
    - Seek out the expert opinion of doctors
    - Seek out the expert opinion of certified personal trainers

    Looks to me like you only have the last one to do, and that one is totally optional. Many people succeed in fitness without ever hiring a PT. But if you ever do decide to hire one, seek out one who's actually certified for advice, not just a "gym guru" you meet in the gym.

    You got this!
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 8,399 Member
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    I'll just chime in with everyone above---you're doing great! Don't listen to what the others are saying, you do you. Small progress is perfect. You'll see that things change as you lose and get stronger. You'll change your program and diet as you move along. That's all normal and will get you where you want to be.

    Congratulations on your progress so far, and good luck with your future goals.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,531 Member
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    Fattyohfat wrote: »
    All that said I am starting to get the gym gurus buzzing in my ear about super sets, and building max muscle and endurance etc etc.

    All that stuff seems really confusing, and I feel it sets me up to fail.

    So am I doing OK by what I am doing now?
    Forget about all that. You're doing fantastic. Keep doing what you're doing.

    I don't know what exactly your limits are with squat movements. Consider the hack squat machine. It'll be easy to get in and out of because you're standing, so it'll much easier for you than the leg press machine. Or just get a dumbbell and do a goblet squat. Or even simpler, just walk more, including on days you don't go to the gym take a short walk.

    You don't need to train to failure, super sets, any of that stuff. Do try to progress though, and do get enough protein to help protect the muscle you have while you're losing weight. At a ballpark estimate, about 200g per day should be good.
  • Corina1143
    Corina1143 Posts: 2,995 Member
    edited November 2023
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    I'm not an exerciser, so no advice.
    I do move in ways I enjoy, swim, dance, walk. I hate gym stuff, weight lifting, etc. So I don't.
    I swam for a while in an indoor senior citizens pool. There was a physical therapist on duty a couple of afternoons each week. One older lady, maybe 5'8 to 5'10, 180 to 200 lbs, had to be lowered into the pool, and lifted out with a hand-operated hoist. Her physical therapist did it for her and worked with her. As you might imagine, we were all curious the first time we saw this happen, but she and the pt answered all our questions, and by the third or fourth time, we mostly just didn't notice. We did notice, though, when she started getting in without it a few months in.
    Just to say don't be embarrassed, people are just curious.

  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,248 Member
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    "What I am trying to figure out is that enough. "

    When I see that question my answer is always that "enough" depends on what your goals are. Sounds like you've got the weight loss covered with your diet so that if you're just looking at general health and fitness you're probably ok too (Health Canada & the CDC both recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week) and I completely agree with what AnnPT77 said about working within your capabilities and not injuring yourself (as a runner I can't begin to list the number of times I had setbacks due to injuries caused by too much, too soon, too fast)

    Personally I'm a firm believer in keeping things simple. My strength training consists of push, pull & leg days with a very modest amount of progression (at 67 recovery takes longer - it's a big slice of humble pie admitting to yourself that you're not 20 anymore) and, at most, I spend 3 x 45 min or so on strength as my goal is mitigating age related loss of lean muscle mass.


  • scavonedan
    scavonedan Posts: 15 Member
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    If you can, meet with a dietician and nutritionist. That will help determine what you really need to consume and in a healthy manner. You want make certain you don't starve yourself or skip out some important mineral etc. Also, keep tabs with your Dr as they do know what is safe. Then as others said make sure you still have some fun!