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Not glamorous and somewhat under appreciated exercise
Old 09-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
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Not glamorous and somewhat under appreciated exercise

Walking that is. My workouts have very little cardio other than 5 minute elliptical warn-ups. This article reminded me of benefits that can come from walking and now that the oppressive heat from hades has finally frozen over here in Texas, I decided to incorporate some walking in with the weight training.
T NATION | Get Ripped. Get Walking.

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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Good idea, if you can stand the remaining heat in your area! It has cooled off substantially in New Orleans due to the cold front, and like you I need to do more cardio. In fact, my gym is closed today so I think I'll spend the time on my exercycle.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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I agree. For several years after I moved to city rarely a day went by when I didn't walk 5+ miles. I enjoyed it, with all the hills it kept me in pretty good shape, it allowed me to get much more familiar with neighborhoods. But lately some L hip arthritis seems to have put a cap on the amount I can do without pain. Some days, 6-7 miles is fine, especially if it has few down slopes. Other days it just isn't going much above 3 miles with comfort. So I went ahead and ordered my Concept2. Rowing can be used any way that running/ walking can be - fast intervals, long slow distance, or like a race, as fast as one can keep it up for say 5000 meters. Also, I've noticed that rowing even feels restorative on my hip. Yesterday I had walked about 3.5 miles in late morning, and I wanted to do ~3 more, but I was going slower and slower. I was supposed to go out to my woman friend's in the afternoon. She called an told me if I didn't want to miss lunch I had better get to the gym to finish up faster. So I finished off on the rower in the gym ( my chain has one near her), got all the calorie burn I wanted completed for the day, and still made lunch.

I've come to think that the the guys in the 70s weren't wrong. Go daily, go a considerable amount in as many doses as you care to, and don't always be pushing. It is easier to walk along at a moderate pace, outdoors on a pretty day, with attractive natural and human visuals, but every day isn't pretty and with my required daily calorie burn taken care of before I leave home, just walking to Trader Joe, or perhaps going down to the park or walking around a nearby college campus will be something on the top.

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Old 09-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
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My gym was closed today also, so got in a brisk 3 mile walk in the morning and after lunch used my infrequently used home gym to get my lifting done. Both felt good.

Ha, I like the Concept2 as well and wish either my local gym or home gym had one. You can do low impact or hit with that baby. Sorry to hear that your arthritus has been flaring up, thats a real bummer. I do take a glucosime/chondroitin supp, but have no idea if it helps or not. So far, I've been lucky not to be plagued by any joint aches or pains, but wonder when my number will be up.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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My gym was closed today also, so got in a brisk 3 mile walk in the morning and after lunch used my infrequently used home gym to get my lifting done. Both felt good.

Ha, I like the Concept2 as well and wish either my local gym or home gym had one. You can do low impact or hit with that baby. Sorry to hear that your arthritus has been flaring up, thats a real bummer. I do take a glucosime/chondroitin supp, but have no idea if it helps or not. So far, I've been lucky not to be plagued by any joint aches or pains, but wonder when my number will be up.
I need to get one of those home/universal gym machines. I have one in mind, but right now we are going to the gym so regularly that I haven't actually gotten around to buying it.

We have the Concept2 at my gym, and I really love it especially for weight loss. Since it uses large muscles, I burn a lot more calories than I think I am burning. I stopped using it last January when my back went out, because I suspected it might have aggravated that. But now that my back is better, I should probably start using the Concept2 again. They do take a lot of space although I think Ha mentioned getting one that is more compact.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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They do take a lot of space although I think Ha mentioned getting one that is more compact.
I did, though I dropped that idea in favor of the quick takedown on the Model D. I haven't decided yet where to place it. I may just put it in my basement storeroom. It is cool down there year round, and the area is rarely used. I can pull it out, set up and be rowing in a couple minutes. I can also keep it in my LR, in two parts standing upright. But especially in winter with the boiler on it may be pretty hot. I have an individual lockable garage, so that is another possibility.
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My gym was closed today also, so got in a brisk 3 mile walk in the morning and after lunch used my infrequently used home gym to get my lifting done. Both felt good.
Great!

24 hr fitness is open, so I am going to the REI summer sale, then walk a few blocks and row there.

I think it is definitely worth trying the C2 for a month or two before buying. Not everyone likes them, and as W2R said, some complain about back problems. I am not sure, but I think these can often be alleviated or avoided by really good form. There are a couple of excellent videos on the C2 website. One other thing that is different from say a high quality treadmill. With the rower, you have to will yourself to row. With a treadmill you just turn it on and don't get thrown off and 1/2 hour later you are well into your workout.

Last week I talked to a guy who rowed at UW and is now coaching. Really tall strong guy about 50. I asked him what stroke rate his crew used in mid race. He said mostly after starting @ about 40, they settle back into 34-36. Well, that is a lot faster rate than I usually go! Yesterday I tried to push it up to 30, and found that it does improve comfort. It makes higher wattage seem less effortful. I am not sure I could ever get to 34-36, though I think I will give it a try over time. Another thing, I think it is easier to get more watts with less effort setting the baffle low- maybe 3 or so.

He also said that the C2 transfers so well to on the water rowing that he uses C2 erg performance to assign boat seats. They have 40 in their boathouse.

Ha
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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+1 on walking. I do at least 2 to 3 miles a day with my pooch. I'm just not a gym kinda guy. I bought a set of these for this winter. I'll feel so manly.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:45 PM   #8
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I liked this picture from the article (From left to right: Sarah in SC, W2R, Simple Girl, and BBBAmI):

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Old 09-05-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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Thanks Al, walking has really helped them get in shape.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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+1 on walking. I do at least 2 to 3 miles a day with my pooch. I'm just not a gym kinda guy. I bought a set of these for this winter. I'll feel so manly.
I have these also. These are very high quality.

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Old 09-05-2011, 02:51 PM   #11
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I think maybe I'll see if I can get DW interested in walking...
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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I liked this picture from the article (From left to right: Sarah in SC, W2R, Simple Girl, and BBBAmI):

Should we call our ERF pinup girls (Sarah in SC, W2R, Simple Girl, and BBBAmI), Al's Angels?
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:30 PM   #13
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+1 on walking. I do at least 2 to 3 miles a day with my pooch. I'm just not a gym kinda guy. I bought a set of these for this winter. I'll feel so manly.
Those spikes look suitable for glacier hiking!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:36 PM   #14
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Last week I talked to a guy who rowed at UW and is now coaching. Really tall strong guy about 50. I asked him what stroke rate his crew used in mid race. He said mostly after starting @ about 40, they settle back into 34-36. Well, that is a lot faster rate than I usually go! Yesterday I tried to push it up to 30, and found that it does improve comfort. It makes higher wattage seem less effortful. I am not sure I could ever get to 34-36, though I think I will give it a try over time. Another thing, I think it is easier to get more watts with less effort setting the baffle low- maybe 3 or so.
Thanks for that info. After discovering the C2s in my gym a few weeks ago I've been using them steadily. I thought I was doing fairly well to maintain 25-26 strokes p/m for a 25-30 minute workout before stumbling off to hit something easy like the crosstrainer. Then, last week, some woman sat next to me on the next machine over and knocked out a 20 minute workout at what looked like twice my rate. Glancing over every now and then I saw numbers in the high 30s to the low 40's, and that made me feel like somebody's kid brother who wandered into the gym where the big boys and girls play.

I feel much better now knowing that she was probably a very experienced rower - or supergirl.

My wife experienced something similar with her girlfriend. They started swimming together and DW complained that the GF was kicking her butt and nearly doubling her laps with ease. Frustration finally made her say something one day, and that's when she found out that her GF had been an olympic swim team alternate.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:29 AM   #15
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Then, last week, some woman sat next to me on the next machine over and knocked out a 20 minute workout at what looked like twice my rate. Glancing over every now and then I saw numbers in the high 30s to the low 40's, and that made me feel like somebody's kid brother who wandered into the gym where the big boys and girls play.
I feel much better now knowing that she was probably a very experienced rower - or supergirl.
My wife experienced something similar with her girlfriend. They started swimming together and DW complained that the GF was kicking her butt and nearly doubling her laps with ease. Frustration finally made her say something one day, and that's when she found out that her GF had been an olympic swim team alternate.
I know for both of those sports it's 10,000 hours of practice on the efficiency, not so much the power.

But it doesn't hurt to have hands & feet the size of ping-pong paddles, either...
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:28 AM   #16
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Thanks for the link! I'm starting to work walking/hiking into my exercise program. The treadmill workout program listed in the article looks great for winter days when running/biking outside would be a chore.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:27 AM   #17
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How's this for 'bracing' exercise:

" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350">
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #18
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I would agree any walking is better then none at all but if your looking to use walking as part of your cardio fitness routine you really need to do it the right way to get full benefits from it. Which means walking at a fast pace and on an incline (easy to do on a treadmill, maybe not so easy out on the street) so you can get your heart rate to an elevated level. I have a treadmill in my house and do a combination of jogging and walking. I can get easily get my heart rate to 80% of max just by walking at 4mph and increasing the incline until my heart rate is in the zone. I could never come close to the zone if I just walked and kept the incline level. I walk 18 holes of golf 3-4 times a week and the cardio workout has definitely helped to keep me fresher later in the round.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:03 PM   #19
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I would agree any walking is better then none at all but if your looking to use walking as part of your cardio fitness routine you really need to do it the right way to get full benefits from it. Which means walking at a fast pace and on an incline (easy to do on a treadmill, maybe not so easy out on the street) so you can get your heart rate to an elevated level. I have a treadmill in my house and do a combination of jogging and walking. I can get easily get my heart rate to 80% of max just by walking at 4mph and increasing the incline until my heart rate is in the zone. I could never come close to the zone if I just walked and kept the incline level. I walk 18 holes of golf 3-4 times a week and the cardio workout has definitely helped to keep me fresher later in the round.
Correct, the article did point out the importance of incline.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:05 PM   #20
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I would agree any walking is better then none at all but if your looking to use walking as part of your cardio fitness routine you really need to do it the right way to get full benefits from it. Which means walking at a fast pace and on an incline (easy to do on a treadmill, maybe not so easy out on the street) so you can get your heart rate to an elevated level. I have a treadmill in my house and do a combination of jogging and walking. I can get easily get my heart rate to 80% of max just by walking at 4mph and increasing the incline until my heart rate is in the zone. I could never come close to the zone if I just walked and kept the incline level. I walk 18 holes of golf 3-4 times a week and the cardio workout has definitely helped to keep me fresher later in the round.
As I have some arthritis and cannot really jog on a regular basis, I do the same on a treadmill (incline at a reasonable pace), but I also add light weights in each hand (3 to 5 pounds). An hour of that can be a really strenuous cardio workout, IMO.

As for walking outdoors, I find that hiking can be a really good workout, especially if you are going for some distance, are wearing heavy duty trail boots (heavy, so more work to take each step), and carrying a pack (even a light day pack with some water and emergency gear).
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