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So I joined a Gym and need advice...
Old 01-17-2019, 08:58 AM   #101
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So I joined a Gym and need advice...

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Millennia ago, when I used to run, a newby said he was unable to run more than a quarter mile......told him that the first quarter is the worst one.


Yep. As we get older, it takes a first quarter mile to get the joints lubricated.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:28 PM   #102
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There are so many machines available because you need to target the different muscle groups to improve your core strength. Arms, legs, abs, as well as cardio. If you can mix up your muscle training you get an overall benefit of balance and well being plus you just feel better. Your gym probably has a Trainer who can outline a safe workout plan that will rotate around to include all the muscle groups in addition to your cardio.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:23 PM   #103
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Update from OP- having a good time at the gym but can't tell if I'm making progress yet. I am doing 30+ minutes of cardio 4x per week and doing some other resistance/weight training 2-3x per week. My trainer is sadistic, though I am told this is normal. She is inordinately fond of squats. She has me doing exercises that hit lots of muscles at once, with a few machines.

I actually like working out, but I can seem to FEEL like I'm doing anything when I work out according to whats recommended (60-65% of heart rate.) That's so boring. I find myself working out much harder, my heart rate is 155/160, which by one calculator is 90%. I can't decide if the HR monitor on the machine is not right or what. I'm certainly not in distress- I could (and sometimes do) go longer, quitting when I'm out of time, not because I am exhausted. The trainer doesn't seem concerned about this, so I guess its fine. Getting a smart watch today (its my birthday) so maybe that will be more accurate than the gym machines.
All the gym people are very nice and glad to help, and very amused by my questions and inexperience...
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:45 PM   #104
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Update from OP- having a good time at the gym but can't tell if I'm making progress yet. I am doing 30+ minutes of cardio 4x per week and doing some other resistance/weight training 2-3x per week. My trainer is sadistic, though I am told this is normal. She is inordinately fond of squats. She has me doing exercises that hit lots of muscles at once, with a few machines.

I actually like working out, but I can seem to FEEL like I'm doing anything when I work out according to whats recommended (60-65% of heart rate.) That's so boring. I find myself working out much harder, my heart rate is 155/160, which by one calculator is 90%. I can't decided if the HR monitor on the machine is not right or what. I'm certainly not in distress- I could (and sometimes do) go longer, quitting when I'm out of time, not because I am exhausted. The trainer doesn't seem concerned about this, so I guess its fine. Getting a smart watch today (its my birthday) so maybe that will be more accurate than the gym machines.
All the gym people are very nice and glad to help, and very amused by my questions and inexperience...
I don't worry too much about my heartrate*. I'm 61 and often my heartrate in the 160s. If a bear was chasing you would you care about your heartrate? Would you slow down?

*I've had some issues with high hemoglobin and hematocrit lately so I'm not doing an hour at 160 anymore. That issue is probably more about altitude and O2 deprivation.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:50 PM   #105
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A smart watch is good.

I have a fitbit charge 2 which measures my heart rate, count the number of steps, counts the calories that I burn, monitor my sleep, and nags me if you do not do enough exercises during the day. It also sends me an email if it needs charging.

What is really good about fitbit is that it records everything and gives you a summary of your exercises each week and a progress report.

Since it also tells me the time...so I rarely use my dumb watches anymore.

The fitbit 2 is about $120 and I am thinking about upgrading my fitbit charge 2 because sometimes when I just need the time, it will not turn on automatically 100% of the time.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:32 PM   #106
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Buy all the gizmos & gadgets you can, leave 'em at the gym, then you won't have to bother turning up.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:38 PM   #107
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I find myself working out much harder, my heart rate is 155/160, which by one calculator is 90%. I can't decide if the HR monitor on the machine is not right or what.
IMHO it's better to go by how it feels to you. The calculated max HR is probably good for most, but woefully wrong for some (me included). If your "real" max HR is higher than the calculated value, then you would naturally be working out at a much lower percentage than indicated on the machine.

It's possible to determine your real max HR but it takes some effort to do so.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:04 PM   #108
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My trainer is sadistic, though I am told this is normal ...
My dear grandmother visited a personal trainer when she was in her late 90s. I was surprised: my poor DGM was so sore that she could barely move the day after. We've all heard "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger" blah blah blah, but doesn't a 90+ year old body deserve a bit more respect? DGM never went back to that particular trainer, or any other for that matter. I guess that properly dealing with the "oldest old" wasn't part of that particular trainer's training.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:55 PM   #109
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I never focused much attention on target heart rate. For me, a simpler way of gauging my workout is did it make me sweat. Other than that progress by looking in the mirror is hard to beat.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:10 PM   #110
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Update from OP- having a good time at the gym but can't tell if I'm making progress yet...I actually like working out, but I can seem to FEEL like I'm doing anything when I work out according to whats recommended (60-65% of heart rate.) That's so boring. I find myself working out much harder, my heart rate is 155/160, which by one calculator is 90%.
You and I are about the same age, and when I run (jog) I'm usually about 150 after the first mile or so, and hit 160 around 30 mins in which is about as long as I'll typically go. Anything under 130 barely feels like cardio to me. tbh doing 30 mins of cardio-anything in a gym bores me to tears.

You're about 3 weeks in, so the only real progress you'll have is better form and feel for the movements, and you'll likely not get winded or as sore from trying something new like you might have before. Typically your won't really feel like "oh hey my body is changing" until about 6+ weeks. You mentioned only doing weights 2x per week so I'm assuming that's a whole body routine twice a week which sounds right.

The most important part of your post is you are enjoying yourself!
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:37 PM   #111
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I never focused much attention on target heart rate. For me, a simpler way of gauging my workout is did it make me sweat. Other than that progress by looking in the mirror is hard to beat.
My rule of thumb when running was to barely be able to maintain a conversation....if it was easy to talk my heart rate needed to go up, but if I couldn't converse then it needed to go down.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:48 PM   #112
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Any time at the Gym helps you stay healthy. With regards to strength training. Remember that you are only making your muscles stronger on your rest days. Think of it like a callus, when your stress your body it makes itself stronger over time. But you do have to stress your muscles to cause your body to make them stronger.

The key to aerobics is to make sure you don't work so hard that you go anaerobic. You are teaching your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates in your blood. The talk test, mentioned above. The goal is to be able to do more work (run faster) at the same heart rate.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:39 AM   #113
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Is it possible that I have gained 4-5 lbs of muscle in a month?
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:50 AM   #114
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Is it possible that I have gained 4-5 lbs of muscle in a month?
That has always been my excuse.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:58 AM   #115
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Update from OP- having a good time at the gym but can't tell if I'm making progress yet. I am doing 30+ minutes of cardio 4x per week and doing some other resistance/weight training 2-3x per week. My trainer is sadistic, though I am told this is normal. She is inordinately fond of squats. She has me doing exercises that hit lots of muscles at once, with a few machines.

I actually like working out, but I can seem to FEEL like I'm doing anything when I work out according to whats recommended (60-65% of heart rate.) That's so boring. I find myself working out much harder, my heart rate is 155/160, which by one calculator is 90%. I can't decide if the HR monitor on the machine is not right or what. I'm certainly not in distress- I could (and sometimes do) go longer, quitting when I'm out of time, not because I am exhausted. The trainer doesn't seem concerned about this, so I guess its fine. Getting a smart watch today (its my birthday) so maybe that will be more accurate than the gym machines.
All the gym people are very nice and glad to help, and very amused by my questions and inexperience...
I think you just need to research heart rate further. If it feels good to go harder and you are able to breathe, then you are doing fine cardio wise.

You can figure out your resting rate - one measure is your pulse in the morning before getting out of bed. Some sites modify the upper heart rate limit depending on gender and resting heart rate. So you can find a more personalized working range. And there are really two cardio workout ranges - the lower more for “fat burning”, the upper for increased fitness. And 70 to 85% of max is considered a good range - probably matches that higher fitness aerobic zone.

Great - sounds like you have made terrific progress. You might want to try other trainers too. It’s worth finding one that matches your goals and style at any given time. Doing full body workouts/exercises with few machines is a good thing. Squats are great as long as your knees can handle it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:03 AM   #116
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BTW I’m 59 and I sometimes let myself get above 170 on the rowing machine if I’m feeling good although I usually stay under 160/165. Above 170 I’m breathing pretty heavy like bellows, but it’s contolled. Once I gradually went up to 180 before backing off. Didn’t keel over.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:09 AM   #117
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Is it possible that I have gained 4-5 lbs of muscle in a month?
Maybe a couple of pounds of muscle, but also water retention since the body is being stressed and extra healing is needed. This should resolve itself over the long run.

Don’t worry about the weight and focus on the fitness. The fit of your clothes will tell you what is really happening.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:43 PM   #118
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Update from OP- having a good time at the gym but can't tell if I'm making progress yet. I am doing 30+ minutes of cardio 4x per week and doing some other resistance/weight training 2-3x per week. My trainer is sadistic, though I am told this is normal. She is inordinately fond of squats. She has me doing exercises that hit lots of muscles at once, with a few machines.

I actually like working out, but I can seem to FEEL like I'm doing anything when I work out according to whats recommended (60-65% of heart rate.) That's so boring. I find myself working out much harder, my heart rate is 155/160, which by one calculator is 90%. I can't decide if the HR monitor on the machine is not right or what. I'm certainly not in distress- I could (and sometimes do) go longer, quitting when I'm out of time, not because I am exhausted. The trainer doesn't seem concerned about this, so I guess its fine. Getting a smart watch today (its my birthday) so maybe that will be more accurate than the gym machines.
All the gym people are very nice and glad to help, and very amused by my questions and inexperience...


Patience. Most people quit because they want instant results. Your body will tell you if you're doing too much. If you are then quit for the day. I've had many days that I jumped off a machine because I just didn't have it in me that day or left 15 minutes early. Take a day off and continue to build up your endurance. I would say six months to a year until you really know what you want to settle into
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:20 PM   #119
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Is it possible that I have gained 4-5 lbs of muscle in a month?
I say yes especially if your clothes fit the same now as before. I've gained 30 pounds since late 2016 and I claim that it is all muscle. But I could be wrong.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:27 PM   #120
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Donít worry about the weight and focus on the fitness. The fit of your clothes will tell you what is really happening.
+1
I watched DW start at the gym after losing a bunch of weight. While she only lost an additional 8 pounds she dropped 4 sizes. We can shrink.
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