Fun Fitness Friday #7

Posted by Adam | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, August 22, 2008

Before we rock and roll, I just want to thank everyone for the positive response on the last post. I am very happy that light bulbs are clicking on everywhere, and all of this crazy nutrition stuff is starting to make sense. The ultimate goal is to make small, healthy changes with food that you can sit down and look forward to having. I'm glad we're all starting to accomplish this.

So let's begin our story...

Alright, so you can look in the mirror now and say "Hey I've got a pretty good handle on this nutrition stuff". You wake up, have a good breakfast with healthy carbs, protein, and a little fat. You have an mid-morning snack to keep your energy up, a tasty awesome lunch, a small afternoon snack so you can drive right past McDonalds on the drive back home. Dinner is nice and light, full of vegetables, and maybe you treat yourself to something small at night. Your energy levels are constant, you no longer have a "sugar high" or "energy crash" at work. People around you say you feel and look better.... Life is great, but you want to lose some weight.... So Now what?

Well you have to burn some calories. To most, this means a form of structured exercise, and can sound like a chore at first. I'm here to tell you it really doesn't have to be. I know life is busy, and there's a thousand things to do... but if you can put aside a little time, your life will change forever. My workouts are about 45 minutes on average, with 3-4 weight lifting days, and cardio 5 or 6 days a week. There is no need to spend 2+ hours in the gym... if you know people like that, they might be overtraining, or maybe they need to streamline the workouts a bit. Get in the gym, work hard, and get out. It's like what Ferris Bueller said "Life moves pretty fast...

There is a ton of information on the internet about the benefits of exercise, so I won't really delve much into it here. This one Weight Watcher Site has tons of great information, so I encourage you to look at it.

I'm going to start a primer for people who have never lifted weights before, and talk a little about my personal experience. While aerobic conditioning (what we commonly call "cardio"), is great for weight loss, a training routine coupled with anaerobic (weight lifting) conditioning with increase your results ten fold. Weight training has benefits that include:
  • Increasing muscle mass - 1 pound of muscle burns another 60 calories at rest
  • Increasing metabolism by creating an oxygen deficit - you need to stop and catch your breath
  • Releases endorphins to make you feel better and increase a positive mood
  • Sleeping better
  • And much more
The great thing about weight training is that your metabolism is increased for anywhere from 24-48 hours after exercise. That means that for the next day or so, you will burn more calories just going about your normal day. It's like finding free money in the middle of the street. There are small micro-traumas (don't worry) in your muscle that needs to be repaired and healed. This coupled with hormone release, causes you to get stronger and have better quality muscle (that whole toning thing). It is much easier to have better looking arms, legs, etc, when they know how to contract and become more dense.

Now the million dollar question... will you "get huge" or "bulk up" by lifting weights? The answer for a female, is mostly likely no. The reason I can say this with most certainty is due to testosterone. Women lack testosterone, or have it in very small amounts, compared to their male counterparts. If you are familiar with steroids, they are hormones that increase testosterone and it's similar friends. So basically, you cannot get big, because you lack the hormone responsible for it.

Now I'm being pretty general here... so if you start lifting weights and 3 months from now you have boulders for shoulders, and you don't want them... just take it down a few notches. Everyone has a different body, and their responses to exercise is different.

So where do you begin in the weight room... well I'll post more on it later, but here's a start...

Divide workouts into an upper and lower body day. That means work on your legs one day, and then your back, chest, and arms on the other day. With a rotation like this, you won't take up too much time in the gym, and your whole body won't be crazy sore at first. Speaking of soreness, to have a little tenderness for the next 1-2 days is normal. If you remember, we created a large demand on our muscles, so little tears in the muscle cause a little inflammation. Don't worry, with proper nutrition, drinking water to flush out any toxins, and REST, we heal nicely.

I would personally workout on a MWF or Tues/Thrus/Sat schedule, with your cardio either after weight training, or on the off days. Even walking after dinner for 30 minutes can be counted, and this has been shown to actually help with digestion. Ever feel really bloated after a meal? Yeah, walking helps me with that. That's why people in NYC aren't too huge.

Here's some final points for you to consider about starting weight lifting:
  • It will improve your own self esteem and self image
  • Gym people are mostly friendly people and in a good mood
  • Let the macho guys be macho... they have poor self esteem anyways
  • I know it's intimidating at first... just concentrate at bettering yourself
  • Everything in life is easier with a friend there
  • Have small goals each week or month - I want to lose this... or lift this much...
  • Put up a picture of some inspiration - Like what Dawn does on her site
  • Mom always said it takes 21 days to make a habit
So there you have it. Remember that exercise needs to be something you enjoy, so that you can stick to it for 21 days. No matter what you like... a hip hop class, (How'd it go Nat?) shadow boxing, running, yoga, give it all a try first. You never know what you like until you try :) You'll feel better, and in a few months, you won't remember life before your new found activity. Just remember to start slow, and always equip the advice of someone and your doctor before you start.

If you really, really, really hate exercise, then remember every little movement helps. When you go shopping, walk the mall for awhile before or afterward. Take the long way around to get to Target, park far away, or start walking the dog more after dinner. But once again, you won't know until you try :)

Ok that's it for this week. I just wanted to start out really slow for anyone who has never worked out before. Next week I'll get into actual individual exercises, and about how to lift correctly. If there's any type of 'advanced' or 'athlete' type questions, it may be awhile before I tackle those, but they'll be up sometime. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and get moving before summer ends :)
Bright idea
She Hulk

Comments (25)

Great that you write about this Adam. You know that I used to do 200 sit ups a day before. I do swim an hour a day. But all these things have changed since I have my baby.. I do dance everyday in the kitchen while cooking :-) LOL I wanted so badly to put me back in the rhythm by I feel so lazy..Im probably aging :-)

As a full-time dancer, morning kickboxer, daily "stretcher," and weekly weight-lifter, I definitely have a passion for fitness and staying active - thanks again for another insightful FFF post, Adam!

Enjoy your weekend :0)

HAHA, 'She Hulk', lol. She's my idol, by the way.

Another stellar post. I like how you emphasized that it takes relatively a little each day, as many who are new to exercise think it's all or nothing.

I wanna look like She Hulk! LOL. As always great article, bro. I love to play some merengue music and dance to it when I start to get cramped for being long hours in front of the computer. That's a great exercise and it tones up your ass! Oh yeah! :-p

I loved that FFF. Unfortunately, I fall into the 'I hate exercise' category, but I will try your tips on trying to make the most out of our daily lifestyle. Or I guess I could just stop baking CCCs!

I can definitely attest to weightlifting will NOT bulk you up. I've been doing it for years, and I'm a girl and I am not Hulk Hogan. I am toned. If you want to bulk up then use really heavy heavy weights. I'm sure Adam can tell you way more about that.
Also, the sleeping is crucial if you do weightlifting; your body needs to recover & repair, especially if this is your first time with weights.
When I do do weightlifting, my metabolism shoots WAY up again, which is good for losing weight.
And after working with weights makes sure to stretch your limbs after the workout so you don't get too much lactic acid build up in your joints. I know Adam can better explain that than I can.
Awesome post buddy, we are all so lucky to have you here explaining all this.

I went on a two hour walk with the kids today. Exercise is key, especially if you write a food or recipe blog! Great information Adam.

Hey Adam! Great info as allways! I just started with weight lifting at the end of last year and before I hated it and now I don't hate it so much, secretly I kind of enjoy it but please don't tell! People in the gym really are very friendly I can confirm that!
Here's what i do: 1 day lower body with a bit of cardio, 1 day uper body with a little cardio and on day 3 just cardio (about 1 hour). i try to do it 5 times a week. BUT I allways do cardio before weight lifting and you say to do it after. Any reason for that? Have a great weekend!

You're right, unfortunately, about how long it takes to start a new habit. Thanks for the great tips.

My fave part of your post? The second last paragraph!

I used to have structured workouts, now I have to build my workouts into my day. I walk up 14 floors every day, often while lugging my Mac. I do vacuum stretches, leg lifts in front of the tell, and don't get me started on the butt clenches... :)

Love the new look Adam. Very sexy!

i like the new design : ) these FFF's are such a hit!! I have a question though... is it alright to go into the gym, lift weights and leave? I was told I should sprint or do 10-15 minutes of intense cardio before lifting weights to get my heart rate up. what's up with that?

Great info Adam! I had no idea that weight training releases endorphins.

Great tips, as usual. How do you feel about aerobics? I think it's fun. I have tapes from the 80's.

I forgot to say something about the Cody-Step-By-Step reference. Ha ha! I used to watch that show. Did you know he beat up his girlfriend or wife, or something like that?

Congrats on your awards and congrats on the new layout -it looks fabulous! I really like it. Only problem is it took me FOREVER to find where to post a comment. I did find it, eventually, so now I know where it is, just don't move it again!

Serious thanks for the understanding of the hair drama, you men make it exciting when there is girl talk!

FFF this week did NOT disappoint, as usual. Thanks for all of your hard work on it, I really enjoy it and look forward to it each week!

Oh Adam, I love the new look of your blog. Sexy and professional. Your Friday advise is really getting to me. Need to start feeling more like my younger self and not like a big fat tub of goo! I'll get there sooner or later. Great post.

I share your thoughts! A great post!

I was already thinking of starting training again since lately i was so busy i stopped every training i was making. You really motivated me to start again. Thanks for the interesting post.

Nice new layout Adam! Looks great! :)

I wish I didn't hate exercising so much! Argh! That is why in the past things like martial arts, swimming, yoga and just walking have been good for me (not to mention the bellydancing) - because then it doesn't FEEL like exercise!

Thanks for reminding me I need to find a new bellydancing teacher ASAP!!!!

Is it wrong that I find She-Hulk a little sexy? Yeah, it's wrong. :)

Thanks for all the great information, Adam. You're a smart cookie!

Dude! I come to visit you, and you've painted your house and rearranged the furniture! I like what you've done with that place. It looks good.

So..I've been working out all summer and I've lost inches but no weight yet. And by working out, I mean going for 4 and 5 mile walks around my neighborhood, walking until I can't possibly go another step and then turning around and retracing my trail.

I am going to revisit my roots and take a few dance classes at my old dance school this fall. I used to be a dancer and I stopped in college. I need the added cardio, I think. I can walk to the studio, using arm and/or foot weights, and leave the rest up to God LOL.

Wow, totally sweet new layout! :D As per usual, loving the FFF posts, amazing how fast the time is going and how many of these you're racking up. Thanks to you I've started using weights and I'm actually loving it. If I didn't eat enough for 12 I'd probably see more results but I'm definitely feeling better. I haven't seen SBS in aaages...was that the show with the Dayna-burger?

Lifting weights has been a huge help in my weight battles and has become my favorite activity other than yoga. I hate cardio. I use free weights at home but I want to get over being intimidated by the machines at the gym. I'm convinced I'm going to use them wrong and hurt myself.

I've been wanting to lift weights this school year because it's pretty much common to carry heavy equipment in video production, so I need to tone my arms. Thanks for the tips!

BTW, the colored font is hard to read on your dark grey background.

Adam, sointeresting how always dear!! I walk a lot but I think I have to do some Gym too!!! Im a lazy dear (I love to walk and swming only)) I know I have to change!! xxxGloria

I love reading your posts. I train with DVDs. My fav trainer is Cathe: She produces great workouts.