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The personal trainer has served several purposes, not least of which is motivating me to get to the gym often. However, he is pricey, and I think he is starting to sort of cramp my style a bit. I find myself not wanting to experiment and try new machines, etc., because the trainer doesn't use machines, and instead has me mostly doing odd stuff with an aerobic step, a body ball and some small weights that are complicated and kind of require assistance and spotting. Almost as if he doesn't want me to develop an exercise routine that I can do on my own...

So I'll be ditching the trainer soon. And my questions to you all are: what do you actually do in the gym? Are there machines you like? Do you work your whole body each time you go in, or do you do some kind of split? Only cardio one day, then only weights the next? And, can anyone point me to good web resources for building routines?

I'm trying to approach this as a new hobby, in order to keep it interesting to myself, and not like a tedious chore. So any thoughts or suggestions you could offer would be tremendously helpful.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC)
My plan probably isn't the best (I know I should mix it up more) but here's what I do:

Mon, Wed, Fri I do 40 minutes on the treadmill, with hills.

Tuesday and Thursday I do 20 minutes on the treadmill (no hills), then I do some upper body stuff on the machines. I used to do lower body too, but I have such a limited amount of time I decided that all the treadmill work was probably enough for lower body (plus my calves are already HUGE).

There's a beginning step class starting on Saturdays I might check out, and I'm thinking of doing a (non-gym) yoga class once a week.
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC)
One of these days I can stay late and go through the weights with you.
Re: Also: - fenriss - Aug. 30th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Also: - joanarkham - Aug. 30th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
Personally, I try and do cardio every day as a warmup, and then do weights - split between back and shoulders one day, and chest and arms the next. I try and do core muscles every day, too - but only when I'm not being a lazy, inertia-ridden blob.
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
Replying here based on icon use
My routine isn't, and it's insane. I don't do cardio like I should in the gym, but I supplement with boxing, hiking, and mountain biking. Grr.

I do a combination of weights and machines, but the way I use machines makes teh form extremely important. You can do what I do wrong very easily - no harm done, just not burning your msucles into a pile of oatmealish goo like I do.

I love cybex shtuff - as noted by rottenlilgirl below. Her tactful comment is cool too, about moving away from personal training.

I can show you how to build most muscle groups an do good form - I don't knwo so much about nutrition and long sets vs. power, but I can help you with what I do know. I'll be in Gold's today around 4:30 until 6 or so I think. It's my easy workout day - just abs, legs, then if I'm up for it running (depends on the leg and knee owies).
Re: Replying here based on icon use - fenriss - Aug. 30th, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Replying here based on icon use - vicar - Aug. 30th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Replying here based on icon use - fenriss - Aug. 30th, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 30th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aghrivaine - Aug. 30th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
Geez, is there some kind of conspiracy among my friends to make me feel lazy? I mean, isn't the fact that I LOOK good enough?! This is AMERICA!
Aug. 30th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I've decided I'd rather not die young, and I'd like to have fewer aches and pains while I'm at it. YMMV, of course.
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
Here is what I have been doing...

40 mins on the elliptical trainer
1 hr of weights

I use a combination of the cybex machines and free weights. I tend to mainly upper body. But I add in the leg press because I want to add to what the elliptical trainer does. Most of the machines will give you exact instructions of how to use them. Just try to cover the whole body. To shorten your workout look for machines that work more than one area of the body.

Also, I just read in my latest Women's Health magazine that you should do weights before cardio because you burn more fat that way. Women's Health is a great mag I think.

One final thought. You are paying the trainer. Ask him/her to show you how to use the machines. Explain that you are interested and you want to know so you can carry on with them for sessions you dont meet.
Aug. 30th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
An hour and 40 minutes... like, everyday? Cause that's fairly hardcore.

Weights before cardio. Interesting. I'll have to see about trying that.

And thanks for the very good suggestion re: the trainer.
(no subject) - rottenlilgirl - Aug. 30th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 30th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercurialgirl - Aug. 30th, 2005 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mercurialgirl - Aug. 30th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
Wwhen fatigue/plans/life doesn't interfere, this is optimally what I do: upper body one day, then, next day is lower body + treadmill, then, third day is longer treadmill and/or elliptical. Abs all the time. Then, generally I'll take a day off or do a light walk. I try to make sure that whatever machines I use that I hit the alternating muscle groups. That means for upper body I make sure to work out chest and back, bicep and triceps, etc. For lower body it means hamstrings and quads, etc.

My workouts are based on couple of things - if I work one side more than the other it pulls out of alignment then the next thing I know is I wind up with an injury. Abs are very important to stabilize your back, especially if you are doing treadmill and/or elliptical. And, it's really important to let your muscles rest and heal after a workout, since that is how they build. I hope that helps! If you want some in person help, we can figure out a time to meet up at the gym.
Aug. 30th, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC)
Great input, hon, especially regarding antagonist muscles. I learned all about that in massage school, but when thinking about exercise, I'd just forgotten all about it!

The rest days are the thing that keeps messing me up. I'm never entirely sure what the trainer is gonna have me do on days when I see him, so I am always trying to do the math about what to work on Day 1, so that muscle group gets a day of rest before Trainer Day, but I also have to be sure I have a day to get to muscle group B... it's terribly confusing for me.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 30th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
...sounds like it could be a good general structure for me too, as my schedule is shortly going to become far less predictable, and I will need a Plan B in case I miss.

And I've seen Krista's site, but hadn't thought to look at it in years. Glad it's still there! I might finally get some use out of it.
(no subject) - mercurialgirl - Aug. 30th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
Basically, I start with about 20-25 minutes of cardio on the elliptical trainers (best for low-impact work, IMO) for each daily workout, which is on top of the cardio from my pedestrian commute (about 0.5 mile or so each way) to the gym.

For the next 45 minutes, I alternate doing upper body one day, then lower body the next day. I generally try to mix it up between free weights and circuit machines for the upper body (pecs, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back, etc.). For the lower body (glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, etc.) I use the circuit machines and do some squats.

I always finish with abs. I try to use the medicine balls for crunches to push it a little further. I also do some leg raises since they work a different portion of the abs.

It's good to pick up a fitness magazine now and again to get some new ideas to incorporate into your workout. I wouldn't get a subscription unless you are good about tearing out the parts you need. I actually have a veritable slew of completely intact Shapes if you want to borrow some.

I have actually had good experiences with the PTs at Bally's. Everything they teach you can be done on your own. I just get a couple of sessions every 6-8 months just to see if there's something different I can be doing. If the PT you're using is associated with the gym, I would let the manager know what your experience has been. PTs should really be helping you develop routines you can do without them the rest of the time you're going to the gym.
Aug. 30th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Finding out what everyone does is tremendously helpful.

And I'll take your suggestion about the PT. I've already paid for a few more sessions, so I'm going to give him the opportunity to show me stuff I can do on my own, but if he's resistant to that, I do think the gym should know.
(no subject) - mercurialgirl - Aug. 30th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 30th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
The workout resource that ate chicago
ExRx.net is an excellent resource. There are muscle directories and articulations to help you choose which exercises -- and stretches -- to do to target the muscles you want to work. Most of them even have little animated gifs of actual humans so you can see the proper form.

Body maps help people who don't already have years of muscle-related schooling figure out what muscle is where by poking an anatomically-ambiguious plastic man. (It doesn't say anything about the wet towel exercises, though. Poo. Not that either of us could do them, but still, it would be cute to see little nimated gifs of them.)

There's common training mistakes and (though this part's over my head it probably makes sense to you what with your massage training and big spicy brain in general :>) motor development tidbits. Also sections that dispel common workout myths, and explain HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training -- that godawful but uber-effective stuff I was doing a million years ago with Kennon - very very very effective, but requires dedication with a capital psychopath D.)

There are also workout templates so you can plan your workouts and be all organized-like.
Aug. 30th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: The workout resource that ate chicago
Wow! That's the mother of all fitness sites. But... I find the workouts very confusing. I wish they just had simple charts saying "do this many reps of this exercise" and gave you a place to check off that you'd done it. The whole "push pull" thing is apparently waaaaaaay over my head. *is confused*
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:43 am (UTC)
My experience with the Arlington County Parks & Recreation personal training program has been very positive. I do not get the feeling that they are trying to get me hooked on only working out with the trainer.
Aug. 31st, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
I second Stumptuous. Also, I avoid machines like the plague, and I don't find that I need a spotter. I'm using the routine she has set out toward the bottom of this page, but I'm planning to switch to this one soon.

I will tell you that EVERYTHING she says about squats are true. Never have I been so pleased with the results of an exercise.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )