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Old 08-05-06, 05:04 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Anyone using dumbbells?

I was going to get into yoga, and perhaps one of these days I will, but somehow that fell off the list. Now I'm thinking of getting a few dumbbells and maybe a bench mostly to do some upper body routines right here in the house. There's always some for sale on craigslist!

I'm too freakin' lazy to go to the gym several times a week.

Anyone got any suggestions or tips?
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Old 08-05-06, 05:32 PM   #2
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The American Council of Exercise has a very good website with routines shown, plus good general fitness info with no B.S. :

http://www.acefitness.org

If you can overcome your inertia a bit, schedule a session or two with a trainer at the gym to show you some exercises and establish a routine (or two). It's also really important to have a trainer show you good form. Poor form can give a poor result by not working the targeted muscles as well as you should, or even cause injury.

(I actually find it more motivating to go to the gym. If I had to rely on myself to workout at home, well...)

One of those big inflatable balls (one trade name is Flexaball) that you sit or otherwise support yourself on is really good too. You can use them for several core, leg, and upper body exercises, and stretches. Some of those exercises are real killers!

Oh yeah, be sure to stretch the muscles you've worked after you exercise. A trainer can help there, too. Makes for a lot less pain the day after, plus helps your flexibility of course. And if you have access to a hot tub/whirlpool afterwards even better.

If you recall my picture (with the "pie-enhanced" midsection) when I got my road bike I'm not exactly "Atlas Diego" -- but weight training has made me measurably stronger if not outwardly "buff". Quoth a T-shirt I saw once: "This is not a beer gut. It's protective padding for my rock-hard abs."
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Old 08-05-06, 05:44 PM   #3
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about a month ago I purchased a bow flex knock off at Dick's for $150.00 to do upper body.
It's been great so far, don't have to go to the gym.
Every other day for 30 min. seem to be working for me.
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Old 08-05-06, 05:45 PM   #4
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http://www.exrx.net/

Yes, as you know, I regularly work out using - in my case - smartbells, free weights, lat bars, etc., and a whole series of activities. I do this both in my home gym, and at the gym.

You have to develop a routine and stick with it.
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Old 08-05-06, 06:04 PM   #5
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I've a single 35# dumbell (don't ask why I haven't two - I don't know...). I use it for curls, presses, dead lifts, and whatever they call that when you lift the weight up & down from the elbow behind your head. I've also a pair of 5# dumbells that my PT made me get that I lift like chicken wings from a crouched position (it works the muscles between the shoulder blades).

These keep my girlish figure in good stead from the chest up.
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Old 08-05-06, 07:14 PM   #6
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I use a Total Gym and dream of Christy Brinkley......
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Old 08-05-06, 07:15 PM   #7
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Three mornings per week at the office, I go through a brief arm-and-shoulder workout routine with a pair of dumbbells (no, not my coworkers), to supplement heavier-duty workouts with free weights and machines at the local YMCA. My arms atrophy very rapidly if I fail to keep up this regimen. I also specifically work the vastus medialis, particularly the left, to maintain kneecap stability, since I have a problem in that area.
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Old 08-05-06, 07:26 PM   #8
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I need more cowbell.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampy™
I use a Total Gym and dream of Christy Brinkley......
I think she's available now...go for it!
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Old 08-05-06, 08:06 PM   #9
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I used to use free weights exclusively, but as joints have begun to wear a bit, I use a beat up, garage sale Bowflex now. It is not as effective I think, but it offers a variety of movement, is easier on joints by eliminating inertia...and I like the "feel" of the resistance. Would also consider a Total Gym. I do use an EZ curl bar for curls, and barbells for back movements. The Bowflex is better for upper body than lower. I find it very emotionally relaxing after work to flip on a news station (well, depending on the news) or slip in a cd and work out a bit. During spring/summer, it is hard to find the time to pursue riding AND resistance satisfyingly, so resistance work is less frequent.
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Old 08-05-06, 08:54 PM   #10
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I had some free weights that I used mostly during winter, recently I gave most of that stuff to my grandson. I then purchased some inexpensive dumbells at Dick's for $.49 lb. that seem to be worth every penny. Now if I can just get back into the groove.
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Old 08-05-06, 10:00 PM   #11
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A few suggestions... First, doing anything is better than nothing. Now to contradict that, if you don't excercise with proper form you can hurt yourself. Next, don't limit it to your upper body. It is obvious that we use our lower body biking, but the middle body is really a big deal.

In my experience, nothing helps climbing like squats. They aren't OK for everyone, e.g. folks with some knee problems. Proper form is critical to prevent injury. The point here is,,, lower body too.

How do you learn proper form?? Generalizing, gym rats (like myself) tend to be self appointed experts. Body builders are experts. Don't listen to any of us. In the beginning use a real trainer (I don't know about credentials) occasionally. It better be one who wants to know why you are there. Probably, one of your goals is to minimize injuries. Presuming that that is true, tell the trainer.

How else can we spend your money and squander your time???

motto: __start slow, then ease off__
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Old 08-05-06, 10:30 PM   #12
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About five years ago I wanted to start weight training so I got a book titled "Strength Training Past 50" by Westcott and Baechle. The book laid out a beginning program and provided information on developing a long term program. After the book I bought an inexpensive bench and some free weights. I have been working out three times a week in my rec room since then and I know that it has helped. I don't think I'm the type to join a gym, but working out at home has worked for me.

I would recommend looking at this book.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-05-06, 10:43 PM   #13
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I've been using only dumbells for the last three years. And, I have one of those big rubber exercise balls that I use as a bench. Upper body, lower body, everything with dumbells only. Has made a significant improvement in my overall strength and, most importantly, I suffer waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay fewer injuries. As well as biking, I also play baseball. Before the weights, I got hurt more. Since the weights, I haven't missed a game in two years.
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Old 08-06-06, 07:53 AM   #14
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Buy a new bike and forget about the upper body!!
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Old 08-06-06, 10:05 AM   #15
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Just this year, I added dumbbells to my routine. Twice a week, on non-cycling days, I do core exercises to help better support my cratered back. It's only a 35 minute routine, so I lengthened it by adding the dumbbell work. Mind you, my back won't take any compression from weight work, but I've worked out some exercises that have me either reclined, or on an incline, and don't put any stress at all on my back, and I think it was good work to add.
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Old 08-06-06, 10:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
Buy a new bike and forget about the upper body!!
+1
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Old 08-06-06, 11:03 AM   #17
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In our ardor for biking, I don't think we can forget concern for more general fitness...especially when age can cause it to slip away easily and be replaced by always encroaching limitations. Whether gardening, moving furniture, or falling off the back porch as I did...good to maintain some durability and stay "able" in as many ways as possible.

Almost as much as I like to bike I like to hike--and there are some butt-kicker trails out there. Or jump up from sitting on the floor. Or whatever. I think some kind of resistance training is helpful for such things and much more. Keep those ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones attending to their duty and not doping off. Besides, as above, I find it strangely relaxing in a different way than cycling.
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Old 08-06-06, 12:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I was going to get into yoga, and perhaps one of these days I will, but somehow that fell off the list. Now I'm thinking of getting a few dumbbells and maybe a bench mostly to do some upper body routines right here in the house. There's always some for sale on craigslist!

I'm too freakin' lazy to go to the gym several times a week.

Anyone got any suggestions or tips?
I use em especially off season during winter. My suggestions are as follows:
- Get an instructor to teach the right form (my son was a gym instructor in the army)
- Start with low weights and build up (we wouldn't want you stuck in a L-shape position)
- Be consistent and persistent
- You can train a lot of different muscle groups with free weights - THE Fox has given me some good info and links on the subject


Good luck and take care
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Old 08-06-06, 03:23 PM   #19
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I try not to be too judgemental of the people I ride with.
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Old 08-06-06, 03:33 PM   #20
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DG,

Been fit all my 55 years. Never used weights other than for a lark with friends. I do about 25 sit-ups, 25 push-ups most days and call it good. Along with biking several thousand miles a year, running and swiming a few hundred more, that's it.

My wife says "You look fine . . . in clothes."

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Old 08-06-06, 03:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
Buy a new bike and forget about the upper body!!
Well I can't disagee with the buy a new bike comment... but DON'T forget about the upper body... especially the triceps.

I swim long distances 3 days a week and I find that the swimming aids me in two ways for cycling... first heart/lungs, second the triceps... which really helps me in my out of the saddle sprinting and hill climbing.

When the ocean is too cold, I do a lot of upper body... both freeweights and using a machine at the office gym.

Cyclists notoriously have soft stomachs... (I remember in my twenties being rock hard all over... but my stomach) Working out the stomach also helps climbing and sprinting.

It's not just legs folks... just take a look at any of the TdF riders and you will see how much they use their arms and whole body. While the legs do the brunt of the work, the rest of the body anchors the legs to the bike.
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Old 08-06-06, 08:42 PM   #22
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DG:
A word of caution. I and several friend have NOT used upper body exercise. We suffered minor injuries an in my case could not lift a glass of water. My friends lost their golf game. We all had MRI as well as X-rays and expensive doctors looking at things.
The solution? Repetitive light exercise with rubber bands and light (3 lb.) weights. I now do a routine for ten types of motions with rubber bands and weights and feel better about it.
BTW, I also rather do biking.
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Old 08-06-06, 08:50 PM   #23
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Will Dehne......OT, but anyway.......why do you prefer the CycleOps trainer as opposed to the less expensive ones? Are features or "feel" that much superior?
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Old 08-06-06, 08:55 PM   #24
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Joyce Vendral "Top Shape"

Joyce Vendral wrote a book titled "Top Shape". The routines are based on the use of free weights. The routines are broken down into upper body and lower body sections.

The routines are not meant to build up bulk but just add tone and definition.

I personally just do the upper body workouts and leave the lower body exercises to the tandem. (Daily routines can be knocked out in 15-20 minutes max.)

The book is out-of-print but probably can be found in used book stores.
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Old 08-06-06, 09:11 PM   #25
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Never found anything better than pushups, situps, track stretches & some yoga/large muscle positions (our Golds Gyms has some program called BodyFlow that is an a**kicker). The weights just don't appeal to me. My pecs look great (for 53) from 25 pushups/day, my core is stronger with Pilates floor exercises.
Now my legs are getting much stronger from the cycling.

I've bought machines in the past and eventually just sold them or gave them away because they didn't get used. Only training equipment I own now is an old-fashioned NordiTrac and a pair of cheapo chrome 20-lb dumbbells that my teenage sons use.

While I've been a gym member for 20 years, I'm hardly ever in the weight room unless I'm shooting the breeze with a friend - I go to the classes to exercise in a room full of women in spandex...now Gary, THAT's a reason to join a gym: the health-minded available women will see you there & think "Here's a guy who's working hard to maintain his fitness and he looks like he'd be a good listener, too! And he rides a bike to his workouts..." First date, a bike date for coffee AND (maybe) PIE
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