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Old 02-27-09, 02:38 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Seizing the opportunties...

Okay, the economy sucks and business is slow. It will get better when it gets better.

Meantime, I see the next three months, for me anyway, as an opportunity I'd like to seize. I have a very loosely stated goal: to get in the best shape I've been in for a long, long time. To be honest, I'm not sure how to phrase that more concretely -- how do you know when you're "in shape" anyway? What's the definition?

I'm starting with a 58 year old body that weighs 248 pounds. My waistline is, um, 51 inches around the belly button. (God, that's hard to admit!)

Here's my plan:

For the next ninety days, I'm plan to hit the gym three days a week (typically, Mon, Wed, Fri) and cycle three days a week. One day for R&R.

In terms of the gym, I've already been going for a month or two, and just yesterday decided it was time to move beyond the row of machines they've got for quick in and outs (kinda like Curves). Began to play with the big boys, using some free weights and other machines. I can't afford a personal trainer, but if anyone has suggestions or tips for getting the most from the gym, I'd love to hear them.

As for cycling, I've been biking some, but not that much. I plan to do a couple of ten-fifteen milers during the week, and a 20-25 miler on the weekend.

And then there's nutrition. I am lucky - my GF loves to cook, and she cooks healthy. Lots of fish, veggies, and very few junk snacks are ever in the house. My change in terms of nutrition will be better portion control, less late night munching on whatever is around, and more water.

I'm NOT changing my coffee intake, and I WILL snack on sweet stuff occasionally.

The biggest part of all of this is my commitment to consistency. I know I won't always get six workouts a week, but I'm sure going to try.

So, given my 248 pound, 51 inch waistline, what do y'all think are some good stretch goals in that department? What's doable, if I'm consistent and do what I say I'm going to do? Is 235 possible? 45" waist? More? Less?

Please weigh in. (No pun intended!)
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Old 02-27-09, 02:55 PM   #2
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You're already in shape, just remember, "round" is a shape!

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Old 02-27-09, 03:06 PM   #3
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DG,
If I understand right, you are not going to spend a lot of time working your profession. I think you will need to put more effort into cardio and fat burning than weight lifting if you want to realize weight loss and fitness. Maybe set up some weekly hourly goals that increase each week within reason that incorporate build phases. If you are in the gym and busy those hours will also count. Keep in mind if your average heart rate during your lifting sessions is low then the fat burning was also low. Your post says that you plan to workout around 6 hours a week. If you burn 500 - 600 calories an hour that is only about an extra poound of energy/fat each week. If you keep increasing the time spent working out the calories burned each week will also increase. You could increase the work in 4 week build phases. i.e week 1 = 6 hrs, week 2 = 7 hrs, week 3 = 8 hrs, week 4 = 9 hrs. Then on the 5th week, start the second build phase, at 7 hrs and work up to 10 hrs, repeat for third phase and beyond.
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Old 02-27-09, 03:10 PM   #4
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Not much to add, but my best wishes.

Just remember that this is not for 3 months. What you are doing is for the rest of your life. So work more on achieving a new lifestyle that will be with you rather than just going for a short term goal.
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Old 02-27-09, 03:13 PM   #5
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Digital Gee - just a thought: Try giving up using your car for lent. A month or so of walking or cycling everywhere will get the metabolism cranking, and you will be exercising without really thinking that you are exercising.
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Old 02-27-09, 03:20 PM   #6
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For fat burning cardio is the best, whether that be on the bike, treadmill, or on foot. Long slow distance, or LSD training, is the way to burn fat on the bike.
Having more muscle will help burn calories all the time. In the gym, do sets of excersises. For example, do 10-12 repeats of a moderate weight on the bench press, go on to something else then come back to the bench and do another 10-12 reps. Usually, 3 sets is good. When I was in a weight training program we would finish by doing 3 reps of our near max, then 1 rep of our max. The max would keep getting higher as the weeks went by.
Do you jump rope? It's a great cardio/fat burning thing. Even fast paced walking will burn calories and strengthen the heart. Just try to elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes.
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Old 02-27-09, 04:33 PM   #7
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Maybe you could try one of the fee on-line trainer/fitness programs:

http://www.freetrainers.com/
http://www.body-perfect-fitness.com/
http://www.popularfitness.com/
http://www.myhomepersonaltrainer.net/home/index.htm
http://www.fullfitness.net/
http://www.buildingbodies.ca/free-wo...routines.shtml
http://www.ironworkout.com/workout_programs/index.htm
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Old 02-27-09, 04:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
DG,
If you keep increasing the time spent working out the calories burned each week will also increase. You could increase the work in 4 week build phases. i.e week 1 = 6 hrs, week 2 = 7 hrs, week 3 = 8 hrs, week 4 = 9 hrs. Then on the 5th week, start the second build phase, at 7 hrs and work up to 10 hrs, repeat for third phase and beyond.
GREAT suggestion. I shall make it so.

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What you are doing is for the rest of your life. So work more on achieving a new lifestyle that will be with you rather than just going for a short term goal.
Understood. And I agree. But my short term goal remains: to feel like I'm fit and in the best shape I've been in for a long time.

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Digital Gee - just a thought: Try giving up using your car for lent. A month or so of walking or cycling everywhere will get the metabolism cranking, and you will be exercising without really thinking that you are exercising.
I will try to increase the grocery shopping trips which where I can use the bike, and also remember to use it for runs to the post office, etc. I do try parking the car as far from the destination as possible when I'm in the car, to get in a little extra walking.

Quote:
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In the gym, do sets of exersises. For example, do 10-12 repeats of a moderate weight on the bench press, go on to something else then come back to the bench and do another 10-12 reps. Usually, 3 sets is good.

Do you jump rope? It's a great cardio/fat burning thing. Even fast paced walking will burn calories and strengthen the heart. Just try to elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes.
Good tip; I shall follow this as well. As for jumping rope, between my lack of coordination and my lousy knees, I'm not sure if I can do this. May give it a try, though.

My gym is open 24/7 and I'm going to work on getting up earlier than usual and kick starting the day with these workouts. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, with blueberries, flax seed oil and banana. Hope I can talk my GF into making the breakfast earlier, before the workouts!
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Old 02-27-09, 04:43 PM   #9
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When I had to get "Extra" fit for a ride- I went to the gym and did an hour of Cardio-vascular for an hour before going onto the weights. The idea was 6 different machines for 10 minutes each and each machine worked a different group of muscles. Started with the Recumbent for a warm up and that one did hurt. Started with HR at 100 and gradually raised it to 130 and then down to 120. then up to 140 and down again- then up to 150. This did take the whole 10 minutes and it did hurt. Your HR may be lowere initially but set the HR you want to get to.

Then the Rower and HR up to 140 again- just a bit below my aim for the Session.

Then the X Trainer and up to 150

Then the cycle and set on hills at a sensible level and HR to 160

Then it was the stepper and that does hurt and My max of 165.

Then back to the X Trainer and 5 minutes at 160 and then sprint for as long as possible.

Weight loss was good and Definitely take a towel and water.

Set your own machines and time between each exercise is a fast walk for recovery between each machine. It only took 3 months and Boy was I fit.

I can tell you it is hard. At first I was not fit and set the level at around 8 out of 20. This was raised by one level a week till I reached 16 and after that it was how I felt on each machine but never below 16. And it felt good doing the hills on the Cycle at level 18- when the fit youngsters round me were doing it around level 12.

3 months is long enough to get "Ultra-Fit" so see you on the 100 mile ride in June. And come to think of it- that was how long it took for me to get fit for my offroad 100 in 2003.
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Old 02-27-09, 04:49 PM   #10
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Yoga,walking ,riding and diet. It sounds easy, but I like sweets to much, good luck.
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Old 02-27-09, 04:50 PM   #11
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Wow...lots to look at and consider! Thanks -- I'll do some browsing!
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Old 02-27-09, 05:31 PM   #12
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My gym is open 24/7 and I'm going to work on getting up earlier than usual and kick starting the day with these workouts. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, with blueberries, flax seed oil and banana. Hope I can talk my GF into making the breakfast earlier, before the workouts!
Make your own breakfast Oatmeal is easy!

Add cardio as suggested above and the 235 should be easily made in 3 months. If you really watch the diet you should be able to lose 2 pounds each week....that would be around 25 pounds in a three month period.

Don't be discouraged if you gain a little weight during the first week of strength training. Many people do that when they get back into lifting weights after a lay-off from it.
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Old 02-27-09, 05:43 PM   #13
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DG, I think you need to reach a little higher in your goals. More cardio, do at least three specific types of exercise per day.

Right now, I have 5 things I concentrate on, and try to do 3 of those 5 each day.

Swimming
Walking
Bicycling or spinning
Stretching
Resistance exercises.

It gives a good mix.

This morning, I swam 45 minutes, lifted a variety of weights, and stretched.

All the research i see says that for weight lifting to be effective for us more mature folks, you have to lift to "failure," which I do. However, you want to get to that point gently, or you will injure some stuff.

Here was my resistance exercise this am:

Hamstring curls on a machine
Hamstring strengthening using a big sports ball, lying on my back, feet on top of ball, and curling my feet up, rasing my butt way up. Two feet and one foot.
Squats holding a 45 pound weight above my head.
Balance exercises on one of those unstable 1/2 balls.
Squats in a "sled" machine
Pullups
Pec flies and back rows on a machine.

Other mornings I will do a lot of dips, cable exercises, push ups and other stuff.

Tomorrow, I will do bench press, abs and a variety of other stuff on my home gym.

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Old 02-27-09, 07:15 PM   #14
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One thing that helped me: The book Younger Next Year pointed out that at our age you have to think of shaping up as YOUR JOB. Yep. Just like your other job--or jobs. However you define it--ya gotta work at it, log it, keep after it, spend time with it. There's lots of ways to measure fitness, and everybody's different--but you're a serious guy who's done a ton of work; you understand that staying fit is something you do EVERY DAY, no matter how you feel or what mood you're in. End of sermon.
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Old 02-27-09, 07:30 PM   #15
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Man, I'm exhausted just from reading all the sound advice above.

You've got the right attitude; I think that is the most important thing.
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Old 02-27-09, 07:37 PM   #16
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I suggest you go hang with The Weak Link. He has some great Coach Troy videos and you can suffer together.
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Old 02-27-09, 07:44 PM   #17
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Go for it Deeeg
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Old 02-27-09, 09:54 PM   #18
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I'd have never guessed a 51" waist given your picture.
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Old 02-27-09, 09:56 PM   #19
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Try to keep up with this 62 year old!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBBtuT0fb4k
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Old 02-27-09, 10:00 PM   #20
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All great suggestions.

One more thought on the subject...on days when you have no business or business appointments why not go Car Free? You've got the equipment, you've got the time and you've got the motivation. You'll also save money on gas.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:19 PM   #21
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Try to keep up with this 62 year old!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBBtuT0fb4k
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Old 02-28-09, 01:56 AM   #22
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So, given my 248 pound, 51 inch waistline, what do y'all think are some good stretch goals in that department? What's doable, if I'm consistent and do what I say I'm going to do? Is 235 possible? 45" waist? More? Less?
When I got serious about weight loss two years ago, I lost just over 30 pounds in the first 3 months.

I was pretty focused on reducing my calorie intake, and all I did for exercise was lots of long walks.

My weight loss slowed down to about 1 pound per week after that first 3 months, but I really made a big dent in my weight in 90 days of pretty intense focus on controlling the calories that I ate. So with the kind of exercise you are talking about I would think you could be more aggressive with your weight loss goals. Just make sure you realize no matter how much exercise you are doing you can easily replace the calories of even a very intense workout program with 10 minutes of snacking when you get home from the gym.
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Old 02-28-09, 05:43 AM   #23
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what everyone has stated, especially Allegheny Jet and George.
assuming you;re not retiring...
weights are great, but you're not gonna lose any significant extra weight doin it unless you become a full-day gym rat.
20 mi rides min.
yoga, at least 3x a week at 1st, 5x latter when you've had enough experience to be able to do your own practice outside on a lawn. prolly best not to do the yoga offered in a gym, mainly cause they are mostly oriented strictly to 'exercise'.
Yeah, I know, exercise is what you want... BUT ... Yoga is more comprehensive than just a workout. A good yoga instructor combines the 'workout' with a strong sense of self-awareness and mental focus. You learn to appreciate who you are, right now. You learn to fully appreciate being in 'Now'. Let's face it, the mental side of 'being' and being physical is critically important in making overall health our foundation. Yoga helps you find the 'fun'/enjoyment/fullfillment side of being.
Really, for all this stuff to be more than a chore, it needs to become enjoyable. To become a part of your life, you need to look forward to everything you do. It can't just be 'work' (in the druggery sense). Instead of thinking 'workout', think 'fun-out'.
That's why 15 miles is better than 10, and 20 is better than 15 - more to see, more to feel alive, more fun!
If you decide to try yoga, don;t get discouraged - its very common, be happy where you are, be compassionate to yourself, and appreciate what you can do.
Best of everything to you, DeeGee, and everyone who 'funs-out' to make their day a better one.
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Old 02-28-09, 12:03 PM   #24
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When I had to get "Extra" fit for a ride- I went to the gym and did an hour of Cardio-vascular for an hour before going onto the weights. The idea was 6 different machines for 10 minutes each and each machine worked a different group of muscles.
I can tell you it is hard.
You ain't lying! I tried this today, since I was rather sore from my last workout lifting weights. I discovered that I can't do the Stairmaster for now; it hurts the knees. But I did the recumbent, the stationary cycle, the elliptical machine, and the rowing machine. All with no music except the junk they piped into the gym. Note to self: BRING iPod!

Anyway, it was a good workout, and I'm feeling it still. Especially the evil rowing machine. I only did 2,000 meters and I wanted to file a lawsuit if I only knew who invented that evil thing.
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Old 02-28-09, 01:00 PM   #25
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Plenty of good info above about exercise, but much of it does not apply to you. My $0.02 on training would be low intensity cross training for long duration because your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons, as well as your respiratory, energy and circulatory systems are not yet ready for HIIT or serious weight training. For strength, forget the bench press and the leg press and focus on pushups, pullups and planks. Yoga and Pilates is much easier to learn with an instructor.

DG, weight loss is at least 80% nutrition and maybe 20% exercise. Also, no amount of training can undo a bad diet. Even if you are eating the right things, you still have to eat the right amounts at the right times in the right ratios.

I encourage you to use FitDay to log and analyze your food intake and exercise efforts. The online version is free. It is very simple to use, but requires accuracy to be of any benefit. I guarantee that one week of accurate logging will result in an epiphany.

Learn about Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load and apply it to 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks each day. Shoot for a caloric deficit of 500 - 800 calories a day. Don't eat or drink any calories after 7:00 p.m. Try to stay totally away from anything that contains white flour, refined sugar or alcohol. You can do it if you want it bad enough.

So now I will share my current favorite quote with you which applies to practically everything. It is imperative that you commit it to memory. "He who knows, and does not do, does not know."

Best of luck.
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