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Direction to take my fitness

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  • Direction to take my fitness

    I am to the point where I no longer desire to tweak my diet, so need to get my fitness dialed in. I want to add muscle, drop fat.

    Right now, my exercise is a cross fit like class 2-3 times a week. I *think* it is less intense than cross fit. It is based on intervals. Basically you go through 5 stations of varied exercises like box jumps, punching, different weight lifts, rowers, kettlebell swings, medicine ball stuff, push ups. It's always different and the intervals vary. Intervals are 20 seconds to 2 minutes of work, with rest periods. So you end up with about 20 minutes of very intense cardio, weight bearing and combined activities per session.

    The workouts always tire me, and they are scaleable (the better you get, the harder you can make it). People attend the class and look whipped that are way fitter than me. They always hit different muscle groups- some days my butt hurts, some days its arms etc. I've seen improvement- stronger, fitter. Some inches lost. Broader shoulders. I always enjoy going.

    So, it's a good class, but I need more exercise. I hate exercising at home. I do best paying to attend a class in terms of effort out put (otherwise I phone it in...LOL). My membership expires in April. My goal this year is to hit it hard and build muscle and burn fat and tighten up my body. I don't care about "weight". My diet is excellent right now. These are the options I am toying with:

    1. Get a membership that allows me to go 4-5 times a week to my existing class (up from 2 to 3).
    2. Switch to a Cross Fit program, 4-5 times a week
    3. Get a good personal fitness trainer 2-3 times a week
    4. Stay at my existing level and join the $10 a month gym and simultaneously start a 2 day a week strength program and keep going to class 2-3 times a week.
    5. Quit classes altogether, join $10 gym, take a session a week with a trainer and "self train" at the gym
    6. Stay at existing level and do bodyweight exercises at home when I can (problem is I can do like 150 squats but often lack the coordination to do more advanced bodyweight stuff).

    I think I need to add in heavier lifting. My thought is #4, but a little worried about overtraining. For example, on Monday, my butt and quads were so sore from Sunday's class. I am equally sore today from yesterday but in my arms.
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  • #2
    I do what sounds like a very similar class. I noticed a big difference going from 3 days to 5 days. However, I was still having to make friends with food when I made the transition. I would try it 5 days, try some of the more advanced moves...doing jumping squats vs regular squats. When the weather is nice, I walk the dogs 10-15 miles a week. I'd like to lose 10 more lbs, but I am not ready to give up all my food and beverage yet.
    Primal since 4/7/2012

    Starting weight 140
    Current weigh 126



    • #3
      I like option 5, where you self-train and meeting PT when you need him to move you to learn new moves.
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      • #4
        If you want to build muscle, #3 or #5 seem to be the best. I don't think increasing the time spent at your current gym is going to build a lot of muscle. #3 would depend on the quality of the trainer, obviously.


        • #5
          I'd avoid adding in more classes - unless they are truly based on strength training (which they rarely are). Focusing on squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls with fairly low volume and high quality work is probably what you need here. Strength focused sessions with a PT (tell them exactly what you want to do) or getting yourself a barbell at home would both be good options. Above all though these sessions should be completely different to the current interval training that you're doing.
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          • #6
            I agree with coach - add in heavy low volume work if you want to add strenght, and if you've not done it before a personal trainer who has experiance of this type of work wil be able to guide you in correct form so you avoid injury (though I just grabed a sandbag and worked it out from the internet) It sounds like you've got the genernal conditioning stuff pretty well covered with the class you are already doing, and it may get stale if you start going 5 times a week, I know I would be looking to try different stuff (I work out 5 times a week but never the same thing twice in a week ). A personal trainer may be able to help you with progressing bodyweight stuff to more advance moves too if they have that experiance, specif excersises to improve balance and co-ordination if that is what is holding you back - FWIW I condsider balance and co-ordination an important apspect of fitness (yet another reason why weight machines are so pointless )
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            • #7
              I like option 5 - use the trainer to keep you keen in terms of technique and to keep your workouts varied.

              I see a trainer once a week - I do a session with him and he writes my plans for the other workouts I do by myself. He changes these up monthly. Suits me really well and I'm seeing great progress.


              • #8
                By the way... how do you find a personal trainer? I went on line and found:
                Local place where you go and workout with a trainer with an emphasis on cardio My friend used was cardio and good old curls.
                Fitness trainer who sells "Body by Vi"
                Fitness trainer with a bunch of expensive looking machines.
                There are a ton of "personal fitness" chains in our area where you work out with them 5 days a week for a big chunk of change.

                I can't seem to find anyone who's specialty is teaching basic form on heavy lifting. Do I just need to start interviewing people? The gym advertises having trainers, but there is an extra fee beyond the $10 a month. I don't find that promising in terms of quality. I've done deadlifts, squats, presses etc. but always with manageable weights (like I've never squatted a weight that I couldn't do at least 15 reps). I'd really like someone to keep an eye out on my form.

                My old gym was great - there were a bunch of weightlifters and they were always helpful and the trainer was good. But times have changed, lol, all the gyms are either the YMCA (yuppieville) or the boutique gyms or the odd place that advertises pizza parties. I'm hoping all the old weightlifters have migrated to the $10 gym.

                Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!