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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Official Hatrack Exercise Thread (Page 5)

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Author Topic: The Official Hatrack Exercise Thread
Eaquae Legit
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I enjoy biking MUCH more than jogging. Especially in the summer, the feel of the wind on my face, the challenge of climbing a hill and the exhileration of speeding back down the other side, it's a blast. And you can go so far on a bike, whereas jogging, for the amateur, really limits your distance.

What is different about your new bike that limits knee pain?

The only accessories I really need to get are a new bike seat and gloves. They are must haves. Someday in the future I'd love to get a new bike, but for now, I think I can add some modest improvements to the bike I have and everything will be fine. I'm still a week or two away I think from riding it to work, but I took look forward to how I'll look in August (hopefully, good).

The last bike I owned was a birthday gift from a big box generic store. I was 13. It was a men's bike. The proportions were all wrong, and I couldn't straighten my legs our properly unless the seat was raised so high that I could no longer touch the ground at all. The seat was also painful.

My new bike (a Giant Cypress w) has many features that make it better. It is designed for an adult female, for one thing, and takes my longer inseam into account. This is a HUGE deal for me. Beyond huge. I have crappy old-lady knees to begin with, and I was very afraid I'd buy a bike and then be unable to use it a lot. It has a gel seat, so my poor tush doesn't die. The gears actually work, so I can handle hills somewhat (knees hate hills).

On a usefulness end of things: the front wheel and seat are quick-release.

The accessories I have add to its usefulness to me. I can just go out for a run, but I can't go for a bike. I need a goal when I bike. So mostly I plan to bike to work, which means I need a bag to put stuff in, like my lunch, my book, a sweater, my work keys, a water bottle, etc. The backpack I was using was far more difficult to carry than the one on the rear rack. It made the trip to and from work incredible, having the rear bag.

The reflectors are another work-related useful thing. Same with the lights. I often work evenings, and riding home after dark would be a very nervous thing, especially for the stretch of road with no bike lane or path. Now I know I can be seen.

The computer is a curiosity. Not really necessary, in itself, but fun to have so I can look at my speed and my cadence and especially my distance. It's just fun. And it was a birthday gift, so hey, no guilt on that one!

While I enjoy riding my bike, I find I can rarely ride for riding's sake. So I found ways to increase the usefulness of my bike, to encourage myself to use it more often. And it's worked out great. I will have this thing for years to come and save a mountain of gas money, if nothing else.

And it's a great way to end a shift. By the time I got home, I didn't have my brain at work, and I could sit down (after a shower) and just relax.

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Lyrhawn
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I never could figure out what gear I should have my bike in. All I know is that on one end of the spectrum, it's harder to pedal, and on the other end of the spectrum, you have to pedal like a million times just to get going, but it's really easy. And I never know what terrain to use what gear for.
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Eaquae Legit
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My thing has 21 gears (3x7), but I only use about 4 of them. 2/4 for going up hills, 2/7 for going down, and 2/5 and 2/6 for in between things. Mostly by feel. I'm no expert.
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Lyrhawn
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What does either set of gears mean?
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Eaquae Legit
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3 gears by the pedals and 7 gears at the back wheel. I keep mine on the middle pedal gear (2) generally, and use gears 4-7 on the wheel gears. The little clicky gear-change things are labelled, so I know the numbers, but if you want more technical than that we're going to have to get someone in here who knows what they're doing.
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The Flying Dracula Hair
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quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
The best way to relieve muscle soreness from working out is: To work out again.

I'd have to disagree, based on what I understand from my personal trainer. If your muscles are sore it's a sign you should let it rest and recover for a day, or a few. Chances are if your muscles are uncomfortably sore (not that pleasant after burn that feels like progress!) you've worked your muscle too hard. Or you're just beginning working out again, or most likely both in Lyrhawn's case.
But you're absolutely correct, stretching is pretty key.

Here's some good advice and information for those concerned with muscle soreness and causes:
http://www.active.com/story.cfm?story_id=6468


Edit: On an unrelated note - So I've been annoyed to no end on the lack of gettingbetterness in the shoulder department. Of course I now realized that like an idiot I've been fighting the good my Special Shoulder Exercises by lifting and taking down heavy boxes over my head at work - and it had to take a message therapist saying "wow, maybe you should cut that out" to realize, hey, bad idea.
I thought they were good exercise for them too.
So know, dudes, if your stuff is aching, not sore, but aching: NEVER work through it, you'll just be ripping and tearing and making it worse and have to do weeks of muscle therapy. I hope I do not.

Otherwise, it's surprising how much I miss paying to beat myself up.

[ May 28, 2007, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: The Flying Dracula Hair ]

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Kwea
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Feeling hurt and feeling sore are different things. If you are sore, working out lightly the next day is great. If you hurt, you can damage yourself by working out too soon again.


I just bought my wife a Gazelle, and I plan on using it myself.


My new goal is to lose 30 lbs. That would put me at about 170-180 lbs, at 5'6".


I don't place a lot of faith on the weight charts I have seen....when I was in the Army I was so thin you could count my ribs through my tee shirts, and was in fantastic shape, but according to the weight charts I was still 5 lbs overweight.

I had to have the tape test every single PT test, even though my body fat always was well under the limit....usually about 14-16%.


I will never see those days again....but I don't want to. I just want to be healthier, and to have my wife be healthy.

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I never could figure out what gear I should have my bike in. All I know is that on one end of the spectrum, it's harder to pedal, and on the other end of the spectrum, you have to pedal like a million times just to get going, but it's really easy. And I never know what terrain to use what gear for.

Other than starting, or hill climbing/descending it's really just personal preference.

The gears just establish the ratio of pedal revolutions to wheel revolutions. The high gears mean you have to turn the pedals more to turn the wheel once, and the low gears mean you have to turn the pedals less to turn the wheels once. So it's usually easier to start out in a high gear and then, as you accelerate to your cruising speed you downshift into a lower gear.

I find that I try to shift in order to keep my pedal revolutions around 60-80 rpm. If I'm going slow I can do that in a high gear, but if cruising I need to be in a higher gear. If I'm sprinting I need a higher gear still. So, in other words, if you want to speed up you might consider downshifting rather than pedaling faster.

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Lyrhawn
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Thanks for the great link Dracula! I've been split before on whether or not I should work out again or rest the day after a workout, and you're right, much of my own soreness is probably because I'm just getting back into a routine again.

JT -

So if I want to go faster, I should be in a higher gear (and thus pedaling more?)

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porcelain girl
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Huge difference between soreness and acheing/injury. If you work your muscles, they are going to be sore. Period. A build up in lactic acid makes them sore, and the best way to decrease that build up is through stretching, working your muscles again, and drinking lots of water.

Getting stronger is less than comfortable, but there is a difference between good hurt and bad hurt. Don't work through bad hurt, obviously.

Most professional dancers are all about body preservation, so they are a good resource. (Especially older dancers, they're practically physical therapists.)

A little extra something you can do (other than a hot bath) is right after a hard work out, lightly thump the heel of your hand down all your muscles. You make a half fist and let your hand bounce loosely from your wrist, up and down your body. thhis should be done while you're still hot and sweaty, between long, deep, stretching.

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Earendil18
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Hey, so I'm starting up Tom Venuto's/Chris Chew's/Body-For-Life's exercise and diet program again. I put slashes, because these programs are all basically the same thing with a few minor variations.

As I type this, I'm eating my very first tomato! brr, it's kinda bitter tasting. [Wink]

I did this program before, but I don't think I applied myself very well, or set really good goals. So I'm going about it differently this time, especially when it comes to the timing and content of my meals.

Anybody else doing these programs?

Anybody live near Spokane who'd want a partner?

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
So if I want to go faster, I should be in a higher gear (and thus pedaling more?)
If you want to go faster you want to be in a lower gear, and pedaling the same. Or you can stay in the same gear and pedal more.

Although I suppose it's possible I've reversed the conventions of the 'high' and 'low' gears, saying one where I really mean the other. But they're somewhat arbitrary anyhow.

But the gear you're in doesn't necessarily have any correlation with pedalling more or less -- they're two separate adjustments you can make. You can pedal faster or slower regardless of what gear you're in, changing your speed that way. Or you can shift gears and keep your pedalling the same, changing gears that way.

If find it's easiest for me to sort of 'set' my pedalling speed and not think about it (the same way you set your pace when you're jogging, basically) and adjust my speed by shifting.

But since I'm typically always riding on flatlands I don't have to shift much once I'm at cruising speed.

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Lyrhawn
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It's March again, and you all know what that means...Spring is coming! I never really considered it before but, those of you who live in warmer climates don't really have an excuse do you? Well then neither do I, but it's so much harder to get motivated in the Winter.

Anywho, like most every year since this thread was started, Spring is just around the corner and I have to ask: What are you goals this year?

I haven't really done any working out since last summer. But I'm looking forward to it when it gets a little warmer out. I was considering putting some of my income tax money towards a exercise bike so if I want to be lazy I can stay in, but, I still do rather enjoy a nice bike ride, and I was doing quite a few miles on a very regular basis for awhile there. Assuming my bike still works (it's possible it has snow related damage from the Winter) I'm going to get back into regular biking probably in April when the weather gets nicer, and I'll get back into some light weights around the same time.

I don't have any specific goals this year yet. I thought I put on a few pounds over the Winter, but, I weighed myself the other day and I'm still right where I always am, or at least within the margin of error. But I've always been less concerned about the number really. I need to get back into a regular routine, and just see where I am before I can say where I want to be. So I guess my first goal is: Get into a routine. Then I'll set more concrete goals that I can achieve. Probably my second and third goals won't be attached to firm number, but will be short term goals like "ride a mile further" or "lift another 5lbs," as I like the feeling that comes from checking things off a list like that.

I'm going to set modest nutritional goals this year, and though I know it's a less good idea, I'll make them somewhat vague. I just don't have it in me to go the whole nine yards on eating, but, I'm generally pretty good about not overdoing it, so I plan to eat more fruits and veggies, drink less pop and more water, and in general just make smarter choices. Eat smaller portions, more romaine lettuce, etc. I'm not going to weigh out my food and eat to the tune of an alarm clock, but I think I can eat smarter if I just summon a little will power.

Everyone else?

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SenojRetep
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I'm trying to get in shape for a short-distance triathlon by the end of the summer. I've been conditioning since late January.

I've always wanted to try a tri, but have been daunted by the distance involved. Last Fall some friends pointed out that they have a range of distances, and the shortest (appr. 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run) is very do-able even for the fitness disinclined (like myself).

But it's funny; after 8 years of my wife telling me I need to exercise or I'm going to have a heart attack, now she worries that I'm exercising too hard and I'm going to give myself a heart attack.

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brojack17
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Cindy and I have been walking 45 minutes a day (six days a week). We just finished our second week. I can already tell a difference. I have more energy and I am sleeping much better. I have also given up pop and candy (two bad habits I had), and I am generally trying to eat better.
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PSI Teleport
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I think it's amazing what our bodies can do. I've been walking on the treadmill but I wanted to start running, so I started this "program" that allows you to get up the stamina to run for 24 minutes. You start out the first week walking for seven minutes and running for one and then repeating two times. (There is also warm-up and cool down; you don't just stop after the last run!) Then the next week you walk for six and run for two, and so forth. The first time I ran, I could barely finish one minute without feeling like I was going to pass out. Then a couple of days ago I did my first 5/3 ratio. After the last three minute run I was bouncing and throwing my arms in the air and louding singing the theme from Rocky. It was awesome!
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Starsnuffer
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Ok, so part of my new year's resolution was to start exercising more after my schedule got less hectic. That time has arrived and I've been biking and running reliably for the past week or so, and I'm getting over the weakness a winter of not running has gotten me, and I'm feeling good about it.

My goals? I don't have... goals, as such, right now. My goal is to be able to run 6 miles or so comfortably and biking 10 or so miles comfortably.

Also I hope to find somebody(s) to run/bike with, and I'm thinking of doing a triathlon.

So I'll keep going and get myself in better shape. Yay exercise. Feels good.

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Boothby171
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Walking up to 10 miles a day on weekends, and 3 or so during the week. Trying to get to the bicycle enough to be able to ride the 42 mile "5 Boro Bike Tour in NYC in May!
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AvidReader
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I bought Dance Dance Revolution with my birthday money, and I'm trying to use it at least a half-hour every other day. It's a lot of fun so far, but I've felt hungrier this week, too, so I'm not sure it's going to help any on the weight loss front.

At work we're holding a biggest loser competition. The official contest is a $50 buy in and whoever loses the most percentage of their starting weight gets the pot. That was a bit steep for us, so four of us in my department chipped in $10 each to buy a nice scale and whoever loses the highest percentage gets to keep the scale.

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brojack17
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I'm in my fourth week of walking. I have added in machine weights for the past couple of weeks. So far, I have lost six pounds and I am fitting into my nice clothes from a couple of years ago.

I feel great.

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Belle
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Well my daughter the gymnast complained recently of shin pain. I told her that it was probably the repetitive running and pounding from doing front handsprings about 50 times a day - she had been struggling with the move and wanted to nail it before a competition so she literally got home from school, drug out her gymnastics mat and did front handsprings until she nearly collapsed.

Add that to the "normal" gymnastic workouts at the gym six hours a week, and you can imagine her legs were taking a pounding they weren't used to.

I told her to back off, stop doing them at home for a few days, only doing them at the gym (which has a spring floor, so it's really safer than our mat, even if we did purchase a high quality one for practice). And voila! The pain went away.

The funniest thing was the look she gave me when I suggested that the repeated pounding might have caused the pain. It was like she'd never heard of such a thing. I think there was an expectation with her that you had to fall or have something catastrophic happen to get injured.

*shakes head*

Kids.

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Starsnuffer
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That's great brojack, sounds like you're doing awesomely(what an awkward word). I'm excited to go out today--I kept thinking "ooh going to exercise when I go home." But first, school obligations (not too much to interfere, but school comes first, within reason)
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brojack17
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Belle,

When I had problems with shin splints, I would take a dixie cup and fill it completely to the top with water and freeze it. Then I would take it and rub my shins. You can tear the cup back as needed to expose more ice as needed. It's messy but really helps.

quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
Well my daughter the gymnast complained recently of shin pain. I told her that it was probably the repetitive running and pounding from doing front handsprings about 50 times a day - she had been struggling with the move and wanted to nail it before a competition so she literally got home from school, drug out her gymnastics mat and did front handsprings until she nearly collapsed.

Add that to the "normal" gymnastic workouts at the gym six hours a week, and you can imagine her legs were taking a pounding they weren't used to.

I told her to back off, stop doing them at home for a few days, only doing them at the gym (which has a spring floor, so it's really safer than our mat, even if we did purchase a high quality one for practice). And voila! The pain went away.

The funniest thing was the look she gave me when I suggested that the repeated pounding might have caused the pain. It was like she'd never heard of such a thing. I think there was an expectation with her that you had to fall or have something catastrophic happen to get injured.

*shakes head*

Kids.


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brojack17
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quote:
Originally posted by Starsnuffer:
That's great brojack, sounds like you're doing awesomely(what an awkward word). I'm excited to go out today--I kept thinking "ooh going to exercise when I go home." But first, school obligations (not too much to interfere, but school comes first, within reason)

Thanks star. It feels great. You keep up the good work too.
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Starsnuffer
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For shin splint things, the ice-in-a-dixie-cup method does help a lot, so does dunking/soaking your legs in cold water right after exercise for a bit.
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Starsnuffer
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So unless I exercise later today the week's exercise results are in!

I ran 1hour:12minutes
And Biked 1hour:27minutes

Woo. I went out this morning and finally had a reason to use my reflector vest I got for christmas (yay safety). It had lightly snowed overnight so it was very crunchy running around. Good fun.

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Lyrhawn
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So we're more than half way through the Summer (in Michigan anyway). How has everyone been doing?

I've been biking, not with any regularity, but off and on throughout the Spring and Summer.

But the biggest thing I've done is...I joined a gym! Yesterday a friend and I went and officially signed up! I'm actually pretty excited. I've been really motivated to do a variety of things lately, and I really like the convenience of the place being relatively cheap and so close to home. Plus the people there are really nice and everyone working out is at different ages and levels so I don't feel all out of place.

I'm a little intimidated by the machines. I don't have the money for a personal trainer, it's like $60 a session. All the machines have little placards on them that tell you what muscle they work and how to use them, so I guess I could just jump in and figure it out, but it's still a lot to take in all at once since there are just so many different machines.

Using free weights I don't actually do that many different work outs. I rely on the recumbent bike to work my lower body, and then do a couple exercises for the biceps, triceps, abs...and then I carefully do the back, shoulder and chest exercises, which are harder with the equipment I don't have. So I was thinking maybe I'd keep doing the arm and ab workouts at home with the free weights and then maybe tackle the other stuff with the machines. I don't know when I'd find the time to even USE all the machines, there are more than a dozen, all for different muscles.

Is there a generally recommended limit for how many muscles or muscle groups you should work in a single workout?

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