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Weight Loss and Fitness 2015

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Over the last couple of months, I've been having a bit of trouble with my shoulders in that they're constantly stiff at the joints, the muscles are knotted and I'm now and again getting trapped nerves which is proving problematic at home and at work as I'm not really getting the full range of motion from them.

 

I've never really had issues with them as they've always been relatively "strong" as I would purposefully carry heavy backpacks on my back for work and shopping but with getting glandular fever a couple of months back and being off work with stress as well, I've kind of lapsed on that and seeming to struggle with putting weight on them.

 

So trying to decide on a resistance band to at least slowly start off getting them back in order to minimise the issues I'm getting but also to allow me to lead on and start doing a bit of weight training with the dumbbells I have.

 

Anyone got a recommendation for a good resistance band? Or any recommendations for other things I could be doing to build up the muscles in my shoulders again, be it small things I could do every day or otherwise.

 

I'd focus on stretching, massage and the stablisation and rear/postural aspects of the shoulders. So less pressing, and more pulling, holds and carries.

 

Get started now before it becomes chronic, the longer you don't address it the harder it becomes to fix.

 

Band pull aparts sound like a good idea, in the absence of a band you could do rear delt flies (aka bent over flies) with light weights, (if you don't have weights at home, make some with waterbotles and sand/dirt, just make them even). You'll want to stengthen your mid back and rear delt (the back of the shoulder) as this will improve posture and shoulder fuction. If you're used to liftign I'd probably chill with horizontal pressing for a while, maybe overhead pressing too, as your pecs may be too tight.

 

It is likely you have developed posture and tightness issues. Massage, even just self massage would help (using fingers, tennis balls etc), as well as paying close attention to your posture, avoiding rounded shoulders and upper back, and forward head posture.

 

When sitting at a desk sit straight up and close to the desk so you're not always reaching forward. When standing think chest up, shoulders back and down, eyes on the horizon.

 

Pay constant attention to minimse falling back into poor postural habits. Put postit notes around your desk to remind yourself not to slouch. Make every day walking your 'posture time', consiously pulling your shoulders bakc and now for a prolonged isometric hold exercise as you walk (you should feel the muscles between your shoulder blades tiring), almost like a famers walk without the weight.

 

Also be aware that the issue may not only be the shoulders (the shoulder joint and muscles) themselves, but could be connected to, if not actually caused by neighbouring muscles. Your shoulder problems could be a result of tight pecs (often the pec minor), weak back muscles (eg rear delts, rhomboids, lower traps), tight bicep, tight upper traps and neck muscles. So stretch your biceps, pecs, traps and neck just incase.

 

The traps and neck muscles are expecially prone to tightness due to stress, as well as bad posture, so don't neglect stretching and massaging them just becasue you feel the issue in your shoulder. (I have a bad left shoulder but my entire left side from my neck to my forarm is chronically tight and painful, I think it's all conncected, I feel the most pai nin my shoulder by the most tightness in my neck and forearm.)

 

For exercise I would consider doing front and rear/reverse planks to expose you shoulder to the heavier load of your body, but in safe (in this case static) ranges of motion.

 

Unloaded, I would just work on presses without weight and focus on shruggng our shoulders at the top so that the should blades rotate freely to avoid impingement (see Mark Rippetoes videos on the press) essentially to just stretch out any tightness that may be restricting the full range of motion. *

 

Famers Walk would be a good exercise to improve posture in a safe shoulder range of motion. Once confident I might suggest a 2 handed overhead carry (shoulders shrugged) to build up the strength further, then progress to one arm overhead carries to improve stablisation.

 

If overhead range of motion of any kind is a problem look up this site by b-reddy, he suggests going overhead stretching horizontally so you don't even have to resist gravity with your arm, which is itself a load.

http://b-reddy.org/2013/09/05/a-progression-to-lifting-your-arms-overhead-pain-free/

 

Hope that gives you some ideas to reasrch and is of some help. :)

I do sympathise with shoulder issues as my left shoulder has been giving me a lot of trouble for years now and has left me unable to workout as i'd ideally as i'd like. It's even affected my gaming. :(

 

 

*On a side note I've never really understood the concept of 'shoulder packing' for overhead moves, I'd appreacite it anyone here could explain it, the way I see it packing suggests pulling the shoulder down and in but i find that difficult to do at the same time as keeping my shoulder shrugged.

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You're through the worst of it now. Push on through, there are only gainz beyond.

I may consider trying it at a lower weight and seeing how crippled I become.

I remember the first time I had those pains and felt like I was going to throw up. :D The whole leg day meme shit is over-rated and it's mostly by people who either don't train legs enough or hardly ever do it in the first place.

Wassa leg day meme shit? Just that people do them? Some peeps at work do those, then it's "back, tri and quads" day or some other shit.

 

I go thrice a week, although only twice this week due to dem leg gainz.

 

Over the last couple of months, I've been having a bit of trouble with my shoulders in that they're constantly stiff at the joints, the muscles are knotted and I'm now and again getting trapped nerves which is proving problematic at home and at work as I'm not really getting the full range of motion from them.

Bolton Bath. Naaow.

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93920203b0abeb2fd51ad0a14d94c4df3ba9f0e199a9bbe1971cd3b8609e75fb.jpg

 

I did "leg day" every day, and it only hurt like that now n again. Maybe once a week.

 

My training was heavy olympic stuff, it is kinda tough on your legs

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In preparation for 5k The Great Scottish Swim in 2 weeks time at Loch Lomond, this afternoon I swam 5.08km according to the website I was just on. In the actual swim there's a 2 hour time limit and we did our swim in 2:04 this afternoon which is a very good time considering the conditions were dreadful. The water was so rough the whole way round. In calm conditions we could easily take 20 minutes off that time. Absolutely knackered now!

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@pratty - Wow, that's awesome. Thanks very much for all of that. Need to go through it and research a couple of bits but that's majorly helpful so thanks again.

 

Ended up picking up a resistance band at the weekend. Come with 3 different strength bands so started a little bit yesterday on the light one just to see how I'd get on and though my shoulders are a bit tight this morning, they're feeling a tad better than they have been recently so just need to make sure to do a couple of minutes of that everyday and hopefully I should start to see some improvement.

 

Also had the missus give my shoulders a massage to try and work out some of the knots but think there are quite a few deep ones, especially at the top of my back/shoulder blade region. Got tennis balls in the house as well so going to keep using those to massage when she's at work and hopefully slacken off some of those.

 

It's a start anyway but hopefully it'll improve things over the next couple of days and weeks. And will hopefully also keep me in the mindset of doing bits of exercise so that I can work on starting running again.

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You're welcome mate.

 

I apologise for the length of the post, a lot of it may not be becessary, but i wanted to cover as many bases as possible.

 

Unfortunately the 'shoulder' and 'shoulder injuries' are actually very vague terms, so if nothing else I wanted to draw to your attention to the possible complexity of the issue, ie the 'shoulder' is made of several muscles and tendons, and that it may not just your shoulders at the root of the problem. From researching my own shoulder issue I was stunned at how many related muscles could be responsible, from the neck to the bicep.

 

You may find the bands do the trick and pull-aparts are the only exercise you need to fix the issue, along with massage and posture practice. Apparently Joe De Franco is an authority on band pull-aparts for shoulders and posture correction so he might be worth googling.

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OK, felt a little "pumped" at work, so did a little extra at the gym today. So lemme know what you guys think of dis workout:

 

2 x 10 sets of squats, 3kg weight held out at arms length

5 minutes on cross trainer

50-80 (wasn't counting, listening to Maddox & Dick) crunches on abdominal crunch bench

5 minutes on rope machine thingy

2 x 20 sets on leg extension

2 x 20 sets on seated leg curl

2 x 20 sets on triceps extension

5 x 20 sets on seated dip, going down in weight every 20 then back to first weight for last 20)

4 mins on cross trainer.

 

I did a lot more/was there longer than normal but I wasn't really sweating as much as normal (as I would normally start off with my 200 calories in under 15 mins on cross trainer), since I'm guessing it was more muscle building than cardio (right?)

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OK, felt a little "pumped" at work, so did a little extra at the gym today. So lemme know what you guys think of dis workout:

 

2 x 10 sets of squats, 3kg weight held out at arms length

5 minutes on cross trainer

50-80 (wasn't counting, listening to Maddox & Dick) crunches on abdominal crunch bench

5 minutes on rope machine thingy

2 x 20 sets on leg extension

2 x 20 sets on seated leg curl

2 x 20 sets on triceps extension

5 x 20 sets on seated dip, going down in weight every 20 then back to first weight for last 20)

4 mins on cross trainer.

 

I did a lot more/was there longer than normal but I wasn't really sweating as much as normal (as I would normally start off with my 200 calories in under 15 mins on cross trainer), since I'm guessing it was more muscle building than cardio (right?)

 

Well done for sticking to the exercise. Keep going.

 

Doing something is better than nothing, so that's a good start.

 

A few things I'd possibly change or think about.

 

1. With the squats, is there a particular reason you're using that variation?

2. Do you have a routine in terms of which body parts you work on each day/visit? E.g. do you try to focus on one part per visit or is it more of a general workout you go for?

3. Is that 2 sets of 20 reps? A typical bodybuilder-type routine would be 3 sets of something like 8-12 reps. Personally, I'm more of a fan of keeping the reps lower, but the intensity/weight higher. Is there a particular reason you went for 2 x 20? (not saying it's wrong, just querying it)

 

With the sweating thing, I wouldn't use that as a reeeeally good indicator of how hard you're working. It's not really an indicator of muscle building rather than cardio, for example. The indicators will be the progress that you're making and also the way that you do it. You may bench press a certain weight but struggle because it's too heavy, ergo making you sweat shit loads. However, benching with better form with the same weight might not leave you sweaty. I'd pay more attention to the progress that you're making and also the way in which you're doing it. E.g. if you're squatting 30kg one week and then 40kg the next, that's progress.

 

My advice to you is to keep track of what you're doing. There's a million apps out there that can be used to record your sets/reps/weights. I use FitNotes, which I quite like as it tells me instantly if I've got a new Personal Record. You will make faaaaaar better progress if you keep track of what it is you're doing, as it also gives you that incentive to do better than you did last time, or lets you know if you are not pushing yourself hard enough (or even if you're hitting a plateau).

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OK, felt a little "pumped" at work, so did a little extra at the gym today. So lemme know what you guys think of dis workout:

 

2 x 10 sets of squats, 3kg weight held out at arms length

5 minutes on cross trainer

50-80 (wasn't counting, listening to Maddox & Dick) crunches on abdominal crunch bench

5 minutes on rope machine thingy

2 x 20 sets on leg extension

2 x 20 sets on seated leg curl

2 x 20 sets on triceps extension

5 x 20 sets on seated dip, going down in weight every 20 then back to first weight for last 20)

4 mins on cross trainer.

 

I did a lot more/was there longer than normal but I wasn't really sweating as much as normal (as I would normally start off with my 200 calories in under 15 mins on cross trainer), since I'm guessing it was more muscle building than cardio (right?)

 

Sort of but not really.

 

As a rule of thumb, stength is a focus on tension, muscle building is the combination of tension and fatigue, while cardio is more of a focus on fatigue.

 

While what you did may not seem pure cardio training, I doubt it would build much muscle, due to the relative lack of tension, and the fact that building muscle, or indeed building strength or endurance, is an ongoing adaptive process, meaning one workout itself is unlikely to yeild a significant result, compared to an ongoing training plan involving progressive incrimental improvements over a consistant routine.

 

That said, during the begining period of an exercise regime almost anything will build some muscle for a short while.

 

What is your goal?

 

If you simply want to exercise and burn calories then you certainy accomplished that, almost any routine will do that. But a more specific goal might need a more detailed plan.

 

As rope thingy is unclear, there appears to be a lack of pulling in your routine, the dips cover the push motion, but without pulls (motions that work the upper back and biceps) you could develop imbalances leading to pain and injury, and poor posture. Some kind of row or pull up would be ideal.

 

Tricep extensions, as with bicep curls, may not be necessary, just depends how much you want to empahasize your upper arms.

 

Leg extensions and leg curls are ok, again good if you want to target your thighs specifically, but you may be better served by concerntrating on your squats, because the squats will work all the muscles of the thighs, aswell as the glutes and hips all at once, aswell as teach your nervous system how to engage those muscles in a natural and practical way.

 

If high reps are your thing, i.e. you have a bias towards endurance traning rather than strength, then maybe just focus on doing more bodyweight squats for your legs.

 

I assume the 3KG weights held at arms length are to act as a counter balance, this is fine as long as your arms and shoulders don't fatigue before your legs do, otherwise I wouldn't bother with the weights at arms length. (If you want to increase the difficulty of your squats by adding a weight then barbells, and to a lesser extent dumbbells and kettlebells, are the way to go.)

 

2x10 is fine for a start, but I see no reason why 2x50 or more shouldn't be achievable in time. You could aim to do an extra couple of reps each workout. (Once you can do 100+ squats it's probably the only fat burning exexcise you'll ever need.) If you get bored of so many squats you could alternate sqauts with alternating step ups or alternating reverse lunges, or do a set of each.

 

Keep doing the sit ups if you want, personally I wouldn't, I'd prefer a carry (these are usually called "loaded carries" but I don't know how a carry could be unloaded) to kill more birds with one stone. The dumbbell/kettlebell 'goblet carry' will hit the abs nicely (as well as get some upper back and bicep work in), just as the goblet squat itself could work your legs and abs in one move.

 

There is also the overhead carry too if your shoulder mobility allows it, that will work the shoulders and upper back as well as the entire core (abs, obliques, lower back etc).

 

Whilst on the subject of overhead, if overheard head movements are ok for you then I might also suggest replacing the dip machine with the overhead press, perhaps specifically the neutral grip dumbbell press to begin with.

 

Lastly i'd just emphasise that for optimium progress you need to make constant progress, ie aim to increase the weight and/or work in small incriments from workout to workout. That also requires a set consistant routine, rather than just doing different exercises randomly.

 

Sorry for the long post. :blush: Hope it helps.

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I don't know what it is with the cross trainer but it just feels far too unnatural a movement for me to get on with it. I much rather riding, rowing and running for cardio. I've been building my fitness back up lately after having joined the gym a few weeks ago now. I'm glad as I was getting too tired at, and after, football. Haha

 

I feel I'd like to get back to being in great shape again, it's been a good few years since I was... I miss that. How I let myself go! Haha

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Ok I'm not sure if I have enough time to reply to both posts before work but shall try, if not I'll come back to pratty later :P

1. With the squats, is there a particular reason you're using that variation?

Not really, in our gym the machines/majority of hand weights are upstairs near the changing rooms. Plus still a bit apprehensive on doing it the "normal way"

2. Do you have a routine in terms of which body parts you work on each day/visit? E.g. do you try to focus on one part per visit or is it more of a general workout you go for?

Nope, just a general fap about and if I feel a different machine I'll have a lil go on it. Keep the body guessing ¬_¬

3. Is that 2 sets of 20 reps? A typical bodybuilder-type routine would be 3 sets of something like 8-12 reps. Personally, I'm more of a fan of keeping the reps lower, but the intensity/weight higher. Is there a particular reason you went for 2 x 20? (not saying it's wrong, just querying it)

2 sets of 20 yeah, not really any reason for that either :(

Sort of but not really.

:(

 

 

While what you did may not seem pure cardio training, I doubt it would build much muscle, due to the relative lack of tension, and the fact that building muscle, or indeed building strength or endurance, is an ongoing adaptive process, meaning one workout itself is unlikely to yeild a significant result, compared to an ongoing training plan involving progressive incrimental improvements over a consistant routine.

 

That said, during the begining period of an exercise regime almost anything will build some muscle for a short while.

I'm hoping to keep some of this up as part of my thrice a week visit.

 

What is your goal?

Mainly to reduce dat beer belly (although going a weekend without getting drunk would certainly help) and build the guns.

 

As rope thingy is unclear, there appears to be a lack of pulling in your routine, the dips cover the push motion, but without pulls (motions that work the upper back and biceps) you could develop imbalances leading to pain and injury, and poor posture. Some kind of row or pull up would be ideal.

 

Tricep extensions, as with bicep curls, may not be necessary, just depends how much you want to empahasize your upper arms.

I would've used the lat pull but someone was using it.

 

ROPE PULLY THING!

 

marpo_kinetics.jpg

 

Was some pulling action.

2x10 is fine for a start, but I see no reason why 2x50 or more shouldn't be achievable in time. You could aim to do an extra couple of reps each workout. (Once you can do 100+ squats it's probably the only fat burning exexcise you'll ever need.) If you get bored of so many squats you could alternate sqauts with alternating step ups or alternating reverse lunges, or do a set of each.

Reason I went for 2 x 10 this time because last week I did 3 x 15 with 3kg my legs couldn't work properly for a week (see previous whiny post)

 

Keep doing the sit ups if you want, personally I wouldn't, I'd prefer a carry (these are usually called "loaded carries" but I don't know how a carry could be unloaded) to kill more birds with one stone. The dumbbell/kettlebell 'goblet carry' will hit the abs nicely (as well as get some upper back and bicep work in), just as the goblet squat itself could work your legs and abs in one move.

 

There is also the overhead carry too if your shoulder mobility allows it, that will work the shoulders and upper back as well as the entire core (abs, obliques, lower back etc).

 

Whilst on the subject of overhead, if overheard head movements are ok for you then I might also suggest replacing the dip machine with the overhead press, perhaps specifically the neutral grip dumbbell press to begin with.

I'm not sure what a carry is :confused:

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Reason I went for 2 x 10 this time because last week I did 3 x 15 with 3kg my legs couldn't work properly for a week (see previous whiny post)

 

 

I'm not sure what a carry is :confused:

 

Scaling back is fine if you initially bit off more than you can chew, but you should be aiming to work your way back up to 3 x 15 again and beyond.

 

As the name implies a carry (or "loaded carry") is carrying a load for time or distance.

 

It's a good method of cardio that's simple to do and can also help build muscle and strength to a degree, as well as burn fat. And obviously has practical carryover to real life activities.

 

There are different types of carry, the most well known version is the "Falmers Walk", which is carrying two heavy implements, one in heach hand. You can also carry weight held to your chest (such as the "globet carry"), or overhead (such as the "Waiter's Walk").

 

If you like the sound of carries have a read of these.

 

https://www.t-nation.com/training/secret-of-loaded-carries

 

https://www.t-nation.com/training/boy-you-gotta-carry-that-weight

 

This article mentions the Goblet Carry I mentioned, specifically in reference to building the gunz. :)

https://www.t-nation.com/training/timed-carries-for-traps-arms-core

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Yesterday, I did a good arms session. Ive also been keeping up my runs during my dinner hour at work.

 

Apart from today, stressful morning, so got a meal deal from Sainsburys instead. Fail. I do wish I had the will power!

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I grab lunch from Tesco all the time. For low cal there's healthy living noodle & chicken meals which only have 340 ish calories, or sushi. Even if I had to grab a sandwich there's a chicken salad sandwich which is 31g protein and about 45g carbs. Make up the meal deal with fruit and zero-cal drink, low sugar smoothie or water.

 

There's other options in supermarkets too. For protein I usually get cooked chicken breasts and salad, put it in a wholemeal wrap or thin if I'm ok with the extra carbs. If your Sainsburys has a salad bar, get a salad with chicken, egg, tuna etc.! Today I treated myself to scotch eggs cos I'm not eating clean atm anyway. Dat eggy protein.

 

Not everyone can control their meals all the time, for me watching calories has to be reasonable/sustainable and occasionally gratifyingly easy, not consistently hard work.

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I've been making a variation of rice and chicken for lunch every day (sometimes I scramble eggs into it, broccoli, bacon, sweetcorn, spinach). When I don't manage to make it I just eat packets of chicken/turkey and shit loads of almonds. It's weird, I know.

 

Then I go to town come dinner timeOHMNOMNOMNOMNOM.

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I'd love to eat you like you guys but I suffer really badly from Acid Reflux, it's absolutely murder having to try and schedule life around eating. Without going into gory details, I have to leave at least 6 hours between eating and going to bed or at least a few hours between eating and working out. Makes it virtually impossible to do any sort of serious bulking.

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Ok I'm not sure if I have enough time to reply to both posts before work but shall try, if not I'll come back to pratty later :P

 

Not really, in our gym the machines/majority of hand weights are upstairs near the changing rooms. Plus still a bit apprehensive on doing it the "normal way"

 

You're not going to be the only one who is a bit fearful of going into the free weights section. It's probably why you don't see an awful lot of women going into the free weight areas, because they're usually dominated by the more experienced lifters or the guys who solely use free weights. It can be intimidating. But, as long as you have a clear plan in your head what it is you're doing, and as long as you don't bother others, you'll probably be fine.

 

Nope, just a general fap about and if I feel a different machine I'll have a lil go on it. Keep the body guessing ¬_¬

 

I'd figure out some sort of routine if I were you. You're doing this whole working out thing to see results and you'll see better results if you go into it with a clear plan. If you're going three times a week, I'd recommend something like Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Legs/Shoulders.

 

 

2 sets of 20 yeah, not really any reason for that either :(

 

 

Reason I went for 2 x 10 this time because last week I did 3 x 15 with 3kg my legs couldn't work properly for a week (see previous whiny post)

 

 

You were sore because you've either never hit the legs before or you've not weight trained them for a while. :heh:

 

There's probably a fair amount of people out there who advocate the uber-high rep routines. It's certainly one way of training. If you're going to down that route, search the net and see if you can find certain routines that will cater to that, as I'm sure that there are many.

 

The most important thing is that you be consistent with both the training and the diet. More importantly the diet if it's fat-loss you're aiming for.

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Went to the Flamingo cause of R but she got married and left :p

 

I think I'd scare the wimmens in the flamingo to be honest :blank:

 

Didn't know R left! I'd recommend whatever fitness first is called nowadays...

 

edit: lifestyle fitness, its only 20 a month

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I'd love to eat you like you guys but I suffer really badly from Acid Reflux, it's absolutely murder having to try and schedule life around eating. Without going into gory details, I have to leave at least 6 hours between eating and going to bed or at least a few hours between eating and working out. Makes it virtually impossible to do any sort of serious bulking.

 

I gym in a fasted state. Have you looked into BCAAs?

 

That might at least sort out your pre-workout food issue.

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I gym in a fasted state. Have you looked into BCAAs?

 

That might at least sort out your pre-workout food issue.

 

Yeah, most of the time I gym it's a fasted state. I get by, it's just impossible for me to eat the amount of food required to see good results.

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Yeah, sounds like time is a real issue.

 

Almonds are really good for upping calories without feeling stuffed. Whole milk. Coconut oil. Tricky stuff...

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