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Have a year to get in shape, help me? - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 
 Interesting. My PT (physical therapist) had me doing all plyos and recommends that I continue with them. But I can't imagine doing them forever just on its own (however much fun it may be). 
post #32 of 54
If your PT gave you plyos to do, I'd recommend you listen to your PT.  As I said, they're part of rehab protocols.

That doesn't take away from the general point that most people should steer clear of them due to the risk/reward calculation.  If the average person thinks they're more fit than, say, the junior racers for whom plyos are not recommended, then maybe -- but the reality is most people are kidding themselves about their fitness level. 

I'd say maybe 4% of the people walking into gyms can do a bodyweight squat with good form -- most of the rest have multiple issues including both strength and also limited joint flexibility that keep them from doing so.  Maybe 2% of people walking into gyms are really going to benefit from dedicated plyos without taking care of a lot of other stuff first.
post #33 of 54
What kind of plyos does the PT have you doing and how much volume?  

As CTKook says - some plyos like depth jumps are likely not a good idea.  And in fact if your PT has you doing them, I'd suggest you find yourself a new PT.  Actually - if your PT has you doing all plyos - as in lots of plyos but no strength and mobility work - then I'd definitely find a new PT as that is not good advice.  

That said - some plyos, like low hurdle hops, are probably a good idea as they help your stabilizer muscles.  I would keep the volume low though.

Elsbeth 
post #34 of 54
Thread Starter 
 It's closed-chain stuff, so my feet are always on the ground. Not sure what the exercises are called though.
post #35 of 54
There may be a definitional issue here.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post

 It's closed-chain stuff, so my feet are always on the ground. Not sure what the exercises are called though.

If your feet are on the ground, then you're not doing plyos.  Or at least not lower body plyos.  As CTKook said - there's a terminology issue here. 

Can you describe some of the exercises?  

Elsbeth
post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 
 Medicine ball, big ball. Um, when I get back to Cambridge next week I'll post the workout he told me to do.

Pillars is one, I remember.
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

Or maybe the opposite...how do you design a fitness program without weights and still address the strength needs. 

An example would be bridges, planks and hip thrusts among others to address hams and glutes. 
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post




An example would be bridges, planks and hip thrusts among others to address hams and glutes. 

 

apples and oranges
post #40 of 54
Thread Starter 
 I will get it as soon as possible (I am going back to Cambridge on the 6th). By the way, this is the thread that has sparked because of this one, in case you haven't seen it: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89831/do-i-take-a-year-off-of-university-to-ski
post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post




apples and oranges

Are you saying this because you view these as supplemental exercises versus things like squats and the Olympic lifts?  For general fitness these lifts can be great things, but for someone, say, with limited schedule, or who may not be fit enough to start using free weights to target the same muscle groups,  or who needs specifically to address, say, a glute and ham imbalance, the bodyweight stuff can also be great for both athletic development and overall fitness. 

As can the weights, obviously, it doesn't need to be either/or.
post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post




Are you saying this because you view these as supplemental exercises versus things like squats and the Olympic lifts?  For general fitness these lifts can be great things, but for someone, say, with limited schedule, or who may not be fit enough to start using free weights to target the same muscle groups,  or who needs specifically to address, say, a glute and ham imbalance, the bodyweight stuff can also be great for both athletic development and overall fitness. 

As can the weights, obviously, it doesn't need to be either/or.



 

Body wht stuff is absolutely needed as part of a well rounded program.I was only commenting on your rebuttal to Paul.
They are great for imbalances,general fitness,muscular endurance & stamina.
But they will not make you strong compared to weight training.
Both heavy stuff and Met-con work.
I'd just like to see a combination of them all.
post #43 of 54
^^^What you say re: strength is correct if viewed with specificity in mind.  For instance, squats make you strong at squatting,  They do also work a number of muscle groups and are certainly a great all-round exercise.  But, they don't actually work your glutes all that much, relative to more-targeted glute work.  For a sprinter or skier who needs more glute strength to be strong for their sport, they might actually do better focussing on other exercises before worrying about squats, even if they can otherwise do them with good form.  So, for that athlete some bodyweight stuff may actually do better at building sport-specific strength.   At least in the near term.

For "average Joe," part of the implications of this are that they can get a good strength workout even if they're stuck in a hotel without a good gym, stuck at home for a few days, etc. 
post #44 of 54
Thread Starter 
Ironic. Actually I ha trouble with my form re squats. Pushing my left toe out while going down. Greatly improved after a few tries but any tips/advice? Will post workout this pm. Thanks
post #45 of 54
Thread Starter 
 Do you recommend a heart rate monitor for me for interval training? 

Can you recommend one? I was told POLAR is good. I'd like to spend under 150, if that's possible. I think all the fancy-ness would get on my nerves, and I rather where my JLC or Patek watches than a heart rate monitor all day, so that's not an issue. :)
post #46 of 54
The HR monitor is sort of a need vs want thing, especially if you're doing intervals.  Even if you're trying to slowly raise LT, etc. and doing more low-instensity work, you don't really need one.  But, they allow you to be much more precise in some ways.  If it were me I'd just get a cheap one on EBAY for $50 or so if I wanted one.
post #47 of 54
Thread Starter 
post #48 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

^^^What you say re: strength is correct if viewed with specificity in mind. 

...  But, they don't actually work your glutes all that much, relative to more-targeted glute work.  For a sprinter or skier who needs more glute strength to be strong for their sport, they might actually do better focussing on other exercises before worrying about squats, even if they can otherwise do them with good form.


 
You have mentioned specificity before and I am intrigued with the example you use above.  So a skier needs gluts, and that means you don't need squats or something along those lines?  Squats are basic and ought to be a huge part of training glutes and much more.  Doing heavy dead lifts would be good for gluts and hams as well.  But you wouldn't do them with out balancing the muscle groups, wouldn't you say?

I hear time and time again, skiers need strong hams.  I buy that, but I believe strong hams need to have strong quads, and that the whole body actually plays into appropriate strength training.

Depending upon what you mean by specificity, it could lead to being injury prone.  I really have a hard time believing that skiers have a special need in the area of hams.  There are lots of sports that require strong hams.  It has been shown that skiers have great balance between hams and quads, but in my mind, that does not warrant limited strength training.  Squats and dead lifts are a nice complement as are many exercises.

Sometimes specificity is risky business.   
 
post #49 of 54
Forget about the heart rate monitor.  Go high intensity training and let your heart be taxed.  Keeping your heart rate in a "range" will only cause you to spend extra time on an elliptical - and it will distract you.  In the beginning you will have a tough time even getting to the level that could be called "intensity".  Get after it and make the first 60 days count.  Everyday that you go to the gym come away very sweaty and winded.  Add a strength bias that makes you "feel it".  During your 15 min of high intensity, don't be distracted and get through it with no rest or only the strict rest that you build in to the workout.  Do it with a friend or several.

Heart rate monitor - for marathon runners and geriatrics.

How's your diet coming?
post #50 of 54
Thread Starter 
OK.

Built. I'll begin once I return to Boston on Wednesday. But I have watched what I have eaten here and am trying to get used to eating egg whites.
post #51 of 54
My diet got trashed over the holiday.  I know that I sound like a "my way or the highway" type person, but I tend to be a little compulsive.

Here's the diet that I have been "working".  Yes, people criticize it, but my club uses it and refines it on a daily basis both individually and as a group.  Go high intensity/lift heavy/eat Paleo.  You will be amazed -  I guarantee.

There are all sorts of diets out there.  But this is so easy to follow - though it does take planning.  Knock off 25 lbs and see how you feel.

http://www.thepaleodiet.com/ 
post #52 of 54
Edit:  this was in response to the last specificity post from Paul:

Say someone has decent quads but proportionately weak hams and glutes (there are actually a lot of people with this profile).  Squatting would be much better for them than, say, going to the gym and hitting the machines.  But, squats use a lot of quads in addition to glutes and hams.  (They are a great exercise, in part, because they hit so much when you do them.)  And, someone with proportionately weak glutes and hams will tend to train their quads more from squats, even if they use good form, because the body/nervous system adapts to "cover" for weak parts.  So their glutes and hams may not completely "catch up."

So, this person would get better initial results, in preparing for the sport of skiing, by doing exercises that hit the glutes and hams more, first, and initially not worrying about quads until they get more-balanced. 

I wouldn't say that squats would hurt someone with that profile at all, but the proportionate benefit (realized in everything from better ACL injury resistance while skiing to being better able to run on your toes) might be more from not squatting for a bit. 

That's obviously sort of a nuanced thing, and in part I probably have a more-negative view of most people's actual fitness levels than others might. 
post #53 of 54
http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusives/usa-winter-olympians-surf-too/  I just thought this was fun re: specificity vs mixing it up.
post #54 of 54

Hey mbp,

Just to reiterate a a few points that have already been made: Focus on compound workouts (your initial post was comprised of a bit too many isolation exercises for my taste).

My favorites: Pull ups (wider grip), Chin ups (closer grip), Dips (unassisted, eventually weighted - same with pulls up and chin ups actually), Squats (good form, deep), Dead lifts (kind've optional, but a lot of people swear by them as a very valuable compound exercise), Push ups, Plank, T-rows, Shoulder Presses, Bench Press...

I tend to push myself for at least 3 days of weighted workouts and at least 2-3 days of cardio a week. I've been back in the gym since November 08', I began by just running outside, around the neighborhood, 20-30 minutes, faster as time went on, for longer as time went on, whatever keeps you motivated.

I think the biggest part of your plan / strategy is to do whatever it is that will maintain your passion/desire to continue working out on a daily and weekly basis for the rest of your life. All too often I think people in general rush in overzealous to it and get burned out rather quickly, myself included. You'll find that two of your biggest assets will be discipline (proper form, not overexerting yourself and avoiding injury, staying dedicated) and nutrition. I don't think I can stress nutrition enough, it seemed to be one of the biggest factors in determining my overall (at least visible) progress. The nutrition + cardio will take you a long way in the beginning, the weights will only enhance that as time passes.

Drink lots of water (drop all of the senseless calorie-filled rinks), green tea (opposed to coffee). Of course, pursue a diet of high protein (chicken, steak, low fat/sodium cottage cheese), essential fats (eggs, fish oil, flax seed oil, salmon), high fiber, and a strong source of carbs - energy (fruits, whole wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereals). Eat several times a day (4-5?), smaller meals, control your portions while you're dropping the weight (DISCIPLINE).

When I began I probably weighed about a peak of 200 lbs, within the first year (in fact, probably 6 months) I was down to 160, after which I began to focus on putting good weight (muscle) on.

I was overzealous to start as well, running every day possible, eating 6 inch subway sandwiches, no breakfast, all water and a light meal/snack...(unsustainable). When I began introducing weights into my life again, I would run roughly 2 miles in the morning when I got up before work and workout later on in the day (this burned me out as well), a couple of times/week. This is a good idea, to separate your cardio / weight routines if possible (to get the most out of each), but you don't have to do it everyday...
Being overzealous will lead to injury, trust me have already had this happen several times since I started and doing SOMETHING is better than sitting around and doing nothing (you already know this).

I'm probably rambling now, but summarize: 

1) Discipline
2) Nutrition
3) Cardio
4) Weights (compound exercises)
5) Don't worry about what anyone / everyone else is doing, don't rush (do what works best for you and will keep you in the game)

Hopefully you can take something away from this - gl.

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