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Help me start running/lifting weights.

cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I mainly want to focus on running, for my cardio, because I do a lot of heavy lifting and backpacking (I'm a grass/weed control guy, so I generally have a 4-gallon tank full of liquid on my back for 7-8 hours a day, which is all spent walking. In the Houston heat.) at work so strength isn't much of an issue, though I'm definitely wanting to get a little more refined in that area.

Here's the issue.

I have http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolff%E2%80%93Parkinson%E2%80%93White_syndrome, which basically means my heart has an extra electrical connection that can cause the signal from my brain to bypass the right one and go directly to the heart, which can cause rapid heartbeat or worse. Now, I've very rarely experienced any symptoms of it, but I have had to dramatically alter my diet after getting the results of a physical last year. For one thing, I'm almost 30 and my LDL cholesterol level was at 240, which was astronomical. High blood pressure and cholesterol do run in my family, though, and I've always had a fast metabolism which led me to not give a shit about what I put in my body, to my detriment. Compared to last year, though, I'm in 100% better shape than I was thanks to the job and the attention I've paid to my diet.

So along with the diet alteration, which I've been working on for about a year, I'd like to start up a running regimen, as previously mentioned, with some weight lifting thrown in between runs. I've read it's good to start off with a 20-30 minute run three times a week, and I went in today and did 20 minutes of running on the treadmill and 20 minutes of weight lifting, though I'm completely flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to planning it out, because I have no experience in this sort of thing. I did get a bit light-headed after the running, but I think that's just because I'm not used to it.

So if anyone's experienced in planning runninglifting regimens for people that are completely new to the planned exercising route, I'd greatly appreciate it. Hell, even just a link to a good resource will get me started. I just don't want to jump in headfirst and push myself too hard because of the ticker thing.

Thank you very much in advance.

cr0w on

Posts

  • BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

    Bam

    That's a reasonable starting routine. Notice the goal is really to go for 30 minutes at first, combining running and walking. It might be a little conservative, but maybe that's good

    As a general rule you don't want to do cardio right before (some would say on the same day of at all) lifting weights, as the cardio will deplete the glycogen in your body and render your weightlifting less effective. I'm not sure how big a deal it is, but the hardcore body builders swear by it (we of course aren't hardcore bodybuilders, so who know...) I typically just do a 10 minute or so warmup before lifting weights.

    BlochWave on
  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Interesting, thanks a lot. If I did a brisk walk up to the complex's training room, it would take about 3-5 minutes, then I could hop on the treadmill and do the rest. That's also good to know about the weight lifting, as I was unaware that was an issue. I can probably alternate days. I do so much at work (when I'm not spraying, I'm doing landscaping, basically using a hoe to dig stuff up, digging tree rings, digging irrigation channels, etc.) that when I hit the weights today I was able to do 180lbs on my arms and 70lbs (which admittedly isn't all that much, I don't think) on the barbells, which I was fairly impressed with. I just don't know how much I want to get into weight lifting, since I think the running might sap all my energy, which is in short supply after work.

    Then again, maybe I'll get hooked. Thanks again for the link.

    cr0w on
  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Have you spoken to your doctor about your proposed exercise regime? A heart condition may cause issues with extended cardio sessions. Maybe your doctor could point you to a trainer or physical therapist conversant with your issue that could provide specialized advice.

    Elin on
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  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, I talked to a cardiologist a while back, and he basically said that if I hadn't experienced any issues with the physical activity I go through at work couple with the heat, I should be alright. That's not meaning I'm going to push it, of course, but I'm looking to basically do 20-30 minutes of cardio and then weight lifting on alternating days. I'm not looking to do any marathon running, I just want to keep everything in good shape and get a little stronger than what I am now. I would also like to burn a bit of fat that's accumulated around my midsection. I've gotten a good head start by altering my diet, but that alone won't get rid of it.

    I have a couple of friends that have given me a good bit of advice, but one is actually a competitive bodybuilder so his advice is extremely technical and I seriously have no idea what the hell he's talking about most of the time. He seems to lean more towards advising me on strength and is more in favor of brief, intensive cardio via functional lifting and such, but another friend is a pretty experienced runner so I'm kind of mixing and matching their advice.

    cr0w on
  • BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm not looking to do any marathon running, I just want to keep everything in good shape

    That's how it starts, next thing you know you're 6 miles into an 8 mile run when you realize you seriously have to go #2, and if there's someone in the gas station's bathroom half a mile down the road you are most likely going to poop your pants

    Always an adventure ^_^

    BlochWave on
  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The key to losing weight with cardio is to raise your heart rate to X number and keep it there for X amount of time. You should be able to get that number from your doctor, or an online form. I personally use an elliptical for cardio because running is hard on my joints. Lifting, I have no clue really.

    Elin on
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  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah there's a few different machines at the center I'm gonna check out.

    Thanks guys.

    cr0w on
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    For the weightlifting side of things, the book you want is Starting Strength. It outlines a simple program that uses a few big compound lifts to make you big and strong while instructing you on the precise form for these lifts. The only part to be taken with a grain of salt is the nutritional advice given, as that portion is specific to training young athletes. As an adult of normal size, drinking a gallon of whole milk a day may not be the greatest of ideas.

    Machines are useless for functional strength development. Because all the work you're doing is along a set track, you don't need to use any of your stabilizing muscles. As real life rarely has things that need lifting on tracks, your stabilizers become your limiting factor in every real life implementation of your strength. Barbell training seems daunting but is really quite simple to learn and will serve you far better for functional strength acquisition.

    Dark Moon on
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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Bench press. Squats. Deadlifts.

    Those are the big three. Start there.

    Slider on
  • DirtmuncherDirtmuncher Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Just a word of advise: Get good running shoes.

    You dont want to cripple yourself in the long run.

    Dirtmuncher on
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  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    The drinking a gallon of whole milk a day thing is right out the window, because I'm lactose intolerant. I've taken advice from one friend who recommends I either eat or drink a large protein shake directly after working out and, like I said, I'm not aiming to be a BIGMAN, I just want to streamline things and get my cardio in check. The physical stuff I do at work is more than enough for functionality. I went from 140lbs when I started there to 180lbs now, and most of that is in legs and upper body muscle. Now I just want to tone that and lose a little bit of belly fat. I've already outgrown most of my shirts, so my wardrobe budget doesn't need to get any larger.

    Dirtmuncher: I have a decent pair of New Balance that work pretty well, though as I get more serious about it, I plan to get a better pair.

    Thanks again for the advice.

    cr0w on
  • Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Big props on starting out at the gym and on the machines! It sucks to get stranded on a trail with no people around for just a sprain or something, so I imagine it must be even more of a concern with your condition. Staying in one spot with plenty of people around is a really smart way to go.

    Dropping Loads on
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  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, that was one of my concerns. At work (I work at the Johnson Space Center), there's like a 5-mile long jogging track that is free for employees to use, but of course I want to start out on machines and work my way up to that, since it's still hovering close to 100 degrees out here and the track can be pretty isolated most of the time. It's way in the back of NASA, where it's all still woods and fields, so if I were to drop dead or something, no one would know for a while, haha. Hopefully once I get on a stable regimen and get my body conditioned, I can start using it on Saturday mornings or something when the temperature falls.

    I just got back from my second trip to the gym, actually, and did 20 minutes on the intermediate setting with no breaks, so I'm feeling pretty positive. My legs are trying to give out before my lungs/heart do, which is surprising.

    cr0w on
  • BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, that was one of my concerns. At work (I work at the Johnson Space Center), there's like a 5-mile long jogging track that is free for employees to use, but of course I want to start out on machines and work my way up to that, since it's still hovering close to 100 degrees out here and the track can be pretty isolated most of the time. It's way in the back of NASA, where it's all still woods and fields, so if I were to drop dead or something, no one would know for a while, haha. Hopefully once I get on a stable regimen and get my body conditioned, I can start using it on Saturday mornings or something when the temperature falls.

    Whatever you do, make sure you realize that track isn't lit when it's dark and it is SCARY! I got there late one day and the sun set on me and I couldn't see crap except for headlights and the red eyes of a demon monster stalking me through the brush. Seabrook trails is a good place to go running if you wanna go somewhere on the weekend. Softer surface than the Gilruth's too. It's not really a "trail" trail, more like packed dirt

    Don't be too timid about the heat, you do live here and it's part of the environment (plus it's cooling down). Nowadays I'm not too bothered by running immediately after work, you will acclimate to it over a couple of weeks, though you may want to get a little fit first. Just stay hydrated.

    BlochWave on
  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Oh wow, didn't realize you lived around here. Yeah I spend a lot of my time out in the brush back there, either cleaning up around the dump (where we keep the compost), spraying the fenceline to keep weeds from growing up into it, or weedeating or whatnot. I'll have to check out the Seabrook trails, thanks for the recommendation.

    As for the heat, yeah...I'm pretty used to it, I just want to get my conditioning up before I tackle it.

    cr0w on
  • BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Who said I lived around there?!?! >_> heh

    I had this on-hand cuz a friend sent it to me the other day. Give it a sec to load. It's a 6-mile loop, but you can adjust as necessary

    http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/tx/seabrook/268044342

    BlochWave on
  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    Well I assumed since you knew about the Gilruth track and such!

    That's a great link, thanks!

    Oh shit, it goes by Todville and the Seabrook cemetery. I can jog and ghost hunt at the same time.

    cr0w on
  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Slider covered where you need to start in weight lifting. Bench, squat and dead lift are your bread and butter. I think, most importantly, is to pay attention to your form. In fact, it might be a good idea to get someone who knows what they are doing to show you how to do each lift, watch you do each lift, and adjust your form. Lifting heavier and heavier is great, but you need to have the right form to get the most out of each lift safely.

    Runningwise, if you're going for distance then run slower than you think you should. At first it helped me to go at each workout with a specific goal and not let ego get to me. For instance, I would say "today I am going to run 3.5 miles." I would leave my watch at home, get out there and run and if I started to get winded I would just slow down more until I felt like I was at a pace I could handle. On another workout I would say, "I'm going to run for 30 minutes," and then I would try to maintain a steady pace for the full length of time. If you have to walk in the beginning it's not the end of the world, but try to take as few breaks as you can.

    For your running regimen also look at High Intensity Interval Training. Basically, what that is is a 5 minute warm up followed by intervals of high intensity sprint/near sprint running followed by a rest period (this is an interval) for a given number of sets followed by a 5 minute cool down. The workout consists of several intervals and typically lasts 20-30 minutes. If you can still run after 30 minutes then you weren't sprinting hard enough. When I started I would run at 8/10 for 20 seconds and then jog at 3-4/10 for 40 seconds or a minute and then start my next interval. I think progressed to 30 seconds at 9/10 and 60 seconds at 3/10. This monday I started at 30 seconds at 10/10 and 120 seconds at 4-5/10 and I have not felt so tired in a long time.

    HIIT has the advantage of being generally quicker than steady-state distance running and it tends to be more amenable to increasing overall strength VO2 max and, when it comes time to put on distance it tends to leave you feeling like you can go further faster.

    Talk to your doctor before doing HIIT however.

    My running routine consists of 2-3 sessions of HIIT a week combined with 1-2 long runs interspersed (6-10 miles).

    I have the most fun/agony during HIIT. It's pretty surprisingly fun to sprint like you were a little kid.

    Nutritionwise, you're probably doing fine on your diet if you've actively been paying attention to it. An increase in training regimen and the nature of your job may call for an increase in calorie intake, but make sure that you're getting that boost from good energy sources (veggies, fruits, meat and whole grains). Some will argue to eat a protein diet and others will suggest a carb heavy diet, and that can get confusing. I err on the side of balance.

    Your friend did suggest getting a protein shake in after a workout and this is sound advice. You don't have to have a protein shake necessarily, but it's good practice to get easy to digest proteins and carbohydrates into your body as quickly as possible after you exercise to help your muscles restore their glycogen supply and to speed recovery so you can get back into the gym or onto the track sooner.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Uncle Long on
  • cr0wcr0w Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    That's great advice, thanks. I do have a friend who's a professional body builder and he's helped me out on some lifting regimens that I'm going to try out.

    As far as my diet goes, I calculated my calorie needs based on my height/weight (6'0", 180lbs) and physical activity, which at work basically amounts to 7-8 hours a day of backpacking with 4 gallons on my back, and it was somewhere near 5,000 calories per day. At work I constantly keep trail mix bars, granola, Kashi fruit/grain bars and almonds with me and snack on them throughout the day to keep my energy level up. Usually when I come home for lunch I eat a peanut butter (Natural) and jelly (also natural) sandwich with a whey protein shake, then hit the gym when I get home and follow that up with a protein shake, then dinner is fish or chicken with whatever veggies I feel like making or sometimes beef.

    I actually just got back from 30 minutes of lifting (arms, curls, legs and shoulders) and 10 minutes afterwards on the treadmill, as well as jogging to and from the fitness center, and while I'm tired, I pulled off the weight lifting pretty well, considering I pushed it farther this time. My cardio is much better than I anticipated due to the fact that I walk between 2-5 miles a day at work, and since that's in better shape than I thought, I'm feeling like I want to focus more on strength with the occasional short burst of intense cardio. I'll just have to keep working on it until I find a routine I'm 100% comfortable with.

    Thanks again.

    cr0w on
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