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What's a realistic time for losing weight?

KyzenKyzen Registered User regular
edited December 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
To cut to the chase - i'm 5'10, weight 225-230 pounds depending on the day, can ride a bike for hours, but can't run for 5 minutes. I'm setting myself a goal of losing 50 pounds and getting down to 175-180. I've stopped drinking soda so much (down to a cup at lunch; haven't had any at home or work for weeks, plan to cut it out entirely in the next week or two).

I've joined a gym, and fully intend to make use of it.

I'm trying to set myself a realistic time frame for the weight loss, but am not sure what to aim for to keep myself from setting up for failure. Somebody suggested 1 pound a week for the first 2 weeks once I begin excercising, 2 pounds a week for the next 2, 3 pounds for the next 2, then 4 pounds a week till I hit my goal (so ~16 weeks). Is this realistic, assuming I can stick with a healthy diet and consistent exercise routine, or is this aiming for too much, too fast?

Kyzen on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Kyzen wrote:
    To cut to the chase - i'm 5'10, weight 225-230 pounds depending on the day, can ride a bike for hours, but can't run for 5 minutes. I'm setting myself a goal of losing 50 pounds and getting down to 175-180. I've stopped drinking soda so much (down to a cup at lunch; haven't had any at home or work for weeks, plan to cut it out entirely in the next week or two).

    I've joined a gym, and fully intend to make use of it.

    I'm trying to set myself a realistic time frame for the weight loss, but am not sure what to aim for to keep myself from setting up for failure. Somebody suggested 1 pound a week for the first 2 weeks once I begin excercising, 2 pounds a week for the next 2, 3 pounds for the next 2, then 4 pounds a week till I hit my goal (so ~16 weeks). Is this realistic, assuming I can stick with a healthy diet and consistent exercise routine, or is this aiming for too much, too fast?

    As somebody who has lost a significant amount of weight before, anything more the 2 pounds per week if unrealistic to maintain. Some weeks you'll lose 1, some you'll lose 3 or 4, and some you'll gain despite doing everything right.

    The important thing is to not let it get to you and don't beat yourself up because "OMG, it's week 5 and I only lost 1 pound!"

    jclast on
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    clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    2 pounds a week is a healthy and maintainable loss.

    clsCorwin on
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I didn't have much luck reducing my weight at the gym.
    I was four inches taller at your same weight and went from a high of 225ish to 195 by taking up running. It was AWFUL at first, it hurt, I got winded, and i'm still slow. Three or four months later I can do 4-6 miles without being destroyed, though.

    I've been using Nike running's marathon training schedule for beginners. I was going to do a marathon originally but i've had too hard a time staying motivated during the long runs. It's at nikerunning.com...

    kaliyama on
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    KyzenKyzen Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Running is something I'd love to do, but doesn't seem to work for me at the moment. Treadmills are just hugely uncomfortable for me for some reason, I feel very awkward on them, which sucks when I already feel like the fattest person at the gym. Plus I feel that on a bike I can pedal for hours, whereas running or jogging kills me after 15-20 minutes.

    Kyzen on
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    MunacraMunacra Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    see, but that's good. that it kills you after 15-20 mins.

    there was this guy on my track team, who was 225, and joined for the purpose of losing weight. He could run for four miles, albeit at a very slow pace, and he never lost a pound.

    I read the book "Abs Diet" and there was a story very similar to that.

    I think the thing was, that your body does it's most calorie burning at extremely high cardio rates, kind of like how weighlifters "max out" with only a couple of reps of very heavy weights, to build more muscle.

    so just doing those 20 minutes of running will be more beneficial than hours on the bikes.

    my roomate and I go to the gym together sometimes, he goes on those walky thingies and I get on the treadmills. He can outlast me for far longer, but he hasn't lost a pound and I've lost about 10-15 since the summer, which is when I started running again.

    Munacra on
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    redpandaredpanda Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Hooray for weight loss. I was in the same boat a few years ago. I was 5’10, a size 40 waist, and maxed out at 245 pounds. I tried different diets, working out, etc (no luck). But what worked for me was a variation of the South Beach/Fatkins diet. I cut out bread/pasta/processed sugar. I also went to the gym 4 times a week and worked out for 1.5 hrs. In the first 2 months of this program I lost almost 30 pounds. I’ve been loosing/maintaining my weight for almost 3 years now. Currently I weigh just under 190 pounds and I have a size 34 waist.

    Find a diet that works for you. Make sure that when you workout, you spend at least 20 minutes doing cardio. Also if running is too hard on your knees, try the elliptical trainer. Oh yah, make a diet your lifestyle. Otherwise as soon as you get off it, the weight will come back.

    redpanda on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    A kilo a week is supposed to be the maximum healthy rate (1 kg = 2.2 pounds), after that you apparently start burning muscle, which is pretty counterproductive. Anything up to that is fine, but like the first reply said, it'll vary pretty randomly. Also, the fiest few weeks, depending on diet, you may lose a bit more than you expect, but it'll mostly be fluids so its not really a permanent thing.

    The Cat on
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    Wandering StarWandering Star Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Losing weight does depend on the person. One or two pounds a week is probably doable, but more than that will probably not work and isn't even healthy. Also, since you're trying to lose a lot, you will probably hit some plateaus along the way. Just try not to get discouraged even if your weight doesn't budge for awhile, you may need to vary your diet a bit or change some of the exercises you're doing, but the weight will keep coming off as long as you're being sensible.

    Give yourself 10 months to a year to lose 50 lbs. I'm sure some people would say that's way too long. But it's better to develop good habits that you can actually maintain in the long run than to put yourself through total hell on a crash diet and then wind up gaining back the weight because you can't sustain that lifestyle. I wish you luck.

    Wandering Star on
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    TheGreat2ndTheGreat2nd Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    2 pounds a week seems like the right schedule.

    Also, running is more cardio than biking, especially if it's stationary biking. Running uses more muscles. Biking, estimating, 4x easier than running.
    Running is great cardio.

    Keep at running is all I can suggest, and follow through with diet.

    TheGreat2nd on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Don't be surprsied if you lose quickyl at first then slow down. Early on in a workout regimin your body will likely drop alot of water weight.

    nexuscrawler on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    In terms of your bike riding, what is your heart rate like? Depending on your base fitness you'll need to get it up to your "racing" speed. Back when I'd use the gym bike, I'd aim for around 105 rpm which after 20 minutes murdered me and made me walk funny after I got off. I could however go for a 40 minute bike ride keep it in the highest gear possible and stay ahead of everyone simply because there wasn't as much resistence.

    It doesn't really matter that you can only do 15-20 minutes anyway, keep going you'll get more endurance.

    Blake T on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Don't be surprsied if you lose quickyl at first then slow down. Early on in a workout regimin your body will likely drop alot of water weight.
    FTW.

    Setting a goal expecting to lose more weight after the first few weeks is pretty unrealistic. You'll probably plateau at some point.

    For example (keep in mind I'm way more overweight than you) I lost 15 pounds in just over two weeks when I first started dieting. From there on, it dropped to a much more manageable weight. The vast majority of that was water weight.

    If your goal is pure weight loss, and you're not looking to put on any muscle, you can probably manage a bit more than 2 a week, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    Thanatos on
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    LanthisLanthis Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    If you find you can ride a bike for hours, you need to increase your pace. Its your increased heart rate that will cause you to lose the most weight.

    And yes 2lbs is probably your target. You'll notice a difference after 2 weeks in your appearance though.

    Lanthis on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Don't be surprsied if you lose quickyl at first then slow down. Early on in a workout regimin your body will likely drop alot of water weight.
    FTW.

    Setting a goal expecting to lose more weight after the first few weeks is pretty unrealistic. You'll probably plateau at some point.

    For example (keep in mind I'm way more overweight than you) I lost 15 pounds in just over two weeks when I first started dieting. From there on, it dropped to a much more manageable weight. The vast majority of that was water weight.

    If your goal is pure weight loss, and you're not looking to put on any muscle, you can probably manage a bit more than 2 a week, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    In the long run though if you combine your cardio with wieght training you won't lose as much weight. However you will appear thinner because muscle is denser than fat. You can maintain a similar wight but look and feel better. Overzealous weight loss will just cause you to lose lots of muscle mass too.

    nexuscrawler on
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    alcoholic_engineeralcoholic_engineer Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Something I reccomend everytime someone talks about getting in better shape is not going to a gym, but taking a martial art instead. In addition to providing an excellent fully body workout (in general), it is far more motivational to be involved in something like that, with the same people.

    Just consider it. I do highly reccomend it.

    alcoholic_engineer on
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Kyzen wrote:
    Running is something I'd love to do, but doesn't seem to work for me at the moment. Treadmills are just hugely uncomfortable for me for some reason, I feel very awkward on them, which sucks when I already feel like the fattest person at the gym. Plus I feel that on a bike I can pedal for hours, whereas running or jogging kills me after 15-20 minutes.

    That's what I went through, too. Treadmills always suck, and yeah, it's going to feel awkward at the gym. Treadmills are also REALLY BORING. Run outside. www.favoriterun.com. It's very uncomfortable because running is a tougher leg/cardio workout for the same amount of time..

    kaliyama on
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    MunacraMunacra Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Something I reccomend everytime someone talks about getting in better shape is not going to a gym, but taking a martial art instead. In addition to providing an excellent fully body workout (in general), it is far more motivational to be involved in something like that, with the same people.

    Just consider it. I do highly reccomend it.

    good idea, but it would have to be a fairly cardio-intensive martial art.

    something with lots of jumping, running, and kicking.

    key words here are "cardio" and "intensive"

    Munacra on
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    stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    www.fitday.com - Use this site to track your calories for the day

    Depending on your age and activity level your caloric intake will vary. To lose weight you need to burn more calories in a day than you intake.

    Example: Resting metabolic rate(just existing) burns: 2000 + running for 30mins = 2500 calories burnt in the day.

    Doing something like sprinting will burn more calories in a session like 20minutes of sprinting burns more than 30mins of jogging. Although sprinting and intense sessions will burn out your body faster, so don't do them all the time.

    Losing weight is about diet and eating too much will cause weight gain no matter what. Thats why bodybuilders are able to gain fat and muscle in there off seasons despite working out hard and being active.

    If you don't like running, don't do it. Do something fun. Try circuit training. Its where you go from one exercise to the next usually using body weight exercises. Whatever you plan on doing, good luck.

    stixs4321 on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I would lose some weight before running, were I the OP.

    At that weight, running is gonna be kinda rough on the joints, especially running on the street.

    Thanatos on
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    variantvariant Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Use the Nike Running guide as someone suggested, I started that several months ago and can actually run for 3 miles now.

    Start off with "Walk to Run" it'll make you walk for 5/15 mins run for a min and then walk 5/15 mins, so you can ease in to running, which is probably better for you rather than just going out there and sprinting till your chest hurts, and as the person above me stated, can be bad on the joints.

    variant on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited December 2006
    I'm kind of bummed that people are saying that biking isn't good exercise. I was going to start biking to get my cardio on because I hate running with a passion.

    Tube on
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    MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    I'm kind of bummed that people are saying that biking isn't good exercise. I was going to start biking to get my cardio on because I hate running with a passion.

    Same here, Id like to drop a few pounds and I was hoping I could start biking alot in favor of just running. Ive run in the past but I just hate doing it so much that I eventually lose interest because it feels like a chore more than anything else.

    Marathon on
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    OhioOhio Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    To the people who are saying they'd rather bike because it's easier than running - this is the exact definition of the phrase "No pain, no gain." Yes, biking is easier and perhaps more fun. But because it's easier, your results are less.

    I used to weigh about 40 pounds more than I do now (in high school). It's running that's made me keep that weight off for almost 10 years.

    Ohio on
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited December 2006
    It's not that it's easier, it's that running is a retard hobby for retards.

    Tube on
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    DynagripDynagrip Break me a million hearts HoustonRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2006
    Biking is good exercise, you'd just have to bike farther. Who the hell says it's not good exercise? That's crazy.

    Dynagrip on
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    jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    If you don't want to run but still want an excellent cardio exercise with none of that nagging joint pain, jump in the pool and swim laps.

    Great exercise, very tiring, and it's got no joint impact. You also don't have to buy a bunch of equipment. Assuming the chlorine doesn't bother your eyes, all you'll need is access to a pool (YMCA?) and a pair of trunks.

    jclast on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Biking is a fine excercise. If you don't think it's tough take a spinning class. It'll probably be the hardest you've even worked out in your life

    nexuscrawler on
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    Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Something I reccomend everytime someone talks about getting in better shape is not going to a gym, but taking a martial art instead. In addition to providing an excellent fully body workout (in general), it is far more motivational to be involved in something like that, with the same people.

    Just consider it. I do highly reccomend it.

    Dude, for truth. You don't even really need to be like, keep going, keep going, because just doing the thing will be good for you. I wasn't much overweight, just 15 pounds more than I should have been.. and the combination of quitting soda entirely and doing BJJ lost me those 15. Or something else magical, I don't know.

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
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    stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Biking is a fine excercise. If you don't think it's tough take a spinning class. It'll probably be the hardest you've even worked out in your life

    That sums it up pretty much exactly. Most people that fail at biking for exersize go out and take a leisurely pace in a top gear on level ground and then wonder why they aren't losing any weight. You need to get your legs pumping hard for a good 20 minutes, just like you do when you are running. It is more efficient than running so you will need to compensate by adding more time or harsher terrain, but it is as good if not better (not as damaging to the joints) than running.

    stigweard on
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Another thing to remember is that when you start exercising to a level that seriously raises your cardio you might well start putting on weight as your body goes "Holy shit" and panic bulks up. You'll get through that quite quickly, although you'll probably find at times that you're getting slimmer but not loosing any weight, this will be due to developing muscle. And that's awesome.

    As everyone else has said it's not length of exercise that's important, it's intensity of the cardio. If you can run an 8 minute mile without being out of breath then to get any extra benefit you've got to increase the speed.

    The top tip for that, is of course, reps. In basically any cardiovascular exercise it is alternating between high intensity and semi rest that is both excruciatingly strenous and fabulously good for your health. Sprint 50 meters, walk 50 meters is far, far better for you than jogging 100 meters.

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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Guys, cardio is not the prime factor in weight loss.

    Diet is the most important factor. If you don't have a solid meal plan together, get one now. this is a very good place to start.
    http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/7habits.htm

    Second is BMR - you burn only slightly more calories running @ 5mph for an hour than you do with sleeping for 8 hours. crunch some numbers yourself here. http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.html

    To raise your BMR you want lean muscle. To get lean muscle, you need to hit the weights. Strenuous weightlifting is a great exercise since is increases your BMR for up to 24 hours. Cardio does not do this. In addition, each pound of muscle you put on burns 7 times the calories as a pound of fat - all the time.

    Don't get me wrong, cardio is good and important, but look at the big picture.
    In basically any cardiovascular exercise it is alternating between high intensity and semi rest that is both excruciatingly strenous and fabulously good for your health. Sprint 50 meters, walk 50 meters is far, far better for you than jogging 100 meters.
    This combines aerobic and anaerobic. Gold.


    edit: I barely trust anything i see on the web, you shouldn't either. Read up.

    "About 70% of a human's total energy expenditure is due to the basal life processes within the organs of the body. About 20% of one's energy expenditure comes from physical activity and another 10% from thermogenesis, or digestion of food."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basal_metabolic_rate

    "Studies show that the EPOC effect exists after both anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise, but all studies comparing the two show that anaerobic exercise increases EPOC more than aerobic exercise does. For exercise regimens of comparable duration and intensity, aerobic exercise burns more calories during the exercise itself, but the difference is partly offset by the higher increase in caloric expenditure that occurs during the EPOC phase after anaerobic exercise."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excess_post-exercise_oxygen_consumption

    PirateJon on
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    HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    It all depends on just how much time and effort you can put into it. I've went from 225 to 170 in under 3 months before, but I was working on it for most of the hours in the day and a specially developed diet that was calculated to the last calorie. But I've seen people do the same program and work just as hard as I was, but barely drop 10 lbs. It really is based on the individual.

    Hensler on
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    KathemoKathemo Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    You've probably have read this everywhere, if not seen it on just this forum, but I personally would recommend a combination of diet, aerobics and some sort of weight exercises.

    Diet: If you can, try to eat smaller meals and eating more frequently (about 4-6 times a day). Cut out sugary confections, greasy dishes and fast food. It can be a pain in the ass, but packing lunches/dinners/snacks to class/work/whatever makes a huge difference since you actively portion your meal itself.

    Avoid eating late; try having your last meal/snack at least two hours before you go to bed. IE: Go to bed at 12ish, eat 10ish at the latest. People usually don't exercise two hours before bed so what you eat right before becomes a kind of 'dead weight.'

    Aerobics: You want to do exercises that get your blood pumping and heart racing. I'm not saying you need to sprint for over an hour, but if you just jog/bike/run lightly and it doesn't effect your heart-rate than you aren't exercising at an intensity high enough to burn fat.

    Other types of exercise: Depending on whether you want to build muscle mass or just gain a lean frame, you'll want to adjust this last one accordingly.

    Bulking up: Weights and high resistance training are usually the preferred method. Don't forget to target different parts of the body throughout your regime, or you'll end up looking disproportioned.

    Toning: Mild resistance and lighter weights. This helps to define muscle but not build, like with bulking up.

    Which of the two types of exercise will be easier depending on your frame. If you're naturally larger framed than bulking up will be easier. If you have a lean skeletal structure than toning will be easier.

    IE: I'm short but have a larger frame: It's easier for me to maintain nice T and A but if I don't watch my diet and/or exercise, than it's also easier for me to gain weight.

    Oh, and don't focus just on weight. Measure your arms, legs, etc and keep track of their size. Fat is much lighter in weight than muscle so weight doesn't always remark upon actually the slimming-down process.

    Kathemo on
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    HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Also, if you're just starting out, I'd recommend a book called The Ab Diet that is fairly new. A lot of the younger guys in my command have used it and got great results. I have a background in exercise and sports medicine, so it wasn't really helpful for me because its a lot of basic info, but for beginners its the best book on the subject I've come across. It debunks a lot of the fads and low-carb stuff that has become popular and focuses on building muscle while burning fat, which has always the been key for everyone I've worked with on weight loss. You may not lose as much actual weight as with other programs, but you'll lose fat and drop your body fat percentage (which is more important, in my opinion). There is a paperback edition out now, so its worth dropping down the $10 just for the smoothie recipes alone.

    Hensler on
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    MunacraMunacra Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    them smoothies are delicious too.

    Munacra on
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    #14#14 Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    So, I walk to places where I used to ride my bike to now. Should be about an hour of walking a day. I enjoy it, I'll be listening to music anyway.
    It's not my main thing of losing weight but I reckon it helps a little.

    It does, doesn't it?

    #14 on
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    HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    If you do it at a decent pace, yeah, you'll burn more calories walking than biking.

    Hensler on
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    KyzenKyzen Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Thanks, excellent advice so far. Tried the treadmills again last night, but ended up doing 2 hours on the bike and 30 minutes on the eliptical instead. Kind of felt like i had been hit by a truck this morning.

    Kyzen on
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    Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Dumb as a butt Planet Express ShipRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Sex.

    Seriously. Some mornings I wake up and my abs, thighs, and shoulders are on fire.

    Also let your girl get on top. Really works out her abs and ass a bit. My girl and I alternate who's on top.

    Now that is fun exercise!

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    ZonkytonkmanZonkytonkman Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Hensler wrote:
    If you do it at a decent pace, yeah, you'll burn more calories walking than biking.

    This seems to be true, at the gym i'm at they have these dealies where they measure your heart rate and then sets the pace to keep it there. The optimal fat burning heart rate for me is a very brisk walk.

    Zonkytonkman on
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