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Weight Lifting Question

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Hi friends,

 

I have been lifting circuit weights at the YMCA for the last 6 weeks or so. My legs are very muscular from walking, biking, eliptical training, a bit of jogging and probably genetics too.

 

Is it OK to just work on my upper body only when weight lifting since my lower body gets so much other exercise?

 

Any thoughts, comments, or opinions greatly appreciated.

 

Thank You, Sheryl


"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"...Annie Dillard<br /><br />190/141/143.5/135<br />sw/wwg/cw/pg 5'3"<br /><br />SD 9-17-02/LT 7-22-03

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Guest little fish

Are you worried about getting too muscular? Check out stumptuous.com to dispell any concerns about women weight lifting and bulking up.

 

From Krista of Stumptuous "by building muscle, we can speed up our metabolism, resulting in more effective fuel (calorie) consumption. In other words, more muscle means less fat in the long run...Neglecting these [legs and butt] means neglecting the best area for building calorie-burning muscle.

 

Cardio does not provide the same benefits as strength training - even if you are blessed with good genes. Strength training is also good for building strong bones - especially important for women!

 

So my feeling is: strength train both your upper body and lower body.

 

Erinn

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Guest judyo53

And here's another opinion (& I've read similar studies but can't find them). I am pear shaped & do cardio as much as I can during the week. I've always had skinny, weak arms.

 

So for many years I've been lifting light weights for my arms only & I do crunches for my abdomen & a glute exercise, all via a syndicated TV show called Body Electric (there's a website to see if it's on in your area). I've been laying off since I have some kind of a muscle pull in my chest/upper back & need it to heal.

 

I don't do any other kind of strength training on my legs since when I lose the weight combined with the use of my legs during my cardio work outs, I'm very happy with them & would not want to bulk them up any more (not even a little).

 

So, again, I only use weights for my arms & do toning only for my abs & glutes. In fact, I've been neglecting my glutes because when I lost my weight originally (I'm re-committed), my normally big flat wide butt looked great! I had really firmed it up plus lost weight. However, when I gained my weight back (no maintenance plan plus outside factors), instead of a wide flat butt it is now a huge bubble butt from being so toned before. So I'm omitting my glute workouts until I lose more weight!

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Guest DuneRaiderette

and another opinion...dont stop training your legs! you dont want to wind up looking "uneven" or lopsided!!! (this is a problem, esp. with men, b/c people think their legs get enough of a workout with everyday life) you wouldnt train only your chest, and not your back, or only your biceps and not your triceps, so why would you only do part of your body? maybe just use less weight, or less reps....just mho!

 

[ March 27, 2004, 10:51 PM: Message edited by: DuneRaiderette ]

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Guest girlinmotion

There are 2 reasons not mentioned above, that might inspire you to do at least some lower body strength training:

1.Weightlifting is helpful in bone density, ie works to prevent osteoporosis. Hip and ankle weakness are common problems for people with low bone density.

 

2. Having strong leg muscles prevents injury when you are doing your other cardio activities and sports.

 

One good way to get these benefits without any bulk is to do light training with lots of reps. Squats, leg lifts, plies, lunges can all be beneficial with light/no weights but lots of repetitions can really shape your thighs+butt without adding bulk.One legged moves (that involve balancing) are particularly good for building the stabilizing muscles that help prevent injury.

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Thanks for the helpful input Buddies, Think I will continue to train my lower half, but with lighter weights as mentioned. I think I can get a session or two with a personal trainer at the YMCA for little or no cost.

 

Regards, sheryl


"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"...Annie Dillard<br /><br />190/141/143.5/135<br />sw/wwg/cw/pg 5'3"<br /><br />SD 9-17-02/LT 7-22-03

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Hi there,

 

I just wanted to chime in with my 2 cents. I am in the process of becoming a certified personal trainer, and I think it is important for you to do some strength training for your lower body - in addition to your aerobic work.

 

One clarification: ALL weight-bearing exercise, whether walking or weight-lifting, will increase bone density. Even your elliptical training and jogging helps in this regard. (Bike riding and swimming are not as effective).

 

However, training your lower body with weights, especially exercises with your feet planted on something (the ground, or leg-press plates) will be more efficient at stimulating increases in bone density.

 

Weight-training will also strengthen your connective tissue more efficiently than your aerobic work, which helps protect your joints from injury. AND, since you move weights through the entire range of motion, weight training will increase your flexibility in ways that repeated jogging, for example, doesn't.

 

You say you are happy with how muscular your legs are. Weight-lifting won't make you bulky, though. You may see more definition than you have now, but your legs won't get noticeable bigger.

 

I know you don't have endless hours to exercise (who does?) But here are some ideas to work strength training into your routine:

 

1) Cut back on aerobic sessions to 3-4 times per week, and do weight-training on alternate days (of course, do at least a 5 minute aerobic warmup before lifting). If you keep your intensity the same as now, you can cut back the frequency of your aerobic sessions without losing your cardiovascular fitness level. Of course, you won't burn as many calories :-(

 

2)Or, if weight-loss/calorie-burning is a priority, keep your aerobic sessions as they are, but change your weight routine. Alternate upper/lower body workouts on your lifting days. Or, cut back on the number of sets. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) actually recommends doing only one set of 8-10 exercises (about one for each muscle group), for 12-15 repetitions each twice a week. Believe it or not, you will see results with this routine. So, you could cut back your upper-body sets to add some lower-body work.

 

3) Do basic lower-body resistance training at home, the low-tech way. I do lots of lunges. I love the results, and they work your whole leg and butt. Another favorite: grab the back of a chair (or door-knob, or stair-railing) with one hand and do one-leg calf-raises. I stand on the first step of my staircase, so I can lower my heel all the way down for a full calf-stretch before pushing back up. You can make it more challenging if you hold a dumbbell in one hand. Here's another: sit-back squats. Hold onto a door-knob with both hands and sit back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and stiff -like a proper Victorian lady. Now, SQUEEZE your butt (pretend you're picking up a dollar bill with your butt-cheeks) and push up through your heels until you're about halfway up. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 12-15reps.

 

 

Good luck!

 

- Jen


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

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Thank you Jen for the helpful info. A certified trainer, what a terrific accomplishment thumbup.gif

 

Sheryl


"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"...Annie Dillard<br /><br />190/141/143.5/135<br />sw/wwg/cw/pg 5'3"<br /><br />SD 9-17-02/LT 7-22-03

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I agree with everything Jen said....I am a certified personal trainer and I think it's important to train your lower body. I only train my legs one day each week...but i take a step class and run the other days, so my legs are in very good shape...esp my calves. If nothing else, stick to lighter weights and higher reps! Hope this helps!

 

Andrea


Recommitted:6/17/04

173.8/168/164

WW Goal: 164 (4 lbs to go!)

10% Goal: 156.8 (9.8 lbs to go)

PG: 150 (18 lbs to go)

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