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Fat Loss Basics – Your Activity Level

It is the weekend now, where I live. Many people use the weekend to relax and take it easy after a busy week. It is nice to get up at 9 or 10 am and have a slow day. You probably get even less activity on the weekend than during the weekdays. You know what I mean….football games, movies, TV, and elbows on the table (know what I mean?). Weight loss is a 7 day per week event and you need to watch what you do on the weekend also. You may not be surprised to hear the fact that in 2002, 25 percent of adult Americans did not participate in any leisure time physical activities in the past month (see source below).

Normally, I get in about 4 trips to the gymn per week. While I am at the gymn, my routine consists of three unique types of activities:

  1. Mild stretching (touch the toes, calf stretch)
  2. 1 hour walk on treadmill at 3.7 mph (with cool down period of 5 minutes, a total of 4 miles walking)
  3. 35 minutes of weights.

I am pretty happy with this routine. I have been doing this routine since my arthroscopic surgey in September 2009. Prior to that, I used to run 4 miles instead of walking. For now, the running is out of the question, because of the damage it has done to me left knee. But I am OK with walking.

I used to be a pretty intense individual and ran 5 miles per day, 5 times a week from 1978 until about 1995. I used to run with colleagues at work at lunch. After I started doing weights again in 1995 regularly, I dropped back to 4 miles in addition to the weight program. Walking on the treadmill is not as exciting or spirited as running with the guys, but I don’t mind.

For weights, I alternate two separate routines so that I am not working the same muscle groups day upon day. Here are my two routines. I work these exercises in a circuit – meaning, I do one of each of these exercises on the list and then go back and do two more sets (a total of 3 sets):

Weight Routine #1 - Triceps, Back, Forearms & Core (3 Sets)

ExerciseRepsWeight
Crunches on Exercise Ball30NA
Lat Pulldown - machine15130 lbs
Tricep Pulldown - machine1570 to 80 lbs
Seated Row - machine1595
Forearm Curls - barbells1590
Torso Rotation - machine15110
Side Crunches - back hyperextension thingy15NA

Weight Routine #2 - Chest, biceps, shoulders, core and traps (3 sets)

ExerciseRepsWeight
Chest Press - machine15130lbs
Bicep Curl - machine1595 to 105 lbs
Shoulder Press - machine1565 lbs
Incline Press - dumbells at 45 degrees1545 lbs
Shoulder Shrugs - dumbbells1595 lbs/arm
Chest Flies - dumbbells1550 lbs/arm
Roman Chair20 raisesNA

Just now, after I began writing this article, I got excited about working out, and so I went to the gymn, did my schtick and just got home.  I like the feeling of having the power and peace in my bones and muscles after I workout. I did routine #1. I realized while I was there, that there are few other details that I always follow with the above routines.

My rules for myself:

  1. Before each exercise, I take 10 DEEP breaths. These are not the kind of breaths that your brain tells you about. These are the deep breaths that your lungs and body need. If while taking one of these breaths, I feel a little faint or winded, I am breathing way too fast. Let your lungs tell you how long your breaths need to be. Turn your brain off.  Be nice to yourself – you only get one body per person.
  2. After doing each exercize, I immediately walk to the next station on the circuit. There, I take the above breaths before the next thing I do.
  3. If I need to stop in the middle of a set of weights for any reason, that means I add one extra repetition to that set of weights, for each hesitation.  No exceptions. You need to have firm, but supporting  rules for yourself.

I am feeling good now. How about you? Are you getting any exercise? As a reminder, I am not talking about making any changes. I have some weight to lose also.  The above routines are what I really do, at least four times per week. Take a look at what you do. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in their publication “Dietary Guidelines for Americans -2005″, recommends that you need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily (that means 7 days),  beyond what is part of your normal daily routines (driving, walking around at work,  housework, brushing your teeth, etc..).

Don’t change anything yet. Why? Because, when you start making daily changes based upon things you hear or read or listen to (including this and my other articles in this series), you make half-hearted changes that don’t last.  New Years resolutions are the perfect example of empty promises.  Listen to the whole story and make small and lasting changes. Next time I will talk to you about making changes.

Source – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors Among Selected Local Areas—United States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 53, No SS-05. http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/.

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Sunday, January 24th, 2010 at 20:38 • aerobic, anerobic, exercise, fitnessRSS 2.0 feed • leave a response or trackback

8 Responses to “Fat Loss Basics – Your Activity Level”

  1. Steph says:

    Wow! Looking at your workout really underlines for me that I need to ramp up my intensity.
    I’m 43, 6′4″ and about 215 pounds. I have a bum shoulder, but I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I do tons of cardio 5 days per week, but compare a couple of my strength trainng numbers to yours!
    shrugs 3 sets of 10 HIIT at just 15 pounds! You’re doing 95 pounds!
    dumbell curls 3 sets of 10 HIIT at 25 pounds! You’re doing 50+ pounds…
    Wow, I think I’m either really weak or I’m doing something wrong…

  2. Frank Dobner says:

    hey Steph.

    Thanks for writing. I weigh about the same as you do, but am 6″ shorter than you. This tells me that you are pretty trim. It is all about getting definition for me. If you are training for strength, weight counts. My guess you are trying to get toned?

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