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Exercise & Fitness: Summer Bodies (TBD)

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Kind of hit the nail on the head there.  Any exercise you choose to judge others on is going to be 100% subjective.

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On 7/17/2019 at 8:46 AM, baxus said:

What does being fit truly mean to you?

I you asked me whether I thought someone was fit or not I'd generally just think in terms of cardiovascular fitness. You can be pretty strong while being what I'd consider fairly unfit and I know a few people who that would apply to. That's not say being strong or flexible aren't things to aim for but I'd consider someone who could run a marathon (or a comparable feat of endurance for people who have problems with running) while not being strong or flexible fit but the same isn't true of just being strong or just flexible. :dunno:

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In terms of outliving others, exercising with weights seems to be the ticket. Cardio does nothing but give a better looking corpse.

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My benchmark for fitness is way lower than the rest of you it seems. A

though i would probably give a wishy washy answer if im honest and say “depends.” Depends on who i’m being asked about. Is that runner fit? I’m more likely to set some kind of benchmark like say can they do a 10k in decent time? But asking about the general population? Many of whom dont have the time to dedicate to training or dont enjoy a given sport? I’m more likely to set some kind of generic “are they eating a varied diet, in a healthy weight range, and can they be moderately active for say 30 minutes without exhausting themselves.” 

(Even training almost everyday, i could never run a 10k btw. And i think that when i was a gymnast i was very fit, but that is not a sport which lends itself to making distance runners)

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@aceluby the gym I use in my condo building only has a Smith machine, dumbbells up to 50lbs and some isolation machines that I hardly use.  I manage a pretty good workout routine with just the Smith machine and dumbbells.  As much as I dislike the Smith machine, it would be too limiting to omit heavy weights.  Squats, deadlifts, bench press, barbell row, shoulder press and pull-ups would be a good foundation for gaining muscle mass.

@baxus I would set a lower bar for general fitness: if someone can undertake an unfamiliar effort at moderate strain for a sustained period (more than one hour, possibly several) then they are generally fit.  I guess this would require some base level of cardio stamina, movement flexibility and strength that I don’t want to define too precisely.  And I would point to lean mass %, bone density, range of motion and VO2 max lung capacity as biological measurements.  I had greater cardio capacity during my many years playing soccer, but I still think I’m pretty fit now despite doing mainly weight lifting for the past four years.  Whatever occasional cardio I include still doesn’t feel too onerous (weightlifting is like HIIT).  And my new form of exercise will improve my muscle mass and bone density before aging takes them away.

I’m traveling this week and next for vacation in Ireland and Scotland.  I got good workouts on Saturday and Sunday before we left.  I just improvised good workouts yesterday and today at our hotel in Edinburgh.  But from tomorrow we’ll be back at my parents’ house in Ireland for the next several days with no access to a gym.  I plan to do squats with my son on my back and then do a lot of push-ups.  It will just have to be enough until we get back to Chicago.

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18 hours ago, Scott_N said:

Swimming is a terrible example because I suck at it. ;)

Everyone who doesn't swim at least somewhat regularly sucks at it.

Back in my college days, college students had some timeslots at the local pool and I went at least once a week, often twice a week. Once I went with some of my rower friends to the swimming pool. At the time we were training regularly, rowing, lifting weights and/or running 3-4 times a week, ran 1h45min-1h50min half-marathons rather easily etc. We all were, or at least seemed, rather fit. Anyway, first time we went I was 5 minutes late to get to the side of the pool and all but one of them were hanging for dear life at pool's edge. That one guy was swimming just fine because he used to train water polo for years so that left a mark.

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On 7/17/2019 at 4:18 PM, baxus said:

Yeah, I used to row on water a fair bit. It can be tricky at times but you get the hang of it rather quickly. Never made it to competing level, never even tried to get there. Doing that's very physically demanding and EXTREMELY time consuming so I rather quickly got to the conclusion it's not for me. :lol:

Eights are most fun to row and least fun are single-sculls, in my opinion. Of course, it's not a fact but a personal preference so other people are welcome disagree.

I’ve never tried it, a friend of mine was trying to convince me to try it and join her rowing club a few years ago but it was just one of those things I never did

I’ve not long been back from a run in the rain, it was really refreshing although a bit cold!.

Got my hen party tonight so don’t think I will be getting much exercise in over the weekend!, I’m slightly worried about drinking lots to be honest, my alcohol consumption has been pretty close to zero since having a baby 18 months ago (and obviously during being pregnant too) I will probably only manage about 3 glasses of wine!.

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On 7/17/2019 at 7:25 AM, Leap said:

Today is my third day of running on the trot, which I rarely do. I am trying to get my weekly mileage up to about 40km before I start really looking at some speed training, so I'll probably have to do both tomorrow and Thurs as well if I want to get near. I do reckon sub-20 5k is possible by the end of the year if I get stuck in. 

However, I am kinda frustrated by the body gains (or lack thereof). My upper chest is getting pretty toned by the press ups I've been doing, but although I've really slimmed down, I can't seem to get that flat stomach. My diet is pretty appalling (it's 90% bread) but calorie-wise I can't be going over. Might be a case of my skin needing to tighten up a bit, although I wasn't that overweight in the first place - in any case, I will have to try eating something that isn't just a sandwich for tea Mon-Thurs. 

Good luck with the sub-20/5km! Getting to the shape where you can sustain sub-4min kms is bloody hard work. For me at least it feel like there's a huge gap between running 4:05-4:10s and 4:00s. My advice is to up kms slowly to reduce injury risk, and don't get discouraged with slow progress. Takes me a couple months of disciplined higher mileage + speed work to really see the gains.

I would hesitiate to cut carbs too much while endurance training, but throwing some more protein into the mix isn't the worst idea. You'll probably tone a little with the increase in kms. But as others have said diet seems more key for most people.

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Posted (edited)

There's a lot of gym etiquette stuff that I'm empathetic to for newbies, but there's one that I just cannot forgive even if I think the person is at the gym for the first time. 

It's when someone picks up some dumbells at the dumbell rack and just start doing a set six inches away from the rack effectively blocking the rest of the rack.  Mind-blowing.  

Edited by Triskele

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6 hours ago, Triskele said:

There's a lot of gym etiquette stuff that I'm empathetic to for newbies, but there's one that I just cannot forgive even if I think the person is at the gym for the first time. 

It's when someone picks up some dumbells at the dumbell rack and just start doing a set six inches away from the rack effectively blocking the rest of the rack.  Mind-blowing.  

There are people in my gym who set up floor exercises (like crunches) immediately in front of the dumbbell rack or cable machine, and others who use the Smith machine for push-ups.  The selfishness/inconsideration of some people is staggering.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't been to a gym in a long time. But back when I used to go, the big no-no was the people who would sweat on the equipment/machinery, then just walk away without wiping it down with the cleaning wipes placed around the gym.

 

Inspired by a few other posters( @Theda Baratheon@Starkess) in the last few pages, I've also started to run again.

That first run after such a long break is a bitch and a half though. The first time I only made it a little over a quarter mile before walking/slow jogging the rest of the way. After 1 day for the soreness in my legs to go away I did it again and made it half a mile before finishing walking/jogging. Day after next I'm hoping to make it to 3/4th of a mile before slowing down.

Should get back to a 12 minute mile and a half in about a month.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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6 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

I haven't been to a gym in a long time. But back when I used to go, the big no-no was the people who would sweat on the equipment/machinery, then just walk away without wiping it down with the cleaning wipes placed around the gym.

 

Inspired by a few other posters( @Theda Baratheon@Starkess) in the last few pages, I've also started to run again.

That first run after such a long break is a bitch and a half though. The first time I only made it a little over a quarter mile before walking/slow jogging the rest of the way. After 1 day for the soreness in my legs to go away I did it again and made it half a mile before finishing walking/jogging. Day after next I'm hoping to make it to 3/4th of a mile before slowing down.

Should get back to a 12 minute mile and a half in about a month.

That’s so awesome - so happy for you. I haven’t done it as much a if have liked but I am so much fitter already, have some niceness muscles in my legs, feel more comfortable in my body, can run a lot further and faster and running club is a fun social thing to do for me. 

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Just smashed out a 12.5km run, which puts a bright spot at the end of an otherwise terrible weekend. This was my longest run since the half a month ago, and I have already forgotten the dos and don'ts of summer running (e.g. don't forget about the chafing, do not forget about the chafing). 

Anyway, as I mentioned in a previous post it was about time I went after a new 10k PB. Today I did that in 46:05 - which is over a minute faster than my previous best time, and more importantly is faster than the incorrect time that Strava was counting as my PB. That has been annoying me for months. Still think my 10k is a bit slow compared to my 5k, but we'll see where I am by the end of the year.

On 7/20/2019 at 3:23 AM, Impmk2 said:

Good luck with the sub-20/5km! Getting to the shape where you can sustain sub-4min kms is bloody hard work. For me at least it feel like there's a huge gap between running 4:05-4:10s and 4:00s. My advice is to up kms slowly to reduce injury risk, and don't get discouraged with slow progress. Takes me a couple months of disciplined higher mileage + speed work to really see the gains.

I would hesitiate to cut carbs too much while endurance training, but throwing some more protein into the mix isn't the worst idea. You'll probably tone a little with the increase in kms. But as others have said diet seems more key for most people.

Thanks! 

Yeah, the few sub-4:00 KMs I've run are always at the end of my 5k, and there's a not insignificant stretch of downhill in there if I'm honest. This week I hit 33.5km, which is not really as high as I'd like. The plan as it stands is to average 40km/week from August, and I'm just thinking about the sort of speed training I want to work into that. Any advice on good speed sessions?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Leap said:

Thanks! 

Yeah, the few sub-4:00 KMs I've run are always at the end of my 5k, and there's a not insignificant stretch of downhill in there if I'm honest. This week I hit 33.5km, which is not really as high as I'd like. The plan as it stands is to average 40km/week from August, and I'm just thinking about the sort of speed training I want to work into that. Any advice on good speed sessions?

Sure. Caveat: I have never trained specifically for a 5k. But if I were to train for a 5k I would be doing a mix of tempo / longer interval runs to work threshold and endurance, as well as shorter interval (200-800m) or hill sessions to really push strength and VO2max.

Threshold / endurance:

- 30min tempo (ie little slower than 10k pace (+10/sec per km)).
- 6x 1600m at tempo pace, 1min recovery.
- 4-5x 1600m at 10k pace, 3min recovery (prob my favorite workout).

Avoid the temptation to race these, especially on the last interval. They shouldn't hurt too much but should make you work.

 

VO2max (these should hurt):

- 10x 1min on 1min off, 3k pace (easyish session to get into things).
- 5x 2mins on 1min off, 3k pace.

- 15x 200m at 3k-5k pace, 200m rolling recovery at a brisk pace (I go 4:50-5min/k for recovery, aim is to teach your body to clear lactate efficiently while still working).
- 8x 400m at 3k-5k pace, 45sec recovery.
- 6x 800m at just faster than current 5k pace, 1:40 recovery.

Pyramid - 2x200, 2x400, 2x800, 2x400, 2x200 at just faster than 5k pace, 1min recovery.

 

I like to mix things up to keep them interesting. Good rule of thumb is to include an active (jogging) recovery period between intervals of about 50% of the interval duration, but you can play with that to make the session harder or easier as needed. And if you can't run the last interval as fast as the first you've gone too hard. 

I normally add a 1-2k warm up / cool down period of very light running.

Edited by Impmk2

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Posted (edited)
On 7/18/2019 at 9:07 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

(Even training almost everyday, i could never run a 10k btw. And i think that when i was a gymnast i was very fit, but that is not a sport which lends itself to making distance runners)

you certainly could get there with running 3 times per week unless you have a serious health risk/problem (cardiac, respiratory or orthopaedic). Endurance sports on a low level (i.e. running 10k in one hour) only requires patience and perseverance (admittedly sometimes a lot of both depending on the point of departure).

Edited by Jo498

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On 7/21/2019 at 12:56 PM, Leap said:

1) Just smashed out a 12.5km run, which puts a bright spot at the end of an otherwise terrible weekend. This was my longest run since the half a month ago,

2) Yeah, the few sub-4:00 KMs I've run are always at the end of my 5k, and there's a not insignificant stretch of downhill in there if I'm honest. 

1) Nice

2) So do you have a kind of loop you run around? I've never decided which I like better. Nice scenic long routes. Or 0.25 mile tracks. I guess they both have their pros and cons.

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On 7/22/2019 at 3:02 AM, Impmk2 said:

snip

These are great - thank you so much. I will give them a try (just as soon as it's not somehow 38 degrees here in London).

1 hour ago, A True Kaniggit said:

1) Nice

2) So do you have a kind of loop you run around? I've never decided which I like better. Nice scenic long routes. Or 0.25 mile tracks. I guess they both have their pros and cons.

Thanks! 

I have two loops that I do regularly - 5k and 5 miles. They're not really scenic because this is London, and I'm not in a particularly nice corner of it. In the past I've used a local rec as a track (well, as a short loop that I'd repeat), but I just got so bored of how flat it was, even though there were no cars or roads to cross. I'd love to find an actual track if only so I'd have somewhere to run miles and/or speed training - definitely pros and cons to both options. I do kind of miss running in Yorkshire though, where I could get out into the countryside just as part of my run. Not to mention there was never any doubt about whether I'd be doing a hill day.

Last night was the 5k loop, I usually do 5 miles on a Tuesday but it's just been way too hot. I ended up doing it in about 21:50, so probably still in my top 5 best 5ks. It's meant to cool down on Friday so I might just give today and tomorrow a miss and come back to it then.

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7 hours ago, Leap said:

These are great - thank you so much. I will give them a try (just as soon as it's not somehow 38 degrees here in London).

Thanks! 

I have two loops that I do regularly - 5k and 5 miles. They're not really scenic because this is London, and I'm not in a particularly nice corner of it. In the past I've used a local rec as a track (well, as a short loop that I'd repeat), but I just got so bored of how flat it was, even though there were no cars or roads to cross. I'd love to find an actual track if only so I'd have somewhere to run miles and/or speed training - definitely pros and cons to both options. I do kind of miss running in Yorkshire though, where I could get out into the countryside just as part of my run. Not to mention there was never any doubt about whether I'd be doing a hill day.

Last night was the 5k loop, I usually do 5 miles on a Tuesday but it's just been way too hot. I ended up doing it in about 21:50, so probably still in my top 5 best 5ks. It's meant to cool down on Friday so I might just give today and tomorrow a miss and come back to it then.

Interesting as I was coming here to ask how people who do outdoor stuff like running find themselves coping in the hot weather. Obviously doable but for people who just run casually or infrequently...what's the best way to cope?

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1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Interesting as I was coming here to ask how people who do outdoor stuff like running find themselves coping in the hot weather. Obviously doable but for people who just run casually or infrequently...what's the best way to cope?

Aha, well you can see my method is to chicken out when it gets really hot (30+). <_<

More broadly though, my strategy changed from Winter > Summer - in Winter I always get up and run before work. It sucks for about 10 minutes but it's worth getting it out of the way. In Summer I run late at night, no earlier than 9 and sometimes as late as 10 when the sun is actually down. Even then it's been super warm here lately, so best you can really do beyond that is the obvious - drink lots of water. If there's a secret trick to coping beyond that though, I still haven't found it

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2 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Interesting as I was coming here to ask how people who do outdoor stuff like running find themselves coping in the hot weather. Obviously doable but for people who just run casually or infrequently...what's the best way to cope?

I don't train hard over summer and mostly run super early, like 5am, before the sun is up. And take it pretty easy on hot days.

If I'm stuck and can't go early I'll go for a light run in up to about 35C trying to stick to shady routes. But I'm in Adelaide, so pretty much 0 humidity, and wouldn't try 32+ unless pretty fit already and well acclimatised.

Also an air conditioned building or cold shower or something to recover in makes a huge difference.

 

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