Getting in Shape
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How to make the most out of the gym?

Hello!  This is my first post on this board though I've been reading posts for a while - all the success stories and advice are helpful and inspiring! 

I have a gym membership and go on a regular basis but find that I generally end up spending about 1.5 hours there.  I often don't have that much time in my schedule and wondered if people have suggestions about how to get the most out of a shorter time period?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I have set a personal training session for September to get more feedback and ideas but would love ideas in the meantime. 

Thanks in Advance!

Heather

Re: How to make the most out of the gym?

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    If you're looking for efficiency, I recomend lifting heavy, with compound movements that involve multiple muscle groups.  When I'm in a hurry, I can be in and out of the gym in about 30 minutes.  All I really do on those days is squats.

    A quick, simple and very effective squat routine is something I call "8's."  It's 3 sets of squats at 3 progressively increasing weights, for 8 reps each.  If you want, you can do 2 additional sets of the last weight.  That will kick your butt.

    The weight should be heavy enough that you feel like you can barely finish the last set.  For better results, watch the clock and give yourself only 2-3 minutes of rest between sets.  The last set should be 70%-80% of your 1 rep max.  The first 2-3 reps should feel easy, then by 4 you're wondering if you can make it.  5 makes you worry, 6 makes you question the wisdom of trying.  7 is a conversation between you and God, and by 8 you feel you might as well finish.
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    are you looking to lose weight? if so, a significant amount?

    or are you looking to get toned?

    I think that will help to determine how to make the most out of the gym...

            As for me, i'm looking to do both lose and tone... I can give myself 45 minutes at the gym during the week and that is where i do my cardio.
            I typically burn 600 calories on the treadmill or elliptical (depending on the day of the week) And at night, i do my strength training...plus another 20 minutes or so of "warm-up" cardio. Also remember to switch each day between Upper and LOwer body for proper rest.
            To tone, you still want to push yourself with weights... but you don't want to "overlift" then you'll just get bulky... I do 3 sets of 12... and I'm struggling the last 2 reps or so... which is what you want... i don't max out on anything... 
             I used to find the gym or just running on a treadmill completely boring, but I feel SO GOOD after a workout and I know that I'm going to see results!! Motivation is key... plus a good play list! :)

    HTH!!!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_out-of-gym?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:44149a05-9f98-4206-b209-cfdcb080ba13Post:1dbb0e44-ef3b-410a-9394-e41ebb66b5a9">Re: How to make the most out of the gym?</a>:
    [QUOTE]To tone, you still want to push yourself with weights...<strong> but you don't want to "overlift" then you'll just get bulky</strong>... I do 3 sets of 12... and I'm struggling the last 2 reps or so... which is what you want...
    Posted by MacFreitas7[/QUOTE]

    This is a myth. Women do not produce enough testosterone to get "bulky." Bodybuilding builds bulky muscles. Strength training increases strength. They're different. You need to get stronger in order to burn calories more efficiently at a resting rate. The cardio just helps burn fat faster and reveal those nice, lean muscles.

    It's almost impossible to over life. I was reading about the 5x5 program that Raynes referenced earlier. The goal of the program is to deadlift, squat and press 1 times your body weigh (so 150lbs for someone who weighs 150lbs), then 1.5 times your body weight (so 225lbs for someone who weighs 150lbs). Women can do this. They do not look like body builders. Google images of female crossfit trainers. They just look fit and lean.
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    If you want to burn fat do HITT traning High Intensity Interval Traning. I run/jog on the treadmill for about 20 minutes in the morning. I do one minute intervals of jogging then one minute of running or sprinting. You can do the same thing on the elliptical or bike.

    I also do whatever strength routine my trainer gave me for that week. We alternate weeks with arms and legs - so basically I stay with the same routine for 2 weeks and alternate days. MWF - arms Tues/Thurs/Sat - legs.
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    Bryce, what are you already doing at the gym? If that 90 minutes includes both strength and cardio, I'd just break them into different days. If you aren't training for a long run, do HIIT - intervals of jogging vs. intervals of sprinting, for 15 minutes or so.
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    Thank you all for your help - I will try some of the suggestions - I need to learn more about heavy lifting before starting as I don't have info about form, etc.  I'm looking to loose about 10 lbs and tone up - I have about 9 months to do it.  Currently I am doing both cardio and strength training when I go to the gym, but I will try to switch it up more.  Thanks!
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