Weightlifting & Exercise/Just getting started

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QUESTION: Hi!

I'm just getting started and I don't want to blow myself out right off the bat.  But if I can loose a few pounds between now and mid-July that'd be awesome.

I'm roughly 6'1" about 280lbs.  I have a very sedentary job.  And due to my wife having a huge health crisis from 2000 that continues on my life style is not what it used to be for the past 14 years.  My diet isn't horrible.  I don't over do any one food but I do have a tendency to snack at work to compensate for being bored and moderately depressed. Other than that not a whole lot of greasy food and 80% of what I eat is baked.

My doc and I have gotten my border line high blood pressure down.  Last reading on Tue. 5/13 was 118/74.  I had a pain attach that sent me to the hospital two weeks prior and all my labs where green so was my heart perfect.

SO .. I'm ready to do this.  The company I work for just finished a fitness center in the building they took over.  Bunch of ellipticals, tread mills some kind of bike thing and a few free weights. I attached a photo.

I'd like get myself back down to my running back size and away from my defensive end size.  I got crazy clothes I can wear if I do!  I just need a plan!  And at 47 I know I'm going to hurt a little bit.  I'm no stranger to icy-hot.  If I have something to stick to that will get me results I'll keep on it!

I tried doing this a year ago and got discouraged after a month cause I didn't really see anything coming off.  I was walking close to four miles a day and a really healthy clip.

I hope you can help!

ANSWER: Dave,

Congratulations on taking a proactive stance on your health. Ok first get clearance from your physician, as you want to be safe. Next you right, we need to go slowly so start by doing some brisk walking for 15 minutes (including warm-up and cool-down). Next be sure to stretch your hamstrings primarily, but also your quadriceps. Also you really want to stretch the shoulders in all directions and the triceps a these are the typical problem areas fro soreness. For the first week (assuming 3 times a week) on opposite day do weights for all body parts (machines are ok) and really blast the big muscles (Legs,Back,Chest) but go easy on shoulders as you don't want to injure your rotator cuff. Find a weight you can do 8 reps with and where you are struggling on the 8th rep, for all body parts, and use this for your sets of eight. But not on the first week, just do higher (10 reps) with a lighter weight to get your body ready the workouts to come. If you experience any pain stop and move on. On the days you are not lifting do some sort of cardio (bike, walk around the block) for about 30 minutes, always cool down for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10. Eat more healthy, watch the carbs as they get stored as triglycerides in the blood. Try to eat veggies and crest fruit, cereal etc. Keep me posted and we can make changes as you progress. Best of luck Dave.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm having a rough go with it.  I'm trying.  For now I'm trying to stick mainly to the cardio.  I'm just a bit apprehensive being alone doing this.  After a few weeks of walking the tread mill at some good speed I felt I would try the elliptical.  Perhaps not a good idea.  I don't know if it was me or just being out of condition. I set that at level 1 for 10 minutes, I figure I could do ten minutes.  Ha, I lasted a whole 3 and some.  My chest felt so tight and I know my heart was pounding pretty good since the heartbeat gizmo on the device said 157 and it was fairly close from taking it manually.  And then here comes the anxiety/panic feelings.  Took me 90 minutes to get home for a simple 20 minute drive cause I had to pull over and calm myself down. =(  I want this so bad and I'm trying to tell myself nothing is going to happen to me but I over psych myself out and there it goes again. =((  I've been really slacking the last two weeks wife has had a slue of Dr. appointment early in the AM and that cuts into my sleep and then this week I'm covering for the 3rd shift guy who's on holiday so my work schedule is wonky.  Some night I'm done at 11:30pm and then some 1am.  Next week hopefully going to start walking again.  I need better tennis shoes.  When I start walking fast and on an incline the front left of center on my left foot where the foot an ankle starts to hurt.  The right foot not so much.  I probably need something with some more shock absorption better socks wouldn't hurt either.  $$ is the problem.

Answer
Hi Dave,
Sorry to hear your wife has had some health concerns as of late, and good job on staying positive and not giving up. If the doctor has ruled you are safe to exercise and that your heart is ok, keep on training. So it seems from the symptoms you described that you are under a lot of stress and your body is mentally tired (and probably physically exhausted) as you need to get adequate sleep or your body is going to be all out of wack as you are seeing now. the good news Dave is exercise is a great way to relieve stress and as for the elliptical, those are tough machines and you can usually adjust the stride on those. Make sure you do other wise if you have the stride to short its like trying to walk through a long corridor with the roof 4 feet high, you need the muscles to go through the whole range of motion. I have done my share of 3rd shift work and it wrecks havoc on the body, it critical to get your rest and you probably don't even want to feel like working out after being up all night. Here is where you can do some quick 15 min. exercise bursts and still reap the results of a long workout as it is the intensity that matters not the duration for getting healthy and in shape. Now for shoes, you want a good cross trainer that has good support not a tennis shoe. The sox in my experience are inconsequential unless you really are doing a lot or running where the foot is taking a pounding. You should go with the walking program you mentioned (make it brisk walking and try to include hills)and try to get some weight training in as well. I hope this works for you and that your wife is feeling better, take care and stay well.

Greg

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Greg Hoppe

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I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.

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I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

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B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

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