PDA

View Full Version : Any Exercise Freaks?



FutureRedsGM
01-22-2007, 09:57 AM
I am once again looking for the collective expertise of this board:

So I bought a scale last night that also meaasures body fat (big mistake). I'm 31 yrs old, 5' 10" tall, and weigh 209. My body fat percentage was 28%!!!!

Needless to say, I am now very motivated to get something done about this belly! My questions are:

My only time to goto the gym is after work. Is it best to go before or after dinner?

Does anyone know of a good website that will can give persoalized exercise programs? For example, I want to lower my body fat and work on core strength and flexibility for my golf game.

Tommyjohn25
01-22-2007, 10:03 AM
Not really sure about the website info, but I can tell you that it is generally better to eat after you work out. The catch is you have to eat something relatively healthy, high in protein, low in fat. Your body absorbs the most nutrients within about a fifteen minute window of when you stop exercising, so make it count! If you must eat before you work out, try to make it something with a fair amount of carbs for energy, but still low in saturated fat.

919191
01-22-2007, 02:20 PM
TJ has good advice, but you might get a better workout if you eat a bit before you work out- a banana or Power Bar or a gel or something- if you work out after work your blood sugar level could be low, depleting you of some energy. Just don't keep a Power Bar in the cold- years ago I was running a race on a winter Saturdy morning. It was an hour out of town so I put my stuff in the car the night before, including the Power Bar. The cold made it as tough as leather and was almost uneatable.

guttle11
01-22-2007, 02:22 PM
Personally, I think all people who exercise are freaks.:D

michst
01-22-2007, 02:48 PM
It really doesn't matter when you work out. Sure some times may be slightly better, what matters most is that you work out when it is most convenient for you. For me, I like going to workout on the way home from work, once my butt touches a couch its harder for me to get up and out of the house. Pick a time that works best for you and stick with it.

A good reference for me is the abs diet from men's health. Basically is sensible plan that says eat a lot protein, stay away from processed starches, greens are good, and so are beans and legumes. Do a search on the internet. It also gives good full body workouts (you don't have to buy the book most of it is available on the internet). Exercise is very important but you really can't just exercise fat away - abs are made in the kitchen.

For me lifting weights for about 35 minutes then some cardio (20 minutes) and just eating sensible changed my body a lot. Choose an exercise you enjoy then there is more chance you will stick to it. Good luck.

link http://www.menshealth.com/cda/topicpage.do?site=MensHealth&channel=weight.loss&category=abs.diet

Johnny Footstool
01-22-2007, 03:15 PM
michst has some sound advice. You have to decide that working out is just as important as everything else you do. Don't tell yourself it's okay to skip a workout. Skipping a workout should be like skipping an employee evaluation with your boss -- you'd better have a very good excuse.

Dom Heffner
01-22-2007, 03:17 PM
Is it best to go before or after dinner?

For what you are trying to do, it's all a math problem, basically. Just create a caloric deficit by doing lots of cardio (40-45 minutes, 4-5 times a week).

If you are doing the work, that is the most important thing. Don't get caught up in what to do before and after, unless you are trying to put on mass, then it gets important to eat after you lift heavy weights.

I have been working out close to all my life, and I'd be happy to tell you what has worked for me and what hasn't.

The advice that 919191 gave is good- eat a small something like yogurt or a power bar, a banana, anything light that will keep your stomach quiet (It takes 45 minutes or so to get energy from something you eat, so I don't know how much fuel it is going to give you).

I like to eat a full meal after I workout or a supplement drink.

The most important thing for you right now is to sweat off some of the excess and then add some weights in to build some muscle, which will also help to burn more calories each day.

Just remember there is nothing more important than doing the work.

Dom Heffner
01-22-2007, 03:24 PM
Don't tell yourself it's okay to skip a workout.

This is terrific advice. Working out has to become like brushing your teeth.

I make a deal with myslef when I don't feel like working out: I try it for 10 minutes and then if I still don't feel like it, I can skip.

I've never skipped when I do this. By the time 10 minutes comes around, you'll be bursting with energy.

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 03:16 PM
For what you are trying to do, it's all a math problem, basically. Just create a caloric deficit

Totally agree.

Getting your diet in order is 90% of the battle. You can be a couch potato and still lose weight if you have a good handle on your nutritional needs and create a caloric deficit every day. OTOH, you can work out like a madman never lose that gut if you don't get your diet under control first.

If you think of your weight loss goals as a house, a nutrition plan is the foundation and the roof, while exercise selection is merely the furniture. If your foundation sucks and your roof leaks, it doesn't matter how nice your furniture is.


by doing lots of cardio (40-45 minutes, 4-5 times a week).

Totally disagree.

Resistance trainning is a MUCH more efficient way to burn calories because it raises your metabolism for an extended period of time versus an aerobic workout. Your metabolism will usually return to normal within a half-hour or so of completing a cardio session, but it will stay elevated for HOURS after resistance training. Plus, resistance training has the added benefit of building muscle, which will also increase your metabolism over the long-haul.

That said, my advice for novices is:
* Best time to workout: whatever time you are most likely to make a habit of
* Best exercise: whatever you enjoy (or hate the least if you don't like working out)

As long as a novice gym rat makes it in to the gym consistently, he/she will make impressive gains nio matter what exercise they choose.

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 03:33 PM
Does anyone know of a good website that will can give persoalized exercise programs? For example, I want to lower my body fat and work on core strength and flexibility for my golf game.

T-nation is a fantastic resource for learning about exercise and nutrition.

http://www.t-nation.com/index.do

However, a lot of the stuff on there requires a basic level of knowledge to understand.

Here is my favorite article on nutrition as it relates to gaining muscle / losing fat:

http://johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/masseating_1.htm
http://www.johnberardi.com/updates/july262002/na_masscalculator.htm

All of Berardi's articles are pretty good. If you want to read more, you can get them at http://johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/index.htm

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 03:44 PM
One last bit of advice and then I'll shut my piehole.

If you are REALLY serious about wanting to lose weight, start keeping a nutrition log. There is no easier way to see what you are doing right and where you are screwing up than to put it all on paper.

timmario66
01-23-2007, 03:44 PM
I do my workouts and watch TV shows on DVD. It's especially good with a serialized show because it gives you incentive to work out the next day. I've been working out to 24. I watched season 2 in a month due to working out for 45 minutes between cardio and lifting. That show makes you want to watch the next show ASAP because you want to know what happens next and that keeps you interested in working out. I'm getting ready to start season 3. My goal is too be all caught up by the time season 7 comes on.

Usually I alternate between long cardio and light lifting and a day of detailed lifting exercises while usually doing situps every day. One day I'll get rid of this belly.

Dom Heffner
01-23-2007, 03:58 PM
Resistance trainning is a MUCH more efficient way to burn calories because it raises your metabolism for an extended period of time versus an aerobic workout.

My belief is you will never lose weight by lifting it.

I know, I've tried. If I lift 6 days a week and don't do aerobic exercise, I still balloon out.

If I could lose weight without aerobics, I'd do it.

The only way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit and good luck doing that with resistance training.

beb30
01-23-2007, 04:11 PM
Easiest way to lose weight without excercise - low carb diet :)

Now with that said it makes me wonder how much you could lose by excercising with a low carb diet?

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 04:15 PM
My belief is you will never lose weight by lifting it.

I know, I've tried. If I lift 6 days a week and don't do aerobic exercise, I still balloon out.


Sounds to me like a dietary issue rather than an exercise issue.

As you have stated, all you have to do is create a caloric deficit. If your diet is dialed in right, you could lose weight without ever getting off your couch.

I almost never hit the cardio equipment at the gym and I still manage to shed fat, when that is my goal in the spring, just fine. On the flip side, I also manage to gain weight, when that is my goal in the fall/winter, just fine using the same workout plan. The only change I make is to my caloric intake (5000 calories in the fall/winter, 4000 in the spring, 4500 in the summer). Of course, all of this hinges on keeping a nutrition journal and actually knowing my caloric intake and expenditure on a daily basis. Without that, I probably would struggle to manipulate my body composition.

Dom Heffner
01-23-2007, 04:17 PM
Just to add- the meaning of the word aerobic is living or occurring only in the presence of oxygen. Anerobic means without oxygen. It takes oxygen to burn calories.

I wish I had a graph, but this is how my doctor explained it to me:

XX- anerobic activity
YY- Aerobic activity

You can be at the XX level through lifting weights. At this stage, you'll burn calories at 15-20% of your potential.

At the aerobic level, you'll burn calories at a much higher potential, but the only way you can get to it is, by definition, to take in more oxygen. You can take in much more oxygen by running or biking than you can resistance training.

The purpose of resistance training is to build muscle. The benefit of this is that your body will burn more calories while at rest than it would without the muscle.

It doesn't make sense that the act of resistance trianing will help you burn calories. You almost don't want it to because you are trying to build muscle.

The result of resistance is what helps you burn calories, but again, it can't do it anywhere nearly efficient as aerobic activity.

All that panting you do when you run? You're are taking in more oxygen, which is raising your heart rate and resulting in caloric loss.

No one breathes that hard when lifting weights. While you may get a somewhat elevated heart rate, it doesn't come close enough to help you in losing that belly.

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 04:19 PM
Now with that said it makes me wonder how much you could lose by excercising with a low carb diet?

I depends on how much you eat/burn. Ketosis doesn't get any more magical when you couple it with exercise. On the contrary, I have found that it ketogenic diets tend to sap my energy and have a negative effect on my exercise intensity.

However, as a short-term 'shock to the system' type of diet, they can be VERY effective.

Dom Heffner
01-23-2007, 04:20 PM
If your diet is dialed in right, you could lose weight without ever getting off your couch.


Actually, I would disagree with you here. Your metaboilism adjusts to the inactivity.

It;s hard to create a caloric deficit while being inactive.

You can't lose weight healthily without exercise. It just isn't possible.

If all you do is lower your caloric intake, your body burns through muscle as it is easier to break down than fat.

Sure, you step on the scale and you weigh less but it doesn't mean you lowered your body fat.

That isn't helping you- as I said before you need the muscle to help you burn calories at rest.

Dom Heffner
01-23-2007, 04:24 PM
However, as a short-term 'shock to the system' type of diet, they can be VERY effective.

The point isn't losing weioght, the point is losing and and keeping it off.

You can lose weight by getting the flu, cutting out fats, cutiing out carbs, or just starving yourself.

However, you can't keep it off by doing these things. You have to exercise.

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 04:28 PM
No one breathes that hard when lifting weights. While you may get a somewhat elevated heart rate, it doesn't come close enough to help you in losing that belly.

You have obviously never done a set of squats at 85% of your 1RM. Believe me, after a set of heavy squats or deadlifts, you will be gasping for breath and sweating like a pig.

Trust me, you absolutely can create a caloric deficit from just resistance training.

Steve4192
01-23-2007, 04:33 PM
Actually, I would disagree with you here. Your metaboilism adjusts to the inactivity.

It;s hard to create a caloric deficit while being inactive.

You can't lose weight healthily without exercise. It just isn't possible.


It is POSSIBLE, but you are absolutely right that it sure isn't advisable or comfortable to adjust your caloric intake below your BMR (which would be required in my hypothetical 'no exercise' diet). Regardless, I think we are getting hung up on splitting hairs and hijacking this thread.

Caveat Emperor
01-23-2007, 05:58 PM
By the time 10 minutes comes around, you'll be bursting with energy.

When I was in law school, I was working out on an average of 4-5 times per week, and I can safely say that I never felt "more" energy when actually at the gym or afterwards.

I always come home from the gym feeling awful and exhausted. I detest exercising and wokring out, I do it because I feel I have to. I envy anyone that gets the "runners high" and can walk out of a gym feeling great.

halcyon
01-23-2007, 11:17 PM
I'm mostly with Captain Hook here. I've done a few leg workouts that have left me gasping for air, dizzy and ready to puke. You can elevate your heart rate and oxygen intake quite a bit with a good hard workout.

Betterread
01-23-2007, 11:24 PM
When I was in law school, I was working out on an average of 4-5 times per week, and I can safely say that I never felt "more" energy when actually at the gym or afterwards.

I always come home from the gym feeling awful and exhausted. I detest exercising and wokring out, I do it because I feel I have to. I envy anyone that gets the "runners high" and can walk out of a gym feeling great.

After a good workout I feel exhausted, but I also feel good, like I'm full of (latent) energy, if that makes sense. But working out isn't always like that, and it takes discipline to concentrate when you are tired or unmotivated to work out.

SandyD
01-23-2007, 11:38 PM
I started a workout routine with a few weight machines, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Best way to control the diet for me is to eat more frequently, but smaller "meals." Snacking is good ... provided it's the right kind of snack.

I have lunch at 11am, and I work out right after work. There's a gym in my building. If I don't have a snack in the afternoon, it's too easy to skip the workout. Just don't have the energy. Peanut butter and graham crackers or something at about 3pm works pretty well.

I've heard at the gym that 10 minutes of aerobic exercise first thing in the morning can help speed up the metabolism. I wish I was organized enough to go to the gym in the AM before work. But leaving home at 5:15am, and dressing for work in the locker room ... it's all just too much for me.

SandyD
01-23-2007, 11:48 PM
After a good workout I feel exhausted, but I also feel good, like I'm full of (latent) energy, if that makes sense. But working out isn't always like that, and it takes discipline to concentrate when you are tired or unmotivated to work out.

And to pace yourself during your workouts so you don't overdo. If you plan on working out 4-5 times a week, you don't want to work to fatigue every time. Slow steady progress is the key.

Also, you will need to mix it up or you will become bored and stop going. Have a routine, sure, but make sure you have variety. Group exercise can also help keep you motivated. Having an exercise partner can too.

Good luck.

Dom Heffner
01-24-2007, 12:03 AM
You can elevate your heart rate and oxygen intake quite a bit with a good hard workout.

If you are getting winded doing weights, you are out of shape, not elevating your heart rate to the point of creating a caloric deficit.

Wear a heart rate monitor and see if your heart rate reaches its target for 45 minutes all the way through a weight lifting routine. I'll bet you my life's savings it doesn't get anywhere near where it needs to be.

I don't want to be niddly piddly about it, but someone is asking for advice and I would never tell someone that lifting weights will make them burn fat.

Follow the weights only advice and you'll have a great set of arms, chest, legs, and a belly.

919191
01-24-2007, 12:57 AM
It's really best to do both. Here's my story, FWIW. Before age started creeping in and the knees started to go, I used to run alot. 60 miles a week. A 20 miler once a week. I ran for years. I lifted weights for about 2 years. It was then I had the lowest body fat %. I stopped the weights, and a bit of fat came back. I believe the Captain is correct- the body burns calories during the anabolic stages during sleep due to the breakdown of muscle fiber during the catabolic stage of lifting. Diet is the top thing, though. The reason runners are so lean is because they have to eat a certain way to perform at their level, and that diet tends to be high in complex carbs and really low in fat. Protein isn't considered too important, unless thinking has changed- I haven't run seriously for a while now.

I think we just pushed FutureRedsGM into the Olympic trials!:)

SandyD
01-24-2007, 08:14 AM
I think we just pushed FutureRedsGM into the Olympic trials!:)

Go for it! :D

I agree that it's best to do both. And you don't have to have an incredibly grueling routine to accomplish what you want. Be sure to include an activity you enjoy. Like swimming, cycling, running, racquetball or something.

michst
01-24-2007, 11:13 AM
In any case 90% of any weight loss has to do your diet. Whatever you are eating now, is the major cause of that gut. You can do all the cardio or weights in the world but until you get your diet under control you will not lose weight and keep it off. Keep in mind just one big mac is 500 calories which is about what an hour of cardio will burn off. You also can't go half butt about it either. It is a lifestyle change, you have to make a complete effort.

Not to stoke the fire of cardio vs weights (I believe to do both) but I do not believe cardio only is the way to go. In fact if you had to choose one, weights would definitely be the way I would go (and did for long time).

Its all about getting more bang for your buck. While cardio is probably better for you heart (by raising your heart rate) it isn't necessarily better at losing weight.

Lifting weights for an hour moderately burns about 350 calories. Cycling for an hour burns about 550 calories. Running about 600 calories. These are not absolute (different websites say different and each individual is different). You burn calories whatever you do, jogging burns the most in that hour but that is not the whole story.

The more muscle mass you have the higher your metabolic rate is throughout the day. Meaning that while you may burn more calories during your eliptical session, in the end the increase in muscle mass from weightlifting will cause you to burn more calories throughout the day. So you would probably burn pretty much the same amount of calories. Weightlifting also helps strengthen bones, connective tissue and muscles.

Everyone has a different approach and find what works for them. Some people swear by cardio because it worked for them and they enjoy cardio. Some swear by weights. I went from a mushy 5'9 190 lbs with over 20% BF to about 175 with about 10% all with diet and weights (in about a year). I did not want to just lose 25 lbs and end up looking skinny and wimpy. I wanted to gain muscle mass, so that is why I chose weights. I've become quite obsessive and want the entire fitness model stomach (people tell me I'm entirely crazy, but theres something about turning 40) so I had to resort to adding 30 minutes of cardio because that last few lbs. would not come off.

No one approach is right but they all involve one thing. A plan on both your diet and your exercise. Starting out pretty much any diet or any exercise plan will work for you as long as you stick to it. Keep a journal, take before pictures and progress pictures. You will be appalled with your before picture but once you start losing it is great to look back and see the difference. Once you reach a plateu you will then need to tweek what you are doing.

FutureRedsGM
01-24-2007, 11:32 AM
I cannot express how grateful I am for all these suggestions. I knew that you all would come through (you always do). To use a college analogy, it looks like I need to major in weights and minor in cardio to achieve my goals. And, of course, all of this comes with a major diet change. This future lean guy says THANKS!!!!

Dom Heffner
01-24-2007, 12:44 PM
Lifting weights for an hour moderately burns about 350 calories. Cycling for an hour burns about 550 calories. Running about 600 calories.

For a 190 lb male, running for an hour at 6 minutes will burn 863 calories. My guess is you will be able to run at a slightly higher pace, especially if you incorporated wind sprints.

If you can run that long at 7.5, it goes over 1000 calories.

Weight lifting at a moderate pace burns about 259 calories.

Sitting still burns about 91 calories.

The trick with losing weight is that to lose one pound, you have to burn 3500 calories over what you already do in a day.

Lifting weights burns three times more than sitting still- running burns over eight times that.

Over the course of a year, let's say you lift weights instead of running just three times a week (You should be doing both, though):

You'll burn 1800 more calories a week running than by weight lifting.

Subtract out of that the fact that you would have been sitting still had you not been exercising and you start to see my point.

Multiply the 1800 calories over a year and you get an increase of 93600 calories. Divide that by the 3500 we need to lose one lb and you get a loss of 26.74 pounds.

I realize there are other factors involved but you aren't going to come anywhere close to that by lifting weights.

I've seen studies that show you can burn 500 calories per hour lifting weights vigorously for an hour, but I've belonged to gyms over they years and most people aren't lifting that vigorously.

Most people wander around during sets or watch the tv or are talking to others.

Lifting at that pace is a nasty workout: it limits the amount of weight you can lift because you are expending your energy trying to keep pace, and it defeats the purpose of building muscle. The heavier weight you lift the bigger you get and if you are trying to do it vigorously you have to lower the weight. You are already working against yourself.

My advice is to do both, but if you are more worried about your gut than muscle, do aerobics.

Most people who stay thin and only lift weights would be that way if they didn't lift weights. If you are already bulging in the gut a bit, that tells me you need to do aerobics, not weight lifting where you are only exerting energy during sets, which take about what, 15 seconds?

halcyon
01-24-2007, 01:30 PM
michst was right on point. Simply put, lifting weights and gaining muscle mass will make it much easier on you in the future to keep the weight off. It'll also make your cardio sessions less stressful since your metabolism will be running at a faster rate.

Dom, if you're saying that anyone who is out of breath after a strong leg workout is out of shape...then I would counter that by saying that anyone who thinks they are "in shape" and doesn't get winded from a strong leg session isn't really lifting hard enough.

At any rate, I know plenty of folks who are very much in shape. A vigorous leg workout gets em all.

gonelong
01-24-2007, 02:04 PM
Caveats:
1) I have worked this routine with great success 3 or 4 times.
2) I have always had to go back to this routine because I didn't plan a maintenance program in advance. I am just starting back into this routine (after a layoff of 5 or 6 years and about 40 lbs) tonight. - I have a rough idea of how I'll maintain when I reach my goal this time, though I image it'll change some at it gets closer to reality.
3) Your diet is 75% of your success or failure

4 days a week ...

30+ minutes of aerobic activity at your target heart rate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_heart_rate#Target_Heart_Rate_.28THR.29) will burn some serious fat of your gut. Theory is that the first 20 minutes of activity at your THR burn your unstored energy, and all activity after that burned stored energy (beer-gut). If you do aerobic exercise for 20 minutes you are really shorting yourself. If you can get to 25, 30, 35+ ... thats when you really start to see exponetial results instead of incremental results.

Do some research on your THR to learn how to use it to maximize your workouts.

I have always lifted for 25 minutes directly after my aerobic workout. It keeps your THR in that range a bit longer and builds muscle which helps you burn fat all day long. I just alternated days between upper and lower body workouts, 2 a week for each.

I have also found that losing weight is somewhat of a slower process. Lifting helps me keep on task because you can see gains there week over week pretty easily. You see yourself adding 5-10 lbs of weight to your sets every so often and feel yourself getting stronger as you go. That early feedback/reward for going to the gym always helped me to keep going back.

Three of the best suggestions I have ever gotten about working out are the follwing ...
1) If you can find a dedicated workout partner, latch on. For 2 years or so my wife and I worked out together, it was awesome. Basically if one of us tried to talk the other into skipping a workout, it became the other person's sole responsiblity in life to make sure you both went. (That might have lasted forever if we didn't have a child and move all at the same time. We never "found the time" to find a new gym.)

2) "What are you saving it for?" Huh? I was working out with my brother one day and he asked me this. I didn't really know what he even meant. He had basically caught me half-assing a workout that day. When I really thought about it, why wasn't I going all out since I was already there? He and I both knew darn well I'd be on the couch for the rest of the evening, it's not like I had to save any energy for splitting a pile of wood later. Since then if I catch myself even thinking of half-assing a workout I'll ask myself that question.

3) The 10 minute rule Dom mentioned before. Thats just Golden. Once I am at the gym I love it. I'll often work out harder than I even expected to. My sole problem is getting to the gym in the first place. If I can get myself to work out for 10 minutes and I am already sweating, there is no way I am stopping and heading home at that point.

GL

Dom Heffner
01-24-2007, 02:38 PM
Dom, if you're saying that anyone who is out of breath after a strong leg workout is out of shape...then I would counter that by saying that anyone who thinks they are "in shape" and doesn't get winded from a strong leg session isn't really lifting hard enough.


I guess it is depending on the type of lifting you are doing. If you are bulking up- doing 3 sets of 6-8 reps with heavy weight- you just aren't going to get winded for a long period of time. I can squat several hundred pounds, and to be honest, I don't sweat that much. Same with extensions and leg presses.

The only time I get winded is if I am not in good aerobic shape.

If you are toning and doing drop sets (where you max out at 10-12 reps at a certain weight, then drop the weight by 10 lbs and max out, then drop it again by 10 lbs. and max out and then repeat this until your legs are screaming even lifitng 10 lbs., then I can see you getting winded.

But if you are getting winded doing weight training, I'd honestly say you aren't in good aerobic shape.

Weight lifting is not a cardiovascular exercise. It is anerobic, which means you are not using much oxygen.

I realize everyone is different but if you are lifting 4-6 times per week and still getting winded, then something isn't right.

Steve4192
01-24-2007, 02:55 PM
Weight lifting is not a cardiovascular exercise. It is anerobic, which means you are not using much oxygen.


Dom,

You might want to go back and re-evaluate your understanding of the term anaerobic. Yes, the term anerobic means 'without oxygen' in a literal sense, but you are missing the reason why.

"Anaerobic exercise is a short lasting, high intensity activity, where the demand for oxygen from the exercise exceeds the oxygen supply. Anaerobic exercise relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles and, unlike aerobic exercise, is not dependent on oxygen from (breathing) the air."

link: http://sparkpeople.com/resource/reference_anaerobic.asp

Anaerobic exercise is referred to as 'without air' because it requires more oxygen than your body can supply through normal cardiovascular means, not less. That it why it must be done in short intervals with recovery periods.

Darn near every sport on the planet is anaerobic in nature. You even mentioned mixing in windsprints, which are an anaerobic exercise. They all require air, they all burn calories, they will all make you sweat and get out of breath if you do them with intensity.

919191
01-25-2007, 12:40 AM
Dom,

You might want to go back and re-evaluate your understanding of the term anaerobic. Yes, the term anerobic means 'without oxygen' in a literal sense, but you are missing the reason why.

"Anaerobic exercise is a short lasting, high intensity activity, where the demand for oxygen from the exercise exceeds the oxygen supply. Anaerobic exercise relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles and, unlike aerobic exercise, is not dependent on oxygen from (breathing) the air."

link: http://sparkpeople.com/resource/reference_anaerobic.asp

Anaerobic exercise is referred to as 'without air' because it requires more oxygen than your body can supply through normal cardiovascular means, not less. That it why it must be done in short intervals with recovery periods.

Darn near every sport on the planet is anaerobic in nature. You even mentioned mixing in windsprints, which are an anaerobic exercise. They all require air, they all burn calories, they will all make you sweat and get out of breath if you do them with intensity.

Believe me- anaerobic workouts do "wind" you- if they didn't, they would probably be lacking in intensity. I used to run 1/2 mile and mile repeats hard, and sometimes I thought I was gonna pop. I recovered quicker from these runs, though. I think they actually burn a higher % of fat, too, but the total is less, as the actual stresss is shorter in duration.

Dom Heffner
01-25-2007, 12:52 AM
Cap'n, you are absolutely correct.

Thanks for the clarification. That's what I get for attempting to articulate a quick crash course.

However, my point remains:

Aerobic Exercise is essential for weight loss, cardio vascular fitness and body-shaping.

Anaerobic exercise is essential for strength building & muscle gain.

There aren't many fitness programs that indicate that anaerobic exercise is the way to go to slim down.

919191
01-25-2007, 01:22 AM
Wow- I forgot this was about weight loss. :doh: Guess since I never really battles thet demon it slipped on by.

HumnHilghtFreel
01-25-2007, 04:44 AM
Somewhat on topic.

I bought a Bowflex used from my uncle and so far it has been one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. It gives a variety of different exercizes to help stunt any boredom.

I was kind of concerned at first that the lack of actual free weights would have a negative effect, but the resistance wires and all that, I feel, actually give me a better workout.

wheels
01-26-2007, 07:56 PM
I've been working out at a small gym in my neighborhood for six months. For the last two months I've hired a personal trainer and nutritionist. It's been a total blast, to be honest. I just do what they tell me, and presto! I have a new body.

I've lost over thirty pounds and six percent of my body fat, and the workouts keep getting tougher and tougher. Lotsa big rubber balls that I balance myself on like some kinda circus bear. It looks hilarious. I also do tons of weight training and cardio stuff.

Girls have been all over me lately, too.

Redhook
01-26-2007, 08:32 PM
So I bought a scale last night that also meaasures body fat (big mistake). I'm 31 yrs old, 5' 10" tall, and weigh 209. My body fat percentage was 28%!!!!


For example, I want to lower my body fat and work on core strength and flexibility for my golf game.

I'm very similar to you, just a little lighter. I'll be 31 on Super Bowl Sunday and I also 5'10". I weigh 185-190 though. I think I can help you lower that body weight while maintaining flexibility.

I've been a professional golfer for 7 years now so flexibility is key. My favorite cardio exercise by far is swimming. I currently swim 3-4 miles per week. It's great exercise and I don't have to lift much because swimming tones my whole upper body. Plus, it's easy on the joints. I can't run much anymore because my left knee hurts after I run.

Now the flexibility part. You CAN lift as much as you want as long as you stretch afterwards and keep hitting golf balls (if that's what you desire). I can go to the gym in the morning, do 10-12 sets of bench and many other exercises and still play golf in the afternoon as long as I stretch. After lifting I would grab those weighted bars and swing them like I would a golf club. Great cool down exercise. I learned the hard way that you cannot lift big without stretching and hitting balls. If you don't hit golf balls atleast a few times a week and you are lifting alot you're flexibility will go way down.

Another good exercise is using the cross over cables at the gym. Tie the rope into a knot, raise the cable up close to the top, and make baseball/golf swings with each arm at a time (both sides so you don't get lopsided...lol), and then with both arms together. That's a great exercise for you arms and obliques adding lots of flexibility.

You've gotten alot of good advice so far on this thread. As long as you have a good exercise program it's not really that important when you work out. However, working out earlier will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day so earlier rather than later is a little better.

And remember, if you're lifting you might actually gain weight since muscle weighs more than fat. That's somewhat frustrating when you're trying to lose weight and get stronger. It's tough to do both at once.

Good luck and feel free to ask me any other questions about this. I've been fortunate to have some very knowledgeable personal trainers over the years.

Dom Heffner
01-27-2007, 10:58 AM
And remember, if you're lifting you might actually gain weight since muscle weighs more than fat.

Yeah- if you are lifting, throw away the scale or at leasrt understand this. Go by how your clothes fit- mainly, your pants in the waist. If they are getting looser in that area, don't worry about how much you weigh. I've been leaner and weighed more.

SandyD
01-28-2007, 12:50 PM
Spinning is a nice alternative to swimming. My doctor won't let me swim because of ear problems ... at least not right now ... so when the spinning classes started back up, I started going. I found an instructor I like ... and I especially like his music selection. I now go twice a week.

Thing about group exercise: you kind of feel guilty when you miss. Once you've been there a few times, the instructor and/or other students will ask where you were. Sort of like having an exercise partner.

Spinning twice a week/ weights plus a lighter aerobic 2-3 times a week makes a good balanced routine.

BTW, the second class I added has an instructor most of you males would like to watch. It's funny to watch the guys who come primarily for the view.

Dom Heffner
01-29-2007, 10:30 PM
This study just came out and seems to debunk a lot of what we all have been saying. Interesting- it will be tough to unlearn all of these ideas, if true.

Especially if having more muscle doesn't help someone lose weight.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16876565/

RichRed
02-15-2007, 01:41 PM
Just wanted to bump this for a minute to ask a question.

I'm looking to add a little muscle mass, which has always been kind of difficult for me, so I want to supplement my diet with protein drinks/shakes.

Can anyone recommend a good protein powder? I don't particularly want one with a ton of sugar but I also don't want one that contains Splenda (Sucralose), since I've been reading some pretty unsettling articles about that stuff.

Any suggestions for products you've had some success with? Thanks in advance.

redsfanmia
02-15-2007, 04:08 PM
Since this is bumped, I have been running and doing some core training for about 3 months now and I have lost 15 lbs. I am not an a "diet" persay but have cut back at meal time and cut out snacks and fast foods. I am not stuck, I have been the same weight for 3 weeks, any tips? I run usually 3 to 4 miles and then walk another mile at an incline at a very brisk pace. Looking for any tips and or help losing my next 20 lbs.

George Foster
02-15-2007, 11:10 PM
This is terrific advice. Working out has to become like brushing your teeth.

Uh....you would be my dream patient Dom!:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

George Foster
02-15-2007, 11:12 PM
Just wanted to bump this for a minute to ask a question.

I'm looking to add a little muscle mass, which has always been kind of difficult for me, so I want to supplement my diet with protein drinks/shakes.

Can anyone recommend a good protein powder? I don't particularly want one with a ton of sugar but I also don't want one that contains Splenda (Sucralose), since I've been reading some pretty unsettling articles about that stuff.

Any suggestions for products you've had some success with? Thanks in advance.

I bet Barry Bonds has some stuff that would work. His trainer is looking for some new clients as well.:laugh: :laugh:

Dom Heffner
02-15-2007, 11:37 PM
Uh....you would be my dream patient Dom!

Dude- you honestly have no idea how much you would have loved to be my dentist.

I grind. I grind so much that I basically had very tiny teeth for awhile until I just had them all redone. Crowns, veneers. I am so excited. They are perfectly straight and pearly white. I have temporarys on the bottom and they are going to seat them next week, I hope.

My dentist is going on a trip around the world with the check I just gave her lol....

Bless her heart: She did throw in a free mouthguard so I won't grind these down.

I hated to do it but I had to to save the teeth I had. She is hoping that by correcting the bite that I will stop grinding them, but I don't think that's going to happen. I sleep every night with this thing in my mouth. It's really sexy. :)

Also- I floss after every meal and brush and rinse.....I'm a maniac about it now.

Dom Heffner
02-15-2007, 11:47 PM
Since this is bumped, I have been running and doing some core training for about 3 months now and I have lost 15 lbs. I am not an a "diet" persay but have cut back at meal time and cut out snacks and fast foods. I am not stuck, I have been the same weight for 3 weeks, any tips? I run usually 3 to 4 miles and then walk another mile at an incline at a very brisk pace. Looking for any tips and or help losing my next 20 lbs.


First of all- congrats on the results. I'll bet you look and feel great.

My advice to you is to increase the intensity of the workout. Maybe run your 3 or 4 miles but implement wind sprints into the routine. For example, maybe run really hard for one minute and then jog for a minute and then alternate this until you complete the jog. That worked wonders for me. The thing is, it's tough to hit a wall there, because you can continue to increase the intensity. Once you reach a maximum speed, then simply do it longer. You don't have to run so hard you kill yourself, but you really freak your body out when you increase your demand.


I'm looking to add a little muscle mass, which has always been kind of difficult for me, so I want to supplement my diet with protein drinks/shakes.


I really liked Heavyweight Gainer 900. I would cut the serving size in half and then I would throw in some frozen yogurt and a banana.

Muscle Milk is another favorite.

It will taste so good that you will look forward to the end of your workouts.

I take one now that has Splenda and I love it (if it doesn't kill me).

Supplements are terrific because they give you calories when you most need it and don't really feel like eating. They also take the guesswork out of "How many grams of protein are in a chicken breast?" It doesn't matter because you know you are taking in all you need. I read somewhere that your body uses 80% of what it needs to grow from calories taken within 90 minutes of the workout. If true, supplemental drinks are tremendous because you can take in a large number of calories without having to cook something.

Just go easy on the calories- you can get really fat drinking 900 calorie shakes everyday.

George Anderson
02-16-2007, 12:22 AM
Let me ask probally a dumb question. Is it better for you if you want to lose weight to eat say a foot long turkey and ham sandwhich without cheese and oil from Subway. Or is it better to eat a good size garden salad (i am talking a half bag of lettuce) minus bad things like cheese and croutons but with fat free salad dressing??

Redhook
02-16-2007, 07:56 AM
Let me ask probally a dumb question. Is it better for you if you want to lose weight to eat say a foot long turkey and ham sandwhich without cheese and oil from Subway. Or is it better to eat a good size garden salad (i am talking a half bag of lettuce) minus bad things like cheese and croutons but with fat free salad dressing??

The salad would have alot less calories so that would be better. I believe it's not so much what we eat that makes us fat, it's how much we eat that makes us fat. Fried foods and fat salad dressings are not good for you, but if you don't gorge yourself on that stuff you can eat it from time to time and probably won't gain weight.

You can go to Subway everyday if you want. But, get a 6-inch sub. With Baked Lays chips. It might not fill you up completely, but that's the point. Eat a small snack 2 hours prior to going and another small snack 2 hours after. I had a personal trainer once and the best advice he gave me was this:

Eat enough so you can eat again in 2 hours. It's very difficult to do this all the time, but if you can do this most of the time, you will keep the weight off.

Steve4192
02-16-2007, 08:39 AM
Is it better for you if you want to lose weight to eat say a foot long turkey and ham sandwhich without cheese and oil from Subway. Or is it better to eat a good size garden salad (i am talking a half bag of lettuce) minus bad things like cheese and croutons but with fat free salad dressing??

Neither.

One of the keys to losing weight is to practice portion control and eat 4 or 5 small meals instead of 2 or 3 gigantic ones. Eating a foot long sub or a salad that requires half a head of lettuce both lean towards the gigantic side.

Now, if we are talking about a 6" sub or a moderately sized garden salad (one that will fit in a standard cereal bowl), I'd take the sub every time. Why? Because the sub contains a substantial amount of protein, the salad does not. If you really want to get the most out of any exercise program, you absolutely have to meet your dietary protein requirements.

RichRed
02-16-2007, 10:00 AM
I really liked Heavyweight Gainer 900. I would cut the serving size in half and then I would throw in some frozen yogurt and a banana.

Muscle Milk is another favorite.

It will taste so good that you will look forward to the end of your workouts.

I take one now that has Splenda and I love it (if it doesn't kill me).

Supplements are terrific because they give you calories when you most need it and don't really feel like eating. They also take the guesswork out of "How many grams of protein are in a chicken breast?" It doesn't matter because you know you are taking in all you need. I read somewhere that your body uses 80% of what it needs to grow from calories taken within 90 minutes of the workout. If true, supplemental drinks are tremendous because you can take in a large number of calories without having to cook something.

Just go easy on the calories- you can get really fat drinking 900 calorie shakes everyday.

Thanks for the tips, Dom. I tried one recently called, I believe, Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex. It's 55g of protein and tastes great but it has Splenda in it and I really want to avoid that. My brother tried one called SupliMed that he likes quite a bit, but that one has 49g of sugar per serving. I think between the two options, I'd rather have the sugar than the Splenda.

As for getting really fat, I guess anything's possible but at almost 38 years old, I still have the metabolism of a hummingbird. Genetics is powerful stuff. :)

Thanks again for the advice.

Redhook
02-16-2007, 10:40 AM
Why? Because the sub contains a substantial amount of protein, the salad does not. If you really want to get the most out of any exercise program, you absolutely have to meet your dietary protein requirements.

That's a good point. Plus, protein makes you feel more full so you don't have to eat too much. Sometimes, I'll get get a half a sub, but double the meat so there are less carbs and more protein.

I would also recommend trying Jersey Mike's and Firehouse subs. Both sub shops are substantially better than the highly-overrated Subway. I could eat Jersey Mike's every day....mmmmmmmm. :D

SandyD
02-16-2007, 10:53 PM
That's a good point. Plus, protein makes you feel more full so you don't have to eat too much. Sometimes, I'll get get a half a sub, but double the meat so there are less carbs and more protein.

I would also recommend trying Jersey Mike's and Firehouse subs. Both sub shops are substantially better than the highly-overrated Subway. I could eat Jersey Mike's every day....mmmmmmmm. :D

I've read somethings about linking protein and carbs, at a ratio of about 7 g protein to 15 grams carbs. If I'm eating something more carb heavy than that, I'll add some more protein.

westofyou
02-18-2007, 09:50 AM
Get the diet scoop: 6 promising supplements, 6 to avoid


By Eric Steinmehl
Health.com
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

The sales pitches are irresistible: "Lose 2 Pounds a Day!" "Burn Fat Round the Clock!" "Learn the Amazing Weight-Loss Secret of Hollywood's Sex Symbols!" OK, maybe that's pushing it. But if diet pills could give you Eva Longoria's body, would you bother with the salads and stair-climbing?

Truth is, lifestyle changes are the key to healthy weight loss. Without them, you won't get anywhere. But the six diet-pill ingredients listed here just might help, according to experts at Georgetown University, the University of Mississippi and the University of California, Los Angeles. Want to try one? Check labels to see whether they contain these ingredients, avoid "proprietary blends" that don't reveal their contents, and discuss your weight-loss game plan with your doctor.
Caffeine

What it is: The wake-you-up chemical in your coffee appears to be the most effective weight-loss ingredient. (Health.com: Your vitamin cheat sheet.external link )

Why try it: A stimulant, caffeine speeds up metabolism and can ward off listlessness from dieting. It may suppress appetite, too, and boost the power of other weight-loss ingredients.

Why not: More than 400 milligrams per day (equivalent to three to four cups of coffee) won't help you lose more weight and could bring on jitteriness, headaches, and insomnia. Unfortunately, most products don't reveal their caffeine quantities in easy-to-understand terms; a typical daily dosage of some supplements might have as much caffeine as 30 cans of Coke (1,200-plus milligrams). Skip it if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you're pregnant or nursing.
EGCG

What it is: It's green tea's main antioxidant -- the same stuff that may protect against cancer and heart disease -- and is available in green tea supplements. The effective dosage seems to be 90-plus milligrams per day. Or just drink four cups of green tea. Vitamins with EGCG typically don't contain enough of the antioxidant to be useful.

Why try it: EGCG appears to work synergistically with the caffeine in green tea to boost metabolism. And a few small studies suggest it'll help you burn about 4 percent more calories (about 80) a day and specifically burn fat.

Why not: EGCG has no risks, but the caffeine in green tea may lead to jitters if you drink coffee or take a caffeine supplement, too.
Chromium

What it is: Your body needs this mineral for the hormone insulin (which lets cells turn sugar into fuel) to work effectively. Insulin resistance, linked to diabetes, is thought to make you fat. The effective dosage seems to be 200 micrograms per day.

Why try it: Chromium seems to slightly limit weight gain in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. And in one study, people who didn't have insulin trouble lost about three pounds more in 10 weeks using chromium than those who didn't. But experts say the mineral may be most useful for people with insulin resistance.

Why not: Years ago, there were health concerns about one form: chromium picolinate. Later studies found it to be safe, though, says Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., associate professor in the complementary and alternative medicine master's program at Georgetown. But case reports have linked chronic use of 600 micrograms or more per day to kidney and muscle damage. (Health.com: A guide to today's hot diets.external link )
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

What it is: This fatty acid is a natural substance found in meat and dairy products. The effective dosage used in studies is 3,000 milligrams per day; most supplements contain 1,000 to 1,200 milli-grams per pill.

Why try it: In one trial, women lost 9 percent of their body fat in a year -- and gained muscle, too. In another study, men and women lost about 6 percent of their fat after 6 months. Losing fat can make weight maintenance easier, because you burn more calories when you have less of it.

Why not: CLA may raise cholesterol and worsen insulin resistance.
5-HTP

What it is: Sometimes called Griffonia simplicifolia, 5-hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid that your body eventually converts into serotonin, the brain chemical thought to be lacking in people with depression. It's shown promise as a natural antidepressant. The usual dosage: 100 milligrams, three times a day.

Why try it: 5-HTP may increase levels of a hormone that tells your brain when you're full.

Why not: If you're also taking antidepressants or migraine drugs called triptans, 5-HTP may overstimulate your nervous system and lead to muscle spasms or tremors.
L-dopa or L-tyrosine

What it is: Your body turns the amino acid L-tyrosine into L-dopa and then turns L-dopa into dopamine, another brain chemical linked to cravings and pleasure. A common daily dosage is 500 milligrams.

Why try it: Low dopamine levels may lead to overeating, says John Williamson, Ph.D., of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. And researchers discovered years ago that Parkinson's disease patients given L-dopa lost weight. What's more, L-dopa may trigger production of human growth hormone, which builds muscle and reduces fat.

Why not: Some people experience nervousness, heart palpitations and tremors after even low doses.
What not to buy

Cascara: This is a natural laxative -- not a safe way to shed pounds.

Dandelion: It's a natural diuretic, so you lose only water weight.

Ephedra: The Food and Drug Administration banned it in 2004; now, court challenges hope to put it back on the shelf. Ephedra increases the risk of heart problems and stroke.

Garcinia: There are possible links to liver damage.

Hoodia There's been lots of hype about hoodia gordonni, a cactuslike South African plant with appetite-suppressing chemicals (in one study, people who took it ate 1,000 fewer calories a day).

But the hoodia in that test isn't available right now, says University of California, Los Angeles, expert and Health Advisory Board member David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. He says the hoodia products in stores or online probably contain other hoodia types that don't work -- or none at all.

The British company Phytopharm, which has a global patent on hoodia for weight loss, says real products are years away. Bottom line: The available hoodia products may be safe, but they're useless. (Health.com: Find your healthy weight.external link )

Usnic acid: Found in some bodybuilders' formulas, it's been linked to severe liver damage.

http://robots.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.fitness/02/16/healthmag.diet.supplements/index.html

Hoosier Red
02-18-2007, 10:00 AM
Thanks for the tips, Dom. I tried one recently called, I believe, Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex. It's 55g of protein and tastes great but it has Splenda in it and I really want to avoid that.
Thanks again for the advice.


Rich,

Just curious why are you trying to avoid Splenda?

Steve4192
02-18-2007, 10:45 AM
Get the diet scoop: 6 promising supplements, 6 to avoid

http://robots.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.fitness/02/16/healthmag.diet.supplements/index.html

Meh.

Supplements are great for folks who are close to maximizing their physical potential, but they are a colossal waste of money for the vast majority of people who are just looking to shed a few extra pounds. For the purposes of this thread, I would recommend NOT purchasing any supplements.

Dom Heffner
02-18-2007, 12:27 PM
It all depends on what you are trying to do. If you are lifting and trying to put on some mass, I like them. Not because they work better than eating a perfect meal- it's just that they are more convenient than making one.

What foods give you protein that are lean? Chicken? It tastes great, sure, but I don't feel like eating chicken at 7 AM. Or right before I go to bed.

A milkshake tastes great anytime, the reward will inspire you to keep workin gout and it takes 5 minutes to make.

And you get some extra stuff in there too that can only help.

If you aren't trying to put on weight or mass, I think you are just as well off without them.

Steve4192
02-18-2007, 03:16 PM
It all depends on what you are trying to do. If you are lifting and trying to put on some mass, I like them. Not because they work better than eating a perfect meal- it's just that they are more convenient than making one.

Agreed.

I was referring to the types of supplements listed in the article. Protein powders are one of the very few exceptions to the rule.

But really, for the purposes of someone who is looking to shed 20-30 pounds of excess bodyfat, they really should focus on the getting their diet straightened out and not be looking for magic beans. I don't think someone who is completely out of shape and just starting a workout routine will get much bang for their buck, especially if they use the supplement as a crutch to avoid addressing the real problem (diet).


What foods give you protein that are lean?

Poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.)
Fish (cod, tuna, haddock, etc.)
Most other seafoods (lobster, crab, shrimp, etc.)
Game animals (venison, quail, ostrich, etc.)
Certain cuts of beef
Certain cuts of pork

Basically, anything that flies or swims is pretty low in fat, and you can also find certain low-fat cuts of everyone favorite land-based meat sources (pork, beef). There are also a number of low-fat non-meat options.

Egg Whites
Cottage Cheese
Skim Milk
Soy products (tofu & other vegetarian 'meats')
Legumes

wheels
02-19-2007, 04:44 PM
That's a good point. Plus, protein makes you feel more full so you don't have to eat too much. Sometimes, I'll get get a half a sub, but double the meat so there are less carbs and more protein.

I would also recommend trying Jersey Mike's and Firehouse subs. Both sub shops are substantially better than the highly-overrated Subway. I could eat Jersey Mike's every day....mmmmmmmm. :D

Thank you sir.

I'm an owner of a Jersey Mike's in Columbus.

Redhook
02-20-2007, 07:38 AM
Thank you sir.

I'm an owner of a Jersey Mike's in Columbus.

Wow, I'm really jealous. Not as much as normal since I ate half of a giant club last night for dinner and I have the rest of it waiting in the fridge for my lunch today. I do envy you. However, I'd be as big as a blimp if I owned one.

I did actually looked into franchising one down here in the Nati. I don't have the funds right now ($100,000 needed I think??), but I might look at it again in the future.

RichRed
02-20-2007, 02:12 PM
Rich,

Just curious why are you trying to avoid Splenda?

I just haven't been very comforted by the things I've read on the internet about it. For starters:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006031412214

http://www.splendaexposed.com/

http://splenda.worldwidewarning.net/

Now granted, if you look long enough, you'll find something on the internet to scare you about anything but I just feel more comfortable avoiding the stuff.

SunDeck
02-26-2007, 01:00 PM
I started swimming again over the last two months after 8 years off. In the interim I had gravitated more towards a biking/running/sometimes gym thing, but last year my back told me that something was wrong with the routine.

Mainly, I think my body was telling me that I had to find a way to exercise that better fit my age level, so I've ramped it down a few notches and have decided that a swimming routine is the best thing for me. I go to the gym about twice a week and swim at least twice a week now (and the gym routine is about 75% leg exercise). As for swimming, I also decided to try to keep it as easy as possible, so I don't flip turn anymore. This gives me an easy breather at every turn, allowing me to keep from fatiguing so much over the course of a work out.

Swimming is great for the entire body. I alternate 200-400 meter sessions with kickboarding. Technique is important, though, because it's easy to injure your shoulders if you are not careful. It's usually due to fatigue, so I concentrate on good technique- long strokes (about 1 per 7-8 meters), staying high in the water and strong kicks.