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Question
Posted by: Hi Doc | 2010/12/03

Just started exercising

I have just started attending a type of step class for 1hr at the gym last Monday. I really need to lose about 15-20kg and am 42yrs old. Tried to exercise on my own with the machines, but did not see any results, in fact I picked up weight. The gym classes will work better for me, but arent 60min too much for a beginner? I was sore and only went to gym again on Thursday for a dancing class(60min), which made me sweat, but not too sore. Both these 2 classes that I want to attend are only once a week. Will these 2 classes be enough for starters, and for how long should I stick to it before adding another class. I really cannot do exercises when I am sore, if I should, is there something I can do to ease the pain, to be able to do exercises? If I should add another class, on which day do you suggest I should fit it in, if I already exercising on Mondays and Thursdays?
If I go on 2-3wk holiday, should I start with the 2 classes again when I return? I really appreciate your help, I weighed 78,5kg last Monday. I rapidly picked up weight in the last 3-4 mnths and that was a huge wake-up call. thanks Anon

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

60 minutes can be long, but its very individual. Some would not even make 30 minutes, let alone 60, and that's just natural variation in fitness. The pain you felt after is normal, obviously not something you want all the time, but given that your body was not used to it, not entirely unexpected. You'll find that even the gym class doesn't make you sore after soon - your muscles will adapt and the problems will go away.

I think therefore that 2 classes a week is a start, you should recover from one to the next, and then you'll be OK without the risk of injury.

The danger is that you do them close to one another, you don't recover and then you get injured. However, twice a week is fine.

The pain won't last though. So you needn't be worried about being sore, that will go away. It's sometimes good to be sore, at least then you know that you shouldn't train!

Give it two weeks, and then look at adding a third class. If that third class causes excessive fatigue, or you just feel a bit flat, then take it away, or drop the intensity. In other words, take one of those three days as an easy day, and don't push as hard.

As for what to add in, the simple answer is whatever you enjoy, because that's the one you're mostly likely to enjoy and therefore do. It makes no practical sense to run if you hate running, or cycle if you hate cycle. So pick what you love, and then you'll do it.

I'd say for the next month, aim for 2 to 3 times a week, and then in the new year, you'll be set to go in at 3 per week, that's no problem.

Good luck

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/12/06

Hi there

60 minutes can be long, but its very individual. Some would not even make 30 minutes, let alone 60, and that's just natural variation in fitness. The pain you felt after is normal, obviously not something you want all the time, but given that your body was not used to it, not entirely unexpected. You'll find that even the gym class doesn't make you sore after soon - your muscles will adapt and the problems will go away.

I think therefore that 2 classes a week is a start, you should recover from one to the next, and then you'll be OK without the risk of injury.

The danger is that you do them close to one another, you don't recover and then you get injured. However, twice a week is fine.

The pain won't last though. So you needn't be worried about being sore, that will go away. It's sometimes good to be sore, at least then you know that you shouldn't train!

Give it two weeks, and then look at adding a third class. If that third class causes excessive fatigue, or you just feel a bit flat, then take it away, or drop the intensity. In other words, take one of those three days as an easy day, and don't push as hard.

As for what to add in, the simple answer is whatever you enjoy, because that's the one you're mostly likely to enjoy and therefore do. It makes no practical sense to run if you hate running, or cycle if you hate cycle. So pick what you love, and then you'll do it.

I'd say for the next month, aim for 2 to 3 times a week, and then in the new year, you'll be set to go in at 3 per week, that's no problem.

Good luck

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