Posted by: CK | 2004/11/24

Good enough?

I train at gym 5 days a week, My routine is a 10 min warm up on cross trainer, 15 minute weights session (alternating free weights 1 day & machines the next day) , 20 minute cross trainer, 40 min spin class followed by 10 min step machine or 35 min spinning followed by 20 min run on treadmill. This is standard for Mon,Tues,Thur& Fri. Wednesday is my day off gym, however I do spin at home for 40 - 60 min. Saturday I do a spin class & 30 min cross trainer and Sunday I do a recreational cycle for approx 1-2 hrs. My point is, I can't seem to raise my heart rate in a spinning class - I average at 114-116 which is pathetic, even though I feel I am working very hard and I seem to fatigue quickly. I don't have this problem with any other activity I do and when I spin at home, I average at 124-130. I must admit, I definately have lost the passion for excercises, it used to be my no 1 priority through sickness & health, now I have no desire anymore and yet I still continue mostly because it's so ingrained in my daily routine (5am) but I don;t and can't train with the intensity that I used to. I eat 3 meals a day with a snack between each. Now I'm getting paronoid as I have actually cut back on my cardio (1.1/2 hrs to 1hour) buy I can't cut back on my eating as I am hungry all the time, now I am scard I am going to pick up weight. I feel like I.m in such a dilemma, I often want to take a complete rest day, but because I eat so much, I feel I can't.
Any suggestions????

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Our expert says:
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Well your question has certainly inspired a number of responses, and so if it is any consolation you are not alone in this situation, and you've seen that now. It is a very difficult problem, but just the fact that it is so common might indicate that there's a relatively simple explanation for it.

Looking at your programme, the first thing that jumps out is that there is not a single day of rest. Five days gym, one day spinning at home, weekends doing other training. The most important part of any training programme is not what you do, but how you rest, and rest is absolutely vital to long term success. Therefore, if you change nothing else, I do think that you need to introduce TWO rest days into your programme right away. By rest day, I don't mean a day off gym, I mean NOTHING. This is not going to be permanent, but perhaps a month where you rest more will help you.

If I look a little more closely at the programme, I think that you are trying to "kill too many birds with one stone". It seems as though you are charging from one machine to another, spreading yourself extremely thin to try achieve as much as possible in as short a time as possible. I really believe that if you rather simplified sessions, you would enjoy them more. For example, why not do weight training only on Mondays and Thursdays, and cardio Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Rest on Wednesday and Sunday. By doing this, you allow yourself a different focus - you will no longer be doing everything, but you can focus on one activity per day. Set yourself challenges - aim for fitness, aim to 'conquer' a cardio session. I think that by pouring your energy into once activity instead of about 6, you will find more enthusiasm.

Next, stop worrying about heart rate. Heart rate is like hair colour, it doesn't matter! Ok, that's an oversimplification, but I don't think that you are gaining anything from looking at your heart rate. Why bother, all it is doing is making you tense that your training is not optimal. I think that you would be better off if you just did your sessions without looking at either time or the watch, and just concentrate on your body - how do you feel, how are your legs etc? That's the way to enjoy exercise.

Finally, off all the responses on the forum, the best one is from NM. Just take a week off - it seems like a big thing perhaps, but it's what you need. Physiologically, psychologically, however you want to break it down, the body needs a break, and I really belive that if you take a week off, you will come back stronger.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: CK | 2004/11/26

Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice.
I will definately try and follow through with some of it. I have my annual leave coming up in Dec and I think I will definately take a well deserved break from excercises over that period.

I will let you now how I felt in the new year. I hope you all have a great festive season.

Reply to CK
Posted by: VB | 2004/11/25


I am a newly qualified personal trainer and by listening to your dilema and seeing your routine, it seems that you are pushing yourself beyond the limits required. You need to work out what your correct HRT is during different intensity levels and stick to them, you cannot over exert yourself. Do you know how to calculate it? If not, give me your age, and I will help you.

It also sounds like you are bored with the same routine. I would suggest altering it, and try get into a group training classes where you are doing different things all the time and you will meet new faces which could possible turn out into friendships or training partners.

There is nothing wrong with taking a break, as long as you know you are able to get back into it, because once the motivation is gone, it's not likely you'll be back in a hurry, so my suggestion to you first would be to change your routine. Look for a personal trainer in your area who can help you with some guidelines and keep the motivation going.

Hope this helps keep you motivated.

Reply to VB
Posted by: NM | 2004/11/25


I felt exactly like this a week ago and you know what I did? I took a week off from gym. Went back on Monday morning feeling really "guilty" for staying away (was also a bit worried that I lost a bit of my fitness cause I have worked so hard!) onto the treamill and had the time of my life!! I feel so much better now. I have now decided to do this on a regular basis. Come-on people try it!!

Reply to NM
Posted by: Not alone | 2004/11/24

I am in the exact same position and feel the exact same way as you do. What did we do to ourselves?

Reply to Not alone
Posted by: rut | 2004/11/24

I can relate to what you are saying, I too feel like I am trapped and can never take a complete day off. Ever since I started eating 5-6 meals a day, I obviously increased my metabolism and I lost quite alot of weight and leaned. But now I am tired and just wish I could take a couple of days break, more for my mind than my body, but because I eat alot, I am paranoid and because my metaolism is high, my body still requires the same amount of food no matter how little or much I excercise. I sometimes wish I never started excerciseing in the first place as it just creates a mind freak out and knowing that if you stop or cut down to much you will get fat. Any suggestions will be most welcome as to how to get out of this viscious circle???

Reply to rut

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