1

votes

confused about exercise

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 20, 2012 at 2:46 AM

Hello everyone!

I am new to the whole Paleo and its workouts. I read Mark's Daily Apple and research some exercises on the internet but am very confused with all the information out there. On Mark's website, he mentions heavy lifting and other sites mention HIIT and CrossFit. I would like to tone up and look lean. I know I have to lift weights. Hopefully I'm not all over the place and confusing right now. But what would I have to do? I have a pull-up bar and weights (dumbbells that go up to 52 pounds). Could anyone tell me what I have to do on the days I use the pull-up bars/lifting weights? Could I CrossFit without a gym and with the equipment I mentioned? I would like to know what I have to do, how many reps, and how many sets. For example, 3 days out of the week do I do 50 squats, 50 push-ups, etc.... I am looking for an example of what a typical day would look like. I already do sprints and 30 minute or a little bit of more cardio other days. Just confused on training days. Any help would be great!! I am so confused and everyone on this forum is so helpful. Thank you for any help. (Oh, I am a female, 5'6, skinny fat.)

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:14 PM

At the end of the day though, I don't think we are saying very different things.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Even as a male, I could look at a competitive body builder (even one who doesn't use steroids) and say I don't want to be a that big, so I won't lift weights. Realistically though, there is very little risk of me every looking like that. I don't have the genetics and I don't train intensely enough for long enough. Also, even if I did, it's not something that would ever sneak up on me. If my muscles ever get too large, I'll just scale back the lifting. Your article says: You will never “bulk up” overnight. I think that's an important point to consider.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:11 PM

It's likely not 100% realistic to make decisions on what kind of exercise we do based on elite athletes. The women who compete at the highest level in cross-fit are elite athletes. Their bodies look like that after many years of extreme training and effort. Also genetics plays a role. Likely the group of people who become elite athletes are those who are more genetically predisposed to be successful in their sport and that plays a role in their body type.

D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on June 20, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Lindsay - I agree with that. My post states: "Once you figure out what 'look' and functionality you want, you can then proceed to figuring out what workouts will suit you best." Note the word functionality. Some women think only about the "look" and not about the health of their body, and that goes for totally ripped fitness models and cardio bunnies alike.

D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on June 20, 2012
at 04:21 PM

Mike - it only reinforces the author's point, that he feels the women in the article do not look bulky and that bulky=fat. I presented the article as a good overview of his opinion and let a woman decide for herself what bulky means to her. I don't think they look bulky per se, but I don't want to look like that. Just my personal opinion, and the body style a woman wants to develop is her choice and a woman should know there are plenty of options. It's not all about lifting a giant barbell.

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on June 20, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I don't much care what my arms look like, as long as they work how I want them to...carry my groceries at least a mile home, move my furniture, climb over rocks while hiking, and pick up my nephew. This is why I lift heavy weights "like a man" (not completely true, because I'll never be able to lift as much weight as most men). Women also lose a lot of muscle as we age, which can impair functionality. This is not something I want for myself.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:14 PM

and "An extremely high level of muscle on a female will look like the pictures above, but again, only with many YEARS of weights training and a focus on a clean diet."

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:13 PM

I've actually read that article before. It's a good one, but it seems to reinforce my point. Quotes from it: "A WOMEN THAT LOOKS LIKE SHE HAS MUSCLES LIKE A MAN HAS LIKELY TAKEN STEROIDS!! This is the defined truth, a woman’s muscle development is much different than a man’s. Unless a woman has a very different genetic make-up (a very, very small portion of the population), it is almost impossible to build muscle like a man."

014e95abf93ea102e717f9a878e9e8e0

on June 20, 2012
at 04:47 AM

Thank you so much for the links and advice Mike!

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2 Answers

1
D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on June 20, 2012
at 05:51 AM

Okay, I must disagree that women should lift like men. There are various perceptions of what "bulky" and "lean" mean to us. Personally, I do not want a single hint of bulging biceps. Some women might, and that's cool too.

Here's the thing. Do the activities that will design the body you want. Dancer body? Do dance workouts or ballet-type programs (i.e. Physique 57, Bar Method). Athletic six-pack-ab body? Do cross-fit, lift heavy weights, flip tires and what not. Long, lean, V-taper body? Swim. I think you get the picture.

Women can and will build muscle quite nicely. However, some women don't want that. Example: if you want thin, lean arms, don't lift weights like a man. You WILL get developed biceps and triceps by lifting weights ??? look at any natural fitness model. Then check out the smaller, but very toned, musculature of a ballet dancer. Once you figure out what "look" and functionality you want, you can then proceed to figuring out what workouts will suit you best.

This is a great article by Cross Fit South Bay on the subject: http://www.crossfitsouthbay.com/2011/05/skinny-fat/

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on June 20, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I don't much care what my arms look like, as long as they work how I want them to...carry my groceries at least a mile home, move my furniture, climb over rocks while hiking, and pick up my nephew. This is why I lift heavy weights "like a man" (not completely true, because I'll never be able to lift as much weight as most men). Women also lose a lot of muscle as we age, which can impair functionality. This is not something I want for myself.

D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on June 20, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Lindsay - I agree with that. My post states: "Once you figure out what 'look' and functionality you want, you can then proceed to figuring out what workouts will suit you best." Note the word functionality. Some women think only about the "look" and not about the health of their body, and that goes for totally ripped fitness models and cardio bunnies alike.

D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on June 20, 2012
at 04:21 PM

Mike - it only reinforces the author's point, that he feels the women in the article do not look bulky and that bulky=fat. I presented the article as a good overview of his opinion and let a woman decide for herself what bulky means to her. I don't think they look bulky per se, but I don't want to look like that. Just my personal opinion, and the body style a woman wants to develop is her choice and a woman should know there are plenty of options. It's not all about lifting a giant barbell.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:14 PM

and "An extremely high level of muscle on a female will look like the pictures above, but again, only with many YEARS of weights training and a focus on a clean diet."

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Even as a male, I could look at a competitive body builder (even one who doesn't use steroids) and say I don't want to be a that big, so I won't lift weights. Realistically though, there is very little risk of me every looking like that. I don't have the genetics and I don't train intensely enough for long enough. Also, even if I did, it's not something that would ever sneak up on me. If my muscles ever get too large, I'll just scale back the lifting. Your article says: You will never “bulk up” overnight. I think that's an important point to consider.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:13 PM

I've actually read that article before. It's a good one, but it seems to reinforce my point. Quotes from it: "A WOMEN THAT LOOKS LIKE SHE HAS MUSCLES LIKE A MAN HAS LIKELY TAKEN STEROIDS!! This is the defined truth, a woman’s muscle development is much different than a man’s. Unless a woman has a very different genetic make-up (a very, very small portion of the population), it is almost impossible to build muscle like a man."

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:14 PM

At the end of the day though, I don't think we are saying very different things.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 07:11 PM

It's likely not 100% realistic to make decisions on what kind of exercise we do based on elite athletes. The women who compete at the highest level in cross-fit are elite athletes. Their bodies look like that after many years of extreme training and effort. Also genetics plays a role. Likely the group of people who become elite athletes are those who are more genetically predisposed to be successful in their sport and that plays a role in their body type.

1
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 03:14 AM

There are many different strategies you could employ. Stronglifts 5x5 is one that is relatively simple and you can download the guide for free:

http://stronglifts.com/

It may appear to be geared towards men, but many would argue there is no reason why a woman shouldn't life the same way as a man:

http://stronglifts.com/strength-training-for-women/

The website also has some good articles on how to do these lifts properly, but you might be best off getting a good personal trainer for a few sessions to really learn the correct form. Correct form is essential to doing this safely and to get the most out of the exercises.

To follow this one exactly would likely require you to purchase more equipment or join a gym (power rack, olympic bar and olympic plates). But, perhaps in the beginning at least, you could do a modified version with dumbbells. Eventually, as you gain strength, dumbbells alone probably won't be enough.

Welcome and good luck!

Oh, and 50 reps is definitely way too many. I'd say no matter what lifting plan you follow, if you can do more than 10-12 reps of an exercise, you should increase the amount of weight you're using.

014e95abf93ea102e717f9a878e9e8e0

on June 20, 2012
at 04:47 AM

Thank you so much for the links and advice Mike!

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