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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

So, I have found these boards very interesting to read - I love reading answers to people's actual questions moreso than reading just general information. There are several people on here that seem to do a wonderful job answering questions and giving workout help and advice, so I thought I would bother them with a thread of my own! I appologize in advance for how long I am sure this is going to get...

Stats: 23/f/5'4"/185lbs. I have always been overweight, but I have tons of muscle to go along with the tons of fat ;) I have always been very active in sports and activities, but have fallen victim to American culture, too-loving a mother (after divorce when I was 9), and a couple injuries. But, at this age, there are NO excuses that are GOOD excuses, and while, except for my weight, I am pretty darn healthy, I could be a lot more so.

When I was in high school I played basketball and rode, trained, and showed horses a ton. I also did lots of farmwork. Dispite my activity level, my diet was not what it should have been. And well, we know how bad for the scales college can be! I put on more weight in college because I was riding a good bit less, less work at the the barn, and not playing basketball. I was never one to go to the gym - just flat out never thought I would like it and never wanted to work it in to my routine. My sophmore and junior years I did go a little because we had FABULOUS facilities so I thought I would take advantage of it. But, it was hard for me to get there when I had time to work out because I lived 25 minutes away (the cost of gas was the biggest determinant!). So, fast forward to a couple months ago. I am now in graduate school. I was helping out at the farm some with packing for a horse show - loading bails of hay in the trailer. This used to be easy for me in high school, but after loading the hay, I was exhausted and the next day sore. At that point I realized that I was much less active than I used to be, riding less (one horse a day instead of 4), and doing less barnwork. Additionally, I was TIRED of being fat. And with as much muscle as I have, I could look really quite good if it wasn't all covered up! So, I joined a gym near me finally (just not going to drive back and forth from campus to workout - it was going to be way too big an excuse). I have LOVED going! I usually go later at night, and there are just a few people there, mainly people my age and we crank up the music and have a lot of fun (and I work harder around them, lol).

But I need some routine help. When I was in high school playing ball and then when I was going in college, I was just told what to do for the day and I did it. But right now I really can't afford a trainer and I do want to get the maximum benefit I can from the time, energy, effort, and money I am spending.

I typically go 5-6 days a week. Every day I do some cardio and every other day some strength work. I am pretty happy with my cardio routine, I think. The days I do strength work, I do 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity on the elliptical. Then the days I just do cardio I do 15 minutes of HIIT or 45 minutes of moderate work, depending on my mood, available time, etc. Try to get at least one of both in a week. The strength work is where I need my most help, at least I think. I am unsure of how to do my splits. For a while I was doing full body, but now it has gotten to the point that it takes too long and by the end I am not doing a particularly good job. I do all machines as opposed to free weights as I am a little scared of the free weights because I tore two ligaments in my back in high school with free weights. Right now I am doing triceps presses, biceps curls, lat pulldowns, leg curls and exensions, shoulder presses, leg presses, hip abductions and adductions, and some abs work thrown in there. How should I break all this up? I probably don't want to do more than one (or two?) day of lower body bacause I have HUGE, solid thighs and calves. As I am short, and have short legs even for my height, they are plenty big and stocky. The upper body, particularly my bis and tris can use more work. I think I have compensated so much with my forearm and back and they have stayed pretty weak relative to the rest of my body.

As for diet, mine has GREATLY improved over the past 8 months. I have finally pretty much broken away from my college habits of fast food, frozen food, and too much of it. I try to be much more aware of what I am eating and how much of it I am eating. I have pretty much tried to cut out white bread, white rice, and simple sugar. I do have sweets and such every now and then (maybe once a week) but I work them in my calories for the day (like I might go out and get a small salad and eat dessert instead of eating a meal AND dessert) and try to keep my protein up. Sometimes now though, the calories are hard for me - my BMR is ~1660. Today was a HIGH calorie day for me at around 1750, but I worked my horse for 45 minutes and did 45 minutes on the eliptical (said nearly 480 calories, but I don't know how much stock I put in that). I would think that I normally get around 1400 calories. Most of them coming from meat, veggies, milk, and fruit. I hardly ever drink soft drinks anymore (quit drinking so many of them a while back and in a couple months I had lost 6 pounds just from that change alone). I try to drink plenty of water, but for some reason I LOVE Propel so I drink a lot of that.

Anyway, this is getting too long, so I will quit there - I would just love to hear some input from the experts around here! Thanks so much in advance!

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