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Everything posted by Vintage

  1. In my experience it's not really about the knees going too far forwards... the importance of the "shins vertical, knees back" cue for me is that it keeps the weight on my heels. I'm not sure I could possibly follow that cue while shifting weight to my toes. OP - a doctor may be in your future. But first you could spend some time with mobility and foam rolling to make sure it's necessary. The only time I get knee pain is when I've neglected my IT bands, hamstrings and/or hip flexors. IT bands especially. That whole "the head bone's connected to the neck bone" song had one thing right... our body parts are all connected, and a tight or immobile muscle in one place can show itself as pain in another part.
  2. Welcome! I think you're getting a lot of great advice. My 2 cents... 1. Set small goals at first. Looking at this as "I need to build the perfect exercise routine, master it, and become a gym-expert" all in one chunk is really intimidating. One day, set a goal of just going to the gym. Go in, wander around (or take a tour if that's comfortable for you), check out the locker rooms, maybe spend a few minutes walking on a treadmill or on a stationary bike so you can observe everything inconspicuously. If you're feeling like a rockstar that day, find some free space and run through some of the exercises you were doing with your trainer - same workout, just in a different environment. Or make that day 2. Then another day, do that with one or two small changes (instead of doing body weight lunges, do them with small dumbbells held at your sides - whatever small steps seem manageable. Keep going like that and before you know it you'll be on a roll. [My personal preference is to blast music that makes me feel like a bad ass in my headphones when I do things like this - for me it's stuff like AC/DC, but that differs by person]. 2. Start simple. Check out some of the articles mentioned on building workout routines and lay out something that sounds do-able and enjoyable to you. Beginners fitness isn't rocket science (though I know it can feel like a huge scary task), so don't over complicate things now. You can create a perfectly functional, effective fitness routine for yourself right now with only a small handful of exercises. Fancy can come later. 3. If you think you might be interested in barbell training at some point, browse through the powerlifting forum, warrior's thread and consider getting a copy of Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. By all accounts the man is an ass, but the book gives you some pretty clear descriptions and instructions on the major lifts.
  3. That does sound like a lot of volume all of a sudden. Two things you might try: 1) lower the volume (i.e. do fewer reps and sets) and increase the difficulty so that you're not getting as much repetitive use. Doing your pullups chest-to-bar (touch your chest below your clavicle to the bar instead of just eeking your chin over it) is a great place to start with this. 2) Some shoulder pre-hab might be helpful. Look up bulletproof shoulders online and try it out. You can work it into your warm-up if you like. Last thing... be sure that your eccentric movement (the drop) is reasonably controlled. I've seen people pull up to the top and relax everything and drop like rocks back into the bottom, which has got to yank horibly on the shoulders.
  4. I'm 5'2" with stumpy little legs, so I get it. I'm flexible enough now to put my feet flat on the floor (though I look distinctly un-ladylike doing it because I have to spread my legs out wide), but for a long time I put plates under my feet when I benched. My bench is most powerful when I have my feet flat on the floor and can drive through my heels. Benching optimally should involve your whole body - feet driving into the floor, quads as tight as possible, the entire core braced like you're about to take a punch in the belly. If I'm focusing hard on maintaining all of that tension throughout the lift, I've got a 120# bench. When I don't I'll end up pinned under 105# every time. But I'd say it's more of an issue of limiting the amount of weight you'll be able to move and of reducing the number of muscles you're working than anything else.
  5. On the push press - a cue that works for me is to keep my rib cage down and in - think about tucking it close to the pelvis.. I focus a lot on tightening my core and my glutes to help me do this. Quads should also be tight during the lift - for me this is one of the first things to go when I'm fatigued, weakening my lift and causing me to lean back to get the weight up. It may be a shoulder-centric lift, but your core and legs should be working hard too. Ultimately learning to recruit your core, glutes and legs into the task will make the lift stronger.
  6. You've gotten some good advice and I agree with all of it. But I've also got a more general suggestion/response. I mean this nicely... chill out, stop over-thinking and over-planning, and just get going. It doesn't really matter how much further past "generally in pretty good shape" you want to go, you still have to get to "generally in pretty good shape" on your way there. And the reality is, at the beginning level, it just isn't that complicated. There are plenty of training methods (like body weight or barbells), rep schemes and training schedules to choose from, and most* of them will get you to the "in decent shape" point. But none of them will get you there if you don't stick with it, so pick the one you can/will keep to for a while. If you want to do body weight, do body weight. If you'd rather do a 45 minute intense session, do it. If you can stick to/handle a 5 day/week schedule then go for it. Make a plan for the next 6 weeks and get started. Read through a few of Steve's body weight workouts on the nerdfitness site and pick one. There's going to be plenty of time to get into the details and the complicated stuff down the road, but you've got to get yourself to that point. *Yes, most. There are some ridiculous, absolutely worthless workouts out there, but they can usually be spotted if you keep your head on straight and use common sense. The plans on nerdfitness are a safe bet.
  7. There have been a few other threads on this recently in both this forum and in the gear review one, but... I'm a 32E now (down from a 36G) and I wear the Panache bra here. Every time I shrink out of one I replace it with a new color. They're comfortable, breathable, and don't mush my boobs together.
  8. Niccolo said almost exactly what I would have said. I have a tendency to rush into the third pull (i.e. bend my arms too early) as well, and I really have to focus on coming to full hip extension and on not trying to drag the bar up with my arms. One additional cue that helped me on catching with elbows up (and getting under the bar) after I had worked out my mobility issues was to think of it as actively pulling myself under the bar. It shouldn't be a passive movement where you just allow yourself to drop - think about sending yourself into the quarter squat or full squat and pulling yourself under as fast as possible while shooting your elbows under and then up in front.
  9. I agree with bench pressing and wall push ups. You can also do push up negatives (start in the top position and slowly lower with a count of 3 or 4 seconds, then push back up with your knees on the ground, lift your knees back up and repeat).
  10. I have a spibelt and really like it. I carry my iPhone, a key and sometimes an ID and a little bit of cash.
  11. It sounds like you've made significant progress on the mental/emotional side. Good for you. It's possible for you to get much stronger and lift big weights. One of my coaches has a 215lb back squat at 110lbs bodyweight - not quite twice, but pretty damn close. But she eats to support her lifting and is actually making effort to gain some weight. The reality is, to get bigger you have to eat more. Consume more calories than you burn and your body will get bigger. If you do this while sedentary, you'll put on fat. Do it while strength training and it will be mostly muscle. Have you seen a dietitian at all? My normal recomendation for someone without an eating disorder would be to track everything you eat so you know how many calories you're getting and what your carb/protein/fat split is, and then slowly increase calories (while lifting heavy) until you start seeing results. BUT tracking calories can be a real trigger for people with disordered eating habits, so I'm reluctant to suggest that. A dietitian would be able to give you a specific meal plan to follow.
  12. Vintage


    I actually really like mine, and will most likely buy a second pair soon. I had to switch to the smaller size of rubber thingies, but they stay in my ear really really well (a miracle). They've not noise canceling, but I wasn't looking for that. I will say that they tangle easily like any thing rubber corded earphones do. My last pair from a different brand wouldn't stay in my ears as well but had a cloth wrapped cord that didn't tangle nearly as easily. If I could meld the to brands together I'd be set.
  13. For the sleep... how heavy are you? Have you been checked for sleep apnea?
  14. I take all mine off, unless I have small earrings on. But that's mainly because they get in the way - I don't like the feel of my earrings bouncing around, gripping a barbell or a pull up bar with my rings on is uncomfortable, necklaces dig into my neck when I have a bar in front rack, etc. But other people leave some things on and I don't really notice it. It's the same with makeup - I take mine off because I sweat like a faucet and it ends up all over the place. But women who don't sweat much don't have to bother. Ok, sometimes I notice, but that's usually because the woman is ridiculously made up AND doing very little actual work. Same with the jewelry, really. I was thinking about something similar with hair today. I see women who workout with medium-length hair down or hair pulled back very loosely so it still hangs on the neck and I absolutely can't stand that (on me). My hair has to be completely up, little bits clipped back, and if it's long enough to hit my neck in a ponytail then I put it in a bun. To each their own.
  15. Have you seen a doctor about this? If not, that might be a good idea. Other things to consider are your diet (are you eating enough of the right stuff?) and your sleep. How do those things look?
  16. I prefer to do any significant conditioning after my strength training. I warm-up, but it's mainly about getting my heart rate up a bit, warming up my muscles and moving through all my working motions without much weight. Then before each lift I do a few warm-up sets at increasing weights, focusing on form and range of motion. After I lift, I do my conditioning, which may range from 5-20 minutes. This general format fits with the crossfit workouts I do on other days. Some people prefer to separate out conditioning and strength into separate days. If I go too hard in warm-up (I've had to learn this the hard way), my lifting suffers. But hey- try it and see. I don't know what sort of shape you're in so what you wrote out might be enough to exhaust you or it might be a true warm-up. Run through it and then try a few sets and see how they feel. Don't like it? Flip it around and see how that works. Still don't like it? Split them into separate days if possible.
  17. Yep- inverted rows are easily scaled by walking your feet in further under the bar/rings. In fact, this is a lot easier with rings (I bet it would be easier with a bar suspended from rings trapeze-style as well), but it can be done on a normal bar. Just focus on keeping your body tight and straight (no bend at the hips) and your shoulder blades pinched back the whole time. Really try to keep those lats activated. As you get better at it, walk those feet a little farther forward. And the negatives thing works as well. Start at the top and lower yourself slowly for a count of 5, keeping everything tight. I started out extremely deconditioned and 70 lbs overweight (I'm a short girl, so this was a lot on me) and that's what I did until I was ready to get on the pull-up bar for negatives and assisted reps.
  18. Acryllica and everyone else who's posted have given some great advice and words of wisdom. I've got a long history of eating disorders and of depression, so I know that moment well. One of the best things for me was discovering weight training because it gave me something to do with my body that wasn't all about making myself less fat. It gave me a reason to get stronger/tougher/better with technique. I started appreciating what my body could do and making food choices based around what would help me perform better in the gym. I sort of treated weight-loss as a pleasant side-effect. When I have those "I'm a jiggly, massive, disgusting mess of a human" moments now (which is less often) I sometimes flex my muscles and poke at them, reminding myself of what I'm capable of and how much progress I've made. It may not be weight lifting for you, but finding something to do with your body and goals to work towards that aren't all about getting rid of the bits of you you don't like is hugely motivating and can help you get through those low moments. I like this article because it puts this idea into words well (words of a male trainer, no less). Some of my favorite bits...
  19. I think there are a lot of great ideas here about what to do for weights. But I'm honestly going to suggest you bite the bullet and go join the gym now. Having a mentality of "I need everything to be perfect - the perfect weights, a gym environment that never changes, etc - for me to get fit" isn't particularly conducive to long-term success, and I see hints of that mindset in your post (though I could be off-base). A lot of people get off track or never really start because they're too busy trying to make everything into the ideal conditions and waiting for a time in life when it will be easier to start or because something comes up in life that makes working out or eating healthy inconvenient. My advice is to shake yourself out of this mindset a bit, and this may mean joining the gym knowing you're going to have to move to a new location or it may mean starting a routine with weights that aren't ideal (cheap ones or homemade ones using gallon jugs or a full back pack). And then when something unexpected comes up in life that makes it a little more challenging to workout (or eat healthily or whatever) you say to yourself "so what? I've dealt with change and inconsistency and non-ideal conditions before and I'll do it again because my health is the priority."
  20. The whole starvation mode is controversial at best. My larger concern would be that you're making long-term, sustainable changes. I've got a history of disordered eating as well, and I have a tendency towards extremes. But last fall I set out to lose about 70 lbs (I'm 55 lbs in) and one thing that I think made me successful was that I made my changes with a "could I do this for the rest of my life and be ok with it?" standard in my mind. I had to accept that I had a lot of weight to lose and it was going to take time. So my advice would be that you don't necessarily need to force yourself to eat, but keep in mind that you could eat a good deal more than you are and still lose weight. So if you start seeing signs that you need more food, listen. And if you eat extra, don't let guilt or an out-of-control feeling set in as they tend to lead to binges.
  21. I'd be up for that! Thursday night or Saturday would both work.
  22. I'm a 32F, so sports bras are hard to find for me. I've been really happy with the Panache "Ultimate Maximum Control Sports Bra" (seriously.. that's a hell of a name). It's pricey, but I've shrunk out of every size I've owned long before it wore out, despite wearing them 4-5 times per week. It's got an underwire, but it's well wrapped to make it comfortable, and it separates the boobs instead of smooshing them together.
  23. Sneakyfatguy - unfortunately, I didn't think about video until after I left. Next time we high bar I'll try to get one. I lift barefoot, in general, so no lifting shoes. I think you're right on one of those guesses - I may lean too far forward, and then extend my lumbar spine to compensate. I don't know why it's never been a problem on low bar. And that feeds into... El Exorcisto, I always forget about the muscles on my front side affecting my back and hips. I'll get to the gym early on Monday and spend some time torturing myself by working those out. I also have low-level sciatic pain and I forget that the psoas and stomach/pelvic muscles can affect that. Maybe I can address a chronic issue and an acute one at the same time. Thanks to you both.
  24. I'm one of those people that naturally low-bar squats. When my coach had me put an empty bar on my back and squat, I naturally put the bar low, my feet a little wide, hips way back and it felt right. I do crossfit (but the kind with very thought out programming), and we've been working on a high bar squat progression the past few weeks (both to work the slightly different muscle emphasis and also because we also oly lift, which more closely mimics a high bar squat)... and it hurts my back. My 1RM is normally 195lbs (I'm a 5'2", 150 lb female). I've worked up to sets of 8 at 105 in high bar, but I'm feeling a weird pain in my lower back, right at the lumbar curve. It feels muscular, and a combination of tight and painful. It's not severe, and doesn't really feel injury-like exactly. Has anyone ever had this happen? I feel like it's a little backward - most people find high bar easier on their back. My coach was watching my form when I mentioned the problem, and couldn't see anything major except me raising my hips first on my last few reps to recruit more quads as I got fatigued. We're going to take another look later this week, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas.
  25. I used bands (and still do in some workouts, because I can only do 2 pull ups in a row so far), but I also did a lot of negatives and ring rows. I don't think they're useless but I don't think they'll get you there all by themselves. The thing about bands is they provide more resistance at the bottom (where you might not need as much) and less at the top (when you're struggling). See if your trainer will try to do partner-assisted ones with you by pushing up on one or both of your knees. That way they can give you more help as you're starting to struggle. Just make sure not to kick them in the face
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