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So I've been lurking here like a lurking lurker. Thought it was about time.

 

Background: Medical & health research by way of bio anthropology, chem, & emergency medicine. I have long since given up on trying to measure my health & fitness by my weight. My standards have become: endurance, in/cm, definition, clothing fit, general feeling of physical wellness. BMI is absolute bullshit for individuals. I am well aware that only a very small percent of a percent can lose- and keep- weight off. 'Health' is subjective.

 

My goals: Clothes that do not bunch or rub the crotch out a week after I get them, to be able to run (ok, trot..) a mile with a 40lb pack, to lift myself and pack over a ledge of some kind, to not be out of breath after I walk up a flight of stairs. To do a complete thru-hike. To cosplay a strong and sexy character. To feel flexible and healthy. To be able to fit in an airline seat. 

 

Hx: My bloodwork is fine (ya, no thyroid condition, no diabeeetus), BP is great, no heart or other supposedly weight-related issues.  I was fit and quite active until I got pregnant 16 years ago and somehow gained over 100lbs that just won't go away. I have never been a fad dieter or into supplements.  Started trying to get fit (again..) after almost a year of not going to the gym (FT classes, FT work). I work 12+hr shifts on my feet doing around 3-6mi of walking each shift depending on how busy. I have L3-4 spinal lesions w bulging discs since I was 18, had nerve ablation about 1.5years ago...it's betterish (I still have to ice/heat/acetaminophen/ibuprofen every day, and a sleep aid often). I've gone through several fitne$$ trainers- they seem to have no fucking idea what to do with actual fat body mechanics, or how to modify. They stand there telling me what exercise to do while looking glazed-eyed and saying, 'just do what you can'. Ugh.

 

Diet: Water, tea, wine- no pop, no coffee, no caffeine. Mostly unprocessed, homemade food. e.g. last night was steamed artichokes, steak, salad, wine. I tend to eat throughout the day, mostly steamed veggies, snacks are things like hummus & cucumbers, bean pate & water crackers, yogurt. I do have a fondness for savory things vs sweet.

 

What I'm doing: I am alone in this. I've been trying to do the sprint-walk thing for the last 3 weeks- 1mi on treadmill and elliptical every other day. I have not noticed that I am gaining any time- it still takes me 22min to do a mile even if I extend my sprint times a little and shorten my walk times the same amount. I hate running, and I won't even attempt it until my knees and ankles can bear the strain. I do not hate pushups or planks etc, but again- I am unwilling to put too much strain on my joints until I've strengthened the supporting tissue.

 

Current: 275lbs. I've lost no weight, no inches, none of it feels easier, my clothes are still way too tight.

 

So here's the thing. It's full-on winter in northern WI, and all I have is a small Snap fitness center- no pool or group classes. I live in a small cabin- no room for a machine or workouts via video. I love being outdoors, I love the snow. I hate doing this alone. Online support only goes so far.

 

 

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Welcome to the Rebellion! I would just say keep forming the habit of getting your workouts in. In regards to strain on your joints, do you have access to a rowing machine? I am a big fan of Concept 2 rowers. You can burn as many calories as running, but with less impact. Also, I saw no mention of strength training, so I would start working some of that in as well. What all equipment does the Snap have?

 

Again, welcome!

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For starting, try things like the Bodyweight workouts on the main site (I can get you the links if you're curious) and modify the exercises based on your fitness level and joint problems. It'll help give you some muscle, which will strengthen your joints. It doesn't take much space, I did it in a shared dorm room with minimal problems! If you work on completing what you can as quickly as possible, it will give you more endurance.

 

Yoga is also an option. It takes up little space (A mat is around 2 ft wide and ~5.5ft long, so it won't take much more space than that). It's good for your joints and your muscles, it's great for beginners because it builds muscle/intensity gently. There are plenty of series like Yoga with Adriene on Youtube, or you can look up routines like Salutations to the Sun and learn those. It's also very modifyable. There are always alternate poses you can do if your body can't handle one of the poses. That's what I like about Yoga with Adriene- she always does varying levels of intensity. 

 

If you try these, it can prepare your body to get to the point where you are strong enough to do even more intense exercises. 

 

You could also try couch to 5k to build your mile, it'll build your endurance super gradually and you could use it on the treadmill until you have built your endurance to your satisfaction. You don't have to complete it. It starts with a 10 min warmup walk, then a few repititions of 15secs of running and 1.5 min walking for 20 mins and builds up gently from there. You could use it for helping your sprint/walk?  (Zombies, Run! 5k is a non free app that works the same way- I've used both).

 

Another option is going for daily walks carrying a pack. That could help your endurance? Maybe including stairs in your walk as well. Speed walking perhaps as well?

 

Hope this helps!

Grey Jedi Ranger

Jedi Goes Beyond: Plus Ultra!

Jedi Battle Log

“That's the key isn't it? To know the darkness will always remain, but how you choose to face it, handle it... that's the important part. To not let it consume. To focus on the good, the things that fill you with wonder. That struggle with the darkness is worth it to see such things.”

- Amren, A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Challenges#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10#11#12#13#14#15#16, #17#18#19#20#21#22#23#24#25#26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33,  #34#35#36#37#38#39#40#41#42#43#44, #45#46

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Welcome to the Rebellion! 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

In regards to strain on your joints, do you have access to a rowing machine?

 

I honestly have no idea how to use one of those appropriately or effectively. The Snap here does not really offer anyone that can show people how to really use the machines. It's one of those 'no handler on duty' type places that you swipe a card to get into and has security cameras.

 

 

 

What all equipment does the Snap have?

The one here has treadmills, ellipticals, a cybex, a few weight machines, I think I saw a rowing machine. It has a free weight room that is quite intimidating, with the standard bars and disks and dumbells, some kettles, balance balls, and what I think of as 'lady weights'- those bright coloured little dumbells.

 

GonnaBeAJedi<3, on 01 Dec 2015 - 2:43 PM, said:

 

For starting, try things like the Bodyweight workouts on the main site

 

 

 

 

 

I'll look for them, thank you.

 

 

 

Yoga is also an option. It takes up little space (A mat is around 2 ft wide and ~5.5ft long, so it won't take much more space than that).

 

I am not kidding when I say that I do not have that space. There is 1' between my bed and the wall. Between the tv & couch is a 4' square of space.

 

 

You could also try couch to 5k to build your mile,

 

That is what I am currently doing, except that I've extended the weeks- I did the 1st week, the 2nd week, and went back to the 1st week because I couldn't do the 2nd week.

 

 

 

Another option is going for daily walks carrying a pack

 

I do that as part of my job, I'm a paramedic. It is absolutely murdering my lower back.

 

 

Thank you for the welcome and ideas! 

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I honestly have no idea how to use one of those appropriately or effectively. The Snap here does not really offer anyone that can show people how to really use the machines. It's one of those 'no handler on duty' type places that you swipe a card to get into and has security cameras.

 

The one here has treadmills, ellipticals, a cybex, a few weight machines, I think I saw a rowing machine. It has a free weight room that is quite intimidating, with the standard bars and disks and dumbells, some kettles, balance balls, and what I think of as 'lady weights'- those bright coloured little dumbells.

 

Concept 2 has lots of awesome tutorials online along with videos to help new rowers. I really do think it would be a good fit for you in terms of cardio (assuming there is one at the gym). http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/technique-videos

 

If you are intimidated by the weight room, perhaps you could walk-in, and take a kettle bell somewhere more secluded? You could work kettlebell swings, goblet squats etc. After doing that a few times, your comfort level may increase to the point of working with the weights...

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Concept 2 has lots of awesome tutorials online along with videos to help new rowers. I really do think it would be a good fit for you in terms of cardio (assuming there is one at the gym). http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/technique-videos

 

Soooooo I used the rower today, only 10 min. I'm glad no one was there to see me. I watched the video, started with my arms, moved to body, added legs just as the video showed. I think I looked like a clown, because I sure felt like one.

 

 

If you are intimidated by the weight room, perhaps you could walk-in, and take a kettle bell somewhere more secluded? You could work kettlebell swings, goblet squats etc. After doing that a few times, your comfort level may increase to the point of working with the weights...

There is only the weight room, and the main machine room.

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Thank you!

 

 

I honestly have no idea how to use one of those appropriately or effectively. The Snap here does not really offer anyone that can show people how to really use the machines. It's one of those 'no handler on duty' type places that you swipe a card to get into and has security cameras.

 

The one here has treadmills, ellipticals, a cybex, a few weight machines, I think I saw a rowing machine. It has a free weight room that is quite intimidating, with the standard bars and disks and dumbells, some kettles, balance balls, and what I think of as 'lady weights'- those bright coloured little dumbells.

 

 

 

 

I'll look for them, thank you.

 

 

I am not kidding when I say that I do not have that space. There is 1' between my bed and the wall. Between the tv & couch is a 4' square of space.

 

That is what I am currently doing, except that I've extended the weeks- I did the 1st week, the 2nd week, and went back to the 1st week because I couldn't do the 2nd week.

 

 

I do that as part of my job, I'm a paramedic. It is absolutely murdering my lower back.

 

 

Thank you for the welcome and ideas! 

Yikes about the space :/ Do you have any yard? If it's not raining, you could do yoga outside, I've heard that's fun!

 

For your back, try other yoga poses. Most yoga that's good for your back is stuff you can do laying down. My bf had to do some yoga poses when he went to the chiropractor for his lower back and he did them laying in bed most of the time. Try some of these: #2 is good, #3, #4a, and also look up the cobra pose. 

 

Extending the weeks is a good idea, I've done that before! I hope it helps!

 

Soooooo I used the rower today, only 10 min. I'm glad no one was there to see me. I watched the video, started with my arms, moved to body, added legs just as the video showed. I think I looked like a clown, because I sure felt like one.

There is only the weight room, and the main machine room.

You probably didn't :) One of my good friends is a rower and she uses the rowing machine on the off season. It's excellent for you and it's not terribly hard. Though I understand wanting some help using it!

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Grey Jedi Ranger

Jedi Goes Beyond: Plus Ultra!

Jedi Battle Log

“That's the key isn't it? To know the darkness will always remain, but how you choose to face it, handle it... that's the important part. To not let it consume. To focus on the good, the things that fill you with wonder. That struggle with the darkness is worth it to see such things.”

- Amren, A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Challenges#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10#11#12#13#14#15#16, #17#18#19#20#21#22#23#24#25#26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33,  #34#35#36#37#38#39#40#41#42#43#44, #45#46

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Soooooo I used the rower today, only 10 min. I'm glad no one was there to see me. I watched the video, started with my arms, moved to body, added legs just as the video showed. I think I looked like a clown, because I sure felt like one.

First, MAJOR KUDOS for trying the rower out. It may feel strange at first, but once you get the hang of it, it won't be so awkward. I'd say give it a few sessions, and if it isn't for you then so be it! I'm sure you'll find something :) Also, 10 min is no joke on the rower...

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Welcome to the Rebellion! :D We're happy you're here, and we're always happy to help in any way we can.

 

You are absolutely on track with going back to Week 1 on the C25K program. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they begin any kind of exercise regime is pushing too hard, too fast. There is ZERO shame in getting 100% on a 'level' before moving on the next one. If you really want to work through this program, it may help to set mini-goals for yourself to accomplish; you already seem to have an idea of how you want to see your 1 mile time improve. If you haven't done so already, it may help to do the math: calculate how many extra seconds you'd need to add to your sprint times in order to lower your current average time from 22 minutes to 21 minutes, then come up with a schedule to get yourself there. Try it out for a week, and if you feel like you're on a good upwards slope, keep it going; if you find yourself really struggling, scale it back until you find that sweet spot that leaves you feeling challenged in a good way.

 

For the record, when I first start running (almost a decade ago!) I couldn't jog for more than a minute without feeling like I was dying. It took all the courage I had to keep going back to the gym - I dreaded every step on that damn treadmill. It felt like the whole gym must be able to hear me wheezing and pounding along... but I hated feeling that out-of-shape more than I hated the idea of a building full a strangers silently judging me, so I kept going back. I did exactly what I'm recommending you try now: I found a pace I could maintain (15 min/mi), and I broke my treadmill time into increments of "push yourself" and "recover". I literally started out walking for 5 minutes and jogging for 30 seconds, and increased my jogging time for 10 seconds over the course of god-knows-how-long. It seemed like it took forever just to get to where I could jog for a whole minute without the "a rider on a pale horse approacheth" feeling - but it was such an awesome feeling once I got there!

 

I gotta say, though, if you hate running there is absolutely no reason why you should feel compelled to include it in your workouts. There are tons of other ways to improve your cardio: jump rope and cycling are two popular exercises. Rowing, as wovercast suggested, is also an excellent way to get your heart rate up and is a full-body exercise. Looking for a way to do some cardio before bedtime? Take that 4 ft of space you have between your couch and TV and do jumping jacks! I'd also suggest mountain climbers as an alternative, but since you're 5' 8" I know from personal experience (at 5' 7") it's a tight squeeze to do those in such a small space. :P

 

I also second GonnaBeAJedi<3's suggestion of walking with a pack - better known in the military as "rucking". The key to that is (as with running) increasing the weight in teeny-tiny increments. Find a scale and get your starting weight; it should feels heavy, but not so heavy that you experience actual pain within an hour from putting it on. A good rule of thumb is to pack it lighter than you think you want to handle and increase the weight after a week of regular wear. If rucking is something you are interested in, I would suggest starting out on the treadmill while you assess your carrying weight. Don't forget to increase the incline to at least a 2 if you do this; this better mimics the actual strain you feel walking on solid ground. It will take longer to work up in weight than you would think, so remember to be patient. One of my favorite quotes from Skyrim is a great reminder to stay focused on the small goals, and trust that accomplishing them will get you where you want to be: "Eyes on the prey, not the horizon."

 

There are tons of HIIT routines available for free online that will get your heartrate up and can be modified to your ability and comfort level. Steve's written a couple articles about it as well: Interval Training - Kick Your Ass and Kickstart Your Metabolism in 20 Minutes and Tabata Training: the Most Efficient 4 Minutes of Your Life. A quick search on Pinterest will give you a myriad of possible routines, too.

The most important thing is to always start small, plan out your steps ahead of time, and then focus on the little wins as you progress. It's amazing how far you can get when you really zoom in and focus on connecting your current dot to the next one.

 

dot-to-dot.jpg

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... I couldn't jog for more than a minute without feeling like I was dying. It took all the courage I had to keep going back to the gym - I dreaded every step on that damn treadmill. 

 

THIS. SO much this. I HATE it. I hate it with every cell of my being. I might like it.. or at least tolerate it better... if I could see some change. Endurance, weight, inches lost, something.

 

 

 

 gotta say, though, if you hate running there is absolutely no reason why you should feel compelled to include it in your workouts. There are tons of other ways to improve your cardio: jump rope and cycling are two popular exercises

 

Unfortunately, I need to be able to run 1.5mi  :nightmare:  It is not expressly stated, but it is known that at my age (38) I need to have it done within 16min.

 

This is the physical test I have to be able to pass by this time next year or I will lose my job:

 

EMS Medic Field Physical Ability Course

I: Pre-test warm up

There is a 1.5 mile, walk/run that is designed as a warm-up.  This is not a timed event but is required to insure proper warm-up.

 

II: Pre-employment skills proficiency test Skill 1-Patient Rescue & Obstacle Course

Description

The applicant will don standard issue bunker gear and pick up a trauma bag (10 lbs), walk 50 feet to a vehicle.  The applicant will crawl through a designated vehicle window with the trauma bag, and out the opposite window.  The applicant will open the designated car door to gain access to a simulated patient (manikin weighing 155 lbs.)  The applicant will then rapidly remove the manikin from the vehicle and drag it 50 ft.  After laying the manikin down, the applicant (with the trauma bag) will then walk 100 ft to a short obstacle course.  The obstacle course involves climbing a 4 ft fence, crawling through a 5’ x 15†opening, followed by a 25 ft drainage pipe and a 105 ft walk to finish line.

 

Skill 2 – Equipment Carry

Description

The applicant will carry a 50 lb object 50 feet, set the object down, pick it back up and carry the object back to the starting point.

 

Skill 3 – Stair Climb

Description

The applicant will then pick up the combo bag (25 lbs) and cardiac monitor (15 lbs) and carry them 35 ft to the tower.  Applicant will climb to the 3rd floor with equipment, set the equipment down at the top of the stairs and perform 2 minutes of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).  The applicant will then carry a stair chair with secured patient weighing 170 lbs down the stairs with one assistant.

Skill 4 – Lifting and Moving Scoop and Ambulance Stretcher

Description

With one assistant, the applicant will lift a 140 lb scoop stretcher, carry it 50 feet and place it on the hydraulic ambulance stretcher while the stretcher is in low position. The applicant will then load and secure the hydraulic stretcher into the ambulance. Assistant will verify the hydraulic stretcher has been secured in unit.  Following this the applicant will enter the ambulance and lift the scoop stretcher off the hydraulic ambulance stretcher and place it on the bench seat of the unit with the aid of one assistant.  The applicant and assistant will lift the scoop stretcher off the bench seat, place it back on the hydraulic ambulance stretcher and step out of the unit.  In conclusion, applicant will unload the hydraulic ambulance stretcher from the unit.

 

Skill 5 – OPA and Oxygen Regulator Connection

Description

The applicant will retrieve an airway bag (22 lbs) and backboard from the ambulance, walk 180 ft to the assessment station and attach the oxygen regulator to the “D†tank oxygen bottle in a squatting position. The applicants will then insert an OPA, apply a bag valve mask and ventilate a manikin that will be placed supine on the ground. The applicant will be required to perform this skill at ground level.  The applicant must perform above skills according to the NREMT-P standards of care.  The Proctor will give the applicant verbal instruction for the sequence of the O2 regulator connection and adult airway management skills.

 

Skill 6 – Stretcher Obstacle Course

Description

The applicant will walk approximately 15 feet to the next event.  The applicant will lift a hydraulic stretcher, secured with 160lbs of simulated patient weight3, with one assistant and carry it over a log.  The applicant and his/her assistant will then lift the hydraulic stretcher into its highest position and maneuver the stretcher 200 feet over uneven ground. The applicant will then walk 15 ft and pick up a bunker bag (30 Lbs) and carry it 200 ft back to the start finish line.

 

I am an old hand at 'rucking'. Part of my goal set is to do the Appalachian (or some other continental) trail hike. I was in the Army some 20 years ago (omg that long already?!?) and until I got knocked up, I was in prime fitness. I was a hiking fool. I love it.

 

Thank you for the links, I've never done the HIIT before, I've seen it everywhere, but I don't know enough about it+my current weight/health/fitness to know if it's really safe for my joints (which are already strained).

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THIS. SO much this. I HATE it. I hate it with every cell of my being. I might like it.. or at least tolerate it better... if I could see some change. Endurance, weight, inches lost, something.

 

I know the feeling of hating running with every cell of my being. If the zombie apocalypse happens, the shambling zombies are going to catch me and have me for dinner. 

 

Good luck with your journey. :)

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Welcome Glitter Girl.  I saw the Hayward/ Spooner tag so I popped in.  I don't live there, I'm one of the damn tourists who comes for the mountain biking.  

 

Your job gives nice, clear goals to work toward.  C25K seems like a good starting point.  A lot of starting running is getting mentally used to the misery and pain, once you reconcile yourself to that you will begin to make progress.

 

SNAP should have someone who is there occasionally to show you haw to use the weight machines.  I know they're denigrated around here, but they're a good starting point and after a few weeks you can start swapping out the weight machines with free weights.

 

Good luck. 

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“We might as well start where we are, use what we have and do what we can." – Caitlin Rivers

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Man do I hate the treadmill, too.  Back in highschool and in the Army I used to run 3-5 miles every day.  Then I got sedentary and just started ballooning.  My food intake never really went down and I still ate crap...

 

I have some back issues in my lower back too.  Injured myself on the job a few years back and afterwards every doctor just says "Well, you need to lose weight."  No amount of cardio felt okay because I just kept killing my back and knees with the effort, and it made me loathe the next "workout".

 

Now I'm doing strength training, keeping the weights low and focusing on technique.  Already seeing some great improvements and my girlfriend just told me she can see that I'm slimming down today.  I've also noticed that building the muscle is more fun, and as I get stronger my back is feeling better too.  (Even though my weight is actually UP since I started...)

 

You might look into the hotel room workouts and bodyweight workouts, as mentioned above.  I'd also suggest some of those light "lady weights" as you called them.  Doing things like Standing Flys, Standing Shoulder Presses, Squats, and even Deadlifts might help build some back muscle, but check with the doctor before you do them.  (You'll feel silly, but you can totally do them without weights or with dumbbells, too.  It's a good start to work on form and it's more activity and stimulation than those muscles are probably used too.)

 

The most important thing is to keep the effort exciting for you.  Find a reason to keep going back to the gym.  That was the hardest part for me.

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That EMT test looks a lot like the ones for firefighters I've seen before, and the APFT you and I were doing a decade (or two) ago.  :)

 

Try the farmer's carry with some moderate weights to build grip strength, form is important though.  Don't want to hurt your back with those weights. And maybe WALK the treadmill with a high incline.  It'll build leg muscle (which you need on that test) that won't tear up your joints as much.  It's how I warm up before I lift weights.  (Usually set the incline around 6 and the speed at 2.5 mph, though sometimes I go faster or slower.)  It's also low impact and I can catch up on the news when I do.

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Yikes about the space :/ Do you have any yard? If it's not raining, you could do yoga outside, I've heard that's fun!

I do have a yard, but it's winter in Wisconsin.

 

I've been looking into yoga, there's a yoga+bar about an hour and half away that I want to try, since they have TRX and pilates sometimes. I already know I love pilates.

 

 

That EMT test looks a lot like the ones for firefighters I've seen before, and the APFT you and I were doing a decade (or two) ago.   :)
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