strengthening and toning

maryanntxJune 9, 2002

I haven't exercised in over a year although I'm fairly active. I played several games of volleyball a couple of weeks ago and didn't get tired or winded so I guess I'm not in too bad of shape. lol

I am 53 years old and would like to lose 15 pounds, but that is not my main reason to exercise. I am taking a motorcycle safety class in a couple of weeks and would like to strenghten my leg and arm muscles. BF and I have a motorcycle and it weighs 650 pounds, so you have to be pretty strong to handle it. I also want to tighten my abs. I really don't have extra fat in that area but I do have loose muscles that if tightened would make me look slimmer. I'm not very self disciplined but I am going to try really hard. I live in a small town and don't have access to a fitness club. I plan to walk, do step exercises, and use my ab wheel.

Using those 3 applications, can someone in the know tell me what I should start out doing and how much to increase each week. Almost forgot...I also want to tone my upper arms so should I carry weights while walking or doing steps?

Thanks for any advise.


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Hi MaryAnn.I am not in the know as you put it but have done a lot of reading on sites which I find motivating and helpful.
Sounds like you are in fairly good shape to start.I would walk everday if you have the time.As far as the step exercise and the ab wheel you could do every other day for a change up as I find the same routine gets a little boring.
Might help if you log into a fitness site where you can post your data daily some have workout forms to keep track.
For weights I use a machine and hand weights .My video gives me a good routine and step by step program (sets and reps)Start of slow and increase as you feel comfortable.
As far as needing the strength for your bike I would definately work on the bicep and your tricep ,forearms for holding your bike:) Please remember to always stretch first and after just as important.

Enjoy your biking...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2002 at 11:04PM
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How fun, a motorcycle. I remember my ex had a Harley Fat Boy and I was learning to ride it. When I tried to turn, I dumped the bike! Bad scene. He was slightly upset! lol

Ok, 15 pounds is not much to lose so be patient. Also, ensure that you are drinking at least half your body weight in water. So if you weight 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces. Also, ensure your nutrition is sound. In other words, find what best fits your life. Low carb? Low fat? Low Cal? No desserts? It is best to eat 6 small meals a day for better digestion. Plus you do not feel deprived cuz you get to eat 6 times a day! When you lift weights, your metabolism speeds up! Isn't that awesome?! We women NEED that! And don't worry about bulking up.

Ab flab: I have never used a wheel before as I do crunches but I do think to really show good abs, you need to lower your body fat percentage.
I use this web site:

Upper body Strength: Elizabeth is right, work those triceps and biceps but do not forget your back/shoulders and chest.
I would get free weights (cheap at Walmart!)3 pounds/5 pounds/8 pounds/10 pounds to start. Do 3 sets/12 reps each/rest 1 minute between sets (Rest is important!) Keep a log as it will help you. Write down how you feel at a certain weight and if you need to increase or decrease the weight next time. After 4 weeks, change the weights and change the exercise.

Lower body: Squats and lunges. At first start these with out any weights. Get used to these for 4 weeks. After that, hold a weight in each hand while doing these. These are BIG muscles to work and they hurt the first week or so. But they are the best for lower body.

A GREAT place to learn about new exercises:

DO NOT hold any weights while you walk. This could lead to wrist injury and you cannot risk that riding a bike. WHen you walk, start of at a good pace, and then after a couple of weeks learn the form of Power Walking. It is a fast paced, controlled form of walking. I lost a lot of fat this way. Regular walking is cricital in the beginning to avoid shin splints. Who knows, maybe you will jog a bit too.

I would try this:
Monday/Cardio for 30 minutes (Stretch too)

Tuesday/Upper body weights for 30 minutes or more
(Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders, Chest, Back)

Wednesday/Cardio for 30 minutes

Thursday/Lower Body
(Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)

Friday/Cardio for 30 minutes

Sat/Sun: Off to rest

The stepper is for what use? A video or something? That sounds like cardio. You wanna burn fat, so lifting and cardio is criticial. Otherwise, too much cardio leads to muscle loss.

Hope I didn't overwhelm you. I have lost 80 pounds in 22 months by power walking, drinking water, lifting weights, eating right.

Do you know how many calories you need to lose weight? Go to this site and read it. It is LONG but worth it. He willhelp you figure out what you need.

Also, utilize - keeps you in line.

good luck!!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2002 at 9:15PM
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Thanks for all the info!
fangdangle, you are right about keeping track with workout forms! I have to have something like a calendar to enter each day what I have done. It helps to keep me going because I don't want more than 2 days in a row with nothing written on them.
Chantel, I checked out the first site you mentioned and did the measurements. This is the info I got:

Body fat percentage: 22.7%
Healthy body fat standard: 24.7% (adjusted for age)
Fat weight: 32.8 lbs.
Lean weight:112.2 lbs.
Target body weight: 0 lbs. (Your current weight minus the fat loss for health without any muscle gain)
Desired weight loss: 0 lbs. (The fat loss needed to reach a healthy level without muscle gain)
Body fat level: good
Suggested Exercise Level: general conditioning

I know I need to drink more water! I still eat like a teenager. I graze all day and eat anything I want.
The stepper is just an item I bought to do the step exercises on. It is about 6 inches tall. You simply step on and off of it. I used to go to the track and walk 4 miles daily. I also did steps on the bleachers. It was a 15 inch step. I finally had to quit doing the steps because my calves were getting too muscular.
It is just so hard to get started and motivated again. I don't have anybody to walk with and that holds me back. I know I can't let that stop me but I wrote the first post yesterday and I still haven't even done the ab wheel or steps and they are both sitting right by me. Someone come make me get started!!! Why is it so hard? When I used to walk the 4 miles daily it was like I was addicted to it. I even hated when someone invited us over for a party because I would rather be at the track! I wish I could get that feeling again.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2002 at 11:11PM
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I understand the motivation part. That is always a challenge.

22.7% body fat is terrific! My goal is to get to 18%.

See my pictures:

I wish I was close to you, I would walk with ya'! lol
It helps to get a walkman. Music makes a differance for sure.

Come over to the Diet threrad too! Lots of great people over there.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2002 at 1:05PM
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For sure MUSIC is a key factor to get me motivated plus the diet site gals:)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2002 at 9:56PM
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Chantel, I just checked out your photos at your website. You are looking GREAT! Congratulations! Thanks to you and fangdangle I feel like I will be able to get motivated! Jesse, my SO is coming in tomorrow and will be here for 4 or 5 days. I am going to get him to go to the track with me to help me get started. I will be reporting back.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 12:40AM
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Please do report back.... only you can do this and we will be here for you !!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 8:12AM
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Yep! Elizabeth said it all. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2002 at 12:42PM
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