Got your tickets?

Ok, so two weeks have gone by and I’ve been to the gym 8 times. Five nights last week and then every night this week except for last night because they closed early. I have to admit (believe me I never though I would say this — although technically I’m not really saying it, I’m typing it) … I’m starting to look forward to working out.

My big issue with the whole “gym” and “working out” thing is that there is so much contradictory information on the subject available online and magazines. I’m not trying to be Mr. Multiverse, I’m just trying to plan my work outs without crippling myself, but there doesn’t seem to be anything out there general enough for fat people who just want to lose weight. Everything assumes either you’re stupid and expect overnight success and therefore condescendingly barrage you with statistics about how hard it is to lose weight (but yet so simple) or they think everyone wants to be a Olympian. (Obligatory Olympics reference, go USA!)

I’m not letting this discourage me though, I figure as long as nothing hurts in a painful way, it can’t be that bad. lol

Some sites will tell you to do strength training first, some say do cardio first. Some say break your cardio into 10-15 chunks and do strength training between them. Some say eat after you work out, some say don’t. It’s really ridiculous. I do notice that they tend to offer advice that corresponds to whatever ads are on their site.

I’ve been told to perform this equation to get your maximum heart rate: 220 – Age. Mine is 186 beats per minute. (There’s other formulas out there, but using them I get pretty much the same total.) Now, your target heart rate is supposedly between 60-80% of this figure. The lower end of this range burns more fat and the upper end is more for cardio training. I shoot for 110-120 BPM. At the time of writing, this is basically a brisk walk: 3MPH at a 3.5oincline.

I’m guessing that because I’ve been a vegetable for so long my heart rate is high (blood pressure is normal though!) My Resting Heart Rate is 84-87 BPM. Yikes.

I’ve given up on the elliptical machines for the time being because once I add any reasonable amount of resistance, my heart rate skyrockets to 160+BPM and without resistance it’s just annoying to use.

Now, my big issue is that every article in every magazine or website throws around that you should should shoot for 600 calories per treadmill session. At 3MPH/3.5o incline this will take me 4 hours, according to the machines. Fuck that.

So here’s what I’ve been doing, feel free to offer advice. I abandoned all this confusing crap and do what feels right. I walk on the treadmill for about 10 minutes when I first get there to warm up a bit then head to the weight machines and do a few reps on a couple machines, usually sticking to either my upper or lower body each day. I’ll do a machine or two, then go back on the treadmill for a half hour or 45 minutes, then go a few more machines. I’ll stick to arms/back one day and then legs the next. I’ve been mixing them a bit, but generally I’m keeping to that routine. I’m kind of feeling out the place but I’ll be doing more once I get more comfortable. Free weights look fun, but I’m afraig I’ll hit myself in the head or drop them on my foot.. I’ll just watch the cute guys use them for now.

I can say in all honesty that I feel better than I have in months, so I’m using that as my motivation and I’m avoiding scales like they were all vaginas — there’s no way I’m going near the things.

I laugh every time I think of Carlos’s comment that I’d feel like I have polio for two weeks… so true, but it’s kind of nice to actually FEEL some of these muscles in my body for the first time. :)

Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn Q&L into some weird gym diary, but I wanted to let y’all know I’m actually going! :)