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Some fitness questions

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by jnojr, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. jnojr

    jnojr Grrrrrrr...

    Apr 15, 2004
    San Diego, CA.
    1) How often per week should I do various things? I know you need to let things sit after lifting weights, but for how long? A day, two, three?

    2) Same thing with aerobic exercise... I'm spending a half-hour a day on the elliptical. Should i go every day, skip some, go twice a day...

    3) Running (even on the treadmill) gives me shin splints. I have to get over that for the academy. This is something i'm getting pretty desperate about.

    4) I need some kind of book that talks about what kinds of foods to eat when. I hear people say things like "No carbs after 6" I don't know what has carbs, what other rules there are, etc. I try to eat as healthfully as I can, but I know nothing about this sort of thing.
  2. Glock13


    Jul 9, 2003
    Boston, MA
    As far as how long to wait between workouts, let your body tell you how long to wait. With weights, the basic rule is not to work the same body part more than once a week. This is different for different people, but that is a pretty good rule. If you are just starting, it may be a little longer, maybe 9-10 days. A good start would be weights four days per week, working a different body part each day.

    As far as cardio, with the elliptical, you don't really need to wait after a cardio workout. You should still take days off, but a half hour of the elliptical shouldn't tax your body enough to have to space them out too much. I would say you could do it as often as 5 times per week if you want.

    As far as what to eat, it depends what you are trying to do with your body. If you are not trying to drop weight, don't worry about your carbs. If you are just trying to get in good shape, you are going to need plenty of carbs. A good source for this would be oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, etc. If you need to cut weight, then I would suggest cutting back on carbs. If you are lifting and doing cardio, keep up both the carbs and protein. Good sources of protein are tuna, low-fat cottage cheese, fish, chicken, turkey, protein powder, and certain beans. A good complete book you can pick up is Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding". You can get the softcover for around $20. It's thick and, lifting, rest, exercises, and training.

    Tell us what exactly you are trying to achieve with your body and we can give you more advice.

  3. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    I respectfully disagree with Glock13. I think there are quite a few training philosopies that allow you to train "body parts" more than once a week. There are a lot of variables that go into determining training frequency. World class Oly lifters train 6 to 7 days per week in multiple sessions each day. They train full body. Louie Simmons, one of the worlds leading powerlifting coaches, has his liftters train the bench and aquat 2 times weekly. Pavel T, well known fitness author, has one program where you train 2 lifts (usually deadlift and sidepress) 4 or 5 times per week. Also, I believe that beginers can succesffuly train more frequently not less. Now, I also believe that some types of training you should only train bodyparts once weekly (of course training bodyparts doesn't make sense to ME. After all, the body is one piece not a bunch of parts). It just depends.

    As far as your questions go, it would be helpful if we had more background. What are your goals and health and fitness history?

  4. jnojr

    jnojr Grrrrrrr...

    Apr 15, 2004
    San Diego, CA.
    I'm 34, 6'1", 170# My health is fine. I'm trying to get ready for the academy... I'm nearly at the end of the hiring proces with the Sheriffs Department.

    I go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week, and do 30 minutes on the elliptical each time. Roughly, on Mondays and Thursdays, I do upper-body, and Tuesdays and Fridays lower-body.

    About a month ago, I went to Vegas, and between other things, wound up taking a week and a hlf or so off of the gym. When I went back, I was sure I was going to have to "make up lost ground", but I did better than ever and increased weight on most of the machines. That was what started me wondering about how long to go between exercising certain muscles.

    As far as the food thing, I desperately need a class or an easy-to-understand book that will tell me what kinds of foods have what sorts of "stuff" in them, and to figure out how much of what to eat when. Not any fad diet or anything... just like what sorts of things to eat first thing in the AM, what sorts of things to eat before or after a workout, etc. Right now, I'm just wildly guessing, and the best I can do is avoid fast food as much as possible, which is tough because I couldn't cook my way out of a wet paper bag.
  5. xcop


    Oct 5, 2001
    Every academy I am aware of has you do pushups,situps,pullups and squat thrusts/burpees. You better be doing those and not lifting weights if you want to be ready. Benching 250 for 6 reps isnt the same as 50 pushups. Also running. If running hurts too bad get used to it now not the second week of the academy. In my academy they started booting people for failure to keep up or pass pt tests. You dont want to stick out. No academy I am aware of has you lift weights. California Post sets minimum fitness guidlines and they periodically change but only in how far you run and what the obstacle course contains. People who cant do a fair amount of pushups,pullups etc will stick out like a sore thumb as people who didnt prepare.
  6. truculent


    Aug 16, 2005
    CO & TX (sadly)

    I happen to be in superb shape; not trying to brag. I really am between all my exercise, great eating, and fight training I used to do.

    I'm going to list what I do and what works for me, and you can take whatever you can from it.

    DIET: I eat mainly meats, fruits and vegetables. If I'm doing carbs, it's usually rice or crackers...sometimes chips on the go. I try and get a lot of healthy carbs from fruits and vegetables. I snack on these health foods a lot too. I don't eat too much red meat, just because. Steak once every two weeks, beef once a week. Lots of chicken and fish. If you're working out hard, you'll need the vitamins and antioxidants. If you aren't eating five servings of fruit a day like I am, than you might want to start taking vitamin supplements. Stay away from pop! Bad sugar, bad carbs, bad carbonation.

    EXERCISE: I run three days a week, lift weights four. Sometimes I'll do both workouts in one day. I split my muscle groups into two and alternate. When I start to notice a plateau in my lifting, I do rest. Several days, maybe even a week. With how rigorous and religious I am about working out, it pays off to take a break and recuperate. Several reasons for this: 1) I need to catch up physically on rest, 2) I can not seem to consume enough food and caloric intake to match my level of intensity, 3) I'm not getting enough protein, causing me to "burn" off my rebuilding muscle tissue in my workouts. 4) Workouts are getting mundane, I need a break.

    This lifestyle was really put to test when I started doing MMA fighting. If I had the right balance of sleep, exercise, and good food, I would feel SSOOOOOOOOO on top of my game. If I got off track too far, I would see drastic reduction in my performance. (e.g. eating MickeyD's the night before one time slowed me down, and cost me my reflexes the following evening.)

    Some things to understand, ABOUT ME: I workout hard just to maintain my weight. I could probably consume ice-cream, burgers and sodapop everynight and not gain a pound. I don't do this, however, because it's not healthy and it would effect my "hobbies" in life. I've followed this regime or a similar one now for about five years. I notice negative effects when I get away from it, and it bothers me. Once I've been to the physical state I got to, I don't want to go back.

    My only pointers: start running. The elliptical's not the same. Steer clear of not just fast food, but any food purchased from a restaurant, no matter how healthy they supposedly tell you it is. (Including that d*** McDonald's Fruit and Walnut Salad. That thing's bad for you.) Learn to cook meat and you'll be fine. Get use to buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them raw, cooked, microwaved, whatever. Learn how to make rice and pasta. Heck, if you can't cook the meat, grill it everynight. I usually do in the summer.

    I'm up for more specific questions dealing with this, as I have been experimenting through trial-and-error for the last 9 years. Maybe you should email though instead.
  7. truculent


    Aug 16, 2005
    CO & TX (sadly)

    That sounds right. When I weighed 132lbs and was parallel squatting 385, I was squatting up to four times a week.
  8. five-0


    Apr 21, 2000
    MiddleTn far as police academy prep goes, xcop gave great advice.

    I've been through three (1 military, 2 state) and my experience mirrors what he said.
    Good luck.
  9. mhill


    Dec 7, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm going to give it to you straight.

    You need to get ready for the running first and foremost. Start by walking 2 miles. Then jog really slow for 90 seconds then walk for 60 seconds. Move yourself into harder exercise very slowly. You won't get the chance to do this in the Academy so do it now. You need time to build up at your age to be ready.

    Start doing Situps and pushups and pullups every day. Do three sets until you can't do anymore. You need to push yourself up. Lifting weights could help this but doing the exercise that you will be doing in the Academy is the sure way to improve your results.

    Get off the elliptical trainer, bike, swimming, ... These will do you no good. You need to improve your resistance to the impacts of running.

    Good Luck,