Hello - this is a going to be a long post filled with questions related to exercise, nutrition, and health - and I am looking for a lot of answers so please help if you can.
My name is Kenny and I'm 20 years old. I weigh 160. I'm about 5 feet 7 - and one important thing is that I'm a vegetarian - always have been (religious reasons). I have been working out consistently (with gaps here and there for injuries/studying/events/etc) since mid december of 07. I'm not really sure what my body/fat ratio and things like that are (how do I find out?).
- i am not very knowledgeable with different types of exercises and their names, as you'll see when I try to describe the exercises I do - so please talk in simple terms and explain to me the names of the exercises and what they do - or ill have lots of follow up questions!
My goal is to get rid of my body fat and also tone up - and in the process hopefully improve my heart (a lot of Indians have weak hearts,my grandpa died of a heart attack). I weighed around 175 when I started but I weigh around 157-160 lbs now. So I have had some improvement results - such as losing weight and also my biceps are much bigger now and I have muscles. However, I still have some belly fat and I want to get rid of it, while also toning up - what is the best way to do this? I'm not sure - do I get rid of the fat first and then tone up, or do I do tone up exercises which will convert the fat into muscle? I am also a basketball player and one thing that has always been my weakness is stamina - I'm a pretty good player and I'm pretty quick but once we play a couple games I start breathing hard and I start slowing down - I can't give it my all because I believe I lack stamina - it's been like that in high school too.
my workout routine
this is the area that i need the most help in - i know that i am supposed to do things like triceps/chest one day and biceps/back another day - but I never really bothered doing it like that. This was because of one main reason: i want to know what I'm doing before I make out some sort of schedule (which is why I'm here). The way I do it is that I lift every other day and the days I'm not lifting I usually do cardio (run a 1.5 or 2 miles). But when I am lifting - I do have a routine, but it is not something that is very organized, or focuses on one area of the body (I go into detail below). My theory is that I work one area of the body - for example i lift 35 lbs with the dumbbells( 3 sets of 10) and then while my arms are resting, i go do some ab exercise or something like that. after my ab exercise my arms should be rested then I do another arm exercise.
My workout routine right now goes something like this - I will go into a fitness club and first stretch my legs and arms for a little bit (if you guys know any good stretch techniques that may be helpful also). After stretching, I start my exercises - please let me know if you know the proper term for these exercise.
I first go to this machine where you use your underarms to support you and then you lift your knees straight up to your chest. I usually do 3 sets of 10 for every exercise and sometimes change to a higher weight on the last set.
After that exercise - i go to the dumbbells, grab 10 pounders, and then I do an exercise where I lift the dumbbells straight in front of me up to mouth level, and then pull them both to the side. The last set I do 15 lbs. That's another thing that I need help with - for a lot of these exercises I have no idea what part of my body it is working - so please let me know.
After that exercise- I usually do a tricep exercise ( I think) - where I grab 40 pound dumbbells and basically keep them at my side and then lift my shoulders straight up and down.
After that, I let my arms rest while I go do a sit up exercise - the Ab Solo - where there are 9 lb balls which you throw into this machine and they come back to you (while youre doing sit ups)
After that, I go back to the dumbbells and I do a exercise with 15 pounders. I basically have the bells in front of me and then I lift them straight up, one at a time. straight up to mouth level and then back down. I'm not sure what this works but I think it helps you.
After that, I will go to this ab machine - it basically rotates your torso ( you adjust it to work your left side and then your right) - on the machine it says it works your abs and then the things on the right and left of your abs, I forget the name. I do 110 lbs on that for 3 sets while my arms are resting.
Then, I go back to the dumbbells and sit down on a bench and do a bicep exercise, where I simply lift the dumbbell with my arms (left arm first). So i will grab a 35 pound bell and do 10 reps with my left hand and then 10 with my right, and then repeat that two more times. I can feel it, but not as much as the bicep machine I will do at the end.
Next, my arms are tired now so I go do another ab exercise which is I think called the ab crunch. It is on a machine - this machine a lot of people dont like because it hurts their backs - but I'm used to it - I usually do 40 lbs and 3 sets.
Now I will usually go and do a tricep exercise ( i think). it is on a machine where you grab the bar which is above your head and you pull the bar down with your forearms and you let it go back up and repeat. This may be for the shoulders too, I'm not sure - what's the difference between triceps, deltoids, and shoulders?
After this, I will go do another ab exercise - this one is probably the most effective - it is a sit up machine where I can add weight onto it (I add 20) - it is very hard the last set but I think it helps a lot.
After that, I do another tricep (i think) exercise - where I grab a 30 lb dumbbell and lift it behind my head and then extend my arms up and down.
Following that I do some sort of ab ( i think) exercise where there there is a slanted ledge and you put your hands crossed on your chest and then you lean the top half of your body down and then back up.
Finally, I do this bicep machine where your arms are extended out and you lift the handle up and down, like a dumbbell. I put it at 60 lbs and 80 on the last set - I feel it much more when I'm done than the dumbbells, maybe because I do not have to balance the machine.
There are the main exercises I have been doing on the days that I lift usually takes me an hour and a half - recently, I have been doing a couple pull ups also ( I could never do pull ups before but now I have some muscle). Also, I have been starting to use to the bench press because I know that helps your upper body a lot, but the bar seems to always shake when I am holding it, I usually add 10-15 pounds on both sides. I have only done it a few times so far so I'm sure it'll be easier once i keep doing it.
I know this seems terribly unorganized and I have no idea what I'm doing, and it's true and that's why I'm here.
After I come home, I usually eat my vegetarian food - (indian food) and then I mix my Nectar protein shake 23grams of protein and no fat). I believe this shake is vital for me since I don't eat meat- don't get much protein. I still don't drink the shake everyday though, but I think I should - actually I think I'm supposed to drink it twice a day. I get the Nectar protein though, not the weight gainer - keep in mind I don't want to a 3,500 calorie diet, I want to lose weight and tone up, not gain weight.
on days that I am not lifting, I will usually go on the treadmill and run around 2 miles in 22-23 minutes. What I do is start off really slow and then gradually increase the speed and then go around 7-8 speed for the last few minutes. I found that when I have my ipod and I am playing my "Workout" playlist - I have more adrenaline and I am able to run for a longer time. (what do you guys listen to?)
So that is my workout routine on both days - please advise. I want to tone up my abs also - and I believe the 10 exercises on this website would be helpful - however it just lists the names of the exercises - can anyone elaborate?
10 Best Ab Exercises
* Bicycle Maneuver
* Ab Crunch
* Reverse Ab Curl
* Double Crunch
* Cable Kneeling Rope Crunch
* Machine Hanging Knee Raise
* Fitball Advanced Reverse Crunch
* Lying Bent Knee Leg Lift
* Machine Angled Leg Raise
* Incline Bench Leg Raise
I have been doing some cardio research on my own - here is what interested me:
HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training
This seems very effective from what I read and I have gotten some of my friends interested also. Apparently it works much much faster than normal endurance cardio training when you're running outside or on the treadmill. Why is that? Just because your heart rate is up much higher? Does it have something to do with aerobic/anaerobic muscles being worked?
I have tried it out a few times but I have problems with it. I know I am not supposed to do it on the treadmill - so I do it on the exercise bike at my fitness club or work building. I read that I should warm up for a few minutes and then do 6 seconds as hard as you can and 9 seconds at like 70%. One question I have is what level do I put the exercise bike at? I usually put it around 7 but the RPM and results will differ on each level, the higher the level is the more difficulty. On level 7, I can keep up the HIITing for 3 minutes at max. Although I try to ride the bike fast for 6 seconds, during the 9 seconds I don't really think I'm running at 70%, more like I am resting up because of the previous 6 seconds and getting ready for the next 6 seconds. Please advise.
jumprope - I have also read that you can do HIIT on the jumprope - what do you guys recommend? I don't think I have done jumprope since elementary school.
Right now I am at a fitness center, but once school starts next week, I will be moving away and I will be working out at my rec center. However, for cardio, my friends want me to run outside with them, and not on the treadmill like I have been doing ( or exercise bike for HIIT). Do you guys think I can do HIIT more efficiently inside or outside?
I hear that the "gymboss" is a good thing to have if you are doing HIIT. It is an interval timer. Do you guys think it is worth it to buy it? Or as an alternative there is the "AccuFitness FatTrack II Digital Body Fat Caliper" - shoud I get that? Should I get a heart rate monitor?
fat loss and muscle gain with nutrition:
Here is a website for protein sources (most of the stuff is meat though): http://www.fitbuff.com/foods-high-in-protein-top-10-healthy-choices/
And here is one for a healthy diet:
The problem for me is that these websites were not created for vegetarians.
for breakfast i usually eat a banana and drink milk and maybe eat some cereal on the way to work - at work i buy a salad for lunch filled with lots of fruits and cottage cheese and stuff along with a piece of bread - for dinner i usually eat indian food daily (some sort of vegetable - 50% of the time its some sort potatoes - theres sometimes peas, along with a type of bread) (and then also i usually eat rice with lentils) - for a snack i usually try to eat some sort of pear or fruit - i have been cutting down on junk food and fast food, if i have to eat fast food it is usually subway (no oil and mayo)
So if anyone can help with any facet of this extremely long post - I'd appreciate it. Basically, I want a set schedule for my workout routines, but at the same time, I want it to be the most efficient exercises possible in relation to my goals.