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24 Nov 2004

Good enough?
I train at gym 5 days a week, My routine is a 10 min warm up on cross trainer, 15 minute weights session (alternating free weights 1 day & machines the next day) , 20 minute cross trainer, 40 min spin class followed by 10 min step machine or 35 min spinning followed by 20 min run on treadmill. This is standard for Mon,Tues,Thur& Fri. Wednesday is my day off gym, however I do spin at home for 40 - 60 min. Saturday I do a spin class & 30 min cross trainer and Sunday I do a recreational cycle for approx 1-2 hrs. My point is, I can't seem to raise my heart rate in a spinning class - I average at 114-116 which is pathetic, even though I feel I am working very hard and I seem to fatigue quickly. I don't have this problem with any other activity I do and when I spin at home, I average at 124-130. I must admit, I definately have lost the passion for excercises, it used to be my no 1 priority through sickness & health, now I have no desire anymore and yet I still continue mostly because it's so ingrained in my daily routine (5am) but I don;t and can't train with the intensity that I used to. I eat 3 meals a day with a snack between each. Now I'm getting paronoid as I have actually cut back on my cardio (1.1/2 hrs to 1hour) buy I can't cut back on my eating as I am hungry all the time, now I am scard I am going to pick up weight. I feel like I.m in such a dilemma, I often want to take a complete rest day, but because I eat so much, I feel I can't.
Any suggestions????
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi CK

Well your question has certainly inspired a number of responses, and so if it is any consolation you are not alone in this situation, and you've seen that now. It is a very difficult problem, but just the fact that it is so common might indicate that there's a relatively simple explanation for it.

Looking at your programme, the first thing that jumps out is that there is not a single day of rest. Five days gym, one day spinning at home, weekends doing other training. The most important part of any training programme is not what you do, but how you rest, and rest is absolutely vital to long term success. Therefore, if you change nothing else, I do think that you need to introduce TWO rest days into your programme right away. By rest day, I don't mean a day off gym, I mean NOTHING. This is not going to be permanent, but perhaps a month where you rest more will help you.

If I look a little more closely at the programme, I think that you are trying to "kill too many birds with one stone". It seems as though you are charging from one machine to another, spreading yourself extremely thin to try achieve as much as possible in as short a time as possible. I really believe that if you rather simplified sessions, you would enjoy them more. For example, why not do weight training only on Mondays and Thursdays, and cardio Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Rest on Wednesday and Sunday. By doing this, you allow yourself a different focus - you will no longer be doing everything, but you can focus on one activity per day. Set yourself challenges - aim for fitness, aim to 'conquer' a cardio session. I think that by pouring your energy into once activity instead of about 6, you will find more enthusiasm.

Next, stop worrying about heart rate. Heart rate is like hair colour, it doesn't matter! Ok, that's an oversimplification, but I don't think that you are gaining anything from looking at your heart rate. Why bother, all it is doing is making you tense that your training is not optimal. I think that you would be better off if you just did your sessions without looking at either time or the watch, and just concentrate on your body - how do you feel, how are your legs etc? That's the way to enjoy exercise.

Finally, off all the responses on the forum, the best one is from NM. Just take a week off - it seems like a big thing perhaps, but it's what you need. Physiologically, psychologically, however you want to break it down, the body needs a break, and I really belive that if you take a week off, you will come back stronger.

Good luck
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