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24 Feb 2004

What to do about training
Hi Fitness Doc - thanks to you and Diet Doc, after 3 months of dedicated training and eating correctly, I am finally starting to see results (well, small results, but that's all I need to keep me going). I need to lose 20kgs and have been doing 2x step class, 2 x 40min resistance training, and 2 x spinning classes a week...Now the only Instructress who could give us a hectic step class has been "let go" (Cos her classes were too fast and therefore deemed "dangerous) My problem is that I need to substitute the 2 x 60min step sessions with something as I don't get the same workout with the other instructresses. I could do 2 more spinning classes but am scared I will get too bored. I am probably going to start walking (I am very unfit when it comes to jogging) trying to go faster until I can jog, but I would like to know how long/far should I walk (fast pace) to burn the same amount as the step class (60min) Should I walk for an hour??AFter the step classes I was really buggered and had a good workout, so I don't want to do something less "energetic" Also, the 2 x 40min resistance training I do a week, should I spend the one session on just legs and the other just on arms? Or do 20min legs, 20min arms, each session? Thank you again for your advice!
Answer 304 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Tubby

That's great - congratulations - I'm very pleased for you!! It's a shame about the step class that you enjoyed so much - I find it hard to believe that gyms would let someone go because the intensity is too high - I would be of the opinion that people are able to choose whether they attend or not, and being fully aware of the requirements, would be responsible enough to choose a class they can handle - anyway, it's a pity, but you can make the best of the situation.

In terms of replacing the step class with walking, it's really hard to say what pace and for how long you would have to walk, because the step class would have varied so much - you know from experience that the different step classes are quite different in how you perceive them. HOwever, I would suggest that, purely from a safety point of view, you walk for about 20 to 30 minutes on the first occasion, and do this for about a week - you may find it is quite difficult to do 30 minutes, because walking is a very repetitive activity, and so getting used to it will take time. But, if you do find that you can easily walk 20 minutes, then you can start jogging it. I would not suggest an hour of walking, or running - it's a very repetitive activity, and you run a real risk of injury if you train for an hour. Not even most fairly committed runners will do 60 minutes of running every time. I would say that your aim should be a 40 minute run twice a week. This is comparable to the step class. However, even this might become repetitive, and so I would suggest altering the type of activity you do - being a gym member allows you access to a number of classes, and you can very easily alternate a spinning class with aerobics, with a session on the bicycle, the rowing machine, the stair climber - whatever you can find. I'm pretty sure that you will find a few more activities that give you the same workout and as much enjoyment as this step class - you are obviously getting fitter, and the nice thing about being fit is that you can begin to experiment with activities and intensities.

As for the weight training - I would recommended doing both arms and legs on one day - I don't think that for your goals, you have much to gain from doing only arms or legs. If the session was really intense, and you were trying to build muscle, then doing one muscle group per day works, because you need longer rests and a more intense focus. However, for toning you can do both, and in the long run, the consistency of doing two sessions a week for each group will be beneficial.

Good luck and keep it up!
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