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  1. #1
    debjh is offline Warming Up
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    exercise bike for thighs?

    I go to the gym on a regular basis . I am trying to tone my thighs and saddle bags. I use several machines at the gym recommended by my personal trainer. I am not using a PT now as it is too costly. I have been doing cardio on the treadmill. The elliptical hurts my knees. Will using a bike tone my legs or will my thighs just get bigger? I tried it today and it seemed to make them tight. My weight is ok, but my body fat is too high. I always am careful with my diet.


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  3. #2
    bipennate is offline Second Set
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    Quote Originally Posted by debjh
    I go to the gym on a regular basis . I am trying to tone my thighs and saddle bags. I use several machines at the gym recommended by my personal trainer. I am not using a PT now as it is too costly. I have been doing cardio on the treadmill. The elliptical hurts my knees. Will using a bike tone my legs or will my thighs just get bigger? I tried it today and it seemed to make them tight. My weight is ok, but my body fat is too high. I always am careful with my diet.
    You shouldn't be using "machines," you should be using freeweights. If your trainer never taught you this, your trainer wasn't worth the cost. Your legs don't get "big" from exercising, they get "big" from fat. Your cardio sessions will do little to help this if you're not focused on heavy weight training.

  4. #3
    debjh is offline Warming Up
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    I used a trainer when I was diagnosed with weak knees-tendonitis- after a period of not exercising while I took physical therapy for a lower back problem. The machines were to strengthen all the muscles around my knees. I also wanted to strengthen my shoulders and lats because I previously had bursitis in one shoulder.
    The trainer worked on those problems and at the same time we worked to tone the whole body. I am 54 and it takes longer to get back in shape. For the most part, she used free weights for my upper body.
    What is wrong with using machines on the lower body?

  5. #4
    bipennate is offline Second Set
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    Quote Originally Posted by debjh
    I used a trainer when I was diagnosed with weak knees-tendonitis- after a period of not exercising while I took physical therapy for a lower back problem. The machines were to strengthen all the muscles around my knees. I also wanted to strengthen my shoulders and lats because I previously had bursitis in one shoulder.
    The trainer worked on those problems and at the same time we worked to tone the whole body. I am 54 and it takes longer to get back in shape. For the most part, she used free weights for my upper body.
    What is wrong with using machines on the lower body?
    Machines have little/no functional carryover to real-world needs. In addition, some lower body machines are either potentially harmful directly (leg extension) or indirectly by disrupting muscle balance (leg press). Additionally, machines such as the abductor and adductor machines place the individual in a position where the muscles that they are supposedly working are in a weakened position, so that true muscle activity is masked by inefficient usage.

  6. #5
    LiveFromNY is offline Does NOT need to Deload !
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    you may be predisposed to carrying fat in that area. you should certainly diet and exercise but it may not give you the proportions you want.

  7. #6
    debjh is offline Warming Up
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    Maybe I should stop with the weight machines for a while and just do the exercises she gave me that use your own body weight--one legged squats,etc.I only use the machines one day a week anyway. Maybe I will use that time to add more cardio to my routine.
    Also, I don't think I am eating enough calories everyday. Tomorrow I will start counting calories and see. My diet is also low fat-maybe too low. I am allergic to whole wheat and peanuts. I am sensitive to white flour so I eat very little of it.

  8. #7
    bipennate is offline Second Set
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    Quote Originally Posted by debjh
    Maybe I should stop with the weight machines for a while and just do the exercises she gave me that use your own body weight--one legged squats,etc.I only use the machines one day a week anyway. Maybe I will use that time to add more cardio to my routine.
    Again, cardio is not going to bring you to your goals. You should replace that time with proper weight training. Cardio is not the answer.
    Also, I don't think I am eating enough calories everyday. Tomorrow I will start counting calories and see. My diet is also low fat-maybe too low. I am allergic to whole wheat and peanuts. I am sensitive to white flour so I eat very little of it.
    Only peanuts have fat, from what you've listed. However, fat is important and necessary in weight loss. Low fat doesn't serve much purpose in a diet, other than calorie reduction (which can be accomplished other ways).

  9. #8
    debjh is offline Warming Up
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    What do you consider proper weight training? Could you give me some examples?

  10. #9
    bipennate is offline Second Set
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    Quote Originally Posted by debjh
    What do you consider proper weight training? Could you give me some examples?
    The "standard" compound movements: squat variations, deadlift variations, upper body pushing (bench press variations, possibly overhead press variations) and upper body pull (lat pulldowns, chinups, rows, etc)

  11. #10
    BeFitr is offline In Orientation
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    Use caution before going heavy. bipennate is right in saying that your legs won't get big from exercising. They'll get muscular, but not big. Free weights are great if you use proper form and they don't cause you discomfort. Go light at first to master the form, then gradually increase the weight.

    - ddh

  12. #11
    Trainer Lynn is offline Verge of Overtraining
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    debjh,

    I wouldn't be so quick to stop machines just yet. Machines are excellent tools for certain situations. When starting a weight training routine, building strength around a weakned joint, or learning a new exercise.

    Adding more cardio to your program is probably not the answer to reducing your body fat levels. You'll probably be better off focusing on creating a kick butt nutrition program, followed by a great strength training routine and then supplementing with cardio.

    Here's an article you may enjoy. Also, here are 5 of my favorite fat loss tips. Maybe they'll help you get started:

    1) Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Each meal should be 2-3 hours apart. Each meal should contain one protein and one carb. The first meal should be eaten within an hour after waking.


    2) Drink a cup of water at each meal.


    3) Rest properly. This means taking at least 48 hours between strength training the same muscles, and it also means getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Lastly, it means taking 1-2 days off from exercising per week.


    4) Cardio. This should be done at different intensity levels and different session lengths. Consider doing a low intensity/long session, a high intensity/short session and a few medium intensity/medium length sessions.


    5) Strength Training. Strength train each muscle 1-3 times per week. You should lift a proper weight and perform the proper amount of sets/reps for your strength training method. If you need more guidance or exercise ideas you can head over here.


    All of the above things combined will result in fat loss. Best of luck to you!

  13. #12
    debjh is offline Warming Up
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    Thanks, Lynn. Looks like a lot of great info. Is the Melt thre ft book worth the money?

    I have been keeping track of my diet for a few days. I had no idea that I ate so many carbs relative to protein. I also don't eat enough calories every day. So it looks like my diet is the first thing to change.

    I will change my cardio routine,also. I started lifting more free weights at a slower pace and it really makes a difference. I am using some of the ideas in Michael George's book--working both upper and lower at the same time.

    I hope this will help, because I have been using macines and doing cardio for several months and have not burned any fat that I can tell.

  14. #13
    Trainer Lynn is offline Verge of Overtraining
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    Best of luck to you! My strength training routine contains combo exercises right now too- squat with front raises for example. It saves time and is a nice way to change something in my routine every few weeks.

    Your nutrition is really key. Im glad you are tracking it and can see some areas that need improvement. Nutrition really is 75% of the battle. My secret is to eat every 2-3 hours and have a protein/carb at each meal. I never saw such excellent results any other way.

  15. #14
    buzz is offline Verge of Overtraining
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    bipenate is correct free weights are best,
    but machines are better than no weight training,
    infact some of these modern machines now are made so they work the muscle in its natural plane..i like to mix both.
    and as lynn said they are good for injuries.

  16. #15
    debjh is offline Warming Up
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    Help! I feel weak.

    I went to the gym today to use the machines for my weak kness--hamstring curls, leg extensions and leg press. I haven't been in a week,but I have been doing lunges and squats at home. Yesterday was my off day. My muscles felt so weak! I wasn't going to do as many sets as usual on the machines because I was going to do a whole body workout,also.

    Doing just one set was really hard. I was really straining. Is it because I have changed my diet? I am trying the 40/40/20 plan. I wasn't eating enough calories and I am trying to increase them gradually. The biggest change is eating so much more protein. I was also sweating a lot more then usual. What is my body trying to tell me?

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