Beginner question about weights.....

SusanMcL

Cathlete
I am doing the Beginner Rotation now and in the first 3 weeks we use the tubing with handles, but then we move on to dumbbells.

Looking ahead... I have a question about weights and which ones to use.

I know that in the Beginner Rotation the number of sets/reps is low and I think I'll be able to figure out which weights to use for those.

But.. looking past the Beginner series..... I have just received Muscle Max and have watched it through and like it. (and I have the Low Impact Series on order)

Keep in mind that I am 66 years old and just starting weight training... but am healthy and in good shape from years of cardio and stretching at the gym.... but a total beginner using weights......

sooooo......

here's the question.... if Cathe is doing 3 sets of 12 reps each (just as a general example) should I be using a weight that lets me do the whole 3 set sequence and that makes it difficult to finish the last couple of reps of the 3rd set?

Or should I be using a weight that lets me do say 8 reps of the 1st set and then have to stop and gradually work up to being able to do 3 sets of 12 reps each with that weight?

In other words..... the starting weight that I use should allow me to do how much of 3 sets of 12 reps each?

I know that once 3 sets of 12 reps each becomes too easy that I need to increase the weight..... but if one is just starting out ... how difficult should one make it???

Hope that makes sense...

edited to add a Second Question:

I don't own a barbell. To do the barbell exercises with dumbbells, do I just put the dumbbells where Cathe has her hands on the barbell and do the exercise that way? Or am I really really really going to want and/or need a barbell?

Thanks in advance.....
 
Last edited:

Davidj

Cathlete
Susan:
Not Cathe here but these are my non-expert answers -

1. From what I've learned from DVD instructors, it is best to be able to do all 12 reps for the first set, and to struggle with the last reps on the last set. I have several Cathe tapes where she in fact has to struggle with the last set on a few exercizes. So she is a good role fodel to follow on this point;

2. I have a few strength tapes where the production shows one exercizer using dumbells (the others using barbells), to show variety. From what I see, the db exercizer keeps her or his hands like that of the barbel exercizers.

There are lots of comments on the discussion forum of people only using dbs, and doing well without a bb. However, if you can afford it, I recommend buying an inexpensive barbell set, one where you can add plates as you get stronger. If you live in a larger city, try looking for a used sports outlet with used bb sets. Generally, used bb sets are just as good as new ones.

I am not very strong, and find that I can do most bb exercizes using a 12-lb bodybar with a few wrist weights added to each end, to up the poundage to say 15# or 16#. I also have a 9# bodybar for some upper body work. But bodybars are generally fairly expensive, unless you can find a large box store that carries them. But they are also easy on a hardwood floor.

Btw: I am 62 years old, and enjoy strength tapes the best, especially the Cathe tapes. Lot's of news articles say that weight lifting is good for seniors. I am back after being away from exercizing, so I feel like a "re-beginner", starting back with lighter weights.
-- David
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
Thanks David. I appreciate your help !!

Using a weight that allows me to do the 1st set of 12 reps makes sense.... then I can build up from there.

I did go to Dick's Sporting Goods but they only had the heavier barbells. I also saw the individual weight bars.... I think they were called aerobic bars, but they seemed relatively expensive compared to a lightweight barbell set.

I also went to the used sporting goods store in the area, but again they only have the heavy (and long) barbells.

This is the one I am looking at online.... recommended by several people here in the Cathe forums:

http://www.fitness1st.com/Troy-Bars.html

but having just purchased the new Low Impact Series, 5 other Cathe DVDs, a stability ball, mat and 5 pairs of dumbbells, I was trying to avoid additional costs :D

As you say, it is important for seniors to do weight training to overcome the inevitable loss of muscle as we get older. I'm excited to get started !!!

The dumbbells I bought are 2 lbs, 3, 4, 5 and 8s. That should keep me going for a while.....

For now, I'll try to mimic the movements Cathe and crew make with the barbell with my dumbbells and see how it goes....

Thanks again !!!

Susan
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
I'm going to chime in here because I didn't start doing weights until around age 60. I'm 63 now. doing well too.
I think you should use a weight that lets you finish the 3 sets making sure that your form is correct. it's easy to rush too fast into too heavy a weight and strain something. the main muscle group you're working is not the only thing that needs to get trained. those little muscles take a while, like hands, wrists,forearms while working biceps or back/ shoulders.
I'm not saying to give yourself a free pass to make it easy, but it's better ( I think) to go thru a whole disk completing all the reps. see how you feel the next day or two.
Not sore? go to the next level. record weight used next to the exercise. If you don't get sore, move up the weight the next workout. Not sore again? move up. you can be as strong as a 30 yr old ( IMHO) but don't try to go too fast and injure yourself. even minor strains or injuries set you back and as an older weight trainer, I value not getting injured more than speed in moving up weight levels.

I'm clearly not Cathe. I started late and carefully but advanced just fine. You will be surprised at how soon you will need heavier dumbbells... . I would try to get a barbell that's not threaded. I have threaded ones, they're a pain to change plates.
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
Thanks Traildoggie !!! It's wonderful to hear of other 60-somethings doing weight training with Cathe.

I learned what you are saying about the smaller muscles doing the upper body part of the beginner rotation for the first time this week. I found that my wrists were quite sore, but my biceps and triceps not so much. Also my chest/pecs were sore from some of the exercises.

I agree with you. Form and taking it slow are so important. I noticed while watching (not doing) Muscle Max that Cathe and crew were doing the exercises far faster than I would be able to do safely at this point (1st week :D) in my weight training adventure, but I have no problem modifying the routines and doing 8 slower reps while they do 12 faster ones. But... that is a long way off. First I have to get thru the 12 week Beginner Rotation.

Again... thanks for your reply !!!

Susan
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
Ha! the pause button will become your friend! Really, I was surprised to see how quickly I built strength. Like you I was active & but never had done formal weight training. Best of luck to you . there are a lot of "older" people around here.
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
The pause button is already my friend !! I didn't have my equipment close enough and had to pause a couple of times to change from tubing to dumbbell to mat....

next time I'll have everything positioned properly....

But I can see that for future DVDs I'll need the remote right there with my exercise equipment :D This is going to be fun. I'm enjoying it already !!!

I've pre-ordered the Low Impact Series and can't wait to see what those have to offer. I'm thrilled that Cathe is doing this Low Impact Series just as I am getting started. Perfect timing !!!
 

melagras

Cathlete
Look for CSN Stores on the web. I justed ordered a new barbell for $34 with free shipping. The prices are reasonable and I believe they offer free shipping. If you can't find them on the web, check E-Bay.
 

Kat2002

Cathlete
I recently bought the Troy Lite bar from all the good reviews here...I think it's great. I appreciate the fact that the plates have cutouts to use as handles, which makes plate changes and keeping your workout space organized a bit easier. If you get the set...I would also add two 1.25 lb plates to your cart also..I'm finding them to be a great increment to have for my STS workouts...they are cheap too, only $3 on fitness1st.
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
Excellent idea Kathleen !!! Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't seen those down towards the bottom of the page. That makes a LOT of sense ...

I think I'm ready to order based on all the good reviews I've read here in the forums about the Troy Lite set from 1stfitness......
 

DebbieH

Cathlete
SusanMcL said:
Excellent idea Kathleen !!! Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't seen those down towards the bottom of the page. That makes a LOT of sense ...

I think I'm ready to order based on all the good reviews I've read here in the forums about the Troy Lite set from 1stfitness......

I have the Troy Lite and love it...also have two other BB's, one being an Olympic size, but the Troy is my fav!

Sent from my iPad using CatheForum
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
Thanks Debbie !! It sounds like everyone who has the Troy Lite set loves it.

I was hoping that 1st fitness might put them on sale or have a free shipping day... but so far, I haven't seen them do any deals......

The shipping cost is quite high obviously... I have 2 1/2 months until I finish the beginner rotation, so I'll be patient and see if they offer a deal !!!
 

maddiesmum

Cathlete
Hi Susan:

looks like you are fully launched into weight lifting!

I bought the Troy Lite set and bit the bullet, just paid for it and never second guessed myself and have loved it from the get-go. Never needed a different barbell, it's super easy to use, goes down to 5 pounds and way up to 100 and so versatile. Never regretted that purchase EVER!

Some things it pays to buy cheap (like trash bin liners....), other things you pay for quality and then you own them for life.

When you finally buy it, I shall be excited for you!

Clare
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
Hi Clare !!!

I totally agree. When I do buy a barbell set, it will be the Troy Lite set - absolutely. I was just hoping that they would have a sale or a free shipping deal :D

Since I'm only on Week 2 of the 12 week Official Cathe Beginner Rotation and no barbells are used in the beginner program, I figured I'd wait and see if they went on sale.

If not... in Week 10, I'll buy it !!!!

Susan
 

Kat2002

Cathlete
Excellent idea Kathleen !!! Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't seen those down towards the bottom of the page. That makes a LOT of sense ...

I think I'm ready to order based on all the good reviews I've read here in the forums about the Troy Lite set from 1stfitness......

Just wanted to add that the 1.25's aren't rubber coated but they are still so useful.

How are you liking your rotation? I am definitely in a rotation mindset right now..when the Low Impact Series gets delivered, I think I may wait to finish STS so I can do all of the DVDs as a rotation.
 

SusanMcL

Cathlete
Hi Kathleen -

I'm really enjoying the Beginner Rotation. Cathe planned it well. Challenging, but with easier days interspersed with more difficult days.

I'm hoping that after the Beginner Rotation I'll be ready for at least a few of the Low Impact Series. I pre-ordered the series... knowing that there will be some of the DVDs that are much too advanced for me at this point... but there should be enough that I can do (with modifications) to make it fun !!
 

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