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  • Weight training VS. Running

    I've been working in the past six weeks or so on increasing over all upper body strength and building some mass on my scrawny *** arms. I go to the gym usually about 4 times a week. 2 days I do abs and shoulders, 2-3 days I do chest and arms (tris and bis). So far, I have increased strength considerably, and added a little muscle, and lost about 5 lbs. I'm not overly worried about losing the 5 lbs, as I think it was fat and I am sure I have gained muscle.

    I've read that if you do a lot of cardio then it will hinder efforts to create new muscle, however I need to start running and get my 1 1/2 mile time down, a lot. I haven't ran reguarly for way too long, but even when I did my time was not nearly what I wanted it to be, or what it needed to be for that matter.

    Should I wait to start a running program until after I've built my upper body up some?
    "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

    -Lao Tzu

    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

    -Reinhold Niebuhr

  • #2
    I had the same dilemma you had. You have to remember that building muscle requires proteins and energy (calories). As long as you're not combining weight training and cardio training with a diet, you'll be fine - at least that is what I've been told. I'm sure some others will chime in with better advice though! Good luck!

    I also lost about 8 pounds over the course of a month when i combined weight training with running. I didn't change my diet though, aside from switching to diet pop instead of regular. My bench hasn't gone up very much though since I started about 5 weeks ago, so maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I'm still looking into that.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure about my bench. On the first day I joined my gym, I benched 135 for three sets of 5 (I think). On that day I went with a friend, so I had a spotter. Since then I have been going alone and haven't had a spotter, so I have consistently been using a chest press machine. Yesterday I did 250 for eight reps. I don't have a clue what I can do on free bench, I know it is much easier on the machine so it is not going to be close to the same (Unfortunately).
      "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

      -Lao Tzu

      "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

      -Reinhold Niebuhr

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey, I'm in your shoes - I don't have a spotter most of the time either. If you were benching 135 with a spot, and 135 was near your fatigue point, I'd drop 10-15 pounds and do it without the spot. My max bench is nearing 150, but without a spot the most I will lift with is 140 (at least for the time being). I need to be able to bench 175 to pass the Illinois standards test... It's really depressing, to be honest...

        If you plan on staying with the chest press machine, be sure to supplement with lots of push-ups and dumbbell exercises (like shoulder and chest presses). The dumbbells will help you work on the auxiliary muscles necessary when lifting free weights.
        Last edited by JKooL; 07-22-2005, 03:39 AM.

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        • #5
          Haus409, leave the machines alone when you're working chest, they're designed to get you in and out of the gym without much of an effort. I am a firm believer in free weights, nothing compares to them. Like you said you know it's much easier on machines that's because they're designed to be easy and they basically do the work for you. If you want to bust your *** in the gym and build solid muscle hit those dumbells and barbells frequently. Also to build strength implement some deadlifts and the thing you're ignoring, squats. You can also build your endurance and stamina by jumping rope. With the exception of being injured, leave those machines alone and you'll be gaining strength in no time. Peace!!!

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          • #6
            I know machines aren't good. I only use them for the chest press and shoulder press. Everything else I do is with free weights. I'm sure I can do 140-150 safely on a free bench, I may do so today. And I know I need to be doing squats, the only leg excercises I've been doing is a couple sets of leg presses a week...wait, that's another machine isn't it...
            "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

            -Lao Tzu

            "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

            -Reinhold Niebuhr

            Comment


            • #7
              You just said you know machines aren't good, yet you still use them, amazing. As far as the leg press machine, it's strange why it's called that even though the person is actually busting their *** pressing the weight up without much assistance. I'm sure when you put some challenging weight on, it doesn't mimic a machine. Still if you want impressive strong legs you have to squat. Their not called the king of exercises for nothing. I liked your sarcasm at the end.

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              • #8
                lol, I do a lot of things I know I shouldn't do...I use the machines that I do use because I've been trying to use as much weight as I can move. I do as many reps on chest and shoulder presses as I can before I just can't push anymore, usually between 5-10 with the amount of weight I'm using. I could do that with free weights, even on the bench, but I'd look like a dumbass having to push 170 lbs off to the side if I got in trouble.
                "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

                -Lao Tzu

                "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

                -Reinhold Niebuhr

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you are concerned about your run time I would concentrate on that. Most police academies are based on the 1.5 mile run, push ups and sit ups. You can get Arnold arms and then fail the run time to get into the academy.

                  You will have plenty of time after the academy to hit up the gym...

                  Also, you will lose a lot of weight in the academy ayways. I lost 20 pounds in the first 5 weeks or so and I thought I was in shape going in... All these buff guys also lost a lot of weight including muscle weight.
                  Last edited by wannabeenytrp; 07-23-2005, 12:05 PM.
                  Can you say DYNASTY? Go Patriots!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I finished the academy 2 1/2 years ago, they're not going to make me go back are they?
                    "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

                    -Lao Tzu

                    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

                    -Reinhold Niebuhr

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by haus409
                      I finished the academy 2 1/2 years ago, they're not going to make me go back are they?

                      lol!!! We should never assume should we? Go crazy in the gym then.. Become a gym rat meat head and screw the 1.5 miler.
                      Can you say DYNASTY? Go Patriots!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wannabeenytrp
                        lol!!! We should never assume should we? Go crazy in the gym then.. Become a gym rat meat head and screw the 1.5 miler.
                        Here is one dumb***'s (me) opinion.

                        Big muscles in a fitted uniform look awesome. Look at me, I will crush you! And then, you find yourself chasing a crackhead. Those big muscles will get in the way.

                        On the other hand, how well doe you think one of the Ethiopian marathon runners would do i a bar fight? He would probably need to gain some strength.

                        I'll go along with the "you can't build muscle using a machine" thought. But you can add strength with a machine. The ideal is to use the machines in a circuit, with only the time it takes to move from one machine to the next for rest. By doing one excercise, then going to another which works a muscle close to the one you just finished with, you will gain strength. Oh, and don't forget to run. 3.5 miles is an ideal distance for maintenace purposes.
                        If you won't stand behind our troops, PLEASE, feel free to stand in front of them.

                        If you won't get an *** whoopin' with me, you're gonna get one from me---stolen

                        www.sportbikes.net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think that there IS a place for machines - mostly for beginners or those who are recovering from injuries IMO.

                          In terms of beginners (ie. inexperienced lifters) machines are preferable because:

                          a) Beginners do not have a lot of spatial awareness ie. where their body is (particularly knees and back) in relation to space. As an example, you'll tell someone to not extend their knees beyond a 90 degree angle over and over again, and they don't even realize that they're going beyond that angle until you get them to focus in on their knees while looking in a mirror. They just don't realize - they can't TELL what individual body parts are doing. This lack of awareness makes them prone to injury.

                          b) Beginners typically have not only a weak musculature, but also weak connective tissues (tendons and ligaments - the tissues that tie muscles and bones together). In real terms, that translates into:

                          1. a lack of strength through the core (which would be the muscles that keep them stable in free weight lifts)

                          2. an increased chance for injury (not only to the muscle or muscles specifically being worked, but also surrounding and stabilizer muscles, and connective tissues)

                          c) Weight machines only allow you to lift in one plane - major body parts are stabilized through the use of pads, you have very few options in terms of angles/hand placement etc.). They're pretty idiot proof, and this makes them a good option for those people who just aren't sure what they're doing.

                          These stabilized muscles and joints are also the main reason while lifting machines can sometimes feel easier than lifting free weights (ie. the pads stabilize you instead of ancillary muscle groups).

                          d) Successfully and regularly lifting machines allows beginners to increase confidence in abilities, increase overall physical strength and endurance, and establish motor pathways to working muscles.

                          Most people who begin (and continue for a while) with machines, eventually transition to free weights - it seems to be an almost natural progression.

                          Machines are also a good option for those who are injured or recovering from an injury (for many of the same reasons).

                          The real "problem" with machines isn't necessarily the huge difference in weight someone can lift when comparing machines to free weights - it's that machines don't have a lot of real world applications. In real life we don't make movements in an isolated way - our muscles work in unison with each other and in an integrated fashion, in order to accomplish efficient movement. If you're slugging it out with a BG, it doesn't really matter how much you can lift on a curl machine in the gym. What MATTERS is that not only are your biceps strong, but also all of the surrounding muscles of your chest, arms and back - and that they all work together strongly and efficiently enough to be able to take the dude down. THAT you don't get from isolation machines.

                          In terms of muscular hypertrophy (ie. building muscle) the only thing I would say is that in real terms it doesn't really matter if the number on the machine says 140, and the plates on the bar total 190. If you are lifting a weight that is heavier than what you are used to, your muscle(s) WILL respond by getting stronger and larger.

                          Also re: the running issue. I read very often on this forum about the choice officers feel like they have to make ie. strength or cardio endurance. But looking at those "Ethopian distance runners" isn't a good reason to shy away from running. Long distance runners run anywhere from 50 miles (for lower level runners) to over 100 miles/week at the elite levels.

                          Increasing basic cardio endurance, and developing abilities for the mile and a half run require much much less - we're talking 6-8 miles a week. There is just no realistic way to compare YOUR needs and training requirements to THEIRS.

                          One other consideration re: the appearance of long distance runners is their genetic makeup. It's not only their extreme training mileage that gives them the physical appearance they have. These guys genetically are predisposed to be efficient endurance athletes - a naturally low body mass and an abundance of slow twitch muscle fibers to name just two issues - but truthfully, they're also pretty much "lungs on legs".

                          So...........in my long winded way Haus, I'm suggesting that you do both. Compound lifts (large muscle group, compound muscle group, compound joint lifts) and regular running. You can be efficient at both - they're NOT mutually exclusive.
                          Last edited by krj; 07-26-2005, 10:18 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Get out and run!

                            I hit the gym alot in high school and college, but didn't really have a regular running routine. Then, one semester I signed up for a Circuit Weight Training class for PE credit and nearly died because of my lack of endurance.

                            After that I decided to concentrate less on strength training and more on endurance. I do still go to the gym, but hang out more at the chin-up bars, use smaller dumbells with a greater number of reps, do lots of sit-ups, push-ups, dips, running, and biking. When you push or pull your own weight around as your workout, you'll never have an excuse to skip the exercising no matter where you are Believe me, you won't be the biggest biceps on the block, but you still won't look too shabby. I appreciate the greater speed and maneuverability I have over much bigger and beefier guys. It comes in handy often.

                            Besides, all that aerobic exercise will greatly improve your overall health and longevity. If you beef up, it'll all turn to fat when you get older. Most guys can't look like Schwartzenegger in their fifties

                            Good luck,
                            Brandon
                            He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
                            -- Nietzsche

                            Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.
                            -- Hemingway

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                            • #15
                              Machines suck huh? News to me. Go into any professional football training room and I promise you there are Hammer Strength type bench presses and all kinds of stuff. Free weights, machines, Crossfit type stuff, it's all good and used together as a whole allways better than doing one way exclusively.

                              Brandon,

                              Exactly, in scientific or even metaphoric terms, does "msucle turn into fat"

                              I'll remember the big is slow comment while I'm doing plyometics and speed reps for power lifiting performance
                              Last edited by JRT6; 07-28-2005, 12:36 AM.

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