Getting into exercise

Over the Christmas period, I, like many others I'm sure, indulged in all sorts of excess. I think that on Christmas day I ate the equivalent of an entire pig. As such, I've begun to feel a bit bloated over the following weeks.

As such, I've resolved to take up some kind of regular exercise. I've never really exercised before, although I am very slim (dat metabolism eh), but I figured that it's not gonna stay that way into my 20s if I keep lazing about like a slob. Also my girlfriend wanted me to try to get a bit fitter (fair enough, I am kind of a sloth), so ya know yadda yadda.

Anyway, that's not the crux of the issue. I did some pretty basic reading online, and my mum had an old running book lying around from her brief 3 week jogging stint, and was unable to come up with anything conclusive. I like the idea of jogging a lot, but I'm asthmatic so running can be quite difficult. On top of this, my body is kind of lop-sided, so I run funny. Put it this way; I've never won a race. I also like the idea of push-ups, sit ups etc but I'm unsure of how many would be good to start off with etc. I don't have much space in my house available for exercise for stuff like this.

So there you have it; what would you recommend to an asthmatic, 6'2", 67.5 kilo guy looking to get fit. I don't really have any budget whatsoever to speak of (a pretty meagre 30 at best), and I want to get cracking quickly, before I sloth out again and forget about it.

Thanks, buds!

You should have a goal. Getting fit, for example, is a terrible goal. I signed up for a half-marathon never having run much more than a mile in my entire life. I started training in summer and by the time the race came about I was running 10 miles without any issues.

There are some neat push-up/sit-up challenges you can try. I think there is a program that you can follow that sets you
up to do 100 push-ups.

Example:
http://hundredpushups.com/#sthash.JeHPU2YO.dpbs

Comocat:
You should have a goal. Getting fit, for example, is a terrible goal. I signed up for a half-marathon never having run much more than a mile in my entire life. I started training in summer and by the time the race came about I was running 10 miles without any issues.

There are some neat push-up/sit-up challenges you can try. I think there is a program that you can follow that sets you
up to do 100 push-ups.

Example:
http://hundredpushups.com/#sthash.JeHPU2YO.dpbs

For goals, I'm a terrible long distance runner (asthma), and the only sports I'm good at either include little running (Cricket, Table Tennis), or you need someone to play with/lessons (Tennis), and as I have no money and no tennis partner I'm kinda screwed there.

Thanks for the link, I'll check that out.

EDIT: Ooh having looked at the link that looks pretty ace. May have to start that.

I highly recommend giving Body-for-LIFE a go, I'm only a month in but the changes I'm experiencing so far are pretty noteworthy (currently going from fat slob to pretty decent looking, in a nutshell).

Being an asthmatic is never a good excuse for not running, and all exercise should involve cardio of some kind. I'm an asthmatic as well and you can basically get rid of your asthma by working out even as old as you are. I was told I would never outgrow my asthma at 16 then started doing heavy cardio training and now I have little to no asthma problems... however the smoking is starting to bring it back.(good decisions egh?)

Anyways I'll give you a good starting exercise routine, if you put effort into it and the running especially you'll be surprised at how good you feel.

First stretch your legs(hamstrings,quads, and calfs) 2 to 3 minutes

Next running or jogging, preferably you should aim for 1 mile of continuous jogging. If you have to stop jogging don't stop moving keep walking your goal is to finish that mile with as much jogging as possible. You can do running pretty much every day of the week but start off with only doing it every other day. That 1 mile of continuous running/jogging is your first real cardio goal. Once you've accomplished that you've opened yourself up to new ways to go about cardiovascular exercise, the first time you can run a mile without stopping is an important milestone. Since your an asthmatic you need to do something that is very difficult to do for us, rhythmic breathing and something we're good at and that's forceful breathing. When I run I can hear myself breathing(good thing) and so can other people(a little awkward sometime but a good thing, embarrassment is fine when you can barely breath), your only running a mile so breath through your mouth or your nose it doesn't matter just breath and breath forcefully. I like to time my breaths to my running; three steps breath in two steps breath out, this isn't important for people without asthma but focusing your mind on a rhythm will help you in the beginning, by keeping your mind off asthma and also get the muscle memory you need to control your breath(important for asthmatics). If you need me to clarify this then just respond.(10 -15 minutes for running)

While your cooling down from your run begin to stretch your upper body (abs, biceps, triceps, pecs, shoulders, back). And while your recovering from your run do not sit down or hunch over that's the absolute worse thing you can do when catching your breath. You need to try and keep your head up chest out, that gives your lungs the most room to expand. And as far as abuterol is concerned two puffs before you go running and your usual control dosage to stop an asthma attack that you know there is no way you can get through without it. (I'd hope this would only take 3 to 5 minutes but obviously you could be gasping for air and take longer to control)

Next the fun stuff, strength training.

Pushup's 10reps
situp's 25reps
tricep dips 10reps
If you have access to a pull up bar or something you can pull ups on 5reps
wide pushup's 15reps

All of this exercises when done in a continuous way using the appropriate reps(or as many as you can do) is one circuit.

You do this all as one continuous circuit meaning you give yourself minimal time between exercise ideally no time. Each circuit should take 5 to 10 minutes. Now this is the part where personal preference and soreness comes in you should ideally rest 2 to 3 minutes then do this circuit over again after that another 2 to 3 minute break and do it once more. So that is 3 circuits of the above strength training.

So final time for all this is going to be about an hour if you hustle. This should ideally be done every other day with cardio every day but at the beginning that probably isn't a good idea so stick to doing cardio every other day and strength training every 2 to 3 days. Your goal is to feel sore the next day and it's alright to workout while sore but always give your muscles one day to heal at lest... but you don't need 4 to heal. This routine requires a relatively low amount of commitment and space and can be done entirely at home, besides the pull up bar, so I think this is the best routine for beginners and helps with building a foundation that people can work off with resistance training, more intense body weight exercises, and weight training. Basically developing a personal fitness program because we are all different.

Now I've already put a lot of time an effort into this post and I'm not sure if your gonna read it or use it, if you want to use this stuff quote me because I do have more stuff to add about the individual exercises which you'll probably get wrong as a beginner(so many people get the sit up wrong and wonder why their abs aren't sore). Also if you want to know more about dealing with asthma while exercising I feel like I have adequate experience personally to lead you in the right direction but I will tell straight up I'm not a doctor and only you know where your limit is. If you ever get to a point your not comfortable with then stop because asthma can kill.

firstly you have to decide what it is you want from working out, seems obvious that you are not exactly overweight so why does your girlfriend want you to work out? are you a bit flabby? wanna get ripped? do you intend to bulk up?
each goal is going to require a different strategy and a different intensity but at the very least i can suggest 2 tools that should be universal. get yourself a yoga ball and a set of free weights (dumbbells preferably)

i do not suggest joining a gym. a recent study i read said that of the ppl that buy a gym membership over 60% of them never use it. the most popular day for ppl to use the gym is tuesday, basically ppl pig out and get hammered on the weekend, feel guilty and after recovering from their hangover on monday spend 1 day a week trying to make up for it. not a good strategy but if you think that's not you then a gym will have the right tools for the job

consider getting yourself some supplements. you can bet your ass most of them don't do what they claim but at the very least get a good protein powder (80+%) and some multivitamins

just a very general guide so use google or ask for specifics if you need more info

general cardio
running can be hard on the body and as a fellow asthmatic (and smoker) with joint and back issues i find it easier to maintain a higher average bpm doing high intensity walking. what i do is find the highest hill or set of stairs i can and aim for the top as fast as i can.
i also mix it up by doing large amounts of reps (100+) of light weights (40kgs) and cycle different exercises moving from chest to arms to legs and back. a skipping rope and boxing bag are also good

ripping/cutting
focus on high repetitions with light weights (about 5-20% of your body weight) and on increasing repetitions while gradually increasing weight. reps 40+ sets 3-5
try to maintain a lower carb diet and be sure to get alot of cardio

bulking/strength training
focus on lower repetitions and higher weight. lift as heavy as you can safely without injury (maintain good form) and when your reps from the current weight increases from 4-8 to 12-15 increase the weight. reps 4-15 sets 3-5
feel free to carbo load but make sure to get enough protein especially after exercising

also this is advice i give to anyone exercising or doing a physical job. DO NOT neglect your back i know having a strong lower back doesn't pull the ladies but from experience a lower back injury is highly debilitating. try to throw in at least some lower back strengthening exercises preferably 3 times a week to reduce the risk of future injury

source: about a million years ago i was a body builder and underwear model (yes seriously)

I'm a fan of the 15-minute ladder exercises found here.

The basic idea is that you do a set of exercises for fifteen minutes a day. They start of rather easy--you may not even need the full 15 minutes for the first few rungs. After a week of doing the exercises on Rung 1 every day you try Rung 2. If you can do those in fifteen minutes, without any issue (you shouldn't be breathing hard by the end, for instance) then you do Rung 2 for the next week. If you can't get the exercises done in fifteen minutes or they give you trouble, you drop back to Rung 1 for another week and then try again.

This program is really nice for a few reasons. First, the time commitment is minimal. Second, it requires no equipment--you just need enough room to lie down and do jumping-jacks--so you can keep up your routine while away from home. Third, the ladder setup gives you an easy way of tracking progress. Every time you go up a Rung you KNOW you're improving--and you can look back at previous Rungs and see exactly how much more you're now able to do in the exact same time frame. And fourth, it's easy to get into even if you're starting out in bad physical shape.

The Diabolical Biz:

Of course, you should talk to your doctor first. I'm a big fan of not needing any fancy equipment. That's when I found this. I have to warn you: Trying these two simple exercises will make you want to die. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. Take it slow. Rest. Build up to it:
http://www.menshealth.com/deltafit/ultimate-two-exercise-workout.
All you need is a single weight and enough room to do a push-up.

Also, I have a freestanding pull-up station in my garage. I find pull-ups to be extremely hard to develop. My friend went the simple route and bought a Door Gym and I honestly think it's just as good as my giant rig:
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/07/43/45/17/0007434517460_500X500.jpg

I've also tried the 100 push-up routine but I've found that going all-out, every time, for three sets did more for me than following any program.

FizzyIzze:

The Diabolical Biz:

Of course, you should talk to your doctor first. I'm a big fan of not needing any fancy equipment. That's when I found this. I have to warn you: Trying these two simple exercises will make you want to die. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. Take it slow. Rest. Build up to it:
http://www.menshealth.com/deltafit/ultimate-two-exercise-workout.
All you need is a single weight and enough room to do a push-up.

Also, I have a freestanding pull-up station in my garage. I find pull-ups to be extremely hard to develop. My friend went the simple route and bought a Door Gym and I honestly think it's just as good as my giant rig:
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/07/43/45/17/0007434517460_500X500.jpg

I've also tried the 100 push-up routine but I've found that going all-out, every time, for three sets did more for me than following any program.

link dead
also i agree with you on not setting arbitrary numbers to your routine in fact i recommend not counting reps at all unless it motivates you. your performance from day to day will vary and stopping at say 20 reps because that is how much you set yourself will have limited results while only managing 15 reps will demoralize you
i actually do my major workout on fridays where i generally increase the weight i lift or the amount of reps i do then try to equal that amount the next week but for the average person that would possibly be exhausting

on the subject of chin ups
if you can only do a small amount or have poor form i would suggest pull downs using a machine (if available) where you can limit the weight and gradually build up. it also allows you to lift more than your own body weight when you eventually reach that point

lechat:

FizzyIzze:

The Diabolical Biz:

link dead
also i agree with you on not setting arbitrary numbers to your routine in fact i recommend not counting reps at all unless it motivates you. your performance from day to day will vary and stopping at say 20 reps because that is how much you set yourself will have limited results while only managing 15 reps will demoralize you
i actually do my major workout on fridays where i generally increase the weight i lift or the amount of reps i do then try to equal that amount the next week but for the average person that would possibly be exhausting

on the subject of chin ups
if you can only do a small amount or have poor form i would suggest pull downs using a machine (if available) where you can limit the weight and gradually build up. it also allows you to lift more than your own body weight when you eventually reach that point

Here's another link that might work:
http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/training-day/201108/lose-fat-2-exercises
I have no idea why those two things in combination make me want to crawl away and die. I've sent it to a friend who recently started up martial arts again. He thought he was in relatively good shape but the videos filled him with regret.

You're exactly right about reps. I just stopped caring and started throwing myself into whatever I wanted to do. Every time it's all out until muscle fatigue, but I could see results within a week.

There's one thing I want to be able to do more than pull-ups though: the Planche Push-up. This video shows how a guy conditioned himself to do them and the end result looks like witchcraft (recommend viewing with volume muted):

From what I understand, that comes from gymnastics training. I was checking out bodybuilding sites and I came across more than a few comments from guys who were dumbfounded about why gymnasts are always super ripped and how even the girls are built like tanks. I'm not interested in Olympic gold, but I would pay good money for a book or video explaining how gymnasts work out. Supposedly they hardly ever touch weights, but if they do, it's not in the traditional sense:

Yoga is great for muscle, and I really like just playing a console game and walking in place while I do. I find it a lot easier to "exercise" while doing something I enjoy. If you just want to keep your body moving and don't have specific goals, I find it good. Walk in place (lifting the knees high) for at least 10 minutes at a time while playing and it should make a difference.

As for yoga, it's great. I just started up again after the holidays and crap did I hurt the next day. I do it over lunch once a week at work and it does make a difference. Find some beginner videos online and learn a few poses and do them now and then.

I'm incredibly lazy and really out of shape, but it's noon and I've walked in place for 20 minutes today already as I'm doing some level grinding in a game.

The Diabolical Biz:
snip!

I'd say go walking every morning.

It's a good way to wake up, and going two or three miles at a brisk pace shouldn't take too long (45-60 minutes, in my experience).

Sit-ups, pull-ups, and push-ups are pretty self explanatory. Try to bump up the number you do every week or two.

If you feel so inspired, you could also do some squats and such. Again, pretty easy and requires no equipment to do so.

Since you're asthmatic, I would recommend more resistance to make the walking a good workout, as opposed to upgrading to running. A weight vest, or even heavier clothes/boots can make a world of difference.


damn i thought 1 arm push ups were hard but having a few gymnasts in the family those pushups are not so much impressive as they are different. most ppl just don't exercise the muscles needed to do those sort of exercises

also i advise against sit ups and to a lesser extent crunches because once again as someone who has had a lower back injury they put excessive pressure on the back and to those with healthy backs they actually create wear on your discs and can in the long term result in herniation i recommend about half of these http://ashotofadrenaline.net/top-25-hardest-ab-exercises-ever-created/ some do place a fair bit of load on the back but provided you gradually build up they also work the muscles which stabilize your spine so you should be better in the long run

as far as getting ripped or getting your abs to show there is no short cut to that it is completely down to your body fat percentage. provided you are not a 400 pound muscles bound machine you will not look even remotely ripped until you get below 10% body fat and depending on where you mostly store you fat (most men it is lower abdominals and hips - spare tyre) you will not have ripped abs until you get down to about 7%. i recently done a 3 month zero carb diet to get myself down to 11% boby fat and despite the fact i have the abs of a bear, because i store most of my fat in my lower abs i could still not see my 6 pack (although these rest of my body was super ripped) which brings me to my next point

DO NOT measure your weight
if you are focusing on muscle mass as well as fat loss it's quite possible to increase body weight but decrease fat instead get yourself a body fat/water scale http://www.overstock.com/Health-Beauty/Taylor-Tempered-Glass-Body-Fat-Body-Water-Scale/4051205/product.html?cid=207675 they are not overly accurate if you don't spend a couple grand for one but even the cheap $20 one i have seems to give accurate enough readings to see what the true gains are (mine stopped working at 14% body fat)

Incidentally, have you ever watched the Nova special when they took a dozen regular people and trained them for the Boston Marathon?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/marathon-challenge.html

I think that the coolest lesson from the program was that 11 of the 12 didn't lose weight after running for an entire year! They admit that the one thing they didn't regulate was diet, so the participants must have been eating more. Sadly, I think it's just a confirmation of the classic "advice" of both dieting and exercising:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-02-17-exercise-eating_N.htm

FizzyIzze:

Incidentally, have you ever watched the Nova special when they took a dozen regular people and trained them for the Boston Marathon?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/marathon-challenge.html

I think that the coolest lesson from the program was that 11 of the 12 didn't lose weight after running for an entire year! They admit that the one thing they didn't regulate was diet, so the participants must have been eating more. Sadly, I think it's just a confirmation of the classic "advice" of both dieting and exercising:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-02-17-exercise-eating_N.htm

interesting
even though they didn't regulate their diets you would think that the change in exercise would have still had an effect. i can't open the page right now but were the participants generally slim to start with?

i think your second link really brings the point home though and it's something most crash dieter just can't get a grip on - it's even written on basically every weight loss product on the market
"used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise blah blah blah"

one day i'll get around to posting the results of my 3 month trial of a high calorie, zero carb, high activity lifestyle but i will just summarize it as this:
it works but the gains are not significant enough to warrant the lack of performance and i still recommend a slightly reduced calorie diet combined with higher activity that you would be unable to manage on a low carb diet

lechat:

FizzyIzze:

-snip-

interesting
even though they didn't regulate their diets you would think that the change in exercise would have still had an effect. i can't open the page right now but were the participants generally slim to start with?

i think your second link really brings the point home though and it's something most crash dieter just can't get a grip on - it's even written on basically every weight loss product on the market
"used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise blah blah blah"

one day i'll get around to posting the results of my 3 month trial of a high calorie, zero carb, high activity lifestyle but i will just summarize it as this:
it works but the gains are not significant enough to warrant the lack of performance and i still recommend a slightly reduced calorie diet combined with higher activity that you would be unable to manage on a low carb diet

It really was a group of random people. Not many of them were under 30 I don't think. Maybe one of them had graying hair. Damn, one of them was a 60-year old woman! Only a few were fairly obese and the rest were average. Maybe one or two smokers. There was one guy that was kind of in shape, and one woman that was the heaviest. She actually lost weight, like 40 lbs., because she did a boot camp program at the same time.

There were a few injuries, which was expected. And at least one dropout due to shin splints. I felt bad for that person. Nothing they could do but order them to rest for several months.

As for jogging: Since you are asthmatic I think it's actually more important to fitness, but always keep listening to what your body tells you.

As for push-ups/sit-ups: Always make sure your posture is right (again; listen to what your body tells you) and just keep going until you can't do another, basically. Then rest for a minute or so, go again. You can repeat it once, you can repeat it often.

Always try to take atleast a day's rest after you have exercised intensively.

Jeez, this blew up. Thanks for the replies guys. It's hard to choose from all the different options you've presented to me!

Well in the week since I posted this topic I got started on a couple things:
- I started the push-ups thing. Early days but it's been going pretty well.
- I started doing sit-ups as well

However I got really sick in the middle of the week - I got a cough and was almost completely bed-ridden for a couple days. As such, although I could (just about) manage the push-ups and sit-ups, jogging's had to go on hold. I think I might start this week.

I'll reply to individual posts when I can, but first a couple things: I don't really have time to do an hour's exercise a day. I have exams coming up over the next couple of months and need to focus on working towards those. Also some of the more technical terms are going over my head. Thanks for all the replies again! I'll definitely be back.

Don't be afraid to take things slow at first. Right now, doing ANY exercise is more important than doing a LOT of exercise. If you try to do too much too soon you'll just make it easier to find excuses not to do it.

BrassButtons:
Don't be afraid to take things slow at first. Right now, doing ANY exercise is more important than doing a LOT of exercise. If you try to do too much too soon you'll just make it easier to find excuses not to do it.

Thanks! I don't know if it's psychosomatic as much as anything else but I feel fitter/stronger already. I guess I have to just both keep and ramp it up.

good to finally hear back from someone. thx
alot of ppl put alot of effort into these advice things and you rarely get a response

if you have limited time just compress your workout and focus on different parts of the body 1 after the other
push ups. get up. squats. star jumps. hit the boxing bag. use the jump rope. back to push ups
some of the best work outs i had in my prime was when i rocked up to the gym 30 minuets before closing time

also again i stress that situps and crunches are not very effective. the ratio of damage to your back compared to results makes them completely inefficient so either enjoy doing 200 sit ups a day only to get a sore back the next day or try

the yoga/stability ball pike/pique
currently my favorite exercise. not only does it work your whole core quite effectively but you can quickly switch between pikes, shoulder presses and push ups then onto stretching and back again. odds are your first try will leave you huddled in a corner crying but if you can stick with it the results should be pretty dramatic

another example with perfect form

you can pick up a yoga ball for about 20 bucks although i recommend the higher quality thicker versions which will run you about $60-80. one of those and a set of dumbbells should be all you need to get into shape

Nobody mentioned weight training yet?

6'2" and 67kg is really quite skinny, so you may benefit from bulking up a bit. Whether you then use your new-found strength to get into sports or other activities, or whether lifting in itself becomes your main focus, is up to you.

You can do an effective weight training workout in 45 minutes, three times a week. The downside is a barbell (the long bar, not the dumbbells that you hold in each hand) is all but vital. Two routes you can take now: either build a home gym and buy weights yourself (expensive, but after the initial outlay you won't need to pay another penny in your life) or get a gym membership (shop around, see if you're eligible for any discounts, and this may well be the more affordable route).

A decent gym session involving compound (whole body) movements will soon knock you into better shape than running until you puke your guts up or making yourself sore with a thousand pushups.

This is the information source I'm currently using: http://stronglifts.com/

I'd recommend you consider it! Lifting big bits of metal over your head has many misconceptions attached to it: it's just for bodybuilders and steroid users, gyms are scary and unfriendly places, weight training is just for big bulky jocks. All untrue! Both genders and all ages can benefit from weight training. It's low-impact (easy on the joints), you'll only be working out three times a week, and it won't aggravate your asthma.

Batou667:

i already touched on weight training but since he hasn't stated his goals yet i didn't go into too much detail
i'm interested in why you would suggest a barbell when dumbbells can do exactly the same exercises and more while also engaging more stabilizing muscles. i definitely wouldn't say there isn't a case for barbells but as far as beginners go i would always advise dumbbells

lechat:

i already touched on weight training but since he hasn't stated his goals yet i didn't go into too much detail
i'm interested in why you would suggest a barbell when dumbbells can do exactly the same exercises and more while also engaging more stabilizing muscles. i definitely wouldn't say there isn't a case for barbells but as far as beginners go i would always advise dumbbells

Exactly the same exercises? Not always. Sure, you can dumbbell press instead of bench press, but at heavier weights it's difficult to put the weights down in a controlled way. Squatting and deadlifts with dumbbells would be awkward if not impossible, and many gyms wouldn't carry dumbbells heavy enough anyway. In my opinion dumbbells are mostly for assistance or isolation exercises, which beginners really don't need to be bothering with.

Batou667:

agreed let the op weigh (pun /win) the options and if he sees fit he can do some googleing to decide for himself

 

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