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  1. #1
    Registered User js61283's Avatar
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    Free Weights for the Obese Beginner?

    I'm just looking for some tips on what kind of free weights or body weight exercises I can realistically do as a newbie. At 350 pounds, I'm not about to start busting out burpees. Squats and deadlifts are incredibly uncomfortable for me and I can't even really breathe properly while doing them. I do plan to add them as soon as this spare tire deflates a bit. Still, I want to incorporate strength training in my workouts (and I want to maximize those workouts). Currently I'm using 15 machines, which is pretty ridiculous. My assumption is this is overly time consuming while still not getting the benefit that fewer free weight exercises would offer.

    Since I'm just starting out, I want to stick to full body workouts 3x/week and plan to change to the typical leg day/arm day splits later on.

    Here's the machines I've been using to give you some idea of what I'm trying to replace (they're almost all the Hoist ROC-IT line machines):

    Lower back
    Lat pulldown
    Leg extensions
    Seated mid row
    Pec fly
    Leg press
    Shoulder press
    Rotary calf
    Seated leg curl
    Bicep curl
    Inner thigh
    Outer thigh
    Seated dip
    Abs (probably just gonna do crunches at home to replace this)
    Chest press
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  2. #2
    Registered User OryxOryx's Avatar
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    The absolutely by far most important thing at this stage is doing something you enjoy consistently doing. Just get in the habit of 3x week exercise for at least 1-2 months and improving your diet (just make improvements incrementally no need for optimal diet) then worry about finding an optimal workoiut program later.
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    Registered User js61283's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OryxOryx View Post
    The absolutely by far most important thing at this stage is doing something you enjoy consistently doing. Just get in the habit of 3x week exercise for at least 1-2 months and improving your diet (just make improvements incrementally no need for optimal diet) then worry about finding an optimal workout program later.
    Thanks Oryx. I agree completely. I had a personal trainer pretty much wreck me once a few years back and it completely turned me away from the gym. I should have stated in my first post though, I've been doing these machines for a few weeks now. I started back at the gym about a month ago and have been dieting for about 6 weeks with a diet I'm very comfortable with. I have also been in reasonable shape once before in my life (joined the marines at 18 and went from 220lbs to about 180) but I have since forgotten most of what I learned then. I've also never worked out this obese before. I do feel extremely motivated this go around, and I'm loving my time at the gym. I just feel I'm within arms reach (maybe another 2-3 weeks) of switching to free weights so I was hoping for some help figuring out which free weights would be best for replacing all these machines. I realize I'm still at the very beginning stage, so maybe it's still too early to be thinking about free weights.
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    Registered User HealthyRealist's Avatar
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    There's actually quite a few body weight exercises you can do effectively even in the shape you're in:

    *Standing pushups against a wall or kneeling pushups
    *Assisted body weight squats (using a table top or counter to help pull yourself up)
    *Vertical pull ups (leaning back from standing and using a pole to bring yourself back to vertical position)
    *Laying down and repeatedly bringing your knees as close to your chest as possible

    The great thing about calisthenics like these is that they generally require that you stabilize your core muscles, which is generally where most people's weight packs on.
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    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    I think your main focus should be losing weight IMO, you can do your machines and what not but you should focus on dieting and add cardio very slowly once weight loss plateaus (which it probably won't for awhile due to your weight).
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    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Diet. Restricting your calories so that you lose maybe 2 lbs of bodyweight on average per week is most important. Simply going for a walk (of the stroll type) regularly would be good too. No need for anything strenuous.

    Originally Posted by HealthyRealist View Post
    There's actually quite a few body weight exercises you can do effectively even in the shape you're in:

    *Standing pushups against a wall or kneeling pushups
    *Assisted body weight squats (using a table top or counter to help pull yourself up)
    *Vertical pull ups (leaning back from standing and using a pole to bring yourself back to vertical position)
    *Laying down and repeatedly bringing your knees as close to your chest as possible

    The great thing about calisthenics like these is that they generally require that you stabilize your core muscles, which is generally where most people's weight packs on.
    Those are great ideas for a heavyweight novice to get going, but you lost me at the last phrase...it doesn't matter where you are carrying your extra fat, you can't spot reduce anything, working the muscles around the stored fat is irrelevant...it's just a matter of burning more calories than you consume, and the fat will come off from wherever it is going to come off from
    Exodus 22:2
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    Registered User js61283's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, and I'll try those out HealthyRealist. I am focusing on the weight loss (reduced calories, several long walks a week and 30 mins on the elliptical 3x/week). I just want to do some strength training along with it so I don't lose too much muscle. I don't really have a lot to begin with and it's been nice making some newbie strength gains.
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    Registered User HealthyRealist's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Those are great ideas for a heavyweight novice to get going, but you lost me at the last phrase...it doesn't matter where you are carrying your extra fat, you can't spot reduce anything, working the muscles around the stored fat is irrelevant...it's just a matter of burning more calories than you consume, and the fat will come off from wherever it is going to come off from

    You're probably right, but wouldn't exercises requiring core stability at least *tone* that area a bit more?
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  9. #9
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HealthyRealist View Post
    You're probably right, but wouldn't exercises requiring core stability at least *tone* that area a bit more?
    No, doesn't work that way.

    OP is a long ways from having the muscle 'tone' that comes from increased skeleton muscle + low bodyfat, anyway
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