I just started the body for life program. I am female, 54 years old, 5' tall and I weigh 125 pounds. Up until now I've been doing a medium intensity cardio program 6-7 days a week for 35 minutes and a split weight training program, mostly using machines. Today I did upper body for the first time, using the body for life interval method.
Here's my problem - for a lot of the exercises, even a very light weight is my limit. No way can I build up and get progessively heaver. For example, I did a shoulder press, 12 reps using 5 pounds. (This was on a machine). I then bumped up to 10 pounds, did 8 reps and then muscle failure occurred.
Any suggestions on what to do?
Hi, A2zmom! I hope I can help, but I just finished my first week, and I too am a newbie. I too have to start w/ lighter weights and sometimes am not able to go up in weights the way they want...I do the BEST I can and push myself as much as I possibly can. I HOPE that as I do it I will eventually move up in weights. So far it's been working for me but then again, I'm not as fit as you are. Good Luck!!!
Im right there with loubear... im also just doing what i can. i know as time goes on we will be able to add more weights. we will HAVE to cos we WILL get stronger!
Hi a2zmom, i'm 45 and not a newbie - so I'm older too and have been doing BFL since my 30s. I've experienced the same dilemna when getting started, as I was at a weight similar to yours and had little muscle "base" to start with. First, make sure you increment slowly so as to prevent injury - I've pulled both shoulder and quad muscles - not fun. I bought some light wrist weights in the beginning (pretty inexpensive) and used them in conjunction with the free weights to "bridge" the gaps between dumbell weights. I still use them. Also, when I've felt that I couldn't go any higher for the 6 rep (highest weight level), I'd just repeat the 8 rep weight, or if I couldn't do that I'd continue to do the next two sets of 12. Patience will get you there. Ultimately you will get stronger and you do want to push yourself, but most importantly, do it with caution and make sure you don't hurt yourself in the meantime.
Remember your 10 is YOUR 10, not anyone else's. If that is where you need to stay for a week or two, then do so. Just gradually move up as you can. Then, try to bump up only a few pounds at a time. Say, go from a 5 to an 8, and then to a 10 and then to a 12....and so on. If you use free weights, it is easier to adjust in smaller increments. Keep plugging away, and you will be amazed how much stronger you get in time. Best of luck to you.
"The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"
As BDMom says, this is YOUR program, not anyone elses. I want to encourage you to NEVER feel self conscious at the gym and never worry that you are not lifting as much as other people. I am a 32 year old male and I started with very weak shoulders, so I would do my first 12 reps of side raises at 3 lbs and the last 6 at 10 before lifting 25 lbs on shoulder presses. I have increased these weights in the last year somewhat, but the more impressive and important result over time has been the definition in my shoulder muscles (for this example), the definition I have gained in all the muscle groups and the weight I have lost overall with the program. If someone lifts 75 lbs with each hand on a shoulder press, but is only doing an 8 effort, and then he stops, your 10 lbs at a 10 will get you better results than him every time.
I do mostly machines too at my gym. But some machines are super hard at the 5-10 lb. So sometimes I try dumbbells instead. Like incorporating the 3, 5, and 8 lb.er's. I even found some at Walmart that are only 1 or 2 lb. I've even brought those to the gym to use as my starter sets.
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