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using light weights everyday

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is it okay to use 8-10 lb weights on the same muscle group everyday?
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depends on what you want. if you wanna be bigger (more muscle, bulkier even) then thats fine. but if you just want to tone your muscles and be lean then its better to exercise with lower weights and higher repetitions every other day. switch days between upper body and lower body if you do it that way
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well, it depends on the person - 8-10 lbs may be light for someone (it is for me for most exercises).

if it is heavy for you, and you want to build muscle, you should NOT be using it on the same muscle group every day - muscles need time to rest (that's when they're growing) - it is especially important to not work the same muscle day in, day out when you're lifting a weight that is heavy for you.

but even if it's light for you, best to give it a rest.  it's not AS important as it would be as if it were a heavy weight for you (b/c you're not trying to build muscle, you likely haven't gone to failure or torn as many muscle fibers, but you've torn some + they need to be repaired). 

it is totally counterproductive to do otherwise

alternate days + work the muscles you do work on each day harder (you'll be able to do so b/c you won't be working all your muscles on those days) - what's your routine?

sorry if i'm not making sense - i'm exhausted
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This is my daily routine.

  1. 30 minutes on treadmill.
  2. 200 crunches
  3. 30 squats with 8lb ball.
  4. 30 lunges with 8lb ball
  5. 10 lb free weight for the arms.  a set of 15 and I'll do 2 sets for the biceps and 2 sets of triceps.
  6. weight machine for the bicep and tricep.
  7. 30 minutes on the elliptical.
I work out my arm the most cause I got really flabby arms and I want to tone them down. Is it wrong to do this routine everyday? Cause my arm muscle don't sore the next day so I always think I'm not working it hard enough so I work on it everyday.

Thank you
*Queue everyone jumping up my butt*

First of all, there is no such thing as toning. I know I sound like a broken record but I keep seeing it pop up. You can only build muscle or not build muscle. It's up to you if you want to build it efficiently or not.

flygirl you're wasting a lot of time with that work out. You don't need to be doing all those reps in rapid succession. I'm guessing you are not doing three sets of 10? Keep the squats and the lunges. Up the weight if you can and do three sets of 8-10. The last few should be really really difficult. Scrap those isolation exercises and favor things like military presses, chest presses, assisted pull ups and dips (if you can't lift your own body weight). The only weight machine you need is the assisted pull up machine.

What's with 200 crunches? Would you do 200 squats? Well I hope you wouldn't. Use those weights and do weighted sit ups or crunches. Work your abs like any other muscle group.

Finally you only need to do weights 3-4 times a week. Three full body work outs is great. No need for a split routine until you get some more base strength.

Good luck!

I know you are a HUGE advocate of focusing on strength training over cardio, but can you explain your reasoning? I have read two studies stating that the whole argument that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat is highly exaggerated. One lb of muscle only burns an additional approx. 10 extra cals per day than fat. I'm not arguing because I don't know a ton on the topic, I'm just still looking for a reason other than the whole burning more at rest thing.


Also, I thought it was interesting what you said about no such thing as toning, you either build or lose muscle, I think that makes sense. So then, what would you recommend as a workout for someone who just wants to trim the fat and not build muscle? I'd like to keep the muscle I have, I'm not terribly interested in getting more, but I'd like to blast the fat that's ON TOP of the muscle. How do I do this?
This my favorite article on the subject

Clicky Clicky

Also, are you female? I didn't want to check :) If you are, you really can't build a lot of muscle without A LOT of effort. More than most of us are willing to give. If you are actively trying to lose, weights will help you keep what muscle you have which will help you continue to lose weight, plus you look better.
Just thought I'd jump in with my 2 cents..

I agree with spirochete about the time wasting w/ low weights and the excessive crunches. At first I was also a believer of the "toning" stuff (being female and wanting a nice firm body and all), until I educated myself by reading articles and forums like these. I don't even bother wasting my time with dinky weights anymore (but of course, that's what I first started with, because everyone has to start somewhere!). I'm not an expert on this topic, but I'm just gonna say it as I've experienced it - even though I can now bench nearly 2/3 of my weight and squat over my weight (last week, yay!), I still don't look like I've "built lots of muscle" or gross.  The reason why you may think that you're starting looking "bigger" or "thicker" when you start doing (heavier) weights is because of the fat covering your newly built muscle - so do more (high-intensity!) cardio to burn that fat! I really think that weights + cardio is the best way to go - in fact, doing more cardio is something I also have to work on in order for me to look more trim... but there's no way I'm going back to doing the low weight/high rep thing...

And about the crunches - I think of it this way (dunno if it's valid tho lol). Working out a muscle group = building muscle. If you work out your abs all the time, you're gonna be building ab muscles, right? Which means your midsection will probably be getting thicker if you're not doing enough cardio to lower your body fat % and actually let those muscles *show*. In fact, I hardly even do my abs because I know they're working when I'm doing my other weighted exercises..

Hope that adds to the argument and convinces more of us girls to do heavier weights! It's OK! :D
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you need to rest (the muscle group that you worked on) for 48 hours.  It is during the rest period that the muscle fiber builds. i work the upper body one day, then the next day i do lower.  i take 1 or 2 days off during week depending upon how tired i get. 
so is it logical, then to assume that if I don't want to build muscle (don't want to lose it either) but just want to burn fat that I can get by on cardio and HIIT (I spin and jog) and some calisthenics like lunging and plies and pushups and bicycle crunches? Right? Right? I just want to trim the fat.
I've build leg muscle now I need to work on the arm muscle... You know under the arm and underarm breast muscle How do I work that area?
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dnealis0903, that "burning more at rest" bit is actually a huge deal, because it goes on 24 hours a day, year after year.

10 calories/day is about 3650 year, roughly equivalent to gaining or losing a pound of fat per year.  And just that much is a huge part of the obesity epidemic:  people gaining a pound of blubber a year gain 10 pounds per decade, decade after decade, and that's exactly what happens to millions & millions of people in America alone.  Gaining a single pound of muscle in youth, and retaining it, would have been enough to keep them permanently lean!  Instead they get fatter & fatter as they age.

The power of small changes over a long span of time is staggering.

That extra pound of muscle also burns more energy during exercise, compounding the benefits.

Besides the subtle but enormous (over time) advantage of preserving muscle when losing fat, strength-training has a huge short-term benefit:  it's the best known way to boost post-exercise calorie burn.  It gives both the largest boost, and the longest-lasting (burns more calories after exercise ends, hour after hour, for upwards of a full day).

There is no way to lose fat "quickly" short of liposuction.  It's all about relatively small changes contributing over time, and strength-training gives more benefits of this kind per hour than cardio work can.  You can (& should!) add cardio work too to burn even more calories, but it's less efficient per hour expended.
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