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Old 23rd September 2008, 14:16   #706
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Default Stretches, Warmup, and cooldown

Stretches, Warmup, and Cooldown

These 3 words can be the most misunderstood terms on the gym floor, esp. regarding why and when and how they should be performed. In a nutshell, they're crucial and will more or less determine how injury-free you'll be. This is how it's done:

1. Warmup: This does NOT mean stretching. In fact it is very harmful to stretch as soon as you're on the floor; your ligaments, tendons etc. are far more likely to get injured if you stretch without warming up. Warmup literally increases your body temperature and warm muscles are far less injury-prone. They're more elastic and this will help you train much better. This is a MUST. If possible, warm up your entire body; 5-10 mins on the elliptical hits both your upper and lower body. If you're absolutely pressed for time, at least warm up those muscles that you plan to train with weights. Trust me, you'll save yourself a lot of grief.

2. Stretches: Stretch ONLY after warming up. Do NOT jerk or pull unnecessarily. Stretch gradually and hold the stretch.

3. Cooldown: Another important, albeit boring, routine that needs to be paid attention to. Cooling down helps dissipate the lactic acid buildup due to training with weights. So after a heavy workout, just walk slowly on the treadmill for about 10 mins. This helps in blood circulation throughout the body, blood which is pooled in the muscles that you've just worked out. It also gets your heart rate back to normal. Now you're ready to hit the sauna, ice shower... whatever, both of which are potentially extremely dangerous without cooling down properly.

Warming up and cooling down can be great pyschological aids as well. A nice warmup prepares your mind and body for a challenging training routine and a cool down gives you time to reflect on how you've trained and bask in the feel-good factor of having pushed yourself hard. This is very important in ensuring you enjoy working out and come to the gym regularly.

Grow in Peace!
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Old 23rd September 2008, 14:55   #707
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I should probably add some more to this thread as well. I'm somewhere around 5' 9"-5' 10" and I used to weigh around 84 kilos when I was doing my internship in Ottawa (last winter). All I'd do is come back from work and eat greasy and oily food and I gained like 5 kilos in 4 months.

Now I'm down to 72 kilos with significant muscle mass, all due to cardio (running on the riverside and on the treadmill) and weights.

What I'd say is never eat less (dieting) but always eat right. I never miss out on the occasional fried food and dessert but for my regular meals I make sure I eat right. And if you want to lose fat, you have to RUN (provided you're fit enough). Walking, jogging, cycling etc. are never that effective.

And as for weights, I've been doing pretty much the same kind of weights in the last 1 year, but I noticed more definition only when I started losing fat. Although I still have a long way to go, I'm aiming for the lean look with somewhat defined muscles, but not really big like a lot of people you see here (North America).
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Old 23rd September 2008, 15:09   #708
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Arre yaar tell me something.

I've been going to this small gym in my society. Nothing too fancy... its not airconditioned but it doesnt get hot also as its not exposed to direct sunlight. It has three huge windows for ventilation.

Now, there are a couple of guys who come there to workout and first thing they do is switch on the pedestal fan. They stretch a little and then move onto weights. Now here i am dripping with sweat and these guys want to turn the fan on. After politely telling them a couple of times, they have stopped switching it on if i am already there. But if they get there first, then the fan is on full blast and i have to request them to switch it off (or stop it from revolving). They are decent guys and have never argued back or anything. Still, i feel odd asking them to switch it off.

Isn't it unadvisable to work out in front of a full speed fan? Besides, why would you NOT want to sweat when you are working out? I certainly get some sort of mental satisfaction to see sweat dripping off me.

Am i the oddball here?
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Old 23rd September 2008, 15:20   #709
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Nobody's the oddball, everyone has different opinions and mannerisms. I enjoy working out in all conditions. Why not just get to the gym before them?
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Old 23rd September 2008, 15:35   #710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Why not just get to the gym before them?
Trust me i try. But i cant leave office at 5 everyday!
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Old 23rd September 2008, 15:37   #711
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Even i don't prefer it but it does help to have indirect circulation of air. We have 2 exahaust fans working at full blast and 3 ceiling fans which are positioned away from the workout areas.

U can try n working out in an area that doesn't get direct air from the fan.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 23rd September 2008 at 15:57.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 15:45   #712
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Yeah as long as its for ventilation, its fine. I've even told a few people to not to close the gym's door coz it prevents air circulation. There is one fan near a window and one near the door that assist in air circulation.

Anyway, my question is not how to deal with this situation. they are decent chaps and i always ask them nicely.

My question is... is it unhealthy to do weights in front of a fan?
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:07   #713
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Quote:
My question is... is it unhealthy to do weights in front of a fan?
Its usually not advisable coz you don't want your body temp to drop too much when you're working out. Maintaining a slightly higher body temp does help.

Shan2nu
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:21   #714
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In that case, how about air conditioned gyms ?
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:49   #715
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the body will maintain its temperature well except under extreme circumstances. IMO working out in front of a fan is not going to do you any harm, if anything it will prevent sweat from accumulating keep things pleasant.

the objective while exercising is not to sweat, it is to burn calories/gain mass/relax. sweating happens when your body temp goes up. it is a side effect of excercise. letting it drip off you has no benefits medically. OTOH, letting it evaporate by using a fan is actually helping the sweat do what its supposed to- cool you down.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:54   #716
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
In that case, how about air conditioned gyms ?
I'd personally stay away from them mainly because natural ventilation is best when working out, and besides, no matter what technology is used in the ac, recirculated air is recirculated air.

In a place like Delhi or Chennai i can still understand the need for an ac gym, because just standing still can make you sweat bucketloads. But in Bangalore, i feel an airconditioned gym is just a fad. Thats my personal opinion, ofcourse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo
letting it evaporate by using a fan is actually helping the sweat do what its supposed to- cool you down
Exactly my point. On one hand you are working out and increasing your body temperature, and on the other hand the evaporating sweat is cooling you down. And in between sets, the evaporating sweat is cooling you down even more. Isnt that too much of up and down?

Last edited by amitoj : 23rd September 2008 at 16:58.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 17:22   #717
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Quote:
the objective while exercising is not to sweat, it is to burn calories/gain mass/relax. sweating happens when your body temp goes up. it is a side effect of excercise. letting it drip off you has no benefits medically. OTOH, letting it evaporate by using a fan is actually helping the sweat do what its supposed to- cool you down.
For this you need not workout right in front of a fan, indirect circulation of air around the body is good enough (since the sweat is already helping the body cool down). Just make sure you keep sipping water at regular intervals to make up for the loss of body water due to sweat.

Like they say, if your workout has been relaxing then you're prob not working out hard enough.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 23rd September 2008 at 17:25.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 17:22   #718
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post

Exactly my point. On one hand you are working out and increasing your body temperature, and on the other hand the evaporating sweat is cooling you down. And in between sets, the evaporating sweat is cooling you down even more. Isnt that too much of up and down?
What I'm trying to say is, that our body will handle ups and downs well. the body temperature is very tightly regulated. and it is done so with ease by systems that have evolved over millions of years.

sweat is a natural response to a increased body temp. it is meant to evaporate and cool you down. IMO, you should be helping that function using the fan.

however fast the fan is running, and however close you are to it, your body temp will not drop below 37 when you're excercising with weights, unless there is something seriously wrong with your endocrine system.
if you feel cold in front of a fan,while using weights
could be any of the following
1. you're not working hard enough/working too hard(especially aerobic excercises)
2. you're resting too long between sets
3. your nutrition is lacking
4. the ambient temperature is too far below what you are used to
5. medical condition

The thought process of "I have to sweat, otherwise the excercise is not effective" is old fashioned. all it does is make the temp regulation system work innefficiently, and dehydrate you quicker, thereby impacting your workout.

leave the fan on, we are men, we are supposed to be tough,we can take a bit of cold

AC gyms are not bad. as long as the temp is set right and the ventilation is good

@shan2nu
agreed, as long as the air around you is moving, and the sweat is evaporating quick enough its fine.
where i live, the humidity is so high, we need all the fans/ACs we can get to keep from pouring with sweat.

Last edited by rippergeo : 23rd September 2008 at 17:25.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 17:28   #719
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Quote:
leave the fan on, we are men, we are supposed to be tough,we can take a bit of cold
Fans are for females, men should be able to handle the sweat. LOL

Anyway, end of the day it's your choice. If you're comfortable doing it then no issues. Im just happy as long as i see good results.

Shan2nu
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Old 23rd September 2008, 17:29   #720
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
Fans are for females, men should be able to handle the sweat. LOL
Lol, I saw that coming, but only after i posted it.
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