Continued from Cailin, Age 16 - 10/14/02 - IP#:   bigbb-c6394

If your school load for this year is easy or it's the summer, then go for a good bit of it. I myself lost 15 pounds this summer because I started working out. In my experience, the hardest part is getting started. I know that it's very hard, but if you stay with it, it gets so much easier, I promise. pI began to buy women's fitness magazines and get a general idea of what people did to lose weight. I started with a basic idea of what I wanted to do, and made a schedule. I decided there were 3 goals to meet per week: Cardio, Weight Training, and Abs. pCardio is self-explanatory. Biking, running, etc. Most things will recommend between 15 and 45 minutes a session, 3-5 times a week. I myself have always found, even at my fittest, that 45 minutes is way too much. I suggest high-intensity workouts with a lower time frame. Start by saying, "On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I'll ride my bike(or a stationary one) for 15-20 minutes." pNext comes weights. I know most of you females are shying away from this, but listen up. You Will NOT become Arnolda Schwarzenegger. You know how the fat on your legs looks bumpy and disgusting when you sit a certain way? That's what we call cellulite, or flab, or whatever. Your cardio will reduce some of that. But to not look like some old lady in water aerobics, you need to weight train; it'll tone up the nasty flab stuff. Trust me on this. Plus, weight training provides some temporary fixes. Is you boyfriend coming over in a bit? Lifts some weights for any target area to temporarily tense the muscle, and it will look slimmer and more toned. It also increases your metabolism, which is really the main goal of cardio besides its inherent burning of calories anyway, so it does make you less fat. That's why you need to do it. Now that I've convinced you, a young person like ourselves should probably select a few areas of their body they want to work. I suggest biceps(front muscles of upper arm), triceps(back muscles of upper arm that are inherently weaker), hams or quads, and glutes to start. Don't worry about all the technical names: it all boils down to arm and leg muscles. (Email me at for some specific weight-lifting exercises that work well for me.) I suggest finding some basic exercises you like and trying everything out the first time. Figure out how much on each you can lift; your parents probably have free weights somewhere. Be sure to read up on proper weight-lifting, but as a general rule just be careful and don't try to lift anything you're very unsure about. A basic exercise plan would have you weight training 2 or 3 times a week; be sure to set them a few days apart so that your muscles have time to rebuild themselves(as that's what makes them stronger!) pFinally, abs. Abs are simple as hell. I like to do them on my cardio days, and maybe a couple extra days. Do 20 reps per set to start I'd say, as many sets as you're comfortable(but not too comfortable) with. I started with 5 sets/20, but my ab muscles weren't too bad to start, so whatever works. I like to do them at times when there's nothing else to do, like during a commercial break on a tv show or whatever. pBottom line: have fun. Use whatever you need to keep yourself motivated. Many people are empowered by "My new body will improve my self-esteem", but I say if it doesn't work for you(and it didn't for me), don't use it. I like "I'll stop freaking traffic in those tight XOXO jeans". It's much more motivational for me to use something funny and bright like that that's prolly closer to what I;m going for. :-) Please let me know(Shadesofcai@hotmail) if any of this helps. Thanks and good luck!