Just starting out and need some help...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2011 6:11 AM GMT
    Hey guys, so here's the story about me...

    I am currently 20 years old and in college. I haven't really been athletic my entire life. In gym during grade school, I would always be "that kid" who gets picked last on a team. I'm not that physically strong either. I've always wondered if it was even possible for a guy like me to build muscle. You see, I'd probably have trouble lifting even 30-40 pounds for a workout session. THATS how weak I am in terms of physical strength.

    BUT, seeing that classes just ended for me and I'll have plenty of free time during the summer, I have been thinking about getting physically active. In fact, that's why I decided to join this community. I may not see it now because I'm young, but I realize that if I continue living like the way I do, I'll have numerous health problems when I get older. And that's something I want to avoid.

    Because I have been inactive for quite a while, I have accumulated body fat in the past years. I was thinking about burning the fat off as my goal for the summer, then I'll work with it from there. Maybe build a couple of pounds of muscle and improve my strength so I don't feel pathetically weak. I am keeping my goals realistic though; I'm not expecting to look like Schwarzenegger as that will probably be unrealistic as far as what I'm reaching for.

    To be honest, I'm kinda lost right now. I just want some advice on where to start. Maybe I'll post a picture of myself so that you guys can see where I stand. I'll probably do that on monday since I'll be busy until then.

    Thanks in advance for anyone who's willing to offer some help.
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    May 22, 2011 7:40 AM GMT
    Running helps, we used to have to run 1 mile (4 laps around a track) in 20 minutes for a gym class I had in high school. So you can try working up to that at first. Way back we (or at least I) started we (or I) wasn't able to lift much either. It's juts keeping yourself from saying cant and lifting less weight than you can actually do. I'm not saying lift 50 lbs dumbbells and do that for bicep curls, just work your way up.
    Best thing to do is find your maxes for certain exercises and well work from those. Typically way we do it in my college weights class is find our 1 rm for Barbell Bicep Curls, Bench Press, Squats, Deadlift, Military (shoulder) Press. We used to do Bentover Row too. Anyways from there you basically factor in what you want to do
    Muscular endurance 65% or less than your max 15+ reps 4 sets I think rest for 30 seconds between sets
    Hypertrophy 75 to 85% of your max 7 to12 reps 3 or 4 sets rest for 30 seconds to 2 minutes between sets
    Strength 85 to 92% of your max 4 to 6 reps rest for 2 minutes to 5 between sets
    Power 95% of your max 1 to 3 reps rest for 5 minutes I think between sets

    I just don't remember the sets you do for strength and power.
    Hope this helps a bit
  • Profire

    Posts: 224

    May 22, 2011 11:28 AM GMT
    Since it sounds like you are new to all this, lets keep it simple.
    You can always get more complex and nuanced plans in the future, as hopefully, this initiative is not a summer project but a lifelong commitment to health.

    Do cardio 2-3 times a week.
    Go fast enough where you break a sweat, but slow enough where you can carry on a conversation.
    You can run, bike, do the elliptical machines, play basketball, soccer, etc. Just be active and get your heart rate up for at least 30-45 min.

    Muscle building:
    Lift weights 2-3 times a week.
    Its better to use free weights vs machines, as free weights make you engage your stabilizer muscles.
    There are tons of muscle building articles and how-to's on this site.
    This link is for Strength Foundation 12 week program.
    These are great resources and give you a plan, show you how to do it and help you keep on track.

    Set Goals:
    Know why you are doing all this, set some goals (run a 5K by August, complete a marathon in a year, have a 15% body fat by Christmas, etc)
    If you have a reason to do something and a goal, it is usually easier to stick to it than a general "to feel good and get in shape".

    Couple of last points:
    1. Keep it fun. If you are enjoying it and having fun, you are more likely to keep it up than if you viewed it as an obligation or something you have to do.
    2. Be safe. Don't run too far on the first time, don't try to lift your maximums right away, learn how to use the machines or free weights.
    3. Vary your workouts. Don't do the same thing over and over and over. Run, bike, swim, do the ellipticals, cross training, lift weights, do free weights, use machines, etc.
    4. Even if you just want to loose fat, you need to weight train. Muscles burn calories faster than fat does, so if you increase your muscle mass, you burn more calories, which keeps the fat lower.

    Have fun, be safe and post pictures when you look like a roman warrior.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 22, 2011 9:28 PM GMT
    I'm not sure if this is a silly question or not, but I do work part-time at a job where I'm constantly on my feet and walking around everywhere. Shifts usually range from 7-9 hours each.

    Since I do a lot of walking when working and I read somewhere about how walking is suppose to healthy, what should I do on the days where I have to work and do cardio? Should I tone down the cardio since I already spent the day walking, or should I keep it the same?

    Also, what are some advice on diet? I'm slowly trying to break my old unhealthy ways of eating. The thing is, as I do that, I don't really know what healthier options to eat. I heard that you shouldn't eat the same foods, even if it is healthy, every day since it's nice to supply your body with a variety of different foods.

    But the thing is, I am allergic to some of the healthier foods. For example, I can't eat nuts or anything with soy in it. And I know how nuts/soy are a great source of protein for weightlifters too. So that limits me on my protein option. The only other source of protein that I can think of is chicken, but I don't want to eat only chicken everyday since variety is important.

    I also can't eat certain kinds of fruit (apples, cherries, peaches) because of my allergy to pollen. I am fine with other fruits like bananas, berries, and oranges though. So yeah, because of my allergies, I feel like that limits me on what I can eat.

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    May 23, 2011 8:18 PM GMT
    I know I'm double posting now, but I want to ask some other questions too. Is it necessary to go to the gym for these workouts, or can I just buy dumbbells and use them at home? I was looking at the strength-foundation workout and noticed how some of those workouts require gym equipment.

    I don't want to spend a fortune and was wondering if it's still possible to follow the strength foundation template without having to pay for a gym membership.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 24, 2011 8:39 AM GMT
    The more muscle you have the more fat you burn without doing anything. So when you build you create your own fat shredding system.

    Start off light and increase your weight as you progress. Rule of thumb if you can lift the weight more than 12 times comfotably then it is time to increase the weight.

    It is not necessary to go to the gym to do these workouts. All you need is a pair of dumbells and a good exercise ball to support yourself on. The exercise ball is very good as you can warm up with it or even get a massive workout from it.

    To loose weight one must consume a deficit of 500 calories of your Basal Metabolic Rate.

    To build muscle you got to increase by 500. that is why it is very hard to build muscle and shred fat at the same time. I am not saying its impossible because i know it can be done. There are diets that allow you to burn fat and build huge amounts of muscle.

    I have studied them, they are called CKD (keto diets) you stop eating carbs and you only eat fat and protein no sugars at all, this forces the body to use fat as the energy system instead of carbs like it normally does.

    This is a very fast way of getting rid of fat fast but it is not the healthiest way at all.

    Something people in the gym make a big mistake on is trying to stop eating fat. This is bad because without saturated fat muscle does not grow.

    The important thing here is to eat right(70%) and train hard (30%)

    Diet is the most important of all but of course exercise is necessary.

    To increase your strength you should do pushups daily and try increase them slowly.

    Happy training