What would be considered physically weak?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 19, 2014 9:54 PM GMT
    I'm obviously not a gym rat and I'm very ignorant about fitness, but I am trying to improve my health and overall body composition. To skip the point, I'm not certain on how to have a decent workout and what defines someone as physically strong.

    Though I'm not entirely sure of what I can do (or what my max is), the last amount of weight I've squatted was 205 lbs. which doesn't seem to be a lot since I believe most people can squat twice their weight (I weight 234 lbs. or so). I did 10 reps of 185 lbs. and 10 reps again of 205 lbs. My time in the gym is usually short and "lackluster" because of my ignorance and clueless. After that, I've about 20 hip abductions (outwards) of 130 and 150 (10 each), and 30 hip abductions (inwards) 130, 150, 170 (10 each). As I recall, I'm supposed to lift heavy weights at low reps in a certain amount of sets. However, with the leg press, I've made it to 330 lbs without realizing when I meant to chose 310.

    For upper body, my maximum appears to 230 or so on the lateral pulldown. Ultimately, I just want advice, to become stronger, and not be weak. Apparently, I'm "weak as shit" for what I've made it to, even though everyone works out at their own pace.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 20, 2014 12:22 AM GMT
    Own pace dept is +++
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Apr 20, 2014 2:56 AM GMT
    Junny saidI'm obviously not a gym rat and I'm very ignorant about fitness, but I am trying to improve my health and overall body composition. To skip the point, I'm not certain on how to have a decent workout and what defines someone as physically strong.


    First of all, focus on improving your strength, and not on how much you think others do.

    Junny said
    Though I'm not entirely sure of what I can do (or what my max is), the last amount of weight I've squatted was 205 lbs. which doesn't seem to be a lot...


    Define "a lot". Is this your one-rep max? You're not the strongest guy in the gym, but you're definitely squatting more than most men.

    Junny said
    ...since I believe most people can squat twice their weight (I weight 234 lbs. or so)...


    Wrong. Twice your weight is very high, and most don't do it. I don't.


    Junny said
    I did 10 reps of 185 lbs. and 10 reps again of 205 lbs. My time in the gym is usually short and "lackluster" because of my ignorance and clueless. After that, I've about 20 hip abductions (outwards) of 130 and 150 (10 each), and 30 hip abductions (inwards) 130, 150, 170 (10 each).


    When you train for strength, you don't do 10 reps. You do 5 reps or less. If you're training in the 6-15 rep range (others will say 8-12 or 6-12), you're training for hypertrophy, i.e. muscle growth. Not strength.

    You need to decide if you want to go down the bodybuilding route, or the powerlifting route. Bodybuilders aren't the strongest guys in the gym; powerlifters are. Bodybuilding is about aesthetics, and however you get there doesn't matter; if your body responds to lighter weights, great...if it responds to heavier weights, great. Lots of bodybuilders don't squat that much, and the ones that mentor me only squat around 315 (at around 3-6 reps), and only on the smith machine, and that's what I do too.


    Junny said
    For upper body, my maximum appears to 230 or so on the lateral pulldown.


    230 is actually very high for the lat pulldown. Again, you failed to clarify how many reps you do at 230. My guess is that you're not doing this correctly.

    Junny said
    Ultimately, I just want advice, to become stronger, and not be weak. Apparently, I'm "weak as shit" for what I've made it to, even though everyone works out at their own pace.


    You're not "weak as shit" by any means. Although, I'm wondering if you use proper form on your lifts. The weights you mentioned are actually pretty heavy, and someone that's "not a gym rat" -as you described yourself- may not be using proper form to lift them.

    P.S.

    I just looked at your profile, and noticed you're a big guy...6'2" and 220. That may explain why you're able to go a bit heavy as a newbie.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 20, 2014 6:10 PM GMT
    jjguy05 said
    Junny saidI'm obviously not a gym rat and I'm very ignorant about fitness, but I am trying to improve my health and overall body composition. To skip the point, I'm not certain on how to have a decent workout and what defines someone as physically strong.


    First of all, focus on improving your strength, and not on how much you think others do.

    Junny said
    Though I'm not entirely sure of what I can do (or what my max is), the last amount of weight I've squatted was 205 lbs. which doesn't seem to be a lot...


    Define "a lot". Is this your one-rep max? You're not the strongest guy in the gym, but you're definitely squatting more than most men.

    Junny said
    ...since I believe most people can squat twice their weight (I weight 234 lbs. or so)...


    Wrong. Twice your weight is very high, and most don't do it. I don't.


    Junny said
    I did 10 reps of 185 lbs. and 10 reps again of 205 lbs. My time in the gym is usually short and "lackluster" because of my ignorance and clueless. After that, I've about 20 hip abductions (outwards) of 130 and 150 (10 each), and 30 hip abductions (inwards) 130, 150, 170 (10 each).


    When you train for strength, you don't do 10 reps. You do 5 reps or less. If you're training in the 6-15 rep range (others will say 8-12 or 6-12), you're training for hypertrophy, i.e. muscle growth. Not strength.

    You need to decide if you want to go down the bodybuilding route, or the powerlifting route. Bodybuilders aren't the strongest guys in the gym; powerlifters are. Bodybuilding is about aesthetics, and however you get there doesn't matter; if your body responds to lighter weights, great...if it responds to heavier weights, great. Lots of bodybuilders don't squat that much, and the ones that mentor me only squat around 315 (at around 3-6 reps), and only on the smith machine, and that's what I do too.


    Junny said
    For upper body, my maximum appears to 230 or so on the lateral pulldown.


    230 is actually very high for the lat pulldown. Again, you failed to clarify how many reps you do at 230. My guess is that you're not doing this correctly.

    Junny said
    Ultimately, I just want advice, to become stronger, and not be weak. Apparently, I'm "weak as shit" for what I've made it to, even though everyone works out at their own pace.


    You're not "weak as shit" by any means. Although, I'm wondering if you use proper form on your lifts. The weights you mentioned are actually pretty heavy, and someone that's "not a gym rat" -as you described yourself- may not be using proper form to lift them.

    P.S.

    I just looked at your profile, and noticed you're a big guy...6'2" and 220. That may explain why you're able to go a bit heavy as a newbie.


    I want to build some muscle in the arms growth wise, but gain strength as well. I didn't mean to assume that most people can squat twice their weight, and I should've said some people could.

    I only did 6 reps on 230 for the lateral pull (close grip) since I did 5 on 220, 210, and 200 and did 1 rep of 240 as I recall. I currently weigh 234.4 lbs. and 6"6. I'm also training for parkour, martial arts (if I ever get back into it), and free-running.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Apr 20, 2014 7:39 PM GMT
    It would be helpful to have a few sessions with a physical trainer then go on from there.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Apr 20, 2014 8:29 PM GMT
    Junny saidI want to build some muscle in the arms growth wise, but gain strength as well.


    When you're new to the gym, you'll gain both size and strength, with a basic program, of 3 sets x8-12 reps per muscle/muscle group.

    In general, though, if you want to focus on strength training, then you do heavy weights, with low reps (5 or less per set, even down to 1 rep a set) and long rests. For muscle growth, more moderate weights, at higher reps.

    But if you're not going to be a powerlifter, and you're just starting out, ten just do a basic 3x(8-to-12) program. There's sample programs you can get right here on realjock, or in basic fitness publications like Men's Health. You can also get a personal trainer as FRE0 recommended. I don't know if two sessions would help though. Maybe a few more than that if you're serious.

    Junny said
    I didn't mean to assume that most people can squat twice their weight, and I should've said some people could.



    Some.
    Let's clarify that even further: very very few. I very rarely see a guy squatting 400 lbs. In all the gyms I've gone to, I can probably count these guys with my ten fingers. And none of the most impressive physiques I've seen in my gyms fall into this very-strong group.

    I think an excellent goal for you would be to try squatting at least 300 lbs, which is certainly challenging, and totally reasonable. But don't expect to get to that overnight. It'll take some time and training.

    The guys that go up to 2 times their bodyweight are -usually- guys that prioritized on strength training (rather than aesthetic physique) for years, and it took them a long time to get there. Again, these guys are very few, and you don't need to get that strong in order to grow your muscle. If you want size and decent functional strength, then I wouldn't obsess with squatting 2x my bodyweight. If you want to just be more well-rounded and look good, then focus on going up to 1.4-1.5x your bodyweight in squats.

    Junny said
    I only did 6 reps on 230 for the lateral pull (close grip) since I did 5 on 220, 210, and 200 and did 1 rep of 240 as I recall.


    This doesn't sound weak by any means. But again, it's possible your form is wrong, which helps you lift this much. Even so, you're not weak.


    Junny said
    I'm also training for parkour, martial arts (if I ever get back into it), and free-running.


    I don't know anything about parkour and martial arts, but -in general- it's impossible to be a jack-of-all trades. I would seek out experts on these disciplines, and ask them on their opinions if all the activities you do contradict each other. I don't see how parkour and martial arts contradict each other, and how strength training could hurt. But just make sure you aren't trying to do too much at once. For example, guys that want to build significant muscle but also want to be able to play soccer or basketball...guess what, sports that require a lot of running conflict with bodybuilding. So sometimes, different activities conflict with each other. Just as I said earlier, you need to figure out if you wanna be swole or very strong, because the two are not the same. It's still very early in your lifting that you'll gain both size and strength, but eventually you'll have to choose one over the other. And will being too big make parkour difficult? These are all things to ponder.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 21, 2014 3:09 AM GMT
    Thank you very much for your advice. I'm going back to the gym tomorrow and will think things over. I'm already big, so I think I will aim for strength training.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 21, 2014 3:59 AM GMT
    Junny saidI'm obviously not a gym rat and I'm very ignorant about fitness, but I am trying to improve my health and overall body composition. To skip the point, I'm not certain on how to have a decent workout and what defines someone as physically strong.

    Though I'm not entirely sure of what I can do (or what my max is), the last amount of weight I've squatted was 205 lbs. which doesn't seem to be a lot since I believe most people can squat twice their weight (I weight 234 lbs. or so). I did 10 reps of 185 lbs. and 10 reps again of 205 lbs. My time in the gym is usually short and "lackluster" because of my ignorance and clueless. After that, I've about 20 hip abductions (outwards) of 130 and 150 (10 each), and 30 hip abductions (inwards) 130, 150, 170 (10 each). As I recall, I'm supposed to lift heavy weights at low reps in a certain amount of sets. However, with the leg press, I've made it to 330 lbs without realizing when I meant to chose 310.

    For upper body, my maximum appears to 230 or so on the lateral pulldown. Ultimately, I just want advice, to become stronger, and not be weak. Apparently, I'm "weak as shit" for what I've made it to, even though everyone works out at their own pace.


    Dude, you are sooooo lucky you can do this...I break my ass at the gym, but I can't lift heavy for anything!
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 31, 2014 5:27 AM GMT
    You're still 21. My body grew til I was 22. At 6'6" you can't be weak, just not as strong as you would like to be pound for pound. I agree that getting a personal traitor for a few sessions would definitely help. Remember free weights are as low as 2.5 pounds. If you move up each week in small increments and do this steadily you will be lifting Volkswagons sooner than you think.icon_idea.gif

    The web is also full of helpful advice. I read one of Bill Phillips books years ago and it was inspiring.

    Good luck, don't quit.
    Mike
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2015 1:47 AM GMT
    Thank you. I'm very late to replying but before school ended for me, I was able to max out the gym's squat rack (400lbs) at 405, and made it to 490 lbs on the leg press. Now that I'm at home for the time being, I'm looking into core exercises, but aside from that, I can never activate glutes, just quads and hamstrings.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2015 2:22 AM GMT
    You know, I was just thinking about this.

    I was at the gym two days ago and I was doing legs that day. So I go to use the calf machine where you stand and lift the weights on your shoulders. I do sets of 16-20 reps moving from 135 to 155 to 175 lbs. but this other guy who was using the machine was doing a set of 395 lbs. So I suddenly wondered to try just one rep at that weight.

    I didn't make the machine even budge.

    I suddenly didn't feel like I was all that strong. So I am now finding more motivation suddenly to get stronger and not just simply focusing on appearances. But I can't help but wonder: how did he ever get that far? How long does it take to get that strong? It's just incredible strength. Sheesh! icon_eek.gif
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jan 14, 2015 2:26 AM GMT
    Start out an Planet Fitness and when they kick you out, you know you are ready to crank it up a notch icon_biggrin.gif
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    Jan 16, 2015 12:26 AM GMT
    When you can't lift out your penis to take a piss...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 18, 2015 1:30 AM GMT
    Junny said... I can never activate glutes, just quads and hamstrings.

    It's hard to make specific comments without seeing you, but activating the glutes is very important for a number of reasons. One of the reasons people have knee issues is failure of the glutes to properly activate leading to stress on the knee.

    I think a good idea would be to see a qualified PT to work that issue as well as evaluate imbalances and other movement issues. Especially at your size it's important to make sure the foundation is solid before going too heavy with the weights.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jan 18, 2015 1:50 AM GMT
    If you are pouring someone coffee from a pot and the pot start shaking from side to side .... you need to start working out.

    If your back hurts the next day after shooting a game of pool with a friend .... you need to start working out.

    If you get a little winded walking up two flights of stairs .... you need to start working out.

    If you have to hold on to something in order to sit on the toilet .... you need to start working out.
  • Zigs_01

    Posts: 226

    Jan 29, 2015 9:36 PM GMT
    Most people usually set the standard in relatives to their own bodies. Average person can't really lift a lot. Maybe two hundred pound benchpress would make you look strong to the average person.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 18, 2015 5:29 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidIf you are pouring someone coffee from a pot and the pot start shaking from side to side .... you need to start working out.

    If your back hurts the next day after shooting a game of pool with a friend .... you need to start working out.

    If you get a little winded walking up two flights of stairs .... you need to start working out.

    If you have to hold on to something in order to sit on the toilet .... you need to start working out.


    During my trip last weekend, my friends and I were trying to find a lounge in the hotel and we had to take the stairs. After 8 flights or so I was winded - we had to climb 18.