I am starting a work out plan. I have never worked out before, in my life.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 31, 2008 8:57 PM GMT
    Hi, I am new. I have never worked out before, not even in high school gym. So while I do have goals I am not sure how to meet them. I am 6’2” and 190lbs. My goal is to have noticeable improvement in how I look by March and to wear a revealing costume next Halloween.

    I want to loose my belly and put on some muscle.

    I plan to go to the gym 5 days a week
    Day1: 30min treadmill, upper body machines
    Day2: 1hr treadmill
    Day3: 30min treadmill, mid section machines
    Day4: 1hr treadmill
    Day5: 30min treadmill, leg machines

    I have a few questions and please forgive me if they are stupid but I really don’t know.
    Are my goals reasonable?
    Is my work out schedule ok?
    What is a Rep?
    What is a Set?
    What should my diet look like?
    I have heard the phrase “go to failure”, how literal is that? Should I literally do what ever machine I am on until what ever part of my body won’t complete the motion any more?
    How long should my muscles hurt after a work out?
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    Dec 31, 2008 9:49 PM GMT
    Hey…

    congratulations for doing something about it! I love it when people stop wishing and start working.


    Have a look at this thread http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/377992/

    No idea if your goals are reasonable.. depends on so many things. Even still, go for it ;)

    Do 3 days a week with at least a day off in between (e.g. Mon, Wed, Fri) and hit them hard. Then rest. Gentle swimming, walking, yoga or something counts as rest, as you are resting the muscles you beat up the day before.

    Do whole body work outs. ALWAYS work your legs. I don´t like spilts at all, ever, but if you are just starting certainly do 3 "whole bodies" a week. I don´t know about cardio as I was a triathlete, and so kinda come from a different place from you, and losing weight is not too hard for me. Main thing though: don´t be so enthusiastic to start with that you give up by the second week of Feb. Do something you can keep doing.

    Other questions:

    a rep is a repetition, that is one time of lifting the bit of metal in the air.

    A set is a group of repetitions. So you do (8 times 3) which is 8 repetitions, done three times with rest between (24 times lifting the bit of metal in total)

    Diet… ufff. I suggest you eat. Drop empty calories (basically everything that kids like: candy, soda, cookies, or if you are british sweets, fizzy drinks and biscuits) Eat a good breakfast, a solid lunch, and a solid supper, with PLANNED snacks in between (fruit, a small sandwich etc) Drink water, eat veggies, fruit. Don´t starve yourself so you get the mad munchies and eat a jar of peanut butter, 3 packets of doretos, and a packet of oreos, a tub of Ben and Jerry´s and a box of Hershey kisses after a week of eating lettuce and cottage cheese.

    Go to failure means you can´t do any more reps, not even if I stand next to you and shout at you. If the bit of metal is not friendly (ie it might fall on you) then you need to get a person to “spot” you, that is make sure you are not crushed to death. This can be a good opportunity to see if that really hot guy is interested at all. If not he might still be your friend or at least nod at you in public.

    Your muscles will hurt for the first few weeks. They are lazy buggers and would rather just lie on the couch and this is their way of punishing you. A few days is normal if you hit it hard, and nb that light exercise is the best way of getting through it and the very best is to do the same exercises again.

    Find some nice guy at the gym to show you how to do the stuff. You´ll find too that many people at the gym are very kind (or maybe it´s just that they are kind to me icon_wink.gif I have a killer smile and a british accent.)


    Ed for MSUBioNerd. Naturally I assume that he will never do anything with less than perfect form. I put that in the other newbie thread. ;)

    Ed for Flex89; "hit it hard" means work with integrity and diligence, pushing the comfort zone, but not in an ego driven way. It does not mean going to failure in the first week of lifting
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jan 01, 2009 2:36 AM GMT
    Actually, I'll disagree slightly about what go to failure means. Going to failure means that no matter how hard you try, you cannot do another repetition WITH PROPER FORM. That's not quite the same as not being able to do another one at all. For example, if I'm doing a simple dumbbell bicep curl, the point of failure is when I can no longer do one while maintaining the same stance, keeping my elbow in place, not swinging my arm or whole body to generate momentum, etc.

    One of the big advantages you have in just starting out is that you have no bad habits in the gym yet, unlike basically all the rest of us. If you take the time when you're first learning an exercise to learn the proper form and do your best to mimic that, you'll be less likely to injure yourself, and will get results faster than if you just do the exercise haphazardly. This site has lots of videos demonstrating almost any exercise you can think of. You can also always ask someone at your gym who looks like (s)he knows what (s)he's doing. And the way to tell that, most often, is if that person's movements are smooth, controlled, and at an even tempo.

    What your diet should look like will depend on a lot of factors--your metabolism, your current fat distribution, how active your normal life is, etc. But, in general, if you're looking to lose fat: eat a larger number of smaller meals (NEVER skip breakfast), make your default beverage be water, eat things that are relatively unprocessed, consumer fewer calories than you burn. Make a conscious effort to eat more healthy things (whole vegetables, fruit, lean proteins like egg or skinless chicken or fish, etc), rather than trying to outright ban things like french fries. And don't think of a diet as "what I will eat until I'm the weight I want to be" but "what I will eat for the rest of my life". That means you're going to have to make allowances for that one dessert you just can't give up, or that salty snack that you love. For things you really want to eat but you don't think of as healthy, the keys are portion size and frequency. Having a donut once a week probably won't break your diet; having three a day will.

    And take a few good "before" photos, shirtless included. With the changes you're making, you'll really want to see them a year from now. Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 3:17 AM GMT
    Read this book.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0976805421/ref=s9subs_c1_14_img1-rfc_p_si1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1MPMWA2FAW8T0GVFVVQ5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463383351&pf_rd_i=507846

    I promise you, hands down, this is the best book on the subject of working out available. I wish I had known about it when I was starting out. It doesn't try to convince you of any fad-workout, it just gives you the absolute vital, fundamental basics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 01, 2009 3:20 AM GMT
    HermitIX saidHi, I am new. I have never worked out before, not even in high school gym. So while I do have goals I am not sure how to meet them. I am 6’2” and 190lbs. My goal is to have noticeable improvement in how I look by March and to wear a revealing costume next Halloween.

    I want to loose my belly and put on some muscle.

    I plan to go to the gym 5 days a week
    Day1: 30min treadmill, upper body machines
    Day2: 1hr treadmill
    Day3: 30min treadmill, mid section machines
    Day4: 1hr treadmill
    Day5: 30min treadmill, leg machines

    I have a few questions and please forgive me if they are stupid but I really don’t know.
    Are my goals reasonable?
    Is my work out schedule ok?
    What is a Rep?
    What is a Set?
    What should my diet look like?
    I have heard the phrase “go to failure”, how literal is that? Should I literally do what ever machine I am on until what ever part of my body won’t complete the motion any more?
    How long should my muscles hurt after a work out?


    Your workout schedule's terrible. You need to be doing cardio after your weights or you'll deplete your glycogen stores and break down muscle to compensate for having no glucose in your system to run off of. You also don't want to do more than 20 minutes of cardio at a pop for the same reason. Doing cardio daily is a good idea: you'll get leaner.

    For your weights, don't focus on "just machines" because you won't get enough variance. Get on a six-day routine:

    Day 1: back and biceps, forearms
    Day 2: chest and triceps, abs
    Day 3: quads, adductors and abductors, calves
    Day 4: shoulders and traps, forearms
    Day 5: hamstrings, abs
    Day 6: triceps and biceps, calves

    This routine provides you enough time to recover so you don't over train. You'll want to do 16 or more reps (lift 16 or more times) for 4 to 6 sets (repeat 4 to 6 times taking 45 seconds to 90 seconds in between.) Don't sweat lifting light: you're at a stage where you can seriously injure yourself, not to mention the key to getting big is NOT LIFTING HEAVY.

    Generally, you want to go from compound exercises to isolated exercises; ie. for quads you'd do squats, leg press, hack squat, and leg extension in this order because squats work everything focusing primarily on your quads, and leg extension only focuses on your quads. I'll send you a sample workout plan if you want.

    Your goals are reasonable, but be aware you're not gonna look like an underwear model. You will be seeing improvements by March, and you'll hopefully be able to pull off fish nets for Halloween if you stay consistent.

    Your diet should look like a minimum six meals a day with 40-50g of protein and 60g of carbs for each, you'll want to avoid high fat, but a little butter is ok, and don't be afraid to eat peanut butter because it gives you your essential fats. Make sure you're getting enough water, veggies, and fiber because all that protein will block you up something fierce.

    Your post-workout meal should be your largest with 100g of complex carbs, 30g of simple carbs, and 40-50g of protein all to be eaten within 40 minutes of working out if you DID NOT do cardio, and 20 minutes if you DID do cardio. You may want to consider getting some weight gainer and protein powder, and mixing it up with 8oz of apple juice and water and taking it with you to the gym so you can suck it down right when you need it (I always bring mine in a small cooler LOL!)

    Lifting to failure is exactly as what everyone else here has said: it's as many reps that you can do in perfect form. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE LIFTING TO FAILURE for at least four months because you'll be running the risk of ripping a muscle or attachment, and it's an injury that may screw up any chances for you to continue training even after it heals.

    Your muscles are gonna be aching for the first few months. What will happen is you'll get done with a workout, and feel fine for the next day or so, then it hits and it'll hurt like hell. You may hurt for as long as five days. To ease the pain and hasten the healing process, you'll want to exercise the affected area with very VERY light weight, and do as many as 4 sets of 30 reps; again, DO NOT lift to failure. If you do this on the first day you're sore, it'll greatly speed healing and make it a lot less painful. Ibuprofen will also become your best friend for the first few months that you're working out.

    Feel free to bug me if you have any questions.
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    Jan 01, 2009 3:45 AM GMT
    "Get on a six-day routine"

    Flex.... you´d really suggest 6 day a week training to someone from the very start, even when he already set 5 as his max? My gut feeling is that that is priming him for failure and he´s more likely to give up by March that way and never make it into the fishnets. 3 full body weight sessions (exercising all parts in one work out) and two active recovery sound like *more* than enough. He´s NEVER WORKED OUT BEFORE.

    Added to which, if he has frequent commitment every tuesday (for example) then his chest/triceps suffers on a super split routine. As my old tri coach used to say "the best training is the training that happens".

    Keep
    It
    Simple
    Stupid

    ;)

    (goes and hides awaiting some convincing sounding rebuttal from the Flex dude, even though I know I´m right icon_rolleyes.gif )
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    Jan 01, 2009 4:40 AM GMT
    The advice of flex89 is sound and well-qualified.

    Likely, the poster won't make six days a week anyway, but, the advice is all good.

    The points of not being over-exuberant are very valid, and should not be taken lightly.

    The high-rep workout will help to condition all the under-lying systems for later, heavier, training, if the poster endures. They'll also show immediate results for those looking for quick gratification.

    In the beginning, metabolic activation, calories for growth, and development of attachments / ligaments, and supporting cardiovascular systems (heart and vascularization) are far more important than any strength program. Injury prevention is critical, and flex's methods support that approach. I've had it work on a number of clients of my own.

    The key for a plan for success is adequate calories, recovery, stimulation, and injury prevention. All most occur to advance to a higher level.
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    Jan 01, 2009 4:56 AM GMT
    Lostboy76 said"Get on a six-day routine"

    Flex.... you´d really suggest 6 day a week training to someone from the very start, even when he already set 5 as his max? My gut feeling is that that is priming him for failure and he´s more likely to give up by March that way and never make it into the fishnets. 3 full body weight sessions (exercising all parts in one work out) and two active recovery sound like *more* than enough. He´s NEVER WORKED OUT BEFORE.

    Added to which, if he has frequent commitment every tuesday (for example) then his chest/triceps suffers on a super split routine. As my old tri coach used to say "the best training is the training that happens".

    Keep
    It
    Simple
    Stupid

    ;)

    (goes and hides awaiting some convincing sounding rebuttal from the Flex dude, even though I know I´m right icon_rolleyes.gif )


    If the best training is the training that happens, then, clearly, the 400 lb fat guy on the crunch machine is already doing the best he possibly can, never mind the fact it ain't doing him a damn bit of good.

    What I'm recommending to HermitIX is a tried-and-true regimen that maximizes your recovery and allows you enough time to get the workout done in a timely hour and fifteen minutes plus an optional twenty minutes of cardio, something you cannot do by simply splitting up your body into upper, lower, and core. Not to mention, the "Tuesday Super Split" is gonna be a much better option that "Upper Body Machines Day" which would arguably become "Marathon Upper Body Training" if he ever attempted to squeeze in all the exercises he needs to cover and likely end up over-training if not making himself sick.

    By giving himself the "in-between" days, HermitIX risks staying stationary for too long and getting so sore he can barely move and also prevents maximizing his recovery because his muscles aren't moving enough to get any good circulation.

    BUT WAIT! He's planning to do SIXTY MINUTES of cardio on his off days!! Why wouldn't that be enough? BECAUSE IT'S BAD!!

    If you do cardio for more than 20 minutes, you deplete your glycogen stores and your body then starts cannibalizing your muscle proteins for energy before it'll even dare take from your precious fat stores. This same result happens if you do cardio pre-weights, but it's worse because you're lifting with no energy stores, and your muscles are already starting to break down putting you at greater risk for injury. The whole point in saving your cardio for after you work out is because your glycogen's already depleted, and your body takes from the fat instead because your muscles are already torn up.

    On a final note, if HermitIX tries to do regular reps to failure he runs the risk of pulling a muscle or even tearing an attachment. Something you seem to have zero problem with, even though he may not be able to return to lifting after recovering from such an injury.

    You've offered zero advice and done nothing more than attempt to discredit sound advice with a hearsay quote and no reasoning, not to mention you attempt to turn it into a flame war just so you can have your shoddy piece of input at the expense of input HermitIX would actually find useful. If he continues with what he's doing, he'll see very little results as far as muscle tone, though he may get bone-skinny, and he'll more than likely give up simply because he's exhausted if not disgusted because he looks like hell.
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    Jan 01, 2009 6:46 AM GMT
    "flex89 said:"



    the key to getting big is NOT LIFTING HEAVY.


    Hey flex! Can you explain a little bit about this part cause it sound totally opposite of what i hear all the time and its quite interesting! thanx!
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    Jan 01, 2009 1:38 PM GMT
    Flex dude

    I don´t do big long old discussions, but I want to insist on one point. You are suggesting something which I am sure is “a tried-and-true regimen” for advanced body builders. But HermitIX is just starting out from no athletic background. I simply don´t see that reflected in suggesting a six day work week from the get go.

    When I started doing sports training over a decade ago I started with 3 20 minute runs a week, part of which was walking. I had never done athletics before. It was as much as I could do at the time as I had been ill before. I gradually build up to 20 or more hours in 12 sessions a week over the space of several years. If you had told me to do 90 minutes 6 days a week I would have tried and probably would have been injured/given up within a month.

    Also his goals are not just to get big like you, but to loose weight as well, so some trade off on max muscle gain doesn´t look like a terrible thing in his case.



    The rest of what the Flex dude says is on the money; eg. I agree he doesn´t necessarily want to sit at home and watch the New He Man on his down days (presuming a 3 day lifting week). I´d suggest doing swimming or yoga. I agree upper machines etc is a waste of time. etc etc




    I´m not going to react to his last paragraph. I think the only thing we really disagree on is how many work outs it´s wise to suggest to someone just starting out, and how necessary it is to get "hi tech" (splits, 40grams of this 50g of that, 6 meals a day, gainer etc etc) so early. I´d say, that may come in time. If it fits with his goals, great. If not, great.



    BTW Hermit... there are, as you may have guessed, several different "schools" of how you work out. At least in my part of Latin America the standard advice is that you start with 2 or 3 whole body work outs a week with active rest days when you do something else and as you get more advanced you spilt the routine and do 4, 5 or 6 days a week in the way that Flex suggests (that is also what I was told when I lived in the UK).

    I tried splits and don´t really like them myself, and also have been personally influenced by the school which says that whole body is the way to go all the time. Both whole body and splits work. You need to decide what is realistic for you. You will make much more progress on 3 days a week which you do every week long term than you will on 2 or 3 months of 6 days a week which goes by the wayside because of work, family, tiredness and social committments and leaves you feeling guilty and a failure (that was what happened to my first foray into lifting 10 years ago).
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    Jan 01, 2009 2:42 PM GMT
    In a nutshell Hermit, you're going to have to put yourself through a lot of trial and error to find what works best for you. On the plus side, you will be getting exercise, and that's what is most important!

    I hit the gym 4-5 days a week.

    I do 20-25 min. of aerobic (interval training on a bike; not the same as cardio) before weight training. Here's why:

    http://weighttraining.about.com/od/techniquesandstrategies/a/cardio_weights.htm

    For my weight training, I do splits. Example:

    One day I'll do Chest and Triceps.
    One day I'll do Back and Biceps.
    One day I'll do Legs and Abs.

    HOWEVER...

    I also do abs sometimes in the morning, walk to work almost every day, and when the weather is nice, I like to go biking around the city.

    I'm sure there are plenty of guys on here who would love to disagree with my routine, but again...it's what works best for me, and I'm getting plenty of exercise. Plus, the people I've known for over 10 years would be more than happy to confirm the dramatic changes I've made in the 3+ years since I joined the gym.

    icon_smile.gif

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    Jan 01, 2009 2:52 PM GMT
    yum... he looks good on what he´s doing icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 01, 2009 11:03 PM GMT
    dmostwanted said"flex89 said:"

    the key to getting big is NOT LIFTING HEAVY.


    Hey flex! Can you explain a little bit about this part cause it sound totally opposite of what i hear all the time and its quite interesting! thanx!

    I'm gonna jump in here and comment. Strength and size don't necessarily go hand in hand. If you compare the physique of a powerlifter and a bodybuilder, you'd think the bodybuilder would be stronger. But that's not always the case. Both train differently to achieve different goals.

    The key to increasing muscle mass is to properly fatigue the muscles. And it doesn't take heavy weights to do that. Take a look at soccer players or rugby players. Most have impressive legs, but I really doubt any of them do 500 lbs squats at the gym. It's from all the short burst running they do on the field.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    Jan 01, 2009 11:24 PM GMT
    your gym probably offers a free training session, take them up on the offer, although you may have to deal with a sales pitch to renew.

    If you can afford, get a trainer for the first couple weeks, and then maybe do one week every couple months. You need to train your body to know what the proper form for each exercise feels like. Bad form not only cheats the muscles you are trying to train, by letting other muscles help, but it's also the one of the quickest ways to injure yourself.

    If you can't afford a trainer, and you have a friend who is into fitness, see if you can talk them into working out with you a few times. This is what i did, and i gave the guy a $30 jug of protein powder in return.

    at the very least, get a book, or check out a website like http://www.exrx.net/index.html which has good step by step examples of different exercises.



    And just a few notes on etiquette so you don't become "that guy"

    -Always carry a towel with you, and wipe your sweat from the machines when you're done.
    -Re-rack the weights when you are done, and put them back in the right place.
    ---Don't mix plates on the same peg if you can avoid it.
    -Don't drop weights, if you can't control the weight for the full movement (including picking up and putting down) it's too heavy. (and a disclaimer so i don't get yelled at... at least for beginners)
    -Don't hog machines, remember other people are working out too. If people are waiting, either let them work in, or don't waste time, just do what you need to and move on.


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    Jan 02, 2009 3:29 AM GMT
    NYCguy.. that´s really helpful advice

    icon_smile.gif
  • cowboyupnorth

    Posts: 264

    Jan 05, 2009 8:02 PM GMT
    I am in no way an expert but I want to tell you what I did as it was easy and I went from 210 to 163 5 months

    I gave up all pop, and all sugar/cream from coffee. I would drink 3 cups of black coffee for breakfast. during the day I had 2 cups of Yerba Mate' and 6 cups of green tea. I did drink wine or light beer with dinner sometimes.

    breakfast was a half cup of old fashion oatmeal with 2 tea spoons of ground flax seed, a few walnuts, an apple, and cinnamon with a half cup of fat free milk.

    mid morning snack a grapefruit with some cottage cheese

    lunch a plate of vegetables in equal parts, corn, spinach, broccoli, and edamoma

    afternoon snack yogurt, nuts, banana whole grain bread with organic peanut butter

    15 bean soup

    night time snack watermelon and sometimes sherbet ice cream.

    I bought some Billy Banks Tae-Bo tapes for $5 each and did those daily, I also went to the library and took out an old Tony Horton circuit training VHS tape. I found both of these tapes as excellent way to develop both strength and cardiovascular endurance concurrently.

    I bought a tread mill off craiglist and ran for 30 min at first and then worked up to an hr.

    I took my chair out of the living room and bought a recumbent bike off craigslist for $25 and would ride the bike while watching TV or playing on the internet. I did not ride hard but sometimes after watching some sit coms the news and Jay Leno I had ridden 40 miles

    I was not paying attention to my weight I started wearing my older pants and then they were even lose. I went from a tight 34 waist to a 31 again and never felt hungry .

    In the summer I was riding horses all the time and quite the tapes I gained back 15 pounds but I was always eating bad at the rodeos and drinking a lot more beer. I am now starting the P90X another program by Tony Horton.

    My best advice is eat a lot of fiber, drink lots of green tea, and buy a cheap treadmill off of craigslist. When I do not feel like running I say I only have to run to min then I can quite gilt free, once I am on the treadmill I never stop. Also a heart monitor helped motivate me as well. My resting heart rate was down to 40 beats per min, which my Dr. said was great.
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    Jan 05, 2009 9:53 PM GMT
    yerba mate.... mmmmm I have cravings now. Bad person. icon_confused.gif
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    Jan 06, 2009 10:15 PM GMT
    here are some links to some workouts/info that is really useful (not just for newbies icon_rolleyes.gif )

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224

    http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

    lift safe, and enjoy