Dennis92 saidOkay so I've been going to the gym twice a week...
Go 4-5 times a week
Dennis92 said...for about 2 months now...
Way too soon to notice changes. It should take about a year to start seeing changes. But you're doing things wrong anyways, so you'll be starting all over again.
Dennis92 said...and haven't really noticed that much of a difference other than in my legs. I wanna build more muscle in my arms and torso. I started off with 15 minutes of cardio and have worked myself up to 25 minutes.
Stop doing cardio. You're already lean, and cardio will prevent muscle gains in your case.
If you must, 15 min of walking on the treadmill, slight incline at a brisk pace, should be totally fine.
Dennis92 said...I plan on adding more time gradually....
Even if and when you should be doing cardio, more than 30 minutes at a time is overkill, unless it's a slow walk/hike or something.
If you're doing steady cardio for too long, the body at some point goes into conservation and efficiency mode. Your body burns fewer calories to get the same jog done, and may start burning muscle instead of bodyfat.
Dennis92 said...I also use the gyms weight machines...
Start doing free weights. Right now, starting out, your goal is to build strength and get to the basics.
Machines definitely have their purpose. They should supplement the free weights, especially when you're more advanced. As a beginner, do free weights basics for the most part. Once you start doing things right, start eating right, start going in regularly, doing proper set-rep ranges, doing weights that are appropriate for you (neither too heavy that you find yourself throwing the weight with momentum, nor too light that it wasn't challenging and you could have done more reps), then your body will respond like crazy, first with strength and eventually visually. When you're just starting out, the gains are pretty fast.
Dennis92 said...but maybe I'm not doing it correctly?
Hire a trainer, or get a good lifting plan from either RJ or a fitness publication and look up on youtube how lifts are done properly.
It's important to remember at your stage, that you just need to be doing basic movements, not specialized ones that focus on like the biceps peak (instead of the whole bicep) or the upper pec (instead of the whole chest). So if you run into that sort of advice, it's too advanced for you at this time.
Dennis92 said...Should I be taking protein shakes?
You need to increase your food intake, especially protein. Protein shakes are just more convenient than solid food for that pre- and post-workout period. But at the end of the day, protein in a shake or as solid food is the same. And again, take a look at fitness/bodybuilding publications on what types of carbs to eat.
I'm not looking to build a 6 pack but I do wanna be toned.
"Toned" doesn't really mean anything, but the term is frequently used by non-fitness people and newbies.
Underneath your skin is a layer of fat, and underneath the fat is the muscle. Your body's fat content is independent of the size of your muscle. No matter how big or small your muscle is, no matter how muscular you are or aren't, having a low amount of bodyfat will expose the shape/sillhouette of your muscles more through your skin. There are guys that have never stepped foot in gym, but they look relatively impressive shirtless because of their naturally low bodyfat.
A six pack is actually easy to achieve if you want to. I'm gonna get some shit from newbs for saying that because I'm not lean in my own picture. Again, a six pack is actually easy to achieve if you want to
. You would have to basically "cut down" and emphasize reducing your bodyfat instead of being in muscle-growth emphasis mode.
Thirdly, most of the time you have your shirt on anyways. A guy with impressive abs, but undeveloped shoulders/chest/back/traps won't look impressive when clothed. A guy with
developed shoulders/chest/back/traps will look impressive clothed.
Fourthly, you should definitely do abs, and thicken them so that when you do reduce your bodyfat, they'll be more pronounced. Treat them like any other muscle, train abs with resistance, don't go more than 20 reps a set, don't do too many sets a workout, and always train them at the end. Don't do what many morons do at the gym, endlessly working on their abs for 100 reps per set, thinking that that'll melt their belly fat. It wont.