Newbie - Review My Workout / Diet / Pics

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 28, 2009 3:09 AM GMT
    Please scroll down. I have changed my workout plan and updated it in a later post.

    Alright, guys - I just started going to the gym 2 months ago, so I'm pretty new to all this. I know that 95% of the guys on here have better bodies, so go easy on me haha. First things first:

    Stats: 25, 145 lbs, 5'10", 9% body fat

    A couple things to note:

    Thursday and Sunday are the same workouts, because I had trouble thinking of any other upper body group to do, so I duplicated chest day (as a nice chest is my top goal, though I have other goals, of course).

    I started taking creatine a few weeks ago, so I'm not sure if I'm really seeing any difference from it yet. My long-term goal is to put on some muscle (maybe 10 lbs or so), but I'd like to tone up a bit first and lose the bit of tummy I have (see pics below).

    One last thing... the workout below I've been doing for 2 months (except the abs and cardio, I'll be adding those in this week), so I'm wondering if I've hit a plateau already with this specific equipment. I'd like to stick with machines for now, if possible. The diet is also new, up about 500 calories from what I currently consume.

    Ok, so here's my workout, diet, and pics... critique away:


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  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Sep 28, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    Some thoughts:
    Diet:
    -I'd eat more. At least 50% more, clean. 2000 cals is nothing. If you're at 500 less right now that's just plain going hungry. I'd knock out one or two of the protein shakes and replace them with real food, too, such as a big turkey sandwich and milk.

    Workout:
    -Your entire routine is on machines. If you've been going for two months, you're good to ditch machines and using free weights.
    -Unless you have a good reason, I wouldn't be doing only 7-8 reps per set at your experience level. I'd be doing 12 reps with weight that's challenging and doesn't compromise form.
    -You're not working your back enough. This is bad, especially with all the chest and abs you have on there; bad posture waiting to happen, and a weak back will hold the rest of you back. I'd knock out the repetitive session 4 for a back-focused day (including lower back, which is not in your current routine).
    -Major lifts (deadlift, squat, clean & press) are absent from your routine. These full-body lifts will help you develop better than the mostly isolated lifts you have down now will.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 28, 2009 4:38 PM GMT
    Hey UFJocknerd, thanks for the suggestions!

    Diet:
    I do plan to eat more going forward, but I didn’t want to double my
    caloric intake all at once. I’ll add more calories as time goes on.
    The protein shakes are easy for me because I work during the day, so
    stopping for a sandwich isn’t always feasible.

    Workout:
    The reason I’m sticking with machines at the moment is because I
    don’t have a work out partner (which is needed for spotting and
    such), and I’m also too intimidated to go over to the free weights
    section, as that’s where all the buff guys work out (I know that
    sounds lame, but I’m getting over a bad gym phobia…).

    I started off doing 10-12 reps of a lighter weight, but then switched
    to less reps of a heavier weight due to someone’s suggestion that it
    builds muscle better. Though, I think I may switch back to 10-12, like
    you said, as my more immediate goal is toning.

    I agree with what you said about the back. I think I may split off
    into a back/shoulder day and keeps arms by itself.  Thanks!

    As far as the major lifts are concerned... I’ll have to cross that
    free-weight bridge when I come to it!
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Sep 28, 2009 6:16 PM GMT
    [quote]Diet:
    I do plan to eat more going forward, but I didn’t want to double my
    caloric intake all at once. I’ll add more calories as time goes on.
    The protein shakes are easy for me because I work during the day, so
    stopping for a sandwich isn’t always feasible.
    [/quote]

    Well, ramping it up is reasonable. But, you don't need to draw that out over too long a period of time at once. And, you can pre-make and pack sandwiches. Most of your food should be real food, not powder.

    [quote]Workout:
    The reason I’m sticking with machines at the moment is because I
    don’t have a work out partner (which is needed for spotting and
    such), and I’m also too intimidated to go over to the free weights
    section, as that’s where all the buff guys work out (I know that
    sounds lame, but I’m getting over a bad gym phobia…).
    [/quote]

    No one cares. No one is watching you work out and blasting you in their minds. Everyone else is too focused on their workout, or at least on how THEY look. icon_smile.gif At least start transitioning to free weights for some things. If you want to build some mass you should be doing squats and deads at least. Use only the bar if you have to. No one else will care, and it's good exposure therapy for social anxiety. icon_smile.gif


    The quote button wasn't working for some reason...
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 28, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
    To continue the streak of advice from self-labeled nerds:

    I advise against working your abs daily. Your abs are muscles, and like all muscles, need recovery time between workouts in order to become stronger. And, of course, the visibility of your abs will be almost entirely from your diet, rather than training them. Core strength is important for health, posture, etc, but overworking any muscle group is a bad idea.

    When are you stretching? How? Are you warming up first? How?

    What are your challenges in working out? That is, do you find it hardest to gain muscle? To lose fat?

    From your stats and pictures, I would guess that you're like me, in the camp of "muscle growth is harder than fat loss". If so, you should strongly consider high intensity interval training as your preferred form of cardio, rather than long sessions of sustained pace.

    UFJockNerd is right that you're not doing enough for your back, and that relying too much on the machines is bad, even though I do agree that starting out on a machine can be helpful, as your body learns what the exercise is supposed to feel like and you can figure out what weight is appropriate much more safely. Still, you will want to progress to free weights, at least until you are using such heavy weights that you are afraid of dropping them and hurting yourself, and don't have someone to spot you. Sure, some of the buff guys might be intimidating, but for the most part, they will pay absolutely no attention to you (unless they're gay and cruising: face it, you're cute). Multijoint exercises are great too.

    But while you're working up the nerve to deal with the free weights, there are simple things you can do without equipment that will be better than some machine choices. Chair dips for your tricpes instead of the tricep extension, for example. Pullups and chinups for your back/shoulders/biceps (depending on grip). Pushups, like you're already doing, for your chest and shoulders. Lunges and squats for your legs and rear.

    Gaining 10 pounds is a realistic goal (depending on time frame. In a year, yes. In a month, no.), but as you said, it's a long-term one. I would recommend some more immediate goals as well, which are easily measured. Things like bench pressing your body weight a certain number of times, a specific time in a mile run, etc.

    One great way to keep from overdoing a particular exercise is to add in variety. For example, you're currently doing pushups (as you should be). Are your hands directly under your shoulders (military style), slightly wider than shoulders (standard), or much wider than your shoulders (wide fly pushups)? Are your feet together, or spread shoulder width apart? Are your hands and feet both on the ground (standard), hands on the ground while feet elevated (decline), or feet on the ground while hands elevated (incline)? If something is elevated, is it on a chair/bench, or an exercise ball, or even a BOSU ball? Have you tried them explosively enough to get your hands to lleave whatever surface they're resting on? Clapping between reps?

    Hope that's helpful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 29, 2009 2:15 PM GMT
    wow...that's quite the program icon_smile.gif) you really put it all together didn't you? that's good, have fun with that! just keep in mind to mix some exercises because in a month or two you'll get to a plateau and it will be annoying. I keep in touch with www.howcelebritiesloseweight.com and pick up exercises and diet that suit my taste. keep up the good work
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 29, 2009 4:08 PM GMT
    i'm no expert on working out regimen so i'll leave it to the specialists here icon_smile.gif
    all i can add:
    From my experiences in gym and from watching many beginners, nobody who trains seriously ever looks down on a beginner. If you train well, seriously, do your reps correctly , on the contrary people will respect you.
    Mind you the "gay index" at my gym ix extremely low. sadly..lol.
    Are gay gyms filled with look at me bitchy queens or are they basically like any gym? It's a facetious question of course. icon_razz.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 01, 2009 3:28 PM GMT
    I really appreciate everyone's input! I'm going to make some changes to my program and I'll post the updates afterwards. Thanks again! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 01, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    Oooh Chucky is going to love you (or at least your effort and organization).

    Eat food
    Lift weights
    Rest

    Really try and eat food, more of it and consider shakes as icing rather than the cake.

    Lift weights, better than making machines move. I do understand the worried about what other people think, but the truth is they are far to vain to think about you.

    Rest. This is a big deal. I hope you are as disciplined about this as you seem to be about the rest.

    BTW, you might want to think about doing intervals rather than longer sessions of steady state (not 100% clear from your programme). You will not thus be fighting your weight gain goals. I gained about 20lb in my first year wihthout really knowing what I was doing or eating enough.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 01, 2009 4:16 PM GMT
    Missing one key ingredient. Free weights bud.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2010 7:02 PM GMT
    Ok, time to resurrect this post back from the dead! haha

    So, I am proud that I have been sticking to the gym since I started this post. I don't think my diet has been what it should be, but that's something I'm going to work on going into 2010. I'd also like to work on changing up my workout. I am trying to transition into more free weights. Take a look at my new plan below.

    Mon and Wed are cardio days (45 min - 1 hour), while Fri, Sat, and Sun are weight days (followed by 10-15 min of cardio). I realize having all three weight days grouped together in one part of the week is probably isn't IDEAL, but I'm still a bit phobic about the "free weights" area, so I picked the three days I know the gym is the least busy. icon_redface.gif

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    Thoughts? icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2010 7:07 PM GMT
    Your attention to detail, planning, and communications is to be commended.

    You'll want to move past your fear of free weights. The folks at the gym are in their own world, and not worried about you. Walk into, through, above, and beyond those insecurities. Step past the I,I,I,me,me,me fear and concentrate on your training. The fear is from within and it NOT rational.

    Calories are your friends. Eat. Complex carbs, plenty of protein, and mono and poly fats, with fast carbs, complex carbs, and solid protein, post workout during the golden hour.

    You may want to try a bit less steady state cardio, and move towards 12-20 minutes HIIT every day. It's vastly more effective at fat burn, increasing cardiac threshold, and increasing insulin sensitivity, as well as appetite stimulation.

    In addition to calories, if you're wanting to make effective gains, and training without "enhancement" you'll want better recovery, like so:

    1. Back and bis
    2. Chest and tris
    3. Quads
    4. Shoulders
    5. Hamstrings
    6. Arms
    7. Day off / steady-state cardio.

    You need to give yourself recovery.

    For success, you need:
    1. Calories.
    2. Recovery
    3. Consistency
    4. Balance
    5. Patience.

    To avoid metabolic lag, it's essential to keep your calories up, and to maintain a high level of performance. You MUST eat.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 08, 2010 3:30 AM GMT
    PROBLEM THAT'S EASY TO FIX

    that workout is putting a lot of strain on your shoulder. but it's easy to deal with.

    a lot of those exercises really isolate small pieces of the shoulder that are really constructed to work as a part of the whole shoulder structure. that makes them very prone to injuries to both muscle and cartilage.

    you need to do some exercises to strengthen the weak links in the shoulder. they're easy. you'll find a good list with descriptions at this site.

    http://www.shoulder-pain-management.com/shoulderrotatorcuffexercises.html
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Jan 09, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    Looks decent to me for a three-day split. I'd transition the couple machines that are left over to free weights.

    That's a lot of cardio. How's your diet now?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 11, 2010 1:07 AM GMT
    chuckystud said

    1. Back and bis
    2. Chest and tris
    3. Quads
    4. Shoulders
    5. Hamstrings
    6. Arms
    7. Day off / steady-state cardio.

    ...



    what are arms ? i mean arm workouts? when i google, all i get is biceps and triceps, yet those have already been addressed in no 1 and 2. So i take it you mean something else. Is it something that combines those muscle groups.
    Just give me some cues if you care, i'll look up for details.
    gracias.
  • IdkMyBffJill

    Posts: 148

    Sep 18, 2010 4:46 PM GMT
    Congrats on being so organized!