Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Dumbbell Training: Newbie needs feedback

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55

    Dumbbell Training: Newbie needs feedback

    Howdy all,

    I started training with dumbbells about four months or so ago. I had never weight trained at all before. I am a computer programmer by trade. Yep, sedentary personal and professional life had made me pretty flabby and weak.

    I didn't know if I had the discipline to follow a weight training routine so I decided to start small by buying some cheap-o adjustable dumbbells.

    What I really need to be told is if I am training too much. Right now I do a two day split:

    Day 1 - Chest, Biceps, Triceps and Abs
    ------------------------------------------------
    Flat dumbbell press (Flat and inclined)
    Flat dumbbell flye (Flat and inclined)
    Straight-arm cross bench pullover
    Seated simultaneous dumbbell curl with a twist
    Seated alternate hammer curl
    Concentration curl with a twist
    Lying alternate dumbbell curl
    Reverse dumbbell curl (Damn, this hard for me)
    Lying dumbbell extension
    One-arm triceps kick-back with a twist
    Seated one arm triceps overhead extension with a twist
    Cross-face triceps extension
    Dips between benches

    Abs
    ----
    Squatting side bend
    Raised knee crunch

    Day 2 - Back, Shoulders and Abs
    ------------------------------------------------
    Double-arm bent dumbbell row
    Single-arm bent dumbbell row
    Upright row
    Dumbbell deadlift shrug
    Seated dumbbell back lateral
    Seated simultaneous dumbbell press
    Seated side later (my most difficult routine)
    Standing bent lateral with a twist(another ball-buster)
    Reverse overhead dumbbell lateral
    Pee-wee lateral

    Same abs routine

    I use the pyramid scheme for these routines: 1 x 12, 1 x 10 and 1 x 8. The last reps in my set I do to near failure or failure, even if I go past my 10 reps.

    I haven't done any leg routines I'm afraid to say as I just let the running six miles 4-5 days a week take care of that. I know, it is not the same and does not utilize all of my muscles. I will now start with exercising my legs more.

    Okay, now to my question....I usually do two complete splits per week with 2-3 aerobics per week as well. Should I be doing only ONE split per week in order to let my muscles heal?

    I've made some great progress in the last month. My muscles seemed to have really taken off. I am wondering how much better I COULD have done if I'd let my muscles heal more in between. As everyone else has probably experience, the tendency is to over-train.

    I look forward to your suggestions. I promise to post some pictures of me in a couple days of what I looked like before I started then in one month increments up until present.

    Oh, for some basic stats. I am 38 years old, am 5'9" and don't know what the heck by body fat is. Five months ago I had completed my weight loss program. I went from 230lbs to 160lbs. I gained back about 10lbs but feel(hope!) that at least a couple pounds of that is muscle.

    I will be starting to take 100% whey protein once I receive it in the mail in a couple days. I am pretty good at eating clean as well.

    Thanks!

    P.S. I am off on a vacation for a couple days and wont be able to respond until Sunday evening.
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  2. #2
    Bored Teenager DelveyBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    1,002
    little advice.have a rest day between the days.
    Started Lifting Again!
    Msn Messenger: delveyboy@hotmail.com
    Im always pissed off and have occasional peaceful spells - By MrWebb78
    Nothing says masculin like a dump on the floor - by Intensity

  3. #3
    Load Dem Magazines QuadzillaRF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    97
    I am glad that you are breaking out of the mold of a programmer being fat. When I graduate with a computer science degree, I will be one of the few bodybuilders / programmers. Your routine looks good for a home dumbbell setup but needs some improvment. First off, you are doing too much for your shoulders and arms. If I understand this correctly, are you doing day 1 and day 2 twice a week. Something like 2 days on 1 day off and repeat? If you are working out longer than 1 hour a day, you need to either split your routine or drop some exercises or risk over training. Remember this rule. Just keep it simple heavy compound movements from 12-20 sets for big muscle groups and 6-10 for smaller muslcle groups with the working set range 6-8 reps.

    Modified version of your DB 2 day split routine
    string DB = dumbbell; C++ program joke

    day 1 - chest, delts, tris
    -------------------------------
    DB flat bench press 3 sets
    DB incl. bench press 3 sets
    dips 3 sets
    DB incl. fly or flat fly 3 sets
    DB shoulder press 3 sets
    DB side laterals 3 sets
    DB shrugs 3 sets
    DB lying tricep extension 3 sets
    DB overhead tricep extension 3 sets

    day 2 - back & biceps
    -------------------------
    DB bent over rows 3 sets
    DB pull overs 3 sets
    single DB rows 3 sets
    pull ups 3 sets
    DB curls 3 sets
    hammer curls 3 sets

    do day 1 and day 2 once a week only.
    Honestly, I would join a gym being that programmers make $$$$
    Keep lifting
    405 Deadlift
    275 Bench
    365 Squat

  4. #4
    Bring it. DaCypher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    420
    There are other weight lifters / computer science people out there? I thought I was a freak...
    Obstacles are what you see when you take your mind off the goal.
    -Unknown

    Energy and persistence conquer all things.
    -Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    mass magnet ccwgriff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Anchorage. Alaska
    Posts
    36
    It is next to impossible to overtrain as a beginner. You almost have to make SOME gains. In the future, however, you may want to split into at least one more day. And add a rest day.

  6. #6
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55

    Thanks!

    First, thanks to all who have replied to my post!

    Originally posted by QuadzillaRF
    Your routine looks good for a home dumbbell setup but needs some improvement. First off, you are doing too much for your shoulders and arms. If I understand this correctly, are you doing day 1 and day 2 twice a week. Something like 2 days on 1 day off and repeat?

    Correct! After the second time of doing my splits I usually take two days off in a row.

    If you are working out longer than 1 hour a day, you need to either split your routine or drop some exercises or risk over training.

    Now that I've added more weight to my dumbbells it is taking me nearly 1.5 to nearly two hours to do my first day split as I am resting longer in between sets. It used to take me no longer than one hour MAX to do all my day one split.

    Remember this rule. Just keep it simple heavy compound movements from 12-20 sets for big muscle groups and 6-10 for smaller muscle groups with the working set range 6-8 reps.
    Honestly, I don't know which muscles, other than my biceps, are considered the "big muscle groups". Could you help me out with that? Also, what exactly are "compound exercises? Can you give me some examples please?

    Modified version of your DB 2 day split routine
    Thanks! I'll try that.

    do day 1 and day 2 once a week only.
    Honestly, I would join a gym being that programmers make $$$$
    Keep lifting
    Hmmmm, it will KILL me not to train more than that but I'll try it for a month and see how it goes.

    Yes, I make good enough money to join the gym. In fact, there is one n ot five minutes from my house. But, I really do enjoy the convenience of working out in my house when I want. And, I don't need to fight for the equipment or pay $40-$50 per month for that "pleasure". I am thinking that I will maybe do a couple more months of dumbbell training and try the gym in November maybe. The other thing about the gym is, which machine do I use or don't use? How many reps are enough/good? It would be tempting to try all the machines for a certain muscles group. Ouch!

    Thanks for all the help guys!

    - Gerry
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    352
    Hah. Dude, biceps are DEFINETLY not considered a big muscle. Big muscles are your legs, your back, and your chest.
    edit: compound exercises would be ones that work a lot of different muscles with a big range of motion.
    examples would be bench press, squats, deadlifts, chinups, dips
    Last edited by Chomsky; 08-25-2002 at 03:00 PM.
    "Let's hope the ship has a captain, in other words, since we're not taking part in what's going on."
    -Noam Chomsky
    "It's like putting pearls on swine. You can dress up a pig... but it's still a pig... isn't it? oink oink oink..oink oink"
    -Henry Rollins
    Push the envelope... watch it bend..
    -Tool
    "In the valley of the shadow of death... I fear no one, because i am the baddest mother****er in the valley!"

  8. #8
    GrapeApe ArjKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    85
    It is next to impossible to overtrain as a beginner. --ccwgriff
    Agreed

    Hmmmm, it will KILL me not to train more than that but I'll try it for a month and see how it goes. --gpdoyon
    I would stick with training 4 days a week as long as you're still gaining muscle and getting stronger, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. When you stop gaining with this, I would get to the gym and make a 3 or 4 day split (including legs) and just work the entire body once a week. You need to do legs, if you stick with this and keep making gains you're going to look pretty silly with a big upper body and stick legs.

  9. #9
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55
    Originally posted by Chomsky
    Hah. Dude, biceps are DEFINETLY not considered a big muscle. Big muscles are your legs, your back, and your chest.
    edit: compound exercises would be ones that work a lot of different muscles with a big range of motion.
    examples would be bench press, squats, deadlifts, chinups, dips
    Thanks Chomsky! See, I really AM a Newbie! Thanks for the inforamtion. Pictures of me to follow in a few minutes.
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  10. #10
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55
    Originally posted by ArjKing
    I would stick with training 4 days a week as long as you're still gaining muscle and getting stronger, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    That makes some sense as well.

    You need to do legs, if you stick with this and keep making gains you're going to look pretty silly with a big upper body and stick legs.
    Haha! True! Maybe I can start with some squats as I have a BB bar and around 100lbs of spare weight. Would doing some squats in the meantime, before I go to a gym, help out my legs in the meantime? I guess the lack of leg exercises may push me to the gym sooner rather than later.
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  11. #11
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55

    Oops!

    Sorry guys, I accidentally posted my pictures to two new threads.

    Picture set #1

    Picture set #2

    Last set of pictures...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  12. #12
    GrapeApe ArjKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    85
    I haven't done any leg routines I'm afraid to say as I just let the running six miles 4-5 days a week take care of that
    I think this could really be holding you back. Running 6 miles is probably 500-600 calories, so around 2500 calories a week you're burning by running. A lb of fat is 3500 calories i think. If you cut this down to 2 miles a day 3 days a week, put more of that energy into lifting, you will grow alot faster. When you are running and burning fat, your body will also eat up your muscle for energy, and it will first burn up the slow twitch fibers that grow from lifting heavy weights. Also instead of 8-12 reps, I do 3 sets 10-8-6, and the weights should be about 80%-75%-70% of your one-rep max(make sure you warm up first). Studies have shown that this is the range most likely to induce hypertrophy. Do ALL sets to failure, if you find you can do 8-9 reps on your heaviest set, its time to go to a heavier set of weights. Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55
    Originally posted by ArjKing
    I think this could really be holding you back. Running 6 miles is probably 500-600 calories, so around 2500 calories a week you're burning by running. A lb of fat is 3500 calories i think. If you cut this down to 2 miles a day 3 days a week, put more of that energy into lifting, you will grow alot faster.


    Great advice. Since I can't run anymore(left knee seizes up after one mile now. ) I am now doing a fast walk on at-least a 3-5% incline on my treadmill. Far easier on the knees but not as much fun as running to me. Oh well.

    When you are running and burning fat, your body will also eat up your muscle for energy, and it will first burn up the slow twitch fibers that grow from lifting heavy weights.

    Ouch! I'd hate to think that I was actually working AGAINST my muscle progress by running too much.

    Also instead of 8-12 reps, I do 3 sets 10-8-6, and the weights should be about 80%-75%-70% of your one-rep max(make sure you warm up first). Studies have shown that this is the range most likely to induce hypertrophy. Do ALL sets to failure, if you find you can do 8-9 reps on your heaviest set, its time to go to a heavier set of weights.
    Wow. I know I'll be able to do at least 3/4'ths of my routine but my seated side lateral and standing bent lateral will be impossible at the weights you suggested and achieve anything but one rep or two at the most.

    Should I keep the weight set the same even if I can only perform one rep? Also, how should I gauge what is my maximum lift weight? I am stronger in some exercises then in others. I can bench press more than I can a seated bent lateral. Should I go with the max weight for my best exercise?

    Hope this helps.
    It helped me a LOT!! I was feeling kind of bummed out lately as I wasn't sure what I was doing right or wrong....whether to go to a gym or not or just keep using my dumbbells for a while longer.

    I really appreciate the constructive criticism and advice!!
    Last edited by gpdoyon; 08-25-2002 at 07:12 PM.
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  14. #14
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    12,691
    Well first, good job, I can definitely see a difference in your arms.'

    Second, you really need to work your legs. If you are going to give the weightlifting thing a solid shot, you need to train them. If you are limited on space for equipment, I think a Bowflex machine is an excellent choice for the home trainee.

  15. #15
    GrapeApe ArjKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    85
    Also instead of 8-12 reps, I do 3 sets 10-8-6, and the weights should be about 80%-75%-70% of your one-rep max(make sure you warm up first).
    What I meant to say was do 3 sets 10-8-6 reps (do as much weight as you need to so that the MOST you can do for your last set is 6 reps). And the weight you should do for those are 70%-75%-80% (percent of your one rep max) respectively (80% on your last set). I think the confusion is you don't know what I mean by one rep max. Ok say you THINK you can do an overhead dumbell press with a 50lb DB one time, then you should shoot for doing 40lb 6 times for your last set. Somebody else chime in at any time and correct me if I'm wrong. For excersises that you can only do small weights like lateral raises, its a bit more complicated. For me I can do lateral raises 6-8x with a 20lb DB, but the next DB is 25lb, and thats a big % increase, so I can't do any of those.



    Wow. I know I'll be able to do at least 3/4'ths of my routine but my seated side lateral and standing bent lateral will be impossible at the weights you suggested and achieve anything but one rep or two at the most.
    If you can only do one rep for a lateral raise, than that's your max.(100%) Try 80% (or as close as your weights will allow) of that weight, and do that as many times as you can. The key is to do every set to failure.

    Ouch! I'd hate to think that I was actually working AGAINST my muscle progress by running too much.
    Yeah, I think of the calories you burn for aerobic excersise, like 60% come from fat and 40% come from muscle tissue. Thats why marathon runners and bicyclists are skinny as hell. Remember, you're not fat anymore! You look great now, you don't need to run as much as you did when you were losing that 70 lbs. Now is the time to concentrate on the muscle. You already have good muscularity, a solid foundation. If you went to the gym 3x a week there is no limit to what you could accomplish.

  16. #16
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55
    Originally posted by chris mason
    Well first, good job, I can definitely see a difference in your arms.'

    Thanks Chris, the compliment is VERY much appreciated!

    Second, you really need to work your legs. If you are going to give the weightlifting thing a solid shot, you need to train them. If you are limited on space for equipment, I think a Bowflex machine is an excellent choice for the home trainee.
    I was seriously considering the BowFlex. I think it would be a good machine. But, at this time I think that I will try some exercises for my legs that I have found in which I can use my dumbbells. I also have a BB bar and a few more weights in which I can replace my dumbbell shrugs with as well as doing some lighter lunges and maybe some squats that wont require a spotter.

    Thanks again!
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

  17. #17
    Wannabebig Member gpdoyon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Westbrook, Maine
    Posts
    55
    Originally posted by ArjKing
    What I meant to say was do 3 sets 10-8-6 reps (do as much weight as you need to so that the MOST you can do for your last set is 6 reps). And the weight you should do for those are 70%-75%-80% (percent of your one rep max) respectively (80% on your last set). I think the confusion is you don't know what I mean by one rep max. Ok say you THINK you can do an overhead dumbell press with a 50lb DB one time, then you should shoot for doing 40lb 6 times for your last set. Somebody else chime in at any time and correct me if I'm wrong. For excersises that you can only do small weights like lateral raises, its a bit more complicated. For me I can do lateral raises 6-8x with a 20lb DB, but the next DB is 25lb, and thats a big % increase, so I can't do any of those.

    If you can only do one rep for a lateral raise, than that's your max.(100%) Try 80% (or as close as your weights will allow) of that weight, and do that as many times as you can. The key is to do every set to failure.
    Yes ArjKing, that makes sense to me now. Thanks!
    Last edited by gpdoyon; 08-26-2002 at 06:06 AM.
    Gerry
    My Avatar is not what I really look like! LOL! No....REALLY!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •