I've recently decided to really focus on lifting weights. I've been active for years now, riding mountain bikes, climbing, and running. However, I'm moving (to Atlanta) where I'll be cooped up inside nearly all day long, BUT will have access to a GREAT gym to blow off some steam.
So, I've been lifting at home trying to build a foundation...and found out its extremely fun! My 'stats' - I am 24 years old, 5'7" and 122lbs, very very little body fat. I've been lifting a few days a week for about a month now.
My goals are to get BIG! I've always been a little guy....I want to be a BIG guy now....I also want to be STRONG (which I assume will come along with some much needed mass gains).
I've upped my caloric intake to about 3,200 calories a day (I estimate this is about 1k more calories than I have been eating). I have cut out all aerobic activity other than 10 mins riding a stationary bike before lifting (as a warmup).
I'm trying to lift mon-wed-fri, but have settled on instead a 1day on, 1day off, 1 day on, 2 day off schedule for a couple weeks since yesterday (friday) I was still 'systemically tired' from wednesday's workout (but I will hopefully soon have the stamina to do mon-wed-fri).
My routine is:
10 mins stationary bike (med. intensity)
move through some warm up sets (low weight)
Calf Raises 2x20
DB bench Press 2x15
DB Curl 2x12
Tricep Ext 2x15
I'm also going to incorporate deadlifts (after squats or before I do not know) as soon as I can get some help understanding exactly how to do them with good form.
Now, I know the reps are a little high, but I am under the impression that the higher reps and lower weight will help build a foundation (targetting not only the isolated muscles but also stabilizing muscles). I will make a progression down to heavier weight and 8 reps soonish.
To give you an idea of the weight, I am curling 25 pounds (and that is pretty hard by the 11th or 12th one!) and the DB bench, rows, tri extensions, shrugs are done with 30 pound weights. Those are not so hard really I feel I could increase, but am being conservative with that for at least a couple more weeks.
Am I missing anything? I am hoping I am going about things right. One of my problems is not resting enough (I overtrained while training for climbing a few times resulting in minor injuries).
I've read through some archived posts here and really benefitted from everybody's knowledge. Maybe you can point out any errors in my plan here with the thought in mind that my plan is to gain MASS.
Last edited by samadhi_smiles; 07-14-2007 at 10:22 AM.
You may want to do more barbell exercises such as BB bench press, BB military press, BB deadlifts, and BB stiff-legged DL to build up your base first before you worry about anything else.
Quoting myself from another topic...
The Starting Strength routine by Mark Rippetoe is perfect for a beginner and it looks like this:
Military Press 3x5
Pendlay Rows 3x5
You'd do it three times a week alternating between the two. Remember to start very light (even with the bar if you've never done the movement before) and slowly work your way up. Keep the weight the same throughout all the sets as well. If you feel you can move up in weight next session, do so. Try to push yourself to increase weight, but don't add too much weight to where your form begins to become sloppy. I actually highly suggest getting the book Starting Strength to help you with form on the major compound lifts.
Hmm...that actually looks very appealing to me. Very simple, very clean...
I will think about doing something like that once I make the move and have access to a gym.
What about this routine, mon-wed-fri:
Bench Press 3x5
Chinups (weighted) 3x5
Dips (weighted) 3x5
Yes, I do like to torture myself when I train...we used to train (my partner and I) for climbing until we were puking.
You cannot squat deadlift and bench 3 times a week; it will be too taxing on your body and you will likely overtrain. The starting strength routine kooldrew posted will be plenty for you, definately use that routine.
bench - 245 x 2
squat - 315 x 5
dl- 355 x 1
goal - Bigger Faster Stronger
starting strength+positive calorie intake+good sleep+patience
122 pounds at 5' 7" is extremely small. Eat like a horse and squat/deadlift. No need to get so technical about it. At your size, it won't take much to get you growing.
Best lifts: 615/475/660, Raw w/ Wraps
sounds good....it will be about 3 weeks til I have access to a squat rack and a bench for pressing. Is the above routine (in the first post) acceptable til then to get me into it and build a foundation?
I think the starting strength routine is perfect for me (the more I read about it). It definitely cuts through all the BS and gets to what I need to be doing (squatting and DLing).
I'm definitely eating as much food as possible.
Why not work out Monday/Tuesday and Thursay/Friday. It would be much better than only a days rest in between. You could do something like
Monday/Thursday - Chest/Shoulders/Biceps
Tuesday/Friday - Legs/Back/Triceps
And you can work out abs every day. My advice is just do 50-100 military crunches a day and that is plenty enough.
17 years old
Bench - 355x1, 350x2
Squat - 430x1, 405x4
Clean & Jerk - 240
And you can work out abs every day. My advice is just do 50-100 military crunches a day and that is plenty enough.
You wouldn't sit there and do 100 bicep curls or 100 squats, so what makes the abs so much different? Train abs just like you would any other muscle. Do weighted ab work, keep reps lower, use progressive overload, and give adequate rest between ab workouts.
But, I will think about this type of routine, because honestly it appeals to me since I like to workout nearly every day (its fun for me to train).
samadhi_smiles, you're a smart guy. I like you.
I'll quote myself from another post again...
As a beginner you're not really strong enough to tax your body beyond its ability to recover. Once you actually move past the novice phase you will actually become more prone to overtraining, and such a 4-day split is good in this case. For example, in my case, I followed the exact routine I gave you when I first started, but it came to a point where I wasn't really making progress anymore and felt I couldn't squat heavy three times a week. So I switched to BGB, a 4-day split. I think it is best to start out with a full body routine for reasons I outlined above though. Build a good foundation using the basic compound lifts, work on form and moving more weight on the basic compound lifts, then move on. You don't want to overwhelm yourself right at the beginning and lose focus of what's most important. That being the basic compound lifts.For routine, I prefer a 3x a week full body routine for a beginner. The main reasons being it keeps things simple, which is good for a beginner to not really overwhelm them, and a higher frequency of the heavy compound lifts means more practice on form. Learning proper form is the most important thing for a beginner IMO, and a full body routine will accomplish this best.
So my suggestion is do Starting Strength! Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!
Last edited by KoolDrew; 07-14-2007 at 05:29 PM.
As the great Anthony once said, "Gain 50 lbs"
Really though, be consistent with your calories and training, and you will gain no matter what. Consistency is key for you.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - John Calvin Coolidge
9 months-20lb gains! (2005 Newbie gains)-A bit of motivation for beginners
August 2008 Progress Pics
samadhi_smiles, eat a diet that is about 500 calories above your maintenance level (which would basically be an amount that causes you to gain 1 pound per week).
Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (chicken, turkey, fish, lean meats).
Get 25-30% of your total calorie intake from fat (nuts, fish, fish oil, flax seed oil, olive oil, canola oil).
Get the rest of your calorie intake from carbs (brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, vegetables, fruits).
People will tell you to "eat everything in sight" or "eat like a horse" or "stop posting and start eating." While just eating more is what will cause weight gain, the specifics I mentioned above will ensure that most of that weight gain is muscle rather than fat.
Combine this diet with the ideal beginners routine (something similar to the Starting Strength program mentioned above) and you will get some wonderful results.
What I wouldn't give to be able to go back in time to when I was in your position (5'11, 125lbs) and have someone post this exact message to me. Hopefully you can take advantage of it.
The lights are on for this guy. Just eat and lift. You seem to be a fairly bright guy.
eat a lot. even if you're full force yourself to eat. cut back on the cardio a bit and focus on major exercises like bench, squat, military press, pulls ups.
Listen to what all these guys are saying. I was in your shoes about year ago and started lifting on my own no knowing ****. I went the hard way about everything and make many mistakes along the way. I am really just getting myself in check. If i would have found this forum a year ago and knew the stuff i knew now i would be 25 pound bigger
OK, thanks for the advice everyone! I sincerely appreciate your wisdom.
It looks like I'll be doing the Starting Strength routine...it looks PERFECT for my goals. I'm going to order the book.
I can start this program when I move (in 2.5 weeks) and have access to a gym. When I do start it, I'll keep an online journal and chart my progress......I'm super enthusiastic about it.
Until then, I'm going to keep going (obviously) on my DB workout...it is providing plenty of response, I am "good sore" for 24 hours after it, so I am sure even this program combined with eating lots of the right foods will provide a good stimulus for muscle growth.
Thanks again! See you 'around' the board (I'll be the one standing in the corner listening!).
Last edited by samadhi_smiles; 07-15-2007 at 06:51 AM.
The book is really a great book, glad to see you are ordering it. It's a must have for anybody interested in weight lifting IMO. It only covers 5 movements (squat, bench, deadlift, military press and power clean), but all in great detail. There's also a small section on programming. The routine I gave you is actually not the exact routine outlined in the book (I replaced power cleans with pendlay rows). While power cleans are great, the reason for this is that pendlay rows are a much less complicated movement. If you have a competent coach to assist you on your technique, then take advantage of that and do the power cleans. If not, pendlay rows are a good substitute.
Also, glad to see you are keeping an online journal. It's really a great way to keep track of progress and get input from other members along the way. I'd also suggest taking pictures as a way to gauge progress. Measurements and obviously weight are good ways as well.
Last edited by KoolDrew; 07-15-2007 at 07:25 AM.
I agree that you are on the right path by ordering the Starting Strength book and following the routine in there. I hope you stay around and that you keep a journal. Keeping a journal is a great motivator because it allows you to see how you've progressed over time and it also allows people to continue to give you advice and encouragement on a more personal level than you otherwise might get in the regular forums. In fact, it was the best thing I ever did.