View Full Version : Confused about weight training
02-26-2005, 11:57 AM
I've been exercising regularly for the past year now. Here's my current routine:
Shoulder dumbell press
20 min cardio
Lying ham curl
Standing barbell row
Vertical leg raises
20 min cardio
All resistance training entails a 1x12 warmup set and 1x6 high intensity set.
I'm not sure if this routine is conducive to the goal that I'm shooting for, which is having a well-tuned body that's balanced in both power and endurance. I'm not looking to become a powerlifter nor do I want the marathon runners' body, balance is what I'd like to acheive.
Now, come to think of it, my diet may be my greatest hinderance. Currently, it sucks quite a bit. I usually do not have breakfast, my first meal of the day is either lunch at 11:30 or an ice coffee in the morning. I don't usually snack throughout the day, so I'm looking at 2 meals a day. Accordingly, those meals are large and chock full of carbs. This is largely a product of my occupation, which involves lots of driving and fast food breaks.
I know the old addage of "garbage in = garbage out" is especially true for exercise goals, but I've got no idea where to start. For instance, what can I eat for breakfast? How should I limit carbs? What do gym-rats usually eat for their snacks? Hoiw about when they're limited in time?
I'd appreciate any help on my diet as well as my workout routine. A balanced body with power and endurance is what I'm looking for, I just don't think I'm hitting the mark. Thanks in advance!
02-26-2005, 11:54 PM
Fisrt, you need to balance out push/pull days. Three push and one pull (unless it's a typo) is not conducive to your goals. Second, you ought to have more than one set of six reps of heavy weights. At least two, maybe three. One just isn't enough to induce proper stress to cause any adaptation response. It might elicit some results in the very beginning, but it will plateau fast. With more sets, you can decrease the amount of exercises you're doing each session, so long as you have a one or two exercises hitting each muscle group, you'll be fine.
You're right on the money with your diet. You seem to have found the "do everything wrong" plan. ;) But seriously, check the bottom of this thread for clean diet basics:
For snack ideas, try whey shakes, jerkey, nuts, canned tuna/chicken, hard boiled egg/whites (all good for time limitations), ideally protein and/or high nutrition foods like raw broccoli, salads or other vegetables.
Let me give ya some advice, I have slowly over the past 9 yrs become one of those "gym rats".)
Your work outs need to be altered.
Seperate your upper body an lower body when you workout. Why? So you can workout more often, let me explain. If you do total body every time you workout you dont get as much benefit if you seperate leg days/ upper body days. You can work out your upper body one day till its sore, an can stay sore because the next day you can do legs even though the upper body is sore. After the legs day your leggs get sore, but your upper body has now recovered so you can do upper body while the legs are sore.
Also try to use free weights as much as possible, if you arent doing any exercises with free weights start. Why free weights? Machine exercises are ok for burning calories but if you want that muscular look, free weights are the way to go because they force you to use more muscles(stabilizers). Machines force you into a certain range of motion an are easy to cheat on, if you are working your chest, arms, or back I would suggest using free weights for those body parts.
This is usually my workout schedule-
Thats my current workout, but I change it usually ever 3-4 months.
Your body will get used to the SAME exact routine after about that amount of time depending on how pump-up an into your workouts you get. But after a while your mind will pretty much go thru the motion, you know creatures of habit, ect.
Well your body will react the same way, after a while doing the same routine you will get fewer an fewer results, lesser an lesser gains because your body is becoming used to the strain of that peticular routine. You need to constantly cause a "shock to the system" every few months or so in order to continue to see results. When was the last time you just finished an exercise an had trouble controlling the muscles you used cause you were straining so hard or had the veins pop out in your arms? If you arent straining your muscles/sweating in 6-8 reps up your weight your lifting. For a "shock to the system day" trying cutting your entire routine in half an reps in half an just try to lift as heavy a weight as you can maybe only 2-3 reps per machine enough to make you sweat an grunt a lil, but only after warming up thoroughly of course, an stretch between exercises.
Exercise an diet are both equally important.
On the diet side, I had the same problem, I never used to eat breakfast, but that is the most important meal you eat all day long. I started drinking a simple protein shake that I would buy from the local Supplement store. Not ready to take it that far? Well the protien shake has MANY benefits, time saver being one of them an being perhaps the best thing you can eat that early in the morning not to mention being very cheap if you average out what a regular breakfast would cost you. The most optimal time to eat protien is immediately after you wake up from sleeping, something to do with how the body reacts when your sleeping. It takes 30 seconds to pour milk in the blender, put a couple scoops of protien powder, mix, choke it down an maybe chase it with some juice.)
You should try to avoid sugar it hurts your body's ability to burn fat because your body produces insulin which is used to do 2 things. 1)Control blood sugar levels an 2) is also used to burn fat naturally in your body.
If your blood sugar levels are high, like you drink a soda before or after your workout, it will significantly dimish the fat burning you would get from your workout if you didnt drink that soda.
But there are 2 kinds of sugar one is ok the other one is bad. Sugar you find that occurs naturally in fruit wont cause large increases in your blood sugar level because its naturally occuring (fructose) an gets digested more easily than refined sugars you find in Soda, Candy, ect.
Just addin the protien shake alone can be enough, Im not too strict with my diet an cheat a lot but I busted my hump in the gym an got my body fat % to under 5-6 %. So I can cheat a lot now an not worry too much, hehe.
Getting your body to that point is the rough part but staying there is a hell of a lot easier.
02-27-2005, 03:00 PM
Thanks you two.
That was a typo :P. M & F are Push, T & Th are Pull.
Also, I thought those exercises I listed deal mainly with core-group muscles, i.e. chest, back, etc. Are you saying that if I do more sets, I can cut back on the number of exercises? But wouldn't that be cheating my body?
02-27-2005, 07:20 PM
Not at all. By doing one set, you're just not working the muscle group enough at one time to cause the kind of fatigue that starts hypertrophy and causes strength and muscle gains. You should still hit every muscle group each week, but you can drop the redundant exercises (chest and back) and you can get away with working smaller muscle groups just once a week (biceps, triceps, calves, delts) especially beause they are getting worked as helpers in your big compound movements. How long does it usually take you to finish a lifting session? How much time do you put between exercises?
02-27-2005, 09:36 PM
Ahhh, I see what you're saying. Generally my weight training sessions last only 20 minutes at most. I usually allow between 45 seconds and 1 minute rests between sets.
But I've been doing some research and came across the "Body for Life" program. I did some reading and it looks like it might be something I can use. 6 sets per exercise seems a bit much, but I might as well try it as my current routine just isn't working. That and it looks like it ties in with what you said regarding hypertrophy. What do you think?
02-27-2005, 11:02 PM
I really like the BFL program. I think if nothing else, the new variation will be enough to start new growth and strength. It's fairly adaptable too, so if it gets stale or if you just don't like something about it, you can usually make small alterations that will suit you better. But definitely try it as prescribed first to see how your body reacts. It's a good balanced program so you should see great results.
02-28-2005, 11:13 AM
Awesome, thanks Naxis. I've been reading some great reviews about BFL and I'm gonna go with it. Wish me luck :)
02-28-2005, 05:32 PM
One thing I noticed about the BFL program is that the author seems to be pushing a lot of his products, namely the EAS nutrition and protein shakes. Are these shakes necessary? I mean, I spend a lot of time on the road so it's hard for me to eat 6 meals a day, a shake would be a good idea since it's portable. But is he pushing the shakes because they're actually good, or because they're his products? Thanks again in advance.
02-28-2005, 08:26 PM
Good catch. They are absolutely NOT necessary. Shakes can be helpful and convenient if you want to incorperate them, but making your own from plain whey or whatever protein powder you like is a lot cheaper and you have more control over the macronutrient ratios. The EAS stuff is okay, but tends to be pretty pricey. Optimum Nutrition is good whey and fairly inexpensive. There's other good, cheap brands too, so just do a little shopping around online or at your local Costco or Sams Club (GNC will rip you off.)