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  1. #1

    Complete beginner, in need of a little feedback.

    Hi!

    I hope some of you can help me out with some tips on my workout routine. First a little about my background: 34 years old, and I haven't worked out for the last 15 years since high-school (coach potato)! Got kids, wife and work, so spare time is not abundant. Even though I've spent most of my life in inactivity, my weight has been pretty constant. But, inevitably, even though I've always been a skinny guy, abdominal fat had started to accumulate :-)

    Now, last summer I took myself together, and ended up getting myself a bike. Made good progress in cycling, trying to get into better shape (which is one of my goals). Most of my rides was of pretty high intensity (75-95% of max heart rate), and I shedded appr. 10 pounds over the summer, most of it from the belly (not much fat anywhere else on my body). I was somehwhat concerned of loosing to much weight, though. I now measure 6' (184cm) and weigh 168 pounds (76kg), which I know is pretty skinny. Fat percentage would be somewhere around 12-15%, I guess, judging solely by the looks of it.

    Doing only this kind of hard cardio workout, I figured I was gonna waste away if I didn't do any strength training at the same time. So I started doing some weight training along side the cycling. Now, I want to focus more on the weight training, and less on cardio, trying to gain both strength and mass. I've done a lot of reading, and I've come up with a routine that I've been doing for the last weeks. I'm worried, however, that my routine is not optimal. Maybe I've chosen the wrong excercises, maybe I have left out something important etc. Hopfully I can get some tips on this forum. As I said above, I have limited spare time, and a full body workout should probably be what I need.

    Limitations:
    I do have some limitations that I do need to take into concideration. First of all, the cycling took a toll on the hip/groin. I've had issues when flexing one of the hips the last six months. The symptoms are most likely consistent with injury to the iliopsoas muscle or a painful internal snapping hip. Active flexing in the hip can be really painful, and I have to avoid too much strain on the hip flexors. As an example, some ab excercises that include the full range of motion in the hip are impossible to do. Secondly, I have a problem with painful snapping in one of my shoulders. It could be due to some impingement issue, but I haven't had it looked at. Lowering the arms from above shoulder height during strain is extremely painful when I pass down below shoulder height. Overhead press/lateral raise with full range of motion is impossible to do. I can, however, workout at a limited range of motion (0-80 degrees or 120-180 degrees separately), the pain/snapping only appears when moving downwards past 90 degrees.

    Workout routine.
    I have tried to mix and shake to come up with a full body workout that can fit with my schedule. I also want to keep doing some cardio as I want to be in better shape. I have 2 routines, and my goal is to alternate between them, working out every other day. The last weeks my muscles have been so sore that I haven't been able to workout more than twice every week, though :-). I've done cardio prior to weights.

    Cardio:
    4x4 interval (34 min total including warmup) once a week, all other days 20 minute slow threadmill warmup.

    Routine day 1 (45-60 seconds rest between sets):
    - (Chest) Bench press machine 3 sets x10
    - (Calf) Seated calf raise 3 sets x10
    - (Upper back) Cable seated row 3 sets x10
    - (Hamstrings) Lying leg curls 2 sets x12
    - (Shoulder) Dumbbell lateral raise 3 sets x10
    - (Quadriceps) Leg press machine 3 sets x10
    - (Biceps) Dumbbell alternate biceps curl 3 sets x10
    - (Abdomen) Ab crunch machine 3 sets x 15
    - (Forearm) One arm seated dumbbell wrist curl 2 sets x 20 (do I need this one?)

    Routine day 2 (45-60 seconds between sets):
    - (Calf) Calf press on leg press machine 3 sets x10 (straight knees)
    - (Lower back) Back hyperextensions 3 sets x10
    - (Chest) Dumbbell incline bench press 3 sets x10
    - (Back) Wide grip lateral pulldown 3 sets x 10 (bar in front)
    - (Compund Lower body) Dumbell lunges 2 sets x10
    - (Shoulders) Barbell upright row 3 sets x10
    - (Triceps) Cable triceps extensions 3 sets x10
    - (Abdomen) Ab crunch machine 3 sets x 15

    I've adjusted the weight to be able to do complete sets. Now, I also "know" that free weights are better when it comes to a full body workout, more stabilizing muscles are used etc. I hope, when I get the hang of it, that I can move on to using more bars/dumbbells instead of machines. But this is what I've done the last weeks.

    I hope some of you can give me some tips to help me along the way. Should I change some exercises? Have I left out important muscle groups? Are there any exercises that will be smarter to do? Do I work out enough to be able to see gains? I'd be glad for any tips or feedback you can give me!
    Last edited by Sprucemoose; 03-07-2013 at 11:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member QuintanillJoseph's Avatar
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    Whoa... that's a long post. Routine looks good to me, except... depending on your shoulder issues, you may want to watch your two chest exercises. Those are the very two that give ME the most trouble on my shoulders. Try them and see how your shoulders feel. If you find that your chest exercises are not the best for your shoulders, you may want to switch to some type of cable exercises. Also, as a side note, research shoes that bench press is more of a compound exercise and that flys isolate the pecs much more.

  3. #3
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member QuintanillJoseph's Avatar
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    research shoes?!?! - Research "shows"

  4. #4
    Yeah, I guess the post is a bit on the long side :-) But a big thanks for replying, though. I'm happy to hear that there aren't too many flaws in my little beginner's routine. The chest exercises are pain-free for me, though. I don't do flys, but I guess that using a bar or dumbbells would be a more compound exercise than the machine bench press alone.

    Shoulder lateral raise (abduction) can be a nightmare, though. As long as I stick to a limited range of motion (0-80 degrees) things seem to work ok. Dumbbell biceps curls can be a little bad at the end of a set when I start "helping out" by flexing at the shoulder. I guess moving over to preacher curls would isolate the biceps more, removing some load off the shoulders. But I'll try to keep using free weights where I can. Thanks for the input!

  5. #5
    Senior Senior JEFIT Member QuintanillJoseph's Avatar
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    If laterals are difficult on your shoulders, try "scapular plane laterals" as shown here...

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCsdpHx-nOo[/url]

  6. #6
    Thanks, I'll give the scapular plane laterals a try. Seems like there are plenty of shoulder exercises to choose from, so I guess I'm bound to find some that will work.

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