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  1. #1

    New here, New to lifting...

    Hey everyone!

    As the title says, I'm new to lifting. I've tried a few things on my own but have never had a routine or a diet and have no idea where to begin. I sync'd up the "Classic muscle mass gaining program" routine to my phone and plan on getting started this coming Monday. I'm sure this is a common new guy question, but how do i determine the starting weight for these exercises? I don't want to cheat myself, but I don't want to injure myself either. I mean, once i've finished all the sets for an exercise should I be at muscle failure? My goal is to bulk up.

    I'm 6' and 150lbs, and thats only because i've been on recovery from ankle surgery. I was 130 before so i'm skinny and have a nice little gut for the first time ever. I have a fast metabolism that is starting to slow, so I haven't always had a healthy diet. I've cut out soda, drink a lot more water, and try to get as much protien and carbs as possible. If anyone has some advice, insight, or a good link to some info i can review, please point me in the right direction. Thanks

  2. #2
    Hey. First of all, congradulation on your decision to start a strength training program. I hope it helps you as much as my exercise program has helped me.

    I was significantly overweight for about 15 years of my adult life and then turned my life around about 3 years ago when I developed Diabetes. I had never done any exercise program up till then. But combining strength training and cardio was the key to losing all that excess weight and improving my energy levels. Now I make it a mandatory part of my day (except I have to take about 1 day off per week for rest).

    I am certainly not an expert nor do I consider myself a "lifter". However, I have learned a lot about how my body reacts to exercise through a lot of trial and error. So, let me give a little advise that seemed to work for me.

    When I first started strength training, i over-did it a few times on certain exercises. I then realized I had to "break-in" my muscles for strength training. So the first 2 months of strength training, I specifically used weights that are light and did more reps instead. Also, I would not do too many sets on any given day. I would instead to only 2 or 3 sets of the light weights, but would do it 3 or 4 times per week. I know I wasn't hypertophying my muscles much, but I found I would get less sore.

    Then after my muscles broke in, I begin using heavier weight or doing more sets of a given exercise, but doing that exercise less often per week. After a year, I was able to do most of my strength training with weights that were relatively heavy, do 4 - 6 sets, but only once per week.

  3. #3
    Wow you guys are awesome here on this forum!

  4. #4
    Welcome to lifting and a healthier lifestyle!

    Here's my suggestion for you to start out with...
    With any new to active lifestyle changes it is very important you need to build a strong flexible foundation. I'm constantly being ask of what weight to start out with, and my answer to that is start with the bar. Starting out with just the bar is best. It helps you focus on posture and form, and develop good habits in lifting. Often times, I witness new to lifting start out way too heavy , and quit in a short time frame due to being extremely sore and tight (Especially in places they shouldn't be due to improper form). For example, their knees, shoulders, and lower back. That weak ankle of yours will need to gain flexibility and mobility before lifting heavy on it before risking a chance of re-injury.

    I highly recommend starting out with Gary Pendlay's 5x5 workout (12 weeks), he's a very successful Olympic weight lifting coach (Arnold Schwarzenegger is a strong advocate of this workout). Basically you start out with just the bar and every time you lift that exercise you add 5lbs to it (2.5 lbs on each side). Only exception is the Deadlift, which you'll start with 5lb training plates (to get the bar off the ground at the proper height) on each side and add 10lbs (otherwise, your squats will be to superior) every time you lift it. You will be lifting three times each week with a day of rest in between, alternating workout A ad workout B. the first 3 or 4 weeks will be easy, but your main focus is correct posture and form. You might feel uncomfortable in the gym since you're just lifting light weights, but your progress well definitely show huge gains. Plus, the excitement of watching the graphs in Jefit will be a huge motivation to continue to lift and stick with it.

    Once you hit that 4th week, you should start feeling some fatigue after workouts. Once the weights get heavy, make sure you do a warm-up set or two beforehand, it should be anywhere 25%-50% of the weight you're lifting. The rest in between is 1min to 5min. !min if it was easy, 5min if it was hard to get 5 reps in. When you can no longer hit the 5 reps for 5 sets for 3 days in a row, lower the weight by 10% and start adding 5lbs again.

    Workout A
    Squats 5x5
    Bench Press 5x5
    Bent-Over Barbell Back Rows 5x5

    Workout B
    Squats 5x5
    Barbell Standing Overhead Press 5x5
    Deadlift 1x5 (you can start out with 5x5 for the first 3 weeks, but doing 5 sets of heavy squats and deadlifts will be a huge strain on your back later in the program)

    Once again this program is to help develop a strong foundation and good lifting habits with form and posture, along with building the habit of exercising on a weekly basis.

    As far as supplementing... protein from food sources is much better than taking supplements, supplements are there where your diet lacks in nutrition. But if you must use a protein supplement go with whey and cycle 3 weeks on with a week off, to help release the strain your internal organs go through to digest the stuff.

    Another one I recommend to use, is gelatinized maca in powder or capsules form. This stuff is consider as a super food, but the main benefit of it is that it help level balance your hormones (testosterone, estrogen, growth, adrenal, insulin).

    I'm built similar to you. 5'10" weighing in at 146-148 lbs for my peak races (running and cycling). every year I start out with the above program (I start out with 25% of what I finished with the prior year) for about 10 weeks starting in November and than I switch to more sport specific routine after. I usually peak my weight to about 157lbs in the winter off season and slowly cut back down to my optimal racing weight spring to early summer months.

    Sorry for any grammar issues

  5. #5
    Senior Member dTor's Avatar
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    Dang.... I thought I used to be skinny when I was 18 being 6' and weighing in at 145.

    I didn't read everything that others responded with, so if this has been mentioned, then it must be worth mentioning again (lol) :

    It can be discouraging for those of us who are naturally skinny. We are called "hardgainers", and as the name implies, you may find it difficult to build up bulk rapidly. I'm 32 y/o now, so prior to lifting, my body had pretty much settled where it wants to be - about 170 lbs. I didn't start lifting until about 2 years ago. I'm now at about 180-185, but I am a lot leaner than I was when I first started. I will say that when I entered basic training at 18 I gained 15 pounds just doing army exercises, so you may put on some muscle mass rapidly. Just don't get discouraged if you seem to plateau around 160 or so pounds. Our bodies just don't have a lot of fast twitch muscle fibers (the ones that grow from weight lifting), so you likely won't get very big, but you will have a good looking, fit, and cut physique with some effort.

    The only two things I know of that can help your situation is to eat A LOT and weight train A LOT. I eat 3000-3500 calories with about 180g of protein per day and I still cannot break out of the low 180 lb range, even though I am increasing my weight and/or reps every single week on every single movement I do. I know I will eventually get up to my goal of 190 pounds, but it will be a long, hard road.

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