The weight lifting thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by howard, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. howard macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #1
    Do any of you guys weight lift? I'm a fairly skinny guy, I'm kind of strong but i don't have much muscle mass. I'm wondering if you have any tips. All I have are 2 dumbbells weighing 15lbs each and I can't afford to go to a gym right now, maybe in another year.

    Anyway I basically want to build mass in my arms and upper body, mainly shoulders and forearms. All I have been doing are curls, pushups and sometimes behind the head working the triceps. I know nothing about weight lifting and the different strategies of how to lift and how much to lift, any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    I'm an "amateur" like you, but perhaps a bit more advanced. I've been doing weight training for about a year now using a weight machine (the Body Solid EXM 1500-S). I have found the key to building mass is to really push yourself on the amount of weight you try to lift. Also, resting every few weeks seems to help as well. I'm not skinny, so you may need to do something with your diet as well.

    So the first thing you need to do is probably get a few more weights, so you're always maxing out what you can lift. Good luck!
     
  3. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #3
    ok thanks for the advice,

    how many reps relates to how much weight you need?
    how many sets of reps should i be doing?
    how much rest in between the reps?

    also i've heard good things about lifting the weights as fast as you can, and i've heard even better things about lifting them very slow...what should i do?

    as of now i've been lifting them at a medium pace, and i've been doing 3 sets of about 15 reps with around a minute rest inbetween. this is for curls. For the tricep workout i need more weight...
     
  4. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    You definitely need some more weights. But, you need to make sure you are taking around 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per body pound. I generally take 2-3 protein shakes between meals. Also eat a lot of grilled chicken, tuna, fish, etc... Anything with high protein and low saturated fat. Best of luck!
     
  5. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #5
    there are about a dozen weight-lifting forums similar to mac rumors that you should browse. i dont know the names of them off the top of my head, but a simple google search should help. also go to menshealth.com, or buy their magazine once in a while. excellent diet and conditioning tips.

    i recomend this only cause i doubt you're going to find the help you need here on mac rumors.
     
  6. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    If you want to add mass, keep the reps to 6-8, 10 at the max. Do not concentrate on heavy weight and fast lifting. Concentrate on really working the muscle, form is very important.
     
  7. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #7
    maybe a stupid question... do you gain any fat by eating protein? or just muscle?
     
  8. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #8
    yeah, i'll try that

    i was thinking about it and decided not to at first cause i didn't want to get flamed for my "newb" questions...

    unfortunately, i really can't afford more weights, nor do i have room for them in my apartment. I would really like to join a club, because i think i would concentrate more at a place rather than at home where i have so many distractions. but again i can't afford that right now. Basically i want to do what i can with what i have until i can afford to join a club.

    thanks for the tips though, keep em coming!

    also, what time of day is good. I've been lifting pretty much right before i got to bed, its the time when i have most spare time...this might be a bad time...i don't know
     
  9. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    #9
    I lift three times a week, and i run four times a week for a total of 15-20 miles.

    If you want to gain muscle mass, you have to eat a good bit of protein. Fat and protein are two completely different things. Fat is a type of lipid, and lipids and protein are two basic building blocks of food. You are not going to gain fat by eating protein, or gain protein from eating fat. I recommend that you try to eat 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you want to see an increase in muscle mass.
     
  10. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #10
    wow vector, thats a lot of running.

    I've been trying to run more, in high school i was in cross country and ran about 5 miles a day..but then i quit and havnt' run much since (i attribute the cross country to my skinniness and extremely fast metabolism, while it was tough i'm glad i did it)

    i want to run more but just have to find the time in my schedule.

    also i'm confused by this 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight... is that 1.5grams times my weight and thats how much i should eat? is it 1.5 grams times how much i want to gain? where can i found how much protein different foods have?

    what else besides meat has a lot of protein? sorry for all the questions but thanks for helping!
     
  11. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #11
    Well, peanuts have a fair bit of protein.

    Protein shakes are the best way for you to get the protein you need. The one
    I take gives me 40 grams per shake. It also has glutamine in it which helps you
    not burn muscle mass from doing catabolic exercises.

    But, if your budget is tight, you probably want to just stick to the meats that
    are high in protein. I've been picking up the tuna in a pouch at walmart lately.
    It has 20 some grams of protein in it and is excellent before a workout.

    As for your triceps, dips are an excellent way to isolate them and they use your own
    body weight as the 'weight.'

    Everyone else it right, though, go to walmart and pick up some heavier dumbells.
     
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    I don't think weights that small are going to do you much good for building mass when you are doing things like curls: you just don't have enough resistance. You could try something like an arm extension (name?) where you start with your arm at your side and extend it out to 90 degrees. This will give you a little more resistance, because the weight is farther from your body. You might also try a chin bar. And yes, drops are a great exercise. Sometimes local parks will have something you can use for these exercises.

    I agree with the Men's Health suggestion. They also have a men's fitness guide book that is very good.

    Maybe try craigslist.org for some cheap used weights?
     
  13. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #13
    -howard

    One: Diet.
    High protein, get as close to Amino Acids as you can if possible - GNC has these. These are the building blocks to the muscle. If you work out properly, the targeted mucle fibers will be damaged by Lactic Acid, then need to be rebuilt. If it is Fast-Twitch muscle (bulk, size) you are targeting, that depends on the workout. Your body will use the protein it needs, if you have more protein in your bloodstream during the rebuilding than you need, you will simply eliminate it - protein doesn not lead to fat, totally different molecules.

    Two: Workout.
    To target Fast-Twitch muscle fibers, the type you are asking for, you need an anaerobic excercise routine. 4 sets of 8-12 reps of a high weight per muscle group will do fine. Though I personally prefer 4x8 of a slightly higher weight than I would use for a 4x12.
    You should use just enough weight that you can barely complete the excercise. You will know if you need to increase weight because that excersise will become too easy. Note that the first set will seem too easy, but if you are playing it right, the fourth you should barely be able to complete.
    The hard part: Work slow, don't power through the rep. Cramp the muscle at the top of the rep then let down equally slow.
    1. I would recommend the particular excercises you use with the dumbells are:
    placing the dumbells on the floor, shoulder distance apart - in parallel, use them as 'floor handles' to perform pushups. Act like you are a board, as in 'stiff as one'. Try to do the exercise on only the tips of your big toes.
    2. Then after a 4x8, flip over onto your back, dumbells in hand stretched out to the sides, then lift them off of the floor - elbows straight - meeting above your chest, and back again - these are Chest Flys. Very effective for building pectorals.
    3. Then stand, dumbells at your sides, and one arm at a time, curl the dumbells to your shoulders - twisting the dumbells so that they start at your sides handle axis pointing at the wall in front of you, but ending up perpendicular to that when they reach your shoulder. Do a 4x10 here.

    Do this three days a week. I recommend Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday evenings - no closer to bedtime than three hours. (this way Fridays and Saturdays, you can have fun :D ) Then your body with the nightly human muscle growth hormone secretion, your body can repair iteslf while you sleep.

    Lastly, you can look into Chromium Picolinate as a dietary suppliment. Chrominum Picolinate is a DNA transcriptor. It is the substance your body uses to break down fat cells, and also build mucle fiber. It is a micronutrient and you canot live without it. You only need 500 micrograms/day (RDA). Side effect is that it thins the blood a bit.

    Take your easily-digestible protein suppliment before you work out. That way the muscle can start rebuilding with the proper balance of protein immediately upon completion.
     
  14. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #14
    what are catabolic exercises?

    as of now i've been lifting with both arms at once with the 2 15lb dumbbells, maybe i'll just move the weights over so i have more on 1 and just lift one arm at a time.
     
  15. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #15

    wow that gave me lots of ideas..thanks! however I always thought that you were not supposed to twist your arms when doing this type of exercise... I could be totally wrong, but that was what i heard somewhere.

    I'll try some of those out this week...also doing the 4 sets instead of my usual 3x15 might make my dumbbells a bit more useful, (i'm not that strong yet)
     
  16. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #16
    Basically, catabolic exercises are things like running and aerobics (correct me if I'm wrong).

    Glutamine keeps you from burning muscle while doing these.
     
  17. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #17
    -howard

    Well, the twisting motion is done with the forearm the Radius and Ulna bones - motion independant from the Bicep this excercise targets. The reason why you twist is simply so you can clear your hip at the bottom, and get as close to your shoulder at the top - it's just a range-of-motion thing. You want to get as close to a 180-degree motion as you can. Of course as your bicep builds, your won't be able to get as close to you shoulder anymore.

    BTW- I don't know if I was clear on the curls, alternate your arms right, left, right, left, etc. Not both at the same time, and not one at a time - it is for balance.

    And I hope you meant 4 sets, not reps. You want 4 sets of 10 reps for the curls.

    You may find that you will outgrow those 15lbs fairly quickly - I hope you have the weight to move up.
     
  18. Thrice2k3 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 26, 2004
  19. oldschool macrumors 65816

    oldschool

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    Sep 30, 2003
    #19
  20. crackpip macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2002
    #20
    From what I've read, which includes a great book by Donald Chu called Explosive Power and Strenght. Fast twitch muscles fibers are developed most effectively through plyometric type exercises. Going slow through a rep will cause production of slow twitch muscle fibers.

    howard, this doesn't really matter for gaining bulk, however. Gaining bulk is going to be much easier if you do as Patrick says and go nice slow reps really tiring out the muscle.

    Also, I'll throw in my 2cents about diet. Since you are skinny, you have a higher metabolism. So like everyone else has said, the most important thing you need to do is eat more. One thing I recommend besides the huge increase in protein intake (you might want to be careful of Tuna, great meat, but the mercury might not be so good if your eating a ton of it) is to just get more calories, especially before and after a workout. Try and stay away from simple sugars for your calories, go with more complex things like hearty breads, pastas. Also, spread your eating out over more of the day. If you eat 200g of protein in a single meal your body will probably not be able to process all of it. Spread it out into like 5 or 6 meals throughout the day.

    I have one other recommendation about working out, too. When you formulate your workout plan, don't just work your favorite muscles. Balance your exercises. If you workout your triceps make sure you workout your biceps. If you work out your pecs, make sure you work out your rear delts and upper back. If you do squats make sure to hit the leg curls. etc etc. If you don't do this, this can lead to injury down the road especially as you add more weight. And you'll look better (more properly proportioned) as you get bigger. Keep your muscle development balanced.

    good luck, it will take some time.

    crackpip
     
  21. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    #21
    You should try for 1.5 grams of protein multiplied by how many pounds you weigh. That is alot of protein, but muscle is made up of protein so you need to eat a lot of it.

    Eat lean meats such as chicken and turkey. Tuna is also very high in protein and has almost no fat. I suggest you go to GNC or somewhere and buy some soy protein. Soy protein is more effective than other types. I used to use it, and it works very well.
     
  22. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    Location:
    The West Loop
    #22
    -Vector

    Is it available in Chocolate?
     
  23. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #23
    Make a thumbs up sign. Insert your thumb into your mouth and blow. :D
     
  24. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #24
    -JesseJames

    Doesn't work for me, makes my ears really big.
     
  25. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #25
    wow thats a lot of protein i should be eating... more than twice as much as i am now on average, guesstimating form what i eat

    thanks for all the help, lets keep this thread going for anyone who might have more questions about weight lifting.

    how about shoulder exercises? Like having your arms and the weights at your side and lifting your arms up 90 degrees from your body


    patrick-yeah i meant 4 sets, i edited my previous post :)
     

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