Weight lifting 101 refresher

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by uspcommuter, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. uspcommuter macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2004
    Hey all,

    Finally took the step of getting a gym membership to get back into shape. Just thought that the gym membership was cheaper than to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes.

    Just a little bit of background on my physical history. I was trained in Highschool as a track and field thrower. Threw mainly shot put & discus. And sometimes the javelin. This was a good 8 years ago...havent had a regular regimen excercise for a good 4-5 years.

    There are two areas that I would like to start working on.

    1. Support muscle to the abs.
    It seems like I have developed a beer belly over the years, I am worry about the support muscles (like my back muscles) with all the strain over the years. Yes I know, I have to do crunches and so on to get rid of the belly...but I just want to make sure I got everythign covered :)

    2. Upper body. I just recently moved and I realized quickly that I wasnt as strong as I was used too...so many stuff I was able to move by myself cant be done without another person or with me breathing heavily after its done. Maybe I am just getting older... :)

    any suggestions is greatly appreciated. also if you can provide any workout plans or resources please do. :) thanks for all your help.
  2. Verto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2005
    Denton, TX
    I was under the impression doing crunches would not get rid of a "beer belly", they will simply build the muscles buried beneath the fat, and to a lesser degree burn some fat.
  3. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    Start with a body ball to get those core muscles back in shape before you try any heavy lifting.
    combine with hand weights and bands for resistance on the ball and you would be surprised how well it can get you into good shape.

    Then think about gym weight lifting.
  4. uspcommuter thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2004

    yes cruches are to replace some of the fat with muscles...at least thats what i think the conept is suppose to be.

    as for playing around with a body ball...whats that? and what do I do on a body ball?

  5. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    You're going to really need to add some cardio to whatever you're doing. I highly recommend running, as it'll take away the beer belly and help tone the rest of you. Or, you could try biking at the gym as well, maybe before and after weights, as a warm up/cool down type of thing. A little cardio goes a long way.

    And crunches - they'll add muscle, but if you have fat over it, it'll just push it outwards, not replace it.
  6. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Clovis, California
    Start drinking Propel instead of soda. One 16.9 fluid ounce bottle has only 25 calories and tastes just like CoolAid. :)

  7. neocell macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    Stretch: when warming up, you want to get your back loose so you don't hurt anything. Move till you feel the stretch and then hold for at least 15 seconds (count them out) and the go a bit father (hold) repeat ~3 times
    Warm up: do about 10 minutes on a bike, very slow pace, just to get the blood flowing etc.
    Light weights: Initially (first month or two) do your exercises with lighter weights and higher reps (15-20). You should be able to complete 2-4 sets of ~20 reps without too much strain in the first week or two (start off with 2 sets and with time increase up to 4). Then increase the weight and decrease the reps so that it's difficult to complete 10 reps of the last set.
    Cardio: After the weights, do a good 30 minutes of cardio, (at least 70% of maximum heart rate, you should be able to talk but not easily) again start easy for the first couple of weeks, then build up duration and intensity.
    Exercises: Too many to get into here, but I'm sure your club will have tonnes of examples. Make sure you do enough to cover all muscle groups. Start of with 1-2 exercises per muscle group (ie biceps: straight bar curls, & dumbbell curls). I would suggest to start off with one exercise/body group and do the whole body for a week or two, again very light just to get everything "woken up". Then when you move up to a couple of exercises per body group do half your body one day, then the other half the next, and when you setup your work out, do opposing muscle groups in the same day (ie if you do biceps one day, do your triceps the same day, back and chest etc.; exercising one group of muscle (biceps, flexors) will lead to a "loosening" of the opposing group (triceps, extensors) so you'll be able to work them to a greater extent.
    Crunches: Do them consistently. They WILL NOT get rid of a beer gut, but with enough cardio and other exercises your metabolism will increase, burning more calories, melting away the fat so that when your rectus abdominus is exposed it will look washboard sweet.

    NOTE: Your body will initially be pissed off with you. Muscle pain and stiffness will occur, so take it easy at the start, and build up. It takes about a month or two to get your nervous system to upregulate and the neuromuscular connects (giving you better control over you muscles) so might end up shaking a bit when exercising initially (lifting weights) but that will go with time (not due solely with increased strength, but a lot of increased synapic connects and training the brain)

    All else, have fun. Try to make it lifestyle change, not something new and different that throws your "usual day" out of wack. If that happens it will be difficult to stick with an exercise program.

    Cheers :)
  8. asxtb macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2005
    I would recommend swimming rather than running. It is less hard on the body. But it is all a matter of preference. (nothing against runners out there)

    As for the crunches... Remember that ab muscles are just like every other muscle in the body. Most people think that doing crunches everyday is good while every other muscle group you should do every other day. Crunches should be down the same way as everything else.
  9. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    This is an important lesson I learned from my friend, a personal trainer. You don't do 150 reps on the benchpress, why would you do it on your abs? The key to ab training is technique and weight. He told me to do it this way: It should take me a full second on the up side of the crunch, then hold the crunch for 2 seconds, and then it should take 2 seconds on the down side of the crunch as well.

    As those get easier to do, add weight to the crunches. Hold a light weight to your chest while you do the same 1-2-2 crunch.
  10. neocell macrumors 65816


    May 23, 2005
    Great White North
    Well the last couple of ab post are true, but not complete.
    You have basically two types of muscle fibres in the skeletal muscle system. Fast-twitch glycolytic and slow-twitch oxidative (and the middle fast-twitch oxidative, though for ease of discussion we'll leave these guys out). Fast-twitch give you quick brute power, what sprinters would want developed in their legs, whereas slow-twitch gives you long consistent activity as what marathon runners would want. If you want to "bulk up" you're going to train the fast-twitch fibers more so, meaning high weights, low reps. If you want to train the slow-twitch you'll be doing low weight high reps. Basically all muscles have both fibre types, though differ in their percentages of each. Postural muscles have very high slow-twitch percentages, as these fibres need to be active though most of the day. Abs are postural muscles so they have a lot of slow-twitch.

    Sooooooooo depending on what you want to do to your abs you adjust the training style. Bulk up: heavy weight, low reps. Increase endurance: low weight, high reps.
  11. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    Wanna lose your gut?

    Fall in love with a girl, go out with her for a year, and have her break your heart into a million pieces. Worked for me! I lost 20 pounds!
  12. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    question about the bands... where can i find them (here in the US)??? i looked at sports authority and such and only found these little ones that are loops, whereas i'm looking for the long ones (like jump ropes, but stretchy) so i can do things like rowing exercises, etc... where can i get em? (not the overpriced, fancy ones...)
  13. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    +1. I do crunches with a weight and can do 15-20 reps if I watch my form..

    I'd love to chisel my sides (you know, the cool "V" line) up a bit more, but they's tricky little devils to target ime.

    I can't remember where I read it, but somewhere (a reputable source if i remember correctly) said you don't go to failure with your abdominals since they're a different type of muscle...? Input?
  14. followme macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    This is true.

    You CANNOT spot-treat fatty areas of your body. The only way to spot-treat them is surgery. I don't recommend that.

    Your body will lose weight where and how it wants to, according to your diet and activity level. You absolutely cannot lose belly fat by doing belly exercises. In fact, as Verto said, you'll build up muscles that will "push" the fat out further.

    You want to do heavy and varied cardio workouts. Don't do the same thing every time, or your body "plateaus." Vary it up... one day jog for a while, then suddenly sprint. Next day try fast-paced jazzercise or whatever that thing is called. Then you can try the jogging again, but vary it up. Muscles burn calories, more muscles = more calories.

    What's the problem with gaining muscle? You gotta keep it maintained, or it can easily start looking like fat when it wimpers out.

    Eat a sensible diet that is high on protein, but don't obsess. Boneless, skinless-chicken breasts are one of the top choices. Eat it with brown rice and top with a lemon-based "sauce" to give it flavor. Avoid "power bars," since they are often just extra calories with fat and sugar.

    Water is your best friend. Drink too much, but not way too much. Get plenty of sleep, because this is when your body "builds" the muscle. As with cardio, vary the intensity a bit, don't let your body plateau. On days you can't hit up the gym, do at-home exercises using your body weight. Crunches, squats with a heavy laundry basket of books or something, isometric training using a wall, push-ups, etc.

    Some people swear by Gatorade or whatever, but to be honest, I'd rather drink water and use those calories to enjoy an apple or orange or something. If you eat a fruit in place of drinking a sports drink, you replace refined sugar with naturally occurring fructose as well as fiber and vitamins and minerals. Avoid fruit juices, they are just healthier versions of "soda," a sugar-based calorie drink. It's best to have just a little if you're going to drink it, such as a tiny glass of OJ in the morning (no, not the guy who murdered his wife... err sorry he was acquitted).

    Do not skip breakfast. If you do, you are robbing your body of one of the most critical times it needs to rebuild muscle. Yogurt is awesome IMO, and eggs are your friend, contrary to previous advice. Keep the calories at a moderate level, but focus on consuming food that is worth the calories. Ice cream isn't worth the calories.

    But, of course, do treat yourself occasionally so you don't give up. Occasionally does not equal every night, though one guy I heard of gained a lot of muscle and lost weight while still eating a cup of ice cream a night.

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