Weight training!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by n8236, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    Ok, so here's the deal. A buddy and I plan on gaining 10-15lbs of muscle (mainly on the upper body) in about two months time. We can hit the gym 2-3x a week, 1-2 hours each time. We're also willing to take protein, if necessary.

    What guides are out there that we can follow? :apple:

    O, we're about 27 yrs old ~150 lbs each.
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    You can expect to gain about 1 to 2 lbs of muscle every week if you eat right and exercise right.

    But I have to emphasize this, IF YOU EAT RIGHT. You ain't gonna gain **** if you just lift and eat the same as you do now. You have to increase your calorie intake, and if you care about fat, watch your protein-carb-fat intake. It's a lot of work but worth it if you want to stay lean. If you don't give two ***** about fat, just eat whatever you want, making sure you get a lot of calories and protein for growth. Don't over-abuse your body though, eat your fruits and veggies and take your multivitamins.

    With that out of the way, yes, protein is a must. Grab a tub of protein whey at a GNC, any favor. Worth every dollar.

    As for a routine, if you're a beginner, you're in luck. You're gonna gain with haste, and you've got a great routine tailored just for you, the Rippetoe Starting Strength program. Read the whole thing, it's worth your time.

    Good luck!
  3. MonksMac macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2005
  4. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    Gaining weight, whether it be muscle or fat, means you have to eat for it. While protein shakes are (very!) helpful, they're not necessary as long as you eat enough food. Lean, dense high-protein foods like chicken really work well as the staple of your diet.

    From a totally unusual angle, check out Tim Ferriss' 30+ pound weight transformation [link].

    At your weight, you're going to want to eat about 3 300 calories per day, keeping the fat to a minimum.
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Not really. The body is incapable of such growth. You can gain 1 to 2 lbs of weight but not muscle.

    I used to be pretty into body building and would have loved to have gained 1 to 2 lbs of muscle a week but it just never happens. Maybe if you take steroids it might but that is whole different kettle of fish.
  6. fotografica macrumors 68040

    Jan 7, 2006
    Not sure if you guys consume alcohol or not,but if that's your goal (which is very ambitious) in that amount of time you need to eliminate or practically eliminate it..Nothing kills protein synthesis like alcohol...
    Don't just concentrate on your upper body muscles either or you'll be out of proportion, strength/size wise.I see guys working only the "beach muscles" (pec/biceps) at my gym all the time while ignoring the rest....
  7. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    We don't drink much alcohol. Just the occasional outings with 1 or 2 beers for the week, that's it, if any.

    We're not looking to work out the upper body to the point where we can't see our necks.

    I think my main concern is the diet. We have a very Chinese diet as we eat pretty lean foods such as veggies, fish and some beef/chicken. We do have the occasional weekend snacking of not-so-good foods like KFC or whatnot lol. I think we would be happy w/ 8 lbs of muscle as 10 lbs may be the ideal goal. :apple:
  8. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    You will *have* to add complex carbs to that diet - veggies basically have minimal cards.. so add brown rice (or oatmeal) 10-20 lbs of muscle is a lot (lean muscle, you can put on 10-20 lbs of total weight, but not all of it will be muscle) Increase your calorie intake - by a lot!

    When I get on a weight gain program to build muscle, I increase my calorie intake is about 4500 calories on a daily basis (this works for me) It's very hard to get a lot of 'clean' calories in, but it can be done. I have to remind myself to eat every 2 hours, limit your protein shakes to about 2 a day - try to get your nutrition from food.

    Cut out the fish - for gaining weight I have found eggs and meat to be the best. Chicken is good, but nothing compares to meat. I eat fish when I'm trying to get lean - that's when I cut out carbs, etc.

    Losing fat is far, far easier than gaining quality muscle. :mad:
  9. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I know what you're driving at (and I agree with the premise), but this isn't true. Working out lots but still eating the same thing is still a good change, and you still can see results. They just won't be as dramatic.

    It for sure is capable of such growth. Way closer to 1 pound (maybe even a little yes), but yes, it is possible and attainable.

    Definitely take some protein shakes after your workout (and maybe the next morning). They'll help your recovery and building lean muscle.
  10. markfc macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    Good advice so far, all I could add is try some Creatine or CEE.

    You might want to look into High Intensity Body Building. (HIT)

    Basically ;

    Eat right
    Bracket your workouts with a protein meal or drink.
    Stick to the basic heavy compound exercises such as Squats, Parallel Bar Dips, Chin Ups, Bench Press, Dead lifts.
    Keep rests inbetween sets as short as possible
    Lift heavy to the point you fail between 4-8 reps.
    Aim to add more reps/weight each workout. Progression is the key.
    Rest! Muscle grows when you rest.
    Allow 1-2 days rest between each workout.
    Stick at it!

    Grab a copy of pumping iron for some inspiration!

    Good luck.
  11. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    So I looked over that Reopette routine thing and its got lots of good info.

    Right now, my buddy and I are hitting the gym 3x a week. In each visit, we do 3x5 (sets x reps) for about 5 machines which work mainly the upper body. The problem we're running into is the amount of resistance. Should we be pulling half our weight, a comfortable weight, a slightly uncomfortable weight, etc? And if we can't finish our 3x5 routine because of fatigue, should we lower the weight or deal or with it?

    And 3x5 on five machines could go fairly quickly. Prolly in and out in 1 hr. Or are we doing something wrong?:apple:
  12. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2008
    Yes. Machines = wrong. Use free weights. Increase your reps to 8 just to be safe. You should be pulling 75% of your one rep max for every rep. And you should have slight difficulty completing your final set.
  13. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    "You should be pulling 75% of your one rep max for every rep?" huh?:confused:

    Does that mean if I complete 100% of my rest rep, I should at least finish 75% of that in my second rep, then 75% of the second rep w/ my third?
  14. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2008
    Sorry if I wasn't clear. I think we should start from the beginning.

    One rep is one repetition (pushing the weight once).

    A set is a set of repetitions (say, 8 repetitions).

    Usually, you do sets of X repetitions for Y sets. For example, 3 sets of 8 repetitions each.

    Your one rep max is your one repetition maximum. It's the maximum amount of weight you can push ONCE.

    You can find out your one rep max by using the calculators and methods described online.

    Once you know your one rep max, you should aim for at least 75% of that weight for every repetition you do.

    So if you're doing 3 sets of 8 repetitions, you should aim to lift 8 repetitions at 75% of your one rep maximum for every repetition. Then you do two more sets of 8 to make 3.

    Example: assume your one rep max is 100 kg. You want to do 3 sets of 8 reps. This means pushing 75 kg 8 times per set.
  15. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    Ah ok, that makes sense. :)

    Hrm, so machines are no good eh. Not sure if we both have the proper training or technique to do free weights, though we like to.

    Back to this 1 rep max thing. Since we're using different machines, wouldn't the 1RM for each of them be different? I guess I'll just have to remember it for each one.
  16. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2008
    Your one rep max for every exercise will be different! :p Obviously you won't be able to bench press the same amount of weight you barbell curl. And the ORMs have to be recalculated periodically as you get stronger.

    If you're an absolute beginner, try using extremely light weights to familiarize yourself with the exercise and its movements. Then progressively up the weight till you're comfortable at 75%.

    Free weights are better because they bring in the stabilizer muscles (no machine to 'guide' the movement), and your body is actually doing all the work.
  17. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2008
    Also try reading this, and temper your expectations a little.

    "Okay, gaining 20 pounds of muscle tissue in 12 weeks without drugs is very difficult to do. In fact, it'll almost be impossible for most."

    You'll spend 2-3 weeks just learning to do the exercises right, and getting you diet (80% of the equation, says conventional wisdom) dialed in. Good luck!
  18. benlangdon macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    i dunno if its been said. im not going to read the rest of the posts
    but setting a goal of gaining weight is not always great.
    setting a goal of becoming stronger is different.

    it will really depend on your body type between you and your friend.
    i tried the same thing with one of my friends.
    we were playing soccer like 2 times a day everyday and tournaments on the weekends, and we still lifted.
    we were taking in like 4k calories or more and eating like every like couple hours.
    eating is prob the hardest part. you have to eat a lot, i mean a lot, and very often. and a lot of it is prob going to be like "fake" food as i call it, like shakes and bars and stuff like that.
    i gained 15 lbs, and got a lot stronger
    i do not even think he gained any weight. but he got stronger.

    being big is lame.
    being strong is the way to go.

    o also, try and do exercises with free weights mostly as they will work your helper muscles and not just the main one. i can guarantee you if you squat on a machine and then one day have to squat something (in daily life) you will not be as strong as if you had done that with free weights
  19. Azmontana macrumors regular


    May 27, 2008
    Your right not possible to put on that much muscle in such a short time.
  20. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    It took me several years to gain 40 pounds of muscle- and that was with tons of work. To the OP- be patient, it won't happen as fast as you want. Do it the right way and do it for life.
  21. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    Our bodies are mainly slender, not bony, but about a 31-32 waist.

    We like to get a little bigger to have that beach look first. Then go for strength after that. We're trying really hard to eat lots of 4k+ calorie meals. A friend of mine said just eat a lot in general since we're burning so much energy anyways.

    In any case, here's what we've done so far for the past couple of weeks. We picked out 5-6 machines: dips, incline bench press, shoulder lifts, row, metal pull down bar thingy and curl/tri-cep pulls or watever. So you can see that we want to gain mass and growth in the general upper body area.

    For each machine we're doing 3 sets with 5 reps each. We're doing slightly under the 75% 1RM amount, but I think it's right because we tend to have som trouble w/ the last set on each machine.

    I hope we're doing this right.:apple:
  22. benlangdon macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    eating 4k calories is good.
    but most of it should be protein
    if you want to gain, .8 grams of protein for every pound that you weight is a good rule of thumb.

    good luck.
    i wish i was able to work out right now, my knee is destroyed, such a bummer.:(

    o ya, if you get injured, do not charge the gym or think ill just man up and do it, let it heel for twice as long as you would think. healing does include getting your blood flow moving, and lots of ice though.

    and here we go again.
    getting sore, is a waste of time. you will get bigger gains faster if you work out to right under where you will be sore for the next day. this allows your body to not have to heal itself so much in between work outs and can put all your calories to beneficial use.

    and again,
    if you going for looks, like being cut, i would be doing a lot more reps.

    in case you were wondering...
    when i do workouts, this applies for most any exercise since there are muscles for each side
    lets say for doing bench with individual weights (kinda doing a punching motion, twisting from parallel to perpendicular)
    i do a set of ten both arms,
    then hold one hand up in the air and do ten for each side,
    thats one set.

    now second set.
    do both arms, ten reps
    then hold one arm in the bottom of the press, and do ten with each side.
    thats a set

    now third.
    do both arms.
    then only hold one weight and do ten with each.

    for other areas this can be applied to, but there isn't really any of the holding one hand up, then holding one hand down.
    now for quads, do same idea but put your toes to the right, middle and left (ether way)
    for sit ups, left, middle, right (ether way)
    for back its the same thing as arms, (this is my favorite, it just makes your foundation so sold)

    wow, rant.
    2nd edit.
    also when your doing any of these exercises, form is everything.
    be a real man and use your head, keep form. go down x amount.
    trust me, no one cares at the gym how much your lifting, no one gives a flying F*#(.
  23. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    I'm confused now, the other posters mention that low reps using the 1RM is the rule if I want to gain mass and look cut. :confused: Cause right now I'm working on 6 machines doing 3 sets each w/ 5 reps each set. And definitely at a weight where we're having trouble w/ the 3rd set.

    Also, we've each lost just about 4-5 lbs these past two and a half weeks, we don't know where the weight is going! I hope we're not burning more than we are trying to eat. This is bizarre. :confused:
  24. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    I'd follow markfc's recommendation above and try HIT. "Big basic" exercises - squat, deadlift, press, row, pulldown, dips etc. 1 set each exercise, using a weight that makes you fail at 8-12 reps. Strict form. Work each set to muscular failure (i.e. you physically can't complete the rep in good form). Train 3 x weekly. Increase weight/reps every session. Google "colorado experiment" if you want an account of how big the gains can be with this type of regime.
  25. fotografica macrumors 68040

    Jan 7, 2006
    To the OP..weightlifting is a journey,not a destination.You never stop learning.Forget the quick hit goal and concentrate on the long haul..Make the investment and it will pay off for years to come..Three basic rules to follow
    Train hard
    Eat clean (probably most important)
    Plenty of sleep for recovery
    Keep all three in mind,and you'll succeed..It comes down to one simple question..How bad you want it?

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