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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:52 pm 
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Hi, I recently joined the local gym with my friends. I've started lifting weights there. My experience in lifting has come from reading this site and trying everything out for about 3 months around a year ago, before stopping. I understand the basics of how muscles work and what exercise works what, but dont have the experience in actual lifting. I'm not sure about how many reps to do, how many exercises for each muscle and if I should do those exercises on the same day or spread it out over the week.

What I've been doing so far is 3x8 sets/reps for every body part, with the last set and rep being very difficult to do. I do one exercise for each body part, unless they are also involved in a compound exercise, which means they are involved in more than one exercise.

The next day I see what is sore, and if any body part is completely fine I go back to the gym and work it. So far I havent been able to go back the next day, and the very first day I had to wait almost 5 days because the inside of my elbows were killing me. I've been to the gym 6 times now over about 2 weeks. See what is sore, work what is not. Is this ok in the beginning? eventually will I not be sore after every work out and will have to make a schedule to keep track?

Also, my back (besides erector spinae) has yet to be sore from working out. What usually happens is my forearm hurts/gives out from cable pull downs long before I feel anything in my lats or upper back. Should i keep it up and wait for my forarms to get stronger? The cable pull downs are the only thing I do for my back. I really cannot figure out how to work my back well. Then again I've only done this about 6 times so I guess some of my muscles have more catching up to do then others. Any ideas on what to do for my back? I'm 6' 1" 175 lbs and have long arms if that matters. I couldn't do bent over rows without feeling very uncomfortable last time I tried.


some other questions:

Is it alright to do, lets say, a decline bench press right after a flat bench even though I could barely push my last rep up? If so, im guessing i just do less weight on the decline?

One of my friends is a little overzealous, I think at least. For chest he did 3 barbel bench exercises, 1 dumbell exercise, and 2 machine push exercises, in one session. Is this too much? Could you just do 3 exercises and do them well/heavier instead of all of those? Does doing this many exercises have a negative effect in any way? I have to admit, I did almost all of those with him to see what it was like, and this is the first time I've felt pretty sore in my inner/lower chest.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:33 pm 
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Do you have a goal or set of goals for your weight training? Stating them will help people on this board to give you advice that will be useful to you.

But to answer your question about your friend and his everything but the k-word sink chest workout - yes, he's doing way too much work on his chest. If his goal is to have a barrel chest but a roadkill back and chicken legs, he is well on his way.

BTW - I'd be willing to bet that the soreness in your inner elbow is from doing too many bicep curls


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:42 am 
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my goals are to keep gaining strength until it comes very hard to gain anymore. i want my body to be well rounded. i want to look good, gain good posutre and feel like i have control of my body.


yeah i guess my elbows were hurting from curls. man that sucked when i couldnt move my elbows the next morning. it hurt to sleep on them the next few days too.

so about the chest thing. will doing that many exercises slow growth at all? if not, couldnt you do that with every body part and gain very fast?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:24 am 
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If you got that sore, you are doing WAY to much. You are doing the steroid workout without the steroids. It sounds like you want to gain a little bit of size, but your primary goal is strength.

Heavy triples did that for me real good. Oddly enough I gained mass on it too.

Try this, find your 4 rep max. Then use that weight to do sets of 3 reps. Do 5 or 6 sets per major body part. That means divided between the exercises. So say you do 3 exercises, you can only do 2 sets each at most. So maybe chest is 3 flat bench and 3 incline and maybe back is 2 barbell bent over row, 2 prone dumbbell row and 2 pulldowns. Or whatever. Most of your exercises should be some variation of bench, row, squat and deadlift. For isolation work 1 to 4 sets depending on what it is. Keep the isolation to a minimum. This also means 4 or less isolation sets that involve elbow flexion in any way. Some of the isolation stuff you might end up with higher reps on because it is harder to get the resistance exactly right.

Then after you do that for a while drop it down to 3 or 4 sets for major body parts. Start training to failure and just keep working on increasing the reps until you get where you are doing 7 or 8 reps on everything. Then find your new 4 rep max and go back to the triples.

In case you didn't guess this already from what I wrote, other then cable pulldown and a calf machine, stick with barbell or dumbbell.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:32 am 
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Bananas wrote:
so about the chest thing. will doing that many exercises slow growth at all? if not, couldnt you do that with every body part and gain very fast?


Overtraining won't just slow growth, it will stop and even reverse it.

If you want to get the benefits of exercise, you have to make it part of your lifestyle. Working out regularly and sensibly over a period of time will produce results. The crash course training that you 're doing will lead to burnout and even injury. You've already quit training before, I suspect, for that reason.

As for specific training advice, start here:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Instructions.html


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:47 pm 
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Optimal training volume is inversely related to training frequency. For example, if you only train chest once per week, you can perform more exercises/sets per workout then someone who trains chest 3 days per week (although they may be performing more total sets per week). However, your friend's workouts are probably excessive in any program.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:17 pm 
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Optimal training volume is also highly individual. What works well for one person, may be excessive for someone. Likewise, what worked well for me at 16 wouldn't work nearly as well today at 25.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:25 pm 
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Also, while some muscle soarness is normal and perfectly acceptable, it isn't a very good indicator of the effectiveness of a workout. For example, doing a marothon leg workout with light weights and very high reps would burn the hell out of my legs and probably make me very soar for days afterwards, but it's not the best way to build strength and muscle mass in my legs.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:20 am 
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thanks for the feedback guys.


so basically, how do i know when im doing too much? how do i figure out what my optimal training volume per week is for each muscle? it seems like something i should get on quick so i can optimize my workout for the most efficient gains.

i guess it has to do with trial and error, but trial and error of what? so far ive only been able to tell by my body being sore in certain spots.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:03 am 
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Well 3 or 4 sets per body part per week to failure should at least be a good starting point. Then more sets if you don't go to failure. Intensity and volume should have an inverse relationship.

Try the training protocol I listed and see how that feels. It is for once a week training by the way. Your 3x8 where you pyramid up so only the last set is to failure would be good for a 3 times a week full body. If you want to do a split with a pyramid do 5x8 where the first couple are warm ups, the 3rd is fairly hard, the 4th is just short of failure and the 5th you fail in the 6 to 8 rep range. Or do 3X8 to failure once a week. You should be doing heavier weights with lower reps though if your main goal is strength.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:19 am 
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ok il give that a shot, and anotehr quick question before bed. does it matter how fast you actualy push the weight? lets say that you have perfect form either way, fast or slow, what is better? will doing it faster make you more explosive?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:36 am 
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whenever I start to train people in the gym the firt things I would teach them is that it has to be a part of your life and it should not be an on off thing,also before you even start to lift heavier weights you must learn how to do each exercise properly.I also believe that the most powerful tool you can have is your mind.always be in control of your weights as going too fast with heavy weights will lead to a lot of unwanted pain and injury.With my clients I have had A lot of success with the 5-day a week program for the first six months,which is--

Monday--chest
dumbell press 3x10 reps
incline dumbell press 3x10 reps
pec fly 3x10 reps

Tuesday-- back
seated row 3x10 reps
lat pulldowns 3x10reps
goodmornings 3x10 reps
shrugs 3x10 reps

Wednesday legs
sqauts 3x10 reps
hamstring curls 3x10 reps
quadricep exstensions 3x10 reps
calf raises 3x10 reps

Thursday shoulders
military press 3x10 reps
side lateral raises 3x10 reps
rear lateral raises 3x10 reps
shrugs 3x10 reps

Friday arms
tricep exstensions 3x10 reps
close grip dips 3x10 reps
dumbell bicep curls 3x10 reps
concentration curls 3x10 reps
reverse preacher curl 3x10 reps

Each day should take around 45mins -60 mins to complete,get to know your body first before you take it to the next level.If you are at this level then I think Ironman advice is spot on,Also remember that the only person you should compete with at the gym is yourself.
Goodluck and I hope you achieve your goals that you have set for yourself.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:17 pm 
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For where you are at tempo isn't going to matter a lot right now. Fast at the beginning of the lift will help with power, then go slow when you lower it to get the most out of the negative.

I like Big's opening paragraph, that's right on. I don't know about that program though. The legs part is awful quad heavy, with not much for hams. People in their first 6 months will grow on anything. No need to give them something like that. It really just looks like a lower volume version of the steroid workout with the random muscle splits and lots of isolation. I never did get the pec-fly thing. You've just taken the triceps and most of the front delts out of the press and put yourself at a mechanical disadvantage so you can't lift much weight. It doesn't even hit the chest from another angle like people think. Look at what your upper arm does in the bench press, now look at what it does in the fly. The elbow flexion is the only difference. If you want to hit the chest at another angle split the sternal work between flat and decline and then do an equal amount of clavicular work in the form of inclines. Then of course dumbbell and barbell will also work the chest differently. Also lower back seems to go batter with legs because it works more with squat/deadlift then it does with upper body pulling motions. If I had to split it 5 ways, I would do this.

pressing: Flat, incline, overhead
pulling: back workout and then some rear delt rows
additional upper body assistance work: shurgs, laterals and arm isolation
lower body w/ quad focus: squats, calf raises etc.
lower body w/ ham focus: deadlift variations and then an isolations set for abs.

really you shouldn't need to split it 5 ways unless all your workouts need to be under 30 minutes though.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Big G, I see nothing wrong with that schedule for an intermediate, possibly, but don't you think it's way too top heavy. I'm full body oriente, plus O lifting oriented, but that said, an uppr lower split I would recommend for beginners would be along these lines.
http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/QUALITY4.htm
Tim


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:28 pm 
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I would definitely drop the leg extensions and add some form of deadlift (or just move good mornings to leg day). Also, I don't think it's neccissary to lift 5 days a week. 3 or 4 days per week is fine.


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