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 Post subject: Newbie
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Hi,

I just registered here and want to introduce myself.

I'm a 51 y.o. guy living in Maine, USA. I've lifted weights on and off since I was in high school and am lifting again. I have free weights at home wich consist of standard weights (not olympic), a Parabody inclining weight bench with leg extension/ham attachment (permanently attached), and a seperate squat rack. I also have some dumbells (plates) and a bar for chinups.

I was a member of the local gym, but that expired and I don't really have the money for it now anyway, so will be using my home gym (the cellar of pain) instead. I don't have anything for cardio (sold my rowing erg...dammit!), and am looking to pick something up. I have a bike, but it's getting a bit nippy here in Maine for outdoor riding.

What I'm going to do is get myself in the best shape and as ripped as I've ever been. It's a personal goal and I'm planning on journaling my progress with the intention of possibly writing a book. I've had some health issues, but none which should limit my goal. The big thing is that I've battled depression for most of my adult life, and really want to work my way through it via working out. I know that I need to include cardio work to up my endorphins, but I also know from the past that weight training also helps me feel better.

I guess what I'm hoping by joining this forum is help in achieving my goals and support. From the posts I've read, it seems like I can get both of these things met here, as well as giving whatever support I can.

I'm looking forward to learning from y'all (that's the Maryland in me).

Best


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:37 am 
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Hi Fast Twitch,

Welcome to the board. I'm sure you'll be able to find all the guidance you're hoping for. Lots of good members here for that. Lots of great information on this site (exrx.net) as well.

Good-luck and best wishes to you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:36 am 
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Well, what you do is load a barbell pretty light. Then a few reps each of some compound exercises like say row, bench, squat, deadlift at 10 or so reps each then rest 30 seconds or minute and do it all over again for how ever long you want. It will be light and won't eat into your recovery with your regular weight training, but it will get your heart pumping and give you a good cardio workout.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, guys.

I've been trying to work with a personal trainer that was a client of mine. This guy has won some international comps in bodybuilding, but his schedule is pretty tight. So, I think it's up to my own intiative to work out and get to a point where I've never been.

In that vein, I was wondering what you suggest as far as best routines. Like most people, I have limited time. Is there a way I can reasonably expect to gain strength and mass within a limited timeframe? Are there routines or ways to maximize my lifting so that I'll see the most gains (e.g. split routines)? Finally, what kind of healthy diet should I eat?

Oh, one more question: Like many folks, some parts of my body are developed better than others. For example, my quads are large, but my hams and calves aren't. My biceps are more developed than my triceps and wrists, etc. Is it okay to work the underdevloped areas harder than the bigger ones, or should I work the whole body out equally and expect the weaker areas to catch up naturally?

TIA

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:19 am 
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Ted, everyone has their own approach and when you have a set goal in mind, many people like to jump in there right away. My own tendency is to favour safety and a slow, planned progression.

If you haven't worked out in a while, I would forget about any bodybuilding goals for the time being and look instead to build a solid base first. Focus on proper form and exercise tecnique rather than load. Work the major muscle groups of the body. And build up some cardiovascular endurance. Never neglect a thorough warm-up and proper cool-down at every session. It's importance is always underated, but it's particularly significant at your age.

Nutrition is intricately tied to any fitness goal. Properly fuel your body to ensure you have sufficient energy to undertake your training regimen. If you want to gain muscle mass, you will need to take in more energy than you expend. If you want to 'get ripped', you will need to expend more energy than you take in to shed the body fat.

I would be start slowly, choosing a load I can comfortably lift for 8-12 reps making sure I have a few reps left in me on the last rep, because this is where the safety margin lies. I would start with a moderate tempo and avoid any rocking motion or unnecessary momentum. Finally, I would be patient and plan out my year in chunks of phases so that the goal I have today, I can achieve safely and effectively phase by phase in due time. But that's me. Everyone has their own approach.

Good-luck and very best wishes to you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:53 am 
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Ted, I was a bit confused, as at first you were talking about being ripped up, and then talking about strength and mass. The two don't exactly go hand in hand, although it can be acheived. Pick a reasonable goal first. Then decide which one you are going to pursue, FIRST. That said, I'd go with what Scribbles said. To be a little more specific about a program, stay here on the site. Go to the home page, read the beginners page. Then take a trip over to the Weight Training section, and under templates, it will step you through setting up a program, based on your nees.
Tim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:46 am 
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I've noticed "safety" tends to mean lifting to light. It's a silly notion to begin with. You can go beyond failure and be safe. You just need to maintain proper form. When you can't, that's failure and the set is over. Do a drop if you want to go beyond. With bench use the lower hooks if you can't get the last rep. Most things don't matter you can just put the weight down. Most lifts you would have to be a drooling moron to injure yourself. You can get a spotter too.

To save time I would say 1 set per exercise to failure with an upper lower split twice a week. Even with warmups and little stretching after you could be out of the gym in 30 minutes or less, depending on your rest breaks. Stick with compound and use isolation in moderation. Use the 6 to 8 rep range. You should get decent strength and mass gains on that for a while since you are a beginner.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:49 am 
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Or here's another idea. First part of the week do 8 to 10 to failure, then second part do 4 or 5 short of failure, but 2 sets and shorten the rest breaks since it won't take you as long to recover.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:36 pm 
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Scribbles,

Your suggestion to take it slow is a good one, and one I don't have much choice of at 51. I've lifted off and on since 17, so have some muscle tone and memory built up. Also, I was lifting quite a bit during much of last year, and had gotten into the best shape ever, for me.

I've been lifting again for about 3 months, and am starting to push myself into new territory, so want to make sure I do it properly and efficiently, as my time is limited.

Tim,

Yeah, I guess I have more to learn about this than I thought.

I've never been ripped, but have been a little muscle-bound at various times. Right now, I'm kind of lean and mean, but want to add strength and some mass. As for getting ripped, I don't realistically expect that I'll be able to do that alone - I think some kind of support from an experienced lifter will be necessary. So, I guess what I'm hoping for now is to lay a good foundation down so that if I really get serious about it, I can move up from there.

The personal trainer I wrote about previously trains people for competition. Not pro level, but as an incentive to get in shape (most who go to him are overweight and/or have health problems). The competition is amateur and local, but it is an incentive. I don't know if he'll take me on as a client, but am interested in pushing myself farther than I've ever been.

Your suggestions to check out other parts of this site are good, and I'll do that - thanks.

Ironman,

Well, for rank beginners, it might be a good idea to go light simply because there is no muscle memory or knowledge of proper technique. Injury is a big setback.

I think your shorter rep workouts are a good strategy. I've always tended to start with 8 reps to failure and up the weight when I can do 12 reps. I've always thought that lifting more weight than you can do in 8 reps was too much, but apparently, that isn't the case?

Thanks for your responses, guys. I have some planning to do...

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:58 am 
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The reason I said lower reps was because you list strength as a goal. So I gave you something that is kind of half strength half hypertrophy or at least it is for beginners. Going light doesn't mean 75% for 12 reps instread of 95% for 3. It means 50% for 10 instead of 80% for 10. Now 65% for 10 is cool if you do like 10 sets, but 50% isn't going to work for strength or hypertrophy. The only thing that will do is cardio. So if you go to failure, that is never light. The factors to my reccomendation are that you are a beginner who is short on time and wants a mix of strength and hypertrophy. Which is what I got out of your first post. Lower reps for strength, higher for hypertrophy. Low volume and split so it will be short.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:10 pm 
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Thanks, Ironman.

Having gone back and read more wtihin ths site, I've settled pretty much on what you've suggested. What I'm doing is a 2-day split routine, with a warm-up set then a shorter heavy set until failure. I've only done it twice, so it's too soon to tell how it's going, but it has helped with the time issue. I've been doing the full 2-set routine (8 to 12 reps) ever since I started lifting, so I'm eager to try new routines.


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