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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:41 pm 
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n00b
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:21 pm
Posts: 8
Hi All,

It’s been a while since I sought advice for my workouts, however it seems that I have hit a sort of plateau. It seems quite difficult for me to lose weight or gain muscle these days! I am 27 years old and have worked out on and off for about 8 years. I’ve never pushed serious poundage but I was very dedicated when I was a Marine. I need some assistance with an exercise program. I love doing compound movements and I really love barbells over dumbbells. I hate doing multiple exercises per body part as I have always felt this was for body builders, which I am not aspiring to become! I am 5’5” and weight 210lbs. I have a squat rack, bench, incline bench, barbell, ez-curl bar and a pair of 25 and 35lb dumbbells. I believe my biggest weaknesses are my biceps and my calves. My MAIN goal is to gain muscle, however in the next few weeks the majority of my energy will be devoted to fat loss.

I have looked into the Bill Phillips “Body for Life” workouts and like the approach of simplicity, however will this get me to my goal of becoming stronger and leaner (who’s isn’t!) or will it only be good for a short period of time? I’m looking for a workout I can stick with for a while without having to change around exercises, but instead change the weight or repetitions. I have based myself on the following exercises to hit most body parts:

Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Triceps Extension, Barbell Row, Barbell Curl, Squats, and Barbell Calve raises. I also have dumbbells to use in order to supplement my curls and calves, since they are my weakest points. I have 2 main workouts I am considering. All involve 3 sets per exercise, 6-10 repetitions, where I will bump up the weight when I can comfortably get 3 sets of 10. I am unsure of the best rest time as I have tried 1min, 90 sec. and 2mins. I can do best with 2 mins but perhaps this is too much time? These are the setups I am considering:

Monday: Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Triceps Extension
Wednesday: Barbell Row, Curls, Dumbell Curls
Friday: Squats, Barbell Calve Raises, Dumbell Calve Raises

Monday: Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Triceps Extension
Tuesday: Row, Curls, Dumbell Curls
Thursday: Shoulder Press, Upright Rows, Shrugs
Friday: , Barbell Calve Raises, Dumbell Calve Raises

I feel sore the day following a workout and am worried this may affect my abilities if I do 2 days back to back, however with the 3 day split I don’t appear to be getting enough exercises in. As for cardio, I have been riding my spinning bike 30mins a day Mon - Fri, and 3 weeks ago bumped it up to 45mins without any progress in fat loss. I also perform crunches before riding my bike. Perhaps I am doing something wrong there as well.

For nutrition, I normally have a bowl of Special K cereal with skim milk in the morning. I have 2 chicken breasts (Shake n Baked for flavor) for lunch. For dinner, I have whatever is available and made, usually chicken, pasta, or another bowl of cereal. I have tried protein shakes and they leave me unable to sleep. I also have creatine but have decided to wait until I lose some weight before taking it.

Overall, after reading my situation, I would like to ask those experienced in this area to assist in answering these questions:

1. Which exercise program appears to be the best bet for my goals, and why?
2. Would you change anything on this program to make it even better?
3. What is your recommended rest between exercises for my goals?
4. Should I change my cardio to days off, or should I just change my intensity and time?
5. Any suggestions on my nutrition for weight loss?

Thanks again for all of your input, I look forward to some great responses and ideas for me to use.

Rod


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:32 pm 
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Apprentice
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:38 pm
Posts: 139
Location: New York
Rod007 wrote:
Hi All,


Monday: Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Triceps Extension
Wednesday: Barbell Row, Curls, Dumbell Curls
Friday: Squats, Barbell Calve Raises, Dumbell Calve Raises

I feel sore the day following a workout and am worried this may affect my abilities if I do 2 days back to back, however with the 3 day split I don’t appear to be getting enough exercises in. As for cardio, I have been riding my spinning bike 30mins a day Mon - Fri, and 3 weeks ago bumped it up to 45mins without any progress in fat loss. I also perform crunches before riding my bike. Perhaps I am doing something wrong there as well.

For nutrition, I normally have a bowl of Special K cereal with skim milk in the morning. I have 2 chicken breasts (Shake n Baked for flavor) for lunch. For dinner, I have whatever is available and made, usually chicken, pasta, or another bowl of cereal. I have tried protein shakes and they leave me unable to sleep. I also have creatine but have decided to wait until I lose some weight before taking it.

Overall, after reading my situation, I would like to ask those experienced in this area to assist in answering these questions:

1. Which exercise program appears to be the best bet for my goals, and why?
2. Would you change anything on this program to make it even better?
3. What is your recommended rest between exercises for my goals?
4. Should I change my cardio to days off, or should I just change my intensity and time?
5. Any suggestions on my nutrition for weight loss?

Thanks again for all of your input, I look forward to some great responses and ideas for me to use.

Rod


Here is what I would do. Others might have different advice.

Let's take your workout:
Monday: Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Triceps Extension
Wednesday: Barbell Row, Curls, Dumbell Curls
Friday: Squats, Barbell Calve Raises, Dumbell Calve Raises

I see some things that are missing:
1. Vertical Pulling - chin-ups/pull-ups/lateral pulldowns. Get a chinning bar. This is important. It will help a lot with your problem area: biceps.
2. Do you deadlift?
3. Single Leg work- lunges, split squats, step-ups

Another note is that I belive calfs are developed better with exercises like http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Oly ... gPull.html and other Olympic pulling variations as opposed to calf raises. Of course there is nothing wrong with calf raises.

With that in mind I would modify the workout as follows:
Monday: Deadlift, Bench Press, Barbell Row, Triceps Extension
Wednesday: Lunge, Shoulder Press, Stetp-up, Chin-up, Curls,
Friday: Squats, HangPull, Barbell Calve Raises

That's three full body sessions (I am a fan of full body training or upper/lower splits, there are others on this sire are more into splits beyond upper lower). Full body workouts are superrior for fat loss as they simply burn more calories during the workout and post workout. Add lots of veggies and some fruit.

Cardio: Do some form of interval training. It is superrior to steady state cardio when it comes to fat loss. Do this on the off days or after weights training for 15-20 minutes twice a week.

Nutrition: have snaks in between your breakfast and lunch as well as in between lunch and dinner. Cut the pasta from your dinner, unless you ahve dinner after training. No pasta on non-training days.

Rest periods depend on the rep range you are working in. 60 seconds after 10 rep sets, and 90 seconds after 6 rep sets is about right. The lower the reps the higher the rest period.


This is far from a complete answer, just some thoughts.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:23 am 
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n00b
n00b

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:21 pm
Posts: 8
Thanks for the reply George G. So you suggest I do the 3 days a week instead of 4. Instead of Push/Pull/Legs I see you take a more full-body approach. I used to deadlift but have managed to drop it out and never really thought of bringing it back up. As for chinups, I am still too heavy for my size to do much successful chinups. I try putting a chair to help but it leaves my back hurting. I think I will wait until I drop 20lb before starting to attempt those! I will try doing the interval training on Tuesday/Thursday with jumprope and heavybag punching. Thanks for the suggestions. I have some unsalted peanuts for snacking between meals, hopefully that helps boost my metabolism a bit! I am also cutting down the 45min rides in the morning to 20-30 mins of higher intensity cardio, until I lose 20-30lbs at least. Thanks for the Hang Pull also, I will try that out as I always go off balance when trying to do the barbell raises and it's quite annoying! I'm also used to 2min rests, so will probably have to drop weight for 1min rest, but I will give it a shot if it helps burn more fat and build muscle better!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:00 am 
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Novice
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:55 am
Posts: 53
I agree with George regarding the full body workouts, particularly for fat loss. Have you considered circuit training? I tried it last fall three days a week and lost about 15 pounds over four months. I wasn't 100% dedicated or I could have done better, but it was a great start.

What I like about it is that you get one hell of a cardio workout at the same time as you lift. You have to go lighter on the weights than if you incorporated longer rest periods. But I like doing that because when you are in a calorie deficient state with the goal of losing weight, it's harder to lift heavy weights.

After a year of losing weight, I decided about a month ago to bulk up. I'm doing an upper-lower body split four days a week (M-W-F-Su). Monday I go heavy on the legs with a big movement like the squat or deadlift and follow it with lighter weights and more reps on three or four other lower body lifts. I do something similar on Wednesday but for the bench and the rest of the upper body. Friday is also a leg day, but I focus on doing lighter weight with more repetitions. And the same on Sunday, but it's for the upper body. I try to get a mix of vertical and horizontal lifting in there as well.

So far, I've gained muscle mass, and my lifts are going up. You might look at something like this when you reach a point where you want to get bigger.


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