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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:32 am 
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Hi guys

I'm a newbie here with some questions regarding cutting.

I don't know if you guys are familiar with a site called Bodybuilding.c*m and in their weight loss section there is a sticky on weight loss. http://forum.bodybuilding.**m/showthrea ... =129247741

I personally like the plan and I follow the "eat 1g protein/LB of LBM" and exercise 3 days a week. However, I have a knee problem that forbid me from doing anything that requires bending my knee (such as squats) and I only own a pair of 10lb dumbbells at home with no gym membership. The above link said to workout 15-16 reps/set and 3 sets for the following guideline:

Day1: 3 x Chest, 2 x Biceps, 1 x Abs
Day2: Rest
Day3: 4 x Legs, 2 x Shoulders
Day4: Rest
Day5: 2 x Back, 2 x Triceps, 1 x Traps, 1 x Abs
Day6: Rest
Day7: Rest

3 x Chest: BB Presses, DB Incline Presses, Dips
2 x Biceps: DB Curls, Concentration/Cable Curls
1 x Abs: Situps
4 x Legs: Squats or Leg Presses, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Calf Raises
2 x Shoulders: DB presses, Seated Rear Lateral DB Raises
2 x Back: Pullups, Cable Pulldowns
2 x Triceps: Skull Crushers, Cable Pushdowns
1 x Traps: DB Shrugs
1 x Abs: Leg Raises

I guess my question is:

On the weight loss section on exrx it says something like since i'm a total beginner, any exercise I do will be beneficial. I currently am following the whole body workout by choosing an exercise for every major muscle group and do 2 sets of 8-12reps each. This seems a lot easier than what the above sticky recommended. Which one should I abide to? The Exrx's 2 sets of 8-12reps is doable (towards EASY) and the bodybuilding.c*m's sticky was very very hard for me. I did it once when I still had a gym membership and it killed my arms (it would hurt even after a week). Should I stick with my 2 sets of 8-12reps or tweak that and make it harder? OR should I follow the bodybuildling's sticky.

This is the exercise I designed with the help of exrx's resources...

step-up, calf raise, bent-over row, shoulder press, push-up on knees, curl, tricep extension, and crunch (arms down). I couldn't do any form of deadlift because I really don't know how to do it and I watched a lot of videos. I'm really afraid I'll hurt my back.

Sidenote:

1. Would you guys be so kind to recommend me any other exercises that I could do to strengthen my back

2. My knee has some problems due to weak muscle on the leg. Other than the exercises my Physical therapist ordered, can you guys recommend some more patellofemoral exercises.

3. I'm just curious to learn the mechanism/concept on why weak muscle would cause pain in knee.

This is a lot of stuff and I'm truly sorry for such long post.

Thank you very much guys.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:16 am 
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Let me warn you in advance, that people in your position right now tend to find a lot of very different advice, and often get really frustrated. Try to be patient, keep learning, then chose a way to go. Try something for a while, the evaluate the results and change if you need to.

First of all, remember that BB.com is a specialized site for bodybuilders. We are a general-purpose exercise site with a variety of members. We include body builders, general health exercise people, strength trainers, strongman competitors, etc., etc. So is a way, this is a good place to come for advice, but also bad if you are hoping for a simple answer. There aren't any simple answers, here or anywhere.

The routine from BB.com is unwieldy for beginners, and looks to me more like it's intended for advance bodybuilders.

The main EXRX site has tons of good information, but I don't feel like it's the best and certainly not the easiest way to build a good routine. You can't possibly pick an exercise for every muscle--there are way, too many for this to even be possible. Instead of thinking of muscles or even muscle groups, think about movements. You need only one exercise for each major movement. These include 4 kinds of upper body and 2 kinds of lower body movements:

Vertical press (like military press)
Horizontal press (like bench press)
Vertical pull (like chinups)
Horizontal pull (like rows)
Knee-dominant legs (squat-like movements)
Hip-dominant legs and back (deadlift-related movements)

If you are afraid of deadlift because you are afraid of hurting your back, but on the other hand ask for an exercise to strengthen your back, you probably haven't thought about the fact that any exercise that can strengthen your back can hurt it. It is possible to learn to DL from the internet and youtube, but it would be better if you had a good trainer to teach you. There are other exercises that can be used in the place of DL.

I wrote a long post (not an unusual thing for me) on another thread about the characteristics of a good routine. Here. Later in the same thread, Ironman (who considers himself primarily a bodybuilder, by the way) makes this statement: "I would recommend doing a very simple routine. Flat and incline press, rows, chins, squats, deadlifts. If you do that, you really can't go wrong." The only thing that would be different from what I'd say is that he suggests incline bench where I'd suggest military press.

So there you have it.

This is what I suggest:

Do two alternating workouts. One day do a squat (could be a lunge, step-up, etc), bench press and row. The next day do a deadlift (or other related exercise), chinups and either military press or incline bench. Start with easy weights, and do 3 sets of 5. Warm up for that with a set that's about half your working weight and one that's about 3/4 of the working weight. Keep the weights fairly light for the first few weeks, then gradually add a little weight each time. When you can't add weight and still do 3 sets of 5, check back for more ideas. Do them at least a day apart, but average 3 days a week.

About your knee, I don't know how a weak muscle can cause knee pain, at least not in such simple terms. There are weaknesses that can lead to improper tracking of of the patella. Did they give you a more technical-sounding name for your condition? What exercises did they recommend? If the source of your problems is weakness, then instead of shying away from exercises that put demands on the knee, you may need to start doing some.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm
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i would join a gym mate. You'll outgrow those 10lb dumbells really quickly


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:04 am 
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Like Doc said, we are a variety of bunch, with different experience, training and education. I think we need one physiotherapist or some kind of real rehab -specialist here.

Your knee problem is very shady to say the least. I would consult the physical therapist more about the issue. Just saying that you need to train the patellofemoral muscles and you can't actually do anything with your knees brings us pretty fast to deadlock. Reasons why:
1) Patellofemoral mainly means the anterior knee. Aka the joint and the patella, or the kneecap so to speak. The only muscles that go near the anterior knee are sartorius, quadriceps femoris, TFL and one of the adductors. But the only one that actually goes trough the patella is quadriceps femoris
2) The main function of quadriceps femoris is the extension of the knee. The long head rectus femoris also flexes the hip.
3) There is no movements that don't require bending your knee. But if you can do non-resistant knee flexion, you could try knee extension exerices. First at light weight and lots of reps, then increasing the amount of weight/resistance and lowering the amount of reps. Only if it doesn't hurt.

Other possible solutions that could be possible (But not most likely): Knee stability work (unilateral work, strengthening the stabilizers and nearly all the muscles around the joint. Anterior (quads), posterior(hamstrings) and lateral(TFL) atleast. Soft tissue work could also work. Like foam/tennis ball rolling on your hamstrings and TFL (Tensor Fascia Latae btw).

I would ask more advice from the actual professionals, as we don't really know anything else that your knee hurts. When it hurts? Where the pain is at? What's your background? etc. Personal information could help also.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:01 pm 
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I substituted regular dead lifts with trap bar dead lifts when I started having some back (and age) issues. There's not much to worry about form wise, just "push your heels through the floor", it works well for me. Its just a thought. It really doesn't work your back as conventional dl's so I'll do some rack pulls as an accessory exercise.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:05 pm 
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patellofemoral exercises aren't really a thing. Patellofemoral just means "of the kneecap/femur" so you can have a patellofemoral tendon, you can have patellofemoral pain syndrome, patellofemoral arthritis, and so forth. I would suggest looking at foam rolling/mobilizing commonly tight structures that act on the knee like the IT band, and strengthening commonly weak structures like the VMO.

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