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Johnny
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Need advice

Post by Johnny » Wed May 06, 2009 10:42 am

Hello, I'm a beginner in weight lifting. I'm 23, 174cm height and 75kg weight. My waist is 34', a little chubby. I've been lifted weight for 3 months consistently. I won't count the 3-month incorrectly working before that. Now my shape look a lot better than before. Unfortunately, I've just started working on my legs for only a month (the first 2-month I work only my upper part and ABs) because I do other exercises a lot and working on my leg makes my legs too tired to do them. Now I'm trying to balance it.
I use upper/lower split routine. Actually, I want to use 3-day split, because i find my upper part working is very hard to completed in an hour, but I don't have that much time to go to the gym 3 days in a row. Here's my routine.

Upper Part
Chest Bench Press x3
Chest Incline Bench Press x2
Chest Decline Bench Press x2
Back Seated Row x3
Back Cable Pull Down x3
Back Shrug x2
For chest and back, I work it alternately, i.e. BP 1set > Seated Row 1set > BP 1set, to reduce my time.
Shoulder Shoulder Press x2
Shoulder Upright Row x3
Triceps Lying Tricep Extension x4 (use light weight in the last set)
Biceps Curl x4 (use light weight in the last set)
Preacher Curl x2 (light weight)
+ Eliptical 30 min
For more information, I use the weight that i can lift 11-12 reps for the first set and then increase the weight (also decrease in reps) for the next set. The reason for doing 4 sets with my upper arms is because I barely lift in the third set (only 3-4 reps). I complete all the workouts within an hour (toughly), sometimes I need 5-10 minutes more, and then I do the cardio.

Lower Part
Squat x2
Straight-leg Dead Lift x3
Carlves Raise x2
Squat (wide stance) x2
V-up 15x4 and then do other ABs until 1 hour.
I'm trying to increase all the sets to 3 after my legs are strong enough. I also swim and do other light exercises in my day off.

And here is my question, I'm thinking about buying a barbell, EZ bar and a rack. Actually, I want a smith machine with a pull down cable but I can't afford that. Is there any difference between using a smith machine and a free weight? Because I always use a smith machine at the gym with every workout that it can be used and I like it. Also, with only a barbell, how can I work my Lats? I don't have a place to do Chin-up at my apartment. And I hate to do Bent-over Row to work my back. I used to do it and my lower back hurts so I do Seated Row instead.

Thanks for answers and any advice or suggestion. And sorry for my bad English.


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Re: Need advice

Post by pdellorto » Wed May 06, 2009 3:15 pm

Hi, welcome aboard.
Johnny wrote:Hello, I'm a beginner in weight lifting. I'm 23, 174cm height and 75kg weight. My waist is 34', a little chubby. I've been lifted weight for 3 months consistently. I won't count the 3-month incorrectly working before that. Now my shape look a lot better than before.
I take it the goal is overall fitness and maybe losing a little of the flab? You don't state it outright, and 174cm/75kg isn't too big to me (I knew lots of guys in that weight range).


<SNIP>

I think your routine could use a little bit of work. I won't go into the heavy detail because I'm pressed for time now. Here is my standard cut-and-paste spiel:

http://strength-basics.blogspot.com/200 ... for-x.html

Short version is your workout seems pretty well packed; it doesn't need to be. You can get a lot done on a lot fewer exercises. You can probably get more done on fewer exercises, actually, which means you can finish faster and be better off in the process.

Johnny wrote: And here is my question, I'm thinking about buying a barbell, EZ bar and a rack.
Good choice, although you really don't need the EZ Curl bar. It's got a few uses, but the barbell can do all of the things you've want to use the EZ Curl bar for and more.
Johnny wrote:Actually, I want a smith machine with a pull down cable but I can't afford that. Is there any difference between using a smith machine and a free weight?
Yes, there is. You won't find many Smith machine boosters here. The smith machine forces the bar into a single path, so you don't have to stabilize the weight. This can potentially injure you over the long haul (because you conform to the machine, it doesn't conform to you) and it cuts down on your usable, functional strength. Because the bar is stabilized for you, your body doesn't need to do that work...meaning you're getting less of a workout than you would with the same weight (or even less weight) on a free bar.

Armed with a rack and a full-sized barbell you can squat, deadlift, floor press (a bench press without the bench), standing press, and more. That's going to put you far ahead of anything you can really get out of the Smith machine.

Other guys can chime in more.

The pulldown cable can be very useful, but you can get away without it for a long time. Just start working towards pullups - we have a few threads here full of suggestions on how to work up to one if you can't do one to start. If you get a rack, you can use the top bar of the rack for chinups and pullups. I haven't seen a rack without such a bar, and I wouldn't advice getting one.

As for your lats, you can work them directly with dumbbell bent-over rows - no worries on the back, it doesn't need to stabilize that much weight.

Hope that all helps.

Peter

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Re: Need advice

Post by hari » Wed May 06, 2009 6:51 pm

Hi,Johnny

You might be doing more simple and more effective training than.
I think it is good choise to do Upper/Lower spilt routine,but as i said before
you dont need to do too much exercises.

About bench press is too much!you should do at least bench press or incline bench press.Normal just doing Normal bench press you can certainly become stornger,more mass or more fat loss.

This is for Upper body

Pecs:Barbell Bench 3 5 90 sec
Delts: Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2 8 90 sec
Traps :Dumbbell Shrugs 2 8 90 sec
Forearms: Reverse Barbell Curls 2 8 90 sec
Full Body: Barbell Deadlifts 3 5 90 sec

And this is for Lower body

Legs: Barbell Squat 3setsx5 90 sec
Lats: Pull-Ups 2sets8 90 sec
Upper Abs Crunches: 3sets 25 90 sec
Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raises: 3sets25 90 sec
Neck Neck Bridge*: 3sets0 90 sec

Other Exellent guys will tell you about your routine :razz:

Thanks for answers and any advice or suggestion. And sorry for my bad English.

No,you english very very fine,not like me :wink:

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Post by hoosegow » Wed May 06, 2009 8:03 pm

Friends don't let friends work on a Smith Machine.

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Post by Proper Knob » Thu May 07, 2009 4:43 am

Hari, that routine isn't very good.

5 sets of pushing and 2 for pulling. Deadlifts in the 'upper day' and Pullups and neck bridges in the lower day.

Why would someone who has only been training 3 months need to be doing neck bridges?


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Post by hari » Thu May 07, 2009 6:29 am

Why would someone who has only been training 3 months need to be doing neck bridges?

Insted of doing back shrug and upright rows,it is good to do neck bridge
for trapezius and Sternocleidomastoid.
What i really i want to say that for shoulder development it is enough
to do just Shoulder press and Bench press.I put this neck briges for the exchange of Neck bridges for back shrug and upright rows.


Deadlifts in the 'upper day'
you cant put Heavy deadlift in heavy squat day.you will explode your legs
and lower back.So i decided to put deadlift in upper routine.

what do you think??

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Post by Proper Knob » Thu May 07, 2009 7:14 am

Here's what i think.

1. Deadlifts belong in the lower-body split. You won't find many people who would put them in the upper-body split. Peoples legs and lower back aren't going to explode if you put them with squats, just alternate between light and heavy each workout.

2. Your routine doesn't incluce any horizontal pulling exercises that retract the shoulder-blades ie DB rows, Facepulls, BB Rows.

3. I don't recall seeing any routines that include neck bridges, now i'm not saying they aren't valid for some people, but definitely not for a beginner.

4. If a beginner is looking for a better routine, point them to the stickies. There are tons of good routines that have been thought through by professionals. As the Doc would say 'why reinvent the wheel?'.

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Post by stuward » Thu May 07, 2009 8:12 am

Proper Knob, you're bang on.

To the OP, the basic routines in the stickies are applicable to your case. You seem to currently be doing a conventional machine based routine, not unlike what the majority of the gym going public does. This type of training doesn't work. You need to do basic full body exercises with the proper loads to stimulate your body without forcing it into poor form.

The Bent Row is one of the most important exercises you're not doing. Yes, it's challenging to your lower back. The answer is to strengththen your lower back and use proper form. That's why a program like "Starting Strength" is so effective. Followed properly, it will progressively challenge your lower back and teach proper form.

The only equipment you need is a barbell, a squat cage and a bench (flat will do but adjustable is better). The squat cage should have chin up bar attached. Dip bars are good too. If you want to add equipment later look at adjustable dumbbells or a couple of medium weight kettlebells.

Neck traiing is important for wrestlers and football players. If you're not one of these, don't bother with them.

Stu

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Post by hari » Thu May 07, 2009 8:19 am

Deadlifts belong in the lower-body split. You won't find many people who would put them in the upper-body split. Peoples legs and lower back aren't going to explode if you put them with squats, just alternate between light and heavy each workout.
umm......not convienced yet.
I think that heavy deadlifting is one of the best overall muscle-building exercises.Not focus on only lower body. While it is true that the squat does rank as one of the best size builders (and on this basis alone should be included in everyone's program), the deadlift, in my opinion, builds the upper and lower body like no other movement.
So from this logicaly it isnt good to put together with squat.
I certainly know that DEADLIFT isnt part of upperbody.
In fact, the deadlift is the most effective exercise for building the core strength that supports all other major muscle groups.

Your routine doesn't incluce any horizontal pulling exercises that retract the shoulder-blades ie DB rows, Facepulls, BB Rows.
Pull-ups or weight pull ups maybe it`s enough for horizontal pulling exercises.

If a beginner is looking for a better routine, point them to the stickies. There are tons of good routines that have been thought through by professionals. As the Doc would say 'why reinvent the wheel?'.
Sorry,Propes..... i cant understand this meanings. :red:

Anyway,this routine which i wrote isnt my thought.It is the book from Warriors of Training for biginner athletes.

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Post by stuward » Thu May 07, 2009 8:30 am

Pull ups are not a substitute for rows. Although they apear similar they work different muscles. You need to pull in the horizontal plane in order to balance the horizontal pushing that most people do too much of.

Warriors of Training sounds like it is specifically for martial arts trainees, although I can't find a reference for a book by that name. In any case, it's not appropriate for everyone.

I agree that deadlifts work the whole body but it taxes the legs and lower back the most. That means that you have to consider your squatting schedule in your routine as there is tremendous overlap between the 2.

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Post by Johnny » Thu May 07, 2009 12:45 pm

Thanks for all advices
Now, I'll focus more on free weight. I've already order a barbell with a rack and a adjustable bench. But my rack is indeed don't have a bar to do Chinups or Pullups. It's just a small rack, not a power rack. And I thought BB Bent-over Row work with the middle back and does not focus on Lats.

Also my friend suggest that I should use Push/Pull/Legs 3-day split routine instead, then I can finish each day with only 45 minutes. Because now I don't have to bother go to the gym anymore and I can do the exercises 5 days a week at home. He's a huge guy that have been lifted weight for years. I don't know whether it's too much for me or not.

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Post by pdellorto » Thu May 07, 2009 7:27 pm

Johnny wrote:Also my friend suggest that I should use Push/Pull/Legs 3-day split routine instead, then I can finish each day with only 45 minutes.
Do you mean something like:

Monday: Push
Wednesday: Pull
Friday: Legs

Or do you mean one each of Push/Pull/Legs MWF?

There is a big difference. For a beginner, most of the programs you'll find in the sticky will look like the latter. You'll work legs 3x a week. Because you get such a positive effect from working legs and working the whole body each time, beginning routines very rarely split up the body or split up movements.


In my opinion, you're probably better off doing a full-body workout that involves push, pull, and legs on every day you lift. That's a good way to start, and because a beginner (or even relative beginner) can recover so quickly from lifting you get the benefits of working your whole body hard 3x a week. Intermediate and advanced lifters - folks who've lifted beyond those linear beginning gains - benefit more from splits because the amount of work they need to do each time makes hitting the whole body a problem. MattZ on these forums does a Push day, Pull day, Leg day workout.

That's not to make it out like "Beginner" and "Intermediate" and "Advanced" are value judgments. They're not. Beginners are folks who can pretty much go to the gym and add more strength and muscle in a linear fashion workout to workout. Squat on Monday, and then squat again heavier on Wednesday, and heavier still on Friday. An intermediate lifter isn't going to be able to do that, so they need to split the workout up a bit.

I hope that make sense, I'm not at my most eloquent right now. Basically, if your friend is saying do a Push Day, a Pull Day, and a Legs Day, it might work really well for him but generally beginners do better hitting everything each workout.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 07, 2009 10:58 pm

Not everyone can squat and dead lift on the same day. You young guys may be fine with it, but particularly dead lifting leaves me so exhausted, that I can't do much else of use in the same workout. Maybe it's my age, but I've been much happier since I separated them. I'm not a fan of upper/lower splits, but maybe that's just me.

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Post by hari » Thu May 07, 2009 11:15 pm

Not everyone can squat and dead lift on the same day. You young guys may be fine with it, but particularly dead lifting leaves me so exhausted, that I can't do much else of use in the same workout.

Thats right! thanks Doctor.Even for young men must be tought to train
squat and deadlift on the same day.I have never said impposible to
train toghether.

My opinion is if you work your Squats or Dead's heavy and hard enough in a workout you shouldn't have enough energy to do the other lift in the same workout. Yes I know I don't squat or deadlift the heaviest in the world, but when I do a squat workout I am whiped out by the time I am done with squats, and same with deadlifts.
if you squat heavy, and then move to the deadlift and perform the dead heavy, there is no doubt that the lower back is prefatigued.


example;
Last edited by hari on Fri May 08, 2009 2:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Johnny » Thu May 07, 2009 11:37 pm

Err, It's ABCABXX, CABCAXX, BCABCXX.
Or maybe, I can do the workout 6 days a week ABCABCX. I think it's kinda good idea since I can finish my workout for only 50 minutes each day without hustle.

I've already read the routines for a beginner in the sticky. They mostly train legs back and chest, but I want to work my arms too. Also, I wonder how long beginning period is? I used to do the workout every other day for my first 2-month(unfortunately with my upper part only). But in 7th-8th week, I feel my body still tired with only a day of rest. That's why I change to do a split routine.


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