New trainee, routine and results

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  • June 9, 2006 at 11:51 am #547

    Hey to all. 28 year old male here, first time in my life I’ve ever been to the gym and have been going for 4 weeks so far.
    I am about 6 foot 2 and only weigh ~70 kilos (3kg more than when I started, though… of course this is largely due to simply not eating much before), so clearly my aim is to put on some muscle mass. Of course, being so slim I also have very little body fat (my lower arms look almost horrific during a workout due to the visibility of my veins). Even so, I do not have extremely well defined abs. You can see a bit of an outline though πŸ™‚ Mostly I want to get my chest sticking out further than my belly button (right now they’re about equal) and to get some more width on my shoulders (is this even possible??) πŸ™‚
    Anyway, here is the weight routine I am doing, as set up by one of the gym instructors on my first day. I do this same routine 3 times a week after work (monday, wednesday, friday). I aim to do 3 sets of each exercise, with a max of 12 reps per set (although for some of the exercises I sometimes fail after 6 or so reps on the third set). I’m not entirely sure about some of the weights since I have upped them quite a lot since starting.

    Lat pull down 45kg (fail at about 10 on third)
    Seated row 190kg (as above)
    Pec dec, #7 on the weight stack (this one is the easiest to do 3x 12)
    Chest press ~160kg? (not sure… it’s on my card…)
    Overhead press 170kg (fail a bit sooner on this one)
    Lateral raises 12 lb dumbells (newly added, man this one hurts πŸ˜€ )
    Bicep curls 20 lb dumbells
    Triceps (pull down on a machine with upper arms locked) 30 kg.

    As you can see only the lateral raises, and biceps are using free weights.
    When I leave the gym I feel a bit sore, but that goes away pretty fast most days (ie, before I go to bed). I’d like any advice on this routine, especially the thing that seems most odd to me… I do each set to failure (or 12 max on the first set), and I am using weights heavy enough to “fail on” after 6 – 8 reps on my third set, but I don’t stay sore for long after I leave.

    I also wonder if I am training each muscle group too often in a week, since I repeat the same routine 3 times. Is this a valid concern, or is 3 times a week OK?

    Diet wise, I have greatly increased my protein intake, largely through shakes (lite white + vitasoy chocolate + a bit of vanilla essense + teaspoon of milo + big scoop and a half of musashi G2 vanilla is addictively delicious). The G2 stuff is waaaaaay too expensive though, I think I will “cut” it with MF whey protein isolate πŸ™‚

    June 10, 2006 at 2:50 am #2692

    @archon wrote:

    Lat pull down 45kg (fail at about 10 on third)
    Seated row 190kg (as above)
    Pec dec, #7 on the weight stack (this one is the easiest to do 3x 12)
    Chest press ~160kg? (not sure… it’s on my card…)
    Overhead press 170kg (fail a bit sooner on this one)
    Lateral raises 12 lb dumbells (newly added, man this one hurts πŸ˜€ )
    Bicep curls 20 lb dumbells
    Triceps (pull down on a machine with upper arms locked) 30 kg.

    Is it me or are there no leg exercises here?

    @archon wrote:

    I also wonder if I am training each muscle group too often in a week, since I repeat the same routine 3 times. Is this a valid concern, or is 3 times a week OK?

    3 sets per exercise is probably a bit much if doing 3 times per week. 1-2 sets should do it. There are probably a few other things that could change (such as leg exercises!) but if you’re getting stronger and putting on weight I’d stick at it until progress stalls. Then there are a zillion and one choices for your program most of which would be better than the one you’re on now.

    @archon wrote:

    Diet wise, I have greatly increased my protein intake, largely through shakes (lite white + vitasoy chocolate + a bit of vanilla essense + teaspoon of milo + big scoop and a half of musashi G2 vanilla is addictively delicious). The G2 stuff is waaaaaay too expensive though, I think I will “cut” it with MF whey protein isolate πŸ™‚

    Why not. I’ve always thought this was a good option for all those people (and that’s probably most people) who are fussy about flavor.

    J

    June 10, 2006 at 4:20 am #2693

    Thanks for your advice. You’re right, I left out squats… I don’t always do them since sometimes a gym day happens to fall the day after I decide to do a run, and my legs are usually feeling pretty sore. The squats are also on a machine, runs up at an angle. I do them on maybe 3 out of 5 gym days.

    The weight I have put on may well be 50% just having more food in my system. Before I started training I had about the worst diet you could possibly imagine. Skipped breakfast, didn’t always have lunch at work, drank only coke, dinner often came from the servo across the road at about midnight. Now that I’m eating real meals, and never skip breakfast, I simply have more mass in my digestive tract πŸ˜€ Although I have noticed some increase in my bicep size already. How much weight can I realistically expect to put on in any given month?

    I will try dropping to two sets of 12 and try to make sure I push hard for all 12 on the second set instead of saving anything to start a third. What are some of these zillion other choices? πŸ™‚ Currently my routine takes about an hour, so if I drop to two sets it seems I will have a bit of “time to spare” before I start hitting the point where it is no longer doing any good. I’m thinking about adding dumbell flys, since the pec dec doesn’t really seem to crush the chest all that much (which was a surprise).

    I’m also building a “diet/meal database” (being a database programmer). I’m building it in sql server, there’s a “free” cut down version of the server component that can be distributed with apps, and I was wondering if this is something other people might find useful. Right now the main feature is the ability to add a “meal template”, like “chicken parmesan”, which you can then “eat”, and it automatically adds all the seperate ingredients to your intake list with their protein and kj content.

    June 11, 2006 at 9:39 pm #2694

    The leg machine that you are using is a leg press. It is quite different to squats but a good exercise nonetheless.

    You will be able to add about 10 kgs a year for a couple of years more than likely.

    Dumbell flyes are a good exercise but there are some technique issues so you would need to get someone to show you the proper form and get them to watch you so see that you are doing them correctly. Try squeezing the elbows together on the pec deck rather than pushing with your hands. It is possible to rotate the shoulder forward and use mostly front delt to complete the movement.

    If you have spare time, add in leg curls and standing calf raises. Your legs aren’t getting much attention at the moment.

    There are better programs out there but my opinion is that a very simple program like this is actually best for beginners. You will still grow and you don’t have any complicated rep schemes or difficult exercises to make it unnecessarily difficult.

    Watch other people and ask questions and you’ll soon be able to modify your own program. Some people don’t talk in the gym but you can still ask here.

    June 13, 2006 at 1:42 pm #2695

    Cheers Bull.

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