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  1. #1
    NutMeg's Avatar
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    Is this a good way to start?

    I need to start lifting, like for real lifting. I am a bit nervous about the idea. I am still a bit chubby in the belly and have never really gone into the 'weight room'. I have walked through it, but not stopped and hung around, you know? I do some lifting, but we have weighted bars and dumbbells in the aerobics room, so I hide in there.

    I have been reading about deadlifts and other things that just seem scary to me. I don't want to go in there and do them wrong and look silly, or even worse hurt myself!

    I found this, and it seems like a good place to start. I know I can squat at least 12 lbs already, since i did that last week 2 sets of 10.

    Any input? Someone told me I should be doing 5x5 lifting, the site I posted I found through a 5x5 site. That link is for a beginner program.

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    Bostonbully's Avatar
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    Yes a 5x5 is a good program. You would do a couple warm up sets then do your 5x5 working sets. Deadlift, squat, standing press, bench, pullups/chinups, and dips are all you really should need. If you are in a decent gym I'm sure they have a machine that you can do assisted dips and pullups with until you can build your strength and do them on your own.

    Barbells would be ideal but if you want you could start with dumbells. Honestly though I bet you are alot stronger then you could even imagine. Your nerves are what is keeping you back.

    Start light and keep good form. Go up 5 lbs or even 2.5 lbs in the begining if you gym has them. Once you get experience you will know how much weight you can go up. Gains will go faster in the begning so if you start to slow down over time don't worry. Any example of the exercises I posted can be found on youtube in a matter of seconds. If you have a question in the gym, ask someone. Most people are helpful. Good luck
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    We do have an assisted dip/chin-up machine, which I used today. I posted what I did today in my journal.

    How heavy should to weights be? Not how many pounds should I lift, but how do I decide where to start? LIft something 'x' number of times and if I struggle it is too heavy? SHould I be having a lot of trouble lifting the last rep or what?

    Last week I did split squats (I guess like deep lunges) with a 10# dumbbell in each hand, I did 2 sets of 10 and then did 2 sets of 10 squats with a 12# bar. My butt and quads hurt for 3 days. So would those seem like good weights to stick with? Or would I need it to be heavier since I would only be doing 5 reps? We have a bunch of different weighted bars, up to 18-20 pounds I think, so I could start with those.

    I honestly have to FIND the 'real' weight room. I don't know if it has an assisted dip machine or not. The machine is in the room with all the 'cybex' style weight machines, which I DON"T want to use, I find it boring!

    Oh, and do I do all reps/sets of one lift and then move to the next? Or do I do on set of each then rest and do the next set?

    The way I 'lift' right now is to pick 5-6 exercises. I do one set of each, no break and then rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat 2-3 times. Currently I do some weights, like the split squats and regular squats, overhead press with dumbbells and bent over rows with weights. I also do squat jumps, single leg bridging, push-ups, planks/side planks, crunches (not because I think they are worthwhile, these I *have to do blech) or chest press with dumbbells. I am sure other things too, but that is all I can think of right now.

    Anyway, just rambling now...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by NutMeg View Post
    We do have an assisted dip/chin-up machine, which I used today. I posted what I did today in my journal.

    How heavy should to weights be? Not how many pounds should I lift, but how do I decide where to start? LIft something 'x' number of times and if I struggle it is too heavy? SHould I be having a lot of trouble lifting the last rep or what?
    I can't really say how heavy the weights should be eveyone is different. You would be doing 5 sets and 5 reps each set. So you would do 5 reps, rest for 1-2 min, do another 5 reps, rest, etc until you did 5 sets. The last rep of your 5th set should be pretty difficult. Atleast it is for me but I really try to push myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by NutMeg View Post
    Last week I did split squats (I guess like deep lunges) with a 10# dumbbell in each hand, I did 2 sets of 10 and then did 2 sets of 10 squats with a 12# bar. My butt and quads hurt for 3 days. So would those seem like good weights to stick with? Or would I need it to be heavier since I would only be doing 5 reps? We have a bunch of different weighted bars, up to 18-20 pounds I think, so I could start with those.
    I would skip the lunges and stick to the lifts I told you. The ones I listed will put muscles on top of muscles if done correctly over time. Like i said before I don't know if 12# is good. I didn't see you do it so I don't know how difficult it really was. If you can do 10 reps with it though I would say yes you should pick a heavier weight. Maybe an 18# bar. Soon enough you will have an olympic 45# bar across your back. Soreness happens. You get used to it and it will lessen over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by NutMeg View Post
    I honestly have to FIND the 'real' weight room. I don't know if it has an assisted dip machine or not. The machine is in the room with all the 'cybex' style weight machines, which I DON"T want to use, I find it boring!
    Stay off the machines. Compound movements are where it is at.

    Quote Originally Posted by NutMeg View Post
    Oh, and do I do all reps/sets of one lift and then move to the next? Or do I do on set of each then rest and do the next set?
    Yes you do all 5x5 of one exercise then move on to the next one. Also depending on how many times a week you are going to the gym usually you wouldn't do all the exercises on the same day. Especially if you are really pushing yourself. You will find out fast that heavy squats do not go well with heavy deadlifts lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by NutMeg View Post
    The way I 'lift' right now is to pick 5-6 exercises. I do one set of each, no break and then rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat 2-3 times. Currently I do some weights, like the split squats and regular squats, overhead press with dumbbells and bent over rows with weights. I also do squat jumps, single leg bridging, push-ups, planks/side planks, crunches (not because I think they are worthwhile, these I *have to do blech) or chest press with dumbbells. I am sure other things too, but that is all I can think of right now.

    Anyway, just rambling now...lol
    I assume you are going for muscle and if that is the case drop the other stuff and stick to the basics. I'm a firm believer that diet and heavy compound movements will get you abs and core strength. Other people will say to do a million crunches. It is up to you to decide what works for you.
    See if this site will open for you. http://www.scribd.com/doc/3382978/St...ook-Calculator I'm having trouble at work. It is an excel spreadsheet of the SS programs. If I was you and it is on there I would use the practical programming novice program.
    Last edited by Bostonbully; 03-26-2011 at 02:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonbully View Post



    I assume you are going for muscle and if that is the case drop the other stuff and stick to the basics. I'm a firm believer that diet and heavy compound movements will get you abs and core strength. Other people will say to do a million crunches. It is up to you to decide what works for you.
    See if this site will open for you. Starting Strength Logbook Calculator I'm having trouble at work. It is an excel spreadsheet of the SS programs. If I was you and it is on there I would use the practical programming novice program.
    Yes, I am going for muscle, which is why I am looking at changing from my current style. I was recently diagnosed with hyper-mobility syndrome, which I knew I had, but being told for sure changes things, you know? So I need strength to help protect my loose joints. I also want to lower my body fat percentage, I am shooting for a 'fitness' level there about 22% or so.

    Now, really the crunches I HAVE to do, but I can do them on different days from when I lift. I am in the military and they are a part of my fitness test. I don't have to do them frequently, just often enough that I can do 42-45 of them in one minute at test time. The ones we do are really more like a sit-up. I test next month, so for now they stay After the test I will stop doing them until bout 6 weeks before the next test.

    I will be youtubing the lifts tomorrow. I plan to lift 2 days a week to start, trying to fit it in around the other stuff I need to do to prepare for my fitness test. Since I can't do push-ups on my test right now, I need to focus on getting a better run time (hence the sprinting I mentioned in my journal). I practiced the other day and was at about 15:30 for a 1.5 mile run. I would like it to get down to about 14:00 or so. After my fit test I will probably shoot for 3 times a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NutMeg View Post
    Yes, I am going for muscle, which is why I am looking at changing from my current style. I was recently diagnosed with hyper-mobility syndrome, which I knew I had, but being told for sure changes things, you know? So I need strength to help protect my loose joints. I also want to lower my body fat percentage, I am shooting for a 'fitness' level there about 22% or so.

    Now, really the crunches I HAVE to do, but I can do them on different days from when I lift. I am in the military and they are a part of my fitness test. I don't have to do them frequently, just often enough that I can do 42-45 of them in one minute at test time. The ones we do are really more like a sit-up. I test next month, so for now they stay After the test I will stop doing them until bout 6 weeks before the next test.

    I will be youtubing the lifts tomorrow. I plan to lift 2 days a week to start, trying to fit it in around the other stuff I need to do to prepare for my fitness test. Since I can't do push-ups on my test right now, I need to focus on getting a better run time (hence the sprinting I mentioned in my journal). I practiced the other day and was at about 15:30 for a 1.5 mile run. I would like it to get down to about 14:00 or so. After my fit test I will probably shoot for 3 times a week.
    If that log book calculator opens up I think there should be a two day split in their as well. If it has power cleans and rows I wouldnt do them though. Power cleans are great but your only squatting 12#'s so i would work on my deadlift and squat before I tried power cleans. As far as rows go I just don't feel they are needed compared to the other lifts. I'm sure somone else will give their opinion as well. Just take the information and see what works best for you. Good luck
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    Thanks for all your help. I do need to do some lifts for my upper back and shoulders, but I am not sure I am ready for anything heavy yet. I will keep working on my push-ups, chin-ups/pull-ups and doing my rehab stuff for that. I separated my right AC joint a few years ago and it still hasn't healed right. I am working on stabilization exercises for that with physical therapy.

  8. #8
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    Take care with pull-ups - depending on bodyweight they can be harder on your body than you think. As BB said, do the lifts, especially squats, then deads, and maybe presses. Start with an empty bar and add 2.5 kg every session. You'll see quickly how far you can go

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    I do pull-ups with the assisted pull-up machine. I also use the Total Gym for working on pull-ups.

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    GOing to do my first session tonight! I am getting pretty excited about it, up for the challenge of doing something new. I am glad my son is back to doing his swim team stuff, he has to be at the gym from 6-7 p.m. anyway, so instead of watching his practice, I will go lift no need to worry about not being there for the other kids at hoime, since someone has to take him to practice anyway.

    I am going to end up doing three days a week, but this time i am starting with two. I originally thought I would get up and go in the morning before work. But, since i have to be at work at 7:15, I realized I would need about 30 mins to get ready, so that means be done by 6:45, which means get to the gym by 6 at the latest, which means get up at 5:30....no way man!!!!! So I will do Monday right after work on the way home. Wednesday during swim and Friday afternoon during my regular workout time. Tuesday and Thursday I will do my other mandatory fitness session, which lately has been swimming. Yesterday the pool was closed, so I ran 2 miles...BORING!

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