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Thread: Your opinion of my exercises page

  1. #1
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Your opinion of my exercises

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    Here are the exercises I've been taught so far. I don't know what else will be taught to me when I have my final session. Your opinion on these, please.

    - Squats (using the rack)
    - Ball bridges (knees bent)
    - Bench press (barbell)
    - Assisted pullup
    - Dumbell row
    - Press (barbell)
    - Planks
    - Romanian deadlift (barbell)
    - Cable wood chop (low to high)

    Is this too many exercises to do all in one session? Are some of these superfluous? I suspect a few of them are to gain me some strength and probably also some coordination that I completely lack for more difficult things. I don't seem to have very good awareness of my body in space (my whole body's position on the planet yes, but what my arms and legs are doing? Not so much.) I also cannot do a single full pushup or pullup.

    Also, what is the gym etiquette in the following situation: If I saw someone doing some amazing work, is it okay to watch, or should I only watch from far away so they don't know anybody is watching? Is it okay to talk to the person? Eventually is it okay to ask someone for tips or pointers?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

  2. #2
    Mr. Anthony's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good start--you don't have to do each of them every time you work out. I'd add normal deadlifts, as well, but make sure you have a very competent teacher for those and be VERY strict on form as you build up to heavy weights.

    Gym etiquette...eh, depends on the person. I will very very occasionally talk to someone if I see either exceptionally good or exceptionally bad work going on from someone, but that's pretty rare. I'm fine with it if people come up and ask good questions about an exercise, but I'd be careful because you might get some bad information, as well.

    Oh, when you say squats with the rack, you're doing them freestanding, not on one of those assisted racks (Smith machines), right?

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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Yeah, free-standing. At first I just used a small barbell but now I know how to use the rack so I can move up. Right now it's just the bar without weight. I did not learn how to put the weights on yet. I'm probably strong enough by Wednesday to add weight. So maybe if I watch someone I can figure out how to do it (put the weights on) or I'll just continue on without weight and ask for instruction on Friday.

    I am hoping I will learn the regular deadlift in my last session. If I don't (maybe I'm not strong enough, or maybe they don't have those fake plates for beginners), then maybe I can learn from watching people who look like they know what they are doing. I have the book Starting Strength, but I think with my lack of coordination I'm apt to hurt myself trying to emulate what is written in there, but at least with the book I can identify people who are doing it properly.

    I know I sound dumb, but I have never used barbells before and the last time I set foot in the gym everybody wore outfits from the movie Flashdance.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    I'm not sure what the ball bridges are. Is that for flexibility?
    Dumbbell row seems unnecessary with pullups, these work the same muscles

    Everything else looks good, although you might not need to do all of that every session. If you enjoy spending that much time, then great. But if you're looking to cut down, I think you'd be okay with squats/dead, pullups, bench, and press.

  5. #5
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    The ball bridge is I lay on my back and put my heels on a big plastic ball with my knees bent 90 degrees. Then I lift up and straighten up my body. It hurts my hamstrings. I suppose maybe I don't need them if I do the romanian deadlift since those hurt my hamstrings even more.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    To be honest I'd split that workout in half and just be sure that I could maintain high intensity (going to near muscular failure) and good form throughout. Really all depends on what sort of rest you are giving yourself between sets though (if any). Gym etiquette is irrelevant. If your comfortable approaching them then do it.....most will be honored that you consider them a resource....if they turn out to be a douche, then call em a douche and move on .

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    Looks like a good overall plan. Personally I prefer a push/pull/legs split. I know you run a lot so squatting too much can get in the way if you are doing that kind of cross training. I had to move from stronglifts to this split for that reason, my legs just weren't recovering fast enough as I swim and walk/run. I kept the 5x5 for my compound lifts and do more of a 3x12 for a couple assisted movements.

    The only things I would suggest is if you can't do pull-ups, I would start with the lat pulldown. The assisted pull-up isn't going to do much for you and it doesn't transfer over to real pull-ups very well. Keep up with the rows as they will help you build the strength in your back. Hope this helps and good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BennettC View Post
    The only things I would suggest is if you can't do pull-ups, I would start with the lat pulldown. The assisted pull-up isn't going to do much for you and it doesn't transfer over to real pull-ups very well. Keep up with the rows as they will help you build the strength in your back. Hope this helps and good luck!
    Oh, missed that part....try negatives also. Get yourself up in at the top of the pullup from a chair and lower yourself as slow as possible for several reps.

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    Exercises look good - all ingredients for strength and great physique. Of course, how you split them up will depend on training intensity, recovery, and goals.

    Etiquette - Some people absolutely want no human interaction at the gym. Some will talk your ear off. But you'll never know till you ask...

  10. #10
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    DO NOT use the smith machine for squats. I repeat DO NOT use the smith machine for squats. Start with bodyweight squats and perfect your form.

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