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Thread: Somewhat New to working out and need critiquing page

  1. #1
    splunky's Avatar
    splunky is offline Senior Member
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    Somewhat New to working out and need critiquing

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    Hi, I am somewhat new to working out but not to PB. I had a trainer about 7 yrs ago and got in great shape and loved that my arms were trim and firm and I felt strong! Unfortunately my health failed and I have not been to the gym since or much anyway and I spent much of the time in bed.
    My health is significantly better and I have returned to the gym! I am doing some of the things my trainer taught me with weights and such but am not seeing much as far as results. I figure that since I'm older it will take longer too. I do have a problem with my left wrist that makes something's more difficult but overall no problems.

    Can you suggest some routines that will help build muscle and tone? I have seen the PB fitness routine but can't even attempt one pull-up! I have been going to the gym or exercising 6 days/wk but definitely not overdoing it.
    This is what I have been doing in general:

    Twice/wk:
    Elliptical for 12-15 min with sprints for 20 sec. And resting for 2 min. I manage only 4 sprints and hope to increase those as well as work on decreasing rest time between.
    Weight circuits which include 3 leg machines, 5 arm machines, sit-ups on the stability ball and push-ups. I do 2 sets of each until failure which is general 10 reps, except push-ups and sit-ups.

    4 days/wk:
    rollerblade 3 miles moderately-more fun than work
    Routine of:
    40 chair step ups
    10 push ups
    20 sit-ups
    20 mountain climbers
    45 sec plank (worked up from 30 sec and trying to get to 60 sec)
    8 burpees.
    All this twice.
    Sometimes I go and do 12 min on the elliptical afterwards depending on time/energy

    I appreciate any insight you have. Thx!

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    Leida's Avatar
    Leida is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, splunky. It looks like you are doing a lot. One thing is, are those visits to the machines doing anything for you? Machines are better for isolating routines polishing up the physique, rather than overall shape improvement. Do you have mobility problems that preclude you from doing squats and lunges? I am asking this because I would suggest reframing your routines a little by incorporating free weights (dumbells) and targeting a couple of days of strengths (push-ups, squats, lunges, pull-ups, step-ups with weight, rows) and a couple of days of conditioning (climbers, burpies, light swings, roller-blading, etc).

    It is Okay that you can't do a pull-up, doing a hang, then negative, then assisted pull-ups will build you up better than a machine.

    If you have a wrist problem, push-ups & burpies might not be the best idea. My left wrist is also weak from CT, and I find that any exercise that hyper-extend it is a bad idea in the long run. Benching might be a better alternative to a push-up (at least it is for me) and you could look into Kettlebells if the gym has it to provide a cardio burst without using burpees. I do planks on my elbows.
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    splunky's Avatar
    splunky is offline Senior Member
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    I don't have mobility problems other than my wrist, which I have been using a brace for with fine results. I am open to what you suggest, can you give me an example of what a typical wk would look like incorporating those things instead? I have a gym now but may not within 6 wks or so. The only reason I am using the machines is because I am comfortable with using them due to my experience with the trainer. If they will not give me best results I am definitely open to using other things. Burpees are hard and I can work on using them, with a wrist brace my wrist is ok. I tried just hanging there for a pull up and it was definitely difficult but wondered what good it was doing.
    Are the machines doing any thing for me? Good question! I don't really know how to tell, lol. I am getting stronger because I have been able to increase the weight over the last few wks but I do not really feel sore. Someone mentioned that I don't necessarily need to feel sore so I didn't pay much attention to that.
    All that said, I really want to make my workouts purposeful and increase my strength rather than just check a box to workout and blow off steam by pounding it out at the gym. Does that make sense?
    Thx again for your help!

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    Leida's Avatar
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    If you are comfortable with hanging and flexing your laterals for 30+ sec, try jumping yourself into the pulled-up position and then letting yourself down on the count of 30 (negative pull-up). If you can do 10 of those in a row, add a weight with the belt.

    For the routine, try doing first without weights 3-5 sets of 12-20 squats, lunges, push-ups and then train your pull-up. See how you feel. If it feels easy, add dumbells or a barbell. If that feels good, and you have access to the gym still, take a look at Strong Lifts 5x5 or Starting Strength to learn the main lifting exercises with a barbell. Those normally change physique the most because they can be loaded heavily.

    Kettllebell program is another great option and would be something I would seriously look into if home training was planned.

    As for weather its working or not, well, do you have a measurable idea of what you want to achieve? Inches reduction or increase on each specific body part is probably the easiest to track with common means and most useful in conjunction with weight.

    Good luck with it.
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    Looks good. The thing you have to remember is to make your program progressive/more intense as you do it. So just with what you have...take your 4 day a week workout for instance. You could do progressively shorter time frames to complete your 2 cycles to make it more intense.... maybe do that for a couple weeks. Then you could add reps to each item as a new ramp up of intensity. Now do it even faster with this increase in reps.... Ect.

    Then once you can do more than 20 reps of whatever item it is look into progressions for that movement. Like the pushup and squat progressions in the PB fitness book for instance. And onward and upward in that manner!

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    Sometimes I go and do 12 min on the elliptical afterwards depending on time/energy.good info

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    splunky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    If you are comfortable with hanging and flexing your laterals for 30+ sec, try jumping yourself into the pulled-up position and then letting yourself down on the count of 30 (negative pull-up). If you can do 10 of those in a row, add a weight with the belt.

    For the routine, try doing first without weights 3-5 sets of 12-20 squats, lunges, push-ups and then train your pull-up. See how you feel. If it feels easy, add dumbells or a barbell. If that feels good, and you have access to the gym still, take a look at Strong Lifts 5x5 or Starting Strength to learn the main lifting exercises with a barbell. Those normally change physique the most because they can be loaded heavily.

    Kettllebell program is another great option and would be something I would seriously look into if home training was planned.

    As for weather its working or not, well, do you have a measurable idea of what you want to achieve? Inches reduction or increase on each specific body part is probably the easiest to track with common means and most useful in conjunction with weight.

    Good luck with it.
    Ok, so it's a better idea to do lunges as above etc than the weight machines? I will give it a try today since its my heavy workout day. The pull-ups suggestion is good I will give that a try to. I know I can jump up and hang but don't think I can go all the way up and slown slowly yet though-something to work for! Thx, this really helps!

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    splunky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Looks good. The thing you have to remember is to make your program progressive/more intense as you do it. So just with what you have...take your 4 day a week workout for instance. You could do progressively shorter time frames to complete your 2 cycles to make it more intense.... maybe do that for a couple weeks. Then you could add reps to each item as a new ramp up of intensity. Now do it even faster with this increase in reps.... Ect.

    Then once you can do more than 20 reps of whatever item it is look into progressions for that movement. Like the pushup and squat progressions in the PB fitness book for instance. And onward and upward in that manner!
    This is a good suggestion! I didn't think about making it progressive even though that seems quite obvious, lol. I am just quite proud of myself for actually exercising at the moment. I know I have added weight to most of the weights I do, for only starting 3 wk (ish) ago I think that's good! I also noticed yesterday it was easier to lift my 6 yo up than it was before, that's gotta be something! Thx again.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Normally body weight exercise are preferable - it is also great to see the difference particularly if you are not getting what you want. Good luck, and you certainly can be proud of venturing into it!
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    splunky's Avatar
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    You also mentioned something I don't know how to go about. Wether my goal is inches lost of a specific area of my body. If I lose in he's, isn't that fat loss? I prefer inches lost and to have more definition in my arms specifically, I guess that's my goal. Is the routine we have started outlining something that can help achieve those goals?

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