View Full Version : Need some guidance / Advice
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 04:14 PM
I am 19 and in college and have been working out pretty religiously for the past 3 months.
I am 5'9'' and 138lbs. So I am pretty 'small'. I am not fat but I do have a little chub around my stomach not much really tho.
When I workout I usually just use machines, and we have a ton at the weight room for my college. Areas I want to improve are my biceps/chest and abs. When I flex my bicep you can't even really see a bump or anything but im not that scronny (spellcheck). I am fairly strong especially for my size. Anyways what I usually do is we have a bicept machine were I am basically doing curls, I do like 10 reps at 70 by then I can't really do any more so I drop it to 50 and do 5 more.
Then I go over to a inclined chest thing. The seat is a little reclined and you push up and according to it, it is supposed to work your pecks. I do like 110 on that about 10 times. Then I go to this other machine where you stick your arms out to your side and bring them back infront of your face. I usually do 90 on that about 10 times. Then they have a bunch of other machines like the one I first described in this paragraph, but they target different muscles and move in different sorts of directions. Like ones for your shoulders and about 3 are for your pecks but all do different things but are similar.
Anyways I start out with the heaviest I can still do 10 reps with on each machine. Once I finish all 5-6 machines I go to my abs. There is one where you sit on this little seat straight up and there is a thing that rests on your chest and you push it down from a sitting position to do a sort of crunch. I usually do 190 15x on that.
Then there is another ab machine that you kind lay in and its another crunch machine, I do 90 on that 15x if I can.
I keep doing all of the machines and abs until my arms are pretty tired and I can only do like 30lbs on biceps and like 70 on chest machines. So basically I keep going until my arms are realllly tired.
I understand to build new muscle you have to 'rip your muscle' and then let it rebuild. Well one of my many questions is, do you feel this ripping? Because the next day I am usually fairly sore, but when I am working out I just get fatigued I don't feel any pain or any ripping of sorts. One time doing a chest workout a muscle in my arm felt like it ripped and kinda got hot, thats the only time ive ever felt anything like that.
So basically in 3 months of doing these work outs about 3-4x a week I havent noticed much of any change. My chest is a little more toned along with my abs. If my muscles are supposed to be ripping more often what can I do differently, I drive myself pretty hard till im basically like dizy and cant lift more. Are there any supplements that will help? I don't want to get jacked, but I would like to see my abs, my chest not to be so flabby so i can kinda flex it, and see some muscle in my biceps.
If you guys have any questions I can awnser to make it easier for you to help me just let me know, sorry if all this sounds stupid but I don't really know where else to go.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 04:16 PM
Also I don't know how much my diet is going to affect what i am trying to accomplish which is being a little more toned and seeing some definition to my muscles.
Currently I either skip breakfast or eat something like fruit loops. Thats due to having class at 9, waking up at 8 just to be ready for 9, and I dont really want to wake up earlier then that to go eat at our schools cafe.
Lunch and dinner consists of, something easy like Ramen noodles, or every now and again a microwaveable pizza. Or I wil most days go to the cafe and the things I usually eat are:
Tacos (mostly just lunch, eat fairly often)
Hot dogs (Don't eat to often)
Hamburger (maybe once every 2 weeks kinda gross)
Ham on wheat (I like this sandwhich)
Pasta (I usually have pasta with lunch and dinner, just whatever type of noodles they have out there)
There reallly isnt a ton to choose from at our cafe and thats where I do most of my eating. In my dorm if I get hungry I eat Ramen noodles or popcorn, or maybe a little microwaveable pizza.
What I drink consists of Fruit Punch whenever I am at the cafe, Mountain Dew in my dorm, or Grape Koolaid, and I usually drink some water when I am working out.
What do you recommend on me changing, I cant have a striiiiiiiiiict diet because I eat at this dining center and it would be to expensive to change that, but I can try to change some things.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 04:47 PM
Anyways what I usually do is we have a bicept machine were I am basically doing curls, I do like 10 reps at 70 by then I can't really do any more so I drop it to 50 and do 5 more.
Instead of decreasing the weight, you should increase it. Your should probably start off with 50 do 10 reps, increase the weight to 60, do 8 reps and then increase the weight to 70 and do 6 reps. Rest for a minute or two and do 70lbs 6 more reps.
I understand to build new muscle you have to 'rip your muscle' and then let it rebuild. Well one of my many questions is, do you feel this ripping?
Not exactly. You shouldn't feel a "ripped" muscle. If you do, you probably have to rush to the doctor.
Sometimes you feel muscles soreness but that doesn't necessarily means they're growing. That means you've hit them hard at the gym.
So basically in 3 months of doing these work outs about 3-4x a week I havent noticed much of any change.
This is because you're not eating a protein rich, well-balanced diet. You need to eat more than just tacos and pasta for your muscles to grow. Also, the fruit punch and the mountain dew are not helping either. Drink water instead.
Are there any supplements that will help?
Essential supplements include whey protein and a good multi-vitamin. Some people also take L-Glutamine supplements to aid muscle recovery.
Currently I either skip breakfast or eat something like fruit loops.
Bad. Bad. Bad! You should always eat a good breakfast that includes some carbs and protein. Fruit loops just have carbs. They barely have any protein. 2g or protein per serving is not sufficient enough.
If you can't get a good diet together, there is nothing much I can suggest. You will not get ripped or muscular by eating Ramen Noodles and drinking mountain dew.
Right now you don't weigh much, so I think bulking would be ideal. If you eat clean and lift hard you will surely pack on some muscle. Read the stickies in this forum and other people's posts in the bulking forum to help you out. Also remember, muscles don't grow at the gym. They need sufficient rest to repair themselves after a workout. 48-72 hours is ideal. That means if you worked out your chest today, you shouldn't work it out again for another 48-72 hours.
Edit: You should also use free weights at the gym rather than relying on machines alone.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 06:28 PM
Thanks sc7389 for the info. See I didn't even know that I should start lower and work my way up to lower amounts of reps. Makes sense but I never thought of it.
Should you do that when working abs too? Probably huh.
As far as what I am drinking and what I should be drinking. I can cut out the mountain dew and fruit punch. When I started to work out I also wanted to cut some fat so I did cardio more often then I do now and I stopped eating fast food/drinking sodas. So should I just drink water? Is that all you guys drink, is koolaid bad, I mean plain ole water for 6 months doesn't sound to exciting.
About whey protein, I have been looking into that online and trying to figure out what is for me and what isn't and am a little lost. When I was looking at GNC's and whey's websites there are a ton of different things to choose from. I have a local GNC so that is probably where I would buy this. Maybe if you could let me know what would probably be a good starting place that would be great! Also are there any good flavors :drool: .. When making these drinks do you need a blender because I live in a dorm and don't really have the cash to go buy one :d_frown: I looked at L-Glutamine supplements and they seem a little more straight forward and should be easy to get.
As far as my diet goes, is it all horrible or mainly what im drinking and my breakfast habbits. As far as breakfest goes I really don't think there is going to be any way I can get to the dinning hall in the morning before classes without waking up earlier then I want to. With that being said I do have a minifridge and a microwave in my dorm room where I eat my fruit loops :nod: Is there anything I can add to my breakfast besdies a basic cereal that will give me some protein? I know milk has some protein right? What should I look for as a goal daily intake of protein. Lastly on the protein subject is how many times a day should I make a drink containing Whey protein?
Now onto how I worked out before. I would go fiarly often 3-4x a week and basically just work out my arms/chest/abs. I hardly ever gave the 48-72 hrs of rest you recommend. So apparently I was doing that wrong too, thats why I came here because I knew something wasn't right. So with that being said, and also knowing free-weights are better then strictly machines I need some help setting up a workout schedual. Like I said main areas are chest/abs/biceps/triceps/shoulders. My legs aren't as important to me currently because I don't want to add a lot of muscle to them, I just want them to be inshape, something I usualy tackle on the treadmil. Recently I injoured my right knee so I have been staying away from doing anything with my legs to let that heal. But I do understand how important legs are. Anyways I was looking for exercises that targeted each muscle I wanted to work out and found these.
Standing barbell curls, Reverse curls, Supinating standing dumbbell curls
Out of all those, I understand standing barbell curls, I think... weight on a barbell..stand up and curl it seems simple. The other two, I don't know what they mean/how to do them.
Triceps- Weighted dips, Skullcrushers, Overhead triceps extensions, Close grip bench press
Ok out of all of those exercises I don't know what any of those mean or how to do them.
Military presses, Barbell shrugs, Overhead dumbbell presses
No idea here either.
Bench press, Incline bench press, Weighted dips, Decline bench press
I understand bench press, incline bench press and decline bench press. Still no idea what weighted dips are.
So there are 4 muscle groups besides abs, so hopefully I can split up my workouts better now once I figure out what all those workouts are!
Thanks for all the help, hopefully I can learn all these things then help my friends who are struggling with the same things I am!
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Should you do that when working abs too? Probably huh.
I don't suggest doing the same thing for abs unless you use a machine to work on them. If you just do crunches, you can just do 3-4 sets of 24 reps. If you do weighted crunches with a plate or something, then I guess you can work your way down, so to speak.
So should I just drink water? Is that all you guys drink, is koolaid bad, I mean plain ole water for 6 months doesn't sound to exciting.
Yes. Many JSF memebers just drink water most of the time. Some have what's called a "cheat meal" where they eat and drink what they want for one meal as long as they don't gorge themselves with food.
KoolAid has sugar. Most people tend to avoid that because excess carbs that are not used by the body are stored as fat. A pound of fat is 3500 calories.
About whey protein, I have been looking into that online and trying to figure out what is for me and what isn't and am a little lost. When I was looking at GNC's and whey's websites there are a ton of different things to choose from. I have a local GNC so that is probably where I would buy this.
That depends on personal preference. You may want to start out with whey protein that has a blend of protein isolate and concentrate. Some people just use protein isolate, some use protein concentrate. If you want to purchase protein online, you can go to allthewhey.com and buy yourself something like this (http://www.allthewhey.com/index.cfm?do=detail&productid=26). I advise against buying whey from GNC because it will cost you a lot more than if you bought it from allthewhey.com. However, you can buy whey from Costco if you're a member. They have whey at nice prices too. ($20 for 96 servings I think. That's 6lbs worth)
You can make shakes in a shaker or a blender which you can also purchase online. A shaker bottle looks like this (http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/shaker.html).
I looked at L-Glutamine supplements and they seem a little more straight forward and should be easy to get.
There has been many debates which argued whether glutamine supplementation really does help recovery or not. Some people say it worked for them, some people say it was a waste of money. If money is tight, you could probably hold off on getting L-Glutamine supplements, or get a very small bottle and see if helps you recover faster or not. You can mix it in with your whey protein shake.
As far as my diet goes, is it all horrible or mainly what im drinking and my breakfast habbits.
Not to sound harsh or anything ( :D ) but most of your diet seems not so good.
As far as breakfest goes I really don't think there is going to be any way I can get to the dinning hall in the morning before classes without waking up earlier then I want to.
You can have a protein shake for breakfast and maybe some Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal with skim or reduced fat milk. The reason I say maybe, is because Kashi has soy protein and there have been articles that say a lot of soy may be toxic (I don't know how much truth is in those articles though).
Lastly on the protein subject is how many times a day should I make a drink containing Whey protein?
It depends on personal preference. Many people prefer to eat most of their calories, not drink them. Normally, you would drink a protein shake immediately after workout. You can also drink a protein shake in the morning. However, many recommend that you do not exceed 1-2 shakes a day because ideally, you should be getting your protein from whole foods such as meats, fish and dairy.
Now onto how I worked out before. I would go fiarly often 3-4x a week and basically just work out my arms/chest/abs.
It's advisable that you work out your legs too. This will help your body develop proportinally. There's nothing funnier than a man with a muscular upper body and chicken legs. :p
Since your knee is injured now, let it heal. You don't want to make it worse. When it heals, start incorporating leg exercises into your routine.
You can find what each of those exercises mean, and how to do them here (http://exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html).
Also, many people do a "split". This means that they split their full body routine into different days. For example, chest/biceps/forearms on monday, triceps/shoulders on wednesday, back/legs/traps on friday and cardio in-between those days.
I suggest you read a lot in the next few days and familiarize yourself with everything and then draft a new routine. Diet is also very important so you should browse the nutrition forum and see what you should do. Many people like to do a 20/40/40 split (20% of their total calories from fats, 40% from carbohydrates and 40% from protein). If you have Microsoft Excel (part of microsoft office) you can download a spreadsheet that will help you a lot with nutrition. You can find it here (http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/showthread.php?t=5999).
Oh and by the way, I forgot to say this: welcome to the forums :tu:
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 08:21 PM
Ok, looks like I have a lot of work ahead of myself, which is ok. I am thinking though maybe I shouldn't JUMP right in and start doing everything listed maybe take it steps at a time?
Currently I am thinkin what I should do is change my drinking habbits to just water and protein shakes, on that subject how is stuff like Fruit20 or that flavored water stuff for you.. just wonderin :lol:
Along with that getting a protein supplement to take in the morning and after I workout. Which brings me to what should my targeted protein intake be daily, so I don't buy a mix that is 40g of protein per shake if im only looking to get 70g of protein a day!
Start to spread out my workouts like you listed and targeting muscles then the next day doing something else, and basically have 48+ hours between each time i work a muscle.
Adding some cardio and leg workouts when my leg is better, which I think its good enough to start jogging again a mile on the treadmil. Hopefully weights soon.
Stop skipping breakfest!
Start using free-weights even tho they intimidate me for some reason, lol honestly thats why I haven't been using them, but I will start.
How does that sound as a start then after I get settled into that, work on my diet more etc?
Thanks for the welcome and all the help, hopefully I will be able to post some sucess.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 08:47 PM
Taking it a few steps at a time sounds good. I don't know about fruit2o. I think water will do the job and is probably cheaper when compares to it.
To make calculating calories easier, you will need to download the nutrition spreadsheet I linked you to and also this caloric intake spreadsheet (http://www.mylounge.net/katchcalc.xls) (I forgot the original site that hosts this so I uploaded to my server). Anyway, the caloric intake spreadsheet will tell you how many overall calories you have to consume in order to either:
a) gain mass
b) lose fat
c) maintain your weight
After you have to values, you will just have to plug them in (circled in red, see image below) and it will tell you many grams of protein, carbs and fat you will have to eat (circled in blue). Whether you're on a 40/40/20 or 40/50/20 or whatever caloric split, you can adjust it in the spreadsheet. If you don't have Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice (which is avaliable for download for free, just google it), you can those calculations manually, but it's a pain to do.
Also, you should have a day to rest in-between workouts even though you will not be working the same muscle the next day.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Welcome and good luck BlakMagic! That's some solid advice by sc. Surely your school cafeteria has some better food choices! That stuff doesn't sound too good.
Just eat fresh whole food as much as possible. But I know its tough living on campus to eat right. I subsisted on much the same diet in my college days. I did get fat though eating that, not to mention all the beer!
Like sc said read the stickies to get up to speed.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 10:21 PM
Saw that you like Kool Aid - check out the new Sugar-Free Kool Aid, honestly it tastes the same to me (then again I have not had regular Kool Aid in years). I drink it a lot, though I still drink a ton of water.
I just hate drinking water with my meals, I don't know why. So I have the Sugar-Free Kool Aid when I eat, and water the rest of the time.
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 10:23 PM
Thanks for all the help guys, looks like I need to get started, I downloaded that spreadsheet and now i just have to get some nutrition facts from my dining hall.
Thanks for all your help, and I will keep everyone posted on my progress!
Sun, October 9th, 2005, 11:27 PM
You can also use sites like CalorieKing.com (http://www.calorieking.com/foods/) to your advantage. Good luck achieving your goal. Keep us updated.
Mon, October 10th, 2005, 12:41 AM
Thanks guys for all your help, now that I actually know what I am doing I am super excitied. I went to wal-mart tonight and bought some water and checked out cereals I can try, one with like 14gs of protein per serving from that Kashi brand! Anyways I plan to get my supplements from GNC in small quantities until I find a flavor I like then maybe ill buy bulk online. Tuesday or wednesday will be the first day of a new me hopefully. By then i will have my meals laid out better, that excel chart is really neat althought I gotta mess with it more yet! I found a nutrition chart on all the things in my cafe so that will help a ton. So hopefully by Wednesday I will have my new diet laid out/workout plan and all the things I need to get going.
I will keep you guys updated on how I am doing, also thanks for that koolaid advice, I really hate drinking just water with my meals too!
Thanks guys! :jumping:
Thu, October 13th, 2005, 02:52 PM
Another question or two. How often should I work out my abs, I am capable of doing it every day, but I assume they need time to heal like other muscles to make my workouts more efficient. Abs are a huge muscle though so do they need the same 48-72 hours between workouts, or less, or what?
And I went to GNC the other day and bought some Protein, apparently its not Whey so I wanted to asked about it. Its called Mega MRP, and on the package it says its "Proprietary Protein Blend with 40gs of quality protein and 5 grams total glutamine"
Is this ok to use, or is there a huge difference between this and Whey?
Thanks again guys, I came down with some sort of Flu so I havent started working out yet. Good thing is I found some kids I like at my college that work out and have good workout plans so I think I will join them, make it more entertaining. Should start next week and I will keep you guys posted on my results!
Thu, October 13th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Opinions on abs vary widely. They are a resilient muscle so probably can stand up to frequent workouts but personally, I'd go with once a week for the reasons you stated. Use that energy on other days for other workout goals.
MRP's are usually meal-replacers with more than just protein, often fat and sugar. Check the details.
Thu, October 13th, 2005, 04:41 PM
Yea whoops i mighta bought the wrong thing, it was only 2 dollars tho so thats ok.
It has.... 2g fat
90mg of cholestorl
900 mg potassium
and a bunch of various vitamins
20 from fat in the package
Is this bad, i mean i just need some extra protein....I also heard Whey tastes horrible and ill probably just hate it and not wanna take it, this stuff doesnt smell that bad and i tasted a lil bit of the powder tasted ok.
Thu, October 13th, 2005, 06:28 PM
Whey doesn't taste horrible.
Thu, October 13th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Alright well i meant to buy it but i didnt woops... so should i take what i have, what if i like it is it ok, or should i go to Whey?
Thu, October 13th, 2005, 10:00 PM
Use up what you bought and when you run out, buy some whey and see if you like it.