The Fitness thread

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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby epaminondas146871 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:16 pm

Xia Kyoto wrote:Man have I got some work to do. My body fluctuates like no one's business with weight, but then again, I am using a bathroom scale and those things aren't too reliable.
I'd currently weigh myself at around 180LB's and 5'8ft.
Specifically, I'd like to work on my stomach and luv handles (duh), thighs, lower back (that would be the butt, people), and even my neck and face. In all, I'd say I'd want to lose no more than 15-20LB's.
Afterwards, gaining some muscle mass sounds ideal. Just enough to make me look toned, as far as arms, stomach, chest and back, although my skin condition prevents some of this, as my back, shoulders and chest are a little troublesome with skin.
My build isn't terrible. Muscular thighs, a semi-toned chest and shoulders/neck area.

Anyway, if I start getting into a daily routine of say, 50 pushups a day with sets of 5-10 pushups each set, maybe 100 situps and at least 20-30 minutes of cardio, lifting 10-15LB's for dumbbells and "10" for the weight machines which I still have yet to understand the scale of, + balanced/healthy diet included, I should see slow results, right?


I'd say that your lower back can be distinguished from your butt :lol: .
As long as you're pushing yourself and you feel tired at the end of every set and every workout, you will definitely see results (maybe even fast results).
Out of curiosity, what is your skin condition?
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby Xia Kyoto » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:06 pm

epaminondas146871 wrote:I'd say that your lower back can be distinguished from your butt :lol: .
As long as you're pushing yourself and you feel tired at the end of every set and every workout, you will definitely see results (maybe even fast results).
Out of curiosity, what is your skin condition?


Well lets just specify lower lower back :lol: the end in which is located > rear.
I've heard people advise against taking on such a heavy workout that it causes exhaustion, as to therefore avoid straining oneself the next day, and possibly missing a workout day.
It's severe acne, so not really a crazy health issue, it's just troublesome as you can imagine.
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:44 am

Xia Kyoto wrote:I've heard people advise against taking on such a heavy workout that it causes exhaustion, as to therefore avoid straining oneself the next day, and possibly missing a workout day.


Erm...I'd suggest trusting ep's advice on this matter rather than the advice to take it easy. The point of exercise, in simplistic terms, is that you push your body beyond its current limits, and the recovery process causes your body to establish new limits. Basically, if you are leaving the gym not feeling exhausted but trying to condition your body, you are wasting your time, because the only thing you might achieve is burning some calories - which won't even be very much if you are not pushing yourself.

Building muscle specifically requires pushing yourself past the limit. The science behind it is that the body creates new muscle fibers in response to a demand being created from activity. The lactic acid that builds up causes the soreness, and if I recall correctly, it also triggers new muscle fiber growth. The specifics are more complex, but in simple terms, more muscle fibers equals increased muscle strength.

And yeah, the first week of hitting the gym is going to whip a person's ass. It's better to go in fully expecting this, and ease into a weekly routine one day at a time. So week one, go in for one day, do what you have to do, be sore for a few days afterward. Then on week two, go in for two days and do the same thing. The soreness becomes milder once the body gets used to being used and pushed harder.

Anyway, if I start getting into a daily routine of say, 50 pushups a day with sets of 5-10 pushups each set, maybe 100 situps and at least 20-30 minutes of cardio, lifting 10-15LB's for dumbbells and "10" for the weight machines which I still have yet to understand the scale of, + balanced/healthy diet included, I should see slow results, right?


Weight machines isolate particular muscles and generally tend to allow one to do higher weight. They certainly have their uses, but it's important to understand that they do not really promote what I'd call "natural" muscle development, as they do not really build your stabilizing muscles up, which is very important.

As for free weights (dumbbells), I personally suggest starting at a very low weight, and mastering form for core weight training exercises. Stuff like biceps curls, shoulder press, bench press, squats, etc. Form is everything. Curling 5 lbs with perfect form will produce far better results than curling 20 lbs but with sloppy form, i.e. shifting your body weight to help lift the weight (you can see this when people lean back noticeably while pulling the weight up). You can Google search for videos and explanations of form for various exercises. Plus, once you perfectly nail the form for an exercise and experience the feeling of using that muscle correctly, you will start to get a feel for correct form on other exercises.

I would avoid sit-ups and do some crunches instead. If you get the form correct, it's surprisingly not that laborious. I pull my legs in pretty close to my body and do not do the full "crunch" motion (lower back whines about it, desk jobs!), but I make sure my stomach muscles are doing the work and it pays off regardless. Also, don't shoot for 100 right off the bat, doing two sets of 10 with good form your first few times will kick your butt.

Same with push-ups, start small, focus on form, build up from a good foundation.

As for cardio, that can get even more complex than weight training! My philosophy about it is that improving the cardiovascular system requires an intense routine where you burst out a lot, while weight control is more about a long-term and moderate routine to burn calories.

tl;dr - Start off light and focus on good form, you will thank me later. :wink:

-----

ep wrote:I started 5x5's recently too, and it's working wonders. My 5 rep max went from 135 to 175 over the course of three months or so.


Finally became a man today... deadlifted 5 reps of 315!!! Now to get my squat up closer to my deadlift strength...


Congrats, I can't for the life of me get my form right on deadlifts. The weight eventually gets high enough (not high, just high enough :lol: ) that the exercise starts straining my lower back too much.

EDIT: on a related note, for 5x5's, I've found it helpful to start heavy and descend I use to pyramid with my 5x5's (eg, for squat, 225, 265, 275, 265, 255), with the third set being the heaviest. Now, I'll do 1-3 warmup sets and go straight into the heaviest set which lets me really test my 5 rep max rather than tire myself out before my heaviest set.


I remember reading on T Nation about a mix-up routine that is supposed to be effective at increasing strength. It was a four-parter that basically suggested a few different approaches (5x5, reps to complete failure, etc), and I was going to experiment with that on my bench to try to see some breakthroughs. It also had warm-ups. But now I can't find the darned thing.

What percentage of weight do you run with for warm-ups?
Last edited by Zyzyfer on Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby Xia Kyoto » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:47 am

Thanks for the sound advice to the both of you, I'll get on it :)
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:20 am

Good, good. Another key thing is to consider working out different parts of the body on different days. Like this is my basic weekly routine, it's a bit old-fashioned but it works for now:

Day 1 - Chest and Triceps: Bench press, three chest exercises, one triceps exercise, planning to add push-ups soon
Day 2 - Legs and Abs + Cardio: Squats, lunges, crunches, jumping jacks, etc., leg day tends to be the least fun for people
Day 3 - Rest (some do straight cardio this day)
Day 4 - Back and Biceps: 1 biceps exercise, 4 back exercises
Day 5 - Shoulders, Abs, Forearms + Cardio: 4 shoulder exercises, 1 forearm exercise, obliques (muscles on sides of abdomen), jumping jacks

Slowly build up from a simple foundation. Like go in, do all the push-ups you can in sets of 5 or 10, note your total, and use that as a baseline. Do the same with the other "daily" stuff you want.

As for weight training, pick one or two exercises, grab the lowest weight you can, try to do a set of 10. If you succeed, grab the next highest weight and try to do 10 reps. Keep doing this until you can only do 2 or 3 reps. You're pretty close to your max weight. Once you know that, you can build a routine around that knowledge. Like I generally do 4x10 a few notches down from my max weight, whereas ep mentioned he does 5x5. We have slightly different goals, learned different crap earlier on. As you learn more, your workout can evolve, get complex, simplify, whatever, to meet your goals as those change as well.
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby epaminondas146871 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:34 pm

Another thing that Zyzyfer hit right on point is the exercise distribution. As a beginner, don't work biceps/triceps/calves/forearms as much as (let alone more than) your chest/back/shoulders/thighs/glutes. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, exercising larger muscle groups will generally hit the secondary muscles as well. Bench press, while a chest exercise, is also hitting triceps, pullups, while a back exercise, are also hitting biceps, and so on. If you do bench press (a chest exercise) and kickbacks (a triceps exercise) you're overdoing your tris even though it seems like you have a 1:1 ratio. Secondly, your biceps and triceps are SUPPOSED to be proportionally smaller than your chest and back. Nobody looks good with massive biceps but nonexistent back muscles. Thirdly, doing larger compound exercises that work big muscle groups is also going to help you burn more fat during your workouts.
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:05 am

Right, I was reading an article about a workout style, and the guy was essentially saying to bust your tail with one of the classic compounds each day, with a couple of the more isolating exercises to round out the day. But he made it very clear, these are purely for rounding things out, and should absolutely not see you pushing yourself as hard as with the compound.

I have been considering switching over, but I've unfortunately been hit with a double whammy of athlete's foot and dyshidrosis, and the toes on my left foot look like zombie bits. So I feel like I should stay out of the gym until my foot recovers a bit. Last week was a nice respite, but I was itching to get back in the gym this week, so I'm bummed out. :(
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby epaminondas146871 » Fri May 02, 2014 1:45 am

Just googled dishydrosis... Well now I know what's been bugging my palms/fingers sporadically over the last year! I usually get the bumps every few weeks or so, but they're not that severe or visible, just annoying.
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri May 02, 2014 6:13 am

Yeah I used to just get little nondescript bumps in the past. Figured it was some weird heat rash kind of thing. This is the first time I got the little bubbles of liquid under the skin. I think it's just about wrapped up on my hands as most of the trouble areas have turned leathery and dry, and there is some peeling. Hopefully my foot settles down as well - it's really just one toe - and I can get back in the gym soon.
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Re: The Fitness thread

Unread postby epaminondas146871 » Sun May 04, 2014 4:03 pm

Sprained my ankle. For the next week, it looks like I'm gonna have to eat smart rather than simply hop on the ellipticals for 40 minutes to burn off 600 calories of junk :oops:
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