Thread: The gym thread

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  1. #1

    The gym thread

    I made this thread because going in and training is something I enjoy. I won't give you the BS that it makes a man out of you or that it teaches you discipline - it doesn't - but I really do think that it is a hobby that has a lot of positives and that if you decide to take it up you won't be mistaken.

    This thread is open for lifters of all experience levels and it's a place to get new workout ideas and advice from other guys and gals. By no means am I an expert and I don't want to be viewed as such. I am just an office jockey that likes to powerlift.

    Newbies

    If you have no idea what you are doing and are just getting started stick to the basics. To lose or gain weight you should monitor your calories. If you burn more than you consume you will lose weight, if you eat more than you burn you will gain weight. For now don't bother with things such as keto, carb-cycling, intermitent fasting or paleo. I am not saying they don't work but you currently don't know how your body reacts to certain foods.

    I will give you myself as an example - I can safely run keto for about 3 months because I can eat eggs, peanuts, spinach, chicken and cheese without becoming too acidic, getting heartburn or indigestion. Some may not and the thought of eating 10 eggs would be awful for them.

    Don't worry about supplements. If you want to pick a jug of protein powder or whatever I am not going to judge you but I don't think it is necessary. Just nail down your eating and stick to a good program for about 4-6 months. Speaking of which the following are good places to start:

    Greyskull LP
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqu3...&nohtml5=False

    Starting Strength
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w7D...&nohtml5=False

    Powerlifting To Win Novice Program
    http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/

    These programs aren't magic and are not the be-all-end-all of lifting, it's just that simple linear progression is idiot-proof and is better than the usual bro splits that are going around. If you want a good base Greyskull is the place to start. Starting Strength gets a bad rep because idiots end up drinking a gallon of milk and get fat while PTW's novice program is great if you specifically want to get into powerlifting.

    Avoid at all cost Strong Lifts and ICF 5x5 they are virtually the same program and I think it's a shitty way to train in general.

    After 6 months if you want more powerlifting you can do:

    Candito's LP
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo19...&nohtml5=False

    The Texas Method
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEoh...&nohtml5=False

    Or just continue with what Izzy has written

    Bulking and Cutting

    Generally speaking, the mirror should be the thing that decides what you do first. If you are skinnyfat or just plain fat you should first until you reach 10%-12% BF. If you are skinny you need to bulk.

    Bulking should not be viewed as a free ticket to gorge like a pig but a controlled phase where you build strength and muscle. Generally don't go for more than 8% of your current body weight. In practical terms, if I am 74 kg (which I am) the most I should aim for is 80-81 kg so that I can drop down to my competition weight when needed and so that I don't pack on too much fat.

    I strongly believe that the gym is something that should enhance your life and not take away from it. Getting fat so you can lift 5kg more is just retarded and misses the point of it all - to look good and feel good.

    With that out of the way, my stats:

    Squat 140kg
    Bench 90kg
    Deadlift 160kg
    Current weight:74 kg
    Height: 192cm
    Training:Got fat doing ICF and wasted a year, started training again last August so 8 months more-or-less
    Aims: To compete in powerlifting next September
    Current program: PIP 1 but modified to incorporate more volume, I can't get enough work done with just the competition lifts.

  2. #2
    For gym newbies just starting out, my simple advice is to take a balanced approach to both weightlifting and cardio:

    -Start with dynamic stretches.
    -Hit the free weights. (you can hit almost every muscle with free weights and a bench, youtube them)
    -End with cardio. (treadmill/elliptical/bike)
    -Recover with protein and static stretching/foam rolling.

    This is what my routine usually looks like when I lift 3xweek. 3xweek is minimum but I also add in some calisthenics, core workouts, and even more cardio on the off days for 5xweek at the gym.

    Goal: For people wanting that lean, muscular, shredded look. Not for weightlifters wanting huge mass or marathon runners with almost none.

  3. #3
    A lot of the bad advice you can get boils down to:

    >eat more
    >do more volume

    When I am writing this I assume that you are a healthy average male, meaning that you weight in the 70-80kg bracket. The majority of the "eat more" advice comes from beginner programs like SS and ICF 5x5 and is really misguided. Eating more does help your body grow muscle and it does replenish your glycogen (the fullness that you have after eating lots of carbs the previous day) but to a certain degree, after that you just gain fat. It is not uncommon to see people bragging about their 140kg squat after 6 months of SS and then you realise they weigh 110 kg.

    To put things into perspective, to get into the "intermediate" bracket you either have to stop having the desired effect from beginner programs (duh) or if you want a hard number 1.5 BW for the squat; BW for the bench; 1.75-2BW for the deadlift or near those numbers. All of these are for a single rep and are achievable without "eat more" or "doing more volume".

    To drive progress volume is king but people often times get a knee-jerk reaction and start squatting 5 times a week or something stupid like that. A better way to handle this is to know that you have to move on to a routine that asks for weekly increases and because of the way they are structured you will get the adequate volume you need from them.

    I will give myself as an example again - I am not going to brag how hardcore more workouts are or how I go all out because I don't. My eating is okayish in the sens that I get my protein and carbs in but it isn't super clean. Essentially, I am your average Excel dork and I was able to pull off the numbers I listed just by programming the lifts and intensities in accordance to my current life situation (stress, yada-yada) and my current level of lifting. Nothing fancy, no gimmicks - just a bit of thought put into my training.

  4. #4
    Stood in the Fire ODDLAWL's Avatar
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    Why do you think SL is a "shitty way to train in general?" I think it's a great introductory program for someone that literally can't even handle the 45lbs an olympic bar weighs because that is how I started. I went from squatting 55lbs to 165lbs in about 4 months, I'm 5'4/123lbs and female. SL is great to profit on the noob gains since it's not really a "sustainable" program (you can't really add 5lbs indefinitely and you WILL hit a wall). Not everyone can be 6'3 and a guy who can probably lift what I lift with no prior experience, must be nice. But really though, for someone that literally has no idea what proper form is, how the movements feel, etc. SL is a good starting point because it's all the "basic" lifts, it also has a handy dandy app. Everyone has to start somewhere!

  5. #5
    I don't like the flat 5x5 scheme. It's good when you are still dealing with light weights but as soon as you hit 100+kg it just becomes a fucking grind. Medhi himself says that after a certain point you have to do it 3x5 otherwise you will have slow/non-existent progress. There are better beginner programs out there that won't beat you up so much and you will be able to make progress over a longer period of time.

    Not everyone can be 6'3 and a guy who can probably lift what I lift with no prior experience, must be nice.
    Please don't be passive aggressive it looks really awful and you come off as being a douche. When starting out I couldn't bench the bar and do a single chin-up and push-up because my upper body was weak.

    Everyone has to start somewhere!
    That's why I posted some good beginner routines that do what SL is supposed to but better. The only thing they don't have is the app.

  6. #6
    Hey.

    So, I'm looking to bulk more than I have been, I've noticed some serious difference in the last 3 months with regard to size after being able to pick up the more serious weights. I'm fairly satisfied with my food intake and I ocassionally have weight shakes after hard days in the absence of more food to try and keep off belly flab. I've just never really been trained by anyone to build the muscle so I thought I may ask basic technique in regard to rep and sets

    Currently I do 4-3 sets of 6-7 reps with heavy weights, I quite literally cannot continue past 6-7 reps in a set per exercise my rest period in between sets is varied but usually around 30 seconds to a minute. This is what I just learned from a few magazines / the web but I'm always wary of such things so seeing this thread I thought I'd ask. Any tips anyone could provide to put on some bulk would be appreciated.

    Also how do I train calf muscles? I do raises but I just can't get that satisfying burn I get from other muscles and the bottom of my legs are starting to look like twigs and I don't want to look like one of those guys

    I am an Ectomorph, if that helps.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Triks View Post
    To drive progress volume is king but people often times get a knee-jerk reaction and start squatting 5 times a week or something stupid like that. A better way to handle this is to know that you have to move on to a routine that asks for weekly increases and because of the way they are structured you will get the adequate volume you need from them.
    Nothing wrong with Squatting 5 times a week, Squatting for near 100% 1rm 5 times a week 'can' be stupid (and probably isn't a good idea for most people). There are plenty of people whoa re successful with a program that invovles some form of squatting 5 times a week (See Bulgarian Method, Smolov, Smolov jr, virtually any program designed around Olympic Weightlifting).

    If you have back/knee/hip/ankle issues, squatting 5 times is a bad idea, but saying its stupid is silly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Overlord Fordragon View Post

    Also how do I train calf muscles? I do raises but I just can't get that satisfying burn I get from other muscles and the bottom of my legs are starting to look like twigs and I don't want to look like one of those guys
    Your calves may not get huge just based on genetics.

    Are you implementing other leg movements such as squats, deadlifts, lunges? Theres really not much for isolation of calves other than various types of calf raises.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overlord Fordragon View Post
    Also how do I train calf muscles? I do raises but I just can't get that satisfying burn I get from other muscles and the bottom of my legs are starting to look like twigs and I don't want to look like one of those guys
    I'm surprised you aren't feeling your calves burn. How many reps are you doing? Are they single legged or together? Are you going through the full range of motion?

    I hate working calves because I feel them every step for next few days.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    Why is Stronglifts a "bad program"? I've been using it and I've seen quite a lot of gains. I'm up to 200lbs, my chest is bigger, my legs are bigger. My arms aren't really growing as well as I'd hoped, but overall it's been fantastic getting me where I want to go.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Darsithis View Post
    Why is Stronglifts a "bad program"? I've been using it and I've seen quite a lot of gains. I'm up to 200lbs, my chest is bigger, my legs are bigger. My arms aren't really growing as well as I'd hoped, but overall it's been fantastic getting me where I want to go.
    I'm not sure why OP immediately said its a bad program, because it isn't. Its a beginner program for sure, but I started with it and made a lot of gains until I started doing stuff more specialized to what I wanted to gain in.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    What about cardio on off-days with programs like Stronglifts or full-body barbell workouts? I've been avoiding extra cardio because I was worried it would prevent my legs (I use elliptical) from recovering properly since you squat every workout Mon/Wed/Fri
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  12. #12
    imho - don't get exercise advice from mmochamp.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triks View Post
    I don't like the flat 5x5 scheme. It's good when you are still dealing with light weights but as soon as you hit 100+kg it just becomes a fucking grind. Medhi himself says that after a certain point you have to do it 3x5 otherwise you will have slow/non-existent progress. There are better beginner programs out there that won't beat you up so much and you will be able to make progress over a longer period of time.
    Hence switching to 3x5 on my squats at 215lbs.
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  14. #14
    Stood in the Fire ODDLAWL's Avatar
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    The app tells you to switch when it sees that you are not making progress as well. @OF I didn't mean anything with what I said but apparently you took it seriously, it's just funny to me because you are so much taller than I am. It's going to take a lot more than SL for me to be able to squat 200+ lbs for reps being 5'4, female, and 123lbs since I don't plan on competing anywhere ever.

    Anyway @Dartsithis I usually run or do yoga/pilates on my off days since I do T,Th,Sat. the elliptical does a number on my knees. I think squatting heavier weights though you should really take the rest just so you can continue making linear progress.

    There's been a recent study that said longer rest times increased muscle mass by like a millimeter or something. Alan Thrall mentions that to increase bulk (get bigger muscles) you should increase volume (more reps) (https://youtu.be/JFZWM-_JNhQ?t=5m25s) "heavy ass weight for an extended period of time".

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeebs View Post

    Your calves may not get huge just based on genetics.

    Are you implementing other leg movements such as squats, deadlifts, lunges? Theres really not much for isolation of calves other than various types of calf raises.
    I feel like if it was down to genetics then I'd be fine as everyone in my family has had giga calves, to be clear I don't want that because dads calves are so he has to buy specialised pants but yes I am training my legs in full ranges, but that's the problem them rest of my legs are starting to get away from the calves

    Quote Originally Posted by Jotaux View Post
    I'm surprised you aren't feeling your calves burn. How many reps are you doing? Are they single legged or together? Are you going through the full range of motion?

    I hate working calves because I feel them every step for next few days.

    Well I already stated my normal reps but for calves its around 11-12 otherwise I just don't feel it. It might be I just can't lift a heavy enough weight to achieve that burn at 6-7

    Appreciate the answers guys although everyone sort of glossed over the first part of my post. :P
    Last edited by Overlord Fordragon; 2016-04-13 at 08:10 AM.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeebs View Post
    Nothing wrong with Squatting 5 times a week, Squatting for near 100% 1rm 5 times a week 'can' be stupid (and probably isn't a good idea for most people). There are plenty of people whoa re successful with a program that invovles some form of squatting 5 times a week (See Bulgarian Method, Smolov, Smolov jr, virtually any program designed around Olympic Weightlifting).

    If you have back/knee/hip/ankle issues, squatting 5 times is a bad idea, but saying its stupid is silly.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Your calves may not get huge just based on genetics.

    Are you implementing other leg movements such as squats, deadlifts, lunges? Theres really not much for isolation of calves other than various types of calf raises.
    I know of these methods but they are mostly counter-productive in the long run. You run something like Smolov or Smolov Jr if you want to set a PR on a meet, otherwise it's just pointless masochism. I gave it as an example for a knee-jerk reaction.

    Why is Stronglifts a "bad program"? I've been using it and I've seen quite a lot of gains. I'm up to 200lbs, my chest is bigger, my legs are bigger. My arms aren't really growing as well as I'd hoped, but overall it's been fantastic getting me where I want to go.
    It stalls you faster than Starting Strength and it doesn't have the form of auto-regulation that something like Greyskull has. On top of that - this is for most of these cookie-cutter programs - they don't have enough volume to drive the bench up consistently. Most people need to bench at least 2 times a week on a consistent basis with the second being a variation such as 2-count pause, incline or close-grip with a pause. Overall, I just feel there are better ways to train.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Overlord Fordragon View Post
    Hey.

    So, I'm looking to bulk more than I have been, I've noticed some serious difference in the last 3 months with regard to size after being able to pick up the more serious weights. I'm fairly satisfied with my food intake and I ocassionally have weight shakes after hard days in the absence of more food to try and keep off belly flab. I've just never really been trained by anyone to build the muscle so I thought I may ask basic technique in regard to rep and sets

    Currently I do 4-3 sets of 6-7 reps with heavy weights, I quite literally cannot continue past 6-7 reps in a set per exercise my rest period in between sets is varied but usually around 30 seconds to a minute. This is what I just learned from a few magazines / the web but I'm always wary of such things so seeing this thread I thought I'd ask. Any tips anyone could provide to put on some bulk would be appreciated.

    Also how do I train calf muscles? I do raises but I just can't get that satisfying burn I get from other muscles and the bottom of my legs are starting to look like twigs and I don't want to look like one of those guys

    I am an Ectomorph, if that helps.
    Tell us your stats and program that's always a good place to start.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Triks View Post

    Tell us your stats and program that's always a good place to start.
    As I stated I've never really seen anybody about my training and have never given 'stats' before but I assume you mean the following

    I weigh 76 kilos, Just on 6 foot tall

    On 3-4 day rotational period training nearly every day

    Day 1: Chest, back
    Day 2: Arms - Bi's and Tri's and shoulders
    Day 3: Legs, Core
    Day 4: Whatever I feel like I didn't hit hard enough out of the other days, plus Cardio
    __________

    Let me know if you need to know more, appreciate any help.
    Come forth coward and answer for your crimes!!

  18. #18
    What weight do you use for your bench press, squat and deadlift (if you do it)?

  19. #19
    High Overlord MCO Readycheck's Avatar
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    I used to be in a good shape at age 21 just by eating a regular diet and being on my feet all day at work. then warcraft and office work happened and i got fat. literally just started back at the gym (now age 30) and wondering how much to go. been 3 days in a row this week just to remember what it's like to be active but i THINK i'm going to be aiming for 4x a week once I'm settled. maybe weights/cardio on 3 days and just cardio on day 4 to relax muscles a bit.

    typically spend 60 mins in there per session. does that sound about right? im a naturally big frame anyway but looking to just tone down, get healthier in general to begin with
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Pinball2k View Post
    I used to be in a good shape at age 21 just by eating a regular diet and being on my feet all day at work. then warcraft and office work happened and i got fat. literally just started back at the gym (now age 30) and wondering how much to go. been 3 days in a row this week just to remember what it's like to be active but i THINK i'm going to be aiming for 4x a week once I'm settled. maybe weights/cardio on 3 days and just cardio on day 4 to relax muscles a bit.

    typically spend 60 mins in there per session. does that sound about right? im a naturally big frame anyway but looking to just tone down, get healthier in general to begin with
    Sounds like a good plan. I'd suggest getting on a structured exercise plan as well, such as a PPL or stronglifts type thing so you can keep good progression, really helps in getting results. Remember to get the rest days and especially good sleep in as well because they're crucial to muscle growth.

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