Being Attitude for Gains (gym thread)

#1

Gym thread time! All you lifters welcome.

Let’s-a begin.

So, last year I hit my ideal weight for the first time in my life (used to be underweight all the time) and it made gaining muscle a LOT easier, let me tell you. Still not taking any supplements but I’m basically in the best shape I’ve ever been (or, technically I was, before I spent a few weeks at my parents’ home for christmas and lost weight again, but we’ll get back there).

I still don’t have much time in my schedule for working out so I typically can afford to go about 2-3 times a week. I’ve reached a point where I feel I could go every day, if I didn’t have Other Shit To Do™ though.

Right now I’m doing some cardio before or after the weights to get rid of a bit of flab in the midsection, but I’m thinking if I should start seriously doing abs exercises now. I can probably see some benefits with that at this point.
Also, I probably need to get into “real” bench pressing (been using the machines till now) but I don’t have a spotting partner anymore so I don’t know how viable that can be with heavier weights? I go to a 24hr fitness center and I like to go really late when I can so there’s not many people there. Can’t concentrate in crowded gyms.

Finally, I think I need some work in the shoulders. I do Arnold presses or regular shoulder press machine, but idk if I could be doing something else?.

So, basically, looking to improve:

  • Upper chest
  • Abs
  • Shoulders

Any tips on good beginner-to-mid-level exercises?

#2

My dumb advice: If you’re looking to get strong do the 5x5. If you’re looking to get pretty get your macro intake correct. If you want to feel good after both of those, make sure you’re getting your micro intake all good. Then meditate a bit…

This is my recommended 5x5 routine. It is stripped so the whole amount-of-time-in-the-gym is minimized while you still do big huge big lifts. It’s ramped whole body free weights, essentially the get big workout. Anything else is a variation with a particular goal in mind.

Wrt free weights vs machines:the only people who should be doing machines are the ones in specialized situations. The elderly, handicapped, and super amazingly buff people who know far more than I do are pretty much the only ones who won’t be able to take advantage of the balance and adjunct muscle building free weights do.

If you’re interested in getting rid of pudge, get your diet in order. You can’t spot reduce fat. In fact, there are many famous cases where people try to spot reduce and despite getting what they worked hard for (e.g. badass abs) they just ended up looking fatter because that muscle just pushed out that pudge that smoothed out all that skin. Don’t quote me on this, but your macro split should be something like 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat by calorie. This changes wildly based on your activity levels and general ancy pantsy ness, but whatever. Another helpful set of numbers are 4 calories per gram protein, 4 calories per gram carbohydrate, and 9 calories per gram fat. I really like this e-book Brain Over Brawn for a better look.

If you insist on doing cardio because you think the 100 or so calories you burn per mile ran is good for you, try to do it on days you’re not lifting. I believe that running burns excess energy you could use for lifting which gets you bigger and nets you better calorie burn overall. A light warmup to get your blood going is actually really great to kickstart a workout, but whatevs. The biggest benefit I see to running is getting your mental endurance up, so, yeah. Long thread. Read Born to Run and get stoked to run.

#3

I guess there’s no way around it, is there? I do like my ice cream (occasionally), and it’s not currently super feasible to me to get into a super strict diet, but I eat pretty well overall.

And yeah, I know that it’s not possible to spot reduce. That’s why I started with cardio in the first place. I figured that burning at least some fat would help more than not doing any kind of cardiovascular exercise at all…

I’m aiming for (a bit of) bulk and also tone, basically. Currently doing 4x12 “routine” no specific table of exercises. Kinda winging it, doing whatever feels appropriate each day. So far it’s been working? Idk, I’m sure I could optimize it more, but I’ve tried pre-set routines before with much slower results.

Any advice about micro intake? How would I go about figuring out what to take?

#4

My only added advice is that cardio trains you to be better at: cardio. This may be important depending on what you want - being able to run fast and far is a useful skill. But don’t throw a bunch of heavy cardio in for “fat burn” as distinct from lifting; it isn’t any better at using calories.

2 Likes
#5

Take 15 minutes to read about the 5x5. If you buy into it it’ll end up saving you more htan 15 minutes at the gym.

Choose if you’re looking to bulk or tone. Bulking is easiest by lifting hard and eating a lot. Toning is easiest when you’re just working out a lot and eating correctly. Doing both is really incredibly hard, but doable. There’s some sort of 300 (like the movie) workout that is essentially crossfit that is essentially weird and craz, but will make you look like 300 (like the movie) or Tyler Durden (also like the movie).

@ anyone reading this thread: any recs on bodyweight exercises and/or exercises using dumbbells up to 52 lbs? I don’t have a gym membership, but I do have a lot of space and 2 adjustable dumbbells that go up to 52 lbs. Ready set go.

1 Like
#6

I’m in a similar boat, no time to go to gym and a barbell that takes a max 100 lbs. I do a lot of pushups. I’m weak now though so I don’t have lots of great advice.

If you want a pure bodyweight workout, I believe Musclegod Adol posted this on old sb:
3x8 Pullups
3x8 Pushups/Dips
2 min front neck bridge-> hold
2 min back neck bridge-> hold
1 min plank->30 sec 1 arm-1 leg plank, then switch sides
3x8 standing->back bridge->standing
3x8 handstand pushups
3x8 bodyweight squat
2 min wall seat
3x5 min burpees as intense you can (for cardio)

This shit is INTENSE AS BALLS. You have to be in great shape already just to do it. But you can modify by getting rid of certain sets.

#7

I agree with anothergod that you should just do a beginners free weight routine for a few months. Starting Strength (3x5) and 5x5 Stronglifts are the most popular (the one anothergod linked is an adaptation of these). It doesn’t really matter which one you do. All of these are 3 day/week routines and take maybe 45-60min. Don’t overcomplicate this stuff for now.

Here’s the Starting Strength wiki, it has some articles on how to do the big lifts: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Starting_Strength_Wiki

If you really want to build-up your upper chest and shoulders specifically, add accessory lateral raises (to build up deltoids) and incline dumbbell bench press. I’d probably hold off on these two, though, for a couple of months so you can focus on the big lifts and get used to them.

[quote=“anothergod, post:2, topic:647”]
If you insist on doing cardio because you think the 100 or so calories you burn per mile ran is good for you, try to do it on days you’re not lifting. I believe that running burns excess energy you could use for lifting which gets you bigger and nets you better calorie burn overall. [/quote]

You should be doing cardio not for fat-burning reasons but for…cardiovascular health. You should be doing some sort of aerobic exercise on top of weightlifting/bodyweight training. Current “evidence” (although I’m always skeptical since the goalposts change every few years) is that you only need 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a 3 or 4 times per week, so it’s not like you need to be killing yourself during the workout or be training for half marathons. I hate cardio but for a while I was the weightlifter who was winded after running 2 miles, which was (at least from my point of view) unacceptable. Just do 30 mins of running/cycling/rowing/whatever after lifting.

The cardio will do nothing for losing weight. You’ll lose flab in your midsection by watching what you eat and maybe a little bit from weight training building up your core (deadlifts and squats mainly).

#8

Holy shit that sounds brutal.

1 min plank? I don’t think I can pull that off atm. Could give it a try, tho.

And yeah, paging @adol btw.
Mr Apol, BBP and Adilegian aren’t in the new forum, huh?

#9

today i think i tore a groin muscle doing squats. it hurt ; _ ;

#10

So, muscle update. I’m into my 4th week (that is, 2nd cycle) of the stripped 5x5 program, and it is pretty good!

The first few days I felt I wasn’t doing enough, because I was done so soon and I didn’t feel that exhausted afterwards, so I though I should probably increase the weight. That did it, because I get properly tired while doing the sets (even though I recover fairly quickly)

All the cardio I did before was all light cardio, but now I have stopped doing it. On the flipside, I’m actually going to the gym more often so I´m probably burning more calories overall.

I think I have kickstarted my metabolism past a previously-uncrossed threshold, because at certain times of the day I feel hungry as heck, and I’m not used to eating a lot, so I’ll probably need to figure out a way to pack some extra meals in the day.

2 Likes
#11

Protein shakes + bananas are easy, fast, and economical.

I am going to do some pushups now.

1 Like
#12

Anyone knows if these things are any good?
They look a bit better than full gloves but I don’t know if they have any unseen disadvantages.

1 Like
#13

They look super douchey. I would wear them to the gym in a heartbeat.

#14

man up and grow some calluses.

triggered by a big life happening, i haven’t pressed or pulled a barbel in the last 6 months. it wasn’t until stopping that I realized how far I’d come. which should be encouraging but isn’t.

for the first time in my life I can say I dislike my body. it feels like a lover has died. im no longer “loser who looks good naked” but “loser”. mirrors don’t exist, my neck is in a fixed position in the shower.

#15

lol @pastel I don’t know what’s more upsetting. The calluses = macho = value or the all encompassing loser self image you have. Maybe you should think about what value lifting gets you and then that’ll help you decide whether or not you should “bro, do you even lift?”

#16

you took my post too seriously

#17

Yeah, no.

Calluses don’t look good and I want to be able to lift heavier weights without the knurling of the bars digging painfully into my hands (and compromising grip)

Funnily enough, growing as a millenial in my hometown, calluses in the hands weren’t considered macho. Quite the contrary, at least according to a friend of mine

1 Like
#18

Cool that you’re doing this (thread and workout)! I want to get back to the gym and maybe start out with the stripped 5x5 but I feel like I need to sort out my back pain first. It might be something serious and for now doing deadlifts or bent-over rows just doesn’t seem realistic… I’d just wreck myself

2 Likes
#19

Injury is the worst. My job is way more physically demanding than its ever been and it’s like the hardest thing ever to get back into the gym. Yoga/stretching etc. really helps me a lot.

#20

Any good rotines for abs exercises?
Something in the same vein as the 5x5? Beginner oriented but effective?