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Old 11-10-2004, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Chicago
Trying to get in better shape

First posting in this forum. Basically I am looking to get in better shape. I am currently 6' 155lb down from 190lb three years ago. By this I mean be stronger and better body in general, and I don't mind gaining weight at all, as long as it's not fat. I don't think I'm too bad right now, but I don't know how to improve at this point. My current workout is as follows:

Monday: chest, triceps, abs, and all the muscles that go with those
Tuesday: biceps, back
Wednesday: swimming for cardio and a bit of strength. Plus I hate running
Thursday: chest again, like monday
Friday: biceps, back, like tuesday
Saturday: swimming again
Sunday: nothing
Each workout takes 1.2-1.5 hours and I swim for 30-40 minutes when I go.

Generally I go on the eliptical machine for 10 minutes before lifting just to get the blood moving. I also bike about 3-5 miles a day going to and from class since classes and work are split between the airport and campus.

I do not currently take any supplements and suspect I don't get enough protein to gain anything in lifting. For instance, I've been lifting on a similar schedule to this for about 2 years now and have only gone up in benching 20 pounds. I've never been good at benching anyways, but still, I just haven't seen the results.

Considering the expertise on this forum, I'm hoping to get some good input on what I should change, I'd bet there's a lot.
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
First, instead of working out your muscles twice a week just do them once. And you're also missing lower body exercises so you need to add those. So try something like:

Monday: chest, triceps, abs
Tuesday: swim
Wednesday: back, biceps
Thursday: swim
Friday: legs, and shoulders if you aren't doing them on another day
Saturday: swim
Sunday: rest

And try to get your workout time down to 1 hour per session, any longer and you're hurting your progress. This doesn't mean you need to rush through your workout but if you can't do it in an hour then perhaps you're doing too many exercises or wasting time in the gym when not exercising.

When doing a set don't just put the weight down after you've reached a predetermined number of reps, go until you can't lift the weight another rep. So if you're doing 10 reps for an exercise then just aim for 10 reps but if you can do more then most definitely do more, next time just add more weight and aim for doing 10 reps. If you're aiming for 10 reps but you can only push out 6 reps then that's fine, by next workout you should be able to come closer to 10 if not more. And if you have the access then definitely use a spotter in case you're going for that one more rep but just can't do it and need a spotter to get the weight off you. You'll never realize the benefit of having a spotter until you really need one.

You do need to make sure that you're getting in enough protein. I'd suggest getting between .6-.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So at your weight that'd be around 100 grams of protein per day. It sounds like a lot but a normal chicken breast has close to 40 grams of protein. And so if you pick the right foods you won't need any supplements.

If you're not making any gains then that is sign that something probably needs to change, but that does not mean adding another exercise to your routine. Just taking a short break from working out and then starting back could be all that's needed. So for you I would suggest taking a week or two off from lifting and then start this new routine.
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Chicago
Sounds like great advice. I can't really get a spotter all the time so I normally use dumbells so that I can throw them to the side if they are too heavy. It seems to work so far. What kind of shoulder excersises would you recommend? I currently do shrugs and rotator cuff movements.
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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check out this thread, it may help.
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?t=75499
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
Insane
 
get a bowflex and a treadmill. it has helped me out tremendously.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Suave's Avatar
 
Location: My own little world (also Canada)
Eat a goodly amount of complex carbs (to avoid using protein for energy) as well as the protein stated earlier by shred.

Good basic combinations:
chicken and rice
chicken and pasta
beef and pasta
burger and fries (lean burger and baked fries, naturally)
steak and potatoes
I'd add pork, but pork is disgusting and has no place in one of my posts. Who the hell wants the "other" white meat anyways?

Also, dairy is good if you need protein but you don't want meat. Drink milk, eat cheese, be merry.

Mobo: you don't just "get" a Bowflex. How much do they cost, 500 bucks?
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Old 11-11-2004, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
Psycho
 
more like a thousand

like people said
work out less, and focus more on diet
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: north america
i forgot that pasta adn rice were complex carbs...
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
Psycho
 
whole wheat pasta is, and brown rice is

im pretty sure "normal" pasta and white rice arn't.
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Poland, Ohio // Clarion University of PA.
Working out correctly has a lot to due with your gains - proper form, execution, time in between sets, number of sets/reps, etc. But you will have a tougher time seeing these gains without the right kind of nutrional plan set up. Like other people said, you will need a good amount of protein if you want to see mass gain. Also, you need to stay away from junk foods or just bad foods in general.

If you want some really good suggestions on what works for foods, check out John Stone's Fitness site, he keeps daily track of what he eats, and he makes amazing progress, and he's in his bulking process right now.
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