Noob Looking for Advice

Discussion in 'General Training' started by bgates1654, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    Hi, Everyone. I just joined today and I am looking for some advice. I am still kind of green in the weightlifting area, but I have been researching and weightlifting seriously for about 4 months now. I have lifted off and on in the past. My current workout is as follows:

    I alternate workouts one day on one day off with no weekend breaks. Everything is done twice before legs workout is done. All exercises are done 3sets/8 reps unless otherwise noted. I currently dont have a lot of equipment. I have a Weider Platinum XP600 and 5, 10, 15, and 20lb dumbells. Most exercises are done on the machine. I use a 2-3 minute rest between each set.

    Back/Bis
    Standard Dumbell Curl
    Dumbell Hammer Curl
    Reverse Dumbell Curl
    Seated Row (2sets Horiz grip/ 2sets Vert grip)
    Reverse Dumbell Fly
    Lat Pull Down

    Chest/Tris
    Bench
    Incline Bench
    Tricep pushdown
    Seated Tricep Extension

    Shoulder/Ab/Lower back
    Machine Crunch
    Reverse Crunch
    Obliques (2x8 each side)
    Military Press
    Shrug
    Shoulder extension with turn down to hit rear deltoids
    Lower back

    Legs
    Squat
    Hams
    Calf
    Usually add in incl bench, some curls and some abs.

    I plan on acquiring more workout equipment in the future. Are there any suggestions as to what to get? I am planning on trying out the Hypertrophy Specific Training Program.

    The Supplements I am currently using are:
    Optimum Nutrition L-glutamine
    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein w BCAAs (24g each serving)
    Optimum Nutrition Tribulus Terrestris (2x625mg, morning and before workout)
    GNC Mega Men Vitamins (1-2 a day depending on whether I forget one or not)

    On workout days I use the protein in the morning, 30-1hr before workout, and within 1hr after workout. On off days I have the protein in the morning and 5g glutamine before dinner and 5g before bed. I was taking flax oil but I jsut could handle taking the oil anymore so I plan on getting fish oil caps.

    Supplements I am planning on using:
    Creatine
    D-ribose
    Extra chromium
    Extra Magnesium
    Alpha Lipoic Acid
    DHEA and Tongkat Ali to go along with the Tribulus.

    I would like a critique of the supplements I am currently using as well as the supplements I plan on using. Any further suggestions would be welcome. Logical reasoning behind all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Welcome to the HST Forums! [​IMG]

    Xahrx would be best to comment on those, but the only things that seem useful to me are the protein, creatine, vitamins, and ALA.

    You have a lot of different exercises... stick to something more simple like this:

    Dumbell Hammer Curl
    Seated Row (2sets Horiz grip/ 2sets Vert grip)
    Lat Pull Down or Chins
    Dips
    Bench Press
    Seated Tricep Extension (Skullcrushers)
    Machine Crunch
    Obliques
    Military Press
    Shrugs
    Stiff Legged Deadlifts
    Squats
    Calf Raises

    3x/week HST style

    All the supplements in the world won't do anything until you make sure your diet is in check. Eat several hundred calories above maintenance and you should grow. This also depends on your lifting background (where muscle memory and neural adaption comes into play)

    Essential fatty acids are the good type of fats you want in your diet and will aid in keeping you nice and lean.

    It looks like you read up on everything, so you're starting off right!

    -Colby
     
  3. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    Cobly, thank you for the welcome and your advice. I hope that Xarhx decides to stop by this thread and give some advice on the supplements then.

    Yes it does seem like I have some redundant exercises. I was hoping to cut them down to something more managable otehrwise I would be doing 3hr workouts those 3 days. I have been doing 3 sets of 3 different exercises for the biceps becuase I thought that would help them grow faster. It is the one part of my body I am not happy in terms of the growth with. Perhaps I have been overworking them? Also I thought that the reverse bicep curls hit a different muscle or something in the bicep area. I will have to look that up I dont remember it comletely. I am unable to do dips and deadlifts becuase I do not have the equipment for them. I can replace them with the machine back exercise and I guess keep the incl dumbell press. I have read that the incl dumbell press is an excellent exercise for the chest (even better than the flat bench) in that it recruits nearly the entire muscle for the lift. I was hoping to keep an exercise in there for the mid/rear deltoids as well as the hamstrings. So that would cut out 4 exercises in total.

    I have tried to do a lot of research into the diet when lifting as well. I have been eating quite a bit I hopes of being above maintainance calories. Before I began weight lifting seriously I weighed about 182 +/- 2lbs with enough body fat to hide the ab muscles but no significant amt of excess fat on the abdomen. In 4 months I have gained about 10lbs, but some of that is fat due ot the fact taht I now have a small amt of excess fat on my abdomen. Just for further info I am 25 and 192lbs currently. My diet while not attrocious is not stellar either. I should eat more frequently. I have cut out fried foods and other unhealthy things. My current phase of exercise is mass/strength gaining so I am eating as healthy and as much as I can keeping my protein, carbs, and overall calories high while minimizing bad fats. However I still tend to eat whatever I want. When I begine cutting fat this will all change. Thanks again!
     
  4. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Overtraining [​IMG] Eh, it's such a small muscle, you don't need all that work from iso's. Leave it to the compounds and then a couple sets to one iso exercise.
     
  5. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know why people work the biceps so much. All it does is bend your elbow, it's not useful for much. If you want your arms to look bigger, you should focus on triceps, they are two thirds of your upper arm, after all. Big triceps will make your arm look much thicker than a big bicep. So... I think if you are doing enough compounds, then one set of curls should be sufficient for biceps.

    I agree with Colby, you should consider doing fullbody three times a week instead of using a one-part-a-day type of split. Fullbody is far more effective at increasing strength and size. Also, it will save you a lot of time, compared to the time your current split usually uses.

    Anyway, what equipment do you have? For deadlifts, all you need is a bar and some weights. You don't need anything else. All you are doing is grabbing the bar and then standing up. Dips, I wouldn't bother with if you don't have anything you can do them off of. Some people use two chairs, but I found that doesn't work very well when you start loading on the weight. Or maybe my chairs just suck. Sometimes you can use your bench to dip from depending on what kind you have.

    But regardless, the advice Colby gave regarding your workout is solid enough. Do that three times a week, eat enough and I bet you that you will have better gains than your current split is giving you.
     
  6. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    Well I think its becuase it tends to be one of the main things women look for.  Yes I have noticed that my triceps are getting pretty big (comparably).  Since i started lifting seriously my arms have grown nearly 50-75% (which really isnt that big lol) primarily due to the triceps.  Its just that I dont appear to have that much of a gain proportionally in my biceps which could be due to the afforementioned overtraining.  Whatever I am doing for my triceps seems to be working out great.

    I am going to be trying out HST once I finish my strategic deconditioning.  Tomorrow will be the 9th day of no lifting.
    All the equipment I have is in my first post; a weider platinum XP600 and a few dumbells.  My work has a 50% reimbursement for exercise equipment and I am at my limit for this year.  So this coming year I will be buying more equipment some of which will be an olympic bar and weights for it.  Squats on the machine I have suck and I will be able to do deadlifts, so it addresse some things.  Maybe I can pick something up for dips too.  I definitely need more dumbells as well.

    Hopefully I can get some comments on the supplements as well.  I have continued my research and found a few more things.  I have found a bunch of references to the rather bad effects of using a high dose of chromium picolinate in terms of DNA damage and the like so I am going to avoid it.  I also found that a lot of people seem to like ZMA and being pretty much an extra dose in magnesium zinc and B6 I decided to give it a shot.  It seems that the general consensus is that Tribulus is not effective at raising test or having any good effects towards mass/strength gaining.  I have learned that DHEA appears to only be effective in middle age+ people and does not seem to have a significant effect on young people so I am foregoing that as well.  I dont have much info on tongkat ali so I am not ordering any at the moment.
    This is what I did order.  I am giving all info in case someone knows of a better deal next time or someone sees a better deal here.  This is one order from www.betterbodz.com.  There prices are great, they ship fast, but their customer service appears to be non existant.

    Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil (180 mgs. EPA/120 mgs. DHA) 100 softgels $4.95
    Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder (1000 g.)  $33.95
    Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein (Cookies and Cream) 5 lbs. $28.95
    Optimum Nutrition ZMA (180 caps) $17.95
    Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder (1200g) $25.95
    Shipping was $8.95

    I figured this all was a safe bet and I can always get more later.  I currently need to get another multivitamin and looking for something more weight lifting oriented than GNC megamen.  I also want to get R-ALA.  I have heard its better to get stacked with biotin.  Any thoughts on this?  Thanks again for the input guys!
     
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry, must have missed the thing about your equipment in the first post.

    The only legal supplements that have clear results when it comes to lifting is protein, creatine and then stuff like fish oil and flax oil. For a normal male, I do not believe tribulus will boost testosterone, and ZMA is a waste of money unless you don't take vitamins and don't get enough minerals in your diet. From what I've read, it appears to only boost testosterone in people with a zinc deficiency. Glutamine does nothing for lifting either, though some people say it boosts their immune system in high doses. Either way, your whey protein should have more than enough glutamine for muscle building purposes.

    The fish oil is definitely a good choice. Great for getting some good fats. Creatine is always a good addition, I personally like to take Taurine with it as well. ON Whey is supposed to be good, not sure, I've never tried that brand. I think that's all the supplements you really need. A multivitamin is good, I wouldn't go all out and buy the super expensive ones though. There really isn't that much of a difference when it comes to multivitamins. Just compare the stuff on the back of the bottle some time and you'll see what I mean.

    About biceps, I think they are probably number 7 on the list of what women look for, haha. The rear end seems to rank much higher than biceps.
    Anyway, can you do chin ups? Those beat the crap out of my arms. Do those in the low rep range with a lot of weight hanging from your waist and it will tear your arms up. What I like to do after doing heavy compounds is to do some light weight, high rep curls. Like 15-20 reps with only around 70 lbs or so. Your biceps will feel like they are going to explode after that.
     
  8. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    The reason I got some more glutamine is becuase the schedule I use with my protein shakes (which you are right have plenty of glutamine and otehr AAs).  On workout days I use it in the morning before workout and after workout.  On off days I use protein in the morning and take glutamine in the afternoon and before bed.  Would it be better to use protein 3 times a day everyday or just on the workout days?
    People say ZMA also has the effect of providing great sleep.  Its something I could use as I am a bit of an insomniac.  Even if it does nothing for the test boost the extra magnesium will be nice since it gets depleted during exercise.  If it doesnt work no big deal.  I jsut wont buy it again.
    I will look into taurine.  
    I dont think I can do chin ups at the moment.  I was doing about 120 or 135 x8 so i might be able to do one or two.  I dont see the difference between chinups and lat pulldowns.  The mechanism seems the same to me.  Obviously when one gets closer to their body weight in lat pulldowns its easier to jsut do chin ups.  When I get up to them I will be doing them.

    Whats a good brand for R-ALA? Should it have biotin in it as well?
     
  9. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    I have some more Supplement questions.  I have been told that while these are not esential to successful muscle gain they are excellent additions.  

    Citrulline Mallate
    R-ALA
    Tyrosine
    Acetyl L-Cartinine
    Tuarine (as you indicated)

    I have also heard that some kind of NO2 supplement helps in muscle growth.  However most of what I have seen is highly polarized where it worked great for someone and did nothing but lighten their wallet for another.  Does anyone think these are useful and if so ids there a decently priced stack or stacks including these?

    Also I just picked up a 300lb weight set with a olympic bar so I can do deadlifts and shrugs (since they sucked on the machine).  I need something to set it on before I can do squats with it (again squats suck on the machine).  Any idea what weight I should start out with for the deadlift since I am starting my first HST cycle today?

    I went ahead and canceled the glutamine since my order hadnt shipped out yet (so much for fast shipping).  I think I am gonna get some casein protein and take that in the morning and before bed.  Does anyone use dextrose or another form of carbs to help absorb nutrients?  

    Yes I know those supplements I mentioned above are not necessary, but I want to get every shred of benfit I can from my workouts.
     
  10. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    Wow... I cant beleive how weak I am coming off the SD. My first workout is tearing me up. I am trying to concentrate on form and use a 4/4 lift time and I couldnt finish my hammer curl 15 set. My 15RM is 55 and I did 40 today (40/45/50/50/55/55 15R) Not to compensate but the weight on the machine is heavier than it says using my dumbells as a comparison. I'm not that weak :) . I feel really tired halfway through and I am positive I am gonna be in pain tomorrow. I am definitely gonna need some good sleep tonight.

    Also is this a decent warm up? 10 reps of 1/2 to 2/3s of the weight used to work out with followed by 30sec to 1min of rest before performing the set?
     
  11. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    NO2 supplements are not only a waste of money, but I've read some compelling evidence that they may even be bad for you. All they do is make you feel like you've got a huge pump after a workout.

    Dextrose is a good idea. I don't like dextrose that much because too much tastes sickly sweet to me and makes me feel sick sometimes, but if you use maltodextrin with a low dextrose equivalency, it isn't as sweet... maltodextrin works just about the same as dextrose anyway. In my opinion, it is good to use dextrose or maltodextrin in a 1 to 1 ratio with whey in your preworkout shake, and then use it in a 2 to 1 ratio in your post workout.
    You don't actually need it postworkout though, in my opinion, if you plan on eating a carb heavy meal an hour or so later.

    Good buy regarding the bar and weights. I don't really know your strength levels that well, but you could try 200 lbs and see if you can push out 5 reps or more on deadlifts with that.

    As for warmups, in my opinion, most people do more warming up than is necessary. The goal of warming up is to raise your body temperature and get blood flowing. I accomplish this with some bodyweight exercises like pushups, etc. Maybe some light squats or something as well. I do not believe it is necessary to do a warmup set before each working set, or anything like that.

    Anyway, that's it for now. I have to go eat. Good luck.
     
  12. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    Does is matter what order I do my workout in? Is it better to do compounds first then isolations? Currently I am doing my exercises in this order mainly because I can change the machine as little as possible:

    Deadlift
    Bench/Incl Bench (alt)
    Crunch
    Skullcrusher
    Squat
    Hammer Curl
    Calf
    Row (horiz/ vert alt)
    Military Press
    Oblique
    Lats
    Rear Deltoid
    Hams

    I have been thinking about changing my deadlift to stiff leg deadlift and removing hams from the routine. Is this recommended? I was also thinking about incorporating a shrug into my deadlift workout. Is that advisable or will it cause the upper back to tire out too early?

    I am thinking about getting a set of adjustable dumbells, so far the powerblock elite trainer set (I think its one of the expandable ones) or the ironmaster quick-lock set are the ones I am looking at. The powerblock seems faster but the ironmaster is a bit cheaper and sturdier looking. Which would you recommend? It really seems like I couldnt go wrong with either.
     
  13. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    I went ahead and got some powerblocks, $350 for the elite trainer set (5-50). I was debating about going the standard hex dumbbells in 10lb increments with platemates to make up the in between weights, but once you get up there in weight it really doesnt make much of a difference in price. However the difference in space and convenience can be significant depending on your tolerence to such.

    I am still looking for an effective and cheap way to do dips. Any suggestions?

    I have removed hams from my routine and am alternating between regular deadlifts and stiff leg deadlifts. I am currently using the same weight for both, but have noticed that that is probably gonna have to change. Good move or bad?

    I have come to the conclusion that the machine I have sucks. The amount of friction on it creates a huge difference in tension between the eccentric and concentric motions. I am gonna try to use freeweights when I can.

    I have noticed that in some of the exercises I have gained strength more quickly than others and may need to adjust my RMs already. Is it okay to change these in the middle of a cycle?

    Also I am considering working out a bit more often. I was gonna use a MWF 1/1/2 set schedule. I am thinking about doing an extra workout whenever I can on the of days. This isnt going to be a scheduled thing, just when I have time. Should I do a repeat of the previous workout, advance and repeat the workout next time like scheduled, or advance each time? For example: Curls M 25/ W 30/ F 35 /M40 . If I decide I can get an extra workout in on thursday should I make it like this M25/W30/T30/F35/M40 , this M25/W30/T35/F35/M40 , or this M25/W30/T35/F40/M45 ?

    Also for the workout sequence I was thinking of putting compounds first, then prioritizing based on muscles used. An example would be rows and lats before curls, bench and military press before skullcrushers etc. Hmm that just kind looks like compounds before isolation.
     
  14. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    Well I read up some more and it answered a few of the questions I asked previously.

    I was thinking about an intermediate between the 3 day workout and the 6 day work out. I would think a 4 day work out MT ThF would give a bit more frequency as well as some summation without too big of an increase in caloric demands or fatigue. It doesnt require you to train every weekday either. It would be a nice small step that could give better results due to summation if one has a bit more time to workout with. I am not sure how to handle the extra workout in terms of incrementing. I guess one could do an extra workout of one of the workouts in the week at the same weight.

    Also some comment in one of the posts. If absolute load is what strains the muscle and not so much perceived load then does it make more sense to use very quick reps than slow reps? The momentum would increase the peak load with a very fast concentric motion during the acceleration of the weight. The fact that it must also decelerate quickly may not necessarily be important as a higher absolute load has been acheived. If TUL is also significantly important in relation to absolute load then that would tear up that theory. However based on what I have read and interpretted TUL is more important in metabolic work than actual muscle strain. Even then one could do the concentric movement as quickly as possible with good form and perform the eccentric slow enough to ensure that TUL is unchanged or similar.

    It seems the pulse technique might work in this manner. Perhaps the reason behind the greater contraction due to this technique results from the mass and momentum of the weight providing more load when moved in such a quick and violent manner.

    Sorry if I rehashed anything.
     
  15. bgates1654

    bgates1654 New Member

    HST is definitely working for me. All of my muscles are bigger than they have ever been. I am about 200lbs again, but this time I dont look like I have a big gut and a pudgy face. I have no where near the amount of fat on my belly as before although it has grown a little since I began eating more. I am only just passed the first week of 10s and I am seeing muscle size gains like I never have before and good strength gains as well even being on only the 1/1/2/2 set pattern. This is especially true in my biceps with which I was concerned before. My bis are twice as big as they were before.

    Since I am gaining fat I am starting a 4 day routine (MT ThF)where I do the 3 increments a week and repeat every 3rd workout. I figure that will slow down fat gain by diverting more calories to energy usage and muscle building. I am sure some of the weight and strength gain comes from the creatine I started using about 2 weeks ago, but it cant account for all of it. I have been on it before. Were I to cut now I think I would be pretty pleased with the way I looked. However I will be finishing the cycle becuase I want to see how far I can ride this out.

    I have learned so much from this forum as well as a few others. I have no idea how to thank you guys. I have learned the proper diet to eat, a science-back weight training program, helpful supplements to use, and the best exercises to get the most gain with minimal time. It has given me results I thought I never could have had in such a short amount of time. Thank you.
     

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