Newbie! - Help with Toning please??
- 03-30-2009, 05:57 PM
Newbie! - Help with Toning please??
Hi! First off this is my first post so please bare with me...
Basically, I have started back at the gym about 3 weeks ago alongside my bf as my gym buddy, but I am a little lost. I haven't actually been the gym for two years as I had trouble with my knee and had to have an operation then just didnt get back into it due to money issues.
I am 19, Female, 5'6'' ish, and weight around 9st 2ish.
I am not looking to lose weight, as I have done that already due to a contraceptive pill I was on =S I would just like to tone up.
I am at current going the gym twice a week, Monday/Wednesdays.
I warm up on my way there as it is an uphill trek to get to where the gym is, and takes around 15 minutes.
When there I tend to do around 5-10 minutes on a rowing machine then about 7 minutes on a cross trainer just to keep on top of my cardio. Also one of these days I swim aswel.
It is the toning i need help with tho, at current i am trying to focus alot on my shoulder, legs and stomach.
I have been doing pull downs behing my head and also normally and some dumbell curls.
Also I have been on the machine (not sure what there called) but u sit and push the pads together with ur thighs it works your gluteals. and then the opposite one u push the pads outwards...if that makes any sense (sorry)
I have been using the balls to do sit ups 12 reps - 4 sets and have also used it to do press ups aswel.
I am probably doing this all VERY wrong which is why I would be very grateful of some help or advice.
- 03-30-2009, 06:31 PM
a. fat loss;
b. muscle gain; or
c. losing fat whilst gaining muscle.
Two, you CANNOT spot reduce. You CAN however, work on increasing the muscle mass in your legs, shoulders, and abdominals. You need to be eating ENOUGH for this.
You don't need to do the extra crosstrainer ot rower or swimming if you're already warmed up. Cardio is really only necessary for you if you want to maintain your cardiovascular health. And you need to make sure that you're eating ENOUGH if you're doing that, to ensure no weight loss.
If you're only going to go to the gym twice a week, then I suggest doing a full-body session twice a week. Focus on the multijoint, compound lifts (i.e. powercleans, squats, deadlifts, bent over row, bench press, pull-ups, shoulder press, dips, calf raises, etc.), as they will do the most for muscle mass gains, and also means that you are working more muscle groups at once. Isolated arms' exercises don't need doing, as they get worked with on chest and back compound exercises.
A suggested routine:
1. Squats 2-3 x 12 (changing stance can change which muscle are targeted more: narrow stance hits quadriceps more, wide stance hits gluteals and hamstrings more; sumo stance hits gluteal and adductors more, etc.)
2. Romanian Deadlifts 2-3 x 10
3. Calf Raises 2-3 x 15-25
4. Pull-Ups 2-3 x as many as possible (with a minimum of 6 reps; when you've done what you can then go to the Lat Pull-Down, and finish the set there)
5. Push-Ups 2-3 x as many as possible
6. Shoulder Press - 2-3 x 12-15
7. Dips 2-3 x 12-15 (do as many as possible as you can with your bodyweight; when you've done what you can then go doing Bench Dips, and finish the set there)
8. Weighted Crunches 3 x 15
0. Hanging Knee Raises 3 x 15
Notes on said routine: Where it says "2-3", start off with 2 sets of each. Increase to 3 sets after 1-2 weeks (or as you see fit). Have 60-90 seconds recovery between sets. Make sure your form is good with everything. Increase weight over time; never stick with the same weights. Push yourself. This is a very basic routine, designed to get you 'used' to resistance training again, whilst also targeting your goals, and is ok to start with. After 4-6 weeks you will need to change your programme.
I recommend that you get a personal trainer. I also recommend that you make sure that you've fully rehabilitated your knee before you go full bore into a training programme, and either incorporate it into your programme or do it instead.
I also suggest that you actually look around and do some personal research for yourself. Educate yourself on training and diet. And if you get a personal trainer, then get them to tell you WHY they give you what they do; you should ALWAYS know WHY you are doing what you are doing, and it should always have a purpose towards your end goal.
03-30-2009, 07:17 PM
Cheers that is a great help!
To be honest I should know alot of this already from my GCSE / A level P.E but that was a good while ago and so I'm completely blank. I have been trying to remember my old programme which is why i was doing the cardio stuff...didnt take into consideration however at that time I was also trying to lose weight.
Im very grateful of the help, I think it is muscle gain I need to be working on rather than the other 2 definitions so I shall work on your programme and also do some research of my own as suggested.
The problem with my knee however is unable to be overcome unfortunately. I have had an op and they are unable to find what is wrong with it, basically it plays up when feels like and is apparently due to me growing and should stop at some point when my body feels like.
Anyway, again...Thanks for the help!
Much appreciated =)
03-30-2009, 08:29 PM
And don't do something that you were doing years ago. You need to do something for where you are at right NOW, designed specifically for your goals and needs right NOW. Which is why I recommended a personal trainer.
And if it's muscle gain that you want, then don't be afraid to EAT; else you'll just be wasting your time.
As for your knee, there WILL be something wrong with it if it "plays up". I'm not saying that it is, but it sounds like it could possibly be Osgood-Schlatter's; this is is something that occurs due to growth spurts and normally happens with younger males and females. It occurs when the bones grow too fast for the tendons (and muscles) to catch up, which means that the patellar tendon is ripped from the tibial tuberosity (i.e. pulls away from the bone), and causes pain and a bump just below the knee (which stays with your for the rest of your life). Osgood Schlatter's is something that could lead to tendonitis later on in life if you have a prominent bump on your tibial tuberosity (Prentice, 2003). It still needs some rehabbing work, and there ARE things you can do for it to ease the pain, and decrease the "playing up".
03-30-2009, 09:16 PM
03-31-2009, 03:29 PM
As for the Osgood-Schlatter's - thats what we thought, though there is no bump at all...all it does is give in on me every now and then and swell up when used alot. I have tablets tho to keep control of it so basically have to get on with it till it stops I guess.
Anywhoo, Gym tomorrow - shall try out this new programme.
Anything specific I should concentrate on getting into my diet perhaps??
Again, Thank you for your advice and help...Much appreciated!
03-31-2009, 04:00 PM
03-31-2009, 04:51 PM
As for diet a few tips (since you want to gain muscle mass #1 is the most important one):
1. First, you need to work out what your MAINTENANCE calories are (There are various methods and equations that you can use to calculate this; most take into account current body mass, height, and activity level). Then, to gain muscle mass, you need to make sure that you’re having up to 500 calories MORE than maintenance on a consistent basis. I would start off at 200 calories above Maintenance for the first week, and depending on how fast or slow you gain muscle, you can adjust and tweak your calorie intake each week.
2. Eat every 2-3 hours after waking. This helps keep the metabolism going throughout the day, as well as keeping insulin levels stable (so, you can see that 3 meals is simply NOT enough, even small portions).
3. EVERY meal should have complex carbohydrates [CHO] (i.e. kumara, rice, oats, etc.), QUALITY LEAN protein (chicken breast, fish, tuna, salmon, lean beef, egg whites, etc.), and FIBROUS CHO (i.e. vegetables, green ones in particular).
4. Drink 4.5 litres of water per day. This will help keep the system clean.
5. Have TWO servings of DAIRY per day.
6. Do NOT avoid fat (The only fat you should be avoiding is Saturated fat and Trans fats). You NEED fat in your diet, as fat plays major roles in energy metabolism and other parts of your body (Wardlaw & Hampl, 2007). Make sure to have at least 30 grams of GOOD fats (i.e. flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, fish oils, peanut butter, nuts - especially almonds and walnuts, hempseed oil, olive oil, etc.) per day (i.e. this is ~2 tbsp of flaxseed oil or peanut butter).
7. Don’t drink tea or coffee. Or minimize the drinking of it.
8. Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol has NO nutritional value and is full of calories.
9. Minimize adding salt to food. Instead, flavour a meal with herbs and spices (i.e. ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, chilli powder, and garlic all help thermogenesis a bit).
10. The only sugar needed on a regular basis is the NATURAL sugars found in food; these are mostly found in fruit. Too much sugar plays havoc with insulin levels and these should be as stable as possible throughout the day. The best time to be having sugar is straight AFTER a RESISTANCE workout, when the body is trying to replenish muscle glycogen stores (Burke, 2006).
11. Do NOT avoid CHO. Your body needs at least 50-100 grams of CHO per day. A good guideline is to have at least 1 gram of CHO per kg of body mass per day as a MINIMUM (Burke, 2006).
12. Eat most food as 'natural' as possible. This means fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, grains, etc. Try not to eat too much packaged food, as it is full of extra calories and sugar.
13. Most importantly, remember that it IS OK TO CHEAT every now and then, especially if trying to gain muscle mass. Actually the body NEEDS cheat meals and day. If you prefer NOT to ‘cheat’, then adding making sure that the extra calories coming from quality COMPLEX CHO.
Supplements should NOT be a big deal, as gaining muscle mass can be done through simply eating the right food at the right time. And unless everything that you’re doing is already done to ensure the maximum results in the timeframe that you want to achieve it in, and then supplementation should not be the focus. However, there ARE a few supplements that I think are important to any regime:
1. A multivitamin. (Although you should be eating as much of a variety of food as possible, in order to meet the RDI/AI of most nutrients from actual food).
2. Creatine monohydrate. Creatine helps the body to recover faster, as well as aiding in increasing strength levels and lean body mass [LBM].
3. Flaxseed/Hempseed/Fish Oil. This is the GOOD fats. Flaxseed or Hempseed oil is great with breakfast or in protein shakes.
4. Protein Powder. This just helps for the in-between meals, or after the gym, and to make sure that you get enough protein in (You should be having 1-1.5 grams of protein per kg of body mass per day).
Apart from these 4 ‘base’ supplements, you don’t need a lot (supplements are just a way for companies to make money. You can do everything without them!).
No worries. I like to see people starting out right, instead of struggling for ages and then wondering why they're not getting results.
03-31-2009, 05:56 PM
HaHa Cheers, Im buggared!
Out of them the only things I do right seems to be:
1) drinking 4.5 litres of water...i drink alot more im forever drinking water.
2)Not drinking tea or coffee i despise both
3) I dont tend to drink much alcohol anyway =) Sad student arnt I
4)Multivitamin (when i remember it)
On the salt hand...we wont go there...lets say I have a Nana who adores salt and therefore is a bad influence!
I'm just setting out a plan for tomorrow as we speak so shall see how things go
03-31-2009, 07:37 PM
04-01-2009, 08:40 AM
And this is my own opinion, but stay away from the pull-downs behind the head. This was left in the 80s. A lat pull-down to the top of the chest will work your back very nicely.
04-02-2009, 03:14 PM
04-03-2009, 11:21 AM
As for diet a few tips (since you want to gain muscle mass #1 is the most important one):
7. Donít drink tea or coffee. Or minimize the drinking of it.
is this because of the caffeine?
04-03-2009, 04:16 PM
04-08-2009, 02:42 AM
Which uni are you at in the UK misspugh89?
If you're near me (or going to a uni I've visited) I can probably let you know which gyms are best for training at, there's a lot of crappy gyms on this bloody island!
04-12-2009, 06:01 PM
04-15-2009, 01:57 PM
There are a few old school 'bodybuilding' gyms in Liverpool with better equipment for your lifting needs but they're likely to be filled with sweaty blokes talking crap and making a lot of noise, so unless you can take a mate or two, I wouldn't bother, stick with your uni gym.
I had a mate who went to John Moores, the gym's not too bad and really cheap, 12 quid a month or something??
I know you can get personal training there too, it might be worth getting a trainer to show you some of the bigger compound movements (squats, deadlifts etc.) if you're unsure of how to perform them correctly.
The ladies are right though, these exercises will produce the FASTEST results in terms of body composition, forget about the adductor/abductor machines, get under a bar and squat missy!
04-15-2009, 02:05 PM
04-15-2009, 02:11 PM
04-15-2009, 09:54 PM
Or are you saying that there are few female trainers because they don't believe in resistance training and think that only men should be lifting weights?
04-16-2009, 12:27 PM
04-16-2009, 01:37 PM
Yes, well there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to females and resistance training (among both females AND males). And sometimes these mindsets can be rather hard to break.
As for it being a male dominated environment; that may be so, but it doesn't mean that females are not accepted into it and cannot do it. I honestly don't see why so many females are intimidated by male lifters, or are "afraid" to train at the same time as males in the gym (whether they feel that they're not lifting enough or are self-conscious or whatever). If anything, most males probably would HELP a female if she needed it (and not just because they thought she was "hot"), or are too busy and concentrated on their OWN training to notice. But that's just my thoughts, though (I've never had trouble in male dominated environments; in fact I've always been one of few females in them all my life, especially if sports-related, etc.; and it's no different now).
04-16-2009, 02:25 PM
However, what I can't understand is this, if female trainees are more worried about what their female peers think of them in terms of body-image than their male counterparts (I often hear this from some of my female friends)...
...then why are 'female-only' gyms more popular with women than your typical, male-dominated one?
Surely if you wanted to be out of the gaze of other women a regular, mixed-sex gym would be the natural choice?
04-16-2009, 03:56 PM
Many females think that having muscle is NOT a good look, and therefore any female that HAS muscle other females will not think much of, or assume that said female has used gear to get like that (when it's not true; and the female Olympia competitors are no example of what a typical female lifter looks like).
What is ironic though, is that most females want the kind of body that can ONLY be achieved through resistance training (i.e. fitness/glamour model figures).
Female-only gyms are popular because males are not allowed in them. Females go there because they do not feel uncomfortable (i.e. there are no males looking at them when they're training; and they can get into shape before going and training at a mixed gym).
Honestly, I see no reason why females should NOT train at a mixed gym. After all, each individual should be training for them SPECIFICALLY; what everyone else is doing is irrelevant. Even if they're lifting light weights, as long as those weights are HEAVY for THEM, then they are fine. And everyine has to start from SOMEwhere; those that are lifting heavier in the gym all started somewhere as well, so comparing oneself to another is futile.
Anyways, this is a topic I could debate and rant about for ages (since it's one of my "pet peeves", as Don says), but it's NOT necessary; my point (and yours) is clear enough.
04-17-2009, 04:01 PM
Looks like im off back to the doctors again for them to keep telling me nothings wrong. Even tho a physio told me that my knee has a slight twist in it! Great hey =(
04-17-2009, 06:02 PM
Have the docs offered you an anti-inflammatory injection/medication for your knee?
If it is osgood-schlatter's disease there's no reason why you can't train really, perhaps just very light/bodyweight compound movements would be ok for now until the injury goes away again.
Hope the gym work starts again soon!
04-18-2009, 03:32 PM
Erm yes, I am on a tablet called Diclofenac...been on it for nearly 6 years =( ...take when needed!
I have been told it is deffinately not Osgood Sclhatters...apparently its because of me growing...but 6 years on... I doubt that!
We shall go the docs and see hey =)
04-18-2009, 03:42 PM
06-19-2009, 11:51 PM
Really you need to become your own personal trainer and read read read! Don't believe the ads and advertorials inside those damn Self and Fitness mags about toning and seeing the models in there. First figure out what kind of "tone" look you want then go from there but the advice given so far on this thread has been great for you by telling you to get down to basics of practical nutrition and working out.
And once you get to the point of not needing your boyfriend to "drag" you to the gym then you'll be well on your way to being fit for life!
10-18-2009, 10:39 AM
well, most post have already given you an advise and tips. i would just like to agree that it would be best to get a personal trainer who can give you an exercise suitable to your need and who can also help you assess which is better for you most especially you have undergone knee surgery. good luck!
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