Starting out Properly

  1. Starting out Properly

    Hi all,

    I know this forum isn't usually a place where beginners post for advice, but AM seems to have the most knowledgeable and honest guys out there, so here goes. I'm 21, and I started lifting with a real commitment about two months ago. I've always been on the thin side - not too thin, but not big enough for my liking. I've read up a lot on the subject of weight training, so I think I've got a decent routine down. It's working well so far, at least; in two months I've lost about 4 pounds of fat and put on 6 pounds of muscle.

    Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are lift days. On Tuesday and Thursday, I go to the gym in the evening, and on Saturday, early in the morning. I do the same workout each time:

    Free squats
    lying leg curls
    seated calf raises
    seated row
    incline bench press
    tricep pressdowns
    bicep curls
    military press
    reverse curls

    I pretty much do 3 sets of 8 for each exercise. My weights have been going up slowly and steadily, except for my incline bench, which has definitely exceeded my expectations.

    I run on Monday and Wednesday mornings for about five miles, and then do abs when I'm done. I cannot give up running, I'm addicted to it.

    My diet, I think, is pretty clean for a beginner. I eat oatmeal for breakfast, a protein shake for a mid-morning snack, a sandwich on whole wheat for lunch, some tuna for an afternoon snack, a post-workout protein shake, and then chicken and broccoli for dinner. It's hard for me to put on weight, but it's even harder to force myself to eat tons of food, so I'm proud that I'm even eating as much as I am. Sunday is the day I ease up on the meals, but I'm still reasonable. Oh, and the protein shakes are prolab lean mass matrix, which from what I've read are decent MRPs. They've got 400 calories and 40 grams of protein, and it's all good stuff like oats, no malto nastiness.

    So that's it. I'm not looking to pack on twenty pounds in twenty days, that's just stupid. I'm just trying to get in shape and put on some muscle. I'd love any feedback on what I'm doing, and to find out if it's generally ok. Let the criticism begin!


  2. I think those full body workouts are good when you're starting out, but you can probably switch to more of a split now. Depending on your progress, you progress to an upper body/lower body split, or you can jump right to something like

    Tues: Chest/Delts/Tris
    Thurs: Back/Bis
    Sat: Quads/Hams/Calves

    I used to do this split, hitting each bodypart with different exercises for: 3X5; 3X8-10; 1X20. This way you are providing stimulus for strength and hypertrophy--myofribillar and sarcoplasmic. Once you do that a bit there are infinite variations to keep your body guessing.

    I think your diet sounds like a good start for a beginner. When I first started working out I could barely eat enough for a cutting diet. Now, I'm eating close to 4000cals daily, and I am never full. I could eat a lot more, but I'm keeping the fat at bay. Eat tons of clean foods. You don't need to pig out at this point if you are still pretty light (as am I). Just continuosly increase cals once growth wanes.

    Good luck!

  3. Thanks for the advice! How many exercises do you think I should do for each bodypart, and how long should I be in the gym for? My full-body workouts take about an hour, but if I split it up, I assume I'll be there for much less time?

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