Couple of questions

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    jakesnake771's Avatar
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    Couple of questions


    So I've posted here before a bit and got some great advice. I have a couple of questions.

    I've had a general lack of motivation. I was working out every day with my roomies but they've entered the baseball season and have both stopped because they say it's not good to lift during the season. I find it hard for myself to go after class by myself, so I'm thinking of going at like 7 am, the same time I woke up for my job this summer, so I know I'm capable of getting up and not being dead.

    Stats:
    6 foot, maybe 6 foot 1 inch
    345 pounds
    21 (almost 22) years of age

    Diet changes:
    I've tried drinking more crystal light (can't put plain water down, so CL in my opinion is a much better sub to all the juice I used to drink) than juice, milk, etc. Been eating more chicken and yogurt. Frozen veggies, that I can steam (I find myself tossing in one of those 3ish cup bags of corn in the microwave for 5 mins as a good snack/meal, is this bad?).

    Questions:

    1. I want to do more lifting (I'm a big guy and I know cardio is good and all, but I was doing cardio a lot and didn't really notice any differences even with diet changes. I know the changes are internal more than external, my heart is getting a good workout. I've read that doing cardio prior to a workout can inhibit the muscles in their workout (read that in a Men's Health, I believe). So I was thinking of starting off lifting and ending with 20-30 mins of cardio. Would this be worse than cardio first, lifting second? I want to have the maximum results, obviously, and want to do what's best for my body.

    2. I'm going to be looking through a couple books I have (Gold's Gym, mens health lifting, etc) to get some ideas for lifts, and I know some of the crucial ones are squats, bench, dead lift etc. I'm going to try to spread it out so I do different groups each day (5 days a week). Any suggestions on good workouts for the general muscle groups? I have a list of stuff that seems to consistenly come out on this forums, but i was hoping some might suggest some main ones, where I can sub in different optional ones to my liking. I'm going to try to lift for 35, cardio for 20-25.

    3. I've read about HIIT but I'm still a bit unclear as to how to do it. I know its High Intensity Interval Training, but could someone suggest some techniques that I could do? My size limits me a lot on running/jogging/walking because of my knees, so the bike would probably be the best for now. Obviously this is going to change as I drop.

    That's all I can think of for now, I'm sure I'll think of something else and will add that.

    Thanks!

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    Althalus's Avatar
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    The problem with lifting weights as soon as you wake up is that you've been fasting for a very long time (think about how long of a break you have between your last meal of the day and breakfast the next day). There's arguments for and against fasted AM cardio, but from everything I know/have read, I can't think of anything that would make it be beneficial or advisable to weight lift in that state.

    As for diet changes, make sure all your meals are balanced. It's not bad to eat corn for a meal or a snack, but it is bad to eat JUST corn for a meal or snack. Try to get a good protein source, an EFA (essential fatty acid), and some carbohydrates (mix these up throughout the day, get complex fibrous and starchy carbs) in every meal. Eat every two to three hours to keep your metabolism going throughout the day.

    For your questions:

    1) Cardio after your workout. A short HIIT session after a workout will help you shred the fat very quickly.
    2) You can generally do two muscles per day. One popular split, and one that I personally do is chest/triceps, back/biceps, legs, shoulders/traps. However, since you're just starting to work out, you may actually get better results by just alternating lower body, upper body. Alternatively, in a book I have by Tom Venuto, he suggests the following two day split:

    Chest/Shoulder/Triceps/Abs
    Flat bench
    Incline flys
    Seated overhead press
    Dumbbell lateral raises
    Tricep pushdown
    Skull crushers
    Crunches
    Reverse Crunches

    Quads/Back/Biceps/Calves
    Leg press or squats
    Leg extensions
    Leg curls
    Hyperextensions
    Pullups (although if you can't do those, lat pulldowns work just fine)
    Seated cable rows
    Barbell curls
    Alternating dumbbell curls
    Standing calf raises
    Seated calf raises

    All of them are 3 sets of 8-12 reps. It's a fairly easy workout, and since you don't really have much muscle right now, you probably would see more results from something like this than something focusing on very specific muscle groups.

    Monday - Workout 1
    Tuesday - Workout 2
    Wednesday - Off
    Thursday - Workout 1
    Friday - Off
    Saturday - Workout 2
    Sunday - Off

    If you want to "build your own workout", then generally speaking, some major exercises:
    Quads: Squats, leg press machine, lunges (dumbbell or barbell), hack squat machine, leg extension.
    Hamstrings: Lying leg curls, stiff legged deadlifts (be very cautious with these if you're just beginning, major potential for injury if your form is bad!), seated leg curl, single leg curls, hyperextension (also works lower back).
    Calves: Standing/seated calf raises, calf press on a leg press machine (again, be cautious, too much weight and you can get seriously hurt). There are donkey calf raises as well, but most gyms typically don't have a machine to perform these on.
    Abs: Crunch, reverse crunch, leg lifts, side crunches.
    Back: Barbell/dumbbell row, chin/pull ups, lat pulldowns, cable row.
    Chest: Barbell/dumbbell bench press, any sort of fly, dips while leaning the top half of your body forward, cable crossovers.
    Shoulders: Military press, dumbbell press, dumbbell lateral raises, rear lateral raises, front raises.
    Biceps: Barbell/dumbbell curls, preacher curls, concentration curls.
    Triceps: Close grip bench press, tricep pushdown, dips with body straight, french press.
    Forearms: Wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, reverse curls, hammer curls.

    Pick about 2-3 exercises for any group of muscles, but keep in mind that most exercises that work your quads also work your hamstrings, so you may want to keep the hamstring exercises to 2. Anyone feel free to chime in if there's anything that should be changed here.

    3) You could do a four minute jog to start, then 30 seconds sprinting as hard as you can, 30 seconds jog, repeat that three more times, then end with a four minute jog. As weeks go by, add in more of those 30 second sprint / 30 second jog "reps" slowly. Alternatively there is a 20 / 10 version that Guejsn recommends that will work just as well.

    As for your motivation...don't sweat it. Get a journal and track your progress. Tell yourself "hey, you know what, tomorrow is just the day I go up one rep, and that's better than yesterday". If that improvement isn't enough to keep you motivated, try to see if you can convince one of your other friends to go to the gym with you. There's always affirmations...they're a bit cheesy, but if telling yourself that you're the best every morning is what it takes to get you motivated, then more power to you. It helps to set concrete goals too, and when you achieve them, great, you get to set new goals and become a better person. Set reasonable time frames, and if you can't meet your goal by that time frame, don't see the failure as a downer. Look at what you did, see if there's anything you could change, and get back in the gym. Hell, even just getting some great music that will pump you up is an excellent way to get in the gym, I know when I hear a song I really like it gives me incredible energy. If you're working hard, eating clean, and staying determined, you WILL see results.

    Best of luck brother, go tear up the gym.

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