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    1. #1
      In my own mind Armistice's Avatar
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      Weight lifting advice

      I'm trying to get more into lifting. I'm trying to get my body in overall better shape because I start a physical training class the beginning of next month (but it's only on Sat's). I'm not looking to build loads of muscle, but more of muscle endurance and ability to lift heavier objects

      The only equipment I have at my disposal is one dumbbell (20# and recently bought a set of 2.5# and 5# plates to add), and 2 sets of milk jugs filled with sand, one 9# and another 15# (it was before I found the dumbbell and needed something to start). Money is a little tight for me as I have not been able to work. First off, should I consider a second set of dumbbells? (I've found that the one is just fine, but will be replacing the grip because it's old school and uses bolts instead of springs to hold the plates on)

      I've been working on exercises that will strengthen my shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, abs, back, and legs. Because it seems people use different terms for exercises, I'll be using this site's terms for the exercises I do: Dumbbell Exercises | www.dumbbell-exercises.com

      ...Abs- situps and starting on the side bend. Should do crunches
      ...Chest- push ups (I don't have a bench), also used to do pull/ chin ups, but don't run at the park anymore so don't have access to anything to do that
      ...Shoulders- Alternated shoulder press and shrugs
      ...Biceps- one at a time curls
      ...Triceps- kneeling one arm row (but they have it listed under back...), dips, and the one where you pull a weighted cable from your shoulder to you waist (I use a resistance band looped over a rafter in the garage and pull it down to my waist
      ...Back- dead lift (and I guess the kneeling one arm row:\ )
      ...Legs- Squats, and forward lunges (just started that one). Running as well

      Any suggestions for exercises that may be better, or one I should add?

      Buy/ make a bench? Buy a second dumbbell?

      I recently read that you should wait 48hrs between lifting sessions. Is that true? I've been lifting M-Th, lol. Should I stagger my lifting, like do shoulders, triceps, back on MonWed and do biceps/chest, abs, legs TuesThurs?

      With what I've been doing, upper body wise, I have noticed the growth and definition of my biceps, triceps, chest, and abs(a little), and my GF and dad have mentioned they can see improvement too, and that's been with about 2mos of simple, easy lifting/ workout, so I've been doing something right . I hope to become a little more serious about it for the next month

      Any suggestions are apreciated

      (Sorry it's a little long)
      Last edited by Armistice; 07-28-2010 at 06:37 AM.
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    2. #2
      peyton manning Caprisun's Avatar
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      First off, I would recommend getting a gym membership rather than buying more weights. I understand you don't have money, but weights are expensive and you'll get a lot more out of a gym membership. If you aren't looking to bulk up a lot but you want to get ripped, you would be amazed at the things you can do with plain old body weight exercises (push ups, crunches, pull ups, dips etc.) You can also incorporate your dumbells and whatever else you have into your body weight exercises to create your own p90x-like work out.

      I've been lifting weights/working out/training for about 9 years now. I don't have any formal education on sports science or anything, but there are a few things I've learned from experience. If I had to rank the top three most important aspects of weight lifting, they would go like this: 1.) Good Perfect form. 2.) Variety (muscle confusion.) 3.) Discipline. For number one, think of it like this: You aren't wasting anybody's time but your own by slacking on your form. You aren't getting anything out of your effort if your form sucks. It can really be the difference between amazing results and marginal results, or results and injury. All the average Joe's at the gym have bad form, but if you watch the huge guys, they really focus on doing everything perfect. For number 2, just make sure you don't get stuck in a routine. Keep things interesting. You'll see the p90x guys marketing their product like they invented the concept of muscle confusion, really they've made no revelation there, but they make a good point to emphasize it's importance. Any new motion will cause "muscle confusion" and that will cause it to grow. Always look for new exercises to do. For number 3, you need the discipline to push yourself. That's especially important if you are by yourself. If you have a trainer or a coach, they'll take care of that, if not, it's up to you. That means adding weight when you are ready and not slacking off. I know that's self-explanatory but I see so many people, my friends included, who go to the gym and act lazy, like the simple act of dragging their asses to the gym will wip them into shape.

      Diet should probably fit in there somewhere but I never really pay attention to what I eat other than certain supplements, which I would also recommend you look into. Creatine, protein, or some type of a pre-workout supplement would be the best for a beginner.

      Whenever somebody asks me for tips about weight lifting, I usually tell them that variety is key. That means variety in every aspect. Varitey in exercise, varitey in weight, variety in number of reps, variety in speed of motion, variety in everything. Anything you can think of to change things up. One of the biggest reasons people plateau is because they get stuck into a routine where they do the same exact workout every time they go to the gym. I love to explore with things when I go to the gym. I go with a certain muscle group in mind that I want to work and I explore with different ranges of motion and different movements to see which one isolates the muscle the best. I think I may have invented a few lifts that way and I've had a lot of success with that.

      If you want ideas for body weight exercises (which is what I suspect you wanted,) I know a few. My old football coach taught me a great push up workout, which if you do it religiously everyday, your bench will skyrocket, I gurantee it. It's very straightforward: Start by doing normal pushups. Go until failure and don't cheat on form. When you can't do anymore, drop to your knees and keep going. Go until failure without cheating on form. When you can't do anymore from your knees, go up to a table or desk and keep going from there. Go until failure. When you can't do anymore against a desk, go to a wall. Push off the wall until you can't do anymore. If you can lift your arms above your head after you're done, you did it wrong. Do it everyday and you'll get successively better. It's important that you don't count, that way you don't get stuck in a routine. Just go until you truely can't do anymore. (That's all without rest by the way.)

      I feel like I wrote way too much. Feel free to ask for clarification or any other tips, I like talking about this stuff.
      Last edited by Caprisun; 07-31-2010 at 07:33 AM.
      "Someday, I think you and I are going to have a serious disagreement." -- Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) Last of the Mohicans

    3. #3
      In my own mind Armistice's Avatar
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      I like the push up thing. I've done similar and my friend had me do that. I had to do 25 push ups, I could only get to 15 and did up to 20 on my knees and he was just able to push the last 5 out of me. I'll give that a try as I'm sure I may be able to push until I fail, then be able to push out 10 more on my knees. I'll give that a shot as I suck at pushups

      I just can't afford paying for a gym, but I will try to incorperate changing up how I work a muscle group as well as doing my usual routine backwards
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    4. #4
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      Caprisum hit the nail on the head. The poor mans weight lifting is is body weight exercises. Basically you use gravity and your own weight for resistance. Its actually possible to have a complete weight lifting workout, using just your body. The bonus is that they can be done almost any where.

      Things like push ups, squats and lunges are classics work out exercises because they really do work. The variety in the core exercises are amazing as well. There has to be about 100 ways to do a push up.

      As for resting, most people will agree you should take time off between workouts. Staggering does work, so if you want to work on your arms one day, and your legs next, that is fine. And if you want to narrow the focus down to even a single muscle group that works as well.

    5. #5
      In my own mind Armistice's Avatar
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      Yah, Alric. You know of any good exercises using just your body other than what you mentioned? (I really need to make a pullup bar) I could also add an extra exercise for each group I want to work to extend my workout time. I need to get an Excel spreadsheet made up and printed so I know what I need to work on for what day to make sure I do everything I need to

      I jsut did the pushup exercise that Caprisun suggested and I did 100 pushups. ~30 regular, then 15 knees, ~20 off the back of the couch, and then 25-30 off the wall. The wall actually starts to make my shoulders hurt (angle is wierd). I'll keep it, but if it seems it doing more harm then good, I'll drop it, but those 3 should still be sufficient enough work. If I can get up to 75+ total, that's still better than just pushing 30 regular, and should build up faster

      Thanks
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