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    [QUOTE=silent ninja;44997941]The squat in particular is a super exercise. It's incredibly functional, fixes posture, mobility, makes you stronger, faster and can be used to increase total body mass. Any person that thinks it's a waste of time cannot be taken seriously at all. Being functional is the most important thing. Doing exercises merely to look good yet having no athletic ability is stupid and vain.

    Aesthetics are down to low body fat and proportionate muscles. If you train your entire body, you will look great. Unfortunately, many neglect certain muscles and have uncontrollable fat levels. It doesn't matter what your routine is - it can't fix a poor diet.


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    Great answer!

    Mind you, I didn't say squats were a waste of time and not to do them at all! I didn't say not to do the big three ever, I said not to focus all your attention on them, as many folks do nowadays. I'm saying it's important to know and track what the exercises actually do to your body, not just try to pack muscle on anywhere for the sake of having more muscle. And to have an understanding and a plan for creating what you actually want. Important if, and only if, your look at the end of it all is important to you.

    Thanks, -B.

    P.S. Athletic, functional strength is what creates the look I've been talking about. We are in total agreement about functionality, balance, and athleticism.
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    (Original post by BriB123)
    Ross.

    Please don't waste your time going to the gym without an intelligent plan. And please *don't* spend the majority of your time doing the 'big 3' (deadlifts, squat, bench)- here's exactly why you don't want to do that:
    www.hotfitbody.com
    Basically, you'll end up looking like a round, puffy meathead. Use a simple, smart program that tells you which exercises to do, for what what purpose, and how to do them properly. The guys in the gym will give you the same misinformation they got. Even a lot of the 'bros' on bodybuilding.com will tell you what works if you want to look like a bloated bodybuilder. If you want to look lean and cut like most people do, I recommend the video on the hotfitbody site.
    I facepalmed so hard I travelled into the future.
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    And still, no counterargument.

    It would be different if you guys actually saw the program. You'd probably actually like it. A lot.

    Or, you're offended cuz you're kinda roundbodied meatheads with no real strength outside the gym. :cool:
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    Don't lift 7 lorries all at once!
    Start with three, and then do the other four.
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    (Original post by BriB123)
    And still, no counterargument.
    I'll bite. This guy doesn't seem to be a puffy meathead with muscle only at his thighs:

    Spoiler:
    Show


    He has a very strong "big 3", if you want to use the term. Functional strength seems to be thrown around without any real meaning. If we wanted functional strength we'd all be chopping wood and lifting pianos into old people's houses.

    Congrats on the weight loss though man.
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    If you just want a great physique then the big 3 can be of a big help but they are not completely necessary. No exercises turn you into a "round, puffy meathead". That just comes down to diet. I would put them in your routine as they will help you to put on a lot of muscle mass very quickly. Just don't base your entire routine around just getting better at those movements ie don't do a powerlifting routine.
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    Thanks, Converse!

    I think that guy has a great physique. A *little bigger than what I'd personally really want, but amazing. And, I bet he's awesome at the big 3, and that's great. I'm not saying don't have a strong 'big 3'. That guy knows how to move (I bet he doesn't just lift), and balance the big 3 with other things- how to lift for the strength and gains he wants. What I said to Ross at the beginning was : don't focus *all of your time there.

    How you work your body, obviously, affects how it looks and performs. I'm saying, know what you're doing. Like Illidian says, if you don't want to look and perform like a powerlifter, don't lift like one. Or a pro bodybuilder. Or whatever. What I'm saying lookswise isn't a matter of diet or fat (those are def important), I mean where the muscle mass ends up and at what density, and physical posture. A particular exercise bulks specific parts of your body, and pulls your posture in specific directions. Notice how rock climbers tend to hunch?

    I'd define 'functional strength' as having a high strength-to-bodyweight ratio in many directions and over a full range. A body that can *do stuff, mostly with itself, in a balanced way, across situations. You don't have it if you can bench a Toyota but can't do 5 full pullups. If you can create a lot of force in leverage disadvantaged positions, you are functionally strong, in my book. So, I hear you, Converse, but I'd say if we wanted functional strength we'd all be doing gymnastics and yoga. Oh, by the way, look at the bodies on gymnasts and power yogis- lean, angular, dense, way powerful in crazy positions- and they might not bench or squat as much weight as the bros in your gym. But relatively they're much stronger, in more situations, across a much greater range of motion. That's what I'm saying. Rusty's program ultimately emphasizes lifting in a way that increases strength to bodyweight- lean and actually strong; over 'getting big'. (But it includes both at different stages, with a purpose, and explains the difference and why.) It does what it says it does. It has the cheesy 'Hollywood' marketing, I know, and considers looks (don't we all when we go to the gym?). But the guy does know what he's talking about, and so do I. His isn't the only program worth paying $47 for either. What I've seen and explored of Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training looks great too. Not big on the P90x and all that.

    Good talk, guys. (Finally.)
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    (Original post by BriB123)
    Like Illidian says, if you don't want to look and perform like a powerlifter, don't lift like one. Or a pro bodybuilder. Or whatever. What I'm saying lookswise isn't a matter of diet or fat (those are def important), I mean where the muscle mass ends up and at what density, and physical posture. A particular exercise bulks specific parts of your body, and pulls your posture in specific directions. Notice how rock climbers tend to hunch?
    I agree you should train for what you want, but your initial post on not looking like a 'bulky bodybuilder' is quite easily misinterpreted mate.

    I'd define 'functional strength' as having a high strength-to-bodyweight ratio in many directions and over a full range. A body that can *do stuff, mostly with itself, in a balanced way, across situations. You don't have it if you can bench a Toyota but can't do 5 full pullups. If you can create a lot of force in leverage disadvantaged positions, you are functionally strong, in my book. So, I hear you, Converse, but I'd say if we wanted functional strength we'd all be doing gymnastics and yoga.
    My problem with the term 'functional strength' is that functional is dependant on what you are training for. If we take functional as meaning 'serving a purpose', any type of strength can be functional. You say people can't transfer their strength outside of the gym, but when was the last time you had to do gymnastics in 'real life'? The term is redundant, basically.

    What is functional for a gymnast and functional for a strongman are entirely different, but it doesn't either of them any less 'functional'.

    lean and actually strong; over 'getting big'.
    Again, you take your own definition of 'strong' and exlude everything else. What makes gymnastics 'actually strong' but picking 300kg off the floor not 'actually strong'. Nothing, is the answer, they are simply different interpretations of the word.
    Appreciate your response man.
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    I hear ya on the initial post. Sorry if I offended anyone by generally disparaging 'bodybuilders'. It takes a lot of work to create a that kind of build, and it's a legitimate enough goal to have if it's your desire and aesthetic, and you're healthy about it.

    So, that said..

    'lean and actually strong, over getting big.'

    I mean two things when I distinguish becoming 'actually strong' from 'getting big'.

    1) It is possible to train for 'big' simply because one finds it impressive/attractive (which is fine). And yeah, there's a certain amount of bulk necessary for moving a whole lot of weight.
    AND...
    Depending on how one trains, a smaller more compact person might *actually move more weight* than a bigger person. There are many examples of this, I'm sure you'll agree. Here I do mean stronger by the actual numbers on the plates.

    2) Yes, you could also re-read my 'actually strong' as 'functionally strong according to my working definition'.

    Earlier Converse, you mentioned that people throw around the term 'functionally strong' without meaning, and they sure do. I wanted to show that I do have a working definition, and was speaking from there. I get that, and I thought that was pretty clear.

    By the way, I stand by my working definition. You may not have to do gymnastics often in 'real life' but I think training like a gymnast would serve the most people, in more situations, in doing the things that most bodies typically might be called to do. If we equivocate on 'functional' and change it's meaning for every specific situation, then the term is *inherently* pretty meaningless and there's no fixing it.

    Whew.

    I think at this point we are basically agreeing.

    I mainly wanted to show that my comments all along do come from a place of some knowledge and experience. And that I'm not a total shill or some kind of douche. If I haven't at least done that by now, it's probably a lost cause.

    Thanks for engaging with me in a civil, informed and intelligent manner. I appreciate it too, man.
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    (Original post by BriB123)
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    Good points tbh.

    I would define functional movements as movements that carry over to the greatest number of other movements (none of that real life activity, carrying shopping bags or boxes definition nonsense).

    In that case, gymnastics/olympic lifting would be the ones matching that criterion. Shame I'm too lazy to do either one of them properly (or at all).
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    Appreciate it, TooEasy.

    I like that definition, too.

    The program (really a book and a forum) that takes the prize for upping my functional strength quickly, noticably, and powerfully is Olympic Coach Christopher Sommer's - Gymnastic Bodies. For regular people. Google it. You can do most of the stuff at home. There are also plenty of YouTubes of guys in that program showing their form and progress with the moves. Incredible bodyweight progressions to uplevel your strength.

    For folks who don't want to use weights, and not do gymnastic-like stuff, I still swear by the VI program from my first post above.
 
 
 
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