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    So I've been out of training for two months now. My tone has gone, as has my strength, and there's a nice bit of belly fat starting to form where my abs were once peeking out. Time to get back into it, I think.

    Cutting out most of the machines and using the bar and DBs. Using a smith machine, as I'm not sure about bench pressing without a spotter. My cousin wrote me out a lifting programme, which I've tweaked a bit for practicality and personal preference. Here it is:

    Goals:
    Simply to gain some muscle, tone up a bit. Looking for an athletic figure, rather than a built one. I'm fairly fit as it is, having exercised regularly for the best part of a year now, but I want to stress the lifting a little more. Also, I'd like to stay fit and healthy, so I'm trying to keep some cardio in there.

    Monday - Bi & Tri:
    3 sets of 8, plus extra sets until failure:

    - Squats
    - Wide-armed chin-ups
    - EZ bar curls
    - Incline DB curls
    - Skullcrushers
    - Tri pulldowns
    - Tri extensions
    - Incline crunches (sets of 20)
    - Hanging leg raises


    Wednesday - Chest, Cardio:
    3 sets of 8, plus extra sets until failure

    - Leg press
    - Bench Press
    - Incline DB raise
    - DB fly
    - Cable crossover

    - Crunch machine (This Precor machine I do like; the rest at uni gym are awful but this wins hands down against the Nautilus crunch machine which I hated)
    - 20-30 mins treadmill


    Thursday - Back:
    3x8 plus extra sets until failure:

    - Squats
    - Wide-arm pullups
    - Deadlift
    - Chainsaws
    - Bent-over bar rows
    - Incline alternate crunches (sets of 20)
    - Hanging leg raises


    Friday - Shoulders, Cardio:
    3x8 + sets of 8 until failure:

    - Leg press
    - DB shoulder press
    - Upright row (EZ bar?)
    - Lat raise
    - Bent-over rear delt raise
    - Wide-arm pullups

    - Crunch machine
    - 20-30 mins treadmill



    Diet:

    Tricky one. Living with relatives, and eating their food, I can't really tailor my diet as I'd like to, but here's a fairly viable solution:

    Breakfast - Porridge, honey, raisins. Glass of orange juice. Maybe an apple.
    Lunch - 200g pasta + tin of tuna. Mayonnaise.
    Dinner - Whatever's cooked. Usually some meat or fish with vegetables.

    Also a multivitamin each day.

    And that about covers it for now. Any suggestions on tweaking my routine further welcome. I'm not gonna get any encouragement for this stuff from my coursemates, being on a computer science course, so I'm posting a blog here so you can all chastise me if I start slacking.
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    Extra sets until failure: bad idea. What exactly do you suppose you are gainng from going beyond what your body tells you is enough aside from extending the amount of recovery time you need and leaving yourself weaker for your next sessions?

    Where is your lower body work? You're massively prioritising your upper body which is no good.
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    Tuesday 18.11.08

    Doing today instead of tomorrow as I have a dentist's appointment so I'm at home tomorrow.

    Squats:
    50/8 x2
    30/8 x2 (smith)

    Bench Press:
    bar+30 /8 x3 (smith - not sure how much I can claim the bar weighs. don't think it's assisted)

    Inc DB raise:
    8/6 x1
    6/12 x3

    Fly:
    8/6 x1
    6/12 x3

    Cable crossovers:
    Several sets, no idea what the weight was.

    Incline crunches:
    2x15

    Notes:
    Squatting form: First time I've squatted with an Olympic bar today. Found my form poor and balance awful. Should I drop the weight while I get used to it and supplement it with the smith machine?
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    (Original post by Chumbaniya)
    Extra sets until failure: bad idea. What exactly do you suppose you are gainng from going beyond what your body tells you is enough aside from extending the amount of recovery time you need and leaving yourself weaker for your next sessions?

    Where is your lower body work? You're massively prioritising your upper body which is no good.
    I figured that after my initial 3 sets, assuming it's not enough in itself, I'd carry on until I fail before 8. Bad idea? I can scrap that quite easily.

    I'm spreading my leg work across the 4 days because I really can't bring myself to do a full session of leg work. I could always add some more each day, though.
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    (Original post by Planto)
    Notes:
    Squatting form: First time I've squatted with an Olympic bar today. Found my form poor and balance awful. Should I drop the weight while I get used to it and supplement it with the smith machine?
    Aye, drop the weight. You'll soon work back up to 50kg. Don't bother supplementing with a Smith, just get good with the bar.

    Re: bench, can you not just ask some randomer in the gym to spot you?

    Good luck with your goals though.

    EDIT: You might be better off with a full body routine rather than a split routine as well.
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    EDIT: You might be better off with a full body routine rather than a split routine as well.
    Yeah, I've been thinking about this and I'm not sure which way to go. I mean obviously splitting it up lets you focus on a particular muscle group more each day, but a full week's rest before training the same area again seems a little counterproductive. Might have a think, tomorrow, about maybe putting chest & shoulders, and back & arms together and doing two sessions each.
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    (Original post by Planto)
    I figured that after my initial 3 sets, assuming it's not enough in itself, I'd carry on until I fail before 8. Bad idea? I can scrap that quite easily.
    Given that you're doing so many exercises each day, if you do extra sets until failure you'll almost undoubtedly be overdoing it. Even without the extra sets to failure it looks to me to be an overly busy and complex program for someone who is just getting back into training and doesn't want a particularly big body. I don't really see what having a program like this gives you over doing a full body workout a couple of times a week and some cardio.
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    (Original post by Planto)
    So I've been out of training for two months now. My tone has gone, as has my strength, and there's a nice bit of belly fat starting to form where my abs were once peeking out. Time to get back into it, I think.

    Cutting out most of the machines and using the bar and DBs. Using a smith machine, as I'm not sure about bench pressing without a spotter. My cousin wrote me out a lifting programme, which I've tweaked a bit for practicality and personal preference. Here it is:

    Goals:
    Simply to gain some muscle, tone up a bit. Looking for an athletic figure, rather than a built one. I'm fairly fit as it is, having exercised regularly for the best part of a year now, but I want to stress the lifting a little more. Also, I'd like to stay fit and healthy, so I'm trying to keep some cardio in there
    So you're basically a beginner? Get on a beginners routine and stop arsing around with customised advanced bodybuilding split routines. WAY over complicated, you would grow just as well if not better on a simple 3 day full body routine. It comes across as an inexperienced beginner knows best customised for excellency routine, when in reality it is far from true.

    There is way too much isolations in there. If you were a competing bodybuilder, maybe it would be necessary to sculpt your muscles, but again, for a beginner they are nowhere near as effective as heavy compound movements and I doubt you have shed-loads of muscles to 'sculpt' in the first place. Do your compounds properly and you won't need isolations. Also, lots of core work, honestly, again, do your compounds right and you won't need crunches and crunch machines.

    Finally there is no real programme structure. Leg work on all days? Wide grip pullups on a shoulder day? Training to failure on all workouts? Not good.

    If you seriously think that is a good routine you need to do your reading. Check out the fitness sticky, check out Starting Strength, check out RossTraining, check out Strong Lifts and check out the Nutrition Info if you want to get anywhere fast.
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    (Original post by Planto)

    Monday - Bi & Tri:
    3 sets of 8, plus extra sets until failure:

    - Squats
    - Wide-armed chin-ups
    - EZ bar curls
    - Incline DB curls
    - Skullcrushers
    - Tri pulldowns
    - Tri extensions
    - Incline crunches (sets of 20)
    - Hanging leg raises

    eh
 
 
 
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