Any Weight-Trainers?

Pennyman

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My condo has a small - but free, 24-hour - gym. For cardio it has a couple of elliptical machines, a couple treadmills, a couple stationary bikes. For weight machines it has:

- a leg extension machine

- a leg curl

- seated bench press

- seated shoulder press

- seated lat pull-down bar


+ various free weights (dumbells only), and a couple of benches - one can arranged in an incline.


So, with that in mind, I'd like to start hitting the gym 3-4 times per week, and would love to know what are the best exercises I can do with the equipment available to me, and how to divide the major muscle groups in an effective manner.


(I also have some of those elastic resistance bands, not sure how effective they really are, though...)


I'm not looking for massive gains, I just want to get a good workout and build some overall strength.
 

BigAl

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Read [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-3rd-Mark-Rippetoe/dp/0982522738"]this[/ame] book. It's what I started with when I started lifting.

It's called Starting Strength, Basic Barbell Training.


I did read that you won't have barbells available to you in the condo's gym (real bummer), but this is what got me started and motivated. It's a very good book, and I recommend it to all my friends who want to start lifting and get strong.
 

Pennyman

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I can't deny that I do need some motivation... The gym is literally a 2 minute journey from my sofa. Down the elevator to the underground parking garage, around the corner and across the way maybe 200 ft. Even if it's pouring rain out I wouldn't even get wet. And I've made that trek exactly 3 times in 3 months.


There is no excuse... :(
 

bildozr

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Really depends on your goals. I got into crossfit, and it's kind of addicting. All easy to do, but I don't know if you'll be able to do it in their "fitness center."
But I'm more concerned with my level of fitness. Not just strength training, and I can give a rats ass about "show me" muscles and the beach bod horseshit. I need to be able to perform in emergency situations.

Really, your core muscles are your most important, and by that basically amputate your limbs (legs below the knee) and those are you money makers. Everything else really follows.

If I were to be weight training solely, I'd work specific groups like my chest and back one day, another day my abs and my legs. Curls are for chumps. And DO NOT skip leg day.

But I do crossfit, there's a lot of hate for it, but it works for me.
Welcome to CrossFit: Forging Elite Fitness
 

BigAl

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No need to be hard on yourself, just think about how it'll/does make your life better, and you'll keep at it. :)

Once you get into the habit, it's hard to shake off. Instead of feeling like a chore, it becomes a part of your routine - just like breakfast, errands, etc.
 

nauc

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to get strong, you only have to work out a given muscle once a week, but you have to push yourself until you fail. most people workout too often, which slows growth

3 sets of 8 is all you need. start with a lighter weight for the 1st set, then a heavier weight for the 2nd set, then one the makes you fail on the 3rd set. if youre going past 8 reps on the 3rd set, you picked too low of a weight. add weight as needed

break for 60 seconds between sets

if youre looking to burn calories, do that a few times a week. more calories?, ride a bike or swim daily

heres a ton of exercises, showing you what works what

#1 Exercises Guide! Over 300+ Free Exercise Videos And Guides!

dont forget, drink TONS of water. muscles need water like crazy to grow. also make sure youre eating lots of protein
 

TOMMYTHUNDERS

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what are your goals? be very clear. it sounds to me like you won't be able to do/accomplish much with what you have available. with some creativity it's possible to put something together for you. more important than anyone's personal exercise philosophy, training tips, or whatever people are telling you in this thread is 1. getting in the gym and 2. going to exhaustion. going infrequently will yield no gains or results. the biggest mistake i see people making (among those who do go regularly) in the gym is going through the motions and not exiting their comfort zone. these are the same people always bugging me for workout tips... these people need only to examine what they're doing and how they're doing it. they aren't working hard, they're unwilling to be uncomfortable... and you need to be uncomfortable.
 

Jakeislove

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You can definitely tone up with what's available.

I alternate between functional fitness and bodybuilding.

If you're having a hard time starting, it might be easier to have a workout partner. That helps some folks stay on schedule and build a positive habit.

Regarding exercises and such, it'd be pretty hard for someone to recommend anything without knowing your starting point and general level of health.
 

Pennyman

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Thanks for the advice so far guys. I have a friend who's pretty knowledgeable on this kind of thing, but getting him over for a training session has thus far proved difficult.

Goals: I just want to tone up, really. Get some definition, esp. in arms, shoulders, legs. Lose some belly-butter, but I'm hardly after a 6-pack.


Starting point: I've always been a bit of a scrawny guy, but my overall health is pretty good. I don't smoke, but I probably drink a bit too much.


The gym is pretty limiting, but as a starting point I think it'll do fine. As Tommy said, it'll take a bit of creativity.


Cheers again, guys~
 

TOMMYTHUNDERS

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Thanks for the advice so far guys. I have a friend who's pretty knowledgeable on this kind of thing, but getting him over for a training session has thus far proved difficult.

Goals: I just want to tone up, really. Get some definition, esp. in arms, shoulders, legs. Lose some belly-butter, but I'm hardly after a 6-pack.


Starting point: I've always been a bit of a scrawny guy, but my overall health is pretty good. I don't smoke, but I probably drink a bit too much.


The gym is pretty limiting, but as a starting point I think it'll do fine. As Tommy said, it'll take a bit of creativity.


Cheers again, guys~

how many days a week can you dedicate and for how long?
 

Pennyman

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^ Virtually any night of the week - I do play tennis a couple times per week, so I wouldn't do both tennis and gym on the same day. I'm thinking 30~40 minutes, 3~4 times per week, most likely in the evenings. It's not out of the question that I might get up early and do a routine before breakfast, though (I tend to sleep poorly, and often wake up long before I'm supposed to.)
 

Hamtone

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what are your goals? be very clear. it sounds to me like you won't be able to do/accomplish much with what you have available. with some creativity it's possible to put something together for you. more important than anyone's personal exercise philosophy, training tips, or whatever people are telling you in this thread is 1. getting in the gym and 2. going to exhaustion. going infrequently will yield no gains or results. the biggest mistake i see people making (among those who do go regularly) in the gym is going through the motions and not exiting their comfort zone. these are the same people always bugging me for workout tips... these people need only to examine what they're doing and how they're doing it. they aren't working hard, they're unwilling to be uncomfortable... and you need to be uncomfortable.

When i started out back in 99 I used to train with Obie Philbrook and Skip Robinson. Those 2 used to bust my ass:laugh2: In the end it made me a leg monster, and as they used to say if you dont do legs youre training like [email protected]#$ot :laugh2: I started off weighing 165 at 6'2" and within a year i was about 210.

Depending on your goals makes a difference on what youre going to do. When im really in the grove and have to travel it annoys the hell out of me because the fitness centers at the hotels usually have dumbells that go up to 50 lbs...WTF am I going to do with a 50lb db? Do curls until I heave? But my goals for the most part have always been about strength and size and then have adjusted to meet the conditioning needs that i like to have.
 

TOMMYTHUNDERS

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^ Virtually any night of the week - I do play tennis a couple times per week, so I wouldn't do both tennis and gym on the same day. I'm thinking 30~40 minutes, 3~4 times per week, most likely in the evenings. It's not out of the question that I might get up early and do a routine before breakfast, though (I tend to sleep poorly, and often wake up long before I'm supposed to.)

30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week is better than nothing, but not much better...
 

TOMMYTHUNDERS

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but to answer your question, if that's all the time you can dedicate, i think your best bet would be some short-rest circuit training... it's a terrible way to work out and won't yield great results and you will plateau super hard, but again, better than nothing.
 

Hamtone

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You can get a hell of a workout with 30-40 minutes if you bring 110% effort. Conditioning training like a fighter for example will do just fine.
 

Rich

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You can get a hell of a workout with 30-40 minutes if you bring 110% effort. Conditioning training like a fighter for example will do just fine.

I think you guys are talking about two different things. Tommy is pretty freaking huge so his idea of workout probably differs from most other folks.
 

Hamtone

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Youre not going to get huge from the fitness center but to only have 30-40 minutes of full on conditioning work, you will be in better condition than 99% of the population.

When I went back to boxing I was squatting 495 for 8 but couldnt do foot work drills in fighting because of the lactic acid build up was brutal. I wont ever wish to be 235 again.

I also find for me (my experience) no matter what sort of workout I do as long as I am pushing myself I swell up FAST.

Now 30-40 minutes in a regular gym with everything I need I can CRUSH a workout. Deads, bench, squats etc. If a person is killing it with compound lifts 30-40 minutes is plenty but he is not equipped with that gear.
 

TOMMYTHUNDERS

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i dunno... i still think 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week will limit you. i think you'll eventually hit a wall that you can't get past. like i said, it's better than nothing, but you'll get to a point where you'll end up frustrated with your lack of progress. like hamtone said, if you're going for 30-40 minutes you need to keep your intensity very high the entire time, think 60 second rests between sets... and grueling sets. even then, i wouldn't be able to get in everything i need to... i dunno, i really think you need more time in the gym than that. 24 hours in a day and you're only spending 30-40 minutes exercising doing physical stuff... naw.
 

Hamtone

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When Im in my 7x7 mode, never would I have enough time lol

7x7 incline
4x20 flat dbs
4x20 pec deck

7x7 lp
4x20 atg squats
4x20 leg curls

7x7 overhead press
4x20 arnold press
4x20 side laterals
4x20 front raise

7x7 rack deads
4x20 pullups (or pull downs)
4x20 corner rows
4x20 db rows

5x20 barbell curls
5x20 weighted dips
5x20 pinwheel curls
5x20 skull crushers
5x20 overhead cable curls
5x20 db french press


Those all last about 70 minutes and thats my general "growth" style workouts and are grueling as all hell. The 7x7's I take a full 2 minutes or so between sets and on the higher rep schemes I use about 90 seconds. Trying to hit slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. When im dieting down I use essentially the same workout but I will tweak my diet so I only eat carbs prior to lifts and i have a full on depletion workout to strip my body of all of the muscle glycogen that I can.
 

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