I noticed that most threads on this workout forum are about people having goals, yet having no clue what to do. I decided to make a little informative post that might want to be made a sticky. I was thinking we should all chip in our knowledge.
If your looking to slim down and lose the gut and/or gain some lean muscle, here is some information you might want to know.
"A BEGGINER's GUIDE TO BODYBUILDING"
NO SUCH THING!!! Doing a hundred crunches will strengthen the abs, but wonÂ’t do anything to the fat. Only through hard work, cardio, and a healthy diet will you achieve this.
HIGHER REPS = MORE DEFINITION AND "TONENESSÂ”
The truth is, higher reps will NOT tone your muscles or make them more defined. Once again, this is having a low body fat %. Higher reps will work on endurance though and is great for some athletes and marathon runners.
GAIN MUSCLE AND LOSE FAT
When we all start out lifting, we have this lucky gift of being able to lose fat yet get muscle at the same time. Over time, this completely goes away. I notice a lot of posts are Â“oh my goals are to lose the old gut while getting my chest bigger...Â”. This isnÂ’t going to happen unless you are a beginner (a.k.a newbie) or on steroids. Think about it. How can you gain muscle on a calorie deficit and/or lose fat on a calorie surplus? Once you feel you gotten to the point where you can no longer do the above, then you have a choice of doing a cutting or bulking phase.
THE MORE THE BETTER (RIGHT?)
Ever hear the phase Â“muscle grow outside the gymÂ”. Well, this phase fits in right here. When people first start out lifting, they tend to think that more is better. This is definatly not the case. Your muscles and body needs time to recover. Also, around an hour or so (differs from everyone), cortical is released from the body which can actually kill off muscle tissue and cause muscle catabalism. This can be prevented if you train smart. Do no more then a 5 day split training each muscle once a week (smaller ones twice most) and working out no more then an hour. Now donÂ’t get me wrong, everybody is different and people respond to different methods, principals, techniques, etc. But this most likely all you need to do. Most people say Â“oh, IÂ’m training each body part 2x a week and only have one rest day and getting good resultsÂ” but what they donÂ’t realize is that they arenÂ’t giving their body (central nervous system) full time to recover as well as their muscles. Even though muscles only need 48-72 hours to recover, they still donÂ’t recover fully which is why it benefits you to take a week off every 2-3 months.
I DO CARDIO FOR MY LEG WORK..THATÂ’S ALL I NEED
The truth is, legs also need heavy anaerobic sets just like the upper body. Running is to aerobic to call it a leg Â“mass builderÂ”. Besides, the best exercise known to us bodybuilders is for legs (SQUATS!). By the way, chicken legs and a huge upper body will look very unproportianal and kind of weird.
I DIDN'T GET A PUMP OR WAS SORE THIS MORNING...
"Pumps" and soreness in your muscles doesn't mean too much (for hypertrophy [ muscle growth]). I could get a good pump from picking a weight and lifting it for 100x. This will porbably deal way more with endurance then hypertrophy. Samething goes with soreness. The real way you can tell if your workouts are good is over time.
Now lets say your goal is to look nice and thin and get rid of the old gut and get abs by the summer times Here you are going too need to start reducing your calories, increasing protein, decreasing saturated fats and carbs.
Some diets where people got good results from: Atkins diet, keto diet
Here are some estimations to help you figure out your calories and protein needs:
Calories: bodyweight x 11-13
Protein: bodyweight x 1.2-1.4
The key here is too keep saturated fats in moderation. DonÂ’t totally eliminate them from your diet. You still need some. Also, donÂ’t go overboard with decreasing the carbs (unless you are on keto which requires you too). Depending on your metabolism, try to split this into 4-6 smaller meals over the course of the day.
You are also going to have to start doing some cardio. Start out with one short cardio session. By starting out with a lot of cardio days, you are only hurting yourself and looking for an injury. Each week, start increasing it until you get around 20-45 minutes. You might also want to look into HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio. DonÂ’t let the time (12-15 minutes) of these cardio sessions fool you. The sessions are very intense.
Training splits should stay the same. Like I said before, reps shouldnÂ’t go higher. I prefer a 3 day split while cutting because it is easier to fit in cardio and easier to recover while under a calorie deficit.
Some good supplements too look are: whey protein, multi vitamins, glutamine, and fat burners (WARNING: only take a fat burner if you are in good cardiovascular condition and have good blood pressure with no history of bad cardiovascular health).
A way you can minimize muscle loss is not decreasing the calories all over night. DonÂ’t just decrease your calories all in a day. Your body has to get used to what it has. Slowly decrease your calories by 200-300 each week until you get to your desired calories, carbs, and saturated fats.
Some good informative links while cutting are:
How many people out there no matter how hard they try, canÂ’t gain any muscle? There are a few reasons why this is so. Are you over training? Are you eating enough? Are you getting enough sleep? Etc.
Most people have a good workout, but ignore there diet. Like I said before, you must be eating. Take a look at these estimations:
Calories: bodyweight x 19-20
Protein: same as cutting
Keep carbs high too around 300-450 gram range (depending on bodyweight). If you limit saturated fats and bulk cleanly, you will limit the time you need to cut and minimizing muscle loss. Try to eat this in a matter of 5-7 meals.
If you are getting too fat (do not do this if you arenÂ’t gaining at all) throw in a cardio session or two during the week.
If you are having trouble eating during class, eat a big breakfast and keep things that can be sealed like powerbars, peanuts, mrb shakes/bars in your locker. Here is a good article on this by big red:
www.fitday.com and www.calorieking.com are both great links for nutritional breakdown of certain specific foods.
Here I would recommend a 4-5 day split. There are a ton out there. Anyone will pretty much work as long as you are eating & sleeping enough, and not overtraining. Most people respond best to the 8-10 and 6-8 rep range. Some people respond better to lower reps like the 4-6 and/or higher reps like the 10-12. Anything lower then 4 IMO, is for strength gains,
Some good supplements to look into are: whey protein, multivitamins, creatine, bcaa, liver tabs, and zma.
Some good bulking links are:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne2.htm (nice one by good old layne )
When working out, you want to try and stick with heavy compound movements.
Back- Deadlifts, rowing movements, chinning/pull-ups
Legs- Squats, stiff legged deadlifts, calf raises
Shoulders - Shoulder presses (standing/seated, Arnold, DB/BB,etc) ISOLATION: raises
Chest - Bench press, Dips, ISOLATION flyes and crossovers
Biceps - Close-grip chinups, ISOLATION curls
Triceps - Close-grip bench press, skull crushers, ISOLATION tricep pushdowns
Abs- weighted & decline crunches, hanging leg raises, lying side bends and twist crunches (obliques)
link to Brit_beef's workout split thread:
Here are some good websites for videos on proper form and exercises:
Have a protein shake (Whey protein shake) and some sort of simple sugar like honey and/or dextrose after your workouts.
I recommend every month or two changing up your split. This will avoid a plateu when you no longer can gain anything. You can do something simple like superset or totally rearrange your split. Some great things to do are: pyramid (both up and down are good), supersets (and all variations), forced reps, down the rack, negatives (warm up properly before this), drop sets, etc. Bump up your calorie intake, protein, and carbs as well. Here are a few good links for the descriptions of the above:
I know a lot of you really want to start but donÂ’t have a good motivation and are too lazy. Here is a great link for some motivation :
Like I said before, if there is anything you guys would like to add, please feel free to do this.