View Full Version : So where do I start???

02-03-2003, 08:34 PM
For a long while now, I've been looking for the "perfect" free weight machine. I've seen a lot of them-- some had weight stacks and were impossible to re-locate when you needed to (they were also very arbitrary in the poundage department), others were whimps and not suited for serious work (and not tall enough).
Recently, at COSTCO, they sold a Nautilis Free Weight system with an amazing bench (well padded, highly adjustable and solid), a smith machine, pull down bar and an attachment for doing curls, rows, etc. It also has a straight bar, curl bar, and two bar attachments for the pull down bar, etc.... the weights are back-loaded. All this and 250 lb of olympic weights came with the unit. To say the least... it was love, in some odd sense of the word... and for the price I layed down for it... a steal!!!!
That being said, I stand at the crossroads... after a decade of using machines like the Soloflex, the Bowflex and loose free weights... where do I begin???
Not long ago, long before I got the Nautilis, I invested in "The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" by Arnold ("need I say his name?"). After scanning the book pretty well, I'm pretty sure it will help, but, at 51, and not having "pumped" iron for awhile, I'm unsure of where to start.
I'm not a kid at 51, and while I have all the equipment, including dumb bells and hex weights, it's hard to figure out any number of things... how much weight to use, whether to work two days in a row and rest?... or work every other day?
I'm not interested in depositing my paycheck at GNC for supplements and becoming a mutant who can't scratch his own back... but I would like to build "sensible" muscle and become healthy. I am currently on a low carb, high-protein eating plan and don't cheat that often.
I would love to hear from anyone and everyone who has a thought on the subject.

Trying to get and stay healthy post age 50
"Lifelong citizen of the Raider Nation"
(Don't laugh-- we won three and only
lost two)

02-03-2003, 08:53 PM
Hi Ark,

Take a look at this article:
also check out:

Hope these help!

02-03-2003, 09:21 PM
The best investment you'll ever make is to hire a good, professioanl trainer to help you set up your program and set your goals. Granted, not everyone can afford to work with a trainer regularily, but one consulting session will be well worth every penny. (And I'm not a trainer!)

02-03-2003, 09:47 PM
Thanks everyone!!!
I'll check out those articles and see what I can learn from them.
I would love to work with a personal trainer... I'll investigate the possibility of it and then check the checkbook.
Let me tell ya... you really don't miss the muscle rhythem until you try and start all over again... just about every joint and bone scream in confusion and from not being used.
But that's OK... they'll feel better as things progress.
I'm looking forward to feeling strong and healthy once again...
Thanks again for your good thoughts!!!


02-04-2003, 06:19 AM
Keep us posted ...
People here will help you.
Best of luck and keep pumping

02-04-2003, 06:35 AM
Arkangel...first off, welcome to the group! You will find excellent motivation, information and support here!'

As for starting again, I absolutely know exactly where you're coming from...drowning in a sea of information, it's still hard to find what you're looking for.

I HIGHLY recommend picking up the book Body-for-Life by Bill Phillips. It's a fantastic way to start into it and gives you great guidelines to make your own decisions on where you want to go. There are several of us here that are in the midst of BFL (Body-for-Life) 12-week Challenges. Look over some of the Challenge threads, pick up the book and go for it!

Great to have you aboard! :)

02-04-2003, 07:47 AM
ArkAngel, first welcome to the over 35, you are going to like it here and there are great people with a whole lot of insight. I am East of you in the foothills, Sonora.

I started where you are at 56 and this is what I did for the first month, hope it helps:


10 minutes of cardio,
followed by Crunches & Leg Raises

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press (1x12)
Dumbbell Pullovers (1x12)

Wide Grip Pulldown (1x12)
Row Machine (1x12)

Triceps Press Machine (1x12)

Standing Dumbbell Curls (1x12)

Leg Press (1x15)
Leg Extension (1x15)
Leg Curl (1x15)

Complete one or two sets of each exercise the first two weeks and three sets of each the remaining weeks of the four-week cycle. Be easy; during the first set, warm-up and practice the groove of the movement (the track in which the weight safely, effectively and naturally travels). Increase the resistance with each successive set.

Focus, form and deliberate motion. Hard work but don't strain... Yet.

02-04-2003, 08:17 AM
Welcome to the over-35 forum.
There's a lot of good, informative hard-training people over here that are always willing to help & motivate.

The routine described by TwoWalks is an excellent 1st month routine. It stresses the fact that you should be working on proper form

Originally posted by TwoWalks
Focus, form and deliberate motion...
and conditioning.

Originally posted by TwoWalks
Hard work but don't strain... Yet

Targeting the 12-15 rep range is great for beginning workouts.
Do not go to failure on any exercise, but use enough weight to stimulate conditioning. e.g. if you target 12 reps, then choose a weight that you could have done, say, 15 reps, but just do 12.

Good luck and happy training.

02-04-2003, 04:32 PM
Welcome Arkangel. :)
You sound like you are overwhelmed.
Don't worry about learning everything in a day or week.
When you make a commitment like this...it is for a lifetime. And you will learn and share so much every day...one step at a time.

02-06-2003, 10:12 PM
Once again thank you all for your support.
My girlfriend owns the "Body for life" book and I'll start to wade into it. I've seen him on Oprah and he seems solid.
I've started something rather unprecedented (at least for me)... I'm reading the Schwarzenegger book from cover to cover. Even the intro was giving me a lot of hope that I could convert from a machine guy (Soloflex and Bowflex) to a iron-plate guy. There is so much to learn and adapt to. Yet reading "the encyclopedia" is giving me much better definitions about how to start and how to follow through.
I'm going to try that workout schedule for the first month. I agree... I'm not out to "macho" and hurt myself (did that several years ago at the YMCA).
Just to complete the picture... I am trying to do about 30-60 minutes of yoga about twice (for flexability and stress relief) a day, and work on my Ab-Doer about twice a day as well. I have a torso track and want to work that in as well (different motions). Other than that, I have a Rock-it and it really excells at leg work. My girlfriend has a Tunturi exercise bike (a gym fav prior to the Johnny G Spinner). I would also like to add about three swims per week (at least 30 minutes of laps to 60 minutes). I know it all sounds like overkill, but I have always thrived on exercise-diversity... it keeps you from getting too set in your ways.
I love to work out!!! I used to go to the YMCA and sweat it out for around 4 hours a day... now between "spin class", the laps and the weights... that was heaven. But time and necessity has pretty much killed that. I have a mild case of arthritis in my knees and don't want to push a possible Total-knee-replacement by running any more marathons, and keeping up with work and the needs of my girlfriend takes a lot of time... so I train at home.
The ironic thing is that when my girlfriend was Bowflex-curious, I brought mine over and suprised her with it. I tried to sell her on the space-saving and simplicity of it... she didn't bite after a couple of times. My Soloflex is a great machine but I haven't fixed up her garage yet and I think that changing out the bands and moving the bar around won't appeal to her either. So now I have the Nautilus machine... and she loves it!!! It isn't busting teeth to get her to jump on the bench and work out. She sticks with just the 25lb-er and lighter but it is great to see her willingness to workout with me. I bought her an Ab-Doer too and we work out on it... folks, if you don't want to get down on the ground and roll your aching knees around... it's a Godsend!!!
SO... I dragged out the hex weights and am finding absolute happiness with free wieghts. My body is getting used to the specifics of dealing with this push and pull. I'm actually finding it easier and more "user-friendly" to punch the olympic plates than to spend five or ten minutes changing out power bands and rubber bands. I am feeling "dense-er" than before, so I guess that's OK.
I'm working up to that long bar... damm, it's a chunk to move around, not so awkward... but a little heavy to sling around. I'm also preparing myself for "preacher curls" which always-- even on the Cybex and Nautilus machines (in the gym) were a pain in the ass. Just me??? Let me know.
I am finding, ironically enough, that there are a wonderful variety of exercises you can do with freeweights, that machines don't allow you to do. Using free weights seem to feel more comfortable and allow other variations to keep the workout fresh.
ANYWAY...thanks again, everyone, for your continued encouragement and please... let's continue to talk, I love the suggestions and the support.
If you have any questions write me at TRAVEN8@HOTMAIL.COM.
It's good to know you aren't alone... especially in this maze or information, mis-information and brutal hype (watching Tony Little, and nearly anything by "Body by Jake" is enough to cause nausea-- or it is just me?)
Would love to hear from any and all... thanks again.