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  1. #1
    Registered User BWRT's Avatar
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    Low compound lifts?

    So I just started gym and my ego has been put in place. Been schooled and realised I’m very weak. I can only squat 40kg (3x5), bench 30kg (3x5) and pendlay row 30kg (3x8). Just how weak am I? I’m about 5ft10/11 160 pounds at 20. Any tips, advice? My legs feel like jelly now
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    So I just started gym and my ego has been put in place. Been schooled and realised I’m very weak. I can only squat 40kg (3x5), bench 30kg (3x5) and pendlay row 30kg (3x8). Just how weak am I? I’m about 5ft10/11 160 pounds at 20. Any tips, advice? My legs feel like jelly now
    Work on your form first; the weight will come later.


    Practice good form, ingrain it into your muscle memory and before you know it you will be warming up on what was your max 4 months ago.
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  3. #3
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    In the first 6 weeks of training these lifts regularly you can expect to make fast improvements - mostly by increasing neural efficiency. That is how the brain coordinates the activation of muscle tissue to best perform the complex movements. You won't even need to grow much new muscle tissue, the improvements will mostly be neural.

    So keep at it and see where you are in 6 weeks.
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  4. #4
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    So I just started gym and my ego has been put in place. Been schooled and realised I’m very weak. I can only squat 40kg (3x5), bench 30kg (3x5) and pendlay row 30kg (3x8). Just how weak am I? I’m about 5ft10/11 160 pounds at 20. Any tips, advice? My legs feel like jelly now
    My numbers were almost exactly the same as yours when I started 4 years ago. There's 2 choices: keep going, or quit. If you quit, it'll never get better.

    After your workout, you should eat enough food and get good sleep and rest. That's where you build muscle.
    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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  5. #5
    Registered User BWRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    My numbers were almost exactly the same as yours when I started 4 years ago. There's 2 choices: keep going, or quit. If you quit, it'll never get better.

    After your workout, you should eat enough food and get good sleep and rest. That's where you build muscle.
    Appreciate the advice everyone, definitely not gonna quit it’s motivation for me to eventually be strong and have a good physique. Can anyone comment on whether my lifts are bad for an untrained male with my stats?
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    Appreciate the advice everyone, definitely not gonna quit it’s motivation for me to eventually be strong and have a good physique. Can anyone comment on whether my lifts are bad for an untrained male with my stats?
    I realise you might be worried that they are not - but from where I'm sitting, it really doesn't matter. These numbers probably aren't unusual for someone who's never lifted before but the real starting point (baseline for improvement) will not be known until the 6 week initial phase is done - because from that point on most of the gains you see will come from new muscle tissue rather than just quick-and-easy neural improvements. And those improvements will be slower and more prone to stalling if you aren't training hard enough or doing the right thing with your nutrition.
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  7. #7
    Registered User BWRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I realise you might be worried that they are not - but from where I'm sitting, it really doesn't matter. These numbers probably aren't unusual for someone who's never lifted before but the real starting point (baseline for improvement) will not be known until the 6 week initial phase is done - because from that point on most of the gains you see will come from new muscle tissue rather than just quick-and-easy neural improvements. And those improvements will be slower and more prone to stalling if you aren't training hard enough or doing the right thing with your nutrition.
    Yeah I see what you’re saying. So my numbers can’t really be judged up until the 6 week mark as I’ve been extremely sedentary and inactive for a long time, and the first numbers don’t really give a clear picture?
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    Yeah I see what you’re saying. So my numbers can’t really be judged up until the 6 week mark as I’ve been extremely sedentary and inactive for a long time, and the first numbers don’t really give a clear picture?
    They give a clear picture that you've never worked out before. There's not any useful comparison of how weak or strong you are compared to other people who've also never lifted weights before. Also don't see why it matters. The important thing is where you go from here.
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  9. #9
    Registered User BWRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    They give a clear picture that you've never worked out before. There's not any useful comparison of how weak or strong you are compared to other people who've also never lifted weights before. Also don't see why it matters. The important thing is where you go from here.
    Not useful no, but I think it would give me an idea as to how good or bad my genetics are.
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    Not useful no, but I think it would give me an idea as to how good or bad my genetics are.
    It would be more of an indicator of lifestyle prior to commencing training. Someone who has worked on a farm all their life might have higher starting lifts than a couch potato but worse genetics for lifting. It's hard to say until there is a strong foundation of consistent training.


    All I think you should be worrying about is perfecting your form and staying consistent. Don't get ahead of yourself bro.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    Not useful no, but I think it would give me an idea as to how good or bad my genetics are.
    Does it matter? your genetics only limit top end potential anyway.
    Are you not going to want to be stronger, bigger, fitter etc if they are not top class genetics?
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  12. #12
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    Yep, genetics determine who becomes a world champion - not who can get worthwhile results or not.

    It's been clearly shown that your starting point is no indication at all of your later potential. (Almost) everyone is going to look like they dont' lift - if they've never lifted. There are exceptions but only a tiny number in comparison to the vast majority who are all close to average like you and I.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    Not useful no, but I think it would give me an idea as to how good or bad my genetics are.
    "Genetics" is a catch-all people use to mean "inherent characteristics I have little control over". Even then, you have some control. There is a genetic component to height but if you took identical twins at childhood and gave one twin a good diet and gave another twin nutrient poor diet, you'll get different outcomes with the exact same genes.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

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    Originally Posted by BWRT View Post
    Not useful no, but I think it would give me an idea as to how good or bad my genetics are.
    Don't think it would indicate much about your genetics, and also don't see why this would matter either as you're only just starting out.
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    Originally Posted by 2am View Post
    Work on your form first; the weight will come later.
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  16. #16
    Registered User BWRT's Avatar
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    No probs appreciate the responses everyone.
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    Registered User asrl78's Avatar
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    I've just gone back to the gym after a five month absence thanks to COVID, and that is what I lifted, I'm 6 ft, 80kg (about 175 lbs), and age 42. I am probably the weakest person in my gym but I am concentrating on getting the technique right on the compound lifts, so started light, and aim to add 2.5 kg every session if I can get my target reps and sets. If you have to start from a low base then you have to start low, whether it is low compared to anyone else is irrelevant. It is better to start light to get the form nailed otherwise you are asking for injuries down the road.
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    Registered User BWRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by asrl78 View Post
    I've just gone back to the gym after a five month absence thanks to COVID, and that is what I lifted, I'm 6 ft, 80kg (about 175 lbs), and age 42. I am probably the weakest person in my gym but I am concentrating on getting the technique right on the compound lifts, so started light, and aim to add 2.5 kg every session if I can get my target reps and sets. If you have to start from a low base then you have to start low, whether it is low compared to anyone else is irrelevant. It is better to start light to get the form nailed otherwise you are asking for injuries down the road.
    Good that ur back In there man. I use the fact that I’m weak as fuel. I just keep it in the front of my mind that with a few months of consistently hitting the gym I’ll be fairly strong. My lifts have already gone up a little since last week so just gonna keep working as hard as I can.
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    The moment you start caring about the number on the bar is the moment you take your first step on the road to bad form. Concentrate on the exercise and the numbers will follow.
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