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  1. #1
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Default Step by step on how to start working out

    Hello everybody,
    I am making this post because I see far too many people coming on the site and asking where do they start, how do they start and what they need to do to get fit. So I'm going to try and make a step by step guide of what you should do when you join this site and link some useful articles from the site. Hopefully this will help some people get started working out. (I used benchpress in all of my examples because it's an exercise I think everyone knows) Also anyone have any ideas, corrections to add please say so and I will add them in.

    The best thing as in most in general is to keep things basic and simple. You're just starting there's no need to do complicated exercises or complicated diets. If you want to that's fine, you'll work a lot harder and most people just lose motivation and quit. So just take things slowly this is a lifestyle change not a quick fix.


    Step 1) Choose a routine
    If you are a begginer or you have taken a break from working out (more than a year pause) you should start with a begginer routine. Even if you had been working out for 2 years before that or however long, it doesn't matter start with a begginer routine because you're muscles aren't used to it... then move up to a different routine.

    3 day a week routines:
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...g-workout.html
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...s-workout.html

    2 day a week routines:
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...g-routine.html
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...-by-steve.html

    If you don't like those here are all the beginner workouts from this site http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner.html
    The "find a plan" function on bodybuilding.com is great you might want to check out that just don't go into the forum over there lol


    Step 2) Learn how to do the exercises in the routine correctly
    To do this it's pretty simple start with low weights. Leave your ego at the door, you're not trying to impress anybody. If you lift heavier weights than you should be you're only making a fool of yourself by looking like a wannabe. So start very light, get the form down to a tee and start moving up the weight week by week. Ideally you should be increasing the difficulty of the exercise every week. This can be done in several ways:
    Increasing weights
    Increasing repetitions (number of times you lift the weight)
    Slowing down your repetitions

    Exercises:
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/main.html
    You can also youtube them or google them. Just type in the name of the exercise you're looking for and technique or how to do (whatever exercise it is)


    Step 3) Basic techniques for all exercises
    Breathing
    Breathe out when you're exerting force, breathe in when you're not. Simple? Yes, but yet so many people forget to breathe when they're lifting.
    Timing
    A good timing for your repetitions is the 2-1-2. It means that in the exercise you are performing you should be lowering the weight for 2 secs, pausing and contracting whichever muscle you are working for 1 second and then lift it for 2 seconds. Sometimes you should be contracting the muscle at the bottom of your exercise sometimes it will be at the top, pretty much common sense will answer when you are capable of contracting. Like in the bench press at the bottom of the movement you can't contract (try it I can't explain why you can't) but at the top of the movement you can contract the chest.
    This is also known as the mind-muscle connection and you will eventually be able to contract whatever muscle you think of without contracting the others. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...-together.html
    Locking out
    In no exercise should you lock out your joints, for example if you are benchpressing you shouldn't completely extend your arms because this will put unnecessary strain on the joints and take away weight from your muscles taking pressure off of them. (build muscles slower, possible injury)
    Warm up
    You must do a 5 minute warmup before you start lifting. Lots of people don't but I think it's a really bad idea to start lifting weights cold. Also recommend doing a light warm up set of whatever exercise it is youre going to do. So lets say you bench 130 pounds normally, do one set of 60 pounds. (A set is just doing a certain number of repetitions)
    Stretching
    Stretching the muscles you are about to work out for about 5 minutes and in between exercises if they feel sore I think is necessary.
    Rest
    Between each exercise, and between the different sets of each exercise you should rest around a minute to a minute and a half.


    Step 4) Diet
    Again here we're going to be wanting to keep things simple. So if you're eating junk food all the time and nothing else eat less junk food. If you eat junk food every once in a while eat it even less. Pretty much establish were you're at in terms of eating healthy foods and eat healthier than you were before. Of course the healthier you eat compared to how you were eating before the better results you will get.

    One thing most people don't know is that a big percentage of the population has an intolerance for wheat. So try not eating any wheat prodcuts for two weeks or three (it's easier in USA since there's so many more non-wheat prodcuts there) and then take wheat one day. If you feel like crap or have an upset stomach it means you have an intolerance for it. Same thing happens when you get rid of junk food and then try it again. Pretty much your body hates being mistreated but it will adapt, so don't make it adapt and treat it right.


    Step 5) Set goals
    To do this get a journal, and write down how much you're lifting each session, how long you're session lasts and give it a grade. And next session try and beat your last personal record in any of the ways stated in step 2. Those would be your short term goals, and you can make other short term goals like in 3 weeks I want to have increased my benchpress by 10 pounds.
    Long term goals are more complicated and will need more reading to learn how to set them, http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...ion-guide.html that is an excellent article that pretty much explains everything you have to do. Another great article on learning how to set goals http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...-you-want.html


    Step 6) Supplements
    If you are starting to work out the only supplement you should really take is whey protein for your post work out shake. And on off days take one as soon as you wake up before breakfast. I won't post reasons because it would be too long and that's not the purpose of this post.
    For a begginer creatine isn't as necessary as whey protein, so save the creatine for when you need that extra help to take your body to a new level.
    Multivitamin is also a very good supplement to take especially if you have only one diet that you follow every day since the odds of you getting all the vitamins you need from the same food source are slim especially if you're not an expert.

    Step 7) Rest
    You should be sleeping ideally between 8 to 10 hours, although most people will recommend 7 to 8 as a good goal. Another point many begginers fail to realize is that going to the gym won't help you grow faster in fact it will do just the opposite. So stick to the begginer routine and do only what it says to do in the routine don't add anything to it. Here are some of the most common begginer mistakes http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...beginners.html And some common lifting myths http://www.muscleandstrength.com/art...ain-myths.html


    Step 8) READ!!
    I have posted very few links to articles on this site but just read all you can it's what will help you the most. So here are some links to other sites that are helpful that aren't so easy to find.
    http://www.thedailyplate.com/ A site that tells you the nutrition information about foods and lets you keep a diet journal
    http://www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm Calculate your maximum heart rate to help you know at what intensity you are training while doing cardio. (this method uses your resting heart rate which you take as soon as you wake up
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/criticalbench19.htm I might get some hate for posting an article from that site, but just because the people on their forums are idiots doesn't mean that they aren't a good source of information with lots of useful articles too.

    So that's all I can think of for now any questions, suggestions, corrections feel free to add them and hope this was helpful to someone I had a good time writting it out
    Last edited by CptKnuckles; 06-22-2011 at 06:40 AM.

  2. #2
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Alright I wanted to detail more step 4 Diet since diet is the most important aspect of transforming your body (bodybuilding :P):

    To some having a strict meal plan that you follow every day can be motivational and actually something they enjoy but most people won't like that lack of freedom in choosing what to eat. Which is why I'm adding this section to all those people that can't follow the same diet everyday or find it to be too much trouble and demotivational. (Since food affects mood).

    Alright for a begginer having a daily diet isn't vital for seeing substantial gains and you will still see great gains if you just eat healthy and regularly. However most people don't understand what eating healthy really means so I'm going to pretty much steal coregains thread explaining how to eat healthy and what foods are healthy and not and you can use common sense after that to discover which ones aren't. And I'll also add some useful links and anyone that wants to post more links feel free to do so, I will definetely add them on.

    Step 10 (if you want to call it that) Eating Healthy

    HEALTHY
    Small regular meals
    Eat regularly (5 meals a day). You want three big meals (your breakfast, lunch, dinner) and two smaller meals in between those. In spain we call them almuerzo and merienda. This type of meal structure is gaining more popularity because it's easier to do and you can lead a completely normal life while, something not so easy to do if you're eating 8 times a day. So each meal should have protein, carbs and fat. Try to make each meal have all of these three.

    Protein:
    Eggs, fish, poultry, red meats (lean is preferred since there is less fat), low fat milk, nuts (be careful though these have a high fat content don't eat too many), and proetin supplements

    Carbohydrates:
    Oatmeal, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes (white or red), brown rice, 100% whole wheat and whole grain products (pretty much don't eat white bread if you can and the same goes for pasta and all these grains), green vegetables (brocolli, green beans, asparragus, lettuce, etc...) You can eat as many green vegetables as you want And fruit (don't overdo it though since fruit has more sugar and too much isn't good either)

    Fat:
    You get fat from meat, fish, nuts (peanut butter yuuum). Can't think of many more sources but you shouldn't worry too much there's enough fat in your other foods that you won't have a problem getting enough fat.

    UNHEALTHY
    Okay now that I've said what you SHOULD eat I think it's equally important to say what you SHOULDN'T eat:
    White sugar (this is satan pretty much hahah) Asides from being unhealthy it actually steals from the good foods your eating because it actually leeches minerals from your body.
    Ice cream, fried foods, doughnuts and pastries, candy, chocolate, soda, fruit drinks (these are usually loaded with sugar read the nutritional information before buying), bacon, sausage, white bread, chips, nachos, sugary breakfast cereal.

    All those yummy delicious foods are unhealthy and you should take them very rarely (like once a week) after a while you'll notice that in fact your stomach gets upset if you take them again after avoiding them long enough. I mean your body is smarter than you are it knows what food isn't good for you but if you force it down your throat every day your body will adapt and grow intolerant to it allowing you to eat it without feeling sick. So don't try and trick your body LISTEN to it

    So there we go I'll be editing every once in a while to try and make it not so long and cut out unnecesary information but for now I'll leave it like that :P
    Last edited by CptKnuckles; 06-22-2011 at 06:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Just joined M&S Caca's Avatar
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    Thanks! That helped alote. Very good step by steps very simple to undertsand.

  4. #4
    Moderator EKnight's Avatar
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    Add a multivitamin-- NOT Centrum or One-a-day to the supps. More important than whey! -EK
    Donít chase the 1%, there is no magic training routine or diet thatís going to provide any measurable results over the basic principles for getting huge and strong: Train heavy, eat and sleep more.

  5. #5
    - Shaun's Avatar
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    Good post man, i'll stick this.

    I agree with the multi vit, add that into supps and i'd just add in the diet bit a line to say how important your diet actually is, because most beginners think that if you lift big weights you gain muscle regardless to what you eat.

  6. #6
    Coming Up The Ranks maiku83's Avatar
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    rep + thanks for the post

  7. #7
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    well if your diet is good do you still really need a multivitamin? I would think that whey would give you better results than a multivitamin if you only had to add one but I'll add a reference to multivitamin too.
    Hey erick what's centrum and the one a day you posted are they a specific brand of multivitamin?
    And shaun thanks for the sticky Never thought this would get stickied so I really appreciate that

  8. #8
    Moderator EKnight's Avatar
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    Yes, studies show that there is no way an average person can get their micronutrients through whole foods, let alone someone with higher needs who is training hard. Centrum, etc. are synthetic garbage multis that are poorly absorbed and basically lots of fillers and crap. -EK
    Donít chase the 1%, there is no magic training routine or diet thatís going to provide any measurable results over the basic principles for getting huge and strong: Train heavy, eat and sleep more.

  9. #9
    Regular Poster santosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKnight View Post
    Yes, studies show that there is no way an average person can get their micronutrients through whole foods, let alone someone with higher needs who is training hard. Centrum, etc. are synthetic garbage multis that are poorly absorbed and basically lots of fillers and crap. -EK
    What brand(s) of multivitamin do you recommend? And what do I need to look for when I'm browsing around to find out if a certain brand is good or not?
    When you were born, you cried and other people smiled.
    Live your life well so that when you die you smile and other people cry.

    Goal: Maintain BF not to exceed 12%, bigger pecs and arms, and more defined abs.

  10. #10
    Moderator EKnight's Avatar
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    Grrr...search button! For a multi look at the label and see where the C and E are derived. Whole-food multis will have C as ascorbic acid and also contain a bioflavanoid complex of some sort. Synthetics will only have ascorbic acid. The E in a whole food will be d-alpha (or d-beta, d-gamma, etc.) tocopheral, whereas a synthetic will be dl-alpha... -EK
    Donít chase the 1%, there is no magic training routine or diet thatís going to provide any measurable results over the basic principles for getting huge and strong: Train heavy, eat and sleep more.

  11. #11
    - Shaun's Avatar
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    Solgar V75 is a good cheaper alternative to Animal Pak

  12. #12
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    srry I think this is going a bit off topic I think there's lots of articles for choosing supplements. So I would appreciate it if those discussions were kept there and if you want just put a link to the page so that people can look it up.

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    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptKnuckles View Post
    srry I think this is going a bit off topic I think there's lots of articles for choosing supplements. So I would appreciate it if those discussions were kept there and if you want just put a link to the page so that people can look it up.
    If you ask questions yourself "Hey erick what's centrum and the one a day you posted are they a specific brand of multivitamin?" others are going to do the same or submit a reply.
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    Moderator EKnight's Avatar
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    I was actually going to rep + you till I read that. Are you kidding me? Policing your posts is ridiculous. If you didn't want people- beginners in particular- to ask about/discuss the benefits of supplements, then you shouldn't have included them in your original post. You can't open that door and then expect people not to walk through it. -EK

    Edit- actually I'm repping you anyway. It's a good thread even if I disagree with your last post.
    Donít chase the 1%, there is no magic training routine or diet thatís going to provide any measurable results over the basic principles for getting huge and strong: Train heavy, eat and sleep more.

  15. #15
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKnight View Post
    I was actually going to rep + you till I read that. Are you kidding me? Policing your posts is ridiculous. If you didn't want people- beginners in particular- to ask about/discuss the benefits of supplements, then you shouldn't have included them in your original post. You can't open that door and then expect people not to walk through it. -EK

    Edit- actually I'm repping you anyway. It's a good thread even if I disagree with your last post.
    thanks for the rep, I guess you can't policy your posts. So I take back my previous statement realizing I was a fool for saying that which is hard for me to say because I'm pretty stubborn, also adding an apology to shaun because reading it again I feel like a complete ass.
    So back on topic which supplement do you really think is necessary for cutting or bulking if any?
    Persoanlly I think that with whey protein you're good to go and multivitamin if you're following a diet. And I really don't think you need any of the calorie burners or whatever it is they are to help you cut since that's only going to give you a tiny boost and isn't worth the money, risks, and besides I doubt anyones training and diet (besides proffesional athletes that includes bodybuilders) is that intense for you to need one anyways.
    Last edited by CptKnuckles; 01-14-2010 at 02:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CptKnuckles View Post
    thanks for the rep, I guess you can't policy your posts. So I take back my previous statement realizing I was a fool for saying that which is hard for me to say because I'm pretty stubborn, also adding an apology to shaun because reading it again I feel like a complete ass.
    So back on topic which supplement do you really think is necessary for cutting or bulking if any?
    Persoanlly I think that with whey protein you're good to go and multivitamin if you're following a diet. And I really don't think you need any of the calorie burners or whatever it is they are to help you cut since that's only going to give you a tiny boost and isn't worth the money, risks, and besides I doubt anyones training and diet (besides proffesional athletes that includes bodybuilders) is that intense for you to need one anyways.
    Fat loss pills are incredibly stupid. I agree. Creatine is also pretty good as well as something like the Opti Stack (Optimum Whey, Casein, and Multivitamin).

  17. #17
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BackToSchool View Post
    Fat loss pills are incredibly stupid. I agree. Creatine is also pretty good as well as something like the Opti Stack (Optimum Whey, Casein, and Multivitamin).
    Yeah creatine is another good one. Never had heard of the opti stack is that something you buy that's in a package with all that? OR is it one supplement with all of that inside of it?

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    M&S Senior Member IvanTheTerible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptKnuckles View Post
    Yeah creatine is another good one. Never had heard of the opti stack is that something you buy that's in a package with all that? OR is it one supplement with all of that inside of it?
    I think you had good intentions on the post at the beginning , if people are looking for more info on supplements watch this video it shows the different levels of vitamins on the market and what source the vitamins came from and it should how to read your vitamin labels and is a video.... did i mention you can watch it ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWpB2...eature=related
    + + =

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  19. #19
    Regular Poster ChangedReality's Avatar
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    So, one question, though... I am doing the 12 week beginner workout and just realized I've been doing it 3x a week instead of 2x a week, should I cut back to 2x or keep on with the 3x?

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    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedReality View Post
    So, one question, though... I am doing the 12 week beginner workout and just realized I've been doing it 3x a week instead of 2x a week, should I cut back to 2x or keep on with the 3x?
    Are you talking about this workout? http://www.muscleandstrength.com/wor...-by-steve.html
    If so then you can do it 3x a week like steve says in the article, just do it monday wednesday and friday alternating with the two workouts.

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    Regular Poster ChangedReality's Avatar
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  22. #22
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedReality View Post
    The problem with following that routine 3x a week is that when you go to the second part (7-12 weeks) it turns into a split routine. And if you wanted to follow that 3x a week you would do one week upper body/lower body/ upper body and the next week lower body/upper body/lower body. It can be done but I don't know if that's what you should do, try asking doug he wrote the article but if you want to go three times a day you chose the only one that doesn't say anything about being able to do that lol

  23. #23
    Regular Poster ChangedReality's Avatar
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    Alright, I was just asking... somehow IDK why it just looked like 3x a week when I looked at it on my phone, then when I printed it out I noticed the 2x a week. But, I'll cut back to just 2x like it says and just do some extra cardio.

  24. #24
    M&S Senior Member CptKnuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedReality View Post
    Alright, I was just asking... somehow IDK why it just looked like 3x a week when I looked at it on my phone, then when I printed it out I noticed the 2x a week. But, I'll cut back to just 2x like it says and just do some extra cardio.
    ahh I thought you had already started it and were doing it three times a week. Sounds like a good idea how often are you doing cardio?

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    Okay - here goes.

    Wife is 49 and I'm 55. I was diagnosed with diabetes 6 years ago - had a triple bypass 4 years ago. Lost a bunch of weight (315 down to 255) and was able to get off the diabetes drugs.

    Wife just diagnosed with diabetes last month - went on a completely healthy diet - shed some pounds - we're walking at least 1/2 hour every evening.

    Had bought our 16 year old a bench / barbell / and weights - which he doesn't really use - so wife and I are going to start. (read an article that weight lifting can really help control diabetes.

    I played D1 football (3 Rose Bowls - 2 National Championships) some 35 years ago. Have 5 kids - all of them in some type of sports - I usually got talked into coaching - ate up tons of time - let myself go.

    Frankly, I've forgotten most of what I knew about weight training. Last time I was in a gym - I was completely amazed at the machinery - - - I couldn't figure out exactly what the machines were for - or even how to sit on a couple of them...

    We're not going to be joining a gym to start out with - we're going to use the free weights.

    I viewed a couple of the videos and there were some pieces of equipment that we don't have. Being that we only have the bare basics - bench / bar / dumbbells - - - would you know of any workout routines that just use what we've got?

    Thanks for posting this thread - I'll be referring to it daily.

    Wish us luck - - - we're gonna need it....

    Mike and Stacey
    Last edited by MikeandStacey; 03-03-2010 at 06:29 PM.

 

 

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