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Beginners tips

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MancMonkey
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2011/03/16 15:05:11 (permalink)

Beginners tips

Hello gents, i'm Dave, 32 from Manchester but don't hold that against me!
 
I've just started training with weights and am after some advice if possible, I'm after bulking up a bit and losing a bit of fat. I've always been fairly athletic but quit football a couple of years ago so exercise wise am fairly inactive at the moment (other than weights), I intend to pick up a bike and rowing machine shortly for some cardio.  
 
I workout at home, mainly from a range of dumbells, max weight of each at the moment is 15kg, although I've just ordered a some more to take that to 25kg per dumbell. Truth is I don't get much time with work and a young family to get to the gym and I tend to work all over the country and dumbells I can take with me.
 
For the last 5-6 weeks I've been doing a session every 5-7 days. This normally includes 3 sets of whatever im doing with reps to failure. I've started with dumbell rows, shoulder presses, bench press, dips or press ups and bicep or hammer curls (I hope these names are obvious). I tend to do them all in the same session. I also tend to not change the weights very much so the 15kg for each dumbell I tend to use for all. I can't do many bicep curls with this weight but I think I need to go a bit heavier for bench pressing.
Even after this short time my shoulders, chest and back is starting to look a bit more defined and I've lost part of the little fat I had but I don't seem to be getting any growth. I suspect it may be my diet. I also think my arms are a bit skinny for my body with my forearms particularly so, by the time I've done the above sets when I get to the arms at the end, there doesnt seem to be much left in them for a proper workout. I usually end up aching slightly in the chest, back and shoulders for the next day or two but never in the arms, I don't know whether this means they aren't getting the proper workout they need.
 
Diet wise, a normal day consists of 
Breakfast 9am- Milkshake 150ml gaspari myofusion
strong coffee
 
Lunch 12 ish- Sandwich, chicken & bacon, egg mayo or some other conveniently packaged thing! Fruit juice.
 
Dinner 6 ish- tends to be meat and two veg type stuff, cottage pie, pasta, lasagne- that kind of stuff. 
 
I also tend to eat a few bits of fruit through the day and 3 or 4 times a week i'm partial to a couple of JD & cokes in the evening.
 
I won't have the option of the gym, so equipment wise I'm stuck with dumbells and a bench. If long bars are useful I'll pick some up and any other basic equipment that won't take up too much space. 
 
So yeah, please feel free to ask any questions if you need more info and thanks in advance for any advice!
 
 
Cheers
Dave
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    jw390898
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/16 15:23:05 (permalink)
    Hi Dave,
     
    A red or an arab?
     
     
    You can perform a decent workout depending on your goals and ambitions with dumbells and a bench - so long as you have sufficent discs to anable a weight that is challenging.
     
    The problem you will encounter with this set up though is training legs. For me squats are one of the most important exercises that can be performed and realistically require a barbell and a rack. You can probably when very first starting out get away with squatting using dumbells but as additional weight is required you will struggle to perform this movement with dumbells and not be at risk of becoming unstable.
     
    I would recommend you looked to try and workout twice a week at least if you are able to work this somehow?
     
    What are your goals - general fitness and exercise or are you wanting to improve muscular appearance?
     
    Are you trying to lose body fat or add size as your diet means nothing without this info along with your current weight.
     
    Lastly - performing all movements with the same weight is just plain lazy and stupid, no offence. You should use a weight that is challenging but can be performed for sufficent reps in good form on all movements and this will involve very different weights from benching to bicep curls!
     
    Is the issue a lack of disc weight variety or simply trying to get done quickly and cut corners - if the latter then you will always be very limited with what you can accomplish.
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    MancMonkey
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/16 15:57:43 (permalink)
    Hello Fella, thanks for the quick reply. I'm from the red half of Manchester!
     
    I get your point and no offense taken, it's down to not having enough discs but as I mentioned I've hopefully rectified that as of today with some more. I'll keep adding to them as required. For rows, bench and shoulder pressing the 15kg doesn't seem enough so if I had more I would use it. For my biceps they are probably too much at the moment. Another reason I used the same weight was I wasn't sure whether high weight and low reps were better than taking weight off and doing more!
    I haven't tried squatting yet as I wasn't sure how safe it would be with dumbells. I could probably rig something up in the garage in the future, just need to clean the thing out (the missus will think she succeeded in getting me to do it!).
     
    I can manage a couple of times a week and as most other things I do I try to do properly, again it's down to not knowing how long to rest etc.  In the short time i've been doing it I've enjoyed it, I feel good after each session and take my time when I do it so short cuts aren't really my thing.
     
    My goals is better muscular appearance, fitness also but I'll be getting a bike and rowing machine shortly for this. I jog occasionally but don't find it very stimulating. 
     
    My current weight is 12st 12lbs, height is 5' 11". I have some fat but not much. I'm trying to add size as I'm hoping losing body fat will come with increased fitness.
     
    Thanks again for the reply let me know if I need to add anything else, I'm looking for some recommendation on routine and diet if possible.
     
    Cheers
    Dave
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    MancMonkey
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/16 16:42:44 (permalink)
    I've just discovered the beginners article sticky bit. I'll have a read through some of these and come back with some specific questions, what I've posted looks a bit 'general' now.
     
    Cheers
    Dave
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    CitizenKane
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/16 16:59:10 (permalink)
    This isn't going to be what you want to hear, but in all honesty I fail to see how you will make much noticeable gains with just dumbbells and a bench. For a start you are missing out on two of what are universally regarded as the best muscle building exercises you can do: squatting and deadlifting.
     
    Best advice is either join a gym or if you can't do that, set up a home gym with a squat rack, olympic bar and weights. I understand that it could be awkward to do this given the job and family responsibilities you described in your first post, but if you want to get proper results you will need the use of proper equipment - otherwise it would be like going onto a rally driving forum and saying that you want to get into rally driving but you can't use a rally car!

    "Be adequate"
     
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    jw390898
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/17 15:15:03 (permalink)
    CitizenKane

    This isn't going to be what you want to hear, but in all honesty I fail to see how you will make much noticeable gains with just dumbbells and a bench. For a start you are missing out on two of what are universally regarded as the best muscle building exercises you can do: squatting and deadlifting.

    Best advice is either join a gym or if you can't do that, set up a home gym with a squat rack, olympic bar and weights. I understand that it could be awkward to do this given the job and family responsibilities you described in your first post, but if you want to get proper results you will need the use of proper equipment - otherwise it would be like going onto a rally driving forum and saying that you want to get into rally driving but you can't use a rally car!

    If you have not already done so possibly look at barbell with weights - consider checking ebay and local papers etc as there are bargains to be had second hand with the amount of people that never continue workoing out having invested on a whim.
    If you have a dumbell bench then a squat rack like CK said would be good as this can be adjusted to allow you to perform barbell bench etc with the correct positioning of you bench and rack. You only need these and a bar and more weights and you have the means to perform most exercises and for someone not aspiring to me mr olympia will probably have all you need.
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    SecondRow
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/17 18:50:23 (permalink)
    He could do deads if he had bigger dumbells CK, but otherwise you are right, minimum to get a decent workout at home is a bench, some adjustable heavy dumbells and an oly bar with a good amount of weight. A rack is also of course nice but a lot of people don't have the space for a permanent installation.

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    Reborn
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/19 07:30:00 (permalink)
    Dave, losing BF and gaining muscle are two sides of the same coin, and its very difficult to do them both at once.
     
    However....the force is with you as outside of steroid use the other time it is possible is when you first start. In all honesty you need to up your training, incorporate some CV(road running is fine), keep your diet clean, drop the fruit (very calorific, eat veg for your 5 a day and take a multi vit), protein high and carbs as quality ones.
    Life weights 3 times a week, do CV twice and you will notice big changes in your body quickly.

    My username has nothing to do with my religious beliefs.....
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    MancMonkey
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    Re:Beginners tips 2011/03/28 09:49:37 (permalink)
    Cheers for the advice fellas, I didn't realise I was still getting responses.
     
    I read through a load of the beginners articles and have since split what i was doing into 4 sessions based on chest/tri, back/bi, shoulders/traps, legs and added much more to each session. In the middle of the second week now and the first week was a ten fold improvement on what I had been doing.
     
    I've added another meal a day and now have enough plates for 2x35kg dumbells. I'll probably pick up a barbell and chin up bar when I get chance.
     
    If I can get away with doing squats and deadlifts with these then I will, if not I may look at a rack in future if/when space allows. I'm not looking for Mr. Universe, just improvements in fitness and physique.
     
    A couple of questions I've have still got, one is based on my right arm being stronger than my left. I can do more weight/reps with my right but don't really want to until my left catches up in case I end up one arm bigger than the other! I'm sure it won't be that drastic but just wondering if anyone else has had this problem? 
     
    The other goes back to squatting/dead lifts. Dead lifts I can see being OK with Dumbells, I can add more weight if I need it but for squatting with dumbells I've been doing them with my arms by my side, is this as effective as the 'proper' method?

     
    Cheers again
    Dave
    post edited by MancMonkey - 2011/03/28 19:43:52
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