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Newbie introduction, and a question.

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Old 10-03-2008, 02:57 AM   #1
JudyMac
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Default Newbie introduction, and a question.

Hello everyone
I've been enjoying lurking and reading your posts for the last day or so, and decided to come out of the shadows.

I am a newbie to weights: 3 months, with some BF weight to lose. (I'm 25% at the moment, started at 35%) My motivation? My 40th birthday and being fit at 40 (the year to do it in). Don't laugh at the fat woman, I'm working on it!

I eat 5 small meals a day, watching my calories (based on LBM) and have one evening meal a week where I eat what I like (within reason, not a whole elephant in one go LOL ). I am achieving a 1kg / 2lb BF loss per week, maintaining and sometimes gaining a small amount of LBM. Caliper measurements are used to determine LBM.
I am quite happy with this as I feel energised all the time.

My exercise routine is 3 days per week yoga in the mornings with weights in the evenings (upper and lower body) , 3 days cardio (treadmill or Iaido or kickboxing) and a rest day. This also seems to be going well, and I have made good progress (for me) in the weights used, steadily progressing on all muscle groups, but now having a blip with the biceps.

I do have a question about biceps curls. Way back I started with 10lbs, and have now got it up to 45lb. That is the problem, I don't seem to be able to progress with 50lb beyond 5 reps. All other arm exercises are at 65lb, and I am worrying about progressing too much with them and leaving the biceps unbalanced in relation to the others. Please HELP me someone!
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:53 AM   #2
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I don't seem to be able to progress with 50lb beyond 5 reps. All other arm exercises are at 65lb, and I am worrying about progressing too much with them and leaving the biceps unbalanced in relation to the others.
Are you familiar with linear progression and progressive overload? Eventually you'll plateau and have to reset your weights before beginning your progression anew. Do you do any row variations with your weight training? Also, do you do pull ups or chin ups or pull downs?

Oh, and welcome. Congratulations on the progress so far. That's terrific work. Way to become educated and effective!

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Old 10-03-2008, 05:48 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=Ross86;67810]Are you familiar with linear progression and progressive overload? Eventually you'll plateau and have to reset your weights before beginning your progression anew. Do you do any row variations with your weight training? Also, do you do pull ups or chin ups or pull downs?
QUOTE]

Ummm, I'm not sure. Is that the same as your body getting used to a certain type of exercise so that you have to change it? (I need to learn the jargon )
I have changed some of my other exercises recently, including swopping out wide lat pulldowns for narrow lat pulldowns, and they seem to engage the biceps more. Do you think that could be the problem?
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:02 AM   #4
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Welcome
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:49 AM   #5
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I have changed some of my other exercises recently, including swopping out wide lat pulldowns for narrow lat pulldowns, and they seem to engage the biceps more. Do you think that could be the problem?
I was going to say that might benefit you. Alternately, switching your grip might help. One thing to keep in mind is that not all body parts will progress at the same rate. Even your triceps and biceps. Changing exercises or switching to a variation can keep the ball rolling. At some point, you are likely to hit a wall. Because it's a minor lift, I wouldn't worry about it.

Here's an example: I am concerned about my bench press. It is a much more important exercise than pec flyes or triceps extensions. If my triceps are keeping me from locking out while bench pressing, then triceps strength is an issue. If I'm able to keep progressing at my important movements, then I don't even think about it. I won't neglect my triceps, but I haven't put much focus on them either. So what it really boils down to is that if it becomes a detriment to your important compound lifts, then you might want to start worrying. Remember that every time you do a pulling motion, you're engaging your biceps. So lots of extra biceps work isn't always necessary.

If you have periodized your training, then you might want to consider resetting your weights. If you're stuck at 50, then move back to 35lbs for a week. Do 40 the next. 45 the following week, and then 50 the next week. Because of the progressive overload, you should be able to break through the 50lb barrier. If you keep trying to do 50lbs, then you're probably not going to be able to get it. I haven't ever paid much attention to periodizing isolation movements. But if it's important to you, then that would probably be one of the better ways to go about it.
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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Thank you!
I shall give that a try. I may be getting hung up on a silly thing, as I don't have an issue with my other lifts.
I just wanted to touch base with those with more experience and make sure. Better to try to get things right early, than let errors creep in. ;)

Gotta go teach Iaido, have a good workout today!
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:30 AM   #7
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That's all good ideas. BTW, what about chinups/pullups? Can you do those?

I wouldn't put too much thought into bicep curls.

The only thing that I would point out it that you CAN do 50 pounds. You can count reps and get caught up in intensity cycling which is what resetting the weight is.

But a simpler thing to do since you say you can already do 5 reps is to basically find ways to increase volume by different means.

For instance you can progressively increase density. Since you can do 5 reps (for one sets) you could try 50 pounds with say, 3 reps at a time.

Rest enough to maybe allow yourself to do two more sets with 3 reps.

Then the strategy is to do that same amount in less time. So decreasing the rest periods. As the rest periods get shorter you should find you can do more reps in one set.

Or, you may find benefit from stepping up the weights. So, say starting at maybe 30 for a set, going to 40, and then to 50. And then next time you try to increase the reps on all the sets. Or add a set. Or add weight to one or more of the sets. Or anything you can imagine

There are many ways to progress and this can be applied to all sorts of exericises.

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Eric3237 View Post
That's all good ideas. BTW, what about chinups/pullups? Can you do those?

But a simpler thing to do since you say you can already do 5 reps is to basically find ways to increase volume by different means.
For instance you can progressively increase density. Since you can do 5 reps (for one sets) you could try 50 pounds with say, 3 reps at a time.

There are many ways to progress and this can be applied to all sorts of exericises.
I have never tried a chin up...glows red from embarassment, mainly because I doubted my upper body strength. I don't have a bar, but will go look for one when I am in the UK next week.

Ackkk, I am stupid, yes, I am, I never even thought of reduced reps!?! Just goes to show how a newbie needs advice.

Thank you, I shall give that a try tomorrow.

My assumption is that 50lbs per arm is mediocre for a woman, but I really am at sea on what is good or bad. I am just comparing myself to my beginning weights, and being happy with that. Something is working as I have dropped 2 dress sizes.

Do you guys and gals like progress photos? Or just the muscle definition ones? I looked back on my start photos today and was quite surprised, no I don't look like a fitness model, but I can see the progress after 3 months.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:33 PM   #9
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Oh, btw...welcome

50 pounds per arm is hella strong.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:43 PM   #10
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Progress photos are great!

Keep up the good work.
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