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Hello, I'm new and very skinny. Looking for some advice.

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Old 11-16-2011, 09:55 AM   #1
Very Thin
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Default Hello, I'm new and very skinny. Looking for some advice.

Yeah well my name says it all. I'm a thin dude and I'm extremely motivated to get in decent shape and begin feeling good about my physical self. First, I will introduce myself via current size/training routine/etc and will follow up on that with my goals and questions for you guys.

I'm 6'2 and about 145lbs. I have absolutely NO fat on my body. I can pinch the skin on my stomach as thin as a piece of paper (not really...but you get what I'm trying to say).

My only weight lifting exprerience has been acquired via training alone in my home with free weights ranging from 15-40 pounds (will be purchasing heavier hand weights in the near future). I have been working out (or maybe doing what I THINK is working out) for about 3 weeks now and I already feel stronger, however, I haven't seen a very large difference in size (clearly).

I typically perform chest excersises on my back without a bench (I would love to find a cheap, used, simple bench to add to my arsenal..still looking though). I perform dumbbell flys and simple bench press-style lifts. I do about 2 sets of 10 every day (and taking one day off per week). I also perform shoulder presses, bicep curls, lunges, and a few other tricep/back workouts that I don't know the name of. I perform about 50-60 push-ups a day in different positions. I am aware that rushing through a routine can negatively affect results. So, since I don't have very heavy weights to choose from, I REALLY try to get the most out of every rep and do as many as I can without killing myself (I typically stop one rep before "failure"). I find that I am sore throughout the week, however, it isn't painful and never hinders my ability to do anything else. Basically, I'm not killing myself here.

My goal is to be 20-30 pounds heavier and feel/look a little stronger by the beginning of next summer. I naturally have pretty high motabalism and I am also a smoker (that doesn't help). I do drink a lot of milk, eat a lot of eggs (every day actually), red meat, chicken, nuts, and I drink this nutrition shake called "ensure" that contains about 9gs of protein (its more for nutrition and maintaining weight). I drink about 2 of those a day as advised by my doctor for maintaining weight.

I have NO IDEA how many calories/grams of protein I consume every day. I do not eat fast food, but I definitely have my fair share of junk. I feel as though I could definitely consume more (good) food easily as I'm 21 years old...and well...guys at this age are always hungry regardless of size.

So my questions are:

Do I HAVE to go to the gym to get the results I want? Would purchasing a small bench and heavier weights be sufficient enough for my goals?

Should I try to find a new protein shake that I like that contains more grams of protein?

Since I can't perform a proper squat/bench press/dead lift (due to lack of equiptment and weight) am I essentially wasting my time trying to hit my goal when I can't perform the large muscle building exersises? Or can an 80lbs squat, 80lbs benchpress/flys, 80lbs lunge be enough for me for at least the next 2 months (until I'm strong enough to need more weight to get stronger)?

I typically work out every muscle I can during my routine. I do not isolate. I do, however, work harder on some muscles and easier on others in a cycle (day to day) depending on how I feel and what my body is telling me. My question here is: Am I an idiot? (I'm predicting a huge "YES")

Thank you very much in advance for any help you can offer me. I have never been a part of a forum so I hope this turns out to be a good and useful experience.

-Very Thin
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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Get a bench set that candle handle squats and get a power tower. That is all you need for a home gym for weight training. Or, go to the gym.

Your 80 lbs dumbbell set is much too small, weight wise. If you strong enough to do every exercise 3 sets by 10 reps, you are passed needing that weight.

Supplements: You can keep the ensure if you want but get a whey protein for after your workouts to maximize your protein uptake during the anabolic window. Get a multi-vitamin and fish oil just for general health as well.

As for training, while you are still using your small dumbbells, go ahead and do every muscle group daily as you are. It is probably impossible to overtrain with that amount of weight (not impossible but improbable!). When you get your bench and power tower, or start going to the gym, start doing either a 3 day split or 4 day split.

3 day:
Mon - Chest/Tris
Wed - Back/Bis
Fri - Legs/Shoulders

4 day:

Mon/Wed - Upper Body
Tue/Thurs - Lower Body

Rep range should be kept around 5-12 for size & strength gains. If you can do more, it's time for more weight. Eat every 3 hours while trying to get at least 1g protein ber lb bodyweight.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. I will look into acquiring a set-up like that in the future. But this leads me to another question:

I notice that most people's main priority when it comes to weight lifting is building muscle FAST. Well I am not exactly in a rush and I enjoy exercising, so, would training every muscle group daily (without killing myself) really show much results during a 6 month-12 month period? Can I essentially continue doing what I am doing and still see a progressing difference over a long time period such as this?

Thanks
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:38 AM   #4
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I really don't think you are going to make much progress (if any) doing what you're doing.

Here are some things I have learned about trying to get big/strong:

1) EAT BIG! This is absolutely essential. You have to have an excess of calories in order for your body to be able to create new mass. Keep your protein high since you are trying to help your body repair itself and it is composed mainly of protein.

2) TRAIN BIG! If you do #1 without without #2 you will probably only gain fat.... If you want to gain muscle then you have to train big as well. What I mean by train big is hit all the "big" lifts as heavy as you can. IE: Squats, Deads, Bench, Military (P.S. I am not much of a fan of "splits" for beginners ... or anyone besides the body building types.)

3) Recovery. I would recommend to you a 3x a week full body work out. You will make quick gains as a young guy and you could probably keep up with a full body routine for a year and get lots of out it. On your off days.... rest! You can do some light cardio but don't go crazy with it.

4) Sleep. It is very important to get good sleep every night.

5) Drinking/smoking/partying ... none of these things will help you in your journey to be big and strong. The more you can cut out, the better off you'll be.

6) Consistency. The more consistent you can make your life the easier it is to track your progress. Ex: If you have a meal plan that you follow religiously every day and you're still not gaining weight then guess what? It's time to increase your calories! The more variables you can rule out, the more you will realize what changes affect your training.

I hope these tips help. They are fairly general but if you have some questions I'll try to help.

IW
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron_worker View Post
I really don't think you are going to make much progress (if any) doing what you're doing.

Here are some things I have learned about trying to get big/strong:

1) EAT BIG! This is absolutely essential. You have to have an excess of calories in order for your body to be able to create new mass. Keep your protein high since you are trying to help your body repair itself and it is composed mainly of protein.

2) TRAIN BIG! If you do #1 without without #2 you will probably only gain fat.... If you want to gain muscle then you have to train big as well. What I mean by train big is hit all the "big" lifts as heavy as you can. IE: Squats, Deads, Bench, Military (P.S. I am not much of a fan of "splits" for beginners ... or anyone besides the body building types.)

3) Recovery. I would recommend to you a 3x a week full body work out. You will make quick gains as a young guy and you could probably keep up with a full body routine for a year and get lots of out it. On your off days.... rest! You can do some light cardio but don't go crazy with it.

4) Sleep. It is very important to get good sleep every night.

5) Drinking/smoking/partying ... none of these things will help you in your journey to be big and strong. The more you can cut out, the better off you'll be.

6) Consistency. The more consistent you can make your life the easier it is to track your progress. Ex: If you have a meal plan that you follow religiously every day and you're still not gaining weight then guess what? It's time to increase your calories! The more variables you can rule out, the more you will realize what changes affect your training.

I hope these tips help. They are fairly general but if you have some questions I'll try to help.

IW
Thank you for this response. Since I am new, I figured a split would not be necessary. I think I will take your advice on coming up with a 3x a week full body workout routine. If anyone disagrees with this advice, please let me know because I plan to start next monday!

If I purchased two 60lbs dumbbells would that be enough to get me started on squats and dead lifts? I am aware that these exercises are key components to increasing size and becoming stronger (and I have yet to perform these). So would hand weights be sufficient enough to start me off for lets say...the next 6-8 months? Or will I need a bar and heavier weights before then?

My legs aren't very strong at all which is why I'm confident in being able to see large results with hand weights. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:12 PM   #6
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If you don't get above 120 lb lifts in 6 to 8 months, you are definitely not doing it right. I don't know what you can lift right now but you should be needing more than 120 lbs for squats and deadlifts within a month.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:44 PM   #7
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Not knowing where you are from it's very hard to drawn any type of a conclusion as to what might be available to you in the area you live in but I wouldn't go spending too much money on equipment that you're likely to outgrow in a short period of time anyway. Weight lifting equipment can be pretty expensive and you're usually better off spending your money on a monthly membership to a local gym or even the YMCA. Don't be intimidated by the regulars who have been lifting for years. With a few exceptions most people are very nice and will gladly spot you or lend an ear when you need it.

As for your size. When I started I was also 6'2" and weighed in at a whopping 160 pounds. The size will come once you get on a routine that promotes growth and a diet that feeds your body correctly.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iron_worker View Post
I really don't think you are going to make much progress (if any) doing what you're doing.

Here are some things I have learned about trying to get big/strong:

1) EAT BIG! This is absolutely essential. You have to have an excess of calories in order for your body to be able to create new mass. Keep your protein high since you are trying to help your body repair itself and it is composed mainly of protein.

2) TRAIN BIG! If you do #1 without without #2 you will probably only gain fat.... If you want to gain muscle then you have to train big as well. What I mean by train big is hit all the "big" lifts as heavy as you can. IE: Squats, Deads, Bench, Military (P.S. I am not much of a fan of "splits" for beginners ... or anyone besides the body building types.)

3) Recovery. I would recommend to you a 3x a week full body work out. You will make quick gains as a young guy and you could probably keep up with a full body routine for a year and get lots of out it. On your off days.... rest! You can do some light cardio but don't go crazy with it.

4) Sleep. It is very important to get good sleep every night.

5) Drinking/smoking/partying ... none of these things will help you in your journey to be big and strong. The more you can cut out, the better off you'll be.

6) Consistency. The more consistent you can make your life the easier it is to track your progress. Ex: If you have a meal plan that you follow religiously every day and you're still not gaining weight then guess what? It's time to increase your calories! The more variables you can rule out, the more you will realize what changes affect your training.

I hope these tips help. They are fairly general but if you have some questions I'll try to help.

IW
This is awesome advise and I would add to start using a high quality protein supplement. There are several mass building protein drinks on the market in all kinds of price ranges

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Old 11-26-2011, 08:22 AM   #9
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I'm going to have to agree and say unless you can afford a full power rack with olympic barbell set then don't even bother buying your own equipment.

IW
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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take the money you would spend on protein supplements and apply it to a gym membership or save it for a power rack and olympic barbell set. with your fast metabolism you're much better off eating solid food anyway.

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