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Old 09-25-2007, 02:03 PM   #1
mitya
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Default hi - a few questions from a newbie

Hi there - new here.

I've recently begun training with my dumbells/barbell and would greatly appreciate a few tips and answers to the following questions. A bit of background info: 27 years old; not a total newbie to training; stocky build, not huge but pretty strongly built; interested in building arms above all.

1) What's better after warming up - 15 lifts/curls/iterations with heavy but a manageable weight or 3/4 really tough lifts with a very heavy weight? Many and heavy, or few and very heavy?

2) How many lifts per exercise should one do? I tend to do 15 or so for warm-up, then up the weights incrementally and do another 2 or 3 lots of 8-15.

3) How is it best to organise my week's training: today muscle x, tomorrow muscle y, day after muscle z etc, or should sessions work several muscles using different exercises? If the latter, how many days should I wait before working those muscles again? In essense: how often per week should you work a muscle?

4) I'm a vegetarian so I work a bit harder than most to keep a strong figure. I do this with copious amounts of pasta, milk and bread. Does this sound sensible? Anything that would help the mix?

5) Am I right in thinking supplements are for those big into training as a sport, not for those who just use it as a means to get a bit bigger or refined? If not, would anyone recomment any common supplements (perhaps commonly found in sports shops or health shops) to help accelerate growth?

THANKS in advance.
Andy
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mitya View Post
1) What's better after warming up - 15 lifts/curls/iterations with heavy but a manageable weight or 3/4 really tough lifts with a very heavy weight? Many and heavy, or few and very heavy?
I like to do 3x5 or 5x5 with a weight that's tough, but don't overdo it - you don't want to pick something you can't finish your sets with. 15 is too many for mass - if you pick a tough weight you might not finish it all, and if you pick an easier weight it'll do nothing for you. Pick a weight that you CAN do for 3 sets of 5, but will push you to do it.

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2) How many lifts per exercise should one do? I tend to do 15 or so for warm-up, then up the weights incrementally and do another 2 or 3 lots of 8-15.
Wait, when you say 'lifts', do you mean 'sets' or 'reps'? Reps would be like doing one squat - sets would be like doing five squats in a row, then racking the bar. (Sets are made up of reps, I mean.) If you mean 'lifts' as 'sets', 15 warm up sets is outrageous. Read the sticky on warming up - 0311 has some excellent stuff in there.

Your post-warmup sets (I call them 'working sets' but that's just me) should be 8 reps at the most if you're trying to build size, which sounds like your deal.

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3) How is it best to organise my week's training: today muscle x, tomorrow muscle y, day after muscle z etc, or should sessions work several muscles using different exercises? If the latter, how many days should I wait before working those muscles again? In essense: how often per week should you work a muscle?
The former is called a split routine, and it's a hard rut to get out of. The latter is much better; doing a routine based on compound movements works much better than isolation. Much, much, much better. That's a huge point. Recovery time is somewhat individual and very much based on workload and on experience, but anywhere from 48-72 hours is usually enough to recover from the previous lift.

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4) I'm a vegetarian so I work a bit harder than most to keep a strong figure. I do this with copious amounts of pasta, milk and bread. Does this sound sensible? Anything that would help the mix?
I don't know what kind of vegetarianism you follow - can you eat fish? If so, tuna is really high in protein and doesn't contain much fat at all. Same goes for cottage cheese, which is fine for your diet anyway if you drink milk. You should look into a whey-based protein supplement too, which is part of your next question, too.

Quote:
5) Am I right in thinking supplements are for those big into training as a sport, not for those who just use it as a means to get a bit bigger or refined? If not, would anyone recomment any common supplements (perhaps commonly found in sports shops or health shops) to help accelerate growth?
Anyone who's serious about training on any level could benefit from supplements - just don't let them run your diet. Rely mostly on real food, which it sounds like you're naturally inclined to do. Some good supplements -

Whey protein powder (personal recommend is Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard)
Any kind of good multivitamin (this is crucial!)
Some kind of BCAAs aren't a bad thing into either.

Supplements really aren't my racket - actually, there's lots of guys here more experienced than I am at all of this, so keep that in mind - but those are definitely some good all-around things. Multivitamins are good anyway, even if you're not huge into training.

Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:13 AM   #3
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Cradler - can't believe I've only just noticed your response. Thought I had 'auto notify' turned on but obviously not. THanks for your extensive help.

I've settled on a routine which, by your comments, you'd approve, which sees me doing full body 3 times a week as opposed to splits. Doing splits just didn't feel like I was doing much work, for example: today biceps and chest, that means 3 sets of bicep curls then 3 sets of bench presses. ANd that's it? I'm aware of the whole quality over quantity thing but I wanted more.

Thanks again
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:36 PM   #4
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Yeah, a split usually means you do lots of isolation exercises, and while you get high volume, you don't get a lot of intensity in your workouts. Full body lifts, especially with the big three, allow you to lift much heavier and get more out of it, just make sure your form is correct.

By the way, only because you said '3 curls then 3 bench', even in a full body routine, you ideally want to place the heaviest movements first... so probably 'deadlift, bench, military press' or whatever. Just a quick note.

Good luck
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