Just thought I'd pop in to introduce myself and give a brief history on why I am here and my goals.
First off, I'm from the Bahamas and 34 years old. I got married in 2002 to my high school sweetheart who I've been together with now for 18 years. YIKES!! We have two beautiful children one 5 years old and one will be 2 in January. SHOP IS NOW CLOSED!!!!!!!!!
As for me, I joined bodybuilding.com first as it was the first forum that came up when doing a google search. Unfortunately with millions of members there it seems like ego's run the place. I am a supermod and top poster by about 12,000 posts on a reefing forum (forum dedicated to saltwater reef keeping hobby) and that place just seems totally opposite from the kind of atmosphere I am use to and so I said I'd browse around at other forums and so far this seems like a great place where people are more on a personal basis which is good.
As for why I am here, 2 years ago I herniated two discs in my lower back. It has been a constant battle ever since trying to avoid surgery. I've had every treatment you can imagine from epidurals to cupping to accupuncture to physio etc and nothing really helped until last December when I finally lost all of the nerve pain I was experiencing from my butt to my toes. Unfortunately a month later, a car rear ended me fracturing a rib in my back and knocking my discs out of whack again so I was back to square one. August of this year, the doctors said it's going to have to be surgery which I didn't want and so I said I'd give exercising a shot first seeing I have been pretty much inactive for the past 10 years (use to be extrememly active!). So the journey began. It was only supposed to be stretching and simple muscle building exercises like push up's, sit up's etc but then things shifted a bit as I was happy with the results I was getting so I got a bit into weight training from home. Since then, I haven't been to the doctor for my back which is a major improvement.
So here I am roughly 4 months in. I have seen good improvements in strength and my body shaping, but from researching a lot, it seems I have my workout routines all wrong and possibly could have improved even more had I adopted a proper workout routine from the get go. You live and learn. I was pounding the weights 5-6 days a week and I think the only good I was doing for myself was not hitting the same muscle twice within 48 hours, but that's about it. Oh, and I changed my diet completely. Here is where I started out with and where I am at now. Nothing great, but an improvement nonetheless despite the odds stacked against me.
Before - I never ate breakfast, ate fast food for lunch and dinner and drank tons of sodas maybe getting 2 cups of water a day. Hardly any fruits or veggies entered my mouth and no vitamins. Also, I was famous for late night bowls of ice cream.
After - By the middle of October my diet changed. I eat breakfast now, no fast foods at all, no sodas, only drink water and occasionally juice and gatoraide. I eat fruits and veggies everyday, started a multi vitamin, get in about 5-6 meals a day (3 big ones and two snacks in between the major meals) and then I supplement a Gold Standard Whey shake directly after workouts along with some fast digesting carbs during that 30 min anabolic window I was told about which usually consists of jelly on plain old white bread and a banana.
As for progression with exercises
- Started out fighting to do just 10 push-ups. Now I can do 25 without any problems in perfect form (I am a form freak!)
Due to my back and how bad I was in shape, I started out only benching 20lbs per arm using dumbells. Today, I've maxed out all of the plates I have benching 50lbs per arm using dumbells at 10 reps per set for 3 sets. I just found out today more plates finally came in so I will be getting some more plates by the weekend to start raising the weight again. It's not a lot of weight I'm pushing, but I'm not concerned about large numbers just progression. I honestly could care less what I lift, but rather more concerned with my back's progression so I'm taking my time.
- Found out I should be doing dips and pull-ups so I started out last month not being able to do 1 pull-up. Today I can do 3 sets of 9. Dips I started 3 weeks ago or so and could only do 3 sets of 5-6 reps and now I am up to 3 sets of 9 reps. If I go for a single set, I can knock out about 11 reps.
- I've tried to avoid squats and deadlifts due to my back as my bad discs are L4,L5 and L5,S1 which is bascially the lowest two discs in your back, but realize they are something I need to try and incorporate in my routine and so I started out light today doing only 50lbs ad will work my way up slowly from there. I'm sure I can do way more because 3 sets of 8 reps weren't a problem, but taking it slow for now.
Anyways, that's a general idea of it all. I had planned on trying to get to about 170lbs or so ripped, but still contemplating that. I'm a small guy (only 5ft 6in and 160lbs) and so I'm still contemplating that. My main plan is to work all of my muscles and see where I want to go as time progresses. I've noticed that lately though that I'm starting to cut already which leaves me to believe I need more calories per day. Only issue with that is I have IBS which prevents me from over eating and buying a weight gainer to supplement here isn't logical. In the US, I see 12lb bags of Serious Mass for $30-40. Here a 6lb container (not even the 12lb bag) sells for $159.99! That's insane for just 8 servings so that's out of the window. For right now, I want to adopt a solid workout routine and stick with it and see how it goes. I see a lot of talk about 3-4 day workouts which I'm willing to try. If the 4 day reaps more benefits then I can do it as I have the drive to workout 4 days a week without a problem. Like I said, I was doing 5-6 since August and haven't lost the drive yet so I'll be looking for some feedback on that soon. I realize my body needs time to rest and repair and so I'm willing to cut back the number of days I workout with whatever advice I'm given.
Anyways, thanks for reading and sorry for the long post. I figured it was best to get it all out there one time to give people an idea of what I am working with. I'll try and post a picture of myself in my next post to give you guys a visual of my progression so far.