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Beginner lifting book advice?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by ShredderMaximus, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. So a couple days ago I bought a nice bench with dumbells, curling bars and a straight benchpressing bar (sorry, I don't know the terminology:confused:) with a bunch of plates. I really want to start lifting in order to lose weight and eventually get some tone, but want to wait till I get an idea of a good routine, for which I'm looking for a good book that will walk me through day by day schedules and whatnot. Looking online theres seems to be billions of different ideas on how to go about this, so I come here once again to the mighty TBOT to get an opinion on a good book to start me on this path.

    At this point in time going to the gym is out of the question since I have no car and I'm out in the middle of nowhere, so I'm limited to what I got (just to show you where I'm at equipment wise I'll take an inventory and post it up [DEL]tomorrow[/DEL] later today).
  2. Weight Training for Dummies. *thumbs up*
  3. the larger bars are just called barbells :)

    If you are doing curls, I'd try and do it with the straight bar, the curling bars make it feel easier, but don't hit the muscle groups quite as well (though they do take away some strain if you have wrist problems).

    Get a squat rack and learn to squat. Hit up a local gym at least once, of find someone you know who lifts. Form is EVERYTHING!

    IMO, for books, Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe) is one of (if not the) best starting text to get.


    When starting out, try and keep to a simple program, there are a lot of great 5x5 or 3x5 programs out there for beginners. You also want to keep to compound movements (squats, deadlifts etc) instead of isolation movements (bicep curls). Most programs will have sets and reps. Reps is simply the number of times you do that exercise in one set (so one after the other), sets are the number of times you repeat that. You'd usually take a short (say 1 minute) break between sets.

    Deadlifts - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/ErectorSpinae/BBDeadlift.html
    Squats - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html
    Power Cleans - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/PowerClean.html
    Power Snatches - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/PowerSnatch.html
    Bench Press - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/PectoralSternal/BBBenchPress.html
    Military (overhead) Press - http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/DeltoidAnterior/BBMilitaryPress.html

    Also, come over and look in the gym thread on TB, lots of folks with lots of experience over there :)
  4. I would start off light - maybe magazines, then work my way up to books.
  5. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts I like bass. And airplanes. Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Dont lift anything until you read POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY PAVEL TSATSOULINE. It is the ultimate lifting/strength book IMO.
  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Get involved with TB's weightlifting thread. No joke, it's better than a lot of body building forums out there.
  7. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    ^^^ All good starter suggestions.

    I would just mention that, while lifting will get you a "tone"(bass pun!), by itself it's not very efficient as shedding excess pounds(your stated reason for lifting). For that you'll need some cardio like cycling, swimming, or running(or even just walking can help). You will burn calories while lifting and you'll see some small fat loss as a result but for purely losing weight cardio is far more effective. Just my $.02
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Oh, and take it from a guy who wasted 3-4 years of lifting by not addressing all aspects of a weightlifting regiment, you need to get your nutrition in check otherwise you'll be wasting your time. Absorbing the right amount of protein and cutting out almost all unhealthy foods is important if you're wanting to see results.
  9. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    Cheeseburgers are packed with protein. And fries have all the carbs you'll need to get through your workout! :D
  10. True, to an extent, but there are many ways of getting to the same end point!

    Circuit training with free weights can be a heck of a cardio workout too!
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    And also packed with enough fat to make even a walrus happy :D
  12. Wow, thanks for all the advice guys. Actually, I've been browsing through this site and found this little routine that seems to be in agreement to what some of you are saying. What do you think?


    And I'll definitely be looking at Starting Strength.
  13. It looks like quite a lot to do, for a beginner one, IMO.

    A lot of arm work, yet not deadlifts seems a bit silly (again, IMO), missing out any explosive lifts too.


    It's similar to a lot of other beginner programs, like Bill Starr and Strong Lifts (the routine they push is sound and works well, but the guy in charge (Mehdi) is far too far up his own a**e).

    I spent a long time arsing about with weights. When you stick to something simple, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll gain strength (and size), obviously depending on diet to an extent). But with that starting strength routine, I put at least 2.5Kg on my squat every week, taking it from 60Kg to 120kg (then I knackered my back, but that's the joys of contact sport, not weightlifting!).
  14. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
  15. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Would that be filed under 'dumb bells'?


    I'll get my coat.
  16. Ok, so I haven't bought the book yet, but after looking at the starting strength wiki, I've decided on going for the Onus Wunsler program. Now what I'm wondering is cardio. I'm not very keen on running since last time I started a running regimen I screwed up my knee and had a nice little limp for a couple weeks (I'm thinking is due to running up and down our long concrete driveway in old beat up Vans (I stick to the driveway due to all the stray dogs roaming around) and a love of jumping of tall things when I was younger) so I kinda wanna stray away from that for now, though I might try it again later with some actual running shoes. I also wanna try to steer clear of bicycling due the same fear of dogs (I know, I know, but I've attacked/chased more than a few times in my lifetime) so atm I'm planning on getting a jumprope, though I'm not really sure of how effective that'll be vs running etc. Any thoughts? And when is the best time to work on cardio while on a lifting schedule?

    But really, thanks alot guys. I was hoping that I'd get some help here, but you guys have been great!
  17. If you've got a spare bit of cash, a rowing machine would be a great cardio investment. Never used jumprope for cardio, so I couldn't really comment, other than a warmup, my cardio has more often than not, been from sports. I always plan to keep more cardio in the gym routine, but, well, for me, it never lasts!

    As for times, I think the current understanding indicates that it is more beneficial to do moderate cardio, then resistance (weights), if you are doing it in a single session.

    I need to force myself into regular gym going again, planning on doing cardio in the AM before work, then resistance training after work (on site gym). But to be honest, especially when you are starting out, just doing it is what matters. You don't need to worry too much about the finer points, just do the exercise, make sure your form is good and make sure you are eating right :)
  18. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    If you want low-impact cardio, riding a bike (spinning, real bike- doesn't matter) is really good. Another one is using an elliptical machine or stairs. If the rise is normal (about 8"), going one at a time is OK, but if you can find some that are about 6" each, taking them two at at time works the legs, all over. It hits the back, shoulders, arms, neck and just about everything else, especially if you work up to carrying small hand-weights. Eventually, you could work up to wearing a light backpack. The stairs I use- 70 steps @6" each with about a 45 degree slope. I weighed myself a couple of days ago- I'm down to 271 and with that much, I'm gassed after two trips up/down, so I cool down by walking 1/4 mile to the corner, up the hill, across to the top of the steps and go down/up/down before leaving. My goal is to go up/down 5 times without passing out.

    To think we used to race the elevator up to/down from the 9th floor at the dorm, when I was in college. Jeez!
  19. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Honestly, forget about a book a check this guy out:


    He goes over everything - from cardio, to proper lifting techniques, to diet, to lifting plans for beginners, experienced, and advanced lifters. I've been using his advice for years and it has done wonders for me. But again, know that lifting and running is only half of the equation. I didn't start seeing real results until I got my diet under control, and once I did that I was seeing results insanely quickly.

    Now as far as cardio is concerned - I highly suggest swimming if you have the means to do it. It is low impact on your joints, but it also works out your entire body at once. It's also fun, and in my experiences 20 minutes in a pool equals out to about a 45 minute run or an hour and a half bike ride - as far as getting me to the same level of pooped. Also IME, I find that cardio hits me best in the morning right after I have woken up and before I eat breakfast. That said, cardio is cardio, and as long as you're getting it you'll be fine. I highly suggest, though, that if you run you only do it every other day. I've had lots of friends (young ones too in the early 20's) blow out their knee or ankle because they thought running every day was fine. Some people can do it and be fine, but many others can't.

    As others have said with lifting - think compound, compound, compound. Compound movements, such as squats, bench, and leg press target multiple muscle groups at once. You'll see quicker results by doing those than you will just by focusing on isolation exercises. And as if it needs to be said, perfect your form and take it slow the first couple of months. The last thing you need is a blown rotary cuff because you did something a little foolish. And as I mentioned before, always keep your diet in mind because if you're not eating properly you're going to see all your work go to waste.

    Lastly, be realistic with your goals. Many people expect that after two months in a gym they'll be able to get 6-pack abs and bulging bis and tris - and that just ain't gonna happen. If it did, everyone would be ripped. You can realistically expect to lose between 1-5lbs of fat a week depending on how big you are, but IMHO it's better to never lose more than 2lbs. Taking it off too quickly can lead to health issue.

    Likewise, you can realistically expect to only gain 1lb of muscle A MONTH. Very few people can gain more than 10-15lbs in a year, and those who can are 1. genetically superior in those regards, 2. have insanely good nutrition, and/or 3. are young and are simply growing. Don't believe anyone who says they put on 30lbs of muscle in a year. Just mentally consider how big a person would be in 5 years if that were true... Yeah, they'd look like the Hulk. Those are usually either juicers or kids going through growth spurts who would of gained 25lbs that year regardless of whether or not they worked out.
  20. Rippetoe's book is probably the best out there for an introduction to strength training. I have purchased it twice (2nd & 3rd editions). HIGHLY recommended. Follow the program ***AS DESIGNED*** and you will have excellent results. Squatting 1.5X BW (your bodyweight) will happen within the first few months.

    Regarding cardio - it is a tradeoff with weight training. You can train for one or the other, but they impact each other. Do as much as you like, but recognize it they are drawbacks to trying to pursue both at the same time.

    Regarding gains - the best way to gain is by eating heavy & lifting heavy (unless you are already a fat guy). I've read that up to 60% of added mass will be muscle. The added fat you earn can be lost later (though difficult), after you have a serious batch of muscle on you. Simple as that - eat heavy, lift heavy & you'll gain. People who call themselves "hardgainers" simply do not lift heavy enough or eat enough.

    Lifting weights is a great hobby.

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