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  1. #1
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    starting to work out

    I have "started to work out" a dozen times over the past two years, including two days ago. I've always been told to give your muscles a day to rest so they're not sore when you work out again. Problem is, they've had a day of rest but my pecs are still sore. I probably was lifting too high of weights and shocked my body, so I'll definitely keep it a little easier next time. But should I wait an additional day until the soreness leaves, or go ahead and lift today to keep the one-day-on-one-day-off principle going? Or maybe lift on everything except pecs?

  2. #2
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    That depends. *ALL* newbies to training will experience lingering soreness because your body isn't used to the work. Men who are new to lifting often start out with WAY too much weight as a pseudo ego boost. Then they injure themselves with their crappy form.

    If it's just a question of being new to lifting, then lift through the sorness - it will actually make the soreness go away.

    If you're used too much weight, then you need to rest, and then lift again.

    Of course, since it's just your pecs I'd do some VERY light reps for chest, then work the rest of your body and leave the chest alone.

  3. #3
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    I wasn't lifting 200lbs or anything crazy, but after two sets of 12 I could only do 8 on the third. I think I only had 30 lbs + bar for each arm (dumbbells), so it was pretty light. But I'll drop back a little today on the bench and focus on other things. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by travisthomas
    ...I only had 30 lbs + bar for each arm (dumbbells), so it was pretty light...
    That is exactly the kind of newbie mindset aikigreg was referring to. There is nothing remotely 'light' about a 30lb dumbell. I would not insult you by suggesting you start with 10lbs. but it isn't unreasonable. For reps, for a beginner its reasonable to use such a weight for three sets of 10 - 12 reps until you know you can use more. Form is more important than weight and I can't imagine your form could remain good past the first set with 30#. I mention this because the same kind of thinking probably enters your other exercises. Maybe this time you won't "start to work out" and fail. But only if you reassess your philosophy of weight training.

    H

  5. #5
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    If you really want to do well in the gym, do this:

    1. Find someone who knows what they are doing - this is not always the fittest or loudest guy in the room.
    2. get them to show you proper form for a lift.
    3. Start light and strive for 3 sets of ten reps with PERFECT FORM
    4. If you can get 12 reps on the 3rd set, move the weight up 2-5% the next workout
    5. If you get less than 8 reps on the 3rd set, or your form goes to hell, lighten by 2.5-5% the next workout.
    6. If all you get on that last set is 8-10 reps, you're at the perfct weight, leave it alone.

    This will do you as a guideline for the next 3 months, which will get you out of the newbie phase. Use that time to learn how to work out. You'll see rapid changes for the first month, as the CNS adapts to the stress, then it will come more slowly.

    I aso recommend beginners do full body sessions with compound movements. Bench, bent-over row, deadlift, squat, military press, pullups/chinups. This will get the max results in the min time. If you don't know how to lift, stick to machines for those 3 months until you can get people to show you.

  6. #6
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    Give your body a break between workouts. If you're lifting hard enough, 2 times a week should be plenty per body part.

    M- Chest and Tri's
    T- Back and Shoulders
    W- Legs
    Th- Rest
    Fr- Chest and Tri's
    Sat- Back and Shoulders
    Su- Legs

    Just an example. Your muscles need time to rest between workouts.

  7. #7
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    When I lift, I typically experience heavy Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) for at least 2 days, tapering off to little or nothing on the third. That's for hard workouts, where I push myself to failure. If I'm not pushing myself, I'll feel good on the 2nd day.

    It gets to the point where I feel as if I've torn my chest muscles if I sneeze hard.

    Getting enough protien goes a long way in reducing the pain. If I'm late eating a meal or don't eat enough protein with my meal, the soreness and pain is very much noticably worse. Chug a big protein shake and the pain is reduced within a half hour of consumption. It helps improve recovery time too and accelerates your gains.

    I'd give it more than a day of rest. I try not to do lifts that emphasize that muscle group again until my muscles feel 100% better, which can take the larger part of a week - 4-6 days. Remember that your body gets stronger while you rest, not while you're in the gym. The gym breaks down and damages your muscles. If you don't get your rest, all you are doing is damaging your muscles more and more while not gaining or even getting weaker over time.

    If you want to read more on this, T-Nation.com is a good bodybuilding site. Now, if you are a serious cyclist, you will realize that your gains will come more slowly because of all the cardio work you do, but lifting is still a very worthwhile endeavor for functional strength both on and off the bike.
    Last edited by Mach42; 04-23-07 at 11:41 PM.

  8. #8
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    I benched 20lbs. today and it went well. My form isn't fantastic, but if I remember what I was taught in high school then I'd recognize good form, and know approximately what I'm doing wrong vis-a-vis form. I've been doing this at home (an old roommate left all his weight equipment behind when he left for Thailand...), I have access to the university gym, so I'll go in on Thursday and take advantage of whatever free coaching they have.

    I'm definitely not going to the gym six times a week. I'm not looking for a lot of bulk, just something to balance my upper body and core with the extensive leg workouts I've been getting since I started delivering sandwiches on my bike. Ideally, the routine will be something I can do at home with what equipment I have and not much more. I'm optimistic about continuing to train this time because of how much exercise I've been getting with this job, and how much more energy it has given me.

    Anyway, I'm pretty excited about going to talk to somebody about developing something that works for me. I dreaded every time I went into the gym; I was always intimidated and felt stupid. But I feel good about it this time around for some reason, even though the consensus seems to be that I was/am an idiotic newbie. :-)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warden11
    Give your body a break between workouts. If you're lifting hard enough, 2 times a week should be plenty per body part.

    M- Chest and Tri's
    T- Back and Shoulders
    W- Legs
    Th- Rest
    Fr- Chest and Tri's
    Sat- Back and Shoulders
    Su- Legs

    Just an example. Your muscles need time to rest between workouts.
    That's a bodybuilding split. If you're going to be a bodybuilder, ditch the bike training and train like that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    That's a bodybuilding split. If you're going to be a bodybuilder, ditch the bike training and train like that.
    Yes it is. But it's still better than training every other day.

    I do upper body twice a week. I do a circuit workout on upper body. Raises my heart rate and builds strength without bulking up. I only do legs once week because my bike riding takes care of a lot of it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warden11
    Yes it is. But it's still better than training every other day.

    I do upper body twice a week. I do a circuit workout on upper body. Raises my heart rate and builds strength without bulking up. I only do legs once week because my bike riding takes care of a lot of it.

    Well, no, for a thousand reasons, but I ain't gonna bother and try to convince you.

  12. #12
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    Please do. I'm all for learning new ways to train.

  13. #13
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    geeked from Body for Life champion Joel Marion:


    4 Benefits of Full Body Training

    Benefit #1: Greater Frequency Per Muscle Group

    The more frequently you stimulate a muscle to grow, the more it'll grow

    With full body workouts, you can expect to hit each major muscle group 3-4 times weekly. That's a tremendous amount of stimulation! Try doing this with a split-based setup and you'll likely be conducting, at minimum, 3-4 weight training sessions daily. Not only would this be impractical, improbable, implausible, and every other word beginning with "im," but at that point, it's no longer a split routine!

    Benefit #2: Greater Energy Expenditure Per Workout

    Full body workouts will yield a greater energy expenditure per workout when compared to split routines because of the large amount of muscle mass being taxed in each session.

    Think about it; what requires more energy, a biceps/triceps session or a workout beginning with squats and followed up with dips, good mornings, and chins? If you selected the latter option, you're correct. If, however, you went with the former, please go join the personal training team of your local fitness club. You'll fit right in.

    Today is arm day! Off to the gym!

    That said, full body workouts will allow you to either:

    A) Eat more without gaining additional fat.

    B) Skip that 15 minutes of boring cardio after your weight training session.

    C) Gain mass with little to no fat gain or even slight fat loss.

    Personally, I'd go with option A, but ultimately, it's up to you.

    Benefit #3: Greater Depletion Leading to Greater Supercompensation

    A full body workout basically leaves your body saying "WTF?" A ton of microtrauma, protein degradation, and glycogen depletion has just occurred, leaving the body in an extremely primed state for nutrient uptake and anabolism to take place. Provided you give the body what it's asking for nutritionally, a superior supercompensatory effect will result.

    Benefit #4: Greater Anabolic Hormone Stimulation

    Taxing a large amount of muscle mass in a given session results in a greater acute increase in plasma anabolic hormone concentrations. Because this increase is so short lived, it's been debated as to whether or not it has any real impact on the muscle growth process. Having said that, I'd guess that even a brief increase in anabolic hormones is of value since the increase is occurring at such a sensitive time (when the body is primed for anabolism and massive amounts of nutrients are being consumed).

  14. #14
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    While I am a fan of compound exercises, C) Doesn't even make sense. If you are a newbie starting out, yes you can experience muscle gain and fat loss but that doesn't last very long. You can minimize your fat gain but you cannot simultaneously lose and gain.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel
    While I am a fan of compound exercises, C) Doesn't even make sense. If you are a newbie starting out, yes you can experience muscle gain and fat loss but that doesn't last very long. You can minimize your fat gain but you cannot simultaneously lose and gain.

    With a bodybuilding split yes,but with full body workouts and properly controlled nutrition, it's certainly possible. I know plenty of athletes who say sub 8% bodyfat year round, yet gain muscle every year.

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