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  1. #31
    Senior Member lauranna's Avatar
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    Every time you do the session aim to do one extra rep on each exercise. As wolfy says after a week or two you will make the weight heavier and go back to the original reps then work up by one each session.

    Don't stretch before weights. Stretching the muscle doesn't help with lifting.

    Move on to a different exercise straight away. When between sets on same exercise time your rest. This is an exact science. A good starting programme would be 3 sets of 8-12 reps with one minute rest in between sets. If you need a stopwatch use one.

    And write it all down!

  2. #32
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Thanks @lauranna and @wolfy for the tips!

    Do you guys know of any online resources that would help for this? i.e. for making a good upper-body gym plan for each day you're there? I feel like there are so many factors in that -- e.g. what order do you use the machines in? do you vary from weights to machines and back?

    Also: I think I might be an ectomorph, if that makes a difference. I'm not figuring that based on my current weight, but based on the fact that:
    1) Small changes in lifestyle and diet can make me lose weight pretty quickly, but it's hard for me to gain that weight back (and that tendency is why I've started worrying about losing my curves because of this lifestyle change);
    2) My parents were both pretty lanky for most of their lives (and my dad has since gained most of his weight in his torso, so his limbs are still thin-ish);
    3) I did the trick with grabbing your wrist, and my thumb can overlap my third finger by at least half an inch; and
    4) I was generally pretty tall and lanky, growing up.

    I definitely wouldn't test as an ectomorph now -- my shape would be best described as "curvy" and I have a small-ish waist -- but if my rationale seems reasonable, then that might affect how I should be working out. More protein, maybe, so I can get fitter without losing my figure?
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  3. #33
    Senior Member lauranna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Thanks @lauranna and @wolfy for the tips!

    Do you guys know of any online resources that would help for this? i.e. for making a good upper-body gym plan for each day you're there? I feel like there are so many factors in that -- e.g. what order do you use the machines in? do you vary from weights to machines and back?

    Also: I think I might be an ectomorph, if that makes a difference. I'm not figuring that based on my current weight, but based on the fact that:
    1) Small changes in lifestyle and diet can make me lose weight pretty quickly, but it's hard for me to gain that weight back (and that tendency is why I've started worrying about losing my curves because of this lifestyle change);
    2) My parents were both pretty lanky for most of their lives (and my dad has since gained most of his weight in his torso, so his limbs are still thin-ish);
    3) I did the trick with grabbing your wrist, and my thumb can overlap my third finger by at least half an inch; and
    4) I was generally pretty tall and lanky, growing up.

    I definitely wouldn't test as an ectomorph now -- my shape would be best described as "curvy" and I have a small-ish waist -- but if my rationale seems reasonable, then that might affect how I should be working out. More protein, maybe, so I can get fitter without losing my figure?
    For a basic upper body starter weights plan, I would suggest:

    Shoulder press

    Lat pull down

    Bench press

    Bent over row

    3 sets of 8-12 reps of each. Minute rest inbetween sets.
    @wolfy may have more knowledge on this as I think he is a personal trainer? So he may be able to advise a better programme?

    That will work the major muscle groups in the upper body without having to do loads of isolated muscle exercises. I prefer free weights as you work more muscles in one go.

    As for you thinking you are an ectomorph you may find it hard to build muscle, so up your protein intake. (Most importantly take some form of protein immediately after doing weights withing 20 mins of finishing. Protein shake is the easiest to take on the go but any form of protein will do.)

    Anyway, good luck

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I've never been athletic. I manage to stay at a healthy weight by eating well and leading a lifestyle that involves lots of walking. I tried running, once, and I went about it completely the wrong way, so I had no fun and gave up after a few months. But as of the day after tomorrow, I'm going to try again, Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings, with my roommate. (I bought running shorts and everything!)

    This anticipated change in lifestyle got me thinking about my lack of upper body strength, since my day-to-day physical activity is lower body only. I figure, since I'm making this big change in terms of lower body strength and aerobic exercise, I might as well fix this other problem too. (Maybe I could go to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and pump some iron.)

    So... if you have absolutely zero upper body strength, how do you go about trying to create it? I can't do real push-ups (only girl ones), and I'm pretty horrible at sit-ups too. I also have extremely limited knowledge of gym equipment, and -- most importantly -- how to use it over time, and how to check your progress with weights etc. Again, I'm essentially starting from nothing, so I have no gym experience, and, frankly, no idea what it feels like to have a fit upper body.
    You seem like a person that could use the pyramid push-up routine
    By the way, as my track coach always said, there's no such thing as a girl's push-up. There are sissy push-ups and real push-ups.

    Pyramid push-up's work for anyone, but keep in mind that working out involves WORK. It's not easy. But the rewards of working out in the long run are worth it.
    To do pyramid push-ups you do one push-up, then you get out of push-up position and breath deeply in and out once.
    Then you do two push-ups, get out of position [usually sitting down or something] and breath deeply in and out twice.
    I'm sure you get the idea at this point. Keep upping the number until you get to set that's very difficult to do [personally that's 15 for me as of now]. This Set isn't impossible, you have to keep a good mindset of this last difficult set. Breath out while you're pushing up [always breath out while you're doing the lifting, it helps a lot. Breath in while you're going down]. Push as hard as you can and will yourself through it. If you don't make it past whatever number is giving you a hard time, it's cool. But you have to try as hard as you can so you're working your muscles.

    Now let's say you attempted 7 push-ups on your last set and only accomplished 6. Well it's time to take a 3 min. break. Do some crunches during this time. 30 with your knee's in front of you, 30 with your knees on the left and 30 on the right. For crunches you don't have to go all the way up [you shouldn't actually].

    Okay, so you're break's done and the highest set you accomplished was 6, but you failed at 7. So start at 6, do 6 push-ups, breath deeply in and out 6 times while not in push-up position. then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 [if the last one is too easy for you just keep doing more and more till you can't do anymore]

    Take a 3min break [more crunches].
    Now do all of this over again two more times.

    Once every other day and you'll be in good shape since the day of not working out gives your muscles time to build up.


    Running...
    Well, you said you aren't so athletic.
    Stretching is VERY VERY VERY important. Don't forget stretching. You ever see those people who bounce when they stretch? Yeah, they're doing it wrong. You can tear a muscle this way. Don't bounce when you stretch. First you're gonna run a light jog to warm up [basically till you start to sweat is ideal for a warm up, and sweat pants help you get to this point faster]. Now that you're all warmed up it's time for a stretch.
    Attempt to touch your toes, don't bend at the knees ten sec's for all stretches btw
    Cross your legs and touch your toes.
    Switch feet with the cross stretch and do it again [should feel it in the calfs]
    spread your legs and touch your right foot with your left hand and vice versa [helps stretch your back as well as legs]
    now go down the middle while still spread
    Grab your foot from behind you and stretch out your thigh, alternate and grab other foot.
    put a foot on something about waist height and lean forward for a stretch, alternate feet

    pull your arm across your chest, then other arm.
    I'm getting a little tired posting all these stretches, look up stretches to do before running for all the ground stretches that go with it.

    Well, when you're done stretching there's a few warm ups to do as well to make you loose enough to run and not feel like shit the next day.
    high knees [bring your knees as high as you can while doing a light jog]
    Butt kickers [try to kick your ass with your heel while doing a light job]
    high skips [basically pretending to be mario while skipping with a high jump for your skips]


    Now, you should be good for a run.
    Form is important cause it conserves energy and works the muscles you want to have worked [basically it's a way to optimize your body into using as many muscles as you can and go in a straight line without wasting energy on side to side motion, running's for going straight not to the left of right].

    When your left leg goes forward, your right arm goes with it as a counter balance while the right leg is going back and left arm counter balances it. opposite arm with opposite legs. 90 degree angles for your elbow at all times. When you pump your arm it should look like a cowboy doing a quick draw [your hand's gotta swing by your hip if it's at that 90 degree angle]. KEEP YOUR ARMS MOVING STRAIGHT!!!! KEEP THEM STRAIGHT!! Side to side movement is sloppy form and waste your energy. [watch olympic runners, or play metroid and look at how Samus runs, that's perfect form].

    Bring your knees up. Keeping your arms straight and bringing the knee's up will be a pain in the ass at first but once you get used to it you'll notice it's more efficient for running or jogging.
    Breath in your nose and out your mouth. NEVER BREATH IN YOUR MOUTH!!! you may really really want to, but don't do it. The nose has a filter on it that the mouth doesn't have when it comes to air intake.

    Whatever distance you decide to run, when you're down don't sit down. Walk for about a mile, then stretch for a cool down stretch. Then get in your car or whatever and sit down.



    Also try to do 30 push-ups every day. 30 in a row that is. You can do 1 push-up right now I guarantee it. Which means tomorrow you can do two. and 30 days from now you can do 30.

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