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  1. #1
    Registered User ladyhawk84's Avatar
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    newbie here, lost and overthinking

    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking for a little guidance here. I have always loved lifting and going to the gym when I was younger, and how my muscles feel under load and of course the soreness of recovery. But in the past 15 years or so, work and life just got in the way. I recently purchased a small home gym and I am planning on starting my routine again. I have always done the Chest and Tris, Back and Bis, Legs and Shoulders, throwing in the abs here and there. My goal is to first lose fat, then tone but not really bulk up.

    For some reason, I'm feeling rather overwhelmed when looking at and trying to decide from the wide range of exercises for each group. I'm sure I'm overthinking this. I stood there searching YouTube for the best workouts to do, but couldn't decide on one or the other because I was afraid of either missing one I should do, or doing ones that I don't need to do. Can someone suggest a list of the basic/beginner exercises for those splits?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance and stay well

    Katie
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  2. #2
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Strong curves by Bret Contreras/Kellie Davis is the best book a beginner female lifter can buy, I recommend it to every woman not sure where to start.
    Age: 28
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  3. #3
    Registered User ladyhawk84's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Strong curves by Bret Contreras/Kellie Davis is the best book a beginner female lifter can buy, I recommend it to every woman not sure where to start.
    Thanks! I'll definitely check it out.
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  4. #4
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    What equipment does your home gym have? Is it a cable machine, or a rack for barbells?

    The most effective programs are built around 6 main lifts or "movement patterns":

    Squat
    Deadlift / hip hinge
    Bench press
    Row
    Overhead shoulder press
    Pulldown/pull-up/chinup

    If you can do all those you're doing a well balanced program.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    bw 88.5 age 43

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  5. #5
    Registered User ladyhawk84's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    What equipment does your home gym have? Is it a cable machine, or a rack for barbells?

    The most effective programs are built around 6 main lifts or "movement patterns":

    Squat
    Deadlift / hip hinge
    Bench press
    Row
    Overhead shoulder press
    Pulldown/pull-up/chinup

    If you can do all those you're doing a well balanced program.
    It's a used/refurbished Total Gym Fit, all I could fit in my budget at the moment but it's better than nothing. So it's technically a cable machine. There are tons of variations and it seems like it should serve it's purpose.
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  6. #6
    Registered User kharneth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ladyhawk84 View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I have always done the Chest and Tris, Back and Bis, Legs and Shoulders, throwing in the abs here and there. My goal is to first lose fat, then tone but not really bulk up.
    Hey Katie,

    When I started I was doing the same thing. You will do SO much better working full-body every time you exercise. 3 times a week should be all you need. Quality over quantity. You don't need 5 or 6 exercises for each muscle group, you just need 1 or 2 quality lifts that will exercise a variety of muscles at once. The 6 exercises already suggested are really all you'll need, at least for a while. Try to do each of those 6 exercises 2-3 times a week.

    I can't exactly tell what your Total Gym Fit machine allows you to do, but I would suggest prioritizing your lifts as Legs, Chest & Back, Shoulders, Bicepts & Triceps. So, for example, if you have the means, do some sort of squat/leg press, then a chest press, then some kind of lat pull or row, then a hip hinge, then a shoulder press. If you're still feeling like working something, you can do something for your bis and tris, but those muscles will already be working through your previous movements.

    Two main reasons for my suggestion: If you work out Chest and tris one day, back and bis the next, legs and shoulders on another day, and do some core work, too, you'll be working all of your muscles once a week, right? You could spend an hour on each muscle pairing a week, but since your muscles only need 24-48 hours to recover, you'll be missing a lot of opportunities to work them again. If, instead, you had some time-efficient and effective exercises (like the compound movements suggested) and you did them three times a week, you'd be effectively working out each of your muscles three times as much as the typical split you were thinking. The second reason is that the most effective way to burn fat is to burn calories, and the most effective way to burn calories is to do big, compound, multi-muscular movements. Additionally, about 60% of the body's mass is below the waist. Although you cannot target fat at specific locations to burn, by emphasizing your lower body and by starting your workouts with the bigger muscles (legs) you'll be maximizing your caloric burn.

    It is super, super easy to overthink. But the people on this site are very helpful!

    Also, the Female Bodybuilder forum has a really useful sticky! Female Bodybuilding for Beginners, or something. I highly recommend checking it out and integrating its insight into what you have available.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Zoonami777's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ladyhawk84 View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I'm looking for a little guidance here. I have always loved lifting and going to the gym when I was younger, and how my muscles feel under load and of course the soreness of recovery. But in the past 15 years or so, work and life just got in the way. I recently purchased a small home gym and I am planning on starting my routine again. I have always done the Chest and Tris, Back and Bis, Legs and Shoulders, throwing in the abs here and there. My goal is to first lose fat, then tone but not really bulk up.

    For some reason, I'm feeling rather overwhelmed when looking at and trying to decide from the wide range of exercises for each group. I'm sure I'm overthinking this. I stood there searching YouTube for the best workouts to do, but couldn't decide on one or the other because I was afraid of either missing one I should do, or doing ones that I don't need to do. Can someone suggest a list of the basic/beginner exercises for those splits?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance and stay well

    Katie
    Everything written above is perfect, Just work hard and consistent till you are ready to just sit pretty and maintain.
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