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  1. #1
    Registered User Identity1's Avatar
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    Go hard or go home?

    Hello folks

    Just started working out so I've been researching a little and I'm literally overwhelmed by advice. I'm 5'11 and around 11 stone, pretty skinny so trying to put weight on but reading about calorie counting, macros ect. literally fly over my head (29 with kids) so it's kinda difficult to really give it my all.

    I go to the gym maybe 4-5 days a week if I can, mostly using the machines, not the strongest so I don't want to look like a noodle using free weights 😂

    Starting to feel like if I don't keep up with everything I'm putting into my body I won't get as much out of it.

    Might be wrong section so I apologise but thanks for hearing me out and if can throw me any advice, much appreciated. Thanks
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    "I don't want to look like a noodle using free weights" - so it is ok to look like a noodle using machines?
    PS: I'm joking. Ideally, you should use both: free weights and machines.

    "Go hard or go home?" - it depends what you understand by "hard". Except warmup sets, you should go close to failure.
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    Hello folks

    Just started working out so I've been researching a little and I'm literally overwhelmed by advice. I'm 5'11 and around 11 stone, pretty skinny so trying to put weight on but reading about calorie counting, macros ect. literally fly over my head (29 with kids) so it's kinda difficult to really give it my all.

    I go to the gym maybe 4-5 days a week if I can, mostly using the machines, not the strongest so I don't want to look like a noodle using free weights 😂

    Starting to feel like if I don't keep up with everything I'm putting into my body I won't get as much out of it.

    Might be wrong section so I apologise but thanks for hearing me out and if can throw me any advice, much appreciated. Thanks
    This stuff has been so badly overcomplicated it’s crazy.

    As a beginner you start with basic movements and learning how to balance and control the bar. Form and safety is more important than going hog wild on intensity right away.

    That said, you are on machines and intelligent people know how to use a variety of tools to get the stimulus for growth and strength.

    Consider these things

    How frequently you train
    How hard you train
    How much you can do and actually recover
    How much weight to hit target rep range
    How much rest between sets

    Ill check back later…
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
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  4. #4
    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    No shame in starting with the bar or the lightest dumbbell, have to begin somewhere. Personally, i'd ditch the machines and stick with freeweight and bodyweight exercises - they'll do more for you and at a faster rate of progress in the end. Some of the best bodies ever from the early days in bodybuilding, they didn't have machines or much technology at all(very primitive era) - but they looked excellent. Machines are just too convenient, they leave out stabilizers, it's too artificial to me - the body just wasn't meant to be worked artificially. It's a unit, train it like one. Just my opinion.
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    Originally Posted by TheShadowMan View Post
    No shame in starting with the bar or the lightest dumbbell, have to begin somewhere. Personally, i'd ditch the machines and stick with freeweight and bodyweight exercises - they'll do more for you and at a faster rate of progress in the end. Some of the best bodies ever from the early days in bodybuilding, they didn't have machines or much technology at all(very primitive era) - but they looked excellent. Machines are just too convenient, they leave out stabilizers, it's too artificial to me - the body just wasn't meant to be worked artificially. It's a unit, train it like one. Just my opinion.
    This all the way.
    Bench: 320
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    Deadlift: 495

    "... But always, there remained, the discipline of steel!"
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    Bench press works rotator cuffs to stabilize the bar. I don't know any other lift that does as much there.
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    I'll give free weights a shot when I visit next. I guess it's easier with machines as i only have to focus on the weight as opposed to form ect.

    At the moment I'm pretty much dabbling in everything, trying to work at what does what, super newbie. I guess it's just the confidence of using free weights and not looking like a spanner plus I go alone so I don't want to die via barbell.

    As with gaining weight should I be counting my calories? Did want to make bulk meals (rice, chicken ect) but the kids food takes up the freezer so not sure I can. I bought a protein powder and also creatine, that should help with weight right?

    Appreciate the replies
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    This stuff has been so badly overcomplicated it’s crazy.

    As a beginner you start with basic movements and learning how to balance and control the bar. Form and safety is more important than going hog wild on intensity right away.

    That said, you are on machines and intelligent people know how to use a variety of tools to get the stimulus for growth and strength.

    Consider these things

    How frequently you train
    How hard you train
    How much you can do and actually recover
    How much weight to hit target rep range
    How much rest between sets

    Ill check back later…
    I'm going roughly 4-5 times a week and I'm doing sets of 15, 12 and 10 (not heavy but I feel it after) kinda doing light weights but higher reps
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    I'm going roughly 4-5 times a week and I'm doing sets of 15, 12 and 10 (not heavy but I feel it after) kinda doing light weights but higher reps
    Can you post the exercises you are doing and how many times a week you do each?
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Can you post the exercises you are doing and how many times a week you do each?
    Honestly I couldn't name them 😂

    Though mostly its using the machines that target my upper body (chest, arms, back) haven't even attempted legs yet, dreading the jelly legs ill 100% get

    I do use a barbell? ( long dumbell?)😂 for biceps though
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  11. #11
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Ok, no worries.

    So how many pushing movements vs how many pulling movements?

    Think…push, pull, legs, abs….and spend some time reading the articles on bodybuilding.com as well as watching YouTube videos on how to train body parts as a beginner.

    In any case, there are a lot of great people here and probably in your own gym that can help you .
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
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    Seems like everything other than a chest workout is a pulling maneuver for me.

    I'll definitely look some stuff up though

    Also would you suggest a weight gainer supplement?
    Have a super high metabolism and barely gain weight no matter how much junk I eat
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  13. #13
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    Seems like everything other than a chest workout is a pulling maneuver for me.

    I'll definitely look some stuff up though

    Also would you suggest a weight gainer supplement?
    Have a super high metabolism and barely gain weight no matter how much junk I eat

    If you want to gain weight you must eat and drink enough calories to do so- also spare calories by only training 3-4 times a week.

    Eat like this and you can’t fail

    6 am - 6 eggs, milk, oatmeal banana and peanut butter

    9 am - two egg, sausage and cheese bagels , milk

    12- two cheeseburgers, milk

    3- whey protein shake, peanut butter sandwich, milk and almonds

    6- 10 oz steak, two baked potatoes, salad, milk

    9 pm icecream whey banana shake


    Mass shakes between real food helps. Ultimately you need a good program that trains each muscle group twice a week with enough weight and enough volume (sets n reps) to stimulate growth. You need enough food and rest to allow recovery.

    Most likely you will need 4000-5000 cals if your metabolism is what u suggest. So think 800-900 cals per meal.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Here is what I suggest and I’m sure others will have suggestions as well.

    Workout 1- upper body pushes and pulls.
    Chest- bench press ( machine or free weights) 3-4 sets, 5-10 reps. Keep adjusting the weight so that you are pushing the most weight safely possible in that range. If you hit ten perfect reps, put another 5 pounds on the bar.
    Upper chest- incline bench press, barbell or dbs. 3-4 sets , 5-10 reps.


    Back width
    Lat pulldowns or pull-ups * wide or narrow grip for variety, 3-4 sets, 5-10 reps
    Back thickness
    Seated row machine or seated cable row- 3-4 sets, 5-10 reps

    Shoulders
    Barbell or db overhead press, or machine press. 3-4 sets, 5-10 reps

    Upright row with barbell or cable. This hits trap delt tie in. 3-4 sets, 5-10 reps
    Db side lateral raises- hits side delt- 3-4 sets 8-15 reps.


    Then take a day off, rest, eat, grow! Hit the grocery store! Take a nap.

    Then train your legs and pump your bis and tris afterwards as a reward.

    Squats 3-4 sets 5-10 reps
    Leg press 3-4 sets 5-10 reps
    *if you can handle the volume, do leg extensions 3-4 sets 8-15 reps
    Leg curls 3-4 sets 8-15 reps
    Calf raises 3-4 sets 10-20 reps

    Barbell curls and db curls 3-4 sets each 6-10 reps
    Pushdowns and triceps extensions 3-4 sets each 6-10 reps

    * now look, let’s be honest, that’s a crap ton of work Up there…take another day off, rest, eat, grow, wash your training clothes…take a nap. Play some chess.

    Honestly you need to watch YouTube and read bodybuilding books. You probab Can’t handle all the work I posted up there but you can work your way to it starting with 1-2 sets each and as you are no longer so sore, add work.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    This all the way.
    Seriously? Why?


    Machines are just too convenient = I don't understand why. An easy weight (free or machine) is convenient. A big weight (free or machine), going close to failure or to failure, is not.

    they leave out stabilizers = no, they don't leave them OUT, that's a myth

    "it's too artificial to me" = so are clothes, computers, phones and many other things. For anything else, there is MovNat
    https://youtu.be/MdV3ErYEM8g

    "the body just wasn't meant to be worked artificially" - they body just wasn't meant to be work intentionally for hypertrophy

    "Some of the best bodies ever from the early days in bodybuilding, they didn't have machines" - not an argument against machines, just an argument for "you can get hypertrophy with only a barbell and dumbbell" and nobody disputes this.

    I would have other argument against machines.
    - it's quite difficult to find a good machine, from my experience. I had a great hammer chest machine in one gym. In other gyms, all 4 of them sucked. In other gym, the back chest supported row was good... the others not so much. And so on...

    The barbell and dumbbells and cables (still free weight) are the same. Well, minor differences with the cables, but still...
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    I'll look through youtube cos to be honest I have n idea what most of the exercises are called

    I'll learn those, write down what to do on what days. Gives me a purpose instead of strolling in using random machines.

    As with the meal plan, it looks great and would definitely be something I'd like to do but with work, kids ect. feel like I'd struggle with it. Right now I'm trying to get into the rhythm of going to the gym. I'm 100% sticking it out though and will be on stage flaunting the goods in no time

    Well after I've lost the pot belly...
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    I'll look through youtube cos to be honest I have n idea what most of the exercises are called

    I'll learn those, write down what to do on what days. Gives me a purpose instead of strolling in using random machines.

    As with the meal plan, it looks great and would definitely be something I'd like to do but with work, kids ect. feel like I'd struggle with it. Right now I'm trying to get into the rhythm of going to the gym. I'm 100% sticking it out though and will be on stage flaunting the goods in no time

    Well after I've lost the pot belly...
    I have a gaggle of kids, a business, coach and a regular job- the key is to cook in bulk. On your off days from the gym , bake a pan of chicken, grill
    Some burgers and steaks, boil some eggs. In one hour you can prepare 3-4 days of
    Food. Get some ice packs, tupperware bins, a cooler for work
    And travel…keep whey tubs at home, in your car, at work
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
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    Btw, canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter, nuts…these things are all quite portable and easy to store. There’s always a way….
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    Just started working out so I've been researching a little and I'm literally overwhelmed by advice.
    Stop reading, it's mostly garbage. This is all you need to know.

    Start eating tomorrow TWICE what you were eating yesterday. If you want to get bigger you have to eat bigger. Every day.
    Use whatever (machine, free weight) you like but make sure you do 10 reps per set, increase weight each time, until you can't do more than 4 reps.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Btw, canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter, nuts…these things are all quite portable and easy to store. There’s always a way….
    I carry a can of tuna between my butt cheeks at all times. Protein is always just one scratch away.
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    Well I had 3 boiled eggs for breakfast and will have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch

    Hopefully that all adds an inch or 2 to my arms
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I carry a can of tuna between my butt cheeks at all times. Protein is always just one scratch away.
    I prefer cans of sardines. They have a slimmer profile than a can of tuna.
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I prefer cans of sardines. They have a slimmer profile than a can of tuna.
    True, and a longer surface area for easier holding. Thanks for the tip!
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    Well I had 3 boiled eggs for breakfast and will have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch

    Hopefully that all adds an inch or 2 to my arms
    That's basically half a breakfast

    What else are you eating??
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    Originally Posted by LargePeter View Post
    That's basically half a breakfast

    What else are you eating??
    Sawdust from work count?
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    Sawdust from work count?

    Hows the training and weight gain quest going?
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    Originally Posted by Identity1 View Post
    Well I had 3 boiled eggs for breakfast and will have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch

    Hopefully that all adds an inch or 2 to my arms
    That's maybe 400 calories in what should be 2 of your largest meals. That's not going to cut it unless you have 10 inch arms.
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    Not a big breakfast guy and it feels like I'm forcing myself sometimes

    I need a super snack that has 2500 calories and sht load of cards in.

    Sticking with tuna pasta for lunch. Dinner is usually pasta or meat with something. Getting big in size is like my priority right now, don't want to be a skinny guy with muscles cos surely muscle growth will stop at some point?
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