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Old 01-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
pploon
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Default How do I begin?

My New Years Resolution was to become a weight lifter. So what do I need to do? I signed up for a gym membership today. Where do I go from there? Hire a trainer? Or can I make a go at it by myself even though I have no idea what I am doing?
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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If I had to start all over, here's what I'd do...

I spend about two months getting my diet all dialed in and know exactly what my maintenance calories were and I'd make healthy eating a habit. I'd start working on my conditioning right away with sled pulls, sprints, and mid-distance runs. I'd get in the habit to work on stretching daily. And finally I'd pick a handful of lifts to work on. I'd keep the weight really light and get my form perfect. I'd split it up like this:

Monday:
Bench Press
Dumbbell Row
Shoulder Press

Tuesday:
Squats
Conditioning

Thursday:
Bench Press
Dumbbell Row
Shoulder Press

Friday:
Squats
Conditioning

After the two months was over, you'd be set for a long period of good gains. You could then come here and ask about progression schemes. But that's just the way I'd do it...
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:30 PM   #3
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I've got great news. You've skipped what might have been years of wasted effort by becoming a member here at MAB. The guys here have made an art out of cutting through the crap and getting to the heart of what really matters. Many of the guys here, myself included, spent years making mistakes and missing out on our full potentials.

Firstly, understand that you'll have to start with lighter weights. Don't be afraid, you'll get stronger and be moving good weight soon enough. At first, form is everything. The right form will let you move heavier weights in the long run, while also protecting you from injury. There's good info around here on form, but another awesome place to go is elitefts.com. They have extensive videos and articles on good form. If you have any specific questions please don't be afraid to ask.

Along with good form, you'll also want to prepare your body. Pulling a sled is far and away one of the best things you can do to prepare your body to move heavy weights. Make no mistake, moving heavy weights is hard on your body. My heart rate is more elevated during an intense lifting session than it is on a long run. Pulling a sled doesn't really require you to be knowledgable about form, and it will build awesome strength. Spend an afternoon doing 10 40 yard sprints, followed by 5 100 yard backwards walks, all pulling a 20-50lb sled, and the next morning you will understand just what an awesome exercise sled pulling can be.

(edit- I know sleds aren't very cheap. A good alternative is hill sprinting. FInd the steepest hill you can and sprint up it, then walk down, then sprint up over and over.)

Many people believe that building muscle means giving up flexibility. I can tell you right now that this isn't true unless you let it be. You'll also limit yourself if you don't take care of your joints and tendons. There are lots of discussions on different types of stretching, but really the most important thing is that you DO IT. Look up mobility exercises on youtube and see if you can do them. If you can't, then work on them. If you have any joints or parts of your body that hurt you now, they'll only get worse if you start trying to lift weights without addressing them.

Diet is another thing that will limit you in the long run. Learn about it now. You'll be surprised how easy it is to use diet to your advantage once you gain a little knowledge about general diet and also how you specifically respond to different foods. It will seem daunting at first, but it will all start to come together after a little reading and researching.

By the way, I saw that you started a thread about creating a good base. This answer applies just as well to that question, because creating a good base IS the best way to begin.

As for the actual lifting part, there are many good lifting programs to choose from. If you search around this site you'll find lots of good info on beginner programs that will help you start your journey.
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Last edited by Soldier; 01-01-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pploon View Post
My New Years Resolution was to become a weight lifter. So what do I need to do?
Well, what specifically are you trying to achieve? Do you just want to lift weights to get big and strong?

A little information about you (weight, height, age, goals, etc.) will help us guide you in the right direction.

Quote:
I signed up for a gym membership today. Where do I go from there? Hire a trainer? Or can I make a go at it by myself even though I have no idea what I am doing?
Good for you for taking the initiative to take the first step.

A typical gym trainer is honestly nothing more than our daily laughs. What most of them will have you do is often counter-productive to what a serious weight-lifter is trying to achieve. The only reason people see any measure of results from them is because the trainee is finally getting off the couch to go do something. But if you watch these trainers with good bodies train, they surely don't train the same way that they will instruct you to train.

With this being said, there are also a few good trainers out there that work at commercial gyms, but I stress the word few. Most of them are instructed to train people like idiots - I guess that's the gyms way of avoiding a lawsuit...

More or less, I'm saying that you can navigate the gym by yourself, to achieve the goals that you desire, but you'll have to do some learning first. Once we know more about you, and what you want to do, then we can get you started and have you on your way to greatness.
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