- This topic has 48 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 6 months ago by Phidippides.
Today I was able to reach a point of my bench press that I hadn't hit since I was 19 years old(!). So for me, it's a big milestone. And foolish me, after I benched it once I went for it a second time, which I was barely but fortunately able to do although I didn't have a spotter. Also, since I started working out regularly back in July, I have lost a grand total – get this – of about 5 lbs. I imagine I have displaced fat with muscle which means less weight loss, but I still would have liked to drop my weight more by this time. At least my clothes are fitting better (except around my shoulders/arms).
Well it's been about six months since my workouts began, and my total weight loss is at around 10 lbs. Funny how little weight I've lost over such a long time and many workouts.
A couple of days ago, I made a new personal bench press – higher than I was able to do in college. I had thought that wouldn't surpass what I could do back then, but my workouts in the past year has shown me that I could.
Well, I’ve been working out at the gym for over a year now, working out regularly. While I am definitely a lot stronger than I was a year ago, I would have thought that I would look even stronger with the amount of time I’ve spent there. I think most of my most notable strength gains game about 3-6 months in. With that said, my general goal when I started was fat loss, and I have done that; I weighed about 215 at the beginning and weigh about 200 now, but with plenty of added muscle.
For people starting out weight lifting, I would advise:
1) Approach it like a devoted hobby. If you enjoy the nuances of it, it will foster a better attitude. At the end of the day, if it’s not something you enjoy, you might as well find a different primary form of exercise.
2) Don’t go too hard if you can’t. It doesn’t matter if you think people are looking at you because you aren’t lifting much.
3) Be prepared for possibly getting injured while lifting. Hopefully, any injuries will be minor and will heal in a week or so. In such a case, continue to work out other body parts while you give the injury locations a chance to rest.
4) Change up your routine every so often. Half the fun of weight lifting is finding new exercises that you can add which attack your muscles in different ways.
5) The more you go to the gym, the more you will want to go; the less you go to the gym, the less you will want to go.
6) Do bodybuilder poses in the mirror at the gym. This will help you to gain confidence you need to succeed.
Again, my general goal for starting back up at the gym was to lose fat. Because I had that in mind, I didn’t worry too much if I didn’t max out at bench press all the time (which was a focus of mine earlier in life). Perhaps you have a different goal that motivates you, which is fine. But I think it’s good to have a reason for lifting weights so that you can call upon it in times when you ask yourself why you’re doing this (at times grueling) form of exercise.
By the way, if you’re still reading this, #6 above was a joke…don’t be “that guy”.
I think it should be treated more as a habit than a hobby. It's not always enjoyable, but you go anyway because it's what you do. And it's a very good habit to have.I would add:7) For older people +40. It's OK to take time off here and there, but don't take too long. You lose much more strength more quickly when you're older. I went back recently after a 3 month hiatus (beach season!!) and it's very tough trying to get back to the level I was when I left...but I know I will eventually.7A) Also for old people. You will get injured or suffer sustained pain more often. Just keep working out through the pain (but don't be stupid about it). Physical therapists can be very helpful in these situations. Egs: Shoulder was hurting all the time and sometimes a lot. PT told me to do more upper back exercises to build different muscles that support the shoulders. It seems to have worked.
I thought you might take issue with my “hobby” designation. I used it to distinguish it from something which is overly serious (a competitive “sport”) since a hobby is something you take an actual interest in and enjoy learning about. I find it neat to read articles on proteins, food, different exercises, etc., but I don’t go as far as some people who treat it more seriously and eat 6-8 meals/day, measure exactly what they eat, and so forth. That’s too much for me, and probably for most people. Better to do what you can and enjoy doing it than go all out and lose interest after a few months.
Incidentally, I tied for my best bench press ever today. I may have to try to max out even higher soon since my gym membership expires in about a month!
I see your point about it being an interest, and agree that is fun to learn and/or try new things, but do you really enjoy leg day? 😛As for diet, I was never that strict and find much of the advice to be a bit overboard. But I do think the older one gets, the more important a good diet is especially for fat and energy levels. I know I can't get away with some stuff I could when I was in my 30's and early 40's. Eating 1/2 a lemon meringue pies start showing up a little more on my waist these days than it used to.
Ok, you have a point about leg day. It's not quite as fun….but I suppose it does feel good once it's done! I have found that the more I regularly lift weights, the more I want to eat healthily to help my body. This is part of the appeal of lifting weights to begin with - it helps to order your life in more ways than one. Now, I feel good eating a dinner of steak on a bed of spinach. When I wasn't lifting, that kind of dinner would not have appealed to me. I'm not sure eating 1/2 lemon meringue pie would have ever appealed to me, though.
I don't need a gym. I have a huge stack of wood I have to get cut and split before winter.
But with all that global warming you won't need it.
Well I'm guessing you may need a chainsaw to cut those logs down a bit more before you split 'em with an ax…
I was going to say I am going to use a handsaw but I tried it and that sucks so yes, the chainsaw will be coming out but I am going to split it all by hand.
I haven't had to split wood since I was a kid when my family lived in a more rural area. It's kind of a nice thing to do, especially come Fall. In the years since, I've lived in places which either didn't have wood-burning fireplaces or where it's more urbanized so wood is better off bought at the store.
The last time I seriously split wood was in High school when we used to sell wood in the fall for Christmas money.
I guess you had me fooled, then. Now I'm trying to figure out in my mind which muscles are worked by splitting wood.