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#1 Apr 23 2012 at 12:16 AM Rating: Decent
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As the title says this thread is about working out, namely how to go about it. Short little summary: I don't need to lose weight and if anything I could do to gain some (6' 3" 150lbs), and my main goal is to gain strength and hopefully some muscle along the way. I googled it and I've got some websites bookmarked, but nothing beats real experience and advice so any help is welcome help. I'd like to avoid joining a gym mainly because I don't like monthly charges and can't really afford it. I don't own any equipment but can certainly get my hands on some, within reason.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 2:16am by Internuncio
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#2 Apr 23 2012 at 12:31 AM Rating: Good
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I know a few folks who swear by Bowflex. If that's out of your price range, you should be able to find a bench and some free weights pretty cheap on Craigslist or via yard sales as more and more people give up on their new year resolutions. The best part about going that way is that you can always expand your equipment a bit at a time, buying more weight plates or different types of bars as you need em.

Edited to add: What you eat will be an important part of your strength training. Find a plan online that works for you. Also consider trying to find a friend who will work out with you. That way, when you feel like skipping a workout for no real reason, you feel like you're letting more than just yourself down.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 12:36am by Poldaran
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#3 Apr 23 2012 at 4:14 AM Rating: Good
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If you're planning on trying to build strength, I'd recommend a machine, like Bowflex and avoid free weights. For proper strength building, you're going to need to be, at least on occasion, lifting your max weight. You really really should have a spotter with you for that.
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#4 Apr 23 2012 at 5:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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If you're building strength for competition weightlifting, sure. Free weights offer a more complete workout, which is better for most practical applications.
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#5 Apr 23 2012 at 5:56 AM Rating: Good
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If you want to build strength, you have got to, on occasion, push your max. There is no way around this. You need a spotter in that situation. To be honest, with strength building in general, you should always have a spotter. If you're not pushing yourself, you're not doing much for your muscles after about 4-6 weeks. Free weights, done on your own, should only be done if doing a long set of reps. Short, heavy sets shouldn't be done alone with free weights. Unless you enjoy injuring yourself, severely.
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#6 Apr 23 2012 at 10:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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The big thing is getting enough protein to build up all of that muscle, most people don't get anywhere near the amount of protein they need. You should be eating about 100g of protein a day as a man if you're trying to build muscle, a typical burger is about 7g (and is rather horrible for you)...getting 100g without eating a billion calories can be tricky if you're not into certain foods. Body management is about 85% diet and 15% work, you can work out all you want, if you're not eating right most of that work is wasted. Expect to gain some fat, you should be eating more than you need while building muscle (your body won't build muscle if it doesn't feel it has the resources to safely do so.)

Also, what Ugly said. You basically need to deplete your muscles to the point of failure at times for proper strength training. You can't do that with free weights on your own as at some point you WILL drop the weights or lose balance due to muscle failure. If you lose the ability to hold a weight while that weight is in a bad position you can break bones, shatter joints, tear ligaments etc without someone to takeover. Now, if your goal is to just put on a bit of muscle there are a million (nearly) free things you can do but frankly my gym membership is $20 every other week and gives me access to all kinds of machines (no spotter needed, much safer.) Nothing beats a spotter and free weights for flexibility though.

Anything that's hard to do will build muscle, the trick is to challenge yourself. For building muscle you want to be doing small amounts of VERY hard to do things, lots of weight to the point that you're only capable of a very small amount of reps before you can't even pickup the weights anymore. Isolating muscles without machines/free weights can be tricky. Push-ups are great for toning for example, but they leave a lot of muscles out of the equation and you're really only lifting part of your body weight spread out across a number of muscles, there are muscles that are only used for fairly specific movements so they can be difficult to isolate without free weights or machines. Free weights don't have to be proper weights, heck you could move a pile of rocks a few feet and get similar results, proper weights are just safer.

Once you get to where you want to be you change it up and start doing light weight high intensity work (fast, "easy", no breaks) to burn off the fat you've put on and hopefully not lose too much muscle in the process. You should be eating less, more often at this stage so your body doesn't feel the need to store energy while getting fewer calories.
#7 Apr 23 2012 at 10:12 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks for all the replies. Looks like I am going to go hunting around thrift stores and yard sales, both of which are plentiful around my neck of the woods. As for the spotter and/or partner, I've got a friend who's even more out of shape then myself who is doing this with me, as well as a girlfriend who will be there telling me to not skip for pointless reasons.
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#8 Apr 23 2012 at 10:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'd vouch for the spotter idea. I had a soldier last year who thought he was big **** and wanted to impress people around him so he demanded no one spot him. So I sat back, cross my arms, and smirked to myself when he basically dropped 175 pounds across his nose. Just to be an *** I waited a few beats while he screamed for help to pull it off his face before actually doing so. Nearly broke his whole face. I wish I had my cell phone, it would have made a great ring tone.

Like said, you'll want to exceed your limits to the point your arms hurt and you have difficulty raising them, then rest and repeat. So someone else to help you along the way is imperative.
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#9 Apr 23 2012 at 12:07 PM Rating: Good
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I assume you're talking about a bench press? While I wouldn't advise doing them with no-one around, military press and bicep curls are much safer if you're flying solo.
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#10 Apr 23 2012 at 12:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Kavekk wrote:
I assume you're talking about a bench press? While I wouldn't advise doing them with no-one around, military press and bicep curls are much safer if you're flying solo.


Agreed, but you won't get as far into failure if you don't have someone to help with those last few "I can't quite do it" reps. Not that that's absolutely necessary, results will just be a bit slower if you solo it. For the record, I solo it myself and I'm doing just fine but when I had a partner I did much better (of course, the partner was a trainer so there's that).
#11 Apr 23 2012 at 1:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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I can't wait for the other shoe to drop on all the protein overdosing that people are doing. Not that I'm saying that anyone here's advocating it, but a lot of people seem to think that downing loads of protein is consequence-free.

A 25 year old friend of mine was putting away protein after his workouts like it was water, and promptly developed kidney stones. Not fun. I'm sure that's the tip of the iceberg compared to all negative side effects we're soon to find.

I can see slightly bumping up one's protein intake, but I'm always leery of anything that knocks your diet out of a healthy balance.
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#12 Apr 23 2012 at 1:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kavekk wrote:
If you're building strength for competition weightlifting, sure. Free weights offer a more complete workout, which is better for most practical applications.


This was more along the lines of what I used to do. That and free weights were really cheap. Also really annoying to move when you're in that phase of your life when you're switching apartments every year or two.

Also,

Quote:
The big thing is getting enough protein


Quote:
most people don't get anywhere near the amount of protein they need.


Quote:
I can't wait for the other shoe to drop on all the protein overdosing that people are doing


Quote:
I can see slightly bumping up one's protein intake


Quote:
downing loads of protein is consequence-free


I'm tremendously tempted to redo my signature. The flattery in this thread. You guys are awesome, rate ups all around. Smiley: grin
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#13 Apr 23 2012 at 2:14 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
I'm tremendously tempted to redo my signature. The flattery in this thread. You guys are awesome, rate ups all around. Smiley: grin


Hey, I'll always advocate maximizing one's someproteinguy intake. Smiley: sly

Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 4:15pm by Eske
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#14 Apr 23 2012 at 2:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
I'm tremendously tempted to redo my signature. The flattery in this thread. You guys are awesome, rate ups all around. Smiley: grin


Hey, I'll always advocate maximizing one's someproteinguy intake. Smiley: sly

Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 4:15pm by Eske


You say that now, but just wait until I start spouting pages of terribly un-witty 1-liners. Each accompanied by a gigantic signature full of quote blocks. Smiley: nod
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#15 Apr 23 2012 at 4:22 PM Rating: Good
Meh, the avatar is what makes posts big nowadays anyways.
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#16 Apr 23 2012 at 4:25 PM Rating: Good
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#17 Apr 23 2012 at 5:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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#18 Apr 24 2012 at 3:54 AM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
The big thing is getting enough protein to build up all of that muscle, most people don't get anywhere near the amount of protein they need. You should be eating about 100g of protein a day as a man if you're trying to build muscle, a typical burger is about 7g (and is rather horrible for you)...getting 100g without eating a billion calories can be tricky if you're not into certain foods. Body management is about 85% diet and 15% work, you can work out all you want, if you're not eating right most of that work is wasted. Expect to gain some fat, you should be eating more than you need while building muscle (your body won't build muscle if it doesn't feel it has the resources to safely do so.)
100g of protein a day is a rather small amount to get, really. And I'm not so sure about your 7g thing. A plain McDonald's hamburger has 12, while their regular cheeseburger has 15. And that's before you get into their larger offerings(which, let's be honest, when was the last time you ordered regular cheeseburger?). A Big Mac has 25g, an Angus Bacon and Cheese has 45g and a Double quarter pounder has 48g! Not arguing that they're bad for you, just saying I don't quite see your 7g thing.

With options like 3oz trimmed top sirloin having 25g(which means more than half that 100g in a single 8oz steak), a 4oz chicken breast has 27g. 2 large eggs have a combined 12g. Really, it's not at all difficult to hit the 100g you've mentioned, even vegetarians should have little trouble hitting that.

That said, 100g is also not a set rule. Numerous sources I've read suggest it's more like .7g-1g(with the high end being far too much for most folks) per pound of desired body weight while keeping it at approximately a static percentage of your daily food intake(between 25-35% according to the live strong website). Even then, it really shouldn't be too bad(only 144g/day if we assume .8g/lb with a desired weight after training of 180 lbs with a total diet of 2304 calories/day at 25%).
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#19 Apr 24 2012 at 11:05 AM Rating: Decent
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
And I'm not so sure about your 7g thing.


My bad, that should have said 17 not 7. 17g in a burger, 100g is on the light end of what you should be eating as you've stated. Assuming you're not packing back 6-10 burgers a day (You shouldn't be) it's not as easy as it sounds to meet your quota every day for a typical working male (women don't need as much but same rules apply.) I pay attention to what I'm eating and some days I'm not coming close to where I should be.

So, using your numbers:

2 eggs = 12g Breakfast
Burger = 25g (call it a big mac) Lunch
Chicken Breast = 27g Dinner

12 + 25 + 27 = 64g little over half way there. So using your 180g number you'd have to eat 3 times that in protein sources. Certainly not impossible, or even particularly difficult with planning, but most people will not make that number without drastically over eating. As you say there is no set number but the typical person's diet is inadequate for optimal muscle building. I had to double my grocery spend to get my protein intake over 100g/day without cranking my calories over 3k because I have to introduce more expensive options like fish, Greek yogurt etc into more meals. It CAN be done cheaper, but you can only eat so much cottage cheese and tuna.
#20 Apr 24 2012 at 11:57 AM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
And I'm not so sure about your 7g thing.


My bad, that should have said 17 not 7. 17g in a burger, 100g is on the light end of what you should be eating as you've stated. Assuming you're not packing back 6-10 burgers a day (You shouldn't be) it's not as easy as it sounds to meet your quota every day for a typical working male (women don't need as much but same rules apply.) I pay attention to what I'm eating and some days I'm not coming close to where I should be.

So, using your numbers:

2 eggs = 12g Breakfast
Burger = 25g (call it a big mac) Lunch
Chicken Breast = 27g Dinner

12 + 25 + 27 = 64g little over half way there. So using your 180g number you'd have to eat 3 times that in protein sources. Certainly not impossible, or even particularly difficult with planning, but most people will not make that number without drastically over eating. As you say there is no set number but the typical person's diet is inadequate for optimal muscle building. I had to double my grocery spend to get my protein intake over 100g/day without cranking my calories over 3k because I have to introduce more expensive options like fish, Greek yogurt etc into more meals. It CAN be done cheaper, but you can only eat so much cottage cheese and tuna.

That's assuming you're not getting protein from beans on the side, or any other sources. I get ~120g a day without trying.
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#21 Apr 24 2012 at 11:57 AM Rating: Good
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Whole grains, whether bread or cereal are a great way to get additional protein without taking on much of the fats/cholesterol that often come with proteins. Not whole wheat, whole grain. You can get some good breads with 3, possibly even up to 4g of protein in a single slice.
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#22 Apr 24 2012 at 12:25 PM Rating: Good
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Why is eating so hard? I'm sitting here shoveling tuna into my mouth after down a glass of protein mix because of you guys. I was going to have vegetable soup for lunch.
#23 Apr 24 2012 at 12:28 PM Rating: Good
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You could have had a V8.
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#24 Apr 24 2012 at 12:39 PM Rating: Good
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#25 Apr 24 2012 at 1:01 PM Rating: Decent
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
That's assuming you're not getting protein from beans on the side, or any other sources. I get ~120g a day without trying.


Yep, like I said it's not particularly difficult but most people don't do it.

To Ugly's point for example whole grain vs whole wheat, most people eat white bread and most of those that don't eat white bread eat whole wheat bread, few people regularly eat whole grain bread, they might eat "Multi-grain" but that's not (or rather is rarely) whole grain.

Beans are great but how many people have protein rich sides with most of their meals? Typically it's potatoes, rice or pasta of some form (because they're cheap fillers) with things like beans being more occasional (obviously a lot of this is regional in nature.)
#26 Apr 24 2012 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
Why is eating so hard?
Eating is easy. Not eating is hard.
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#27 Apr 24 2012 at 1:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
Beans are great but how many people have protein rich sides with most of their meals? Typically it's potatoes, rice or pasta of some form (because they're cheap fillers) with things like beans being more occasional (obviously a lot of this is regional in nature.)
A cup of unenriched long grain white rice has 4g of protein. A cup of brown rice has 5g. A small potato, baked, has 3.5g. Bread can have around 5g, as said. The bread and potatoes at 100-150 calories, both rices at around 200.

So, ultimately, they're all reasonable contributors. Nothing like beans, but still pretty decent. Ultimately, it comes down to avoiding the really processed stuff, like fries(3g at 270 calories) or potato chips(1.9g at 155 calories). And making sure that your plate has some dedicated protein at every meal, be it meat, beans, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu or whatever. Which is something you should be doing anyway if you're planning any kind of regular exercise. Avoid the obvious bad, try to roughly balance everything.

And really, everyone should try to have beans as a side with one meal a day. Lord knows fiber's a problem for most folks.
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#28 Apr 24 2012 at 2:33 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
And really, everyone should try to have beans as a side with one meal a day. Lord knows fiber's a problem for most folks.

Any recommendations on a particular type of bean? Also, don't you need to combine them with some other foods to make a complete protein?

Edited, Apr 24th 2012 3:33pm by Allegory
#29 Apr 24 2012 at 2:40 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
And really, everyone should try to have beans as a side with one meal a day. Lord knows fiber's a problem for most folks.

Any recommendations on a particular type of bean? Also, don't you need to combine them with some other foods to make a complete protein?

Edited, Apr 24th 2012 3:33pm by Allegory


Apparently lentils (or other legumes) combined with some type of cereal grain will give you a complete protein, which is probably why a lot of cultures have a dish consisting of beans and rice. Sesame seeds also appear to be high in threonine and methionine, which appear to be the two hardest "essential amino acids" to get in the required amounts.

And obviously, soybeans would be the best bean as they are a complete protein by themselves.

Edit: Apparently, quinoa is also a source of complete proteins.

Edited, Apr 24th 2012 3:46pm by Bigdaddyjug

Edited, Apr 24th 2012 3:52pm by Bigdaddyjug
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#30 Apr 24 2012 at 10:29 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
And really, everyone should try to have beans as a side with one meal a day. Lord knows fiber's a problem for most folks.

Any recommendations on a particular type of bean? Also, don't you need to combine them with some other foods to make a complete protein?
If you're eating them with meat or eggs, I really wouldn't worry about it. If not, as said, grains can cover the gap.

Edit: Thought about it on my way to work, and you might consider corn and squash to go with your beans.


Edited, Apr 24th 2012 11:45pm by Poldaran
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#31 Apr 29 2012 at 3:59 PM Rating: Good
I'm a big fan of black beans. They're cheap, and they're tasty, as well as being pretty healthy. A relatively easy meal you can make that's pretty healthy, is something I've copied from a healthy fast food place where I used to live. It's mostly an Oregon chain, called Cafe Yumm, and they sell these delicious rice bowls. They come with various ingredients in them depending on which kind you get, but the idea is to have some sort of bean (usually black or red/kidney), avocado, cheese, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes and their signature yumm sauce. There are a few that are healthier, like the one with zucchini and summer squash, or the one with edamame (never been brave enough to try that one). But it's not too difficult to come up with your own variations of that which are still pretty healthy.
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#32 Apr 30 2012 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I'm a big fan of black beans. They're cheap, and they're tasty, as well as being pretty healthy. A relatively easy meal you can make that's pretty healthy, is something I've copied from a healthy fast food place where I used to live. It's mostly an Oregon chain, called Cafe Yumm, and they sell these delicious rice bowls. They come with various ingredients in them depending on which kind you get, but the idea is to have some sort of bean (usually black or red/kidney), avocado, cheese, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes and their signature yumm sauce. There are a few that are healthier, like the one with zucchini and summer squash, or the one with edamame (never been brave enough to try that one). But it's not too difficult to come up with your own variations of that which are still pretty healthy.


Remove the sauce, add Spanish rice and chicken or steak pieces and you've basically got a Rubio's Especial Burrito. Smiley: drool
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