I just moved into a new apartment building, which has a complimentary gym in the basement. Off to get my new body, thinks I. Since I’m a beginner at this I’m going to ask the bright bulbs of the Dope for advice.
For the first few days, I ran the following schedule.
Every other day is arms-and-pecs day, every other day is abs-back-and-legs day. Each session I start off with ten minutes on the exercise bike to work up a sweat, and I end each session with a five minute spurt on the bike.
On arms-shoulders-and-pecs day, after the ten minute bike ride, I start with ten minutes on the pull-a-bar machine; five minutes of triceps and five minutes of biceps. Then I do ten minutes on the pec machine where you grab handles on your sides and bring them together in front of you. Then ten minutes of shoulder exercises. Then ten minutes on the pec machine where you pull a chain from your lower left to your upper right and reverse. I finish with the bike spurt, so the whole session is 55 minutes.
On abs-back-and-legs day, I start off with ten minutes on the leg machine where you sit down, put your feet on a vertical plate and push it back. Then I do ten minutes of ab work by sitting down, holding weighted straps in my hands and bending forward, kind of like a reverse situp. Then ten minutes of leg work where you bend your legs backwards to lift weights. Then ten minutes of back exercises. Then ten more minutes of ab work, and the bike spurt brings it to 55 minutes.
Throughout the sessions, I use low resistance and do many reps. I keep the resistance so low that it is never actually difficult to finish a five or ten minute session. I have to work at it, but I never have to quit because I can’t go on.
By working out every day but switching muscle groups I hoped to let the muscles I wasn’t training that day grow while I was training the other muscles.
In short, this regime was too tough to start with. After a few days, my triceps hurt so badly I couldn’t use them, and my elbows were aching. That’s leaving now, but either way it seems I started off too hard.
My goal is to slim down, get healthier, and get stronger. I like the way my arms look (which is why I spent so little time training them), but I would like some extra strength (I recently moved house and noticed how pathetically weak I’ve become). It is the pec-and-abs area that needs visual improvement, and I have back problems so I’d like to develop my back muscles. I also have about 20 or 30 extra pounds to work off.
I don’t want bulging muscles and I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder. I want to look lean and fit. My dream body would be Brad Pitt in Fight Club, but I know I’m never going to get there. That guy does like six trillion situps a day. I’d like to get as close as possible.
Should I start out with shorter sessions or keep the sessions the same length and only work out every other day? Is my regime suitable for my goals? Should I do jumprope instead of the initial bike ride (I’ve heard that jumprope is great for working off baby fat)? Am I doing any glaring mistakes?
Basically, how do you think I should work out, and how fast can I expect visual results? The motivation would be nice.
Thanks for any help you can give.