T Nation

A Few Questions

Hi, I just started working out at the gym for the last 3 weeks… Im in pretty good shape works always kept me quite strong… but i wanted to tone up, and gain some more muscle…

When I first started working out i was working out till fatigue… till i couldnt even lift the weight anymore… afterwards my body would be aching… about a week ago my friend told me to only do 3 sets of 5 reps, and by the last rep on the 3rd set i should just be able to lift the weight… Well i do that but afterwards i dont really feel like i’ve worked out… my muscles are a little sore, but nothing compared to before…

am i going in the right direction?

also are there any websites that explain how to use freeweights better, like proper lifting ways… and which muscles are being used…

Thanks :slight_smile:

Mouse over the Archives at the top right and choose a year.

Start reading and you will find your answers young grasshopper…

also are there any websites that explain how to use freeweights better, like proper lifting ways… and which muscles are being used…

Us! Us! Look at us! (waving hands wildly like a third-grader wanting to be picked for the team)

Hey, Cap. Welcome to T-Nation!!! I se it’s your first post.

Along with a forum that’s interactive, where you can ask questions, get answers and share your thoughts, T-Nation has over 6 years of articles about resistance training and nutrition and any number of areas related (and not related!) to Building a Better Body.

Go ahead and click on the Archives hyperlink at the top of the page and start reading. Not only will you find well-designed programs, you’ll also find pictures and explanations on how to do different exercises.

Two and a half years ago I had never lifted a weight in my life. Today I deadlift and squat. I do military presses and bentover rows and pull-ups. I’m entirely self taught, and everything I know about working out, I’ve learned here on T-Nation. There is no better source on the 'Net.

Re the subject of soreness, it’s been oft discussed. Try using the Search engine at the top of the page. You’ll have the opportunity to pick posts on the forums and articles written by our different contributors (or both!).


Do you have any idea how lucky you are? Your first post, and TT responds to it. It’s like winning the lottery on your first ticket ever!

Seriously, you picked a good place to ask questions. Check out some of the articles here. The writers are great, they’re not afraid to go against the grain, to shake things up a little. Plus, as TT said, the forums are awesome, because of knowledgeable and generous people like himself.

Try not to measure your workouts by how sore you get afterward. Try to measure them by the results that you get, like lean muscle gains, strength gains, whatever your goals might be. I think Chad Waterbury discusses this in either the ABBH article, or 4 Bodybuilding Myths disspelled. Either way, there are a bunch of good reads around here.

Check things out, then if you have some questions, feel free to ask.

Good Luck

Smallnomore is absolutely right.
You mentioned as working sets 3X5. A read about this in a book by Mc Roberts and Kubik. They reported to begin with to sets of five reps of progressively heavier weight followed by 3x5 working sets. These authors suggested 3 months programs and,at the first workout, begin with loads 15% lower then your best performance. Then add 5% more load at each subsequent workout. Only during the last month (3rd) of the program you have to push to the limits to get your new PR. Then take a week off. Then begin a 2nd training cycle lowering the loads 15%. This system, perhaps a bit old, may work for some months then your body may adapt.
For this reason to get up to date concepts, concerning periodization,loads,sets,reps etc., I suggest you to read T-Nation papers for example “Big boy basics” by Chad Waterbury. A good idea is to perform these CW’s programs as a sequence:
Big boy basics, ABBH, ABBH2, Quattro Dinamo, Single’s Club. Another good idea is, whatever program you start, to eat properly.
Have a good time !