T Nation

Advice on Weight Training


#1

Hi everyone.

New to the forum and beginner weight lifter. For the past couple years I have tried to get into weight training, but I have always encountered the same problem. I tend to fatigue half way through my workout program and can never complete what I had set out for myself that day.

For example: On chest days I start out with movement prep such as trigger point ball to the pecs just to wake them up then a little stretch and I go for dumb bell press (2x10), incline press (2x10), dumbbell fly (2x10), decline press (2x10).

HOWEVER... after the first set of incline press my form tends to go, and for me if the form isn't there why continue... So I end up going skipping to the fly machine and I'll get a set of 10 out drop the weight by 5 and doing as many as I can until I hit the second 10. And usually I'll skip the decline press cause I can't get it up. This will usually take me ~ 20 mins. I feel like it was a waste of time at the gym because the next day I don't really feel anything. I wish I had a spotter but I don't have anyone to work out with.

What kind of advice can you vets give me? My goal is to build up my pecs, lose my spare tires, and look like everyone else on this board. LOL.

Thanks for the advice.


#2

“Gaining pecs” and “losing the spare” seem like vague goals when coupled with “look like everyone else” on the board. If you generally want to get bigger and stronger and look better and fitter all over, you need to work your whole body, not just your pecs.

Buy the 5-3-1 e-book. Its $10-20 IIRC. It will at least give you a place to start and then come back and ask questions. And maybe get “Starting Strength.” It is another good resource.

In a nutshell, there are six basic lifts that will help you get stronger and just be a better person overall: Squat, Deadlift, Bench, Overhead Press, Row, and Pullup/Chinup. These are the basics and other lifts are assistance work and optional. I’d suggest a program that focuses on these important lifts (5-3-1 does this) and you can add assistance later or as needed.

Your diet is going to determine whether you have a spare tire. You can’t out-exercise a shit diet. So look into diet as well.

Good luck.


#3

What you describe above as your attempts to start lifting over a period of two years does not bode well. You decide to do a very simple workout of 8 sets, yet you can’t even complete half of it? Understand that psychological factors like consistency, discipline and motivation are very important to this process.

You need to learn how to do the basic lifts with good form. Some people are able to teach themselves, for example from a book like Starting Strength, but you may not be one of them. Consider getting a personal trainer, for this purpose.

Secondly, you need to find a proven program and follow it to the letter. Jackrash above has suggested two. You should definitely not design your own program.


#4

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
“Gaining pecs” and “losing the spare” seem like vague goals when coupled with “look like everyone else” on the board. If you generally want to get bigger and stronger and look better and fitter all over, you need to work your whole body, not just your pecs.

Buy the 5-3-1 e-book. Its $10-20 IIRC. It will at least give you a place to start and then come back and ask questions. And maybe get “Starting Strength.” It is another good resource.

In a nutshell, there are six basic lifts that will help you get stronger and just be a better person overall: Squat, Deadlift, Bench, Overhead Press, Row, and Pullup/Chinup. These are the basics and other lifts are assistance work and optional. I’d suggest a program that focuses on these important lifts (5-3-1 does this) and you can add assistance later or as needed.

Your diet is going to determine whether you have a spare tire. You can’t out-exercise a shit diet. So look into diet as well.

Good luck.

[/quote]

This. 100%.

Program: Something like Starting Strength. Focus on building strength in the main lifts. Strength in these will help with your accessory/assistance work.

Diet: eat the right amount of calories and balance of macros for your goals, and eat good whole food instead of crap.


#5

You’re a beginner. You don’t need to do drop sets yet. Just do straight sets to get your work capacity up. Intensity techniques like drop sets will burn you out real fast


#6

I think any beginning weightlifter should read Christian Thibaudeau’s log(s) at top here. Good stuff centered around squat, deadlift, bench, and olympic lift variations. He especially likes snatch grip high pulls to develop a strong “yoke” area (upper chest, back, shoulders). He demonstrates exercises in video section. Good luck.


#7

[quote]Stock-0-Lee wrote:
I tend to fatigue half way through my workout program and can never complete what I had set out for myself that day.

HOWEVER… after the first set of incline press my form tends to go, and for me if the form isn’t there why continue… [/quote]

My first thought is that you’re just using too much weight to start out.

But, do you have low energy with anything else you do [in life]? Or is this just when you lift?


#8

How much do you eat before you workout?


#9

The guys talking about your diet have probably nailed the problem.

Keep a food log over the next week or so to keep track of how much your eating, then post it on here and have it critiqued, you almost certainly don’t eat as much quality food as you would think which is what is required.

Plenty of good quality diet articles on this site that are worth a read.