I have the strength of a girl. That was okay when I could fit into my 115-lb girlfriend’s jeans, but now that I’m a bit bigger and have spent significant time training, it’s just downright shameful. Where do I begin? I need a strength training for dummies.
Here’s the deal. I got into lifting weights about 3 years ago because my university had a very nice facility, and because I wanted to look ripped. Since I discovered the weight room, I’ve been going routinely, probably three to five times a week depending on what my current routine is.
My focus has always been aesthetics; I’ve tried to be a body builder, not a strength trainer.
When I started lifing, I was 155 - 160 lbs (at 5’11"). Now, and a few mild AAS cycles later (please, don’t get started on me), I’ve gotten up to maintaining 200 lbs. with the same 10 - 11% bodyfat I’ve always had. Although my muscles have gotten bigger, I’ve come to realize that I really haven’t made all that much progress in lifting heavy objects.
My bench has barely gone up since I started, my deadlift has done okay, and my squats are still embarrassing–especially for the son of a professional cyclist.
Today I read somewhere that an experienced lifter should be able to bench his weight, deadlift double his weight, and military press just about his weight. (What about squats–didn’t see that one?) At 200 lbs, I’m nowhere close.
Off cycle, my max bench (although it’s hard to really know what max is because I don’t have a training partner–thus no spotter) is about 165 lbs (< 200 lbs.), my deadlift is 275 lbs (< 400 lbs.), and I can barely squat 175 lbs.
Everything I learned about weight lifting has been online or from watching others. I have no formal education. I’ve never had a personal trainer. (How can you find a good one? Everyone seems to have advice about the gym, but only about 10% seems to be worth anything.) I don’t know much terminology used in body building/weight lifting articles. I have no friends who know anything about lifting.
I don’t know how to do olympic lifts, but do try to focus my routine around compound exercises (e.g. military press, bent-over rows, upright rows, pull-ups, deadlifts, squats, etc) and usually train to failure or near failure on exercises.
Where should I start? With my experience, what should my numbers be? What lift or lifts am I probably lagging the most on (i.e. where should I focus my efforts)? How should I go about increasing my strength?
I want to begin training not muscle size and appearance, for the first time in my life, but really feel lost and confused.