T Nation

Don't Know What to Do in the Gym

Alright, I’ve been looking around, and I honestly… it’s just to much information, a bit intimidating really, so I was hoping I could get a little bit of personalized input…

First off, I’m 18, I’ve had a gym membership before but I never went except that initial 3 day excitement, and after that I just stopped. I guess I attribute that to, just going in there, dicking around on the machines a lil while until I was tired, then going home. No plan of attack at all.

So I’m hoping you guys can gimme a plan of attack, that will WORK. Cuz considering that I’m signing up at the new local gym soon, I’m determined to follow a regimen, and get in shape. So please help…

Some info bout myself, I have like no muscle really at all, like none to start off with. My ab muscles are so bad I can only do like 2 pushups and then I can’t do anymore.

I’m 6’1 and about 160 lbs, last I weighed. Not fat, but definitely no abs showing, plus it doesn’t look great in the mirror. I trust you guys here, so if you could tell me what it’d be best for me to do about getting some abs showing or at least no roll when I sit down, it’d be much appreciated.

Heres some pics so ya’ll have an idea what I have to work with:

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii205/thuglifeballa/fatfuckgallery002.jpg

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii205/thuglifeballa/fatfuckgallery003.jpg

Anyways, I wanna avoid machines altogether and just do weights. I’d rather avoid cardio, if theres anything else I can do to lose those few pounds of fat.

How much fat do ya’ll think I need to lose to see abs? It doesn’t look like alot to me, but I could be wrong.

Could someone please help me out with a weekly workout I could stick with for like 2 months and then come back with?

I just really need something to do when I go to the gym, easy stuff to remember and stuff you don’t gotta be an acrobat to do.

How much weight for my beginner arms and legs? How many exercises per day? How many days a week? How many days off?

And most importantly, what exercises should I do and how many reps/sets? Please help me out here, if I could just have something to force myself to do for a few weeks, I really think I could make progress. But everytime I walk into that gym, I just have no idea what to do…

I have whey protein, when do I use it and how much? Will it cause me to gain weight (fat) and should I lay off it while trying to lose my gut?

Please, and thank you!

You should read the beginner threads that are stickied at the top of this forum. Start there.

I did, none really seemed to answer what I was looking for, I’m just asking for someone to gimme a random workout plan that will “work.” Without too many complicated exercises.

also look up starting strength 5x5

come up with a plan of attack in your head and go from there

160 lbs at 6’1 doesn’t really need to lose weight, he needs to gain muscle. Eat something, or rather a lot of somethings, and do Rippetoes Starting Strength. All very basic movements using free weights.

[quote]scanzler wrote:
…I’m just asking for someone to gimme a random workout plan that will “work.” Without too many complicated exercises. …[/quote]

Therein lies your problem.

this is what i would do.

monday wednesday friday you workout.

monday

bench press
incline dumbell press
skull crushers
dips

wednesday
squat
leg extentions
stiff legged deadlift
dumbell shoulder press
upright rows

friday
dumbell rows
pull ups
lat machine
straight bar curls
dumbell curls

i woudl start with that and adjust as you go along
i would also do 4 sets of each the first set being a war up and the rest do 3x3 on the big lifts while the others keep it at 8reps or so.

this worked for me when i first started but i tweaked and adjusted as i went along

eat 6 times a day. get a good protein supplement.
no muscle milk crap just a nice whey supplement.

do allot more reading and research on this forum and just use google.
if you want a nice body knowing what to do is only like half of the equation. the rest is nutrition consistensy resting and lifting and some other shit.

not every workout plan will work for you.
you must make something your self that works for you and monitor how things happen with your lifts and nutrition.
ive been lifitn for 3 1/2 years and im still learning.

Keep it simple to begin with. 5x5 with all the compound lifts, eat heavy and clean, and be patient.

i just started a great program that will work well for you. its called rippetoes starting strength. it will put alot of muscle on you, build up your strength, and get you in shape. im like you, 6’ 165lbs and i have a hard time putting on size. this program really works though. i put on 2lbs my first week on this program. here is the program:

Here is the Starting Strength Program, written by Mark Rippetoe:

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift
**2x8 Dips (if you cant do these or no assist machine then do Decline Dumbbell Bench Press with your hands Facing each other)

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Standing military press
3x5 Pendlay or Bent Rows (or power cleans)
**2x8 Chin-ups (recommended mainly if doing the cleans)

EDIT: Mark Rippetoe’s original program calls for power cleans, not Pendlay rows. My mistake.

You alternate Workout A and Workout B every other day, 3 times a week. So you could either do Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs. and Sat. Depending on what works best for you.

Example:

Week 1:

Monday - Workout A
Wednesday -Workout B
Friday - Workout A

Week 2:

Monday - Workout B
Wednesday - Workout A
Friday - Workout B

That’s it.

as far as nutrition, since you are lean to begin with, you dont have to be real strict. eat alot of tuna, eggs, oatmeal, brown rice, brown bread, yams, greens, grilled chicken breast, and get a good protein supplement if you can afford it. try to stay away from fried foods.

drink plenty of water. you should drink enough water so you have to pee every hour to an hour and a half max. your urine should be clear or a slight yellow tint to it, thats how you know youre drinking enough.

eat at least 6 times a day but i prefer 7, just because i like to eat haha.

i dont know what else to tell you as far as nutrition. some of the other more knowledgeable members can help you better than i.

good luck and Grow!

I recommend 5x5, Dan John Southwood or ws4sb-they are all proven straight forward programs, then go home and eat everything under the sun.

Have a whey shake with every meal and immediately postworkout

Starting Strength or WSB4SB cause lets face it, your a twig…

get a handle on your diet, at 6’1" I would guess you need 3500+ calories a day… eat a crap load, (6 meals a day) and workout hard, report back in 6 months.

Thanks guys, I think I’ll try Starting Strength.

But what exactly are you guys saying I’m LEAN for? Dude, I’ve gotta gut, and part of the reason I’m gonna start working out is to get that gut off, so I can see some abs.

Will this Starting Strength program combined with clean eating help me do that?

[quote]scanzler wrote:
Thanks guys, I think I’ll try Starting Strength.

But what exactly are you guys saying I’m LEAN for? Dude, I’ve gotta gut, and part of the reason I’m gonna start working out is to get that gut off, so I can see some abs.

Will this Starting Strength program combined with clean eating help me do that?

[/quote]

yes, it will do that. but you’re small, so you don’t fall into this thought process that you have to “cut.” Just focus on eating a ton of clean food, and lifting progressively heavier shit.

[quote]scanzler wrote:
Thanks guys, I think I’ll try Starting Strength.

But what exactly are you guys saying I’m LEAN for? Dude, I’ve gotta gut, and part of the reason I’m gonna start working out is to get that gut off, so I can see some abs.

Will this Starting Strength program combined with clean eating help me do that?

[/quote]

this is a body building site,thats why weare all saying you are lean

example,I am 5’8" 290 and 20% bodyfat
alot of people here that is your height are close to 200 if not over 200 already
you are lean.
you just have more fat than muscle but you do need to grow.

dont worry about loosing weight unless you want to be track runner,kenyan thin than more power to ya.
but you should start with building.
if you build muscle under the fat you already have then you will almost automaticly burn the fat you have,because muscle needs alot of energy to be maintained.
eat and lift alot.

low reps,high weight,it will keep you focused on the workout because its only about 45 mins to an hour long.
and you are in a great position where you really dont have to watch your intake.
just remember eat every few hours and have a little bit of everything
protien
carbs like rice,pasta,taters whatever
vegies the darker green the better
piece or 2 of fruit
and fats make sure to get plenty of healthy fats,fish oil big handfulls of pills,milk,peanut butter,olive oil,avacado ect all great

but also remember you EARN your food.
if you dont lift till you are dead then you dont deserve to eat like you are dying.
dont be scared of food just be scared of not working out.

[quote]scanzler wrote:
Thanks guys, I think I’ll try Starting Strength.

But what exactly are you guys saying I’m LEAN for? Dude, I’ve gotta gut, and part of the reason I’m gonna start working out is to get that gut off, so I can see some abs.

Will this Starting Strength program combined with clean eating help me do that?

[/quote]

If you want to SEE abs, you should consider your real goals. If you’re into getting bigger and stronger, you’re going to need to eat and lift. If you want to see abs, you need to lose BF and stay hypocaloric (lift, but eat less, and expect strength to plateau, if not decrease).

Pick one, and go…

I don’t want to really get bigger, I just want to get toned yknow? Toned arms and legs, toned chest but not necessarily huge pecs, and abs obviously.

Will Starting Strength work for that?

[quote]scanzler wrote:
Thanks guys, I think I’ll try Starting Strength.

But what exactly are you guys saying I’m LEAN for? Dude, I’ve gotta gut, and part of the reason I’m gonna start working out is to get that gut off, so I can see some abs.

Will this Starting Strength program combined with clean eating help me do that?

[/quote]

Yes it will. The combo of heavy lifting and lots of quality food will give you the look you want. Simply dieting down and losing fat will NOT. You will end up looking like an emaciated concentration camp victim.

I realize you’re 18 and your primary goal is to have all the girls go ‘Oh my Gaawwd! Look at those abs!’, but having some solid muscle mass to go with the abs might get you the attention of actual women, not just girls. You can have a lean AND muscular physique, so why not?

I second the idea of Starting Strength or WS4SB. You want to focus on establishing good technique right now so Keep It Simple! One important thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the need for intensity. Go into the gym with the intention of pushing yourself a bit harder than you pushed the last time. This is called progressive overload and it’s the key to success.

You can progress by adding more weight, doing another rep, adding a set, moving the bar faster, taking less rest, etc. etc. As you get some experience you can play around with all these factors but right now just concentrate on adding weight to the bar for your basic exercises. Have a plan before you enter the gym and execute it with as much focus and intensity as you can muster. Then get out, eat, and rest.

Glad to have you at T-Nation, you came to the right place if you’re serious about body composition changes. The conflicting info can be daunting but that’s mostly because everybody responds differently to diet and exercise details. You’ll have to learn what you can here and experiment to find what works best for YOU.

Keep us posted, ask questions (but only after you’ve searched first 8^), and Good Luck.

[quote]scanzler wrote:
I don’t want to really get bigger, I just want to get toned yknow? Toned arms and legs, toned chest but not necessarily huge pecs, and abs obviously.

Will Starting Strength work for that?[/quote]

wow,
another one of these.

you can not tone muscle that you do not have.

there is no such thing as “Toning”

to define muscle you must build muscle its that simple.
you will never “accidently get huge” that dosent happen

I laugh every time i hear someone say " I just want to get toned"

[quote]scanzler wrote:
I don’t want to really get bigger, I just want to get toned yknow? Toned arms and legs, toned chest but not necessarily huge pecs, and abs obviously.

Will Starting Strength work for that?[/quote]

Uh Oh…

The T-Rex-like thuds you hear are the footsteps of ProfessorX coming to stomp you into the mud!

Seriously, if you don’t want to add some lean muscle to your skinny little frame why are you here??? Maybe Men’s Health or Bodybuiling.com is more your speed. We’re pretty serious about training around here. More to the point, if you think you’re going to wake up with huge pecs one day please think again. It’s VERY difficult to add lean mass. You will never, ever get too big accidentally.