First Time Training Properly | Beginner's Log

Hey man, going to follow along!

In regards to your DL. It looks okay, your form was progressively getting more loose after every rep. However, I don’t want to throw many queues at you because you’re still new and learning the movement pattern. Just keep the weight light until you’re used to the movement.

My biggest advice would be to watch some videos on abdominal breathing and learning how to brace your core. This will help you across all lifts and help maintain a happy and healthy spine. You can do these exercises everyday on their own.

Once you have that down, I’d progress to how to deadlift videos. There’s many good ones out there, I’d watch everyone you come across, you’ll never know what might stick with you.

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Thanks! I’ll definitely watch some videos - I definitely find the bracing part the most challenging part of the deadlift, especially with heavier weights, so I’m glad there’s a way I can improve it at home.

6 Jan: Push

Today was a great workout - feel so energized after it and it’s the first time I’ve really seen a pump in my chest so that was cool!

Bench Press (I think I wasn’t pushing myself and could have gotten 12 reps at this weight in all 3 sets - I just didn’t want to tire myself out for OHP which was my 5x5 and the rack was already in use)
2 x 8 40kg
1x10 40kg

DB Incline Bench
1x12 24kg (12kg eachh hand)
26kg 10-9-8 (moved up to 13kg)

Farmers walk
2x 45sec 28kg

OHP
5x4 25kg
5th set Amrap 6 at 25kg

Superset
Tricep extension 12kg 12-10-9
Lateral raise 6kg 15 - 12 4kg 15

Superset
Tricep push down 35kg 10-8-10
Lateral raise 4kg 15x3

Very happy with today! For my incline DB, I misread my last workout weight so I increased my weight by 6kg and could do 12, so I pushed it up by another 2 kg and did my workout from there. Is it possible that my other lifts are actually too low for me? For my accessory exercises should I try to find the weight where I can do only 8 in my next workout and then do my worksets from that amount?

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Yes, but there’s more to it than that. A lot of guys tend to overestimate the weight they can lift, then proceed to lift it badly. Conversely, a lot of women tend to underestimate the weight they can lift. YOU underestimating the weights you can lift is honestly a good thing as it will save you from the failures of ego lifting.
I had a much longer response typed out, then realized that everything I was going to say had already been said (and in better words).
I’m going to quote Paul Carter from an article of his:

  1. Pick a weight you can do 8 reps with.
  2. Next week, try to do more than 8 reps with it.
  3. When you can do 12 reps with it, add weight until you’re back at 8 reps.
  4. Repeat until big and strong.

This doesn’t apply to your 5x5 lifts, and likely won’t work well for long with your power lifts, but it is a good reference point that most programs are in line with.

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Ok, so there are definitely when i reach 12 fir all my accessories now, I’m gonna continue adding weight untill I’m back down at 8. What I was doing was increasing slightly (by say 5kgs) and doing as many as I could. Often it’d be 10 reps or so, so I never really went back down to 8. Will definitely use reps as the barometer now.

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For now, your weights on most lifts will be increasing very rapidly (as evidenced by hitting 12 reps, increasing 5kg, and still hitting ~10 reps). This will not last very long, unfortunately; keep climbing those numbers and beating the logbook. At some point you will end up increasing your weights by ~5kg and struggle a lot to get 8 reps - but this is normal.

This is a tried and true method that most programs follow in one form or another. I’m glad you’re following this because this is a learning curve that most people take far too long to pick up on.
You’re doing great here bud, keep up the good work!

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Thanks for your advice! I’m really glad I’ve started this log - I’ve learnt so much from it!

Also, I wanted to ask how do I achieve a pump? Like tomorrow I’m doing a pull routine and how should I do my dumbbell curls if I wanted to get a pump? I don’t think I’ve actually achieved a proper pump (doubting that I had a pump in my chest today cause I kinda misunderstood what a pump actually).

If you’re exercising the muscle in the manner your log/program looks, you’ve already had a ‘pump’. It’s basically your muscles swelling after being worked due to excess bloodflow, muscle damage (this is a good thing, despite its’ name), and inflamation. These are lamen’s terms but effectively your muscles just look a bit bigger after you work them - something that typically happens a lot more during isolation exercises.

There is a bit of debate here as well, but to cut to the chase: one school says:
“weight is irrelevant as long as you got a good pump”
the other school says:
“increasing your weights = increasing muscle size. Don’t worry about the ‘pump’”

There is science to back up both claims but often times in this sport you will find that science is behind the times. I am on the side of increasing your weights because it is a process goal rather than an outcome goal (again, the efficacy of either is debatable). The reason I stand with the process goal of increasing your weights is that your muscles physically have to grow to continue lifting bigger weights, so if your weights improved from the last workout you logged - you can trust that your muscles got bigger too.

To answer your question much more directly though:

  1. pick a weight you can do curls with for 10-12 reps
  2. do as many reps as you can, then ‘rest’ for no more than 15 seconds
  3. keep curling for as many reps as you can, resting when your technique goes to shit
  4. stop when you hit 20 reps

Your biceps should feel fucking enflamed like a balloon with too much air in it. Mine actively hurt if I do something like this, but that is not necessarily a ‘pump’ either. YOU will look at your arms and think you’re getting close to Arnol status arms, but everyone else wouldn’t notice the difference (no offense, all gym bros feel or have felt this way).

This is the ‘high’ that a lot of people chase with the pump. Technically, doing pump work does force the muscle fibers to swell and grow - but it doesn’t require them to strengthen. This is where I find that chasing the pump falls short.

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I definitely wanna get stronger - the first goal. But I suppose it’s almost a little fun on the side to get the sensation and see what people mean when they say the feeling of having a great pump is pretty insane.

So why not finish your training session as it is planned, then try out the pump work at the end? it certainly won’t hurt anything

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Ok so end off with 3 sets of hammer curls and then bicep curls, followed by the pump work?

Whatever you have programmed for that training session - do it business as usual. Just add the pump work in at the end

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7 Jan
PULL

Really great workout - did the workout and then added Pump sets at the end. I ended uo with what I’d definitely say was a pump (Biceps are normally 14’ flexed but were 14.5’):

Anyway, enough of that my workout:

DB one arm row
10 13kg
3x8 15kg

Iso-Lateral Row
3x8 50kg

Deadlift

1x4x70kg
2x5 70kg
1x4 70kg
1x5 65kg

Seated cable row
3x8 37.5kg

Lat Pulldown
5x5 35kg

Hammer Curl
3x10 10kg

DB curl
3x10 8kg

Pump sets 4kg
25 - 25 - 23 - 22-15

Loads of fun, but it was definitely a longer workout. When I’m back in uni I’m definitely gonna have to find a program that gives me the same intensity in a shorter time.

Also, re deadlifts - my next workout I’m going to go back to 60kg and do 5x5. My form was not great on the 70kg after a few sets. All in all, a fun challenging workout. Plus, noticing myself doing tonnes of curls I was like “Guess who’s becoming a gym bro”. Though, I will say I do think that I’ll being doing pump sets frequently.

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Nothing wrong with chasing the pump as long as you focus on lift progression. Adding weight/reps (beating the logbook) is the foundation principle.
Good workout, glad you liked the pump!

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8 Jan
Legs

Squat
2x5 40kg
2x5 45kg
1x4 45kg (couldn’t go any further here)

Romanian Deadlift
3x8 30kg

Barbell Bicep curls
3x8 20kg

Leg Press
3x8 80kg

Leg curls
3x8 45kg

Leg extension
3x8 35kg

Calf raises
3x18 52.5kg

Then I did some pump sets, cause why not. Some high rep bicep curls like above with tricep extension drop sets (11kg to failure then dropped to 7kg) - did some reading about getting pump in triceps yesterday. Any way, I got a great pump. I have planned rests tomorrow and monday.

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Also, I took videos of myself doing RDand squats. Would really appreciate any comments on form.

Squat:

RDL:

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The are far, far too light for you to see any issues. You’re also very, very loose through the whole movement on both. Which is fine, because the weights are still so light, but will be a problem once things start getting heavier.

Squat is super deep as well.

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Agree with @dagill2 , your weights are light to see any significant form issues.

Glad to see you going super low with squats, but I will caution you against bottoming out. For now, there’s nothing wrong with it, but as you increase weights you will be putting your knees in a bad spot if you bottom out. Still go low, but trying to touch your heels to your ass is dangerous if you have bigger calves.

Form is fine for now, you will start slowing down in weight progression at some point and I think you will find your fixing your form and being more comfortable with the movement at that time. WHEN you reach that point, I recommend recording/posting videos and asking for pointers.

All in all, you’re doing fine here. Keep kicking ass :muscle::peach:

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Just on this, OP, my take would be to go as deep as you can go, while maintaining tightness.

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10 Jan
Push

Bench Press
3x5 50kg
2x5 55kg

Overhead Preas
10-9-10 20kg

Incline Bench
3x12 26kg

SS
Tricep extension 3x12 12kg
Lateral raises 3x15 6kg

SS
Tricep Pushdown 3x12 30kg
Lateral Raise 3x15 6kg

Tricep Dip
2x5

Great workout today

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