I’ve been lurking around on this site since earlier this summer, and only registered a name a month or so ago. I wanted to introduce myself to the community here, both to say thank you and to ask a question.
I stumbled onto this site after floundering around the Men’s Health web site, and have been blown away with the amount of knowledge, experience, and support to be found on this site. The contributors (read: authors) have provided amazing quantities of their time and knowledge for free, and the community of members seem more than willing to provide guidance, advice, and share experience with anyone who asks. For an internet forum, this is a fantastic place to call home. For that, I thank all of you.
A little about myself: I’ve recently graduated from college, well, done with my undergrad degree anyway, and am working on my graduate degree and working full-time. I’m 22, 5’11, 190 lbs. and probably somewhere around 10-15% body fat (I’m aware that’s quite a range, but I’ve never had it measured, so all I have to go on are comparing composition photos with those that actually have had it measured).
In truth, I don’t care a great deal about that number, but figured I’d list it in the interest of full disclosure. I’ve lifted on and off for a few years, but most of that was without any direction or real knowledge. I was one of ‘those dudes.’ Hence my profile lists training years at ‘1’. I figure I’m starting at square one.
As far as training goes, at the moment I’m only able to get to the gym twice a week due to class and work restraints, though thankfully I’ve managed to shift my schedule around starting in January, so that I’ll make it there three times a week.
I generally do a full body program on monday and thursday: squats, deadlifts, flat bench presses, pull ups (front hand version), seated cable rows, dips, lat pull downs and bent over reverse flys. If I have anything left in the tank, I’ll throw in side raises, but that’s rare as the sessions last me nearly an hour and a half.
I realize some of it is probably overkill (i.e. pull ups and lat pull downs) but that’s by design at the moment, as I’m trying to bring up some lagging areas. But, when you’ve only got two days to lift real weight, I figure it’s best to hit everything and hit it hard.
As far as set/rep schemes, Mondays are 5x5 (working toward 10x3, but not there yet), and Thursdays are 3x15 or 2x20, for muscle endurance.
As far as numbers go, mine are pathetic, but knowing where I was when I started, I think I’ve made some progress. Listed below are max efforts:
Ass to Grass Squat: 250 (as of this summer: 185, and barely to parallel…yeah…I know)
Deadlift: 275 (summer: 150, had never done them before)
Bench Press: 215 (summer: 145)
Pull-ups: 12 straight, as I haven’t tried weighted yet (summer: about 6)
So yeah, I was tragically weak. And I’m probably only marginally above ‘weak’ now. But I’m working on it. If there’s one thing that reading this board has given me in addition to a wealth of knowledge/accessible resources, it’s the knowledge that this is a long process. And doing it right takes some time. Which has a given me a new-found respect for everyone on here that’s been in the game for awhile.
On to the question: I’ve read more than a few of the contributors here who have shown a disinclination to do upright rows, as it can and has led many people to have some shoulder problems.
But recently I’d read an article somewhere, though I can’t remember where, saying that if you did them with your hands placed at shoulder width on the bar, instead of in a close grip, that greatly reduced the risk of any shoulder impingement.
I don’t currently incorporate these into my program, but it was something I hadn’t seen addressed on here, and was curious to hear someone a lot more knowledgeable than me give their two cents.
This post has dragged on long enough, but I imagine I’ll be checking in often with questions. Thanks in advance for the feedback.