T Nation

Loving It


I kinda stumbled onto your site a while ago and have been reading bits of stuff here and looking through the forums for ages, Some girls with badass attitude and you take no sh!t from the guys, I love it! Anyway finally decided to register and maybe try convince some of you to pass on some of your advice and also hope you girls don't rip me to pieces because of my lack of knowlege on most things dumbell related!!!

I play sport to a high level and at the end of the season last year my coach finally convinced me to get my lazy ass into the gym. At first I hated it, it was hard f*ckin work BUT I soon started seeing improvements and then these wierd bumps in my body which I later learned are called muscles! Now I think I have some kind of OCD because try stop me going in now on gym day and your gonna get a smack!

I still have to practice and go to college so I am limited to 3 sessions a week and each session have been doing a full body workout finished with some high intensity interval cardio. Dont know if its perfect for me but it's certainly working! Dont want to overdue my first post questions to follow if accepted into the pack!


Welcome - you certainly don't need anyone's permission. Just start logging!


3st! Welcome... and I don't think i saw a question? LOL.

I guess those will follow and let us know your goals too!


lol at these weird bumps that later turned out to be muscles. I think anyone with enthusiasm for lifting is welcome here. WELCOME!


Thanks girls,
I have questions because reading through TN it seems there are a 100 different answers and a 1000 points of views to pretty much every aspect of training and diet. I kinda get the feeling to give myself a goal, get some good advice on that goal and then its a bit of trial and error until I find the right path to follow for best results.

Like I said I started in the gym end of last season so have been going in about five months. I started with a very easy to follow basic routine where I warm up with light cardio then do, Thighs, hamstrings, calves, chest, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, abs and finish with 10 mins of the devils own puke inducing interval training! I have stuck with that same order or training but added new stuff to alternate the actual excersises to keep things changing and fresh. I also make sure that each week I put the weight up even if its just a couple of kilos to keep progressing!

Now I am certainly not in most of your guys leagues looking at the numbers (and your bodies) you guys move about, but for a new lifter I think I do pretty decent numbers, I certainly lift more than the other pretty little flowers that giggle their way around the gym!! I also dont do the big free weight stuff you all talk about like barbell squat and deadlifts because I am scared of hurting myself (which I have already done with my shoulder, two weeks no lifting, Doctors Orders) So I stick to machines as much as possible which I know is lame!

So first question is about the weight I should be lifting and the number of reps I should be doing. Bearing in mind my goals are stamina, very even full body strength/power and maintain flexibility. Don't care about big looking muscles or fat loss. I currently do, Each leg excersises 3 sets of 15 (bigger muscles seemd to make sense to do more!) except calves I do 3 sets of 10 (just seems the right amount) upperbody I do 3 sets of 12 (seemed a nice easy number to remember). On all sets I try to use weight where I try do proper form and on the last few reps I am struggling but I can finish! Are the rep numbers OK and should I keep with the same kins of weights?


I'll take a swing at this one. Please consider learning to use free weights slowly and safely.
See this article and related content on the site.
3 sets of 8 or 10 is fine. Fifteen is unnecessary and five is thought to be the strength building range.



Thanks, I did start on 3 sets of 10 but if I thought I could not increase my weight that week in order to try progress I added a few extra reps, I was sure I had read somewhere to keep rep numbers between 8-15! Maybe not. I will make it simple and keep all my reps at 10. I will need to get to the gym whan it is quiet and get one of the trainers to watch me with the free weights, I am scared of injury after tweaking my shoulder, as I said weight training is new to me. I can imagine even doing an excercise even a little wrong can cause problems.


Machines are not always built to accommodate all proportions so working with free weights might help with preventing injuries.

Maybe you could list the machines and exercises you do.

I only lift 3 days a week too. Nothing wrong with just three days a week.

Oh and I <3 sprints so naturally I think they are the best thing EVER so feel free to gloss over my urgings to get you to sprint. :smiley:


I think 10 is okay as far as reps are concerned but it is better to have a range like 8-12. The way you decide if it's time to go up is how many reps you can do with your first set. If you are aiming for 8-12 then your first set should have you finishing in that range. The sets that follow after can and usually are less reps because the muscle is getting tired. So if in your first set you can get 13 then it is time to go up in weight. So it is better to have a range.

Also that means that when you go up(in weight) your first set might be just 8 or even less but that's good, that's how you get stronger.


Welcome! I am somewhat of a beginner also. I have lifted for years but not seriously enough. I put my fears aside and have really been getting after it. You can do this. This is a great place for advice etc. Check out the other girls' logs for ideas on exercise as well as goals! Good luck to you.


Thanks for the welcome and response, OK I am just going to work towards 8-12 reps per set and like you said if its too easy put the weight up till its not! I just want to keep progressing each session.

In response, I mix exercses up, for my thighs I do either the leg press machine or Dumbell squats using a ball against the wall.

I always use the leg extension for my hamstrings and the adductor and abductor for my inner and outer thighs.

For my chest I either do dumbell press again on the ball (I use the ball a lot to work on my balance/core) or the seated bench press machine or the smith machine to barbell press, I also use the smith machine for close grip presses for my triceps.

I use the seated shoulder press and the lateral pulldown machine for shoulders.

Obviously I do other exercises but they are free weights or floor.

I can't beleive anybody likes sprints (eyes water thinking about them) But I am convinced they are really helping my fitness, I do 10 mins (30 seconds sprint 1 min rest) and whilst I am doing them I feel like dying they give me a buzz when im finished.

Im really annoyed at the moment I cant train properly because of my shoulder but I am going to do my full routine next time in just put tiny weights on for anything that involves the shoulders (pretty much all upper body) just to ease my way back in. Been doing legs and abs this last few sessions and am getting frustrated (and my legs are tired)


When I look at the numbers these girls do my head spins! It is a great place and its obvious the knowlege here is immense!
I am deadly serious and I work my ass off (I think that is why I pulled my shoulder trying too much). I have looked around and read the articles but there is so much info and it could be me but a lot of contradictions and points of view as to what works for who!


You might want to try doing dumbbell presses for the shoulders instead of the machine for pressing. You wont really be able to do a scary weight yet anyways. Just do what you usually do with the machines but use a dumbbell instead. Just to see if that helps the shoulders. Sometimes the machines can get in the way of natural movement. You might want to try doing a facepull(this works the back of the shoulder). Most of us need to do this to keep our shoulders healthy.

Here's a video of a facepull.


Thanks, I have not seen that exercise before, shoulder stength will help with my sport as well. I do 25 kgs on the shoulder press machine so I would be looking to do 12 each dumbell (seems heavy in my head as I only use 8kg dumbells for bicep curl), I will give it a go though when I am recovered and back on upperbody!


Back in the Gym tonight, had a pre-season competition last week so didn't get in the gym. Did an hours circuit training yesterday but no weights. I felt my shoulder was not 100% doing bench dips but I am going to do my full routine this evening just with very little weight with anything that involves shoulders.


Good session but I was completely knackered when I had finished. HIIT was a joke I must have looked like I was ready to collapse!! Felt sick. The Gym was absolutely packed last night. Must have been the good weather reminding everyone holiday season is not so far away and to get off their asses and burn some calories. It will wear off in a couple of weeks!

I felt stupid doing such low weights on my shoulder work but even then I could feel it a little so I have to take it slowly! Did less machine work and more free weights last night, didn't go near the chest and shoulder press machines did dumbell chest press and dumbell shoulder press instead, they felt good. Need a quiet night (just to try for the first time) in the gym and going to try putting pullups into my routine from next week.


A really rubbish session last night, I was in two minds if to go as I felt terrible and bad tempered and I took it out on my training partner. No biggie he can take it! Everything felt really heavy and I felt sluggish. Still afterwards I was glad I went as it was much more productive than sitting at home watching TV or talking crap on facebook. Shoulder is getting better, I can still feel it on shoulder exercises even with minimal weight but it feels better. Slowly Slowly so I dont go backwards! Once back to full fitness I am going to start logging to keep my progress.


Why not start now? I think it's nice to be able to look at how far you've come.

Nice job getting into the gym regardless!


Back in tonight, god I hope its quieter than the last two times I have been in, what a mare!! Focus on glutes, lower back and core tonight with some different exersises thrown in, should be fun! Hope its quiet so I don't look stupid falling over doing a reverse weighted lunge from a block! lol!


Training programme is a machine free as possible these last 5 weeks and been putting some serious effort in, I feel stronger and I am certainly packing on some muscle. Shoulder is healed, cannot feel anything now, back doing shoulder press and lateral raises with some decent weight (for me).

We are going to have a change of routine for a month starting tonight, total change just to keep things interesting and keep improving. Going to 5 sets of 5 but pushing the weight upto 75-80% of our 1 rep max. Im excited to try this and see how it goes.