Hi. I’m really especially strong, by the standards of folks on here, which I say in the interests of full disclosure. Having said which, I’m giving out advice anyway, because I think I can help. What other posters have said about developing a base of strength is absolutely true. One of the strength coach/article contributors on here wrote recently that ‘if you can’t do 100 pushups, you have no business going near the bench press.’ I’m unsure about that, but here’s what advice I have:
Kettlebells are ace. They’re a trad strongman tool, they’re cheap, they don’t take up much space and there’s loads of carryover into the trongman moves you’ll want to do down the road. Check out Pavel Tsatouline (sp sorry) online or Steve Cotter (who is probably a genetic freak), or buy ‘Enter the Kettlebell,’ a good simple introduction to Kb training.
Bodyweight moves are more than crunches. As people get more open minded and results/evidence oriented, you find even bodybuilders and powerlifters using gymnastic movements like levers or muscleups to gain strength. Progressive calisthenics is a good place to start. Try throwing in some handstand work, lots of jump squats and pullups: pullups are a good tool for developing the shoulder musculature for overhead pressing even though it’s the opposite movement pattern.
For beginners there’s nothing like the muscle-up. And that’s what your first attempt will look like: nothing like a muscle up. But by the time you get it you’ll have gained some confidence and lots of strength and mobility. I’ll check back to this thread over the next few days and if you express interest I’ll post my patented muscle-up progressions for you.
Dan Johns, who writes for TN amongst other things, has a free ebook out called ‘from the ground up’ that’s a great place to start. It preaches the O-lifts as a solution to everything which I’m not sure about, but it does offer encouragement and lots of good training advice as well as the ‘rapid ascent’ program for beginners to strength training. When I began I couldn’t do the warmup so I skipped it, don’t skip it, theres some good advice.
Everybody started out bad at this. Everybody’s trying to get better. The people who are best at it are often encouraging, polite and friendly (being like that doesn’t mean you’re good at it though). Everyone’s an enthusiast, no-one wants to put you off and you certainly should’t feel you don’t have a a chance or listen to anyone that tells you that.
Now might be a good time to edit this: ‘I’m really especially strong’ - to read what I meant to write: ‘I’m really NOT especially strong.’ See how the rest of the first paragraph makes more sense, and less like I’ve come on to a forum frequented by serious strenght athletes to claim that I’m the strongest person here? Yeah. Typo.
But I think the advice I gave is good for building a base of strength for future efforts. Maybe it’s not the best training once you’re into strongman stuff proper but if you’re ‘out of shape,’ as the OP says he is, it seems a sensible place to start.