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Question About Starting Weight Lifting

Hello everyone, I’ve been considering doing some serious weight lifting a lot lately. It was just something I did in highschool to keep fit but after that, I havent done it until now. I woke up this morning and realized at 5’3, 118 lbs im definitely a scrawny guy. So in light of that, I’ve began reading up on how to get started (eventually led me to this website which is a lot of help so far) and now I have a couple of questions.

I’ve only used a pair of dumbbells for my workout before, but now that I’m seriously trying to get in shape, I was wondering is it possible to get a decent workout with just a pair of dumbbells? I’ve read some comments that nothing beats a full gym supply of equipment but at the moment, I’m not that confident to go waltzing around the local gym. I plan to go eventually but for starters I’d rather just work on my routine in my own privacy for now.

With routines, I always thought that More reps with heavier weights is the best workout, but I’m seeing that if you wanted more muscle mass, you go heavier weights and less reps and something like that?

For dumbbells, It seemed like the Blowflex select tech seemed like a good deal, but reading the forums has given me secound doubts. The Powerblock Sport 5.0 ($299/pair) seems like a decent option too, but I just wanted everyones opinion on this before I go buy a pair. Any other suggestions would be really appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out with this.

You can do a half way decent workout with dumbbells, but if you’re looking to pick up weights, I suggest you get a 300lb Olympic set, a bench, and a power cage if you can afford it.
Check out NateDog’s home gym, he’s got a great set up and a pretty good breakdown of what he has and how much it cost. http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2389722

Generally, the recommendation given to new lifters on this forum is to focus on strength training while eating a caloric surplus. After 6 months to a year, you normally have enough experiance to have an idea of what works best for your body, and whether you want to focus on getting big and strong, big and cut, etc. That’s why compound lifts with heavy weights for low reps are often recommended. See the starting strength thread that Otep started for a good beginners strength workout.

300 pound oly set.

seriously though, just get a gym membership.

If you go to a big chain gym, you’ll find that it isnt infact very intimidating. There’s most likely going to be a bunch of women in spandex and skinny guy’s like yourself there. I’ve been going to the gym since I started highschool at 5’4 107lbs so I definitely know what its like to be the tiniest guy in a room. What you may find is at that height you can get great a strength to bodyweight ratio due to superior leverages.

Even if you only start with things like pushups/dips, bodyweight squats, and chinups you will make progress because frankly theres only one way to go from rock bottom.

Read the beginner threads at the top here and that should give you a bit more information.

$35/mo for my gym membership at Golds. Find a gym and a workout partner man.

Nate’s gym is outstanding and ideal. If you can do that, do that.

At 118lbs; don’t forget to EAT.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
Right now I’ve started on eating more. Since my daily calorie use is around 2700, it shouldnt be a problem to eat over that amount to start gaining weight.

I just got a pair of Powerblocks to start with for now, and just get things started so I can finally get on track.

Been about 4 weeks since I started a routine/diet from the tips I found here. I’ve lost some fat, and Im feeling much better about myself. I’m finally seeing some of my muscles haha. Still got a long way to go to get the kind of body I want, but Im pretty stoked about how things are going.

Thanks for getting me started T-Nation

If I had seen this thread earlier, I would have recommended that you pick up the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbells.

They are the best adjustable dumbbells I’ve ever used and highly recommend them. The Super Bench is also awesome, and the attachments work well.

Keep hitting the weights. One day, you will be a little big man like me. :wink:

I was wondering if I’ve reached a plataeu, my routine is starting to feel a little easy for me now. The usual reps I’ve been doing feels a little light now, and I’ve started adding more weights recently just to work my muscles and feel any fatigue. And I’ve lost a little weight, even though I’m eating over my daily Calorie requirement (which I last checked to be at 2000).

Here was my routine before

Day1:
bicep curls 10x3
tricep extensions 10x3
conc curls 10x3
seated tricep extension 10x3

day2:
dumbbell chest press 10x3
dumbbell pull overs 10x3
overhead press 10x3
dumbbell chest flies 10x3
reverse fly 10x3
lateral raise 10x3

day3:
Leg raises 10x3
Abdominal crunches 10x3
Modified Plank 10x3
Oblique Twists 10x3

Im finding that I can do about 2-3 more reps on the first and 2nd sets even with more weight added compared to when I started. And the only difference I’ve seen from my previous profile would be I can see more muscle formation even though I’ve lost some weight. Am I on the right track?

I’m going back to figuring out my daily kcal just to make sure I got the numbers right.

You want to add compound motions into your workout. Squats, Deadlift, Bench Press, etc. Personally I found that if I base my workouts around a big lift I don’t have to do as much volume to get results.

Look up Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength”

Oh and personally I found that I got better results for my arms by doing pullups, dips, and compound exercises than by focusing on them like you are in your first day. When I started, I could barely do a pullup and couldn’t do very many dips, but it’s okay, just keep it at bro!

You performed 10 sets of three reps (10x3) for all your training days and exercises??? Or did you write it wrong and actually mean three sets of 10 (3x10)?

[quote]rpmnurse05 wrote:
Day1:
bicep curls 10x3
tricep extensions 10x3
conc curls 10x3
seated tricep extension 10x3[/quote]

You devoted a training day to arms? And you used a 10 sets of 3 reps loading pattern? And you didn’t use compound exercises like barbell curls, dips, close-grip benches or close-grip chins? Seriously?

You’re 5’3" and 118lbs, and you had an “arm day?” Wow! There is no need to “blitz” your arms using 10 sets of 3 for minor arm exercises. Even if you wrote this wrong (10x3 instead of 3x10), that’s a wasted training day. Arms respond best to a variety of sets/reps, but you wasted an entire day on “arms” when you are not big or strong all over.

[quote]day2:
dumbbell chest press 10x3
dumbbell pull overs 10x3
overhead press 10x3
dumbbell chest flies 10x3
reverse fly 10x3
lateral raise 10x3[/quote]

Not sure about your whole set/rep scheme here, but you performed one decent chest exercise, a wasted back exercise (why not rows or chins) and a couple decent shoulder exercises.

Still, not enough work for the back and probably more work for the shoulders compared to chest and back.

[quote]day3:
Leg raises 10x3
Abdominal crunches 10x3
Modified Plank 10x3
Oblique Twists 10x3[/quote]

You devoted an entire day to abs??? Where is your leg work???

That’s normal progression and what should happen.

No! Your workout sucks!

Find a program on this site and follow it exactly as written. Your program and anything you put together will not work well at all.

You probably have that incorrect as well, especially if you don’t get bigger or stronger.