Hello all - I just found this website during my quest for some new work out strategies. I have gone through some of the old topics on the forums and there is some great stuff here! Id much rather base what I am going to do in the future on real experience and back and forth conversation than some guy in a magazine trying to sell u something. Anyhow - enough of that - I am looking forward to being a part of these forums - hopefully I can offer some positive participation.
A bit of background - I am 6 feet tall and 35 years old although I dont feel like it. I like to lift weights for a variety of reasons - it gives me energy, it keeps me strong, it makes me feel good about myself, and it keeps me in shape/healthy. I do not compete or anything like that - I lift for me and me alone. I was first introduced to weights my freshman year in college.
A few guys down the hall in my dorm took me into the college weight room. First exercise was of course barbell bench. They threw a 45 plate on each side and when it was my turn the bar nearly caved my sternum in. We did squats too and I could barely walk for a week. Anyhow after that, I realized that I was a weakling and got myself some cheapo weight set and lifted at my own pace semi-frequently with some decent results. When I got out of college and away from all the 24-7 partying, I became more serious and dedicated to my lifting schedule. I got in pretty good shape - at least I thought so - I was very cut - probably 6% bodyfat. I was finishing off curling at 135 straight bar, benching 225, and squatting 315. I weighed 195 then and ran 2.5 miles several days a week. All of my exercises were done primarily in a 3 or 4 sets of 10 rep fashion - sometimes I would throw a 4 or 5 rep set at the end in to see what I could do. All my sets progressed in increasing weight.
Then one day, I started to get siatic pain in my glute - literally a pain in the ass. Eventually, it migrated down my leg to my toes. That ended my weightlifting for a long, long time. I could not put on my own shoes for 2 years because I could not bend over. There was never any real injury - it just started. The doctor said it was more likely a previous injury and one day the straw broke the camel's back so to speak. At this point, I basically I went from being in the best shape of my life to the absolute worst because all I could do was lay around in pain. It took several years of stretching, physical therapy, and dedication, but I have FINALLY overcome all of that and have rebuilt my body (somewhat) without letting them cut into me. Let me tell you this was not easy.
This brings me to present time - again, I am now 35 and weigh 210. I can run 3 miles with ease, but not every day. My typical bench set is 135X10 185X10 225X10 245X6 - Curls is 45X10 75X10 95X10 115X6. I am not much on supplements - creatine only. Now we come to my issues. I have had a hernia surgery, I have had back problems Ã¯Â¿Â½?? degenerative disk disease and wedged vertebrae. Because of all of this, in my efforts to rebuild myself, I have severely neglected my lower body mostly out of fear of re-injury, but partially out of ignorance. I now realize that this was stupid as I am lopsided - big upper body with chicken legs - which could serve to exacerbate my old problems if I dont fix this soon.
Initially I had a few goals which were achieved:
1 - Begin the rebuilding process so that I am not a complete weakling fatass (upper body mainly get back to being able to lift regularly)
2 - lose a little weight by getting my cardio back
3 - do not hurt myself in the process and go slow for everything
And now these are my new goals:
1 -I need to even myself out without injury.
2 - I want to bust all my plateaus because I have stagnated - I know that I can lift more.
3 - I want to lose a little more fat.
I am pretty sure that I have figured out how to achieve all of these new goals - obviously I need to lift legs more, which I have started. For busting my plateaus I am going to try a new routine, with different exercises, more variation, and a greater emphasis on more weight and less reps - specifically I am looking at the max ot workout (anyone use this one??). This will be the first ever workout program that I have used that was not of my own making (which may be a good thing). I am a bit concerned with some of the exercises listed in the workout plan (like straightleg deadlifts 45 leg presses etc. which I never have done) that could potentially re-injure my back/hernia if done improperly. Id love to hear any suggestions as for more back friendly replacements, good or bad experiences with this routine etc. Right now I am thinking that I will do these leg exercises, but with very little intensity (ie very low weight). I believe that I will still see gains because when you go from doing nothing to doing something - u will still see improvement.
Lastly to lose fat, I just need to keep up my running and keep away from crap food. I have gone from barely being able to do 1.5 miles to being able to run 5 - in 6 months or so. I have lost 15 lbs in the last 6 months and have still gained some power. Keeping my cardio (running) 2-3 times per week has been challenging, but the rewards have been noticeable. I want to lower my fat a little more I dont know what it is at now, but I want it lower. I like to eat (its nothing for me to scarf two chicken sandwiches down) and I would rather run than eat like a bird. I do not eat fast food/junk. I do eat a lot of fruits, chicken, beans etc.
I guess it would be beneficial to give an idea of my normal (soon to be old) workout schedule. I do change it up now and then, definitely not enough, but heres a general idea:
Monday chest/tri (chest/abs at lunch and tri/run after work)
Bar flat bench 135X10 185X10 225X10 245X6
Incline dumbbell bench 55X10 75X10 85X10
Flat dumb flyes 35X10 45X10 55X10
Abs - various crunches 5 to 10 setsX20
Nosebreakers bent bar 45X10 65X10 85X10 95X10
Cable pushdowns y bar whatever feels good usually end with full stackX10
Dips- unweightedX20 add 25lbX15 add50lbX10-12 (very strict form no leaning over)
Run 3 miles on treadmill 9.5 min miles
Straight bar curls - 45X10 75X10 95X10 115X6
Seated alt dumb curls 40X10 45X10 50X10
Concentration curls 30X10 35X10 40X10
Dumb Wrist curls (single palm up) 35X15 40X12 45X10 (usually I do these with virtually no down time it seems if I dont the reps they are too easy a 70 lb dumbell is too awkward and would break my wrist but I could curl it)
Wednesday back/run (weights during lunch pull-ups and run after work)
Cable pulldowns 90X10 120X10 150X10 180X10
Reverse grip (closegrip) cable pulldowns 90X10 120X10 150X10
Alt Dumb lat pull 50X10 50X10 50X10
Abs Ã¯Â¿Â½??various crunches 5 to 10 setsX20
Pullups I vary the grip a bit but I like the one that works your biceps a little since its the day after bis
unweightedX18 add25X15 add50 X12
bar shrugs I like these a lot 135X10 185X10 225X10 285X8 225X10 185X10
run 3 miles treadmill
Thursday shoulders my shoulders vary a lot on how good I feel
Seated bar press 45X10 95X10 135X10
Front or side raises 20X10 25X10 20 X10
Alt dumb press or Arnold press 45X10 50X10 55X10
Upward rows on cable or preacher bar 75X10 95X10 115X10
Friday legs (try not to laugh) if I miss a day this is always it
Smith machine squats 45X10 95X10 135X10 165X8
Horizontal leg press machine 170X10 210x10 250X10
Seated Ham curl machine 75X10 75X10 75X10
Quad extension machine 75X10 75X10 75X10
So thats my story. Looking forward to comments, participation etc.