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Hello everyone, I'm new. I have some weight loss and workout questions. Who is the best person to talk to? I already work out 4-5 times a week, cardio between 25-50 minutes and weight lift for about 1.5 hours. I have improved my diet over the last 6 weeks doing conventional things, but I am just not seeking the results I want. I usually do more strength oriented exercises--I never do any sets over 10.

I just started getting back into working out 6 weeks ago . . . after a 7 year period of inactivity.

Monday - Chest and Triceps:

(1) Bench Press - 235lbs (80-85% of max) 4x5

(2) Incl Bench Dumbbell - 60lbs for 3x10

(3) Flat Bench Dumbbell - 65lbs for 3x10

(4) Pushdowns - 65lbs of resistance 3x10

(5) Sitting Tricep Extension with Dumbbell- 75lbs for 3x8

(6) Burn out with pushdowns on like 25lbs of resistance.

(7) Reverse Curls (works the forearm) - 45lbs bar 3x10

(8) Shrugs - 70lbs 3x10

Tuesday - Back and Biceps

(1) Pullups - 3x10 assisted at 50lbs

(2) Lat pulldowns - 3x10 machine is maxed out

(3) Bent over rows - 60lb dumbbell 3x10

(4) Seated rows - 3x10 machine is maxed out

(5) Dumbbell Curls - 3x10 with 25lb dumbbells

(6) Hammer Curls -- same as above

(7) Burn out on preacher curl machine with 15 pounds of resistance

(7) Reverse Curls (works the forearm) - 45lb bench bar 3x10

(8) Shrugs - 70lbs 3x10

Wednesday - Legs and Shoulders

Thursday - Chest and Tri

Friday - Back and Biceps

I do cardio every day for at least 250, some days I will do 500. Just depends on my motivation that day. But, I do a minimum of 250 on the elliptical. I used to eat horrible the last seven years, as I was in college. However, I have just changed my diet. I don't eat sweets, fast food, any coke, or junk food. I eat a banana or eggs for breakfast, a small sandwich on wheat for lunch (with a yogurt and some kiwi or pineapple), and usually something healthier, but not always incredibly healthy for dinner.

I want to start getting to where I look good and feel better. I currently weigh 207, but weighed 221 6 weeks ago. I want to stay at the 200lbs range, but be stronger and look better. I used to bench 320, clean 295, and squat 430 in high school. But, I literally haven't worked out since then.

Please help. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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You didn't post anything for W-F, so I don't know what your leg routine looks like, but that's a lot of upper body isolation exercises.

If you want to get strong, I'd go even lower rep (3-6 - doing 3 or 5 sets of 5 is pretty popular) and focus on the big compound lifts. The two beginner programs that get talked about the most here are Starting Strength and Strong Lifts. Both do squats, bench, overhead press, and deadlifts; SS does power cleans and SL does rows. That's your lifting; the program says you can do pullups for accessory work if you want, but basically you do an A/B split where you do squats+bench+clean/rows on one day and squats+overhead press+deadlifts on the other; three days a week.

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Sir Alabama, I too am from Alabama! Woot! Umm.. yeah agreed with weirdquark. What made you choose this routine? And have you been sticking to it for the six weeks? Since you didn't workout before for a long period of time, I fear burn out and just wanted to check.

It seems to be working for you.. I don't want to change too much too fast. I have to say that the cardio may have to be trimmed down if you want to get stronger.

It's hard to say right now because I need more elaboration on why you aren't getting the results you seek. Sounds like you've built the muscle before though so you should be a little easier for you if you have the patience!

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1) What are your specific goals? Looking good and being strong is great but provides no direction. Now saying I want to deadlift 500lbs and have 16% BF are better ways to state things.

2) Look into the starting strength program as weirdquark mentioned

3) Don't do so many curls and curl variations.

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If by "results" you mean increases in strength you are going to need to work closer to your maximums with fewer reps.

Also...form.

Squats - thighs below parallel?

Bench press - bar to chest, then arms fully extended?

Deadlift - from the floor to lock out?

(Most high schoolers I've seen don't do full range of motion).

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Y'all,

I am going to try to answer everything collectively . . .

I used to belong to a power lifting team for two years in high school. I never did repetitions over 5 during those days. I have maintained some of my strength since then, so I am not really getting burned out at all on upper body. Back then, I would do chest and triceps on Monday and Wednesday, and squats, dead lifts, cleans, jerks, and shoulder presses on Tuesday/Thursday. Wednesday was usually just shoulders and lunges. So, my workout routine is a mix of what I used back in the day.

I know how to get strong my old way, but that resulted in a shoulder injury . . . which is why I stopped working out. I tore my anterior labrum in my left shoulder. I was out of commission for a while--surgery fixed it. I am just scared that if I keep doing 4x5 or 3x3 on everything for two full cycles (which is about 12-14 weeks) at 85-90% of my max, then I am going to suffer an injury again. Don't I need to go down in weight for the next couple of cycles, and do like 65-70% of max 8 or 10 times?

I want to get down to 10% body fat, bench 405, clean 315, squat over 400. Back in the day, I used to bench 320, clean 295, and squatted over 400.

Right now, I'm 5'9 and weight 207. I just lost 18 pounds over the last 6 weeks. I am also starting the Paleo Diet on Monday.

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Ross,

My form is perfect. I probably have one of the best squat cleans most people have even seen. My sophomore year of high school, I weighed 154 and squat cleaned 295. My bench press, squats, and deadlifts have great form. I usually do box squats (I am sure you know what those are). See my most recent post and see why I am not going heavier with fewer reps. I am afraid of injury. Read it and let me know what you think please.

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Woohoo another Alabamian! And in Rocket city too. ^-^ I can almost see the rocket from my kitchen, how about you?

Pleasantries aside, it seems that you are on the right track diet wise. Conceptually I like paleo, and it works well for many people, just make sure you are tracking results and change things up when you stop getting what you want.

As far as the gym, I would tend to agree with a few of the others that there is just way too much isolation and almost no lower body work. I am coming from a powerlifter point of view, but I think things would balance out with more leg work and less upper body, fewer accessory movements (curls 4x/week is overkill), and a rep scheme that moves more toward max effort.

I will grant that it is freaking scary to go back to the gym after an injury. I have a bad back and a bum shoulder, 2 years ago I quit working out because of an accident reracking a squat. I am back in the gym now and able to lift 25% more than my previous max at the time. Injuries suck, but once they heal, start rehabbing and then get back at it. Build it up slowly and listen to your body. You will have bad days and you will have good days. Your injury will flare up and you will have to go very light that day. You will hate it, you will get through it.

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I can't see it from my window, but I pass it every day headed to work, haha. I love how small of a world Alabama is and always will be.

So, could someone give me a workout plan including percentages, and how long I should be doing them? My old schedule was a decrease in weight every 6-8 weeks. For example, cycle 1 would be 6-8 weeks at 90% of max. Cycle 2 would be 80-85% of max. Repeat until you get down to 50% of max (which would usually be around competition time). Then after the meet, we would start back at Cycle 1. I would love to someone to give me a new work out regiment that has proven results. I'd like to gain 2.5 to 5 pounds on my max each week at a minimum. Any suggestions?

P.S. I can feel slight discomfort and tolerable pain where I tore my shoulder, but it doesn't really affect my strength. Do you think I should keep pushing it? Also , why is the isolation not a good way to gain strength?

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Wow. It is a small world. Here I've been chatting with Odyssey and didn't even know Odyssey is in Alabama. Haha. I used to live right down the street from UAH erm.. UA Huntsville. Graduated from there last year.

Alabama, most people disagree with the isolation because most isolation moves are not helpful with pushing those maxes. Purely strength reasons. If physique is your goal then get to it, but most of us like to just throw more heavy plates. Accessory moves to your lifts can help, but most of them don't involve isolation such as curls.

I know that you used to be in excellent shape with excellent form, but I fear that may play against you if you're not careful. What's your 1RMs currently? Also, careful with your ego sir! Words like perfect make me want video proof lol. I can't recommend a good intermediate program that gives you those gains per week. Still doing SS and my current weights are lower than yours. Just started this year building strength.

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I see, I will stay away from the isolation. I have been debating on going with crossfit, but I just love powerlifting. I can't seem to break away from the idea of lifting heavy. The reason why I have been doing isolation exercises is just to get back into the swing of things. Like I said, I have not worked out in 7 years, haha. I literally just started back 3 weeks ago. So, I was just trying to get my body adjusted to being back into the gym. But, by the same token, I didn't know that they don't really help with strength. Goodwince, that is about the only thing I could brag about. My squat clean used to be lethal, haha. Not many 150lbs high schoolers are cleaning 295, haha. Next week I am starting cleans and deadlifts again. But, good form never leaves you. I did some practice cleans today at 135lbs, and it felt pretty natural and smooth. It's the lack of squatting for 7 years that is going to kill me starting next week. I am NOT looking forward to it. My legs are going to hate me for the next few weeks.

I haven't maxed on anything besides bench press. Bench was 240 6 weeks ago (which I felt good about after 7 years of no lifting), and it's probably at 275 now. Last week I maxed at 265, but I pushed that up pretty easily and it was only two days after my last chest workout.

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Sounds good. Everyone, has jdanger or chairokay ever posted about shoulder recovery? (Trying to trigger the jdanger bat signal)

wildross - warriors count tons, not reps

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I would say go with a basic strength program like stronglifts, 5/3/1, SS, whatever philosiphy you like or whichever author you have the most respect for.

My maxes are shooting up with 5/3/1, if you are still in the powerlifting circle/have contacts there, it is likely someone has the book. It centers around the big 4, and you do 3-5 accessory movements to improve weak areas. Each month ramps up to a max week followed by a deload. This is where isolation comes in handy if you chose to use it. You should be able to figure out where you are weakest on your lifts and focus there. (i.e. if I identify my back as a weak point in my OHP so I do rows and lat pulldowns to address the weakness.)

For your shoulder, just be careful. You will know the difference between the discomfort of work and the discomfort that says you are going too hard. Mine cries with certain moves, so I modify. My squat bar has to be really high and I cannot push my elbows forward, it's still a bit uncomfortable and I prefer a yoke bar, but I know the pain is not an oncoming injury.

For your legs I cannot sing the praises loud enough for a PVC roller. Get a 3-4" diameter piece and use it before and after leg workouts. Roll out every muscle group. It will hurt, but you won't hurt as much later. Grown men have been known to cry using it. A rolling pin works too, but it's better for smaller muscle groups.

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wildross:

Thanks for trying to signal the bat. Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

I had the surgery when I was 19, so it has been some time ago. However, I noticed that is feels aggravated when I do shoulder or chest exercises. I am just having a hard time gauging it because I have been out for so long. I don't know if what I am feeling is a slight tear or just discomfort. Any way, I don't expect any medical advice . . . haha. But, thanks for listening to me gripe and my concerns, haha. I am in love with this forum. Finally, I have somewhere to ask questions and share gains.

Odyssey:

Do you work out at the arsenal? I have a friend that says there is a fantastic, old school gym out there. He says all the racks and weights are all rusty and like really old, and it smells like a true man's gym should. I want to go there, but I live in Madison, so it's just too far. My current gym is not really a gym . . it's a fitness center ( I know, I know . . . please don't make fun of me, haha). It has more machines than anything, but it's right across the street, so I go. I wanted to make things as convenient as possible for myself when I started back, so I would be less likely to make excuses about not going. I would like to find a gym that is power-lifting oriented--I don't know what they are officially called, but you know those rubber bumper weights? The ones you can drop after a clean or jerk. Is there a REAL power-lifting gym around our area, or are most of them just more fitness-oriented types? I have searched, but to no avail.

Could one of y'all send me your weekly routines? I would just like to get some new ideas and combinations. Do you lift more than 85-90% of your max for longer than 1-2 cycles?

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wildross:

Odyssey:

Do you work out at the arsenal? I have a friend that says there is a fantastic, old school gym out there. He says all the racks and weights are all rusty and like really old, and it smells like a true man's gym should. I want to go there, but I live in Madison, so it's just too far. My current gym is not really a gym . . it's a fitness center ( I know, I know . . . please don't make fun of me, haha). It has more machines than anything, but it's right across the street, so I go. I wanted to make things as convenient as possible for myself when I started back, so I would be less likely to make excuses about not going. I would like to find a gym that is power-lifting oriented--I don't know what they are officially called, but you know those rubber bumper weights? The ones you can drop after a clean or jerk. Is there a REAL power-lifting gym around our area, or are most of them just more fitness-oriented types? I have searched, but to no avail.

Could one of y'all send me your weekly routines? I would just like to get some new ideas and combinations. Do you lift more than 85-90% of your max for longer than 1-2 cycles?

I'm not going to give my routine because it's pretty basic. I'd say that most people I read keep their maxes not at 1RM, but 5RM they say that it gives them better gains without taxing themselves out. I'm on SS so I can't attest to this other than that's what they say. Maybe someone else can give some advice.

I don't think anyone on NF cares what gym you go to haha. I think that if you wanted to continue doing your curls someone on here would go with you on it. It's a different strokes for different folks kinda place! And.. any gym that has what you need is where it's at. My only hate about most of those gyms is they try to trick you into contracts.. I had a hell of a time getting out of them!

You could always see if any of the CF gyms and I know of one in Madison would let you go in there at a different rate just to use their bumpers! However, if you find a powerlifting gym.. PLEASE let me know! I'll be home for Christmas and I'll be in Huntsville. Also, NF meetup in Huntsville? LOL.

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I live in Madtown too. I drift between UAH (yay full time students getting in free), and Oakwood university. Well UAH has bumper plates, 3 squat racks, 4 bench racks, kettle bells up to 75lbs, DBs up to 140. They also have some chains and a yoke bar now. It isn't a PL gym, but it's got enough to get you by.

Oakwood has a cage, tires, ropes, a prowler, 2 benches, a swiss bar, trap bar, a safety squat bar, and a few machines. There are no bumper plates there, but we have a good time. I'm friends with the trainer/weight room manager, so I get in free there too.

As far as other PL/BB gyms (never been to any of them), there's C.H.A.M.P. performance, Deep South Barbell in Tony, there's a 24/7 on hwy53, and probably a few others. It's not like you need bumper plates, just a gym with understanding about the PL style, and an understanding of how to get the weight down safely without just throwing it. Most gyms will be full of machines, since most people in any town are not concerned with super big lifts. This town, well most towns really, just can't support a lot of PL gyms.

I'd be happy to do a meetup, we could all do a workout too! Wish I had my home gym...

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My 5 rep max is probably 235. I've always tried to do 5x4x3x2x1x5x5 with 85%-90% of my max. I know I can do 215lbs for 10 reps. I might not be here during Christmas because we are visiting out-of-state. But, let me know the dates you'll be here so I can confirm one way or the other. What CF gym is it? I need to call them.

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Well, that wsa my point. Gyms are more "fitness-oriented," i.e., everyone is working on machines and the gym's membership probably wouldn't like me power cleaning. There really isn't enough room anyway. They have a squat rack, but it's fixed . . . you can't adjust the safety bars--which stinks, because I would use it for intermediate BP and front squats. How far is UAH gym from County Line Road? Do you know what it would cost to get just membership just for the weights?

I wish I had a home gym, too! One day . . .

I would love to do a meet up--just send me a message with your contact info.

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I know the kind of rack you're talking about. Hate those things. They have them at the Y too. UAH has moveable pegs and bars.

UAH is $50/month I think, though you might ask if they'll consider a guest trial period. They are money hungry, but whine enough and you might be able to get a few days to try it first.

It's just about 10 miles down 565 from County Line, take the Sparkman or Jordan rd exit, and turn onto Holmes toward the campus, the gym is huge with big windowed sides, so you can't miss it.

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I know the kind of rack you're talking about. Hate those things. They have them at the Y too. UAH has moveable pegs and bars.

UAH is $50/month I think, though you might ask if they'll consider a guest trial period. They are money hungry, but whine enough and you might be able to get a few days to try it first.

It's just about 10 miles down 565 from County Line, take the Sparkman or Jordan rd exit, and turn onto Holmes toward the campus, the gym is huge with big windowed sides, so you can't miss it.

Why don't you like it?

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Fixed safety bar makes me claustrophobic. I don't like being unable to customize my rack. If I hit something with the bar, especially at the bottom, it screws up my lift. It happened once, and ever since I have thought more about where the safety bar is then what is happening with my form on that rack.

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Hey Sir Alabama! I lived on the arsenal in Huntsville for a few months when I was training down there. Have to say I loved it down there! Wish I could go back. but anyways!

Goodwince let me know that you had some previous shoulder injuries. Good to see you got it fixed though via surgery! I hurt my shoulder a good 2 and a half years ago and never went to the doctor for it (i was shipping out for basic training and didn't want to get thrown out/pushed back) which was probably a stupid idea. I was couchbound for a good 2 weeks or so and couldn't move. I wanna say I tore something, but like I said I never really got it checked out. Long story short, I finished my training and now here I am weight lifting. I can definitely relate when you say you're worried about reinjuring it. I am too. I really don't have any great advice other than check out mobilitywod or something like that. They showed me great shoulder band exercises that I do after every workout these days.

The only things that really bother my shoulder these days are back squats. Specifically low bar. All I can suggest is to take it easy. And as someone said already, you know what right feels like and don't freak out at the smallest sign of re-injury, but be conscious of it and continue with caution. No way its gunna get stronger if you don't work it!

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lainisos:

Thanks for the advice. Thanks to goodwince, too! It's not really the shoulder muscle was injured, but the anterior labrum. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that goes around the rim of your shoulder socket. It helps keep the ball from coming out of the socket. Ligaments are also attached to it, also helping to keep the ball in the socket. If you tear your labrum it can pop out, i.e., dislocate. That's the last thing I want, haha.

Also, were you ever aware of a good gym on the arsenal?

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Ahh yeah sorry I missed that part. So our shoulder injuries differ! Ugh so you're prone to your shoulder popping out of its socket? That is a relatively scary thing to gamble with.

As for a gym on the arsenal, there was one that I went to.. I can't remember what its called, but it had decent lifting equipment, but it was super packed all the time (all the army guys at once using it- ugh). But I'm sure if you went at certain times it would be pretty empty. It had a bball court, cardio room, circuit equipment and weight lifting equipment, benches and dumbbells. I wasn't into weight lifting at that time so I can't recall how up to date/nice their barbell sets were but I can assume they were atleast halfway decent because of the amount of guys that were always there.

I think there was another one too, but I can't really remember if/where it would be. I'd give you directions to it but I can't really remember!

Actually... the EOD training center on Redstone moved to Ft Lee Virginia, so it may not be that packed all the time anymore.. haha.

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Lainisos--

So, I definitely did something to my shoulder tonight. I went 5x5x3x2x1x5x5 Flat Bench. Broken down like this:

5 at 225

5 at 225

3 at 235

2 at 240

1 at 250

5 at 225 (this is where I failed. I could just feel my shoulder giving, but it happens so fast I can't stop it.)

I only got 3 out of the 5 and just quit chest altogether tonight. I am definitely going to start looking into rehab exercises to build up my shoulder because I just can't continue. My shoulder actually hurts now. It's not just discomfort anymore.

As far as dislocation is concerned, my shoulder has never popped out of socket. It just has a higher likelihood of doing so if you have torn your anterior labrum. So, I don't know exactly what is causing the pain . . .

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