Starting to attempt to get into shape...

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ndkid
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Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby ndkid » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:24 pm UTC

Hey guys (and gals)! So I've started to try to get into shape, partly because I'm pretty stressed in college, and exercise is really helping keel my blood pressure from going through the roof; and also because I want to get in shape for marching band, which, believe it or not, is pretty demanding.
What I'm looking to accomplish is to increase general muscle strength and to keep my weight in check (the freshman 15 is starting to get tough to avoid). I've been told that I should focus on all areas of the shoulders, if I don't want to die from lifting my tuba.

So, I'm 18 years old, no major medical issues, although I do overpronate when running, which has lead to shin splints. They've started to heal, but tend to flare up when running, so I've switched from running to the reclining bike since it's lower impact than running. I have access to a gym, but I have no Idea what to when it comes to weights or any other machines. I'm generally inexperienced when it comes to working out, but if its not anything TOO complicated, I should be fine. So does anyone have any good exercises that are simple, and good for endurance and core/shoulder strength?

Thanks y'all!

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philsov
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby philsov » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:33 am UTC

shoulders? I'd suggest standing OHP, bent over rows, and/or lateral raises.

Core? Deadlifts, hanging leg raises, and/or Back hyperextensions.

In terms of reps, I'd suggest 3 sets of 12 for most of these exercises, and you can browse exrx's muscle directory if you want to pick up something else instead. Deadlifts are often a strength exercise, usually done with several increasingly heavier warmup sets and then one final 1x5 working set. Start all this very light, and increment up whenever you complete all reps and sets. Don't try and find what your max is on the first day and start from there, just find when your speed starts to decrease. You'll be at the max soon enough.

Regarding your weight -- it mostly boils down to diet. I'd suggest counting calories, which can be cumbersome when you're relegated to the dining hall for several meals a day. Try and find how much you eat on a given day/week, and see if your weight goes up/down. Ratchet intake downward until you're losing about a pound a week. Here's a decent calculator to get you to a rough starting point, but the best feedback is usually a scale and regular weighings. Biking is fine for boosting cardiovascular capacity -- swimming and rowing are additional options that are low impact.

Maybe something like 3 days a week? xAxBxAxxBxAxBx? A will be shoulders + cardio, B will be core + cardio? Dunno how your schedule/practice is and if that'll jive. You can also throw in more generic stuff (bench press, squats, etc.) for a well-rounded physique by adopting a general beginner's routine, but if you want to focus more on stuff just for band the above should work wonders for ya.
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ndkid
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby ndkid » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:39 am UTC

Thanks! I'll give those a try, although I've never done anything with weights or machines before, but it can't be too tough right? Just make sure I stop if things don't feel right.
Question about deadlifts: How easy is it for me to hurt myself if I do it wrong? Because knowing me, I'd find a way to do it wrong.
I'll definitely keep a food log, even if I can't find out exactly how many calories are in each meal, at least I'll know what I'm putting into me.

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philsov
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby philsov » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:55 pm UTC

Question about deadlifts: How easy is it for me to hurt myself if I do it wrong?


Incredibly :D

While there is certainly a degree of danger when you do ANY lifting with bad form, the injuries that can result from bad deadlift form are far worse than the injuries resulting from, say, bad lateral raise form. This also means that doing a good deadlift will provide you with a lot more benefit than doing a good lateral raise. If you want core strength its arguably the best thing on the market, assuming you practice good form of course. Squats I believe are number two, but I can't speak for how Olympic style lifts perform by relation.

If your body makes the shape of the golden ratio, you're doing it very very very wrong. The wiki I linked above and where it links to are great resources on form, but general tips past that: head neutral, straight lower back, breath in, lift with your legs (push with your heels), as the bar comes up - thrust your crotch at it, don't overarch at the top, and then (again with good form) do it in reverse. If fatigue takes it toll, drop it -- trying to hold it as it descends, while fatigued, is a common window for injury.

This is also why I recommended standing OHP (feet neutral, about shoulder width -- not military press) because it too helps with core/trunk strength.

And food logs are good if you don't know caloric content. You can usually reverse engineer to go from maintenance to fat loss (usually 500 calorie deficit from maintenance)
The time and seasons go on, but all the rhymes and reasons are wrong
I know I'll discover after its all said and done I should've been a nun.

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Nath
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby Nath » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

I'll partly agree and partly disagree with that. Hurting yourself while deadlifting is actually not that easy. The problem is that if you do hurt yourself, you can do quite a lot of damage.

I think some people (analytical types like me) tend to be a little too cautious about the injury potential of strength training. Human beings are surprisingly sturdy. I spent several months treading water, agonizing about my squat and deadlift form, not really making any progress. Then I got impatient and just started adding more weight to the bar, and promptly hit a 2xBW squat and 2.5xBW deadlift, with slightly (moderately) embarrassing form, and no injuries. It's well worth investing some effort into getting the form right, but don't spend too long trying to get it perfect. You just need to get it mostly right; the rest is work, rest, planning and luck. Physical activity is risky (but so is inactivity).

The best way to learn the lifts is to find a good coach, but this is quite difficult if you don't yet know what to look for. I recommend Starting Strength if you want to teach yourself the lifts; it's the clearest, most complete explanation I've found yet, and it costs 10 bucks.

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philsov
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby philsov » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:41 pm UTC

mmm... true. I misspoke. The ease of injury is about the same as anything else, but its the degree that's the killer.
The time and seasons go on, but all the rhymes and reasons are wrong
I know I'll discover after its all said and done I should've been a nun.

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:42 pm UTC

Start light, though, practice your form. I'm hooked on overhead squats right now, but I have to use REALLY light weight, because my back is really wobbly. I'm hoping next month I'll be properly stable and I can start adding weights to the bar again.

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philsov
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby philsov » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:55 pm UTC

Do you mean the snatch? Or do your hands stay up the whole time?

Image
The time and seasons go on, but all the rhymes and reasons are wrong
I know I'll discover after its all said and done I should've been a nun.

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:07 pm UTC

Think clean-and-jerk... then do a squat... then back up... then put the bar down. Obviously, not with C&J-level weights. Right now I'm using 60 pounds overhead just to practice my form, and it's still murder on my core when I'm at the bottom of the squat.

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raike
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby raike » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:54 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Think clean-and-jerk... then do a squat... then back up... then put the bar down. Obviously, not with C&J-level weights. Right now I'm using 60 pounds overhead just to practice my form, and it's still murder on my core when I'm at the bottom of the squat.


I'm currently doing a lot of overhead squats as I attempt to learn how to snatch. My upper back and abdomen are rather sore for a few days after. Interestingly, they've helped my overhead presses along a noticeable bit. I recommend them, or, if you don't want to do them, something that involves the upper back to a good degree. Cleans or Power Cleans are good, and definitely burn a lot of energy, but are a tad technical and finicky to get right. Pull-ups or rows are a decent alternative as well. Then again, the deadlift does work the upper back to some degree...

On deadlifts, just make sure to lead with your chest (keep it up) and keep your back flat, or, not curved forward, and you should be fine.

I'll second 'Starting Strength' for its lifting routine, but I'd probably not follow some of the dietary advice therein, including the recommend GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day), if you're trying to lose weight. From what I've read and what Rippetoe (the author) says, with GOMAD, strength and muscular gains are great, as are weight gains, but about two-thirds of that is muscle and the other third is fat. I substituted half a gallon of milk instead and added a day or two (depending on how recovered I feel) of cardio (swimming)--my muscle gains are less extreme, but I haven't put on much fat.
"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt." - H.J. Kaiser
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ndkid
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Re: Starting to attempt to get into shape...

Postby ndkid » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:03 pm UTC

Thanks for all the help guys! An acquaintance of mine has been kind enough to show me the ropes with all this lifting stuff. Right now I'm benching and doing squats with just the bar, partly for form and partly because I'm pretty weak. I've also been doing dips, along with planks (oh how much I hate them :x) add in some biking and some dumbell exercises (mainly focusing on shoulders and arms) and I think I've found a decent routine that I can use. I'm also hoping on adding swimming in if I can, but my main challenge for this shouldn't be motivation, but finding the time in my super crazy schedule to actually work out.
Thanks again!


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