View Full Version : Advice for a first timer when it comes to working out...

10-04-2005, 06:36 PM
I figured I'd see what kind of advice I could get over here on the non baseball forum.

I am a healthy 27 year old male, 6'3" 195 lbs who has decided that it's time to get into shape. The only time I've ever actually worked out was my junior and senior year of high school because it was a requirment for the baseball team. I have always been thin, and could eat whatever I wanted and stay the same (the envy for any female ;)) That is no longer the case, the beer, fast food, soda is all starting to take it's toll on the mid section and I feel I'm starting to fall into the stereotypical "softball guy" mold.

My needed advice is what type of workout things should I start out with? I am not trying to become "ripped" by any stretch, but I do want to be more tone and be able to run more than 60 feet without sucking wind :)

I currently work 3rd shift and at work we have a full workout room and I get an hour break every night. Instead of sleeping during that break I figured it was a great time to start working out.

I absolutley HATE running, but I figure I can make myself do it on a treadmill instead of street running.

Anyways, enough rambling. What type of workout excersises should I be doing? How many reps? sets? etc? I know I can come up with some stuff on my own at work, but I figured I should try to find out so I may actually accomplish some things and not get discouraged.

Thanks a lot!

10-04-2005, 09:12 PM
Well the biggest thing is going to be stop eating and drinking so much crap ;)

But as far as working out goes if you are looking to lose weight doing mid heart rate steady state type work outs (30-90 minutes) 3-5 times a week will do a lot for losing weight.

As far as lifting its difficult to say without knowing exactly what your goals and abailities are, but if you are just looking to tone than its usually a better idea to do whatever weight you can do 3 sets of 12 reps without killing yourself. If you are looking to build muscle do 4 sets of 8 reps where you are struggling to finish.

10-04-2005, 10:16 PM
Another important thing to remember:

START SLOW! I can't reiterate that enough. If you start out by doing more than your body can handle, you open yourself up injury and burnout. It is very easy to get in the gym and see everyone else doing sets at weights 10x what you are doing and think that you have to do more.

BuckeyeRed27 gives good advice. If you can't do sets of 12, then you are doing too much weight. Also remember to stretch. And if you plan on doing both cardio and weights in the same gym visit, always lift first then do cardio. This will help to maximize your results and you will burn more calories.

Good luck :)

10-04-2005, 11:16 PM
I would even go so far as to recommend three sets of 15 reps per exercise, at least for the first 4-6 weeks or so. Then maybe switch to sets of 12. I don't know how many machines you'll have to choose from, but it's a good idea to switch machines every few weeks, as muscles need to be kept "guessing" to keep developing. In other words, they will eventually adapt to whatever stress you're putting on them, and growth will level off. If you work your biceps with a pulley machine for a few weeks, switch over to a barbell for a while. You'll get better results if you don't rely just on the same type of equipment all the time.

Most importantly, maintain good form. I always hated to see guys rocking their bodies back and forth while doing curls, or bowing their backs while doing bench presses. It looks silly and it's potentially unsafe, and all because they were afraid someone might think they're not doing enough weight.

Oh, and don't forget those legs! If they have leg press machines, squat machines, and calf machines, use them! I'd be careful about traditional barbell squats, though. That's an easy way to do serious back damage.

You'll also need to decide what type of workout schedule you're going to keep. There two schools of thought on that. One is to work the entire body three times a week: shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, chest, and legs. The other is to do only back/biceps one day per week, chest/triceps one day per week, and legs/shoulders one day per week. I think the latter is more effective, plus you avoid the monotony and boredome of doing the same exact thing every time you're in the gym.

I guess I've rambled here, but hopefully there's something you can use.

10-04-2005, 11:47 PM
Start with light weights ... concentrate on getting your form right.

Look at the graphics, and make sure that you're working the right muscle group, and not really straining another group.

Shake up your routine a bit so that you don't get bored. If you join/belong to a club, consider adding a class or two to your routine.

I like the elliptical machine much more than the treadmill.

Be patient. Don't push yourself too hard. Slow steady progress is more likely to last.

10-05-2005, 12:39 AM
Oh yeah I almost forgot...use steroids

10-05-2005, 09:41 AM
I agree with MACRO, it's all about form. I have done some type of exercise regularly since I was a kid and it took a long time to understand that it ain't the weight it's the way you move it that counts. Throwing the weight just to get it to the end of a rep is a waste; the work should be done throughout the rep.

There are a couple lessons I have learned in twenty years of working out. These things work for me:

1) Two to three sets of reps, increasing weight slightly, lowering the number of reps. This is an old maxim, I think.

2) Circuits. I usually work all muscle groups every other day; legs, back/chest, shoulders, arms. However, sometimes I emphasize one group more than another.

3) ABS FIRST! I hate abs work, so I do it when I'm fresh. I also just do crunches and leg lifts.

4) Run when I'm done. I work out for 45 minutes, then I put about 20-30 minutes into a run. I'm also in my forties now, and have noticed that this is about right for me. Results and times may vary. And if you don't like running, try swimming. I used to swim about a mile every other day and I can say for a fact that nothing is better for you.

5) I'm a small man. The heaviest I have been was about 165lbs and that when I was 25 and working out very little. (It was mostly beer.) The harder I work out, the leaner I get, very rarely building much bulk. It could be my diet, or my metabolism or just plain genetics, but the point is that I don't care if working out makes be bigger- it's about how healthy I am, my heart rate and whether I'll be able to play soccer with my kids when they are in their teens. Working out is about the long road, not the short one.

Good luck 33. I hope you find working out as rewarding as it has been for me.

10-05-2005, 10:15 AM
And if you don't like running, try swimming.

Or think about kicking down for a bike trainer to hook up to your bike (if you have one) 30-45 minutes on that puppy in the middle of the winter can work up a great sweat. the goal is to get the heart rate up and the metabolism cooking.

10-05-2005, 10:35 AM
Couple quick thoughts on the fatburning part of your program:

1. Like these guys have mentioned, if you are gonna incorporate cardio do it after you have lifted your weights for the day. Doing cardio before lifting will have a big detrimental effect on what you get out of your lifting sessions.

2. If it's available I reccomend highly using a Stairstepper/Stairmaster for your cardio/fatburning. People hate it because after 5 or 6 minutes you feel like your thighs are on fire but you will burn a lot more calories on there than on other machines.

3. The more muscle mass you have the more fat you will burn. Even while at rest. Some of the biggest muscles in the body are the long muscles of the leg, make sure you pay as much attention to them as you do your upper body. The bigger they are the more fat they will help you to burn.

10-05-2005, 10:37 AM

I recently ran across a GREAT workout regimen for bulking up. I know you said it isn't really your primary goal but if you are ever interested shoot me a PM. It has worked great for me, 5 lbs of muscle in 5 weeks!

10-05-2005, 10:53 AM
Oh BTW... Stretch, stretch, stretch... hammies, back, neck... and on, otherwise you'll wish you did.

Johnny Footstool
10-05-2005, 12:05 PM
Most importantly, maintain good form. I always hated to see guys rocking their bodies back and forth while doing curls...

Seated curls are a lot easier on your back, and it's easier to maintain form.

10-05-2005, 03:11 PM
Hey everyone, thanks a ton for all the advice. I'm going to look it all over and write it all down when I get a chance and the working out phase of my life is going to begin on Monday.

I think the hardest part for me is going to be breaking my eating habits. They are really not good at all. I'm going to have to figure that phase out too. It will help that my fiance works out as well, and we can keep each other motivated.

Anyways, thanks again.

10-05-2005, 03:13 PM
I think the hardest part for me is going to be breaking my eating habits.

Learn to cook (if you don't know how to) that's the best way to control your diet.

10-05-2005, 06:24 PM

I recently ran across a GREAT workout regimen for bulking up. I know you said it isn't really your primary goal but if you are ever interested shoot me a PM. It has worked great for me, 5 lbs of muscle in 5 weeks!

Did you testify before Congess? :evil: