Gym improvement help.

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Tiggerstrico, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Tiggerstrico

    Tiggerstrico Fapstronaut

    Hello everyone,

    I started going to the gym recently (around 2 weeks ago) and this morning I had the feeling I was doing it wrong. My goal is to gain muscles and gain weight (especially my upper body). Since I am a small guy, 1m65 (5ft.5) and only 53 kg (116,8 LB) it's very important for me to not lose any weight. I know food is very important but since I am 17 and still living at home I can't choose the food. Another problem is that I am overdoing it. My arms are still stiff from 2 days ago. Some People say it's good, others say it's bad and I don't want to get injured ofcourse ;).
    So I want to ask if anyone has any tips how to improve this or exercises that would be good?

    -Tiggerstrico :)
    PS. I have to say that working out really helps during this journey, and recommend it to everyone.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    lvcas likes this.
  2. lvcas

    lvcas Fapstronaut

    I’m going to try to make this short and sweet for easy consumption!

    There are two main factors you should take into account. By increasing importance, they are exercise and nutrition.

    Let me get into nutrition first. I’m certain you’ve heard of the analogy that your body is like a car — it needs fuel to keep running. That works pretty well in explaining that we do need to eat, but little more than that.
    There are two concepts you need to understand — BMR (basal metabolic rate) and TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).
    BMR is the bare minimum amount of calories you need to keep your body running (in complete rest). It accounts only for metabolic functions.
    TDEE is the amount of calories you need to intake in your day-to-day life. It takes into account physical exercise.

    To lose weight you need to eat less than your TDEE (about 500 less calories than the value for it to be sustainable). If you want to gain weight, you should eat just as many more (500 calories in the opposite direction). This is the case you need to take in — bulking, as opposed to cutting.

    I’d recommend you look into a TDEE calculator online or check-in with a nutritionist (though TDEE calculators work just fine, especially better if you know your body fat %).

    Second, you need to be aware that not all calories are the same. There are three main macronutrients that form the basis of all the food you eat — carbohydrates (carbs), protein and fat.

    Since you’re working out, you need to have enough energy to get through them and be productive while you do it, as well as build muscle.
    The best source of energy that’s readily available to your body for everyday life are carbohydrates, and that should be about 50% of your diet (you may have heard of keto diets. They work by reducing the carb intake, forcing the body into ketosis, which helps to some extent to lost body fat. That’s not the aim here.)
    That’ll help with energy needs.

    Your next goal should be to build muscle — that’s when protein comes in. You should eat about 1g per 0.5kg of body weight (roughly 1g per lb).
    The amino acids present in proteins will be the building blocks for muscle repair and growth. It also makes you feel more satiated after a meal, which will help prevent overeating.

    The rest of the calories you should fill with fat — preferably monounsaturated fat, the kind you can find in olive oil and some types of fish.

    Now for the exercise part of it.

    There’s a fairly contentious debate over weight/repetitions when it comes to different aspects of muscle development — there’s hypertrophy (AKA muscle growth), strength and endurance. For the purposes of this we’ll assume you’re working for hypertrophy and strength.

    Your workouts should be split into three days with a rest day in between them (if you’re able you should get into four days a week, with two of them next to each other. This will help you focus on strength and hypertrophy equally, two days of the week in each.)

    It’s advised to do compound exercises - deadlifts and squats, though you can target specific areas. It’s up to you to do the relevant research and find a workout program and schedule that suits you.

    For hypertrophy you want to focus on exercising until you’re 2 sets away from failure with a weight that’s about 70% of your 1RM (one rep maximum, the highest weight you can safely lift once).
    Two to three sets usually works.
    Isolation lifts should be around 8+ reps. Compound lifts 5-10 reps. Dumbbell pressing of any sort — 8 to 15 reps.
    90 seconds of rest between sets of isolation movements, and 3-5+ minutes for compound lifts (adapt as needed).

    To focus on strength, few reps (3-5) with the most weight you can safely handle. This is a guideline and I can’t really recall the exact specifics or find out about them right now.
    You shouldn’t work the same muscle group twice. Make sure your recovery days are active — do some stretches, light cardio, walks. Something to keep your body moving and funcional.

    This looks like a lot of information to absorb, but once you get it implemented and act it out a few times you’ll find it’s easier than it seems. Take your time when building workout plans and take these things into account.

    Make sure to keep us posted on how you do! Best of luck, mate.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  3. lvcas

    lvcas Fapstronaut

    I should also add, if you’re trying to track your calories, MyFitnessPal is pretty good at it.
    Regarding your home
    situation, man, have I been there. One of the things I did was ask my parents to let me cook and attempt to fit that around my diet. You really shouldn’t skimp out on protein, and one of the ways I used to make sure that wasn’t the case was to get a bunch of canned tuna — it’s cheap, it lasts long and it pairs well with just about anything. EDIT: As pointed out, you shouldn’t overdo it on the seafood consumption! The top limit is three cans a week, as it stands. Most sources also find salmon to be the better option in terms of mercury content.
    Sorry for the lack of oversight.

    When you’re starting out focus mostly on getting the form down and lifting lighter weights. You should over time find your posture to be getting better, and usually about a
    month/ a month and a half you could progressively build up to it.

    Wishing you the best!

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  4. properWood

    properWood Fapstronaut

    @lvcas, some of the best advice ever on nutrition and exercise!

    Last week, a friend asked me to help her move flat. So I did, but she didn't mention that she also wants to replace 4 doors and that she took the measurements incorrectly.

    Step 1: remove old doors, carry to dump
    Step 2: get wrongly measured doors from the shop (they were pre-delivered there) and mount them to only realise they're wrong measurements
    Step 3: bring wrong doors back to the store
    Step 4: buy correct doors
    Step 5: install correct doors

    All in one day. I think that was the best workout I've ever had! Was even thinking to suggest to the owners of the gym I visit to bring just a few doors there, could be better than the dumbbells.
    lvcas likes this.
  5. lvcas

    lvcas Fapstronaut

    Goodness me, man, that’s an odyssey if I’ve ever seen one! Bless your heart for pushing through the mismeasured doors, I’m sure that was a pain.

    Y’know what, someone needs to jump on that venture — wooden doors, tinier metal doors. It’s gold waiting to be struck :p
    properWood likes this.
  6. Despicable me

    Despicable me Fapstronaut

    Dont get too wide. Optically it makes you look even shorter. Proportion is the key. And dont skip the leg days!
    lvcas likes this.
  7. Anagram

    Anagram Fapstronaut

    When I first did an arm workout I literally couldn't bend my arms past 90 degrees for 4 days. It took an entire week for me to be able to have decent control over arms. Also you should listen to Ivcas since his information is accurate.

    Doesn't canned tuna contain noticable amounts of mercury? I remember looking it up and found some sources stating that you shouldn't have it too often.
    lvcas likes this.
  8. lvcas

    lvcas Fapstronaut

    You raise a very good point, I wasn’t aware of it.

    The issue with seafood is that it all contains, to varying degrees, different amounts of mercury due to water pollution.
    Tuna fish (and sardines, which are also fairly good) are affected by it, but not to the same extent as other animals higher up in the food chain (larger fish, for example). Salmon is a good alternative, actually.

    So you’re completely right in that you shouldn’t have it too often — most sources recommend it once a day, three times a week as the top limit.
    Thank you for the heads up!


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