So I'm thinking of joining a gym, I'm anxious about it and need some advice.

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Kman20, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Kman20

    Kman20 Fapstronaut

    Ok so long story short. I'm a skinny guy, I'm like 5'9 and 120 pounds roughly. I doesn't really bother me that much but I think I'd like to put on some muscle. Maybe be like 160 or 170 pounds on muscle instead of the skinny guy I am now. I've always been a skinny person and just don't know enough about gaining the right kind of weight.

    If anyone here are gym goers or gym veterans could give me some advice because I might be going to one soon. Are there people there that could help me reach my goal? Like what are they called there personal trainers? I don't exactly want people to watch me workout. Ideally I'd like someone to give me a specific meal plan and as well as the right kind of workouts to do for my goal and body type and availability. I also don't eat dairy, junk, or processed foods too much because those flare up my acne. I want to eat clean and healthy so I can't just EAT everything to gain weight. I can only eat specific things to do this.

    So are there people there that could do this for me? Or give me a plan? A diet that suits my needs and the workouts I should be doing? Will someone there help me with this?
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  2. tIoD

    tIoD Fapstronaut

    You don't want someone to coach you or give you a specific meal plan. You have internet, there is unlimited information about anything you want, you have to just google it (That's wonderful thing we millennials have).
    So, about workout. It takes 2 or 3 weeks of pushing yourself to gym, after it, you start to want it soo bad, when you see results, ooh, there comes desire to workout more and more. Trust me, after 1 month you'll feel way so good about yourself, gym just boosts life quality.

    I don't really get it, why you don't want others to see you workout? First, no one will and second, if they, why not?
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  3. I've always been skinny. I started going to the gym regularly about 8 months ago, about 4-5 times per week. Nobody there cares what you look like, they're not thinking about you. You could try a personal trainer to learn some exercises. I also recommend checking out videos on YouTube, a good one is AthleanX, shows you how to do exercises, gives a lot of info about muscle groups, etc. Eat a high protein diet, veggies, keep it simple. I now eat the same thing for breakfast every day, and the same thing for lunch every day. Good luck!
  4. KS1994

    KS1994 Fapstronaut

    A gym is a good idea. The staff can teach you which exercises and machines to use properly. They can also help you with diet and meal advice.
    Kman20 likes this.
  5. I put on 27 pounds in 1.5 years of lifting. let me tell you, it was hard work, and I nearly quit multiple times. it takes a ton of dedication and discipline, and if you truly want to meet those goals of yours, you have to commit, otherwise you'll just end up like every other guy who spent 6 months casually lifting before tapering off.

    if I could do it over again, I would only change one thing: not getting educated from the beginning. I, like most people, had no idea what I was doing when I started. I had no idea how to program. no idea how to diet. what rest times are optimal? how many working sets should I do per muscle group? what rep ranges were necessary to meet my goals? I didn't know the answer to those questions -- I just followed what the youtube channels and bodybuilding sites said.

    the way I see it now, that was poor route to follow. health magazines and fitness channels, much like the other facets of entertainment, don't bring in hits/sells from plain and objective information, they get it from new and exciting information, information that may or may not represent the current literature we have on effective weight lifting. just thumb through 90% of fitness magazines/fitness youtube channels/bodybuilding articles and see for yourself. the clickbait makes me cringe hard every time. please don't fall for this trap

    thankfully, there is a gamut of peer reviewed research and analyses that have pinpointed the most optimal ways to train for muscle growth. even better, there are some great books out there which break down these studies and uses them to create an effective program and diet for you. if I had to suggest just one of them, I'd say Michael Matthew's Bigger Leaner Stronger probably does this better than any of the books I've read. it provides hundreds of relevant studies on effective weight lifting/dieting techniques and shows you how to implement the knowledge into your own program. I can't recommend it enough tbh, it's a game changer

    if you educate yourself and lift smart from the beginning, you'll make huge strides and quickly forget about the people watching, and more importantly, avoid wasting months in the gym like I did.
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  6. I used to be in your shoes. I have gained over 15 kg mass in last 4-5 years of irregular lifting. For last 7 months I have been lifting almost religiously, without using any kind of supplements and gimmicks etc. So I think my advice will work for you.

    Start using bodyweight exercises with perfect form first. You'll need to master your own bodyweight because it builds up your core and your coordination becomes good. Two things that will be massive help when you hit the weights.

    Stick to a simple routine. The fancier it looks the harder it will be to stick to.

    I will begin by following exercise tips from YouTube channels named:
    Calisthenic Movement

    As far as weights are concerned learn to do the basic compound exercises first and slowly add weight to these. Your joints will need more time to catch up and if you rush it, you will have to eventually back off and begin again sometime.

    For weight training advice just follow:

    And learn to love chinups, pullups and weighted variations of these. If you can do a 50 kg weighted chinup for reps, you'll have a body of the highest calibre.

    Now to end it all, I would say that don't expect doing things like workouts and nutrition for a few weeks or months. It will take years, and a long term goal will be worth it. So don't look for shortcuts and be prepared for a long term investment and the prizes will be worth it.

    Stay Strong
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  7. Alright, I'll help you out, bc 1)im bored & 2)everything you described, described me perfectly. So I was also super skinny. I was 180lbs at 6'7" (the height made me weigh that much), but i was very skinny with no muscle whatsoever. And then I gained 40 lbs to 220lbs. I can't remember the exact progress in terms of months.

    -Don't come here for specific workout advice, this is the wrong website. Go to "" - - - that's the best advice you'll receive from here. Read carefully for beginners.

    -I had a personal trainer, but it was myself. I trained myself from knowing absolutely nothing to knowing alot of stuff. Like when I started, I had zero clue what to do, at all. helped me out, again. I highly suggest you dont hire a personal trainer, build yourself up.

    -If you want to gain 40 lbs, as you suggested in this thread, go 5x a week and eat a shit ton of protein. I'll tell you vaguely for a beginner setup that's serious.

    Monday:Upper Body Push (Chest, tricep, frontal shoulder, etc)
    Tuesday:Upper Body Pull (Back(lats&traps), bicep, back&side shoulder, etc)
    Wed:All lower body (everything, glutes, calves, quads, hammys)
    Thurs:Upper Push (same as Mon)
    Fri:Upper Pull (same as Tues)

    *while SAT&SUN are rest days* *on workout days eat as much protein as you can*

    -So for monday, type in beginner chest workouts in googlebar.

    -In terms of being anxious, i was too, & it only lasts the first week or so. Do research before & know how to do workouts (how many reps/sets, form, nd order of workouts) -

    -You can count grams of protein, i never did and it worked. I just ate healthy and high protein foods, when i felt i wasnt hungry, i ate more protein.

    -I see beginners go in, look around, and try to lift heavy to match me&other's along w trying to impress the gals. This would seriously injure your dlvpt along with possible physical injuries.
    -Increase weight every 1-2 weeks, this is how you make progress.
    -Take mental notes of your dlvpt and body weight
    -Take note of stretching/light cardio before & after
    -look up powerlifting vs bodybuilding
    -look up anerobic workouts

    *Abs can be worked out 4-5 times a week, eat greens*
    *Slow, controlled movement w correct form, search "time under tension"*

    Keep in mind, im still skinny. My stomach is still very skinny. I just have alot more upper body muscle & strength, along with lower and abs.

    *DON'T get fixated on 1 muscle group* - - - this was my biggest issue. I first went in a did steady arms. Then is=t wsnt proportinal. Then chest, then bsck, etc. It's all handled now, but just build everything evenly, icluding legs and abs(my least fav)*
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2018
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  8. lolos

    lolos Fapstronaut

    Hey man, I think I can help you out. I have been going to the gym on and off for the past two years. I started to get into it seriously 4 months ago and since then have gained 12kg, half of which is lean mass, as well as increasing my strength immensely. I will tell you what worked for me, and some general advice as well. One of the best programs for gaining size as a beginner is starting strength. Basically it involves two workouts:

    squat 5x3
    bench 5x3
    deadlift 5x1

    squat 5x3
    overhead press 5x3
    deadlift 5x1

    You alternate each workout, so monday you do A, wednesday B, friday A then rest on the weekend and start with B next monday and so on. The numbers next to the exercise refer to sets and reps, so squat 5x3 means you do 5 reps and 3 sets. Each session you add 2.5kgs or 5 pounds to the bar. As you are just starting out you will be able to make progress very quickly but gradually your progress will slow down, and you will not be able to add weight every session. On the first session of the program start with a weight that feels comfortable but is also slightly challenging.

    This program will allow you to take advantage of what is called "the novice effect", so you can gain size and strength very rapidly, provided you are eating enough and doing the program. It is superior to other programs as it serves as a good introduction to basic compound movements, as well as taking full advantage of the novice effect. You will be able to make this rapid progress for about 2 months, then you can decide whether you want to go more to a power lifting program, or a bodybuilding program, or a combination of both. You might see other beginner programs which involve you going to the gym 5 days a week and doing curls and ab work. While you might be tempted to do these programs in order to get "shredded abz", they will not be nearly as effective as this program.

    As for learning the lifts, there is a book written on this program which goes into great detail on how to do each movement and you can find the pdf's online, but there are also youtube tutorials which I think are more effective at teaching the lifts. Alan thrall has videos on each lift and teaches them the exact same way they are taught in the book. You can also post form checks on starting strength forums. I do not recommend getting a personal trainer. Unless you go to a powerlifting specific gym they will most likely not be able to teach you the movements correctly.

    Now onto eating. The creator of the starting strength program often says "abs on a skinny guy are like tits on a fat chick". Do not be afraid to gain a bit of fat and lose your "abs" while doing this program. You will not be able to make progress in the gym if you are not gaining weight, regardless of what program you are doing. Eating makes you gain weight and training makes sure some of that weight is muscle, not fat. You are also skinny enough to be able to gain a lot of fat before you actually look fat. You could probably put on another 40 pounds of fat and still look normal.

    The novice effect also means you are going to be able to gain a lot of muscle rather than fat. gaining a pound of lean mass (non fat) a week as a novice is a good goal, so you will gain about 2 pounds of mass total each week. As you are so skinny, you will be able to gain 5 pounds a week while still gaining a good amount of lean mass, so aim for 5 pounds a week for the first month, then 2-3 pounds a week for the rest of the program. How much food does this equate to you might ask? It varies for each person. This will most likely be 3500-4000 calories a day. Get myfitness pal to track your daily calories and if you are not gaining enough weight or gaining too much weight add or subtract 300 calories. Heres what I ate while I did this program:

    1.5 cups of oats
    500ml of milk
    1 banana
    1 peanut butter toast

    Lunch 1
    200g chicken
    1 cup of cooked brown rice
    0.5 cup of peas

    Lunch 2
    same as lunch 1

    300ml milk
    2 cups greek yogurt
    2 scoops of protein
    peanut butter

    350g beef
    1.5 cups rice

    You can swap out the milk for almond milk or something if you can't eat it. When you first start out it will be hard to eat this much so dial down the portions for the first week then eat the full amount the second week. This is just a sample plan, you can swap out the foods as long as you are getting similar amount of macro nutrients and calories it will be fine.

    If you follow my advice you should be able to gain 40-50 pounds over the next three months while gaining size and strength. I will put a few relevant link below, I encourage you to read them. If you have any other questions message me.
    Kman20 likes this.
  9. Kman20

    Kman20 Fapstronaut

    Thank you so much. You’ve basically sold me on this book and thank god its only 10 dollars too ! I’ll probably be ordering it and doing my own research too.
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  10. Kman20

    Kman20 Fapstronaut

    Holy hell this was informative. Should I real be go straight to the bench press on my first day at the gym ? Even though I’m skinny ? Seems odd to me. Also that much food in one day sure seems like a lot but thanks for giving a plan. Where did you get a food calorie tracker ? Is there a right one ? Should I avoid ab workouts and cardio then ? So much questions sorry.
  11. lolos

    lolos Fapstronaut

    Should I real be go straight to the bench press on my first day at the gym ? Even though I’m skinny ?

    Yes. Make sure you get someone to spot you. In fact try and get a friend to do this program and come to the gym with you, it will be much more fun if you have a workout partner and you will also be held more accountable to the program

    Also that much food in one day sure seems like a lot but thanks for giving a plan. Where did you get a food calorie tracker ?

    Yeah it is a lot but eating a lot is the price you have to pay to get results in the gym. Use myfitnesspal as a food tracker, it is a free app. Make sure you are regularly weighing yourself and adjust your intake if you are not gaining enough weight. Also be honest with the food tracker, a lot of people have a tendancy to under or overestimate what they are eating.

    Should I avoid ab workouts and cardio then ?

    Yes you should avoid them. doing heavy squats and dead lifts will already work your core. Doing cardio effects your recovery outside of the gym, meaning you will not be able to grow muscle.

    So much questions sorry.

    All good brother, feel free to ask me any more if you have any.
  12. you mean 40-50 pounds over the next three years right?
  13. lolos

    lolos Fapstronaut

    No three months. 120 pounds is incredibly skinny for 5'9, even at 160 you would probably still look a little skinny. Of course it will not all be lean mass, but a good portion of it will.
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