Weight and Resistance Training - I don't know where to start...

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08-04-2011, 07:51 PM
Hey all,

Some wonderful people on this site have gotten me interested in working on strength training. I've been surfing the net...but there is so much stuff and I feel a little overwhelmed. I have no idea what to start with! I have no DVDs to use. I do have two five pound weights though. Any suggestions or good sites for me to get started with? :?:

08-04-2011, 08:06 PM
I cosign the above!!

Exact same thing - I have two five-pound hand weights and have no idea what to do with them.


08-04-2011, 08:09 PM
Haha, we could start a club. xD

08-05-2011, 01:18 AM
Well, for starters, if you have hand weights do heavy hands! All you do is when you go for a walk, pump the weights as you do so, in synch with your strides. It is very hard at first, but when you need to rest, let them hang at your sides. Within a few weeks, you'll be able to do it constantly for an almost indefinite period of time. It gets your heart going faster than regular walking- and I am sure it builds arm strength as well. I did that when I first started and couldn't do much else. I still use them when I walk sometimes-but I can use heavier weights, which means a better workout.

I don't know what else to suggest-but it might help if you figure out what your goals are in strength training. If you do that, it might be the starting point you need to help you push off into something suited to your needs.

08-05-2011, 12:20 PM
i hate to say it, but there isnt a whole lot you can do with two 5 lb dumbbells... you dont have any access to a gym? or can afford a much more expensive set of adjustable dumbells "we're talking 100 dollars for those, BUT well worth every penny, cause you can adjust them to anywhere from 5 lbs each, up to 25 or 30 lbs each)
You OCULD do Body weight training, if you have no gym access, but the key to body weight training is PROGRESSION things l;ike pushups, pullups, lunges squats... the thing is though, you have to do LOTS of reps and that id really only good for improving muscluar endurace, not strength or building muscle.
So, if you cant go to a gym,, we need to evaluate what you CAN do.....
how many puchups can you do? (real, not from your knees, or if only from knees, how many?) How long can you hold a plank, and a side plank? How many Body weight squats can you do, and are you using good form (sit back on heels, butt lower than knees, pushup down and OUT-=like youre pulling the carpet apart whith your feet-- when you go up. If you cant do a pulluo, how long can you HANG from a par? can you do a negative pullup? JUmp up and SLOWLY lower yourself... and what about singlelegged exercises? Like lunges, and sinlge-legged squats (this is where some progression can also come from) How many tricep dips can you do off of a chair? basically im looking for a baseline of fitness to give you some progression ideas with Body weight strength training..... If going to train at home, a pullup bar is a MUST (10-15 bux from walmart, can mount in dorr frame) and there is SO MUCH you can do off of it..... Also, if you cant afford adjustable dumbbells, look into both resistance bands, AND getting one or 2 pairs of heavy weights (for leg exercises) like 15-30 lbs or a couple kettle bells that go higher..... but i still think an adjustable set would be beast. ALot can be done with bands though.
So, give me a little feedback, and ill halp you out

08-05-2011, 04:00 PM
I agree with mkroyer that 5lb dumbbells aren't going to enable you to do very much. Bodyweight exercises are the way to go: squats, lunges, step ups, deadlifts (starting with your 2 dumbbells, I suppose), and then pull ups and push ups for your upper body and a whole bunch of core moves: planks, crunches, reverse crunches and the like.

If you can't do push ups, do them against a counter until you build up your strength.

But eventually you will need more dumbbells so that you can do presses and rows as well as push ups and pull ups. Is a gym membership out of the question?

08-05-2011, 05:57 PM
First of all I want to say thank you so much for the responses! :)

fatferretfanatic Thank you for the suggestion! I don't do anything with my arms now, so maybe that would be a good idea.

mkroyer Most of what you mentioned...I can't do, haha. xD Never in my life have I done a successful push up! I would basically be starting from scratch with everything, I think. I haven't a job, so I am not able to get any more weights or even a pull up bar (Though I'd love to! :( ) I am nervous about doing squats and lunges, too. I am always scared I shall ruin my knees. But then...I've taken up jogging now and even that worries me! I would have to start out with the exercises that can be done without buying anything. Lord willing I shall be getting my license soon and then a job! Then maybe I can start getting more equipment. :) Any suggestions on how to begin the body weight training would be so much appreciated! And thank you for bringing it up! I hadn't thought about doing it!

DietVet Thank you for the suggestions!! Unfortunately a gym membership isn't possible right now. Though I wish it was! I would like to get one in the winter (if I have a job).

08-05-2011, 06:12 PM
If all you have are the 5 lb weights why don't you check out the Resistance Band Workout Mel has sticky at the top of this page. It is an excellent place to start while you decide if you want to build up a home gym or join a gym.

Also Nellie gives a lot of good advise (tried and true links, etc.) in the "Beginner looking for guidance with starting weight training at home" Sticky above.

Have fun with it you will just love how it makes you feel.

08-05-2011, 06:26 PM
I was going to suggest that you read ALL of the stickies. Then get on-line and look at exercises. Go to the library and look at strength training books, etc.

One year ago I could not do real push ups; now, I can do 35--1 set of 15, then 10, then 10. You can do it. You start with one, then do more :lol:

08-06-2011, 10:09 PM
Thank you, guys! xD

I tried to do a plank exercise today. Haha. xD My stomach quivered like Jello. But...I am a big fan of Bonanza the TV series and I found some pretty amazing pictures that were taken of Michael Landon, who obviously from the looks of it, did them frequently. O.o

Take a look! :)



I guess that isn't a plank...but I thought it was pretty awesome! Would love to be able to do that!

08-08-2011, 06:50 PM
Such great advice....

I would like to make a side note if I can...
mkroyer - I would like to say that roaming around in here, I love how you are so quick to help out! And due to roaming, have learned quite a bit from heeding your posts. I have an elliptical I use a ton, a "total gym" at my house now, and a pool I get lots of use out of :) But one of your earlier posts on progression actually made me feel good, it showed me there is no reason to get stagnant, cause there is always another step to take physically... another goal to strive for :D Thank you for that!

Amedeus - I will also say - don't be scared about your knees. I have one killed knee (RA has all but destroyed it... should have surgery according to doctors)... and squats and lounges hurt WAY less than running does, as long as you follow proper form... that's the key to most anything. But running on knees has a huge impact as opposed to the lounges and squats, afterall, it's not like you are holding 50Lb weights while doing them, just your own body weight...yet wonderful for toning and developing lean muscle. Ultimately it's up to you - there are always reasons that will keep people away from things - but speaking from someone WITH huge issues with knees (my left especially horrible), unless you do them wrong and over-extend, you will be fine :)

08-11-2011, 03:02 AM
ItsMyTurn I'm sorry to hear about the trouble with your knees! :(
Thank you for letting me know about the squats and such! I'm not as nervous about it anymore. :)

08-11-2011, 01:59 PM
Amadeus if you can barely do a pushup then that's probably the best thing to start with. It's one of the best bodyweight exercises because it works your chest, arms AND core. Try out the "100 Pushups" routine, I do it 3 times a week just to supplement my strength training and so that I can measure my progress in terms of endurance (because each 'day' in the program pushes you just a little bit more). I actually used to be able to do 100 pushups when I was a martial artist, but it's been almost 10 years since I quit so I'm back to square one! They also have a "200 Squats" "150 Dips" program as well, which I think would be a good segue into a true weight-lifting program for you!

And it comes fast, don't worry. I started doing 30 Day shred in the beginning of June, which has a lot of squatting in it. I did the 'initial test' of the 200 Squats program last week and found I could do 70 bodyweight squats no problem, just from the endurance I gained from 30-day shred in 2 months.

08-12-2011, 05:29 PM
you said you took up jogging? outside?/ how would you feel about working out at a playground/elementry school? I personally have no prob doing the stupidest things in front of strangers.....

there is SO MUCH you can do at a playground, NO EQUIPMENT REQUIRED... for real... i agree the pushup is one of the best exercises you could be doing--> but please oh please DONT do them on your knees! Dont even start that!! DO them against a wall ( using good form, tight core, chest all the way down (to the wall, whatever) and work your way down to a countertop, a bench, a step, etc.. till you are on the ground. i wouldnt move on in your progression till you can knock out 20 reps or so at a given stage...
Planks.. GREAT GOAL FOR YOU!! to to make them easier, do them on your HANDS, not your forarms, and place your ands on something a little higher, like a step, so you are basically in pushup position, at an incline. Planks are awesome cuz you can do SO MUCH to make them harder....work up to 30 seconds at an incline, then move to the floor. Once you can do a full two minutes (no point in going any longer) work on progressions to make it harder, such as DEcline planks, onle legged, etc.
at a playgroun, you can find beches to do tricep dips on....... the closer your feet are to your body, the EASIER it is....... again, once you can knock out 20, move your feet out more, till they are straight in front of you, even one legged. HANG, and i do mean HANG from the monkey bars... as long as you can. if you are tall enough, Jump up all the way into the top of the pullup, and lower yourself down as slow as you can.... these are called negatives... once you can afford them... get BANDS, these also provide assistance. For squats.. do as many as you can.. once they are too easy (to do 50 or more) start addin in JUMP squats, or one legged squats ( you can do these off a bench or flat surface of somekind... basically let one foot hang off, and lower your body as much as you can on the other leg... also PISTOL squats (THESE ARE HARD)... um, body weight lunges... forward lunge, backward lunge, walking lunge... jumping lunges (aka plyo split squats) YOu can do Bulgaria Split squat lunges, where you have one foot elevated behind you, which FORCES you to activate your glutes and push through the heals... hip thrusters are good too

ItsmyTurn-- Thank you!! i really appreciate that! ive been studying this stuff a long time, and though its still just a "hobby" i am very passionate and FULL of knowledge.. .. usually pretty up to date on the mmore recent ideas and such