Weight and Resistance Training - gaining some weight

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06-03-2005, 04:23 PM

I need just a little help, I spent most of high school and university dealing with an eating disorder, and now since getting back to normal (from around 85 lb to a slightly more healthy weight) i find that i really really really cannot do weight exercises....i honestly think i lost all of my muscle mass....

i have finally gotten up to eating around 1400 cal per day, lots of protein and dairy (trying to reverse damage done to my bones), and whole grains and i think that rather than cardio i really just want to try and get some muscle mass for now

any suggestions on how to lift when you really cant? i mean i have 5 pound free weights and ankle weights...but (this is so sad) even that is really too much and i get dizzy...i dont want to feel so completely weak and i think that trying to finally get to my goal (my weight tracking ticker is working in reverse for me, i want to be around 115 lbs, but a healthy 115 lbs)

any sort of 'basic' exercise besides weights that builed muscle mass?


06-03-2005, 05:04 PM
Hi there :wave:
Don't be discouraged :) You probably did do asay with most of your muscle mass, but the good news is, that is reversible! If 5 pound weights are too heavy, go get some 3 pound weights to start with. I bet in less than two weeks the five pound weights will seem easy :D I'd go get 3,8, and 10 pound weights. They are inexpensive, and even as you get stronger, you'll probably still use the 8's and 10's. I'd get a 55cm. stability ball, too. They are really handy for doubling as a weight bench, doing ab and hamstring exercises.

Start with a simple lifting program of 1 exercise per body part, at a weight where you can finish 1 set for 10-12 repetitions. For the first week, I'd aim for two times a week, then add a second set for the second week. By the third week, you can probably experiment with higher weights, more and different exercises, and eating a little more.

Here's a real pared down list of exercises I'd suggest for the first week (and the body part each works):
dumbbell squats (quads)
dumbbell flat back deadlift (hamstrings and lower back) or lying hamstring ball pull
dumbbell row (mid-back)
dumbbell chest press (chest)
dumbbell flyes (chest)
any variation of curls (biceps)
tricep kickbacks (triceps)
crunches (abs)

Aside from weights, there are plenty of body weight exercises that accomplish the same thing; pushups or modified pushups work the same muscles and doing chest presses and no equipment needed. You can do dips for your triceps on the edge of a chair or coffee table...walk up and down stairs carrying gallon jugs of water...resistance bands are inexpensive and useful for a lot of exercises.

After about 3 weeks of that, you'll definitely want heavier weights and new exercises!

To see what these exercises look like, check www.exrx.net. Another great source of info is www.stumptious.com.

You can re-build your muscle mass, but you need to feed it to make it grow ;) I think you'll be pleased and surprised at how quickly it comes back with proper food and exercise.


06-03-2005, 05:19 PM
Thanks! i had not even expected such a thourough response... i think i just need to try to do this slowly so i dont just give up and not try...i like thinking about just doing one body part per session...

i will absolutely check out the websites, considering i feel like i have no idea what i am doing the web has been my best resource

have a great weekend

06-03-2005, 08:53 PM
.i like thinking about just doing one body part per session...

oops...that's not what I meant. One exercise per body part, do a full body workout twice a week, 1 set per exercise for the first week or so until you build up enough endurance to do a little more :)

You'll be OK. Really ;)


06-17-2005, 03:59 PM
Hi Yume

After you read up at the stumptuous site, take a moment to realize that now is the ideal time for you to pay attention to form. Even if you can only lift 3 pounds (or no pounds!) you can still pay close attention to your form and get it right from the get-go. I was in a car accident and had a neck injury, and some upper body moves put a lot of strain on the injury site. To avoid further injury, I've had to be patient, and sometimes just use very light or no reps. Take the opportunity to get your form down, you will be doing yourself a huge favor for forever!

Good luck to you, keep it up, you will love the results!