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Beginner doubts/insecurities?

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Old 02-12-2008, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Beginner doubts/insecurities?

Hi everyone.
I'm new to all of this, and trying to learn as much as possible.

I got a book this Sat (a bday present from friends) about strength training (without weights - I'd asked for a book about strength training, with lifting on my mind, so I was kind of disappointed when I saw there were no weights in this book! But now that I've started reading it I do like it, it seems to be good for the basics) and I was excited to try some of the exercises... until I realized how weak I am. Two "girl push-ups" (with the knees) and my arms feel shaky and weak for the rest of the day!

So my question is: is there hope for me?
Seriously now - how soon do you think I'll start seeing (well, feeling) results if I work on these exercises (strength training without weights, just against my own body weight, like crunches, push-ups, squats, etc.) about 2 - 3 times (I'm being realistic ) a week?

And - would you recommend me to exercise using weights (machines or free weights) even before I start getting a bit better at these "simpler" ones? Or do you think it would be better to wait until I gain strength without the weights before I start lifting?

Thanks in advance!
I'm loving everything I'm learning about lifting, but I feel - weak! And somehow I'm having a hard time imagining myself being stronger than I am now.


Oh, and a bonus, kind of off topic (for this thread, not the forum) question: I think my shoulders are too broad as they are, will muscle training make them broader?
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalala123 View Post
Hi everyone.
So my question is: is there hope for me?
Nope. You're one of us now!

Quote:
Seriously now - how soon do you think I'll start seeing (well, feeling) results if I work on these exercises (strength training without weights, just against my own body weight, like crunches, push-ups, squats, etc.) about 2 - 3 times (I'm being realistic ) a week?
You should start feeling results right away. Those feelings that you have after two pushups now will probably be the feeling you have after 5 pushups next week, and 10 pushups the week after that.

As long as you are dedicated to the workouts, you will be able to progress nicely for awhile using bodyweight exercises as long as the book also described different ways to make progressions to those exercises and gave you enough variations to keep your body guessing.

Quote:
And - would you recommend me to exercise using weights (machines or free weights) even before I start getting a bit better at these "simpler" ones? Or do you think it would be better to wait until I gain strength without the weights before I start lifting?
The type of resistance is not as important as following the overload principle and continuing to challenge the muscles and getting enough variety into your workouts to keep your body from fully adapting.


Quote:
I'm loving everything I'm learning about lifting, but I feel - weak! And somehow I'm having a hard time imagining myself being stronger than I am now.

I felt weak when I first started, I felt weak after my first year of lifting, I felt weak yesterday, and I'll feel weak tomorrow. I can probably outlift 60%-65% of the guys in my gym, but I compare myself against the 35-40% of those that can outlift me. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The good thing is that I'm never satisfied and that drives me to improve. The bad thing is I'M NEVER SATISFIED. ****, it's OK to feel weak. It's not OK to BE weak!
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:41 PM   #3
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Hi there, I started out in wl with bodyweight resistance only. I'm not sure how much you weight, but if you report feeling weak, it must be providing enough resistance. After about 6 weeks when things seemed more manageable, I had mvoed entirely up to working with dumbbells for additional weight. When you can do something comfortably and without feeling like it's a real struggle, that's when you'll know that it's time to add on more resistance.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:00 PM   #4
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Depalma said it all so well...

Good for you - we all have to start somewhere.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:02 PM   #5
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welcome to weight lifting - it's a good thing. I'm just back from the gym where I had a nice weights session - and was able to progress in the amount of weight for some exercises. I love getting stronger!
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Depalma View Post
You should start feeling results right away. Those feelings that you have after two pushups now will probably be the feeling you have after 5 pushups next week, and 10 pushups the week after that.

As long as you are dedicated to the workouts, you will be able to progress nicely for awhile using bodyweight exercises as long as the book also described different ways to make progressions to those exercises and gave you enough variations to keep your body guessing.



The type of resistance is not as important as following the overload principle and continuing to challenge the muscles and getting enough variety into your workouts to keep your body from fully adapting.
Thanks so much!
You've answered pretty much every thing I wanted to know. Now I just need to get myself into the gym often / regularly enough that I can feel improvement soonish (though I've been doing some exercises at home too).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Depalma View Post
I felt weak when I first started, I felt weak after my first year of lifting, I felt weak yesterday, and I'll feel weak tomorrow. I can probably outlift 60%-65% of the guys in my gym, but I compare myself against the 35-40% of those that can outlift me. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The good thing is that I'm never satisfied and that drives me to improve. The bad thing is I'M NEVER SATISFIED. ****, it's OK to feel weak. It's not OK to BE weak!
Heehee, this is why I'm liking (the idea of, since I'm still in the "gathering information" stage, as I call it) strength / weight / resistance training so much, there's always a challenge!
Being able to challenge yourself is a great motivation.


Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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How about heading to the library and checking out some books? Weight Lifting for Dummies is helpful and there's a lot. Or look in the diet section on exercise books for some workouts.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Two "girl push-ups" (with the knees) and my arms feel shaky and weak for the rest of the day!

So my question is: is there hope for me?
Hahahah. Welcome to the world of weights.

Totally plenty of hope. When I first started with weights and resistance training, I couldn't do a single pushup to save my life. My trainer (who is also a friend, so don't think it's too much abuse) called me the biggest wuss he'd ever met the first time I tried to do bicep curls. I wound up having to use the bar with no weights and even then he had to help me.

I have very strong legs, but a wimpy, wimpy, wimpy upper body.

Well, I did. Now, after a year of training, I'm proud to say that I have muscles in my shoulders, arms, and back. I can flex and a *real* bicep shows. I can do pushups and pullups. I can curl and lift more than just the bar.

And honestly I saw results nearly immediately. My abilites increased exponentially from the time I started.

You'll be so surprised how, in just 2 weeks, you'll look at where you were and think "wow!"

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Last edited by PhotoChick : 02-15-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:51 AM   #9
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Yay! You're all giving me some hope - and motivation!
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:38 PM   #10
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I attempted push-ups last night and couldn't do a single one completely. However in NRL4W there are 3 other push-up variations, so I'm going to do those until I'm ready to move onto "real" pushups.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:42 PM   #11
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Yeah, I'm doing easier variations of push-ups too, and I feel horribly silly doing them at the gym. So today I went into the room (it's a small gym) where there are classes when it was empty, and I got to do my exercises alone.

I need to get over feeling embarrassed about not being super strong and not being able to do these things - yet!
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:09 PM   #12
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I started with push-ups agains the wall myself. I'm still not doing "real" on-the-floor ones, but I am down to a low windowsill (thigh high)! Just be sure to position your feet so that you are actually pusing your weight with your arms. I am amazed how quickly you get stronger.
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