OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Sunday, May 11

#6465

QUESTION: Does anyone have any advice for a guy who wants to go to a gym but is a total newbie? I'm tired of looking so skinny and puny but I really have no idea where to start or what to do.

15 comments

  1. you can start by reading up on a bunch of beginner workout and diet routines (most stuff can be found on bodybuilding.com forums. more or less, you can trust the advice but don't trust everything.)
    check out this forum post.

    there are a variety of workout routines but you might want to read up on full body routines vs. split routines. Full body routines are typically recommended for beginners and they utilize compound exercises which engage multiple muscle groups per exercise which can give you more bang for your buck when you're starting out.

    exercises such as:

    chinups/pullups or lat pulldown
    rows
    shoulder press / overhead press
    bench press
    squats
    deadlifts

    are examples of compound exercises

    Split routines incorporate isolation exercises so you'll be working out fewer muscle groups per session but more days per week. Typically this is when your muscles start developing to a point where it's hard for them to grow from full body routines and you need to start putting in more focus to each individual muscle group.

    exercises such as:

    bicep curls
    tricep extensions
    lateral raises
    calf raises
    crunches

    are examples of isolation exercises

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150447

    for exercise form, you will probably want to watch a lot of videos on how exercises are done (if you don't have access to a trainer who can show you)

    if you plan to learn proper form from videos make sure to watch a lot of them (not just 1 or 2 videos), read the comments and see what people might be saying about the form. You want a very large sample of videos and look for proper form consistency between the people doing the exercises.

    When you start doing the exercises yourself, warmup with a light weight (this is very important when you try a new exercise but it's also important in general to always warm up with lighter weight whenever you plan to do heavyweight exercises (eg. squats, deadlifts, etc.), make sure you aren't feeling any joint pain and constantly look in the mirror to check your form and make adjustments appropriately if you feel some joint pain or your form looks off.

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    1. the forum post link got pushed lower down as I wrote more stuff.

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  2. /r/fitness faq

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  3. Start by going to the gym. No, I'm serious. I have been in your place OP, & I can see that you are procrastinating.

    Start with cardio & small weights, then once you get into the rhythm read up on heavy weights & building muscle & build up gradually. You can't just expect to go in there & start like a pro, everyone there has been a newbie at some point!

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    1. cardio...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eun9cT-bupw

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  4. I was in your position 4 months ago. I went from 140-160 over those 4 months and still going. Here's what I did. I found a compound exercise routine revolving around squats, deadlift, weighted chin-ups, and bench press. You can find these anywhere, as long as it has those 3 exercises, you're golden. The point is pick something and stick with it. You can add accessory exercise later on (dumbells and so on) as you build some strength. Oh, try to find a strength building routine, not size.

    Don't go to the gym clueless doing random shit like the above dude said, it will be generally a waste of time.

    The real problem is not gym, but diet. You must increase your calorie count per day. People will tell you to count all your calories but that is a bit ridiculous for a newbie. Do you currently maintain the same weight and have been the same weight for a while? If so, it means you are eating just enough to maintain that weight. Ok so now what? You can calculate exactly how much you need above that equillibrium online, but a general rule of thumb is 500 calories extra at first. Improve your eating habits. Finish your food, try to finish it faster, and increase portion size by a little. This is not enough though. Start eating bananas non-stop, and other shit like greek yogurt throughout the day. The alternative is adding another meal to your day. But stuff like bananas are easy to intake and can add up easily. On gym days, create a weight gain shake (that also works as a protein shake). You can google for recipies, but generally you want to aim for 1k calories of something that tastes alright and is about 1L. Usually you'll see things like milk, oats, bananas, peanut butter, strawberries for taste, etc.

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    1. Oh, and no cardio. EVER. At least at first. You are trying to burn as little calories as possible during gym time.

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  5. look up starting strength

    do the beginner routine until your gains plateau

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    1. Do this OP, it's a great book many more people need to read and actually listen to

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  6. Thanks everyone! It's OP here. I just have one more question regarding all of this. For the exercises, how do I know that I'm performing it right and not putting strain on other areas of my body that should not be strained. (Yes, I'm that clueless.)

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    1. Some guy came up to me and told me my form was wrong and that I was going to hurt myself (not mocking me, just looking to help).

      Seriously, meatheads are actually nice guys.

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    2. If it hurts, stop, and I mean actual hurt like acute, shooting pains in the muscle or joint pain. You want to feel dull exhaustion from your muscles as you're exercising and aches for the next few days in the muscle groups you were targeting.

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  7. When you get big, you will wanna tone down, when you are toned down, you will wanna get big.

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