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COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,243)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
12/12/12 11:27 P

Ohhhhhh, and once you learn to lift properly, the people in BodyPump will make you cringe.

So many people do a bad form on the squat, that it makes me nervous just to go to class.

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,243)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
12/12/12 11:26 P

Hubs follows and loves Rippetoe. Hubs lost 80 lbs and hubs looks prettttttty awesome these days. Not ripped, but close.

I started doing Rippetoe's stuff with him, but I'm currently in love with Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 program since it allows me some more flexibility in accessory workouts. It's all a little complicated when you get started, but if you google for a Wendler 5-3-1 calculator, you can find easy ways to set up your program online. Or just use the excel spreadsheet he tells you how to make in the book.

For either guy (Rippetoe or Wendler), google him and read the book first.

And for any program that calls for heavy lifting using compound movements (like the Big 5 - squats, deadlifts, chest press, military/overhead press, and power cleans), I'd really really really strongly recommend going to the gym with a friend who knows what they are doing or getting one of those trainers at the gym to help teach you the moves. I also got a lot out of watching "So You Think You Can Squat?" on YouTube.

And no, soreness doesn't mean much. I was killer sore after BodyPump the first two times, then it faded away. Same with any other athletic or fitness thing I do - I'm definitely more sore the first time because I'm challenging different muscles in different ways than normal.

BALLERBOY SparkPoints: (34)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 3
12/12/12 9:01 P

Mike rippetoe. I googled him. He's great!

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
12/12/12 8:50 P

You go up in weights when you can not lift one more with good form. For me I go up 2 1/2 lbs. when I go up. I believe in the heavier weights less reps method. I do know it depends on what exersice you are doing too. In squats I do 48 lbs. but in bicep curls I do 25 lbs and in calf raises I do 55 lbs.

ANDIGATOR Posts: 127
12/12/12 8:47 A

Very helpful, M@L!! Thank you!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,288
12/12/12 6:15 A

Soreness is NOT an indicator of an effective workout. It is really a sign that your muscles are doing something unfamiliar.

Most people who strength train regularly find soreness diminishes significantly or disappears.

The key to strength training is that you are genuinely challenging your muscles. And the best indicator of this is that you are fatigueing your muscles in 12 reps or less (12-15 reps is a good target when starting out). Fatiguing your muscles means when you feel you cannot do another rep with the correct form (when you start needing to jerk the weights, or lean to complete the movement, that is a sign that you have reached that point).

So start with a low weight - if you can do more than 12-15 reps with that weight, go up to a slightly heavier weight next time. When going up a weight, it is common that you may drop down to being able to so only 4-6 reps initially (which is good, as you are more effectively challenging your muscles), keep going until you get up to 12 reps, then move up another weight increment.

When doing 2-3 sets, it is common to be able to do fewer reps in subsequent sets, as your muscles are already somewhat fatigued. Use the 1st set as your benchmark in terms of when you should go up a weight.


PFERD_FAN Posts: 31
12/11/12 7:27 P

Google Mike Rippetoe. The man is a weightlifting God

ANDIGATOR Posts: 127
12/11/12 4:30 P

Okay, thanks! :)

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (78,085)
Fitness Minutes: (42,300)
Posts: 5,092
12/11/12 4:29 P

I'm hardly sore the next day, but as long as I push myself and can feel my muscles become tired during my workout, I don't worry about not feeling sore the next day. So don't worry about not feeling sore if you're working hard during your workout!

ANDIGATOR Posts: 127
12/11/12 3:37 P

Kristen, it varies depending on the type of exercise. I use a barbell with 10 pounds for arms and up to 20 pounds for squats/back during Body Pump. Then I do chest with this resistance machine. The weights are 2.5 lbs on that, but it's much heavier than a free weight. So I'm not sure how to translate that.

The first time I went to Body Pump I could barely walk down the stairs the next two days! Now I hardly feel it the next day. But I do get fatigued during the class where I am not sure I will be able to finish.

It's just confusing to me how hard is hard enough. I do tire myself out, but I don't always feel sore the next day.

Edited by: ANDIGATOR at: 12/11/2012 (15:38)
KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (78,085)
Fitness Minutes: (42,300)
Posts: 5,092
12/11/12 3:30 P

andigator - how heavy are they weights you've used?

Edited by: KRISTEN_SAYS at: 12/11/2012 (15:30)
ANDIGATOR Posts: 127
12/11/12 3:19 P

I have the same questions. Finding the right weight is very difficult because there is a VERY fine line between "too easy" and "can't use proper form". At least for me.

Should I always be sore after a workout like I was the first time?

KRALLEN1 Posts: 257
12/11/12 3:08 P

Thank you everyone for all your advice :)

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (73,669)
Fitness Minutes: (54,504)
Posts: 2,170
12/11/12 12:53 P

Follow a program, otherwise it is difficult to measure progress or look for specific answers to some questions that you may come across. Let's say you are doing 3 sets of 8 reps. Here is how you know if the weight you are lifting is the right one:
- If the weight you are lifting is challenging (or the right weight), you will have trouble in the last set, and won't be able to complete all of the 8 reps of the last set.
- If the weight is too large, you will have trouble in the first set.
- If the weight is too light for you and thus you must increase the weight, then you will complete all 3 sets.

I do a 5x5 strength program, i.e. 5 sets of 5 reps, and I often lift a weight which is hard to lift in the fifth set, not before. That way, and including proper recovery and feeding, it takes me roughly a month to successfully carry out 5 sets of 5 reps and thus increment the weights.

Note, however, that at a caloric deficiency, you can develop strength up to a point, and beyond that you won't be able to progress unless you eat at least at maintenance, and in my case, eat at a slight caloric surplus.

Muscle soreness may have a genetic component, because not everyone gets sore after every workout. On the other hand, it is natural that if you are very fit, it is difficult for you to get sore, unless you lift enormous weights. If you still have not reached your maximum strength potential, challenging weights usually result in muscle soreness. In my case, whenever I challenge myself, I get sore, without exceptions. If I don't challenge myself, I may still get sore in some weak spots but overall I am not sore.

Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 12/11/2012 (13:00)
NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
12/11/12 11:21 A

The simple answer is: when you can.

The rule is that the last rep you do should be the last one you CAN do. So if you do a set of 6, and feel that the 6th rep is absolutely the last rep you can do w/o messing up your form, stay at that weight. If you do a set of 6, but feel that you can do a 7th, do the 7th, and next time increase the weight.

Depending on the weight increments at your gym, you may not be able to do a full set of 6 next time with the next-higher weight. That's okay - do as many as you can. Work back up to 6 (or whatever it is you do).

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 63,010
12/11/12 10:25 A


My advice is usually to start with one set of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise (and as you become more fit, you can add sets if you'd like.) The last rep you do in the set should be the last one you can do in proper form. If you could easily keep going, the weight is too light. If you can't get anywhere close to the end of the set w/o sacrificing form, the weight is too heavy.

Soreness isn't always an indicator of whether or not you had a good workout, so don't let that be your guide. Here's an article you might also find helpful:

Coach Jen

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (78,085)
Fitness Minutes: (42,300)
Posts: 5,092
12/11/12 10:12 A

I'm kind of new to it, too but here's what I think. When it becomes too easy - that's when you want to increase the weights. If you can do like, 20 reps of an exercise one after another without a problem, you definitely want to get heavier weights. Right now, I'm using 10 lb. dumbbells and I can squeeze out 7-8 reps with good form, but pretty soon I'm gonna need to get 12 or 15's. You want to challenge yourself but not to the point where you could injure yourself. I don't always feel sore the next day after strength training, but I'm not worried about it as long as I know my muscles are working during my workout.

KRALLEN1 Posts: 257
12/11/12 9:50 A

This might be a silly question but how do you know when to increase the amount of weights you are lifting?

And if you are not sore after lifting does that mean it wasn't a good workout or is being sore a bad thing?

I am new to the weight lifting world and could really use some tips :)

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