General workout questions.

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bojangalz
10/17/08 3:18:21AM
OK, here's a little quick background. I'm 5-9 currently 156 lbs. FOr the past several years I've spent the summer running off the weight I gain over the long Minnesota winter. I usually find myself at about 175 by spring time.

A few weeks back I was selected as a representative from my department to join the regional SWAT team. I am without question the smallest guy on the team. I feel great in my current physical condition (honeslty the best I've felt in probably 10 years). But I know that I should probably be around 170 los or so. I just got back from my first workout at our local gym. I'm using a 12-week beginners weight routine that I found online to get myself started.

I've haven't done any serious strength training before, so I've got a few questions that I need help with. Bare with me if some of these are dumb questions, total noob here.

First- I keep reading that the best way to bulk is by taking protein sups. Will it be difficult for me to add bulk if I don't take them? I honeslty can't afford them at this point, it was a stretch just getting the membership taken care of.

I realize that I need to add extra protein to my diet. Is there a specific time relative to my workout when I should be consuming it? (My work hours are crazy, sometimes I'm on day shift, then I'll be working late nights a few days later)

I understand that recovery days are equally as important as workout days. On a recovery day after working my legs is it still ok to run or do other cardio?

The workout that I started is a total body workout which calls for 1 set of 15 for the first three weeks, then increase sets as the weeks go on. How should I expect to feel after a set during the first few workouts? Should I be setting the weights for an easy set to start out? Or am I better served to start out feeling moderate fatigue after a given set?

Are there any general rules to weight training that I should be aware of as I start this journey. Any help is appreciated guys.

Thanks in advance guys!
Rush
10/17/08 8:01:53AM
Ah you Minnesota runners and your winter training..... no wonder you are some of the best marathoners in the US. lol


I've never really tried to bulk up. Your ability to do so depends on not only your routine (diet and workout) but also your body type. Some people just pack on less dense muscle and other tend to build more dense (but not much bigger) muscle.

Now, I can't give you any advice on how to bulk up. I've been around 165lbs (6 feet tall) for years now regardless of how much I work out or eat. Protein shakes help with my recovery time, but have never bulked me up.

The way I look at the situation is this. Do you need to bulk up for work? Do you need to be heavier to perform your job better or is it just to fit in? I mean, if you can do your job as well or better than the other guys on the team, isn't that good enough? If the you can do your job well in your current physical shape, then I suggest continuing what you are doing and maintaining an over good fitness lever rather than spending time and resources (body wise) on trying to build muscle that really isn't needed.
bojangalz
10/17/08 12:14:25PM
Thanks for the advice Rush.

Yeah- I don't really need to add ay bulk for the job itself. I guess part of my reason for the change is to keep me motivated over the winter. I'm also looking forward to the challenge of it. I think it would be a nice change of pace from the strickly cardio workouts that I have done.
Rush
10/17/08 1:03:24PM

Posted by bojangalz

Thanks for the advice Rush.

Yeah- I don't really need to add ay bulk for the job itself. I guess part of my reason for the change is to keep me motivated over the winter. I'm also looking forward to the challenge of it. I think it would be a nice change of pace from the strickly cardio workouts that I have done.



Try plyo style workouts. They are fun and different and the nice thing is I think they compliment you type of work well and prevent the potential problem of you being fixated on getting bulked up, which a) might not happen or b) might require more dedication than you can give.

I personally don't life weights any more. I got bored of them and they didn't seem to do much for me. I only do plyometrics, calestetics, and kettlebell workouts. For me it's about being strong and more agile rather than big and muscular.
bojangalz
10/17/08 2:33:58PM
Awesome Rush, thanks again. One last thing, do have a web link to any god workout routines?
Rush
10/17/08 3:16:52PM

Posted by bojangalz

Awesome Rush, thanks again. One last thing, do have a web link to any god workout routines?




Well, I don't know about god routines as I am but a mere mortal being, but here are some of my plyo and kettlebell routines with briefdescriptions. That should be enough to get your started.

Also, googling plyometrics should give you some decent information. The nice thing about plyometics and kettlebell workouts is that you really use only a few small pieces of equipment. eg. a kettlebell. rather than benchs, bars, plates, etc. thus making them doable at home, park or at the gym.

Have fun

Exercise key

Kettlebell stairs - I use my 24kg kettlebell for all swings unless where noted.
Run my apt building stairs twice (16 stairs per floor, 12 floors)
With my 20kg and 24kg kettlebells, carry them both up a floor (starting from the 3rd floor (my apt)
Do a set of Russian swings (20 swings)
Carry both up a floor
Do a set of stair hops (1 stair hops x 8, 2 stair hops x 4, 3-2-3 stair hop x 1, repeat once)
Carry up one floor
Do a set of one arm Russian swings 2 x 10 swings on each side)
Carry up one floor
Do a set of stair hops
Carry up one floor
Repeat Russian Swings
Carry up one floor
Repeat stair hops
Carry up one floor
Repeat on-arm Russian swings
Carry up one floor
Repeat stair hops
Carry up
Rest for a minute and drink some water
Do a set of stationary hops x 10 holding both 20 and 24 kg kettlebells
Carry down one floor
Hop up one floor (2 stair hops x 4, 3-2-3 stair hop x 1) to retrieve water bottle. Walk back down 1 floor.
Do a set of 30 lateral swings (15 each side)
Carry down one floor
Hop up 1 stair x 16 (on one foot 8 left, 8 right) to get water bottle, Walk down one floor
Do stair hops x 8 holding the 20kg kettlebell
Hop up one floor (2 stair hops x 4, 3-2-3 stair hop x 1) to retrieve water bottle. Walk back down 1 floor.
Swings around the waist 15 each direction
Carry down one floor
Hop up 1 stair x 16 (on one foot 8 left, 8 right) to get water bottle, Walk down one floor
Do a set of stationary hops x 10 holding both 20 and 24 kg kettlebells
Carry down one floor
Hop up one floor (2 stair hops x 4, 3-2-3 stair hop x 1) to retrieve water bottle. Walk back down 1 floor.
Do a set of 30 lateral swings (15 each side)
Carry down one floor
Hop up 1 stair x 16 (on one foot 8 left, 8 right) to get water bottle, Walk down one floor
Do stair hops x 8 holding the 20kg kettlebell
Hop up one floor (2 stair hops x 4, 3-2-3 stair hop x 1) to retrieve water bottle. Walk back down 1 floor.
Swings around the waist 15 each direction
Carry down one floor
Hop up 1 stair x 16 (on one foot 8 left, 8 right) to get water bottle, Walk down one floor


Kettlebell only:
consists of 3 cycles of the following exercises. Rest time is limited between exercises and the exercises are not necessarily in this order. They are all done with a 24kg kettlebell (~53 lbs) unless otherwise noted
**I don't know all the official names of the swings (and neither do most people) so bear with me.
Russian Swings (2-hand) 20 swings with 10kg, 20 swings with 20kg, 20 swings with 24kg (no rest in between)
Lateral Hip Swings (2-hand) x 30 (15 each side)
One arm Russian Swings 15 swings each arm
Russian Swing over head 15 swings
Cleans 10 each side
Swings around the waist Changing hands every swing, done 15-20 times in each direction (aka "around the world")
Classic Snatch (2 hands) 15 reps done fast
Russian Swing (Snatch) I do this until failure 10-15 swings and I only do this if I have ceiling room.

repeat 2 more times taking short breathers and water breaks as needed.


Work run:
~ 2 mile run (half the distance is incline and other half flat). The run to work will be followed up by either an ab workout or a plyo workout and is the downhill portion. The run back home will be done in the evening and is up-hill.

Long run:
run for at least 10 miles at a 8 min per mile pace. Approx. distance and exact times will be reported. I don't rest, but I do hydrate every 2 miles in the run.

Ab workout:
these are done 3 sets at a time in a super-set, followed by a drink break (less than 1 min usually). I do two sets that are separated by a rest that consists of 20 alternating, walking lunges.
Incline leg tucks - hard to describe but my legs are lowered when straight, tucked in with bent knees and trust vertically up in the air. (12-15 reps or to failure)
Decline ab presses - go up, hold for two seconds, go down. I do that 15 times, then follow-up with a continuous 15 reps without pause.
Reverse Roman chair - 8 reps facing down, 8 reps facing right, 8 reps facing left, 8 reps facing down.
Hanging trunk movements - these are done on the apparatus where I am supported with my forearms and legs are suspended. 6-8 rotations with straight legs in each direction, 6-8 knee lifts followed by leg extensions, 6-8 leg extensions with straight legs.
Roman Chair - On my side to work the obliques. 20 on each side
Roman Chair - Facing up. 20 reps including a vertical elbow to the other hand which is sitting in front of my face, 20 reps with horizontal elbow strikes, 20 reps in a kimura motion, 10 reps standard, 30 reps with lateral movement (as if I am evading downward strikes)
Broomstick twists with a 40lb bar - 30 twists twisting from the upper abs, 20 reps twisting from the lower back-abs
Superman - laying on a bench on stomach, lift all arms and legs out ward. Flexing my back I lift my arms and legs higher than the bench and hold for 3 secs. I do this 15 times.
Hanging knee tucks - done from a pull up bar, knees to my chest. I do these until my grip fails (12-15 reps usually)


Plyo workout -
(if you don't know what plyometrics are, do a google search)
Box jumps followed by depth jumps with medicine ball x 15
Push-ups with one hand on med. ball, alternating sides with each push x 10-15 (to failure)
squat jumps with med. ball x 15
twists with med. ball x 20 (10 each direction)
chest pass lying on back with med. ball x 20
seated upward toss, opening arms in between catches x 15
rat-a-tats ~ 20 secs
over head, over shoulder, over shoulder toss with med. ball x 15
Bounding 12-13 on each side
brief rest for drink of water
chest pass lying on back with med. ball x 20

repeat two times

15 min. on stationary bike (hill plus level 10-12) keep heart rate over 170 for at least 10 min of the 15 min.


Chest rest -
This is a combination of exercises I do when I want to rest my core and legs. It's not taxing cardio wise, but it keeps my upper body toned and sharp(er).
Pullovers with kettle bell - lying flat on my back (legs straight). I pull a 10 kg kettlebell over in a forceful motion and stop it just before it hits my chest/belly. I do this 15 times
Chest press with kettlebell - This is just like a bench press motion only I do it with a 24kg kettlebell. This is a replacement for the plyo version I do with a medicine ball (which I don't have at home right now) or the chest pass (which I cannot do inside). I do this 15-20 times.
Turkish get-up (first part) - lying flat on my back legs extended, 10kg kettlebell in one arm I explode up into a seated (but slightly twisted) position. It's best to look up a video for Turkish getup instead of me describing it. I do this 10 times.
Push ups on Swiss ball - Same as a regular push-ups but my toes are on a large Swiss ball. This not only creates an incline, but I have to stabilize myself as well. I try to do as many plyo push-ups as I can and round out the rest (15-20) with non-plyo versions.
Dumbbell motions - I haven't done these since I stopped doing weights, but I needed to give my chest a brief rest. I hold two 10lb dumbbells (one in each hand) with outstretched arms I raise them to chest height, open then close my arms, them (with arms still straight raise them over my head. Not once is my elbow bent. This is an exercise for working on stabilizing your shoulders, not building strength. I do this combination of movements 10 times.
Butterfly motions - Basically like doing the Butterfly swim stroke with 10lb dumbbells in each hand. I do 8 forward and 8 backward. I do them controlled but not slow.
Swiss ball push ups again
repeat the whole cycle 2 more times.

mikevolz
10/17/08 7:55:54PM
rowing machine

go 50 meters as fast as you can
rest for however long that took you.
go 100 meters as fast as you can
rest for however long it took you
...
work your way up to 500 meters. (shoot for 10-12 seconds for every 50 meters, obviously youll add a second or two after your sets get up there in numbers)


do 500 meters in under 1:42.

rest 2 minutes.

do another set, and keep doing them until your time goes over 1:42 then stop.
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