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Help this beginner gymcel fix his form and curate his routine. Yogi e199ab 04/09/2021 (Fri) 17:06:06 4016
Background. Skinnyfat 28 year old joined the gym some 2 months back didn't follow any proper routine for a 1.5 months due to bad advice from the gym owner but now for the past 20 days I have been following this routine.

https://thefitness.wiki/routines/r-fitness-basic-beginner-routine/

My main issues are with the form and assistance exercises.

Now with regards to form. The biggest issues are deadlift and Bench press.

Deadlift:

OK the issue for me with my deadlift is that my back hyperextends when I try to push my chest forward to engage my lats. Like pic related.

Although I just had an epiphany after watching a lot of videos again that since I am using low weights the bar is too low so I have to hunch over too much to grab the bar and hence my back hyperextending when I try to push my chest forward.

Is it okay if I put some plates under the weights to elevate it a little? Any other suggestions for feeling lats during deadlift?

Bench press

Can't keep my shoulder pinned to the bench like what a lot of videos suggest. I lose tightness when I push the bar up.

Squats

Here I want to do low bar squats but for some reason I can't​ get the bar that far behind my back. I get sharp pains on my biceps/triceps when I force it. I think this due to a lack of shoulder mobility? What should I do?

Main lifts and assistance exercises:


Workout A

3×5+ Barbell Rows
3×5+ Bench Press
3×5+ Squats

Assistance
Push
Incline DB Bench
Tricep Pushdown

Pull
Tricep Pushdown
DB Bicep curls
Hammer curls

Leg/core
Leg press
Captains chair


Workout B

3×5+ Chinups (or equivalent)
3×5+ Overhead Press
3×5+ Deadlifts

Push
Tricep Extension
Lateral raises

Pull
Lat pulldowns
seated cable rows

Leg/core
Captains chair
Weighted reverse lunges.

I want to know two things.

1) Do I have too much assistance exercises? Do you recommend adding or dropping anything?

2) How many sets/reps should I allocate each exercise?

Keep in mind I can't do Chin ups/pull ups yet so assistance exercises that help with that are useful.

Any advice would be helpful.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/09/2021 (Fri) 17:19:50 4017
>>4016
amerifat from /b/ here, i'm making lunch right now but i'll try to respond with feedback within the next hour or so
Yogi e199ab 04/09/2021 (Fri) 17:29:40 4018
>>4017
Thanks anon. I should be sleeping​ but I'll wait for sometime.
Yogi e199ab 04/09/2021 (Fri) 17:39:54 4020
>>4018
One more thing I go to a shitty gym with not a lot of machines especially for legs. Assistance stuff in terms of basic dumbell/barbell or extremely common machines like lat pulldown/cable rows would be appreciated.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/09/2021 (Fri) 19:09:28 4021
>>4016
>skinnyfat and routine
addressing this part first
in any task you do, remember the 80/20 rule. there are two 80/20 rules and both apply here.
rule 1 is 80% of the results you see come from you doing 20% of the work really well, or something like that. that means that just because you're spending a lot of time in the gym, it doesn't make the gym itself the most important part of what you're doing here.
rule 2 is that you're never going to be perfect, which means don't freak out when you aren't hitting 100%. have a general rule where you try to hover around 80% efficiency at minimum. this helps you assess the progress you've made and then use your time and resources to appropriately to become better at things that are lagging or to maintain what you have if you start to struggle. as you grow, your goals will grow, don't throw away the progress that you've made just because you don't figure something out on the first try.
looking at the routine you've chosen, it seems like this a pretty popular beginner routine from reddit. fine enough i guess. don't get bogged down in the minutia of the routine. instead you should be thinking in your mind
1) have i done 45 mins to 1 hour of physical activity today?
2) have i eaten enough calories?
3) have i consumed enough protein?
these questions are in order of importance. what this mindset gets you is the building of habits and discipline to grow.
once you answer the big picture questions, you get more detailed
4) am i getting proper sleep?
5) what specific muscle groups did i hit today?
6) what were all my macros today?
7) what specific exercises did i do today?
you get the point. what i'm trying to emphasize is that as a bigger you need to keep the big picture in mind.
post in this thread about your diet btw
Yogi 7ffd04 04/09/2021 (Fri) 19:40:24 4022
>>4016
alright now let's look at your routine
this is a beginner routine that will help you build essentially a baseline of strength, it's not a bad routine and is pretty popular for beginners. you've formatted the accessory lifts and push/pull part kind of weird so if i don't address something you're looking for just ask it again.
this routine follows a fairly typical 3 to 4 times a week pattern, essentially lifting every other day. that's a good pace to have as a beginner because you'll get DOMS and your body needs to get used to "recovering."
i may be repeating some things you already know, not trying to be condescending or anything, just trying to get all the information out there so you have what you need.
compound lifts are lifts that incorporate numerous muscle groups to perform a movement. isolated lifts focus on 1 muscle, or a very specific set of muscles that work in tandem.
things like barbell rows, deadlifts, squats, bench, and OHP are all compound lifts. bicep curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, shoulder raises are all isolated lifts.
there are tons of methods and reasons for how you should work out but they all depend on your goals, diet, and time. i'm assuming your goals are strength and aesthetics and your time is 1 hour a day, every other day.
for a beginner, compound lifts are great, because your muscles aren't really there. doing lots of isolated lifts are more appropriate as you start to grow, because you either need to address a muscle that's lagging behind in strength, or you are trying to build up a muscle for aesthetic purposes.
generally, you should lift certain muscle groups together, or your lifts should perform certain actions together. this is why many routines you'll come across are broken down but upper/lower body, 3 or 5 day splits based on muscle groups, or motions of push vs pull.
that said, let's adjust your routine a bit.
Workout A will become Push movements. push means just that, movements that have you pushing things with your muscles. Workout B will be the opposite, your Pull movements. We will also create a Workout C, for legs. each workout will consist of a core set of compound lifts with appropriate accessory lifts included.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/09/2021 (Fri) 19:48:04 4023
>>4016
Workout A (Push)
OHP 5x5 (shoulders, chest)
Flat or Incline bench 5x5 (chest, triceps)
Facepulls 3x10 (yeah i know it's a pull on a push day, DO YOUR FUCKING FACE PULLS)
Tricep kickbacks 3x10 (triceps)
Lateral raises 3x10 (delts)

Workout B (Pull)
Deadlift or Barbell Row 5x5 (deadlifts hit entire body, barbell row hits entire back)
Widegrip or narrow grip lat pulls 3x10 (changing the grip changes which back muscles you work)
Trap pulls 3x10 (traps, chicks love traps)
Bicep curls 3x10 (biceps)
Roman chair 3x10 (probably the greatest thing ever for lower back, if you don't have the machine for this, do superman holds)

Workout C (legs)
Squats 5x5 (glutes, hams, and quads)
Lunges 3x20 (glutes, hams, quads, calves. use a very light weight and perform these fast)
Weighted calf raises (calf, 3x30 FEEL THE BURN)
Forearm pyramids (forearms, i'll explain how to do this in another post)

your core (abs) are targeted every time you do heavy compound lifts. if you want to specifically build up your core to be stronger, you can do exercises for that. if you want to make your abs visible, then you need to focus on your diet.
you can do any of the following exercises to target your core:
weighted v-ups
russian twists
leg raises (bonus gets you v-taper that chicks love)
medicine ball press (can also be done with a 45 lb plate in case you ever wanted to cry yourself to sleep)
dead bug
scissor kicks
crossover scissor kicks
weighted planks for time, not because they're useful, but because people think they're cool and you want to be able to brag/show-off.
standing oblique crunches
Yogi 7ffd04 04/09/2021 (Fri) 19:49:08 4024
okay i have to go now, when i come back i'm going to address your questions about sets/reps, equipment, trouble you're having with specific lifts, and how to do that forearm exercise.
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 01:03:03 4027
>>4022
>i'm assuming your goals are strength and aesthetics and your time is 1 hour a day, every other day.
I can spend 2 hours a day :)
>>4023
Nice thanks for adjusting my routine. Still waiting for the forearm pyramid explanation.

Also question. So this is also a 3 day routine right? ABC ?

Also guys Rippetoe emphasise squating a lot in their beginner programs what's your opinion on that?
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 01:34:29 4028
>>4021
Also my diet is shit since I am poor(borderline NEET with only some part time jobs). I mostly eat in a very cheap hotel.

Morning couple of idlis or dosas(4 to 5)
Afternoon rice with some veggies, sambar and then some curd(150 grams).
Night chappatis.

In addition to this I eat 3 boiled eggs and 2 potatoes. I try to get my protein entirely through milk(2 to 2.5 litres a day).
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 02:15:52 4029
>>4027
having 2 hours is good, it lets you take your time and then you have time to do extra stuff if you want, but really 1 hour is all you need.
>Also question. So this is also a 3 day routine right? ABC ?
pretty much, you can do it every other day and just keep rotating through them or you can do it three times a week with two days off before restarting the cycle. really up to you, but keep in mind that routines aren't set in stone. you adjust them every few weeks to every few months depending on what's happening.
>>4028
i'll address diet in a different post.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 02:36:12 4030
>>4016
>2) How many sets/reps should I allocate each exercise?
okay let's look back at the routine i made for you in >>4023
you'll notice that exercises are pretty much either 5x5 or 3x10. 5x5 exercises are generally compound lifts, you'll be using numerous muscle groups in these lifts, and we want to use the exercises to make all those muscle groups stronger. as a beginner this is going to tire you out pretty fast, your body isn't used to being worked in this way and it takes time to recover. so we do a low number of reps with a low number of sets in order to build not just the muscle, but the tendons and nerves to handle the weight. you can absolutely wear out your joints and nervous system by trying to go beast mode your first few weeks in the gym, and it'll take you months to recover. don't do that, build up so that you can grow properly.
the 3x10 lifts are generally for the isolation exercises. perform a high number of reps because really the goal is less strength and more hypertrophy to build the muscles in size.
for core exercises, challenge yourself. do 30 russian twists on each side and if it's too easy double it the next time you go in. do weighted planks and side planks for 1 minute on each side. set a five minute timer and do scissor kicks until you give up. do 4x20 hanging leg raises. i wouldn't recommend doing core after every workout, every other workout is probably enough until you hit intermediate mode, which will probably be within a few months.
when determining how much weight to use for lifts, find a weight where you can comfortably perform the exercise for the number of sets and reps without having to intensely struggle and focus through each set. you want to be able to smoothly make the movement and be able to focus on using the proper muscle groups.
once that weight starts to feel easy, it's time to increase the weight, usually increasing by 5 to 10 lbs is a good metric.
if you're struggling to increase the weight and move up to the next level, then add extra sets and reps to your routine. if that still isn't help, look into different accessory lifts designed to assist growth in compound lifts or different isolation exercises that target the same muscles.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 02:46:09 4031
>>4027
>Still waiting for the forearm pyramid explanation.
i was trying to find a good video on this but i can't. so i'll try to explain in words.
for this you will either want something the size of an ez curl bar or just use dumbbells. start with a low weight.
sit on a bench and rest your elbows on your knees so that your arms are stretched out in front of you parallel to the ground. you should be holding the bar/dumbbells in your hands, and your palms should be facing up.
now the exercise itself is a series of wrist curls. so in your starting position, do 10 wrist curls. you aren't moving any other part of your arm, you're just making pulling motions towards your body with your wrist while holding the bar.
now switch your grip so that instead of the underhand grip, you have an overhand grip on the bar. now instead of having your wrists pull towards you, you're going to making a wrist curl motion like you're pulling the bar down towards the floor. you do 9 of these.
switch hand positions, do 8. switch hand positions, do 7. keep switching all the way down to 1. then switch wrist positions again and count all the way back up to 10.
the two images will hopefully give you a better idea of the types of grips i'm talking about.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 02:48:36 4032
>>4027
>Also guys Rippetoe emphasise squating a lot in their beginner programs what's your opinion on that?
whoops forgot to address this
yeah i think squats are great for pretty much everyone but i also think lunges are good too. rippetoe generally works with athletes like football players and powerlifters who need really strong legs, so that's why he always talks about squats and is such an expert on them. squats are a great exercise but unless you're an athlete you don't need to be as autistic as rippetoe about them
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 03:04:31 4033
>>4016
>Is it okay if I put some plates under the weights to elevate it a little? Any other suggestions for feeling lats during deadlift?
i forget if i addressed this already, but yeah you can pile up a few plates while the weight is still low to give it a normal height. widen your stance and lower your butt if you're a tall guy too.
to get a good feel of your lats remember to not pull up with your lower back. use the hip drive to move the weight into position for your upper back to lift onto. your arms should essentially just be holding onto the weight so it doesn't fall to the ground, it's only in that last few seconds that you should activate your biceps for that extra pull.
instead of trying to focus your lats, focus on using your entire upper back. as you get that feeling down better, then focus on specifically using your lats, traps, rhomboids, etc.
>Can't keep my shoulder pinned to the bench like what a lot of videos suggest. I lose tightness when I push the bar up.
focus on expanding and contracting your chest. do this without the bar. first do a couple of pushups to warm yourself up. then lie on the bench and pretend you are holding the bar. then do not move your arms at all. expand your chest and arch your back so that it looks like you're trying to puff out your chest like some fucking bird doing a mating ritual. your elbows should naturally drop below your chest line and in your back it should feel like you're trying to squeeze your shoulderblades together, you may even feel like your traps are being squeezed together. this is the down motion of the bench.
now you are going to "push" the imaginary bar off off your chest. start by squeezing your chest together, almost as if you are trying to squeeze your nipples into each other. again, you should not be actively doing anything with your arms, they are just there for the ride, if they move, they move. as your chest starts to come together, you should feel your shoulder blades expanding outwards and almost widening away from each other. to get that extra pump, give your chest another squeeze like you have a quarter resting on your sternum and it will only stay in place you squeeze your chest muscles on either side to hold it there.
>Here I want to do low bar squats but for some reason I can't​ get the bar that far behind my back. I get sharp pains on my biceps/triceps when I force it. I think this due to a lack of shoulder mobility? What should I do?
the bar shouldn't be resting on your back really, it should be resting just below your shoulder line. i think your arm pain may be due to tension from stretching your arms to compensate for the bar being too low. when you hold the bar, your wrists should almost be in line with your deltoids and you should feel no tension or pressure in your arm muscles at all, they're just there for the ride as you move up and down.
>Keep in mind I can't do Chin ups/pull ups yet so assistance exercises that help with that are useful.
bodyweight exercises and calisthenics are fugging great, if you can't do them now don't worry but always keep at them. things like pull-ups, burpees, hindu pushups, air squats can be done anywhere with little to no equipment most of the time. you don't need a gym membership and you can still build strength and muscle. the sticky has an entire folder on calisthenics, just do some of the exercises for fun when you're home and bored or if the gym is closed.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 03:18:00 4034
>>4028
your diet doesn't seem bad, if anything just eat more.
use Scooby's TDEE calculator to figure out how many calories you need to eat and about how many grams of protein you need for muscle growth. don't be too autistic about this, just estimate to the best of your ability.
drink plenty of water, 2 L minimum, but aim for 2 to 4 L everyday.
eat more dairy in general, yogurt, curd, cheese, you're already getting plenty of milk so that's good.
idli and dosa are good for calories, fats, and carbs, but don't overdo it because too many carbs will just make you fat and they're low on protein so you'll get a full stomach without protein.
potatoes are great because they're cheap, can't really complain there, but they are also all carbs. not a big deal though because usually potatoes are a side dish.
limit the chappatis, it's all carbs and not even that calorie dense.
look into eating soji, oatmeal, and quinoa (absolute top tier pseudo-grain right there). also add some beans to your diet. chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, moong beans, there are so many options. just heat them up, add some spices, and mix with a little bit of rice and you have a very cheap but filling meal with protein.
if you're buying them fresh, be sure to soak them in water before you cook them and eat them alongside something citrusy (this nullifies the phytic acid). if you buy them canned just add two spoonfuls of lemon juice at the very end when you cook them.
eggs are amazing. eggs are the greatest thing ever, you can do so much with eggs. instead of just eating plain chappatis at night, scramble an egg, cook some vegetables lightly in oil and wrap that all up in a chappati. or make yourself an omelette with raw vegetables throw in the mix. if the omlette breaks apart, fuck it, now you're eating scrambled eggs with vegetables.
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 03:28:15 4035
>>4034
>>4033
>>4032
>>4030
>>4031
>>4029
Thanks for the responses anon. It pretty much cleared out most of my doubts. I'll stick with this routine for a couple of months and I'll post here again if I get some good results.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/10/2021 (Sat) 05:06:34 4036
>>4035
don't forget to read the sticky whenever you get stuck
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 05:27:39 4037
>>4036
Will do.
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 06:15:17 4038
>>4036
Also I hope you didn't take offense at this lol.
>>284026
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 09:21:18 4039
Also anon if you're still answering, I forgot one more important thing as well. Doing cardio on rest days.

Push day
High intensity cardio day
Pull day
Low intensity cardio day
Leg day
High intensity cardio day.

That would be okay right?
Yogi f714d6 04/10/2021 (Sat) 12:52:44 4045
>>4016
Not reading it all but
>bar too low, use plate ?
Use a squat rack maybe ?
Yogi e199ab 04/10/2021 (Sat) 13:14:24 4046
>>4045
Yeah I tried that, the squat rack at my gym wasn't useful for that.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/11/2021 (Sun) 03:01:52 4047
>>4039
cardio should be adjusted based on goals
cardio results in increased stamina, endurance, and it generally burns a lot of calories quickly.
as a beginner who needs to put on weight, I wouldn't recommend doing cardio so many times a week at such high intensity. on your rest days, get some rest. Do light cardio if you really want to be active.
Yogi b01f03 04/11/2021 (Sun) 04:56:03 4048
>>4047
Thanks.
Yogi 00ba99 04/13/2021 (Tue) 16:33:14 4059
>>4047
Also anon. This will probably be my final question (also doing the first day of your routine and it was pretty great).

You have told me to use either the barbell row or deadlift on pull day. I really like the barbell row but I also consider deadlift to be an essential exercise. Can I do both?(or maybe the BB row as a lightweight assistance exercise?).
Yogi 7ffd04 04/14/2021 (Wed) 01:55:07 4060
>>4059
the reason i put in the option of doing either deadlift or barbell row is because you need to gauge which exercise is more appropriate based on your strength and progress
imo if you're not able to perform a few steady 1pl8 deadlifts, i would hold off until your back and legs are a bit stronger. the point of deadlifts is to have really fucking heavy lifts, not do a bunch of sets with a light weight. i know that currently you're doing them at a lighter weight with a few plates stacked, but hopefully you progress really quickly on that.
once you reach the stage where you're doing heavy fucking deadlifts, use the barbell row as a secondary or accessory exercise. do them after your deadlifts, and on weeks where you take a break from deadlifts, do more barbell rows.
Yogi 03bbb1 04/14/2021 (Wed) 03:34:02 4062
>>4060
Alright that's interesting. Didn't they could be used like that. I guess I'll see how my progress on Deadlifts go and then decide.
Yogi 03bbb1 04/14/2021 (Wed) 03:34:35 4063
>>4062
Didn't know*.
Yogi fad30c 04/15/2021 (Thu) 12:34:09 4071
>>4062
Oh looks like I have one more question. What exercise is this?

>Trap pulls 3x10

Googling doesn't give me anything.
Yogi 7ffd04 04/15/2021 (Thu) 15:24:10 4072
>>4071
uh try googling trap raises or trap shrugs, there are lots of different variants of this to work the traps in different ways, any one of them will do. I think dumbbell trap shrugs will probably get you the simplest result
Yogi fad30c 04/15/2021 (Thu) 16:10:07 4073
>>4072
Oh you meant Dumbbell shrugs like this?

https://youtu.be/cJRVVxmytaM

This is what I did today
Yogi 7ffd04 04/15/2021 (Thu) 17:26:59 4074
>>4073
yeah those are good. you can change it up by having narrower or wider grips and the angle of the pull
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