I work out + Zombie 5K

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I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:35 pm

Hey guys, I've been getting into a little fitness craze lately. I was wondering if any gerbils had decent input on how to work out in a healthy, productive way. I'm very slender and before I really started getting somewhat serious with a routine, I weighed just shy of 130 which is kind of sad for being almost 6 feet tall. I haven't weight myself since then in fear of seeing an even lower weight due to burning what little fat I had before gaining any real muscle. But yeah...

I typically work out three days a week. The only equipment I use are an Iron Gym and two dumbells with two pairs of 8.5 lb weights and a pair of 15 lb weights. I try to eat a little protein first, if nothing else a few spoonfulls of peanut butter. I start out with the three main pull ups on the Iron Gym, shooting for five of each with a focus on the closed grip (my biceps are my weakest link so I work them the hardest). Then I use the Iron Gym on the floor to do as many push ups as I can (so far I've maxed out at 20 :-? ) and as many dips as I can ('bout the same). Then it's sit ups and leg raises to work on my abs. I can do as many of those as I please, so I just go until I get a really good burn going. Then it's dumbell curls with two 15 lb weights on a bar (and the bars are old school rusty metal filled with concrete, so they have some weight themselves). I can usually just barely pull off three sets of eight. Then I wrap it up with some dumbell flies, although slightly improper ones since I'm too lazy to clean off my bench (been collecting spider webs in my garage for a few years) and I just do them on the floor. I switch to two 8.5 lb weights per bar for those and I can do three sets of ten pretty easily.

If I feel like it I will typically go for a nice long bike ride to at least keep my legs from being disproportionate to the rest of me, and when I get back I mix two scoops of Muscle Milk with a nice tall glass of skim milk, sit back, and enjoy the chocolatey milkshake-like treat. Oh, and of course I drink PLENTY of water before, during and after.

Anyway, just wanted to share my routine and maybe get some advice. I know I'm not the only gerbil who likes to take a break from being a nerd to get physical :wink:

P.S. On a somewhat related note, is anyone excited for/has anyone participated in the Run For Your Lives zombie 5K? It's part of my motivation to get fit, because it's also a massive obstacle course. Anyone who doesn't know about it and is interested should look it up. Orlando is in November. I can't wait.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:01 pm

130kg or 130lbs?
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:03 pm

lbs.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:06 pm

it sounds like you probably aren't eating enough if your goal is to put on muscle mass, need more protein. Chicken is my favourite source of protein.

The hardest thing for me about increasing muscle mass was always diet, I don't find it too hard motivating myself to do the exercise and I usually enjoy it. I have never been good at eating consistently because I hate preparing food, and good food can be expensive. When I eat properly my results from exercise blow away my results from when I haven't eaten well. I have even noticed that I have put on muscle mass without even exercising by changing my diet to include more protein and less fat / carbs (you need to be underweight already for that to happen, but you sound like you could be).
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:15 pm

I workout 6-7 times a week. I've been doing some form of routine since I was 10, so it doesn't really feel like work anymore. That said, school makes it tough in the winter.

I do mid-distance running and Biathlon in the winter. I ran a local 10km a few months ago in 40:17, aka 17sec short of my goal.

As for your weight, I agree that a bit more protein is good, but also shoot to max-out at around your 5th-6th rep to build muscle. I always do the "build, then tone" method. For legs, do hill work. Nothing will make your legs burn like a few sprints up a decent slope.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:19 pm

I probably should have mentioned I always eat a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner on top of the whey protein and it usually involves lean meats (USUALLY) and other protein sources like eggs and fish. Plus I have been incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables in my diet, and I make a lot of smoothies with organic frozen berries and low fat yogurt.

I do use my cracked out metabolism as an excuse to pig out here and there, but it is kept to a minimum.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:12 pm

hmmm diet sounds better than mine, are the weights heavy enough for you? If the weight is right it should be a struggle to get through all of your reps, but not crazy like you are popping veins :D

I agree with henfactor
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:46 pm

I'd buy some adjustable dumbbell handles and plates to go on them; even if it's just the standard size (1") they should be able to go up to 80 lbs/hand which should be enough for a while. The Olympic size (2" diameter) should be able to handle 150+ per hand, which is probably enough forever. Add in lunges, dumbbell straight leg deadlifts and split squats for lower body. Do a dumbbell bench, dumbbell curls and dumbbell overhead press for upper body.

For most people, 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions (depending on goals) is a good starting point. I'd do a staggered A/B workout where you workout 3x/week with the weights at first, just alternating the workouts back and forth. Start with the biggest lift first (lower body usually).

something like:
Workout A:
lunges
dumbbel straight leg dead lift
DB bench
curls
should raises

Workout B
split squats (or if you can't manage these, lunges again--split squats are tricky for some of us)
DB overhead press
Tricep extension
hammer curls

all lifts for 3 sets of 5-10 reps (if you want more strength go towards 5 reps with heavier weight; if you want more size go towards the 10 reps with slightly lighter wieght).

I've gone from benching 185 for reps to benching 215 for reps in about 8 weeks doing something similar, although I'm having to switch workout schemes now. Squats went from 185 to 235 for reps, but that's the traditional barbell squat, not a split squat with dumbbells. I tend to favor strength over size or definition, so I lift in the lower set range on the big lifts like squat, dead, bench and overhead press, but go for more moderate stuff in the assistance lifts like flies or tricep extensions or curls. I lifted seriously in high school and college, but quit after that and am just getting back into it.

As far as diet; I would ALWAYS tell people to try to get their calories from real food. Describe your diet in some detail; keep a food log for a couple of days to see what you actually eat. My problem has never been adding bulk (rather the opposite) though.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:37 pm

While I agree with paulWTAMU, and actively train with resistance myself, (3x resistance, 3-4x running per week is my breakdown), there is something to be said for body weights. Pushups (wide and narrow), chin-ups, leg raises, tricep dips, lunges, sit-ups and plank holds are just a few of the things you can do that will build muscle and increase your cardio as well. Build a circuit, and do a few rotations, always trying to get more reps in a given time/ completing another full circuit. And remember, you're really not building muscle until you cannot push out another rep. This fully tears the muscle, and so it is repaired and "built" much stronger than before.

No pain, no gain.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:52 pm

I think you can do pretty well for upper body using bodyweight stuff, but I'm not as sure on legs. I mean, even lunges...lifters use those with loads all the time.

I do disagree on training till absolute failure though. I find that I can't recover if I do that, not enough to work more than once or twice a week. I eat plenty (approx. 1 lb of fish or chicken a day, lots of veggies, some dairy).
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:18 pm

You don't want to just ask everyone what to do. Go here:

http://www.exrx.net/Beginning.html

Set up your program and stick to it.

A power shake after every workout is essential. It should have Whey Protein at say 50 - 70 gm, L-Glutamine at 6 - 8 gm and some Creatin. You can load creatin or just take 5 gm a day.

A set of dumbbells, a bar for chins and a bench are all you really need for equipment. Be very careful not to hurt yourself, it holds the whole program back till you recover. I learned the hard way but you do not have too.

Good luck. Being strong is fun.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:09 am

A power shake after every workout is essential. It should have Whey Protein at say 50 - 70 gm, L-Glutamine at 6 - 8 gm and some Creatin. You can load creatin or just take 5 gm a day.


No. It may be useful in some cases but it is far from required. Eating something with protein within like 30-120 minutes is good, but it certainly doesn't have to be a shake. I lift then eat dinner (chicken breast or 2 fish fillets, plus veggies). it's worked OK for me.
Also, creatin doesn't work for everyone; for some people it just gives them an upset stomach. For some people it's wonderful but it varies.

The website you linked is helpful but the workout creation guidelines can be a bit confusing for a novice too, at least IMO since it list things like


Legs, Torso, Arms (4)
Legs, Pull, Push (4)
Alternating Push / Pull (4)
Alternating Upper / Lower (2)

as a workout.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:41 am

If i read this correctly, you are not actually running at all. running is a great exercise and i encourage you to pick it up. minute for minute there is no better way to get in shape. i would be cautious about trying a 5k without training for it. this might give you an idea about what to expect if you are trying to add running to your program. http://www.halhigdon.com/training/50933 ... ng-Program.

squats, deadlifts and lunges are some of the best exercises out there. they work more muscles in a single movement than any other. they can all be done with dumbells. look at youtube to learn proper form. you will find the more muscles you exercise the faster you improve. for back you could add dumbell hammer rows after you do pull-ups.

the rest of your workout sounds good and other have provided some great advise.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:53 am

You need to eat more. Consider using a site like myfitnesspal to log your caloric intake and macros (protein mostly) and then find a routine that works well for you. I advocate highly for Starting Strength (buy the book, it's very useful). It's a newbie program design to take advantage of newbie gains that you will see early in your lifting. It focuses on heavy weights using compound movements. You will learn how to deadlift, squat, bench, and powerclean heavy weights. I used this program and it works wonders for ANYONE who is uninitiated or who has taken considerable time off from lifting.

The problem with "split" routines where you focus on individual exercises is that you likely already lack the strength to move any real volume. Essentially you have 2 goals you can shoot for as a beginner. You can go for hypertrophy (adds size and aesthetics but not so much in the strength department) or you can go for strength, in which size will come eventually too but your focus is on heavier weights for less volume. After your beginner gains start to plateau, there are other programs designed to add modest amounts weekly to your totals. Once you have the strength, doing a hypertrophy or split routine is that much easier.

If I was you, I would focus on a 3500 - 4000 calorie a day diet. You're skinny like I was, you can bulk on anything you want. You will gain some fat, and that's fine. It's easy to cut later. There are methods of staying super lean and gaining but they are slow and if you're as skinny as you say you are, I don't think it's a good combo. Lift consistently, and get proper sleep. It's very helpful too as you start out to track your progress. You will be motivated by your own gains. Don't be discouraged by your start, you have to start somewhere and your lifts will be weak. focus on proper form above all else. It's important to use proper form because as you start to lift heavier weights, proper technique will separate a failed lift from injury.

I hang out on the fitness boards at http://reddit.com/r/fitness. They have a well educated group of guys there despite the circlejerk. Read the FAQ as it answers a ton of questions you'll have initially. Good luck and stick with it, don't get discouraged.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:59 am

Running is some of the best excersize you can get. It is important to get the right shoes, though, since it is easy to wear out your knees and back, as running on hard surfaces like concrete will hurt after years of doing it. I ran the zombie 5k last October. As far as 5k's go it's actually an easy one, since there's lots of starting and stopping (you're strategically running from zombies, so it's not just a straight run) and your focus is not on running and being tired so much as it is on the zombies who are chasing you. You still need to be in shape, but it's still more fun than a regular 5k.

Make sure you get enough calories, eat a good amount of protein and carbs, and run a lot. Right now, I run about 5 miles three times per week. When I started, I could only run a mile, but I pushed a tiny bit farther each time, and after a while it gets easier and easier to extend a run. Don't underestimate diet as an integral part to training. If you're not eating meat and pasta, essentially, you will struggle. Also, cut down on processed foods and especially things with lots of sugar in them. You need calories, but from more natural places.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:01 pm

My only caveat to starting strength is I don't like GOMAD, and I think advising doing ONLY those lifts for 3-9 months is a bit much. It also assumes that the person can low-bar squat,and not everybody can (I do best with a high bar placement myself).
That said, a rotation of squat/bench/dead and squat/ohp/dead for 4-8 weeks while someone is getting started can work wonders and his explanation of pressing, benching and deadlifting is great. So's his explanation of low bar squatting, but again, not everyone does well with that.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:03 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:My only caveat to starting strength is I don't like GOMAD, and I think advising doing ONLY those lifts for 3-9 months is a bit much. It also assumes that the person can low-bar squat,and not everybody can (I do best with a high bar placement myself).
That said, a rotation of squat/bench/dead and squat/ohp/dead for 4-8 weeks while someone is getting started can work wonders and his explanation of pressing, benching and deadlifting is great. So's his explanation of low bar squatting, but again, not everyone does well with that.


Gomad isn't necessary at all - it does work though.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:53 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:
A power shake after every workout is essential. It should have Whey Protein at say 50 - 70 gm, L-Glutamine at 6 - 8 gm and some Creatin. You can load creatin or just take 5 gm a day.


No. It may be useful in some cases but it is far from required. Eating something with protein within like 30-120 minutes is good, but it certainly doesn't have to be a shake. I lift then eat dinner (chicken breast or 2 fish fillets, plus veggies). it's worked OK for me.
Also, creatin doesn't work for everyone; for some people it just gives them an upset stomach. For some people it's wonderful but it varies.

The website you linked is helpful but the workout creation guidelines can be a bit confusing for a novice too, at least IMO since it list things like


Legs, Torso, Arms (4)
Legs, Pull, Push (4)
Alternating Push / Pull (4)
Alternating Upper / Lower (2)

as a workout.


Right after a workout is the best time to load protein, and I forgot, maltodextrin or dextrose to quash the glycogen deficiency caused by using it up with anaerobic exercise.. Nearly any body builder will benefit. It is a shame to waste the golden opportunity created by the post workout condition.

Go read some more and you will see the variety of exercises are useful for different levels of experience and various goals people have. A simple two day split is a good place to start. I run a three day split myself for several reasons, one being that I will be 66 soon and the breakup of a three day split gives me extra time to recover.
Last edited by PenGun on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:59 pm

Oh, another thing. I've learned to love this site which is run by at least one guy from the reddit fitness I linked earlier, SilverHydra.

http://examine.com/
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:22 pm

PenGun; my point is that for a novice, that isn't exactly a laid out guideline. it tells them what *sorts* of moves they need but it doesn't spell out specific lifts. That's my critique of what they lay out; it's a good general guideline but frankly, a novice might benefit more from an exact program (i.e. starting strength) simply because they may not be able to choose good lifts to meet those criteria.

as far as loading; my response wasn't to disagree with the idea that caloric intake after a session is good. That I agree with. I don't agree with jumping right to protein shakes instead of real food though. Have the person work out and eat right for 3-4 months without messing with shakes and supps, and see where that goes. Introduce as few variables at a time as possible.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:48 pm

Good advice, guys. I'll start incorporating some of the moves you have suggested, and it sounds like cleaning off my bench is more necessary than I thought.

Again, let me point out that there is no shortage of protein in my diet in multiple forms, as well as a wide pallet of whole food nutrients. Being hungry is among my least favorite feelings, so I tend to eradicate all possibility of it in as healthy a way as possible.

As for the running suggestions, as soon as I can buy a pair of Pumas I will be running at least every other morning. I was doing it for a while, but all my shoes are either too heavy or lack any kind of support (yeah, I still wear Chucks). When I did run though I found I had quite a bit more energy during the day and even lasted longer at night before going to bed was absolutely necessary. Plus I simply felt great on the days that I ran.

Oh, and I'll look into adjustable dumbells. Mine are pretty old and rusty, and changing the weights is more of a process than I would like it to be.
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Re: I work out + Zombie 5K

Postposted on Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:26 am

ALiLPinkMonster wrote:P.S. On a somewhat related note, is anyone excited for/has anyone participated in the Run For Your Lives zombie 5K? It's part of my motivation to get fit, because it's also a massive obstacle course. Anyone who doesn't know about it and is interested should look it up. Orlando is in November. I can't wait.
Yeah, I ran in the very first Run For Your Lives last October. It was a hella lot fun, but it was horribly managed from a logistics perspective.

To be fair, they faced non-trivial problems. They sold 10K+ participant slots, which made parking an interesting and significant concern. They rented a field from a nearby farmer, but only one entrance in & out of the field and rain the night before turned the field into a muddy rutted mess. They started late, every heat ran late and they had to refund some 3K tickets because it got too dark to safely run through the woods. They hired three buses to ferry everyone from the parking lot to the event, but the event was at the end of a road and the buses had to back up in order to go get another load of runners. I was scheduled for 10AM and finally ran at 11-something with 300 other people. At the end of the day, they had to shut down some obstacles due to erosion from 5K+ people climbing up the bank of a pond.

Oh yeah, the participant materials mentioned "you may have to cross 3-4' of water". Horsepucky. It was 5 feet of water and it was cold. But that part was actually fun.

We all got the same medal, regardless of whether you "survived" or not and the participants t-shirt didn't even have a RFYL logo on it. It was just some boring Underarmor t-shirt. There was an area for non-participants to watch, but it was at the end of the course and only featured one obstacle (and no zombies). You could make your way to another area to observe a couple other obstacles, but this was a non-official area. There was no map of the facilities, observation area, restrooms, first aid, etc. Cleanup after the run consisted of an asphalt basketball court and a water truck running hoses to wash the dirt off. If you wanted to change out of your damp, muddy clothes you either waited for a port-a-potty or brought out your inner exhibitionist.

Okay, all that said... it was a hella lot of fun. The obstacles were creative but not too demanding. The zombie volunteers were creative and added a real spice to it. You can skip any obstacle, but there are zombies on the side who will confiscate a "life" from you if you do. Oh, and there were occasionally zombies in the obstacle that would make a go for your flags.

I can only assume that they have learned many lessons from the first race. They've been having them all year in other towns. The current races are probably much better organized. Definitely hit youtube and search for some of the POV cameras from the events.
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