the best way to get a good workout?

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the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:56 pm

I know this is probably not the best place to ask this, but does anybody know what a good workout routine would be for someone who has worked out maybe twice in his life and has a body weight of about 135, height of 6'11", and body mass of -834983729023? I'm sick and tired of being so damn skinny. I don't want huge show-offy muscles. Just some decent arms that I don't feel the need to hide under a sweater in the middle of July. There's a workout room in my apartment complex, but I haven't checked out what they have. I think they have some generic weight machines.

So. Can anyone help?
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:58 pm

Find a physical activity that you enjoy. Otherwise the odds of you sticking with it plummet.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:07 pm

mafropetee wrote:I know this is probably not the best place to ask this, but does anybody know what a good workout routine would be for someone who has worked out maybe twice in his life and has a body weight of about 135, height of 6'11", and body mass of -834983729023? I'm sick and tired of being so damn skinny. I don't want huge show-offy muscles. Just some decent arms that I don't feel the need to hide under a sweater in the middle of July. There's a workout room in my apartment complex, but I haven't checked out what they have. I think they have some generic weight machines.

So. Can anyone help?


Dude are you off a foot on your height ? 6'11" and 135 is like OMG way to thin. Even if its 5'11" you need to eat a sammich or something. Mattsteg is right you need to find something you enjoy or you wont stick with it. Something you can do with your friends would be even better for getting you to stick with it.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:15 pm

I've been working out since I started this semester and I've put a good 8 or 9 pounds of muscle on so far. I too, am like you. Blessed with height and a thin body. So understand that your "blessed metabolism" means certain things for you.

First of all, dont expect massive gains in muscle mass at all. Our bodies simply aren't meant to support much. I don't know how much more muscle I can put on, but I don't think it is going to be much more at all. Currently I'm benching 115 (I started out at 85), I weigh 133 now (started at 124) and I'm like 5'11. However, while we can't put much muscle on, we certainly can show what we do have. You'll find that once you start working out, your muscles will show, unlike a lot of individuals. Here is my routine which I do every-day

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday- Back, biceps, shoulders, abs
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays- Chest, Triceps, biceps, abs.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:42 pm

I'm a skinny guy too, 6'5" 175lbs. I agree with SecretMaster, we can't put on mad amounts of muscle, we are just alot more toned. I play college volleyball and have taken the first year of Human Kinetics in college, so I know a couple things about working out.

First off, you need a routine to stick to. The gains will show alot at first, but will then taper down once you have been working out for awhile. Don't get discouraged! A quick routine would be something like:
Chest: Bench press
Back: Seated row
Shoulders: DB Military press
Back: Lat pulldowns
Arm: BB Bicep curls
Arm: Tricep pulldowns
Legs: Squats
Legs: Seated hamstring curls
Calfs: Calf raises (weighted if you want)
(BB is for barbell, DB for dumbell)

Abs: Standard abdominal curls (you can add in a fit ball to work on balance)
Obliques(side abs): Side bridges to failure
Back: Rack back extensions (don't arch your back, you can hurt yourself!)

Secondly is the reps/sets and rest. Since you want to build muscle, you will want to do sets/reps/rest like so:
8-12 Reps 3-4 Sets with 60-90 seconds of rest inbetween
This will allow you to some-what recover, but the muscle will also still be tired, which is where you will see the biggest increase in strength.
You can also super-set the excersises to save time, for example do a leg exercise while you are recovering from an upper body excercise.

Thirdly is your weight. Find a weight where you can do almost 10 reps for you first set. If you can pump out 12 or more the first set, up you weight a little but. You will have to play around with this. You want the last rep in each set to be to failure.

Lastly is the tempo of your reps. If you pump out the reps one after another super fast, you wont see much for results. Slow is the key for strength training and building muscle. You will want this for tempo:
3 seconds down and 1-2 seconds up (on your bench, for example)
You should really feel a burn here, which is where you will build muscle.

Another thing that helps build muscle too is good cardio. Good cardio will help get oxygen to your muscles faster, therfore increasing your ability to recover faster.
And of course there is your diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is key. You don't really need any protein supplements if you are eating properly, you will have enough protein already.

Hope this helps.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:51 pm

Tall people can put on muscle, it's just proportionately harder to do. I had some large muscular legs for a long time, as I used to ride my 12-speed (They didn't have 21-speed's yet) in top gear every where I went. I used to break bike frames where the seat tube is welded to the cranks' housing tube due to the torque I kept putting on the frame. There is already good advice listed for a workout, but also keep in mind what you eat. To help promote more muscle growth, step up some protein intake, like tuna and chicken. White meat is the best, and dark meat has the most fat content (But damn does it taste so good.), but overall, take a good vitamin supplement once a day along with a meal, and increase the amount of protein. I'm not saying increase the amount of FOOD, just increase a certain type.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:53 pm

I've always been a fan of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and running. That'll get you some really nice tone, which is what you are going for.

If you're tall and lanky it'll be hard to look buff like some guys, but rest easy knowing that overall you'll be healthier (even if you don't workout, but you should anyway), and putting on too much weight probably won't be a problem for you.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:56 pm

FireGryphon wrote:I've always been a fan of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and running. That'll get you some really nice tone, which is what you are going for.

Hear, hear! I agree. And this is all stuff you can do in your living room. For the most part.

I also want to add swimming to this list. According to Oblivion, your athletics score goes up faster if you swim than run.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:57 pm

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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:05 pm

You should give rock climbing a try. It's highly addicting and can produce some great results. Rock climbing emphasizes practical strength.

Kettlebells are great too: http://www.techreport.com/forums/viewto ... =1&t=57433
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:43 pm

FireGryphon wrote:I've always been a fan of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and running. That'll get you some really nice tone, which is what you are going for.

If you're tall and lanky it'll be hard to look buff like some guys, but rest easy knowing that overall you'll be healthier (even if you don't workout, but you should anyway), and putting on too much weight probably won't be a problem for you.


Push ups, chin ups, and sit ups are a great way to get started. That is actually how I got started working out; I used to do about 100 pushups each day over the summer. But while it is a great way to get started, I think it isn't the best way to build muscle. After awhile I feel as though you get diminishing returns with pushups, especially compared to the time you have to invest in doing them.

And playing some sport does help to get you started. I'm a die-hard frisbee player, and I've been playing for five years now. Frisbee is such a great sport and it builds great endurance. That's why I never bother working out my legs, running does that for me 3 out of the 4 seasons of the year.

And if you are going to go to a gym and workout, I always recommend free-weights over machines. Free weights help your body a lot more than machines do.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:01 pm

Hah, oops. Yeah I'm 5'11". Idk where I got 6' from. Thanks for all the advice. Like I said I don't want to get buff or anything. I just want some meat on my bones, which I currently have none. It's very unattractive. I just want people to be able to say "oh, he's nice and lean" instead of "ew, he looks like a holocaust survivor."
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:30 pm

mafropetee wrote:Hah, oops. Yeah I'm 5'11". Idk where I got 6' from. Thanks for all the advice. Like I said I don't want to get buff or anything. I just want some meat on my bones, which I currently have none. It's very unattractive. I just want people to be able to say "oh, he's nice and lean" instead of "ew, he looks like a holocaust survivor."


Also consider getting a physically demanding job. You can get paid and get a workout. Not a bad trade-off. During the summer I work at my old school with the janitors and contractors in the school district. We do a lot of moving of desks, and file-cabinets, electrical installation, plumbing, installing white-boards, etc. Maybe school districts around your area offers the same.

Or find some other job that will offer you the same/similiar experience.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:36 pm

mafropetee wrote:Hah, oops. Yeah I'm 5'11". Idk where I got 6' from. Thanks for all the advice. Like I said I don't want to get buff or anything. I just want some meat on my bones, which I currently have none. It's very unattractive. I just want people to be able to say "oh, he's nice and lean" instead of "ew, he looks like a holocaust survivor."

I'm 5'11.5" and 145 (after dinner completely clothed). My wife says I need to put on weight :P
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:56 pm

Go directly to here, do not pass go, yada yada...
http://www.t-nation.com/

Once you get there, start reading articles. Hit the Article Library. Read as much in the Diet and Nutrition area as possible.

Pick up one of the excellent training regimines from one of the Body Building or Peformance sections. If you can't pick one, give this one a try: http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=534922

The authors at T-Nation are second to none. Several of them do guest articles in Men's Health. You won't find more dense information on bodybuilding anywhere else on the net, and in a no-bs format.

Their supplements are excellent too, but don't start out with supplements right away (other than a good protein, Surge is about as good as it gets for workout nutrition).
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:58 pm

SecretMaster wrote:
mafropetee wrote:Hah, oops. Yeah I'm 5'11". Idk where I got 6' from. Thanks for all the advice. Like I said I don't want to get buff or anything. I just want some meat on my bones, which I currently have none. It's very unattractive. I just want people to be able to say "oh, he's nice and lean" instead of "ew, he looks like a holocaust survivor."


Also consider getting a physically demanding job. You can get paid and get a workout. Not a bad trade-off. During the summer I work at my old school with the janitors and contractors in the school district. We do a lot of moving of desks, and file-cabinets, electrical installation, plumbing, installing white-boards, etc. Maybe school districts around your area offers the same.

Or find some other job that will offer you the same/similiar experience.

Notice how alot of mechanics are pretty buff? (example: Italian job)
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:29 pm

http://stronglifts.com/

Good site. Good advice. Emphasis on core muscle workouts using free weights, plus good healthy eating. I'd suggest working in some sort of core weight routine along with running or a sport you enjoy.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:22 pm

Buub wrote:Go directly to here, do not pass go, yada yada...
http://www.t-nation.com/

Once you get there, start reading articles. Hit the Article Library. Read as much in the Diet and Nutrition area as possible.

Pick up one of the excellent training regimines from one of the Body Building or Peformance sections. If you can't pick one, give this one a try: http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=534922

The authors at T-Nation are second to none. Several of them do guest articles in Men's Health. You won't find more dense information on bodybuilding anywhere else on the net, and in a no-bs format.

Their supplements are excellent too, but don't start out with supplements right away (other than a good protein, Surge is about as good as it gets for workout nutrition).


You, sir, are made of win. This really helps a lot.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:30 pm

1) Buy a used pickup truck.
2) Tell your friends you have a truck.
3) Accept every invitation to help your friends move. That will keep you lifting heavy objects all year long.

:)
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:05 am

Good advice all around in here. Your height isn’t really your disadvantage. It is your muscle type, which by your weight I’m guessing you’re an ectomorph. Which is the hardest to build muscle with. I’m 5’11 myself and 195lbs, 11% body fat. I’m a different muscle type though, I’m more a mix between mesomorph and ectomorph. (I have kinda long arms, I can just about touch my knees standing up arms by my side, helps in dunking a basketball.)

I’ve never seen that T-Nation site before, it’s pretty good. I use http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/index.html . Check it out see if you like that too. It’s a great site with articles from professional bodybuilders and other fitness professionals. It also has a huge selection of supplements at GREAT prices.

Remember though, with metabolism like yours you must eat and increase your protein intake way more than you do normally. You might have to do about 4-5 meals a day and don’t skip dinner. I’m not on protein anymore as I eat a lot of fish and pasta anyway, but when I used to use supplements I drank Muscle Milk. It’s the best tasting in my opinion. Also pick up some NOX3. I’ve used NO2 before and it was great stuff, this is more potent.

Also that swimming advice is spot on. But you must still run because you use other sets of muscle when you run that you might not use while swimming.

Also if you want to bulk up you really should be doing less reps than mention above but more sets. The traditional since the time of Arnold is the 5x5 program. 5 reps, 5 sets. This is how I split my week and the order of exercises for each day. Order is important.

Mon: Chest; Incline bench, flat bench, decline bench, dips(lean forward when you do these to hit lower chest), chest flyes, and I finish with pushups(normal width, then wide, then diamonds. Go for max effort on these).

Tues: Forearms/Bi’s and Back; Biceps: standing barbell curls, preacher curls, Arnold curls, seated curls, cable curls. Forearms: Seat wrist curls, hammer curls. For back: Lat Pull down machine, Seated rows, bent over rows, Good mornings, pull ups.

Wed: Triceps: weighted dips(NO lean, stay upright), push downs on the cable machine, tricep extensions (either cables or leaning on a bench)

Thurs: Shoulders, legs; Shoulders: military press, seated dumbbell raises(like military press but with dumbbells) barbell/dumbbell shrugs. Legs: Squats, leg press, leg extensions, leg curls.

Friday: Repeat chest.

Each week go up 5 pounds on the weights you use. Use heavy weights (about 75% of your max) for your big muscles(chest, back, legs) so you can do 5x5 and FEEL it. The smaller muscles use moderately heavy (50% of your max) and you can go up in reps.
If you don’t have the time for all this, just go Mon, Wed, Fri.
Mon: Chest, back/biceps/forearms;
Wed: Legs;
Fri: Triceps, Shoulders

My 2 cents.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:15 am

I'm very well toned, but I'm also 5'5" 135. I can't eat huge meals (I get "full" quickly) and I don't have any REAL weight machines due to lack of space again. I keep a huge book bag weighted with approximately 50lbs of books. I do pushups, situps, pullups, dips with it. I also run with a weighted vest and ankle weights. My jump rope is weighted as well, 10lbs IIRC. Cardio to me is so much better than just weights, I haven't been "tired" in a long time. Ninjutsu beats me down but I find I'm one of the few people who trains 5 days a week, I attribute this to my extreme cardio routine. The bruising and soreness is amazing.

When I did lift (about 3-4 years ago) I hit a peak weight of 140 eating 3500-4000 calories a day. 4-6 meals, with a protein shake and creatine to boot. I was more defined than I am now, but it was all fleeting, as soon as I stopped the creatine, I lost everything within a month-month and a half.

Edit: I'm a big fan of calisthenics as well. Lots of lunges, squats, etc for strong legs. Besides the aesthetics of "looking cut" I find that it's just not worth it, although that's a personal conclusion everyone has to come to on their own.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:24 am

There are several ways to get a good workout, but if you want to just gain muscle mass then you must increase your protein intake as Semper stated and do little cardio. The key is to find a way to do it in a way that you enjoy. If you don't think going to the gym to workout is going to stimulate you for very long, then invest in some free weights and do it at home. There are several exercises you can do at home with just a set of dumbbells.

Something to remember though.........gaining muscle mass takes time if you do it naturally. Don't get discouraged if after a month your not the hulking mass you want to be. Just keep at it and it will happen.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:19 am

mafropetee wrote:
Buub wrote:Go directly to here, do not pass go, yada yada...
http://www.t-nation.com/

Once you get there, start reading articles. Hit the Article Library. Read as much in the Diet and Nutrition area as possible.

Pick up one of the excellent training regimines from one of the Body Building or Peformance sections. If you can't pick one, give this one a try: http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=534922

The authors at T-Nation are second to none. Several of them do guest articles in Men's Health. You won't find more dense information on bodybuilding anywhere else on the net, and in a no-bs format.

Their supplements are excellent too, but don't start out with supplements right away (other than a good protein, Surge is about as good as it gets for workout nutrition).


You, sir, are made of win. This really helps a lot.


I think T-Nation is probably my favorite site on the net. Even more-so than the Tech Report (shhh... don't tell anyone).

My favorite nutritionists on the site are John Berardi (creator of Surge and author of an awesome book, "From Scrawny to Brawny"), David Barr (champion of Pop-Tarts for maximum mass building, but I won't hold that against him), Lonnie Lowery, Chris Shugart. These guys known some serious science. Occasionally Cy Wilson or Tim Patterson will pop on and answer questins and give science behind their supplements. I've never seen another company whose own scientists get on the forums and answer questions about their products.

Regarding nutrition, as others here have noted, to get big you have to eat calories. If you're not eating enough, you won't get big. Berardi's book, above, is an excellent source of information, but he and others have written some great articles on the site.

As far as coaches and trainers, Dan John has to be my favorite. He's just an old-time common sense coach with a huge sense of humor and humility. I've met the guy in person, and he's just as great a guy as his articles read. As far as workouts and science behind muscle and neurological processes, Chad Waterbury is my favorite. Christian Thibaudeau knows how to build a competition bodybuilder. There are several other great coaches. I'm not a fan of Ellington Darden and his HIT approach, nor does Charles Poliquin quirkiness really appeal to me, though he has some great advice occasionally.

That's a good start... read like crazy, there's a ton of great advice there. But don't get analysis paralysis. Pick some stuff and start doing it. Refine it as you go. There is no magic formula for getting big other than eat enough good calories and lift heavy and consistently (but not too heavy, or else you lengthen your recovery times and risk injury -- Chad Waterbury has great articles on this balance).
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:03 pm

hmm.. i may be in the same boat as the OP. 5'9, 120lbs.

my girlfriend calls me beanpole.

i guess i should quit smoking before i go and start to try and get healthy hahah.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:14 pm

What's the point of bodybuilding way beyond the threshold of athleticism? What's the point of going to such extremes? If it was useful for performance you'd see world-class athletes looking like that. I guess I just have a part of me that has a hard time taking fitness advice from places that seem to highlight people who have gone so far beyond the point of diminishing returns. Clearly a lot of what's advocated has a solid fundamental basis, but there's always part of me that wonders at what point point the advice given starts to run contrary to what actually yields good performance. The focus some people give to bulk and musculature rather than any real athletic performance just baffles the hell outta me. I guess I just see lifting as a means to the more important end of athletic performance, not an end in itself.

Screw getting big. Get strong. Get quick. Get fast. Get powerful. Get nimble. Get agile. Function beats the crap outta form, and form follows function far more closely than function follows form.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:24 pm

On the note of what Matts saying.... I was asking some guys in my class about lifting etc, and they all said that it's a waste of time. It's far more useful to be flexible than build. I've seen guys so big that they can't comb their hair or wipe their own ass without problems.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:48 pm

pete_roth wrote:On the note of what Matts saying.... I was asking some guys in my class about lifting etc, and they all said that it's a waste of time. It's far more useful to be flexible than build. I've seen guys so big that they can't comb their hair or wipe their own ass without problems.

It's certainly not a waste of time in general, but whatever you do should be tailored to whatever your specific goals are. (Flexibility's emphasized in good lifting programs, too.) "Getting big", to me, is kind of a silly goal. If your body fat % is decently low and you're athletically capable/"in shape" the rest will take care of itself. Your body will take on a form that mirrors its performance function. For you, I'd imagine that lots of reps with light loads might be useful for building endurance and strength without adding too much bulk. Explosive lifts (i.e. power clean etc.) would probably be helpful as well. It's certainly plenty feasible to tweak lifting programs to deemphasize bulk in favor of endurance/tone/etc.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:22 pm

mattsteg wrote:Screw getting big. Get strong. Get quick. Get fast. Get powerful. Get nimble. Get agile. Function beats the crap outta form, and form follows function far more closely than function follows form.


Good point. Some guys like to be strong as hell and look really good. Some like to go other directions.

That's one of the things I love about T-Nation -- it covers all that. There is an entire section devoted specifically to MMA, and I think that fits your description perfectly. While I like Chad Waterbury's older workouts for their maximum muscle building, he has moved quite strongly into the MMA arena as of late. I have no problem with this, but it is a very different focus.
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:27 pm

roont wrote:hmm.. i may be in the same boat as the OP. 5'9, 120lbs.

my girlfriend calls me beanpole.

i guess i should quit smoking before i go and start to try and get healthy hahah.


That you should... *looks at empty pack of Djarum Blacks* ... that you very well should. *looks at unfinished Black & Mild* ... I should really finish that thing.

Anyway, I'm gonna finish this week off, concentrate on getting a new job and prepping for bike week this weekend, then on Monday, it's time to start this up. Thanks for all the advice you guys. Definitely more than I expected from a bunch of computer nerds :wink:
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Re: the best way to get a good workout?

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:56 pm

mattsteg wrote: Screw getting big. Get strong. Get quick. Get fast. Get powerful. Get nimble. Get agile. Function beats the crap outta form, and form follows function far more closely than function follows form.


You might have to define strong/powerful. That gets a bit subjective. Because that's my main goal, strength, but the bulk is going to come with it. Especially for me, it's going to be almost impossible to get the strength gains I want without getting the added muscle. I would think it would be the same for most people. And as far as bulk and athleticism is concerned it really depends on the sport you are talking about. Some sports require quite a bit of musculature. Even track and field, I mean, have you seen most sprinters? Then you've got the shot putters and discus throwers, who are some big guys and gals. Also look at some male gymnast, those guys are quite built in my opinion.
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