Thu 8 Apr, 2004 03:16 pm
I have always been somewhat of a fitness "nut", but lately I have embarked on a quest to not only strengthen but to enlarge and obtain more muscle definition. Problem is I can only spend about two days a week, each consisting of 3 hour workouts. If anyone could advise or steer me to info on how to best use this limited amount of time to best advantage it would be greatly appreciated. Some cardio work is done but this eats up almost a third of the available time. Any info on techniques, food, or timing related to Carb/Protein intake that might increase the value of my work outs would be very valuable.
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you Mr. Morrison. The first thing that jumped out at me when I read your post was "3 hour workouts." IMO, not a good idea. Too much of a good thing = a bad thing. Sounds like you already have a cardio routine down, I would limit that to an hour at most. Cardio for any longer than that will make you too much of an endurance type athlete which conflicts with your goal of gaining strength and muscle. Two days of weight training is fine. I would recommend one day upper body, one day lower body. Since your goal is strength/muscle gain, stick with compound movements mostly (exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group). Examples for upper body would be bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, dips, etc. Lower body would be squats, lunges, leg press, deadlifts, etc. Start off by setting some goals and be as specific as possible (e.g. bench press 300 lbs. vs. increase chest strength). Also set a timeline; I would suggest between 6-12 weeks. Start with 1-2 exercises per bodypart, 3 sets per exercise, 8-12 repetitions per set. Keep in mind these are just baseline suggestions. As you get to know your body better, you can adapt and make changes accordingly.
Diet wise, if you're not eating 6 times a day then start tomorrow! 3 solid meals and 3 shakes is a good starting point. Number one it will elevate your metabolism and help your body utilize nutrients more effectively, number two it will facilitate an anabolic environment within your body condusive to building strength and muscle. Borrowing from the Zone diet, use your palm as your guide and split your plate into thirds; a palmful of protein, a palmful of complex carbs and a palmful of vegetables. Mix a drink roughly 3:1 carbs to protein to consume half an hour prior and during your workout. Mix another drink following the same ratio immediately following your workout (within 45 minutes). Gatorade is a good choice with a scoop of whey protein isolate for starters. If you're gaining too much weight, ease up on the carbs after 4pm and try eating strictly vegetables. If you don't have a quality multi-vitamin, get one ASAP and don't go another day of your life without taking it. Other supplements I recommend are protein powders, glutamine, creatine and essential fats. Check out a Max Muscle or GNC store near you for more info on supplements.
Lastly, educate yourself as much as possible. Buy a book or go online to experiment with different meal plans and workout routines. Bodybuilding.com has some great information, that would be a good place to kick things off.
How's that for a novel? Hope some of this stuff sinks in and best of luck with your goals.
There were 165 views of this post and only 1 reply. Fortunately I got here in time to try to balance this out a bit.
Yes, how did you achieve your muscle buildup, Gus? Raking, mowing, chopping? Share!
JM, if you can spare at least 1/2 hour for a jog another 2 times a week, I think that would help a lot for you to keep your metabolism moving during the days you can't get to the gym. 3 hours sounds like way too much - wouldn't go over two. But I am a fragile lady...
Thanks for the replies. Jogging is no longer an option for Cardio because the knees are beginning to go and I need them for work where I stand for 14 + hrs/day. I use the elliptical steppers for this. Problem is I have been used to jogging in all weather (Except icy conditions) and running up and down the bleacher's at the local college for the last 20 some years so the elliptical in the gym is, well, boring.
The time at the Gym may be adjusted. I have been doing both upper and lower body (alternating between the two) because I sometimes miss a day which means that that section so targeted for that day may atrophy for twice as long. My Schedule alternates such that I only have a specific day off every other week. Add the fact that I would rather not go to the gym 2 days in a row and alternating 4 x 14 hr weekend work days and you can see my dilemma.
However, I have received good advice here and I thank you.
Again, niquefan, gustavratzenhofer, and dagmaraka
P.S. My wife insists that it would not kill me to participate in Gus type aerobic activity a little more. So perhaps Gus can steer me towards a good used rake and the individual using it so that I can practice what Dag preaches in her signature line.
That has the feel of good advice, niquefan. Welcome to a2k.