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Best Work Out For A Skinny Wimp?  
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2205 times:

As the title says... I haven't really ever formally worked out in my life (though I was a pretty hard core mountain biker specially in college, till I had an accident, and that only ended up giving me thunder thighs). Lately I've felt I've been sitting on my ass way too much, be it at work flying, driving, or whatever. I really noticed especially when trying to lift things up the stairs to my apartment, anything over 30lbs and I end up panting like I ran a marathon. I'm 5'10" and about ~140 lbs so it's not like im a fat slob by any means,in fact for most of my life I've struggled gaining weight, despite having a voracious appetite (more so than many of my +200lb friends). It's all in the genes I guess, everyone in my family is quite skinny.

Anyways, for the past 2 hours I've browsed left and right for workout routines but every single one of them seems to focus on loosing weight or getting ripped like the Governator, with little in between I can't find any that just get me to a normal, healthy level and perhaps a respectable but not overkill beach body. Also, one that would use mostly just body weight and that I can do at home is a pretty strong requirement. I hate gyms and I'm trying to keep this as cheap as possible. Also I can't run more than a few hundred feet due to mild foot issues. The only workout equipment I have is a chin-up bar, which I have used in the past but have long since forgotten since I never saw any noticeable difference, despite following recommended techniques. Also, it's hard for me to keep motivated after I start working out, I usually start procrastinating really fast.

The P90x system seemed interesting to me since it meets most of my requirements (at home, little to no equipment, etc), except it looks overkill for my needs. I can get access to it for free (friends) and I figure having some sort of virtual trainer in the screen yelling at me may keep me motivated.

Any suggestions appreciated.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18717 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2161 times:

My advice:


1) You need to be willing to spend about an hour a day, five days a week on this (at a minimum). Any less and you are going to find that the results are unsatisfactory.

2) Aerobic exercise will normalize weight. If you are skinny, it will put muscle on you. If you are fat, it will take fat off of you. You need aerobic exercise (at least 30 vigorous minutes per day) to get anything else. Jogging/running is one good option, but high-impact. Don't discount elliptical trainers or stair climbing machines (especially the newer kind with the moving escalator stairs). For running, my suggestion is run three sets of 3 minutes each with one minute walking in between. Every week, add one minute to each running section (three sets of 4 minutes next week, etc.). By week 7, you will be running for 33 minutes, of which 30 will be running and 3 will be walking. Run on the street, track, etc. You are skinny, so running won't be as rough on your knees as it is for heavier folks.

3) The other 30 minutes should be devoted to strength training. You might get a few sessions with a personal trainer to familiarize yourself with the various equipment available and proper lifting form (so you don't break yourself). Freeweights are the best, but you need a buddy to spot you, so weight machines are often more practical. You should do certain muscle groups every day you lift, but rotate others.

4) For muscle growth, remember that during the first six weeks of strength training, increases in strength come from changes in the innervation to the muscle. After the first six weeks, the process of hypertrophy (increase in size) begins.

5) 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day will help you build muscle. You do not have to "pulse" it with on-again-off-again regimens. Do NOT start drinking "muscle milk" or other such BS. It's a bunch of calories that SHOULD come from a decent, high-protein, low-glycemic, low-fat diet. And drink lots of water.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2138 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):

1) You need to be willing to spend about an hour a day, five days a week on this (at a minimum). Any less and you are going to find that the results are unsatisfactory.

What's your take on doing it every other day? Lots of people say you have to do it that way to let your muscles rebuild, IMO it makes sense, then again, you're only exercising for an hour at most and then your muscles have tons of hours to "Rest"

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
You are skinny, so running won't be as rough on your knees as it is for heavier folks.

True, but I have a pretty major case of outward pointing feet, I can't run for long before they start killing me. That's part of why the only real workout Ive done before was on the bike.


But very good and professional advice. Couldn't expect less from a.nets resident troll, I mean, doctor 


User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1805 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2112 times:

Not sure why you would want to gain weight, avgas isn't cheap these days 
Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
What's your take on doing it every other day? Lots of people say you have to do it that way to let your muscles rebuild

Nonsense. You don't need a day of rest for every day of exercise. I personally do exactly as the good doctor suggests: Mon-Fri in the gym after work, then relax on the weekend, and it works perfectly well for me.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
you're only exercising for an hour at most

An hour at the LEAST.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
5) 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day will help you build muscle. You do not have to "pulse" it with on-again-off-again regimens. Do NOT start drinking "muscle milk" or other such BS. It's a bunch of calories that SHOULD come from a decent, high-protein, low-glycemic, low-fat diet. And drink lots of water.

I agree with avoiding the "muscle milk"-type stuff. There's more marketing in those containers than there is nutrition.

But I have a question for DocLightning: What is your take on mass gainers? I don't take them myself because I am more than happy at my current weight, but I've seen it do wonders for a couple skinny friends of mine.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Tonga, joined Apr 2004, 3456 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2108 times:

I have been doing Crossfit for about 2 months now, and its the best money I have spent in a long time. I do it about 4 days a week on average, and its a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise. It is all guided by a personal trainer, who makes sure you have proper form.

There are no repetitive workouts (known as WOD...Workout Of the Day) and each time I leave after the hour class I come out of there completely wasted. Its great and it really is worth the time and money (it ain't cheap but when you do the math, its a great value)

Just a thought...I look forward to it everyday

Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
The P90x system seemed interesting to me since it meets most of my requirements (at home, little to no equipment, etc), except it looks overkill for my needs. I can get access to it for free (friends) and I figure having some sort of virtual trainer in the screen yelling at me may keep me motivated.

There are about 4 people I know who did the P90X system the way it was intended, and all came out with fantastic results. Dare I say, it is not a gimmick. Tony Horton is a great guy to "work with" and I think he has it right. I think you should give it a go if you have access to the videos.



hit it and quit it
User currently offlineblink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5478 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 4):

There are about 4 people I know who did the P90X system the way it was intended, and all came out with fantastic results. Dare I say, it is not a gimmick. Tony Horton is a great guy to "work with" and I think he has it right. I think you should give it a go if you have access to the videos.

Some friends and I did a few workouts with it(it wasn't my copy, so no money off my back), and we all found it reasonable. Given that the program is DVD-based, and to the best of my knowledge does not require any equipment, P90X may be a great workout tool for business travelers or for a bad weather day when you don't feel like going to the gym. Now that I've said that, some a.nutter is going to put up a TR of him/her doing P90X in flight .

I'm surprised this hasn't come up yet, but good old fashioned push ups and pull ups work really well too, provided you have good form(ie, actually using your arms!). Also add in yoga for back and abs. I'm well under 200lbs, and a combination of yoga, push ups, and pull ups with running/elliptical/bike 4-5x per week have kept me fit and functioning without ever being confused for a bodybuilder or gym rat.



Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2574 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2092 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Thread starter):
I've browsed left and right for workout routines but every single one of them seems to focus on loosing weight or getting ripped like the Governator, with little in between I can't find any that just get me to a normal, healthy level and perhaps a respectable but not overkill beach body.

Yeah the gulf between those marketing aims is always puzzling to me. I can understand the ubiquitousness of weight-loss products, but most sensible guys I know (plus you, Fly   ) are more interested in having a respectable musculature rather than a vein-bursting one.

I have had success in the respectable-muscle-building arena, only I've had the luxury of membership at posh health clubs and the services of personal trainers. I've used three different trainers in different chapters of my life, and if their three different (but not widely so) regimens were combined into one, what you'd see is:

The first three weeks, three times a week, do high reps and low weights. Use weights at which you can do 12-15 reps, three sets in a row with three minutes of rest in between. This helps to build neuropathways (I think it also helps with other stuff, but "neuropathways" is a cool word so I didn't pay attention to whatever else the trainer was saying).

After those three weeks, go to high weight and low reps. The conventional wisdom at the time (mid 1990's) was to find a weight at which you can do five to seven reps, and again with the three sets three minutes apart. It seems that's no longer the CW; my more recent trainers (at Custom Fitness Uptown here in Minneapolis) had me doing a set at 12 reps, then higher weight to 10 reps, and still higher weight to 8 reps. I won't pretend to know anything about the physiological science supporting the newer wisdom, but in my experience there wasn't much difference in results. I was happy with my beach bod either way  

I part with the rest of the crowd here and their anti-MuscleMilk urgings. MuscleMilk takes some guff because it contains nutritionally vapid (but tasty) fructose. I seem to be blessed with a fast sugar metabolism, so it's not a problem for me; and I just love their flavors, especially chocolate mint chip and blueberry crème.   

If your sugar guidelines are different from mine, or if the ubiquitous MuscleMilk just strikes you as too pedestrian, I have good things to say about MetRX. Both products contain casein protein, which, some science dudes say, is the shiz protein. Casein assists with fat burning (though one of my more awesome trainers says she doesn't believe that), and soy protein, I was once told, increases estrogen. The person who told me that may have been yanking my chain, but there was a precautionary soy bonfire in my backyard later that same night.



Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2063 times:

Alright never mind this thread I just found out my new personal trainer, a previous subject of WYHI threads long gone..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k6w1yP5-XY

        

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
Not sure why you would want to gain weight, avgas isn't cheap these days

Because after almost 28 years of looking like an anorexic twat I think I'm kinda over it.  

I guess waht I'm really looking for is a bit more muscle. But if I can trim away some fat in exchange for more meat, than that's fine by me. I do have about 1/2 A-cup man boobs and a tiny bit of a gut to be honest.  
Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):

Nonsense. You don't need a day of rest for every day of exercise.

I figured as much.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
I agree with avoiding the "muscle milk"-type stuff. There's more marketing in those containers than there is nutrition.

so what should I get then? Do they sell the stuff plain? A quick google search came up with what appears to be the usual over hyped 50 gallon drum sized containers with giant lettering and scantily clad females on them

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 4):
I have been doing Crossfit for about 2 months now, and its the best money I have spent in a long time.

Looked at the local crossfit scene here, it's out of my budget right now, not to mention my job gets in the way.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 4):
I think you should give it a go if you have access to the videos.

I think I will. I was seacrhing on the interwebs for befoer and after shots of dudes with similar build to me, and it actually seems to work well. Most seem to say they initially lost a couple of pounds but then they earned weight, which was all muscle. Though I better do the "test" exercises first to make sure I won't die trying this program   


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18717 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2027 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
What's your take on doing it every other day? Lots of people say you have to do it that way to let your muscles rebuild, IMO it makes sense, then again, you're only exercising for an hour at most and then your muscles have tons of hours to "Rest"

Probably not enough to get really good benefit. It's decent for maintenance of basic fitness, but not much more. To get in shape, it's got to be more than that. You still get two days off for regeneration and injury repair.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
But I have a question for DocLightning: What is your take on mass gainers? I don't take them myself because I am more than happy at my current weight, but I've seen it do wonders for a couple skinny friends of mine.

Again, they are just calories. They should eat nutritious food and exercise.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
Couldn't expect less from a.nets resident troll, I mean, doctor 
Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 7):
Alright never mind this thread I just found out my new personal trainer, a previous subject of WYHI threads long gone..

My professional medical recommendation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdX_OBUeHb4
(keep watching. It gets weirder and weirder...)


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):

Probably not enough to get really good benefit. It's decent for maintenance of basic fitness, but not much more. To get in shape, it's got to be more than that. You still get two days off for regeneration and injury repair.

Gotcha.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
(keep watching. It gets weirder and weirder...)


User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3391 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1860 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 2):
What's your take on doing it every other day?

You will be fine, and I speak from years of direct experience. I did a boot camp class at the local community college for years. 3 days a week, 1 hour a day. It was cut 2 years ago but I still see the results from those 3 days of workouts. A mix of cardio, endurance and muscle. During summer session we got 6 weeks of 4 days/1.5 hours/day. I could feel faster results, no doubt, but no, you don't have to do it everyday to get what you want. It's more important you do some than none at all if that fits your schedule better.
I miss that class more than anything. $20/semester, what a deal too..


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

Hmmm, I was looking around the beachbody website and apparently there are some more laid back programs like the vanilla P90 or the 10 minute trainer thingamajigs. I think I'll give those a shot instead.

[Edited 2012-02-26 19:46:00]

User currently offlinemirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1777 times:
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If you are looking at gaining weight and have a voracious appetite, what do you eat??
Sounds like you have a stoked metabolism to start.

Chin ups and pull ups are great, builds the v taper of a back. And you got some great info up there. But I think you might want to look at total caloric intake.


Eat a lot more protein and Eat a lot more whole grains, work out 3-4 days a week and you can definitely get results.

I personally don't like casein at night since it doest mix well. So a handful of almonds or 2 scoops of peanut butter at bedtime should help you maintain overnight what you gained during the day.


Also, I opted against a personal trainer. My motivation stares at me in the mirror. I know you said you did chin ups to no avail but what did you do? push yourself to 20, 30, 50 chin ups? Then what did you follow up and eat after?



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1759 times:

Quoting mirrodie (Reply 12):
what do you eat??

Depends. This last week I on 3 separate occasions I ate a nearly 1lb steak for lunch, and a side of rice. Thing is I eat heavily but then I won't touch food until I'm really hungry again. You'll never ever see me drinking coke or eating a random bag of chips in between actual meals. I alsoI try to get as much veggies and fruit in there. I like to make eggs for breakfast. Dinner has been lately mostly giant chicken boobs with a side of rice or veggies, or 3 pretty decently sized catfish filets with the same sides. But then at items when I get back home very late from work I'll just say screw it and go to the local fast food joint and get the greasiest, most disgusting and heart-attack inducing burger and fries I can find.

Quoting mirrodie (Reply 12):
push yourself to 20, 30, 50 chin ups? Then what did you follow up and eat after?

To be honest it was a half assed attempt. I would do two sets of 30, with a short break in between. Thats it. I could have eaten anything from a peanut butter sammich to another one of my ridiculous steaks.

[Edited 2012-02-26 23:20:06]

User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2224 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 1744 times:

Anyone who wants to build muscle needs enough protein in their diet. Naturally skinny people are usually ectomorph body types. I'm a mesomorph and I still have to remind myself to eat enough and supplement enough. You need to take in a certain # of g of protein a day to build muscle. It depends on your weight, height, body type, and metabolism.

You can work out all day, and if your diet is wrong you still aren't gonna get anywhere.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineczbbflier From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 970 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1685 times:

Go buy the book, The Four-Hour Body. Best thing you'll ever do to understand how your body metabolizes food and how to get back to being strong and fit.

Filler


User currently offlinemirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1667 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Pellegrini is dead on. My body type is also mesomorphic. I went from wanting to lose 13 pounds off the belly. And I did. Now I struggle to maintain the muscle gain

I think you may want to consider eating like you do BUT u got to eat every three hours. Eat a lot more protein and a lot more complex carbohydrates every three hours. Otherwise you're going through larger periods of time where your body is fasting and eating away at itself so speak.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineflyingclrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
2) Aerobic exercise will normalize weight. If you are skinny, it will put muscle on you. If you are fat, it will take fat off of you. You need aerobic exercise (at least 30 vigorous minutes per day) to get anything else. Jogging/running is one good option, but high-impact. Don't discount elliptical trainers or stair climbing machines (especially the newer kind with the moving escalator stairs). For running, my suggestion is run three sets of 3 minutes each with one minute walking in between. Every week, add one minute to each running section (three sets of 4 minutes next week, etc.). By week 7, you will be running for 33 minutes, of which 30 will be running and 3 will be walking. Run on the street, track, etc. You are skinny, so running won't be as rough on your knees as it is for heavier folks.

I don't run anymore. I had surgery on my spine at the L-5-S1 level almost 11 years ago and gained about 45 pounds over the next 6 years. I've tried elliptical trainers, but they don't feel comfortable at all. They seem to be designed for shorter people with shorter legs. I took up swimming almost 4 years ago and am now just 5 pounds heavier than I was when I had my back surgery. Swimming has the advantage of toning up all the major muscle groups unlike running or biking. Unfortunately it can be difficult to schedule lap swims especially in the winter.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5104 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1082 times:

In November, I started running. So far, I've dropped 15 or so lbs. I've noticed some increase in strength (I assume due to the cross train day that I work some weights, and the overall increase in health).

My resting heart rate has gone from 68bpm to 54bpm. I do not get winded climbing stairs. I can walk forever.

I run my first mini in April.

The most interesting thing that I've noticed is the change in my diet. Since I run in the AM, I can't eat a large dinner. So, I eat more meals with less food. I know my caloric intake has increased overall, but I'm dropping weight. I haven't changed what I eat one bit, except for eliminating fastfood from my diet (really wasn't a big part anyway) and carbonated (diet and non). I still eat pizza, burgers, beef, etc. I'm liking it.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
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