New to weight lifting/Bodybuilding

I have started weight lifting and want some advice on what I should be supplementing with and what extra training I should be doing?

Basically I am training to tone up but don't want to bulk up. How often should I be training and how much cardio should I be doing to reduce fat?

Also what supplements or foods would I benefit from? This training will be done during a tour so I need advice on things I may be able to get from the cook house or via the internet.

Hopefully there will be some sensible advice from this forum. Can you also give the advice in a way anyone can understand. I'm a little clueless with the bodybuilding thing.

I do not like giving weight lifting advice as I long ago realised that most people do not want to hear the truth. And even the ones that listen and embark upon a sensible routine often fall by the wayside after a couple of weeks because..

a) it was too hard and not as much fun as all those cool pumping exercises that all the other guys are doing.


b) They started following the routine of the 'big guy' down the gym - the one who has such great genetics that he could add 2 inches to his calves just by p****** in the sink every morning.

Weight training has had a bad press for a number of years now as it is always associated with the steroid using , size at all costs, silly pant wearing grunters we see in most gyms. But the truth is it is one of the safest and healthiest things for a person of any age to do. It develops ligament and tendon strength, increases bone density, maintains flexibility (if done correctly) and will keep you looking and feeling young - trust me on this last one!

The best advice I can give you is to read some books. If you want to get a bit bigger and stronger then Brawn by Stuart McRobert will give you the undiluted facts about how to achieve this.

If you want to just get stonger and more flexible then anything by Pavel Tsatsouline is an enlightening read.

As for supplements dont bother. Food on most tours these days is excellent. Healthy (if you want it to be) and plentiful. if your going somewhere hot then stuff like the popular creatine mixes and the fat burning (mostly caffeine) pills will just make you very susceptible to dehydration.

Have a safe one.
The Arnie bodybuilding encyclopedia works wonders and its exactly what it says on the tin. It tells you of everything to do with weights or even associated with it and gives advice on almost any physical exersises.
As for toning your muscles i recommend light to medium loads but long reps, this wont add mass but will improve endurance and toning. I worked with weights for over a year and if you do it too much it does get boring, i say you try your hand at over exersises aswell as lifting.
Basically I am training to tone up but don't want to bulk up. How often should I be training and how much cardio should I be doing to reduce fat?
Everyone is different, but the following general advice is unlikely to damage you, assuming there are no abnormal problems:

a) Training: there's no need to do more than every other day. Practically, 3 times a week is probably enough. One of the best sites on the web, with some very good advice on reps/sets/ weight percentages, is probably this one: ExRx (look under the 'weight training' menu)

b) Similarly, cardio also needs no more than 3 times a week, in the first instance. Be aware that the myth of 'spot reduction' is just that: to lose weight, you simply need to expend more calories in living/exercising than you put in...

Bulldoze is right though - establish a routine that is bearable/fun, or it'll never last. Try aiming at a 5 or 10 k race in 2 or 3 months... Gives you motivation.

(edit - and don't 'supplement' with anything, if by that you mean eating weight lifting style stuff - it's completely pointless for any normal lifestyle, and is basically a con, unless you're some sort of manic 'mr universe' candidate... Certainly not if you're currently trying to lose weight...)
If you want to tone up using weights you should be aiming to do 3-5 sets of 15-20 repititions of medium to low weight.

If your trying to lose weight you dont really want to take any supplements.
Having said that you may actually put weight on rather than lose it, if your lifting weights regularly. (muscle weighs more than fat)

Very good and sound advice so far,all I can add really is to vary your exercises,so to avoid the boredom factor,also I do a lot of bodyweight exercises,chins and 1 legged squats,handy if there is not much gym equipment around,and be patient Rome wasn't built in a day! good luck friend
Thanks for the advice. I have bought a book on specfic exercise routines and methods but thats it. I will take the advice given and train on a regular basis whilst getting my moneys worth from the cookhouse.

If anyone else would like to add to this then that would be much appreciated and I'm sure others will find it useful.
Sorry - missed the point about 'during a tour' in your first post. Some thoughts:

My unit wore out 3 complete sets of gym equipment in West Belfast many years ago: do not overtrain because of boredom! Remember that your growth/fitness/strength actually increases during the recovery period,not during the exercise: if you do too much, you'll enter the 'overtraining' regime and actually lower your physical condition.

Don't know what facilities/space will be practical for you for cardio: if you can't run, the 3 other exercises that top the list for cardiovascular training are rowing, cycling, and swimming. Realistically, that means look at a rowing machine or exercise bike. Although not the same muscles as running, both will maintain your heart and lungs very well. If you have access to running machines, use 'em - nothing is as good as running, at the end of the day. We used to use the stairs in our base, and sprint up and down them.

To aid motivation, get a heart rate monitor, and use it, and keep a diary of your weight, distances, sessions etc... It really helps to see how you are slowly but surely getting faster/stronger.

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