Hey guys second time posting here and was just hoping to get some advice seeing as how you all appear to be fitness gurus. Basically, I am looking to gain some muscle without having to lose much speed and endurance. I am 19 and playing rugby in college, so I would like to be in ideal condition for the season. I am currently 153lbs and have been lifting/running on my own but I would like to maximize my workouts and get the most out of my time.
I guess a bit of history may help in you helping me, so here it is. I ran cross country, played soccer, and rugby in high school but all of these sports never spent much time in the weight room, so I basically had to go there myself and learn on my own. Because of this, I am lacking in free weight knowledge and would appreciate any advice on what exercises you recommend.
I am relatively pleased with my current workouts but like anything else, they can be improved. As it stands now, I try and go 5 days a week (it can be hectic with class and homework) and work different areas different days. Monday is a general workout, Tuesday is abs, Wednesday chest, etc. In addition to lifting, I run after every session in the gym to keep my cardio in respectable condition. I mix it up with distance, intervals, and timed miles just to keep endurance and speed as best I can.
Here are the main questions I have:
1) From what I have read here, it appears that free weights are the preferred method over machines, am I correct? If so, what are some good exercises for me to use?
2) I have never used any supplements before but if they help, what should I use and how much will they cost?
3) Is it bad to run after lifting, or should I do that separately?
Seeing as how I am in college, my food choices are somewhat limited but I just wanted to get some feedback. I usually don't wake up early enough to get breakfast, so I usually eat a Fiber One bar or Nutrigrain bar to get me going as well as orange juice. Lunch is either chicken strips and mashed potatoes or a turkey sandwich, chips, and a granola bar. Dinner varies from a grilled chicken breast or grilled chicken mixed with vegetables in pita bread. Are these good choices or should I get something different?
That is all of my questions for now but thanks in advance.
You can use either machines or free weights. Most people will use a mix of both. Their are advantages and disadvantages to both. Dont stress out on it, do what you are comfortable with.
As far as supplements, pick up some whey protein (it's fairly cheap and can be purchased online). You may also want to pickup creatine monohydrate, same deal with that. You can put on some additional muscle with both of them and the creatine should also help you put on some speed and explosive power (which would be great for rugby).
No, its not bad to run after you lift. If you can separate the two it would be better but not needed.
It doesnt seem like you eat much...but I would wake up for breakfast. Have a meal that contains protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Hope that helps for now...welcome to the forum!!
I'm not a fan of using machines a whole lot for athletics. It's not like they are bad, they just aren't quite as athletic of movements usually. Using free weights promotes stability and balance much more than machines in general. I just don't like how machines can make your motion a little robotic at times, when an athlete needs to be all about free movement and stability. Just my two cents on that.
I would incorporate some plyometrics into your workouts throughout the week if you are looking to keep/gain some speed. You can train your muscles for strength, like you are doing, but most lifts aren't going to do too much for your muscle speed. Plyos help teach the muscles to fire quickly, and to be more explosive. You don't need to go overkill on the plyos or anything, but incorporating them regularly keeps the fast twitch muscle fibers working more effectively.
Wow I actually forgot about plyos. We used to do them all the time at soccer and I hate them lol but they do work. I'll look into incorporating some throughout the week, maybe instead of a run one or two days
Pretty much an overall upper body workout to start the week. As of now I don't know the machine names but I will take a notebook to write the names down and then record what I lifted. Ater the machines, I went for a 2.5 mile "endurance run" and then returned to the free weights to finish up. Nothing really crazy today, just a way to start off the week working a bit of everything. As of now I am working on a routine but just wanted to get some feedback on it:
Monday - general upper body followed by endurance run
Tuesday - abs followed by a speed interval run
Wednesday - chest and triceps follwed by plyos
Thursday - (can be difficult getting to the gym) shoulders and biceps followed by endurance run
Friday - abs follwed by timed mile
Saturday - general upper body followed by plyos
Sunday - off
If I cannot make it Thursday, I will just combine the shoulders and biceps with the abs
What do you guys think of this routine? As of now everything is 3 sets of 12 reps each but that can change if you think it would be more beneficial. Also, I am currently staying away from lower body workouts because I am still recovering from a knee injury (didn't want you to think I was neglecting it).
Mondays food looked something like:
Breakfast - Fiber one bar and orange juice
Lunch - grilled chicken breast with lettuce and ranch dressing. Water to drink
Dinner - breaded chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Water to drink
Post workout - two Nutrigrain bars and water
Side note, is iced tea okay to drink inbetween meals?
Well instead of starting mid-week with the routine you suggested Stamina, I decided that I will start that Monday and just continue this week with what I can. Today was abs which consisted of:
Lying leg raises of 20s, 20s, and 25s
Whatever it is called when you go into pushup position but just hold it on forearms
"Leg pushes" (lie on your back, raise your legs straight up, and have a friend push them back down in various directions) of 15, 15, and 18 reps
Hanging leg raises of 3 sets, 30 reps each
Follwed this by a mile interval run
Breakfast - Fiber One bar. Water to drink
Lunch - Grilled chicken wrap with white rice, lettuce, and buffalo/rach sauce. Water to drink
Dinner - Ckicken parmesan sandwich with provolone cheese. Gatorade to drink
Snack - pistachios and half a peach Snapple