Hey, what is this thread?
This is the BigMan thread.
What's the deal, should I post here?
That depends. How cool do you find this?
Best played at maximum volume
Pretty fucking cool.
Welcome home. This is where we post about lifting things and moving around. We talk about fitness type stuff, give advice, etc, etc.
So in general, what are you guys about?
How fit you are is basically decided by two things – what you eat and what you do. In terms of eating, we obviously prefer healthy stuff – chicken, not high fructose corn syrup. We (hopefully rarely, at least) don't spaz out about ridiculously inconsequential things like the trainwreck that was the D&D Low Carb thread
. Some people, in situations specific to them, will need to break these rules – little guys who need to live on ice cream to get some muscle on and big fellas who need to strict it up a bit to shed some fat. Nobody should ever drink soda. On the movement side, we like the meat and potatoes movements – squats, deadlifts, presses, bench presses, and rows/chin-ups are the foundations of any successful weightlifting program. Did I forget to mention that? Weightlifting is kind of our deal, as it should be yours if you have any sense. Anybody, whether they are trying to get big or small or stay the same, will be well-served by a steady diet of the compound lifts. The heavier the better.
So, I'm a guy who's too small and wants to get bigger. What's the deal?
Eat more. Put 200# on your squat and 100# on your bench and call me back in a year.
No, really. There are lots of small guys, particularly of the younger persuasion, out there who are small because they just don't lift enough weight, because they don't eat enough to allow their bodies to make the recovery and progress that it can. Do a program that has lots of the aforementioned squats, benches, etc, and steadily increase the weight on the bar. The eating and the lifting are intertwined – if you don't eat, you won't increase the weight on the bar, and the weight on the bar is making sure those extra calories are going to muscle, not fat. Reps don't really matter – whatever you can consistently progress with. I personally like 5s. Regardless whether your goals have to do with strength or appearance, more weight on the bar is the key to making it happen, so you want a rep range where you can increase the weight on the bar regularly and progressively. If you must maintain aerobic conditioning, keep it under control. Tons of aerobic conditioning can really sap recovery and make it tough to make the progress you should in the lifting. Running is particularly tough, for me personally (coming from a guy who's done a 1:57 half marathon, which isn't fast by any means but isn't a chump run either) and for lots of other people. Think about getting on a Concept2 rower, or something else. Running uphill is better than the flat. If all this isn't clear, feel free to ask a question and we can bicker about minor details regarding this for pages.
So, I'm a guy who's too big and wants to get smaller. What's the deal?
Eat less and move more. Depending on your size, it might only take a little extra movement, especially since the big guys don't want to put too much stress on the joints too early with a ton of running. Really it comes down to eating less, and eating better. Everybody basically know what that means. Vegetables, lean meats, etc. Moving, just get yourself out of breath often and lift some weights so you can maintain or increase your muscle mass, which is a good thing.
So, I'm a girl. What's the deal?
See above. The main difference between girls and boys when it comes to lifting is that boys have more testosterone. This isn't a difference that means girls and boys should do radically different shit. Boys should squat, press, and deadlift – so should girls. Boys should do something that gets them out of breath once in a while – so should girls. Boys should eat healthy – so should girls. Girls won't turn into Arnoldess because they did a squat or a bench press – their rear ends will get better looking, their body composition will improve, and their bones will get stronger. There are, believe it or not, other girls who post here, and talk about whatever stuff they have to deal with that I don't understand.
What are some useful links?
(too lazy right now to fully populate this but I promise I will edit some stuff in. Please suggest!)
Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
. The absolute best resource for a novice who wants to learn about form and lifting. This book changed my life.
of the above book. It's very good and helpful, but I wouldn't consider it a complete replacement.
Dave Tate on benching
. He has a million bench articles, nearly all of which are excellent, but I think this is the Greatest Hits.
A Rather Long Analysis Of The Deadlift by Mark Rippetoe (pdf)
. This is the best article on the conventional deadlift I've read. Very clear on the biomechanics of the movement and how to move the bar as efficiently as possible.