Hi there! Good for you on both venturing into the land of vegans and for getting on with your strength training!
While the topic is pretty broad, will try to help or offer up some thoughts for you.
- Exercise rotations you describe sound like good ones to me. Suggest getting a notebook if you haven't already. Keep some record of your performance and goals as well as what you generally ate that day and how you felt. Might find different things work better for you than others.
- do warm up and stretch first.
- Stay encouraged! NO ONE was every as good at everything as they wanted to be, whether how many pushups you can do, or chest press, pullups etc. Here is where the notebook comes in. Over time you'll see your reps improve. Some people are naturally better at some exercises than others - so likely you'll be too. When you're getting started, FORM will be more important that the weight or the # of reps you can do. If you start feeling your form go away, you're done. Keeps you from getting injured too. Patience. Do your best, forget the rest.
- Remember, some days you'll be 'in the zone' and having a rocking workout, other days maybe not so much. But sticking with it, pressing through it shows perseverance.
- strength vs size: general rule of thumb is 'heavier weights lower reps for size' and 'lighter weights higher weights for strength/toning'.
- In my opinion, exercises that leverage your own body weight are very good places to start (and stick with). Press ups (vary the hand placement with wide, standard, military/elbows by your side, narrow/diamond and decline), pull ups (vary your hand placement here too, wide, standard, close in, reverse, etc.), triceps dips. Pushups and Pullups and dips should be max reps. Cycle through 2x. I have a workout sheet somewhere I can share or send you. If you have access to pullup bar, that's best because it works your whole body, but if not, you can use pulldown machine, start with weight you can do and work upwards towards your full body weight.
- A bit of yoga - definately harder than I thought with lots of shoulder/upper-body/core exercises doing movements (downward dog, upward dog, pushup, repeat, planking, etc.) as opposed to poses (warrior 1/2/3) but poses do more sculpting too and work flexibility.
- As an option to tracking your weights/reps, big trend here is to mix in what's called 'High Intensity Interval Training'. Pairing up some of your listed exercises into combos with some mixed cardio stuff. For example, using dumbbells, start with them at your sides, squat, then as you come up from squat, do 'clean' to pull weights up to your shoulders as if at start point for should press and squat again, then as you come up out of your squat execute should press, then as you bring weights back down to your shoulders squat again to absorb the weights, stand up again lowering weights down to your sides again. (combo exercise hitting legs, biceps, shoulders, core and cardio.). Idea is to hit lots of muscle groups at same time, and use right weight so you can do 3-5 sets of 10ish reps fairly quickly (should get outta breath)...
- Working out will obviously burn more energy, saw a presentation once from a dietician/trainer for UFC fighters (Mike Dolce), and one of is mantras was to eat either for A) what you just did or B) what you are going to do. I also was just looking for dietary info and read this, which makes sense to me: http://veganbodybuilding.com/?page=article_workout_eating
. Need to load up a bit with energy foods before your workout, and recovery foods for after. And yeah, no matter what non-veg people will tell you, you can definitely get all your needs met from a variety of plant-based sources.
- Lastly, being a new vegan, do be conscious of how/what you're eating. It can be easy to knockout the meat/dairy/egg but still eat unhealthy without a balance and variety of veg, fruits, beans, grains (quinoa should become a new friend!) to ensure you're getting right balance of vitamins, minerals, energy....more on that later!