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New to weight training, not so new to veganism.


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Let me preface by saying that I'm glad I found resources connected with becoming strong while sticking with your ethics. I am sure many people here were tired at one point of hearing "Where do you get your protein", followed by "You'll turn into a twig". This isn't a problem for me because I was already pretty skinny ("Scrawny" if you're an asshole) before I went vegan close to a year ago. I joined this forum for help with getting into weight training and making progress in looking and becoming physically stronger. I'm not really interested in bulking up like Arnold or anything, just to get in very fit shape.

 

 

The only questions I have so far are:

 

1) when's the best time to take a protein supplement?

 

and 2) Is there a big advantage between choosing free weights over weight machines? There's a gym at my school and I've mostly been using the machines so far, because there's less of a risk of me performing the exercise wrong and hurting myself.

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Hey, welcome!

 

1. I don't know the answer to your first question for sure, but I always heard within 30 min of the end of your workout, and before you go to bed. This could be incorrect. Probably depends on the person anyway.

 

2. As far as I know the best advantage of free weights over machines is the recruitment of accessory/stabilizer muscles while lifting.

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1) I drink a homemade drink before AND after a workout.

2) Coming into it for the first time, or being new to it, it might be best to use machines to make sure you're doing the exercises correctly. Having someone show and correct you later on for free weights its an awesome way to go.

 

 

WELCOME!

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Thanks a lot for the advise. I probably can't take protein before I work out because I usually go straight from class to the gym. As for after, It's probably closer to 45 minutes that I get home by bus from my campus. Free weights are awesome but intimidating for me because it's laughable how much I can currently lift. Last time I checked I think it was maybe 60 pounds or a little less bench pressed.

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You can do it!

 

I know from my own experience that you can gain strength. I'm definitely a fan of free weights over machines, but you don't want to hurt yourself if you're not sure how to properly perform a squat or deadlift. Those are my two favorites. I'd recommend looking up videos of those lifts and adding them to your routine whenever you feel ready. Just start out with the bar only for a little while to make sure you're keeping your back straight and using proper form. But those are definitely two very powerful lifts that will strengthen your core.

 

Also, I've been vegan for seven years and I've kind of been off and on with the lifting, but the last time I stuck to it for a few months at a time, I gained about 30 pounds and went from squatting about 65 to about 155, my bench went from 65 to 135, and my deadlift went up to 175 (can't remember what I started out at) and I weigh about 125. So I think that's pretty good.

 

Welcome to the forum! I hope you find it informative and encouraging.

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The only questions I have so far are:

 

1) when's the best time to take a protein supplement?

 

and 2) Is there a big advantage between choosing free weights over weight machines? There's a gym at my school and I've mostly been using the machines so far, because there's less of a risk of me performing the exercise wrong and hurting myself.

 

1) Protein breaks down and gets purged from the body very quickly. And, your muscles have the largest growth potential immediately after stimulation (via workout). So, taking a protein supplement directly after your workout, or even right before your last set is ideal. Most people suggest taking it within an hour after your workout.

 

Protein from whole foods is digested more slowly. So it's probably good to have a high protein whole food source an hour or two before your workout. This can keep the protein levels in your blood high for several hours. But the supplement (at least one of them) should happen right after the workout.

 

For maximum gains, you should keep a steady supply of protein in your blood though, so further supplements or small meals spaced throughout the day are good too.

 

2) Between free weights and machines, many people will tell you that free weights are better. However, I think of them as simply being different tools for different jobs.

 

Free weights require more balance and control, and activate more muscle groups. So, as far as efficiency of working out, and development of usable strength they are much better. However, machines are better at isolating certain muscles. So, if for example you want to focus on a muscle that a machine hits well, then the machine becomes the better tool for that purpose.

 

My generic advice is, use free weights for the bulk of your workout. Learn to lift them safely, and advance your weights cautiously until you have a really good sense of what you can safely lift, etc. Once you are at that intermediate to advanced level, you will know enough to decide when to use machines for yourself.

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Between free weights and machines, many people will tell you that free weights are better. However, I think of them as simply being different tools for different jobs.

 

Free weights require more balance and control, and activate more muscle groups. So, as far as efficiency of working out, and development of usable strength they are much better. However, machines are better at isolating certain muscles. So, if for example you want to focus on a muscle that a machine hits well, then the machine becomes the better tool for that purpose.

 

My generic advice is, use free weights for the bulk of your workout. Learn to lift them safely, and advance your weights cautiously until you have a really good sense of what you can safely lift, etc. Once you are at that intermediate to advanced level, you will know enough to decide when to use machines for yourself.

Though I was tempted to come in here and say machines GTFO, this is very sensible advice :P One point thought is that they are often called safer, but that is not always the case. If you attempt to go from a machine equivalent of a free weight exercise to said free weight exercise, the chance of hurting yourself would be greater since you'd have a muscle imbalance. For example, if all you did was the leg press and you went to squat, you'd first have to build up your back and core before you could move heavy weight, even if you were leg pressing lots. Many machines also have you move in an unnatural way, which makes it easier to hurt yourself and more inefficient at transferring that power to the real world.

 

Here's my obligatory plug for Starting Strength or Stronglifts. The Stronglifts program in particular has you starting with an empty bar, so it shouldn't be a problem if you can only bench 60 lbs. Best of luck :D

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