I am weak

But, I've finally committed to getting STRONG, not just thin. I used to think that thin was all I wanted, but I think I was deluding myself. What was truly happening, I think, was that I didn't BELIEVE I could ever get strong, so I pretended it wasn't what I wanted.

To start with, what I mean by "weak" (as an example):

I cannot do one full modified (on the knees) push up with good form.
I cannot do a sit up.
I can't curl 5 lbs with my biceps.

My legs are strong (and by "strong" I mean I can do all the basic leg exercises with good form, so I feel like I can keep at it and up my weights with time), but my arms and core are laughably weak.

So, to get strong, I'm making some small steps. I am taking a full-body weight lifting class twice per week (focuses on all major muscle groups with the barbell/step bench, then some body weight exercises with the floor/bench/bender ball for core). I also use the weight machine circuits on occasion on cardio days, but I think I like the free weights in class better.

It will be about 1 1/2 years before I can afford a personal trainer, although I fully intend to get one then.

Any tips for a super weak beginner? What helped you the most starting out? Any other prior-weaklings out there?


  • HIITMe
    HIITMe Posts: 921 Member
    look up StrongLifts 5x5....
  • PinkCoconut
    PinkCoconut Posts: 655 Member
    Just start where you are! If you can't do 5lbs, go to 2 or 3, if you can't do that, just do a few reps with 2lbs and do the rest without any weight at all. If you can't do a modified push-up, try a wall push-up! Stand about a half foot away from the wall and pretend you're doing a floor push-up but do it on the wall instead. If you can't do a full sit-up, can you do a crunch? So that you're only about half-way up? Even if you can only do 2 of them - do 2! Then next week try 3, then 4!

    There are always ways around things so just start where you are!
  • toddis
    toddis Posts: 941 Member
    The great thing about starting so low is you'll make progress pretty quick and it'll motivate you to do more.

    I'm still a beginner myself but two things you should definitely read up on and learn are proper form and dynamic stretching aka mobility drills.
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
    You asked for tips:

    Tip 1: Don't get too gung-ho. If you're already taking a class and it's twice a week with full body, don't do any more lifting but once a week. And make sure you have at least a full day of rest between strenght training sessions.

    For example, if your classes are on Monday and Thursday, you can do some extra strength training on Saturday - that gives you a full day between Sat-Mon and Thu-Sat - but no other days. Or, if your classes are Monday and Wednesday, you can do extra strength training on either Friday or Saturday. Obviously, you'd have to adjust if your classes are on different days from these examples, but I'm sure you get the idea.

    Tip 2: Stick with it. Provided your class leader/instructor knows what he/she is doing, you should see some good results.
  • aelunyu
    aelunyu Posts: 486 Member
    I'd say before even visiting stuff like starting strength or stronglifts 5x5, you need to master (seriously master) fundamental movements.

    Most people jump into these programs and progress on them fine, until they injure themselves or have built movement patterns that are all wrong and could lead to serious imbalances. These imbalances will be very hard to correct later down the line, and injury is so counter motivational!

    I think most experienced strength athletes will tell you that they wished such a wealth of knowledge existed ten years ago...(so many injuries could have been avoided!).

    So practice the bodyweight squat (or box jumps), start doing pushups on your knees until you can do them on your toes, and forget about bicep curling. you may even want to do some very very light dumbell deadlifting. Assisted pullups and dips will be your friend. All these compound movements will teach your muscles to work together as naturally intended. Later on, you can incorporate targeted training like the bicep curl. The goal is to do 10 pushups, 10 pullups, 10 squat jumps or box jumps, 10 light deadlifts. From there 20, and from there 30 of each. Once you can do this, then you would start on the barbell work for the programs mentioned above.

    Hope this helps!