Lifting newbie + Epic Fail

So I finally got up the courage to try a novice lifting program- It includes 10 exercises (example: squats, bench presses, military presses, etc.) Well, go figure, the bar itself is too heavy for me! It was so pathetic. But I don't want to give up. I am definitely "skinny fat" after having lost a lot of weight along with muscle. I have a lot of loose skin/flabbiness.
I did see that my gym has these things called "body bars" which look like they are of varying weights. Could I use those?

I am a 142 lb weakling. Suggestions?
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Replies

  • _MG_
    _MG_ Posts: 453 Member
    I'm not a smart lifting guy...just so you know.

    Are there machines you might be able to start with until you can move on to free weights?
  • ShannonMpls
    ShannonMpls Posts: 1,937 Member
    Those body bars are just what I was going to suggest. My gym has them in varying weights and they're a great way to start. Your gym might also have shorter barbells that weigh 25 or 35 pounds. You can also use dumbbells.

    Please don't be embarrassed - we ALL start somewhere. My first ever bench press was with 10 pound dumbbells, and currently my best press was 145 pounds. You're not a weakling - you're just a novice :)
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    start with dumbbells then...I have a standard bar at home that is 20lb..vs olympic which are 45lbs...

    Or do bodyweight exercises such as pushups etc.
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
    Start out wherever you have to start. If that means a 10 lb weighted bar, that means 10 lbs. As long as you are able to progress, it's all good.
  • Holly_Roman_Empire
    Holly_Roman_Empire Posts: 4,440 Member
    Use the body bars.

    Weighted machines are fine, but I find that those are mostly for isolation. The balance and total body strength required for lifting a barbell or dumbell are lost on a machine.
  • royaldrea
    royaldrea Posts: 259 Member
    Yeah, I'm much bigger and heavier than you, and when I first started lifting the bar was too heavy for me too. Weak is weak!

    Just keep going...modify by using a lighter bar if necessary. It'll get easier, and your success story will be sooo impressive when you can talk about how you started struggling on the empty bar, and now you're pressing/deadlifting/squatting X lbs. Just push through and don't give up!
  • Qarol
    Qarol Posts: 6,418 Member
    Absolutely NOT pathetic. If it's heavy for you, that's all that matters. I don't care if it's 2lbs or 200lbs.

    My gym had those preloaded bars, shorter than the olympic bar. I started with those, around 25 or 35. Or yes, use dumbbells. Both barbell and dumbbell training is a great all around idea, even after you can lift heavier. Dumbbells work some stabilizer muscles that barbells sometimes can't.

    Just keep lifting and progressing. It doesn't matter how heavy it is. As long as it's heavy for you. (you know, with good form and all that jazz)
  • AsaThorsWoman
    AsaThorsWoman Posts: 2,313 Member
    Start out wherever you have to start. If that means a 10 lb weighted bar, that means 10 lbs. As long as you are able to progress, it's all good.

    I doubt she can do a push up if she can't lift the bar.

    I'd recommend the machines, but I don't know what a body bar is.

    On the machines someone would have to be really paying attention to see how low the weight is set.
  • RaeLB
    RaeLB Posts: 1,338 Member
    When I started I could barely squat the bar and a few months later I was squatting my own weight. You'll get there! :drinker:
  • RaeLB
    RaeLB Posts: 1,338 Member
    Absolutely NOT pathetic. If it's heavy for you, that's all that matters. I don't care if it's 2lbs or 200lbs.

    My gym had those preloaded bars, shorter than the olympic bar. I started with those, around 25 or 35. Or yes, use dumbbells. Both barbell and dumbbell training is a great all around idea, even after you can lift heavier. Dumbbells work some stabilizer muscles that barbells sometimes can't.

    Just keep lifting and progressing. It doesn't matter how heavy it is. As long as it's heavy for you. (you know, with good form and all that jazz)

    This. I started with the preloaded bars too.
  • monstergirl14
    monstergirl14 Posts: 347 Member
    So I finally got up the courage to try a novice lifting program- It includes 10 exercises (example: squats, bench presses, military presses, etc.) Well, go figure, the bar itself is too heavy for me! It was so pathetic. But I don't want to give up. I am definitely "skinny fat" after having lost a lot of weight along with muscle. I have a lot of loose skin/flabbiness.
    I did see that my gym has these things called "body bars" which look like they are of varying weights. Could I use those?

    I am a 142 lb weakling. Suggestions?

    I used body weights in the beginning! I could not bench press a bar to save my life, and I was so friggen embarrassed that I had no muscle. However, there was this rubber looking 5 lb body bar, I used that, and now I can bench press more! Practice makes perfect! I also use dumbbells and kettlebells for some of my exercises. I use the 30 lb kb for swings, and 25-30 lb db for squats and lunges. I might use a bar with weights soon for my squats/lunges, but I don't know how that works. I'm also too shy to ask! My fault.
  • Samenamenewlook
    Samenamenewlook Posts: 296 Member
    There are usually bars that weigh less than the 45 lb olympic standard. Or the body bars as you mentioned. Dumbells are good too. Or even the machines. Just move weight, that's what matters. You're going to be fine though, you already said you're not quitting so I'm sure you'll meet your goals!
  • navyrigger46
    navyrigger46 Posts: 1,301 Member
    start with dumbbells then...I have a standard bar at home that is 20lb..vs olympic which are 45lbs...

    Or do bodyweight exercises such as pushups etc.

    ^^^This^^^

    You can also use a curl bar instead of a barbell to start, they vary in weight from 15-25 pounds give or take.

    Rigger
  • MityMax96
    MityMax96 Posts: 5,778 Member
    Start with dumbbells and do similar exercises with them....
    This way you can work on form and get used to the movement.

    And start getting stronger.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    Not a fail - a beginning.

    Lots of women, especially, start with body weight exercises before moving to dumbbells and then barbells. So, you're in good company. Just forge ahead and you'll be handling barbells in no time.

    Just FYI - an olympic barbell bar for bench and military/overhead press is pretty heavy for women, esp. if your on the petite side, if you've not weight trained before. If you'd like to have some idea about what is 'average' strength for the different basic compound movements at your skill level and body weight, go here: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.html

    I'm using those metrics to rate my performance and encourage me to push into the next skill bracket.
  • threshkreen
    threshkreen Posts: 79 Member
    Every one starts some where. When you are new to lifting, you will see your progress ramp up quickly! Don't worry one bit how much you lift and certainly don't be embarrassed. All the suggestions given are great. Chose your weapon and just start where you can and keep going. One caution I always throw in...make sure your form is spot on. You don't want to develop any bad habits and these will really develop if you force yourself to lift higher weights before you are ready!

    Have fun. I think lifting is truly one of the most addicting things I have ever done!
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,552 Member
    Use the body bars.

    Weighted machines are fine, but I find that those are mostly for isolation. The balance and total body strength required for lifting a barbell or dumbell are lost on a machine.

    this.

    If you have a broomstick practice at home- it's going to be as much the weight as the form of it- most people can manipulate the weight of the bar by itself if they have the form down- but your form + the weight might be throwing you off.

    So practice the form.
    Use dumbbells
    use the body bars.

    all good solutions to get to working.

    Remember we all were weak and young once.

    Even Mr Olympia started with just the bar.
  • juliemouse83
    juliemouse83 Posts: 6,663 Member
    I started with a ten pound studio bar and 2.5, 5, and 10 lb plates. It was about a month before I could even think about using an Oly bar, so I totally understand where you are coming from. :)
  • lilbearzmom
    lilbearzmom Posts: 600 Member
    Thank you guys SO much for the suggestions and encouragement. It's definitely time for me to move on from a lot of cardio- to me this is the logical next step.

    I am hesitant to use the machines- I have used them before and just felt like I wasn't "doing anything". It didn't feel like I was working very hard. I like the benefits of free weights over using the machines.

    Someone mentioned that they doubted I could do pushups- I can but it is a challenge.

    So body weight, body bars and dumb bells it shall be. I went a little too gung-ho my 1st day...

    Thanks so much again!

    Edited to add that anyone can add me as a friend BTW!
  • SrJoben
    SrJoben Posts: 484 Member
    Doing squats with preloaded barbells or similar things may be a problem because they might be too short to put on the squat rack. So getting them into position on your back might not be possible to do safely for you at this time. At least without assistance.

    (You'd have to hang-clean, then overhead press the weight. Then lower it behind your neck into position. These are all movements which are individually more challenging and technical than the squat itself.)

    If this is the case I suggest Goblet Squats. If you use a dumbbell and try to keep both ends of it touching your chest as you descend it basically teaches the correct form for barbell squats. So you'll have a smoother transition when you're strong enough for them.