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Good Exercise Routines to Tone & Build Muscle

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I'm a skinny Asian dude w/, IMO, very narrow shoulders for a guy my height (5'11''). I finally got my own car & a long-term membership to a fitness club.

I'm looking to build up my arms, shoulders, broaden my shoulders, enhance my tiny, tiny, six-pack, & tone my legs. My legs (calves & thighs) are abnormally muscular for my size/weight bc of my dad's darn genes. W/ the tiny bit of fat on them, they actually look really fat... I know it probably is impossible, but I want to get them to look long & lean (swimmers'/runners' legs).

I plan to go everyday for one to 1.5 hours. I know I have to work on an area, let it rest for a day. So, I'm wondering, what exercises/machines will improve my arms, chests, arms? & will running or using elliptial machines get my legs to at least look, if not become, longer & more toned?

Thanks!
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Hi guys, I'm a skinny Asian dude w/, IMO, very narrow shoulders for a guy my height (5'11'').
Don't let it be an excuse.
Quote:
I'm looking to build up my arms, shoulders, broaden my shoulders, enhance my tiny, tiny, six-pack, & tone my legs.
You want to build muscle.
Quote:
My legs (calves & thighs) are abnormally muscular for my size/weight bc of my dad's darn genes. W/ the tiny bit of fat on them, they actually look really fat... I know it probably is impossible, but I want to get them to look long & lean (swimmers'/runners' legs).
You are going to need to work your legs. Cardio won't do it, you need to train them with weights. Training your legs will help your upper body. It's hard to gain mass upstairs if you aren't squatting/deadlifting.
Quote:
I plan to go everyday for one to 1.5 hours.
Don't go everyday. Three. max for first month, then four if you are really keen.
Quote:
I know I have to work on an area, let it rest for a day.
Try a week. If you are training properly, you will need a week.
Quote:
So, I'm wondering, what exercises/machines will improve my arms, chests, arms? & will running or using elliptial machines get my legs to at least look, if not become, longer & more toned?
Like I said above, you are going to work your legs with weight. Do this: Monday - LOWER Squat Leg Press Lunges Calf Raises Wednesday - PUSH BB Bench DB Incline Bench Seated Overhead DB Press Cable Tricep extensions Lateral Raises Friday - PULL Deadlifts Pull Ups BB Rows BB Curls DB Curls Do 3 sets each exercise, 6-8 reps. Start with a weight you can get for 6 reps, in a few weeks when you get it for 8 raise the weight. Get someone to teach you the form (deadlifts/squats), someone who knows what they are doing (probably not a trainer). It is possible to learn off the internet, I did, it just takes more work. And be paitent.
post #3 of 8
Take up swimming lessons. Swimmers have great physiques, so it could only help. Also good to do something more than just weights.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbip
Hi guys, I'm a skinny Asian dude w/, IMO, very narrow shoulders for a guy my height (5'11''). I finally got my own car & a long-term membership to a fitness club.

I'm looking to build up my arms, shoulders, broaden my shoulders, enhance my tiny, tiny, six-pack, & tone my legs. My legs (calves & thighs) are abnormally muscular for my size/weight bc of my dad's darn genes. W/ the tiny bit of fat on them, they actually look really fat... I know it probably is impossible, but I want to get them to look long & lean (swimmers'/runners' legs).

I plan to go everyday for one to 1.5 hours. I know I have to work on an area, let it rest for a day. So, I'm wondering, what exercises/machines will improve my arms, chests, arms? & will running or using elliptial machines get my legs to at least look, if not become, longer & more toned?

Thanks!

i'm almost the same physique as you (5'11, asian) and i've been working out for about 6 months now. at first it was to lose some body fat, but lately i've been working on bulking up. it's been really slow progress, the most i've made is in the last 2 months and the key was to cut back on cardio (i was running about 10-12 miles a week during the summer) and focus on eating more.

One book i recommend is "Scrawny to Brawny" it's a dumb name but they really focus on building a foundation (do the excercises) and follow their guidance on nutrition. The other book is "Book of Muscle" which is similiar but more focused on bulking up. Either book will put you on a really long term program, i think you can 'bulk' up in an unbalanced way quickly, but you really want to work your whole body, including the parts you can't see like the lower back, side abs etc.

Your gene's work against you but does not mean you can't improve yourself. In fact it's in your advantage in some ways (keep body fat low). Since you're part of a gym, try to find a trainer that's worked with naturally skinny people. It's not how often you go to the gym, or how long you stay there but how you work out. Every book i've read says working out 3 times a week is plenty. And be patient, you can't go from a 12 minute mile to a 6 minute mile in 6 months, in the same way you won't pack on 50lbs of muscle in 6 months, your body will develop on it's own schedule.
post #5 of 8
try alternating cardio and weight days.
and im asian too, same height and stuff.
you could also try working in ploymetrics exercises on cardio days.
but adamG is right, going balls to the wall everyday is gonna result in burnout very fast.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG
Don't let it be an excuse.



You want to build muscle.



You are going to need to work your legs. Cardio won't do it, you need to train them with weights.

Training your legs will help your upper body. It's hard to gain mass upstairs if you aren't squatting/deadlifting.



Don't go everyday. Three. max for first month, then four if you are really keen.



Try a week. If you are training properly, you will need a week.



Like I said above, you are going to work your legs with weight.

Do this:

Monday - LOWER
Squat
Leg Press
Lunges
Calf Raises

Wednesday - PUSH
BB Bench
DB Incline Bench
Seated Overhead DB Press
Cable Tricep extensions
Lateral Raises

Friday - PULL
Deadlifts
Pull Ups
BB Rows
BB Curls
DB Curls

Do 3 sets each exercise, 6-8 reps. Start with a weight you can get for 6 reps, in a few weeks when you get it for 8 raise the weight.

Get someone to teach you the form (deadlifts/squats), someone who knows what they are doing (probably not a trainer). It is possible to learn off the internet, I did, it just takes more work.

And be paitent.
I already have a lot of leg muscles - albeit not very strong ones - but nonethless, I do NOT want to add muscle to my legs, I want to somehow 'lengthen' the look of my legs.

I don't know what all those exercises are; could you tell me which popular machines/weights I should work on at the gym?
post #7 of 8
I've added 15-20 lbs. in the past year (starting from 6'3" and 160 lbs.) by heavy weight-lifting, followed immediately by ~30 minutes of stretching and a protein smoothie with breakfast. I also ate a total of 4 meals a day, or three meals plus a protein shake before bed, and I slightly increased the protein content of my meals (I increased my water intake, too, since extra protein can stress the kidneys). I've done virtually _no_ cardio work, except a dance class twice a week (surprisingly good cardio workout) and martial arts twice a week. Despite the added calories, I think I've gained mostly muscle, since (1) my waist size is the same, but I've outgrown the thighs of my jeans, (2) I have muscles in my back that I never knew existed, and (3) my chest, arms, and shoulders are bigger. My tailor told me I've added 1 1/2" to my chest. I designed my own weightlifting program (probably not ideal, I know) based on a weight machine workout I had been doing, supervised by a trainer at a rehab center. I used 3 books, "Men's Health: The Book of Muscle", "Strength Training Anatomy", and "Stretching" by Bob and Jean Anderson to make sure I was getting a full-body workout and emphasizing particular muscle groups I wanted to target. I used "The Book of Muscle" for general weight-training guidelines and "Strength Training Anatomy" to find exercises that hit the same muscle groups I had been doing at the rehab center, using machines/weights available at my new gym. Before I started, I also visited a second trainer for 5-6 sessions to make sure I was using correct technique for squats and deadlifts. Then I went at it. You'll get a lot of advice on various fora, some of it contradictory and you'll get a lot of personal stories like mine which may not be too useful. I think the general keys are (1) find or develop a good full-body workout, including adequate recovery time. I don't use them, but others have reported good results from routines in "The Book of Muscle". (2) get started and keep at it consistently. Vary your exercises when you get bored, but continue to do a full-body workout. (3) find reliable information about nutrition *and use it*. (4) remember to stretch so you'll remain flexible. I do a stretching routine from my martial arts class before lifting to warm-up and a different routine after lifting to increase my flexibility. Good luck! Edit: Another key: challenge yourself constantly. I gained the most weight in the beginning when I could increase my reps or weight on every exercise every week. When I get sloppy and think I can't lift more, that's when I plateau.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbip
Hi guys, I'm a skinny Asian dude w/, IMO, very narrow shoulders for a guy my height (5'11''). I finally got my own car & a long-term membership to a fitness club. I'm looking to build up my arms, shoulders, broaden my shoulders, enhance my tiny, tiny, six-pack, & tone my legs. My legs (calves & thighs) are abnormally muscular for my size/weight bc of my dad's darn genes. W/ the tiny bit of fat on them, they actually look really fat... I know it probably is impossible, but I want to get them to look long & lean (swimmers'/runners' legs). I plan to go everyday for one to 1.5 hours. I know I have to work on an area, let it rest for a day. So, I'm wondering, what exercises/machines will improve my arms, chests, arms? & will running or using elliptial machines get my legs to at least look, if not become, longer & more toned? Thanks!
1. No cardio 2. Eat more. If you can't, get a decent protein powder and mix it with fruit and milk or just milk and have it about an hour before bed. 3. Squats. 4. Bent over rowing & deadlifting 5. barbell curls 6. benching 7. Get alot of sleep 8. warmup set then start lifting heavier sets of around 5-6 per large body part and keep it around 10-12 reps. When you hit 12 reps, just add a bit more weight. Change your routine and also don't always try to lift heavy as possible. Alternate heavy workout with light ones. The light ones, focus on perfect form and focus on tensing the muscles not just pushing iron around.
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