toning vs building

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by moosryan, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. moosryan

    moosryan Hall of Fame

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    I just started weight training and am rather confused by 2 opinions:

    The head football coach who runs the class: he says that since i'm just starting, toning is useless for me right now, and i should just focus on getting started building up some muscles


    my coach: he says i should be lean, not built and i need to do more reps, and more sets, at lower weights.

    Please help me, i'm confused...Thanks.
     
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  2. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    I think I can help you out with this one. I am 5'9"... when I was 18 I weighed 120 lbs. I started weight training to build mass and got my weight up to 175, benched 330lbs, squatted 500lb. Quit weight training 3 years ago and played tennis instead, now I'm down to 150 lbs.

    How much weight and muscle mass you should build depends on how tall you are. You don't want to add muscle to the point of impacting your flexibility. Hitting a tennis ball is all about grip strength on impact, and racquet head speed. Adding muscles will help you hit balls from a mostly open position and / or short take backs if that is your style.

    Lower weights / high reps are what you should be aiming for your overall body training. Just keep in mind that weight training will not significantly help your strokes..... you need to work on that directly, add weight to your racquet if you have to.
     
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  3. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Do you feel you're more flexible now than 3 years ago?
    Also, how about your serve? Faster/slower?
     
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  4. moosryan

    moosryan Hall of Fame

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    i'm about 5 7, and i'm really weak, this isn't to help my strokes, i just need some strength. for example, right now i'm benchin 60 lbs.
     
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  5. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Check my posting at:
    Great fitness sites
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=33800
    it has lots of stuff on strength and weight training

    I'd suggest a 3-day/week program:
    - 1 day for the legs (you need more recovery)
    - 2 days for the upper body

    Start with 1-2 series of say 12reps, with a weight which takes you to failure (you cannot lift anymore) at about the 12th rep. You'll have to experiment on every exercise to find that weight. It's important to reach the point of failure, otherwise muscles aren't really exercised.

    WRITE down on a sheet your results (very important to try to record your progress), and try to upgrade at each session either in terms of reps, or weight, or number of sets (up to 4, not more).

    One example is given at:
    http://www.jeanpaul.com/standard.html
    also check the OUTSIDE magazine series in the Great Fitness Sites above.

    Start with a 6-10min warmup on the stationary bike. or treadmill. You should be pretty warm at the end of it.

    Learn proper technique. Do flexibility exercises (say Pilates, Yoga, isometrics) between series and at the end of the session.

    As you mention being relatively weak, I don't think you can bulk up too easily. You have quite a way to go to get to that point.
     
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  6. moosryan

    moosryan Hall of Fame

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    yeah, thanks a lot
     
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  7. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    One further piece of advice.

    If your leg session is designed properly, it should tax you a little bit.

    Leave 1-2 days (better 2) without playing tennis after leg sessions If you have an important game at the end of the week, put the leg session at the beginning of the week.

    The improvement takes place mainly during the recovery time, thus you should not bother it with something else.

    The recovery is faster for the upper body, but still, you need at least a day there too.

    Observe your body, watch what it tells you. Stop when something doesn't feel right.

    For the heaviest exercises (squats, deadlifts), which are also the most productive, as they involve the largest muscles, shadow/simulate the exercise with no load or just the empty bar, in order to feel that all the joints and muscles feel OK, and that you have the technique down pat (use a mirror), before you work up the load.
     
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  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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  9. vin

    vin Professional

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    Here are some good resources for you:

    Beyond Brawn
    Insiders Tell-All Handbook on Weight Training Technique

    Both books are by Stuart McRobert

    There's also a good document on the Houston Texan's web site about strength conditioning.

    As a beginner, you can get away with doing a full body workout 3x per week. Stick with mostly compound exercises like squat, deadlift, bench press (incline is better), chin ups, rows, etc. Target somewhere around 10 reps. Don't add weight to the bar too fast. Eat a lot, sleep a lot, and you should be off to a good start.

    Toning is for bodybuilders. And don't worry about losing flexibility as long as you keep stretching (which you should already be doing anyway). You're muscles have to get pretty damn big before their size interferes with your range of motion. You have a few years of very dedicated weight training ahead of you before that should even enter your mind.
     
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