Lots of Newbie questions! Please help!

  • Hello all,

    I've recently started BFL after reading the book. I've been religious in following everything but I'm facing a few problems and would love it if you could please point me in the right direction:

    1. How do I manage my really weak shoulders? When I do chest exercises, even before my chest muscles fail, my shoulders ache and give in. Do I modify my routine to put more emphasis on my shoulders? Like doing shoulders 3 times a week?
    2. How frequently should I change exercises for each body part? Are just Two exercises per part enough? The book recommends doing 2 exercies of each major bodypart. I generally chose two and stuck with them because its easy to track my progress. For fun I changed shoulder exercises from Dumbell Press+Side Raises to Bent Over Raises+Barbell Press. The result was that these exercises hit almost entirely different muscles which weren't being affected first.
    3. I'm not loosing weight fast enough. It's my 3rd week and I've barely lost 3 pounds. Should this be more?
    4. How quickly should I be increasing my weights? I'm always trying to 'up' my game by increasing weights or the cardio intensity. But I feel I'm not making progress as quickly as I should be. How often should I be increasing my weights and by how much?
    5. I go crazy on my free day. I mean gulping down 2 litres of coke. 
    6. I barely have vegtables. I do have 5-6 meals a day but I almost entirly miss out on vegs. Are they important enough?

    Sorry if any of my questions sound stupid or no-brainers and thanks for your attention!

  • 1. no you don't need to do shoulders 3 times a week. Hit each muscle as hard as you can, as outlined.

    2. 3 month rotation would be fine.

    3. Tell me exactly what you're eating and I'll fix your fat loss issue.

    4. No one can tell you how quick to increase, that's all about your body

    5.  A 2 liter of coke is not going crazy.

    6. No veg, no problem. It's not going to hinder your progress, however they are good for you and will help to curb hunger, so it is better to eat em!

  • Nash,

    Congratulations on accepting the BFL challenge and being three weeks in!!!! I will try to answer your questions as best as I can based on my experience and understanding of BFL.

    First of all I am glad you have the book. read and re-read it. It is you guide and life-line on this journey.

    1. I am no expert here but I wouldn't modify the work out regime. More is not necessarily better. What exercises are you doing for chest? You may need to use machines until you are stronger or talk to a personal trainer in you gym.  

    2. Opinions on this vary. What I do is switch exercies every 4 weeks. This gives me enough time to really hit my 10s but isn't so much time I get comfortable and fall into a work out rut. SInce completeing two challenges I have begun to incorperate other exercises but I kept things very simple during my challenge because I was focused on my goal of losing weight and getting lean and strong.

    3. The scale is not your friend nor the best way to measure success. Weigh yourself at the begining and at the end. Weight is deceptive. You can lose only a few pounds but drop dramatically in clothing sizes and measurements. These are much better indicators of how you are doing. BF% is another great way but you need a consitant, reliable way to measure it. Stick to the BFL plan for all 12 weeks and you will see amazing results. My biggest and best results came in the last two weeks.

    4. If I get to the high point portion of a specific muscle group and push out all 12 reps it is time to up the weight. On that last set of 12, at the 4th rep you want to think 'oh crap too much weight" by the 7th rep your muscles should be toast and you want to set the weights down. by 10 you think there is no way you are lifting another inch. this is where you want to be. this is where a 10 comes in. you dig deep, tap into your innner strength and push out those last 2! If you dont that is okay. get pushing for them. If you do get all 12 (or more) it is time to up your weights.

    5. free days are just that - free. You are free to spend them however you wish. You will find, however, you might not feel so good the next day. Or maybe you feel fine. You have to find that balance. It takes a few free days, some binging some starving to figure it out. The main thing is you do whatever you want. It is your day spend it guilt free. You will figure out what is too much and what makes you feel horrible and what takes you further away from your goals.

    6. Yes eat lots and lots of veggies. And drink minimum 2 glasses with every meal. I drink minimum 4L (1 gallon) a day. This is important.

    I hope this helps. Ask more questions if you need. The only stupid questions are the ones we don't ask. There are so many great people on the forum. Visit often.

    All the best


  • Thanks for your reply!

    On point 3, this is my usual daily diet plan:

    8am 2 boiled eggs

    10am 3 barbeque chicken kababs with 2 bran dinner rolls (www.seasonsfoods.com.pk/readytoeat_golakabab.htm, microwaved, not fried)

    12pm Same as 10am

    3pm Same as 10am

    6pm Pulse/Noodles with grilled chicken

    9pm Myoplex MRS

    I have around 2L water everyday. Generally no veges :/

  • Thank you for taking the time out to write a great detailed reply Orrin!

    For 1: I'm currently doing Dumbbell Bench Press and Dumbbell Flyes (in the powerset). Before my chest gives in, my shoulders start hurting.

    Thanks for everything else!

  • Nash,

    Not sure if this is the reason but with flys if you let your arms drop too low you can really hurt your shoulders. Maybe have someone in the gym watch your form.

    Just a thought


  • Yes, your form could be the culprit if your arms are positioned to far back... have someone guide you to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly.

  • Hi,

    Good advice from Orrin and I agree to watch your form, anyway...Welcome! :)

  • Hey Nash, looks like you've gotten some great advice on the exercise half, so I'm just going to make a couple of comments on the diet aspect.

    You are eating no carbs at breakfast and not enough protein to keep you going. Add some veggies! Just twice a day will do. You've got a lot of processed flour products in there with the bran rolls and noodles. Maybe try to limit that to a couple of times per day and have veggies the other two meals. Drink more water, aim for 10-12 cups every day.

    Good luck and I look forward to reading about your successful challenge in a few weeks.

    Want it. Plan it. Do it.

  • "8am 2 boiled eggs I am not sure what you weigh or how tall you are but this does not seem like nearly enough protein (12g for the 2 eggs) Try some egg whites with one whole egg... as well... where are the good carbs? oats, yams, ezekiel bread?

    10am 3 barbeque chicken kababs with 2 bran dinner rolls (www.seasonsfoods.com.pk/readytoeat_golakabab.htm, microwaved, not fried)  how many ounces of chicken are you eating? may not be enough... also the dinner rolls... a better choice might be 1/2 c quinoa or brown rice or sweet potato...

    12pm Same as 10am see above and add some veggies here

    3pm Same as 10am see above

    6pm Pulse/Noodles with grilled chicken Not too sure what Pulse Noodles are but probably also a better choice is available in the way of a carb, add some veggies here (find some you like!), and add some olive oil or other good fat here

    9pm Myoplex MRS Which Myloplex are you using? the one with both carbs and protein?

    I have around 2L water everyday. Generally no veges :/" You need to get veggies and some fruit in there.. for ruffage at least (if you know what I mean ;) )

    Check the authorized foods list for lots of different protein carb and good fat options... if you follow the BFL guidelines you can not go wrong.

    Good luck.