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Question #88490 posted on 11/30/2016 10:30 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was an avid runner for many years, but for injury reasons I haven't really ran in quite a long time. I'm going to try to get back into it, but I would like to start lifting and improving my overall strength as well this time. I have a little bit of experience with gyms and with the different kinds of lifting/how to lift correctly, etc, but that's about it. I don't know very many exercises, what exact muscles those exercises work out, or how to determine which ones to do when.

Long story short, I want to start lifting more but I just don't have a lot of experience. Are there free websites that can give me workout plans so I know what I'm doing?

Thanks!

-Soleus

A:

Dear Soleus,

I asked Q, because he's spent years learning about this sort of thing, and here's what he had to say:

I would suggest starting with bodybuilding.com as it is very informative and has a large range of free workout plans. You can find the free workout plans here and if you have a question about any of the exercises you can look them up here. Make sure to follow common sense, and only lift weights that you can lift with good form. Form is always more important than weight if you want to get stronger and not injure yourself. Muscle building takes time, and consistency is the most important part. 

Be warned that bodybuilding.com generates revenue from selling supplements, and will try to tell you that you need them. This is not the case, but if it interests you, you can look up unbiased scientific research of different supplements and compounds at examine.com. Also you should know that supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and so advertising can be very misleading. 

In addition to exercise, nutrition will greatly impact muscle growth and strength. This is just as important as exercise itself, and the main thing is just making sure you eat enough calories and get adequate protein in your diet. If you have questions about protein I would recommend this article. Almost all the links in the article take you to reputable medical journals, or link to other articles with links to medical journals. 

Hopefully this gives you all the tools that you need to get started. Be aware that a lot of weightlifting is ruled by what I would call broscience, which is the misguided wisdom of other lifters that almost always lacks scientific backing. Check sources and don't believe everything you read. We are lucky to have a lot of real scientific studies done on this topic; we should use them. 

-Alta