Quote Originally Posted by Matt W.
Slyder, I started lifting seriously about 10 months ago, on my 30 min lunch breaks on graveyard shift. Hardcore. *g* Anyway, though I am hardly an impressive physical specimen (yet), in that time I dropped about 15 pounds of body weight and gained strength on all my lifts. So, you can take my advice for what it's worth.

I disagree with those saying cut out all the isolation exercises. Certainly, you should focus on compound strength building exercises. I recommend the big 3 plus 1: Bench, Squats, Deadlifts and pull-ups. However, doing a few isolation exercises is not at all a bad thing. They will all be muscles that aid and assist in those big 3 lifts. Stronger biceps will help your pulling motions, stronger triceps will help your pressing motions. Shoulder exercises will help everything. Working all the muscles in your body will also help keep your development even, and (I've read) will help prevent injury and overtraining. So keep your barbell curls (a staple) as well as all your rows, shoulder presses and laterals.

Also, I'd like to recommend Arnold's New Encyclopedia of Body Building. Though it, of course, has a lot of info on body building (which I understand is not your goal) it also is chock full of great info on basic lifting, including illustrated descriptions of almost every exercise imaginable and what muscle groups they focus on.

Though I have a new job now where I'm not able to work out like before, when I was hitting it heavy, I was lifting three days a week (and doing cardio or MA training in between). I was working each muscle group once a week, with 2-3 exercises per group and 3-4 sets per exercise.
Thanks for the encouragement Matt. It kind of funny because since I started I lost a few pounds already and find myself generally tighter in most areas. I figured my MA training (mostly cardio from sprints and kicking expersizes and rolling) would do that... but it kind of plateaued when I reached 195. For me to drop another 10 pounds would be great. I'll have to see if it helps with me getting gassed after a few minutes of standup. That would be sweet. I'm not the biggest fan of lifting, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it much more if I can see results in my MA training in terms of speed, power and endurance. Endurance has always been the kicker for me.