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Official Fitness Thread of Triceps Kickbacks, Swiss Ball Squats, and Testosterdrama

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Anton Sugar

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Thanks for the contributions: lil smoke (logo), perryfarrell (nutrition advice), maharg (super mod hack skills)

The old thread: Official Fitness Thread of Whipping Your Butt into Shape

Choosing a Program: The Novice
In my opinion, all novices should choose a proven program used by folks similar to them--untrained, unfamiliar, and with bodies "adapted to inactivity" as Mark Rippetoe has said. It has to be a PROVEN program--one that has worked for other drug-free beginners. I like routines that have been time tested as being effective.

The most IMPORTANT part of choosing a program is to figure out what you want. You need a goal. For some, this is specific: "I want to increase my bench by 50 lbs. this year" "I want to gain an 1" on my biceps in 9 months" "I want to lower my bodyfat 5% in a year" "I want to increase my 400 in 3 months".

In my opinion, the more specific the goal, the better. However, as a beginner, you may not really know what you want. Therefore, make it easy, and try to focus your goal on something simple at first:
  • Strength
  • Size
  • Fat Loss
  • Specific Skill/Sport Application
Obviously, there can be overlap, but focus on one and use the other as a secondary goal. From here, you can really start to figure out what you want to do, and it will help us here (or anyone anywhere else) get an idea of what you need.

Requesting GAF's Help
READ THE ENTIRE OP FIRST BEFORE REQUESTING HELP
If you are going to request a routine or advice on a routine, please READ THE ENTIRE OP and then use this template:

  • Age:
  • Height:
  • Weight:
  • Goal:
  • Current Training Schedule:
  • Current Training Equipment Available:
  • Comments:

DID YOU READ THE OP YET

Beginner Q&A
Q: I don't want to get big bulky muscles, I want lean muscles. I should do light weight and high reps, right?
A: Do not be afraid of lifting weights. You will not magically sprout muscles overnight. You will not get huge overnight. Muscle does not grow "leaner" or "bulkier": it just grows (not completely true, but the difference between sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar growth is NOT what beginners are concerned with). It is HARD to get HUGE. It does not happen by accident, except a very select few genetic freaks or hormonally enhanced freaks. Lifting weights will aid you in ANY goal: losing weight (raises resting metabolic rate and you don't look like a heap of skin after you lose major weight), gaining weight (combined with proper diet, lifting heavy compound lifts frequently will make you grow), or maintaining weight (weight lifting can be tailored to those not wishing to gain any weight, but still wishing to maintain or increase strength).

Q: I want to tone my muscles. I should do light weight and high reps, right?
A: Tone is the product of low bodyfat, aka DIET. The less bodyfat on your body, the more definition your muscles will have. The way you train a muscle will not influence the surrounding fat; high repetitions will increase muscular endurance and lactic resistance, but does not equal more "tone". Oddly enough, high-intensity (intensity is measured in % of your 1RM) weight training has more of an effect on a muscle's feel and appearance than low-intensity weight training:

From the book Practical Programming:

Practical Programming said:
The modern fitness industry's concept of "toning" muscles is specious--it might sound cool, but it lacks any tangible and definable meaning. The term "muscle tone" or tonus describes an electrophysiological phenomenon, a measure of ionic flow across muscle cell membranes. It can be thought of as the muscle's readiness to do anaerobic work. The more fit the muscle, the more electrophysiological activity it exhibits at rest. Lack of exercise leads to poor tone, aerobic exercise improves tone a little bit, low-intensity weight training improves tone more, and high-intensity training improves tone the fastest. As a test, go poke the traps or quads of an elite weightlifter at rest, if she'll let you. They'll be hard as rock. The same muscles of an elite road cyclist as rest will be firm, but not hard. Then compare the athletes' muscle tone to that of a sedentary person. The results will be quite enlightening. Most exercise programs that claim to improve muscle tone are actually lower-intensity hypertrophy programs and are only moderately effective for improving muscle tone. If "tone" is the goal, strength is the method.
Q: My workout buddy says the new issue of Men's Health has the perfect routine. Why didn't you tell me about this?
A: A few things to go over here and the first that there is no perfect routine. It doesn't exist. Everyone has different goals, different bodies, and thus different needs. While many of us on GAF (and anyone else) are adamant about "the best" routines, they work for some, and not for others.
HOWEVER...there are a few rules:

  • Specificity of routine increases as experience and recovery ability increase. Broad routines work well for beginners but not for the upper 1% of the weight training community. Therefore, there are a few key principles of routines that work for the beginner-intermediate, which makes up the majority (probably around 80%) of the weight training community:
  • -Compound lifts. Squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pullups, and olympic movements are best
  • -Rep range of 3 to 8, depending on goals. 5 is the magic number for strength and size
  • Rest. 8-10 hours of sleep per night; your body begins repairing 45-60 minutes after falling asleep and continues throughout deep sleep. This is why 8-10 hours of good sleep is better than 3 hours at a time
  • Fuel your body. Your body needs water to complete ALL biological processes, and as far as good goes, if your body is in a state of disrepair from lifting and you do not have the resources to begin recovery, you will not get bigger or stronger. You must recover! This is just as important as lifting itself

Those are some basics. Beginners have the amazing divine ability to essentially grow on ANY routine--and this is where a large source of information comes from. You will get beginners who have just been doing pushups and crunches and say, "I look fucking jacked now! It's all you need to do!" or, "All I've been doing is curls and bench! You got your tickets?" And they stay like that. But they are more than willing to dispense this advice out to others as "working". Why? Because
A)They found something that works (even if it only worked for a few weeks)! They're smart!
B)They don't know any better and are probably too lazy or arrogant to try anything else.
That's the problem, is that because a beginner will grow on ANY routine (full body, split, isolation, calisthenics, etc.), they think it legitimizes that routine. The good routines are the ones that work year in and year out with only modifications within the program. After you stop being able to make workout to workout progress (and the day WILL come), you are an intermediate and need to reevaluate how you are training.
There are always ways to modify how you're training and nothing is perfect. I recommend 5 sets of 5 reps for size and strength, but if you only do 1-2 sets of 5 reps, you probably won't grow that much, though you may get stronger depending on the frequency of your workouts. Whereas some people use 1-3 rep range for pure strength, others may gain size AND strength if they do many sets of it. 8 reps is generally great for size, but hey, if you're getting stronger, fucking A! Good for you!
Once you reach an intermediate level, you've got to stop letting yourself be spoon fed information from the media and others--it's time to stand on your own two legs.

Q: So the latest issue of FLEX has this dude that is bigger and stronger than anyone on GAF doing a 1 bodypart-a-day weight training routine. What you got on this?
A: I have a problem with isolation routines. As I said before, anything will work with beginners and there are always exceptions; but isolation routines saw their rise in direct correlation to the usage of steroids. Modern day professional bodybuilding is a joke due to steroid use. Steroids have an incredible effect on the recovery and work capacity on a normal person--growth HAPPENS. This is not to say that steroid use is a fast ticket to getting huge--hard work is still necessary--but the spectrum of what you can do and use to grow widens. The truth is that many modern bodybuilders and the bodybuilding mags that endorse them are supported by the supplement industry (and yes, this includes steroids and other anabolic enhancers). When a source of information is influenced by the makers of a product, credibility goes down the shitter.
Isolation routines do not work nearly as well as full body and/or compound lifts for the majority of the lifting population (novice and intermediate levels). There is not enough cumulative stress on the body as a whole to induce strength and growth. In addition, isolation exercises do not encourage the body to work well as a whole--you'll function more as a "collection" of bodyparts moreso than one well put together being. Full body exercises and routines give greater hormonal release, teach your body coordination and mechanical awareness, strengthen the tendons and ligaments connecting your tissue and bones, and work many of the smaller supportive muscles. Isolation exercises do have their place and are not "useless"--but they should not be the foundation of a routine.

Q: The routine I am on right now never gives me a "burn" and I rarely get sore the next day. My pilates instructor told me that I must not be working the muscle right. What gives?
A:A "burn" (the result of lactic acid building up in the muscle) and getting sore (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which is still not fully understood) are never an indication of a good workout. Let's take these things one at a time:
  • "Burn"-People love the burn and it is usually associated with high reps (USUALLY, though multiple sets of low reps can have the same cumulative effect). There are many reasons for this--it lets them know they are "working" the muscle, thus providing direct feedback into how they must be working out the right way, it gives them "the pump" afterwards, etc. But a burn is not necessary for a workout to be effective and you should NOT obsess over it. The burn is usually (and hopefully, as a burn related to muscle tearing is not a good burn) the result of lactic acid buildup. You CAN train your body to become more resistant to this (although "resistant" should be called "efficient", as "lactic acid" is actually a fuel). I believe I read somewhere that Lance Armstrong experiences VERY little lactic acid "buildup", as he able to utilize it more efficiently, and he is an elite level athlete. Lactic acid does NOT make you strong, make you look better, or decrease your bodyfat. As I stated before, lactic acid is a fuel and important to a muscle's production, but only when it's production is "maintained"; once its production goes over a threshold, it hinders a muscle's performance. This is different for every individual--you are probably going to hit your threshold before Lance Armstrong is.
  • "Pump"-The pump is simply an increase of blood flow to a muscle do to muscular stimulation. Someone could bench 300 for a few reps and not experience ANY pump, and yet they may do 50 pushups and get a great pump. Which is a better indicator of strength? High intensity/low rep exercise does not provide an adequate time frame for blood to flow to the area and "swell" the muscle. Here, think about this: bodybuilders will pump weight behind stage in order to give their muscles a better look, fuller, more "body". That's about the extent of usefulness of a pump.
  • DOMS-Muscle soreness occurs 1-3 days after a particular exercise and is still not fully understood. Regardless, some people spontaneously combust if they do not get sore after a workout. After all, they read that working out breaks down a muscle and it is repaired on the days they have off, so the muscle soreness must be their broken down muscle repairing itself...right? Now the running theory is that soreness is more related to the type of muscular contraction you are performing. Eccentric movements (the "negative") have been known to cause more DOMS. But wait...all you are doing is lowering the weight. If DOMS is an indicator of a good workout, shouldn't all we be doing is negatives? Doesn't make much sense, does it? You can train heavy, get stronger, and get bigger and experience only minor DOMS. There is nothing wrong with this. The fact of the matter is that DOMS is largely misunderstood. It was once thought to actually be related to lactic acid, which is now known as false. It could be related to the muscle tears/breakdown that exercise causes; it could be related to the actually recovery process, as the body floods the muscles and causes them to swell slightly, increasing pressure on the tissue and nerves in the area. Regardless, DOMS does not have a DIRECT effect on how good your workout is--more often than not, it is an indicator of adaptation or being untrained in a particular movement. It would be best to regard it as that and never be afraid to train through soreness--if anything, the blood flow to the muscle will help loosen it and aid in recovery. Just be sure to warm up and stretch out the tightness.
 

Anton Sugar

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Sets & Reps-An Explanation in Regards to Goals
Here is a great chart taken from the Starting Strength wiki, which is meant to be a companion to Starting Strength:


And there you go. This really is the best explanation of repetitions that I could find and sums it up better than I can explain. For information directly related to this, read the next section on "Muscular Hypertrophy".

Muscular Hypertrophy
Not all hypertrophy is created equal, and no, I'm not talking about building "lean" muscle and building "bulky" muscle. A more apt (but still terribly simplified) comparison is "functional/dense" vs. "superficial/bloated".

  • Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy-This is an increase in the sarcoplasm in the muscle. Sarcoplasm is NON-CONTRACTILE TISSUE, but accounts for roughly 30% of the size of the muscle. In increasing sarcoplasm, you are actually DECREASING the muscle's contractile fiber density, resulting in less power/strength output across the muscle area. As you can see from the chart, from 10-12 reps and up is when sarcoplasmic hypertrophy comes into play. This is probably the type of "muscle-building" that bodybuilders get a rep for "all show and no go". However, it is not completely useless--simply being bigger in a chosen sport can have it's advantages and building size can help provide a better foundation for increasing your strength (the larger the cross-sectional area of a muscle, the greater it's potential for strength)
  • Myofibrillar Hypertrophy-This is an increase in the size of the actually muscle fibers, but NOT an increase in the amount of muscle fibers. The "density" of the muscle will actually increase. This sort of training is more "functional" and more important for athletes, as low reps build explosive power as well. Increases in size may not come as quickly as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, but you still WILL get bigger if you train this way and eat properly. Low reps (1-5) are best for this.

Compound vs. Isolation exercises
While each have their strong points, compound exercises are more useful than isolation exercises. Keep in mind that your goals will dictate importance...but compound exercises:
  • Teach the body to move/function as one unit
  • Strengthen connective tissue
  • Produce greater anabolic effect
  • Work more muscle groups with the same amount of effort (or less)
Compound exercises (work two or more muscle groups) should make up the bulk of your workout. Isolation exercises have their place, but should NOT take second place to compound exercises--they should always supplement. Perhaps if you are a high level bodybuilder or working on a trouble spot, but I firmly believe that a routine based on isolation is vastly inferior to a routine based on compounds. As I said, they have their place:
  • Great for bodybuilding applications
  • Work on a lagging muscle group
  • Sometimes isolation is just necessary to focus on a muscle to make it grow--my arms don't really grow unless I do specific exercises for them, for instance

Some examples of compound exercises:
  • Squats-Works (in order of direct stimulation) quadriceps, gluteus, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, lower back, spinal erectors, abdominals
  • Deadlift-Works (in order of direct stimulation) trapezius, rhomboids, lower back, lats, spinal erectors, abdominals, gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, grip
  • Press-Works (in order of direct stimulation) triceps, deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, abdominals, lower back
  • Power Clean-Works (in order of direct stimulation) trapezius, rhomboids, lower back, spinal erectors, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, deltoids

Some examples of isolation exercises:
  • Preacher Curls-Works (in order of direct stimulation) biceps, forearms
  • Triceps Kickbacks-Works (in order of direct stimulation) triceps, deltoids (I'm being generous here)
  • Leg Curls-Works (in order of direct stimulation) hamstrings
  • Leg Extensions-Works (in order of direct stimulation) quadriceps

I hope you can see the benefits of compound exercises.


Injury Prevention/Care
Injuries to a muscle/muscle belly: Bill Starr's Solution.

Equipment
  • Chalk-Chalk is going to be your best friend in the gym. I consider it to be an equalizer--it returns your hands to a dry, fresh state. Crucial for ANY heavy or grip intensive lifts--even the bench press and squat, at heavy weights. You don't need much, and it only belongs on your hands and the bar. A requirement for heavy deadlifts and pulls
  • Gloves-Unnecessary. Gloves are only an aesthetic choice for those who don't want calluses. Can "improve" your grip but you won't be helping your grip; in addition, it adds another layer between your grip and the bar.
  • Belt-Belts are meant to increase the support of your core through increasing your intrabdominal pressure. This is why the belts that taper in the front are quite perplexing--you WANT the pressure on your abdominal wall. Get a belt that is the same width all the way around. I only recommend using a belt on your heaviest sets, and only if you need to--they can impair your ability to increase your core strength if you become reliant on them.
  • Shoes-Weightlifting shoes are very important. You should not lift in running or crosstraining shoes, as the compressable heels/soles are terrible for weight lifting and do not allow consistent force production. Get something with a solid, flat sole (Chuck Taylors are great), or a dedicated weightlifting shoe.
  • Straps-Straps can be incredibly useful in assistance exercises and when your grip is already fatigued. Do NOT become reliant on them. I used them for heavy power shrugs, which is more than my max deadlift. Very useful in ballistic movements, as well.

Build Your Own Equipment
RossTraining's HUGE list of DIY home equipment links
Power/Squat Rack
Solaros said:




I pretty much built two wall partitions and spaced them far enough a part so the bar could be supported by both and connected them with a piece of 1/2" plywood (1/2" plywood was also connected to the sides to reinforce it). It only cost me about $10 to make, but if I had to pay for the wood it would have been right around $40.

Just kind of lay the wood out as seen in the pictures and screw it all together. The specs are to my height on the bench press and the squat. I could post those if you are interested (I am just shy of 6 feet).

When I bench, since I generally do it without a spotter, I get to the rop of my rep and just hold my arms straight while letting the weight fall. So it is definitely sturdy. The small thing covered with a towel is my old toy chest when I was a kid and that is what I stacked the wood on for partial squats. Just lay the wood on your chest for bench partials (wrap it in duct tape or put some screws in it so it doesn't slide around you).
Barbell/Olympic Weights
Dip/Pull-Up Station
Odd Objects
Sled


Beginner Routines
Full Body
I recommend this one to all beginners, but furthermore, I recommend purchasing Starting Strength (listed in the links and referenced throughout this OP). It is one of the single greatest training resources out today. It combines science AND practice, and uses concepts that have been put into work with athletes since the 70's to help novices gained muscular bodyweight and increase strength. Get your copy!

Monday
Squat - 3 sets of 5
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Deadlifts - 1 set of 5
Pull-Ups - 3 sets of 8-15

Wednesday
Squat - 3 sets of 5
Overhead Press - 3 sets of 5
Power Cleans - 5 sets of 3
Abdominal work

Friday
Squat - 3 sets of 5
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Deadlift - 1 set of 5
Bent Over Rows - 3 set of 5
Arm work, if desired

This routine will get you great gains, provided you are eating well. More often than not, your diet is going to dictate your gains, unless you just gain mass easily (fuck you).

Upper/Lower Split
Really, the only type of split I endorse. This can be for someone who wants to try something new (DO THE FULL BODY ROUTINE FOR A FEW MONTHS FIRST), or has sport-specific concerns, or wants to plug in a lot of cardio (which they can do on the upper body days). Here you are:

Workout A
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Bent Rows - 3 sets of 5
Overhead Press - 3-4 sets of 8
Barbell Curls - 3-4 sets of 8
(Cardio)

Workout B
Squats - 3 sets of 5
Power Cleans - 5 sets of 3
Deadlifts - 1-2 sets of 5
Dumbbell or Barbell Step Ups - 3 sets of 8

Alternate workouts.

Week 1:
Monday: A
Wednesday: B
Friday: A

Week 2:

Monday: B
Wednesday: A
Friday: B

Get it?

Other Beginner Workouts

Intermediate Workouts
 

Anton Sugar

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Calories
People need calories to stay alive, even the laziest couch potato does. The barest minimum of calories that you need to stay alive—without any exertion whatsoever—is called your BMR.

Here’s how you calculate your BMR. First, measure your bodyfat percentage, either with calipers or with a special scale. Suppose it’s 10%. Calculate your lean percentage by subtracting your bodyfat percentage from 100—in this case, that would be 90 %. Now multiply your lean percentage with your weight in kilos. If you weigh 80kg, that would be 72kg. Finally, multiply this number by 21 and add 370. This is your BMR, which in this case would be (72 * 21) + 370 = 1882. (If you don’t know your bodyfat percentage, you can also use online calculators.)

Now, if you exercise, you need to take in more calories than your BMR, of course. How much more? That depends upon the amount of calories burned.

If your activity level is moderate, you daily caloric requirements will be roughly 1.5 times your BMR (physically undemanding work + regular gym visits).

If your activity level is high (professional athlete, hours of training each day), then your daily needs are as much as 1.8 or even 2 times your BMR.

If you want to lose weight, you should reduce your intake of calories to 80 or 90% of your daily required intake. If you want to gain muscle, you should up your intake of calories up to 110 or 120% of your daily required amount (don’t expect to gain muscle by merely going to the gym and lifting weights—you gotta eat too!).

Protein, Carbs, Fat

Proteins are essential in the anabolic (= muscle-building) processes in the body. The opposite of anabolic is catabolic (muscle-burning). If you’re interested in gaining muscle, you should make sure your protein intake is sufficient. In general it is recommended to eat around 1.25 to 1.5 grams of protein per lbs of bodyweight daily.

Hormones play an important role speeding up and slowing down anabolic and catabolic processes. Insulin is one of the hormones that tells the body to store stuff—both in the form of muscle and in the form of fat. Cortisol is one of the hormones that tells the body to use its storage—again, both muscle and fat.

The body is often in a catabolic state both early in the day (because no nutrients have been coming in), and after exercise (because lots of energy was spent). If you don’t want your body to burn muscle, you should eat some carbs, which will cause a spike in insulin, which in turn will end catabolic processes. So: carbs in the morning and after exercise.

Some people swear by a 40-30-30 diet. This means that 40% of your daily calorie intake comes from protein, 30% from carbs, and 30% from fat (this was popularized under the name ‘The Zone Diet’).

A great way to calculate how much of your calorie intake comes from protein, carbs and fat is by using a program to track what you eat. An example is Fitday (check out Fitday.com).

There are good places to get your proteins, carbs, and fats, and there are bad places to get these nutrients:

  • Good sources of carbs: green vegetables, other vegetables, fruits (especially berries), brown rice, oats, whole weat bread
  • Not-so-good sources of carbs: white bread, cookies, processed sugary food
  • Good sources of fat: fish, olive oil, nuts, omega-3 (see below) and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Not-so-good sources of fat: trans fats (deep fried stuff, margarine)

Some more random tips:

  • ‘Whole foods’ are obviously better than processed foods (despite the many colorful labels that say ‘light’ or ‘healty’).
  • There is no conclusive evidence to support either frequent eating throughout the day or fasting. Both seem to work, but as always, both are exaggerated by their respective camps
  • Limit the amount of ‘cheat meals.’
  • Eat breakfast!
  • Variety is the spice of life.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Everybody should add these to their diet, either in the form of flax seeds, flax seed oil, fish oil, fish oil pills, special omega-3 eggs, DHA supplements, whatever. They are shown to: lower cholesterol, increase fat burning, prevent heart attacks (by stopping clotting), reduce inflammation, etc. There’s really no excuse for not taking omega-3 fatty acids.

(Source used: T-Nation’s article ‘Nutrition for Newbies, part 1 and 2’, by Chris Thibaudeau.)

Gaining Weight
When gaining weight, it usually comes down to this: you either do or you don't. "Hardgainer" or "easygainer", it's usually one or the other. For obvious reasons, the information listed here is going to be most pertinent for hardgainers and I am going to write it with them in mind.

Essentially, to gain weight you need to intake more calories than you are expending. That is the gist of it, but it is not always that easy--you cannot easily calculate your resting metabolic rate. So those with high metabolisms are somewhat SOL.

Here's the thing, for anyone who has trouble gaining weight: do not be afraid of getting fat. Most likely, if you had problems with being fat, you would be fat right now. I couldn't gain any weight--fat or otherwise. Once I stopped worrying about a little fat on my stomach (my abs are still visible), I started gaining large amounts of muscular weight. You can't have your cake and eat it too--take everything one step at a time, and that may mean a little fat. Chill out.

Protein Requirements
As a general rule for athletes and those involved with strength training, 1-1.5g per pound of bodyweight is required for those wishing to maximize strength and size gains. Competitive bodybuilders and elite level athletes may get as much as 2g per pound of bodyweight, but that is extreme.

In my opinion, I think its a good idea to consume as much excess protein as you desire to gain in bodyweight. It has already been shown that as much as 1.4g/lb of bodyweight is not harmful and may be helpful, so having this "surplus" of protein is useful.

Example: We have a 160 lb individual who would like to be 180 lbs. Ignoring everything but protein, we can safely conclude he should eat at least 160g (1x) of protein a day, would do well to consume 180g of protein (a bit of surplus), and can safely and effectively consume up to 224g of protein a day (1.4x, with plenty of surplus).

Total Caloric Intake

The Milk Diet
Aside from having the money to afford slabs of steak every night, the "milk diet" is one of the, if not the best, way for a beginner to gain muscular bodyweight, COUPLED with a routine focused on compound lifts (especially squats). Here's the essence:

3 solid, healthy meals a day
A protein shake here and there
1 gallon of whole milk a day

The gallon of whole milk contains:
  • 2400 calories
  • 130g fat
  • 180g carbohydrates
  • 130g protein
Sounds ridiculous right? "That's too much fat! That's too many calories!" If you are a hardgainer, shut up. As a hardgainer, you probably have a metabolism that can handle it. If not...move down to 2% milk (which is what I'm on now):
  • 1939 calories
  • 75g fat
  • 187g carbohydrates
  • 130g protein
Sounds more reasonable, eh?

My point is, you NEED to EAT. Being young, you may not be able to afford extravagant weight-gaining diets or expensive supplements. Milk is the key--you can plug it in throughout your day, all day, and it will make a considerable difference in your weight, probably by the second week of use. PLEASE remember, you MUST have a good, consistent workout routine going alongside this. Your body processes food very different when active and inactive. Your body only needs a moderate amount of carbs/fat to actually function, but once you're active, it CRAVES this fuel you're feeding into it. I myself am pretty poor...here is what my day consists of:

  • Breakfast: Bowl of cereal/oatmeal + 1 cup milk, fruit
  • Snack: Granola bar, 4 cups of milk throughout the day
  • Lunch: Sandwich, fruit, peanuts, 3 cups of milk
  • Workout drink: 4 cups of milk + 2 scoops protein
  • Post workout: Protein shake (2 scoops protein, 1-2 scoops ice cream, 1 cup milk, fruit, olive oil, maybe some honey)
  • Dinner: Chicken breast, vegetables, sometimes pasta or rice, 3 cups of milk

If you take away the milk, I pretty much have your average healthy american diet. The milk adds 2000 calories and 130 grams of protein. I was even making gains on a more simplified diet beforehand, drinking only half a gallon of milk a day.

The milk diet IS a bulking diet, but you can use skim milk if you know you gain fat easily. This will drastically cut fat and calories but you will still get the protein! It still works! A gallon of skim milk:

  • 1367 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 190g carbohydrates
  • 134g protein

There? Happy?

My huge gains on the milk diet (15-20 lbs) probably stopped about 2-3 months in. After that, progress slowed--this is to be expected. It's for bulking. I would like to maintain or continue gaining, so I am continuing the diet. You may have other places.


Tips:
  • Start slow. Don't jump into drinking a gallon a day or you could have gastrointestinal consequences
  • Pace yourself. It can be easy to not get enough milk in early, and then you're drinking a lot at night, and frequently having to wake up to take a piss. Best to just get into a routine of having a thermos full of milk, ready to go
  • Ovaltine or flavoring packets. This will make life easier when you can't stand the taste of milk
 

Anton Sugar

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Exercises
Squat
The Squat has been in contention with the deadlift as the "king of exercises" and for good reason. It is an amazing exercise and literally works everything from the bar down. Squats strengthen your abs, back, traps, quads, hams, and glutes, not to mention ALL of the supportive muscles. No other exercise releases as much growth hormone as a good set of hard, heavy squats--and that's why they are supremely important. Whether your goal is to lose or gain weight, squats represent a movement that cannot be reproduced or replaced by ANY other exercise--period. Unless you have a condition where you are physically unable to perform squats, they SHOULD be in your routine.


(image courtesy of Starting Strength book/wiki)

Front Squat: You are aiming to keep your back as VERTICAL AS POSSIBLE. Think about having your back to a wall and sliding down it as you squat. If you bend forward at all, not only are you in danger of losing the barbell and injuring your shoulders, but your weight is most definitely shifting forward and you'll go to your toes. Stance should be medium to close, as wide puts your hips in a position where it is mechanically best to sit back...and you don't want to do that with a front squat.

Olympic/High Bar Squat
: This is still a fairly verticle movement--you will not be getting much, if any, hip drive unless you are very flexible and that's okay. Like the front squat, this is quad dominant. With the bar so high up, if you sit back, gravity is wanting to pull the bar forward, and your weight will shift forward to your toes. Instead, think about sitting down BETWEEN your legs, as if you were sitting into a chair under you, not behind you. Can also envision your feet strapped to the ceiling, and you have to pull yourself "up" so your ass touches the ceiling (thanks to Dan John for that tip). Depending on flexibility, it is usually best to do this with a medium/close stance, as a wide stance tends to force your butt to go backwards due to hip flexors.

Low Bar Squat/"Athletic Squat": Because the bar is located further down the back/closer to the hips, it is easier to get into a position of sitting back. You must focus on sitting BACKWARDS. Usually this is enough to keep your weight on your heels, but your hand position on the bar can actually influence this: if you are gripping close to your shoulders but don't have good flexibility, the inherent tightness will push the bar FORWARD as you squat down, and your weight will come up to your toes. Use a wider grip until you get shoulder flexibility; you WANT to be able to use a close grip as a tight upper back is crucial as the weight gets heavier. Use a medium to wide stand--close stances increase the horizontal length from your knee to your hip on the horizontal plane, and this makes it hard to keep the weight on your heels.

  1. Take a shoulder width stance. Slightly angle your feet outwards, but within 45 degrees
  2. The placement of your hands on the bar should be as close to your shoulders as you comfortably can make it. This will help you to create a "shelf" on your upper back to place the bar, and maintain tightness. If you cannot get your hands close to your shoulders due to flexibility, don't force it--just take a wider grip. Forcing it will result in the bar pushing your upper body forward and fucking up your form/center of gravity
  3. The backs of your hands should be inline with your forearms. This helps to lock the bar between your hands/arms and back, and takes stress off your shoulders (VERY important with heavy weight)
  4. If you are going to look up when you squat, don't let yourself become more upright and thus shift your weight forward. I like to look directly ahead, if not down toward the floor in front of me
  5. Keep your weight on your heels or the middle of your foot. Lift up your toes if you need to!
  6. ALWAYS keep your knees in line with your toes--actively force them outward. If they buckle in as you squat, LOWER the weight and work on your form
  7. Descend by moving your hips backward first. Your knees will move over your toes in the first movement of the squat--this is fine
  8. Go down until you reach parallel (the crease of your hips is below your knee) or lower, but do NOT allow your knees to travel forward at the bottom of the movement
  9. KEEP YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR HEEL/MIDFOOT! Raise the weight by initiating the movement with your hips--feel like a chain is attached to your hips and pulling you up. You may want a training partner to put a hand on the back of your pelvis and tell you to push it up when you are squatting. Hip drive is most important!
  10. Finish the rep with full lockout--knees and hips

Low Bar Powerlifting Squat

Deadlift
The Deadlift is perhaps the most "functional" exercise, or at least it appears to be. Simply put, you are lifting a weight from the ground, up. Involving a massive amount of musculature in the movement, the deadlift is pivotal in growth and strength, and in general health. It used to be named the "health lift", but I guess someone decided that didn't inspire ball-shaking fear, so it was renamed the "deadlift". And that's what it is: the weight begins dead on the ground, and is reset to "dead" at the bottom--no bouncing. A unique feature of the deadlift is that it does not have an eccentric movement to begin it, thus further making it difficult as you are not able to rely on the muscle's stretch reflex to aid in the concentric movement.

Conventional Deadlift
The conventional deadlift is the "standard" deadlift. Your arms start on the outside of your legs when beginning the movement. It works virtually all of the muscles of the back, your hamstrings, your quads, and your grip, in addition to all the connective muscles and tissue in between. Those with a "long armed/short legged" anthropometry do especially well with this, as they are able to stay more upright in order to incorporate more leg drive.

  1. Approach the bar so that the bar is above the top of your feet. Your feet should be 12-16 inches apart. The angle of your feet will vary and is personal preference: some prefer toes straight forward, others prefer their toes angled outward slightly.
  2. You want your arms to be as "straight down" to the bar as possible. The wider your grip, the higher the bar has to travel in the pull. Ideally, you want your grip as close to your legs as possible without interfering with the pull or your knees
  3. You grip should be overhand (pronated). Use the overhand grip for as many sets as possible--this will ensure maximum grip work. Once you experience fatigue or are doing a max attemp, you may switch to an over/under grip (one hand supinated, the other pronated). This is better for grip purposes that an overhand grip, as an overhand has two fingers on one side of the bar and eight on the other side. Over/under has five fingers on each side of the bar.
  4. As you reach down to grab the bar, do not let your shins move the bar from over the middle of your feet. The bar should touch your shins.
  5. Optimal pulling position is ensured by positioning your shoulders/scapulae directly over, if not slightly in front of the bar. Ideally, you want to get your ass as low as you can WITHOUT moving your shoulders behind the bar--otherwise, you will be pulling backward, not upward
  6. Never bend your elbows. Your arms are like string or bands, just holding onto the weight. You can grip HARD, but do not bend your arms unless you want to tear a bicep or fuck up an elbow
  7. Head should be neutral, looking forward or slightly downward.
  8. Begin the movement by pushing up with your legs. Push like you're pushing your feet toward China; move the earth. Maintain the back angle until the moment the bar passes over the knees, then push your hips forward and straighten your torso. The bar should be in contact with your body the entire time. The farther the bar moves from the body, the more your lower back will straight.
  9. End with everything in full extension--arms, hips, knees.
  10. Reverse the movement to set it down. Do not bother doing this slowly, but still, control it. Make sure the weight is dead on the ground before attempting the next rep.

Sumo Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift
Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Bench Press
The Bench Press is one of the best builders of maximal upper body strength. While it does not correlate to any real world movement and has less athletic applications than the standing press, the fact that the bench press allows you to use more weight than the press, incline bench, or decline bench means that it is the best way to overload your pressing muscles (triceps and deltoids/pecs). It should not be glorified: you may have seen guys at the gym with huge chests and small back, guys whose shoulders are caved inward, etc. Don't become this.

Press
The standing Press is a more "complete" movement than the bench press. It involves more muscle groups and follows the kinetic chain from the feet to the weight, similar to a deadlift or squat. However, the mechanics of the movement do not allow nearly as much weight to be used as the bench press, so it is usually overlooked. This is terrible--presses should be a regular part of everyone's routine. Properly done, they will help with shoulder imbalances, rotator cuff strength, and shoulder flexibility.

Bent Over Row
The Bent Over Row is a great exercise to complement the bench press and add pulling strength and size to your back. A powerful back seems to be a rarity these days--too much emphasis on lat pull downs and other exercises that don't allow enough of an overload. The bent over row not only strengthens your trapezius, your rhomboids, your biceps, and your deltoids, but also your lower back and spinal erectors due to the near parallel to the ground position your upper body is in.

Power Clean
The Power Clean is one of the best exercises one can do for developing explosive power. It is sort of a go-between exercise between standard lifting and Olympic weightlifting. Involving all the major pulling muscle groups (hamstrings, lower back, spinal erectors, trapezius, rhomboids, and to a lesser extent, biceps), it is a very quick movement that is fairly easy to learn, compared to the full Olympic counterpart.

Resources (websites, books, etc.)
BooksWebsites
 

Anton Sugar

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Jul 26, 2007
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Big thanks to MjFrancis for the following information on bodyweight workouts:

Bodyweight exercises are a great way for a beginner to kick the sedentary lifestyle or for an advanced trainee who wants to push their endurance and strength to the limit, or for anyone else looking to supplement their workout routines with something different. They are a viable alternative to training when going to the gym just isn’t an option - most bodyweight exercises can be done just about anywhere! Generally, muscle hypertrophy isn’t the primary goal of bodyweight exercises, but muscular endurance and strength. Elite levels of calisthenics can still produce an impressive physique, as evidenced by male Olympic gymnasts who abstain from weight training, but nevertheless hypertrophy is typically a byproduct and not the end goal here.

Here are a sample of specific bodyweight movements I would consider core to any calisthenics or bodyweight training routine. While most individuals should be able to do some form of these movements, remember that excess body fat is always a burden with bodyweight movements. Losing fat will always make these easier on the joints and ligaments, and is imperative to advance to more difficult variations. Thanks to exrx.net for the examples:

Squats – Just like the barbell front squat, only without additional weight and you're aiming to break parallel and get your butt just above the ground behind your ankles. Full ass to grass (ATG)! Even in bodyweight form, it’s the king of lower-body exercises. When done for endurance, it’s great for cardio. Aim for 175 reps in 5 minutes, 300 in 10 minutes and 500 in 15 minutes. Once your legs are strong enough you’ll want to increase the resistance by doing pistol squats. You may also supplement with lunges if you get bored of squatting so much.

Chin-ups – These are the underhand variation, and pull-ups are overhand. Just grab a bar with arms about shoulder-width apart, keep your shoulders, back and abs tight, and raise yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Face forward, too, there’s no need to tilt your head back to reduce the range-of-motion (ROM), the whole reason we’re doing chins instead of pulls is because they offer a slightly greater ROM and work your biceps more (you still wanted bigger biceps, right?). Slowly descend after you reach the top of the movement and drop down until your arms are 95% extended, as far as you can go until locking out. Example of the chin-up.

Push-ups – Keep your entire spine and body straight and stiff like a plank, lower yourself until your nose gently touches the ground, and return to the starting position for one rep. There’s a myriad of push-up variations, but my personal favorites are knuckle push-ups – they extend the movement's ROM by the length of your fist. Example of the regular push-up.

Dips – I like dips because they’re a little more challenging than push-ups, and you don’t even need two parallel bars to do them. Find any counter space with a 45 degree angle and put your hands on either side and slowly push your body up and down while bending at the elbows. Try for a full ROM with your upper arms lowering parallel to the ground but don’t overstretch your shoulders by going lower if you can’t do it comfortably. Experiment with angles to engage muscles differently if you like. Example of the dip.

Leg Raises – Grasp a bar as you would for chins and bring your legs forward to your head. An easier variation for beginners is to bend your legs and bring the knees to the chest. Do this in a slow, controlled motion, else you replace abdominal contraction with hip swinging, which is fun but ineffective. Crunches are good, too, though if you’re concerned with spinal flexion for some reason, you could always do planks. For those, just get in position for a push-up with your forearms on the ground and brace your abdominals in an isometric contraction. Do ‘reps’ of these based on time under tension i.e. 3 x 60 seconds. Once you can hold this position for a few minutes, move on up to the leg raise and never look back. You can always do leg raises slower if you really miss the plank. The full leg raise is a little more challenging than the other movements in this list, but I feel that a strong core is necessary for excelling with most advanced calisthenics. Example of a full leg raise.

Structure these exercises similarly to how you would any other strength or weights regimen: continue to warm-up, stretch and train in a systematic, progressive manner. Eventually you may be able to do 1,000 squats every morning or 200 push-ups when you get out of bed, but work up to it for lasting, consistent results. If you’re looking to drastically improve a given lift, try employing a technique called Greasing the Groove (GTG). Perform the movement multiple times a day, but at repetitions that won’t leave you sore or worn-out for your scheduled training. For instance, if you can only do twenty push-ups, do sets of 8 or 10 throughout the day, maybe 10-20 sets depending upon endurance. Do this six days a week (you still need some rest). Your max rep pushup performance should improve drastically, since GTG has adapted your body to the movement quicker.

Al Kavadlo has laid out a hierarchy of bodyweight exercises based upon difficulty in his Mastering Your Bodyweight post on his fitness blog. While it contains a healthy dose of advanced techniques to add to your arsenal, I would also suggest reading Jim’s tutorials at Beast Skills. There’s plenty more techniques aside from the ones on these sites, and who is going to stop you if you want to add weight to any of these movements? Weighted pull-ups, dips, and pistol squats are just a few ideas for your next trip to the gym.

Further reading:

Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade
The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline
Relax into Stretch by Pavel Tsatsouline
Never Gymless by Ross Enamait[/QUOTE]
 

Anton Sugar

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Community Members

If you want your information here, follow this template:

City/State/Country: (fine if you just want to put the state and have someone PM you for more info)
Gym: if you want to list the gym you use, put it here
Training: Choose one: Strength, Conditioning, Endurance, or specify yourself
Schedule: which days of the week and what time of day (AM or PM might do fine here, Evenings, mornings, etc.)


Canada

grumble
City/State: Toronto, Canada
Gym: Goodlife Davisville/Mt.Pleasant
Training: Strength (SS)
Schedule: M/W/F 2:00 pm or so, but I'm open for switching it up.

Europe (North)

highluxury
City/State: Copenhagen, Denmark
Gym: Fitness World
Training: Strength
Schedule: Monday (morning), Wednesday(morning), Friday (evening)

Taiwan

industrian
City/State: Taipei, Taiwan
Gym: Xindian World Gym
Training: Strength training
Schedule: M/W/F evenings

United States (West)

Combine
City/State: California
Gym: cheap ass Fitness 19 (but, it's all I can afford :( )
Training: Strength, I think.
Schedule: MWF mornings


United States (Southwest)

Mr. Snrub
City/State: Austin, Texas
Gym: Hyde Park Gym
Training: Strength Training (free weights)
Schedule: Evenings: M Tu Th Fr[/QUOTE]

United States (Midwest)

Solaros
City/State: Central Indiana
Gym: Home Gym
Training: Strength and Conditioning
Schedule: Most nights around 10:30, and some mornings around 9:00

Mr. City
City/State: Chicago, Illinois
Gym: Loyola Campus Gym
Training: Strength
Schedule: MWF later afternoon/evening

United States (Northeast)

Wellington
City/State: Bronx, NY/Fairfield NJ when I train with my Coworker
Gym: No affiliation
Training: Strength
Schedule: MWF evenings, Sat afternoon

United States (Southeast)

Mexico

hectorse
City/State: Ensenada, Mexico
Gym: Ensenada Fitness (Commercial Gym but has the adequate gear)
Training: Strength Training weekly progression and biking
Schedule: T-TH-SAT morning or evening
 

radios shipping overview

Formerly 'jiji'
Jun 7, 2004
13,979
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I'm looking to lose 5-7% bodyfat or so , 15-25lbs (I'm somewhere between 20% and 23%, 5'6", 175lbs, male). I've been on a steady diet (~1400cal) and cardio (25min 3-4 times per week) routine for about six weeks. But my biggest gains were when I started, when I lost about 5-8 lbs, and I haven't seen any loss since. I've just introduced push-ups and sit-ups. I'm not interested in a gym membership or an extensive weights program. Should I just keep up what I'm doing and lengthen my cardio sessions as I build my endurance?
 

yacobod

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
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might want to have a mod lock the old thread, so that ppl are not posting in both places
 

Slo

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Dudes, help me out. I need some exercises that I can do that won't make me too big! Everytime I pick up a weight I get super-swole! How can I prevent this?!?! I can't afford to buy a new wardrobe every weekend!!
 

GHG

Member
Nov 9, 2006
22,492
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Slo said:
Dudes, help me out. I need some exercises that I can do that won't make me too big! Everytime I pick up a weight I get super-swole! How can I prevent this?!?! I can't afford to buy a new wardrobe every weekend!!
Start with tricep kickbacks.

;)
 

lil smoke

Banned
Jun 7, 2007
9,136
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The banner isn't looking too great up there.... need a new one. I'll try another one, or if anyone wants to go to town with it, go for it.

oh, and :lol @ the start. Fresh Lines on the 1st page!?!!
 

adelante

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Dec 28, 2005
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Nice....I just kickstarted a new regime....maybe this will be a good place to start sharing healthy recipes as well
 

Troblin

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Aug 6, 2007
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Mr. Snrub said:


Requesting GAF's Help
So, if you are going to request a routine or advice on a routine, please provide the following to us, using this template:

  • Age:
  • Height:
  • Weight:
  • Goal:
  • Comments:
I'll start.....

Age: 26
Height: 5'10
Weight: 180lbs(first thing in the morning/no water weight) ~11-12%bf
Goal: improve my leg strength, bigger shoulders(traps too large relative to delts), bigger arms, cut to 8-9% bf, maintain bw(if possible)
Comments:
Currently l'm dropping ~ 1/4lb-1/2lb a week eating the following:
meal 1: 1 cup oatmeal + 3 small scoops protein powder
meal 2: chicken + brown rice
meal 3: chicken + brown rice
meal 4: pasta+ tuna or meal #1
meal 5: chicken +almonds, steak, or some lean protein+ fat combo
meal 6: cassein protein + almonds/casshews

Total : ~2900-3000 calories (note post workout meal ~600 calories, thus total calories jumps to ~3500-3600 on lifting days)
 

Sol..

I am Wayne Brady.
Apr 23, 2007
11,664
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So where do i go abouts finding out the proper form for swiss ball squats?
 

Chichikov

Member
Jul 26, 2006
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jiji said:
I'm looking to lose 5-7% bodyfat or so , 15-25lbs (I'm somewhere between 20% and 23%, 5'6", 175lbs, male). I've been on a steady diet (~1400cal) and cardio (25min 3-4 times per week) routine for about six weeks. But my biggest gains were when I started, when I lost about 5-8 lbs, and I haven't seen any loss since. I've just introduced push-ups and sit-ups. I'm not interested in a gym membership or an extensive weights program. Should I just keep up what I'm doing and lengthen my cardio sessions as I build my endurance?
Ok, might as well start taking this thread seriously -
Strength training can help you lose weight, but pushups and situps are not really the way to go.
And if you're serious about getting into shape, I would suggest you reconsider your disinterest in gym membership.

As for your cardio, 25 minutes of what I assume is slow pace steady state is not the most effective way to lose weight.
If you're time limited, you might want to look into HIIT training.
 

reilo

learning some important life lessons from magical Negroes
Feb 23, 2007
51,882
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0
Chichikov said:
Ok, might as well start taking this thread seriously -
Strength training can help you lose weight, but pushups and situps are not really the way to go.
And if you're serious about getting into shape, I would suggest you reconsider your disinterest in gym membership.

As for your cardio, 25 minutes of what I assume is slow pace steady state is not the most effective way to lose weight.
If you're time limited, you might want to look into HIIT training.
I can vouch that in the month of working out at a gym using real equipment [barbells and squatting racks!] with heavy weights have made a bigger difference in my strength and physical appearance than 6 months of working out at home using dumbells.

Listen to us.
 

reilo

learning some important life lessons from magical Negroes
Feb 23, 2007
51,882
0
0
J. M. Romeo said:
Nice, new thread. Best of luck! Today, even though I had my upper arm tattoos finished yesterday, I did my bicep curls and triceps howevertheyarecalled with 10 kilos, which for me, with my skinny-ass arms, is quite some feat. Last week I was struggling a lot with 10, now I can finish 2 series of 10 reps only to die at the end of my third one, at about the 8th rep. When my arms fully heal, I will try with squats and maybe deadlifts.
Why are you doing 10 reps?

12.5kilos at 5 reps is much more beneficial to you. Hell, you could probably even do 15k at 5 reps.
 

perryfarrell

Member
Sep 22, 2006
7,129
1
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Troblin said:
I'll start.....

[snip]
Your diet seems protein-heavy, and I don't see any veggies! No fruits either. 'Vitamins!' Are you taking multi-vitamins? Fish oil supplements? Keep track of your diet for one or two weeks, using a free online tracker like Fitday.com. You'll see where your diet is lacking.

As far as exercise is concerned, I'd start a Rippetoe-style program, of the type that Shrub advocates. Add some cardio and boom! you're all set.
 

winnarps

Member
Feb 11, 2008
688
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0
jiji said:
I'm looking to lose 5-7% bodyfat or so , 15-25lbs (I'm somewhere between 20% and 23%, 5'6", 175lbs, male). I've been on a steady diet (~1400cal) and cardio (25min 3-4 times per week) routine for about six weeks. But my biggest gains were when I started, when I lost about 5-8 lbs, and I haven't seen any loss since. I've just introduced push-ups and sit-ups. I'm not interested in a gym membership or an extensive weights program. Should I just keep up what I'm doing and lengthen my cardio sessions as I build my endurance?
If you decide to weightlift, you'll be increasing muscle mass, which in turn increases fat burn.

And it varies from person to person, but I've lost much more fat through weightlifting than I have through running/situps/chinups.
 

reilo

learning some important life lessons from magical Negroes
Feb 23, 2007
51,882
0
0
J. M. Romeo said:
Don't know, don't know. I really struggle with the tenners when I'm in the 4th or so, and I just started phasing out my machine exercises with weights last week. Started at 8. Next Monday I will give the twelves a shot, but I'm not quite sure if I will be able to handle it properly.

Oh, and definitely not in triceps. I almost die at the end of every series with 10 kilos >_<
Try limiting yourself to a 3 sets of 5 reps [3x5] workout schedule. If the 10ks start to feel easy, then you know you'll have to move up.
 

Mash

Member
May 14, 2006
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990
Just a quick comment from me (great OP by the way). I've had great results with the Rippetoes routine this year, it was my first organized routine despite lifting for a couple of years and I've never been stronger or in better shape physique wise.
 

Chony

Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,118
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0
* Age: 23 (I am still in Peyton Manning's range for a six pac!)
* Height: 6'2"
* Weight: 180 lbs
* Goal: To lose excess fat around waist, build my core and pectorals and be able to have the endurance to climb Mount Rainier by next summer (I have to learn the technical experience but that's another thread). That, or look like Bale in American Psycho.
* Comments: Currently I run twice a week at 3 miles each time. I bike to work about twice a week (14 miles round trip in hilly Seattle). I don't really watch what I eat but I started packing (what I think) a healthier lunch. Water, PBJ on wheat, carrots and an apple. Breakfast is cereal. Dinner is a wash, I like cooking fancy things, but If I'm lazy I'll make eggs or a tuna sandwich. I also hike every other week (about 5000 feet elevation, 10 miles round trip). What can I do? I have full access to a gym at my work, but at 4 pm I don't feel like staying any longer. It's a really nice gym, but I like doing out door things more (I run around a lake, hiking, biking, etc.)
 

reilo

learning some important life lessons from magical Negroes
Feb 23, 2007
51,882
0
0
J. M. Romeo said:
So far I'm progressing nice, but I'm also taking the weekends free. Big barbells still scare me a bit, but as Alanis said, you live, you learn.

I will try twelves or fourteens next Monday, BUT IF I DIE BURIED UNDERNEATH A PILE OF IRON AND SWEAT, EVERYONE WILL KNOW THAT IT WAS YOU WHO COERCED ME!

Oh, and I love the ellyptical machine. It's like when you dream of running/flying if you close your eyes.
Don't worry, I'll take tender care of your girl if that happens.
 

Barrage

Member
Feb 8, 2005
8,521
14
1,530
Great to see GymGAF II up and running.

Thanks for the link to Fitday-complete godsend.

I'm also going to put that "5 Reps instead of 10" thing into play.
 

Struct09

Member
Oct 9, 2006
14,355
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0
Mr. Snrub said:
  • Good sources of carbs: green vegetables, other vegetables, fruits (especially berries), brown rice, whole weat bread
  • Not-so-good sources of carbs: white bread, cookies, processed sugary food
  • Good sources of fat: fish, olive oil, nuts, omega-3 (see below) and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Not-so-good sources of fat: trans fats (deep fried stuff, margarine), saturated fats (meat, dairy)
I'm going to call out the OP here a bit.

First off, on the list of good carbs where's the oats?! I would have put them there over bread in a heart beat.

Next, fats. While omega-6 fatty acids are a good source of fat, people tend to get too much as it is. You shouldn't go out of your way to intake more omega-6, you will get enough from the food you eat normally. You should go out of your way to supplement omega-3, as the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 intake is what seems to be important. Another problem with omega-6, or polyunsaturated fats in general, is that they go rancid easily. This is why eating foods fried in refined vegetable oil are some of the worst foods you can eat.

As for saturated fat, if it comes from whole food sources its fine. That includes meat and dairy. Saturated fat has been a huge scapegoat over the years, but if you look deeper into it you will see that there are no conclusive studies. Also, our intake of saturated fat has gone down over the years (farmers lived off of beef, butter, whole milk, bacon, etc) but the problems we blame on it have gone up. There are even saturated fats that provide health benefits - read up on Medium Chain Triglycerides if you want to learn more. But all that being said, you don't need to go out of your way to intake more saturated fat - your body will produce what it needs from other fats if it doesn't get enough. And of course, everything in moderation.

Also, deep fried stuff shouldn't be lumped under trans fats. Deep fried food should still be considered a "not-so-good source of fat", but deep frying food is not directly tied to trans-fatty acids. You need to do more than just heat an oil to hydrogenate it and produce TFAs. Many fast food companies are taking advantage of this recently by switching what types of oil they deep fry in, but they really aren't saving your health.

End of rant. Eat whole foods and be healthy.
 

Anton Sugar

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Chichikov said:
Not man enough to use the Swiss ball for your kickbacks I see?
LOL noob.
:lol

Thanks guys, glad you like the new thread. I'll be continually updating the OP, I'll try to keep a "log" of the changes.

Troblin said:
I'll start.....

Age: 26
Height: 5'10
Weight: 180lbs(first thing in the morning/no water weight) ~11-12%bf
Goal: improve my leg strength, bigger shoulders(traps too large relative to delts), bigger arms, cut to 8-9% bf, maintain bw(if possible)
Comments:
Currently l'm dropping ~ 1/4lb-1/2lb a week eating the following:
meal 1: 1 cup oatmeal + 3 small scoops protein powder
meal 2: chicken + brown rice
meal 3: chicken + brown rice
meal 4: pasta+ tuna or meal #1
meal 5: chicken +almonds, steak, or some lean protein+ fat combo
meal 6: cassein protein + almonds/casshews

Total : ~2900-3000 calories (note post workout meal ~600 calories, thus total calories jumps to ~3500-3600 on lifting days)
Sounds like you've got a pretty good start, similar body makeup and caloric intake as me. What does your current routine look like? How long have you been lifting?
 

lil smoke

Banned
Jun 7, 2007
9,136
1
960
USA
If your not worried about your weight, is bread still a cad carb choice? White rice, pasta...

Is your food advice geared towards losing weight? Maybe specify between weight gainer nutrition and weight loss nutrition? I do understand that good clean food is key either way, but for those of us not trying to lose... we can cheat a bit more!
 

GHG

Member
Nov 9, 2006
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I've only ever eaten white rice/pasta/white bread and made great gains over the last 2 years. I guess it depends on if you're going to burn it off, because my bodyfat is as low as ever despite eating them.
 

Anton Sugar

Member
Jul 26, 2007
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Chony said:
* Age: 23 (I am still in Peyton Manning's range for a six pac!)
* Height: 6'2"
* Weight: 180 lbs
* Goal: To lose excess fat around waist, build my core and pectorals and be able to have the endurance to climb Mount Rainier by next summer (I have to learn the technical experience but that's another thread). That, or like like Bale in American Psycho.
* Comments: Currently I run twice a week at 3 miles each time. I bike to work about twice a week (14 miles round trip in hilly Seattle). I don't really watch what I eat but I started packing (what I think) a healthier lunch. Water, PBJ on wheat, carrots and an apple. Breakfast is cereal. Dinner is a wash, I like cooking fancy things, but If I'm lazy I'll make eggs or a tuna sandwich. I also hike every other week (about 5000 feet elevation, 10 miles round trip). What can I do? I have full access to a gym at my work, but at 4 pm I don't feel like staying any longer. It's a really nice gym, but I like doing out door things more (I run around a lake, hiking, biking, etc.)
:lol

Hmmm, the main thing I'd be concerned about here is that you're already 6'2", and at 180 lbs, that's already a bit lean, so I'd move to a routine that focuses on gaining muscular bodyweight. The best way to describe the reasoning for a routine that focusing on gaining muscular weight when you want to lose fat is that you'll essentially gain mass all around but also notice you'll go down a pant size or two.

The problem with making this work is that you say you don't really like working out in a gym and would rather get it from natural exercise...which is great. But natural exercise is not as good at building mass as a weight room is. If I were you, I'd set aside a 3-6 month period where you focus mainly on the weight room, but not cut out your active lifestyle completely. Since your legs get a lot of work, I'd recommend an upper/lower body split, where you work your upper body twice a week and lower body once a week. You can either keep that sort of routine, or switch it up next week, working lower body twice and upper body once. Here's what I'm thinking:

Monday
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Bent Rows - 3 sets of 5
Overhead Press - 3-4 sets of 8
Barbell Curls - 3-4 sets of 8
Cardio

Wednesday
Squats - 3 sets of 5
Power Cleans - 5 sets of 3
Deadlifts - 1-2 sets of 5
Dumbbell or Barbell Step Ups

Friday
Bench Press/Incline Bench press - 3-4 sets of 8-10
Pull Ups - 5x5 (weighted) or 3 sets of 8-15
Skull Crushers - 3-4 sets of 8
Chin Ups - 3x5-8
Cardio

I'd be tempted to add in two sets of light squats on Friday as well...Squatting is just so damned good for you, no matter what you're doing. BUT, if you were going to split it up, that's what I'd do. High-intensity biking can be great for your legs as far as power and even a bit of size goes.

I'd love to advocate a full body routine, but that may interfere with your desire to do a lot of cardiovascular work. However, if I were to try and fit a full body routine in here...

Monday
Squat - 3 sets of 5
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Power Clean - 5 sets of 3
Pull Ups - 5x5 or 3 sets of 8-15
Low intensity cardio

Wednesday
Squat - 2 sets of 5 (LIGHT)
Overhead Press - 3 sets of 5-8
Bent Row - 3 sets of 5
Hike/moderate intensity cardio

Friday
Squat - work up to 1 set of 5 (should be heavier than Monday)
Bench Press - work up to 1 set of 5 (should be heavier than Monday)
Deadlift - work up to 1 set of 5
Pull-Ups - 5x5 or 3 sets of 8-15 (should be whatever rep scheme you didn't do Monday)
High intensity cardio

What do you think?
 

Anton Sugar

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Jul 26, 2007
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Struct09 said:
I'm going to call out the OP here a bit.

First off, on the list of good carbs where's the oats?! I would have put them there over bread in a heart beat.

Next, fats. While omega-6 fatty acids are a good source of fat, people tend to get too much as it is. You shouldn't go out of your way to intake more omega-6, you will get enough from the food you eat normally. You should go out of your way to supplement omega-3, as the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 intake is what seems to be important. Another problem with omega-6, or polyunsaturated fats in general, is that they go rancid easily. This is why eating foods fried in refined vegetable oil are some of the worst foods you can eat.

As for saturated fat, if it comes from whole food sources its fine. That includes meat and dairy. Saturated fat has been a huge scapegoat over the years, but if you look deeper into it you will see that there are no conclusive studies. Also, our intake of saturated fat has gone down over the years (farmers lived off of beef, butter, whole milk, bacon, etc) but the problems we blame on it have gone up. There are even saturated fats that provide health benefits - read up on Medium Chain Triglycerides if you want to learn more. But all that being said, you don't need to go out of your way to intake more saturated fat - your body will produce what it needs from other fats if it doesn't get enough. And of course, everything in moderation.

Also, deep fried stuff shouldn't be lumped under trans fats. Deep fried food should still be considered a "not-so-good source of fat", but deep frying food is not directly tied to trans-fatty acids. You need to do more than just heat an oil to hydrogenate it and produce TFAs. Many fast food companies are taking advantage of this recently by switching what types of oil they deep fry in, but they really aren't saving your health.

End of rant. Eat whole foods and be healthy.
Oop, didn't notice that bit. We had gotten that bit of info from T-Nation articles, I hadn't really looked it over, needed something for the placeholder. Thanks--I definitely don't agree with the saturated fat/milk info (obviously :D ) I'll start revising now! Thanks, if anyone else has corrections or critiques, please, share them!
 

Buba Big Guns

Banned
Apr 10, 2008
4,920
0
0
* Age: 18 in a couple months
* Height: 5' 10"
* Weight: ~170

* Goal: I want to get my cardio up and get my back, legs, and abs bigger and stronger (areas I have neglected in the past)/ just want to get ripped in general.

* Comments: I think its time for me to finally turn it up a notch. I've been exercising for 3 years now and I haven't really had a plan. I just did whatever I could. I think I have a pretty decent body but I need to lose a small layer of fat. I have a really high metabolism and it is really hard for me to gain weight.
 

Troblin

Member
Aug 6, 2007
257
0
0
Mr. Snrub said:
:lol

Thanks guys, glad you like the new thread. I'll be continually updating the OP, I'll try to keep a "log" of the changes.



Sounds like you've got a pretty good start, similar body makeup and caloric intake as me. What does your current routine look like? How long have you been lifting?
Lifting History: Been lifting on and off since I was 17. Usually just Bench Press and some Curls. Didn't get serious about nutrition+ lifting until I was 21-22. Started working a full-time deskjob(auditor) at 23, and wanted to keep up lifting to counteract the sedentary lifestyle. I've been studying the CPA and trying to maintain a social life(among other things). Basically I need a routine that will fit my busy schedule.

Current Routine
My arms/shoulders/legs need serious work.
Chest development is good(I used to just bench 3*times a week), traps are really good(think I used to bench too close to my neck, thus, my traps did a lot of the pushing on the bench press. + genetics)
Day 1: Chest/Tricep/Shoulders
DBPress*6
Shoulder Press*3-4
Tricep Extension*3
Dips*4
Front Raise or some Variation *4
Lateral Raise or some Variation*4
FacePulls*5
Leg Raises/Ab Machines *4

Day 2: Back/Biceps
Pullups*4
BB Rows*3
Machine Row*3
BB Curls *5
Front Raise or some Variation *4
Lateral Raise or some Variation*4
FacePulls*5
Leg Raises/Ab Machines *4

Day 3: Legs/Shoulders
BB Squats*5
SLDL*5
Calf Raises*4
Shoulder Press*4
Front Raise or some Variation *4
Lateral Raise or some Variation*4
FacePulls*5
Leg Raises/Ab Machines *4

I also run 3 miles, 2 times a week on my off days.
note*- I have a lingering rotator cuff injury that prevents certain exercises. BB Bench Press, Military Press, Upright Rows, et. al.
To gain weight I think I'd need to up my calorie count by ~ 200-300 calories/day. Easily done through a little more brown rice/oatmeal. However, I want to lose ~2-3% bf and ideally stay at the same bw. Also, I'm in no rush to achieve these goals. If i could hit 185lbs 8-9% bf within a year, I'd be ecstatic.
 

Anton Sugar

Member
Jul 26, 2007
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I missed these posts :lol

MrToughPants said:
1-Swiss ball Tricep Kickbacks
2-Cocaine
3- ????
4- Success
:lol

lil smoke said:
The banner isn't looking too great up there.... need a new one. I'll try another one, or if anyone wants to go to town with it, go for it.

oh, and :lol @ the start. Fresh Lines on the 1st page!?!!
Here, some more pics if you want to incorporate some more. I don't know how much of the new title you want to incorporate :)D) but I wouldn't mind some kickbacks, swiss ball super saiyan squats, and roid rage in the title.

Some pics:





Serge Nubret (classic bodybuilder):




That awesome Sergio Oliva pic:

 

GHG

Member
Nov 9, 2006
22,492
23,752
1,825
Mr. Snrub said:
What in the...

After looking at that pic I immediately looked at my arms and thought "aww shit". What the fuck kind of excersises did he do!?! Those arms are unreal. Not that I'd ever want arms like that though... people would flee the streets.

Oh and funny story. I bumped into an old friend from school the other day. Hadn't seen each other in the best part of 2 years now and he accused me of being on steroids. The cheek of it. It took hard work bitch.
 

yacobod

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
12,409
0
0
good work finding that picture, i was too lazy to dig around for it

the myth had some awesome guns, i think arthur jones claimed he was the only bodybuilder back in the day with a legit 20" arm, other claims were bogus

======

also we need to represent Mike Mentzer and his crazy training beliefs in these threads

i think bodybuilding.com has a series of great joke posts w/his zany training beliefs/mantras
 

Chony

Member
Jun 7, 2004
2,118
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0
Mr. Snrub said:
:lol

Hmmm, the main thing I'd be concerned about here is that you're already 6'2", and at 180 lbs, that's already a bit lean, so I'd move to a routine that focuses on gaining muscular bodyweight. The best way to describe the reasoning for a routine that focusing on gaining muscular weight when you want to lose fat is that you'll essentially gain mass all around but also notice you'll go down a pant size or two.

The problem with making this work is that you say you don't really like working out in a gym and would rather get it from natural exercise...which is great. But natural exercise is not as good at building mass as a weight room is. If I were you, I'd set aside a 3-6 month period where you focus mainly on the weight room, but not cut out your active lifestyle completely. Since your legs get a lot of work, I'd recommend an upper/lower body split, where you work your upper body twice a week and lower body once a week. You can either keep that sort of routine, or switch it up next week, working lower body twice and upper body once. Here's what I'm thinking:

Monday
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Bent Rows - 3 sets of 5
Overhead Press - 3-4 sets of 8
Barbell Curls - 3-4 sets of 8
Cardio

Wednesday
Squats - 3 sets of 5
Power Cleans - 5 sets of 3
Deadlifts - 1-2 sets of 5
Dumbbell or Barbell Step Ups

Friday
Bench Press/Incline Bench press - 3-4 sets of 8-10
Pull Ups - 5x5 (weighted) or 3 sets of 8-15
Skull Crushers - 3-4 sets of 8
Chin Ups - 3x5-8
Cardio

I'd be tempted to add in two sets of light squats on Friday as well...Squatting is just so damned good for you, no matter what you're doing. BUT, if you were going to split it up, that's what I'd do. High-intensity biking can be great for your legs as far as power and even a bit of size goes.

I'd love to advocate a full body routine, but that may interfere with your desire to do a lot of cardiovascular work. However, if I were to try and fit a full body routine in here...

Monday
Squat - 3 sets of 5
Bench Press - 3 sets of 5
Power Clean - 5 sets of 3
Pull Ups - 5x5 or 3 sets of 8-15
Low intensity cardio

Wednesday
Squat - 2 sets of 5 (LIGHT)
Overhead Press - 3 sets of 5-8
Bent Row - 3 sets of 5
Hike/moderate intensity cardio

Friday
Squat - work up to 1 set of 5 (should be heavier than Monday)
Bench Press - work up to 1 set of 5 (should be heavier than Monday)
Deadlift - work up to 1 set of 5
Pull-Ups - 5x5 or 3 sets of 8-15 (should be whatever rep scheme you didn't do Monday)
High intensity cardio

What do you think?
I think that looks like it take a bit of commitment. Maybe an hour at least on those days? The gym at my work is all machines... should I use those or free weights? I have a couple 25lb dumbbells at my apartment, but I don't have a bench. Squats are hard for me because my legs are so long and narrow. Plus I have huge feet so I look like a clown with my shorts, chicken legs and mondo feet.

I am not quite sure what the skull crusher is, but I should look into it. This looks like a great place to start. It's easy to say that I'll do it, much harder to start and stick with it day in and day out.
 

perryfarrell

Member
Sep 22, 2006
7,129
1
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Struct09 said:
I'm going to call out the OP here a bit.

First off, on the list of good carbs where's the oats?! I would have put them there over bread in a heart beat.
Yes, please critique. I'm relatively new to this stuff so I appreciate any corrections. I hope Shrub will put in the corrections, as he made the posts.

I completely forgot about oats. Great source of carbs indeed.

Also, I don't really know much about sources of protein. Are there better and worse sources of protein? Or is protein just protein, no matter how you get 'em?

Also, I didn't mention protein powder in the nutrition bit. It's obviously a useful product for people interesting in lifting weights.
 

aznpxdd

Member
Jul 2, 2007
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Chony said:
I think that looks like it take a bit of commitment. Maybe an hour at least on those days? The gym at my work is all machines... should I use those or free weights? I have a couple 25lb dumbbells at my apartment, but I don't have a bench. Squats are hard for me because my legs are so long and narrow. Plus I have huge feet so I look like a clown with my shorts, chicken legs and mondo feet.

I am not quite sure what the skull crusher is, but I should look into it. This looks like a great place to start. It's easy to say that I'll do it, much harder to start and stick with it day in and day out.
Remember - machines are for pussies! Free weights is the way to go.
 

mint

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
1,815
0
0
36
coppell, tx
Age: 24
Height: 5'5''
Weight: 142 ~11%bf
Goal: less bf, more definition, i dont want to look like a buffed up freako, but i want good definition and size.
Comments: hi.
 

MrToughPants

Brian Burke punched my mom
Oct 25, 2005
10,697
0
1,535
Canada
Did lunges outside and went on to do 19 inch stepups with the same weights 100-150-210, they feel so good on the quads and mildly hit the hams. I'm gonna go back out and do some med-weight sets just cuz they kick so much ass. I can't do them indoors since my basement ceiling is too low so I might as well take advantage of it. Inbetween sets I go and do pullups in the barn... :lol
 

Chony

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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aznpxdd said:
Remember - machines are for pussies! Free weights is the way to go.
Yeah. What about from bench press? Two free dumbbells or a bar and a rack? It seems the bar would build more consistency but two free weights would be harder and build more, say balance?
 

Slo

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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Chony said:
Yeah. What about from bench press? Two free dumbbells or a bar and a rack? It seems the bar would build more consistency but two free weights would be harder and build more, say balance?
Barbells are considered free weights.
 

Anton Sugar

Member
Jul 26, 2007
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Buba Big Guns said:
* Age: 18 in a couple months
* Height: 5' 10"
* Weight: ~170

* Goal: I want to get my cardio up and get my back, legs, and abs bigger and stronger (areas I have neglected in the past)/ just want to get ripped in general.

* Comments: I think its time for me to finally turn it up a notch. I've been exercising for 3 years now and I haven't really had a plan. I just did whatever I could. I think I have a pretty decent body but I need to lose a small layer of fat. I have a really high metabolism and it is really hard for me to gain weight.
You're still in your teens and have the opportunity to take advantage of your growth to get some awesome gains. Again, you could probably focus on a mass-gaining routine, but with a more "athletic" focused diet and make some good gains.

What do you normally eat? Check the OP Nutrition section for information, I am working on a "hardgainer" section for those who want to gain weight. I'll bet if you ate right and followed a full body routine, in a few months you'd probably have gained at least 10 lbs and maintained your bodyfat. I am going to post some suggested full body routines for beginners, as well.

But I'm glad you say you want to get your legs and back bigger and stronger. These are the two neglected muscle groups that NEED attention, as they promote the most overall growth.
 
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