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Ztolk
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(Originally posted on: 12-01-08 02:49:05 PM)
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Some people have expressed interest in a thread like this. My log in the Arena is sometimes used, but nobody goes there. Anyway, ITT I answer questions people ask about weight training and exercise in general. I'm starting this because I know a lot about this topic, but other people can chime in too.

Questions can include things like "How do I get stronger?" "How do I get bigger arms?" "How do I lose fat?" "What should I eat?" or more specific things.

Just a few things before I open the floor.

Getting strong is good:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=18595904
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0749379703001776

If you think you hurt yourself lifting weights, see if it gets better and if it doesn't go see a doctor. Don't ask some schmoe on the internet to diagnose you.
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Ztolk
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Reply 1 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 03:04:38 PM)
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From the last thread:

Quoted from hoff:

If I only went to the gym on the weekends, would I gain strength? Or would I be likely to lose it over the course of the week. I want to start going again, but i'm lazy and i've also been kinda busy lately.


Yeah you'll gain strength if you go once a week, if you do the right exercises. Two to three times is ideal, but one works.


Quoted from hoff:
Yeah, I've been considering starting to workout again for awhile now. I'm skinny but stronger than I look, not saying that I'm actually strong though. The previous time I lifted for an extended period of time, my strength increased greatly but my physique did not.

What would be a good workout schedule to gain strength and maybe...bulk I guess would be the term i'm looking for. What kind of workouts, more weight fewer reps? fewer weights more reps? Alternate days which muscles I work? umm...also i'm probably going to be working out by myself so a bench press though probably the best, is not really an option. I'm not going to randomly ask some guy who likes to stare at himself in the mirror to spot me.

I'm personally a believer that if you train for strength, size will follow. You should do compound, freeweight movements and put particular focus on the squat and deadlifts. It's the legs, hips, and back that really make you strong.

In order to "bulk" it's important to eat a lot of healthy food. Lots of meat, fish, eggs, dairy, fruits, and vegetables, as well as some whole grains. If you think you're eating a lot look up The Dave Tate Project Part 1 and then tell me you're eating a lot. (nobody recommends eating that way though). It's also important to rest and get a good nights sleep.

In terms of bench press spotting, anybody is strong enough to spot most people. I've had small women spot me on 235. Just tell them to stand back unless you ask for help. Bench press is a good exercise but it's not essential unless you're competing in powerlifting.

As for a routine, I recommend a push/pull/squat routine kinda like this.

Push (wednesday):
Bench Press 5x5
Military Press: 3x6 (standing overhead press, three sets of six reps)
Dips: three to five sets of however many you can do

Pull (friday):
Deadlift 5x3
Bent over row: 3x8
Chin-ups and/or pull-ups: 3-5 sets of however many you can do.

Squat (monday):
Squat: 5x5
Front squat: 3x8
Lunge/Zercher squat/some other squat: 3x8

After each day you can do some core/ab work, grip work, cardio, whatever.

But really, no matter what you do and what you're going for, the most important things are hard work and progress. By progress, I mean that when it becomes easy, you make it harder.

Quoted from wheezy:
My dad said something about me doing a cool-down set of leg-extensions or something to release the acid(maybe not acid at all...but something) build-up in the quads that occurs when doing squats. Know what he's talking about?


That sounds like hoo-ha to me. I mean, it won't kill you, but it won't do much. Stuff for reducing soreness includes dynamic stretching (body squats, butt kicks, high knees, etc), foam roller work, and contrast showers (switching between scalding and freezing water in 30 second shifts for a few minutes).

I have heard, however, or guys doing high rep leg extensions to build lactic acid pain tolerance for when they're pulling a truck. But really, the leg extension is totally unnatural, ineffective, and potential dangerous. Squats are where it's at.

Quoted from Nemesis:
Ztolk, what do you do for forearms? It's the only place I've been having trouble gaining muscle. I've been doing dumbell rolls but it doesn't seem to be doing all that much. My cousin has recommended that I get a stick and tie some weight on a string to it and roll it up and down, though it only seems like it would be as effective as what I'm doing right now.


Forearms grow very, very slowly so you won't notice anything in the future. Check out another thread I made called Ztolk's guide to grip strength. What your friend suggested is called a wrist roller, which works pretty well. But the best way to beef up your forearms is with a sledgehammer. Here's a guide type thing. http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f13/lever-shot-smashys-illustrated-guide-levering-813568/

Quoted from Sunny:
Ztolk, I have a rather 'newbish' question to ask. I've been beginning to weightlift more often, and I've been noticing callouses developing at the base of my fingers on the palm of my hands. Do you have any suggestions as to the avoidance or treatment of these?


They're hard to avoid. If you use chalk, the bar will slip less and they will rarely tear. Tearing callouses is a bitch. This is what a mild one looks like. Since I started using chalk when I'm pulling I've almost never torn them except with very heavy (for me) weight.

You can rub them with an emory board after working out. There are several guides out there on callous maintenence, here is one: http://cffhhands.blogspot.com/

You could also, and I don't recommend this, try wearing those silly gloves they sell.
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I mean,

Reply 2 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 04:14:20 PM)
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Ztolk, I was thinking about starting a weight lifting and exercise thread today myself but I opted not to, thanks for opening this up, I would like suggestions on exercise and weight lifting.

What level of cardio/fat burning exercise is necessary for someone who regularly gets absolutely little to none otherwise? About every three days, I use a very good elliptical trainer I bought very strenuously for around 45 minutes, and at this point I face exhaustion. Is this sufficient for my needs? It seems to be keeping the weight off pretty decently so long as I stick to it. Also, I aim to keep my heartbeat at a high level, the exercise is relatively hard exercise. Will this amount improve my cardiovascular fitness?

For weights. I am limited to dumb bell weights for now. I usually use two different ones set at different weights. I don't keep track of how much weight they hold at any given time, but I do two sets of eight movements at the maximum weight I can successfully complete both sets. Is this the correct approach? I realize I am missing some exercises.

Bicep curl by sitting down and curling the weight with my biceps
Triceps (I think) by holding the weight behind my head and pushing it up and down
(?) Back muscles, bending over with the weight on the floor and pulling the weight towards my chest (helped significantly with a posture problem I had)
Forearm, standing and holding the weight with my the backside of my hand facing up and lifting the weight up and down
Pecs, laying down with my arms outstretched, using one arm to lift a weight from my side over to the top of my chest

Can you see any obvious exercises missing here if I am generally trying to work out most things I can? There are probably a few. Also, I do not have any equipment to exercise my lower body. Will elliptical training at the level I do it at build the muscles in my legs?

I attached a picture of one of my biceps. Not particular incredible, I need to work on this harder. You can notice there are indeed older stretch marks so I have accomplished a little bit. Do the muscles get more tone and definition the more mass they have? Mine appear to take a decent amount of space but they are not firm and defined. I am assuming this is something that is going to happen the stronger they become, and they will for the most part stay around the same size but get more tone and definition, unless I really build them?

Ztolk
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Reply 3 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 04:43:21 PM)
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The elliptical is a good start, but the difference between fat and not-fat people is that not-fat people move around all day while fat people sit in a chair all day. This is why I don't have a sixpack. As for cardiovascular performance, just try and go faster each time. I also recommend doing intervals of sprints and slow, instead of just slow.

How heavy do your weights get? It's important to do exercises that involve more than one joint (compound movements) as opposed to just one joint (isolation movements). So I would recommend doing bent over rows (what you described) and standing overhead press (what it sounds like) for start, and then some of those other ones if you still feel like it. But the main problem is you're neglecting your lower back, hips, and legs, which is where all the strongest and biggest muscles are. Training these will really get you strong and fit. With your dumbells you can do lunges, squats, snatches, deadlifts if they're heavy enough, etc. Slow cardio doesn't build leg muscles that much. Look at long distance runners' physiques.

As for reps, it depends on your goal. 8 is fine for someone just starting out, but the important thing is to keep adding weight. This means if you do two sets of eight reps with 40 pounds one week, try it with 45 pounds next week. You might not be able to do it. If you can't try again the week after. If you can, 50 pounds next week.

Let's call that your 'before' picture. Muscles get toned and defined as body fat goes down.

I hope that answered most of your questions, let me know if you have any more or if you want me to describe some of the exercises I mentioned, or recommend some more.

edit: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, proper nutrition is crucial for fat loss.
"I used the internet to get laid once. That is not a shining moment of pride for me. The worst thing? She evidently gave me chlamydia, which I evidently got cleared up."
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This reply was last edited on 12-01-08 04:58:16 PM by Ztolk.
Ztolk
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Reply 4 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 04:58:35 PM)
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INTL tricked me into double posting.
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ba
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Reply 5 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 05:25:14 PM)
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Ztolk,

I think I might be a homosexual.

How much weight training would I have to do per week in order to make me straight?

Thanks.
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Ztolk
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Reply 6 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 05:49:38 PM)
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Squats and deadlifts. Just not sumo deadlifts.
Also, if you want to roll with it, good mornings are good practise.
"I used the internet to get laid once. That is not a shining moment of pride for me. The worst thing? She evidently gave me chlamydia, which I evidently got cleared up."
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Reply 7 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 05:54:22 PM)
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How do you isolate lower back? Chest raises? Is that the best?


Anyways I've been training over the past little while. I ended up loading a duffel bag full of all of my old textbooks and threw in a few 10 and 5 pound plates. Not sure how much it weighs, but I use it for deadlifts. I also have the free weights going for shoulder presses. I also try to do other things for the shoulder, like side and rear delt raises. I really want the delts to pop. I try to do a different muscle group everyday and focus on it. I also use the duffel bag for vertical (or somewhat vertical) back rows. In the short time I've been training regularly I definately see what you mean with the lats. Mine still aren't developed enough to be noticeable when I'm not flexing but when I get to flexing I can see them "wing" out a little bit, and I like that. Gonna work on that. Still haven't gained any significant weight though.


Question:
Are shoulder presses alone enough for the shoulders? I know you don't like delt raises, but I've read that you should do them for the side and rear "head" of the muscle, which the overhead press doesn't work as effectively. Confirm/deny
Ztolk
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Reply 8 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 06:13:50 PM)
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I wouldn't try to isolate it, but back extensions (could be called chest raises I guess). The best is deadlifts.

That sounds like great improvement. If you want to make the bag heavier you can add some plastic bags of sand (just seal them well). You can also try hosting the bag onto your shoulders and squatting.

They're enough for developing strong shoulders, and will induce growth as well. I'm not sure about that statement about the heads; isolating different muscle heads is a pretty advanced technique. Why don't you try it and keep us posted on the results.
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Reply 9 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 06:18:07 PM)
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Quoted from Absinthe_Grit:
Ztolk,

I think I might be a homosexual.

How much weight training would I have to do per week in order to make me straight?

Thanks.


If you are gay you are gonna have to start working out a lot. Gay people generally have nice bodies. Unless you wanna take the bear route.
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ba
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and i said, a\re you a gay ass fucker who can't take a baseball up the ass you faggot???? and he said yes........

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Reply 10 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 07:20:24 PM)
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cool, wanna make out?
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Reply 11 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-01-08 07:40:17 PM)
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This thread just got hot.
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I mean,

Reply 12 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 04:25:12 PM)
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Quoted from Ztolk:

edit: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, proper nutrition is crucial for fat loss.


Lol well that kind of sucks. I'll just keep my weight at a "managed" level then.

I mean, I will exercise and lift weights, but if the food is not prepared in the microwave (or the oven in case of a pizza) I am not to sure about the whole situation. Maybe having an very low body fat percentage isn't so important after all, just to the point where it is not explicitly noticeably overweight. Because yesterday I must have had a microwaveable bag of chicken and vegetables and two bowls of microwaveable rice noodles, which actually doesn't sound too bad as far as nutrition, but then I go out and get two huge cans of Red Bull for the night, and I imagine I am going to need a single exercise session to combat the sugar for each one.

How many calories are typically burned in a good 45 minute work out like I do? I am 6' and 200 pounds, if there is any math involved.
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Reply 13 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 04:47:17 PM)
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I did some stacks of squats with the duffelbag today. I definately feel it alot more in my lower back then I do in the quads. The duffelbag was pretty far from the most comfortable thing to hold on my shoulders. i'm sure the sandbag thing would make it a bit more tolerable than jagged textbooks.

I guess as far as the squats go, is lower weight-higher reps that much worse than low reps-high weight? I know for maximum "size" you need to do low reps with maximum weight, but with my current getup that isn't really possible. I'm testing the construction of this duffelbag enough as it is.
Ztolk
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Reply 14 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 04:53:06 PM)
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Ben, instead of eating snack food when you're hungry between meals, eat fruits or vegetables. It's a good start. Just read the calory thing off the display of the treadmill.

Tart, you've got that backwards. Low reps for strength, high reps for size (but still heavy). Look up "20 Rep Squats" on google. Although at your stage, both will do both.

Also, I might add, I suggest getting good form and strength with a barbell before going real heavy with the bag, just so you know how your body works. But you're anti-gym, so what can you do.
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This reply was last edited on 12-02-08 06:37:50 PM by Ztolk.
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Reply 15 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 06:58:28 PM)
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I'd like to do squats (Sort of....I actually hate squats, because they're so exhausting and my whole lower body/back is sore after them, but obviously that's the whole point) again, but I don't have a squat stand. I'm out of college and I'm not so sure I feel like joining a gym. I have a really old bench with some shitty pulley system, but I mostly use free weights. Any suggestions for squatting? I don't really feel like doing a ton of reps with light weight, but I'm not sure how I could get the high weight up.

PS - I'm still pretty skinny, and cut everywhere, but have a bit of stomach fat. I don't really want to cut calories, because I'm trying to bulk up everywhere EXCEPT my stomach. I assume the only thing I can do is just eat a lot of healthy food and really try to stay away from junk food? I'm assuming also that crunches and stuff, while toning up the muscles in the stomach, don't really remove fat from it, correct?

Also, are you big on the protein drinks? Currently I'll have a protein "shake" (just water/milk and the powder) of GNC wheybolic extreme 60 about a half hour after a workout, and then have 1 or 2 protein "shakes" with regular GNC 100% whey protein. I don't normally have a huge appetite to be eating a ton every day, and I'm also too lazy to be constantly cooking healthy things like grilled chicken all the time.
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Ztolk
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Reply 16 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 07:22:20 PM)
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You have a barbell, right? You can clean the bar up (like a clean and jerk in the olympics, but without the jerk), then front squat from there. This will also give you incentive to work on your clean, which is good. You can also do Zercher squats (hold the bar in the crooks of your elbows); these can hurt. You can also get two sawhorses from a hardware store and squat off those.

What you're describing is called skinny-fat. It's pretty much the worst of both worlds. Just keep eating a lot of healthy foods, and lots of meat protein. Gain some muscle and your stomach will look smaller. I've never had much luck toning my abs with ab exercises (probably because I'm too fat), I mostly do them for stability. There are better ab exercises than crunches though. You can't lose fat from a single area. Exercises that help you lose weight are the ones that use the entire body, like squats, olympic lifts, and things designed for that like thrusters.

Protein drinks are fine, just remember to eat a big and balanced and healthy diet. Personally I prefer to glob down some dietary protein like meat or cottage cheese or eggs after a workout rather than have a protein drink, but it's a preference thing.
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Reply 17 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 09:42:04 PM)
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Any suggestions to make me motivated enough to start going to the gym?
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Reply 18 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-02-08 10:06:58 PM)
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look in the mirror, fatty
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Ztolk
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Reply 19 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-03-08 05:35:08 AM)
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Yup.
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Reply 20 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-03-08 06:58:50 AM)
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I'm gonna start taking protein soon....kinda wondering if anybody had any particular brand recommendations.

I hear this "whey" stuff is the best....true/false?
Ztolk
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Reply 21 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-03-08 08:00:36 AM)
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Whey is pretty much what all protein shakes are made of, unless you want to pay more. Just get whey concentrate (isolate is more expensive), the brand doesn't matter.

But if your diet is crap it doesn't matter what supplements you're taking, so get that in check first.
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Reply 22 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-03-08 09:56:34 AM)
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Quoted from Absinthe_Grit:
look in the mirror, fatty
I'm not fat at all. I did gain a few pounds this summer though because everyday for lunch I would go out and eat, probably at cheese steaks 3 or 4 times a week. But not enough weight for me to notice any difference.
Ztolk
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Reply 23 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-03-08 10:13:15 AM)
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Well everyone has their own reasons. I started going because I got too fat, and started focusing on weights because I wanted to be stronger. But once you get into it, it's fun and you won't want to quit.

Don't you want to be strong enough to do this?


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and i said, a\re you a gay ass fucker who can't take a baseball up the ass you faggot???? and he said yes........

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Reply 24 of 91 (Originally posted on: 12-03-08 10:31:51 AM)
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Quote:
I'm not fat at all.


Well there's you problem right there. In order to maintain a serious workout schedule, you have to be generally displeased with the way you look now. The second you look in the mirror and are okay with you're body, it's all over.

You're a fat, fat, fatty. Now go do some sit-ups, tubby. Or throw up or something.
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