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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:33 am
by tvenuto
awa54 wrote:Interpreting muscle soreness...

I only very infrequently experience muscle soreness, either when exercising or doing hard physical work. My question is this; should a good exercise session cause sore muscles? if so how how intense would that soreness be and how long should "good soreness" last? If soreness is lasting several days after a session what are the repercussions?

Thanks!
The answer to your first question is no, muscle soreness is not necessarily indicative of a productive training session. High intensity movements (closer to 1RM), or movements with limited eccentric (lowering) phase will likely not make you very sore.

The soreness could go so far as to be devastatingly intense, and could last a week or more, however, I would say this is probably not good soreness since it will prevent you from working out for a while. Any time you are doing a movement through new range of motion, or one with a long eccentric (lowering) phase, or one that goes to muscular failure, then you're likely to be sore afterward. But a barbell on your back, and do walking lunges until you fail, and you'll see what I mean.

If the soreness is very intense, and lasts several days after the workout, then the repercussions are that your life will be slightly inconvenienced, and you probably won't work out again until it subsides. As such, making yourself very sore frequently is probably counterproductive. Also, if you're very sore frequently, you could eventually run into an over training issue, which has negative health consequences and defeats the purpose of working out. However, it would take some work to do this, and you probably don't have to worry about it.

I would say a complete training program will make you sore sometimes, but not constantly.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:38 am
by tvenuto
DRKBC wrote:Here is a question for you. I am going away in a month to an all inclusive. Currently I am on the slow carb diet and doing the GBC workouts. I am liking this particular diet as it has almost entirely weaned me off sugar and bread (I say almost because I do have both of these things on my cheat day).

The German body composition work out that I got from one of your posts has a schedule of:

- 2 days on
- 1 day off
- 1 day on
- 1 day off
- repeat

I am also mountain biking 1 to 2 times a week on off days for about 1.25 hours. I am 5'11" 165 now so I don't have a lot of weight too loose I am just trying to get leaner before I go away.

Here is my question: When I am away I am not going to follow the slow carb diet. but I could keep the same workout regime going or not. I don't drink, so my fluids won't be an issue just lots of water and I do drink coffee with cream. I will eat more and there are lots of great healthy choices lots of vegetables, seafood etc. which is mainly what I will eat but I will also indulge in some foods I wouldn't and some desserts, bread etc. as it is a holiday after all. As I am going to be consuming far more calories than I do now, my questions are as follows:

how could I change up my workout to take advantage of this period of high caloric intake to bulk up a bit? next, what should I follow up with when I get back home? Both from a diet and workout perspective.
I would say any big heavy movements like squat, deadlift, and pressing, but you are likely going to be limited by the gym provided. All in all I wouldn't worry so much about it, how long are you going to be there? If it's less than a month you can probably just do whatever makes you feel good and fits into your schedule. I'm a fan of taking vacation time to just relax and not have a rigid schedule.

Your second question is a whole rabbit hole to go down. This depends entirely on what your goals are. I think you're on the right track with diet, and if the GBC is working for you I'd say stick with that, but again we really need to know goals.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:18 am
by Donut
Welcome back. :)

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:50 am
by tvenuto
RanCoWeAla wrote:Any suggestions on how to regain strength after a major surgery. I had to have my entire spine rebuilt in my neck. I had numerous bone spurs and one of my vertebrae had collapsed into my spinal cord and was punching it. Then I had four vertebrae completely worn out that they had to be reshaped and the disc was gone from between all these. I had to have titanium discs placed between these with a titanium bar running the length of the four with a large screw into each vertebrae to hold everything in place. My Physical therapy was stopped halfway through because of horrible excruciating pain and I just had a series of trigger point injections in the neck which is a horrible experience but did no good. I spend about twenty hours a day in bed but I'm going to fight this to the end. I play with my knives a little, read and take another Oxycodone which doesn't do much good but they tried me on Morphine but I couldn't take it. I can feel myself getting weaker. I had my Smith&Wesson .38 out one day applying a little EEZOX to the moving parts and discovered that I can no longer back the hammer on it as if to fire in single action.
Sorry to hear about this, it sounds like an absolute nightmare. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I don't really have any advice for you. When it comes to injuries, the order is: fitness coach -> physical therapist -> surgeon. That is, if it's a minor tweak/immobility/weakness I can fix it, but if it's something more major I'll have to refer someone to a PT. However, there are some problems that can not be fixed with corrective exercise or manual manipulation, and in that case surgery is likely required. You seem to be stuck between the 3rd and 2nd stages here, if you were unable to continue with PT. As such, there's not much general fitness advice I can give. However, you did mention your grip getting weaker, and you can probably train that without bothering your spinal issue. You can squeeze a tennis ball, or get some dedicated grip training implements like those handles attached to a spring. You can also work the other direction, by putting a rubber band around your hand and opening it.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:49 pm
by tvenuto
Donut wrote:Welcome back. :)
Thank you, sir. Babies don't care about your hobbies.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:49 pm
by DRKBC
tvenuto wrote:
DRKBC wrote:Here is a question for you. I am going away in a month to an all inclusive. Currently I am on the slow carb diet and doing the GBC workouts. I am liking this particular diet as it has almost entirely weaned me off sugar and bread (I say almost because I do have both of these things on my cheat day).

The German body composition work out that I got from one of your posts has a schedule of:

- 2 days on
- 1 day off
- 1 day on
- 1 day off
- repeat

I am also mountain biking 1 to 2 times a week on off days for about 1.25 hours. I am 5'11" 165 now so I don't have a lot of weight too loose I am just trying to get leaner before I go away.

Here is my question: When I am away I am not going to follow the slow carb diet. but I could keep the same workout regime going or not. I don't drink, so my fluids won't be an issue just lots of water and I do drink coffee with cream. I will eat more and there are lots of great healthy choices lots of vegetables, seafood etc. which is mainly what I will eat but I will also indulge in some foods I wouldn't and some desserts, bread etc. as it is a holiday after all. As I am going to be consuming far more calories than I do now, my questions are as follows:

how could I change up my workout to take advantage of this period of high caloric intake to bulk up a bit? next, what should I follow up with when I get back home? Both from a diet and workout perspective.
tvenuto wrote:I would say any big heavy movements like squat, deadlift, and pressing, but you are likely going to be limited by the gym provided. All in all I wouldn't worry so much about it, how long are you going to be there? If it's less than a month you can probably just do whatever makes you feel good and fits into your schedule. I'm a fan of taking vacation time to just relax and not have a rigid schedule.
I am going to be away for 2 weeks and I do like to work out while I am away. I just find I have a relatively open schedule when on vacation so generally I can work out when I want, as much as I want, a luxury I don’t have at home. I have access to a decent gym and so much healthy food available that while I am away I am thinking that I should be able to change up my work out to take advantage of this. My hope is that rather than just putting on fat (which I will likely do as I have pasta, desserts, things I wouldn’t eat at home) I could also put on some muscle and then work on leaning out again once I get back to the real world.
tvenuto wrote:Your second question is a whole rabbit hole to go down. This depends entirely on what your goals are. I think you're on the right track with diet, and if the GBC is working for you I'd say stick with that, but again we really need to know goals.
DRKBC wrote:how could I change up my workout to take advantage of this period of high caloric intake to bulk up a bit? next, what should I follow up with when I get back home? Both from a diet and workout perspective.
Longterm - I am 5’11” 165 pounds now I would like to increase my lean muscle mass, decrease my body fat, increase my strength and maintain my cardio. I can't see it being an advantage to me to weigh more than 175 lbs but a lean 170 to 175 pounds for me would be ideal. The workout I am on now is one you had a link to in your earlier posts https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/lacti ... r-fat-loss" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Diet wise as I mentioned I am on slow carb and also the AGG/PAGG stack that is in the 4 hour body. In addition winter is coming that means cycling ends within the next month and skiing begins so my cardio now drops dramatically which should give me the opportunity to add a little mass.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:59 am
by tvenuto
DRKBC wrote: Longterm - I am 5’11” 165 pounds now I would like to increase my lean muscle mass, decrease my body fat, increase my strength and maintain my cardio. I can't see it being an advantage to me to weigh more than 175 lbs but a lean 170 to 175 pounds for me would be ideal. The workout I am on now is one you had a link to in your earlier posts https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/lacti ... r-fat-loss" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Diet wise as I mentioned I am on slow carb and also the AGG/PAGG stack that is in the 4 hour body. In addition winter is coming that means cycling ends within the next month and skiing begins so my cardio now drops dramatically which should give me the opportunity to add a little mass.
First thing: all muscle is lean. I know it's just a phrase people use, but there's this hidden connotation that it's possible to gain some other type of less-desirable muscle via the exercises you do. If you gain muscle, it's muscle, if you gain fat, it's fat. If you gain weight, it could be: muscle, fat, bone density (often overlooked benefit of weight training), organ (also overlooked benefit of increased muscle mass), or water.

I would stay that 175 is still rather light for your height, from a general athletic perspective. Obviously if you view yourself as primarily a runner or cyclist or distance athlete, being heavier on its own is a disadvantage. In general, being heavier due to muscle is not. You could easily add 10-15lbs to your lower body alone and 50-100% to your squat, and you will not feel like this...

Image

I mean you'll have to throw away your skinny jeans, but that's an advantage if you ask me. Anyway, I'm not saying your goals are incorrect, I just wanted to offer some perspective on why a weight number doesn't tell the whole story. And everyone knows a corvette is faster than a civic, even though its engine probably weighs 3 times what the civic's engine weighs. If you gain muscle, you won't feel "bulky" or "weighed down."

But, to answer your question, I would agree that the winter time is a great opportunity to get stronger and bigger. I would do a linear squat progression as described in Starting Strength:

Workout 1:
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Deadlift 1x5
Whatever other assistance exercises you like

Workout 2:
Squat 3x5 (5# heavier than last workout)
Shoulder press 3x5
Assistance

Workout 3:
Squat 3x5 (+5#)
Bench 3x5 (+5#)
Deadlift 1x5 (+5)

Next week, switch the press and the bench. Start with a weight that feels a little challenging but is very doable for the exercises. If you do this for 8 weeks and do 3 workouts per week, the last workout you'll do over 100# more on the squat, which is quite possible.

If you want something a bit more interesting, but still strength based, go to CrossFit Football and do the amateur program.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:17 am
by Donut
I always figured that you could make your muscles more dense. You see some guys who are a lot skinnier who can move more weight than someone who looks much more muscular than some other guys.

Is it a bad idea to have a goal of getting a very small amount stronger while you're trying to lose some weight? Is there no diet that can make that happen?

A few years ago, I read that if you're trying to lose weight you should eat protein every few hours so that your body doesn't try to break down your muscles for energy.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:56 am
by tvenuto
Donut wrote:I always figured that you could make your muscles more dense. You see some guys who are a lot skinnier who can move more weight than someone who looks much more muscular than some other guys.
You can and you can't. So there are two different mechanisms that make muscles bigger. First there is an increase in the number of contractile elements, which are the protein chains that actually shorten and do work. These are (partially) responsible for absolute (1RM) strength. The other way is to increase sarcoplasmic volume, which is the volume of stuff in the individual muscle cells. "Bodybuilding" type work does this, because the higher rep work requires more chemicals on-board to sustain the efforts. So yes, you read correctly, all those low weight/high-rep sets that people do because they "don't want to get too bulky using heavy weights" are actually much more likely to get you bigger. Luckily, these people use such light weights that it actually does nothing. But we'll digress.

The effect you're seeing, with the smaller guy lifting more weight than the more muscular guy, is actually due to their CNS more than it is their muscles. The guy who has the higher 1RM even though he's smaller is able to activate all of his muscle mass at one time, and is what we call High Neuro-muscular Efficiency. Lifting heavy weights trains the CNS as much as the actual muscles involved.
Donut wrote:Is it a bad idea to have a goal of getting a very small amount stronger while you're trying to lose some weight? Is there no diet that can make that happen?
Other than why you'd limit yourself to a "very small amount," no. The key would be to use very heavy weights for very few reps, like 1-3 reps. You could also work on being more explosive via jumping, or jumping with weights, or doing the olympic lifts. Also, I assume were talking about losing fat, not losing weight, as the number on the scale is pretty meaningless absent any other data (unless you wrestle, or do jujitsu or something else that requires a certain weight).

Just because it's easy to measure does not make it meaningful. Throw away your scale, your belt will tell you all you need to know about your fat level.
Donut wrote:A few years ago, I read that if you're trying to lose weight you should eat protein every few hours so that your body doesn't try to break down your muscles for energy.
It probably can't hurt, although I think that's a nice narrative that gets repeated although it's never actually been borne out scientifically. Our ancestors went many hours/days without eating and they didn't suddenly waste away. Many people have success with intermittent fasting, and it seems to have quite the opposite effect. Obviously protein is very important, but it's also important to focus on eating more fat and less carbs so that your body gets used to using fat for fuel, since that's what you want to lose and forcing your body to use it is the only way to lose it.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:26 am
by Donut
In relation to your 1RM and explosiveness comments, I saw this video on youtube a year or two ago where these guys were working out and they would pause at the bottom of their bench press. (If you watch carefully, he is resting it on his chest because he can shift his hands while resting it, but when I have the energy, I hold it 1 inch from my chest.)

I've introduced pauses (some 1 second, 2 second, 3 second), slow reps (2 count up, 2 count down, 3 count up, 3 count down), fast rep variation in my workouts. I think it makes me more versatile and I have the choice of using the explosiveness, but I don't see much change other than that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-bhwC3qz_Q

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:55 am
by DRKBC
tvenuto wrote:
DRKBC wrote: Longterm - I am 5’11” 165 pounds now I would like to increase my lean muscle mass, decrease my body fat, increase my strength and maintain my cardio. I can't see it being an advantage to me to weigh more than 175 lbs but a lean 170 to 175 pounds for me would be ideal. The workout I am on now is one you had a link to in your earlier posts https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/lacti ... r-fat-loss" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Diet wise as I mentioned I am on slow carb and also the AGG/PAGG stack that is in the 4 hour body. In addition winter is coming that means cycling ends within the next month and skiing begins so my cardio now drops dramatically which should give me the opportunity to add a little mass.
First thing: all muscle is lean. I know it's just a phrase people use, but there's this hidden connotation that it's possible to gain some other type of less-desirable muscle via the exercises you do. If you gain muscle, it's muscle, if you gain fat, it's fat. If you gain weight, it could be: muscle, fat, bone density (often overlooked benefit of weight training), organ (also overlooked benefit of increased muscle mass), or water.

I would stay that 175 is still rather light for your height, from a general athletic perspective. Obviously if you view yourself as primarily a runner or cyclist or distance athlete, being heavier on its own is a disadvantage. In general, being heavier due to muscle is not. You could easily add 10-15lbs to your lower body alone and 50-100% to your squat, and you will not feel like this...

Image

I mean you'll have to throw away your skinny jeans, but that's an advantage if you ask me. Anyway, I'm not saying your goals are incorrect, I just wanted to offer some perspective on why a weight number doesn't tell the whole story. And everyone knows a corvette is faster than a civic, even though its engine probably weighs 3 times what the civic's engine weighs. If you gain muscle, you won't feel "bulky" or "weighed down."

But, to answer your question, I would agree that the winter time is a great opportunity to get stronger and bigger. I would do a linear squat progression as described in Starting Strength:

Workout 1:
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Deadlift 1x5
Whatever other assistance exercises you like

Workout 2:
Squat 3x5 (5# heavier than last workout)
Shoulder press 3x5
Assistance

Workout 3:
Squat 3x5 (+5#)
Bench 3x5 (+5#)
Deadlift 1x5 (+5)

Next week, switch the press and the bench. Start with a weight that feels a little challenging but is very doable for the exercises. If you do this for 8 weeks and do 3 workouts per week, the last workout you'll do over 100# more on the squat, which is quite possible.

Sounds good. Couple questions: do you have a rest day after each session? what is assistance? Is that doing one particular exercise with a spot or is that asking for help to get up off the floor :-) If it is an exercise with a spot would it be a leg exercise on workout 1 and shoulders on workout 2? I need to maintain some Cardio so likely do a spin class or other cardio once or twice a week how would this fit in? Diet, should I stick with slow carb? what do you think of the AAG/PAAG idea is worth continuing with? Would this be a good program to start while I am away or sooner, I leave in a month, I just switched over to GBC 3 weeks ago.

If you want something a bit more interesting, but still strength based, go to CrossFit Football and do the amateur program.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:46 am
by Surfingringo
tvenuto wrote:
Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:02 pm
Skidoosh wrote:Really good stuff. I'm 43 and am able to be pretty active in running during the summer but I find myself gaining weight during winter. I don't have gym access or much room for exercise other than dumbells. I am loosing muscle and gaining fat. I need a very simple bodyweight workout that may include pull ups and dumbells to lean out and help my sanity too! Thanks
Pull-ups are awesome, do those as often as you can. Try this though:

Burpee

If you can average 1 burpee every 3 seconds you can do 100 burpees in 5min. Start out by doing a set of 10 in 30sec, and rest as long as you need to between sets so you can still do 10 in 30sec. Work up to 5 sets of that. Then, start to time the rest between, maybe 2min at first, then 90s, then 1min. After that, start doing sets of 15 in 45sec and follow the same process. Then 20 in 1min and so on, until you're doing more than 100 burpees in a session (split into sets, like 5 sets of 25 each performed in 1:15). After you can maintain in relatively long sets, it's time to give 100 burpees a shot.

I'm not sure if we'll be able to describe you as sane if you're able to complete 100 burpees in 5min, but we definitely won't be able to describe you as fat.

Edit: And don't let the straightforward nature of my post fool you, this is very hard to do! However don't judge success on whether or not you hit the 100 in 5min, judge success on whether or not you exit winter fitter than you entered. It's about the process!
I mostly ignored this suggestion for the last few years but I started working at it a few months ago. I still am not training every day at it but I have incorporated the “burpee” into my training. I haven’t reached the 100 in 5 minutes goal but my endurance has gotten way better, even only doing them 3 days per week. Today I had my personal best. 100 burpees without stopping in 6:17. At 49 years old I may not ever get it down to 5:00, but the goal keeps me pushing myself and I am feeling fitter for the effort. Thanks. :spyder:

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:16 pm
by tvenuto
Awesome to hear. Now I have to start working on this again. I’ve pretty much not been working out for the past 6 months due to work and children (I.e. being lazy). Time go get back in the saddle.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 pm
by The Meat man
Tvenuto, have you done much in the way of grip and wrist strength training? If so, what kind of training do you do?

The desire for grip strength is what got me into strength training in general.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:40 pm
by TkoK83Spy
The Meat man wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:31 pm
Tvenuto, have you done much in the way of grip and wrist strength training? If so, what kind of training do you do?

The desire for grip strength is what got me into strength training in general.
I find reverse curls with a curl bar to be great for forearms/wrist. You can also sit on a bench and use a curl bar with light weight, place your wrists just past your knees, palms up and do "curls" using only your wrists. I've heard some people say you can strain tendons doing this, but they must be using too much weight. I've never had a problem with this exercise.

Another one I used to do was taking a dumbbell bar and tie a rope around the middle of it and then attaching a weight (plate) style to the other end of the rope through the hole in the plate. Hold your arms straight out and using only your hands and wrists, slowly rotate/roll and curl the weight up to the bar in your hand, then slowly unwind it all the way back to the floor all while keeping your arms extended and totally straight. Talk about a serious burn!!

So much easier to show examples than explain by words! Hope that makes sense Connor!

Tvenuto... I'm not trying to overstep or anything, I also have a passion for strength training and love talking about it. I've never seen this thread until today.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:02 pm
by The Meat man
Thanks Rick! Yeah I've done "wrist roll-ups" before. They will burn your forearms out all right!

I have a couple books by John Brookfield - Mastery of Hand Strength, and The Gripmaster's Manual. He's got lots of great info and exercises in there for building hand/wrist strength. I would rank John as one of the top three of all time when it comes to hand strength. Definitely #1 in strength endurance IMO. I like his unorthodox approach to grip strength.

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:05 pm
by TkoK83Spy
One of those guys you don't want to shake hands with haha! Grip strength is extremely important and often an overlooked thing. I'm sure all the fiddling with knives we do on a daily basis helps a bit too :p