Ask me your fitness questions

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Johnnie1801
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Johnnie1801 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:28 pm

Fitness magazines like Flex, Muscle and Fitness and Men's Health are full of s#!t. They rehash the same old stuff every month every year. They can be amusing to read when you're bored but best to be ignored. The most informative magazine I have read is PowerliftingUSA, so much great info (at least when I used to read them). Try to find any article you can read by Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell, Dave Tate (Elitefts.com) and anyone associated with them, they know their stuff...

Bodybuilders are some of the unhealthiest people I have ever met don't let looks fool you.

Personal trainers. 95% of them don't know squat. Most seem to be passionate about training themselves and then decide to do an online course to teach others. In the end they just end up adapting what they like to do in the gym for their clients to do. They don't know anything about technique and very little about nutrition. Otherwise they are just pushing the latest craze that the gym owners want to promote.

Supplements are a waste of money unless you are an elite level athlete. If you want to get big and strong then you need to eat....

Everything is possible, you just need to filter out all the rubbish to find the gold. Easier said than done :)
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby sbaker345 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:07 pm

Hey don't get me wrong, I went from 110lbs, to 220, and am sitting around 190 atm :P best bench is 315, squat 365 which is admittedly pretty terrible, and I'm debating trying a 455lb pull this week. I love elitefts ;) just now that I'm in college i'm around the bodybuilding type all the time, and it honestly gets old, I wondered if I was the only one. I know one guy who went from 140lbs, to 160lbs in a couple months, put nearly 2 inches on his arms from 14 to 15.75. Half of it was while dieting, I've trained with people who have used steroids and lets just say thats not typical even if you use them, so what does he do? He starts trying to sell thermogenics and such to get sponsored and puts down people he outgrew. :confused:

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tvenuto
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:52 pm

sbaker345 wrote:If you don't mind going mildly off topic how do you feel about the fitness industry in general? I find it a bit irritating to the point I am considering paying for a gym membership to avoid using the college gym when the semester starts. I've been weight training for close to 5 years, though I've taken a break a couple times. The longer I train the more I realize putting in work and mutant genetics outweigh any other factors, case in point my father who at 66 having never weight trained gets asked if he competes in strongmen by competitors.
The "fitness industry" is an odd beast.. We have men expecting to look a way only achievable via steroids, and we have women terrified of looking a way only achievable via steroids. "Toning" is perceived as an action somehow separate from gaining muscle and losing fat, and the prevailing opinion is that women should train differently than men for general fitness. The most unbelievably stupid trainers are some of the best paid (Tracy Anderson, I salute you). The "big box" gyms operate on a model that requires less than 10% of people actually show up. It's actually a bit like the restaurant industry. The vast majority of the big moneymakers are doing nothing positive whatsoever (McDonalds/Golds), you have to look at the mom and pop places to find the real innovators. Every sort of fitness pursuit looks askance at every other (even the ones that need each other). The misinformation abounds and pervades in a way that is unrivaled in any other industry.

All that said, there are tons of people out there doing really amazing things if you know where to look. The internet, which previously only served as a secondary avenue for misinformation, is making it easier to find high quality ideas, concepts and protocols for training. CrossFit, like it or not, has opened the doors and started the discussion on what sort of tests measure true fitness. For an industry that's been around since the early 1900s, it's staggering it took this long for that basic of a question to be asked: what is fitness? Also, CrossFit has shifted the paradigm for what a gym should be. The "box box" model just isn't serving most people.

So how did things get this way? For interesting perspective on how the standard gym model may have become what it is today, there are a few good articles by Bill Starr on StartingStrength.com on a man named Bob Hoffman (1, 2), who drove around the country selling weightlifting machines, power racks and supplements, and is probably why you know the name York Barbell.

The core issue that I see right now is that most people still feel the pinnacle of fitness is either running a marathon or bodybuilding. As such, most people are doing some watered down version of one or the other, without the actual desire be good at either. I mean, you can actually still read an article in fitness magazines on Arnold Schwarzenegger's arm program, which is entirely useless to anyone not training and supplementing similarly to him. I take nothing away from Arnold, mind you, he was the man and actually a shining example of the confluence of working hard, working smart, AND good genetics. He did exactly what he needed to do to win, and his programs weren't sexy.

That said, you don't need "mutant genetics" if you have the first two. Maybe to get to the stratosphere you do, but in almost every athletic pursuit there is a story of a person that wouldn't be held back by less "innate ability" than others. They always talk about finding the "sprinters gene" or what have you, and then are amazed that only half of olympic sprinters seem to have this gene. One day their going to find the "work ethic gene" and I have no doubt that a greater proportion of elite athletes will have that one.
sbaker345 wrote:Anyways I see so much focus on what supplements you take, what super secret brutal routine you do, what weird diet you do, Gets old almost as fast as the pseudo hardcore *beast mode* attitude :p But hey, I just lift to see what I can do and to close the manix 2
As always, we can bring it back to knives. As Cliff has shown again and again, the variation in the material being cut is far more significant than the variation in steel your knife is made of. Similarly, the variation in edge geometry and initial sharpness is far more significant than the variation in steel your knife is made of. However, the steel is stamped on the side while the other two are invisible, so the steel gets the focus and it's what people talk about. Focusing on the supplements and waxing philosophic about carb timing and how the seated good morning is better than the standard on is a lot easier than actually putting in the work.

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tvenuto
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:27 pm

Donut wrote:I'll let T answer overall, but I think there are a lot of cases that can be examined on that question. All the discussion would be based on what your goals are.

1. I spent probably 10 years not reading any magazines or anything, just going to the gym.

2. I spent many years taking ZERO supplements. (I was testing the idea that everything in GNC is a placebo.)

3. About 15 or more of the years I've been working out, the only supplement I've taken is Whey Protein.

I'm 6'2", weighed 234 lbs yesterday, I would say I'm big, but I don't look like a body builder. (I heard that Arnold said the best you can do without steroids is look like a swimmer.) I've been lifting weights and little other exercise regularly for more than 18 years.

From what I've seen, you typically won't double in size in 5 years, maybe in 10 you will. Unless you've decided to take Steroids, which might be the mutant genetics of some of the people you see in the gym.

It is typically good to focus on small term goals that you CAN reach. 10 or 20 lbs stronger bench, a few more reps, endurance to handle more sets,
Ha some good stuff here. Weights and whey, a good combo. Short term goals, heck even workout to workout goals. For a good 6 months I did nothing more than add 5lbs to my squat sets every workout. Not 5 on each side, 5 total. Yes, I used those little bitty 2.5# plates that most people don't even have. I've always said you can tell who is serious not by the largest plates being used, but the smallest.

As far as the Arnold quote, I can see why Arnold would say that, but he's incorrect. That's the best you can do on a bodybuilding program without taking steroids. Most people forget that their idol bodybuilders had something external driving their adaptations, their main task was to tell those adaptations where to go (not saying they didn't work hard). If you're going to stick to isolation movements with low weights and higher reps, then you're missing that crucial piece of the puzzle if you're not supplementing with test. To drive real adaptations, you need to have large systemic stress on the system, enough so that it's worried it might die the next time. Bicep curls don't do this, squats and deadlifts do. If you can squat 400lbs you're going to look like someone who can squat 400lbs, not michael phelps. The trouble is people want to look like they can squat 400lbs without actually being able to do it, and that may be where Arnold's quote comes into play. Again, doing an incomplete bodybuilding program is why most people aren't happy with their current gym results.
Johnnie1801 wrote:Fitness magazines like Flex, Muscle and Fitness and Men's Health are full of s#!t. They rehash the same old stuff every month every year. They can be amusing to read when you're bored but best to be ignored. The most informative magazine I have read is PowerliftingUSA, so much great info (at least when I used to read them). Try to find any article you can read by Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell, Dave Tate (Elitefts.com) and anyone associated with them, they know their stuff...
I'm going to a conference where Tate will be speaking this November in Canada of all places. I'm looking forward to that. In my powerlifting days I watched many of his videos.
Johnnie1801 wrote:Bodybuilders are some of the unhealthiest people I have ever met don't let looks fool you.
They certainly feel like hammered hell on show-day, but there is a rather broad definition of bodybuilding (like anything else). A natural bodybuilder is nothing like a "geared" one who is taking insulin, GH, and various anabolic steroids from a health perspective. However, it's all about goals. Being in the NFL will demonstrably shorten your life, but those moms at the draft are still crying tears of joy.
Johnnie1801 wrote:Personal trainers. 95% of them don't know squat. Most seem to be passionate about training themselves and then decide to do an online course to teach others. In the end they just end up adapting what they like to do in the gym for their clients to do. They don't know anything about technique and very little about nutrition. Otherwise they are just pushing the latest craze that the gym owners want to promote.
I would agree with this. The most popular ones seem to be the ones who are best at impressing clients with their own accomplishments. One of my past employees talked about a trainer at his old gym that did little more than show albums of his past bodybuilding career, and he was apparently doing bang-up business. However, it's not entirely their fault, most clients don't want to actually work hard either.
Johnnie1801 wrote:Supplements are a waste of money unless you are an elite level athlete. If you want to get big and strong then you need to eat....

Everything is possible, you just need to filter out all the rubbish to find the gold. Easier said than done :)
Well, it's really a matter of goals, and again we need to define supplements. If you're Vitamin D deficient is taking a vitamin D supplement a waste of money? I imagine you mean supplements akin to NOXPLOOOODE!!!!11 and in that case, I would say you're wasting money. The good supplements can be bought alone and in bulk: creatine, maltodextrin, whey protein, glutamine, BCAAs. They're generally pretty cheap as well. Getting big and strong isn't everyone's goal, but yes, eating is number one on the list for that goal (and I do mean number one, before lifting even).
sbaker345 wrote:Hey don't get me wrong, I went from 110lbs, to 220, and am sitting around 190 atm :P best bench is 315, squat 365 which is admittedly pretty terrible, and I'm debating trying a 455lb pull this week. I love elitefts ;) just now that I'm in college i'm around the bodybuilding type all the time, and it honestly gets old, I wondered if I was the only one. I know one guy who went from 140lbs, to 160lbs in a couple months, put nearly 2 inches on his arms from 14 to 15.75. Half of it was while dieting, I've trained with people who have used steroids and lets just say thats not typical even if you use them, so what does he do? He starts trying to sell thermogenics and such to get sponsored and puts down people he outgrew. :confused:
Ha, well you've out-benched me so you can feel good about that. Hell, feel good about it anyway, there is always someone out there stronger, and someone out there weaker, so you may as well be happy with your current accomplishments and use them to build towards future ones. Gaining 20lbs in a couple months isn't anything monumental, especially at that weight. I went from 168 to 182 in 2 weeks, an average weight gain of 1lb per day. Now this was a rather extreme scenario: I was really ready to gain the weight (very lean) and I was eating as much as humanly possible, but it happened nonetheless. If you don't follow someone around 100% of the time you never really know what's going on. I find it best not to worry about other people's performance/health/looks, unless I'm going to be competing with them directly, and even then, the best strategy is to control my own actions to optimize my progress, which is entirely independent of anyone else. I also try not to spend time around jerks, and that guy sounds like one of those.

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Donut
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:55 pm

It's taken me 18 years to get where I am, I took very small steps and I've gone up and down. Along the way, I've seen enough people trying to get too strong too fast and fighting injury the whole way. I'd rather be healthy and weak than injured and strong.

From my years, I've seen a lot of TYPES in the gym.

There are people who go to the gym, that expect going to the gym will get them in shape.
There are people who lift really heavy and get hurt and decide to stop going to the gym.
There are people who lift upper body every day. Going for that caveman build.
There are people who do really weird (crossfit type) exercises, that I can't tell if they are seeing results.
There are people who seem to not work hard that get results. You might not see everything that these people are doing.

(When I was in college, there was a guy who I would see every time I went to the gym. People (including him)
would say that he was in the gym 4 hours a day. Pretty much every time I saw him, he was lifting very light
weight. He was one of the biggest guys in the gym.)

There are people who cheat all their exercises, work really hard, and don't see results because of the cheating.
There are the new years resolution people, 99% will quit by February.
There are the spring breakers who start working out two weeks before spring break.
There is the Monday crowd, who come in one day a week and bench and you don't see them the rest of the week.
There are older people just trying to get some activity in. I have a hard time figuring out what these people have as goals.


Sbaker, you seem to be doing good. What are you aiming for? Are you just annoyed by everyone around you?

I wear headphones and me, yesterday or last week is the only person I compete with each day. I am trying to better myself, everyone else in the gym is something I couldn't care less about. There is me, music, the weight, and all those annoying people that get in my way.


I avoid everyone until I have a reason to spend time around people and I do avoid jerks. I'm pretty sure people see me and I go out of my way to not talk to many people and they think I'm an *******.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby 3rdGenRigger » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:50 pm

Any thoughts on Creatine? I've heard lots of mixed thoughts and opinions regarding it. I know it's a substance that is in a lot of protein drinks etc. and I have a friend who was part of a high jump team when he was in University and his trainer basically told him that all Creatine did was to trap water in your muscles, making them look bigger, but making them slower and not any stronger, therefore less useful. I'm wondering if there are any benefits to taking protein supplements that contain Creatine. High jumping is dependent on low body weight to percentage of strength (Which can only benefit myself on the job given that I climb for a living), but I'm not training for any professional or even amateur events....just curious as to the merits or downsides to the claims of his trainers.

Also, I don't have any trouble climbing given that I've been doing it for more than a decade and never had any problems, but climbing works different muscles than other occupations and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions regarding workout practices. It mainly involves pushing with my legs and pulling with my arms (Making benchpresses for example not all that useful). I'm in pretty good shape, but I am curious as to the potential to improve on my own fitness capabilities.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:25 pm

Donut wrote:It's taken me 18 years to get where I am, I took very small steps and I've gone up and down. Along the way, I've seen enough people trying to get too strong too fast and fighting injury the whole way. I'd rather be healthy and weak than injured and strong.
I always told people that my secret in powerlifting was that I never tried very hard. Now, this is facetious, of course, but the truth behind the sarcasm is that I never overshot my ability. As you say, you have a very long time and a lot of workouts in your future, if you just progress a tiny bit each time and stay within your ability, you'll be surprised where you end up. Said another way: people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a year.
3rdGenRigger wrote:Any thoughts on Creatine? I've heard lots of mixed thoughts and opinions regarding it. I know it's a substance that is in a lot of protein drinks etc. and I have a friend who was part of a high jump team when he was in University and his trainer basically told him that all Creatine did was to trap water in your muscles, making them look bigger, but making them slower and not any stronger, therefore less useful. I'm wondering if there are any benefits to taking protein supplements that contain Creatine.
Of course! This is a little bit like asking me my opinion on hammers, because you know a drywaller that says hammers are useless for screwing in drywall screws. I'm not saying the question is a bad one, its just unfortunate that there's so much misinformation out there that it confuses what is simply a question of utility of a particular tool for a job. Like any misinformation, there is a kernel of truth to what this coach was saying, but his statements are misleading and his conclusions erroneous. Some basics:

-Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the molecule your cells use for energy. In the case of your muscles, this translates to contractile force.
-Releasing the energy stored in ATP involves dropping one of the phosphates, resulting in adensine diphoshphate (ADP).
-Your body recycles ADP back into ATP so more work can be done (wikipedia says you recycle the equivalent of your bodyweight in ADP per day!).
-Creatine is stored in skeletal muscle as Creatine phosphate, and as you may be deducing, this is useful because it can then give its phosphate to turn ADP back into ATP.
-You get creatine from your diet if you're eating meat (creatine gets is name from the Greek word for meat), although you likely can't eat enough meat to maximize your potential to store creatine in your muscles, which makes supplementation effective.

So for any effort where muscular endurance will be required, creatine supplementation will be helpful. Yes, creatine binds to water, but this water is within your muscle cells and is doing a job. If you eat a ton of salt, you'll retain water to maintain sodium balance, and in that case the water weight is useless (beyond keeping you alive). Yes, this additional intracellular volume will result in (slightly) larger looking muscles that will, of course, not be as strong as if they were that size without creatine. However the point is not to have stronger muscles today, the point is to have stronger muscles two months from now because your weight training regimen, which invariably involved multiple sets of multiple reps, was more effective. So, if this coach believed in periodization of a program to include weight training, he should have recognized that creatine supplementation, while useless and maybe even detrimental on gameday, would actually be helpful during the initial volume phase of his weight training plan.

So, for anyone who understands what creatine does, and understands their goal and how to get there, there are no mixed feelings on creatine. It does a job, like a hammer, and the nature of the job at hand determines its utility. Even when I was powerlifting, I would cycle off creatine close to a meet, because it wouldn't help my 1RM attempts, and it was making me weigh slightly more. However, it was quite helpful whilst training.

In general, I don't recommend buying a protein drink with creatine premixed in it for three reasons. First, that confines the usefulness of the protein to a time where you want to supplement with creatine. Second, they're probably overcharging you for it, as creatine is very cheap in bulk. And third, I like to be able to add my own amount of creatine, as some people are more or less sensitive to digesting it and might need to scale up the amount slowly (it can give you otherwise harmless diarrhea if you take too much).
3rdGenRigger wrote:High jumping is dependent on low body weight to percentage of strength (Which can only benefit myself on the job given that I climb for a living), but I'm not training for any professional or even amateur events....just curious as to the merits or downsides to the claims of his trainers.
Ha if this were the case I'd be coaching a world class high jumping team! Jumping and sprinting are speed based activities, and there is a large genetic component to the fast activation and proper sequencing of compound activities. That is to say, some people are talented jumpers and sprinters. It is very simple to double someone's squatting strength, but if I could double someone's vertical jump I'd be charging $2,000 per hour. But your muscles are involved in either case, right? So how are speed and strength related? Here is the hierarchy (with some examples):

Absolute strength (1RM Back squat) -> Speed Strength (1RM Power clean) -> Strength Speed (Max distance shot put) -> Absolute speed (Max vertical jump)

Now the level to which these depend on one another are not entirely straightforward. Again, making someones legs twice as strong does not make them able to jump twice as high. If I were a jumping or sprinting coach, I would pretty much train up through the hierarchy, with strength and speed strength being in the off season, and strength speed and absolute speed being in the season. Creatine supplementation would be useful during the off season, but not in season.
3rdGenRigger wrote:Also, I don't have any trouble climbing given that I've been doing it for more than a decade and never had any problems, but climbing works different muscles than other occupations and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions regarding workout practices. It mainly involves pushing with my legs and pulling with my arms (Making benchpresses for example not all that useful). I'm in pretty good shape, but I am curious as to the potential to improve on my own fitness capabilities.
Ah, not so fast, my friend. Most muscles cross at least two joints. As such, they have two or more functions. Well if a muscle can only shorten itself, how does it decide which function it does? Often it doesn't, the other muscles around those joints either keep them from moving or allow them to move accordingly. For instance, your biceps can close your elbow, supinate (turn up) your palm, or lift your forearm. Much of what your biceps does depends on what the other muscles attached to that joint are doing. So, although your work is certainly biased towards certain motions, it still makes sense to train in a balanced fashion. Plus, doing a complementary movement like a shoulder press, has been shown to enhance your ability to do the other movement such as a pull-up.

I'd certainly be doing bodyweight push/pull movements, such has push-ups, pull-ups, wall walks, dips, and the many variations available around those movements. I'd also do weighted push/pull movements with dumbbells. There are myriad static holds to choose from as well, since your core (or trunk) is involved in pretty much every natural movement you do. A good rule of thumb is you need more variety in upper body movements, and more intensity (weight) in lower body ones.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby 3rdGenRigger » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:36 pm

Thanks for the explanation! I've definitely got some more research to do, but you've pointed me in a more straightforward direction.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby sbaker345 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:48 pm

If tvenuto doesn't mind me putting in my 2 cents, in your case be careful not to focus too much on absolute strength building, eg 1-5 reps with longer rest periods, especially if you know you won't be climbing as much because while you'll be much stronger, I typically find you won't be as efficient unless you've been training both like Alex Viada here.


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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:52 pm

sbaker345 wrote:If tvenuto doesn't mind me putting in my 2 cents, in your case be careful not to focus too much on absolute strength building, eg 1-5 reps with longer rest periods, especially if you know you won't be climbing as much because while you'll be much stronger, I typically find you won't be as efficient unless you've been training both like Alex Viada here.
I don't mind, but we need to be sure to be rigorous with our terms. This is one of the main issues I see with the fitness industry: terms are either undefined or misused, which exacerbates the lack of intelligent discussion. I went to school and worked as an engineer, and if you said "tough" everyone knew exactly what you meant because toughness is a material property with a rigorous definition. Rigorous definitions are a common feature of the "hard sciences" and I've made it a little bit of a personal crusade to hold those of us in fitness to the same standard. Sorry to go all soapboxy on you, but it's an important point.

In particular, we need to understand what you mean by "efficient." In fitness, efficient could refer to Neuro-Muscular Efficiency, which is your ability to activate more of your muscle mass in a single contraction, and is increased, not decreased, when training absolute strength. Now, training for absolute strength definitely limits blood flow via lower capillary density, since this isn't an adaptation useful to a single maximal contraction. This a main reason a lifter might get "winded" and feel "out of shape" even though the real issue is that the area doing the work just isn't able to get the blood, and thus oxygen, in and out.

Regarding the Alex Viada example, it's actually not as much of a paradox as it might seem to train both absolute strength and aerobic capacity, as both can be done concurrently and don't interfere with each other (on the cellular level, at least). However, it tends to be the case that people training for absolute strength are eating to maximize their gains at the expense of a low bodyfat percentage. This isn't necessary, and (especially with the aid of some supplementation) it's quite possible to get stronger without gaining too much excess weight, and maintain a level of aerobic fitness needed to go very long. Also, most people just don't care to do one of these pursuits if they're doing the other. And finally, he may just be blessed with good running form, which is something that no one ever talks about, strangely. I would submit, however, that he would probably be ill-suited as a climber, and would have trouble with efforts requiring long time under static tension, as well as local muscular endurance efforts. In brief, he's obviously trained to go very hard, and very long, but he'd probably still have trouble with "the middle" (from what I've gleaned in my brief search into his training style).

As an aside, one of the most detrimental effects of the ban on anabolic steroids is that people are unable to speak honestly about how this may be augmenting, or even instrumental in, their regimen. Put it this way: imagine we banned the bench press, but people kept doing it, so they write a book about their upper-body program, and leave out the bench pressing because they're forced to deny that they bench press. How misleading would that be for those looking to emulate the results of the program, without having the actual program?

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby sbaker345 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:43 am

Good point, I suppose I meant to say someone who increases their neuromuscular efficiency, might not see their recovery, energy stores, etc increase, so they would simply be able to tap out their energy storage in less time.

I know Alex Viada has ran a mile in 4:15, and ran multiple marathons, ultra marathons, and has completed an ironman. However he is quite honest that he usesspecial supplements ;)

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:48 am

sbaker345 wrote:Good point, I suppose I meant to say someone who increases their neuromuscular efficiency, might not see their recovery, energy stores, etc increase, so they would simply be able to tap out their energy storage in less time.
You are exactly right about this. If we think about your "energy stores" as a well, a high NME person has a huge bucket scooping out water, and so can generate lots of power, but depletes the well very quickly. A low NME person has a much smaller bucket, so generates less power but can't deplete the well as quickly. If you get a female who's never weight trained, her bucket may be so small that she can't scoop fast enough to deplete the well at all. So you can think of recovery for sustained efforts as taking smaller scoops out of the well, making the well bigger (deeper) in general, or getting your well to replenish faster.
sbaker345 wrote:I know Alex Viada has ran a mile in 4:15, and ran multiple marathons, ultra marathons, and has completed an ironman. However he is quite honest that he usesspecial supplements ;)
I see. As I said I didn't do too much research. Definitely some impressive numbers, and it takes a lot of hard work regardless.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Ruarch » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:33 pm

Thanks for this thread.

I am wondering if you have any advice for me? I do not have a specific question though. Here is my story.

Last April I looked in the mirror and decided losing was going to be a priority. Job stress and unhealthy eating had caused me to go up to 265 lbs. (I am 6'2"). So I started eating clean and limiting my calories to 2000 a day. I used the Insanity program for 3 rounds and eventually got myself down to 180 lbs and feeling good about my body shape again last September.

I have since moved and started working third shift so I felt like I could only fit a run into my day due to my odd hours. Also my eating habits suffered, I was eating more to compensate for lack of sleep. I am now working different hours and can finally get back to doing real workouts again. I am back up to 205ish lbs. I plan on getting back to 195 at least. I am a decent runner, I timed my 3 mile this morning at 17:54. Not world class, but hey, I am 39.

Any advice is much appreciated. I plan on just giving Insanity a couple more rounds.

Thanks again!
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tvenuto
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:20 pm

Ruarch wrote:Thanks for this thread.

I am wondering if you have any advice for me? I do not have a specific question though. Here is my story.

Last April I looked in the mirror and decided losing was going to be a priority. Job stress and unhealthy eating had caused me to go up to 265 lbs. (I am 6'2"). So I started eating clean and limiting my calories to 2000 a day. I used the Insanity program for 3 rounds and eventually got myself down to 180 lbs and feeling good about my body shape again last September.

I have since moved and started working third shift so I felt like I could only fit a run into my day due to my odd hours. Also my eating habits suffered, I was eating more to compensate for lack of sleep. I am now working different hours and can finally get back to doing real workouts again. I am back up to 205ish lbs. I plan on getting back to 195 at least. I am a decent runner, I timed my 3 mile this morning at 17:54. Not world class, but hey, I am 39.

Any advice is much appreciated. I plan on just giving Insanity a couple more rounds.

Thanks again!
Unfortunately I've been buried in a pile of diapers and other baby-related detritus. I'll get to your question, I promise. But the short answer is resistance training, as is often the case.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:30 pm

Could someone seriously injure themselves permanently by failing to lift weights the correct way or in general will the muscle tissues be pretty resilient?

Also: Regarding vitamins: Are all vitamin brands basically the same or are some better than others, even if they contain the same content of vitamin? Someone told me the better vitamin companies will make capsules that are better absorbed into the body than the cheaper ones but I don't know thus I'm asking.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:48 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Could someone seriously injure themselves permanently by failing to lift weights the correct way or in general will the muscle tissues be pretty resilient?
Is this a real question, you seem to be asking me if humans are invincible? Unfortunately, we can be injured, and supporting external loads is one way this can happen. Not all injuries are muscular, though. For instance, you could herniate a disk in your back if you used poor form lifting something. In fact, I'm pretty sure some external load needs to be present for this to happen at all, so whether or not this is a "gym weight" or a "life weight" this injury is probably almost exclusively due to "lifting weights."

However, muscle tissues are beyond resilient they are actually anti-fragile (thanks Mr. Taleb!), meaning they don't just resist damage, but get stronger in response to controlled injury. Controlled injury is actually necessary to keep them healthy. This is why loaded activity, be it bodyweight or externally loaded, is so important for general health. Most permanent (read: requires surgery to fix) injuries are not muscular. Tendons, ligaments, bursae, and cartilage are much more likely to be the issue in serious injuries.
SpyderEdgeForever wrote:Also: Regarding vitamins: Are all vitamin brands basically the same or are some better than others, even if they contain the same content of vitamin? Someone told me the better vitamin companies will make capsules that are better absorbed into the body than the cheaper ones but I don't know thus I'm asking.
I tend to think that 90% of these supplements come out of the same original factory. Kinda like all your shirts tend to be made in Sri Lanka or somewhere, even if they have different brand tags in them. This is why I don't advise paying much for supplements with grandiose claims or fancy marketing. Likely the only difference is the label. One exception is fish oil, since that's obviously a perishable product that's not too far removed from the animal itself (and polyunsaturated fats are particularly susceptible to spoilage).

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:36 pm

Ruarch wrote:Thanks for this thread.

I am wondering if you have any advice for me? I do not have a specific question though. Here is my story.

Last April I looked in the mirror and decided losing was going to be a priority. Job stress and unhealthy eating had caused me to go up to 265 lbs. (I am 6'2"). So I started eating clean and limiting my calories to 2000 a day. I used the Insanity program for 3 rounds and eventually got myself down to 180 lbs and feeling good about my body shape again last September.

I have since moved and started working third shift so I felt like I could only fit a run into my day due to my odd hours. Also my eating habits suffered, I was eating more to compensate for lack of sleep. I am now working different hours and can finally get back to doing real workouts again. I am back up to 205ish lbs. I plan on getting back to 195 at least. I am a decent runner, I timed my 3 mile this morning at 17:54. Not world class, but hey, I am 39.

Any advice is much appreciated. I plan on just giving Insanity a couple more rounds.

Thanks again!
You're very welcome, again it's a subject I enjoy talking about.

Firstly, congrats on the weight fat loss. Hopefully you picked up some sustainable habits from that period, and allowed the caloric restriction to relax a bit. While losing fat, remember that you're essentially "eating" that fat away, so although your diet contained 2000 Cal, you were actually utilizing more than that. As you get leaner, you'll need to intake more calories since less are available on you. If you restrict calories too much, you'll put your body into starvation mode, you'll be more likely to actually store the ones you do eat, and your ability to train will suffer. Not saying any of this was occurring, but I like to remind people that your state is constantly shifting, and doing what "worked for you" at 265 might not be appropriate at 180.

Getting back to a sane sleep/eating schedule is very important, so glad that's a possibility now.

My advice, as usual, is to incorporate some resistance training. Running is fine, especially if you have good form and no joint pain from it, but it has its limits when producing physical changes. If you just want to get good at running, you need to run, but if you have aesthetic goals for your training it's going to be difficult to make the running hard enough to produce those changes consistently. For reference, I'm 5'11" and 188, so I wouldn't actually say you're too heavy at your current weight. I think it's better to think about improving body composition, i.e. losing fat and gaining muscle. Gaining 5lbs of muscle, and losing 8lbs of fat (net weight loss of 3lbs), will do more for your appearance than losing 10lbs of fat.

I mentioned previously the German Body Composition training, and I think that's a great place to start. Insanity, due to it's very high reps and low rest periods, is actually just another form of aerobic training. For muscular hypertrophy, the 8-20 rep range is where you want to be. This rep range will allow you to actually lift some weight, which is what's currently missing from your program.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:49 pm

I think Spyder Edge Forever is asking more of a statistical question.

Some guys have terrible form and seem to not get hurt. Some of those guys, they will either lift very light weight and do whatever form they want to, some guys will shorten their range of motion.

You could have good form and over fatigue your muscle and injure it.

Having bad form will probably increase your odds of getting hurt, but you could have an extremely lucky streak and not see it happen.


Now, how about this hypothetical situation: Some guy goes in the gym and wants to work out his biceps or back, he has no idea what he's doing and does it COMPLETELY wrong. What he ends up doing is perfect form bench press. You could cheat, and end up doing an exercise that works another, stronger muscle with _relatively_ good form.

I saw a guy today, on the standing (bent over) row machine. He was standing up straight, not bending over at all. He's not likely to hurt himself, but he's probably working very little of what he wants and a little bit of his traps, with very little benefit at all.
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby sbaker345 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:09 pm

I pull with a rounded upper back. It looks like wrong form to a lot of people. That is part of the reason you hear about people using terrible form with no Injuries

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:51 pm

I believe the reasoning is that if you are supporting weight with your back bone and not your back muscles, you have a chance of hurting your spine. I think I would rather pull a muscle in my back 10 times before I injure my spine once.

It probably depends on how much you are rounding your back.

Yeah, when it comes to hurting bones, I try my best to use perfect form.
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