Working out for aesthetic purposes: building muscle mass, cutting weight (especially fat), creating desired body proportions.

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60
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4answers
49k views

Is it healthy to exercise a muscle when it's still sore?

Is it healthy or is it damaging to exercise a muscle while it's still sore from a previous workout?
38
votes
13answers
41k views

I am underweight. How do I gain weight and muscle?

I am a man in my twenties. Although I am 5 feet 6 inches tall, I weigh only 100 pounds. I want to gain weight as soon as possible. How do I gain weight and muscle as fast as possible?
32
votes
5answers
19k views

How do I naturally boost my Testosterone levels?

Its a well documented fact that testosterone in essential for muscle development. So much so that some will want to go to the lengths of taking synthetic testosterone in order to aid their ...
23
votes
5answers
9k views

What are the recommended exercise types for getting broad shoulders?

What exercises do you recommend, if one's main target is broad shoulders (and chest too, but less priority)? Does reducing exercises for other muscle group help? Any other tips?
22
votes
3answers
24k views

Why is muscle size not proportional to strength?

This guy claims that Olympic powerlifters working in the 1-6 rep range can increase strength without increasing muscle size. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/topicoftheweek8.htm Trained Olympic ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How long should I rest in between sets?

If my goal is size. EDIT: Since other people with potentially different goals than mines are likely to see this question, it would be good if your answer includes the optimal rest times for different ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

How does alcohol really affect gains?

I have been training with a personal trainer now for about a year; we work four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and do bodybuilding splits. So, we do dynamic lower core, heavy ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Can I be serious about getting into great shape if I have an office job?

I'm a web developer. I spend 5 days a week, 8-10 hours per day in front of my PC in a chair. I want to get in insanely good shape. I don't mean I want to be a little stronger than the average person, ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How to breathe in lifts requiring tight core (squats, deadlifts)

I am a bit confused about the correct breathing technique in lifts that require core strength. Take the squat as example: 1) Some people say that it is very important to breathe in at the top of ...
14
votes
1answer
13k views

For better muscle growth, how many hours' sleep are recommended after doing a workout?

I heard to help muscle growth one has to sleep a lot after doing a workout. How long is the recommended one? Does this mean the best time to workout is at night so you can go to sleep immediately ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible to “tone” up your muscles?

I hear a lot of people talking about going to the gym to "tone" up their muscles. What they usually do to improve their tone is to do relatively high reps with relatively low weights - say 30-50 reps ...
12
votes
5answers
748 views

Is increasing resistance the only possibility to build more muscle mass?

I've often read and heard that you can only build more muscle-mass (get stronger), if you continuously increase the resistance weights (e.g. here). But for me, it's the case that I'm often not able ...
12
votes
2answers
337 views

Can I train for 'mass' on some parts of my body, and 'strength' for others?

Is it possible to perform strength training on certain muscle groups and training for mass gain on others? For example, I don't want big legs, but I of course want much stronger legs. Can I do ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Muscle building exercises without looking like the Hulk, think toned and defined

I'm looking to tone my body up and build muscle, but don't want to look like the Hulk or the chicken-legged guys with a huge upper body. I would like to target: Upper Body Lower Body Mid area ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Smoking and its effects on muscle building

Does smoking effect the muscle building process? I understand it can effect your endurance.
10
votes
2answers
9k views

How does muscle size relate to strength?

I've heard it often that the size of muscles, for example biceps, is not related to how strong someone is. Is this true? See for example this image of Gu Yanli who won the strongest man championship ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I increase bicep width?

How can I increase bicep width? I am happy with my bicep peak, but I am having trouble increasing the width of my biceps. My arms look rather big from the side but when you look at them head on they ...
10
votes
3answers
393 views

What is the optimum training intensity to prevent atrophy when on a caloric deficit?

I know that when I'm on a caloric surplus, I stimulate hypertrophy best if my training intensity lies somewhere between 6-12RM. Now let's say I'm on a caloric deficit. What intensity is optimal for ...
9
votes
3answers
261 views

Compound, total body exercises minimising quad and ham development

I'm currently squatting twice a week, deadlifting once. Deadlifting doesn't concern me because I feel my back is getting a great workout and the hips are starting much higher than the knees, but ...
9
votes
3answers
650 views

Are crunches an effective exercise for building the abs?

Vince Gironda was famous for training people like Arnold and Lou Ferrigno and operating Vince's Gym. He was one of the OGs of professional bodybuilding. There's a story I've heard more than once ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

How much do the plates in Crossfit weigh?

I've been a long time bodybuilder, but never tried Crossfit. I watched some videos of Crossfit athletes use large plates of the same size as the 45 pound plates I find in bodybuilding gyms. I am ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a maximum amount of protein the human body can absorb a day?

Assuming I workout on a regular basis and I'm in constant need for protein for recovery.
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Deadlift - belt or no belt?

The deadlift seems to put a lot of pressure on the spinal vertebrae. Is it safe to deadlift without a belt or does correct form completely eliminate the need for one?
9
votes
1answer
670 views

What is the scientific explanation for beginning weightlifters' ability to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously?

I'm sure you have heard this a million times in bodybuilding articles and forums: Only beginner weightlifters can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. For intermediate and advanced ...
9
votes
1answer
175 views

What does academic research say about the relationship between squats and hGH/Testoterone?

I hear a lot of advocacy of squats as a method for producing testosterone and human growth hormone as part of exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy. I cannot, however, find any academic research on ...
9
votes
4answers
275 views

What are the endocrinological benefits of holistic rest in bodybuilding?

It's common knowledge that bodybuilders need rest after a workout to rebuild muscle. Everyone advises localized rest. That is, you should give a particular muscle at least 48 hours of rest before ...
8
votes
4answers
660 views

In bodybuilding, how do I train my traps and lats without involving my biceps?

Some people like it not to train biceps together with their back, because "when you get to workout the biceps, it is already tired from the back exercises". Sometimes, you have a hurt biceps and need ...
8
votes
2answers
451 views

Keeping track of muscle dimensions

I am looking for tools and procedures to keep track of changes in sizes of muscles. (or groups of muscles like upper arms and chest). (1) How feasible is this? (2) Are more subjective measures like ...
8
votes
3answers
377 views

Is growth of a muscle limited to the size of the opposing muscle?

I've read and heard from several bodybuilders (Arnold, big Youtube guys) that the pectorals will only grow in proportion to the upper lats. Both must be trained equally to see growth. What is the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?

Firstly, is losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time possible? If it is possible, what is the general nutrition and exercise plan to do it? Secondly, is losing fat and gaining muscle at the ...
7
votes
2answers
948 views

Are these Workout Routines right for Body Building

The weightlifting-101 blog post on the stackexchange blog and posts on fitness.SE has helped me learn more about strength training and body building. My goal is body building (to bulk up) in short ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What scientific evidence says cables build less muscle than free weights?

Look at any classic bodybuilding book or DVD and it will say free weights are superior to cables (and machines) for muscular hypertrophy. Joe Weider and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two famous proponents ...
6
votes
2answers
343 views

Are there such thing as best exercises for weightlifting?

I've heard this many times from powerlifters that I've work with, "All you really need is 3 lifts to hit all major muscle groups, and technically that's all you really need for maintenance, too." On ...
6
votes
2answers
95 views

Fitness plan for an achieving high school freshman

About myself: I am a high school freshman and in the past months it has dawned on me that exercise is way to important to ignore as I did for the ~8 months prior when I was struggling with anxiety ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I train all muscles or concentrate on some muscles in each session?

Say I train 3 times a week. Which alternative is better: Just train all target muscles in each session, no focus on any muscles on any session, or Dedicate each session to some muscles. For example: ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the optimal bulking / cutting rotation schedule?

What is the optimal bulking / cutting rotation schedule for maximum muscle gain and fat loss? By bulking, I mean eating tons and lifting heavy. By cutting, I mean eating less and doing more cardio. ...
6
votes
1answer
864 views

What changes between the 5 rep range and the 10 rep range?

Through observation and empirical evidence, a lot of strength trainers and bodybuilders have found that 5-6 reps is ideal for building strength, while 10-12 reps is ideal for building size. I've ...
6
votes
3answers
13k views

Is “micronized” creatine better than regular creatine?

I frequently read advertisements for "micronized" creatine which is supposedly more pure, easier to absorb, and more effective than regular creatine. Is there any validity to this claim?
6
votes
5answers
228 views

How many reps are ideal for increasing muscle mass?

Research In Ultimate Bodybuilding: The Master Blaster's Principles of Training and Nutrition Joe Weider says the following: I learned that the best repetition range for building muscle mass is ...
5
votes
4answers
19k views

Why do compound exercises build more mass than isolation exercises?

I've heard this a million times: If you want to get massive, you have to do compound exercises, not isolation exercises. A specific example is the Hodge twins suggesting to do chin-ups rather ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between powerlifting and bodybuilding and how do you determine which one is right for you?

From what I understand it seems like: Bodybuilding is used for conditioning your body to "look good" via the use of a wide variety of isolation + compound exercises. Powerlifting is used for gaining ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

A linear progression v-taper program

I've now done four Starting Strength workouts and admire the linear progressive nature of it and really look forward to each workout. I'm not sure however it's the best choice for addressing my ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to maintain muscle during breaks from training?

I m 25 years old and have been going to the gym for the past 3 years. Recently, I took 10 days off due to illness and noticed that I lost muscle. This happens whenever I take a break from the gym. ...
5
votes
2answers
304 views

Intensive training after 8 years

Long time ago I used to run in the mornings, workout in the gym 2 days a week, and some martial arts. I was not a gym freak at all but I had some nice definition. Now 8 years later (and 30 years ...
5
votes
3answers
939 views

Obtaining protein from alternative non-meat sources for bodybuilding

I have allergies towards egg whites and meat. I cannot eat chicken, beef, or pork. Others meats though like quail, fish are fine. What products can I substitute for eggs and meat? I would like to get ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Differences in recovery time (after weight lifting) versus age

I am now 40. I did some weight lifting about 15 years ago and it was fun. I am now back into it, focusing on strength and muscle gain. I obviously don't expect to become a Mr Olympia, but I find it ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

As a hardgainer, how do I get the right balance of calories to add size without adding fat?

I am a prototypical hardgainer, 23 years old and never weighed over 10 stone until recently when I started lifting weights again (lifted in the past and never saw any noticeable gains). I read in an ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Best timing and amount of protein intake for building mass

I'm 18 years old and started bodybuilding two years ago. To build muscle mass, I want to optimize my diet/nutrition. I know that 2g of protein per 1kg body mass would be a good choice and one doesn't ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

why do my hands shake after a workout?

My both hands are really shakey. Starting in the middle of the workout and ending after five hours. Why do they shake? What doest it mean? And is it normal?
5
votes
1answer
104 views

What is the best way to integrate brief sessions in my workplace gym into my strength and body building practices?

My job as a software developer requires me to spend nine hours a day in an office. The building has a gym, but it is not so well equipped that I use it as my primary facility. I work out at another ...