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seen Nov 30 '12 at 5:38

Nov
30
comment Importance of flexibility
Please take the last paragraph very seriously.
Nov
12
comment Why rest between sets?
@BerinLoritsch. I did a search for 'superset' on this forum and found surprisingly little. Do you think this technique is old fashioned and no longer used? It is so second nature to me that when I start to describe it, I'm overwhelmed with all the ins and outs and variations.
Nov
8
comment Building up Lat muscles without Chin ups, rowing or lat pull down
You're very welcome.
Nov
8
comment Deadlifts and squats with hyperlordosis?
I just realized I was unclear: Neanderthal No More is a free web article and "Starting Strength" is a book (there is also a DVD that can be purchased separately.
Nov
8
comment Loosening tight muscles?
Can you lift your arms overhead without arching backwards? How is this tightness affecting your lifts? - e.g. bar position in the squat, overhead pressing...
Nov
7
comment Visceral fat or poor abdominal muscles?
I took the question to be a simple way to know if a 6-pack issue was underdeveloped abs or a layer of fat on the abs (subcutaneous). I don't think Mike S and I are in disagreement. If you're strong in the big lifts and your BMI is good, but your gut still hangs out when you don't suck it in, then there might be other issues. Checking your posture from the side for pelvic tilt/sway back can't hurt. See "Neanderthal No More" by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. BTW, in the early eighties there was a great body builder named Boyer Coe who had 'no abs' - he lacked the 6packing fascia.
Nov
6
comment Visceral fat or poor abdominal muscles?
@MikeS Thanks, did not know that. Back then, the problem was with the user, as I recall. It was impossible to be consistent. These were plastic mechanical devices. These new ones (I Googled skin callipers) look a lot more substantial. I would guess you'd want a skilled (certified?) person to use them on you - I wouldn't trust myself to be objective.
Oct
22
comment Burn fat and gain muscles at same time
@Trudbert Thanks. I often find myself in a difficult position on this forum. I do believe you've got to be careful in a gym and keep up with best practices AND that none of this is an exact science. It would take a concentration camp of Nazi doctors to double blind prove most of this stuff AND I believe we can all none the less succeed at getting closer to being the person we want to be.
Oct
4
comment Burn fat and gain muscles at same time
"My core question is how best to combine gaining muscles and burning fat. ... but I want to know precisely how one affects the other." I'm saying that the usual answers are inappropriately precise at this stage of our knowledge and measuring ability. As you correctly point out, my 'answer' is merely an empirical methodology that many people have found effective.
Oct
3
comment What is considered a healthy weight loss and body fat decrease?
Do you remember your weight when you were in great shape? That might help you set goals. I arbitrarily decided on 1.5 pounds a month after I retired at 61. I was afraid my old skin would sag and I'd lose too much muscle mass at a higher rate and I had no reason to rush. I dropped from 187 to 151 at that rate and have held at 147-151 for the last 3 years. The skin sag only shows during planks so no 6 pack but my shoulders are awesome in the right light. I also got my cholesterol, blood pressure, etc into perfect ranges and cut my food expenses. "Pounds per week" sounds a little scary to me.
Oct
3
comment How to prepare your body for gym workouts?
Thanks @DavidR for helping me clarify, and I apologize to Starx if I appeared disrespectful or dismissive. There are some tips I haven't seen in books: Get to know the owner/person in charge of the gym, especially if it is privately owned. Ask what kind of shoes and workout wear do they prefer, what do they consider good manners about asking for a spot or a form check, are some days/times better for a novice than others. Even a Gold's will have an unwritten etiquette, but I've always found that the people behind the desk are pretty welcoming and respond to serious and polite questions.
Aug
6
comment Is it normal when starting squats to not have flexible enough ankles?
I think most adults have trouble at the start because most of us work sitting down and do very little lifting. See my comment below for "Starting Strength". For another take on dumbbell squatting Google "Dan John goblet squats". He is a big name high school coach and says teenagers can't squat either.
Aug
6
comment Is it normal when starting squats to not have flexible enough ankles?
"Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe is the go o reference for the big lifts (squatting, deadlifting,...). He feels that the squat improves the squat. He is very detailed about the form from head to toe and how to attain it.
Aug
5
comment Is it a good idea to only do cardio?
Your new info raises a scary possibility - perhaps you should consider a full physical workup. Having said that, I agree with Ivo Flipse, J. Winchester, and myself above. I'm a little confused about "use of hands" vs "slight workout leaves me numb". Numbness in hands/feet can be a warning sign of bad stuff. I can understand pianists not wanting to box, and I can understand anyone not wanting to squat, but first "want" is logical and the second is only human and can change.
Aug
4
comment Is it a good idea to only do cardio?
Are body weight exercises doable for you? These are things like pushups, hip airplanes, planks, and knee bends. These are weight bearing exercises that can reduce/prevent osteoporosis. Is Tai Chi or karate out of the question? Also do "weights" include light dumbbells, wrist weights, resistance bands etc. The Harvard Med School white papers for the lay public are pretty clear that you have to work your aerobic systems or in danger of all sorts of stuff. The more details you are willing to give the better we can answer.
Aug
4
comment Aerobic on days before weight lifting
It's not that exact a science ("So you can't go back to gym or even biking the day after"). A lot will depend on your lifting level (novice, intermediate, advanced), age etc. Try it, keep lightweight records, you'll find out what your capacity is for now (it will change). You can't make a mistake that will ruin your life (unless you drop a bar on your throat, or get hit by a car cycling). Good luck and all the best. Let us know how things go.
Aug
1
comment Should I focus on gaining strength or weight?
Don't put off starting because you're afraid you'll make a mistake. Having said that I have to ask if you think you're healthy - no diabetes, anemia etc. You sound a little worried. Pushups are hard - no shame there, but with obesity such a problem, perhaps you should keep a food diary for a few days. You might be pleasantly surprised to see that you are just under eating. All the best!
Aug
1
comment What is the “kernel” for a 4 decade training program for physical fitness?
I gave a 'real' answer and comment below so I may be entitled to an off point comment now. It seems that nothing much has really changed since gladiators trained with clapperless bells (dumbbells comes from a Roman essay). Won't we have an implanted computer controlled micro-pump for safe drugs that solve all our fitness problems within 20 years? What effect will that have on our lives? I can't imagine my life being better without the gym. I gave your question another point. It was even better than I first realized.
Jul
31
comment How many calories should I intake and how much should I “spend” daily?
@michael Ah! now I see where you got the "i recommend pretzels" idea. My bad. I ate plenty of those when I worked as a programmer. I also gained lots of weight as a programmer. If your numbers are true I can see why so many fail to lose weight. A 500 cal deficit might only buy you a pound and a half a month. A typical scale might not register that consistently. I used the commonly given 3500 and assumed my training regimen would keep me out of famine response but not contribute much to calorie consumption. You're right about the bomb calorimeter. Why does it seem to work,though? Any ideas?
Jul
30
comment How many calories should I intake and how much should I “spend” daily?
@michael If you eat it, you list it. That's why it's called a food diary and it is one of the most effective methods known to determine what's going on with weight gain/loss. Most people who do it are surprised at how much (or how little) they eat. Without this knowledge, they make good plans based on false assumptions and failure is extremely demotivating. I stand by my results. If you haven't lost 50 pounds of fat while gaining muscle at 62, you should give me my points back. BTW I sometimes eat pretzels or pizza on cheat days but that's a different topic.