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Wanted: Workout Mentor
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Wanted: Workout Mentor - April 9, 2007, 11:49 PM

Seems kind of retarded posting this, but I am looking for someone who can help me get a weight lifting routine going. Think- what to lift, how often, how many times etc etc. I've decided I need to gain weight - both because I'm weak and need to fill out and throwing on a good few pounds will make my wife less self-conscious about her weight (yes, she weighs less than me, but its pretty close lol). The only way I've ever been able to do that is by putting on muscle.

I'm not yet a member of a gym - I'm looking for one. Anywhere from Chantilly, Centreville, Manassas on out to Gainesville is where I'm looking. Anyone a member of a gym in that area willing to show a guy around?

I can tell a doorbell from a dumbell, but that's probably about it. So expect me to be entirely stupid about this.


"No race has ever been won in the first corner, but plenty have been lost there."
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April 10, 2007, 06:11 AM

Start off slow - first week or two do 5 days a week but not heavy weight. get your body to get comfortable with lifting.

I hit up LifeTime in Fairfax - Here are some great links of some excersizes

http://www.mensalmanac.com/zerothread?id=132

Here are some good Q/A

1. Q. I do 1000 situps a day, been doing it for months, still no six-pack, what gives? Any special diet or exercises to lose the gut?

A: Unfortunately there is no real way to spot-reduce fat. For MOST men, we tend to collect our fat stores in our mid-section (stomach, chest, etc). This is the same reason why far more men have heart attacks than women, since the fat will also surround your internal organs. Another unfortunate this is that for most this is the first place for it to start, and therefore the last place for it to leave
If you want that six-pack, you have to reduce your overall body fat%. For most, you wont see any sore of ab definition unless you are sub 10%, for some its sub 8%, and for some you just wont see much. As ab shape and how much they portrude out is a genetic trait. There is one famous body builder who is definitely sub 8%BF, ripped, but just has a flat looking stomach with no well defined abs.
So the term "abs are made in the kitchen" is 100% true. You need to burn the fat to see them, and burning fat is highly focused on a good reduced calorie diet, in conjunction with an exercise program

2. Ok, I want to get defined, what sort of program should I do, low weight/high reps right?


A: False. Just like your abs, definition is a product of your over all body fat%. If you want definition you want to cut the fat, so a good diet is in order. Lifting weights is a great way to supplement a good diet, but you want to lift heavy. Lifting low weight and high reps really isnt going to be a cardiovascular workout unless you are doing 100reps, with no rest inbetween sets, and keeping your HR up. Those who do 20reps or so of a moderate weight, well that promotes muscle endurance more than anything, not definition or gaining strength
If you want definition, the best way to do so is of course the diet, but to lift hard as well. Lifting heavy burns more calories and promotes muscle growth. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will require, as it takes much more calories to sustain 1lb of lean mass than 1lb of body fat.

3. I want to get strong/cut but down want to explode and look like a meat head, how should I lift? Not too heavy?


A. Another big misconception. Many people think that if you touch the weights you are going to transform into ronnie coleman over night. 100% false, contrary to some peoples believes, gaining that kind of muscle is very hard and takes a ton of dedication. You also need to eat a TON. Some people consume 5000+ calories a day.
So don't worry, if you are on your average diet, just lift as heavy as you can. You won't see much gains in muscle mass but you will continue to get stronger

4. I want to cut fat and gain muscle at the same time, what sort of routine should I do?


A: Again, science works against us in this case. The human body is much like a car engine, you cant expect power (muscle), without adding fuel (food). Gaining muscle and losing fat are 2 completely different processes. Gaining muscle required a CONSTANT surplus of calories (ie eating more than your body would require to sustain a certain weight), if you aren't constantly above avg caloric requirement, gaining muscle will be slow. The same goes for losing fat, it requires a CONSTANT calorie deficient (ie eating less than your body would require to sustain itself).
Many people think that having a bunch of fat means you are constantly carrying around a surplus of calories, well unfortunately the chemical/biological process to burn fat and build muscle are completely different, there fore you cant turn fat into muscle. Building muscle requires additional amino acids from protein, when fat breaks down, it simply turns to ATP (your bodies fuel unit) and water (thats why fat is so giggly and takes a bunch of space, fat cells are mostly water). So in short, you cannot turn fat into muscle. The additional fat does provide some energy for the muscle healing process, but you still ultimately need protein to build new muscle tissue

5. I'm lifting good, I'm skinny, but I can't gain any weight! I'm a hardgainer, help me!


A. Again, many people THINK they are hardgainers, but I'd imagine less than half a percent of the population are true hardgainers. The simple question to this one is, EAT MORE. As I mentioned above, to gain muscle, you need a constant calorie surplus. If you have a fast metabolism that requires 3500+cals on a normal day, then you need to be eating north of 4500 cals a day, and as I mentioned, so go to 5000-6000cals. Like I said, gaining muscle is not so easy, consuming that much can be hard, as you have to force it down and eat when you aren't hungry. And you have to eat right too, 10 bigmacs a day will just get to fat, you still want a constant stream of protein, complex carbs, and good fats.

6. I'm working out 7 days a week for 2hrs, not seeing much gains, what gives??


A. Well it could be the above of not eating enough, but there is such thing as over-doing it, especially when it comes to working out. Another common misconception is that the more you work out, the bigger you will grow. This is not true, as muscle growth does not occur while you are lifting.
Basically when you work out, you are tearing the fibers of any given muscle. When the muscle heals over, it basically scars and grows bigger. Thus muscle growth occurs while you are resting, not lifting. Not to mention if you lift too much in one sitting, you can deplete all of your calorie and glycogen stores (energy stored in the muscles), and thus you body may result to using muscle tissue as energy if you lift too long (bad)
As a rule of thumb, you need to give each major muscle group 4-5 full days of rest so they can fully heal and grow. If you are constantly working out the same muscle, you never give it a chance to fully heal, and thus you aren't giving it a chance to fully grow.
Another huge thing is sleep, a huge portion or muscle repair and regeneration happens while you are asleep and your body can dedicate its resources and spare calories to repairing itself. Try your best to sleep 7-8hrs a day

7. When is the best time to lift?


A. There is no real answer to this one, all I can say is when NOT to lift. Do not lift on an empty stomach. As a rule of thumb, I like to have at least 2 meals in me. If you must lift in the morning, have a good breakfast with lots of complex carbs and give your body an hour or so to process it


8. When is the best time to do cardio?


I personally do it in the morning on an empty stomach. If you do MODERATE cardio (ie 60-80% of your max HR), you will be keeping your body in an aerobic state (this means WITH oxygen, basically you are in a burning fat state). Another good thing about the body is that it will try to burn fat stores first if your stomach is empty, as it is a much easier process to convert fat to energy than muscle tissue to energy
If you go too hardcore (above 75-80% of your max HR), then your body goes into an anaerobic state (without oxygen), essentially in these levels your body cannot break down body fat fast enough to convert to enegery, so it uses any food left in your stomach, your glycogen stores (energy units stored in the muscles for quick use), and will ulimately start to convert muscle if you go hardcore for a long time on an empty stomach (essentially you will deplete all of your energy stores).
If you are going to do hard core cardio (HIIT, or just for cardiovascular health), I will again suggest having at least 2 full meals before hand
Max HR=220-your age
Thats good for now, I'll post more as I think of them


-

I tow 747s


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Join Date: March 19, 2007
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Red face April 10, 2007, 07:43 AM

[quote=DvlsAdvc8]Seems kind of retarded posting this, but I am looking for someone who can help me get a weight lifting routine going.

Hey there, in order to achieve what you have mentioned in your thread, you do not need to join a gym.... there is plenty of stuff you can do at home. You will have to purchase a few weights and a lot of protein powder, as with your body type, that is one of the essentials......
if you want to talk about this a bit further, pm me with your phone number and lets talk....
so what if i am a woman, i know my stuff.....trust me


treat life as if you were a dog: if you can't eat it or hump it, piss on it and walk away......
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Ling Long
 
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Posts: 6,183
Join Date: June 13, 2006
April 10, 2007, 07:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauliodotnet
Start off slow - first week or two do 5 days a week but not heavy weight. get your body to get comfortable with lifting.

I hit up LifeTime in Fairfax - Here are some great links of some excersizes

http://www.mensalmanac.com/zerothread?id=132

Here are some good Q/A

1. Q. I do 1000 situps a day, been doing it for months, still no six-pack, what gives? Any special diet or exercises to lose the gut?

A: Unfortunately there is no real way to spot-reduce fat. For MOST men, we tend to collect our fat stores in our mid-section (stomach, chest, etc). This is the same reason why far more men have heart attacks than women, since the fat will also surround your internal organs. Another unfortunate this is that for most this is the first place for it to start, and therefore the last place for it to leave
If you want that six-pack, you have to reduce your overall body fat%. For most, you wont see any sore of ab definition unless you are sub 10%, for some its sub 8%, and for some you just wont see much. As ab shape and how much they portrude out is a genetic trait. There is one famous body builder who is definitely sub 8%BF, ripped, but just has a flat looking stomach with no well defined abs.
So the term "abs are made in the kitchen" is 100% true. You need to burn the fat to see them, and burning fat is highly focused on a good reduced calorie diet, in conjunction with an exercise program

2. Ok, I want to get defined, what sort of program should I do, low weight/high reps right?


A: False. Just like your abs, definition is a product of your over all body fat%. If you want definition you want to cut the fat, so a good diet is in order. Lifting weights is a great way to supplement a good diet, but you want to lift heavy. Lifting low weight and high reps really isnt going to be a cardiovascular workout unless you are doing 100reps, with no rest inbetween sets, and keeping your HR up. Those who do 20reps or so of a moderate weight, well that promotes muscle endurance more than anything, not definition or gaining strength
If you want definition, the best way to do so is of course the diet, but to lift hard as well. Lifting heavy burns more calories and promotes muscle growth. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will require, as it takes much more calories to sustain 1lb of lean mass than 1lb of body fat.

3. I want to get strong/cut but down want to explode and look like a meat head, how should I lift? Not too heavy?


A. Another big misconception. Many people think that if you touch the weights you are going to transform into ronnie coleman over night. 100% false, contrary to some peoples believes, gaining that kind of muscle is very hard and takes a ton of dedication. You also need to eat a TON. Some people consume 5000+ calories a day.
So don't worry, if you are on your average diet, just lift as heavy as you can. You won't see much gains in muscle mass but you will continue to get stronger

4. I want to cut fat and gain muscle at the same time, what sort of routine should I do?


A: Again, science works against us in this case. The human body is much like a car engine, you cant expect power (muscle), without adding fuel (food). Gaining muscle and losing fat are 2 completely different processes. Gaining muscle required a CONSTANT surplus of calories (ie eating more than your body would require to sustain a certain weight), if you aren't constantly above avg caloric requirement, gaining muscle will be slow. The same goes for losing fat, it requires a CONSTANT calorie deficient (ie eating less than your body would require to sustain itself).
Many people think that having a bunch of fat means you are constantly carrying around a surplus of calories, well unfortunately the chemical/biological process to burn fat and build muscle are completely different, there fore you cant turn fat into muscle. Building muscle requires additional amino acids from protein, when fat breaks down, it simply turns to ATP (your bodies fuel unit) and water (thats why fat is so giggly and takes a bunch of space, fat cells are mostly water). So in short, you cannot turn fat into muscle. The additional fat does provide some energy for the muscle healing process, but you still ultimately need protein to build new muscle tissue

5. I'm lifting good, I'm skinny, but I can't gain any weight! I'm a hardgainer, help me!


A. Again, many people THINK they are hardgainers, but I'd imagine less than half a percent of the population are true hardgainers. The simple question to this one is, EAT MORE. As I mentioned above, to gain muscle, you need a constant calorie surplus. If you have a fast metabolism that requires 3500+cals on a normal day, then you need to be eating north of 4500 cals a day, and as I mentioned, so go to 5000-6000cals. Like I said, gaining muscle is not so easy, consuming that much can be hard, as you have to force it down and eat when you aren't hungry. And you have to eat right too, 10 bigmacs a day will just get to fat, you still want a constant stream of protein, complex carbs, and good fats.

6. I'm working out 7 days a week for 2hrs, not seeing much gains, what gives??


A. Well it could be the above of not eating enough, but there is such thing as over-doing it, especially when it comes to working out. Another common misconception is that the more you work out, the bigger you will grow. This is not true, as muscle growth does not occur while you are lifting.
Basically when you work out, you are tearing the fibers of any given muscle. When the muscle heals over, it basically scars and grows bigger. Thus muscle growth occurs while you are resting, not lifting. Not to mention if you lift too much in one sitting, you can deplete all of your calorie and glycogen stores (energy stored in the muscles), and thus you body may result to using muscle tissue as energy if you lift too long (bad)
As a rule of thumb, you need to give each major muscle group 4-5 full days of rest so they can fully heal and grow. If you are constantly working out the same muscle, you never give it a chance to fully heal, and thus you aren't giving it a chance to fully grow.
Another huge thing is sleep, a huge portion or muscle repair and regeneration happens while you are asleep and your body can dedicate its resources and spare calories to repairing itself. Try your best to sleep 7-8hrs a day

7. When is the best time to lift?


A. There is no real answer to this one, all I can say is when NOT to lift. Do not lift on an empty stomach. As a rule of thumb, I like to have at least 2 meals in me. If you must lift in the morning, have a good breakfast with lots of complex carbs and give your body an hour or so to process it


8. When is the best time to do cardio?


I personally do it in the morning on an empty stomach. If you do MODERATE cardio (ie 60-80% of your max HR), you will be keeping your body in an aerobic state (this means WITH oxygen, basically you are in a burning fat state). Another good thing about the body is that it will try to burn fat stores first if your stomach is empty, as it is a much easier process to convert fat to energy than muscle tissue to energy
If you go too hardcore (above 75-80% of your max HR), then your body goes into an anaerobic state (without oxygen), essentially in these levels your body cannot break down body fat fast enough to convert to enegery, so it uses any food left in your stomach, your glycogen stores (energy units stored in the muscles for quick use), and will ulimately start to convert muscle if you go hardcore for a long time on an empty stomach (essentially you will deplete all of your energy stores).
If you are going to do hard core cardio (HIIT, or just for cardiovascular health), I will again suggest having at least 2 full meals before hand
Max HR=220-your age
Thats good for now, I'll post more as I think of them
Thank you Men's Health


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April 10, 2007, 08:02 AM

is it mens health? i got it off a forum - but even if it is - it is good to know
btw matt.. FU Q


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April 10, 2007, 08:02 AM

If you're just REALLY starting out, you're going to want to work on your core muscles. You're also going to want to do a lot of compound lifts. Here's a Chad Waterbury.

Get yourself a membership (free) to t-nation.com There's a wealth of information there, and free talk sessions with some of the world's top trainers, dieticians, and builders (Thibideau/Waterbury/Danes/Coleman/etc)

They're also the creators of Metabolic Drive, Spike and Surge. And, prime sponsors of most MMA leagues.


Big Boy Basics
8 training principles you should be
using plus a beginner program!
by Chad Waterbury
Lessons From Dallas
I made a trip to Texas a few weeks ago to give a seminar and hang out with T-mag assistant editor Chris Shugart. My introduction to Dallas was nothing short of memorable. There are many valuable pieces of information I learned during my first trip to the "Big D." The first three I want to share with you relate to food, women, and music.
Lesson 1: Food ó If Chris and I got together on a regular basis, we'd probably have to join a traveling freak show as the "Fat Hillbilly Bastards" exhibit. When we hit Dallas for the weekend you would've sworn we had devised our eating guidelines based on some seriously salacious feelings toward John Berardi.
In fact, during a couple of meals I think I heard Berardi, all the way up in Maple Leaf Country, wake up in a pool of sweat screaming, "Itís not possible to eat with such inhumane principles!" (Hopefully he didnít disturb the bakerís dozen of women asleep in his bedroom.)
Lesson 2: Women ó Fort Worth has some gorgeous, grass-fed and cattle-bred, voluptuous vixens. But there are some big heifers there too! I think the big ones eat like Shugart and I did on an hourly basis.
Lesson 3: Music ó You havenít lived until youíve had a five-year-old little girl sing you every word of Kasey Chamberís beer drinkin' song "Weíre All Gonna Die Someday." Thank you, Ashlyn, that's something I'll never forget!

In addition to the aforementioned lessons, I also learned something important about the articles I write and who they're geared toward. Testosterone has an incredibly diverse group of readers ranging from obese newbies to elite athletes and fitness models. But I think it's pretty safe to say that the majority of readers fall somewhere smack dab in the middle. What Iím referring to are those who have minimal to moderate training experience, fulltime jobs, family or school responsibilities, and anything but an endless supply of cash to dump on every supplement on the market.
However, I sometimes lose track of who the majority of Testosterone readers really are and what information would help them out the most. The Dallas seminar allowed me to chat with T-mag readers and get a sense of who they are and what they need.
I'm going to give you some of the principles I feel are most often overlooked or misunderstood when creating an effective exercise program. Think of this information as a cheat sheet to my basic training principles. After the eight principles, I'll provide you with a basic training program using all of them!

Waterbury's Basic Essentials
1) Frequency
Each body part should be trained twice per week. Iíve learned that anyone, regardless of recovery ability or experience, can benefit from upping the training frequency of each body part to twice every week. See my previously published articles here at T-mag for full programs or check out the sample program at the end of this very article!

2) Weekly Workout Plan
The breakdowns I feel are most effective for devising weekly training cycles are:



Plan #1
Day 1: Train
Day 2: Train
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Train
Day 5: Train
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Off



Plan #2
Day 1: Train
Day 2: Off
Day 3: Train
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Train
Day 6: Train
Day 7: Off



Plan #3
Day 1: Train
Day 2: Train
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Train
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Train
Day 7: Off



Plan #4
Day 1: Off
Day 2: Train
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Train
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Train
Day 7: Train



Any of the above breakdowns will work great. Many people favor the first example since it allows for weekends off. Others try to train as much as possible on the weekends due to standard work-week time restraints. For them, plan #4 is ideal.
Regardless of the breakdown, I always alternate upper and lower body workouts throughout the week.

3) Exercise Selection
Compound, multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows should make up at least 75% of your total exercises. If not, you're wasting your time on isolation exercises that arenít demanding enough on your neuromuscular system to have any real physique-enhancing benefits. I must stress that 75% is an absolute minimum. Spending 100% of your time on compound exercises is an excellent idea!

4) Set/Rep Volume
As a general rule of thumb for inexperienced trainees, I like to use a set/rep volume in the 24 to 30 range. For example, 8 x 3 or 3 x 8 per body part works well for the lower end of the range. A set/rep scheme of 10 x 3 or 3 x 10 works well for the upper end range. I recommend you start with a volume of around 24 and increase from there if you feel your recovery allows for it. (Just multiply the sets by the reps to get your number.)

5) Training Intensity
The only time you should flirt with failure is on the last rep of the last set for each body part. If you reach failure before that time, decrease the load by 5% for the next workout (using the same method) the following week. If you donít feel like you're approaching failure on the last rep of the last set, increase the load 5% for the next workout the following week.

6) Method Cycling
The simplest way to alternate training methods (sets and reps) without driving yourself into a frenzy is to simply switch the set/rep scheme for the subsequent workout for the same upper or lower body training day. In other words, if you performed 8 x 3 on day one for upper body, switch to 3 x 8 for the next upper body workout of the week.

7) Antagonist Exercise Selection
Antagonist refers to opposing exercises. In other words, an upper back exercise is an antagonist to a chest exercise, and a biceps exercise is an antagonist to a triceps exercise. When creating a program, I like to use exact antagonist exercises.
What in the hell does that mean, you ask? For example, if you choose the barbell bench press as your chest exercise for your upper body workout, I recommend a rowing movement with the exact same hand spacing/position as the bench press. So if your index fingers are 24 inches apart when bench pressing, the rowing movement should consist of a palms-down hand position with exactly 24 inches between your index fingers.
Another example would be with pull-ups (or pulldowns depending on your strength levels). If you execute a pull-up with your palms semi-supinated (facing each other) and 18 inch spacing hand position, then your antagonist exercise would consist of standing dumbbell shoulder presses with a semi-supinated hand position that's 18 inches apart throughout the movement. Got it? This is actually much simpler than it sounds if you think about it. Just remember to press and pull with the exact same hand positions.
Note: For various reasons that I don't want to discuss in this article, this doesnít apply to lower body training. (Itís not that it canít be done, itís just more complicated). But what about leg extensions and leg curls? Arenít those perfectly opposing antagonist exercises? Yep, but that particular pairing sucks. In regard to lower body training, just remember to alternate quad-dominant exercises like squats with hip-dominant exercises such as deadlifts.

Lifting Tempo
Donít worry about it. As long as you use proper form and control the lifting and lowering phase, you'll be fine. Focus your mental energy on moving the load instead of counting the rep tempo.

Sample Program: Big and Basic
So, based on those guidelines, here's a sample beginner routine for a trainee who prefers to have the weekends off. Obviously, this same program can be used for the other recommended weekly breakdowns too.

Day 1 (Upper Body)



Exercise: Barbell Bench Press
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60 seconds between sets
Load: 5RM (repetition maximum)
Tips: 24" hand spacing



Exercise: Seated or Chest-Supported Rows
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60s
Load: 5RM
Tips: 24" hand spacing



Exercise: Pull-ups or Pulldowns
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60s
Load: 5RM
Tips: Semi-supinated 18" grip



Exercise: Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60s
Load: 5RM
Tips: Semi-supinated 18" grip



Day 2 (Lower Body)



Exercise: Barbell Squats
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 90s
Load: 10RM
Tips: High bar position, feet shoulder-width apart



Exercise: Leg Raises
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 60s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Perform hanging or on a leg raise apparatus.



Exercise: Dumbbell Deadlifts
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 90s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Hold dumbbells at your sides; squat down until dumbbells are just below knee level.



Exercise: Decline Bench Sit-Ups
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 60s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Hold a dumbbell or plate on your chest to increase the load.



Exercise: Standing Calf Raises
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 60s
Load: 10RM



Day 3 (Off)
Perform 15-20 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.

Day 4 (Upper Body)



Exercise: 45ļ Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 90s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Perform in a traditional fashion with the palms facing away from you as if holding a barbell.



Exercise: 45ļ Dumbbell Rows
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 90s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Lay face down on the bench with the same hand position as the incline presses.



Exercise: Standing Barbell Curls
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 60s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Perform with pinky fingers 18" apart.



Exercise: Standing Reverse Grip Triceps Pressdown
Sets: 3
Reps: 8
Rest: 60s
Load: 10RM
Tips: Perform with the same 18" hand position as the barbell curls.



Day 5 (Lower Body)



Exercise: Hack Squats
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60s
Load: 5RM
Tips: Hold a barbell or two dumbbells behind your legs. Squat down until your knuckles touch the top of your calves.







Exercise: Lying Leg Curls
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60s
Load: 5RM
Tips: Don't let the feet rotate outward.



Exercise: Lying Leg Raises
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 60s
Load: 5RM
Tips: Hold a dumbbell between your feet to increase the load.



Exercise: Seated Calf Raises
Sets: 8
Reps: 3
Rest: 30s
Load: 5RM
Days 6 and 7 (Off)
Perform 15-20 minutes of moderate intensity cardio if desired.



Conclusion
That's everything you need to know to design an effective workout program for anyone who's been lost in a sea of misinformation. Now get to it!

About the Author
Chad Waterbury is a strength and conditioning coach with Bachelor of Science degrees in Human Biology and Physical Science. Currently, he's studying graduate work in Physiology at the University of Arizona. He operates his company, Chad Waterbury Strength & Conditioning, in Tucson, AZ, where his clientele consists of members of military special forces units, athletes, professionals, and non-athletes seeking exceptional physical performance and development. You can contact him through his website, ChadWaterbury.com.
© 1998 ó 2003 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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Last edited by YaoMatt; April 10, 2007 at 08:09 AM..
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Join Date: August 8, 2006
Location: Avalon
April 10, 2007, 08:29 AM

HAHAHA..... don't even bother.

What you should be doing is spending more time with your wife and if need be, time with her at your local gym working on your cardio/fat burning routine. She, particularly, needs to concentrate on developing better eating habits (getting started is the hard part, keeping the habit is easy when you start seeing the results).

Don't be a muscle head... what good is all that strength if you can't move it? I see guys that look like He-Man at the gym.. WOW!! but they can't and don't have the balls and mental conditioning to run a sub 7 minute mile. Pathetic.
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April 10, 2007, 08:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscerningI
Don't be a muscle head... what good is all that strength if you can't move it? I see guys that look like He-Man at the gym.. WOW!! but they can't and don't have the balls and mental conditioning to run a sub 7 minute mile. Pathetic.
That might be the most ignorant statement I've ever seen.


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April 10, 2007, 08:46 AM

everyone's goal is different at the gym.


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April 10, 2007, 09:21 AM

I can only tell you what works for me.

I have 3 seperate workouts: chest, arms, legs. Each of my workouts includes other "sub-categories" like stomach, traps, cardio, etc. I workout everyday, rotating between these workouts so each muscle group gets a couple days rest between workouts.

If you're just starting-out, I'd go light your first week - you're going to be "the bad sore" when you start - not "the good sore". Just do a few light sets of flat bench, curls, and squats. Then I'd probably wait until your soreness goes away before returning.

If you're trying to gain muscle mass / weight / size - you're looking to lift heavy, low reps. Generally, most people "pyramid" up to a weight they can lift about 5 times (starting-out light, adding some weight, adding more...)

Also, a good diet and good sleep will effect how well you progress at the gym.

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April 10, 2007, 09:23 AM

Splits work if you're already built up, but for starting it's probably not the best idea.


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April 10, 2007, 09:30 AM

I was a personal trainer for over 5 years and professional swim instructor for over 11.

Your build is light, frankly you're never going to really see major muscle mass unless you enlist in a protein diet, and weight lifting regime. You probably have a pretty fast metabolism too...

What you need to do:

-if you're actually serious about this, is GO TO GOLDS GYM!!! and set up a time to work out with a trainer. He's going to set you up with a training schedule to match your desired results.
-Go to GNC, there are some very good people there, they can help you start eating foods that will increase muscle mass

My .02:
If you cut and past bullshit from the interweb like it's the 67th book of the bible you don't know what you're talking about. Everyone's body builds muscle and loses weight in different ways. Proteins build muscle, but just eating protein wont improve your blood flow to flush out lactic acid that tears your muscles up, and brings in nutrients to repair them (make them bigger). There is a lot more to getting big, and having someone who knows what to look for instruct you, is the best plan.

Go see a real personal trainer... trying to create your own workouts doesn't work.


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April 10, 2007, 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixrben
-if you're actually serious about this, is GO TO GOLDS GYM!!! and set up a time to work out with a trainer. He's going to set you up with a training schedule to match your desired results.
-Go to GNC, there are some very good people there, they can help you start eating foods that will increase muscle mass
Most of the trainers at Gold's are only AFPA certified and don't really know what the fuck they're talking about. Most of them, especially at Tyson's, will tell you this if you talk to them.

The gym's in Herndon don't even use Gold's trainers. It's out-sourced through a third party company. My ex-gf (the one you met Ben) worked for them. The only pre-requisite for being a PC @ gold's is to have some sort of formal certifications
EG:
AFPA
NFPT
Nesta
AFAA
IFPA


As for eating for mass, Dr. John Berardi put out what's considered to be one of the best guidelines:

Massive Eating ó Your Guide To Packing On Muscle Mass
Part 1 ó Calorie Needs
By John M Berardi

Pop Quiz, Hotshot
Pretend you're back in high school and mean ol' Mr. Berardi has just passed out a pop quiz. Luckily, there's only one question:
Which of the following statements is true?
  • A) Most people succeed in training well enough to grow, but they fail in eating well enough to grow.
    B) Most people eat well enough to grow, but they don't train well enough to grow.
Pencils down. Okay, which is it? If you said "A," give yourself a gold star. But don't feel too badly if you chose "B." To an extent, both answers are correct. Most people probably train and eat incorrectly! But if I had to pick one answer that was more true than the other, I'd say "A" would be the best choice. If you're not growing, it's probably your diet, not your training, that's holding you back.
With this article I'm throwing down the gauntlet. This is your wake up call if you've ever made any of the following statements:
  • "I eat a lot of food. In fact, it feels like I'm eating all day! But I just can't get any bigger."
    "I can't gain a pound of muscle. My parents are both skinny, so it must be genetic."
    "I've always had a fast metabolism. That's why I can stay lean but can't get any bigger."
    "I'm scared to go on a bulking diet because I don't want to lose my abs."
    "I've tried mass-building diets before and put on a little muscle, but most of the weight I gained was fat."
Sound familiar? Then this article is for you, toothpick legs.

What You're Doing Wrong
Now you may be asking, "If I'm not eating well enough to grow, Mr. Smartypants, what am I doing wrong?" In my opinion, there are three major things that most people do incorrectly when trying to gain muscle mass:
  • 1) They don't understand energy balance (calories in vs. calories out).
    2) They don't eat the right foods at the right times (poor meal combinations).
    3) They don't learn their physiological responses to nutrients (insulin sensitivity, carb, and fat tolerance).
Below (and in Part II) I'll describe practical ways to fine tune all three. By the end of this series, you should know how much food you need to grow, what combinations of foods you should eat and when you should eat them, and how to figure out your own personal, individualized macronutrient needs.

Energy Balance: You might be surprised!
So what is energy balance? Here's the simple equation:
Energy Balance = Energy Intake - Energy Expenditure
Energy intake is made up of what you eat and drink. Energy expenditure is made up of several factors including resting metabolic rate (RMR), calorie cost of activity, thermic effect of food (TEF), and adaptive thermogenesis (the X factor). The balance of intake and expenditure is an important factor in weight gain or loss. If you have a positive energy balance (intake exceeds expenditure), you gain weight. A negative energy balance (intake is less than expenditure) dictates that you'll lose weight. Simple enough.
Remember, however, that energy balance is only one factor in getting massive (or getting lean for that matter). And although it's the most basic and simplest part of understanding your needs for growth, ironically, most people totally screw it up! So let me be your metabolic guide. Below I'll provide some practical ways to navigate through the harsh jungle of energy balance equations so that you'll emerge ready to tackle the challenge of muscle growth. Pick up your pencils again, class. Better yet, grab a calculator!

Step #1: Resting Metabolic Rate
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the energy it costs the body to basically keep alive. This doesn't include the costs of getting your butt out of bed and moving around; those numbers are calculated in later. Although you might not guess it, about 50 to 70 percent of your entire day's calorie expenditure is a result of the RMR. So, let's figure out your RMR right now.

Determining RMR:
To start off with, you need to take your body weight in pounds and convert it to kilograms. (International readers, please bear with us silly non-metric Americans for a moment.) This is a simple conversion. Just divide your body weight by 2.2.
Next you take your percent of fat and multiply it by your body weight (which is now in kilograms). This will give you your fat mass (FM) in kilograms. Next simply subtract this number from your total weight in kilograms and you'll have your fat free mass (FFM) in kilograms.
Before we go on, why don't we try this out on me. Since I'm an athlete with a body weight of 200lbs at 5% body fat, I'd take my total body mass and divide it by 2.2:
Total body mass in kilograms = 200lbs / 2.2 = 91 kg
Next I'd multiply this kilogram number (91 kg) by my percent of body fat. Remember, percents are really decimals so 5% equals 0.05, 12% bodyfat will be .12 etc.
Fat Mass = 91kg x 0.05 = 4.55kg FM
Next I subtract this fat mass number (4.55 kg) from my total body mass (91kg):
Fat Free Mass = 91kg - 4.55kg = 86.45kg
Therefore my fat free mass is 86.45 kilograms. From that I can determine my RMR. The formula for RMR is as follows:
Resting Metabolic Rate for Athletes (in calories per day) = 500 + 22 x fat free mass (in kilograms).
Again, for me, I'd multiply 22 times my fat free mass and add 500 to that number as shown below:
RMR= 22 x 86.45 + 500 = 2402
Therefore my resting metabolic rate is about 2400 calories per day. Everyone have their RMR figured out? Good, let's move on.

Step #2: Cost of Activity
The Cost of Activity represents how many calories are required to move your butt around during the day. This includes the cost of walking out to your car, scraping the ice off the damn thing, driving to work, pinching the secretary's ass, going to lunch with the boys, and of course, training after work. These factors make up about 20 to 40% of your daily caloric intake based on your activity level. So let's figure out your costs of activity. I'll use myself as an example again.

Determining Activity Costs:
Cost of Daily Activity is equal to the RMR you calculated above multiplied by an activity factor that fits your daily routine. I've listed some common activity factors below:
Activity Factors:
  • 1.2-1.3 for Very Light (bed rest)
    1.5-1.6 for Light (office work/watching TV)
    1.6-1.7 for Moderate (some activity during day)
    1.9-2.1 for Heavy (labor type work)
Note: Don't consider your daily workout when choosing a number. We'll do that later.
With this information we can get back to determining my calorie needs. Since I work at a university, most of my day is pretty sedentary. Even though I run back and forth between the lab and classes, I've selected 1.6 as my activity factor. Therefore the amount of calories it takes to breathe and move around during the day is about 3800 calories as shown below:
RMR x Activity Factor = 2400 calories x 1.6 = 3800 calories

Costs of Exercise Activity:
Next, we need to determine how many calories your exercise activity burns so that we can factor this into the totals. Exercise activity can be calculated simply by multiplying your total body mass in kilograms (as calculated above) by the duration of your exercise (in hours). Then you'd multiply that number by the MET value of exercise as listed below. (MET or metabolic equivalent, is simply a way of expressing the rate of energy expenditure from a given physical activity.)
MET values for common activities:
  • high impact aerobics? 7
    low impact aerobics? 5
    high intensity cycling? 12
    low intensity cycling? 3
    high intensity walking - 6.5
    low intensity walking - 2.5
    high intensity running? 18
    low intensity running? 7
    circuit-type training? 8
    intense free weight lifting? 6
    moderate machine training? 3
So here's the formula:
Cost of Exercise Activity = Body Mass (in kg) x Duration (in hours) x MET value
And here's how I calculate it for myself:
Exercise Expenditure for weights = 6 METS X 91kg x 1.5 hours = 819 calories
Exercise Expenditure for cardio = 3 METS X 91 kg x .5 hours = 137 calories
Add these two together and I burn 956 total calories during one of my training sessions.
Since my training includes about 90 minutes of intense free weight training and 30 minutes of low intensity bicycling (four times per week), my exercise energy expenditure might be as high as 1000 calories per training day!
The next step is to add this exercise number to the number you generated when multiplying your RMR by your activity factor (3800 calories per day in my case).
So 3800 calories + about 1000 calories = a whopping 4800 calories per day! And we're not done yet! (Note: I rounded 956 up to 1000 for the sake of simplicity. If you're a thin guy trying to gain muscle, it's better to round up anyway than to round down.)

Step #3: Thermic Effect of Food
TEF is the amount of calories that it takes your body to digest, absorb, and metabolize your ingested food intake. This makes up about 5 to 15% of your total daily calorie expenditure. Since the metabolic rate is elevated via this mechanism 10 to 15% for one to four hours after a meal, the more meals you eat per day, the faster your metabolic rate will be. This is a good thing, though. It's far better to keep the metabolism high and eat above that level, than to allow the metabolism to slow down by eating infrequently. Protein tends to increase TEF to a rate double that of carbs and almost triple that of fats so that's one of the reasons why I'm a big fan of protein meals.

Determining the Thermic Effect of Food:
To determine the TEF, you need to multiply your original RMR value (2400 in my case) by 0.10 for a moderate protein diet or 0.15 for a high protein diet. So this is what the formula looks like:
TEF = RMR x 0.10 for moderate protein diet (1 gram per pound of bodyweight)
TEF = RMR x 0.15 for high protein diet (more than 1 gram per pound of bodyweight)
Since I eat a very high protein diet (about 350 to 400 grams per day), I use the 0.15 factor and my TEF is about 360 calories per day as displayed by the calculation below:
Thermic Effect of Food = 2400 calories x 0.15 = 360 calories per day
Now add that to your calorie total.

Step #4: Adaptive Thermogenesis
I like to call Adaptive Thermogenesis the "X factor" because we just aren't sure how much it can contribute to daily caloric needs. Some have predicted that it can either increase daily needs by 10% or even decrease daily needs by 10%. Because it's still a mystery, we typically don't factor it into the equation.
Just for interest's sake, one factor included in the "X factor" is unconscious or spontaneous activity. Some people, when overfed, get hyper and increase their spontaneous activity and even have been known to be "fidgety." Others just get sleepy when overfed ó obviously the fidgeters will be burning more calories that the sleepy ones.
Other factors include hormone responses to feeding, training, and drugs, hormone sensitivity (insulin, thyroid, etc), stress (dramatically increases metabolic rate) or temperature induced metabolic changes (cold weather induces increased metabolic activity and heat production).
With all that said, you don't need to do any math on this part or fiddle with your calorie total. This is just something to keep in mind.

Step #5: Putting it all together
Okay, so how many damn calories do you need to consume each and every day? Well, adding up RMR plus activity factor (3800 calories in my case), cost of weight training (819 calories), cost of cardio (137 calories), and TEF (360 calories), we get a grand total of about 5116 calories! (Remember, that's just my total. You'll get a different number.)
Now that's a lot of food! And I must eat this each and every day when I want to gain weight. Are you surprised at how many calories I need? Most people are. So the next time you complain that you're "eating all day and can't gain a pound" you'd better realistically evaluate how much you're really eating. If you're not gaining a pound, then you're falling short on calories.

The Secret is in the Surplus!
So at this point, the keen T-mag readers that aren't afraid of massive eating might ask the question, "Since this is technically just your maintenance level, how can you get bigger by eating this amount? Wouldn't you need more?" The answer is simple. Since I train only four days per week this diet would meet my needs on those four days. But on my three off days per week I'd be in positive calorie balance by about 1,000 calories per day! (That extra thousand calories isn't being used when training, in other words.) This adds up to a surplus of 3,000 calories per week. And this is where the growth happens!
I especially like this "staggered model" because rather than trying to stagger your calorie intake on a daily basis by eating different amounts of food on different days, I let my training cycle my calories for me. This way I can eat the same thing every day while preventing my body from adapting to that habitual level of intake. Just like we vary our training to prevent adaptation, prevention of dietary adaptation is one of the secrets to changing your body composition.
At this point, I want to stop and give you a week to think about your energy needs. Go do the math if you haven't already, figure out how many calories you need, and take some time to compose yourself. After you've realized that you've been grossly under-eating, start thinking about ways to add calories to your diet. In the next installment we'll discuss how to design an eating program that's individualized for your own needs. We'll also get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about what kinds of foods you should and shouldn't be eating. I'll meet you back here next week!

John M Berardi is a scientist and PhD candidate in the area of Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He also serves as a nutrition and training consultant to numerous athletes including US Olympic and NCAA track and field athletes, world-class endurance athletes, collegiate and professional football players, strength competitors, and bodybuilders. You can contact him for professional consultation at JMBMUSCLE@hotmail.com.


Massive Eating ó Part II
Meal Combinations and Individual Differences
By John M Berardi

Now that I know how much to eat, what's next?
Eating to get massive is a juggling act between three important concepts. As I stated in Part I, energy balance is only one. In focusing only on energy balance, individuals are ignoring the acute effects of eating on hormones, metabolism, and energy storage. So someone who argues that calorie balance is the only determinant in changing body composition is making the situation too simplistic.
One of the goals of eating to grow should be to maximize the muscle gain to fat gain ratio. Basically you want to pack on the most muscle with the least amount of fat gain. To do this you need to understand which meal combos to pursue and which to avoid. The foundations of my recommendations in this area are based on the avoidance of a nasty scenario. The worst case scenario for someone trying to pack on muscle while minimizing fat gain is to have high blood levels of carbs, fat, and insulin at the same time.
This is nasty because chronic elevation of insulin can increase the rate of transport of fats and carbs into fat cells. Although initially insulin shuttles nutrients into muscle cells, chronic insulin elevation will cause the muscles to become insulin resistant and refuse to take up nutrients. The adipose tissues, however, are greedy little pieces of cellular machinery and continue to take up nutrients at a rapid rate. So if you always have high levels of blood fats and carbs in the presence of insulin (the kind your body makes, not the kind that comes in a syringe), your muscles will slow their uptake of nutrients and all that fat and carbs will feed the fat cells. Can you say Shamu?
Before you make a rash decision and try to eliminate insulin, I've got to let you know that insulin is very anabolic. It's responsible for carb and amino acid delivery to the muscles for recovery and growth. So you need insulin, but you need to control it. And when you eat to promote insulin surges, you've got to be sure that you have the ideal profile of macronutrients in your blood to ensure that this insulin surge leads to muscle gain and not fat gain. This is where meal combinations come into play.
Let's start with some meal combinations to avoid.

Avoid meals containing fats and carbs
Unfortunately, this is the typical meal of the Western diet. As a result, it's no wonder that obesity is an epidemic. Meals with a high carbohydrate content in combination with high-fat meals can actually promote a synergistic insulin release when compared to the two alone. High fat with high-carb meals represent the worst possible case scenario.
Now, some people have argued that fat lowers the glycemic index of foods and should therefore be included in carb meals. But remember, the glycemic index only gives a measure of glucose response to a meal, not insulin response. And sometimes the glucose responses to a meal and the insulin responses to a meal aren't well correlated. So although you might be slowing the rate of glucose absorption into the blood by adding fat to your meals, you'll promote high blood levels of fats, carbs, and insulin. And that's a no-no!

Avoid meals high in carbs alone
Ironically, since the liver converts excess carbohydrates into fats, a very high carbohydrate meal can actually lead to a blood profile that looks like you just ate a high carb and high-fat meal! That's why high-carb diets don't work any better than ones rich in fats and carbs. High carb meals easily promote high blood levels of fats, carbs, and insulin, too.
Okay, so now that we know which meal combinations are evil. Let's be proactive and talk about what meal combinations to concentrate on.

Eat meals containing protein and carbs (with minimal fat)
It's well known in the research world that eating carbs and protein together also creates a synergistic insulin release (much like the fat and carb meals above). But in this scenario, that insulin release is just what we want. By having a few meals per day that cause high blood levels of insulin, carbs, and amino acids (as long you don't have chronic high blood levels of insulin all day long), the body tends to become very anabolic, taking up all those carbs and amino acids into the muscle cells for protein and glycogen synthesis. And since there's no excess fat for the fat cells, fat gain is minimized.
Obviously this combination is beneficial during the post-workout period, but in addition you might want one or two additional insulin spikes per day to promote anabolism during a mass phase. Again, as long as you aren't elevating insulin all day long, you won't become insulin resistant.
At this point some may argue that although this scenario might not promote fat gain, those high insulin levels will prevent fat breakdown (lipolysis). And they're completely correct! But you have to understand that most meals (unless they contain only certain types of protein) will elevate insulin levels to the point that lipolysis is prevented. So you can't escape that unless you eat a ketogenic diet with only specific types of low insulin releasing proteins. But since ketogenic diets don't put on muscle mass and there are all sorts of problems associated with them, I think they should be avoided. Since muscle gain is the goal, two or three meals per day of anabolism are necessary to get bigger and that means protein plus carbs with minimal to no fat.

Eat meals containing protein and fat (with minimal carbs)
Although it's desirable to eat some meals each day that release lots of insulin, upregulate protein synthesis, and fill up carb stores, it's advisable to avoid too many such meals. I discussed the reasons for this above (reduced insulin sensitivity and prevention of fat burning), but also, since we all know that essential fatty acids are so important to health and favorable body composition, eating protein and carb meals all day will prevent the ingestion of healthy fats. And that's no good.
In an attempt to balance out your two or three carb plus protein (minimal fat) meals each day, you should be eating an additional two to three meals consisting of protein and fat with minimal carbs. Taking in 30% of each major class of fatty acids (polyunsaturates, monounsaturates, saturates) is a good mass building tip when thinking about which fats to consume.
Taking a step back, the purpose of protein plus fat meals is to provide energy and amino acids without causing large, lipolysis-preventing insulin spikes. In addition, after fatty meals that contain no carbs, the body oxidizes less carbs (more carbs are stored and retained in the muscle as glycogen) and burns more fat for energy. So basically you'll be burning fat for energy and storing carbs in the muscle after such meals.
I hope that it's clear now that by properly combining meals, you can use the acute effects of food to your advantage. Eat protein plus fat during some meals and you may be burning fat during certain portions of the day. Eat protein plus carbs for some meals and you may be growing during other portions of the day. Although I know some will think this is blasphemy, this type of eating may actually help you get bigger while reducing your body fat during the same training phase.

Real Meals
Don't you hate it when you read a diet article only to find yourself asking, "So what exactly do I eat anyway?" Well, here are some examples of typical meals to consume when following this program:
  • Protein plus carb meals (minimal fat ó <5g)
    2 scoops of protein powder mixed in with 1 serving of oatmeal
    1 sliced banana
    1 cup of regular or lactose free skim milk
    1 serving Grow!
    1 can tuna fish
    1 cup of regular or lactose free skim milk
    2 pieces of whole grain bread
    Vegetables
    8 egg whites
    1 scoop of protein in 1 serving of oatmeal
    1 slice of whole grain bread
    1 piece of fat free cheese
    Vegetables
    2 cups of regular or lactose free skim milk
    1 scoop protein
    2 pieces of fruit
Here's a list of good carbs and protein for the protein plus carbohydrate meals:
  • Carbs: apples, oranges, oatmeal, all bran cereals, vegetables, mueslix, white pasta, flax bread, yams
    Protein: chicken, whey, casein, turkey, egg whites, skim milk, tuna, cottage cheese
    Protein plus fat meals (minimal carbs ó <10g)
    1 can salmon
    1 scoop protein powder in water
    Vegetables
    1 tablespoon of concentrated fish oils
    8-12 oz lean beef
    Fat free cheese
    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    Vegetables
    1 can tuna fish
    1 scoop protein powder
    Vegetables
    1 tablespoon of concentrated fish oils
    2 scoops protein powder in water
    1 tablespoon flax oil
Here's a list of good fats and proteins for the protein plus fat meals:
  • Fats: Concentrated fish oils (PUFA-omega 3), flaxseed oil (PUFA-omega 3 and 6), olive oil (MUFA), canola oil (MUFA and PUFA), fat from nuts (MUFA and PUFA), fat from beef and eggs, animal fat (SFA)
    Proteins: beef, salmon, whey, casein, turkey, whole eggs, pork
Individual Differences ó Are You Sensitive?
In the last section I recommended splitting six daily meals up into about three protein and carb meals and about three protein and fat meals. This plan works well for most people in terms of maximizing muscle gain while minimizing fat gain when overfeeding. However, just like different training programs are necessary for different individuals, individual responses to nutrition are varied. So rather than telling you that there's one program for all, I hope to give you some tips so that you can determine which eating plan is best for you.
The factors governing your response to different nutritional intakes are pretty diverse, but one major factor I've been focusing on lately is insulin and glucose tolerance. In my mind, insulin sensitivity seems to be the most important factor dictating how the body will handle carbs. For those who have high insulin sensitivity, the body responds to carb intake with small insulin surges. Although the insulin surges are small, the cells are very responsive to that little amount of insulin and do a great job of becoming anabolic. Since lots of insulin can inhibit fat loss, the ideal scenario is to become very insulin sensitive so that only small amounts of insulin are required for anabolism and so that those small amounts of insulin don't prevent fat loss.
In my experience, individuals who have high insulin sensitivity maximize their muscle to fat ratio on diets that are high in carbs and lower in fat (50% carbs, 35% protein, 15% fat). Those with moderate insulin sensitivity tend to do best on diets that are more isocaloric (30% carbs, 40% protein, 30% fat). And those with poor insulin sensitivity do best on diets that are low in carbs (50% protein, 35% fat, 15% carbs).
So within the framework of this article, if you're highly insulin sensitive, more than three of your daily meals would be carb plus protein meals. If your insulin sensitivity isn't so great, more than three of your meals will be protein plus fat.

Insulin Sensitivity ó I Want Your Blood
So the next question is how do you know if you're sensitive or not? Did you cry at the end of Titanic when Leonardo DiCaprio's character sank like a blue Freezer Pop into the North Atlantic? Well, there you go; you're sensitive. Me? I cried like a baby. Okay, okay, actually there are several methods.
The easiest thing to do is just think about what types of diets you respond to best. If low carb diets work great for you, then you're probably insulin insensitive. If you can eat a lot of carbs and not get fat then you're probably insulin sensitive. If you'd like something more concrete than that, read on.
Some experts use very simplistic recommendations for testing insulin sensitivity, methods I disagree with. For example, I've heard the statement that if you have an apple-shaped physique or if you get sleepy after a carb meal then you're insulin resistant (insensitive). In my opinion, these are way too non-specific and tell you very little about your nutrient needs or if you're making progress.
Instead, I prefer methods that, although more time consuming, are objective. The first is an oral glucose tolerance test. For this you need to go to your local pharmacy and purchase a glucometer, some glucose test strips, and a standard glucose beverage (ask your pharmacist about this because it has to be a specific kind. Pepsi won't work). Once you've got the goods, you'll plan your test.
After going at least 24 hours without exercise (do this test after a day off from training), you'll wake up in the morning (fasted at least 12 hours) and you'll take a blood sample from your finger tip. Write down this number. Then drink your glucose beverage and continue to take blood samples at 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. Record all the numbers at each time point. Here's a little chart of what you should expect:

Normal Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Tolerance
Excellent Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Tolerance
Fasted Blood Glucose
<100mg/dl
<70mg/dl
Peak Blood Glucose
<180mg/dl at peak
<130mg/dl
Time to Maximum Blood Glucose Level
30-60 minutes
15-30 minutes
Time Back to Fasted Glucose Level
30-60 minutes
60-90 minutes
The second test that I like to recommend for assessing insulin sensitivity is a fasted glucose and insulin test. For this you need to see your doctor. This test is simply a blood draw in the fasted state. It's easy to do. Just schedule an appointment, the nurse will do a single blood draw, and then the lab will measure the levels of insulin and glucose in your blood at this time. Using one of the following equations, you'll have both an insulin sensitivity score and a pancreatic responsiveness score:
  • Insulin Sensitivity =
    Fasted Insulin (mU/L) / 22.5 x E to the X e-ln(Fasted Glucose (mmol/L))
    or
    Fasted Insulin (pmol/L) x (Fasted Glucose (mmol/L) / 135)
    Pancreatic Beta Cell Function =
    (20 x Fasted Insulin (mU/L)) / (Fasted Glucose (mmol/L)-3.5)
    or
    (3.33 x Fasted Insulin (pmol/L) / (Fasted Glucose (mmol/L)-3.5)
If you're not a math whiz or don't own a calculator, have your doctor do the math for you. Remember, you have to go to his office to get the test done in the first place. Once you have these values, compare your numbers to the following to see how sensitive you are:
Insulin Sensitivity
  • Lower score = more sensitive
    Normal insulin sensitivity: score should be below 2
    Excellent insulin sensitivity: score will be around 0.5
Pancreatic Beta Cell Function
  • Higher = better pancreatic function and insulin release
    Normal pancreatic function: score should be about 100
    Excellent pancreatic function: score will be above 200
Once you've collected these measures, you'll have a better indication of what type of diet you need to consume. I recommend doing these tests at least once every few months to see how your diet and training is impacting your insulin sensitivity.

Let's Get Sensitive!
So let's assume that you've done the tests mentioned above and you weren't happy with the results. You're insulin insensitive and, dammit, you don't like it! Well, instead of resigning yourself to a flabby midsection for the remainder of your days there are some things you can do to increase insulin sensitivity.
Both aerobic and resistance training greatly increase insulin sensitivity through a variety of mechanisms. So include both in your program. I've seen tremendous increases in insulin sensitivity with three to four intense weight training sessions per week lasting 1 to 1.5 hours per session. These sessions should be coupled with at least three or four aerobic sessions lasting 30 minutes per session. To really target insulin sensitivity, you'd want to perform weight training and cardio separately.
In addition, supplements like omega 3 fatty acids, fish oils, alpha-lipoic acid, and chromium can increase insulin sensitivity. I typically recommend starting out with 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and concentrated fish oils containing a total of six to ten grams of DHA and EPA (the most active omega 3 fats in fish oils).
On the flip side, stimulants like ephedrine and caffeine can decrease insulin sensitivity due to their effects on metabolism. Furthermore, the low carb, high-fat diets that have become popular can also lead to decreased insulin sensitivity. That's why my trainees don't take stimulants or go on no-carb diets (unless they're dieting down for a show and then they'll do occasional no-carb diets every few months for a maximum of three weeks at a time).
So if your insulin sensitivity isn't ideal the first time you measure it, try the approaches I listed above. Then go back after a month or two and re-test. You'll see that the numbers look much better.

Individual Differences ó Experimentation
Even though the last section will help you better define where you stand with the insulin issue, probably the most productive way of determining which eating program is best for you is to experiment on yourself. So for eight weeks, I encourage you to follow a 50% carb, 25% protein, and 15% fat diet that exceeds your energy needs (as determined in Part I of this article). During this time, record your gains in terms of muscle mass and fat mass. This will give you a muscle:fat ratio.
Then go back to your normal eating for eight weeks. After those eight weeks, try a new diet of 30% carbs, 40% protein, and 30% fat for eight more weeks. Again record the muscle:fat ratio.
After these 24 weeks you should know which type of diet is more effective for your body type. I know it seems like quite a bit of time to devote to figuring out your eating needs, but assuming that you've been training for years or plan to be training for years to come, 24 weeks is only a small period of time. In addition, the results of your efforts will be applicable for the rest of your life.
Remember, however, that when constructing your eating plan you must realize that just because you're following a diet with 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 15% fat or a diet 30% carbs, 40% protein, and 30% fat, that doesn't mean that each meal is made up of these proportions. In fact, the meals should not all be of these proportions because this will mean undesirable blood levels of fat, carbs, and insulin. So using the techniques I taught you during the meal combination section, design a plan that has different proportions of macronutrients during different meal times but that achieves the optimal proportions of (40-30-30 or 50-25-15) by the end of the day.

Summary
Here's a quick and dirty summary of the Massive Eating plan:
  • 1) Read Part I and determine your daily caloric needs.
    2) Eat meals consisting of fat and protein together with very little carbs. Also eat protein and carbs together, but with very little fat in those meals. Don't eat carbs by themselves and don't eat carbs with fat.
    3) Determine your macronutrient ratios based on your level of insulin sensitivity. You can do this with the tests I explained or you can just try different diets consisting of different rations of protein, carbs and fat. If you're insulin insensitive you can do something about it by following my suggestions above.
Remember, if you aren't putting on muscle while following a good weight training program, then it's probably your diet that's to blame. With Massive Eating, your problem is solved, so no more excuses! If you ever find yourself making statements about your genetic limitations or your unreasonably fast metabolism, revisit these articles for a wake up call. "Limitations" can become challenges to work through or just weak excuses that keep you down.
Now, shouldn't you go get something to eat?

John M Berardi is a scientist and PhD candidate in the area of Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He also serves as a nutrition and training consultant to numerous athletes including US Olympic and NCAA track and field athletes, world-class endurance athletes, collegiate and professional football players, strength competitors, and bodybuilders. You can contact him for professional consultation at JMBMUSCLE@hotmail.com.


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April 10, 2007, 09:51 AM

I've known a lot of trainers, many from Golds, and many of them were very good, Golds actually holds a fairly high standard for mentoring. In any and every batch of proffessionals you will find people who don't know what they are doing... if that happens request another trainer.

Once again, Dvls, anyone pasting shit from the interweb, I'd take with a grain of salt.


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April 10, 2007, 10:01 AM

There's good trainers, granted. And you may even find one or two from Gold's.

If you're going to take Berardi's information by a grain of salt, I'd pretty much label you as ignorant (not meant to be insulting) in the dieting arena.

There's a few locals who are very recognized in the fields of personal fitness. Joel Marion for one. He'd probably be more than willing to sit down with you and help you develope a program for free or a nominal cost.

But save your $125 for 3 sessions and skip Gold's for training. Their facilities are usually really nice, but your money will be much better spent on Baker's Certified, formally educated trainers.


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Last edited by YaoMatt; April 10, 2007 at 10:05 AM..
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