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King of the Hopeless
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I thought I would put out some things that I learned over a lifetime of athletic ativity and endeavor to help those of you who may be interested in not wasting your valuable time.

High Reps Do Not Get You Ripped.

This one is perhaps the least understood most BS thing you constantly hear from trainers and other people at the gym. Well, guess what – its [email protected] for several reasons. In fact, quite the opposite, lifting heavy with fewer repetitions will tend to help you get lean faster than higher repititions. This is why. Briefly, everyone has a metabolic rate – the heat energy you need to use to function every day. Well, the more muscle you have, the more heat you use and therefore the higher your metabolic rate. Therefore, when you are sedentary – even sleeping, the more muscle mass you have, the more heat and thus calories (boy do I hate using that word) you will burn off. More muscle = equals higher metabolic rate = more energy usage all of the time (not just when working out) = leaner.

Cardio Doesn’t Make You Thin.

I friggin hate this one. Many people, especially women want to be thin, so they get on the treadmill or some other “cardio” machine and run or just plain run on the street. Running is cardiovascular training. This means that it trains the cardiovascular system. It is good for you – but it only burns extra energy while you are doing it – not all of the time like muscle does. Moreover, when taken to extremes, it tends to prevent muscle building and even erodes upper body strength. What do runners look like? Well mostly pretty sickly. Take a look at the best marathon runners – male and female. Do you really want to look like that? The body wants to economize its use of energy in performing tasks, so it rids itself of anything that doesn’t create this economy. So, if you want to train your heart and be a fast runner, then run your @ss off. But if you want to build a lean strong body that is capable of doing not just running but other things – gain muscle. In other words, lifting is going to change more for you than running.

All Women Should Weightlift / Everyone Should Squat

Basically, if you want to have an ass like a bowling ball and long lean powerful legs plus train the hell out of your cardiovascular system and increase your core strength like a madman – well then there is this thing called the squat rack hidden somewhere in your gym. Go. There. Now. Get a qualified individual to teach you how to back or front squat and go for it. I flat out guarantee that if you squat once per week for a year – your ass and I mean your ass – will look completely different. You will also have more core strength and be overall stronger – even on upper body exercises. Ladies, if you want to have the ass that a model has, squat. I personally know at least five 55 year old women with bodies like 25 year olds – heck, better than most 25 year olds. Want to know what they do in common? They all put the bar on their back and squat like maniacs. It works. It is also bloody unpleasant.

Don’t Train Like a Bodybuilder

I see tons of people, especially young men and women come into the gym and head for the machines. They do a ton of bodybuilding exercises and as a result some gain weight if they have a genetic tendency to gain muscle and are eating correctly and most don’t. If you want to get lean and strong and actually gain muscle then I suggest the following exercises should be made a core part of your workouts: Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press (Although I prefer the Incline Dumbell Press), Standing Military Press, Pull Ups, Push Ups, Bent Over Rows, Dips. Yep. That is pretty much it. I also prefer on the pressing movements to use Dumbells as it requires you to control the weight more and I feel that it gives me a more real world strength gain. Do this stuff for a year or more and then, do some triceps pressdowns. Heck, build a tricep before you do triceps pressdowns. Yes, I do curls – embarrassingly.

Crossfit / Bodyrock / PX90 Work

This stuff is all variations on HIIT training. Bodyrock is more geared for home fitness and women – it tends to focus more on fat burning and core strength then muscle building – but muscle building and strength is still a core part of the program. Crossfit and PX tend to be geared a bit more toward muscle building than fat burning – but they both get to the same place which is more muscle = less fat = higher metabolic rate. These programs are all worthwhile to incorporate with what you do.

Outside the Gym is Important

I can’t even begin to tell you how important sleeping and eating is. If you don’t get enough sleep you will start to go into sleep deficit and you start to get hurt more and deal with more injuries and lousy workouts. Get Sleep!!!

Food is important. However, I wouldn’t go nutso on the food thing. Just try to eat well. However this leads me to the next one:

The Food Pyramid SUCKS!!

You do not want to be eating the kind of carbs listed in the food pyramid or you will have an ass the size of a beach ball. Also, you want to stay away from the kind of processed breads, bagels, crackers that it recommends. Eat fewer carbs and if you do have to eat them make them ether vegetable carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates like pasta. Personally, if there are two things that I think everyone who wants to do something transformative with their bodies should do, it is stop eating so much bread and keep the alcohol to a minimum. I love cheesecake. When given the opportunity to eat a good cheesecake, I eat the thing and I don’t worry about it. I just don’t have a cheesecake food group – if you see what I mean. Mod-er-a-tion.

I promise I will come up with some more stuff and add it to this. Also, I have simplified things – it is more complicated than what I have written. For instance, there are tons of high reps in Crossfit and PX – but they are either part of metabolic training or a strength program – so there is a place for high reps in gaining strength, size and definition. However, this does not lessen the central point that you will get leaner doing big lifts with lower reps and watching what you eat.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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Discussion Starter #2
For anyone who missed it. This is me at 44 years old. I look this way now although perhaps slightly b***** in terms of the shoulders, chest and back.
 

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Nice write up, glad this confirmed a bunch of what I know and see it pays off.

But I do need to deadlift and squat more. And by more I mean, I don't do it at all. I need to get to a real gym though with real trainers who can teach me

And I need to do more cardio, and eat less Taco Bell.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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Cadence

Well Claude, what do you mean by cadence? What I mean is that in most weightlifting, cadence is everything. Cadence is how quickly and explosively you raise and lower the bar, dumbbell, yourself, what-ever. Cadence can take something that you are used to doing – read, movements your body has adapted to performing – and make it shiny and new. Remember, what you train for, you get. If you are training for explosive strength then train by moving the bar explosively out of the bottom of the squat, off of your chest, etc.

As an example of how changing cadence can affect a lift let us take one of my favorites, the standing military press. You could, for instance, using an Olympic bar, lift 95lbs over your head repeatedly in sets of 8, 7, 6, whatever number you choose. If you give yourself enough rest you could most likely bang out a ton of these. This particular method could help you increase strength primarily. Or, you could start with 95lbs and bang out as many SMP’s as you can and then put the bar down, wait 30 seconds and do as many as you can, wait 30 seconds and so on until you bottom out on the strength curve. Then dump off a ton of weight and do a max reps set with a light weight. This is more strength / endurance /metabolic work and could be a solid variation on the pure strength work you have done before. Making generalizations, in strength workouts you should not necessarily be going for failure until your final work set. In muscle building workouts going to failure more often and causing more muscle hypertrophy is applicable.

IMHO you need to try all of these things and cycle them through to get the best total results – focusing on one particular aspect you want to develop more than the others.

Intensity

It is funny, I get people who come up to me on a fairly regular basis and ask me how I work out. I tell them exactly what I do. But the major issue is that unless they are willing to grind it and put in the effort and unpleasantness, they could do what I do every day and not get the same results. You can not over-estimate the power of intensity and determination. When you walk out of the locker room onto the floor, the field, wherever you are, you must tell yourself that you are going to give it your best – otherwise it is for the most part, wasted effort.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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By the way, I am no expert. There are many people who know more about exercise in their little toe than I do in my whole body. I can't tell you what to do for you. I can only try to provide some food for thought and theory / suggestion - so that you can take it and make it yours or use and discard. The important thing is to think about what you want to accomplish and then gear what you do to that end. Most people come into a gym and get a trainer to help them a couple of times and give them a routine which is mostly machine based. They do this for a while and see no transformation. Transformation requires thought and emphasis.
 

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I do not think "cadence" clearly captures what you are searching to explain in that post.

typically it has to do with an even measure- a steady beat or flow.


And I don't fully agree with everything you are saying either actually. If you want to be explosive- then you train to be explosive- but not everyone WANTS to be explosive.

You want to look like an athlete? you train like an athlete
You want to look like a body builder- you train like a body builder
Just want to lose weight- you don't train like EITHER of those.

I also do not agree that body rock is geared for women- I think it's got a large following of women- but there are a ton of men on there as well. but the results work equally well for men and women. but maybe I'm just bias and I don't think workouts are "girl" workouts or "guy" workouts- I thik end results vary from person to person and whatever your desired goal is will dictate what path you chose to take on getting to that point.

I also do not agree or am seriously misreading your first comment about lifting: high reps DO get you lean and toned- maybe not RIPPED but you will have muscle. I realize muscle is consumes and is active even at rest- whereas fat just sits there and is... well fat. But not everyone wants to be jacked. Many people don't even want to get "ripped"- the bulk of America wants to lose fat and fit in their favorite clothes and or take their shirt off at the beach without being embarrassed. And please don't say women lifting heavy won't get big... because they can. There is a balance.

And I have NEVER seen any thing scientific to dispute high reps = toned and lean cut muscle vs heavy weight = jacked, ripped and big muscles.

you want to be cut lift light and high reps
you want to be big- lift heavy and low reps

The only hard cold fact you posted is that muscle burns more energy than fat does. But lifting heavy doesn't mean anything if you aren't doing a balanced whole body workout. (How many guys walk around the gym with beer buts and ripped arms??? LOTS)


I one hundred bajillion percent agree with intensity. You will get no where with a. no plan and b. no intensity.

Doing SOMETHING is better than doing NOTHING when you feel down and out (we have discussed this previously) but when you are training... you should be prepared to gut it out. (boyfriend's sister I took- complaining about sweating?.... :dafuk why are you here if you aren't embracing the suck- the pain the sweat! It's good- just DO IT!!! I love how I feel after all the burn and pain and sucking wind has subsided!)


I digress- squats- yes- completely agree with squats (Or people who lack doing them) guys NEVER do them- hysterically the walk around with their mirror muscles and little tiny chicken legs. its ridiculous.

I had a guy ask me at work one time "um... do you do squats"

um... why yes I do- I do a lot them.

and a lot of push ups. and a lot of sit ups... and a lot of everything. it's part of working out" jackass.


squats ,lunges, stairs, tuck jumps, squat jumps, squat/star jumping jacks, pendulums and speed skaters. all good things
 

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I don't do squats, but my legs are where I'm most intense. I wish I had the results in my upper body that I have in my lower. I have chicken legs for arms, not for legs :p
 

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I'll definitely be adding squats more routinely each week.

Great thread, thanks for all the info.

I agree with a lot of points you made, like Cardio doesn't necessarily make you slim, and a lot of reps doesn't necessarily make you ripped. Fat burn/high intensity is probably better, and multiple sets of 8-12 reps of varying weight .
 

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Squats are fun.... I really enjoy them.

But that's just me. I could squat 500 in high school pretty easily.... and I only weighed about 140 pounds.

But my legs are absolutely monstrous for some reason. Always been like that. I tend not to do weights with them much, because they just keep getting b*****. I had to buy all new pants in college because my quads got so big that the pant legs wouldn't get over them....


But yeah- good info, claude. Like Jo said- I don't necessarily agree with it all, but I get what you're trying to say. In general, it's good advice. But the trick is to find out what works good for you as an individual... certain body types respond to certain things better than others.

I have no trouble getting in shape when I actually get out of the house and TRY. It's just getting out of the house that is trouble. And not being injured... that's the other trick...
 

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Lol I feel your pain on the legs.
Finding pants that fit that can fit over my les and not fall off my waist are practically impossible. I have a lot of pants that gap at the waist and I have a huge selection of belts lol.

Damn legs and butt!



In retrospect. I think the issue at hand with finding what works for you and identifing tit goals is to acknowlede that there are three types of muscles and each individual person does not have the same amount of each type of muscle fiber.

Which means, as you Kevin also noted, the persons body reacts differently to the training.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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Discussion Starter #12
There are a ton of empirical studies that demonstrate that muscle building leads to a leaner physique. I-Jo you do understand what I am saying although you disagree with it. I guarantee you that if you watch what you eat, sleep well and lift heavy, you will get more lean than doing high reps.

My advice is take a look at the people that do crossfit football and see what they look like.

Also, I should not have said that Bodyrock is geared toward women. However, bodyrock does not concentrate on major olympic and powerlifting lifts in the same way that Crossfit does.

Go onto the Crossfit website or watch the crossfit games and look at how lean and strong those people are. They are lifting heavy as a large component of their workout programming. Promise.

There is a place for high repetition training - it can effectively help you build muscle.

The post is more to demonstrate that what most people think in the gym is a bunch of unsupportable BS. For instance, I would bet that most people running on treadmills in gyms think that the running / "cardio" they are doing is keeping them thin.

I would do this. Do an internet search for the pictures of Olympic Athletes and ESPN's sports figures and look at their bodies. You will see that the runners and triathletes in general are not very healthy looking although some of them are lean. Then look at the gymnasts, football players, basketball players, swimmers, etc.

I think you are mistaken that high repetitions cause leanness. Energy usage and diet causes leanness. The effectiveness of HIIT over something like running is because it promotes muscle hypertrophy / growth.

You are not supposed to agree with me. You have to find your own path. However, I can say that I am now 45. I am very lean and can easily do at minimum 1.5x bodyweight up to 2.0x+ bodyweight on most major lifts and I do not do much in the way of high repetitions unless I am doing an HIIT type or metabolic type workout. The fundamental basis of my workout is strength development. I am sure that many of you are perhaps stronger than me and leaner. But I am 45 and can do this stuff.

I promise that if you lift legs and squat and deadlift to capacity, you will be as physically wrung out as if you had done an HIIT workout and you will have more resulting long term fat loss / increased leanness.

Also, I wish I could squat 500lbs. Was that to level or below (meaning knee joint and hip joint paralell to the ground or lower)? If so, that is bloody impressive. I don't know too many guys that can do that with decent form.
 

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500 pounds all the way until my quads and calves almost touch. And then back up. Record was 7 reps, I think.


I was in absolutely insane shape in high school, though. And I tore my meniscus in my left knee in college. It's strong enough to do a lot of things, but I don't think I'll ever be trying to put that much weight up again, lol....

But yeah- most of my goals with working out involve getting better at the sports and hobbies that I play. I don't care much about being strong. I do a lot of cardio because I need more cardio endurance.... I do lose weight when I do it every day, but only because normally I don't do anything else- something is better than nothing.

I need to get back to lifting, though. It makes a huge difference. But mostly just upper body/core stuff. I do a lot of plyo work with my legs already and like I said- they don't need to be any b*****.
 

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I don't care about major lifts. Or how much weight I can throw around. That's my point.

And I didn't disagree with you about the running/lean. Your body once it reaches a certain stage can run indefinitly but muscle development stops.... Your body is conditioned to be strong enough to run and that is it.


And I think its wonderful you are your age and still in shape. My dad almost exclusively does not do gym work... and he looks better than you. And he is in his 60s. He does no major power lifts.... At all. He does interval training with mostly body weight and running... And shooting (so breath control issues )

You absolutely will not convince me that major lifting is more effective ... Equally effective sure but I do not think it is is overwhelmingly inheritly better.

Also that is the beauty of HIIT or bodyrock... More intense? More weight but still max effort for 50 seconds.... But less reps by the nature of the beast. Less intense ...or injuries? Little to no weight... And if you are healthy you will have higher reps.


It's flexible and easily scale-able for your goals.

I didn't say high reps = leanness. It causes LEAN MUSCLE. So you become more defined.
Low reps heavy weight causes bulk.

Combing good health cardio and proper weight training causes "lean cut bodies". Not solely one thing like running or high rep lifting only.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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Discussion Starter #15
Let me guess about your dad. He has either been an athlete when he was young and has stayed in shape his whole life, or he has had what I call the "death event." That is the health scare that finally motivates someone to take care of themselves or stop smoking, etc. There is a third catagory which involves health for professional reasons - read military, life saving or law enforcement. Also, I would venture to say that he eats well (meaning healthy).

My point in all this is that at some point, your father developed muscle mass through weight training. This proves the foundation for his current health. Also genetic predisposition - which I do not have in spades. I got screwed royally in the genetic lottery.

Believe me, when I am 60, I don't plan on lifting heavy either. And good on him.

I am not trying to convince you of anything by the way. I don't know you, but from what I read you are the self-examining, self improving type. Also fairly inner directed with some minor self-esteem issues which you fight - but don't we all. I put this stuff up not to tell people what to do, but to make them question dogma and think about what they are doing and how best they can explore themselves to make better more thoughtful choices.

I would never presume to tell anyone what to do. Think of me as Socrates, which is not too far off a comparison. Socrates was a bad ass big time. People always think of him as an old guy in a white toga. Not. Took his spot in the line with everyone else.
 

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King of the Hopeless
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Also Damn Kevin, 500lbs in a powerlifting squat at 140lbs? You realize that this would have put you in the top ten in the world for the 66kg class in 2011? The number one guy in that class Gladkikh Sergey squatted over 600lbs or 307.5Kg. If your totals were anything like that in the rest of the lifts, which for the IPF is Squat, Dead, Bench that is bloody impressive. I am happy to squat half of that - and I go to horizontal not below because of my knees. I want to keep em the way they are.
 

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Also Damn Kevin, 500lbs in a powerlifting squat at 140lbs? You realize that this would have put you in the top ten in the world for the 66kg class in 2011? The number one guy in that class Gladkikh Sergey squatted over 600lbs or 307.5Kg. If your totals were anything like that in the rest of the lifts, which for the IPF is Squat, Dead, Bench that is bloody impressive. I am happy to squat half of that - and I go to horizontal not below because of my knees. I want to keep em the way they are.
I might have been heavier than 140 at that point.... but I was 140 when I got out of high school. I didn't work out much senior year and didn't play any sports, either, so I lost a lot of muscle weight. I was probably closer to 165 or so, now that I think about it.

But no- I could only bench around 175, and never deadlifted very much. My upper body is VERY small.... I have a 37.5" chest and had a 28" waist in high school.... but have always had gigantic legs. It's a little strange.

My best days were definitely back in high school, though. I was in killer shape. Now I'm just a shape. And not a very pretty one.... They clocked me in at 208 when I was at the hospital last week getting my shoulder popped back in. That is really depressing....
 

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King of the Hopeless
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Discussion Starter #19
Apparently no one does any exercise in July.

Situps Won't Give You "Abs"

What I mean by this is that unless you work on your diet, you aint going to be seeing anything. In order for your abdominal musculature to show, you need to get the body fat down typically below 10-12% for men and slightly higher for women. Moreover, it is my firm belief that one of the most useless exercises in the gym is sit ups. In point of fact, I have not done sit ups in over ten years. Once I realized that I could get a better abdominal workout doing other things - I never looked back. It is my belief (YMMV) that you strengthen your abdominal muscles by doing functional strength building moves intertwined with the use of planks. I would suggest the following exercises: Deadlift, Romanian or Straight Legged Deadlifts, Standing Military Press, Planks, Rollouts. I believe that these exercises will in the short and long run, when combined with the loss of bodyfat, get you to where you want to be. Let me very simplistically explain. Doing a crunch or sit up stresses the abdominal muscles - but it basically does the same thing every time. Unless you combine the work with added stress, by using either weight or some other form of increased resistance, you are basically doing something along the lines of a curl - with the same weight every time and every moment you do the exercise. You are also not stressing the entire abdominal girdle, which includes the lower back. If you make only one side of the musculature strong, the weaker side acts like a limiting reagent - as the weakest part of the musculoskeletal chain prevents you from bench pressing or deadlifting more. The exercises I have mentioned above hit everything and force the abdominal wall to maintain stability in an ever increasing manner as those muscles act as a primary / accessory muscle stabilizing force for all of the above lifts and the planks. It is my strong belief that your abdominal wall will increase in strength as the load increases - in a way that will not really occur with sit ups, unless a machine or plate is used. I think these other exercises also develop functional abdominal strength that provides true protection to the lower back in a manner that the single vector of the sit up or crunch does not.

Obviously, this is my opinion and there are people who love crunches, sit ups, sit up machines, you name it. If you like it, that is ok. However, I would suggest stepping out of the dogma and giving what I am suggesting a try.

Regards.
 

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Apparently no one does any exercise in July.

Situps Won't Give You "Abs"

What I mean by this is that unless you work on your diet, you aint going to be seeing anything. In order for your abdominal musculature to show, you need to get the body fat down typically below 10-12% for men and slightly higher for women. Moreover, it is my firm belief that one of the most useless exercises in the gym is sit ups. In point of fact, I have not done sit ups in over ten years. Once I realized that I could get a better abdominal workout doing other things - I never looked back. It is my belief (YMMV) that you strengthen your abdominal muscles by doing functional strength building moves intertwined with the use of planks. I would suggest the following exercises: Deadlift, Romanian or Straight Legged Deadlifts, Standing Military Press, Planks, Rollouts. I believe that these exercises will in the short and long run, when combined with the loss of bodyfat, get you to where you want to be. Let me very simplistically explain. Doing a crunch or sit up stresses the abdominal muscles - but it basically does the same thing every time. Unless you combine the work with added stress, by using either weight or some other form of increased resistance, you are basically doing something along the lines of a curl - with the same weight every time and every moment you do the exercise. You are also not stressing the entire abdominal girdle, which includes the lower back. If you make only one side of the musculature strong, the weaker side acts like a limiting reagent - as the weakest part of the musculoskeletal chain prevents you from bench pressing or deadlifting more. The exercises I have mentioned above hit everything and force the abdominal wall to maintain stability in an ever increasing manner as those muscles act as a primary / accessory muscle stabilizing force for all of the above lifts and the planks. It is my strong belief that your abdominal wall will increase in strength as the load increases - in a way that will not really occur with sit ups, unless a machine or plate is used. I think these other exercises also develop functional abdominal strength that provides true protection to the lower back in a manner that the single vector of the sit up or crunch does not.

Obviously, this is my opinion and there are people who love crunches, sit ups, sit up machines, you name it. If you like it, that is ok. However, I would suggest stepping out of the dogma and giving what I am suggesting a try.

Regards.
What would you suggest for someone that doesn't have access to weights or a gym at the moment? Right now situps, pushups, and running are my workout, with the occasional hike and road bike run every couple weeks. I have noticed my upper body getting stronger and gaining some definition, but my abs still look like crap and what you're saying does make some sense to me, but I'm 6'1 @ 171 lbs so really not a whole lot of body fat. Just chubby in the tummy and I can't seem to make a dent in it.
 
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