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  1. #136
    House of Wax's Avatar
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Most underrated diet plan ever: The Flu. Down about 8 pounds in the last 5 days. Keep this up and I`ll be at my goal weight in no time

  2. #137

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by House of Wax View Post
    Most underrated diet plan ever: The Flu. Down about 8 pounds in the last 5 days. Keep this up and I`ll be at my goal weight in no time
    Was wondering about your progress with SS. Sorry to hear about the flu.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  3. #138
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Was making some good progress and feeling good up until this past couple weeks. The week before last I had commitments after work and never found time, and then last week I dealt with the flu. Looking forward to hopefully getting back going tomorrow night, although after this past week and missing two, it`s probably gonna be a rough workout lol

  4. #139

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Thought I may as well jump in on this- saw the first posts about 5x5 strong lifts and wanted to ask-
    How many exercises are you doing in one session?

    I`m doing basically 3 sets of 6-7 reps on 2 exercises- usually bench and deadlifts.

    Skinny ``````` here- an extreme ectomorph. But doing heavy lifts of major muscles groups and getting my protein up has helped me gain 10 pounds. Just trying to get over the next thump.

  5. #140

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    House of Wax- Aw gee, hope you`re back to normal soon. Having all that time off might be educational- see which lifts do *NOT* suffer from all the downtime. I never realized how overtrained I was until circumstances make me cut back drastically.

    Remember that you`re losing a lot of water while sick, so do the "deliberate hydration" thing.

    craigdt- I too am (was?) an extreme ectomorph/hardgainer; at age 25 I weighed 125 despite having lifted for a good while, not much for a guy who`s 5`9". (FWIW, at age 57 I`m at least as lean but weigh ~170.)

    The point of all that was to show that you and I aren`t all *that* disimilar in some regards.

    For *decades* I followed the Conventional Wisdom with regard to what I should do...from exercises to reps to frequency. I did OK but could`ve done better.

    These days I do *MUCH* less per session. Rather than the routines that do indeed make perfect (theoretical) sense, I do much better by doing less each time and emphasizing recovery. I focus on intensity and feeling the muscles work. I hit every muscle to failure, even the "ones that don`t matter".

    I`m now 100% satisfied with my results.

    NOTE: maybe my age factors in a lot, IMO it definitely does regarding recovery but probably does *not* regarding sufficient stimuli for improvement.

    Sets- after warming up (briefly) I *NEVER* do more than one set of any given exercise (to absolute failure). NEVER. Best single change I`ve ever made though it took a little while before I was able to apply myself properly and get that one set to do the job. Heh heh, one all-out set of squats/deads/etc. will leave most anybody collapsed on the floor and will be plenty to stimulate adaptation (ditto for cardio sessions, but that`s another topic).

    Reps- experiment to find what works for *you*, might be surprising and very different from "what everybody knows". Momentum is generally not beneficial so I do every rep rather slowly under complete control with a lot of thought regarding what that muscle actually *does*.

    Exercises- Similarly, I try to dial it back so I don`t do any duplicates. Don`t ignore one aspect (e.g., stretch/contraction) or one angle/area (e.g., the back is *complicated*, the triceps less so, calves are pretty simple). Get the job done with no "excess". Again, don`t worry if what works for you isn`t what "everybody says you gotta do".

    E.g., Deads and presses are great for a lot of things, but they leave a *LOT* of the body unworked and are both subject to that "gravity pulls straight down in a linear manner" thing.

    Recovery- You might need a lot longer than you`d expect. E.g., two days for the stimulus to take hold, some time for the inflamation/etc. to die back, some more time for overcompensation...it can take a while. For me, each bodypart rests 10-12 days between workouts and I don`t lose any strength if I go two weeks. Yeah, ectomorphs can require extended recovery periods too.

    Eh, guys often don`t want to "cut back" for silly reasons like "I`ll lose poundage on my bench!" but then those same guys aren`t always 100% happy with their pecs

  6. #141
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by craigdt View Post
    Thought I may as well jump in on this- saw the first posts about 5x5 strong lifts and wanted to ask-
    How many exercises are you doing in one session?

    I`m doing basically 3 sets of 6-7 reps on 2 exercises- usually bench and deadlifts.

    Skinny ``````` here- an extreme ectomorph. But doing heavy lifts of major muscles groups and getting my protein up has helped me gain 10 pounds. Just trying to get over the next thump.
    I went with starting strength instead of stronglifts ( similar concept though). Starts out with a A and B workout the you alternate through the week. Each only has 3 lifts per workout and you do 3 workouts per week. After a while it gives you the option to add pull ups to either the A OR B workout.

    Doesn`t sound like a lot at first, but once the weight gets heavier, you`ll be cooked by the end of the workout

  7. #142

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Sorta-random thoughts follow, all just IMO/IME and none intended as a slam at anybody:

    -You oughta be pretty cooked by the end of a *set*, at least the muscle(s) you`re working directly
    -Three properly hard sets can indeed be enough for one workout
    -Just because you *can* do more, that doesn`t mean you should; balance exertion ability with recovery ability

    Since House of Wax mentioned pull-ups/chins, which I really, *REALLY* like, much of the following is about such movements for the muscles of the back....

    -The ability to do chins/pull-ups has saved me from *serious* injury on a few occasions
    -While I consider pull-up a staple exercise and do a set of them at the start of almost every back workout, they offer limited range-of-motion compared with some unilateral pull-down movements
    -Doing wide-grip chins (to supposedly add width to the lats) further decreases the ROM and can make shoulder injury at the beginning of the movement more likely (not flaming them, I still do them that way occasionally)
    -Palms-up chins (and rows) supposedly offer the best ROM but they`ve never felt right to me (shoulders seem vulnerable) so I don`t do them very often
    -Chins are subject to "gravity`s pull is linear" but the muscles involved do not have linear strength curves through their ROM (most of the involved muscles are strongest at peak contraction when your chin`s over the bar)
    -Doing low-rep sets of chins with lots of added resistance never did much for me size-wise but did offer strength gains, I seldom do that now
    -I do best by balancing "pulling" movements like chins with "rowing" movements; combo-movements like doing chins while leaning back at an angle can be good, if awkward
    -I like to do some kind of pullover/straight-arm press-down movement between my chins and rows, just one slow/strict set focusing on the *back* not the chest/triceps/delts
    -Rows also have a better ROM when done unilaterally and I benefit from varying my hand position from neutral to supinated through the movement (neutral at the start/extension twising towards supinated/palm-up at the end/contraction)
    -When working the Traps, don`t just do shrugs; studies show that most guys who do (only) those have well developed upper traps but the lower/primary portions of their traps are actually *no different* in development compared to people who don`t train
    -Doing the kind of rows that work the middle/lower traps requires a good mind-muscle connection
    -Remember to work "forgotten muscles" like the infrasupinatus to avoid weak links that can lead to injury
    -Few have rear deltoids that are too big, so do a set that targets them and remember that (like the hamstrings) they have an unusual strength curve, being "stronger at the start/extension, weaker at the end/contraction" and benefit from a truly stretched start position
    -It`s easy for good rear deltoid exercises to turn into mediocre trap exercises so work on that mind-muscle connection and don`t go "too high" as the traps eventually take over

  8. #143

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Today I`m doing forearms, just those, not even doing any grip work today. As an ectomorphic guy with naturally small wrists, having well-developed forearms is quite important to me. Merely relying on exercises that do not directly target the forearms never worked for me even when I used large-diameter stuff.

    Probably four work sets after a brief/light warm-up, maybe just three:

    -two with palms down, one with a straight barbell and one with a cambered/EZ bar on a cable machine
    -one or two with palms up, one with a large-diameter barbell and maybe one with the cable machine, always with straight bars

    I`ll have to check my Training Log to see which I`ll do first, I alter it every workout (done 9-14 days apart, usually 10).

    When using a barbell/dumbbell, the angle of the forearms is important due to the ROM and strength curves of the involved muscles and the constant/linear pull of gravity:

    -for palms down the wrists should be higher than the elbows
    -for palms up the wrists should be lower than the elbows

    That doesn`t matter when resistance is supplied by a cable machine or resistance bands or a Nautilus-type machine.

    In both movements, the muscles are weak at the beginning (and the wrists are vulnerable to injury) and strongest at the end. With gravity pulling straight down, work with barbells/dumbbells, and even most cable machines, is less than ideal, even with the forearms angled correctly although that helps. I benefit from augmenting with the addition of some variable resistance (I anchor a resistance band to the floor and wrap it around the barbell; with the cable machine, adding a resistance band is still somewhat helpful but took some thinking to figure out just how to do it). At failure, I can disconnect the band for a drop-set.

    I don`t do *extremely* high reps for forearms, never more than 20 and usually fewer. I do sometimes employ rest-pause or those drop-sets, to get a few additional reps (and thus increase the "inroad"). I used to do fewer reps (no more than 12 and usually fewer) but my forearms grew significantly when I started doing more so I`ve stuck with that. Regularly going over 20 was not effective for me.

  9. #144
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Good stuff Accumulator.

    Got my workout in last night. Went well and felt great to get back on the horse. Holy moly am I sore today. Glad I don`t lift again until tomorrow night.

  10. #145

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    House of Wax- Glad you found it worth the typing I sure do tend to go on and on, but some now-obvious things eluded me for *so* long that I figure my experiences (AKA mistakes) and research might be of some help to somebody.

    I like the sound of that soreness! Wouldn`t surprise me if the downtime had some benefits. Do watch that you don`t inadvertently work muscles that`re still sore tomorrow, sometimes that can be a challenge. I`m an absolute fanatic about never re-stressing things until they`ve had a chance to (hopefully!)overcompensate. IF that`s counter to your plans, you might at least go about some stuff differently so it`s not the *same* stimulus.

    Speaking of challenges, doing Fores today after gripping the Deadman controls of the snow thrower was tough! (Hence no grip work today.)

  11. #146
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Decided to take a quick look back and see how I`ve progressed since I started back up lifting. First recorded workout was on Jan. 2nd:

    Squat has gone from 105 up to 255
    Bench 95 140
    Deadlift 135 205
    Press 75 110
    Row 75 145

    I know those numbers are weaksauce, but after years of not lifting, I wanted to really ease into to make sure I avoided any injuries or setbacks. So far so good. The only one I really wish I would`ve started a bit higher is the bench press. I`ve been progressing everything as the program tells me too, but that one is still much easier than all the other lifts are right now. May bump that weight up a few

  12. #147

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    House of Wax- I commend you on your progress, and repeat my view that whatever weight challenges your muscles enough to get stronger and grow is sufficient no matter what the number happens to be.

    Avoiding injury and other setbacks is indeed key, and from 1/2-3/16 isn`t long IMO.

    At some point I would want every Work Set to be absolute *MURDER* to complete by its final reps, but after two months just continuing to refine/relearn your form and *avoiding those injuries* is a good way to go.

    If some set seems easy, maybe slow down the reps a bit and work on eliminating any momentum. Lots of guys do their reps so fast and ballistically that the targeted muscles aren`t working much anyhow...while monstrously strong guys get in sore-for-days workouts using tiny little baby-weights when that`s all they have available. Heh heh, spend 20 seconds per rep and never lock out...yikes!

    Oh and I`ll repeat my usual "don`t worry about your Bench!" advice. Unless training for a specific reason (football linemen some to mind), I genuinely believe the bench press is vastly overrated. Outside of maybe an actual bodybuilding competition, I can`t imagine that anybody would knock my pecs and I haven`t done a barbell benchpress for decades. OK, an old shoulder issue always returns to haunt me if I do benches (and/or pushups) so they`re not an option for me, but I was all concerned that not doing them would somehow hinder my progress...Nope, and physiology books convinced me it`s a pretty [crappy] movement for the pecs anyhow. Sour Grapes? Sure I`ve heard that

  13. #148
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    The squats and deadlift have definitely become quite taxing. right now the program has me jumping 10 lbs. each workout day, but I`m sure that will soon be dropping back to 5lb. increases (which is normal for the program). The bench press and overhead press should still be going up regularly as I`ve still got plenty left in the tank at the end of those workouts.

    I imagine the gains across the board in the next month or two will slow down as the weights are getting heavier and I won`t be eating at a surplus with a focus on strength gains

  14. #149

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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    House of Wax- Heh heh, I`m tempted to tease you with "I should hope those squats and deads are taxing" My set of sorta-high-rep squats is the toughest lift I do, have to recover a bit before I can write down how many reps I got.

    FWIW, I like going up *very* small increments, like 2.5lbs, on most movements. Most of the time the increases are so small that it`s not really discernable until the end of the set if at all.

    Once the gains slow down you`ll be at that "gotta be really smart about it" point. If ya could just keep adding weight/reps we`d end up squatting buildings.

    What`re you doing for Hamstrings? IMO they often don`t get enough attention even though (again, IMO/IME) they`re crucial for healthy knees. When I first started doing (Romanian style/semi-bent knees) Good Mornings I could get sore with just an empty bar if I did `em right!

    I still have a little soreness in my forearms from those four sets on Tuesday, probably could`ve done OK with only three. Two more days or so and I`ll assume I`m into the recovery/over-compensation phase.

    Didn`t mention this...at the end of *EVERY* forearm workout, even when I don`t do grip work, I do one high-rep set of finger extension exercises with IronMind`s Expand Your Hand Bands. Sorta a !no weak links!/Preventive Maintenance kind of thing since lifting is usually about gripping something, which adds up to a lot of contracted-position work with no extension to balance it out.

  15. #150
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    Re: 2017 Health and Fitness Thread

    Just a quick update.

    Down to 203 from I believe 214.5 when I started. Most of that lost has honestly come in the last couple weeks as I`ve been much better on the diet end of things. I definitely feel better and I can feel a difference in how my pants fit already. About ready to go in another belt notch which from looking at my belt shows that notch has...uh.....not had a lot of use rofl.

    I snapped a few pics from when I started and then some more yesterday. Can see a little bit of change which is motivating. My wife signed our family up to the YMCA in our town a couple weeks ago. she`s started working out regularly and we`ve all gone as a family a couple times (she works out, me and the kids play in the gym). Her getting back into exercising and eating healthy has helped me stay motivated big time.

    One big change I`ve started to notice is I haven`t been getting that "I`m starving" feeling between meals and occasionally when lunch or dinner rolls around, I eat more because I need to and not so much that I`m that hungry. This is helping immensely with portion control, which was honestly probably my biggest problem diet wise. The only part I really crave at this point is snacking on something when we finally wind down at the end of the day and are relaxing watching some TV.

 

 
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