Forums

ForumsThe Tavern

[REQUESTED] Health and fitness

Thread Locked

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 5:49pm

GhostOfMatrix

GhostOfMatrix

11,687 posts

Knight

I've been contemplating making this thread for quite some time, because I'm not sure how many people here aside from myself actively go to the gym or workout.

Well, here's a topic where you can talk about a wide range of topics relating to health and fitness. What you do when you workout, your gym experiences, when you started working out, how much you can lift, what you did today while working out/at the gym, etc.

It's always good to be healthy and physically fit, so if you don't currently workout and are lazy, I'd recommend getting into a routine. It does wonders for your body and you'll feel amazing. If you're worried about time or money, don't be. A gym membership only costs around 20 dollars at a local gym and if you have time to be on the internet, you should have time to go to the gym.

As I talk about these topics, at the bottom of some of them I'll be posting some links to reading material on the subject.

Some starting topics:

What supplements are good to use?
I personally only use creatine monohydrate. Whey protein and some other types of protein supplements are good, but I only see those as necessary if you're not intaking enough protein from food.

What creatine monohydrate does is it improves performance and makes you heal more quickly by retaining water in the muscles. Creatine is naturally found in the body, this just enhances it. The only real con to using creatine is having problems with your kidneys, but that's only if you don't drink enough water. You're supposed to drink around a gallon of water a day while on it.

When using creatine, expect to gain 5-10 pounds in water weight and look more swole. Why? Because it retains water in your muscles.

There's been some discussion regarding if you should cycle creatine or not. What that means is if you take it for let's say three months, some people think you should stop taking it for a few weeks, around two weeks. It's not necessary. What you're basically doing is just taking all that creatine that improves performance and heals you more quickly out of your body.

No, creatine is not steroids. When I usually tell people who don't workout that I use creatine, they think it's steroids.

Creatine
Creatine monohydrate

What exercises are good to do at home/that don't involve weights?
Pushups, dips, pullups, squats, planks, crunches, and calve raises. Those are exercises that'll workout your whole body without weights.

Pushups for chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Dips specifically target triceps. It depends on how you do pullups, certain ways will target muscles more than others, but they usually work the back and biceps. By certain ways, I mean underhand and overhand grip. The underhand grip (palms facing you) and having your hands close together will work the biceps more, while overhand and having your hands around shoulder width or wider will do more back action.

Those are good if you don't currently have a gym membership, but most of them are only good for so long. Pullups and dips are the best because they measure your true strength; pulling your entire body up and with dips lowering yourself and pushing up. If you can't already do a reasonable amount (I'd say 10 reps each) of pullups and dips, there's something wrong.

A good schedule for home exercises:
Sunday - Rest
Monday - Pushups and dips
Tuesday - Squats and calve raises
Wednesday - Pullups
Thursday - Dips and pushups
Friday - Squats and calve raises
Saturday - Pullups

You'll see a slight difference from Monday and Thursday. On Monday pushups is the primary, as in you do it first, and dips the secondary. And on Thursday it's the other way around. You also get a few rest days for those muscles alone with that schedule. Once you do a great pushup and dip workout, you don't want to do them again the next day. Your muscles require time to rest and grow.

Again, this will only get you so far. After about a month of doing this stuff it'll seem easy, which is why investing in a gym membership is excellent. It's around twenty dollars a month at most local gyms.

How many days of the week and how long should I workout?
Six days a week with one rest day is what I usually do and recommend. Gives you enough time to target specific muscles and you have a day where you don't do anything.

I also weight train for about an hour and a half then do twenty-thirty minutes of cardio. I don't think I'll increase either of those times, but if you're a beginner at the gym you may want to start lower. I'd say around forty-five minutes of weight training then fifteen minutes of cardio, then work your way up.

Believe me, the first week is very difficult. Halfway through the workout you'll probably feel very tired and sore, and the next day will be even worse. Once you wake up you'll wish that you hadn't worked out, but it pays off. Just stick with a solid schedule and you'll see.

What's good to do at the gym?
It depends on what you're doing there, as in what muscle(s) you're working out that day.

My schedule:
Sunday - Rest
Monday - Chest and shoulders
Tuesday - Biceps and legs
Wednesday - Back and traps
Thursday - Triceps and shoulders
Friday - Legs and biceps
Saturday - Back and traps

I do around 30 sets in total by the time I'm done, depends on the day. It's usually more sets on the days I do legs and biceps. I usually try to do three-four sets on most of the machines that will target those muslces and other things.

Chest and shoulders - 7 sets of flat or incline bench press, 3 sets of flies, 3 sets of seated chest press, 3 sets of seated chest press on another machine, and 3 sets of dumbbell press.
4 sets of shoulder press, 4 sets of seated incline shoulder press, and 4 sets of lateral raises.
Do as many pushups as you can do when you're done.

Biceps and legs - 3 sets of seated preacher curls, 3 sets of standing wide grip curls, 3 sets of standing close grip curls, 3 sets of regular dumbbell curls, 3 sets of hammer curls, and 3 sets of concentration curls.
5 sets of leg press, 5 sets of squats, 5 sets of quad curls, 10 sets of hamstring curls, and 5 sets of calve raises.

Back and traps - 3 sets of regular cable rows, 3 sets of wide cable rows, 3 sets of wide lat pulldowns, 3 sets of regular lat pulldowns, 3 sets of lat rows on machine, 3 sets of dumbbell rows, and 5 sets of deadlifts.
5-10 sets of shrugs and 5 sets of upright rows.
Do as many pullups as you can do when you're done.

Triceps and shoulders - 6 sets of close grip flat bench press, 4 sets of skullcrushers, 4 sets of tricep extensions, and 4 sets of tricep pulldowns.
4 sets of shoulder press, 4 sets of seated incline shoulder press, and 4 sets of lateral raises.
Do as many dips as you can do when you're done.

Legs and biceps - Legs is first and biceps is second, same exercises, but in a different order.

Back and traps - Same exercises, but in a different order.

I may have to do deadlifts on leg day though. I tried to do them earlier and was very tired. It was probably because I did legs yesterday and when doing deadlifts they require leg muscles.
Also, sometimes on back day I'll do extensions. Some people consider it an exercise, but I just use it loosen up my lower back. More of a stretch for me.
Image of back extensions

I'd also like to talk about the subject of traps. They don't help you that much with lifting, it's more of an aesthetic thing. Most people probably don't want to be walking around with a box body. Doing trap exercises makes a big difference in how your body will look.
Just take a look at these two photos:

No traps.
Big traps.

Does the 1 rep max matter?
Well, only on these three exercises: Bench press, deadlift, and squat. Otherwise, no, it doesn't matter. And on those exercises, don't go for your 1 rep max often. It tears a lot of muscle fibers and if you do that weekly you're bound to get injured. I personally only do it once or twice a month.

Anyway, mine are:
Bench press - 290 pounds
Deadlift - 315 pounds
Squat - 250 pounds

Those were the numbers last time I did went for my 1 rep max, which was a week or two ago. I just got back into squats, which is the reason why it's so low. Your squat should be somewhere around your deadlift, never lower than your bench, because your legs are supposed to be stronger than your upper body. But I'll probably get it there in a few weeks.

They say you're not truly strong with weights unless you can lift your body weight on those three exercises. I somewhat agree with that. You should be able to lift up your body weight on those exercises. You're using many muscles with them. I'd also consider being able to do a good amount of pullups and dips a good measure of strength.

What is good form?
It's not using your other muscles when you are trying to work a certain one. For instance, bicep curls. For the love of Talos don't jerk them around; don't use your back, legs, and keep your elbows in the starting position. The only thing that should be moving up is your arm.

Another is bench press. You want to go down and up nice and slow. Control the weight. Don't bounce if off of your chest, don't have a huge arch in your back, don't use your legs, and don't lift your butt off the bench. You're not even working chest anymore if you do those, and the only thing that'll happen over time is that you'll injure yourself. It's okay to have a small arch and pin your shoulders back slightly, but that's it.

It doesn't matter how much people can lift unless they do it with good form. You're not getting proper gains unless it's with good form.

Demonstration video for bicep curls
After that video, look at the featured videos list with her in them and watch.

Demonstration video for bench press

Breathing:
It's important to breathe when working out. I know you guys already breathe, but I mean properly breathing. Such as with bench press. Before you take the weight off the rack, take a deep breath, as you go down keep it in, then release as you go up, repeat. Exhale on the hard parts and inhale on the easy parts. The bench press video above shows how to breathe properly.

How often should I run?
Not that often. Running often will cause muscle atrophy. If you have some excess fat and want to get rid of it, I'd say run for around fifteen minutes a day or every other day. Otherwise you should only walk at a good speed at an angle to keep the blood flowing after weight training or jogging. I personally set the treadmill at an angle so it's like I'm walking up stairs, and I do it for twenty minutes. I tried running last week, and it takes too much out of me. I'm also worried that it'll mess up my gains, because prolonged running will damage your muscles over time.

Marathon runner and sprinter

The importance of stretching, core training, and resting:
I've found that stretching once you wake up and before you sleep helps loosens up your muscles, and when you do this you'll be able to lift weights without pain. I also think that it'll reduce the chances of you injuring yourself. I just do some basic stretches when I wake up and before I sleep for around ten-fifteen minutes.

Core training. This doesn't mean that you need to work for washboard abs. Just stregnthening your core. A strong core will allow you to lift weights easier and reduce the chances of getting a hernia. I do some core training every other day when it's night. I like to do a few sets of crunches and planks. I aim for 100-200 crunches and a few sets of 1-3 minute planks.

It's imperative to have at least one rest day, where you don't work out any of your muscles. It'll repair them and such. It's also good to get at least 8 hours of sleep. That's mostly when they'll repair.
Some people like to have a deload week, and those are good, but I wouldn't do them often. It's a week where you don't workout or do less than what you currently are. It's a solid week of resting and letting your muscle fibers repair themselves. I usually do it after a month of working out, the beginning of next month I'll have a deload week.

The deload week and why you should use it

Bodybuilding or powerlifting?
Well, I like to do both. I mix them in a month together. Such as one week I'll do bodybuilding and one week powerlifting, or sometimes I'll even do a few sets for reps only and a few for power, etc. Bodybuilding is when you go for reps and try to build more muscle.

While with powerlifting you're simply aiming for power. It'll get you stronger, but you won't see as much muscle growth as with bodybuilding. However I like both, mixing in high reps for muscle growth and low reps for power works wonders. Though if you just do one you'll see more results with them. Such as if you just bodybuild you'll build more muscle, and if you'll just build strength.

Bodybuilding
Powerlifting

Intermittent fasting:
Intermittent fasting is when you tell your body when to eat. Such as you eat 2-8 and fast/only drink water for the rest of the time. It's good for getting rid of stubborn fat. I did it for around three weeks before stopping, because I started going to the gym and I workout around noon, so if I were to do what I am now on an empty stomach, I'd probably puke.

How it works:
When you workout on an empty stomach, your body isn't going to use the food as resources, instead it'll use the fat. Then on your fasting period and you drink water, your body will retain it and you won't feel as hungry.

For the first few days you'll probably feel a little sick in your stomach, but that's natural. Your body has to adjust. My first week it felt like I was gonna puke after I ate my first meal, but I didn't and my body soon adjusted.

Note:
Intermittent fasting isn't a diet. You're just telling your body when to eat. It's imperative that you intake all your calories and protein in that eating window.

Intermittent fasting

What should I eat?
I keep my diet high protein and low fat. I'd suggest the same for everyone.

What I normally eat:
Breakfast: Oatmeal or cereal with tuna sandwich, cashews, and orange juice
Lunch: Turkey burger or lean ham/turkey sandwich, tuna, beans, rice, and fruit shake/smoothie
Dinner: Rice, chicken or steak, beans, vegetables, and tea

What I put in the shake/smoothie:
A cup or two of skim milk, 1 frozen banana, 2 strawberries, 2-4 blackberries, and 2 spoons of chocolate nesquik

Excellent health and fitness YouTube channels:
TwinMuscleWorkout
FastingTwins
Scooby1961

There are some others if you look, but those are the only ones I keep track of.

So, today at the gym my dad (workout partner) accidentally broke the cable row machine. He usually does the whole stack on the machines, but it seems like this one couldn't handle it and/or the wire was worn out. It was hilarious, because as it broke he fell backwards. It was around the start of our workout.

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 5:54pm

GhostOfMatrix

GhostOfMatrix

11,687 posts

Knight

By the way, I fixed the error that was in the other thread. Delete that one, not this one.

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 5:59pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,230 posts

Well if you are moving this here then I guess I should move my reply too (making me do some work on here matrix...how could you)

Well...You have got this all figured out now don't you? haha Have you ever thought of being a fitness trainer of some kind?

As for my working out...yeah I'm not going to be able to go as detailed as you. But when I work out I focus it around baseball. I know a lot of people that work out try to "max out" (or however you may call it) with weights and try to use heavier and heavier weights, but I keep mine at a modest weight, but focus on the speed and swiftness of the lifting motions, because in baseball a lot of the motions we focus on during it has to do with quick muscle movement (swinging the bat, throwing the ball, stealing a base, etc). I also like to incorporate my swinging into my workout, usually just grabbing my bat and going through the motions of my swing at a calm pace (for muscle memory) somewhere between 100-200 times. If I'm feeling up to it afterwards or if I decide to not do the calm swinging, I'll do full/strong swings (also usually about 100-200)

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 6:03pm

Ernie15

Ernie15

12,527 posts

Knight

What kind of tea do you drink at dinnertime and what are the health benefits of that particular tea?

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 6:07pm

AceofSky

AceofSky

728 posts

Ahhh! Sorry I got ninja'd! I was taking the time to post that and then you said that. I'll get back to you at the other thread.

Me at the other thread.

Oh cool. I was thinking about creating a Health and Fitness thread, but you beat me to it.

When using creatine, expect to gain 5-10 pounds in water weight and look more swole. Why? Because it retains water in your muscles.

So it keeps water in your muscles? Doing so will you be less tired and more hydrated after doing a sport? When you say gain 5-10 pounds...where do you gain it? Stomach? Will it look chubby/fatty?

Wow...you make it look so complicated. All I do is pushups, pullups, crunches, and a run here and there. I don't own any equipment besides a pullup bar and a heavy electric guitar with a nice heavy case for it. So I workout with those. I own no treadmill so I have to just run around places. The problem for me to getting a gym membership is that our local gym does not let young adults do body work so I'm basically stuck here unless my high school has a gym which I doubt it has.

So If I am trying to work on my legs, I was wondering what should I do besides running? I want to get my kick powerful for both feet. Since I need to play soccer and need to have the advantage of clearing the ball. I also would want a 6-pack...but I mean if it interferes with my soccer/makes me heavier than I really don't want one. I honestly don't care too much about my arms since I play defender. Also I eat a little less than I usually should. I don't eat meats too much since I find the taste unappealing. I can substitute that for nuts and beans. Also I eat rice every other day basically. I don't drink soda usually. Most food we have is home-cooked. Also I drink a lot of water. About a bottle or two. I drink a lot of 2% white milk. (Should I switch to Whole/Skim?) I also have a extremely small sugar consumption. I eat natural sugar from fruits and things. Very often do I enjoy a soda, or an ice cream.

So I was wondering from the above information, what would you change for me to become a better soccer player or at least stronger?

I know this can't be done overnight. I am willing to practice as much as I can. So what do you think I should do?

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 6:23pm

GhostOfMatrix

GhostOfMatrix

11,687 posts

Knight

Have you ever thought of being a fitness trainer of some kind?

Not really. I could probably get a part time job at the gym I go to if I wanted, but I'd rather worry about myself for now.

I know a lot of people that work out try to "max out" (or however you may call it) with weights and try to use heavier and heavier weights

Yeah, powerlifters. It's not good to max out that often though. It tears too many muscle fibers. I only go for it once or twice a month on three exercises; bench press, deadlift, and squat. It's not that useful on others.

What kind of tea do you drink at dinnertime and what are the health benefits of that particular tea?

Green tea with honey. Not sure exactly, but I've heard it has a lot of good antioxidants and vitamins, so I drink it. It also makes me calm and feel tired.

Sometimes I by that one Arizona brand, it's green tea with ginseng and honey, but I usually just drink the tea bags.

Doing so will you be less tired and more hydrated after doing a sport?

Creatine itself is supposed to boost energy, sorta like an energy drink. I don't think the retaining water part actually does it, that part just makes you heal quickly.

where do you gain it? Stomach? Will it look chubby/fatty?

It'll be spread throughout your body. No, you won't look fat. It'll just make you look more buff.

All I do is pushups, pullups, crunches, and a run here and there.

That's fine, but you'll want to incorporate pullups, dips, and squats for a full body workout in the week.

I was wondering what should I do besides running?

Squats, lunges, and calf raises. Not as effective as with weights, but it'll do for now. I'd recommend doing 10 sets of squats for 20 reps each, since it's just your body weight. Lunges about the same. As for calf raises, go to the bottom of your stairs or somewhere that has nothing below it, put half of your foot on the edge, then raise up.
Like this

but I mean if it interferes with my soccer/makes me heavier than I really don't want one.

Core training won't. Just fit it in at least three days a week and do them at night about an hour or two before you sleep. Stuff like crunches, planks, and side planks. Running for a little bit will also shed some fat around that area if you have any.

Also I drink a lot of water. About a bottle or two.

That's not a lot. Without being on creatine, I still drink about a gallon of water. For people not used to that, I'd say half a gallon. Your body needs to stay hydrated, especially in a sport like soccer. It'll reduce the chance of getting cramps.

Should I switch to Whole/Skim?

I drink skim because I love milk, but not the fat that comes with regular.

what would you change for me to become a better soccer player or at least stronger?

Basically, those home exercises I mentioned in the opening post and in this one. You'll increase your strength and speed.

I'd invest in creatine monohydrate though. At my GNC I got 2 pounds of it for around 30 bucks. That's enough to last around six months.
You won't look fat from the water weight, just buff since it'll retain water in the muscles. It's not going to happen overnight however, like with most things it takes time. It takes about two-four weeks of creatine use for it to take an effect.
If you decide to start it, read the label for information on how much you need. I take about ten grams a day, but I'm a big guy. If you're around 150 pounds, I'd only suggest five grams a day.

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 6:35pm

rayoflight3

rayoflight3

435 posts

There are so many components to working out, and a lot of it depends on your goals, experience, preferences, etc. Matrix did a good job covering a broad spectrum, but here's an in-depth guide for the novice. All of its sources are cited if you're skeptical.

I myself am I beginner (only been lifting for around two months), but I've done my research on the lifting and nutritional aspects of working out and staying healthy, so you can ask me questions as well.

So If I am trying to work on my legs, I was wondering what should I do besides running? I want to get my kick powerful for both feet. Since I need to play soccer and need to have the advantage of clearing the ball. I also would want a 6-pack...but I mean if it interferes with my soccer/makes me heavier than I really don't want one. I honestly don't care too much about my arms since I play defender. Also I eat a little less than I usually should. I don't eat meats too much since I find the taste unappealing. I can substitute that for nuts and beans. Also I eat rice every other day basically. I don't drink soda usually. Most food we have is home-cooked. Also I drink a lot of water. About a bottle or two. I drink a lot of 2% white milk. (Should I switch to Whole/Skim?) I also have a extremely small sugar consumption. I eat natural sugar from fruits and things. Very often do I enjoy a soda, or an ice cream.

Okay...I don't know much about soccer, but I'll try to help. You can get a six pack simply by dropping your body fat percentage, which can be achieved through a management of your caloric intake. Add ab and core exercises like crunches or planks to really define them. Here's an informative site that lists tons of exercises for each muscle.

You want stronger legs, right? Running won't help much besides improving your endurance. You need a strong base and a lot of power. In other words, you should do exercises like squats, power cleans, or leg press to build mass, and then add in some plyometrics, which train explosiveness and power. The site I linked has information on plyometrics as well. You should also improve your flexibility through dynamic stretches.

As for nutrition, you should either stay at your caloric maintenance level or go slightly above it. You can get a vague idea of it with an online calculate, but be aware that the more you practice soccer a day, the more you're going to have to eat to make up for those calories. One or two bottles of water is not a lot, by the way. That's about 2 to 4 cups. It's recommended you take in about 8 cups a day. By drinking less water, you may actually be retaining water (which would be detrimental to your speed and general ability due to the added weight) because your body needs to conserve it.

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 7:03pm

daleks

daleks

3,177 posts

Sorry but I am feeling lazy right now and don't want to read. I should probably get back to working out. I do stuff on a workout ball. Makes everything harder and works your core while you do everything. Pushups on the ball is probably the hardest. Sit-ups/crunches are easier. Then I just pretty much do weights on the ball. Lunges, squats, and sometimes pull ups when I am not on the ball.

So sorry if this was answered and sorry for that fact that it is probably a dumb question but what is the difference between dips and squats?

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 7:24pm

GhostOfMatrix

GhostOfMatrix

11,687 posts

Knight

what is the difference between dips and squats?

Dip
Squat

Dips work the triceps and squats work the legs.

Pushups on the ball is probably the hardest.

Are your hands or feet on the ball? If your hands are on the ball, you're asking for some snap action. If you lose your balance, best believe you're gonna tear something. I don't think I'd even put my feet on one of those, I'd rather use a bench or something.

 

Posted Aug 22, '12 at 8:07pm

daleks

daleks

3,177 posts

Are your hands or feet on the ball?

I do feet cause it is too hard for me to do my hands. But no, you would not tear anything, unless you did it wrong.

The point of the ball is to work your core and stuff by making you keep your balance, a bench sorta kills that. If I don't want to do it on the ball I put my feet on my bed.