ForumsThe Tavern[REQUESTED] Health and fitness

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GhostOfMatrix
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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.

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palika476
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palika476
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I love play football!!!

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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Today was ****ing amazing.

Chest and tri's, the workout lasted from 4:10pm to 5:20pm.

Flat barbell bench press:
225 - 10
275 - 1 (could've gotten 5, but didn't want to exhaust myself)
300 - 1 (could've gotten 2 or 3, ^)
315 - 1 (clean press with perfect form)
315 - 1 (this was just a negative, I focused on getting it down slowly and had my spotter help get it back up)
275 - 4
275 - 2

Incline dumbbell press:
70 - 12
85 - 10
60 - 15

Flat dumbbell press:
60 - 15
60 - 12
60 - 10
I wanted to use heavier weight, but the dumbbells I wanted were being used.

Skull crushers:
75 - 15
75 - 12
75 - 10
You don't have to use really heavy weight to stimulate your triceps.

Tricep pull downs:
Rope:
100 - 12
100 - 12
Metal bar:
110 - 15
110 - 15
Single handed:
50 - 10
40 - 15
30 - 20
Each arm of course with single handed. Do all those to hit every part of the tricep, you don't want to just focus on one area.

Seated chest press:
180 - 15
200 - 10

And to end the workout, I just did reverse grip tricep pull downs with the metal bar; 70 pounds to failure, which was around 20-25 reps. I wasn't focusing on counting.

I felt amazing burns and pumps in my chest and tri's, this is what I'm aiming for every time I workout.

Next Monday which is also the next chest and tri's day, I'll substitute flat bench press with incline and fit in close grip bench press.

I have back tomorrow.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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A solid hour and some minutes workout today for back, I'm working on that intensity. Worked out later than usual because I had to go to doctors earlier.

Dumbbell rows x 3
Bent over rows x 3
T-bar rows x 3
Seated iso-rows x 3
Seated wide grip rows x 3
Close grip reverse pull downs x 3
Wide grip pulldowns x 3

Then I did some forearms exercises and one set of dumbbell rows to failure.

I forgot to do the seated close grip rows, but whatever. I felt like it was a good workout.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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I'm improving at a steady but nonetheless rapid rate on my squats. About ten pounds per week so far. But I think I suffered a minor injury today. In the midst of doing lunges, I felt a sharp pain in the middle of my right thigh that has persisted until now. It's definitely muscle-related. I don't feel it when I'm walking or even jumping (allowing me to continue with the plyometric aspects of my regimen), but the pain is still sharp whenever I enter the lunge position or stretch my quad out. Anyone ever experience something similar? No swelling. Feels a bit harder in that area than usual. Might try foam rolling tomorrow.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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It's probably from poor stretching and/or warming up.

A few weeks ago when I started incorporating squats I felt some pain in my hamstrings, instead of doing all the stretching and warming up I do now, I just went right into the exercise. It lasted for a few days and I even felt the pain when I was doing bench press, but went away once I started stretching more.

Before I go to the gym, I stretch at home for 10-20 minutes, then when I arrive at the gym I warmup with several exercises before continuing to my main workout.

For example, today's leg day: I'll do a lot of stretches specifically for my legs half an hour before I go to the gym, holding certain stretches for around a minute so I don't get cramps or anything later on. Once at the gym I'll warmup with some light weight on quad curls, hamstring curls, calve raises, leg press, and squat. That sounds like it'll pre-exhaust the muscles, but it won't if you're using light weight. I mean really light, half or more than half of the weight you'd usually start out with.

The purpose is to get the blood flowing and to ready the muscles for those exercises.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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I do stretching and warm up sets. Mostly a series of dynamic stretches with a few static stretches. Yesterday, I did squats and lunges with the bar for a few sets, about five and ten reps each set, respectively. I guess I could've used heavier weight for the squat warm-ups.

I'm definitely going to incorporate foam rolling now though, especially for legs. Probably at the end of workouts.

GhostOfMatrix
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How can people let themselves go like that? I mean, if you have a condition or something that makes you fat, fine, but there's no excuse for most of these people.

People don't have to be in the gym everyday, but there should be some form of exercise and good nutrition to keep fit and healthy.

This is just pathetic.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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How can people let themselves go like that? I mean, if you have a condition or something that makes you fat, fine, but there's no excuse for most of these people.


There are several genetic factors that can predispose people to obesity. Yes, most of the time, whether genetic or not, it's controllable, but if you grew up eating a high excess of calories, chances are you'll become obese. And past a certain point, exercise just becomes painful.
Devildogv6
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Devildogv6
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I would like to fitness again, but i had to stop

jeol
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jeol
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How can people let themselves go like that? I mean, if you have a condition or something that makes you fat, fine, but there's no excuse for most of these people.

Also, it certainly isn't excused from insults. I mean, I can understand if you're trying all you can to not be fat, but if you're using genetics as an excuse to be fat, that doesn't really make much sense.

I'm a decently skinny guy, so I've been trying ten pushups a day and another ten whenever I finish a chapter of a book (fortunately, I have to do a lot of reading this semester, so I imagine I'll get pretty sore). I don't really know what else I should try to not look quite as skimpy since it's hard to build any muscle for me. I have a pretty high metabolism. Any suggestions?
if you grew up eating a high excess of calories, chances are you'll become obese. And past a certain point, exercise just becomes painful.

... Crap.
skydragon720
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i dont really work out or anything but for sports it is good to go over your routines

Microe
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Microe
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I'm improving at a steady but nonetheless rapid rate on my squats. About ten pounds per week so far


Are you on steroids? The maximum I've ever increased is around 5lb's a weak. And that was on a strength program along with an increased caloric intake.
GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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I went to a different gym today to check things out, it's still by the same company, but I wanted to see if they had more stuff in the weight room. They didn't.

I did legs today:
Squats x 6
Leg curls x 4 - triple drop set for last set.
Hamstring leg press x 4 - triple drop set for last set.
Regular leg press x 4

Didn't do calves because there weren't any specific machines for them. I could've done them with a barbell or the leg press machine, but it doesn't matter. I hit legs again on Saturday, so I'll focus on calves.

Also, cottage cheese is great. I have a container of it and you get half a gram to a gram of fat with 13 grams of protein per serving.

Shoulders and traps tomorrow, gonna hit them hard with free weights.

Any suggestions?

Get some high protein foods and intake a moderate amount of fat. You want to get more calories than you currently are as well. Just search "how to bulk" on YouTube/Google. I don't have videos on hand, and they get more specific than I'm willing to.

I included some home exercises in the opening post. Those should help you.

You don't want to do pushups everyday though. Set a day where you do just that and do a lot of them in a few different positions. I think I also included a home exercise schedule in the OP.

I'd also invest in some whey protein so you don't have to eat so much (they have around 2 pounds of it at Walmart for 20 or so dollars). I currently have to eat a lot since I don't have any, and I must say, it's hard eating all this food. I'm not getting an excess amount of calories or fat, just high protein meals.
rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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I'm a decently skinny guy, so I've been trying ten pushups a day and another ten whenever I finish a chapter of a book (fortunately, I have to do a lot of reading this semester, so I imagine I'll get pretty sore). I don't really know what else I should try to not look quite as skimpy since it's hard to build any muscle for me. I have a pretty high metabolism. Any suggestions?


Yeah, don't do pushups every day. It's not so much overtraining as it is ineffective. Pushups are great exercises, but you're only targeting a few body parts. Instead, try to create a more versatile routine. I able was to put on weight quickly once I started working out with a set routine. In fact, in about ten weeks, I put on eight to ten pounds of lean mass, after not being able to put on any sort of weight no matter what I ate.

Are you on steroids? The maximum I've ever increased is around 5lb's a weak. And that was on a strength program along with an increased caloric intake.


Nope. I've only been training for about three months, and squats were a recent addition (about four weeks ago). In that way, I guess I still qualify as a beginner. There are other factors as well though. I lost a good deal of strength following a week long outdoor excursion where I ate very little protein (or food for that matter). I guess I've been able to regain that strength in a short period of time. Furthermore, my legs have always been pretty strong, so they might just be warming up to squats until I get fully used to them. I'm hoping to hit around 200 lbs for three sets of five by the end of October. (I'm at 165 at the moment.)
Microe
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Microe
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Nope. I've only been training for about three months


Awesome! Gotta love them noob gains, take advantage of this and train HARD!

My new 1 Rep Maxes are:

Squat:330
Deadlift:330
Bench:215
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