ForumsThe Tavern[REQUESTED] Health and fitness

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GhostOfMatrix
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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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GhostOfMatrix
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Sorry for the triple post, but I think I ****ed up really bad. I was doing some movements and stuff with my right arm to see if I hurt it also, and it does. When I flex my bicep I can feel some dull pain in my elbow.

How could this happen. I warm up properly, use good form, stretch, rest, eat well, yet this happens. I am so pissed right now.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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Could be for a number of reasons. Improper warm up/stretch (regardless of what you say), awkward hand positions, etc. Or it just happened spontaneously. Pulling movements, however, especially deadlifts, are known to be associated with bicep tears and tendonitis, and I would imagine the other muscles that go into those movements are at risk as well. Even the strongest, most experienced deadlifters get injured, so there's really no way to fully prevent them. Well, you know, besides not going to the gym.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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So I have tendinitis. They gave me an anti-inflammatory, told me to take a few days off for upper body and when I start back up to take it slowly, basically rehab work for a while.

I'm going to see my family doctor in a few days and he'll probably suggest to do muscle therapy. Hope he does, when I went for my shoulder issue a year or two ago, it was great. Shoulder issue wasn't workout related, by the way, I got into a car accident.

More leg work and cardio for some weeks, I suppose.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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Forgot to say... I didn't expect tendinitis to happen this way. I thought I'd receive some minor elbow pain first, then if I ignored it a few weeks later it'd get worse. Not all this pain out of nowhere.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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If you're doing a certain movement incorrectly with heavy weight, you could be stressing your tendons in a way such that, over time, tendinitis will occur. Of course, you'd need that final catalyst to cause it to happen. It may seem acute, but it's likely that your tendons were in a bad state already, and that your lifts today were the final trigger. You should check your form while you're rehabbing and lower the weight of your pulling movements when you're healed.

And a double pronated grip for pulling movements is usually safer than a neutral or double supinated grip. You tend to be weaker with a pronated grip, but keep that in mind as well.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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No squats today due to elbow pain.

Leg press:
405 x 10 - 10

Leg extensions:
120 x 5 - 10

Lying hamstring curls:
65 - 12
65 x 2 - 10
65 - 8
65 - 6

Standing calf raises:
220 x 2 - 10

300 calories burnt on treadmill.

Focusing on keeping everything tight and controlled (I'd say about 6 second TUT and my form didn't break down), I'd hate for this to happen to my knees. And when I do back squats, I'll probably put a bench or those boxes behind me so I know exactly where parallel depth is.

GhostOfMatrix
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I'd say about 6 second TUT

For each rep I mean, 4-6 seconds, varies.
zoago
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zoago
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Age 30
Weight 195lbs
Body fat percentage 19% (I use one of those digital hand held body fat machines so I don't know how accurate they are).
Supplements. I try to get all my nutrition from Regular food such as Chicken Breast, lean meats, milk, fruits, vegetables, nuts and Milk I do have a Jug of Banana Flavored Protein Powder I use a scoop in the morning and before bed. I Have never used Creatine just by itself it seems a lot of pre-workouts supps now come pre-made with creatine in it. I have researched that Creatine helps to temporarily inflate your muscles to make them look bigger but as soon as you stop taking it your muscles decrease in size.
Some of the Supplements I have used in the past are Pre-workout supplements such as Jac3d, Assault,C4 and Craze. The only Purpose for these supplements for ME was to give me that extra boost to make me workout like a mad man, haha but now I just generally use a large cup of coffee because I believe all the stimulants that are in those pre-wrokouts are not that great for you.
I workout 3-4 days a week for 45 minutes -1 hour 30 minutes a day just depending on the routing I currently am in. I will take a Week break from any lifting every 6th week.
I do a mixture of Of power lifting and Bodybuilding often refereed to as Power-building.
My 1 rep max are as follows
Flat Bench Press- 300lbs
Decline Bench Press- 320 lbs
Squats - I dont do squat because of lower back injury
Straight bar curl(with proper technique no swinging and keeping back straigh)-125lbs
Skull Crusher-140lbs(very bad on my elbows)
Sitting Military Press- 200lbs
I am Currently Recovering From Chemo Therapy treatment and am 6 months back into the Gym. I keep seeing Improvements on my lifts and on my Body Transformation and for me that is what keeps me going back to the gym.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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I have researched that Creatine helps to temporarily inflate your muscles to make them look bigger but as soon as you stop taking it your muscles decrease in size.

Creatine draws more water into your muscles, thus them being bigger. The main purpose of creatine is to help you with increasing strength and energy. It's arguably the best supplement to take. As for your muscles "deflating", you just don't draw as much water into them if you're not taking creatine, but after stopping creatine it'd take at least three weeks to see any differences.

I wouldn't consider it a big deal either way.
GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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400 calories burnt on treadmill.

May do some core stuff later.

Yep, that's it...

GhostOfMatrix
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400 calories burnt on treadmill.

I made the doctor appointment and it's on the 14th. In the meantime he said to keep taking the anti-inflammatories and abstain from upper body work.

I may train legs tomorrow. I'll probably be able to squat because my elbow doesn't hurt when in that position anymore, but it'll depend on whether or not my legs are still sore.

spinmove
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spinmove
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Ghost, it seems like half this thread is documentation of you being sick and listing your aches and pains. It is painfully obvious that you are overloading your body and "working out" way too much. Unless you want to be a professional bodybuilder (Meaning someone who body-builds for a living, goes on competitions, etc.) then you need to seriously reconsider how you train and the weights you are using. Being "healthy" is not about lifting the heaviest, you are harming your body by your excessive workouts.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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Ghost, it seems like half this thread is documentation of you being sick and listing your aches and pains. It is painfully obvious that you are overloading your body and "working out" way too much. Unless you want to be a professional bodybuilder (Meaning someone who body-builds for a living, goes on competitions, etc.) then you need to seriously reconsider how you train and the weights you are using. Being "healthy" is not about lifting the heaviest, you are harming your body by your excessive workouts.


Illness is not something one can easily control. Working with heavy weights several times a week does not make one more susceptible to disease. As for his recent injury, that could be due to a number of factors. If anything, it is not the frequency by which he is working that he should be managing and evaluating; it is his form and understanding of the process.

Though incidentally, caloric restriction, which is not sustainable if one wishes to continuously add muscle and strength, has been linked to longevity. So in a way, by partaking in this lifestyle, you could be cheating yourself out of a few more years of life. But to each his own, and weightlifting on its own is not inherently dangerous as long as one is cautious.
GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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I've been sick once or twice and have hurt myself once since I began lifting again, so about seven months. Besides, the doctors said that tendinitis would have eventually happened. I'd be surprised if there was a weightlifter who has never gotten tendinitis or another injury in their lifetime of lifting.

You don't *have* to be a professional bodybuilder to want to train like them. The whole purpose of "bodybuilding" is to gain muscle. Besides, that's a specific term and I don't solely do "bodybuilding".

Of course being healthy doesn't mean lifting the heaviest, however I have goals I want to achieve, and this is how I achieve them. I've also never said that being "healthy" means lifting the heaviest amount of weights, so I don't understand why you mentioned it.

First, it's not excessive. It'll depend on the individual actually performing the training sessions to determine that and the results.
Second, I've made amazing gains while training. Deadlift and squat both increased ~100 pounds in a matter of five or so months, muscle gained all over, etc.
Third, I'm not harming my body. I'm making it better. Take your average person who doesn't train at all or have a regulated diet and compare them to me. Who's more physically fit and healthier? However it's stupid to compare us because the answer is obvious.

Lastly, your arguments are silly. I don't intend insult, but you should really do research on these topics before talking about them.

GhostOfMatrix
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As for his recent injury, that could be due to a number of factors. If anything, it is not the frequency by which he is working that he should be managing and evaluating; it is his form and understanding of the process.

I'd consider my form "good" as I've always tried to replicate what people consider good and I'm sure that's how it comes out, so I think it was due to an exercise; skullcrushers. I remember getting slight elbow pain when I increased the weight on them while seated (maybe a month ago), so once that happened I started doing them lying (should've taken them out altogether). I didn't get any pain while doing them lying, but I've read on various BB threads and other sites that skullcrushers can cause elbow pain/tendinitis regardless.

But yes, once I start upper body training again I'll focus more on form. Attempt to make it better than before, more controlled and whatnot.

However everyone should note that weightlifting will always have a risk regardless of form and precautions, as with most things in life.
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