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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Strop
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I could have said this at any point in time in the last few months, but this thread has essentially become GhostofMatrix's lifting/dieting journal (with comments from a few other users). To that end I'm not sure this thread represents public interest, let alone reflects the breadth of the original title. If this thread had become documentation of several users engaging in a common practice and using the thread to keep pace, then I would have thought differently, but as far as I can tell, if anybody else is keeping up a lifting/cutting program, nobody's saying anything.

There's obviously nothing wrong with keeping a journal but keeping a thread in the form of a journal with continued advice from one single user (as far as I can see) suggests to me that the correspondence be more appropriately carried out elsewhere, such as on profile, or your progress even archived on a personal blog, which may garner more interest than from the demographic that visits this site, but more importantly returning the thread to some kind of common denominator level which is open to other users, as it purported to be.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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I mentioned in the opening post:
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.

Not many others here besides rayoflight3 and myself seem to care about the topic. Also, I'm not directly asking rayoflight3 all the questions, they're up for anyone else to answer or respond to if they want. And when others post, I try to respond to keep the subject going, but that rarely carries through.

I've been using it as a lifting journal yes, but I don't see how that could become an issue. In the opening post I mentioned you could keep track of your progress here. I don't see it as that different from AMW threads; where users create poetry/art threads and they're the only ones posting in it for massive amounts of time. The only thing that's different here is that I'm posting about my training. The topics here are also always related to health and fitness, where as the AMW threads go on tangents, sort of like profile comments. They're not always talking about poetry/art.

rayoflight3
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Strop isn't wrong in his analysis. If a random person were to click on this thread and go to the latest posts, he would have a high probability of stumbling upon several of your logs. There's little discussion to be had on how much you lift, and I'm sure that's why activity in this thread has been limited to you posting and me occasionally making remarks.

And this thread has never been about health, even from the start. The title just seemed to be a pretense, and in reality, all that has ever been talked about is "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."

But this is something I thought long before the other guy commented on this thread degenerating into your lifting journal. Not that I mind, but you'd probably be better off tracking your progress in a blog (as I do) or on bodybuilding.com, where more experienced individuals in the field can respond.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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When clicking on a thread you should first read the opening post to see what the topic is about.

I could do that, yes, but this is generally easier to navigate and read from. I don't see the issue in me keeping track of my progress here. I don't spam posts, I post every or every other day with an update and make sure it's not breaking the rules.

It's not that different from AMW threads. They have a topic about art, I have a topic about fitness. They post their art, I post my fitness updates. The main difference is that this thread can generate more topics, instead of just being about a single person's art. I threw in a bunch of topic starters in the opening post as well, but barely anyone decided to talk about them. They can be both seen as journals.

From the get go I mentioned this thread was to talk about fitness, gym stuff, and progress.

---

400 calories burnt on treadmill.

I went to Walmart and got some protein. Two containers for around $36 altogether that should last a month to a month and a half depending on how much I take. If I take one scoop every day, it should last 24 days. One scoop of this protein is 26 grams of protein.

Strop
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Strop
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I don't want to drag this on unnecessarily, so I'll try to be brief:

There's a difference between intent and result. The intent was for a public discussion, the end result was that few people are interested in the level of detail of your exercise regimen as you are. I didn't even notice the user comment on page 41, rather I remember attempting to diversify the discussion slightly about 2 months ago but came back from my holiday to see nothing had changed. Furthermore referring to OP at this point when the current conversation has specialised to this point is pointless as a user would be under the impression that it had become "off-topic".

It's true that users have their own thread for their own creative output in AMW (though this is actually an exception to the general rule, since in all other places, particularly the Tavern, a thread focusing on the activity of a single user tends to be swiftly locked). I also do not want to discriminate against certain types of content purely because nobody else happened to be talking about it, provided it has potential for public discussion.

So I'd make the following recommendations:

1) This thread's a bit of a wrong message. It should be locked.
2) GhostofMatrix could start another (appropriately titled) thread centered around keeping a record of specific exercise regimens (lifting, even), but I suspect it would only be deemed viable if you were able to get interest from other users in it. No harm in trying, though.
3) At any point in time, AG users who aren't couch potatoes should start a separate thread talking about health and fitness in general, i.e. not just lifting, like the title originally implied.

I'm not unilaterally acting yet, but the only thing I can think that would change my mind is if different users were to suddenly inform me "hey, don't lock this thread, we don't post in it but we find this lifting journal useful and personally enriching!"

Reton8
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I still want Strop's thoughts on this...

"Cheating" is a term that can only be applied if there's specific parameters as to how one acceptably achieves an outcome. In this case the prior poster asserted that there would be higher water content (assumedly hypertrophy, as opposed to hyperplasia), and so the gains would be size but not strength. I can't comment on this claim.


I thought hypertrophy was the increase in size of cells that make up human muscles, while hyperplasia was the increase in quantity or number of cells. Also, I thought that hyperplasia was either not possible for human muscle cells (after puberty) or only in extremely rare cases or with the use of drugs.

Wouldn't higher water content within muscle fibers be more like hypertrophy, if even that?

Seeing that Strop is studying to be a physician [and assuming that those going into the practice study human biology] I was highly anticipating an answer.
GhostOfMatrix
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It's true that users have their own thread for their own creative output in AMW (though this is actually an exception to the general rule, since in all other places, particularly the Tavern, a thread focusing on the activity of a single user tends to be swiftly locked).

This thread isn't focused on the activity of a single user, it seems like that now because I've been logging my training here, but this thread is for everyone to discuss anything regarding health and fitness.
1) This thread's a bit of a wrong message. It should be locked.

What do you mean by wrong message? I read your post, but I don't understand how I'm sending the wrong message. I wanted (and still want) this thread to be about health and fitness, everything about those topics are welcome, but nobody is interested, so I'm making use of this thread by logging my training.
2) GhostofMatrix could start another (appropriately titled) thread centered around keeping a record of specific exercise regimens (lifting, even), but I suspect it would only be deemed viable if you were able to get interest from other users in it. No harm in trying, though.

You're saying I could make a lifting journal thread and it'd be okay if other users posted in it? If so, I doubt that'd work here. Barely anyone posts here and there are more topics that could be discussed.
I'm not unilaterally acting yet, but the only thing I can think that would change my mind is if different users were to suddenly inform me "hey, don't lock this thread, we don't post in it but we find this lifting journal useful and personally enriching!"

I doubt this would happen because of the above.

But if you decide to lock this, okay. This is the only thread I care about here, but I'm sure I'll be able to find other means of logging my training. It won't be as neat as this thread, but it'll have to do.
rayoflight3
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What do you mean by wrong message? I read your post, but I don't understand how I'm sending the wrong message. I wanted (and still want) this thread to be about health and fitness, everything about those topics are welcome, but nobody is interested, so I'm making use of this thread by logging my training.


It is because you are logging that people are being deterred. It's difficult for users to start another discussion if the bulk of the posts are your training logs, especially now that we're 40+ pages in. I would assume that is partly why the Crossfit thread was posted separately.

This is the only thread I care about here, but I'm sure I'll be able to find other means of logging my training. It won't be as neat as this thread, but it'll have to do.


Post on bodybuilding.com. It'd definitely be neater AND more practical. Either that or a personal blog. I can't think of a single advantage this thread, which is posted under a community forum whose users are not necessarily inclined towards the topic, over those options.
GhostOfMatrix
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I'll probably use bodybuilding.com, I've been lurking there for a few weeks now and am getting used to the layout and how things work.

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