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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Maverick4
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Maverick4
6,815 posts
Shepherd

Basically, it's an exercise regimen. It combines elements of weightlifting, yoga, martial arts, cardio, etc. to help you gain muscle and lose fat. I believe there's also an eating plan as well. It sorta revolves around the concept of "muscle confusion" so that you're always putting on muscle.


There is an eating portion, but I wont be doing it because I eat fairly well, and from a medical standpoint I cant afford to lose any more weight. 4% body fat and 6th percentile in weigh for my age. Doctor said I might actually have to go on a diet to gain weight. :/

You pretty much nailed it. Its a bunch of one hour workouts that do a bunch of different exercises all over your body. Apparently all you need is a pullup bar and you're set.
rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
437 posts
Peasant

4% body fat and 6th percentile in weigh for my age.


If your body fat is really that low (at the point where it's beginning to dip into the essential body fat range), I don't suggest P90x at all. Do you have an adjustable set of dumbbells? If not, scope local sporting good stores or check Amazon. Here's a decently priced one.

Something to note: I seemed to be able to put on more weight when I started lifting. Granted, I was regulating my diet to an extent, but I was never able to get past 135 before then. After ten weeks of basic dumbbell training at home, I added about 10+ pounds of weight AND leaned out (six-pack became more visible).
rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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Peasant

Legs

I noticed a good deal of you wanted to strengthen your legs in some way. I'll post my routine for both my leg days here. (And I'll make a consolidated post of my entire weekly routine + supplements used later on.)

Anyway, before I get on, I want to clarify my goals so you know what I'm trying to achieve. Compared to my upper body, my legs (especially the calves) are already disproportionately big. I'm not looking for a ton of mass on them. Instead, I'm training for power, explosiveness, jumping ability, speed, agility, and acceleration. I would also like to tone my calves, as they are far too bulky for their own good.

I do two leg days: a plyometric-inclined one (Tuesday) and a strength-inclined one (Friday). Before every workout, I do some dynamic and multiple-repped static stretches, as well as light cardio to get the blood and adrenaline flowing.

Plyometric Day (Tuesday)

3x5 Back Squat
3x20 Barbell Lunge
3x5 Power Clean
3x12 Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise (per leg)
4x5 One-Legged Box Jump (per leg)
4x5 Depth Jump
3x10 Lateral Jump (per leg)
3x20 One-Legged Bound (per leg) (but with the leg kept straighter)

Strength Day (Friday)

3x7 Back Squat
3x10 Front Squat
3x10 Deadlift
3x10 One-Legged Squat (per leg) (While this exercise will actually provide great benefits to your knee and general leg strength, I do not recommend you do this without following the provided link first. You may also do these as an easier alternative.)
3x10 Leg Curl
3x5 Power Clean
3x15 Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise (per leg)
3x5 One-Legged Box Jump (per leg)
3x5 Depth Jump

If you're knowledgeable about these matters, feel free to comment on my routine. I believe I've constructed a solid routine for my goals. But while I've done all of these exercises individually, I've yet to try such a permutation out.

And finally, a few PR's if you're interested. I'll post more when I test my lifts out tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have no way now of testing my current vertical (both standing and running), and I'd have to stack a **** ton of plates on those boxes to test my two-legged box jump. Anyway...

One-Legged Box Jump - 37" +/- 0.5" (right leg)
Standing Vertical - 34" +/- 1"

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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My legs aren't sore today. Guess they've gotten used to the exercises.

Today was chest and triceps, but I wasn't able to do any form of bench press since I didn't have a spotter. I had to just stick with the other exercises. This is really ****ing with my routine. I'll have to persuade one of the desk ladies to let my dad to come in and spot me for a few sets. I only need him there for fifteen-twenty minutes on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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Peasant

Just wanted to say...

The front squat might be the most strenuous exercise ever conceived. I did three sets of ten (well, almost) of those and pretty much died. You need a great deal of upper body strength just to hold the barbell in place, and a strong core and lower back to maintain your form. It destroyed me afterwards. Anyway, a look at my (strength) leg day today (not quite the same as the one I posted, which I will start following next week).

Back Squat: 2x7 for 145, 1x6 for 145
Front Squat: 1x10 for 65, 1x10 for 75, 1x9 for 75
Deadlift: 2x10 for 135, 1x7 for 135
Power Clean: 3x5 for 55
Single Leg Squat: 3x8 for 10
One-legged Box Jump: 3x5, box around 20" (per leg)
Depth Jump: 3x5, smaller box around 12", taller box around 25"

Yeah, after those front squat sets, I barely had the energy to do those deadlifts.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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Deadlift: 2x10 for 135, 1x7 for 135

Deadlifts isn't a repetitious exercise, unless you're looking for stamina.

Two of the things you mentioned you're looking for are power and explosiveness, doing heavier weight for 1-4 reps will achieve that.

Also, I'd separate deadlifts and squats. Those are some strenuous exercises. Doing them on the same day will take a lot out of you. Let's say you do squats first, after you're done with squats you move onto deadlifts, you won't have much energy to reach your full potential. It's like doing bench press after you've done all the other chest exercises.
rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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Peasant

Deadlifts isn't a repetitious exercise, unless you're looking for stamina.


I'll change it to five reps then. I think 155 should be good for 3x5.

Also, I'd separate deadlifts and squats. Those are some strenuous exercises. Doing them on the same day will take a lot out of you. Let's say you do squats first, after you're done with squats you move onto deadlifts, you won't have much energy to reach your full potential. It's like doing bench press after you've done all the other chest exercises.


It wasn't so much the normal squat as it was the front squat that really sucked the energy out of me. But yeah, I might take out normal deadlifts from leg day. However, I noticed that my gym doesn't have the leg curl machine I like, so I might opt for either straight leg deadlifts OR good mornings.
Reton8
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Reton8
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King

Two of the things you mentioned you're looking for are power and explosiveness, doing heavier weight for 1-4 reps will achieve that.



I have to agree with GhostofMatrix.

3x7 Back Squat
3x10 Front Squat
3x10 Deadlift
3x10 One-Legged Squat (per leg)
3x10 Leg Curl
3x5 Power Clean
3x15 Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise (per leg)
3x5 One-Legged Box Jump (per leg)
3x5 Depth Jump


This seems like too much. You could probably cut the squat, power clean, calf raises and box jumps from your routine and you'd still be hitting legs hard.

I lift with my friend and he's doing a pretty solid online program (with professional trainers). On one of the leg days we did something like this:

Dead lifts - 6 sets of 4 reps
Barbell Lounges - 5 sets of 5 reps
Leg Press - 4 sets of 8 reps
Lying leg curls - 3 Set of 8 reps (targets the hamstrings)

(I can't remember the reps or sets exactly for the leg press and lounges.)

Also, I'm surprised no one has mentioned bodybuliding.com It has lots of information and demonstrates how to do a lot of different exercises properly.

A link to the exercises (just click on a muscle group):
http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/
Reton8
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Reton8
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King

I need to make a correction to the last post. I meant to say *You could probably cut one of the squats not all of them.

rayoflight3
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rayoflight3
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Peasant

This seems like too much. You could probably cut the squat, power clean, calf raises and box jumps from your routine and you'd still be hitting legs hard.


It's largely an experimental routine at the moment. I'm probably going to be cutting the deadlift, as well as replacing the leg curl with some barbell exercise that targets the hamstrings. Everything else should be fine though. The back squat is sometimes dubbed the "king of all exercises," and the front squat has been said to "make a man out of you." I think the inclusion of both is fine, and I'd rather do them over leg press anyway. As for calf raises, it's just nice to have a few sets of isolated calf movements. And box jumps and power cleans...those are essential to what I'm striving for. It's ideal to do plyometrics two times a week, and since box jumps (and depth jumps) aren't weighted exercises (and therefore function more with cardio), cortisol shouldn't be too big of an issue in a case where I'm working out for too long. But even then, that entire routine can be done within 75 minutes.
thepunisher93
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thepunisher93
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Peasant

I sprint but I don't know much about sprinting.
I do 3 or 4 sprints of 100m in 20 min.
I sprint for two main reasons:-
a) To lose weight.(I'm 90 kg with 6 feet height)
b) Adrenaline rush.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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Traps and biceps today. I'm getting better with shrugs, but my biceps got tired really early into the workout.

Shrugs:
315 - 8
315 - 8
315 - 8
275 - 10
275 - 10
275 - 10
225 - 15
225 - 12
225 - 12
225 - 10

For an exercise that only requires you to shrug, it's tiring. Especially if you use heavy weight and try to get into a high rep range.

Next time I do them I'll probably bump up the first three sets to 340 and the other ones around 15 pounds. Doing shrugs helps with deadlifts some, because you're holding the weight in standing position, so your body gets accustomed to holding heavier weight. It can also improve grip, but probably not as much for me since I use straps. I don't have a good grip.

I started biceps with some concentration curls, three sets of those, then moved on to standing curls. While doing standing curls my biceps stopped at 6 reps. Not sure why either. I wasn't using heavy weight, only the 35's (and 30's for concentration curls). I suppose the creatine is leaving in my body, I've been off of it for about two weeks.

But overall this was an easy day compared to the others. Doing biceps and traps doesn't take very long and isn't as exhausting as the other days.

Microe
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Microe
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Peasant

If you don't mind me saying, I'd suggest some more trap work. Exercises like shrugs and upright rows.


I do extra work twice a week on areas I lack, such as chest/traps/calves.

What's your workout schedule like? Do you take any supplements?


I ran Madcows 5x5 during my bulk and I am going to run it throughout my cut also, I
Microe
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Microe
843 posts
Peasant

Horrible double post but..

Traps and biceps today. I'm getting better with shrugs, but my biceps got tired really early into the workout.


I use wrist straps for later on in the workout when my forearms feel like jelly. Feel me?

Microe, you should definitely post progress pics of your cut as well.


Oh I definitely will!
xNightwish
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xNightwish
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Peasant

I have had a strange disease in my knee a time ago (I believe 3 months). So now I have a kind of weak knee and haven't trained my lower body in a time. But now I have to do a full triathlon for gym class or else I won't be able to do my exams in May. I already said it but because it is inter scholar and I don't have the disease anymore so the doctor won't give a note I have to do it. But if I make it without to much pain I think I will start ?running? again.

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