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Old 2011-01-25, 16:03   Link #81
Terransheep
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Question Question about getting 6 pack abs. included some pictures.

Hi guys, I was fat and wasn't feeling too well. I had pain coming out of my chest at times and my arms go numb most of the morning. (yes, now they are all gone) So I decided to lose some weight and be fit and look good.

I heard getting 6 packs is the hardest thing to do in all of the workout results, so I decided to challenge the hardest. Yet, I'm still new to these whole keeping fit stuff. In fact, I lost 22 lbs in 2 months just by browsing internet and how to lose weight by doing cardio for 30minutes everyday and eat only vegetables and meat. Not much starch intakes. I heard that I have to drop my body fat to 9% in order to see packs poping out. I'm currently at 163lbs at 6'1, which is the normal weight/height. (was 185lbs and 6'1)I'm just starting some weight lifting these days, and also continuing my abs workout mostly everyday, or 3~4 times a week.

Ok, so here's my question... Do I need to continue lose weight to reach the body fat? (9%~12%) Or do I just have to continue putting more weights in my abs workout? like adding dumbell while doing situps/crunches? I've asked some people, such as my mom. She was saying that since I lost weight so rapidly, that's still skin I'm having from stretched out body 5 months ago. (but I was fat pretty much throughout my life since elementary, infact, if you look at the front of my belly, you can still see those love handles' marks...)

Below are some pictures I've taken these days. People who does not want to see some belly photos can skip these buttons But I really do need some suggestions from people... Thank you.

Spoiler:
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Old 2011-01-25, 17:03   Link #82
Kagayaki
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Hmm, your pictures are broken for me...

It seems to me that body fat is the difference between visible ab muscles and not visible ab muscles. Building ab muscle is the difference between the "skinny long distance runner" 6 pack and the "wow, were you an extra in 300?" 6 pack. So for you, adding ab muscle probably won't make much difference. Doing weight training is probably a good way to reduce body fat, but for body fat reduction adding a few pounds of ab muscle (Is that even possible? I have no idea.) would have the same effect as adding a few pounds of arm or leg muscle (which is much easier). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spot_reduction

You have the right goal though, which is to reduce body fat. You can be normal weight and still not have a low enough body fat percentage for a 6 pack.

Even if I can guess what your goal should be, I'm not the best person to ask for advice on how to get there (I only know stuff about exercising for athletic performance rather than exercising for general fitness). Maybe doing more cardio and weightlifting with the same diet? I'm not really sure.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember that it has to be sustainable. You can gain weight pretty fast if you go back to your old diet and exercise habits.

People who change their lifestyle and get in shape are really admirable though. That sort of thing is definitely harder than having been in shape all along and just keeping the same lifestyle, so congrats on that
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Old 2011-01-25, 21:30   Link #83
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Body fat is most important for your goals. Generally speaking, with proper protein and dietary fat intake, and a low body fat percentage, your muscles will be visible even when you aren't flexing them. In your case, judging by the photos, you might want to add more weight training if visible muscles are your goal. If the abs are your only concern, simply continue dropping body fat. You may need to up the intensity in your exercise protocol to HIIT (interval training) or German volume weight training. Both of these approaches raise blood lactate levels, producing more natural growth hormone that will raise your metabolism. If you'd like any more specific advice ask here and I'll give you some; I'm not a bodybuilder myself but as an experienced powerlifter/ nutrition hobbyist I know enough to help you out.

Also - congrats on your success! Just remember to keep eating healthfully. Plenty of vegetables, lean meats, and sparing consumption of nuts and fruits are vital to someone losing weight.
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Old 2011-01-25, 22:15   Link #84
GundamFan0083
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Join Date: May 2009
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Depending on intended long-term goals, and/or desired health, a proper diet and excercise regimen is essential (as pretty much everyone else here has said).

My own goal is strength/physical power through weightlifting (not bodybuilding).

I'm an endomorph body type so I put on muscle and fat very easily.
Carbs are certainly my enemy and I don't eat more of them than I need too.
My diet is protein heavy with a proper proportion of vegies.
Sweets and carbs are bare minimum (they are a once in a great while treat).

Here's my weekly diet:

Sunday:
Breakfast: Orange juice only (nothing else)
Lunch: Steak (1/2 pound), with large salad (red-wine vinegar dressing), and a small piece of bread. I drink water as my beverage.
Dinner: 2 Chicken Breasts (about 1/3 pound), salad and small piece of bread. OJ for drink.

Monday-Wednesday:
Breakfast: OJ
Lunch: Sandwich (usually roast beef or chicken with only mustard, NO MAYO), side of raw vegies. Drink is water
Dinner: Chicken breast (1/3 pound), salad, and small piece of bread. Water for drink.

Thursday:
Breakfast: OJ
Lunch: Sandwich as above
Dinner: Lamb (1 pound), salad, small piece of bread. Water for drink.

Friday:
Breakfast: nothing
Lunch: Cheeseburger with no sides and only tea or water for drink.
Dinner: Philly cheesesteak sandwich (yes I know it's horrible), no side, only water or tea for drink.

Saturday: nothing, I fast the whole day drinking only OJ or water.

Weight Lifting routine:

Sunday (Chest):
Excercise: Bench Press, Sets: 4, Reps: 8-15, Weight: 225-365 pounds
Excercise: Incline Press, Sets: 4, Reps: 12-20, Weight: 185-255 pounds
Excercise: Machine Flyes, Sets: 4, Reps: 15-20, Weight: 135-205 pounds
Excercise: Dips, Sets: 3, Reps: 15-20 each

Monday (Legs):
Excercise: Leg Lift, Sets: 4, Reps: 15-20, Weight: 215-275 pounds
Excercise: Leg Curl, Sets: 4, Reps: 12-15, Weight: 115-135 pounds
Excercise: Toe Raise, Sets: 4, Reps: 15, Weight: 135-185 pounds

Tuesday (Arms):
Excercise: Arm Curl (dumbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 12-15, Weight: 30-40 pounds each dumbell
Excercise: Arm Curl (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 12-15, weight: 75-90 pounds
Excercise: Pulley Pushdowns, Sets: 3, Reps: 12-20, Weight: 50-70 pounds
Excercise: French Curls (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 85-100 pounds

Wednesday (Shoulders):
Excercise: Military Press (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 135-155 pounds
Excercise: Shoulder Shrug (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 250-275 pounds
Excercise: Barbell raise, Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 75-90 pounds
Excercise: Reverse Flye (dumbells), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 25-40 pounds each dumbell

Thursday (Back):
Excercise: Wide Grip Pulldowns, Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 110 pounds
Excercise: Seated Rowing (machine), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 125 pounds
Excercise: Barbell Row (standing), Sets: 3, Reps: 12-15, Weight: 90-115 pounds
Excercise: Good Morning (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 90-115 pounds

Friday (Run):
20-30 minutes at 5.5-6 mph.

Saturday (Rest):

I always use weight lifting gloves, have a spotter, and use a weight-belt for safety.

There's my week of "gainful pain."
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Old 2011-01-25, 22:18   Link #85
ChainLegacy
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A good routine though I would question the consumption of orange juice by itself in the morning... why would you want to spike your blood sugar in the AM? I prefer salad greens with some form of protein personally (eggs with mushrooms and bell peppers being a favorite).

Also your chest is disproportionately powerful in comparison to your legs. Have you ever tried compound leg exercises like squats or deadlifts? If you prefer the single leg approach Bulgarian split squats are a great option, even though they are gruelingly difficult.
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Old 2011-01-25, 22:39   Link #86
Master_Yoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Depending on intended long-term goals, and/or desired health, a proper diet and excercise regimen is essential (as pretty much everyone else here has said).

My own goal is strength/physical power through weightlifting (not bodybuilding).

I'm an endomorph body type so I put on muscle and fat very easily.
Carbs are certainly my enemy and I don't eat more of them than I need too.
My diet is protein heavy with a proper proportion of vegies.
Sweets and carbs are bare minimum (they are a once in a great while treat).

Here's my weekly diet:

Sunday:
Breakfast: Orange juice only (nothing else)
Lunch: Steak (1/2 pound), with large salad (red-wine vinegar dressing), and a small piece of bread. I drink water as my beverage.
Dinner: 2 Chicken Breasts (about 1/3 pound), salad and small piece of bread. OJ for drink.

Monday-Wednesday:
Breakfast: OJ
Lunch: Sandwich (usually roast beef or chicken with only mustard, NO MAYO), side of raw vegies. Drink is water
Dinner: Chicken breast (1/3 pound), salad, and small piece of bread. Water for drink.

Thursday:
Breakfast: OJ
Lunch: Sandwich as above
Dinner: Lamb (1 pound), salad, small piece of bread. Water for drink.

Friday:
Breakfast: nothing
Lunch: Cheeseburger with no sides and only tea or water for drink.
Dinner: Philly cheesesteak sandwich (yes I know it's horrible), no side, only water or tea for drink.

Saturday: nothing, I fast the whole day drinking only OJ or water.

Weight Lifting routine:

Sunday (Chest):
Excercise: Bench Press, Sets: 4, Reps: 8-15, Weight: 225-365 pounds
Excercise: Incline Press, Sets: 4, Reps: 12-20, Weight: 185-255 pounds
Excercise: Machine Flyes, Sets: 4, Reps: 15-20, Weight: 135-205 pounds
Excercise: Dips, Sets: 3, Reps: 15-20 each

Monday (Legs):
Excercise: Leg Lift, Sets: 4, Reps: 15-20, Weight: 215-275 pounds
Excercise: Leg Curl, Sets: 4, Reps: 12-15, Weight: 115-135 pounds
Excercise: Toe Raise, Sets: 4, Reps: 15, Weight: 135-185 pounds

Tuesday (Arms):
Excercise: Arm Curl (dumbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 12-15, Weight: 30-40 pounds each dumbell
Excercise: Arm Curl (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 12-15, weight: 75-90 pounds
Excercise: Pulley Pushdowns, Sets: 3, Reps: 12-20, Weight: 50-70 pounds
Excercise: French Curls (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 85-100 pounds

Wednesday (Shoulders):
Excercise: Military Press (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 135-155 pounds
Excercise: Shoulder Shrug (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 250-275 pounds
Excercise: Barbell raise, Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 75-90 pounds
Excercise: Reverse Flye (dumbells), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 25-40 pounds each dumbell

Thursday (Back):
Excercise: Wide Grip Pulldowns, Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 110 pounds
Excercise: Seated Rowing (machine), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 125 pounds
Excercise: Barbell Row (standing), Sets: 3, Reps: 12-15, Weight: 90-115 pounds
Excercise: Good Morning (barbell), Sets: 3, Reps: 15, Weight: 90-115 pounds

Friday (Run):
20-30 minutes at 5.5-6 mph.

Saturday (Rest):

I always use weight lifting gloves, have a spotter, and use a weight-belt for safety.

There's my week of "gainful pain."
Drinking nothing but OJ for breakfast is going to make you more hungry and make one fail. The best thing you can do is eat a good breakfast of whole gains and some kind of fruit
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Old 2011-01-25, 22:42   Link #87
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Actually.. a bit more protein at breakfast is better than just carbs... otherwise you get that 'sugar dive' before lunch. The carbs should be complex rather than simple (i.e. oatmeal rather than a sugar drink). Managing simple carb intake mitigates long term problems like diabetes.
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Old 2011-01-25, 23:22   Link #88
GundamFan0083
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Thank you all for the input.

I know my legs are weaker than the rest of my body.
That's due to an accident I had a few years back.

Spoiler for very embarrassing...:


I still do lunges and deadlifts during my summer routine, that helps me with strength building in my legs.

My OJ thing in the morning is party because I'm simply just not hungry.
I try to keep my calorie count down to about 2000-2200 maximum per day with mostly protein and vegies as my intake (very hard in the USA).

Being endomorphic can be very depressing, though I'm told I look pretty good considering being in this body type.
That may be due to the fact that I'm self conscious of how much food I put down and what types.
I've tried the 300-400 calorie meal, 7 to 8 times a day, eating pattern but just cannot do it and work a 40 hour a week job.
I mix up my diet and routine between a summer (high rep low weight, more meals lower cals) and winter (high weight low rep, fewer meals) routines.
Doing that has actually helped me keep from plateauing (weight lifting jargon there) and helps maintain my strength.
However, as I approach 40 years of age I find that only using an EAC stack will help burn off the fat and keep it off for me.
Sucks getting older.
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Old 2011-01-26, 00:12   Link #89
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
...
Sucks getting older.
Just wait til your bio-warranty expires and things start failing FNAR. Physically, I'm in better shape than I was in my 20s by a long shot... unfortunately, the parts themselves are more prone to just saying "no, you're going to pay for that move for a week".

Leaping, whacking, climbing, hoisting, ... no problem. Bend over to pick up a sock? bam, out of commission for a week.
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Old 2011-01-26, 00:25   Link #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Just wait til your bio-warranty expires and things start failing FNAR. Physically, I'm in better shape than I was in my 20s by a long shot... unfortunately, the parts themselves are more prone to just saying "no, you're going to pay for that move for a week".

Leaping, whacking, climbing, hoisting, ... no problem. Bend over to pick up a sock? bam, out of commission for a week.
That is when you lack training in flexibility of joints. I always never believe in lifting weights with my legs because it simply makes the muscles tough, not flexible. It is going to breed another weightlifter-elbow syndrome - he can't stretch his hand out straight (I once threw a punch during CQB training at a mate who has got big biceps, though he is faster, he couldn't reach me. But that damn protective helmet HURTS.).

There are two kinds of muscle flex, slow flex and fast flex. The latter loosens your muscle much faster and tenses at the correct length to avoid overstretching and you losing your balance. The former one is loosens at a controlled rate, but it causes most of the tears and pulls when doing sudden movements.

I think swimming dolphin should help, both in fast and slow times. Cycling works too, but for the back muscles, I think dancing should work best, though I don't know if DDR without handlebars count as that.
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Old 2011-01-26, 01:09   Link #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
You may need to up the intensity in your exercise protocol to HIIT (interval training) or German volume weight training. Both of these approaches raise blood lactate levels, producing more natural growth hormone that will raise your metabolism.
-What are those two? I've never heard of them. How do I proceed? Sorry I'm very new to this whole "getting fit" thingy (I still have my love handle marks in the photos.. lol)
-So is the stuff i pinched in photos I provided the remaining body fat? or skin?
-And YES, I would love to train for visible abs! to impress the ladies at first impression!

So far I think I need to:
-Continue cardio
-Start weight lifting (add more muscles, more fat burned)

EDIT: my body fat is 13% I'm heading there I think!
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Last edited by Terransheep; 2011-01-26 at 15:24. Reason: adding more info in 1 new reply
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Old 2011-01-26, 10:51   Link #92
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Massachusetts, US
Age: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terransheep View Post
-What are those two? I've never heard of them. How do I proceed? Sorry I'm very new to this whole "getting fit" thingy (I still have my love handle marks in the photos.. lol)
-So is the stuff i pinched in photos I provided the remaining body fat? or skin?
-And YES, I would love to train for visible abs! to impress the ladies at first impression!

So far I think I need to:
-Continue cardio
-Start weight lifting (add more muscles, more fat burned)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-in...erval_training <- Pretty good outline of the interval training. To paraphrase, basically take any cardio machine you enjoy, do a 5 minute warm up at a moderate pace. Once you've completed that, you have 8 sets of alternating low and high intensity. Meaning, each minute might go like this: 20 seconds moderate pace -> 40 seconds all-out sprint. Then just repeat that 8 times. Make sure that during the sprint portion, you are going absolutely as fast as your body can muster. It's only 8 minutes, but you should be completely exhausted by the end of the last minute. After that, just do some moderate pace jogging for 20-30 minutes to cool down.

As for German volume training, it's basically one of my favorite routines for fat loss and muscle growth (yes it does both at once). There's several variations to the routine, however this website offers a good explanation for you: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/luis13.htm . It was pioneered by one of my favorite strength coaches, Charles Poliquin. If any of the terminology has you confused post here and I'll try to make it easier to understand; there is a bit of lingo in there for the layperson.

As for your photos, I can't definitively say whether you're pinching skin or fat. The thing is, if your bodyfat is low enough your abs will be visible so it certainly won't hurt to keep chizzling away at your bodyfat %.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Thank you all for the input.

I know my legs are weaker than the rest of my body.
That's due to an accident I had a few years back.
Oooh damn man, that's a legit reason right there. I had a knee injury from football in high school and it set back my leg training quite a bit; your situation is definitely worse lol.
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Old 2011-01-26, 15:14   Link #93
Vexx
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Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
That is when you lack training in flexibility of joints. I always never believe in lifting weights with my legs because it simply makes the muscles tough, not flexible. It is going to breed another weightlifter-elbow syndrome - he can't stretch his hand out straight (I once threw a punch during CQB training at a mate who has got big biceps, though he is faster, he couldn't reach me. But that damn protective helmet HURTS.).

There are two kinds of muscle flex, slow flex and fast flex. The latter loosens your muscle much faster and tenses at the correct length to avoid overstretching and you losing your balance. The former one is loosens at a controlled rate, but it causes most of the tears and pulls when doing sudden movements.

I think swimming dolphin should help, both in fast and slow times. Cycling works too, but for the back muscles, I think dancing should work best, though I don't know if DDR without handlebars count as that.
I injured my back when I was a teenager and the muscle scar tissue sometimes pinches a nerve.... that's followed by the lower back muscles on one side seizing up and making it all worse. But yeah my son is a certified personal trainer and we're working on the core muscles.

Nonetheless, joints/tendons (being mechanical) tend to wear with age so that factor plays in.
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Old 2011-01-26, 20:09   Link #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
As for your photos, I can't definitively say whether you're pinching skin or fat. The thing is, if your bodyfat is low enough your abs will be visible so it certainly won't hurt to keep chizzling away at your bodyfat %.
Ok, so I checked your German program... it says... for beginners... do 10 reps of 10 sets of chin ups? What? I don't think my friend who's been working out on his upper body the whole time can do that much...But I'll start though! Thanks for the tips!

and by the way, I just bought a body fat weight measure machine, it says I have 13% body fat. I finally know I'm close 9~12% is the way eh! I'm head there sooner or later
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Old 2011-01-26, 21:17   Link #95
ChainLegacy
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Just do what you can muster. If you stick to that routine and others of that intensity for around a year 10x10 of chin ups will definitely be doable (though it will always be difficult!) Just remember to switch your workout routines every month-two months to promote muscle confusion. You get much better results that way.
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Old 2011-01-26, 23:20   Link #96
Terransheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Just do what you can muster. If you stick to that routine and others of that intensity for around a year 10x10 of chin ups will definitely be doable (though it will always be difficult!) Just remember to switch your workout routines every month-two months to promote muscle confusion. You get much better results that way.
Ok, I got another question for you... it's about my muscles... When I first started an abs program I've been doing for half a year now... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNqrkGnkUWc) my abs were sore the next day, and was sore for up to 3 days... Now whenever I follow that video, I still feel tired afterwards, but I don't feel any soreness the next day. I still shake whenever I'm trying to do holding crunches? What?! I thought my abs should be strong enough not to shake during hodling crunches since all I did in the workout was mostly crunches.

Ok, and this kinda apply to my biceps too. I am currently lifting 12pounds weight and I think I'm having a hard time doing 12x3. my biceps just shut themselves off by the time I got to the 2nd set. I did rest after 1st rep, but I didn't feel that much exhaustion after the first. But I can't really finish the 2nd set without resting in the middle, like 6th rep. However, I don't get soreness the next day. I mean, I worked really hard trying to finish 12x3, but I don't get sore? What's going on? I thought I am suppose to get soreness after a good workout, and I think I did a good one coz I can hardly finish the 2nd set without resting in the middle, and 3rd set was just 2~4 rep 1 rest... lmao I can't lift the weight up!

Could you please tell me what's going on here? Thanks!
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Old 2011-01-26, 23:37   Link #97
Kagayaki
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That's pretty normal. In my experience you only get soreness after a good workout when you're not well-conditioned for that specific activity. Even if you go to failure (ie you just can't do another rep), it's hard to get sore doing the same thing you've been doing for the past 6 months unless you make major changes in volume (number of reps) or intensity (weight).

If you think you're still improving, I wouldn't worry about it, but if you hit a plateau for a while, varying volume and intensity might be one way to break out of that.
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Old 2011-01-26, 23:38   Link #98
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I injured my back when I was a teenager and the muscle scar tissue sometimes pinches a nerve.... that's followed by the lower back muscles on one side seizing up and making it all worse. But yeah my son is a certified personal trainer and we're working on the core muscles.
Oh. I broke both my legs and my left arm before in a car accident, but I am still running and jumping around with little or no issue.

Either that or my pain receptors are dead.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-01-26, 23:40   Link #99
ChainLegacy
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Age: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terransheep View Post
Ok, I got another question for you... it's about my muscles... When I first started an abs program I've been doing for half a year now... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNqrkGnkUWc) my abs were sore the next day, and was sore for up to 3 days... Now whenever I follow that video, I still feel tired afterwards, but I don't feel any soreness the next day. I still shake whenever I'm trying to do holding crunches? What?! I thought my abs should be strong enough not to shake during hodling crunches since all I did in the workout was mostly crunches.

Ok, and this kinda apply to my biceps too. I am currently lifting 12pounds weight and I think I'm having a hard time doing 12x3. my biceps just shut themselves off by the time I got to the 2nd set. I did rest after 1st rep, but I didn't feel that much exhaustion after the first. But I can't really finish the 2nd set without resting in the middle, like 6th rep. However, I don't get soreness the next day. I mean, I worked really hard trying to finish 12x3, but I don't get sore? What's going on? I thought I am suppose to get soreness after a good workout, and I think I did a good one coz I can hardly finish the 2nd set without resting in the middle, and 3rd set was just 2~4 rep 1 rest... lmao I can't lift the weight up!

Could you please tell me what's going on here? Thanks!

Well, first I'd say that soreness is not always indicative of how much work you put in, or the usefulness of the workout as a whole. You might not always be sore. On the other hand, this may very well tie in to the muscle confusion topic I referenced in my last post. If you have been doing ab crunches, or bicep curls, of the same rep and set combinations for a prolonged period of time your body will adapt to the movement. Meaning, your body has gotten so used to doing that movement that it can perform it in a manner efficient enough not to break down your muscle fibers. This neural adaptation is very useful in most areas of life - for instance the more you practice swinging a baseball bat, or punching the heavybag, the more efficient your body becomes at it. But in terms of working out, it's actually counterproductive because the difficulty of the exercise is what allows your muscles to grow in the first place.

The solution is to practice muscle confusion. Rather than perform regular bicep curls, you can perform another bicep exercise, such as hammer curls, reverse curls, preacher curls, or Zottman curls. Here's a list of some great arm workouts I have referenced in the past with good results: http://chetday.com/armworkout.htm . The point is, every month or so, you should switch up your workout - switch up the sets, the tempo, the repetitions, and most importantly the exercises. Nowadays, there are so many different lifts for each body part that you can keep alternating indefinitely. By constantly switching it up, your muscles become 'confused' and never get a chance to adapt too much.

Abs are a bit trickier, but I've had good results using an ab wheel, the captain's chair (found often in gyms, you hang from an area where your elbows rest and pull your legs up to your stomach), and plank holds. The thing with abs is, you don't always need to directly target them. They are an integral part of most compound exercises, so you can also indirectly hit them (which sometimes is even more effective) by doing exercises like squats and deadlifts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kagayaki View Post
That's pretty normal. In my experience you only get soreness after a good workout when you're not well-conditioned for that specific activity. Even if you go to failure (ie you just can't do another rep), it's hard to get sore doing the same thing you've been doing for the past 6 months unless you make major changes in volume (number of reps) or intensity (weight).

If you think you're still improving, I wouldn't worry about it, but if you hit a plateau for a while, varying volume and intensity might be one way to break out of that.
You should never be doing the exact same routine for six months! Btw, hello to a fellow Massachusettsian .
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Old 2011-01-27, 14:45   Link #100
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There are quite a lot of misconceptions in health and fitness.

What one really needs for good health is a half-decent understanding of diet and exercise physiology. Both of which are thought to be linked to our evolution, both of which are really not that easy to find because the information is scattered all over the place in journal databases.

Our genes have evolved for millions of years, and our current lifestyles (brought on by the Agricultural Revolution) represent a small fraction of that time, around ten thousand. The math says that our genome hasn't had time to adapt and we still have a hunter-gatherer biology.

If this is taken to be true, physical health comes down to two simple things: the food we eat and how much we move around.

Hunter-gatherers evolved to thrive on whatever they could find/scavange/kill. As a result their diet was very varied (plentiful meat, seafood, fresh vegetables and fruit) and came with a lot of nutrients. Something our genes have come to expect, but they don't get anymore. This disparity is thought to be a major cause of disease, and these diseases are grouped into diseases of affluence.

The other cause being sedentary lifestyles. A hunter-gatherer would cover marathon distances on a daily basis. What we now consider 'superhuman' fitness (athletes etc.) was actually the norm for our species not too long ago... This of course makes sense, if all you did was hunt/forage for food in the wild.

There's a summary of some of my research into the topic.

Not that any of this information is prescriptive, but my health plan is mostly based on this (ie. a good Paleolithic diet cookbook, and lots of walking around/running where posssible). One thing that's for sure is that such a diet isn't super convenient when shopping in supermarkets and preparing food, but you can get used to it as with anything and fix up great meals pretty quickly.

Oh, and in response to some of the above posts, there are a lot of fallacies weaved into 'core' exercises by health professionals, usually through no fault of their own, just a lack of awareness of the current research that's out there.

I'll try to reason it out in my next post when I get time.
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