What I’ve learned

I started exercising a long time ago and over the years I learned a lot of diffrent stuff. Some stuff I still use and other stuff I have discarded. As you get older things in your life change and your needs change. This is a list of what I learned when first starting out and other things that I learned later on. If you are a beginner that is awesome , read the list and take what you can from it but remember always do your own research and speak to doctors,trainers,nutritionists and pick up as much as you can. The process should be fun! Enjoy it! But learn.

1-How often should I work out as a beginner?
How many times a week?

There is really no golden rule about it, your body will get used to training  at a physical
level very quickly. But there is however one golden rule of rest. It is usually advocated
to rest a muscle or muscle group for 48 hours before you train it again.
However, you should work out the first 2-3 weeks at a lower intensity. This also applies to those who
have been away from training for a long time. Many people make the mistake of coming back to the gym
after 1-2 weeks of illness and go at it as hard as before. The result is extreme soreness that could leave you feeling wiped out.

The body is amazing and it is adaptive, it doesn’t take long  to get used to the physical activity.

2-How do I avoid the “gorilla” look?

They say that the “Gorilla” look is where the shoulder is rotated forward. It comes from  overdeveloped chest muscles in 
relation to the back of the shoulders and back. They also say many people forget or neglect to train their shoulders and back
muscles and it leads to the chest muscles pulling the shoulders forward and the “gorilla”-look arises.

I call bullshit on this one though. Just my opinion folks. I think this gorilla look comes directly from bad posture. Nothing more nothing less. Most people have horrible posture. I am always catching myself slouching, even when standing. When I do catch myself I stand up straight and push my shoulders back. Not only does this eliminate the gorilla look but actually makes you stand taller.

But It is important to train the entire body proportionally. The human eye can
appreciate the symmetry, our brains perceive symmetrical things
beautifully. Whether it’s a painting, a couch or the human body.

3-What is  ROM (range of motion)?

Range of motion is the distance a joint will move from flexion to extension . For the best way to train try completing each rep using a full range

of motion. This way you are training for full functionality. But as you advance and become more comfortable using the weights you can try to isolate the

ROM  by working the top half or the bottom half of the rep.

4-When I bench press I feel it in my shoulders a lot. Is there any way I can fix my technique so I can isolate my chest?

I am sure that if you route around on the internet you will find all sorts of “proper technique” posts about ways of doing

the bench press in a way to “isolate” your pecs. But the reality is that those techniques generally are BS and only work

when lifting light weight. Along with the squat, dead lift and overhead press the bench press is one of the “Big 4” of lifts

and it is a compound movement. Since the bench is a compound movement you can not isolate just the pecs. In this context

compound movement means , more than one muscle group. Besides, how much time do you want to spend working out?

Whats better than hitting more than one muscle at a time…..I call that practical and economical!

5-Do you need supplements?

The simple answer is no. There is no need to use them if you have your diet “dialed in”. But they do simplify things especially if you’re at work or in school. 
Having a good diet is key and it’s a science, especially if you want to lose weight and have to  go on a
calorie deficit. Because then you have even less room to get all parts of a varied diet.
But are they necessary for building mass? No. But eating  frequently is.

There are substances that are  NOT going to provide themselves within the diet.
At least not in sufficient quantities to achieve any added desired effect.
One of them is Creatine, which in studies shows to contribute to increased muscle growth although it never has done anything for me.

6-Can I exercise if I have a cold?

You can, but you shouldn’t. When the body is sick it needs all the nutrients it can get to 
fight the disease. Let it  concentrate on that, instead of having to maintain your muscles.

7-I am very muscular and my left
chest muscle is bigger  
than my right.
What can I do to fix it?

This happened to me when I was younger. My girlfriend at the time noticed it. She started laughing and pointing at me. I looked in the mirror and I was shocked.

Sometimes we prefer to use a particular body part when doing any physical activity
in everyday life. This can lead to one muscle being more developed than the other. To counteract this, you should do a lot of dumbbell work instead of barbells.
This helps the muscles to even out over time.

8-Why should I combine different muscle groups
in a workout? Many people will do  
chest / triceps or back / bicep.
Why should I do this?

When you bench press you are hitting you pecs,triceps and shoulders. 
You train your triceps  whether you like it or not.
Therefore, it is better to put these muscle groups together to avoid training
the same muscle group two days in a row.

When you advance further and you are ready to step it up a little you can try something else. Instead of doing chest and triceps you can do chest and biceps

9- I am Exercising regularly, but see no results.
What am I doing wrong?

There could be many reasons why gains fail to materialize. 
But the two most common are  poor diet or poor training or both.
Diet is 80% of your gains and you must ensure that your body gets the nutrients needed for
it to rebuild muscle. Revise your eating habits. Write down what you eat and make sure you meet certain criteria.
Are you hitting the calorie level you want?
Do you get enough protein?

An Other common reason is how you manage your training. Heavy weights, in the 8-12 rep range is good
for building muscle and increase hypertrophy. Less reps are better for exercising power and building strength.
If you are looking to increase muscle volume, you should be hitting  8-12 reps more regularly. But you should cycle in a lower

rep range of 4-6 reps to work with a heavier weight and build your strength up. Follow workout programs that rotate your rep range

throughout your training.

10-My grip strength is really bad, I lose grip
before I had time to finish an exercise
.
Should I buy pull straps?

No, pull straps should be avoided as much as possible, you begin to use them and
end up having to use them all the time. Grip strength will comes afterwards.
Just go hard until your grip gives out and be patient.

At an advanced level they are ok to use.

Wrist straps allow lifting heavier without hav...

11-How long should a workout be?

Try to keep it around an hour. After 45 min. you can start to reach a higher cortisol level and begin muscle breakdown.

Wrap it up at around an hour and put some food in your gullet pronto!

 

12-I have always been really skinny, can I get huge?

Anyone can put on muscle, but how long it takes depends on the body type. 
You have always been slim so you probably belong in the category of an ectomorph, the body type that
takes the longest time to build muscle. It’s hard,  you can not do
anything to change your genetic conditions. The muscles will come , it just takes longer.

13-What to eat to put on the most muscle?

Besides running a caloric surplus, you need a lot of protein. 
Between 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of body weight tends to be the standard measure.

14-Can anything be done to reduce workout soreness?


You can use a foam roller, get massages, soak in a hot bath or decrease intensity but really the only thing that makes soreness subside  is time. Just keep training, stay consistent.

15-Can you weight train even though you are 50 +?

Absolutely! Training is even more important as we get older in order to slow muscle breakdown and remain strong and limber. But making sure you have a really good diet with high nutrition is essential.

16-Can you lose fat  and build muscle
at the same time?

Absolutely!

17-Is it okay to do both strength training and cardio?

Yes it is quite okay.  But try out different routines and see what really works best for you.

For example I have found that with certain routines I really don’t need to do cardio because my weight training keeps my

heart rate high throughout the routine.

 

 

I will probably update this list over time so check back every once in a while if you want.

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