In a Nutshell
I'm too lazy to read the whole FAQ. Could you give me cliff's notes?
Here you go:
(1) Eat when hungry, and eat reasonably
(2) Eat adequate protein (1-1.5g/lb lean body mass)
(3) Remove as much processed food from the diet as possible
(4) Train intelligently and avoid being sedentary if possible
(5) Supply adequate nutrients around training
(6) Make sure you are recovering reasonably and getting good sleep.
Fix this **** and adhere for a while before worrying about anything else.
I'm morbidly obese and I want to change, what should I do?
Good for you. You'll find a lot of support and respect for your efforts here. Read, buriedbeds loses 200 pounds
, and come back here for some specifics on how to change.
What's the best way to lose weight?
You need to lift heavy weights, do cardio, and eat better
. Don't worry about supplements until your diet and exercise plans are in check and you are following them religiously.
Read the articles on www.bodyrecomposition.com
. Here is another summary: http://body-improvements.com/resources/eat/
What's the best way to gain weight?
You need to lift heavy weights
, avoid cardio, eat more
. There's more info here
I just want to get toned. My goal is not to bulk up. I heard that lifting heavy weights makes you huge?
You heard wrong. To begin with getting toned probably doesn't mean what you think it does, see this
. Secondly, you can't get huge without eating a lot of food
. If you don't want to get huge, don't eat huge amounts of food. It's that simple.
How do you feel about workout/diet/progress logs?
Bring 'em on! This forum was partially created for this purpose. Post your goals, your starting weight, your workout/diet plans, and any comments or questions you might have in your own thread. Feel free to bump it as often as you'd like (with regularity, please), and users are invited to post in "log" threads as well to give their input. See the following examples on how to make an effective, interesting log: Baseball
, Resistance Training
, Going on Accutane
, Starting Strength
, Gaining Weight
and Losing Weight
When posting workouts in your log (or anywhere else) use the following format for sets and reps: Sets X Reps, i.e. 3 X 8 is 3 sets of 8 reps.
A Note on Logs: Any log you create is yours to moderate as you see fit (within reason). If someone is bothering you by insulting your workouts, cluttering it up, or simply bothering you in any way, contact SmileyEH or tsearcher and we will delete the posts and inform the poster in question not to post in your log again.
How do I create tables for my log?
A.This is how you do it
I want to start working out, what should I do?
If you're new to resistance training, Starting Strength
is THE program you should be on.
What about the P90X program?
A.It's better than nothing.
However, P90X is an inferior program based on hyperbolic claims, unnecessary complexity, and bad science. If you are still sold on its claims do the program and keep a log with before/after shots.
I heard that doing conjugated periodization, wave loading, with a intermittent overfeeding will give me gains quicker than just following Starting Strength. Is this true?
Other programs will offer greater gains for intermediate and advanced lifters, but they are not the best protocol to follow for a beginner. SS by Mark Rippetoe
, is an excellent template for novices because it uses compound movements
along with a simple progression method
, which is all they need. It's also high intensity, and low volume, which takes advantage of the famous "newbie gains". Best of all, you get all those benefits while only committing 3 hours a week of your time. You could certainly switch a few things here and there and it will still be a great program, but most of the tinkering people want to do is unneeded and slows down progression
I'll probably need to go down to 2.5 lb jumps on the press soonish but my gym doesnt have lower than 2.5 lb plates. What can I do?
Get these sweet 2" washers from McMaster- Carr
, part number 91081A046. Each washer is 10oz. You can also get the zinc plated version
if rust is a concern. You can epoxy two sets of two for 1.25lb weights and then the single washers can be used for 0.625lb weights. Or you could purchase these microplates
How do I know when to move to a different program after SS?
When it stops working
Starting Strength stopped working, what’s next?
Some popular programs
include: Bill Starr's 5X5
, the Texas Method
, Westside Barbell
, Pavel's 5X5
. Go here for any questions you may have regarding intermediate programming
Will you check my form in this video?
Absolutely. Post it here. But also consider going to the Strengthmill Forum
and hear it from the horses mouth. Or go to the digital coaching forum at Crossfit.
Starting Strength sounds great, but I can't go to the gym and I don't have room for all that equipment at home.
That's fine, you still have some excellent alternatives. The simplest and cheapest are body weight workouts
. You may also be interested in the kettlebell
. And here's some discussion on setting up a home gym
Right now I can't do any pull ups, how can I start to do them?
Pull ups are a great exercise, learn how to do them here
Shouldn't I be running or doing some cardio?
It depends on what your goals are. If you are a skinny twig and looking to bulk up, cardio exercises are probably not the best for your goals. However, if you are interested in increasing your overall health/fitness or trying to lose weight then you will most likely want to do some type of cardio/aerobic exercise. The heart is obviously a very important muscle and having it strong and efficient is quite important, especially as you age.
What exercises should I be doing for cardio?
That's going to depend on your initial level of fitness and what you like to do. Walking
are some options. If you are overweight, have knee problems, or have been sedentary for a long time then running may not be for you and you will want try a lower impact option.
Intensity of exercise is important when you are training your cardiovascular system but is highly dependent on your current state of fitness. If you are a fat tub of goo, a fast walk could be high intensity. High Intensity Interval Training
- warming up and then alternating periods of high intensity with periods of low intensity - are a good way to maximize your training time. This on/off switching increases average heart rate and calorie burn for time spent exercising.
I want a strong "core", also I want to develop my abs, what should I do?
The compound movements (squat, deadlift, press)
and accessory exercises
used in "Starting Strength" will usually be enough for the novice to intermediate. Other useful exercises and opinions can be found in this thread.
How do I get 6-pack abs?
6-pack abs are largely a function of diet
Warming Up, Stretching and Recovery
What should I be doing to warm up and stretch before I lift and what can I do for recovery?
A.Dynamic stretching warmup. Foam rolling
can be used pre and post workout. Massage
can also be quite helpful. See Magnificent Mobility or Maximum Strength for some additional ideas.
Any other resources for stretching?
Good resource here: Stretching and Flexibility
. Also, at the following, click on a body part in the right column under "Exercises" and there are relevant stretching suggestions: Exercise and Muscle Directory
I'm a woman and I don't want to get big and bulky, won't weightlifting do that to me?
Your diet is a key part of the equation regarding body mass. No one suddenly explodes. The freaky looking male bodybuilders
have several different things happening than you: they are men, they consume to sustain that growth, they are on roids
, they have been at it for many years, and all but their initial training is actually different than a straight up strength program.
If you don't eat to gain, you won't (this also applies to men). Also, women don't tend to naturally put on much muscle. Remember not to take steroids. There are any number of women Olympic weightlifters who compete in weight classes who don't look bulky: Tara Nott
. Women sprinters typically have superb deadlift and squat strength. So set aside the pink dumbbells and give a strength program a chance if for no other reason than to change things up.
You can find more discussion on this topic here
Help! I don't know how to feed myself!
Join the club. What and how much you eat depends largely on your goals. For good background and discussion on this topic, visit these sites: Alan Aragon Research and Review
and Body Recomposition-Lyle McDonald
I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian, got any suggestions?
Do your homework
, you can find some discussion here
I'm just looking for an easy way to lose a little weight and feel better, is there anything for me.
While individual needs will vary greatly, this works for a lot of people. No processed foods. That's it.
Is it OK to eat eggs? What about the yolks?
A.The AHA is inconsistent in its explanations and recommendations
, but they appear to limit egg consumption to 2 a week for some people and 1 a day for others. However, there is good reason to believe that this is incorrect and that whole eggs are both delicous and good for you
How do I figure out the calories and nutrients I've consumed and keep track of them?
and The Daily Plate
are both useful.
What supplements should I be taking?
A. The answer depends on your goals, diet and various other factors
. Some of the more popular supplements are multivitamins, fish oil
and whey protein
Where's the best place to get supplements?
, Bulk Nutrition
and True Protein
I have a question about (insert illegal substance here). Is that okay?
Yes, absolutely. This forum was built to support all of these types of questions and concerns. Freedom of information largely reigns. For example, here's some information on steroids
. However, posting links to places where you can purchase illegal substances is strictly forbidden.
Ok I understand nutrition, but it's actual meals I have no idea about.
To begin with, be a man: learn to cook
. Here are some ideas of what to cook:
Foods I can prepare in Big Batches
, 101 simple recipes
, inexpensive paleo recipes
, how to boil an egg
, Healthy Snacks
, Paleo Chocolate Recipes, post the last meal you had
2010 Goals and Resolutions Thread
The Questions and Answers were written by kyleb, shemp, thremp, ottsville, ActionJeff and theblackkeys. Links, editing and abbreviations were provided by anklebreaker, chisness, blarg, JohnnyFondue and 00Snitch.
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Edit/MH: Please use FAQ discussion thread for your comments and suggestions.