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04-10-2008 , 09:45 PM

In a Nutshell
Q. I'm too lazy to read the whole FAQ. Could you give me cliff's notes?
A. 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.

Losing Weight
Q. I'm morbidly obese and I want to change, what should I do?
A. 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.

Q. What's the best way to lose weight?
A. 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 Here is another summary:

Gaining Weight
Q. What's the best way to gain weight?
A. You need to lift heavy weights, avoid cardio, eat more and GOMAD. There's more info here.

Maintaining Weight
Q.I just want to get toned. My goal is not to bulk up. I heard that lifting heavy weights makes you huge?
A.You heard wrong. To begin with getting toned probably doesn't mean what you think it does, see this and 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.

Q. How do you feel about workout/diet/progress logs?
A. 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, Running, Resistance Training, Kettlebells, Food, Going on Accutane, Triathalon, Starting Strength, Boxing, 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.

Q.How do I create tables for my log?
A.This is how you do it.

Resistance Training
Q. I want to start working out, what should I do?
A. If you're new to resistance training, Starting Strength is THE program you should be on.

Q.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.

Q. 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?
A. 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.

Q. 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?
A. 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.

Q. How do I know when to move to a different program after SS?
A. When it stops working.

Q. Starting Strength stopped working, what’s next?
A. Some popular programs include: Bill Starr's 5X5, the Texas Method, Westside Barbell , Pavel's 5X5 and Crossfit. Go here for any questions you may have regarding intermediate programming.

Q. Will you check my form in this video?
A. 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.

Q. Starting Strength sounds great, but I can't go to the gym and I don't have room for all that equipment at home.
A. 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.

Q. Right now I can't do any pull ups, how can I start to do them?
A. Pull ups are a great exercise, learn how to do them here.

Q. Shouldn't I be running or doing some cardio?
A. 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.

Q. What exercises should I be doing for cardio?
A. That's going to depend on your initial level of fitness and what you like to do. Walking, swimming, cycling, rowing and running 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.

Q. I want a strong "core", also I want to develop my abs, what should I do?
A. 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.

Q. How do I get 6-pack abs?
A. 6-pack abs are largely a function of diet, exercise and genetics.

Warming Up, Stretching and Recovery
Q.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.

Q.Any other resources for stretching?
A.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.

Female Specific
Q. I'm a woman and I don't want to get big and bulky, won't weightlifting do that to me?
A. 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.

Q. Help! I don't know how to feed myself!
A. 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.

Q. I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian, got any suggestions?
A. Do your homework, you can find some discussion here.

Q. I'm just looking for an easy way to lose a little weight and feel better, is there anything for me.
A. While individual needs will vary greatly, this works for a lot of people. No processed foods. That's it.

Q.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.

Q.How do I figure out the calories and nutrients I've consumed and keep track of them?
A. Fitday and The Daily Plate are both useful.

Q. 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, creatine and whey protein.

Q. Where's the best place to get supplements?
A. dpsnutrition, Bulk Nutrition and True Protein.

Q. I have a question about (insert illegal substance here). Is that okay?
A. 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.

Q. Ok I understand nutrition, but it's actual meals I have no idea about.
A. 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, Soup, 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.

Last edited by anklebreaker; 09-09-2011 at 04:36 PM.
05-02-2008 , 11:19 PM
Terms and Abbreviations used in this forum
HFCS: High-fructose corn syrup.
HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training.
SS: Starting Strength
CF: CrossFit
P/C/F: Protein/Carb/Fat
PWO: Post-workout/Peri-workout
DB: Dumbell
BB: Barbell
GTG: Grease the Groove
GPP: General Physical Preparedness
DL: Deadlift
OHS: Overhead squat
BCAA: Branch Chained Amino Acids
KB: Kettle Bell
CoC: Captains of Crush
GI/GL: Glycemic Index / Glycemic Load
5X5: Bill Starr 5x5 Linear Version for Intermediate Lifters
LSD: Long, Slow Distance
EFA: Essential Fatty Acid
GOMAD: Gallon of Milk a Day
70's Big: You just need to be big and strong
DiMichele Ripped: Cutting until death
BE: Back Extensions
CNS: Central Nervous System
GHR: Glute Hamstring Raise
MM:Magnificent Mobility
Metcon: Metabolic Conditioning
PC: Power Clean
PNF: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
PPST: Practical Programming for Strength Training
RDL: Romanian Deadlift
ROM: Range Of Motion
SDL: Sumo Deadlift
WIM: Wanting it More

Resistance Training
Starting Strength Wiki
Cross Fit
Grip Strength
Beast Skills (Body weight and gymnastics)
Instructional Videos
Proper Bench Press Form
Ross Training
West Side Barbell
Sledge Hammer Workout
DIY Home exercise equipment
Weight Lifting Shoes 101
Injury Rehab
Rippetoe comments on back squat videos
Dan John Video on Squat and Dead Lift
Weight Training for Women
Gymnastic Bodies
Micro Loading
The Garage Gym
One Hundred Pushups
Weight Lifting Strength Standards
Starting Strength DVD
Power Clean Instructional Video
SFB Fitness
Starting Strength Forum

Running (Hal Higdon)
Cross Country Skiing
Running Route Planner - With Maps and Distance Calculations
CrossFit Endurance
Bike Forums
Bicycle Repair
Pose Running
Elite Track


Deconstructing Computer Guy
Foam Rolling

Driveline Mechanics

Big, Fat Lie Gary Taubes
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Michael Pollan
Zone Block Chart
Lose Fat, Gain Muscle - Lyle McDonald
Thermodynamics and weight loss
Fructose, Fructose 2, Fructose 3, Fructose 4
Modern Forager
Carbohydrate Cycling
Vegan Web Site
The Truth about the China Study
Mark's Daily Apple
PWO Suggestions
Alan Aragon PDF
Soda Pop and Sports Drink alternatives
Fundamentals of Fat Loss

2+2 Threads
Resistance Training
Grip Strength
Free Weights v. Machines
CrossFit discussion
Tell me about your cutting phase
Bodyweight Calistenics vs Weightlifting
Can I do without Squats and Dead Lifts?
Combining HIIT and Starting Strength
Tips to get shredded for Summer
Ask Me Anything about Olympic Lifting
Martial Arts
Ask an Elite Performance Coach Anything
How to build a strong "core."
Grease the Groove
Deadlift Thread
My First Strong Man Comp
The Kettle Bell Thread
Pullups and Beginners
Toothy's First Powerlifting Meet
Belt Review Thread
Intermediate Programming Questions Thread.

Running a faster Mile
Getting into Biking
Training for a Marathon
HIIT Discussion
Help me run faster
Running Advice
Concept II Thread


Nutrition 101: Food, BMR, Fat loss, Deficits
Good Calories, Bad Calories - Discussion
Intermittent Fasting, IF Part II
Olive Oil
Protein Flavors Review Thread

The Mind and Health and Fitness
Sports Psychology
What do you do to motivate yourself?
Big Rocks, Little Rocks
Anxiety Disorder
J.Brown's Advice
Let's talk about Anxiety and Depression
So Angry Please Help - Problems at the Gym, Game Theory and Ethics

Questions about Acne
Skin Care for Dudes
Troy McLure's EC Stack Log -- Very Dangerous, Try at your own risk
Ask me about steroids
Health Insurance
Ask me about bowling a 300
How to Quit Smoking
Dids Loses Weight
Sober Reviews Local Gyms
What's your favorite workout music.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
2009 Reviews Thread
Johnny Fondue's Morning Routine
Help with Carpal Tunnel while multitabling, H&F Carpal Tunnel thread.
2009 Goals and Resolutions Thread
Ask Spadebidder about having a heart attack.

"Starting Strength Basic Barbell Training 2nd Edition" -- Mark Rippetoe & Lon Kilgore
Starting Strength DVD
"Practical Programming for Strength Training" -- Rippetoe & Kilgore
"The Naked Warrior (Master the Secrets of the Super-Strong-Using Bodyweight Exercises Only)" -- Pavel
"Infinite Intensity" -- Ross Enamait
"The Runner's Handbook" -- Bob Glover
"Beyond Bodybuilding" -- Pavel Tsatsouline. That book is like a compendium of his workouts, the exercises etc.
"The Purposeful Primitive" -- Marty Gallagher. Strength training, concentrates big time on compound exercises. And it contains chapters about the mental aspects and nutrition (mostly Hofmekler's Warrior Diet).
"Magnificent Mobility" -- Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson
"Relax into Stretch : Instant Flexibility Through Mastering Muscle Tension" -- Pavel
"Self-Myofascial Release" -- Mike Robertson, MS, CSCS

"A Guide to Flexible Dieting" -- Lyle McDonald
"Good Calories, Bad Calories" -- Gary Taubes
"The Great Cholesterol Con" -- Anthony Colpo
"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" -- Michael Pollan
"Eat to Live" -- Joel Fuhrman M.D.
"The China Study Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health" -- T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II
"The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food" --- Kaayla T. Daniel (Author)


For discussion of the guide post here.

Last edited by anklebreaker; 09-09-2011 at 04:33 PM.
07-08-2008 , 06:08 PM
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Last edited by tsearcher; 08-13-2009 at 12:42 AM.
08-20-2008 , 07:30 PM
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Last edited by tsearcher; 10-07-2008 at 06:08 PM.
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