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.
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.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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
"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)
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