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Everything posted by ericscottf

  1. I'm thinking that i should hold off on things that "look intimidating" and stick to things that are more approachable at first. Any merit to this, or just a waste of energy?
  2. Thanks for the response! I think the best thing for me now, to avoid my going overboard, would be to find a good starter routine for her and see how that works. Is it at all different from what i'd recommend to a guy friend instead? Certainly a little, at least, given that squats are out. Any routines and schedules anyone can recommend as a starting point? thanks!
  3. Hi all It's been awhile since I've been around! I've been focusing on my stair climbing for competitions, shying away from weights. So my fiance(e?) wants me to train her. Originally, i suggested she get a personal trainer, but at our gym, they all seem to be highschool dropouts who just want to push powders, and at $50 a session, that seems like a bit of a waste. I was hoping for some suggestions on how to get started. She likes to do spinning, so i figure that's probably all the cardio she's going to do. Running and stairclimbing are out. What kind of weight training program and schedule would be best to start for a fairly petite mid 20s gal? She says she wants better arms, but I know better than to attempt to focus on one thing. Should she be doing bench presses? bicep curls? pullups (assisted at first)? She's worried about her knees so squats are off the table (for now at least). It'll be important to make it easy at first, something where she won't get discouraged by difficult or complicated exercises and i won't get in trouble for being too intense. If it were me, I'd chart everything over a long time period -- what i ate, what exercises i did, relative body fat %age, etc, etc, but I'm worried that'll be too pushy. How do i do a good job without going overboard? How should i deal with [en/dis]couragement? How hard to train? Should I just avoid this completely? etc. thanks!
  4. I'm shy, but no more in the gym than elsewhere. Perhaps I just need more air than I'm getting during my workouts.
  5. Nope, i prefer to be warmer than most people (except when I'm working out, then i need as much cooling as possible - One major gym-determining factor for me is how cold it is) The most annoying part about my frequent yawns is that my eyes tear when i yawn, so people are always asking me if I'm upset. then i have to explain that my eyes tear when i yawn, and really, i should probably just get it printed on a shirt or something.
  6. Hi all I am constantly yawning. Even when working out, in between sets, sometimes several yawns. I get 7-8 hours of sleep on a typical night, and usually wake up on my own before the alarm. I take a multivitamin every day... I've been like this for years, all the doctors i've asked say i'm fine and shrug it off, especially when i mention that i'm veg. Any suggestions? It's fairly annoying. I don't feel tired, certainly not when working out.
  7. Nuts would result in way more saturated fat than I'm looking to eat, even ones that are low in it will be too much given how much i snack. hummus would work if i didn't find it gross. ugh.
  8. I got terrible cramps from mono when i would cycle. they were so bad that i couldn't bring myself to take it enough to make a difference. I've switched to ethyl ester (mostly comes in pill forms, so watch out for gelatin), and while i don't have enough data to testify that it works as well, the cramping is completely gone.
  9. I use creatine plenty. There are a few things to watch out for. There are two major types right now: Monohydrate and ethyl ester. Monohydrate causes bloating and cramps in many people. Ethyl ester tastes like a handful of coins-only worse. I used to use mono, but i hated the feel of it so much that i didn't take it enough and didn't see much benefit. I switched to ethyl ester, and whether or not there's a huge difference in effectiveness i can't testify to, being one person, but the bloating and cramping is reduced to --zero--. YMMV, but that may be because I'm a one person sample, or because it doesn't do anything -- i don't know. I get the ethyl ester pills from labrada. They have a starch coating. The only times creatine isn't vegan is when it is mixed into crazy ass powders with animals in them or if it is in a pill capsule that's made of bone slime (gelatin). There's a reason that it is hard to find ethyl ester as a powder -- it tastes remarkably bad, so much that when i threw it into a shake, it ruined the whole thing. at first, i thought I'd used rotten fruits by accident or some such. I'm also firmly in the camp that vegans benefit from creatine because of our lack of animals. It isn't a steroid, however. It will allow you to recover from hard work more quickly and get more exercise in. It won't make that exercise count for more. It lets you work/push yourself harder, it doesn't make that work count for any more than it would have without it. Also, i don't buy the huge dosage suggestions on the bottles. They've been steadily rising for the past 15 years, and never take bodyweight into account. i take about a quarter of what the bottles today are recommending (it'll be 1/8th in a few years, I'm sure)
  10. Hi all I'm doing my best to gain some weight, attempting to eat 3000+ calories per day. I typically eat a high fiber cereal with raisins and a banana every morning, tofurkey sandwich for lunch number 1, 2 vegan boca burgers for lunch 2, and two fairly large dinners, at least one of which typically involves an entire block of tofu. Despite this, I've been snacking a LOT lately, but not necessarily on muscle-productive foods. Mostly pretzels, animal crackers, candy, etc. I'd love to find easy to graze upon high protein snacks. I have found some tofu jerky here and there, but 1) it is expensive and i'd eat a ton of it 2) not easy to find (i guess i could order it online...) 3) messy to eat (candy is computer keyboard friendly, and I'm a fastidiously clean person) 4) I'm already eating a metric ton of soy per day. ( i know it is debatable as to whether or not that's bad, but some variation can't hurt!) I know, i know, i could prepare more healthy snacks ahead of time like rice and veggies or something, but I'm wondering if there are more common quick and easy snacks that are geared towards muscle gain? Something i can graze on unconsciously while i'm working.... I have been eating ***WAY*** too much HFCS and (psychosomatically or not...) i can feel it physically. Oh, and lastly, i don't eat anything with any significant amount of saturated fat, so that puts a dent in a lot of possibilities as well. any suggestions? thanks!
  11. Watching the videos on youtube, it looked like the lifters backs were a bit more vertical than 45 degrees. I've been paying most of my attention to keeping my knees back, I'll see what my back is doing next time. It is definitely possible that i'm bent over a lot.
  12. I'm not having any trouble with the dipping belt, the only issue is that when i'm doing pullups with the belt, i have to climb up something or get something to stand on to reach the bars, as it is somewhat difficult to jump with 45lbs chained near my junk. I'm finding that with my squats, my lower back gets tired way before my legs do. I could do way more weight/reps before my legs gave out. I've watched a bunch of rippetoe videos on youtube on squat form and I'm pretty sure I'm doing them right -- is it just a matter of building up my lower back before I'm able to strain my legs? At the moment, I'm squatting about 130% of my weight. I'm still a bit nervous about it so i'm going easy.
  13. Ok, so here's what I've started: (all 5-6 sets 4-8 reps unless specified) day 1: Bench press Press (this type: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbswrStK8cs ) weighted dips (3 sets 4-8 reps) day 2: Squat (got me a squat sponge, they aren't so bad...) Deadlift ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP4FwBkuK6o ) leg curls (both extension and curl, 3x of each, 4-8 reps) day 3: Pull ups bent-over-barbell row (supine, from )bicep curl 3x sets 4-8 reps (ez curl bar) 21s 2 sets I do an abs class on wed and friday, and a plyometrics class on friday. Stairmaster every day for 20 mins on short days and 50 on long days (pretty much 50/50) On the pull ups -- it was advised that i do 5-6 sets at 4-8 reps. How do i control how many pull ups i can do? I have been using a dipping belt to increase my weight. A bit awkward when you're short... What do you think?
  14. That was the most recent time -- and it was after i worked out and gave blood. Previous times were from just working out. The more minor events that i can just shake off if i stop doing the exercise are every time i do it, like butterflies...
  15. I spoke to my doctor, but he doesn't specialize in such things. Last time i had this problem was the day after i gave blood, so i'm wondering it might be a dehydration thing. Not enough points of data to correlate, of course...
  16. I'm not intentionally being resistant to advice, I'm just making an attempt to reconcile the 20 totally different things I've been told over the years. There are plenty of people providing totally conflicting advice just as loud as everyone else. And i'm 5'4", so while 123 isn't heavy, i'm not frail either.
  17. I never said i wouldn't train my legs, only that i didn't see a need for weight-training my legs for the sake of getting bigger legs. If i need to do more leg presses, extensions, etc, to keep my body building muscle, then that's what i'll do. I'll even try squats again, but i really don't favor them. Edit: According to that link, I'm not doing as badly as i thought, as far as weight in+time=weight out. I started this gaining phase at 118lbs in nov, and i'm at 123lbs 5 months later. I've been working out regularly (this time) for about 2.5 years. I guess I'll know more when i see what i weigh after i start my cutting phase.
  18. Hi all I find that when I do certain exercises, my trapezius muscles can really start to hurt. If i don't stop and instead attempt to push through, I frequently wind up with terrible neck cramps for a week or more. The kind that take me completely out of my routine. I usually just stop, but once or twice a year, I won't stop in time and I pay for it dearly. Last time i dragged myself to an emergency med place where they shot me up with an anti-inflammatory and gave me skelaxin (because i refused to take valium/oxy/whatever opiates they were pushing) I'd prefer to be able to do these exercises as they're fairly useful. Primarily, they include military press w/ dumbells and butterflies on a machine, but most exercises that involve my traps can do it. I can do these exercises at lower weight with no problem, but when i add on more weight, my neck starts to bother me (even though the primary muscles are able to do it) Secondly, What are the ramifications of taking ibuprofen and/or a non-opiate muscle relaxant like skelaxin on body building? any suggestions as to what i can do about this?
  19. I'm perfectly happy with my legs, whether I'm doing it wrong or not, they're literally the last thing I want to build up. If you're saying that I have to work them to get any other part of my body to grow as well, that's one thing, but working my legs --for the sake of getting bigger legs-- is completely unimportant to me. Proper or not, the stairmaster, cycling, plyometrics and the little bit of leg presses i do is working just fine for me, leg-wise. I was wondering, maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. What's a reasonable non-steroid average-person rate at which muscle might grow and stay? Please don't respond with "It is going to be different for everyone", as, well, *duh*. What i mean is, what would you set the bar at for "if you're not growing this much, you've got to be doing everything wrong"? For instance: "If you're concentrating on arms and your circumference isn't increasing by 10/15/20% in a year (over, say, 50-100 averaged out measurements), you're doing it wrong." What %age would you put in there for a below-average-weight person? What about a normal person? What about someone in their prime who is just getting into BB and could theoretically experience optimal growth at the beginning (just out of curiosity) What is a reasonable growth %age range to expect? I'm just wondering if I'm not doing as badly as i think i am. thanks!
  20. I know that pull-ups, rowing, etc, all use biceps, and i actually used to incorporate them into my bicep routine -- back when i was spending over an hour per session 2x per week on biceps. What really really aggravates me is that i'll have a fantastic pump just after my workout -- something i'd be incredibly happy with, but it is gone within an hour or two. I always make sure to be completely recovered before working the same group again, which is why i'll sometimes get one session in per week, sometimes two. I think i'm going to try decreasing my isolation with weight techniques and increase the more natural self-resistance stuff like chinups, rowing, push-ups, etc. It'll take me a bit to come up with a schedule but i'll post it when i'm done for people to criticize. I'm thinking, just off the top of my head: biceps: pullups, chinups, rowing curls triceps: bench press overhead dumbell press weighted dips (i really like dips) What else to add/modify? What's the opinion on whether to always do the same order of things or to mix it up? Obviously, I'm able to put a lot more into the first technique than the last one, so i figure that by switching the order each session, I make sure that the minor differences in each exercise get to reap the benefits of max weight/energy. As far as the whole squat thing: I really really hate squats. even on a machine, I hate squats. with a bar, forget it. I'm confident that my legs are doing okay thanks to the plyometrics and stairmaster, and any minor back exercise/small incidental other stuff i'd get from squats just isn't worth it for me. The other question: Start high, max reps per, strip down and repeat until exhaustion, or start low, lots of reps, increase weight, less reps, increase weight, less less reps, then move on? Or something completely different?
  21. Never heard of it. I'll harness the power of the internet and see. I do not appear to be suffering from a lack of testosterone. I do have decent muscle mass -- I'd just like a bit more. edit: quick internet research suggests lactic acid training is firstly for fat loss, something i'm not currently concerned with --at all--... Any specific reason you picked that?
  22. I'm not looking for a 100% perfect workout here, I'm looking to lower my level of frustration with my workout routine. Day after day of what i consider very hard work and any significant or noticeable results averaged to zero by just as frequent days with negative results. What would you suggest for a warm up? Also, for 5-8 sets, at 4-8 reps per, should i be increasing weight, decreasing weight, or aiming to have a constant weight throughout?
  23. That seems like a long time to wait. Aren't the potential downsides to waiting too long between sets rather high?
  24. Last i checked, i was well over 3000 calories per day. What should the rest time be between sets and between different exercises?
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