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Everything posted by MartinVegartin

  1. I have a shoulder that has been partially dislocated a number of times, an elbow that is prone to tendonitis, slight spondylolisthesis in the lumbar spine and a sacro-iliac joint that is often inflamed and very painful. But I manage to train. For the overhead dumbbell press you might find benefit from doing pike press ups with your torso as vertical as possible. Or handstand press ups. Or handstand shoulder shrugs. Of course, these depend on your ability to do them without pain. For the barbell curls you might be able to do some sort of inverted row. Two hands to start, progressing to one hand or adding weight in a knapsack. The bird-dog exercise is very good for spinal health.
  2. Two and a half months isn't very long. Be patient, Grasshopper.
  3. The meat eating bodybuilders are probably consuming lots of protein powders and some will be taking anabolic steroids. As you rightly said, few people are vegan and few vegans are strength training. There will be few vegans who build impressive muscles. There are more meat eaters who strength train and who belong to forums - which means there are more who will have impressive gains. And lots who don't but who, obviously, don't post their pictures. Not many champions of anything come from Luxemburg but there are many from the USA. This is not due to any superiority of Americans but to their larger population. A Luxemburger, with the right genes, commitment, opportunities, and luck, could become a champion but some American is more likely to have all those qualities. As for Patrik Baboumian, hasn't he been vegan for over two years? Most of the cells in his body are built from vegan food now. We should all take a B12 supplement or eat fortified foods - and that includes meat eaters, especially those aged over 50.
  4. You could add weight to dips and pull ups (pull ups on a strong tree branch) by wearing a knapsack with some weight in it. Or make yourself a weight belt out of rope and tie a large rock or a bag of wet sand to it. Do single-leg squats. Handstand press ups or press ups with your feet raised. Single-arm press ups. Pseudo planche press ups. Tuck planche press ups.
  5. Excellent suggestions already made. Various varieties of greasing the groove can help to increase reps, as already mentioned. The 'traditional' way is to do about half of your max a few times each day, a few times each week. But then you have to make sure you are near a chin up bar three, four or five times a day. I have successfully used the following method. Aim to do about 1.5 times your max. With an odd number, such as 3, go up to the next rep above or below 1.5. 1.5 times 3 is 4.5, so choose to do 4 reps or 5 reps, whichever seems more appropriate. You would do one rep. Wait a certain number of seconds - say 10. Do another rep. Wait 10 seconds and then anothe rep. Keep doing this until you have done all 4 or 5 reps. Do it 3 or 4 days a week. If the last rep is too easy, reduce the rest to 9 seconds. Gradually reduce the rest times by one second. You might be able to do this every second or third session. When you get down to, say, 5 reps at 3 seconds rests, you will probably be able to do 4 reps in a row. If so, set a new target and have 10-second rests again with the higher number of reps. If you can then do 4 reps you can set the new target of 6. Once you get down to 6 reps with 3-second rests, you'll probaly be able to do 5 in a row. Or 6. The rest periods depends on each individual's ability. You might set a rest period of 10 seconds but then realise you can immediately reduce it to 8 or you might have to increase it to 15. Start from where you can. With this method you do it once - early morning or evening if you have to be away from home during the day - and then forget about it until the next session.
  6. To avoid injuring your shoulder again - supposing the neuritis and impingement were caused by injuring or straining something - it would be wise to not lift any weights higher than shoulder height if that causes pain until you are sure everything is healed. Rotator cuff exercises might help. Only use very light weights or even no weight at all apart from the weight of your arm and hand for the rotator cuff exercises. Some shoulder impingement is caused by the shape of the acromion joint: http://www.shoulder-pain-exercises.com/hooked-acromion.html Some info about avoiding shoulder injuries: https://www.t-nation.com/training/shoulder-savers-1 He mentions scapular press ups (push ups in the USA) in Shoulder Saver 2. You could also try scap pull ups. You keep your arms straight and just pull up a couple of inches by pulling your shoulders down. Then there are also scap dips - straight arms, just moving the shoulders. And scap rows - straight arms, just moving the shoulders. Use very light weights. For the pull ups, keep your feet on the ground so you don't have to pull up your full body weight. Perhaps also for the dips. Until your shoulders are strong enough again. You could also exercise your scapulae by raising your shoulders to your ears and then pushing them down again. Moving them forwards to round your back and then pulling them back so your shoulder blades are almost touching each other. Do a few reps until you feel mild fatigue. Don't strain too much.
  7. You might need to do some exercises - with ultra light weights or no extra weight at all - for the rotator cuff muscles (see youtub for videos). Doing some shoulder mobility and/or flexibility exercises - such as shrugging, rotating the shoulders, and pushing them forwards and backwards (to extend and retract the shoulder blades) might help. Some exercises that I have found useful in the past are: scapular press ups (push ups in the USA). Also scapular pull ups on a pull up bar - just pull yourself up an inch or two with straight arms so that only the shoulders and shoulder blades do the work. Or do it almost horizontal on a lower bar with your feet on the floor or a chair. Scapular wall slides - see youtube. In case the video you find doesn't explain things, you should gently press your arms and the backs of your hands against the wall and you move them up and down. Go as far as you can with your hands and arms against the wall and stop when they lift off the wall. Seated is best to avoid hyperextenstion of the lumbar region. Shoulder stretches using a pole, as in this video on youtube: Increase Shoulder Flexibility Fast with This Shoulder Stretch youtube.com/watch?v=KoGtrEcsqPQ Don't do any of them that cause pain. A little pain might be acceptable but only you can judge. Test your thoracic spine flexibility as stiffness there can cause shoulder pain. Foam roller work is useful as are various exercises. Again, youtube is your friend for instruction videos.
  8. Just say something like: 'Look, matey, I don't want to inflict terror, torture and death on sentient beings. I am healthy, happy and I try to show respect to all.' You could add: 'Unless they are scum* who care more for their bellies and taste buds than they do for another animal who has as much right to life as they have.' * Or words such as 'heartless', 'uncaring', 'selfish', 'crue'l, 'twisted', 'naughty' - take your pick.
  9. I would have said that I don't eat meat because doing so is extremely cruel. If I had been feeling really belligerent, I might have said that she really shouldn't have sexual feelings for cows.
  10. Time for a brew: How a cup of tea can perk up your brain activity in just 30 minutes Neurological activity increases half an hour after drinking tea Studies suggest antioxidants known as flavonoids may be responsible They also help control inflammation, promote blood vessel function and limit clogging of the arteries By Jenny Hope, Daily Mail Medical Correspondent Published: 2 May 2015 When you want to unwind, a steaming cup of tea can be the perfect option. And it seems relaxation is not the only benefit – as the drink may also improve brain performance, according to research. Neurological activity increases noticeably around half an hour after drinking black or green tea, a study found, including processes linked to memory and decision making. It is unclear which ingredients are responsible for the effect, but previous studies suggest a pivotal role is played by antioxidants known as flavonoids – which are unaffected by the addition of milk. These are already thought to help control inflammation, promote blood vessel function and limit clogging of the arteries. For the latest study, researchers at Newcastle University investigated brainwave patterns to establish the effect of tea on various neurological functions. Eight volunteers were asked to drink a cup made with green or black leaves before having their brain activity measured. Electrodes attached to their heads found three types of brainwave increased within an hour – alpha, beta and theta. There was a highly significant increase in the theta waves between 30 minutes and an hour later, says the study published in Nutritional Neuroscience. Both black and green tea stimulated the activity, which is linked with improved cognitive function. Less significant but still notable was an increase in alpha and beta waves, which are connected to alertness, memory and logical reasoning. Almost 80 per cent of Britons are tea drinkers and they get through an estimated 165million cups every day. The British tea industry is estimated to be worth more than £700million a year. Study leader Dr Edward Okello, executive director of the Medicinal Plant Research Group at Newcastle University, said: ‘Tea has been associated with many mental benefits, such as attention enhancement, clarity of mind and relaxation.’ He added that the findings provide further evidence for the drink’s assumed benefits. ‘The highly significant increase in theta waves post-consumption may be an indication of [tea’s] putative role in cognitive function, alertness and attention,’ he said. Previous research has shown that drinking three to four cups of tea a day may cut the chance of having a heart attack. The drink can also help prevent type 2 diabetes, and slows the progression of the disease once it develops. The antioxidants it contains have been found to halt certain effects of ageing, while regularly drinking black tea has been shown to visibly lower stress levels. White tea could also help prevent obesity, as it was found to lessen the growth of new fat cells. ---------- Chamomile Tea 'Cuts Thyroid Cancer Risk' Drinking chamomile tea may help protect against thyroid cancer, researchers found. More than 500 Greeks were questioned about their tea consumption by a team from Athens University. The volunteers included 113 with thyroid cancer, 286 with benign thyroid diseases and 138 without illness. A report in the European Journal of Public Health says greater chamomile tea consumption was significantly associated with lower chances of developing thyroid disease. Drinking the herbal tea two to six times a week reduced the risk of thyroid cancer by 70 per cent and benign disease by 84 per cent. Overall, regular consumption of chamomile tea over 30 years reduced the risk of developing thyroid diseases by almost 80 per cent. dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3064929/Time-brew-cup-tea-perk-brain-30-minutes.html
  11. I also like jasmine tea. And keemun. And lapsang suchong, when I'm in the right mood, but it is rather bitter.
  12. Calling all vegan runners. The NURMI Study – Join us and take part in our running study! The NURMI-Study (NURMI – Nutrition and Running high Mileage) is an international interdisciplinary comparative study of running, the aim of which is to create a broad body of scientific evidence of the exercise performance of omnivores compared with vegetarian and vegan runners. A large number of participants is needed in order to provide well-founded evidence. Therefore we are inviting all runners (any distance and any level of performance) to take part in probably the most important study of running so that together we can really achieve something. http://www.nurmi-study.com/en/
  13. Tea is a wonderful drink. As you said, it is full of anti-oxidants. It is also good for the teeth and gums by reducing the damage done by certain bacteria and by helping the teeth to remineralise after meals and to resist erosion. This remineralisation is due to the fluoride. Black tea can stain the teeth but I would rather have stained healthy teeth than white unhealthy teeth. Green tea seems to have more teeth and gum protective properties than black tea and is not so likely to cause staining. Having said that, I drink mostly Earl Grey tea - about 12 half-pint cups a day with soya milk.
  14. Good site to show that vegans are completely normal and come in all shapes and sizes. One of the photographs is misleading, though, as it shows a young girl wearing a shirt which claims that she is what a vegan looks like. I don't look like her.
  15. You can do single-arm and single-leg exercises. Not many people can do a single-arm press up (push up) with the working arm pressed against the ribs. Many people wouldn't be able to do one with the elbow stuck out to the side. Not many people could do a single-arm pull up. Then there are single-arm partial dips. Single-arm wheel roll outs. Single-arm handstands with a partial press up. Single-arm pull to front lever. Single-leg squat ending with a jump on to a raised surface. Single-arm inverted rows.
  16. Pull up bars that fit in a doorway are quite cheap but effective. Depending on how you fit them, you can also do inverted rows on them. Or hang something from them so you can do inverted rows. Press up (called 'push ups' in the USA) need no equipment. Squats can be done without equipment. You could do single-leg ones as you become stronger or you could carry a weight when you do them. Have a look on youtube for ideas. Search for some phrase such as Strength Exercises Without Equipment. Strength Exercises Without Weights. Building Strength With Bodyweight Exercises. There are some good ideas in this one: As The Phytoathlete said, you will feel hungrier after you start to exercise. Make sure you eat enough to feed your muscles. And get enough sleep. Welcome to the forum.
  17. For a change, you could try dips on the edge of a kitchen sink or small cupboard/closet of about waist height or slightly higher. One is similar to Korean dips - where you have your back to a bar. In real Korean dips only your hands are in contact with anything - the bar. But done on a cupboard, your feet will slide up and down the front of the cupboard. Best to wear socks to help with the slidiness of your feet. The other version is to face the cupboard to do the dips. With bent legs, your knees will slide up and down on the cupboard. This will target the chest because you will be slightly bent over the cupboard. I find this one to be much harder than dips where the hands are on two bars or two chairs.
  18. I don't know how your training or diet will affect your body fat but you need to get that down to a certain level to let your six-pack show through. If that's your main aim it would be better to concentrate on burning more calories (or ingesting fewer calories) than on having more calories to build muscle. I believe both can be done at the same time (burning fat and building muscle) but I'm not sure how to juggle the needs for training and rest with the appropriate number of calories. It seems to be difficult, judging by all the questions about bulking and cutting that people ask. There is the argument that more muscle mass burns more fat but I'm not sure how much is needed to burn how much extra fat. Most of our energy expenditure comes from just living, and training doesn't contribute a great deal more - unless you train at a professional athlete level. Increasing your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is a good way to lose excess fat. Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck.
  19. Hello Jana. Welcome to the forum. I don't know of anyone who wants an au pair, but an advertisement in the Vegan Society (UK) magazine might reach someone who does. Or in Animal Aid's magazine. Good luck!
  20. Not quite relevant to pyramid training, but I've found Matt Wiggins' strength-endurance method to be very useful. You do 8 sets of 3 reps with 60 seconds of rest between sets. When you can do all 8 sets with 3 reps you reduce the time to, say, 50 seconds. Again, when you can do all 8 sets at 50 seconds you reduce the time. You can reduce it to 40, then 30, then 20. I've found that with some lifts it is better not to go below 30 seconds. When you get to the 30-second, 25-second or 20-second rest period and can do all 8 sets of 3, you add weight and go back to 60 seconds. You will find that in some lifts you will have an improvement in rest period or weight in nearly every training session. I find it easy to reduce from 60 seconds to 50 and sometimes to 40 but below that it is better to reduce by 5 seconds at a time. Only a little bit of extra weight should be added when it's time to increase the weight. Perhaps only 5 or 10 pounds. When you get down to 30 second rests you will be gasping for breath. I don't know what your goals are. This might not work too well with bodybuilding but it does work with strength. Mike Mahler wrote about a method which combines rest-pause and the strength-endurance method mentioned above. You take a heavy weight - a weight which you can just manage to lift 3 times in a row - and lift it just once. Then you rest for 60 seconds and do it again. You do this 10 times. When you are able to do it 10 times with the 60 second rest between each lift, you reduce the rest time to 45 seconds for you next training session. When you can do all 10 lifts with the 45 seconds rest, you decrease the resting time to 30 seconds. Then to 15 seconds. It's important to put the weight down between each lift - even when you are only resting for 15 seconds. When you can do all 10 lifts with only 15 second rests, you increase the weight and go back to 60 second rests. You work your way down to 15 seconds, increase the weight and go back to 60 seconds. And so on. Probably best to use this for only one exercise/lift at a time as it can be quite taxing. All these methods are similar but one will suit one person better than another.
  21. Sorry to learn about your health niggles. You seem to have the right attitude. Attitude of the right sort is important. You would benefit from daily (yes, every day) periods of relaxation. It doesn't have to be Zen meditation or Golden Dawn assumption of godforms. just simple relaxation so that your whole body and mind (your body-mind) relaxes. Recalling feelings of love will also help. Recall times when you felt love and times when you felt loved. Feel the feelings you did then. If appropriate, remember how it was to feel loved as a child - that nice, warm, safe and comfortable feeling. Deliberately smile at frequent moments throughout the day. When we deliberately smile we release the same chemicals as when we spontaneously smile - the so-called Duchenne smile. The smile must be as close to a spontaneous one as possible. The corners of the mouth turn up and there is a change around the eyes. The outer edges crinkle and the cheeks puff up beneath them. A spontaneous smile is often accompanied by a short out breath through the nostrils as if a laugh is beginning. Almost imperceptible but it is there. The same goes for laughter. I make myself laugh quite often. I remember funny incidents or tell myself jokes. Laughter truly is wonderful medicine. If you can't make yourself laugh by recalling funny moments the soup spoon method will work. You look at your reflection in the back of a soup spoon and move it closer to your face until the ludicrous reflection has you spluttering with laughter. It never fails. You can hold the spoon horizontally or vertically. You could also do visualisation techniques in which you imagine your narrow artery being widened. Go steady on the exercise. You want to build yourself up not tear yourself down. Good luck!
  22. What a load of old tosh. I have only read the first section. I might read the others but might not bother. 'There are some nutrients that can only be gotten from plants (like Vitamin C) and others that can only be gotten from animals.' First point is wrong. Vitamin C can come from meat. I only found out about that a few years ago. It is strange but true. 'In fact, B12 deficiency is very common in vegans, one study showing that a whopping 92% of vegans are deficient in this critical nutrient (1).' Only if they don't get it from supplements or fortified food and probably only if they have been vegan for a number of years. Not all meat will provide B12 as the amount in meat depends on the availability of cobalt in the soil on which the victims of meat eaters graze or where their food is grown. Many are routinely supplemented with cobalt or the soil of the land they graze on is supplemented. If meat eaters ate meat from victims that had little or no access to cobalt their meat would be deficient in B12. Many meat eaters are, indeed, deficient in B12. People over the age of 50 are recommended to get their B12 from fortified foods or supplements as they are more likely to have inadequate amounts of stomach acid. I saw a couple of studies which conclude that Korean centenarians get about 30% of their B12 from fermented soya foods. And they are not more deficient than western people of similar ages. Also possibly seaweeds. I'm not sure about the seaweeds, though, as the B12 in them is supposed to not be bio-available. But perhaps it is. Foods are also routinely fortified with vitamins D and B9 (folate). Before this thousands of babied died because their mother's diets didn't provide the foetus with enough D or their milk didn't provide the babies with it. Sunshine is the best source but meat eaters often boast about the D in their diets. Thousands of babies were born with spina bifida because their mother's diets were inadequate whilst they were pregnant and didn't have enough B9. The numbers of babies so affected over the centuries will run into the millions. And the very rare case of vegan babies dying because their ignorant parents fed them soya milk and apple juice is trumpeted as proof of the dangers of the vegan diet. Just a few cases of vegan baby deaths against the thousands of babies of meat eaters who died or were crippled because of their mother's inadequate meat diets. 'Animal protein contains all the essential amino acids in the right ratios' It doesn't matter about ratios in a particular meal. In fact, some plant foods contain the 'right' ratios. 'Studies show that vegetarians are deficient in creatine,' Tell that to the muscular and strong vegans. 'Carnosine is protective against various degenerative processes in the body and may protect against aging. It is found only in animal foods' Carnosine may be protective against free radical damage but so are the anti-oxidants in plant foods. And the haeme iron found in meat along with the carnosine is easily oxidised to cause DNA damage. 'Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is the most active form of Omega-3 fatty acids in the body and primarily found in animal foods.' Vegan babies would suffer brain and eye damage if their mothers couldn't provide them with enough DHA when they are foetuses. The mothers obviously provide them with DHA which meanst they manage to convert enough of it from ALA for their own needs and the needs of their unborn babies. Vegans may be better at the conversion of ALA to DHA as vegans have adequate levels of DHA despite not getting any in their food. 'Two other nutrients that have been demonized by vegan proponents are saturated fat and cholesterol.' We don't need dietary sources of either. We make what we need. 'Studies show that saturated fat intake correlates with increased testosterone levels (15).' Vegans do not have low levels of useable testosterone. In fact, British Journal of Cancer. 2000 Jul;83(1):95-7. Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men. Mean serum insulin-like growth factor-I was 9% lower in 233 vegan men than in 226 meat-eaters and 237 vegetarians (P = 0.002). Vegans had higher testosterone levels than vegetarians and meat-eaters, but this was offset by higher sex hormone binding globulin, and there were no differences between diet groups in free testosterone, androstanediol glucuronide or luteinizing hormone. PMID: 10883675
  23. I don't know what else to suggest. I still find it puzzling about the calories. Are you sure the calorie calculator you use gives the right answer? If they are accurate, perhaps your body has gone into some sort of starvation mode and is conserving as much energy as possible. I doubt that, though, because you wouldn't have much energy to spare for exercising. Increasing your NEAT might be the answer. Good luck!
  24. If you put your hands on a set of bathroom scales you'll see that you are supporting more weight on your hands in the bottom position than in the top position. You will be pressing more at the bottom position and gradually less as your arms straighten and more of the weight is transferred to your feet. There might not be much difference if your hands and feet are at the same height. Try to adjust the height of your feet so that the weight doesn't vary too much between each position to get a better approximation of the bench press. If you want a beter approximation, that is. You could also use bands which go across your back and are held under your hands to provide more resistance. This will mean you are pressing more weight nearer the top position, which will cancel out the other effect. You could also do one-arm press ups with your working arm held close to your body. This is incredibly hard (much harder than the 'Rocky' ones) and you'll probably need to do partials. But they will build up a tremendous amount of strength in the triceps. You may need to do them with your hands much higher than your feet and gradually reduce the height of your hands as you become stronger. I was doing them and coming along nicely when I injured my already dodgy left shoulder. I also somehow injured my left wrist.
  25. I haven't heard the name before. But you can build significant muscle mass and strength using 'bodyweight'. I put bodyweight in inverted commas because it's usually necessary to add extra weight with belts or vests. Such exercises as dips, pull ups, handstand press ups, single-arm press ups, ordinary press ups, front and back lever pulls, single-leg squats and single-leg Romanian deadlifts are all excellent ways to build strength. Most of those are the exercises I do now. I started doing them after a back injury ruled out heavy barbells but I wouldn't change back to' normal' gym-type strength training now.
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