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Everything posted by MartinVegartin

  1. Your calorie intake is low compared to what your maintenance level is supposed to be. So that is puzzling. I don't know anything about diets for reducing fat to very low levels but you might try increasing your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Very often, people who go to the gym or who train regularly spend most of the rest of the time sitting down: at work, on the way to work, at home. Most of us need to move more and move more often. If this applies to you, going for a walk on your non-training days - if your legs aren't too sore - could help you lose a few more pounds of fat. Or walking on your training days. A quite vigorous walk rather than a stroll. But not necessarily Olympic gold medal-standard race walking. I spend quite a lot of time sitting. I get up from the computer every now and again and do some squats, pull ups, dips, or various vigorous things. Not to failure - more greasing-the-groove style to increase my NEAT. I do the same when I am watching television and the advertisements come on. I might walk up and down the stairs three times and do some pull ups at the top of the stairs each time. It's not recommended to do these things on long bus journeys, though.
  2. If you can do single-leg Romanian deadlifts without pain you could add them. They target the hamstrings and glutes. Or do the normal, double-leg, variety. front leg raises - keeping your leg straight - activate parts of the quads, which could help with definition. The same with side leg raises. You could use ankle weights. If you have episodes of inflammation, herbal anti-inflammatories such as ginger, turmeric and red chilli peppers could help. Test a small portion first in case they don't agree with you. Turmeric is best in dishes with a bit of added black pepper and oil as these two help the curcumin in turmeric to be absorbed. If you're taking any drugs check that these substances won't interfere with them. Good luck!
  3. I think only people who are vegan for ethical reasons are vegans. The others are just following a diet they believe is better for their health or for the environment. They are the ones most likely to give up when they face difficulties because they have little commitment to veganism. I could use the example of a religion. Let's use Christianity as it is the one I am most familiar with, having once been one of sorts. Someone who goes to church on Sundays and has their children baptised could be likened to a dietary vegan. But only someone who truly believes in the teachings of Christianity (which will depend on the particular flavour they follow) is a Christian. That would be someone who doesn't lie or cheat or steal. Someone who tries to love their neighbour. Someone who believes Jesus is their saviour. Veganism is about trying to do no harm to any animal life. But I welcome any type of vegan because the more of us there are, the more chance there is that fewer victims will be abused, tortured and slaughtered.
  4. Congratulations VoodoSeb. Congratulations Jessica.veggiegirl.
  5. There's evidence our ancestors could have cooked their food 1.9 million years ago. If so, they could have obtained lots of extra energy from starchy tubers and other foods to grow bigger brains. There may also have been a boost to evolution caused by a mutation in how a particular gene is regulated. An article based on the following study: PLoS Biol. 2005 Dec;3(12):e387. Ancient and recent positive selection transformed opioid cis-regulation in humans. PMID: 16274263 Says: 'Researchers have discovered the first brain regulatory gene that shows clear evidence of evolution from lower primates to humans. They said the evolution of humans might well have depended in part on hyperactivation of the gene, called prodynorphin (PDYN), that plays critical roles in regulating perception, behavior and memory. They reported that, compared to lower primates, humans possess a distinctive variant in a regulatory segment of the prodynorphin gene, which is a precursor molecule for a range of regulatory proteins called "neuropeptides." This variant increases the amount of prodynorphin produced in the brain. While the researchers do not understand the physiological implications of the activated PDYN gene in humans, they said their finding offers an important and intriguing piece of a puzzle of the mechanism by which humans evolved from lower primates.' Full article at: medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=34876 The full study is available on PubMed.
  6. Do you get the same pain when using a dumbbell? If not it could be due to your arms being fixed in position without the chance to adjust their angle as the arms bend when using a barbell. With a dumbbell your forearms can twist slightly at different points in the movement.
  7. If you have a track record it would be easier to get work in a gym. You could get a track record by volunteering your services with some group - a church group, the local police or fire brigade, a youth group. You could provide fitness classes at a retirement home for the more mobile residents. You will then have references to show prospective employers and will have experience of working with a wide range of people and abilities. You will probably need third-party liability insurance even as a volunteer. Good luck!
  8. I don't do ordinary press ups for my winged scapula. I do scapula press ups. I often do them just with the left arm. Here is the video by Nick Tuminello that shows the diamond press up style: Push Up Plus - Serratus Anterior Exercise for Winged Scapula
  9. You can get pains and strains in your upper back and neck if one or both shoulders are not functioning properly. I have a slightly winged left scapula and often had various pains in the upper back. Since doing some particular exercises the winging effect is lessened and I rarely have any pain. I do scapula press ups - using the method proposed by someone whose name escapes me at the moment (hands together in a diamond press-up position and hands directly under the eye level rather than at shoulder level), and other movements. Ido Portaldo has some youtube exercises for shoulder mobilisation. You might need to exercise your rotator cuff muscles.
  10. Hello Roddy. It would be difficult for anyone to give you exercise or diet advice without knowing more about you and your health. If you can continue with the intensity of exercise you are doing you could stick to that - as long as it doesn't cause any harm. Pushing yourself as hard as you can might not be a good idea unless you know your body can take it. Keep away from highly processed foods as they usually have a lot of unecessary and fattening things added to them. NEAT - non-exercise activity thermogenesis - is very beneficial for fat loss. For most people, if they do a bit of training in the gym 3 or 4 days a week and spend the rest of the time sitting down at work and at home they aren't likely to lose as much weight as someone who does the same amount (or less) of formal exercise but is also very active at other times.
  11. Thank you. I don't mind - as long as I'm not charged a copying and pasting fee.
  12. Yes, you can build muscle and strength at home. As well as pull ups (use extra weight dangling from a belt), you could do: Handstand press ups. Single-arm press ups. Dips between chairs. Single-leg squats. Single-leg Romanian deadlifts, using a bucket of damp sand as a weight. Inverted rows on the pull up bar (you could use ropes or towels to hold as you pull yourself up. Single-arm dips (more likely, partial dips) on kitchen cupboards. Not on a table, because you will need something to stop your legs from going underneath - so, with a cupboard, your feet will slide up and down the doors. For single-arm work, you will need to take it slowly to allow your tendons and ligaments to get used to the loads. Stop immediately if there is any pain. For the single-arm press ups and dips I would advise using something like a press up handle so your palm isn't flat on the surface. I injured my wrist in that way doing them.
  13. The only sure way to stop it would be to remove the source. But that would mean detusking the elephants. I used to think they wouldn't be too badly affected because I thought they only use them for fighting and if they all had no tusks no one would have an advantage. Then it occurred to me that they also use them for digging - for food and other things. But it is the only sure way. But then the killers would still kill them to get at the stumps - with a shortage of supply the price would go up and the stumps would be valuable. A less efficient way is to encourage elephant tourism. I don't mean encourage the elephants to become tourists. No, encourage tourists to observe them. Then the locals will protect them because they will be a valuable resource. Rich countries would need to ensure the tourism industry was financially supported if need be. If we want elephants to survive we have to be willing to pay.
  14. I clicked on this thinking it said 'Pat Reeves'.
  15. You could also do squat thrusts, burpees, squat jumps, punching a bag, kicking a bag, some basic parts of weightlifting moves, kettlebell swinging, side leg raises as fast as possible. You could do several different movements in a circuit. And do a few circuits with rests (or reduced movement) between exercises and circuits.
  16. As well as other suggestions, you could do a modified version of bent over dumbbell rowing. You keep your arm straight and just pull the weight by pulling your shoulder back and squeezing your shoulder blade towards your spine. Then extend your arm so that your shoulder goes far forwards towards the ground. You could also do pull ups in this way - keeping the arms straight and just pulling with the shoulders. Be careful with this one because it can cause pain in some people. I think it has something to do with the shape of some people's acromium You could lie face down on a board with arms dangling down. Then raise the dumbbells with straight arms to horizontal and squeeze the shoulder blades together. In a handstand position, keeping your arms straight, you could shrug your shoulders so that you rise up and down a bit by the movement of your shoulders. Again, be careful with this one. If any cause pain, try changing your hand position - pronated, supinated, neutral. A popular and successful posture correcter is Esther Gokhale. She has a book about backs and posture. If your pecs are too strong/tight they will affect your posture. If you sit at a desk all day this could also affect your posture. You might need to work on the flexibility of your thoracic spine. Scapula press ups might help. Some rotator cuff exercises might help. They helped to reduce my winged scapula and I now have no pain in my left shoulder, which plagued me off and on for years.
  17. I don't have any knowledge of what is required in figure contests or bodybuilding contests, so my contribution here might be worthless. But I would say that you do not need to lose any more fat.
  18. Have you tried different positions for pressing motions, such as triceps extensions (as shown by littlebeastM on youtube - called Easy But Very Effective Tricep Routine (Megasuperset!!), diamond press ups, pseudo-planche press ups, pike press ups or using those press up handles that allow your hands to turn? There are examples of all these movements on youtube. If any are too hard but the movement doesn't seem to cause you problems, you could do partial reps to start with or raise your hands higher than your feet. As for littlebeastM's routine, I'm not suggesting you do the volume of work he does. Just try the exercises to see how they affect your arm. You can do them on a chair, window ledge or anything that allows the movement. I do them on a chair. If you have access to dumbbells you could do bench presses or floor presses.
  19. I had a look for info about them after writing the above. There is very little. There are some videos on youtube but most show people doing them by not fully straightening their arms at the bottom of the movement or only doing 2 or 3 reps. I saw one bloke do about 9 but he did it with a neutral grip. And I saw a woman - Souixsie something - do 5. I didn't want her to be better than me so I tried again and did 5. Only just. It's a great exercise and I wish I had started doing it years ago. I'll incorporate it into my weight training tomorrow. I might do triples with 60 seconds between sets. Or I might do singles with 10 seconds between each one. Good idea about the rings.
  20. Does anyone do L-sit pull ups? I did them for the first time a couple of days ago. When I first tried I couldn't even do one. I tried again a little later and managed to do one. These were with my hands at shoulder width. Later in the day I did some with my hands about 4 inches apart. I managed to do 2 in a row. I did a few more but mostly singles. The next day I had DOMS in the abs. I have never had DOMS in the abs after doing normal pull ups nor from doing L-sits on the ground. I did some more L-sit pull ups today. I did 4 and think I could have struggled a 5th one but I stopped because I felt a bit of an ache in my elbow. I did another 4 reps 10 minutes later. Then I did 2 or 3 with my hands shoulder-width apart. I only managed to do singles with the shoulder-width grip a couple of days ago. There must be some trick to them that my muscles now understand. It is definitely much harder doing pull ups in this way. When I did the first 4 today I felt a lot of work was being done somewhere in my lower back, probably the lower lats. I didn't notice this feeling in the later ones. I did them with my palms facing away and my legs held out straight in front of me - no bending at the knees. A slight pause and no swinging at the bottom of the movement. Swinging would make it easier. I did need to adjust my posture in some way before starting the pull - I think I needed a slight leaning backwards or pulling back of my shoulders. And I found close-grip ones easier than shoulder width. I am going to do all or most of my pull ups in this way for the next few months. I will soon add extra weight - probably when I can consistently do 8. I don't know why they are much harder to do than normal ones but that is a bonus in my book and makes them well worth doing.
  21. You could offer your services, free of charge, to some team - perhaps at weekends or a couple of nights a week. If you could improve their performance by increasing their fitness or strength you will be able to cite that as experience. Or you could approach the local police and ask if they have any programmes to help delinquent youths to lead better lives. You could say that you could help by teaching them self-respect, self-discipline and motivation through fitness. You could gain a lot of good publicity - with carefully picked juveniles. The type who have gone off the rails but are not hardened criminals. Those are the sorts of things I'd do in the UK. Not sure if they would work in the US.
  22. Apparently, we can survive without carbs. And we can survive without ever eating plants. But surviving and living are two different things. I would rather live than just survive. Our ancestors have been eating carbs, including grains, for many thousands of years. If they were bad for us there wouldn't be 7 milliard humans swamping the world. Most humans have relied on grains for the bulk of their diet for as long as we know about. Grains and beans do contain 'anti-nutrients' but the processing of those foods - soaking, cooking, sprouting, fermenting - greatly reduces these things. And some anti-nutrients, phytates, could help in protecting the gut against cancer. The bloke also seems to think there was one diet amongst early humans and mentions gatherer-hunters. But modern gatherer-hunters eat very different diets compared with each other. Some have lots of meat and some have very little meat. It depends on where they live and how available plant foods are. Hunters often exaggerate their hunting prowess, too. It is often the women and children who provide most of the food - plants and invertebrates - even in groups that say they rely more on hunting. Never believe a hunter - or angler - when they talk about how good they are at hunting. He's not as daft as some of the palaeo idiots out there. The only things I disagree with are his beliefs about the dangers of carbs and his belief that we need to eat animal flesh.
  23. How active are you? Training in the gym every day may not be enough if people sit down for the other 22.5 hours in the day. If you do sit a lot, you could get up frequently to move around or to do some simple exercises. Even standing up more often will help. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis and all that) If you are very active throughout the day, I don't know what else to suggest apart from looking again at your diet. Good luck!
  24. If that's you in your avatar you look slim enough. Presumably, you have as little fat elsewhere. Calisthenics - are these just bodyweight exercises? Are you not keen on using weights or would it not be practicable to do so?
  25. I've had dozens of arguments with people who say there are no really strong or hulking vegans. I point them to this site or mention someone. Ah, but these people weren't born vegan, they say. One person even demands that someone has to be a third generation vegan to qualify otherwise their muscles can only be attributed to the meat their ancestors ate. Some will concede that a vegan who has been vegan for a few years can thank their vegan diet for their bulk or their strength - but then add that they must also be on steroids because no one, absolutely no one, can build huge muscles or great strength without steroids. They also say that there's never been an olympic lifter, power lifter or world strongman vegan champion. I mention Pat Reeves and Jane Black. No, it has to be men. So I say, again and again, that there are very few vegans and, consequently, there's much less chance of a vegan rather than a meat eater becoming a champion in a strength sport.
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