ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preparations for the post-holiday

If you want to get lean, lift:
According to a new study, weight training is the most effective way of keeping abdominal fat in check, compared to other activities such as running or cycling. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health measured the activity levels of over 10,000 men aged 40-plus, monitoring their weight and waist circumference over a 12-year period.

They found that those men who spent an extra 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal weight over the course of the study than men who increased the amount of time they spent doing aerobic exercise. Combining weight training with aerobic exerise led to even better results, the study found.
I'm not surprised. I've noticed over time that lifting alone is much better than cardio alone, but the most effective program involves running once or twice per week in addition to at least three lifting days per week.

Don't worry about your diet today and tomorrow. Eat, drink, and have a Merry Christmas. Then buckle down and address the fitness question the day after tomorrow. Any athlete will tell you that a cheat day makes no difference whatsoever.

If you're going to face the world sober, you may as well do it with a hangover. So to speak.

Labels:

102 Comments:

Blogger Johan December 24, 2014 12:01 PM  

Any recommendations for a good weight lifting manual?

Anonymous CJ December 24, 2014 12:06 PM  

Been lifting 3x/week for 2 months. Have doubled the weight I can curl in that time and several people have noticed a difference. One suggestion I would make is don't be too concerned about the scale the first few weeks. I was stronger and my clothes fit better, but I weighed the same as when I started. Eventually you'll lose more fat and the numbers will reflect that.

Blogger Josh December 24, 2014 12:08 PM  

Any recommendations for a good weight lifting manual?

STARTING STRENGTH.

Anonymous Porky December 24, 2014 12:09 PM  

+1

Did cardio for 6 months. Didn't lose weight and blew out a knee.

Went back to weights only and lost 15 lbs. Also became gorgeous.

Blogger Josh December 24, 2014 12:14 PM  

Of course, the best source of advice on the internet for lifting is definitely Broscience

OpenID alphaisassumed December 24, 2014 12:35 PM  

I second Josh's recommendation for Starting Strength. Just the important exercises, correct form explained in DETAIL.

However, for programming I prefer Stronglifts (basically a Starting Strength ripoff). It's a bit more precise regarding when to increase weight, how to respond to plateaus, etc., although it uses basically the same exercises. Stronglifts also has a bit less emphasis on warmups and more on work sets.

The only major exercise difference between the two is that Stronglifts has bent-over barbell rows instead of power cleans. If your goals are overall athletic quickness, do cleans. If just strength, rows. Also, the programs have a disagreement on proper form for overhead presses.

However, Rippetoe recently released a book on programming, so some of the programming imprecision I didn't like in Starting Strength may be resolved in that.


~Martel

Anonymous NorthernHamlet December 24, 2014 12:36 PM  

It's probably been said here before, but is always worth repeating: lifting and running boosts your overall perspective.

When I incorporated both into my life, I was surprised at how much better I dealt with adversity. When any project fails, I look forward to the gym and the track that week even more, and they remind me I'm the man fighting this war. If I give up, no one else is going to make my gains for me.

For now though, Merry Christmas and a raised glass to each of you.

Anonymous jack December 24, 2014 12:40 PM  

Less emphasis on warmups? From above. No so sure about that. I don't think its possible to overdo warmups. I've pulled too many muscles to not do a really good warmup for anything, running, weights, work about the homestead. Besides, warmups give you a nice warm warm.

Anonymous Rolf December 24, 2014 12:44 PM  

Lifting is good. But just getting off your butt is good - I'm a big fan of the treadmill desk so I don't just sit for long periods. After more than five thousand miles on mine, sometimes with over 16 miles a day, I still like it.

Anonymous paleopaleo December 24, 2014 12:49 PM  

Squat PR just yesterday - 405# (yes femur to parallel) at age 44.

Rippetoe's youtube videos are good too.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- est. 1977 December 24, 2014 12:51 PM  

Deadlifts, bench presses, squats, power cleans and military presses.
The only lifts you'll ever need.
Pullups, pushups and dips for your warmups.
Call it a workout.

Blogger Bogey December 24, 2014 1:12 PM  

@Josh
lol, his how to skip leg day is hilarious.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 24, 2014 1:17 PM  

One suggestion I would make is don't be too concerned about the scale the first few weeks.

Your belt notch will tell you all you really need to know. Climbing a few flights of stairs will fill in any holes.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus December 24, 2014 1:23 PM  

"awww...it's the Vernal Equinox....I can't do legs today!!!!"

OpenID UnderwaterOperative December 24, 2014 1:25 PM  

I'd be interested to know what supplements people are using, if any. As well as, whether you're using meal replacements. I generally us a meal replacement right after lifting.

Anonymous Porky December 24, 2014 1:25 PM  

"Da dungeon. Da boneyard...Poseidon!!"

Anonymous Aeoli Pera December 24, 2014 1:36 PM  

>I'm not surprised. I've noticed over time that lifting alone is much better than cardio alone, but the most effective program involves running once or twice per week in addition to at least three lifting days per week.

I've also noticed that you can do surprisingly okay with a single set of 50 pushups per day. This is helpful for maintaining strength during major depressive episodes when putting on shoes is an insurmountable obstacle, and the pick-me-up is nice.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera December 24, 2014 1:55 PM  

I think next year I'm going to resume trying to appear sane.

Blogger J Curtis December 24, 2014 1:58 PM  

OT- William Lane Craig leaves a present for the deep thinkers of Vox Popoli..

How Does God Foreknow Free Choices?

Blogger Nate December 24, 2014 2:19 PM  

""awww...it's the Vernal Equinox....I can't do legs today!!!!""

A curl station... aka... a squat rack

Anonymous Huckleberry -- est. 1977 December 24, 2014 2:23 PM  

I'd be interested to know what supplements people are using, if any. As well as, whether you're using meal replacements. I generally us a meal replacement right after lifting

After a workout I make a protein shake with ON protein powder, whole milk, crunchy peanut butter, a little vegetable oil and l-glutamine.
I don't replace a meal with it; on lift days it takes the place of the can of tuna I eat for a snack.
Other than that I just eat a balanced mix of protein, carbs and fat over the course of four meals a day.
Back in the day I tried creatine, but after about 8 weeks I began bleeding through my pores during workouts so I haven't been keen on much supplementation since.

Anonymous Viidad December 24, 2014 2:27 PM  

"a cheat day makes no difference whatsoever"

It's the multiple days that get people.

I find it hilarious when folks who aren't thin or fit tell me that they eat well and only cheat occasionally.

For most out-of-control Americans, just saying NO to all junk is needed. They're like alcoholics.

I used to work with a guy who was carrying 80+ extra lbs, mostly in his gut. One morning he came in late to work with a Diet Dr. Pepper and two twinkies.

"What's that?" I said.

"My reward. I ran this morning and I like to reward myself."

I hope I didn't laugh out loud. I tried not to.

Personally, if I "rewarded" myself by consuming that kind of processed dung, I'd be ill the rest of the day. Once you eat consistently well for long enough, you lose the taste and or the ability to consume garbage without immediately feeling it.

Just say no.

Anonymous Viidad December 24, 2014 2:29 PM  

Here's a question for the lifters here:

I used to have a regular workout regimen with someone, then it ended up falling apart. Now I have no one to spot me on the bench, plus I live quite a ways from the nearest gym.

I would like to set up with a weight bench but I don't believe I'd be able to pull off lifting to anywhere near my max in case I drop the bar. Would dumbbells suffice, for safety's sake?

Anonymous Jack Amok December 24, 2014 2:38 PM  

Casin protien seems to be what I respond to best, as far as fabricated nutrition. I also take a liquid mutli-vitamin, lots of B-12 and D (I live outside Seattle, not much photosynthesis for me). i try to get most of my carbs through alcohol.

Anonymous Porky December 24, 2014 2:45 PM  

Back in the day I tried creatine, but after about 8 weeks I began bleeding through my pores

wtf? Do you get your supplements from some chinese website or something?

Blogger Guitar Man December 24, 2014 2:47 PM  

I gave myself an epic cheat day on Saturday for the Scandinavian's side of the family Christmas party. I was so sick the next day, definitely over did it, but by Monday I was feeling fine and my workout results were typical. I thank God I switched my mindset on diet and exercise almost 5 years ago.

I mostly do a bodyweight routine with some lighter weights.

Viidad, dumbbells will start you good. I would also consider looking into a good kettlebell routine.

Blogger Jourdan December 24, 2014 2:47 PM  

Question for the group, I REALLY need help, all help would be greatly appreciated.

I am 5 months away from 50 years old.

As a young adult I was an attorney and there was a gym in my office building; before that I was in college and worked out there, before that I was in the U.S. Navy, i.e. I've always been in decent, not excellent, but decent shape.

Then, two things have happened:

1) I was in a BAD car accident in 2010 that left me with two tears in my abdominal wall, both of which about the size of an orange, both corrected by a synthetic mesh. The holes are painful and ALL doctors have told me that any serious weight lifting, even light weight lifting is a risk. I can tell you that when I have disregarded their advice, I regretted it. I can feel the pressure on the mesh patches every lift and it's very painful, not to mention frightening. (what if it doesn't hold, etc?)

2) I'm 50. Nothing I can do about that, but, well...fuck. let me tell you it ain't as easy as it used to be. Time was that if I found myself 20 lbs overweight, 6 months of bearing down would not only solve the problem but leave me looking better. Now, I can work my ass off, diet and do everything right for 6 months and lose 5 lbs., with no real tone gain, because I can't lift.

Am I doomed?

What should I do?

Anonymous Jack Amok December 24, 2014 2:47 PM  

Would dumbbells suffice, for safety's sake?

I'm in your same boat and use dumbbells for that reason. I figure even if barbells are superior to dumbbells, dumbbells are far, far superior to not lifting.

Anonymous Chinese Supplement Vendor December 24, 2014 2:49 PM  

肌酸
有效成分:汞,砷,猪呕吐。

Blogger Guitar Man December 24, 2014 2:52 PM  

Jourdan, how many pounds are you overweight? I lost about 50 pounds of fat by simply cutting out the sugars and carbs. The low calorie, low fat diets are atrocious. Walking is a great exercise for getting more tone and is very under rated. If you can put in an hour each day of a walk, you'll likely see some good results.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 24, 2014 2:53 PM  

Now, I can work my ass off, diet and do everything right for 6 months and lose 5 lbs., with no real tone gain, because I can't lift.

By "diet", what do you mean?

For lifting, sounds rough. Are there good physical therapists nearby? They're all about how to deal with injuries and stuff that isn't working the way it's supposed to. They might have solutions for how you can get some resistance on your muscles without aggravating the surgical repair.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- est. 1977 December 24, 2014 2:59 PM  

Would dumbbells suffice, for safety's sake?

For the most part, yes.
The biggest downside is that you'll likely have to purchase many dumbbells in a wide variety of weights, or buy those awkward handles that can utilize free plates.
With a barbell, you just need the one bar, a few plates, and a facility with basic addition and subtraction.

Do you get your supplements from some chinese website or something?

The guy looked legit! I mean, for a guy selling things out of the trunk of a '79 Coupe de Ville, but still.
It was a good deal.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- est. 1977 December 24, 2014 3:04 PM  

Am I doomed?

You're never doomed, but I would seek out the advice of a good physical therapist or kinesiologist to see exactly what and how you can strength train. Perhaps isokinetic exercises or something in that vein would work.

Anonymous Harsh December 24, 2014 3:19 PM  

@Jourdan

I second Guitar Man's suggestion for walking combined with no sugar/low-carb dieting. I dropped about 40 pounds by walking 2-4 miles daily and cutting sugar and starchy foods. It's probably not as efficient a way to lose as lifting is but if you can't lift, I suggest trying a walking regimen.

Anonymous Tallen December 24, 2014 3:25 PM  

Am I doomed? What should I do?

Find a masters team and start swimming.

Anonymous Earl December 24, 2014 3:28 PM  

Did 4 for the Corps, no lifting, all cardio and calisthenics. Had a few minor bizarre injuries but held up thru my 20s. In my 30s my arches went flat or got weak. Started lifting. Got fat by bulking too much. Squats seem to have wrecked my patella so i have taken 6 months off my quads. My curls are causing some strange pain to my forearms too. I've gotten my calories down and have leaned out. I lift 3 times a week and do supersets. My knee is getting better and I can now hump a pack with a knee brace on. I was pleasantly surprised after 6 months of no cardio being able to go right up the hills with little fatigue. Probably from always doing supersets. So my point is get you butt out there and exercise whether its running or lifting. Yes, you might accrue strange injuries. Suck it up. Reach down and wipe the sand out of your vag'! You just might heal up and get over it.

Anonymous Cail Corishev December 24, 2014 3:33 PM  

ALL doctors have told me that any serious weight lifting, even light weight lifting is a risk.

You might look into Slow Burn. It's a method of lifting (either bodyweight or with weights) where you move very slowly through the range of motion, usually 20 seconds to do a full rep, so it takes fewer reps and less total weight. It avoids some of the risk of injury from stress on the joints and stuff, especially for people who are out of shape, so maybe it would work in your case.

Anonymous Earl December 24, 2014 3:44 PM  

Viidad. There are solutions for you. Get a squat rack and a bench. Use the safety pins to protect yourself from dropping the bar whether you're squatting or benching. Also, as long as your are bench pressing somewhere around your own bodyweight, and you fail your last rep, you are not going to die. This happened to me once and i had no spotter. I thought i would get crushed to death but alas i was flattering myself. I was not benching enough to hurt myself. My rep fail resulted in the bar slowly coming back down, tipping over to one side, sitting up and placing the bar on my hips, and squirting out the high side. No biggie.

Anonymous Earl December 24, 2014 3:53 PM  

Bowflex makes a neat adjustable dumbell set. Bowflex 1090 or 545. I have used them to a limited beginners degree and liked them.

Anonymous Porky December 24, 2014 3:57 PM  

Viidad, they make adjustable stands that you place on either side. Google safety stands.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan December 24, 2014 3:58 PM  

Jourdan,

If you are not lifting weights because a doctor (s) told you "it is a risk", you are pretty much dooming yourself to a mediocre existence, and probably an early death.

Personally, I'd rather go ahead and cash in my chips now than live the rest of this life as a wet noodle.

I lift with a guy ten years younger than me (he's 48) who suffered a torn aeorta in a car wreck. Also a fractured femur and pelvis.

As for me, a trip out through the windshield, and a ride out a side window. Torn scalp, broken facial bones, a broken foot, elbow, and a stiff neck for several years.

We both lift like muthas. Deadlifts every Friday. Bench and full squats, power cleans and rows.

Do you think we don't get sore? hahaha. Some mornings (usually the second day after some heavy sets) even my hair hurts!

It would be easier to lists the body parts that DON'T hurt.

Don't baby yourself too much because of what some doctor told you. They sell pills and give bad nutritional advice, when they aren't trying to get you to come in for a bypass/colonoscopy/joint replacement..etc.

With good nutrition, your body will heal and get stronger. God has designed you for that purpose. Is your doctor wiser than your creator?

Now git with the program. And best wishes!

Blogger ThirdMonkey December 24, 2014 4:00 PM  

Viidad, I have a Rogue S-2 squat stand with safety spotter arms. I can squat and bench heavy and have my 6yr old daughter "spot" me. I began with Starting Strength, but now use Wendler's 531 routine. I usually hit a new PR on on the major lifts monthly. I wasted many years fooling around in commercial gyms. I've had more gains in the last two years with this setup in my garage. Best money I ever spent.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 24, 2014 4:31 PM  

I thought i would get crushed to death but alas i was flattering myself. I was not benching enough to hurt myself.

Ha, yes, that's a good point.

But on the other side, the topic of just how best to enjoy your cheat day...

I submit my Egg Nog recipe.

Separate four fresh eggs. Add 1 cup of coconut palm sugar to the yolks and beat until well incorporated. To that, add 2 cups whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, and 1 cup hooch (bourbon, brandy or rum, your choice, just make it a good). Grate in a little nutmeg.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they for soft peaks, then add 1 Tbsp superfine sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks. Whisk the two bowls together and serve.

Yes, it's raw eggs. Craaaaazy man!

Merry Christmas ilk. God bless all of you.

Blogger Rek. December 24, 2014 4:36 PM  

"Running once or twice/week"

Wouldn't mind some elaboration. I am in very good shape simply by eating very clean (+ cheat meals) and walking, without any lifting and running (for 5 years). Got the green light from the doc to resume physical activity and have no idea what type of running I should be doing. I was thinking of simply shooting for 2 x 20 minutes of running/week @ moderate pace (+ bodyweight exercising).

Anonymous damntull December 24, 2014 4:52 PM  

I'm middle-aged and in pretty good shape. I got myself a pull-up bar and started doing pull-ups and push-ups. Darndest thing! Saw that little bit of fat around the waistline start to disappear.

Anonymous Sheila December 24, 2014 5:00 PM  

Vidad, while I realize I don't lift anywhere near as heavy as a guy would (altho' heavier than most women), you can still get a thorough workout (sans spotter) with a bench, a bar, some plates, and some adjustable dumbbells. I got an excellent bench etc. from a used sports good store (Play It Again Sports) and an adjustable dumbbell set from Walmart, with extra plates from Play It Again Sports. Yes, it takes a few minutes to adjust in between sets, but you get pretty quick after a while. It's all squeezed into our spare bedroom/guest room along with an exercise bike. You can fit 3 (possibly 4) plates on each side of the dumbbell, so could get up to 50 lbs each. For legs, I have velcroed 10 lb weights per leg - nothing like the presses at a gym, but add in a resistance band and you can do quite a bit. Incline the bench about 30 degrees and lay on your abs with your head at the lower end. Lift your legs straight behind you and squeeze - excellent ab, butt, and hamstring work. I have a 3 ring binder I've filled with exercises I've pulled out of my fitness mags over the years - I get bored easily and like variety. Get a cheap step and use it for your deadlifts, alternating pushups, calf raises, and even quick cardio intervals between sets (step up and down as fast as you can, or step laterally, for 30-60 seconds). Get a cheap pull-up bar (found one at Walmart that just fits over the door frame so I can put it up and take it down whenever). Wrap around a really strong resistance band with handles on it (used sports store has a variety and you can add up to three bands per handle) and it's an okay substitute for lat pulldowns.

As others have said, walk/run 3-5 times a week. I HATE running so I do an alternating jog/walk (should be a sprint/walk, but I'm just not a sprinter!) for about 4 miles 3 mornings a week (walk an additional 2 afternoons with my younger son). Mornings like today, when it was about 43 with a wind chill of 31, are great for me - and almost no one else is out. When it really starts to warm up, (hate the heat - so of course I live in Texas) I don't go outdoors, so will have to join some place or expend lots of $ for a decent treadmill or elliptical. Combining this with a moderate diet (trying my best to cut out sugar and way back on carbs in general - with mixed success) I've lost about 45 pounds in 7 months. Still have a way to go to get back to my pre-kids weight, but for 56 I'm feeling fairly comfortable. (Vox - if this is too much info obviously feel free to delete my comment.)

Anonymous JI December 24, 2014 5:29 PM  

I'll gladly take this advice! Merry Christmas to Vox, his family and all his readers.

Anonymous VD December 24, 2014 5:30 PM  

I never use a spotter for anything less than around 250 pounds. You just need to lift enough to learn your body and when to stop.

Anonymous Kool Moe Dee December 24, 2014 5:56 PM  

Need to throw some 45's on the bar and get busy with that shit. No discussion bitches, just do it.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus December 24, 2014 6:05 PM  

Viidad: as others mentioned, you can get a squat/bench rack with safety bars. If you Google "bench face savers" you can find links for Face Savers that attach to benches...a form of safety rack.

If you are lifting alone, say for instance in a basement, you shouldn't bench without one, even if you make one out of wood. Like Vox, I don't use a spotter unless I am going heavy... And I have dumped plates off to the side before when I have blown a lift...but I always lift in a gym so if something goes *really* wrong someone can help.

Supplements: my diet would kill you, V, Body-by-Taco-Bell, but thanks to the weights I still have to pay Capital Gainz (deferred indefinitely while on "bulk phase")

I take a multivitamin, 325mg aspirin, vitamin D, fish / flaxseed oil, Alpha lipoic acid, and the Cheap Wal-Mart brand Six Star protein-creatine mix.

Note: for creatine, it works however you should always drink a lot of water while on it, 2-4 quarts a day, as creatine will pull water from other parts of the body into your muscles, potentially dehydrating you.

Anonymous Viidad December 24, 2014 6:09 PM  

Great - thank you all.

"Teamwork" fitness has consistently failed me, whereas self-discipline has not. You've gotten me a good start here. I'll be hunting out a bench.

OpenID taqiyyologist December 24, 2014 6:31 PM  

If I want to get "lean", I'll get some codeine-based cough syrup, a package of Skittles™, and some Arizona™ Watermelon Juice Cocktail.

OpenID taqiyyologist December 24, 2014 6:33 PM  

Merry Christmas, Ilk.

Anonymous daddynichol December 24, 2014 6:55 PM  

Any suggestions for those over 60, good health but out of the exercise loop for a couple of decades?

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey December 24, 2014 7:04 PM  

Excellent advice, Vox.

Anonymous Rhys December 24, 2014 7:06 PM  

@ Viidad: You can learn the roll of shame or even better ditch the bench in favour of more overhead work.

Fuck running any further than a 100 metres. Hiking is much better for you than jogging. Load up a heavy pack and walk up and down hills and you'll sweat buckets. Alternatively for cardio I've found the bear works great.

@ Jourdan: None of us are doctors or physios...but most doctors and physios don't know shit about most things anyway. You need to try and find a doctor or physio who knows how to help people recover. Meanwhile start walking - and not on a tread mill. Walk around the neighbourhood and then on weekends go to a short hiking trail with hills and walk that.

@ Johan: Use starting strength. You can buy Rippetoe's book or you can find a free write up on the web (which I did). Once you can no longer progress then switch up programs. Most intermediate programs suck because they presume you have both cancer and AIDS and will die if you do one more rep than necessary.
I learned a lot about training and the human potential from the blog chaosandpain.blogspot.com . The writer holds a world record in powerlifting. He does not deal with beginners but if you read his blog you'll have a better idea of what to do after starting strength. Be warned - his blog is very NSFW

If you want to bulk then do not do GOMAD unless you want to be fat with bad breath. I don't even bother with protein powders. Large quantities of meat and potatoes (and an otherwise paleo diet) serves for bulking without getting obese.
If you want to lose weight then switch to a paleo diet and don't gorge on potatoes and cheat foods an be sure to lift.



Anonymous Hoss December 24, 2014 7:12 PM  

My doctor told me a couple of years ago that lifting was best for men in and over their forties. I've trained fairly steadily since college when I played football (20+ years ago), but I've definitely had to check my ego. I see some guys my age at the gym crushing it, but I've had to refine my routine since some exercises seem to cause more strain (probably me since I don't stretch like I should), so I've dialed the numbers back. Fatting up though cause I eat out too damn much.

Guys, don't forget leg day.

Anonymous Hoss December 24, 2014 7:13 PM  

Oh, and I am a fan of the kettle ball. Give it a try.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey December 24, 2014 7:16 PM  

I'd be interested to know what supplements people are using, if any."

I regularly supplement with magnesium, vitamin D, l-theanine, fish oil (omega 3) and vitamin B.

Less frequently I take: zinc, resveratrol, liver tabs, and creatine.

Also, intermittent fasting.

The key for me is to combine lifting and HIIT with some fasting.

Dennis Mangan has published an awesome guide to supplements for men:

http://roguehealthandfitness.com/best-supplements-for-mens-health-and-strength/

Blogger J Curtis December 24, 2014 8:47 PM  

I never use a spotter for anything less than around 250 pounds. You just need to lift enough to learn your body and when to stop

Right. A very large percentage of males here in SoFLA are a**holes. I don't like being asked to spot for them and I never ask them myself.


I use dumbells mostly and in case you were ever wondering how to gauge yourself aganist another American male who is approx. the same age as you, I begin my chest workout thusly.

Incline Dumbell Presses

60 lbs X 18 reps (Sometimes 20 reps if it feels light)

70 lbs X 16 reps

80 lbs X 12 reps (14 reps when I feel especially good about 10 reps if I don't)

90 lbs X 5-8 reps

55 lbs till failure (Usually abt 15 reps)

I then go to flat bench (with olympic bar) and rep out 135-145-155 lbs pretty much till failure. The upper chest workout zaps alot out of me so we aren't talking about a huge number of reps here. I usually follow that up with 2 sets of flat dumbell presses (60-65 lbs till failure)

I haven't done flat flys in about 5 years and I don't miss them a bit. I really like cable crossovers.

Anonymous Rhys December 24, 2014 8:50 PM  

@ Hoss: "since some exercises seem to cause more strain"

Which exercises? Some things like leg extensions are just bad for you and some things like benching aren't as important as everyone thinks.

Anonymous kfg December 24, 2014 8:54 PM  

I mentioned just a few days ago, in these very pages, that I am a cycling specialist. I also advised to get off the damn exercise bike and lift, sprint and walk. On the ground, not on a treadmill.

If you're already up to it, walk weighted. If you're not up to it, get up to it. All exercise should be progressive against some objective standard of performance.

Anonymous zen0 the smartass December 24, 2014 9:05 PM  

> If you're already up to it, walk weighted.

At the risk of being called a Christmas smartass, I would just like to point out, that fat people do that everyday. They be packing 40 to hundreds of pounds all day long. Don't see much improvement.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 24, 2014 9:32 PM  

Where have I been all month? Merry Christmas, I wanted one more week of Christmas to enjoy.

I fast 4 to 5 times per month, I didn't plan too well this week, today was going to be a fasting day regardless of Christmas Eve, which I didn't even realize arrived this fast. I did not expect 60 degrees and sun day. so I did a 90 min walk, it was the kind of afternoon that a person just cannot go inside just yet.

Heard tons of Christmas music, fine day. Fine to walk back to a car that I know will start. Finer after dad and I spent time together. Finest if I can make 2014 the final year and only year I yelled, hollered, lost my temper so much. 2014 must end that chapter.

Tomorrow will include a good few meals, a couple phone calls, few projects for seasonal Christmas scenes I started last month, got too busy to complete them.

Anonymous whtbread December 24, 2014 9:45 PM  

After canceling my gym membership over six months ago, and barely working out since, I needed this post. Thanks VD. I haven't really slept right since I stopped lifting and the gym is calling me back.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 24, 2014 9:51 PM  

Fasting depending upon mood and immune system. My anxiety and anger have decided that I cannot eat if I wanted to, no appetite.

cepacol (throat loz), trolamine salcylate rub, valerian, chamomile, burdock root, coq10, silver/gold injections, boitin, kertin, oregano, garlic, astaxanthin/krill oil, mercolas joint support, plant sterols or vitafusions over 50 blend twice a week, naturesway women blend under 50 daily blend.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 24, 2014 9:52 PM  

I did find a B blend that decreased the anxiety thus the anger went down, took a while.

Blogger Patrikbc December 24, 2014 9:53 PM  

Around mid January I'll be going on the radiation/chemo diet for 6 weeks of fun. After that it's about 6 more weeks just walking and coaching youth soccer. I've never been big on weight training, but have trained and fought competitively.

Blogger Jourdan December 24, 2014 9:53 PM  

I would like to thank everyone for their very well taken advice. Well, except the guy who doesn't understand the difference between being seriously wounded and simply sore after a gym session.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 24, 2014 9:58 PM  

When I lived in a high allergy zone or a around pollution,all the jobs are gone what the hell pollution are people talking about,I refer to steel, not the SAD which no one can live on. No,I have no idea what a high allergen zone would look like. I call it minor, nearly invisible irritants.

I rinse my eyes almost everyday, its very refreshing. For all looming colds there is chewable zinc and nasal saline rinses.

Anonymous Sheila December 24, 2014 10:03 PM  

Re walking weighted - don't use ankle weights for this (fairly obvious but one never knows what others think). I got a weighted vest years ago - 20-25 pounds. I wear it when I walk. Now that I've lost enough, I can really feel the difference after the walk - i.e. when I take the thing off. It really hits home how much you handicap yourself walking around with too many extra pounds.

Other point of note about lifting (for women in particular). I've lifted on and off for about 25 years (and yes, lost and gained weight - stupid, I realize). Anyhow, even at my heaviest, the doctor did a bone scan and said I (then at 55) had the bones of a 22 year old. FWIW, I have never been a milk-drinker or heavy dairy eater - not even as a child. Nor do I take calcium supplements. If you don't want to be a frail oldster, lift!

Merry Christmas to you all! An aside - Vox - do you have any traditional foods your family eats this season? Any Italian dishes you've added to your Christmas meal?

Anonymous Viidad December 24, 2014 10:21 PM  

LP 999/Eliza: "I did find a B blend that decreased the anxiety thus the anger went down, took a while."

I quite drinking coffee a month ago. Switched to tea. Helped a lot. Less anger, paranoia and irritability.

Of course, I'm not getting as much writing done...

Blogger rycamor December 24, 2014 10:24 PM  

For those who want to squat alone, front squats are an incredible posture builder. They are pretty much impossible to do unless your form is right, and much safer (although there is always the chance of bringing the bar down on your knees if you are doing something *really* wrong).

Yeah, you won't be able to front squat the kind of weight you can back squat, but it's still way better than nothing.

Anonymous kfg December 24, 2014 10:51 PM  

" I would just like to point out, that fat people do that everyday."

I'll just point out that actual observation, both in the lab and free range using doubly labeled water, says that they don't really. What they do is develop the longest arms you can imagine to minimize the time spent bearing weight and minimize the intensity of any motion. They are very efficient in motion.

Surgical examination shows that they typically have dangerously atrophied muscles (actual lifters excluded) as a result.

Exercise, by it's very nature, needs to be inefficient to produce an adaptive response, and walking weighted isn't an alternative to lifting, it's an alternative to running or the damned exercise bike (which actually promotes muscle and bone atrophy). What the kids these days call "cardio." Its virtue is that it is safer and easier on the joints than running, but promotes muscle and bone retention, unlike plodding along cycling.

Strength training, even if it's just lifting your own body weight, is still primary.

Blogger rycamor December 24, 2014 10:52 PM  

@Jourdan, there are at least a few isolation lifts you can do that don't involve the abdominal wall, such as preacher curls, seated dumbbell curls, triceps extensions, lateral and front dumbbell shoulder raises (seated might be preferable), seated machine squats, etc...

I would also recommend finding out just how much weight your abdominal wall can handle (VERY GRADUALLY). If you can't find a therapist who can work with you, you might just try some extremely light weights and gradually progress, stopping at the slightest pain that doesn't feel like regular muscle exertion. High reps, low low weights, and extremely slow motions.

The body can and does route around injuries as much as it can. I lost a part of my right triceps in a surfing accident. For years I was afraid to do any serious bench press because I thought it might tear further, but I've worked up to 220lbs, feeling literally no loss of strength in my right arm.

I am convinced that there is one absolute rule of the body, or for any part of the body: if you can move it, you can exercise it to *some* degree that will improve it rather than make things worse--and conversely, you can overdo it and make things much worse if you don't pay attention. It is different for every condition or injury, of course, but as long as you don't cross that line, you can work toward something.

Anonymous kfg December 24, 2014 11:00 PM  

Addendum: At the core of the problem is that it has become taken as granted over the past few decades that the purpose of exercise is to burn calories. That's like saying the purpose of driving a car is to burn gas.

The purpose of burning calories is to enable exercise. Exercise to lift more weight and move more quickly and the calories get expended in the process. Muscle and skill are the point of it all.

Blogger grendel December 24, 2014 11:04 PM  

Merry Christmas ilkvryone!

Anonymous Jeremiah December 24, 2014 11:20 PM  

Got my deadlifts in today. New record in weight. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous beerme December 24, 2014 11:48 PM  

Merry Christmas! If you have plate weights, look into building a T-bar instead of buying kettlebells. It will let you do some of the main lifts without spending tons of money on decent quality equipment.

Anonymous kfg December 25, 2014 12:09 AM  

" It will let you do some of the main lifts without spending tons of money . . ."

Although it will be less useful as a temporary bike locking station.

Anonymous FP December 25, 2014 12:11 AM  

Docs and nutritionists don't know squat. I got the lecture on diet again a few months ago because my cholesterol was still 220, and "the norm is under 200" so along came the "you don't have to be a vegetarian but... limit the eggs, meat, bacon, cheese etc.". My nurse practitioner didn't seem to even notice that I'd lost 12 pounds in four months since I'd last seen him. All by reducing carbs and sugars, the biggest change being no bread along with eating bacon and eggs for breakfast seven days a week. I've lost twenty pounds this year without serious exercise and a few falls off the wagon. I imagine if I'd had more will power and started lifting I'd have lost more.

Anonymous kfg December 25, 2014 12:48 AM  

"Docs and nutritionists don't know squat."

And they don't even know health or nutrition. Actually, there a few that do, but they aren't "allowed" to tell you what it is.

"the norm is under 200"

No, it isn't. That's the consensus for the target. The norm, since the time they first started measuring it, is 240.

To the extent that serum cholesterol levels mean anything at all, 200 to 240 is the optimum range. Risk at 300 is only just measurably more. No point avoiding a heart attack by dying of a stroke a year earlier, no matter how good it makes the heart risk spreadsheet look.

And, of course, dietary cholesterol doesn't translate into serum cholesterol levels, at least not directly. Your liver regulates that. Eat an extra egg, it just makes less of it to maintain the level it deems necessary to keep you alive in your current condition.

Forcing cholesterol lower just fucks up your whole system. Forcing it with drugs unleashes a whole slew of unintended consequences.

Blogger AdognamedOp December 25, 2014 1:19 AM  


Merry Christmas muscle heads.

Anonymous Stg58 / Animal Mother December 25, 2014 1:44 AM  

Just started lifting again. I've been reading Testosterone Nation, getting some ideas on getting back in the gym. I'm starting back doing 5/3/1 sets for each exercise. Also, diet. Sticking to meat and vegetables as much as possible. I'm in oil and gas sales, so I can if I really work at it do ok on business lunches. As far as supplements Twinlab ripped fuel, food and a meal replacement with live food and herbs like spirulina, wheat grass. But most importantly, sleep! By the end of the second day I was already feeling better.

Viidad, I just read on Testosterone Nation about Pin Presses. Get an extra set of pins on the bench and stick them in a few inches above your face . The purpose is to help people with longer arms life, but it works well for safety reasons too.

Anonymous Shibes Meadow December 25, 2014 2:27 AM  

Freue dich, freue dich, O Christenheit!
Christkindchen komm in unser Haus,
Leer deine schönen Sachen aus,
Stell dein Eselchen auf den Mist,
Daß es Heu und Hafer frißt.


Rejoice, rejoice, O Christendom!
The Christ-Child to our house is come.
Bring now forth thy treasures fine,
Lift thine ass-colts from the mire
That they on hay and oats may dine.

JOYEUX NOËL
FRÖLICHE WEIHNACHTSENZEIT
FELIZ NAVIDAD
クリストの誕生日、おめでとうございます
Kuristo no tanjoubi, omedetou gozaimasu

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Anonymous VD December 25, 2014 2:33 AM  

I quite drinking coffee a month ago

Are you mad, man? That's just crazy talk.

Anonymous map December 25, 2014 4:23 AM  

What's wrong with ankle weights when you are walking?

Anonymous kfg December 25, 2014 5:40 AM  

They change the mechanics of your gait. To the extent that it can cause injury. Not so much when you wear them as after you take them off and then continue to walk with the same gait as when weighted.

Other than that they don't provide any positive adaptive effect either. Load your torso and make your whole frame carry it, and thus adapt.

Weight on your back is bone density in your legs.

Blogger Rantor December 25, 2014 7:24 AM  

Thanks for the motivation Vox. Started on a lifting and diet program two years ago, six months in, tore rotator cuff. Six months physical therapy and pretty much stopped lifting. Diet continues... Have lost and kept off 25 pounds. Mainly using the free caloriecount program on the Internet, and doing what I can to reduce carbs, increase fat and protein. So yes the calorie count analysis tells me most days I didn't have enoug carbs.

I am slimmer, healthier, cholesterol is down (I didn't last more than a week on statins, tore me up), etc. time to resume lifting.

First step, dust off the weights...

Anonymous bw December 25, 2014 11:27 AM  

HIIT for calorie burn and cardio.
Think Nature.
Invaluable. Least amount of time, maximum gains.

The key for me is to combine lifting and HIIT with some fasting.
Bingo, same same.

Anonymous Cocoon December 25, 2014 11:58 AM  

Just take what the Institutions and Experts and System says and do much of the opposite, to include vast amounts of sunlight hitting the back of your eyes and on as much skin as possible. Vit D is essential. Like anything though, you must build up slowly. It is a natural wonder drug, like exercise and lifting. Oh, and Eat Your Cholesterol, as Dr Douglas III notes.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus December 25, 2014 12:14 PM  

"and some things like benching aren't as important as everyone thinks."

I'll agree with you that leg extensions are not good for you, because they leave your knee joint unsupported under tension: squats/dears/lunges instead.

But no bench?!? Get Behind Thee Satan!!! That is crazy talk on par with giving up coffee!

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 25, 2014 12:34 PM  

Dr.Douglas is wild and offers greathealth advice.

I too am grateful for the encouragement to lift.

I like the bowflex but the cybex machines are phenomenal, in one year of, by the grace of God, lifting small to mid weights gave me more tone and strength. Of course, cybex are at the gym. My fave gym is open daily, so I am lifting daily for the arms, back, gluts. Minus the sugars my obliques and abs are leaner but it took maybe 8 weeks to achieve.

On the other hand, more strength was not meant to be misused in my anger,flying into blind rages and breaking a chair or table. I repent and ask the Lord to let me be healthy.

Most US SAD styled docs were trained and educated by drug companies.

In pharma sales, the drug corps told docs they can earn more commission if (30 years ago) they made high cholesterol at 200 and over therefore requiring a (bad side effects) statin. Perhaps, in reality, cholesterol can be good or bad depending upon risk factors for stroke and other illnesses. For those of us under 50 cholesterol isn't an issue if we are lifting and taking care of ourselves.

Regarding sunlight, I sun behind glass which is some sort of filter. Anyways, the colds dissipate with plenty of vit d

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 25, 2014 12:43 PM  

Everyone lifting is bound to have shoulder pain. chiropractic care and massage helps. I injured myself doing too much. I was doing the pulls down and push up for triceps/biceps. so now its lifting daily for 20 mins not an hour perday, swim, walk, skate,ballet/dance for around 2 to 4 hours. I have to do this as it its knocks out anxiety to let me sleep in peace. I'd do more but the body says no more machines or I have a shoulder or something hurt.

Blogger Michael Maier December 25, 2014 1:14 PM  

FP December 25, 2014 12:11 AM

Docs and nutritionists don't know squat. I got the lecture on diet again a few months ago because my cholesterol was still 220, and "the norm is under 200" so along came the "you don't have to be a vegetarian but... limit the eggs, meat, bacon, cheese etc.". My nurse practitioner didn't seem to even notice that I'd lost 12 pounds in four months since I'd last seen him. All by reducing carbs and sugars, the biggest change being no bread along with eating bacon and eggs for breakfast seven days a week. I've lost twenty pounds this year without serious exercise and a few falls off the wagon. I imagine if I'd had more will power and started lifting I'd have lost more.


Sprouted grain bread. Great tasting and very filling. Plus it doesn't make you crave more carbs like normal bread does. One slice slathered with butter for mopping up the running yolks is more than enough at breakfast.

Blogger Michael Maier December 25, 2014 1:16 PM  

Anyone have ideas for improving sleep? Even ditching beer & booze didn't help me get to have natural, normal sleep. Even when I was running and lifting. It's damned frustrating.

The only thing left I can think of is scoring a wife and banging her til I pass out every night.

But then you wake up and do a Jim Carrey in "Me, Myself & Irene"...

Anonymous kfg December 25, 2014 1:29 PM  

"Everyone lifting is bound to have shoulder pain . . ."

You're doing it wrong.

" . . . now its lifting daily for 20 mins not an hour perday . . ."

You're doing too much.

Blogger rycamor December 25, 2014 1:59 PM  

Michael Maier December 25, 2014 1:16 PM

Anyone have ideas for improving sleep? Even ditching beer & booze didn't help me get to have natural, normal sleep. Even when I was running and lifting. It's damned frustrating.

The only thing left I can think of is scoring a wife and banging her til I pass out every night.


Well... yes. Best sleep aid ever. Better git cracking son. Those girls aren't going to marry themselves (except for the psychos).

But other than that, you should get lots of sun or vitamin D (hard to do in winter if you're not in Florida), and you should avoid the use of computer, smartphone or TV (basically anything with an LCD display) for about an hour before you sleep. Apparently it really messes with some peoples' sleep patterns.

Some of those paleo4life type people even say that all modern artificial light has too much blue spectrum in it, since most of humans throughout history only used only fire, so they wear special sunglasses at night for computer work and such. Seems a little psycho to me, as I don't have sleep problems, but maybe it works for some.

Anonymous bw December 25, 2014 2:00 PM  

Anyone have ideas for improving sleep?

We have taken Dr Mercola's advice and completely blacked out the bedroom and keep it very cool year round, such that covers are always needed. It has helped us.
Mercola

Most US SAD styled docs were trained and educated by drug companies.
Exactly.

I sun behind glass which is some sort of filter

Just full spectrum, unfiltered Florida sunlight for me. And tans look damn good too, especially on the ladies, but that may just be taste.
It is the ultra-rad that the body reacts to in order to produce Vit D. Like anything it must be built up in a conscious, deliberate manner. Never burn.
It can drain you unless drinking up to 1/2 bodyweight/day in oz of H2O - not for the religion of it like the Progs, but simply for definitive hydration. Sun + Hydration + Exercise is a high all its own. We have become an indoor, CRT, faux lighting world to our detriment.
Stress and worry are the real killers IMO - they lead to untold "reliefs" that are simply symptomatic killers, with belief and purpose being the cure.
It's not called Dis-ease for nothing.

Anonymous bw December 25, 2014 2:07 PM  

*with belief and purpose and a more Natural, Curious life being the cure.

Curiosity killed the Cat, you say?
Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly ~Arnold Edinborough

Anonymous Stg58 / Animal Mother December 25, 2014 2:14 PM  

Mike, try magnesium. My wife has trouble going to sleep sometimes, so she did some research and first tried melatonin, but then moved to Magnesium. It has helped her sleep.

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus December 25, 2014 2:29 PM  

Google "sleep hygiene"... It will guide you to good habits such as regularity, avoiding blue light or bright light before bed, cut caffeine 8-9 hours (yes, 8-9 hours) before bed.

Also, use 3-5 mg of melatonin, which is good for you besides helping you sleep, and try ZMA before bed as well.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts