The Answers To Your Questions: Part 1

image descriptionPosted by ACalorieCounter image descriptionJune 26, 2008 image description16 Comments

Hey there. So a couple of days ago I asked for your best diet, nutrition, weight loss, weight gain, weight training, muscle building, product, supplement and food questions for the purpose of a little Q&A.

Well, within about 24 hours, 71 questions were asked. At around 25 I remember thinking “Hey, maybe this is a good time to close the comments?” But then I figured, nah, let’s give it a little longer. Then of course I checked back a few hours later and saw the 25 had become 71, at which point I closed the comments on a post faster than any human has ever closed the comments on a blog post in the history of mankind.

In all seriousness, it was pretty fun (in a homework assignment sort of way), and I think we’ll definitely do it again, and then again after that.

As for the questions themselves, I tried to answer as many as I could and ended up definitely answering the majority of them. 99% of ones not answered were skipped because they were either:

  • About injuries.
  • About pregnant women/kids.
  • About something that I never even heard of.
  • About something that required too long of an answer.

In most cases that last one was the cause. But, fear not. I’m going to turn a bunch of those answers into full on articles. For example, a ton of people asked about how to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. That will probably be the first full article to come out of our little Q&A game.

Anyway, enough nonsense. Here are a crap load of answers to your crap load of questions…

The Answers

Fredrick C: When is it a good time to switch a workout routine? Is there a period of time where a workout is effective, and then should be switched up? Your thoughts?

Me: I actually just wrote something last month that answers this very question. Check it out: How Often Should You Change Your Workout

Kay: Growing up, I was always very athletic and trained daily as I was a member of National Karate team. That being said, today at the age of 29, I find that no matter what type of exercise I do (cardio, weight training, circuits) that my legs always bulk up. Although this may sound great (building muscle) as a female, I prefer to have muscular, but toned, thin legs…any ideas what I can do differently to avoid bulking?

Me: Well, “muscular but toned” legs require A) having muscular legs, and B) having a low enough body fat percentage so that the muscle on your legs is more visible, which is what creates “tone.” Since you seem to be lucky enough to have A all set, based on the info given, I can only guess B may be the solution. Most women store most of their fat on their lower body (and lose it from there last), just like most men store most of their fat on their stomach (and lose it there last as well). So, if you don’t want to add any more muscle to you legs, all you really need to do is stop progressing. As in, whatever kind of weights you are lifting on lower body exercises, don’t try to increase them any further (just maintain them as is instead). After that, the only way to create more “tone” is by losing more fat, which is more a matter of diet than types of exercise (although exercise can obviously play a role).

Marie: I’ve read “The Supplements And Products I Use And Recommend” and ordered the Fish Capsules, Whey Protein and Dextrose. My question is how much Dextrose do you add to the Whey Protein Drink? Also, the protein drinks says to add 3 oz water to one scoop. Does it matter if you add more water? THANKS for your time.

Me: The amount of dextrose (or really just carbs in general) needed for your post workout shake depends on a bunch of factors (length of workout, type of workout, your body weight, etc.), and I’ve seen all sorts of different recommendations. Some seem too high, some seem too low, and I’ve never really come across anything that seems just right. I would say, on average, somewhere between 0.3 and 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. So, for a 200lb person, this would be between 60 and 100 grams of carbs in the meal right after their workout. It’s a very broad range, I know. The average person doing an average workout probably doesn’t need to be in the top end of their range and would be just fine somewhere in the middle.

As for how much water to add… add as much water as you want. There is no maximum. If it tastes like it needs more water, add more. If it tastes like it needs less, add less. If you just want more water… go nuts. It’s perfectly fine.

joe: What’s the best way, in terms of diet /exercise, for a 52 year old man to build serious muscle without packing inches on the waistline? I’m in good health, relatively fit and have been lifting for a few years.

Me: Ah yes, the “how do I gain muscle without gaining fat” question. The answer is, you pretty much can’t. It sucks, I agree. But, for anyone who isn’t a complete beginner or using some form of drug assistance, building muscle requires a caloric surplus. These excess calories can then either go towards the building of new muscle or the storing of new fat. Your diet, training and genetics will decide where they go. As long as your diet/training is at least kind of good, some of the calories will go towards creating new muscle tissue. If you have really good genetics (most of us don’t), most of the calories will go this route. However, even if your genetics, diet, and training are all perfectly fine, some calories will still go towards fat. The worse these 3 factors are, the worse your muscle to fat gain ratio will be. The best thing we can do is get somewhat lean, and then go into a muscle building phase. Then, before we gain too much fat, switch to a fat loss phase to lose the extra fat we gained (and keep the new muscle we built), and then go back to a muscle gain phase, then back to fat loss, and so on and so on.

I explain all of this way better (and give all of the specifics of diet and training) in The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle.

Matt: What food consists within your daily diet. I wonder if you could outline a typical day of food for you e.g. Meal 1, Oats, Meal 2 etc..

Me: I’m way ahead of you, Matt. Check out My Diet.

Diana: I would like to know what your opinion is regarding free weights vs Bowflex machines and how they differ as far as muscle building is concerned.

Me: I’ve never actually used a Bowflex before, so I will say up front I have no personal experience with one. However, when it comes to the general free weights VS machines of any kind argument, free weights always win as far as being the better of the two for building muscle. However, machines most definitely can have their place and be of use. As I’ve talked about before, the biggest requirement for building muscle is progressive overload (increasing the demands being placed on your body) and this can be done on a machine the same way it can with free weights. With that being said though… free weights would still be the better choice of the two in most cases.

Barry: Is there any truth in:
Breakfast like a king,
Lunch like a prince,
Dinner like a pauper.

Me: I assume you’re asking this in terms of weight control? If so, then nope, no truth to this at all. The only thing that matters as far as getting your weight to do what you want it to do is calories. Eat more than your body needs and you gain weight. Eat less than it needs and you lose weight. Eat the same amount it needs and your weight stays the same. Whether you eat X amount during breakfast, lunch or dinner won’t play any role whatsoever as long as the totals at the end of the day are the same.

Natalie: I was wondering what you thought about taking Glutamine after a workout or in the a.m. & p.m. for that matter. Do you find this is helpful for your body? Also, how many grams of sugar would be considered “safe” to eat without gaining any weight, fat… per day?

Me: Can glutamine be helpful, sure. Really helpful? Most likely not unless you were taking a whole lot of it (not really needed for the average person). Taking a serving after your workout definitely won’t hurt, though. Some people feel it helps.

As for the sugar part of your question, there is really no such thing as an official “safe” amount of sugar to eat per day without gaining weight. What it will come down to is total calorie intake. If you can eat 2000 calories per day and not gain weight, then getting some of those 2000 calories from sugar won’t really matter weight-wise. Of course, health-wise is another story. So, a little sugary stuff in your diet won’t hurt your weight as long as your total calorie intake is still what it should be. For health purposes though you still want to keep the sugar intake on the low side.

Stephanie: Is it ok to work the abs everyday or should they get a days rest like the rest of the muscles in the body?

Me: Your abs should get rest just like any other muscle. Training them daily is both silly and completely unnecessary. I personally train my abs directly twice per week with days in between each workout (Tuesday and Friday, for example). More than that is rarely ever needed.

Natalie: I’ve heard that if you do more than 55 minutes of cardio at one time you’ll start to lose muscle, is this true?

Me: False. As long as your diet is fairly sane, there is nothing magical that is going to kick in at 56 minutes and cause muscle loss to occur.

Barbeito: No matter which protein shake I take after my work out I get sick to my stomach after drinking it. I burp and almost get to the point where I want to vomit, In my shake I have creatine, L-glutimine, and currently drinking muscle milk….any ideas?

Me: You mentioned you drink a similar shake (without the creatine) later in the day and you feel fine after that. So, my first questions would be, how much creatine are you putting in that shake and are you sure you are measuring it right? If it’s more than 5 grams, this might be the cause. Next question would be, have you ever tried creatine by itself (again, no more than 5 grams) with just water? Did that make you feel the same way? If so, it’s the creatine. Above normal doses of creatine (more than 5g) have been known to cause stomach related problems like what you describe. At the same time, some people have reported stomach issues even with a normal 5g dose. It’s somewhat rare, but some people just get an upset stomach from creatine no matter how much they take.

Ken: I’m very tall, skinny, and underweight. However I have a bit of a belly. How do I get rid of that? I am very active, but I avoid cardio for fear of losing weight all over except my gut. If I eat less, my face looks gaunt.

Me: Welcome to the world of the “skinny-fat.” You have some fat to lose on your stomach, but don’t want to lose any more weight and become skinnier overall. It’s a common problem for people with your body type. Unfortunately, we can’t pick and choose where our bodies lose fat. So, if you really want to lose the fat on your stomach, it’s going to require creating some form of small caloric deficit and losing fat from your body as a whole. You don’t mention if you do any weight training, but I would recommend doing some if you aren’t already. Adding some muscle to your frame will help in many ways, specifically to add some bulk/size to your body and prevent you from looking/being any skinnier while losing the fat from your stomach.

Swayze: How do you feel about HIIT regarding cardio? I have been doing it now for 3 weeks and much prefer it over steady state.

Me: I feel it’s quite good. I actually read a really in-depth comparison of HIIT vs steady state that basically proved they both have their pros and can both be useful. Off the top of my head I can’t remember where the hell I read it. If it comes back to me I’ll definitely pass it along.

Jay: i read a lot of different sites and magazines like this and try out the workouts that are within, but i’m finding most of them are geared towards skinny guys who want to bulk up. if you look for workouts for fat guys who want to slim down, all you ever get is cardio cardio cardio. can you outline a lifting routine for us fat guys who want to get rid of our guts without so much boring, annoying cardio? if not a whole outline, maybe just some tips and tricks to modify our current routines that will help us get the weight off?

Me: Well, the thing is, there really is no such thing as a weight training workout geared towards fat guys looking to lose weight, just as there is really no such thing as a weight training workout geared towards skinny guys looking to gain weight. There are however a lot of people trying to make it appear as though there is for the purpose of selling something. In reality though, we all gain muscle and lose weight the same way.

As far as cardio goes, if you hate it, you really don’t need to do too much. Hell, you don’t need to do any at all. Weight loss can be achieved through diet alone. Obviously some form of exercise (weight training, cardio or both) will help (and the weight training is required if you want to maintain muscle/strength while losing weight), but really, all weight loss actually takes is a small change to your diet. All of the specifics are explained in The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide.

Glenda: Is it better to loose the weight before building muscle. Having lost 20pounds 6 months ago, I have observed a weight gain of 10 pounds recently. My weights at the gym has since increased.

Me: Not at all. Definitely do NOT wait until you lose the weight before trying to build muscle. Definitely include weight training while losing weight. It will only help.

Tonya: What is the best way to build up your endurance? When I go mountain biking I always have to stop and take more breaks than the other people that I go with. I work out with free weights and I do cardio and I do pilates, and I have lost some weight and am much more toned but I still tire quickly.

Me: Assuming your diet is in order (and you’re getting enough sleep/rest/recovery) the best way to improve your endurance, and the only way really, is progression. If you normally need to stop and rest after 5 minutes, try to go 5 minutes and 30 seconds next time before resting. The time after that try to go 6 minutes. Keep gradually progressing like this until your endurance is where you want it to be.

Alma: I am interested in gaining an extra 5 pounds. What health snacks should I chose?

Me: For protein, chicken, turkey, fish, lean cuts of meat, eggs. For carbs, brown rice, beans, oatmeal, whole wheat/whole grain foods. For fat, nuts and seeds (all kinds), olive oil. Basically the same good quality stuff you’d eat if you were just trying to have a healthy diet… only more of it since you’re looking to gain weight.

Jacquie: 1. Do you feel women have to exercise differently than men?
2. What exercises would you suggest for women who are menopausal (metabolism has slowed down) to both tone up & lose weight?
3. I have about 100 lbs. to lose. Along with eating a healthy diet, watching my portions & drinking enough water daily, do you recommend cardio, weights, or a combo of both to get results?

Me: 1. Nope. We all build muscle, lose fat, gain strength and control weight the same way, male or female.
2. Nothing different than I would for non-menopausal women. You’d just need to adjust your diet/exercise to compensate for the changes in your metabolism. Full details are in The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide.
3. One or the other would be good, both would be even better. Check out the weight loss guide. It explains all of this in WAY more detail and will answer every other question you’ll ever have about losing weight.

Bo: I am 64 years old and have tried to stay in shape over the years. I work out pretty heavily 4-6 times a week in my garage gym with mostly free weights. I can’t get rid of the outer layer of body fat. That may be because I have yo-yoed with my weight over the years from 180 (current) to 237. I watch my diet intake, i.e., chicken, fish, oatmeal, lots of veggies and an occasional fat free ice cream or low fat popcorn. I do lots of waist and ab exercises but still have the veil of fat over the distant 4-6 pack.

Me: Well, one thing that’s for sure is that all of the ab stuff you are doing is definitely not the solution. It will help with giving you strong abs, which is a good thing, but the fat covering them won’t be affected. Instead, to lose that layer of fat, you have to do the same thing you’d do if you wanted to lose fat from any other part of your body… create a caloric deficit. The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide explains the details.

Bo: I’m a 64 year old man who once had 18 inch arms and can’t get them back. I work out 4-6 days a week and use two bicep and tricep exercises per week. I pack it on and exhaust myself but the arms aren’t coming back. My diet is about 2300 calories a day of all the good stuff including whey and glutamine. I want my arms (currently about 13.5 inches) back to around 16 or 17.

Me: At this point (age 64), it’s not likely that you are capable of putting on the amount of muscle needed to get back to having arms that size again (it would require about a 15-20 pound weight gain per inch, which makes it nearly impossible for most guys of any age to reach arms that size). That doesn’t mean you still can’t get them to grow though. It’s really just a matter of eating/training properly. Full details are in the The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle, although this would conflict with your above goal of losing that layer of fat.

Casey: How often should I do a leg workout? I am most concerned with the lower half of my body, so would like to do a leg routine as often as possible without overtraining. In other words, what is the smallest amount of time I can safely leave between workouts?

Me: This would depend on many factors, such as the specific amount of volume (how many sets/reps/exercises) and intensity (how heavy/light you are lifting) being used. Generally though, 2 lower body workouts per week (Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday, etc.) with moderate volume (3-6 sets for quads, 3-6 sets for hams, 3-4 sets for calves each of the 2 workouts), with normal intensity should do just fine.

Angie: I’ve been working out 5 days weight training/6 days cardio 45min per day. Usually after 6-8 weeks I hit a burn out point, were I end up taking a week or so off and then I go back. I usually don’t find myself eating 100% clean either. My question is: Is this good to take time off and am I completing messing everything up I have worked on?

Me: Taking time off every so often is good, but every 6-8 weeks is a bit too often. Instead of taking a week off when you hit this burn out point, take an easy week or two. You can do the same amount of volume but with less intensity (for example, if you always did 3 sets with 50lbs on some exercise, do 3 sets with 35-40lbs) or you can keep the intensity the same, and lower the volume (2 sets instead of 4 sets, 25 minutes of cardio instead of 45). And then after this easy week or two, go back to your normal workout. At the same time, feeling burned out every 6-8 weeks may very well be a sign that you are doing a bit too much.

Hector: Im doing fine with calorie intake and watching what i eat. I need help with the sugar in my diet though. About how many grams of sugar per day is too much or too little? What should I definitely cut out of my diet if Im trying to loose all the fat around my belly so that i can get some great abs?

Me: There really is no such thing as too little sugar in your diet. The less, the better. As for what to cut out of your diet to lose belly fat, it’s all about calories. The only thing that causes fat loss of any kind is creating a caloric deficit. Full details are in the The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide.

Jamie: What do you suggest for the 51 year old menopausal female. I’ve worked out for 15 years – cardio and weight training, but now, the middle is getting thick even though nothing much has changed. Can you comment? You must know some older women..

Me: I think this is the second menopause related question so far. 1 more and I win a prize! Seriously though, there is really nothing different to do when it comes to weight loss. Your calorie requirements may change, but this just means you need to adjust your diet/training to compensate for it. There is only 1 way to lose weight, menopause or not, young or old, male or female. The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide explains it all.

Jose: i been on vacation for 2 weeks, finding it hard to get back TO MY WORK OUT AND CALORIE PLAN. DID NOT GAIN MUCH WEIGHT ON VACATION ABOUT 3 LBS BUT MY MEALS ARE VERY DISTORTED

Me: Not really much of an answer is needed here as your problem is will power/motivation related. So uh… get off your ass and go do what you know you need to do. :-) Not much more else I can say.

Jake: I have been working out my upper body for about two years and want to get into doing leg workouts, but I am totally clueless how to go about it. I have started my mixing machine squats into my arm workout. Should I have one day just dedicated to lower body? What exercises for legs do you recommend? Thanks!

Me: The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle answers this. Check it out.

Joe: I am trying to gain muscle. I work outside, year-round, in a very active job with no guaranteed lunch breaks (don’t ask). Creating a calorie-surplus has proven to be quite a challenge. Any advice?

Me: Quick, easy and convenient calorie dense foods/meals. Nuts, protein bars, and lots of liquid meals. It’s not too uncommon for people to throw all kinds of stuff in a blender with protein powder (everything from oats to olive oil to ice cream) and drink it to get their calories in. If this still doesn’t help, look into intermittent fasting. It’s a way of eating where you fast for about 16 hours of the day (except for like water and coffee and things like that), and then get your full calorie intake in during one 8 hour window. Look into it some more if it sounds like it would be helpful for your situation.

Fauzana: Hi I so want to gain weight but its very hard to can you please tell some ways to do so. I eat normal but my weight just doesn’t go up.

Me: Well, that’s just it. You are eating normal. To gain weight, you have to eat more than normal. Monitor your calorie intake and weigh yourself first thing in the morning once per week. If you aren’t gaining weight, start eating an extra 500 calories per day. If you start to gain weight, good. Keep eating this amount. If you don’t, add another 250-500 calories. Repeat this process until you reach the point where you gain about 1lb per week.

Matty: What are your thoughts on using creatine/pre-workout supps?

Me: All of my thoughts on creatine are in the supplements section of The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle. As for pre-workout supplements, it would depend on which specific ones you are referring to. I personally don’t use any and don’t really recommend any either.

Andy: Sometimes we ALL get caught up in the moment, of work or vacation etc. What are some simple exercises, that we can do to maintain what we have all worked so hard for. I follow the your routine of 2 days on 1 day off 2 days on 2 days off. But sometimes I just get pressed hard at work and find myself with little to no time to hit the gym. Any recommendations?

Me: Tough one. We all know the obvious answer of “do bodyweight exercises like pushups and crunches and squats while holding a gallon of water and pullups on a tree branch” and things like that. But, in all honesty, some body weight squats (even with the “gallon of water”) won’t come close to replacing 225lbs of weight on your back. On the rare occasion where you have to miss a workout, these ideas won’t be so terrible. At the same time, just missing the workout wouldn’t be the end of the world either. The thing however is that, to actually maintain muscle/strength/fitness level, you kind of have to do the things that got you that muscle/strength/fitness level in the first place. Your best bet is to try to shorten your workouts to fit them in better, or cut your 4 day split down to just 2 full body workouts per week.

Teresa: I have been training at home recently as I’m over going to the gym. Would like a good weights workout (free weights) or a good DVD to guide me as I’ve always had someone telling me what to do at the gym.

Me: I know very little about workout DVDs, so I have no real recommendations. Check the best selling stuff at Amazon.com in the fitness/exercise category.

Kristi: I recently discovered Orovo Detox on the internet and would like to know your thoughts. I myself would like to lose a little weight, more for toning, but my sister is very overweight and she also has bad skin conditions including acne, stretch marks and rashes where her skin rubs.

Me: I have no idea what it will do for skin problems (probably not much), but as far as weight loss goes… it’s complete junk.

Jamie: I have been working out for around 6 months and I am not getting the growth results I am after. I work hard in the gym and my strength gains have been great. I just want to get bigger quicker.

I am eating well and taking Whey protein and Creatine. I am pretty strict on when and the amount I take before and after workouts, before bed and when I wake. Do you recommend any other supplements or tricks to start seeing better results?

Me: There are no tricks, and supplements are definitely not the solution. Check out The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle. It explains everything you should be doing to build muscle. If you find something in there you aren’t doing it… start doing it… and the results will come.

Thomas: I am wondering if L-glutamine will help me in keeping most of my muscle and have most of my weight loss due to fat loss, not muscle loss

Me: The single most important thing you can do to maintain muscle while losing weight is work your ass off to maintain your strength on every exercise in the gym. Switching to lighter weights for higher reps, like many people do at this point, is the worst thing you can do. Instead, just try to maintain everything in the gym as is. This will act as the signal to your body that it needs to hang on to your muscle.

ds: In your “The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle” blog, you mentioned in the “Frequency” section that:

“An upper/lower split (upper body on Monday and Thursday, lower body on Tuesday and Friday, for example) where each body part is hit in some form twice per week seems to be the most often recommended training split among the really smart people whose recommendations I value…”

Can you cite who these people are and perhaps some articles/books for reference?

Me: Off the top of my head and in no specific order, Joe Defranco, Eric Cressey, Chad Waterbury, Alwyn Cosgrove, Ian King, Kelly Baggett, Christian Thibaudeau, the guys at EliteFTS and Westside Barbell, John Berardi, and virtually every single strength and conditioning coach around.

Gino: Would you say the the best way to gain muscle mass would be to completely not worry about fat gain? I ask because I’m not making the type of gains I would like, prolly cause I’m struggling to maintain a caloric surplus due to working outside. Anyways, I’m doing your suggested workout. Is it an OK idea to just eat everything in site and worry about it next Feb?

Me: A huge NO. I recommend following the type of diet I explain in The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle, whose goal is to allow muscle gain while limiting fat gain to a minimum. Gaining a bunch of extra fat will do nothing to help muscle gains, and only hurt your ability to maintain muscle when you have to lose all of that extra fat… because you will have so much extra fat to lose and will need to diet for so much longer. In the end you’ll most likely end up right back where you started.

Greg: pros and cons hvt vs hit weight lifting . is one better than another ?

Me: Hard to give pros and cons on two types of training that I really don’t like at all. High volume training and high intensity training both represent 2 extremes, neither of which works very well for the average, drug free person. I think the better way is somewhere directly in the middle of the two. Moderate volume, intensity, frequency and rest.

Alicia: I’ve been going to the gym for three months now: 6 days a week and do cardio (30 minutes each time) and lift a different muscle group each day (shoulders, back one day arms, chest next day..etc) I lost 30 pounds in 2 months and have been at a stand still for 1 month. I still have a long way to go…about 80 more pounds. I’m pretty regimented/balanced about my diet (in a healthy way). I’m wondering what I need to do to get back to losing weight…I’m wondering if more cardio and less weights might be the answer?

Me: The problem here is most likely that you have reached the point where you are no longer in a caloric deficit and are instead at your maintenance level. This is perfectly normally and just means you need to adjust your diet a bit. The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide contains the full details. And, definitely keep the weight training. It’s only helping.

arp: i want to know that if i want to start with creatine what should i do coz iv got my self one of ON should i load it or 5gms every day which one will show me results quickly iv been asking my trainers about dis but each has a different story some say u should load it some say 5gms per day and some say u should take it post workout some say pre workout and with what should i take it with grape juice or glucose

Me: No need to load it, and I don’t recommend loading it. Everything else you need to know about creatine is in the supplements section of The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle.

Nick: i’ve been trying to get ripped in my mid section but its proving a major task. i’d even tried cutting down my sugar intake…please advice

Me: Reducing sugar is definitely a good idea, but it’s not directly what causes fat loss. What does is a caloric deficit, which is explained in full detail in The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide.

Krouse: At 5’8 and 145lbs (give or take) I’m looking to gain weight. I’m exercising 6 times a week now and need to eat more to keep up with my workout program, but I just can’t seem to eat enough. Any suggestions on what I can buy from the store to help with proper weight gain?

Me: I am not a fan of weight gainers as most of them are just sugary junk. I’d much rather see you throw some raw oats, olive oil, protein powder, and some type of fruit or Gatorade powder or something for flavor into a blender and drink that. Other than that, stick to calorie dense foods (like nuts, for example) so you get more out of what you do have time to eat. There’s really no tip for weight gain other than just… eat more.

Blake: I want to design weight traning program that has me working out 4 days/week. I was looking to stick to ur upper/lower split with ON, ON, OFF, ON, ON, OFF, OFF layout through the week.

Question: wouldn’t the legs get more training than the upper body using this layout? eg:
Day1. chest/triceps
Day2. legs
Day3. off
Day4. back/biceps/shoulders
Day5. legs
Day6/7. off
As you can see the legs get worked twice throughout the week where as the upper muscle groups only get worked once. Also this layout forces me to have a day where i have to work 3 upper muscle groups (back/biceps/shoulders) and a day where i only work 2 (chest/triceps).

My concern is with working the legs too much and the upper body not enough. And also working 2 upper muscels one day and 3 the next. Are any of these things bad??? should i be worrying???

Also I came up with a workout plan to try and avoid the concerns i have-
Day1. chest/triceps
Day2. legs
Day3. off
Day4. back/biceps
Day5. legs/shoulders
Day6/7. off
would this qualify as a “non-idiotic” weight training program?

Me: Well yeah, with these training programs you have come up with you would be hitting your legs twice per week and everything else once. So yeah, it’s kind of idiotic. :-) In all seriousness though, why not just go with the program I recommended in The Ultimate Guide To Building Muscle? It condenses everything down fairly well with every muscle getting hit twice per week, no more no less.

Jamie: I need some guidelines to help lose weight. I am 5’6? and 240 lbs I am woman, I have been working out for 5 years now and just in the last 2 months I have been working out EVERY MORNING a mix of cardio and weights for about 1/2 an hour to 45 min for cardio and 1/2 an hour for weights, but I keep gaining weight!!!! what should I be eating? NOT EATING? I really need to lose at least 50 lbs (more obviously but 50 seems like an attainable goal) what can I do to CONTROL appetite? PLEASE HELP. I feel out of control.

Me: Relax. Read The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide. It will clearly explain every single thing you need to do to lose weight.

Houeida: I have followed the advice you provided in the Ultimate Weight Loss Guide, and it has worked great for me. I focused on calorie-in Vs calorie out ratio to lose weight and I have lost 1Kg per week for six weeks on a row, then without changing anything, I have experienced a plateau. It’s two weeks now that I am stagnating @68 Kg.

My question is: Is it possible that our body adapts to lower calorie input? and if so, Is there a way to break this plateau and go back to loosing weight.

Me: The answers to your questions are yes and yes. As long as you are sure you have gone a few weeks with no weight loss at all, and you aren’t eating less than 1200 calories per day (as a female), all you need to do is make a small calorie reduction (about 250-500 calories should do) to your daily intake. So, if you are currently maintaining your weight eating 2500 calories per day, start eating about 2000-2250 calories per day for now on and see what your weight does then. Chances are it starts gradually decreasing again.

The end. Again, if I skipped your question it’s not because it was a stupid question or because I don’t like you. Ok, it probably was. Nah, It wasn’t. I swear. I’d say there is a 75% chance that if I didn’t answer your question here, it’s because I’m planning on writing a full article about it in the near future.

Later.

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  • keith June 26, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    i cant tell you how helpful your site and info is to all of us. Thx

    Reply
  • Houeida June 26, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • Andrea June 26, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Great information – and nice reminder that its all about caloric deficits if you’re looking to shed body fat. I ordered the salad for dinner :)

    Reply
  • greg camden June 26, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    didnt really expect an answer to my question , thank you for your answer . as short as it was it was a better answer than question . thanks a million . greg

    Reply
  • Andy June 26, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks, Appreciate the response. Especially to EVERY Q here.

    Reply
  • aCalorieCounter June 27, 2008 at 9:19 am

    You’re all welcome. ;-)

    Reply
  • Krouse June 27, 2008 at 10:23 am

    “Teresa: I have been training at home recently as I’m over going to the gym. Would like a good weights workout (free weights) or a good DVD to guide me as I’ve always had someone telling me what to do at the gym.”

    In response to this question, I recommend p90x. I just started it and am having great results. It’s very helpful and only requires free weights or resistance bands and a pull-up bar.

    Reply
  • Chris June 27, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Referencing Barbeito’s comment about stomach discomfort after drinking protein drinks, I’ve experienced discomfort and known others that have as well after using Muscle Milk, at least the powder that you mix. Never experienced any issues with the Optimum Nutrition whey protein mix after several years of use.

    Reply
  • Gaston June 27, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Well, you didn’t answer my question… :( but your site rocks! Thanks for the great advice…

    Reply
  • billy beard June 30, 2008 at 8:34 am

    You Sir do a great service to your fellow man. THANK YOU!!

    Reply
  • Ron June 30, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I’m 53 and have been reading health and fitness stuff most of my life. You do a great job of presenting info in a way anyone can understand. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Twon July 01, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    This has to be the best website for anything related to weight, diet, muscle, exercise, etc.. I can’t believe that someone would actually take their time out to give excellent information to people for free. Your a great person and not to mention funny as hell too. I have 2 cousins and 2 friends hook on your website as well as myself. Keep up the excellent work buddy.

    Reply
  • will July 02, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve been using your guides and your workout for about 3 months maybe? Anyway, I’ve seen results. My question to you is:

    What’s up man?

    Reply
  • Clarissa July 12, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Great reading material. I do have some additional comments.

    First, to the woman named Jaime who is 5’6 and 240 lbs and having trouble losing weight. This sounds like it should be checked out by a doctor first before continuing. Hormonal issues, medications, etc, have been known to influence weight gain/loss and from my perspective your results seem abnormal. Assuming you’ve been on track. I can’t diagnose anything on the web, but you should consider getting checked out.

    Reply
  • Gaston October 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Where is everyone?…

    Reply
  • aCalorieCounter October 17, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Gaston, still right here. A lot of awesome stuff is on its way (which has been keeping me quite busy lately). Regular updates should be back to normal pretty soon.

    Reply

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