In this section of the website, we can learn a lot about fitness by reading the frequently asked questions that are frequently asked. The materials are from FAQs of newsgroup, so it’s a non profit project. The answers provided are from those who are know their stuff with regards to fitness, but I would strongly recommend that you seek advice and ‘second opinion’ from your personal trainer or doctor before applying the knowledge from here. Some information are geared more for the those staying in the U.S., so it might not be applicable to us here in Singapore. FAQ (part 1)

Part 1: The Frequently Asked Questions (and answers 🙂

1. FAT: How is it measured?
2. How to get a washboard stomach?
How can I get rid of the FAT around my ‘ANY BODY PART’?
3. What should my heart rate be to lose FAT?
4. How long should I work out to burn FAT?
5. What are the best ways to lose weight?
6. What are the best ways to gain weight?
7. What is an aerobic exercise?
8. What is an anaerobic exercise?
9. What things should I know before starting a training program?
10. What’s a warm-up and cool-down?
11. What’s a suggested beginner weight routine?
12. How to get over a plateau?
13. Should I train a muscle if it’s sore?
14. Will aerobics hurt growth?
15. Do I count the weight of the bar?
16. How should I breath while lifting?
17. Should I use a lifting belt?
18. Should I eat before or after training?
19. Is more protein necessary for weight training?
20. How tall is Arnold?
21. I’m not getting any bigger. What can I do?
22. Is there a table for doing X pounds for Y reps?
23. What are Fat burners and Stacking.
24. What are lifting straps?
25. Should I train if I’m sick?
26. Free Weights vs Machines?
27. What exercises should I avoid?
28. Where can I get plates that are less than 5 pounds?
29. What’s HFL? Legendary Abs? Rotator Cuff solution?
30. What’s High Intensity training (HIT)? or What can be done to work the muscle further?
31. What type of routine should I use when lifting weights?
32. Is the order in which muscles are worked important?
33. Periodization/cycling what is it?
34. Where can I get the abs, stretching, Nordic Track, weights or
Hardgainer FAQ, and access to Medline articles?
35. What’s the best exercise to do and when is the best time to workout?
36. Shin splints: what is it and how to get rid of them.
37. Will muscle turn into FAT?
38. What are Plyometrics? or How can I jump higher?
39. I don’t want to be HUGE. Should I still lift weights?
40. If I’m doing both aerobic exercise and weight training, which one
should be done first?
41. Is there a nutritional database available via FTP?
42. How does form affect the muscles that are worked?
43. Supplements (Chromium Picolinate, Met-Rx, Vanadyl Sulfate,
Cybergenics, etc. ), Do they work?
44. How much protein is in an egg?
0. What’s

In there are discussions about many aspects of fitness. From bodybuilding and training methods to aerobics and nutrition. Hopefully this FAQ will answer some basic questions about fitness, with an emphasis on weight training, and make your training more productive.

As with any news group, please observe proper net etiquette, read news.announce.newusers or news.newusers.questions before posting. Also PLEASE take flame wars off the news group. The thousands of people reading this news group don’t want to read flames, they want to read about fitness. Send the person E-Mail,if you must flame them. THINK before you post! Lets get this news group focused on fitness and make it enjoyable reading.

1. FAT: How is it measured?

Body FAT (BF) is usually given as a percentage of total weight. If a 100lb person has 10% body FAT, that person has 10lbs of FAT and 90 pounds of lean body mass (LBM) (water, muscle, bone, etc). There are 3500 calories in 1 pound of FAT.

Body FAT is usually tested in 4 different ways.

Hydrostatic weighing (Immersion): Weight is taken while under the water and it is used to find your %BF.
Pros: Thought to be the most reliable.
Cons: A lot of equipment is needed, usually found at most Universities. Time consuming and sort of a hassle. What you eat the day before, or before the test,can affect the accuracy.

Infrared: Infrared light is used to determine your body FAT.
Pros: Fast.
Cons: Not very reliable.

Impedance: The %BF is calculated by measuring the impedance between certain areas of the body, usually between the fingers
and the toes.
Pros: Fast.
Cons: Not very reliable.

Pinch test: Calipers are used to measure skin fold thickness.
Pros: Thought to be very reliable. The more places tested
the more accurate the results. Most gyms have a
Cons: May be embarrassing to have someone pinch your FAT.
If the person is inexperienced the results may be
very inaccurate.

From the Weights mailing list:
From: Steven Heston < >
Subject: Easy bodyfat measure

Here is a simple formula for estimating your bodyfat (in pounds). I think it was published in the a book with a title like The YMCA Guide to Physical Fitness Assessment.

For men: Bodyfat = -98.42 + 4.15*waist – .082*bodyweight,
For women: Bodyfat = -76.76 + 4.15*waist – .082*bodyweight,

where “waist” is your waist measurement in inches, and “bodyweight” is your total body weight in pounds. Divide your bodyfat by your total weight to get your bodyfat percentage.

Regardless of which test you use, record the %BF and have it tested
after a few months, using the same method and person, if possible, to make sure what you’re doing is having the right effect. If involved in resistance training your weight should go up or stay the same while your BF goes down. (An increase in LBM is a GOOD thing).

For men < 15% is considered athletic, 25 being about average.
For women < 22% is considered athletic, 30 being about average.

2. How to get a washboard stomach? or How can I get rid of the FAT around my ‘ANY_BODY_PART’?

Repeat after me “You can’t spot reduce!”. Men generally store FAT around their waist, while women generally keep it around their hips.There is no exercise, magical cream (yet), plastic wrap procedure, or anything else other than liposuction, that will remove FAT from a certain area. That’s usually the first place it builds up andit’s the last place it will depart.

The best way to get and keep a washboard stomach, or shapely hips, is by following a low FAT diet and doing plenty of aerobics. Crunches, or side leg raises, while strengthening and building the muscles, will not make them appear through the layer of FAT between them and the skin. Get rid of the FAT and the abs will should show up and/or the hips will become firm and trim.

( For more details about training the abs specifically, refer to the
Abdominal Training FAQ. See question #34.)

3. What should my heart rate be to lose FAT?

Heart Rate (HR) is the number of times the heart beats per minute. This is usually taken by pressing on the front, left side of the neck, or the inner wrist, and counting the number of beats in a certain time. i.e. If you counted 10 beats, starting at zero, in 10 seconds your HR would be 60 (10*60 sec(1min)/10). When doing an aerobic work out your Max Heart Rate (MHR) needs to be determined. Your MHR is defined as 220-Your Age. A 20-Year old’s MHR would be 200, while a 50-Year old’s would be 170. While performing aerobic exercise your HR should stay in the range of MHR*.50 to MHR*.80. This is your Training Zone. So a 20-year old should keep their HR between 100 and 160. Keeping the HR above this zone will not provide additional aerobic benefit, in fact, it may provide no aerobic benefit at all. For best results, aerobic and FAT burning, keep your HR in the aerobic zone for at least 12 minutes. The longer and more frequently you do this the more improvement you’ll see.

Read “Fit or Fat” by Covert Bailey,listed in the books section, for a
good reference.

4. How long should I work out to burn FAT?

An aerobic work out should last at least 12 minutes, not counting warm up or cool down, only the amount of time your HR is within your Training Zone. The longer and more frequently you do this the sooner you’ll see an improvement (Less Fat..).

Why 12 minutes?

According to Covert Baily this is the amount of time needed for the
body to start producing FAT burning enzymes. It does level off, but the idea is that you want to get your body to use FAT for energy. After 12 minutes you start to burn fat at a higher rate.

Stephen Holt, CSCS

To quote _Galloway’s Book on Running_, “After 5-10 minutes thepercentage of FATs burned rises while the percentage ofcarbohydrates drops.”

The following graph (please forgive the artwork) is from David Costill, perhaps the world’s foremost exercise physiologist. (From his book, A Scientific Approach to Distance Running.)

| f
| f
| f
| f
| f c
| f c c f
| fc c f
| c f fc
| c f f c
| f f c
| f c
| c
| c
| c
| carbs
0 15 30 40
time in minutes

The fact is, after 30 minutes of running, the body burns a higher percentage of FAT.

From John Galleher

From a post: at rest the body is burning 65%-80% fat 20-35% glycogen. The body does this to conserve glycogen. It takes much less oxegen to burn glycogen than fat (fatty acids). That is why the preferred fuel (from the bodies standpoint not yours) for heavy exercise is glycogen. And then the body will replace the glycogen by further food intake or burning fat later on. The brain requires glycogen (cannot burn fatty acids) so if you are burning glycogen long enough (The 12 minutes) the body realizes that it is going to run out of glycogen if things keep going and starts to shift over to burning fatty acids to spare the glycogen

5. What are the best ways to lose weight?

Don’t be so concerned about how much you weigh. Instead be concerned about how much of that weight is FAT. You want the weight loss to be caused by losing FAT, not muscle or water.

To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in. To do it efficiently and to make sure it stays off the following three steps should be taken and should become part of your every daylife.

-Start an aerobic program. The activity should be something that you like doing, and look forward to doing. The activity doesn’t need to be an aerobics class. Instead it could be walking, biking, inline/ice skating, dancing, etc. Anything that will elevate your HR and keep it around your Training Zone for at least 12 minutes. Remember the longer the better..
-Modify what you eat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, chicken, rice, potatoes, etc. Read the labels.

1g FAT = 9 calories (to make the math a little easier round that up to 10 calories)
1g protein or carbohydrates = 4 calories. Don’t be fooled by “95% FAT free”! Look carefully at how many calories come from FAT. i.e. if something has 120 calories, which is pretty low,but it has 9 g FAT and 5 g protein and 5 g carbohydrates, almost70% of that product is FAT. Try to eliminate the FAT that youeat. There is FAT in virtually everything so shooting for a 0% FAT diet will probably put you in the 10%-20%, just because not everything is FAT free, and you do need some FAT in your diet. Simply switching the obvious foods will make a big difference, such as, skim instead of whole milk, chicken instead of hamburger, bagels instead of croissants, etc. Also eating small meals more frequently during the day will raise your metabolismand keep you from getting that “I’M STARVING” feeling.

-Resistance Training: To build muscle that will, in turn, help
burn calories throughout the day. A simple weight program
where you slowly add weight and perform basic exercises every other day, such as, Squats, Bench Press, Pull-downs, and Military Presses are enough for most people.

General hints on Weight Loss:

* Don’t go on starvation diets. This will slow down your metabolism and may actually make you FATter.

* Don’t take products such as SlimFast. Drinking SlimFast
may work in the beginning, but you need to modify your
eating habits for a lifetime.

* Don’t buy anything that looks like a gimmick. The Thighmaster, Fat burning pills, some portable thing-a-ma-jig. Spend the money on good food and save it for your new clothes you’ll need in a couple of months.

* Get your BF% calculated and check it every other month.

* Forget about the scale and buy a full length mirror.Standing in front of it nude will tell you much more than the scale will. “A picture is worth a thousand words”

* Whatever you do HAVE FUN! If you start on some horrible (grapefruit) diet, a month later you’re going to hate it and, more than likely, end up putting on more FAT.

6. What are the best ways to gain weight?

I know everyone will say “I wish I had to gain weight..” but gaining weight (LBM) is a goal for a lot of people.

To gain weight you need to consume more calories than you burn up.
To do it efficiently, and to make the weight muscle, not FAT, you’ll need to start a weight training program. You want the weight to be
muscle, not FAT. To do this you’ll need to slowly increase your caloric intake, usually by eating another meal during the day or by using a weight gain supplement. Make sure the food is protein and carbohydrates and not FAT. Give it time. 10-15 pounds of muscle in
a year is pretty good.

7. What is an aerobic exercise?

Aerobic means oxygen. Your muscles are working in an oxygen rich
state. After 12 minutes it causes your body to produce FAT-burning enzymes.

According to Covert Baily, an aerobic exercise is one that fits the following four requirements.

A. Is steady, nonstop.
B. Lasts twelve minutes minimum.
C. Has a comfortable pace.
D. Uses the muscles of the lower body.

An easy way to measure if your training too hard/fast is a simple talk test. If you can’t carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing for breath you need to slow down. If you can carry on a conversation without stopping every now and then for a breath then you need to go a little faster. You have to be doing some work. Your heart rate and your breathing needs to be elevated.

Examples: walking/running, cycling, rowing, stair climbing, dancing.

8. What is anaerobic exercise?

Anaerobic means lack of oxygen. Your muscles are working in an oxygen deprived state. This causes your body to produce sugar-burning enzymes. You are expending energy faster than your body canreplace it by metabolizing oxygen.

An anaerobic exercise is any activity that fails to meet the above 4 requirements. An aerobic activity can become anaerobic if the heart rate is elevated above the training zone for a long period of time. Any start/stop activities would qualify.

Examples: tennis, football, sprinting, skiing, weight training.

9. What things should I know before starting a training program?

A person beginning a training program needs to realize a few things before they begin. First, changes don’t happen overnight. You have to think about where you want to be a year or two from now and slowly achieve minor goals. Putting on muscle, or taking off FAT should be done slowly and correctly for best results. Second, if you want to become more healthy you’ll probably need to alter your lifestyle for your lifetime. Many people take up aerobics or weight training, lose/gain a few pounds and quit. Months later they’re back where they were. Third, you need to be informed. There are plenty of books and magazines to help get you started. Ask a lot of questions and experiment with different exercises and/or activities. Last, not everyone has the genetics to have 20″ arms or to run a sub 4 minute mile. Don’t get discouraged about what you don’t have. Improve on what you do have.

10.What’s a warm-up and cool-down?

A warm-up is an activity that gets your muscles “warmed up”. Usually a 5 minute bike ride at a steady comfortable pace, or a brisk 5 minute walk, is enough. Most people like to go until they “break a sweat”. A cool-down is just the opposite. You want to gradually slow the body down. This is usually done by biking/walking at a fairly fast pace and gradually slowing down over a few minutes. Stretching also makes up a part of the cool down.

11.What’s a suggested beginner weight routine?

Beginners, as well as advanced, should stick to the basic exercises. Basic is not meant as -beginner- but as an exercise that uses a lot of muscles. Rest is very important. During the actual weight training the muscle is broken down, it grows/rebuilds while it’s resting,usually taking 48-96 hours. So a program should also have “days off”. A beginner should also exercise the whole body. Beginners also need to find the correct weight to use. Generally the weight should be heavy enough so you can do 10 reps, with the last couple being pretty tough. If you can do 11 then raise the weight slightly. You should keep a log and write down the sets and poundages you used. Slowly up the weight when you can do at least 10 reps (work set). Don’t get all wrapped up in how much weight you can do. Focus on good form and think about that muscle doing the work. Weight and strength will come with time. Okay, here’s a basic beginner exercise program, it is by no means “THE” only program, it’s just meant as a guideline:

Done every other day, then 2 days off. (typically M-W-F, weekend off)
Warm-up: 5-10 minutes
Squats: 2 sets of progressive warm-ups. 1 work set
Deadlifts: 2 sets of progressive warm-ups. 1 work set
Bench Press: 2 sets of progressive warm-ups. 1 work set
Pull-ups/downs: 2 sets of progressive warm-ups. 1 work set
Cool down & stretching: 5-10 minutes.

All of this should take < 60 minutes. The log book may look
something like this, the weights are just made up (YMMV):

Date: 9/30/94
Squats: 100×10 (thats 100 pounds for 10 reps)
Deadlifts: 50×10
Bench: 45×10
Pull downs: 40×10
Abs: 10 crunches

After 1 month of this you should add another set to your work out. The log may look something like this:

Date: 10/30/94
Squats: 130×10 130×10
Deadlifts: 65×10 65×10
Bench: 45×10 60×10
Pull downs: 40×10 60×10
Abs: 20 crunches

After 1 month of this (month 3) you may add another set to your
work out and stay with this for 3 months then take a week off and add exercises as needed. The idea is to slowly add weight(1-5 lbs) per week and do the same number of reps as you did before. If you can’t do that weight then try it again next week. If you still can’t do it the next week, then you’ve hit a temporary plateau.

12.How to get over a plateau?

Plateaus are when you become “stuck” at lifting a certain weight for weeks and you can’t seem to get past it. Here are a few ways to get through a plateau.

– Take a week off. Give your body a chance to rest.
– Cycle your training and change your exercises.
– Work on the “weak link”. i.e. Your triceps could limit your bench.
– Shock the muscles.
– Stripping (explained in other parts of the FAQ)
– Negatives (explained in other parts of the FAQ)
– 10 sets of 10 using a light weight.
– Have your training partner put on the weights using a lot of
10-lbs and 5-lbs so you don’t know what you’re lifting just by glancing at the weights. It should be around your normal weight. It might be because of a mental block.

13.Should I train a muscle if it’s sore?

No. If your legs are sore from squatting and today is bench day, that’s okay. But if your legs are still sore from the last leg work out, take at least another day off. Rest is when the muscle grows.
14. Will aerobics hurt growth?

Yes. If you’re training for maximum muscle mass, aerobics will slow down muscle growth.

15.Do I count the weight of the bar?

Yes. Normal Olympic barbells are 45 pounds. EZ-Curl bars are around 20. It’s for your own purposes, so you don’t have to, but when you start talking weights you should know that most peopleinclude the weight of the bar. In some cases, such as, Leg Press or various other machines, just record the weight you add. Be careful when going to other gyms, their platform/sled may weigh a lot more than yours.

16. How should I breath while lifting?

Usually exhale on the contraction of the muscle. It’s the part of the exercise that occurs when you’re working against gravity.

17. Should I use a lifting belt?

In most cases a lifting belt is not needed. Using a belt all the time actually weakens the abdominals and the lower back, by making them work less. Weight belts are suggested when doing max squats or heavy lifting above the head.

18. Should I eat before or after training?

When training you should work out on an empty stomach, or close to
it. You want the blood to be available for your muscles, not tied up digesting food. You want to eat within 90 minutes after awork out.

MM2000 suggests riding the stationary bike at the end of your
work out for about 10 minutes and slowly drink apple juice duringyour ride.

Post workout snacks should be simple carbs with a little protein.
Orange Juice and some yogurt or a banana would be a good snack.

19. Is more protein necessary for weight training?

Taken from a post from Marty B. discussing Ironman and Protein.
(If you’d like the scientific discussion about muscle, FAT, and other topics, posted from Marty, and various people, it is available via anonymous ftp from in the /pub/ directory called supplemental.doc. It is very long and I couldn’t find an appropriate place to put it in the FAQ.-Jeff )

…keep the protein intake at 12-15% of total calories. If you can’t gain muscle mass on this kind of protein intake, you may have a genetic requirement for more protein than what the average bodybuilder would need. Another factor is the stage of your training. If you are just starting out, you will need more protein. But as you reach plateau, your protein intake should be cut back(0.8 to 1.0 grams per kg of body weight).

Muscle is just like FAT cells, once you have reached the genetic max for protein in muscle cells or FAT in adiposecells no additional amount of protein or carbohydrate will get these cells to become bigger. Dr. Lemon at Kent State recommends that during the growth phase, protein intake be kept in the 1.5 to 2.0 grams per kg body weight range but even with this kind of protein intake, Dr. Lemon says that your protein intake as a percent of total calories should still be kept in the 12 to 15% range. This advice is for the natural bodybuilders. Using steroids and/or growth hormone stimulators decreases your protein requirement for muscle development(this is probably why the Russians cut back on their protein intake once they started using their little tricks).

20. How tall is Arnold?

The NET consensus was that he’s about 6’0″.

21. I’m not getting any bigger. What can I do?

There are basically four things to look at.
First, you may be over training. Try taking a week off and when you come back take it easy for a few weeks and evaluate your work out.
Second, eat, eat, eat! You’ll never get bigger if you don’t give your body the resources to rebuild itself. Make sure the food you’re eating is nutritious. Third, your body may be used to doing the same thing every work out. Try changing your exercises.
Finally, you may be hitting your genetic peak. Not everyone can have 20″ arms. Basically, taking a break, eating more and changing your work out should help when you hit a growth plateau.

22. Is there a table for doing X pounds for Y reps?

This was posted on a while ago.

Reps % of max Reps % of max
1 100 6 85
2 95 7 82.5
3 92.5 8 80
4 90 9 77.5
5 87.5 10 75

23. What are Fat burners, Stacking, and Thermogenesis?

Fat burners are described as something that will either burn more FAT, than normal, or inhibit FAT from being created.Caffeine could be considered a FAT burner, since it raises the
heart rate causing the body to burn more calories, but it’s affects on burning FAT are minimal.

Stacking refers to taking more than one drug at a time to get more of an effect. Taking caffeine, ephedrine, and aspirin at the same time will produce a greater effect than the total if taken separatly.

(From an article that appeared in the weights mailing list,whose address is listed in #34) From the JUNE/JULY 1993 issue of Muscle Media 2000. According to a study in in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1992; 55:246S-82).

According to the study, the stack that proved to be the most effective is 20mg ephedrine / 200mg caffeine. They also suggest adding 300mg of aspirin to further enhance the thermogenic effect.
The stack should be taken 3 times a day to optimize the “FAT-burning” effect. The study says the side effects, insomnia, jitterness, etc. are only temporary.

The study also surmises that the stack may also inhibit the bodysability to form FAT as well as burn it.

From: (R Scott Smith, Librarian,)

The “optimal” synergistic effect of caffeine and ephedrine is reported in numerous muscle mags (for want of more reliable sources) as 1mg ephedrine to 10 mg caffeine. A dose of 20 mg of ephedrine with 200 mg of caffeine is used in the studies. A product containing these two compounds in this ratio (but not the only product, just the only one I know off hand) is TwinLab’s RIPPED FUEL. It is also HUGELY expensive. [RIPPED FUEL’s capsules have proportions of ephedrine to caffeine at 20mg to 100mg. big thanks to George Berger for pointing this out..] A less expensive route is to buy ephedrine (either in pills or drops) and use coffee as your caffeine source. The problem with this is that the amount of caffeine in coffee varies with the type of coffee how it is brewed. A bench-mark I use is 1 cup of coffee = 100mg caffeine.

If you are really interested in the thermogenic combinations, adding an aspirin to the mix increases the effect, and naringenin (found in grapefruit and grapefruit juice) prolongs the caffeine effect. Theophyllin (sp?) in tea is reported to be thermogenic as well according to Michael Colgan), although caffeine levels in tea vary more than do those in coffee. Chinese green tea supposedly contains ephedrine and caffeine (according to Robert Haas) although I have yet to find anything that shows what the levels of each are.

Also from R Scott Smith

Thermogenesis is the conversion of fat and food to produce heat, and not chemical energy (ATP). When thermogenic effects are stated, it implies that the substance or substances encourage the body to increase metabolic rate in the production of heat. This generally results in an increase in body temperature (of at most 2 degrees, from what I’ve read, although I don’t recall if those were fahrenheit degrees or Celsius degrees). This corresponds to an increased utilization of calories and as a result, fat loss.

From: (Kristine A. Recktenwald):

DPS Nutrition 1-800-697-4969. Their latest catalogue lists ephedrine 25 mg 100 tabs for $4.95. They also advertise a bunch of the ephedrine/caffeine/aspirin combinations.

From: (Steven G. Myerson)

Mother Natures sells 1000 25-mg pills of ephedrine for $20.Call 1-800-458-1613 for a catalog.

They will not ship to AZ, ID, OR, NV, WA, or CA in the
United States.


24. What are lifting straps?

Lifting straps are worn around the wrist and wrapped tightly around the bar. They are usually made out of a heavy cloth and have anopen loop at one end, so a loop may be made and your hand placed through it. This allow you to lift more weight than your gripcan handle. Usually done while working the back, such as deadlifts,various rows, pull-[ups/downs], and sometimes curls. Treat these similar to lifting belts. Use them as a lifting aid for your heavy sets. Do plenty of lighter sets to help improve your grip and forearm strength.

25. Should I train if I’m sick?

Generally if the sickness is above the neck, it’s alright to exercise (sinus, headache, sore throat, etc). Just take it easy and respect others who aren’t sick by wiping off the bar or handlebars when finished and by washing your hands frequently if your sickness is contagious. It might also be a good time to take a few days off to let your body recuperate, getting sick might be a sign of overtraining.

26. Free Weights vs Machines?

There will always be an argument as to which one is better.
Free weights work more muscles, indirectly, for stability and balance and they allow a free range of motion. Machines isolate muscles better and are safer, since you can’t drop a bar on you or get pinned under a bar on your final rep, and you don’t need a spotter. Most people who train use both, or whatever type is available. A lot can also be accomplished by doing exercises with neither, such as, push-ups, pull-ups, one-legged squats, lunges, etc. Each exercise or piece of equipment hits the muscles at a slightly different angle. experiment to find what works for you. A good way to use free weights and machines is by doing an exercise, using the free weights, then go directly to a machine and work the muscle further. This way the muscle can be worked to failure with less risk of injury and you’ll probably work the muscle harder knowing that you’re not going to get stuck under the bar.

27. What exercises should I avoid?

Any exercise can cause an injury when done improperly. To keep it safe go slow, don’t bounce, and don’t cheat. The only exercise that are generally not advised are the following:

-Full sit-ups, do crunches instead.
-Upright Rows, may cause shoulder problems/pain.
-Deep pullovers, may cause shoulder problems/pain.

If you feel any pain during any exercise STOP!

28. Where can I get plates that are less than 5 pounds?

“Maverick”, 213-257-9139 They sell a set of 6 weights: 1.1 lb; .55 lb;
.275 lb (fractions of a Kg, 2 each weight) for $30 plus shipping, in case anyone else is interested. Or you can buy them individually for
$5 apiece (“for cost of machining them”, their representative said).
Grover Furr

From IRONMAN magazine

Ironman Products 1-800-570-IRON ext 3.
1 1/4-100lb Olympic weights machined 10lbs/$10
1 1/4-100lb Olympic weights $0.55/lb

Bodybuilder’s Discount Outlet (708) 268-1611

Many more exist. Check local fitness stores.

29. What’s HFL? Legendary Abs? Rotator Cuff solution?

Health for Life
8033 Sunset Blvd.
Suite 483
LA, CA 90046

HFL’s pamphlets have had a very positive reaction
from the NET. Their ads are in IRONMAN as well as various other Magazines. 30-day money back refund.

The most talked about pamphlets have been:

The 7-minute Rotator Cuff Solution- Various exercises and diagrams showing how the shoulder and the rotator cuff work and how to strengthen them. They’re the ones that suggest staying away from Upright Rows and Pullovers. $14.95

Legendary Abs- Discusses their approach to working abs and gives a very good program. There’s also Legendary Abs II. $14.95

TNT (Total Nexk and Traps) $14.95
Maximum Calves $14.95
The Human Fuel handbook $24.95
Secrets of Advanced Bodybuilding $19.95
Power forearms $11.95

30. What’s High Intensity training (HIT)? or What can be done to work the muscle further?

High Intensity training is using various methods to further stress the muscle, to cause more growth. The following are some common methods. These should be used sparingly to shock the muscles or to help you get over a plateau. Allow for adequate warm-up and rest and go to positive failure on each set.

Forced Reps: After positive failure is reached spotters assist you in doing a couple of more reps.

Partials: Doing a movement through a small range of motion. Usually used to strengthen the weak part of a lift. Also commonly seen when the person is using too much weight and can’t do the full movement.

Negatives: Using a weight that’s above your max and only performthe negative portion (The part of the activity where the weight is moving with gravity). Spotters lift the weight through the positive area and you do the negatives.

Stripping: Doing a set to failure then the spotters remove some weight and you do a few more reps to failure. This can continue for many reps.

Burns: After positive failure occurs, continue doing mini-reps (a few inches of movement) to keep stress on the muscles.

Super Set: To further fatigue a muscle an isolation movement is followed immediately by a basic movement. i.e. Flyes followed by doing a Bench press.

Tri Set: Similar to Super Sets only three exercises are used instead of two.

21’s: Do half of the movement for 7 reps, then do the other half for 7 reps then do 7 full reps. i.e. Barbell curl: Curl from arms straight to 90-degrees for 7 reps. Then curl from 90-degrees to arms perpendicular to floor for 7 reps. Then do 7 full reps. This is done non-stop and considered 1 set.

From: Tim Mansfield < >

This is a summary of “The Modified High Intensity Method” by Robert
Hinson, Natural Physique, v3 n2, Sept 1990.

The so-called “High Intensity Training” method championed by Mike Mentzer, Arthur Jones and Ellington Darden calls for a reduced number of sets and a reduced workout frequency. The reduced number of sets (down to only one work set in some versions of the method) and greater recovery time allows the trainee to work each set to failure.

The article claims that many HIT trainees have not made the gains claimed by HIT advocates and that this failure can be attributed to three reasons:

1) insufficient warmup
2) too heavy weights
3) over-emphasis on forced reps and negative reps

The Modified High Intensity Training method (or MHIT) aims to solve
these problems by restructuring the sets by:

* incorporating proper warmup into the single set using 65-70% of the 1 rep max weight
* expand the single set to 15 reps with the first half done super-slow
and the second half done explosively

This keeps the weights safely low, incorporates a warmup and exhausts both slow and fast-twitch fibres.

So a single MHIT set follows the following pattern:

phase 1: 8 reps
5 second positive contraction
6 second negative contraction
phase 2: 7 reps
1 second positive contraction
2 second negative contraction

There is no rest between phase 1 and 2.

Hinson recommends a three day per week workout on a two-way split as follows:

Monday: chest, back, legs
Wednesday: shoulders, arms
Friday: whole body

31. What type of routine should I use when lifting weights?

There are many routines that people use. The “best” one is the one that fits your schedule and gives you adequate rest. There are many variables to each routine, how often, how much rest, what exercises, when to cycle, etc. All of these are very different for everyone. Experiment, try them all, make up your own, find what works for you and stick with it.

Here are a few common ways to split up your work out. Upper body/Lower body: Work the muscles above your waist on one day, then work the muscles below your waist on the next work out.

Push/Pull: Work the opposing muscle groups on the same work out. Triceps & Biceps, Quads & Hamstrings, Chest & Back. Or work only those muscles that “push” on one day and the muscles that “pull” on another.

3(or 4)-on-1(or 2)-off: Working the different muscles every day, the “on” days, until the whole body is worked, then taking a day or two off.


Day 1: Back and Biceps.
Day 2: Legs & Calves
Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
Day 4: OFF
Day 5: OFF or Day 1


Day 1: Back and Traps
Day 2: Chest, Shoulders
Day 3: Triceps & Biceps
Day 4: Legs & Calves
Day 5: OFF
Day 6: OFF or Day 1

Work one body part in the morning and another in the

M-W-F: Working out every other day, then take the weekend off.

Work different body parts on on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday taking Wednesday and the weekend off.

Work a different body part every day, take at least 2 days off then start again.

Give larger muscle groups (Legs, back, chest) more days off, andhit the smaller muscles, since they recover faster, more often.

Alternate between light weight(12-15 reps) and High weight 6-8 rep

Day 1: Back and Biceps (Heavy)
Day 2: Legs & Calves (Light)
Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps (Heavy)
Day 4: OFF
Day 1: Back and Biceps (Light)
Day 2: Legs & Calves (Heavy)
Day 3: Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps (Light)
Day 4: OFF

32. Is the order of when muscles are worked important?

YES! The muscles should be work from largest to smallest. If you
already have enough size in most of the large muscles then work your weakest body part first. The muscles should be worked in this order: quads, chest, back, hamstrings, shoulders, calves, triceps, biceps, forearms/wrists, abs.

Why? To get the most gains the large muscles have to be worked
hard enough to promote growth. If, for example, you worked your triceps to failure then tried to bench press, to work the chest,your triceps would be worn out before your chest worked hard enough to grow.

Avoid working abs and then doing Squats. The abs are a very important link in doing squats, they shouldn’t be tired before doing squats. If triceps are worked before the chest make sure to lower the weight when working the chest.

33. Periodization/cycling what is it?

Cycling is where you cycle the training of your muscles to keep
them growing. You train them for a certain period then switch or rest. Here are two common ways to use periodization:

10-rep cycle: I’m not sure of the “official” name I just tagged it with this title. When performing this type of cycle you never do more than 10-reps per set, and only 2 work sets. To start, you need to know your 10-rep/MAX weight for the exercises you’re going to perform. That is at what weight do you hit positive failure at around the 10th rep. Write this weight down and figure out 80%, 90%, 95% of that weight, for each exercise. To begin the cycle start out at doing only 80% of your maximum 10-rep weight for 10-reps. This should be a very easy work out. At the next work out use 90%, then 95%, then 100% at your fourth work out, which should be about 3-4 weeks after the cycle is started. If you work out more than once per week then gradually add weight during the week, keeping pace with the above outline. When you hit your previous 100% weight you should be able to add a little more weight at next week’s work out. Keep adding a small amount of weight, 1-2 lbs, per work out until you can’t do 10-reps for 2 weeks in a row. When that happens your muscles are no longer getting stronger. Take a week off. Then start at 80% of your new max.

Week 1: 1×10 light
1×10 medium
2×10@80% of 10-rep max

Week 2: 1×10 light
1×10 medium
2×10@90% of 10-rep max

Week 3: 1×10 light
1×10 medium
2×10@95% of 10-rep max

Week 4: 1×10 light
1×10 medium
2×10@100% of 10-rep max

Week 5-?: 1×10 light
1×10 medium
2×10@100%+ of previous 1-rep max.

Continue to add small amounts of weight until you have 2 weeks in a row where you couldn’t hit 10-reps at the same weight.

Take 1 week off and start again.

Another CYCLE is to cycle both the reps and weight over ~12 weeks.
The following is from “GETTING STRONGER”.

Weeks 1-4:
1×10 light
1×10 medium
3×10 heavy (target weight)

If you can do more than the 10 reps, at your target weight, then add a small amount of weight next week.

Weeks 5-8:
1×10 light
1×5 medium
3×5 heavy (target weight)
1×10@70% of target

If you can do more than the 5 reps at your target weight,
then add a small amount of weight.

Weeks 9-10: 1×10 light
1×3 medium
1×3 medium-heavy
3×3 heavy (target weight)
1×10 @70% of target

If you can do more than the 3 reps at your target weight, then add a small amount of weight.

Weeks 11-12: No organized work outs. Experiment with new exercises, bike, aerobics, anything but intense lifting. Give your body a small vacation.

GO TO Weeks 1-4: and start all over.

34. Where can I get the abs, stretching, Nordic Track, weights or
Hardgainer FAQ, and access to Medline articles?

Abs FAQ:

The Ab FAQ is posted every month to and misc.answers. It is also available from the following URL:

Nordic Track/Nordic Sport:

A FAQ for cross-country ski machines, Nordic Track/Nordic Sport, is available by sending mail to Dana Crom < >. It isn’t available via ftp at this moment.

Stretching FAQ:

This document is available in ascii, texinfo, postscript, and dvi formats via anonymous ftp from the host `’ located under the directory `/pub/doc/faq/rec/martial.arts’. The file name matches the wildcard pattern `stretching.*’. The file suffix indicates the format.

weights mailing list: To get the weights FAQ

Send your request to “ “. Include the word “frequent” on a line in the body of the message.

The following is a good site for clinical studies on a wide variety of topics. They are listings of abstracts from Medline. They will point you to the source for more information.

From: Michael Shiffman

I did searches, on medline, on supplements (creatine, l-carnitine, vanadyl sulfate, and chromium picolinate) and on weightlifing and
have made them available via anonymous FTP at netcom. You can get them from:

cd /pub/sh/shiffman

If I can be of help getting reference resources in this way please
don’t hesitate to ask.

HardGainer FAQ:

The HardGainer faq is now available by anonymous ftp from: in the /pub/hardgainer directory.

Various fitness related links to get you started:”>FitnessWorld Home Page”>Eric’s Fitness Home Page”>”>http de Charles

Continued in part2… === “Difficult tasks are never easy…”
FAQ adopted from:

Newsgroups: misc.answers,,,news.answers
Subject: FAQ (part 1)
Message-ID: < >
Summary: Q&A about burning fat, building muscle, exercises, and equipment
Reply-To: (Jeff Gleixner)
Date: 6 Nov 95 17:36:51 CST

Archive-name: misc-fitness/part1

MISC.FITNESS FAQ and a little more..
Revision: 1.0.5

Created By
Jeff Gleixner ( )
with various contributions from people

A big thanks to Katie Henry who
created the home equipment section, and
to Kyle Wilson for HTMLing this.


This is the FAQ for I’d like to thank everyone on for sharing their advice and experiences. I tried to keep
names and addresses of articles that I included, but a few were lost.
I’m sure this will grow over time. If you notice anything that’s incorrect or if you’d like to add your point of view, please send some nice e-mail to . I’ll correct, or add it, to this document.
This is available via anonymous ftp from in the /pub/ directory. I have also placed a supplemental document in there which is a collection of various posts from people on about protein, carbohydrates, muscle, supplements, etc. called “supplemental.doc” (see question #19). The URL for the HTML version is

This document actually consists of 5 parts.

Part 1: The FAQ.
Part 2: Exercise Equipment information.
Part 3: Listing of 2-4 exercises per body part and the areas they work.
part 4: Listing of recommended books and magazines.
Part 5: Glossary of Basic Definitions of fitness terms.

Because of the size they will be posted as

Part 1: FAQ
Part 2: FAQ continued & Exercise Equipment Information
Part 3: Exercises, Books & Magazines, Glossary

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