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Q:I would like to know if doing squats will
make a person grow shorter or stop him from growing taller. Thank you. JX.
A:Dear JX, There are no exercises that can inhibit a persons
growth under normal conditions, that is if the exercise is done correctly.
Q:I have been weight lifting for about 3 years
and lately I have had some trouble gaining any weight or strength and I
eat right and everything else so I was wondering if you could recommend a
supplement to help me achieve my goals. THANKS, RON
A:Dear Ron, You have not mentioned anything about your weight and
height, so we will assume that you are pretty much average. If you are
particularly tall you might be a hardgainer. However if you are
an "average" bodybuilder you and just want to pack on more mass I would
say using a weight gainer might help you, but this may also put on a little bit of fat on most of us if the recommended dosages are maintained. I
will not recommend a specific make, but just make sure that it contains
quality protein, that is whey or egg, and that the carbohydrates are
complex and not just cane sugar. I assume since you have been building for
3 years that you are already taking a protein supplement of some kind, if
not make sure you get approx. 1.5 - 2 g of protein / kg of bodyweight, and
make sure that you get about 25% of the protein for your pre-excercise
meal. Another "must" is Creatine, but again, being an experienced
bodybuilder I assume you have already tried this. Of course you may also
want to consider doing something to your training program as well/instead,
to shock your body into further growth. Try radically changing your
routine or even the time of day you train or the split you use.
Q:I am told that L-Carnitine helps to accelerate and convert
fat into energy. This somehow helps to develop "cuts" on muscles. Pls
comment if this is true and if L-Carnitine helps muscle growth.
A:There has been a lot of focus on amino acids like L-Carnitine,
L-Glutamine, L-Ornithine and so on. Not very strange, because they often
assist in tissue building, wich is vital to the process of musclebuilding.
However I would say that very few of these are any good on their own, make
sure you get enough HIGH QUALITY protein, like whey or egg protein and you
are doing pretty good. We will make sure that some good articles about the
subject will be written for us here at Bigsport, make sure you check them
Q:Dear Sirs, What do you think of the "big beyond belief"
training manual distributed by optimum training systems in visalia,CA? in
this manual it has a program where you train 6 days per week and train
each muscle group 3-6 times per week! it is supposedly based upon the
training program of the Bulgarian weight lifting team of a few years ago.
when I train a muscle group more than 2 times per week I get injured and
lose strength, yet they claim lots of success with this system. what is
your opinion of this program and do you know of anyone who has tried it?
A:Well, I have not read the this manual but from how you describe
it, it sounds a bit much, overtraining is one of the problems of the
factors that often greatly inhibits muscle growth, and this program sure
seems as if it will promote such a factor. However, it might be true that
the bulgarian team made gains from it, some people seem to gain no matter
what they do. But I would think their gains would be even greater if they
had perhaps trained each muscle group a couple of times a week. But there
are bodybuilders that have had success training intensive like this for a
short period of time, to kickstart a lagging muscle group. If combined
with a re-organization of your program, like changing exercises, poundage,
reps, or just the order of performing them, you will be able to really
shock your muscles into new growth. But be careful, stressing musclesthis
intensive will increase the risk of injury, make sure you always maintain
Q:I read somewhere that Creatine should not be taken with
citrus juices. Is this true and if so, what is it about citrus juice that
makes it bad to take with Creatine?
A:The problem according to some people with using citrus juices
with Creatine is that the citric acid might damage the Creatine. I however
believe that using a juice like grape juice is the best. Simple carbos
together with Creatine is a sure bet!
Q:I have been lifting for about 5 months. I lift every other
day for about 2 hours. Currently I'm changing my workout and spreading out
all of my exercises over a 4 day period. I've heard that maximum lifting
time should be about 30 minutes a day. Is this true? Can you recommend a
workout program for me? I do: Incline, Decline and flatbench, shrugs from
behind and in front, curls, wrist curls, triceps pull downs and lat
pulldowns. Should I spread this out?
A:2 hours is certainly too long, you will put yourself in the
danger zone of overtraining which will only inhibit muscle growth in the
long run. I would say 30 - 45 minutes is just about right, 30 minutes can
be more than enough if you just make sure to keep your workouts efficient.
I do not know what your goals are, but I would always make sure I trained
my whole body, including legs and abdominals. You should also add quite a
few more exercises, it is better to do a few sets on a wider range of
exercises than just picking out a few and doing a lot of sets. Variation
is the name of the game. I would also divide the body into muscle groups
and train them one at a time, for instance you could set up a program like
this: Day 1: Chest, shoulders and triceps Day 2: Rest Day 3: Back, Biceps
Day 4: Rest Day 5: Abdominals, legs There are a lot of different ways of
setting up a good program, very soon we will put up a lot of different
programs on our site, keep your eyes open.
Q:First of all I just want to thank you for
the best web page in all of the bodybuilding sites. I've seen almost all
of them and found yours to be far more superior in clarity, organization
and content. But I have two questions regarding my beginner's bodybuilding
routine. I'm doing a 2 on 1 off system, training my whole upper body on
day 1and my lower body on day 2. I know I should always work bigger
muscles first and tougher exercise first so my question is, based on their
size and/or intensity of the exercise, on day one should I train my
trapezius first (using dumbbell shrugs) or should I train my deltoids
first(using dumbbell presses)?
A:Well, this would actually be a matter of preference, I
personally would probably go for training my delts first, simply because I
like to use shrugs as kind of a finishing exercise to take out the last
bit of action my muscles can manage and I also feel the shrugs stressing
my delts as well. However,always remember to keep good form while doing
these exercises as they have a tendency to stress the muscles pretty
Q: I'm doing Lying Triceps Extensions (French Presses)
holding a straight barbell overhead while lying on a bench, I keep my
upper arms still and flex only at the elbows when lowering the bar to the
back of my forehead. My question to you is should I keep my forearm and my
wrist straight when the bar is on my head(the lower part of the movement)
or should the wrists be bent at this point, creating an "L" or claw shape
with the forearm and wrist? Which hit's the tri's best?
A:With this exercise a lot of people cheat their muscles for some
stress by not keeping their upper arms still, however the way you describe
the exercise it the correct way of doing it.I always do French Presses
with my wrist straight, I feel this stresses the triceps the most. A
variation I often do is the sitting version of it, I either sit upright on
a bench or I use an incline bench for support, the latter version is the
one I often use for triceps mass.
Q:How does being "too big and strong" effect one's recovery
A:Because research has shown that although one's recovery ability
can increase to some extent - it is far below that which one's strength
can potentially increase. There is a "300/50" rule where the average person's strength
can increase 300% from their untrained strength, but their recovery
ability can only increase 50% Therefore, the logical conclusion is that
the stronger you get, the less intense exercise your body can actually
take. I have personally found that as my strength increased, the amount
of high intensity exercise that I could recover from - in terms of
frequency and volume - decreased. I think that when you are a beginner in
weight training, you don't know how to train intensively enough. That's why
you are able to "recover" from each training session. I'm sure that could
contribute. I used to be able to train much more frequently, as I said.
And I do agree that you have to "learn" how to push yourself harder and
harder. I'm confident that I can push myself farther than I could years
ago. In fact, I'm sure of it. And I'm also sure that as time goes on I'll
understand my body even better, and be able to push myself even harder. I
think of it as a "challenge" of sorts. How far can I push myself? It's
quite satisfying to me when I know I've pushed myself to the limit. It's a
feeling of accomplishment...hard to describe. I'm sure others know what I
mean. I wanna take myself to the limit - mind and body.
Q:I have a question about building muscle. I am 15 and 165
pounds. Since I have started lifting I have gained 5 pounds. I have been
training for about 2 and 1/2 years. For 2 of those years I have
overtrained. How many sets should I have started doing? Now that I have
overtrained for 2 years will the number of sets I should do to build
muscle be increased? I powertrain my chest by doing benching both incline
and regular. In effect doing about 11 sets for each. This benefits me in
strength but not in size. Then in biceps and triceps I train five sets per
exercise. Is this too much since I only have 14 and 1/2 inch biceps? For
shoulders I do a superset of military press and behind the neck presses. I
end up doing 15 sets. How many sets should I do for each exercise for each
part of the body? Sincerely Jesster
A:Dear Jesster, Overtraining is a serious problem for a lot of
bodybuilders, perhaps especially newbies who hit the gym with a desire to
grow FAST. The tricky part of bodybuilding is getting enough quality
training time AND enough rest. Since you did not write how many times a
week you train and rest I would advice the following: Use a 2 day on 1 day
off schedule, so that every 3. day is a rest day, to gain size it is vital
that your body gets enough rest. You might also consider doing 2 days on,
1 day off, 2 days on, 2 days off. Make sure you eat 5-6 small meals a day and
get enough protein, water and vitamins, keep a healthy diet. Keep the reps
down and the intensity high. For biceps size gains use basic exercises,
like biceps curls with dumbbells, ez-curls etc. Few sets, and heavy
poundage, but not so heavy that you can't maintain good form! If you have
been using the same program for a while, change it, and try using barbells
instead of your bench press.
Q:I had to write to you guys again because you
helped me so much with my first questions. And this is probably not the
last time(or even close to it). These are the next two questions I have
about my training. Can you give me a detailed run down on how to perform
dips.I understand there are two different ways to perform dips; one to
directly target the triceps and one to target more pec work. Can you
expain both techniques specifically in a point by point format. THANX
AGAIN - "B"
A:Dear "B", Glad we were able to help you out, and thanx for
asking again. Dips is a popular exercise, especially if you train chest
and tricpes in the same training session, then a lot of people will use it
as a transission exercise for finishing off chest and starting the triceps
part of the session. Triceps targeting: Starting position: Holding
yourself up with arms locked out, crossed legs hanging down (or paralell
with the floor) Performing exercise: Keep your body straight (90 degrees)
and start lowering your body while resisting the motion slightly by using
triceps, when your upper arm is lowered a bit more than paralell with the
floor start pushing yourself up again. Body still straight and with strict
form to ensure maximum triceps use. When almost back into the initial
position (do not lock arms) go for the rest of your reps. Chest targeting:
The same as with triceps but for targeting the chest more you need to lean
your body more forward, this way the movement becomes somewhat like a
bench press, which of course also explains why it targets the chest more
than the previous mentioned way of performing dips. This exercise requires
an even stricter performance to keep your body a bit tipped all through
Q:My arms, specifically my bi's and tri's, are
totally wrong. I can't figure out why they have not developed
symmetrically. My left bicep has a good peak to it while my right bicep is
flat. And at the same time, my right tricep (same arm with the flat bicep)
has a good "horse shoe" shape to it while my left tricep (arm with the
good peak bicep) has a barely visible horse shoe. Is it possible that the
fact that the bicep,tricep muscles are antagonistic muscles(directly
opposing each other) played a part in the fact that my arm with the good
tricep has a bad bicep and the arm with the bad tricep has a good bicep?
Keeping in mind that I am a hardgainer, should I work problem areas more
or workthem less,giving more time for recouperation? I'm only using
barbells(curls and french presses)for bi's and tri's so I don't know how
this happened(the past probably). Please help me and my routine!! THANX
AGAIN - "B"
A:Dear "B" Tricky question, it is hard to say what has caused
this, however most people don't have a really symmetrical body to start
with. Not just when it comes to muscles, but with size in general, just
use a computer to put together two left sides or two right sides of any
person and you will notice that they look quite peculier. But to deal with
muscle size differences is of course possible, I think I would try to
train the lagging muscles with different, new,exercises, and try to
"shock" them into growth. Being a hardgainer,this might even be quite
beneficial to you in general.
Q:Whatīs your opinion on Mentzersīs Heavy Duty system?
A:I can tell you that I have tried a lot of what he promotes
(rest-pause, pre-exhaust, static contracted and more), I can tell you that
all of these techniqes made me come closer to my goal on size and shape.
Q:Hi; I am recovering from a very serious car accident. I
have been training very hard, and am experienceing good gains again, after
a very slow period. I am using Creatine, Chromium Picolinate, and l
glutamine. My question is; how do you measure yourself? Why I ask is, I
have always assumed you measure flexed muscles, but I recently saw the
stats on Hollyfield & Tyson, height, weight, chest, biceps, etc. They
both look larger than me, but I measure larger than both of them ( except
forearms ) & my height is between theirs, I'm 6'1" & 206lbs,
Tysons 5'11", and Hollyfield's 6'2". How are the measurements done for
your proportions guide? Scott
A:The measurements for our proportions guide is flexed. To be
honest I am a bit hazy on how the measurements of Tyson and Holyfield are
done, I would also think that they would measure flexed muscles.
Q:I'm told that it's better to perform the aerobic exercise
after weight training, approximately 15 - 30 minutes, to assist in bodyfat
reduction. Does it matter whether or not the aerobic work is performed
before or after the weight training - as far as getting leaner? Flynn
A:I would say that you should NOT do aerobic exercises right
after your weight training because after a strenous weigh training session
your body is in need of rest. Your body will also burn calories at an
accellerated rate for several hours after your weight training session.
Even running for just a few minutes will increase the rate of which your
body burns calories so it would seem logical to get more short training
sessions than fewer and longer. So you might want to divide your training
into two sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening, and train
aerobic morning or evening and weights the other, thus allowing your body
more time for recuperation.
Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. MuscleNet.com is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MuscleNet.com.