Losing weight - Am I doing everything right?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chris_House, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Chris_House

    Chris_House Agent

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    Just recently I made the decision to get in shape. I'm 20 years old, 6'1", and 212 pounds. I'd like to get down to 180. About a week ago I began jogging on my treadmill for 45 minutes a day. I have also been staying away from all unhealthy foods, or basically anything with a lot of fat and/or calories.

    The problem I'm facing is all the mixed information I'm getting about weight loss. I've done a lot of reading on the internet, and I still have no clear idea of whether or not I'm doing all I need to do. I'm mostly concerned with diet. I've seen everything from "stay away from fat" to "eat as much fat as possible". I understand that there are extreme diets like Atkins that completely eliminate certain foods, but I don't want to do anything that extreme. I just won't be able to stick with it. What I really need to know is how effectively one can lose weight simply by eating foods low in fat and calories, while eating all different types of food, just in moderation(that is, except stuff like sugary drinks and deep fried stuff - those I will avoid entirely).

    I am also still a little uncertain about my exercise routine. My 45 minutes a day consists of jogging for a mile (a low jog, about 13 mins/mile), then alternating walking a lap/jogging a lap until my 45 mins is up. Anything I should change? Would it be better to sustain a constant speed the entire time? Should I add weight lifting?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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    Hi Chris,

    If you want to see what worked for me, check out my transformation page: http://www.twowiresthin.com/wl2003/index.html

    It's updated every morning by 9:00 AM. You'll find all kinds of information there: my diet plan, food logs, spreadsheets, pictures, FAQs, motivational advice, workouts and so on. I would definitely start weight training, it's very beneficial. Feel free to email me if you have any questions after reading through my pages and I'll do my best to help. Good luck--you can do it!
     
  3. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    Chris what you will find is that what works for one may not work for another. It may take some experimenting to find the right plan for you but don't give up and don't try to do it over night. Those who have life long success in changing their weight situation are the one who make real life style changes instead of the quick fix short-term changes.
     
  4. Bob Movies

    Bob Movies Stunt Coordinator

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    John - That's amazing! Your transformation over seven months is truly remarkable. Good job!

    I have a quick question though - did you need to buy a whole new wardrobe? How did you handle losing the weight in regards to your wardrobe?

    Again, I'm really impressed by your progress,

    Bob
     
  5. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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    Bob, thank you very much. Yeah, I had to buy all new clothes -- everything from my pants to my shirts to my belt and my underwear. [​IMG]

    I should have mentioned this in my response to Chris (it's in my FAQ on the website), but I agree with what Patrick_S said 100%: what works for one person may not work as well for another. I think it's important to educate yourself using a variety of resources. Don't be afraid to experiment, and find what works best for you. I reached my fatloss goals by eating clean, healthy foods exclusively, doing daily cardio or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, and lifting weights on a regular basis. For most people, this general plan works very well but there are a million ways to go about it. I also agree that fad diets or quick fixes are the wrong way to go. It's important to make life-long changes in your eating habits and in your exercise routines that are sustainable. I used to never exercise, now it's the first thing I think about when I wake up. 8 months ago I never thought I'd say this, but I actually look forward to my workouts. I can't imagine starting my day any other way. When you reach that point, you've done it right. [​IMG]
     
  6. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Chris,

    Congrats on deciding to lose the weight. It's a tuff thing to do, but is so worth it.

    Just to give you some background, I've lost 48 pounds on a low carb diet. I've been doing 3 workouts a week for the past 5 monts, including treadmill and weights, and feel great. Luckily, I still had my "skinny" clothing in the back of the closet, so I was able to go back to clothes I haven't worn in years. It's a great feeling to lose two pants size, and go from XXL to XL in shirts (I'm 6'4", and weigh 258 now).

    Don't be too quick to dismiss any diet. Low carb does work, just like low fat works, just like low calorie works. I found low carb to be easiest, because I never felt hungry. I simply changed my bad eating habits (too many sweets, too much starch), and the weight came off.

    I would encourage you to do your own research on which diet to chose. Consult your doctor, and see what they recommend. My doctor put me on the low carb diet, and has been excited about my results. I felt better knowing that the doctor who knows my health chose the diet for me.

    Most important, you need to look upon this not as a temporary diet, but as a lifestyle change. If after losing the weight you go right back to your old eating habits, your going to regain the weight. Keep that in mind when chosing your program. Chose something you can maintain.

    And I agree, John Stone is my hero. I can see changes in my body, but to have it documented that well is great. I wish I had that 6pack he's developed!

    Now, go get 'em, Chris!
     
  7. Chris_House

    Chris_House Agent

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    Thanks for the replies, and congrats to all who have been successful. I really hope I can get there eventually. I think I will keep doing what I'm doing, and maybe add weight lifting. Like you all said, I will just have to see if it works. If it doesn't, I will try something else - maybe a more specific diet (low carb, low fat, etc). For now though, it's just no junk food, more fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water (there are the little things of course, like wheat bread instead of white, and lean meat instead of fatty). We'll see what happens.
     
  8. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I started a thread on here last January to sort of celebrate my change in direction towards a healthier life. Its full of great information and feedback from people here. Lots of whom have actually gone beyond my meager start and have done some fairly impressive work in terms of fitness.

    I give my advice as a framework. You should consult your doctor and other professionals to ensure you find out what is ultimately right for you.

    You can read the original thread here, but be warned that it is very long:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...or+weight+loss

    Suffice to say your plan has started ok because you are active. I think running might allow you to lose lots of fat. I can sum up some of the best advice here:

    Set a goal of being fit. That means less fat, but more strength and muscle in place of fat. Not just weight loss. A goal for being fit means:

    You want

    #1) fat loss
    #2) muscle gain
    #3) strong cardio vascular fitness
    #4) improved flexibility

    Do 3 to 4 days of exercise of 30-45 minutes each minimum per week.

    Each week, do cardio 2 to 4 times a week. Of these, do one long cardio. One easier shorter cardio and one cardio day with intervals or sprints. Intervals or sprints means you go at your medium or slow pace for 75% of the cardio time, but during this cardio exercise time, you sprint or exercise against high resistance for short intervals of say 30 second to 1 minute at a time. For example say you run for 30 minutes with 6 one minute sprints every five minutes. The sprinting should feel significantly faster than your average pace.
    Choose from swimming, running, cycling and/or rollerblading or crosstraining.
    Weight training 3 times a week.
    Stretch before and after cardio and weight training.
    Weight training and running will really build your athletic abilities, build and strengthen your muscles which will burn access fat and calories and also weight training maintains higher bone density and improves joint strength.
    Include an abdominal workout (upper, lower and obliques) and a lower back workout. Do some research and ask professional at your local gym, or community centre gym [​IMG]

    To address your problem of mixed information, I believe you are aware that you don't have to do anything "extreme" to lose weight. Eat a well balanced diet. You shouldn't be totally eliminating fat nor should you be eating lots of it. Mainly, stick to a diet that doesn't obtain the bulk of calories from saturated fat. Olive oil is a good example. Use Olive oil instead of butter (saturated fat) and instead of margerine (liquid plastic). Unless you can find an all natural margerine. You may find there is little need for a butter or margerine substitute when you don't eat bread. You can eat non-wheat breads though. I eat 100% rye breads now because I am avoiding all white flour bread. Also, I eat peanut butter (100% peanuts) and I don't seem to gain fat, however, I only started back on peanut butter after surpassing my fat loss goals.

    In order to go with a well balanced diet and lose weight, find a food guide and adjust it this way: Avoid or nearly eliminate white bread and sugar until you are near your fitness and fat loss goals. Even then, try to minimize your intake of bread and sugar. Bread and sugar promote fat storage for many people.

    Eat a balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, protein, nuts and complex carbohydrates. Avoid all junk food. Avoid bread as much as possible. Avoid sugar. Thats it. Eat brown rice, brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, fish, turkey and chicken unless you are vegetarian. Eat fruits and vegetables. Don't eat too much carbos like cereal or pasta. White bread is the worst because of what it does to your blood sugar. Once you have lost a considerable amount of fat, you can add sweetness to your diet a little at a time. For sweetness try small quantities of pure fruit juice and
    honey or pure maple syrup. Anything not pure will have sucrose, fructose and/or glucose which is refined cane sugar and that is bad. Avoid at all costs. That means very little or no pop! Especially now while you start your weight loss.
    Enjoy exercising and let us know how you do.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Russell B

    Russell B Stunt Coordinator

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    I lost 2.6lbs since sunday. Basically tossed out the fast food and sugary stuff. Haven't exercised much, only what i get doing construction work. Switched from burgers to grilled chicken sandwiches on wheat buns. Cereal its Total or Cheerios. I have a small garden salad at every lunch and dinner. I'm 6'3" tall and weigh 256lbs. I'm aiming for 220lbs. I have a big build so 220lbs would be good for me.
    Basically cut way down on the stuff you know is bad.
     
  10. Chris_House

    Chris_House Agent

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    Chris PC - You say avoid bread. What about wheat bread? That's the only kind I eat anyway.
     
  11. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Chris- Wheat bread is fine. Keep in mind that whole wheat bread is the best -- it has a lower GI (Glycemic Index) than white bread. For those that aren't familiar with the Glycemic Index, it is a way of measuring the insulin response (or blood sugar spike) within two to three hours after eating. Foods with a higher glycemic index you should avoid, as they create an insulin spike that ends up storing the food as fat. Also, the higher a food is on the glycemic index, the worse the resulting crash in blood sugar (which results in fatique and feeling tired) that occurs later.

    Russell- I would recommend tossing the cereal (very processed and as a result not exactly good for you) and having 100% natural oatmeal or eggwhites + wheat toast or cottage cheese for breakfast. If you're serious about dedicating yourself to your weight loss, I'd recommend checking out the book Body For Life by Bill Phillips. I've lost 72 lbs. (from 274 down to 202) by doing that program and I'm planning on losing 30 more just to break the 100 lb. barrier (or get down to 10% bodyfat, whichever comes first).

    BTW, here's my web site if anyone wants to see my before/after photos:

    http://www.idealmuscle.com/idealmuscle/
     
  12. Chris_House

    Chris_House Agent

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    So should all cereal be avoided? How about Grape Nuts? That is my favorite. It sure tastes healthy...
     
  13. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    The following is advice mainly for the period while you are working to lose fat. After you've gained muscle mass, improved your fitness etc, you are a calorie burning machine, as long as you stay active. I avoid wheat because gluton isn't the greatest thing for your health. But back to fat weight loss. If you must eat bread, I would recommend 100% rye bread that contains NO WHEAT whatsoever, as it does not affect your blood sugar like regular bread. When you say wheat bread, I guess you mean "whole" wheat bread, but thats not that much better. Keep in mind that flour is generally made from wheat. Most bread contains wheat. It is refined wheat flour which is the worst. You don't have to avoid wheat altogether, but I did and it helped me to lose weight. Wheat contains Gluton and it is not so good for you when it is taken in large quantities of refined flour. It has a high surface area and its sticky. It spikes your blood sugar and gums up your digestion and your blood stream. Take a peice of bread and crumple it up into a ball and see how it sticks together. That is not something that should be passing through your intestinal tract and its because of the refined wheat flour that contains a high surface area of gluton. It gums up your digestive system. Once digested and ingested, the gluton in wheat makes things in your bloodstream stick together. Its just generally not good. I would say for bread advice, go with this list in order from the most recommended to the least recommended while you are trying to burn fat and lose fat mass:

    1) No bread at all. Eat "brown rice", oats and spelt grains. You must look at the ingredients of things and avoid wheat, gluton and flour.
    2) 100% Rye bread - wheat and/or gluton FREE bread. Dimpflmeier or some other brand like that:

    http://www.dimpfbreadex.com/dbx2k-index.htm

    I prefer the 100% rye bread. The better ones are the ones with sunflower seeds. The ones with brown rice and or flax seeds are ok too, but in my experience, the ones that are either 100% rye bread or the rye bread with sunflower seeds are the most workable for sandwiches, toast and even for use in hotdogs and hamburgers, although those should be eaten in limited quantities while burning fat. Brown Rice bread is ok but I tried it and its a nightmare because it crumbles.
    3) Whole grain multi-grain bread might be possible but its tricky because there is still refined wheat flour and any is too much.
    4) Avoid white bread like the plague.

    You don't have to avoid cereal entirely but tossing cereal while trying to lose fat is a perfectly good idea. While I was burning fat, I ate oatmeal. Choose cereals without wheat and with low sugar such as an organic millet rice cereal. Regardless of the sugar content, don't eat too much cereal because eating too much carbohydrates results in their being stored as fat. When you eat more whole foods, you may notice an improvement in your overall well being. It feels good to eat oatmeal rather than cereal. Cereal is processed and I only eat it when I'm lazy or in a rush.

    You might want to try Soy Milk too. Try regular oatmeal with raisins, a tiny bit of honey, cinnamon and a bit of banana. I have eaten that the last few days after running and its tastes and feels great [​IMG]

    You mainly want to eat a balanced diet. For carbohydrates, you want to eat complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole grains and rice pasta's. Avoid white rice as its not very complex, its actually not much better than sugar. You must avoid eating too much carbohydrates as they just get stored as fat if you've more than you need. While losing weight, try eating a little more protein than usual. Protein is good for burning fat because its less likely to be converted to fat, it takes more energy to digest, and it is used to build and repair muscles.
     
  14. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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    I went from 183 to 158 in less than four months by eating less, eating healthier and exercising. My results were not typical, but I'll take it. On a whim, I limited myself to 2000 calories a day and ran/walked for 45 minutes 4-5 times a week.) I think the fact that I lost weight so quickly points to the fact that my diet was so poor that I was probably consuming close to double what I should. When I got down to about 160, I consulted with a nurse and calculated my daily caloric intake needs, and staying pretty close to my daily target has kept me at a stable 158-160 for a couple of months now.

    OBTW, I didn't buy into all this "no bread for you" diet. I like bread too much. But apparently variations of that diet have worked for some. So to sum it up, my advice is eat less (by calculating your individual calorie needs to maintain weight then eat less than that), eat healthier, exercise and set reasonable goals. You can't go wrong with that.
     
  15. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Not eating bread isn't absolutely necessary for everyone, it depends on the person. I believe I am sensitive to gluton. Many people are. When I started my fitness plan I choose to eliminate bread and I went from 180 to 160 LBS in one month and I didn't lose muscle mass. Let me put it this weigh (heh-heh), I think you can lose weight faster if you eat less bread, so zero bread works the best for some people.

    I agree with the running/walking. To burn extra calories, walk briskly for at least 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours a day in addition to other exercise. At night when you've got nothing to do except watch TV, go for a walk instead. Walking is good to add because it doesn't stress you out, fatigue or make you overly tired, but it burns calories. You can throw in the walking when you're too tired for other exercise.

    When I started my fitness in late October I was walking a minimum of 30 minutes first thing in the morning and 30 minutes at night. What happened though, was my walking became brisker and I sped up so much that I just naturally started into a run one day and from then on, I alternated running and walking.
     
  16. Chris_House

    Chris_House Agent

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    More good info. Thanks guys. I'll keep the whole "don't eat bread" idea in mind, but I really doubt I'll entirely give it up. It just doesn't seem realistic to me to go for months on end without any bread at all. Like Robert_Z said, I just like it too much. I will of course only eat whole wheat bread, and eat it in moderation.

    I weighed in yesterday, and I was down about 4 pounds. That is from about 3 weeks of healthy eating and 6 days of exercising. I just tightened up my weight set (which has been sitting idle in my basement for about 2 years), and I will begin using it tonight, and hopefully use it 3 or 4 times per week.
     
  17. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Chris- Cereal does tend to taste healthy but is still processed food, which can cause a higher insulin spike resulting in bodyfat storage. However, cereal can be part of a good postworkout meal to fuel muscle recovery on weight training days, but I still wouldn't recommend it. You'll be able to get a much better concentration of nutrients from unprocessed whole foods. I'd recommend ditching the cereal and replacing it with egg white omelettes, meat, fruits (in moderation, as some fruits place higher on the Glycemic Index), veggies, or something that's unprocessed. In order to lose weight, build muscle, and provide maximum recovery advantage, you should take every opportunity to use unprocessed foods as part of your diet program.

    Here's what I'd recommend:

    1. Begin your weight loss diet regime with calories at 10x your bodyweight. Try out a 40/40/20 diet (protein/carbs/fats) to see how that works for you. Make sure you get all of your calories through whole foods. If the above diet doesn't work, try something different, such as the bodybuilder's cycling ketogenic diet.

    2. Be sure and get an adequate amount of protein that can fuel muscle recovery. Recommended amount of protein per day is 1.7-1.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So, for example, if you weigh 189 lbs., you would convert it to kilograms by using a conversion factor of 2.2, then multiplying the kg weight by 1.8. For example:

    189 divided by 2.2 = 85.9 or 86kg
    86kg x 1.8 = 154.8 or 155 grams of protein per day would be needed for building lean muscle mass

    (source for protein per day calculation: Ironman's Ultimate Guide to Bodybuilding Nutrition)

    3. You need to create a plan and set your goals for your transformation. Many people don't really intend to or plan to fail, but they fail for lack of a plan. Plan on keeping a daily workout record and nutritional record. It only takes a couple seconds per meal, and tracking the results can be well worth it. Also, be sure and track fluctuations in weight and bodyfat percentage. I recommend getting bodyfat calipers that you can use to measure your progress from day to day.

    4. Research the different supplements and find out which ones would benefit you. I think a whey protein shake can be one of the most valuable supplements you can take to enhance and fuel muscle recovery post workout. It can also benefit you at night. If you drink it with milk at night it can become useful due to its slowly digestible nature (by preventing catabolism of the muscles).

    5. Weight train 3 days a week, and perform cardiovascular workouts 3 days a week (such as running or using the eliptical machine). Weight training can enhance your metabolism by building valuable muscle, which can help raise your basal metabolic rate. Cardiovascular workouts are a must as they can help you burn more fat than you would otherwise.

    6. Come up with reasons (your own personal ones) that can keep you going during your weight loss phase. I realize that it can be difficult to keep focused, especially when you'd rather sleep in instead of getting up at 5:30 a.m. for that workout. However, you MUST have a burning desire to create a routine that will provide maximum enjoyment and benefits to your apperance and overall physical health. Try not to do this weight loss thing for anyone else but yourself. If you want to do it to impress the ladies, or impress a particular person in your life, you may be disappointed.

    And finally, focus on progress instead of perfection. While perfection can elude you, progress can become an excellent motivator to keep you going on days when you just don't feel like giving it your all. Look in the mirror and use calipers to gauge your progress. I wish I'd have followed this advice as I am currently a scale rat and it's really messing with my head. From now on I'll attempt to look in the mirror every morning to gauge progress and use calipers instead.

    Man, my posts on this stuff are starting to get rather long. Perhaps I should write a book with all the knowledge I've gained from researching bodybuilding!!
     
  18. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    I'll suggest ...
    ...staying off the scales. Useless feedback.
    ...tracking the composition of your body is the key.
    ...add weight training. Nothing else will be as effective maintaining the muscle you have now, or will add to it.
    ...the main reason for eliminating carbs is not 'cause it'll turn to fat, but rather, your activities will use it as fuel first. What you want to be doing is forcing fat to become the fuel.
    ...if you clean up your diet and reduce portion size, don't make the mistake of dropping below the levels to maintain the muscle you have and your activities. The way to do this is to eat more meals regularly spaced out.
    ...when you cut carbs, replace the calories with fat and protein calories. We get obese because we eat the wrong foods in too large a quantity, in too few meals. Calorie count is not far off what you'll still require, adjusted for increased activity, and gotten from better sources.
    ...NEVER skip breakfast. It's the best time to get the jump on getting in all the calories you need by day's end. Night time is not the time to jam in these missing calories.
    ...Do cardio for your cardiovascular system's health. If your diet is dialed in, you don't have any extra calories to give away. Jogging depletes the calories you hopefully put back into your muscles for tomorrow's workouts. Leave 'em there. Keep your cardio short and at intense levels.
    ...Of course everybody says walking or jogging works....I say that's because they haven't done a **** thing for ages, use scales as their measuring device, undereat, and burn muscle right along with fat. Of course that'll show up on the scales! But not for long.
    Show me someone who has followed this kind of regimen for any length of time, and I'll show you either a really skinny, sickly person, a quitter back on the couch, or someone who finally decided it was time to try something different before this way killed them.
     
  19. Chris_House

    Chris_House Agent

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    Cary, so you're saying jogging for 45 minutes every night isn't a good thing?
     
  20. Matt_Marlow

    Matt_Marlow Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you're going about it the right way as far as fat loss by jogging and walking. Remember that you also want to at least hang on to as much muscle as possible so that it doesn't slow down your metabolism so don't get in too big of a hurry. By far the most efficient way to gain/preserve muscle is through abbreviated training such as that written about in the book Beyond Brawn by Stuart McRobert. Most typical gym routines are utterly worthless for people of typical genetics. You only need to workout 2 days per week (at most 3). A typical routine would be:

    Monday--*squat (or trap/shrug bar deadlift)
    *bent legged deadlift or stiff-legged or romanian deadlift (using a straight bar)
    *calf raises
    *abdominal work

    Thursday--*dips OR bench press
    *chinups OR dumbell row
    *overhead press
    *ab work

    Your muscles grow when you're out of the gym. By having such an abbreviated routine you can make each workout count. When most people start weight training they ask more questions about what type of creatine to take than how to deadlift properly for example. If you can't deadlift at least 300 lbs for 10 reps and squat 250 for 10 reps you're completely missing the boat by worrying about supplements. It's better to concentrate on the 99% of things that actually make a difference: progressing on compound exercises, eating enough REAL food, and getting plenty of sleep. And too many people buy into the myth that you need to change your routine on a regular basis to keep your muscles growing, as well as they myth that you need several different exercises for each muscle group. Consider this: Joe buys into the myth that you need a variety of exercises to build your quads. So every 6 or 8 weeks he switches from the squat to the leg press. He also throws in some leg extensions and hack squats. After 3 years he still can't squat more than 200 pounds for 20 consecutive reps. Bill stays faithful to the squat for 3 years, and ignores the leg press, hack squats and leg extensions. After 3 years he can parallel squat 350 pounds for 20 consecutive reps. Who do you think has better quad (and overall) development? Simple, the man who is stronger!

    Really, this is kind of a powerlifting mentality. But if you just concentrate on slowly getting stronger, and do it for a few years, you're going to grow a lot. Once you can bench press 300 pounds (or dip with bodyweight + 100 lbs), chin with at least 50 lbs for 8 reps, squat 300 x 20 to parallel, and deadlift 400 for at least a few reps you're going to be more muscular than the typical guy who was more concerned about timing his "postworkout shake" correctly than how to keep adding pounds to his squat. I guarantee you're going to look a helluva lot better than the guy who did 20 sets just for his chest and triceps and tried to hit each muscle from different angles. By having a narrow focus and dedicating yourself to poundage progression, ignoring stuff that may at most make a tiny bit of difference (like supplements), and recovering fully before the next workout you'll be happy with the way you look. These ideas have been around for a long time, but they're way out of synch from what typically gets repeated in most gyms and on the internet. In the 1930s Ironman editor Peary Rader built himself up from 130 lbs to 200 lbs in just over one year doing this routine twice per week:
    *squat 1 x 20
    *chinups
    *overhead press

    http://www.hardgainer.com/sucks/
     

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