Brookhaven

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About Brookhaven

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  1. First off, congrats on the training. Far be it from to critisize advice you are getting from a personal trainer. If you feel confident in the guy go with his advice. However.... Some of the general rules I learned about building muscle: 1. You build muscle most effectivly by working the muscle to exhaustion (the point at which you can no longer do one more rep, which is what I assume you mean by hard) using heavy weights. High reps using light weights is not a good way to build muscle. 2. When you work a muscle hard enough to make it grow, you need to give it about 48 hours to recover and build itself up. The light days really aren't doing you any good. From a practical standpoint, you are doing 3 days on, and 4 days off, and you aren't giving your muscles enough time to recover and grow after the first two hard days. Not knowing what you are trying to accomplish, I can only guess at your goals. Going 6 days a week, I would recommend an alternating schedule for the muscle building and cardio. M-W-F do muscle building. Heavy weights. Low reps. Work each exercise to muscle exhaustion. Work your entire body. DO SQUATS!!!!! T-T-S do cardio. My guess is the light cardio you are doing is, light the light weightlifting, t0o light to actually be doing you any good. Dedicating an entire session to your cardio will allow you to actually do enough cardio to do you some good. You'll also find that there are some cardio exercises that are actually a lot of fun (if you can find a Concept-II rowing machine, give it a shot, it is the closest to the real thing you can find.) You won't bulk up enough to enter a body building contest on this schedule, nor get good enough at whatever cardio activity you choose (running, cycling, rowing, etc...) to be competitive at it, but you will end up with a balanced body (both from a muscle and cardio stand point.) Working to exhaustion isn't very smart. First of all, working until exhaustion doesn't put much planning into it. He needs to set goals that he can accomplish instead of not even knowing how many reps he needs to do which subtely makes a negative attitude. Secondly, working out to exhaustion is too exhausting- it takes away from your next workout and you run the risk of injury. My source? Getting Stronger by Bill Pearl. If you want more info from this book, just tell me so. I'll be happy to post a few workouts you could do. Working to exhaustion does NOT mean working till you pass out from exhaustion. It means working the muscle you are trying to train fully. Working it until you can't do another full rep. Not knowing how many reps? The number of reps it takes to reach musche muscle exahustion doesn't change that much from session to session. You'll see a GRADUAL increase over time, but that is to be expected as you build muscle. Too exhausting? Hight intensisty training--HIT (or nautalus style as it was known in my youth) is SINIFICANTLY less exhausting on the body as a whole than traditional wieght training methods. Why? HIT sessions are intense, but SHORT. Which is less exhausting, six hour traditional weight training session or two hour HIT session? Takes away from your next workout? HIT requires that you rest a full day between your workouts. By the time your next session comes your muscles are fully rested and redy to go again. Traditional weight training has you in the gym for long hours day in and day out. Not rest days between sessions. Your body never has time to fully recover. How can you be ready for your next workout if you haven't recoverd from you last one? Increased risk of injury? HIT requires slow, deliberate motions, not the jerky overpaced (and more dangerous) ones you often see in traditional weight lifting. Besides, the risk of injury is there for any weight lifting style. That's why it is important you use the proper safety equipment and spotters no matter what type of lifting you are doing. In my youth (early '70s), Natutilus training was just comming in. There was a flurry of sudden interest in their machines, because people were acheiving results in 3-4 months that usually took people a year to acheive with regular weight training. At first people were saying it must be the machines. Turned out it was the training methods they were telling people to use with their machines that was responsible (and it worked just as well with free weights as it did with machines.) What in the early '70s was called the Nautilus training method is now called high intensity training. I can't say I've read the book you mention. I have read a lot of bodybuilding books over the years, and I know they often give contridictory lessons. I do know from the past what works. HIT works, works better than traditional, pre-70s weight training methods (which is what most "modern" weight training books teach), and takes a fraction of the time.
  2. First off, congrats on the training. Far be it from to critisize advice you are getting from a personal trainer. If you feel confident in the guy go with his advice. However.... Some of the general rules I learned about building muscle: 1. You build muscle most effectivly by working the muscle to exhaustion (the point at which you can no longer do one more rep, which is what I assume you mean by hard) using heavy weights. High reps using light weights is not a good way to build muscle. 2. When you work a muscle hard enough to make it grow, you need to give it about 48 hours to recover and build itself up. The light days really aren't doing you any good. From a practical standpoint, you are doing 3 days on, and 4 days off, and you aren't giving your muscles enough time to recover and grow after the first two hard days. Not knowing what you are trying to accomplish, I can only guess at your goals. Going 6 days a week, I would recommend an alternating schedule for the muscle building and cardio. M-W-F do muscle building. Heavy weights. Low reps. Work each exercise to muscle exhaustion. Work your entire body. DO SQUATS!!!!! T-T-S do cardio. My guess is the light cardio you are doing is, light the light weightlifting, t0o light to actually be doing you any good. Dedicating an entire session to your cardio will allow you to actually do enough cardio to do you some good. You'll also find that there are some cardio exercises that are actually a lot of fun (if you can find a Concept-II rowing machine, give it a shot, it is the closest to the real thing you can find.) You won't bulk up enough to enter a body building contest on this schedule, nor get good enough at whatever cardio activity you choose (running, cycling, rowing, etc...) to be competitive at it, but you will end up with a balanced body (both from a muscle and cardio stand point.)
  3. I gave up soft drinks at new years, and other than once in Feb. when my wife slipped me a coke, I've been good. Still didn't give up tea or coffee, but since I drink those unsweetened/black I'm not as worried about it. I've noticed I drink more water just because I have fewer choices. Beer still calls my name from time to time though. :hehe:
  4. Have you looked at taking a set of gym exercise rings with you? They can be used anywhere you can find a place to hang them (which can be something as simple as a tree limb.) http://www.ringtraining.com/ I got a set of these because I didn't have anything to do pull-ups and dips on. Turns out there are a lot of different exercises you can do with them (all upper body though.) It is a lot harder than it looks. Simple things like push-ups are tough, because you are have to use all kinds of muscles you don't normally use in the movement to keep your balance.
  5. Sorry to be a day late. The best way to persuade your dad to spend the money on a membership is to persuade him you are serious. Use what you have. It is better than nothing. 1. Keep a log book of your exercise sessions (this is a great idea just for yourself anyway.) A month from now, you can show your dad concrete proof that he won't be wasting his money to purchase the Y membership. 2. The right tool should be used for the right purpose. A $15 pair of basketball shoes from Wal-Mart is fine for people that want to play an occasional pick up game of basketball, but I'm guessing your dad bought you a much better quality pair of shoes to play competitive basketball in. The same analogy applies to your weightlifting. A home/all in one bench is fine for people who want to tone up a few muscles, but a competitive athlete needs a different level of equipment. Do not, under any circumstances belittle or put down the home bench. Your dad spent money on it, the last thing he wants to hear is he wasted his money. 3. Does the Y have a trainer of someone on staff who can give you advice (most do)? If so, you can remind your dad that you aren't just getting access to the gym, you are getting access to professional advice. One lesson I've learned, whether it is health, finances, business, career, or you name it, getting professional advice always pays for itself. The advice in itself can be the difference between you reaching your goals and being frustrated because you don't understand why you work so hard but don't reach your goals. 4. Point our some of the other activities you can get involved in at the Y. I became a pretty good racketball player in years past when I belonged to the (now gone) Buckhead Y.
  6. Having been involved in weightlifting for sports in my younger days (wrestling), here are my experiences for what works and doesn't work if your goal is to build strength. Low reps. If you are doing a set of 12 reps or higher, you are building endurance, not strength. Ideally, you should achieve failure (when you get stuck right in the middle of the movement because your muscles are exhausted) on rep #8. When you find you can do 9 reps (get stuck on 10), move to a heavier weight. Don't do sets, strip your weights. The typical weightlifting advice is something like "get a 50 pound barbell and do three sets of 50 (3x8-50). So you do one set of 8. Rest. The 2nd set of 8. Rest. The third set of 8. All with the same weight. Stripping weights builds muscle (and strength) faster. We'll use the bench press for an example. Start with a weight you max out on at 8 reps (let's say 100 pounds). When you max out, IMMEDIATLY remove 10 pounds of weight from the bar and IMMEDIATLY continue to exercise. Ideally, you should max out on rep #8 with the lower weight. Strip 10 more pounds off the bar and continue the exercise cycle. Repeat the cycle as many times as you want (3 or 4 is a practical number). The key is to not rest between "sets". You are trying to work you muscles to the max. Don't do multiple sets of "stripping sets" (described above) in one session. One stripping set will exhaust your muscles to the extent they need to grow. Excersice slow. Use 2-3 seconds to raise the weight, and 2-3 seconds to lower the weight (going down is just as important as going up.) The faster your movements, the slower your muscle gain. Do negative reps. When you get the to point you are maxed out on a weight (get stuck in the middle of the 8th rep) have a spotter help raise the weight and just do the lowering part of the movement on your own (S L O W L Y - 3 seconds). Add a set of 8 negative reps onto the end of your stripping set (HUGE MUSCLE GAINS.) Use compound exersices. Bodybuilders use isolation exercises to pinpoint a specific muscle that they feel is lagging, but as an athlete (with limited time) you should concentrate on compound exercies (which will allow your muscles to grow together.) The bench press works your chest, front shoulders, and triceps (back of arms.) Bench flys isolate your chest, doing little to work your front shoulders (and nothing for your triceps.) Learn what exercises work what muscles. Get a book that shows which muscles which exercises work (not in words, but in pictures.) Do squats. I don't care if you want to concentrate on your upper body, do squats. It has been proven that weightlifting has a systemic effect. When you exercise a single muscle, your body releases a hormone that causes ALL the muscles in your body to grow some (even if you didn't exercise them at all.) The larger the muscle exercised, the more of the hormone is released. What single exercise works the largest muscles in your body (and thus causes the greatest systemic effect/most hormone release? Squats. Best compound exercises (imho): squats, deadlift, dips (the kind you lean forward so you work your chest, if you do them with you body vertical you will mostly work your triceps), pull-ups (lat pull down if you can't do a weighted pull up), rows, military press. Don't forget your back and stomach. Too many people ignore their back (after all, you can't see it.) The real test of how strong you are isn't how much you can bench (your chest), it is how much you can lift off the ground (which requires a strong back.) Machines are bettter than nothing. Barbells are better than machines. Dumbbells are better than barbells. Why? Barbells bring more muscles into play and allow a more natural/greater range of movement than machines. Dumbbells bring more muscles into play and allow a more natrual/greater range of movement than barbells. Ask someone bragging about how much they can bench to show you their max dumbbell bench press. It will probably be 75% of what they bench with a barbell, and if they have done their training on a machine it could be as little ast 50%.