I have seen those "ab crunch" machines on TV, do they work?
They move up and down, if that
is what you mean. Do they get rid of body fat? Hardly at all. Do
they make your stomach muscles stronger? Only if you get your muscles exhausted
while using them. Do they give you that "ripped" look to your stomach?
if you have low enough body fat and underdeveloped enough muscle so that
when and if you get your stomach muscles exhausted they get stronger and
possibly grow and let you see the "6 pack" we all seem to want.
2. I can't seem to get inspired
to work out. Got any tips?
Well, this answer is as varied
as the people asking it. But a few points can be made. First
of all, how many bodies do you have to take care of? ONLY ONE.
And you carry it with you everywhere you go.
Check out the THEORY OF PRIMARY RESIDENCE on the
composition page. It follows the brief description of "body composition",
which would be good to read to get inspired. Also, depending on your spiritual
beliefs, some consider the body to be a temple. TEMPLES ARE NOT MEANT
FOR DESTRUCTION. And last, but not least, there is NEVER a good
reason to have bad health.
3. I saw your picture on your
web site. It's easy for YOU to talk about the benefits of working out and
good health, but how can you relate to me and my struggles?
Thanks for the question. This is
the EASIEST for me to answer. I
WAS YOU. I used to weigh 228 pounds, was about 23% body fat and my favorite
things in the world were eating and sleeping.
I used to watch TV all day long and could tell you what was on channel
13 from 8 in the morning until 10 at night. I now weigh 195 and am about
7% body fat. At age 43 I have blood panels of a 21 year old. My HDL and
LDL cholesterol ratio is that of someone at birth. HEALTH WORKS!
I am a living example of how it can accomplish almost anything. The
only things most people are victims of are ignorance (to ignore - as in
the benefits of health) and laziness. I WAS IGNORANT AND LAZY. I
AM TRYING NOT TO BE NOW.
4. Do you think diet pills work?
At what? Making you healthier?
Barely (only if you lower your excess body fat). Helping
you lose fat? Maybe (but there are healthier and more permanent ways to
do that). Making your body stronger? NO (working
out can do this). Speeding up your metabolism in a healthy way? NO (exercise
can do this). Teaching you that food carries nutrients? NO (common sense
tells you this). Giving you a "quick fix" to a better and healthier lifestyle?
5. Should I try to sweat by wearing
plastic or rubber clothing to lose weight?
If you lose water by making yourself
sweat, you will lose weight. But you probably want to lose body fat, right?
Let's take a closer look at what makes up your muscle and your fat. Your
muscle is about 72% water and your fat is about 13% water. If you lose
body water, guess what you lose, MUSCLE OR FAT? Logic will answer this
one for you. FAT IS STORED ENERGY, NOT water.
Muscle is water. Do you want to lose muscle, the major contributor to your
metabolism's ability to use up your excess fat? Didn't think so.
6. What about going into the
sauna, will that help me lose fat?
WOW, you just won't leave it alone,
will you? Your metabolism might speed up if you are in a hot environment,
thus using up some of your stored energy. But
the amount of stored energy (fat) you can use up in the sauna compared
to the amount you can use up with exercise is minimal at best. But
you want to sit on your butt to lose fat, don't you? SORRY, life just ain't
7. I see people wearing those
rubber belts around their waists, do they help you lose the fat on your
I think your gut feeling answers
this for you. Let's break it down. Heat might
be created in the area, but we already learned you can NOT spot reduce
an area. So if your body uses up the fat in
your legs more than the fat in your stomach, then these belts would only
be good for the extra heat they create. But the amount of stored energy
(fat) that this heat will use up compared to the amount that exercise can
eat up is minimal at best, just like in the sauna. So, to give you the
"skinny" on these belts, "do they help"? Possibly, but not to a very high
degree. Lo and behold, exercise is still the winner here.
8. What about the steam room
or the jacuzzi for fat loss? Are these in the same category as the sauna
and plastic/rubber wear?
I see someone is reading and thinking
about my answers.
9. Is it better to lift weights
in a smooth and controlled manner or quickly?
This is a question where both scenarios
might prove beneficial. Research has shown there to be slow-twitch and
fast-twitch muscle fibers, some European countries even doing muscle biopsies
to find out the content of certain athletes in order to direct them to
certain sports. So each speed would prove
helpful. But the quicker lifting might be dangerous to your joints, tendons,
ligaments and muscles if you are not warmed up.
So lift at various speeds, but be careful when you use fast speeds.
10. Should I stretch before or
after a workout?
It matters what you are trying
to accomplish. To warm up, before might help. But using smooth and fluid
movements at the beginning of your workout can do this too. To increase
your flexibility make sure your body is warmed up. Stretching
for flexibility, where you truly get to a point of tautness and stay there
awhile, is better done later in the day when your body has been "up and
around". You will find yourself to be more
flexible when you have been up for awhile and your cells have had a chance
to be loosened up.
11. Which one is better, yoga
class or my own stretching?
This depends on your knowledge
of stretching and what you are trying to accomplish. It also depends on
the teaching ability of your yoga teacher. If you are trying to "quiet"
your mind, I find quieting my mind to be most beneficial. If this is hard
for you, then take a yoga class if it helps you. If you are trying to get
more flexible, anything that gets you to a state of tautness in your muscle
and soft tissue areas and lets you stay there awhile can help your flexibility.
one of these has possible benefits for you, depending on your goals.
12. How many sets should I do
to get the most out of my weight training?
What exhaustion percentage do you
go to when you do a set? (Oops, I answered a question with a question,
a supposed no-no). Most people I see don't get full exhaustion when they
do a set. They just decide to stop. There should be no decision as to when
to stop. Exhaustion of the intended area is the decision maker, not you.
Want more results? Get more exhaustion. But also couple it with plenty
of rest and proper nutrition. How many sets?
As many as it takes for you to get fully exhausted.
13. If I hear you correctly,
different people would do different amounts of sets to get optimal results.
Is this true?
If you truly "hear" me, you have
sensory capabilities far beyond the normal human being, for this is only
the written word. But to answer your question, "YES",
since humans have, at the very least, slightly different bodies and different
genetics and different nutrition practices and different attitudes and
different desire levels and different recovery rates and different metabolisms
and different work ethics, etc. A big farce
is a trainer who can supposedly tell you what kind and level of work will
produce what kind of results. It is best to start on a program and see
what happens and then adjust it accordingly.
14. What pulse rate should I
be at when doing aerobic exercise?
Generally speaking, (220 - your
age) times 60% to 80% is your THR (training heart rate).
For a 23 year old this would be (220 - 23) times 60% to 80%, WHICH IS (197)
x 60-80%, WHICH IS about 118 to 158 beats per minute. Your current
level of health combined with any past health problems and anything else
your doctor wants to throw in might alter this pulse rate. So check with
your personal doctor to see what level is a safe level to operate at.
15. Is it important to know what
heart rate I am at during aerobic exercise?
Oh, I don't know, is it important
to know if you are truly aerobic when you are claiming to be aerobic? (Oops,
another question answer to a question!). YOU
BETCHA. You can not tell the effort of your
heart, only of your muscles. This is one of the GOLDEN KEYS of aerobic
exercise. Based on your personal biomechanical efficiencies and deficiencies,
there are certain movements that will generate aerobic levels of pulse
rates without taking up too much energy. With these exercises, you will
be able to "last" longer and use up more fat than with other, harder exercises.
And since your musculature won't wear out with these exercises, you will
be able to perform your "aerobics" more frequently, thus burning off even
more fat. WAS THIS ANSWER A LITTLE TOO TECHNICAL? (WOW, I started and finished
an answer with a question, I'm in trouble now).
16. I have heard that I should
breathe out when I lift a weight and in when I lower it back down. Is this
If you don't want to get into too
much detail, it is. But if you want to take
it a step further, no, it is not. Your breathing
is part of your aerobic system. When you weight lift you are supposed to
be accessing anaerobic benefits for your muscles. Therefore, your breathing
is NOT part of your weight training program, it is part of your AEROBIC
system. For instance, when you weight train your biceps muscles, the rest
of your body is still aerobic. Only your biceps are taken to an anaerobic
state, where air is not used. But you are breathing for the rest of your
body, which is still in an aerobic state, granted, perhaps not a high enough
level to get aerobic benefits, but nevertheless, aerobic. BUT YOU DO NOT
WANT TO LIMIT YOUR AIR FLOW. This is why you have heard to breathe out
while lifting the weight and breathe in while lowering it. But since your
breathing is NOT for your lift, you should breathe IN and OUT regardless
of where the weight is, breathing both in and out while lifting the weight
and in and out while lowering it back down. And breathe deeper breaths
in and out as you approach muscle exhaustion to counteract the "normal
human tendency" to limit breathing while exerting effort. Just be careful
NOT to hyperventilate while taking in larger amounts of air. Passing out
while weight training could prove to be dangerous!
I will put up MORE Q&A's
as I get them. See ya. And remember........YOU ONLY HAVE ONE BODY TO TAKE
CARE OF. TAKE CARE OF IT AND IT TAKES CARE OF YOU.