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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger:The Fitness & Health Thread



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0
 07.08.2013 6:35pm
Thread Creator

kirbenvost
Give Life Back To Music



I don't think we have a thread for this stuff so I figured I'd start one, let's post physical fitness/healthy diet related stuff here.


It's time for me to take another shot at this fitness thing. I'm getting fairly regular cardio exercise in the form of cycling home from work, it's about 40 minutes to an hour and maybe half of it is uphill. I'm sort of making an effort to eat healthy... whole grains when possible, vegetables with every meal, cereal that isn't 80% sugar most of the time. I also rarely drink soda. Still, I love me some burgers and donuts and beer, and have no plans to give up caffiene ever, so I can't exactly say I'm eating really healthy.

So anyway, right now I need to figure out a weight routine for getting fit and building muscle. Since I'm cycling I can probably ignore my legs for now but from the waist up I need some work.

Anyone know some good fitness resources online where I can figure out routines and techniques? I thought of looking on Youtube but ideally I'd like a website I can check wherever I am because I can't always use streaming media.




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0
 07.08.2013 6:43pm


Crisium
N/A



Food post:

I'd just like to take this time to point out that the Paleo Diet is a good guideline for a diet.  If you avoid the grains (yes, whole grains too) and eat mostly natural food with portion control, you'll be surprised how much energy you can get with little calories.  I probably only eat 70% Paleo (maybe more if I'm very disciplined that week), but even that much works wonders.  Low carb really is the the way to go, and Paleo is my favourite because you very nearly only get carbs from Fruit and Vegetables.  There's enough written about it for me not to preach, but keeping insulin levels down (from lack of carbs/suger) and nutritional foods up is pretty much the answer to weight problems.




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0
 07.08.2013 7:18pm
Thread Creator

kirbenvost
Give Life Back To Music



Glad it's working for you.  I'm a bit skeptical of all the fad diets that come along every couple years, but once I'm at a level where diet becomes more of concern I'll be looking into this stuff.

So I googled weightlifting routines, found this:  http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding/25_fitness_tip.html, which seems pretty basic, but it occurs to me that I don't even know what some of these lifts even are.  What's the difference between a wide-grip chinup and a regular one?  I mean, it seems self-explanatory but there has to be more to it than that and I don't want to just wing it and end up hurting myself. Wood chop?  Side chop?  Bulgarian twist? What are those?  I can imagine what they might look like but I can't picture what machine I'm using at the gym to do them or what my stance should be or how to approach things safely.

I think I need like a "Fitness for Dummies" resource or something where they explain everything in the most basic terms. 




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0
 07.08.2013 8:07pm
 (Edited on 07.08.2013 at 8:48pm)

maximus asinus
Registered Member

Crisium said:

Food post:

I'd just like to take this time to point out that the Paleo Diet is a good guideline for a diet. If you avoid the grains (yes, whole grains too) and eat mostly natural food with portion control, you'll be surprised how much energy you can get with little calories. I probably only eat 70% Paleo (maybe more if I'm very disciplined that week), but even that much works wonders. Low carb really is the the way to go, and Paleo is my favourite because you very nearly only get carbs from Fruit and Vegetables. There's enough written about it for me not to preach, but keeping insulin levels down (from lack of carbs/suger) and nutritional foods up is pretty much the answer to weight problems.
From what I understand, low calories wouldn't be ideal for someone trying to work out. His body will need more energy which is done through burning off calories. From what I understand and go by, I need to consume between 2000-2500 calories per day which my body burns to give me energy through the day and to help my muscles repair after a workout. Obviously there is a proper balance, too little will actually cause your body to burn off muscle for energy and too much will cause you to gain weight as unburned calories turn into fat.

kirbenvost said:

It's time for me to take another shot at this fitness thing. I'm getting fairly regular cardio exercise in the form of cycling home from work, it's about 40 minutes to an hour and maybe half of it is uphill. I'm sort of making an effort to eat healthy... whole grains when possible, vegetables with every meal, cereal that isn't 80% sugar most of the time. I also rarely drink soda. Still, I love me some burgers and donuts and beer, and have no plans to give up caffiene ever, so I can't exactly say I'm eating really healthy.

So anyway, right now I need to figure out a weight routine for getting fit and building muscle. Since I'm cycling I can probably ignore my legs for now but from the waist up I need some work.

Anyone know some good fitness resources online where I can figure out routines and techniques? I thought of looking on Youtube but ideally I'd like a website I can check wherever I am because I can't always use streaming media.
I built my routine by asking the trainers at the gym and then through a personal trainer. I also consulted a few sites, about.com and Youtube (which helps a lot if you're unsure on the proper grips and posture).

As for what you should be working on, I would recommend that you work your legs. You don't get much in terms of muscle mass from cycling. You don't want to come out of it with pencil legs.

As for food, you need to ensure you're eating properly and refueling after a workout as well as drinking plenty of water. Your body needs protein to repair muscle after you work out and the water helps deliver the protein to the muscle. You can cheat a bit if it is not a regular thing. I eat red meat still, I have a beer on a rare occasion. I drink two cups of coffee a day. I'd probably cut the donuts and soft drinks however.

If you want an idea of what I eat during a day it goes sort of like this:

Cherios, a banana or apple, water and a coffee in the morning (if I have time I will make eggs instead)
Carrots, brocolli, tomatos, celery, and water at around midday
Tuna sandwiches, more of the same vegetables, coffee and water for lunch
Salmon, tuna, or chicken, assorted veggies, and chocolate milk for supper

I go to gym after work and immediately after I am done I have a banana and protein shake.

throw in a bottle of water here and there until I get about 8 to 10 bottles in.

Note that I do not have a lot of fruit, or fruit juices. They have a lot of natural sugars in them.
Also note that I eat a lot more in between 9-2. That is because your body works its hardest during that time.
At supper I load on protein to help my body repair itself after I work out.
I have a protein shake (with water) after a workout because this is the fastest way to deliver the protein to your muscles. Obviously the faster it gets there the quicker it works. The banana helps my body to absorb the protein more effectively.




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0
 07.09.2013 2:10am
 (Edited on 07.09.2013 at 2:32am)

Mavilu
Boo!



I usually go to livestrong.com for general information, here you can do simple searches such as "exercises for upper back" or exercises for sides of stomach", from there, once you have an idea of what exercises work for what, names of muscles, muscle groups, mechanics, etc., you can go to youtube and search by exercise/function to get an idea of proper form.

Whatever you do, a few general guidelines: When performing a weight-lifting exercise, never "lock" your joints, for example, if you are going to do biceps curls, once you lower the arm at the end of the exercise, don't make your elbow go super-straight, always keep any joint soft, a bit bent.

When you do knee bending exercises, make sure your that at the end of the flexion you can still see your toes beyond your flexed knees and don't flare your legs outward, keep them in line

Don't hunch your shoulders at any time nor do hold your breath, even if you are lifting a big weight

Don't use momentum to lift anything, if you need to do so, you are lifting weights that are too heavy for you

Keep your back straight, but not overly so, check your posture but don't force it

One that I learned from personal experience: effort and perseverance are good, but if an exercise is giving you pain, do not think that it will make you stronger or that you are tough enough to take it, stop, investigate why it hurts and take the appropiate actions to mend the situation, as my doctor put it " is better to take precautions and have to rest from exercising a day or two than tough it up and end up in rehab for a month or two".

Now, there are two reasons to lift weights: strength and build, they are created in different ways and serve diferent purposes, a super buff guy isn't neccesarily the strongest and viceversa, so you'll have to figure if you want one or the other or a bit of both. For build, is generally accepted that you use high weight and low repetitions, for strength, lower weight and high repetition, if you want both, you vary your routine and do both styles.

And how do you know what weights should you use? for one thing, remember that different muscle groups can lift different loads, just because you can bench press 50 pound weights, it doesn't mean that you can do dead lifts with the same weight, with that in mind, pick weights that you figure you could lift a few times and try 8 to 12 repetitions, if by the end of your repeptitions, your working muscle is not responding anymore, then you have a good weight to start, if you can do the repetitions easily, you need more weight, if you can even complete 4 or 5, you need less weight

Keep in mind that we are structurally complex and we need balance, all muscles are in one of two categories, they either pull or push, say, bicepts are pull muscles because they help you pull your torso towards something (let's say a column), your triceps are push muscles because they help you push your torso away from something, they need to be balanced and worked equally, because if they aren't, the weaker one is bound to get injured, so, while it might be more interesting to develop washboard abs than to work your lower back, by ignoring your lower back, you are setting yourself to a life of lower back pain, I cannot express how important this is, work everything equally and don't ignore muscle groups.

If I remember anything else, I'll let you know :)




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0
 07.09.2013 4:41am


Crisium
N/A



maximus asinus said:

From what I understand, low calories wouldn't be ideal for someone trying to work out. His body will need more energy which is done through burning off calories. From what I understand and go by, I need to consume between 2000-2500 calories per day which my body burns to give me energy through the day and to help my muscles repair after a workout. Obviously there is a proper balance, too little will actually cause your body to burn off muscle for energy and too much will cause you to gain weight as unburned calories turn into fat.

I agree.  When I am capable of estimating my calories fairly accurately, which isn't too often, I try to stay within 400 calories either way of what I need based on calculators.  It's a Diet less about cutting calories and more about cutting fake carbs.  If they didn't eat in in the Ice Age, don't eat it now!  Meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs only.  I regularliy cheat with Milk, Cheese, and Protein Powder, plus meals with friends and associates at restaurants which I don't bother with Paleo.  Like I said, I target maybe 70% Paleo and just getting processed and empty calories down to a fraction of your food consumption does wonders.

Heck, you already eat more than 70% Paleo based on what you listed.  A little cereal and bread?  The rest is Paleo and Milk / Protein Powder which I think should always be part of a diet regardless.

I recommend the documentary Fat Head to anyone:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/196879

It's not about Paleo, but the message he sends is very similar.  Low carb and low glycemic index (which tend to be in Vegetables and Fruits) combined with high protein and fairly high fat = weight loss at a level that exceeds calculated "calories in / calories out".  It's actually more than a counter-film to Super Size Me, which is might seem like at first, and more a look into the nonsense put out in the latter 20th century about hating on natural fat and praising grains as the second coming.  A very worthy watch for what to eat.




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0
 07.09.2013 2:06pm


Atma Weapon
I Am Pure Energy

This is a gaming thread. None of us work out, amirite?




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0
 07.09.2013 7:02pm
Thread Creator

kirbenvost
Give Life Back To Music



Lol, seems there are more health nuts here than you would expect. :D

Thanks for all the tips guys, Mavs that is especially helpful.  I gather you were where I am at one point, just wondering what to do, and it's great to hear it from a similar perspective. :)  I know balance is important for sure.  I'm not looking to be huge, I just want to be healthy and look a little more muscular.  I just have to figure out the specific exercises.  I'm pretty bad at crunches so I want to figure out an alternative that will work my abs as well as my back.  The gym in our building also doesn't have any spot for chin-ups, but we have a couple versatile machines and free weights so there is a lot I can do.

maximus asinus said:

I built my routine by asking the trainers at the gym and then through a personal trainer. I also consulted a few sites, about.com and Youtube (which helps a lot if you're unsure on the proper grips and posture).

As for what you should be working on, I would recommend that you work your legs. You don't get much in terms of muscle mass from cycling. You don't want to come out of it with pencil legs.

I unfortunately don't have the funds for a gym membership so I'm going to have to do this on my own, but I will definitely be taking a look on Youtube to learn as much as I can.

As for the legs, I should mention that my legs are already significantly bulkier than my arms, probably because of my history of cycling and hiking.  I don't drive at all, so everywhere I go it's by leg power.  Or bus when I'm in a rush, of course.  But that said, once I'm in a place of overall better fitness and my arms have caught up a bit, I'll likely work in a leg routine as well.  But for now I want to focus on upper body and midsection.

maximus asinus said:

As for food, you need to ensure you're eating properly and refueling after a workout as well as drinking plenty of water. Your body needs protein to repair muscle after you work out and the water helps deliver the protein to the muscle. You can cheat a bit if it is not a regular thing. I eat red meat still, I have a beer on a rare occasion. I drink two cups of coffee a day. I'd probably cut the donuts and soft drinks however.

If you want an idea of what I eat during a day it goes sort of like this:

Cherios, a banana or apple, water and a coffee in the morning (if I have time I will make eggs instead)
Carrots, brocolli, tomatos, celery, and water at around midday
Tuna sandwiches, more of the same vegetables, coffee and water for lunch
Salmon, tuna, or chicken, assorted veggies, and chocolate milk for supper

I go to gym after work and immediately after I am done I have a banana and protein shake.

throw in a bottle of water here and there until I get about 8 to 10 bottles in.

Note that I do not have a lot of fruit, or fruit juices. They have a lot of natural sugars in them.
Also note that I eat a lot more in between 9-2. That is because your body works its hardest during that time.
At supper I load on protein to help my body repair itself after I work out.
I have a protein shake (with water) after a workout because this is the fastest way to deliver the protein to your muscles. Obviously the faster it gets there the quicker it works. The banana helps my body to absorb the protein more effectively.

I probably do need to increase my water intake although I'm drinking about 3-4 litres a day now.  A glass in the morning, 1-2 fills of my bottle during the day and then another during my ride and probably another during and after the workout.   A huge problem though is that I'm not finding enough time for breakfast or lunch.  I know it's very important to have regular meals but I've had a tight schedule and I work in the middle of nowhere with no access to food other than vending machines for lunch, which I avoid.  I'm just going to have to start getting up earlier to allow time for some cereal and to pack a lunch.  Now that I'm actually used to waking up at 6:30, another half hour earlier shouldn't be a problem.

I was reading about the necessity of refueling after a workout.  Yesterday I just had some toast which is not ideal but it's what I had on hand, plus I was hungry from no breakfast or lunch.  I'm thinking after the next one (I'm busy today), I'll have some peanut butter which is probably a better alternative.  Ideally something like unsalted nuts would be good I think, not sure if I'll get into protein shakes just yet.

Donuts are a vice I'm not sure I want to quit entirely but I have been cutting back.  As for soda I only have one maybe every 2 weeks or perhaps even more seldom, usually only at a restaurant.  I never was one for drinking a lot of soda because we always had juice or just water growing up so it's a bad habit I never started.

But yeah, great tips guys, thanks for all the help so far.  I'm only 1 day in so I'll see how it goes, but I'm sure I can do this. :)




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0
 07.09.2013 9:39pm


Colinp42
Registered Member

Woo hoo!

I can only usually motivate myself when I have an audition I'm interested in.  Which I do have coming up in a month and a half, so I'm starting in on diet and regular exercise again.  Although my cheap-o gym does skimp on the air conditioning, so it's rough to work out for a decent amount of time right now.  Just had a very healthy shopping trip a couple days ago.  For snacks I tried to buy mostly just veggies (carrots, peppers, green beans) that I can either eat on their own or with hummus, which I am becoming addicted to.  I do think I'm going to try having a cheat day, which I've never done before.  Joel McHale was praising the virtues of a cheat day on a podcast, and look at him!  The theory is then you can have less of a caloric intake than you probably should for the rest of the week, then your cheat day keeps your body from hoarding calories because it doesn't think you're under-nourishing.

Sure, this isn't a good life choice, but works for short-term loss!  I am doing some lifting, but really I don't want to get any bigger for this part, just slim down (I'm on the older side for it, and the slimmer my face is the younger I look).








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0
 07.10.2013 1:07am


maximus asinus
Registered Member

I find a cheat day helps quite a bit to keep you honest in the long run. In the beginning I was in the mindset of eating 100% healthy all the time with no breaks. It actually unmotivated me and I would break routine to cheat. If you're a health nut like me you will understand how detrimental it is when you break routine. Now I tell myself that is okay but don't do it all the time and I am fine.




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0
 07.10.2013 4:27am


SuperSquall
Shortening His Posts



Well I'm not sure how much you are like me but I find exercising in a gym to be very boring, and I also damaged both of my elbow joints due to some excessive workout habits when I was a teenager.  What has worked for me:

1.) Sign up for a rec sports league in a couple different sports.  At two nights a week you will get structured regular exercise.  For anaerobic I would recommend indoor soccer, ultimate frisbee, or hockey.  If aerobic is your thing then go soccer, or even volleyball.  There is also more accountability for your exercise when you play on a team.  Rock climbing may also be a fantastic option for you based on what you mentioned you want to work on.  It will give you a strong core and a very toned muscles which may not look huge but they will *be* strong and you will still be flexible.  I think it's hilarious when guys bulk up and then can't even grab the hands together behind their back, much less control their own arms quickly.

2.) Cardio > Muscles.  Bulking up too much is also a huge pain in the ass in sports as all those bicep muscles are generally useless, don't extend your life as much as a strong heart, and they will give you a shitty first-step in any sport where agility matters.  Biceps look nice but a strong core is way more useful (it will actually help you *be* stronger than other humans far more than glamour muscles) and a strong heart is the best.

3.) For diet, I recently heard of the concept of simply only eating food produced by humans.  If a machine made it, don't eat it.  This lets you cheat a bit, and it tends to control the food groups in an effective way because most of the machine produced food tends to be the stuff you shouldn't have too much of.  I also roll my eyes at all of those carb reduction diets - maybe they are good for people who don't work out too much but if you want to maintain any degree of athletic performance you *need* carbs.  If you want practical body strength and fitness a diet like that won't do it.

4.) If you do want to bulk up you probably don't need to increase your protein intake.  If you consume meat once a day on average that is more than enough.  Loading up on protein shakes and other weird shit that has a powdered crystals as a key component is only going to waste your money and fill your body up with preservatives (which may or may not harm you, but most certainly won't help).




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0
 07.10.2013 7:47am


Dr Squirrel
medicine woman



I hit my -60 pounds mark since the beginning of 2012, and 40 of that has been since November.

I would say the number one most helpful thing I did was getting on steady medication for my depression / anxiety.  It was right around November that I did that and it's no coincidence that was when I was able to seriously put out consistent and successful efforts to lose weight.

If you're trying to lose weight and you can't seem to stick with it, consider getting yourself evaluated by a therapist, especially if your desire to lose weight is motivated by poor body image.  Motivation is pyschological, and if you have issues gumming up the works, it will make losing weight even harder.



trust me, i'm a doctor




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0
 07.10.2013 7:05pm
Thread Creator

kirbenvost
Give Life Back To Music



^ I think I'm okay in that regard. It's more outside pressure to work out, if you know what I mean. :D I do have trouble with wanting to work out, mainly because I hate the gym. But I hope once I start actually seeing results I'll be more into it. I'm already feeling better about getting regular exercise, it does improve my moods a lot.

I might consider joining a club or something, but I'm not into most organized sports. Frisbee seems the most fun of those. I also recently had a great experience and intense workout at one of those trampoline ...establishments, or whatever you'd call them. I do enjoy hiking as well but that's not exactly an entire body workout. Volleyball doesn't seem too bad, actually. I think it's just the overly-competitive/macho sports I have a problem with. I'd rather do something because it's fun, not because I'm trying to win or show up some other dude. That's why I'd much rather go ride my bike up and down hills for an hour than half in the gym. Hell, mountain biking would be awesome too, but in some ways that's not terribly different from street cycling, and there's huge potential for injury and high equipment costs. Rock climbing seems potentially fun but I'm kind of afraid of heights. :D Yeah, these are all great ideas to think about.

I'm definitely not trying to be huge or anything, I just want to look good with a shirt off and have my girlfriend be proud to be seen with me with my shirt off. XD I think that will come with a general level of health and fitness, so I'm not too worried about how I'll get there as long as I have some discipline and stick to a plan.




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0
 07.10.2013 9:27pm
 (Edited on 07.10.2013 at 9:54pm)

maximus asinus
Registered Member

@SuperSquall:

I find it sort of ironic that you are advocating organized sports over gym because of risk of injury. From my experience, if you're practicing proper form and general safety you're less likely to get hurt at the gym than during a competitive sport. Ignoring "freak" accidents like breaking bones, I would say you would have a more likely chance of tearing, pulling, or hyper extending doing something high intensity that you don't have complete control over. But this is me speaking from personal experience, so maybe I'm wrong on this one.

* this is not to say anything against organized sports, I play in a hockey league every winter. It helps work muscles that aren't targeted while at the gym and it is great for cardio. Plus it has a fun factor and a social factor which is why I play in the first place.

Also from my research, protein is essential for muscle building. From personal experience I can tell you it is important. Protein powder might not be ideal for him, but I can tell you I put on about 5-8 lbs of additional muscle after I started using it. One serving of meat (20g of protein on average) will not cut it.

@kirbenvost:

I am a generally modest guy but it is a great feeling being able to take your shirt off in public with that certain type of confidence.

As for the gym, I feel like the beginning everyone hates it because you don't know what you're doing and you're surrounded by people who have more experience than you. But when you bounce around there for a few weeks or a month you begin to feel more comfortable and it seems like less of a drag.

Always bring your own music though, it is a generally universal rule that all gym music sucks.




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0
 07.10.2013 11:22pm


Mavilu
Boo!



I don't go to the gym, I have everything I need right in this very room I am at the moment; it took a few years, but now I have weights in a few different sizes, as well as ankle weights, exercise mats, exercise balls, a stationary bike, my husband's ski machine, etc.

I tried going to the gym, but I prefer knowing that no one else has sweated over the equipment I'm using, besides, the mere idea of having to *go* to the gym is enough to make me want to slump in an easy chair instead, but if I have what I need at home, all I need is to change into confortable clothes in order to get a workout.




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