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About Fadi65

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  • Birthday 08/11/1965

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  1. Thanks for your input mate, for on the one hand, I am not infallible...,whilst on the other, silence is golden!
  2. Are you 100% sure it's bloating and not visceral fat? If you tuck your stomach in and flex your midsection, can you see some abdominal muscles or not? If it's visceral fat what you have, then a diet (or a closer look at calories) or a digestive enzyme is not what your first target ought to be, but rather your first stop ought to be the lowering of your cortisol hormone, or at least if not the lowering of it, the control and management of it. Again, if (say) visceral fat is not the issue here, do you know if you have some sort of hernia near your stomach area? I'm looking outside the box in order for you to examine and/or cover all grounds Sir. Fadi.
  3. I said what I had to say here on the subject: Overtraining or under-recovering?! Your body is a supreme survival machine. You and I may have one hundred different ideas of "smashing" it in the gym, but ultimately your body does what it does best, and that is, it never loses sight of who's number one: it! To get into a state of overtraining is something that has to be planned, and the way to reach a state of overtraining, would first require one to go through a state of non-functional overreaching. That Sir, is not something you and I can do by ourselves, as we'd need external "help" to achieve such a state. Overtraining, or the state of overtraining, is never a positive outcome but is always a sign of failure, on the part of the coach who has basically screwed up, by not noticing the signs of NFOR, or by noticing them yet (for whatever reason), chose to ignore them, leading his athlete into a state of overtraining..., with a huge lay-off time from training, and therefore a regress in his athlete's performance. FOR, or functional overreaching is what you want (on occasions), as that's the ultimate when it comes to pushing the body nearest to the edge of its limitations..., before backing off completely and allowing for some serious recovery, leading to some magnificent progress, be that in muscle hypertrophy or strength gains.
  4. Choose four compound exercises, and I'll discuss this subject with you further.
  5. Thank you for this information. Lifting progressively heavier weights with low repetitions, would give you a side effect of strength over sheer muscle size. Strength athletes, be they Olympic weightlifters or powerlifters, are stronger and more powerful than bodybuilders, but generally speaking, carry smaller (yet stronger and more powerful muscles) than bodybuilders. My legs were much stronger as an Olympic weightlifter than when they had gotten much bigger after becoming a bodybuilder. We're not talking about right or wrong here, good or bad, just simply stating the facts of how different training affects our muscles and nervous system differently, resulting in a more dominant outcome overall. I'm finding the above a bit confusing, as I'm not sure if you're placing the sets before the reps or vice versa. Take the first lot: 12x3. Is that 12 sets of 3 reps, or 3 sets of 12 reps. I always place the weight first, followed by the sets, followed by the reps. If you say it's 3 sets of 12 reps, then my confusion is happening when I read your words "isolation work". No one does isolation with low repetitions of threes. So it must be 3 sets of 12, yes? I think it is, because you've also mentioned "pre-exhaustion". So you're making the muscle tired with 12 reps, before moving onto 3 sets of 8 reps on a compound lift, is that correct? It's just a bit all over the place for me, as I'm sure you know, this whole thing could be resolved in less than 10 seconds if we were having a verbal conversation, but we're not! Ok, so why not hit 3 birds with one stone? Why not focus on high rep sets on workout #1, then on workout #2, you focus on high load low rep sets. OK, so I've mentioned 3 birds, yet provided you with only two alternative ways. Well, the 3rd bird is to be found within both of these workouts by default. What do I mean? Well, in workout #1, we've hit the muscular endurance bird performing our high rep sets. In workout #2, we've hit our strength bird, performing low reps using heavy loads. However , in both of these scenarios, our aim is always to explode up from the bottom of the squat position, that's called power drive. Unfortunately when I look on YouTube, I see lifters performing this power drive completely backwards. They plummet down into the low position like there's no tomorrow, and with a total disregard to their knee's patella tendon, yet their ascension towards the original position looks more like a slow motion move. Please ensure your drive up from the bottom position is fast, as fast as you can master...in good form. What does that mean in reality? It means simply this: don't overload the bar with such a weight that is going to bury you in that bottom position. After all, you are a rugby player, and not a powerlifter, so power (which is a combination of strength and speed) is what we're after here, and anything less than that, and the weight is way too heavy. Let us use the back squat for this example, and let us assume that your best back squat is 200kg. Workout #1: Warm up with the bar Add weight to the bar until you reach between 50% to 60% of your 1RM, i.e. 100kg to 120kg. Perform 2 sets of /between 20 to 30 repetition, with the first 10 reps done in a non stop-fashion, exploding from the bottom-up. The above would force some serious muscular endurance adaptations, but with power added, and not simply endurance for the hell of it. Workout #2: As above, but now we do not go beyond 5 reps and/or below 80% of our 1RM, period! Here, our aim is to build some serious strength. So even though we do not go beyond 5 reps, we do go down to 3 reps (but not lower than that), unless you wish to seriously shift the dominance of this training protocol beyond strength and more towards neural- efficiency. I know that 5 reps would serve your need, whilst keeping the stress onto your connective tissues to a minimum. Here, we want to perform 5x5. That's high volume and medium-high intensity. So here, it's 80% (160kg) for 5x5, based on a best 1RM squat of 200kg. Of course, this is only the beginning, as this whole volume and intensity can be increased over time (as it should) if your aim is to force some adaptation. I'll leave it here for now, as I can see myself writing and writing and ... All the best mate... (how old are you by the way?). Fadi.
  6. If you are beginner, generally speaking, the #1 and most important aspect to your progress would be for you to consistently show up in the gym...,lift some weights performing the compound lifts 3 days/week, and call it a day. That would be enough to see you make some progress. Am I underestimating the quality of some top notch programs out there, with some having you applying some intensity principles within your routine, as you have been doing (based on your post above)? No of course I'm not, I wouldn't underestimate any good program. So we need to ask the question; what makes a program good and effective? Have you heard of the SS? No, we're not discussing WWII now, as these SS stand for Stimulate and Supply. What is it that you wish to stimulate? Your muscles of course. What would be the best thing to do after you stimulate them? Supply them with all that they need to grow and/or get stronger, that's what. If you are a beginner or a novice who's been training for couple of years, then you'd need to know that you've got plenty of linear progress to go through before you even contemplate applying anything remotely resembling an intensity principle as you are applying in your current routine. Am I putting your routine down? No I am not, I am only putting it in its rightful place, and its rightful place is not with you or for you right now. In my last reply to you, I began by alluding to the cart and the horse example, and I did that for a very good reason. Here, I am doing it again, not to sound like a broken record, but because I would not want you to waste your true potential, by doing what is not for you right now. Your muscles have a huge potential built within them for both strength and growth, and that can be achieved by following a linear progressive overload program. It is the least complicated of all programs, and it lays down the foundation for future progression. Do not forget, your joints need to be prepared for what's to come down the road, for this is not solely about your muscles, no Sir, this is first and foremost about your connective tissues, for without these, your muscles' future would be built on shaky grounds. Reading your post above, I see a trainee who is doing (or wants to do or apply) a mixture of training loads, that would ultimately result in mixed adaptations. Is that what you really want? This is a bit like taking up playing the guitar; the violin, the piano, each fro three weeks. Would you not be a better player of (name your musical instrument), if you had concentrated and focused your attention onto that one instrument, where by the end of the 9 weeks, you would be a much more proficient player of one instrument, instead of a mediocre player of all three? Please forgive me if I have missed your real intention , of what it is that you really wish to achieve by lifting weights. I'm open for ideas, but first tell me exactly what you're after. Thank you. Fadi.
  7. It depends on how you perform the movement. That is correct, a lot more in fact..., so much more that there is really no comparison to be made here worth writing home about. Any time you perform a push press or a power jerk over head, what you in fact have done is relegate or rendered the shoulders as stabilisers of a heavy weight overhead, and by heavy, I mean heavy enough to make it practically impossible for the shoulders to get the job done without so much generated force derived primarily from the quads and the gluteus muscles. I have personally done the following variety of overhead presses during my lifting career, and each one of the following serves a different purpose: 1. Seated / standing b/bell military press 2. Seated / standing behind neck b/bell press (different width grip) 3. Standing push press 4. Standing push press b/neck 5. Standing power jerk 6. standing power jerk b/neck Incorrect would be the more correct answer to give here. Some clarification is in order... I would not put a "slash /" between these words: "primary movers" and "stabilisers". If a "slash /" is to be used, it'd be more appropriately used whilst discussing (say) a primary/secondary mover, instead of a primary mover/stabiliser, as the application of the muscles involved here are on a totally different level. That's the first part of my answer re this particular point. As for the strict OHP, the primary movers are not one, and they are most certainly not the legs. Even when we're thinking of stabiliser muscles here, the abdominal wall as well as the erector spinae muscles would be the primary stabilisers working overtime (behind the scene so to speak), keeping your upper body rock solid, i.e. stabilised and working like one solid unit in order for you to carry out the pressing overhead of weight X. I'm glad you've used the term "relatively" when referring to the weight shifted overhead. The deltoids; trapezius, triceps, and during the military press, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major, that's the highest point of your upper pecs, all come into play here to move the weight overhead. So you've got plenty of upper pecs help when performing the military press, and plenty of trapezius help (especially from the upper to mid portion), generating some serious force for you in order to shift the bar overhead during the behind neck press. Of course, there are other muscles at play here, and by "other muscles", I am not referring to stabilsiers, but rather to secondary muscles that are also working synergistically to assist you in shifting that bar above your head. Fadi.
  8. Get yourself some Ivy's Mukta-Vati, it never fails.
  9. You've answered your own question perfectly. Your training has been strength dominant instead of muscle hypertrophy dominant. Says who? Says your results! Increase your repetitions in all your compound movements to 20 reps per set, and decrease your sets (in these exercises) from 5 down to 2, for a total of 40 reps of some seriously applied effort on your part. No need to worry about increasing your calories, as your own body would see to that in the form of an appetite increase in order to meet the new demands you're placing on it. Fadi.
  10. You can not put the cart before the horse and expect to move an inch either way. Resistance training is the catalyst, and once the catalyst has been taken good care of, then (and only then) would nutrition permit or allow for the relative gains to occur, and never before. Am I 100% correct with my above comment? No, of course I'm not. Take the person who has breakfast at Mackers; lunch at the pizzeria, and dinner (OK I'm exaggerating, but you get the picture), the picture of a fat person who doesn't care much about the type or the quality of the gains he makes. Ask yourself, is he fat because he eats the way he does, or because he has not created a catalyst, just enough to render some of his weight gains as muscle instead of pure fat. Granted my example is of the extreme type, but used to drive a critical point home, and that is, irrespective of how terrible your diet might seem (from a health stand point), if you're training like an Ox in the gym, I guarantee you those burgers and pizzas would soon enough find a place to fill within your muscle structure. Point is: the food you're looking for does not exist, just as that magical weight training program does not. What does exist above all else and is a sure fire way to gaining some seriously kick ass muscle mass, is your attitude and consistency of applied effort in, and outside of the gym...,period!
  11. Before I say anything, there's something you need to know about the way I view and comment on things. You may not have guessed based on my previous comments in your thread, but I am a hard person to get a praise out of, as I truly believe that credit ought to be given only where and when credit is due..., period! With the above been said, here are my thoughts on your own comments and shared photos. The only one who is amazing in this whole affair is you Champion, for you make or break the day. We both know what you mean exactly when you use the term "suffering" to describe your efforts in the gym and outside of it leading up to these events. Your brain however doesn't know what you and I know..., only what it's fed. So if you ask me, I'd much rather use a positive terminology to feed my subconscious mind (that's the one that is forever chatting to you when all is quite around you). So instead of "suffering" (which could signifies a state of not being in control but instead, being controlled by someone or something)..., not something to look forward to if you ask me. So how about the Champ is going to the gym to control the weights (and the whole situation for that matter), instead of suffering by the weights and all that goes to make a Champion like you? It's little things like this that would ultimately separate a Champ from a runner up, when all else is equal. Please remember that, and yes, I'm very heavy on sport psychology. You're so incredibly humble, perhaps that's what has attracted me to your thread. You've got a magnificent physique, yet you're not some stuck up so and so. Now I looked at each and every photo you've put up, and I've yet to see one girl there with the quad/hamstring separation that you've displayed on stage. I'm not referring to the separation within the quads and the hamstring no, (that's a given where you [and some others] are concerned), I'm rather making a reference to the separation between your quads and hamstrings. That dividing line between these two major muscle groups (viewed from the side of course), is so vivid, as to have most probably psyched few girls out, and forced the judges to look closer at the overall package you've brought onto the stage to do battle with. However that was not all that I noticed. For I also noticed your external obliques; serratus anterior, and external intercostal muscles. So with that, are you still a bit surprised with your placing? You must've looked amazing under those bright lights, however I'm only commenting on the photos you've shared with us here. Your whole persona and the way you've carried yourself on that stage must've also played a huge part in your placing, so well done on that. In a word: cortisol. We both know what this hormone does and why. The name of the game (and I must admit that this is easier said than done, but not impossible for a Champ), is to be in full control. By that I do not mean you don't or won't have stressful issues that can spike your cortisol levels and cause a drastic (or drastic enough) water retention to occur no, by full control I'm speaking of stress management. We all have stress, the winner is the one who knows well how to manage his or her stresses, it sounds so simple and it is (from that point of view). Physical, emotional, chemical, spiritual, and nutritional..., any or all of these factors can contribute to your level of stress. The aim; is to recognise this potential "hazard" and deal with it with a positive mental attitude. If that means detachment, so be it. By that I mean go and be with your best friend (that's you), alone, detached from the hustle and bustle of the whole competition atmosphere. Also, do not forget to eat..., something that you truly enjoy, something that would kiss and displace this water hugging cortisol hormone goodbye. If you can have sugar in the form of chocolate at this time (and you know your body best), then do so , as it would serve to really raise your feel good endorphin chemical, which would quickly take care of cortisol for you, not to mention putting a gorgeous smile on your pretty face all at the same time. I would like to wish you the very best, but I also like to remind you that your body and mind comes first, before any future comp OK Champion. So read your body well, and only commit when you know you're in full control, physically and emotionally. All the best. Fadi.
  12. Awesome contribution Sir, and much appreciated. Thanks goes to you.
  13. That's good news. Fat = volume, whilst muscle = density. Loose clothes due to less volume and not less density, as is evident by your comment above. Congratulations to you mate.
  14. I'm 100% sure about your intention based on the above, however I'm 100% unsure if you have actually prepared for this. And by prepared, I am not talking about your thoughts at lunch time and feelings that you've got 1 more rep in you etc. What I'm referring to when I say prepared, is your peaking level. Again, this level where there is 0% guess work as to the way your body (and mind) is going to respond to a particular stressor on a particular day. Periodisation is what I'm really talking about here mate; have you been periodising your bench pressing workouts up to this point or not? This isn't some judgmental question, just one based on acquiring more relevant information from you, that is all mate. Warm ups at the macro level can be planned for sure, but never at the micro level. In English this means the following: you know that you need to feel your joints moving with fluidity, as opposed to a feeling of hesitation due to a rushed warm up. You know that you need to feel 100% in the zone with the current weight on the bar, instead of hoping that the next set with the next weight is going to feel just right (because it won't). This was a snapshot of what a macro level is , now let's take a quick look at the micro level of a warm up. The micro level of a warm up involves each and every rep individually. So looking at your warm up above, taking the 12 reps with an empty bar, here every rep counts, where in your head you're not doing 1 set of 12, but 12 sets of 1. When the bar feels just right, you add some weight onto the bar. Knowing that you're aim is to achieve a new 1RM, your reps (past the empty bar) ought to remain as low as practically possible..., the lower the better. So 40kg x5 ought to feel good, if not, you do another set of 5 or preferably 3 reps, before increasing the weight yet again. The increment of your weight increase ought to be determined during the session and not before the session. I say that because mentally (say whilst at work), you may have been feeling all fired up, however you get to the gym in the evening when the weather (for example) is a bit cooler, and you've been sitting in your car or on the train being inactive, all these factors play a part in the way you feel in the moment (and not before), hence a warm at its micro level should never be planned ahead of time (based on some earlier feeling). So 40kg feels good, so good/light and in the groove in fact, that you know 60kg would be a very doable weight, so you increase to 60kg. Again, 8 reps should be something done with the bar when our aim is warming up more than one part of our body, namely our joints, muscles, and most importantly, our nervous system. Well, we've done that with the empty bar, so now it's not so much about "warming" something up, but more about feeling in the groove. If 60kg felt less than 100% in control, then a smaller jump in weight would have been more appropriate here, (again) with only a couple of reps max (say) at 70kg, because you're still under the 80% of your intended 1RM target. Moving along, things now take a dramatic change, dramatic enough to be labeled critical. At 80kg, we're now looking at nearly 90% of your intended 90kg target, and that's huge on the intensity scale, placing your CNS under tremendous pressure. So to do 3 reps here at 80kg, would serve to seriously hinder your climb onto the next intensity level due to the reps eating away at your recovering ability (from your CNS point of view) and not your muscular system or your emotional state of being. Not only that, but your rest intervals here at this high intensity become extremely critical, and a rest between (at least 3 minutes) and up to 5 minutes between reps is a must (irrespective of what your head is telling you), and very much irrespective of how others around you may or may not be encouraging you to go and "kill it"! Re the volume question, I have this to say. You did not do too much volume when you decided to rep it with an empty bar, You only did too much volume when the intensity was simply too much for high volume to be included under such circumstances. You see, 80kg x3 reps should never be a problem or even a point of discussion had this 80kg being part of your training routine. In fact, you can do more than one set with it, such as 80kg 3x3 for example, and it wouldn't have been an issue. However under the circumstances of this particular session, where your aim is to maintain a steady climb towards a particular target, instead of simply achieving a particular volume of work, then sure, it was too much (unnecessary) volume..., so much so, that it played a crucial role in hindering your climb to the top. You have a Champion attitude, for you've recognised where you've stumbled and was not arrogant to ask for help. Very well done, as to me one's attitude is what makes it or breaks it in the long run, and you Sir, have passed with flying colours. Cheers, Fadi.
  15. Basically do what Olympic weightlifters do, but now add exercises that weightlifters do not do and that target the flexor muscles. 1. Biceps curls 2. Leg curls 3. Bench press or push-ups 4. Side laterals 5. A back rowing movement 6. Calf raises