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About Gains

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    Gym Addict

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  1. I would be, given that it's a single, simple isolation movement restricted by the design of the machine. Seems pretty foolproof, although maybe if you've got it set up improperly, i.e. the padded crosspiece is sat too far up your shins...
  2. I like IF because it means I only go for one massive s**t once per day, rather than 6 smaller shits throughout the day.
  3. I started training a long time ago, but I do remember having quite a lot of joint pain around the 6-9 month mark (mine was mainly wrists, elbows and shoulders) and a few of the older, more experienced guys at the gym said it was basically because my muscles were getting stronger faster than my joints could adapt. In your case if you consider that you've almost tripled the load on your legs within 6 months, it could just be that. However it's not even like you can really get your form screwed up on leg extensions or curls and accidentally put loads of strain on your knees (although I've always avoided completely locking my knees on extensions) so another possibility could be tightening of the muscles as they grow stronger is pulling your knees slightly out of alignment. When my glutes get stronger they get tight and twist my hips slightly and I start getting lower back pain. That's easily sorted with occasional stretching though (don't stretch before training but you can do it afterwards if you want). I'd try doing some quad, hamstring and glute stretches to see if that helps.
  4. Preparing and eating 3 meals/day is way easier than preparing and eating 6 meals/day.
  5. Sounds like just normal betting rather than matched betting. With matched betting you cannot lose as long as you work out your back and lay odds properly.
  6. From what I've read this weekend I have to agree now. Maybe guys with higher natural test levels may look more muscular and/or that they're gaining quicker but that's probably just because they're naturally leaner, as per this: Cliff notes: elevating test levels within normal range doesn't improve your ability to gain muscle (although it will help you to get lean). It's only when you artificially elevate test way above the max normal that you see the muscle gaining benefits.
  7. I look like a sack of porridge but I can talk a mean squat. Any good?
  8. I think a lot of this will depend on the individual. For most styles of 'sport' fighting, you need more stamina than brute strength. Some people can develop both at the same time but many can't. I box and have yet to find any weight training that's hugely beneficial, other than weighted ab work. It's definitely helped me having stronger shoulders, biceps, legs and lats but any strength gains I make are always offset to some degree by a loss in stamina so I have to be careful, as more often than not stamina is make or break even for short amateur bouts. So if you're expecting your fights to be short and explosive then I'd say focus on shoulders, core, legs and lats, otherwise be mindful of losing stamina. Of course if you're lucky (like the pro boxer at my gym and a couple of the very good amateurs) you'll be able to get pretty big and strong yet still have tons of muscular endurance.
  9. Also try not to focus too much on others and what they're doing. You'll no doubt see some really big guys in great shape and lifting huge weights, and it can be disheartening when you first start out as you feel totally out of place. I can still remember walking into my first gym as a skinny, clueless 16 year old kid. It was pretty intimidating and sometimes embarrassing (I finish bench pressing 40kg and some woman gets on the bench straight after me, tells me to leave that weight on as she'll warm up with it). Start with using weights that are just comfortable for the first few sessions while you get your form nailed down, then you can gradually go heavier. Consistency and form are both key. If you don't train with consistency you never see results and want to give up. If you train with bad form you either don't see results or you get injured and want to give up.
  10. It's quite common for people who spend a lot of time sitting, have tight glutes and/or hips, or a combination of the two. I had it quite bad for a few months and it was cured after I saw a physio who gave me two simple stretches to do- one for my glutes and one for my hips. I'm also mindful of how I sit at work, not letting my hips roll/slump forward which puts a lot of strain on the lower vertebrae. If I stop doing the stretches it starts to gradually creep back, beginning with that weird tingling, burning pain. As long as I do the stretches a few times/week it stays away.
  11. I'd only target a muscle group once per week (possibly excluding abs), so I'd group your exercises differently. The general approach is to pair a pushing group with a pulling group so that you can hit both hard in the same session (e.g. chest with biceps, back with shoulders etc). There's also no need to do more than 3 different exercises per muscle group if you're including plenty of compound lifts, which you are, so you could probably simplify your routines a bit. In terms of diet, you say your primary goal is to lose weight so I'd keep a close eye on both the scales and the mirror and make adjustments to your diet accordingly. I wouldn't do this daily though because everyone's bodies undergo daily fluctuations in both weight and appearance depending on all kinds of factors. Do it once per week, on the same day, at the same time. At your BF% you could safely drop more than 1lb/week especially if you're just starting out. Due to muscles firming up you may well look a bit bigger as well, despite actually getting leaner. If after a week your progress is unsatisfactory then reduce calories by about 300 or so (cutting carbs and fat rather than protein where possible).
  12. It's a good problem to have as it will mean that you've got some pretty mighty obliques. Personally I find that as long as I stay lean then well developed obliques only add to the look because then you get that diamond shape with the separation between them and your lower abs. If you tend to store fat around your middle first though (like me) you don't have to let yourself go too much before you're in danger of having a bit of a muffin top on the go.
  13. How long have you been training for? Have you recently made a lot of relatively fast progress re: upping your weights? Also when doing leg extensions, do you fully lock your knees out at the top of each extension?
  14. It will make a big difference if you're a man. I'm trying to find the science article I read explaining why it's much less important for women, but the general gist of it was that for women, their HGH levels are more important which explains why natty women can still get pretty big and ripped when their testosterone levels will be far below even just the average man's. There's a good reason why testosterone-based steroids are amongst the most popular for men: they're very effective.
  15. Maybe a bit late now but I can think of two (thankfully) short periods in my life where I experienced symptoms similar to those you describe. The first one was when I had some kind of weird virus that seemed to linger for about 2 months without actually making me feel properly ill but still made me piss weak and no matter what I did with my diet and training, I stayed weak and looked puffy and soft. It was only when it finally came to a head and made me properly ill that I realised how long it must have bubbling under, because once I'd killed it off I was right as rain within a couple of weeks. The second one was the beginnings of CFS and from what you've said, I reckon this is likely your issue. When you're chronically fatigued your cortisol levels will probably be through the roof and as others have said, this is going to play havoc with both your appearance and your mood. If you're doing a manual job all day and lifting with that kind of volume on top then you're going to end up either a pro athlete or burned out. Given that only a tiny percentage of people have the genetics to repeatedly hammer themselves for months on end and keep improving, it's little wonder that you'd fall into the latter category. Sounds like you may have sorted it now though so hopefully you can get back on track and reap the rewards of your efforts. Just be mindful that it can be very easy to overtain and people with the mindset required to even get into exercise in the first place are much more likely to push themselves too hard than not hard enough.