Ask The Hitman

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#1
Any questions you have about bodybuilding, working out, exercises, human anatomy, genetics, training programs, building muscle, getting ripped, nutrition, mindset, whether it is sport specific, or you just want to look incredible walking on the beach, this is your place where you can ask me and I will give you answers.
 
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#3
Is there a maximum limit to the amount of muscle I can naturally (without steroids) add to my body? If so, about how much would that be for an “average” man of “average” build?
 
#4
Pretty egotistical idea for a thread if I say so myself. Perhaps it could have been worded differently if you wanted to make a thread on fitness
 
#5
Pretty egotistical idea for a thread if I say so myself. Perhaps it could have been worded differently if you wanted to make a thread on fitness
Pretty stupid post if I say so myself. Op is more accomplished when it comes to lifting compared to 99.9% of this site. He’s offering free advice when guys with his qualifications won’t answer anything unless you pay them.
 
#6
Pretty stupid post if I say so myself. Op is more accomplished when it comes to lifting compared to 99.9% of this site. He’s offering free advice when guys with his qualifications won’t answer anything unless you pay them.
Not denying that. Just saying it comes across as quite egotistical. If someone wanted to ask something, I’m sure they could send him a private message. But I guess you have to have that trait in the body building business.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#7
Is there a maximum limit to the amount of muscle I can naturally (without steroids) add to my body? If so, about how much would that be for an “average” man of “average” build?
There is always going to be a maximum limit, whether you are natural or enhanced (we normally say enhanced and not steroids, because things such as insulin, IGF-1 are what we call peptide hormones and not anabolic steroids, yet they are used to push the body beyond its natural capabilities). Now, lets talk natural. There are a couple of things you need to bring to the equation to find out what your so called ceiling is when it comes to building lean muscle tissue.

The first is your genetics, now, what I mean by that is, what type of body type are you? Endomorph, ectomorph or a mesomorph? This is something you cannot really change, you can be a hybrid of two, but this is the criteria that all of us fit into. So, are you a naturally lean guy? Fast metabolism? Or do you feel that who are more on the softer side, and tend to hold more fat? Now if you are a mesomorph, that you ability to build muscle is a lot quicker, but judging from your question, I am assuming you are either ectomorph or endomorph, please correct me if I am wrong...because a mesomorph will describe himself or herself as athletic build.

The second thing, to then have the correct nutritional plan according to your body type. Everyone can get into shape, and look and feel good, but is understanding your body type first, then making sure the right compatible nutrition program goes with it. I train numerous clients, and the first question I ask them is not how much they lift, but what they cook and eat. Nutrition is 80% of what you can control, genetics you cannot control, but of the 100% you can, 80% is nutrition....so the first thing is to get your kitchen in order. Getting the nutrition right should always be the first step, because training is going to be about one hour of the day, nutrition is an all day thing. I have had starters just focus a few weeks on getting their food intake right, then focus on lifting in the gym.

Finally, the remaining 20% is your training. If you are not looking to achieve the absolute pinnacle of what your natural limits are, i.e a natural bodybuilding contest, but still want to get to a point where what you gain is sustainable and balanced with the rest of your life (because reaching your absolute limit, with or without enhancements is very timing consuming, and quite often not socially acceptable to that personal and realistically unsustainable for long periods) - then focus the foundation exercises of squat, dead lift, and bench as pillars and then build a routine around them.

This again leads me to another question, how much time do you have to go to the gym? The more time you have, the more options you have in targeting specific muscles. Compound movements to not only build strength, and size, but to also functional strength throughout the body which increases bone density, and provides longevity. Isolation movements are ideal for shaping the muscle, but they do not produce the natural anabolic environment in your body that the big compound movements do. Since you are natural, you need to stimulate production of testosterone, growth hormone...this takes me back to your nutrition point. The foods you eat should help your synthesize natural testosterone, peptide hormones, and T3 from your thyroid.

You can achieve many great things, but sometimes to go forward you need to take a step back and evaluate where you are. Is your nutrition as clean as it should be? If it is then are you using things such as carb cycling, nutritional partitioning, intermittent fasting, ketosis? The best thing I would advise is making a food diary and note down everything you eat all week, everything, all snacks, and see exactly what you are consuming, it can be an eye opener, it was for me. That will also then allow you to start substituting bad foods with good ones.

I hope this info helps you out.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#8
Not denying that. Just saying it comes across as quite egotistical. If someone wanted to ask something, I’m sure they could send him a private message. But I guess you have to have that trait in the body building business.
Never make such assumptions, not everyone would like to PM in case they think it is intrusive to ask something. Let everyone make their own decisions, like you did about this thread just by reading the title.

As for your last comment about traits, sure, there are traits for everything, like traits for saying anything you want from behind a screen.
 
#9
Never make such assumptions, not everyone would like to PM in case they think it is intrusive to ask something. Let everyone make their own decisions, like you did about this thread just by reading the title.

As for your last comment about traits, sure, there are traits for everything, like traits for saying anything you want from behind a screen.
I didn’t mean to come across as a keyboard warrior, which looking back I can see my mistake. Im not saying you’re some arrogant prat. I’m just saying that I’m order to go Into the field of building up and showing off your body, you have to have the egotistical trait. Didn’t mean it in a negative sense.

I’m not sure why some people may find it intrusive , but if that’s the case, I can’t say anything. I just said what I initially felt reading the OP and title. Like I said, perhaps it could have been worded differently and come across as less “I know it all”
 
#10
Hitman
Is it true that most bodybuilders are trying to overcompensate for undersized genitalia??
And why do you call yourself Hitman?? Is that your profession or also a psychological overcompensation?
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#11
I didn’t mean to come across as a keyboard warrior, which looking back I can see my mistake. Im not saying you’re some arrogant prat. I’m just saying that I’m order to go Into the field of building up and showing off your body, you have to have the egotistical trait. Didn’t mean it in a negative sense.

I’m not sure why some people may find it intrusive , but if that’s the case, I can’t say anything. I just said what I initially felt reading the OP and title. Like I said, perhaps it could have been worded differently and come across as less “I know it all”
Do you have any questions regarding health and fitness?
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#13
Hitman
Is it true that most bodybuilders are trying to overcompensate for undersized genitalia??
There are many reasons why people go into bodybuilding. A good friend of mine got into training because he had a lot of anger inside him from a bad childhood, and instead of going down the wrong path, he met his trainer at the time who helped him channel his anger and rage into the gym. He used that place to help himself become a better man, it gave him a place to turn all that negative energy into a positive one. He went onto to win several bodybuilding shows, met his future wife and now has a family. He travelled to Tanzania and Kenya from the bodybuilding organization he competed for, and helped promote bodybuilding and help many young adults find a way to better themselves. Learn discipline that they can use to be better in other areas and aspects of their lives.

As for your last two questions. LOL, how cute. ;)
 
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Ann

Hall of Fame
#16
Hitman, honest question (hopefully not beneath you) - about 20 years ago I got into minor lifting for strength and I ended up with tendonitis in my elbow, so I had to stop the little that I was doing. My legs and back are still strong from other exercise but I have weak arms and at 55 they're only going to get weaker. I don't want to turn into an old cream-puff. What could I do just for basic arm strength? I have light weights in the house and would buy other equipment if recommended. If this is something you can't comment on do you know a reliable site? Thank you in advance.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#17
But how can you talk about all natural when you are a Bionic Poster:eek:

How many times a week would be good for a novice to start with strength training?
Cybernetic enhancements. LOL

OK, lets talk strength training. Quite often people confuse strength training with bodybuilding or hypertrophy training, the two are not same, however, they do overlap. Hypertrophy training does increase strength, and strength training does bring on the onset of building muscle.

For someone who is starting off, as long as you are maintaining correct form and technique, you have an incredible upward curve ahead of you. Whatever you do will be gold at this stage, so less is more for you right now. As a beginner start off on a three week program of compound lifting only twice a week, no more, with about 72 hours between workout one and workout two. The movements are the time tested ones, the squat, the dead lift and bench press, and look for progressive overload as you go through the working sets. What that means is, low reps, no more than 5 reps and slowly build up to 90% of your max...this is something you will be able to gauge during your lifting. Also, unlike bodybuilding, you should look for about two to three minutes between sets, this will allow better removal of lactic acid from the muscle, and also allow testosterone to flow to the muscles better.

So, in short, for the first three weeks, two workouts only, but hit the big movements. You do not need to do anything else just yet, maximize what you can out of that first, before adding more.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#18
Hitman, honest question (hopefully not beneath you) - about 20 years ago I got into minor lifting for strength and I ended up with tendonitis in my elbow, so I had to stop the little that I was doing. My legs and back are still strong from other exercise but I have weak arms and at 55 they're only going to get weaker. I don't want to turn into an old cream-puff. What could I do just for basic arm strength? I have light weights in the house and would buy other equipment if recommended. If this is something you can't comment on do you know a reliable site? Thank you in advance.
Firstly, thanks for asking, and no, no question is beneath me. This problem that you have, I have experienced also, and I understand just how painful it is. It comes from repetitive movement within the same plane of motion, under resistance. This comes from inflammation, because tendons are sore, and lifting becomes very difficult. The issue really comes from a lack of blood flow, and here is how I personally fixed this issue for me, because it was bothersome, especially when I was doing pressing movements.

Ice the area, or take a cold shower before you workout. This such change in temperature has two impacts, first is the vasodilation of blood vessels in the area, but also the activation of what is known as brown fat. Brown fat has a huge thermogenic effect, it responds to external stimuli when it is gets cold, kind of similar to how the body shivers when it gets cold, involuntarily trying to keep you warm. This actually helps the tendonitis. Follow this up do a ten minute warm up on a stationary bike to get the blood flowing faster, it also lubricates all your joints, and protects the connective tissue.

For basic arm strength, once your elbows feel warmer, and more receptive to exercise, start off with some pushups. Now, you can do these on your knees, but using your own bodyweight is a very powerful way to stay lean and toned. The first eight months of my training life, I only ever did push ups to build my upper body, granted I was younger, but the point is, your body responds to your own bodyweight very effectively. Pushups build your triceps which are two thirds of your arm, the bicep is only one third. To get that bicep strength slowly back, before even looking to lift weight, clasp your hands together, and push down with one and resist by pushing up with the other...you will be surprised how difficult it can be when equal and opposing forces, force your biceps to work against each others flow.

Also, how is your nutrition? I am assuming it is good, since you workout and have good back and legs.
 
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Ann

Hall of Fame
#19
Also, how is your nutrition? I am assuming it is good, since you workout an have good back and legs.
Good nutrition, good health, not on any medications, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no sign of arthritis but starting to push the max on normal BMI. I'm only 6 pounds from being overweight and I'm working on never hitting that mark. It gets tough over 50, the metabolism is garbage. I'll give what you've said a try - and the triceps are the worst! especially for women my age.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#20
Good nutrition, good health, not on any medications, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no sign of arthritis but starting to push the max on normal BMI. I'm only 6 pounds from being overweight and I'm working on never hitting that mark. It gets tough over 50, the metabolism is garbage. I'll give what you've said a try - and the triceps are the worst! especially for women my age.
OK, training after menopause.

It is very important that you focus on resistance training the most at your age, it should be a 70-30 split between resistance training and cardio training. The reasoning for this is, as your natural estrogen levels decline, you are going to be producing a slight derivative of estrogen which unfortunately leads to a few more pounds being added onto the frame....the other thing is, lack of estrogen will lead to osteoporosis, since estrogen is responsible for bone mineral recycling, and maintaining overall bone density. To prevent weak bones, and loss of calcium, and in particular magnesium, which sadly many of us in the western world suffer from, resistance training is of paramount importance.

The BMI is not something I personally go with, because if I did, I would be obese, because it weighs muscle and fat equally, and that is not correct. Lean muscle tissue means better hormonal regulation, better mineral composition, and overall better health because your metabolism will remain high. The higher your metabolism, the better you will be at fighting off the excess weight that comes with ageing.
 

Ann

Hall of Fame
#22
OK, training after menopause.

It is very important that you focus on resistance training the most at your age, it should be a 70-30 split between resistance training and cardio training. The reasoning for this is, as your natural estrogen levels decline, you are going to be producing a slight derivative of estrogen which unfortunately leads to a few more pounds being added onto the frame....the other thing is, lack of estrogen will lead to osteoporosis, since estrogen is responsible for bone mineral recycling, and maintaining overall bone density. To prevent weak bones, and loss of calcium, and in particular magnesium, which sadly many of us in the western world suffer from, resistance training is of paramount importance.

The BMI is not something I personally go with, because if I did, I would be obese, because it weighs muscle and fat equally, and that is not correct. Lean muscle tissue means better hormonal regulation, better mineral composition, and overall better health because your metabolism will remain high. The higher your metabolism, the better you will be at fighting off the excess weight that comes with ageing.
I had a bone mineral density test 2 years ago when I was finally done … and according to my doctor I have the bones of a 30 year old, although I think doctor's tell you those things so you feel good about yourself.

Thanks for everything!
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#23
I had a bone mineral density test 2 years ago when I was finally done … and according to my doctor I have the bones of a 30 year old, although I think doctor's tell you those things so you feel good about yourself.

Thanks for everything!
That's good to know. The best way to look at the body is to work from the inside out, the skeletal structure - bone density, cartilage, the organs - health of your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and finally the muscles. This is because, this is how everything sits on top of each other. I would advise that you do continue to have your bone density checked out, good strong bones will ensure your posture is not compromised, especially your spinal vertebrae, which in turn wouldn't force muscles to fall out of alignment. And make sure to take care of the skin and eyes also! Lutein is something I would recommend to ladies around your age, a naturally occurring cartenoid, you can get it from green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, which also help with increase blood cell maturation to help push nutrients quicker into your muscles to help you recover.

Always happy to help and ask me whatever you want, I will try my best to answer.
 
#24
There is always going to be a maximum limit, whether you are natural or enhanced (we normally say enhanced and not steroids, because things such as insulin, IGF-1 are what we call peptide hormones and not anabolic steroids, yet they are used to push the body beyond its natural capabilities). Now, lets talk natural. There are a couple of things you need to bring to the equation to find out what your so called ceiling is when it comes to building lean muscle tissue.

The first is your genetics, now, what I mean by that is, what type of body type are you? Endomorph, ectomorph or a mesomorph? This is something you cannot really change, you can be a hybrid of two, but this is the criteria that all of us fit into. So, are you a naturally lean guy? Fast metabolism? Or do you feel that who are more on the softer side, and tend to hold more fat? Now if you are a mesomorph, that you ability to build muscle is a lot quicker, but judging from your question, I am assuming you are either ectomorph or endomorph, please correct me if I am wrong...because a mesomorph will describe himself or herself as athletic build.

The second thing, to then have the correct nutritional plan according to your body type. Everyone can get into shape, and look and feel good, but is understanding your body type first, then making sure the right compatible nutrition program goes with it. I train numerous clients, and the first question I ask them is not how much they lift, but what they cook and eat. Nutrition is 80% of what you can control, genetics you cannot control, but of the 100% you can, 80% is nutrition....so the first thing is to get your kitchen in order. Getting the nutrition right should always be the first step, because training is going to be about one hour of the day, nutrition is an all day thing. I have had starters just focus a few weeks on getting their food intake right, then focus on lifting in the gym.

Finally, the remaining 20% is your training. If you are not looking to achieve the absolute pinnacle of what your natural limits are, i.e a natural bodybuilding contest, but still want to get to a point where what you gain is sustainable and balanced with the rest of your life (because reaching your absolute limit, with or without enhancements is very timing consuming, and quite often not socially acceptable to that personal and realistically unsustainable for long periods) - then focus the foundation exercises of squat, dead lift, and bench as pillars and then build a routine around them.

This again leads me to another question, how much time do you have to go to the gym? The more time you have, the more options you have in targeting specific muscles. Compound movements to not only build strength, and size, but to also functional strength throughout the body which increases bone density, and provides longevity. Isolation movements are ideal for shaping the muscle, but they do not produce the natural anabolic environment in your body that the big compound movements do. Since you are natural, you need to stimulate production of testosterone, growth hormone...this takes me back to your nutrition point. The foods you eat should help your synthesize natural testosterone, peptide hormones, and T3 from your thyroid.

You can achieve many great things, but sometimes to go forward you need to take a step back and evaluate where you are. Is your nutrition as clean as it should be? If it is then are you using things such as carb cycling, nutritional partitioning, intermittent fasting, ketosis? The best thing I would advise is making a food diary and note down everything you eat all week, everything, all snacks, and see exactly what you are consuming, it can be an eye opener, it was for me. That will also then allow you to start substituting bad foods with good ones.

I hope this info helps you out.
Can you give me a range? Is it like 75 to 100 lbs?
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#25
Can you give me a range? Is it like 75 to 100 lbs?
OK, the first thing is that your body does not understand numbers, it only understands resistance. I have built muscle using 50 lbs as well as using 100 lbs. What you need to focus on finding your percentage max weight, whilst still maintaining proper form.

As an example, suppose you are doing standing alternating dumbbell curls, and you are trying to see how much you can lift - Start off with a lightweight that you know is light and concentrate on forming the mind muscle connection, visualize the contraction and stretching of the bicep with every rep. You don't need to do a lot of reps, just enough, then increase the weight by about 20% for instance, if you were doing a 40 lb dumbbell curl, jump to 48 lb and see if you can perform the exercise with the exact same strict form and maintain mind muscle connection.

What will also happen is your sympathetic nervous system will kick into gear, and you will start recruiting more and more muscle fibers to move the weight, and remember to maintain time under tension, so focus on lowering the weight slowly during the eccentric phase. Continue to go up the weight until you simply cannot do the exercise without swinging the weight to get momentum to perform the rep, that is your max without doing cheat sets or assisted sets where a training partner can help you get the weight up at your weak sticking points. So, do not count the number you are lifting, try this method and find the correct number for you.
 
#26
OK, the first thing is that your body does not understand numbers, it only understands resistance. I have built muscle using 50 lbs as well as using 100 lbs. What you need to focus on finding your percentage max weight, whilst still maintaining proper form.

As an example, suppose you are doing standing alternating dumbbell curls, and you are trying to see how much you can lift - Start off with a lightweight that you know is light and concentrate on forming the mind muscle connection, visualize the contraction and stretching of the bicep with every rep. You don't need to do a lot of reps, just enough, then increase the weight by about 20% for instance, if you were doing a 40 lb dumbbell curl, jump to 48 lb and see if you can perform the exercise with the exact same strict form and maintain mind muscle connection.

What will also happen is your sympathetic nervous system will kick into gear, and you will start recruiting more and more muscle fibers to move the weight, and remember to maintain time under tension, so focus on lowering the weight slowly during the eccentric phase. Continue to go up the weight until you simply cannot do the exercise without swinging the weight to get momentum to perform the rep, that is your max without doing cheat sets or assisted sets where a training partner can help you get the weight up at your weak sticking points. So, do not count the number you are lifting, try this method and find the correct number for you.
Not the weight I’m lifting.

I’m asking for a range (as a number) of the max muscle a man could potentially add to his body.

In other words, if we look at the best natural body builders ever, how much muscle did they add? Dave Goodin says 30 lbs or so for a man of his size. I've read that Reg Park put on something close to 40 lbs. I was wondering what your opinion is, considering you live in that world.

 
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Hitman

Bionic Poster
#27
Not the weight I’m lifting.

I’m asking for a range (as a number) of the max muscle a man could potentially add to his body.

In other words, if we look at the best natural body builders ever, how much muscle did they add? Dave Goodin says 30 lbs or so for a man of his size. I've read that Reg Park put on something close to 40 lbs. I was wondering what your opinion is, considering you live in that world.

OK, sorry.

What is your height and weight at the moment, and are you an ectomorph, mesomorph or endormorph?
 
#28
OK, sorry.

What is your height and weight at the moment, and are you an ectomorph, mesomorph or endormorph?
I'm not really asking this question specific to myself. It's more of a general question. That is why I used Dave Goodin and Reg Park as my examples. Dave is a small man. Reg was a giant with a big frame. The difference between what they gained was about 10 lbs.

I'm wondering what your opinion is on this.
 
#29
Any questions you have about bodybuilding, working out, exercises, human anatomy, genetics, training programs, building muscle, getting ripped, nutrition, mindset, whether it is sport specific, or you just want to looked incredible walking on the beach, this is your place where you can ask me and I will give you answers.
how do you cure lower back issues ? I am noticing even if I do some stretching excercises for my back every other day, my back gets tired and start to get real weak after about 1 hour of serving in the match. then my serve breaks down and I can't serve normal.
 
#30
The second thing, to then have the correct nutritional plan according to your body type. Everyone can get into shape, and look and feel good, but is understanding your body type first, then making sure the right compatible nutrition program goes with it. I train numerous clients, and the first question I ask them is not how much they lift, but what they cook and eat. Nutrition is 80% of what you can control, genetics you cannot control, but of the 100% you can, 80% is nutrition....so the first thing is to get your kitchen in order. Getting the nutrition right should always be the first step, because training is going to be about one hour of the day, nutrition is an all day thing. I have had starters just focus a few weeks on getting their food intake right, then focus on lifting in the gym.
What do you mean by this? Will I grow more muscle eating boneless chicken breasts as opposed to french fries?

From what I've always gathered, if you are lifting for size, the biggest factor is eating enough. Not what you eat. Is that wrong?

Would a person grow more muscle eating lots and lifting lots, or eating nutritionally very well (but not lots) and lifting lots? (And by lifting lots I mean being consistent and training hard).
 
#31
Not the weight I’m lifting.

I’m asking for a range (as a number) of the max muscle a man could potentially add to his body.

In other words, if we look at the best natural body builders ever, how much muscle did they add? Dave Goodin says 30 lbs or so for a man of his size. I've read that Reg Park put on something close to 40 lbs. I was wondering what your opinion is, considering you live in that world.

this guys's body Is no good for tennis players. you have that much muscles , you lose flexibility. but it is good for getting hot girls
 
#32
@Hitman thanks for starting this thread. I go to the gym downstairs from my office before work so fhe 1 hour workout time for 7-8am is pretty much guaranteed every work day. I have been lifting three times a week following the most prevailing advices. Now I have two challenges:

1. The one hour is no longer enough to do the 5 sets of 5s at the weights I am at.
2. I read that the natural lifter’s most important aspect of training, from volume, intensity and frequency, is highest frequency with adequate intensity. Supposedly the body needs the lifting exercises to generate the stimulus without the help of drugs. Then the volume can’t be also high due to recovery needs.

Therefore I am starting to spread out the lifting to all week days. Is this ok or I should switch to a less demanding program, which still keep a gap for resting and cardio?
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#35
I'm not really asking this question specific to myself. It's more of a general question. That is why I used Dave Goodin and Reg Park as my examples. Dave is a small man. Reg was a giant with a big frame. The difference between what they gained was about 10 lbs.

I'm wondering what your opinion is on this.
OK, a more general question. Lets say you are the top range of being genetically blessed, in other words you are a true mesomorph, with a healthy endocrine system, you train 15 to 20 years, you eat all the correct foods to maintain muscle, but also optimize hormone production, your free testosterone - that is testosterone not bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, which locks testosterone away, is at a low ratio. Lets also say you have mastered the art of time under tension training, used exercises principles that include progressive overload, negatives, pyramid training....lets also say that you have high concentration of fast twitch anerobic white muscle fibers in relation to the slow twitch aerobic red fibers found in runners and endurance athletes....You can add on around 50lb of lean muscle tissue over that period.

What I have given you is someone who is at the absolute upper end of the human population, who understands and implements all training principles, and has his diet absolutely dialled in.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#36
how do you cure lower back issues ? I am noticing even if I do some stretching excercises for my back every other day, my back gets tired and start to get real weak after about 1 hour of serving in the match. then my serve breaks down and I can't serve normal.
Are you doing anything for your lower back, apart from stretching? Are you strengthening the spinal erector muscles with weight bearing movements? Are you strengthening the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF), which basically helps connect your lower body to your upper body up the posterior chain? When you are normally serving, kinetic movement is transferred up through this fascia into your spinal erectors and your lats.

Have you ever seen a shredded bodybuilder on stage? If not, look for something called the Christmas Tree lower back, this the TLF that I am talking about. Those that suffer from back that you describe have a weak TLF, the strengthen this in the most effective way, I would advise you do dead lifts at least twice a weak. It seems to me you back muscles are weak, and that is causing the pain. Stretching is not the solution, the tensile strength is not where it should be.

I would recommend you either do the classic dead lift, with feet shoulder width apart, or try the trap bar dead lift, which is also an effective to really hit the muscles that encompass the back.
 
#37
Are you doing anything for your lower back, apart from stretching? Are you strengthening the spinal erector muscles with weight bearing movements? Are you strengthening the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF), which basically helps connect your lower body to your upper body up the posterior chain? When you are normally serving, kinetic movement is transferred up through this fascia into your spinal erectors and your lats.

Have you ever seen a shredded bodybuilder on stage? If not, look for something called the Christmas Tree lower back, this the TLF that I am talking about. Those that suffer from back that you describe have a weak TLF, the strengthen this in the most effective way, I would advise you do dead lifts at least twice a weak. It seems to me you back muscles are weak, and that is causing the pain. Stretching is not the solution, the tensile strength is not where it should be.

I would recommend you either do the classic dead lift, with feet shoulder width apart, or try the trap bar dead lift, which is also an effective to really hit the muscles that encompass the back.
No, I am not doing anything like that currently. I bought a Yoga mat to work on building the CORE muscle by doing planks. but other than that nothing. I need just 1 or 2 things to do that is best for the lower back. I just don't have the time to do bunch of muscle building stuff nor do I desire to look like Rafa
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#38
What do you mean by this? Will I grow more muscle eating boneless chicken breasts as opposed to french fries?

From what I've always gathered, if you are lifting for size, the biggest factor is eating enough. Not what you eat. Is that wrong?

Would a person grow more muscle eating lots and lifting lots, or eating nutritionally very well (but not lots) and lifting lots? (And by lifting lots I mean being consistent and training hard).
There is a principle known as the caloric balance, if you are in a caloric surplus you will gain weight - but not necessarily the right weight, if you are in a caloric deficit you will lose weight - again, it might not be the right weight.

Having said that, you need to be aware of nutrient dense calories v empty calories. If I gave you 2000 calories of carrot cake for a week, then I gave you 2000 calories of lean chicken breast the following week...what week will you make quality lean muscles gains? Lets go back to caloric surplus comment I made and break this down further - There is a thing called a dirty bulk (A dirty bulk is basically said to the action of eating more calories than your maintenance in an effort to get big, this does not matter where the calories come from, and it does not matter if you gain muscle weight, water weight or fat weight, you simply get bigger)

Then there is a thing called the clean bulk (This is using nutrient dense calories, calories that not only provide the energy needed, they stimulate the correct hormones in your body to create a muscle building, fat burning environment)

Nutrition is 80% of the equation, you cannot out train a bad diet, if you want to improve body composition, and remove the dangerous visceral fat that will start growing around your organs and suffocating them. You need the correct macro nutrients - proteins, fats and carbohydrates, but you must understand the principle of nutritional partitioning - How to consume these calories according to your goals.
 
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Hitman

Bionic Poster
#39
@Hitman thanks for starting this thread. I go to the gym downstairs from my office before work so fhe 1 hour workout time for 7-8am is pretty much guaranteed every work day. I have been lifting three times a week following the most prevailing advices. Now I have two challenges:

1. The one hour is no longer enough to do the 5 sets of 5s at the weights I am at.
2. I read that the natural lifter’s most important aspect of training, from volume, intensity and frequency, is highest frequency with adequate intensity. Supposedly the body needs the lifting exercises to generate the stimulus without the help of drugs. Then the volume can’t be also high due to recovery needs.

Therefore I am starting to spread out the lifting to all week days. Is this ok or I should switch to a less demanding program, which still keep a gap for resting and cardio?

Lucky you, gym in your own office ))))

I need to know what your routine is, can you share that with me, so I can give you advise on how to make it better? Thanks.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#40
No, I am not doing anything like that currently. I bought a Yoga mat to work on building the CORE muscle by doing planks. but other than that nothing. I need just 1 or 2 things to do that is best for the lower back. I just don't have the time to do bunch of muscle building stuff nor do I desire to look like Rafa
Firstly, do not worry, you will not look like Rafa. Muscle is built from your diet, the training only provides the stimulus for protein synthesis to take place. I have a few runners that lift a decent amount of weight, but due to their daily caloric intake, they will not put on the type of muscle you are assuming.

I am all for Yoga, but I am certain your issue is not because you are not flexible enough, it is because of a compromised TLF. If you do not want to do dead lifts, then try the exercise known as Good Mornings, this is done with straight legs, and bending forward and then back to the a vertical position, you don't even need to use weights for this if you are afraid they will turn you into Rafa.

I love planks and you should be doing them regardless of your current issue, but you do need to more isolated work, because it is not your abdominals, your glutes, or your pelvic floor muscles that are being aggravated by your serving, it is the TLF connecting your lats to your pelvis.
 
#42
I'm an ectomorph 6'3" and never really responded much to the meagre efforts at lifting etc I've made previously.
Think Mo Farah rather than A. Swartzerneger :)

But, a recent elbow over / hyper extension problem led me to following a biceps curl exercise with really slow release down, to strengthen and prevent this.
I found the video on YouTube btw.
It's actually worked very well.
No more over / hyper extension on certain forehands I hit = pain free :)

I do 15 rep X 3 sets of these every other day (doing other back related exercises in between each set).
Weight is quite low, I'm up to 5kgs each dumbbell now. Do both arms at the same time.
Bear in mind I'm also nursing a golfers elbow problem, use the Flexi bar for that successfully.

Anyway, the change / growth in my biceps and pecs had been noticeable.. well for me anyway and even the Mrs has noticed..

I'm going to carry on to keep the over / hyper extension demons at bay.
What other exercises (free weights) not even a bench here, would you recommend that I could complement with?

P.S. every other day I do a Matt Roberts P.H.A training workout session (you can find these on YouTube).
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#43
I have been using smartphone on bed while sleeping and due to this developed pain in my rotator cuff and upper back. I sleep on my tummy. How can I get over this pain?
I have seen this before, I assuming you are tilting your head down so your chin is pointing inward towards your sternum. By keeping this position for extended periods of time, especially when you are not standing up puts a lot of stress on your spine, in particular the third and fourth vertebrae which help to support your head. Your head is quite heavy, and the muscles around your neck will begin to get exhausted with continuous looking down at your smartphone. The body at this point recruits the muscles nearby to help, this will include your traps otherwise known as your upper back, and muscles around your shoulder blades, which includes the rotator cuff, but also the rhomboids and your posterior delotids. This is not a good position to be in....couple with the fact that smart phones will omit wavelengths in the blue color spectrum, and these wavelength prevent the release of melatonin to help induce sleep and relax your muscles.

The first thing you need to do is stop using your phone while in bed, or seriously reduce the amount of time you are spending on it, to alleviate the pain in your spinal column. Your spine is not in alignment for extended periods of time...this is in essence a form of mild torture. Secondly, I would suggest icing the area every morning when you wake up, and then icing it before you get ready for bed, this will help increase blood flow and keep the muscles open. Stay away from any overhead pressing while you are experiencing this, let the muscles recuperate from the soreness, it is something that will go away, you just need to show restrain when using your phone.
 
#45
Lucky you, gym in your own office ))))

I need to know what your routine is, can you share that with me, so I can give you advise on how to make it better? Thanks.
I am following the stronglift 5x5 routines this summer. It is three exercises each: workout A is squat bench row and B is squat press deadlift. I have modified it this summer (1) to stop increasing the weight of the squart (260j and deadlift (270) because I can’t finish the whole workouts (2j to further reduce the sets on Monday or Friday if I have a tough singles on Sunday or Saturday.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#46
I'm an ectomorph 6'3" and never really responded much to the meagre efforts at lifting etc I've made previously.
Think Mo Farah rather than A. Swartzerneger :)

But, a recent elbow over / hyper extension problem led me to following a biceps curl exercise with really slow release down, to strengthen and prevent this.
I found the video on YouTube btw.
It's actually worked very well.
No more over / hyper extension on certain forehands I hit = pain free :)

I do 15 rep X 3 sets of these every other day (doing other back related exercises in between each set).
Weight is quite low, I'm up to 5kgs each dumbbell now. Do both arms at the same time.
Bear in mind I'm also nursing a golfers elbow problem, use the Flexi bar for that successfully.

Anyway, the change / growth in my biceps and pecs had been noticeable.. well for me anyway and even the Mrs has noticed..

I'm going to carry on to keep the over / hyper extension demons at bay.
What other exercises (free weights) not even a bench here, would you recommend that I could complement with?

P.S. every other day I do a Matt Roberts P.H.A training workout session (you can find these on YouTube).
OK, so you are doing time under tension negative training - basically focusing on the eccentric part of the movement. This is actually where most of the muscle tears and then regrows and becomes bigger, hence why you are noticing the visual gains in your physique. Compliment your biceps with triceps work, you can lie down on the floor, and do triceps extensions by basically pointing your elbows towards the ceiling with the arms bent, so your hands and the weight are about to touch the ground, and then using proper form straighten your arms out, without locking them at the top. Then slowly, as you do with the biceps routine, lower them back to the start position. You will get overall balance in your arms with this.

As for other exercises, if you only have dumbbells, work your shoulders in what is known as a giant set. That is four exercises done in sequence without rest, stick with a light weight, and perform the following exercises. Dumbbell shoulder press, front anterior deltoid raises, side lateral deltoid raises and finally bent over posterior delotid raises. This will make sure that your now stronger arms, also have stronger supporting shoulders to support them.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#47
I am following the stronglift 5x5 routines this summer. It is three exercises each: workout A is squat bench row and B is squat press deadlift. I have modified it this summer (1) to stop increasing the weight of the squart (260j and deadlift (270) because I can’t finish the whole workouts (2j to further reduce the sets on Monday or Friday if I have a tough singles on Sunday or Saturday.
OK, I understand now.

You are doing a lot of muscle stimulation if all your movements as basically compound movements that recruit various muscle groups, secondary muscle groups and stabilizer muscles. I have done a similar routine this to get ready for a muscle and fitness show, let me share my routine with you.

Workout A
Clean and Press superset with Weighted Wide Grip Pull Ups - four sets, four reps each exercise
Dumbbell Flat Bench Press superset with Barbell Squat - four sets, four reps each exercise
Hanging leg raises superset with rope crunch - failure four sets

Workout B
Incline Barbell Bench Press superset with deadlifts - four sets, four reps each exercise
Barbell row superset with weighted standing lungers - four sets, four reps each exercise
Plank superset with side plank both sides - failure four sets

Rest next day, and then repeat cycle again and that would be a week of training. That was four workouts, and with superset training I was getting in much higher volume of work, which was taxing on my cardiovascular system, causing me to pump out a lot of growth hormone during training, while the heavy lifts at low reps allowed me to elevate testosterone and preserve muscle, while getting leaner (not talking about the diet part here)

I would suggest if possible to superset in your case, it will push your body, you won't need to go too heavy, and it will save you time, because your rest periods will be lower. Plus you are getting effective cardio workout, and not losing out on the big lifts. Go for four workouts a week, something like a Monday-Tuesday and then Thursday-Friday routine, and ensure you carb up the day before workout one, so Sunday and Wednesday you should aim to get muscle glycogen back to optimum levels, so your performance is not hindered during the lifts.
 
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