Ask The Hitman

  • Thread starter Deleted member 77403
  • Start date

Username_

Hall of Fame
Can you get stronger without a calorie surplus?

Can your face look less fat from simply eating less calories than you burn, and thus not do exercise? Or do you have to incorporate cardio as well as a calorie deficit to have a leaner face?

Is it recommended to eat right after a cardio session or to avoid eating?

Kind regards, and sincerely,
Guy who looks fatter than last year
 
Last edited:

onehandbh

Legend
@Hitman thank you for creating this thread for helping people.

first some background:
I used to play a lot of different sports (basketball, tennis, surfing, volleyball, rock climbing, ultimate, etc.) and also lifted. Never did cardio unless it was playing a sport. Body type? not sure, but I'm usually around 6', 165. (lbs not kg !) For the past 5-8 yrs have been exercising much less and going to gym about 1x a week. Finally able to go a little more often now. Maybe 2 or 3x. Wouldn't mind getting a little leaner again and maybe gain more muscle.
I don't really pay much attention to nutrition that much. Eat 3 meals a day plus snack whenever I'm hungry. I'll try and keep a log this week. Breakfast is typically, 2 boiled eggs, some fruit, maybe a chocolate croissant, honey lemon tea, some yogurt, some leafy greens. Basically stuff I like to eat. smaller lunch, bigger dinner. I'm usually hungrier on days I exercise so I eat more afterwards.

current workout:
full body 1x a week)
squats (4 sets) reps: 10, 8, 8, 10
bench press (4 sets) rep: 10, 5-7, 5-7, 10
pullups (3 sets), 10, 7, 3
1 set walking lunges holding dumbells (1 set), 20 steps
1 set dips (1 set), bodyweight +20kg for about 8 reps

about 8-10 reps for the below exercises;
shoulder press using dumbells (2 sets)
dumbell curls (2 sets)
rotator cuff exercises (2 sets)
deadlift (1 set)

For the first 3 exerciese, I do one warmup and then increase weight. Not that much of an increase since I'm not super strong. (e.g. bench of 135 warmup, then 165. squat: 135, then 209 and 226 lbs and back to 200)

I will finally have time to work out more than 1x a week now. Maybe 2 or 3.
Any suggestions?
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Thanks for that. Just a couple questions:

- what is the difference between pull ups and chin ups? I always thought they’re the same thing. Also, I had developed forearm tendinitis which got worse by doing wide-grip chin ups/Lat Pulldowns. However no issues with close-grip. It took me 2 years to get rid of the tendinitis by doing eccentric phase only concentration curls, lots of forearm isolation exercises (I still have small forearms lol) and avoiding wide grip pulls. Would I still get good results by sticking to close-grip pulls only?

- in the one session, say a pull day, how many vertical & horizontal exercises should I aim for, and how many sets & reps & what % of my 1RM? I’m assuming rest between sets is 90 sec?

- hip hinge is a worry as I suffer back spasms from doing deadlifts and squats. Lately I’ve been avoiding them and focusing more on doing 45 deg leg presses, lunges, goblin squats and leg ext/curls instead. On top of which I commute on my push bike a fair bit plus I do weekend mountain biking, so my thighs at 60cm are already massive for my stature. Unless they’re working on other areas other than my legs, is it necessary to risk getting back spasms by doing deadlifts and B.B. squats?

Cheers
Firstly, you are welcome.

OK, so lets go through this with you...

What is the difference between pull ups and chin ups? - The difference is what muscles are you specifically targeting and what are you overall goals. Wide grip pull ups are designed to do just that, add width to your back, and create that V-taper, which helps connects the wide shoulders to the smaller waist. You lats start down low, in your lower back, depending on genetically gifted you are, the more gifted you are, the more lower down the insertion points. The lats connect on your humerous bone, back behind your biceps, so you can see that they work better in a V shaped formation, because that is how the muscle is positioned on your body. If you are struggling to do wide grip pull ups, then I would suggest you do wide grip lat pull downs, which are just, if not more effective since you do more reps without the hanging weight of your body exhausting your grip. Along with the width of the lats, the rear deltoids, the rhomboids and the teres major and minor muscles are worked also, which takes me to my next point....

How are you exactly doing pull ups? What I mean by that is, what type of grip are you using? When working the back, you should always hook all your fingers and thumb over the pull up bar, so it activates more back, instead of more bicep. The moment you grab the bar like you grab a water bottle, you recruit more of your forearm, the brachiaradialis and your biceps, which take a lot of the work load away. That could be why you are having problems with your forearms.

Chin ups are are like a narrow grip pull down, this is gives you back thickness more than width, the opposite of the wide grip pull up. You are now activating more of the muscles around your spinal column, as well as thickening the lats around your mid back area. So both exercises are important, because they hit different parts of your back, and to get a 3D look back that blocks out the sun, both should be done.

OK, your second question regarding reps and sets for horizontal and vertical exercises - You should at minimum be looking at two exercises for every movement. So on pull day for instance, you can do bent over barbell rows, with seat cable rows for horizontal pull. Then do wide grip pullups, followed up close grip lat pull downs for your vertical pulls. You should look for volume here, since you are looking for hypertrophy training, the training that will help you get bigger and more defined muscles. You rep range should be between 8 and 12, with about 80 percent of your max for the majority of your training...then finish of your final set at 90% Do not go to 1 rep max on hypertrophy training, that is more part of a strength training program.

Third question regarding hip hinge - If you are susceptible to injury then my advice is to do the movement as a body weight exercise, or just the bar. I wouldn't suggest you avoid natural movements, I would recommend you adhere to proper strict form, and use a light weight, even up to only 30% of what you can do. This will steadily strengthen your tendons, cartilage over time. So go very light, use just the bar if you have to.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Can you get stronger without a calorie surplus?

Can your face look less fat from simply eating less calories than you burn, and thus not do exercise? Or do you have to incorporate cardio as well as a calorie deficit to have a leaner face?

Is it recommended to eat right after a cardio session or to avoid eating?

Kind regards, and sincerely,
Guy who looks fatter than last year
Can you get stronger without a calorie surplus? - Yes you can. I have had periods where I have been in a caloric deficit for 8 weeks, yet managed to get stronger at the end of the program. It will depend on two things. The first is that the calories you are taking in are the right type, they are nutrient dense that initiate the activation of your metabolism, and create an anabolic environment in your body. The second thing is your actual training program, it should be geared towards strength training and not bodybuilding or conditioning.

Can your face look less fat from simply eating less calories than you burn, and thus not do exercise? Or do you have to incorporate cardio as well as a calorie deficit to have a leaner face? - Yes, you can look less fat from eating less calories than you burn, but ideally you should do some exercise you the right type of weight is lost. You want your body to lose bodyfat and not lean muscle tissue. If you start cutting calories, your body will look to hold onto fat and burn muscle instead, because muscle is more metabolically active than fat and if the body understands you are not providing enough calories over an extended period of time, it enters into starvation mode. It will burn off the one thing that burns the most calories, your muscle, and use that to keep your brain and other organs working...this will result in a skinny fat look.

The problem with this is, your rest metbolic rate has now dropped, so you are more inefficient at burning fat than you were before, and you body has become even more efficient at storing fat, because it has been starved and needs to protect you. So now when you start eating more calories again, the fat will be more easily stored, and you actually gain more weight than you had before, but you also don't have the lean muscle tissue to burn it off. Not a good thing. If you fatter than last year, then you could have fallen into this vicious cycle.

If you are going to do cardio, it is recommended no to eat until at least 90 minutes after your session, because your growth hormone levels are elevated and they growth hormone burns body fat. You will want to keep that high as long as possible, before you eat. Because once you eat, the beta cells in your pancreas will release insulin into the body and insulin and growth hormone cannot co-exist. One is designed to burn calories, the other to store them into cells.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
@Hitman thank you for creating this thread for helping people.

first some background:
I used to play a lot of different sports (basketball, tennis, surfing, volleyball, rock climbing, ultimate, etc.) and also lifted. Never did cardio unless it was playing a sport. Body type? not sure, but I'm usually around 6', 165. (lbs not kg !) For the past 5-8 yrs have been exercising much less and going to gym about 1x a week. Finally able to go a little more often now. Maybe 2 or 3x. Wouldn't mind getting a little leaner again and maybe gain more muscle.
I don't really pay much attention to nutrition that much. Eat 3 meals a day plus snack whenever I'm hungry. I'll try and keep a log this week. Breakfast is typically, 2 boiled eggs, some fruit, maybe a chocolate croissant, honey lemon tea, some yogurt, some leafy greens. Basically stuff I like to eat. smaller lunch, bigger dinner. I'm usually hungrier on days I exercise so I eat more afterwards.

current workout:
full body 1x a week)
squats (4 sets) reps: 10, 8, 8, 10
bench press (4 sets) rep: 10, 5-7, 5-7, 10
pullups (3 sets), 10, 7, 3
1 set walking lunges holding dumbells (1 set), 20 steps
1 set dips (1 set), bodyweight +20kg for about 8 reps

about 8-10 reps for the below exercises;
shoulder press using dumbells (2 sets)
dumbell curls (2 sets)
rotator cuff exercises (2 sets)
deadlift (1 set)

For the first 3 exerciese, I do one warmup and then increase weight. Not that much of an increase since I'm not super strong. (e.g. bench of 135 warmup, then 165. squat: 135, then 209 and 226 lbs and back to 200)

I will finally have time to work out more than 1x a week now. Maybe 2 or 3.
Any suggestions?

Firstly, it is my honor to help anyone who wants my advise, so thanks for your kind words.

Right, if we are going with three workout a week, then the recommendation will be total body workout each time you are in there. Protein synthesis stimulation is about a 72 hour window, so you are good to hit a muscle every three to four days depending on just how genetically gifted you are. With what you have shown we, we are going to do the following - a barbell workout, alternating with a dumbbell workout. The idea behind this is, your sympathetic nervous will be taxed more, if the pressure your body feels while doing the same movements is changed for the more stable barbell to more unstable dumbbell which recruits more motor neurons and stabilizer muscles.

So you have workout A and workout B

Workout A - The Barbell workout (Each exercise to be done between 8 to 12 reps and for four working sets)
Flat Bench Press
Barbell Back Squat
Barbell Dead Lift
Barbell Miltary Shoulder Press
Bent over Barbell Row
Standing Barbell Curls

Workout B - The Dumbell workout (Each exercise to be done between 8 to 12 reps and for four working sets)
Incline Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Lunges
Bent Over Dumbbell rows
Shoulder Dumbbell Press
Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls
Plank to failure and Hanging Leg raises to failure

Repeat cycle. I want you to try this for six weeks at least, and steadily increase the weight, focus on progressive overload, to get bigger, and stronger. As for your diet, try to get more protein in, so you can benefit from this workout, a whey protein supplement can help post workout, and a caesin protein can help in the evenings.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Firstly, it is my honor to help anyone who wants my advise, so thanks for your kind words.

Right, if we are going with three workout a week, then the recommendation will be total body workout each time you are in there. Protein synthesis stimulation is about a 72 hour window, so you are good to hit a muscle every three to four days depending on just how genetically gifted you are. With what you have shown we, we are going to do the following - a barbell workout, alternating with a dumbbell workout. The idea behind this is, your sympathetic nervous will be taxed more, if the pressure your body feels while doing the same movements is changed for the more stable barbell to more unstable dumbbell which recruits more motor neurons and stabilizer muscles.

So you have workout A and workout B

Workout A - The Barbell workout (Each exercise to be done between 8 to 12 reps and for four working sets)
Flat Bench Press
Barbell Back Squat
Barbell Dead Lift
Barbell Miltary Shoulder Press
Bent over Barbell Row
Standing Barbell Curls

Workout B - The Dumbell workout (Each exercise to be done between 8 to 12 reps and for four working sets)
Incline Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Lunges
Bent Over Dumbbell rows
Shoulder Dumbbell Press
Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls
Plank to failure and Hanging Leg raises to failure

Repeat cycle. I want you to try this for six weeks at least, and steadily increase the weight, focus on progressive overload, to get bigger, and stronger. As for your diet, try to get more protein in, so you can benefit from this workout, a whey protein supplement can help post workout, and a caesin protein can help in the evenings.
Thanks. I’ll give this a try.

For the working sets, how close to failure should each set be?

Also, how long of rest between each set? 2-4min okay?
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Thanks. I’ll give this a try.

For the working sets, how close to failure should each set be?

Also, how long of rest between each set? 2-4min okay?
Go to failure on the last two working sets, the first couple of sets, go 80% close to failure.

If you want to big and lean, that you should be looking do sets between 90 seconds to 120 seconds tops.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Firstly, you are welcome.

OK, so lets go through this with you...

What is the difference between pull ups and chin ups? - The difference is what muscles are you specifically targeting and what are you overall goals. Wide grip pull ups are designed to do just that, add width to your back, and create that V-taper, which helps connects the wide shoulders to the smaller waist. You lats start down low, in your lower back, depending on genetically gifted you are, the more gifted you are, the more lower down the insertion points. The lats connect on your humerous bone, back behind your biceps, so you can see that they work better in a V shaped formation, because that is how the muscle is positioned on your body. If you are struggling to do wide grip pull ups, then I would suggest you do wide grip lat pull downs, which are just, if not more effective since you do more reps without the hanging weight of your body exhausting your grip. Along with the width of the lats, the rear deltoids, the rhomboids and the teres major and minor muscles are worked also, which takes me to my next point....

How are you exactly doing pull ups? What I mean by that is, what type of grip are you using? When working the back, you should always hook all your fingers and thumb over the pull up bar, so it activates more back, instead of more bicep. The moment you grab the bar like you grab a water bottle, you recruit more of your forearm, the brachiaradialis and your biceps, which take a lot of the work load away. That could be why you are having problems with your forearms.

Chin ups are are like a narrow grip pull down, this is gives you back thickness more than width, the opposite of the wide grip pull up. You are now activating more of the muscles around your spinal column, as well as thickening the lats around your mid back area. So both exercises are important, because they hit different parts of your back, and to get a 3D look back that blocks out the sun, both should be done.

OK, your second question regarding reps and sets for horizontal and vertical exercises - You should at minimum be looking at two exercises for every movement. So on pull day for instance, you can do bent over barbell rows, with seat cable rows for horizontal pull. Then do wide grip pullups, followed up close grip lat pull downs for your vertical pulls. You should look for volume here, since you are looking for hypertrophy training, the training that will help you get bigger and more defined muscles. You rep range should be between 8 and 12, with about 80 percent of your max for the majority of your training...then finish of your final set at 90% Do not go to 1 rep max on hypertrophy training, that is more part of a strength training program.

Third question regarding hip hinge - If you are susceptible to injury then my advice is to do the movement as a body weight exercise, or just the bar. I wouldn't suggest you avoid natural movements, I would recommend you adhere to proper strict form, and use a light weight, even up to only 30% of what you can do. This will steadily strengthen your tendons, cartilage over time. So go very light, use just the bar if you have to.
Invaluable info...much appreciated.

I’ll revamp my training as you suggested starting this week. As for the deadlifts, I’ll see how it goes with light weights and lots of reps.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Go to failure on the last two working sets, the first couple of sets, go 80% close to failure.

If you want to big and lean, that you should be looking do sets between 90 seconds to 120 seconds tops.
One more question, if I can only go 2x instead of 3x a week, should I do the same A /B workout?
 

Username_

Hall of Fame
Can your face look less fat from simply eating less calories than you burn, and thus not do exercise? Or do you have to incorporate cardio as well as a calorie deficit to have a leaner face? - Yes, you can look less fat from eating less calories than you burn, but ideally you should do some exercise you the right type of weight is lost. You want your body to lose bodyfat and not lean muscle tissue. If you start cutting calories, your body will look to hold onto fat and burn muscle instead, because muscle is more metabolically active than fat and if the body understands you are not providing enough calories over an extended period of time, it enters into starvation mode. It will burn off the one thing that burns the most calories, your muscle, and use that to keep your brain and other organs working...this will result in a skinny fat look.

The problem with this is, your rest metbolic rate has now dropped, so you are more inefficient at burning fat than you were before, and you body has become even more efficient at storing fat, because it has been starved and needs to protect you. So now when you start eating more calories again, the fat will be more easily stored, and you actually gain more weight than you had before, but you also don't have the lean muscle tissue to burn it off. Not a good thing. If you fatter than last year, then you could have fallen into this vicious cycle.

If you are going to do cardio, it is recommended no to eat until at least 90 minutes after your session, because your growth hormone levels are elevated and they growth hormone burns body fat. You will want to keep that high as long as possible, before you eat. Because once you eat, the beta cells in your pancreas will release insulin into the body and insulin and growth hormone cannot co-exist. One is designed to burn calories, the other to store them into cells.
Wow. Thank you Hitman!
You also answered some of the questions I was also thinking of asking but I felt I had put too much out already.

So I've been doing it wrong my whole life :(
I always ate some protein dense foods that had no carbs (or just a protein shake) immediately after cardio sessions since I was under the belief that you'd lose muscle if you didn't supply food to your body soon after a moderate to intense cardio workout.

Would it be all for naught in regards to losing fat (for a "skinny-fat person) if I did daily cardio sessions, not eat for at least 90 minutes after my session, but still went above a caloric surplus (obviously not a huge lot) of around 500 calories for example?

Can you get stronger without a calorie surplus? - Yes you can. I have had periods where I have been in a caloric deficit for 8 weeks, yet managed to get stronger at the end of the program. It will depend on two things. The first is that the calories you are taking in are the right type, they are nutrient dense that initiate the activation of your metabolism, and create an anabolic environment in your body. The second thing is your actual training program, it should be geared towards strength training and not bodybuilding or conditioning.
Does this include plyometrics when talking about strength training?

and yes! That's what I meant when you said "skinny-fat". I'm a lean person who used to do lots of cardio and some bodyweight exercises until this year. I still have the look of a skinny person, but more fatty around the face than last year. I guess it's more correct to say my facial features aren't as defined as they used to be even though I'm skinny. Thank you for that.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Wow. Thank you Hitman!
You also answered some of the questions I was also thinking of asking but I felt I had put too much out already.

So I've been doing it wrong my whole life :(
I always ate some protein dense foods that had no carbs (or just a protein shake) immediately after cardio sessions since I was under the belief that you'd lose muscle if you didn't supply food to your body soon after a moderate to intense cardio workout.

Would it be all for naught in regards to losing fat (for a "skinny-fat person) if I did daily cardio sessions, not eat for at least 90 minutes after my session, but still went above a caloric surplus (obviously not a huge lot) of around 500 calories for example?


Does this include plyometrics when talking about strength training?

and yes! That's what I meant when you said "skinny-fat". I'm a lean person who used to do lots of cardio and some bodyweight exercises until this year. I still have the look of a skinny person, but more fatty around the face than last year. I guess it's more correct to say my facial features aren't as defined as they used to be even though I'm skinny. Thank you for that.

You're welcome

This question of yours below...

Would it be all for naught in regards to losing fat (for a "skinny-fat person) if I did daily cardio sessions, not eat for at least 90 minutes after my session, but still went above a caloric surplus (obviously not a huge lot) of around 500 calories for example?

- I need to be very honest here, I think you need to stop doing cardio right now, because you are suffering from metabolic damage, doing more cardio, and restricting calories further is not the way, it will only get worse. You need to actually increase your calorie intake, so you boost your metabolism, get your thyroid stimulated.

Think of a steam engine train as your body, and the furnace as your metabolism and the coal as your calories. If you are steadily putting coal in, the furnace will stay at full power, and if stays at full power, the train moves faster. If lessen the coal, the fire goes down, the train comes to a stop. Your body is the same, you have reduced so much, by the way of muscle wastage, that your furnace is just not powerful enough, and reduce the calories will only make it worse until you have complete metabolic and hormonal shutdown.

My suggestion to you is to start building some muscle back, get your resting basal metabolic rate higher. Focus on strength training, lifting up to 90% of your max each time, and focus on progressive overload, so your body is forced to build muscle over time. And get more healthy calories in, those calories will help you build muscle. Eat more calories to burn more calories, and get the thermogenic effect of digestion to work for you instead of against you.
 

Username_

Hall of Fame
You're welcome

This question of yours below...

Would it be all for naught in regards to losing fat (for a "skinny-fat person) if I did daily cardio sessions, not eat for at least 90 minutes after my session, but still went above a caloric surplus (obviously not a huge lot) of around 500 calories for example?

- I need to be very honest here, I think you need to stop doing cardio right now, because you are suffering from metabolic damage, doing more cardio, and restricting calories further is not the way, it will only get worse. You need to actually increase your calorie intake, so you boost your metabolism, get your thyroid stimulated.

Think of a steam engine train as your body, and the furnace as your metabolism and the coal as your calories. If you are steadily putting coal in, the furnace will stay at full power, and if stays at full power, the train moves faster. If lessen the coal, the fire goes down, the train comes to a stop. Your body is the same, you have reduced so much, by the way of muscle wastage, that your furnace is just not powerful enough, and reduce the calories will only make it worse until you have complete metabolic and hormonal shutdown.

My suggestion to you is to start building some muscle back, get your resting basal metabolic rate higher. Focus on strength training, lifting up to 90% of your max each time, and focus on progressive overload, so your body is forced to build muscle over time. And get more healthy calories in, those calories will help you build muscle. Eat more calories to burn more calories, and get the thermogenic effect of digestion to work for you instead of against you.

One of the main reasons as to why I gave up on building muscle was that I felt I wasn't getting any stronger and didn't look stronger (Idk if that was the case or not) after working out to muscle failure for about 5-6 weeks. However, I was only doing bodyweight exercises (pushups and pullups twice a week) so perhaps I wasn't doing it frequently enough, didn't do the right exercises, didn't eat enough/right foods (carb dense diet) or all of the above)

I think you nailed it in regards to the metabolic damage part. Sometimes I'd go and do exercise (tennis, training, cardio or whatever) on a near empty stomach, not intentionally but cause I didn't know what to eat but rice and pasta but got bored of it and couldnt be bothered since I'm picky. Obviously didn't perform as well as I'd like to have but the steam engine part you wrote about is what you're kind of referring to here unless I interpreted it wrong. This mini paragraph is just me story telling my stupidity here so not really asking about any questions I need answers to lol.

I wanna be very honest here too, but for the first time your responses have motivated me to train again :cool:

I'll just eat whenever I'm hungry and not worry about eating too much because the goal is to put on more calories as well as putting training into the routine. Hell, that's what I think I did and ate almost like a pig before I had this skinny fat look.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
One of the main reasons as to why I gave up on building muscle was that I felt I wasn't getting any stronger and didn't look stronger (Idk if that was the case or not) after working out to muscle failure for about 5-6 weeks. However, I was only doing bodyweight exercises (pushups and pullups twice a week) so perhaps I wasn't doing it frequently enough, didn't do the right exercises, didn't eat enough/right foods (carb dense diet) or all of the above)

I think you nailed it in regards to the metabolic damage part. Sometimes I'd go and do exercise (tennis, training, cardio or whatever) on a near empty stomach, not intentionally but cause I didn't know what to eat but rice and pasta but got bored of it and couldnt be bothered since I'm picky. Obviously didn't perform as well as I'd like to have but the steam engine part you wrote about is what you're kind of referring to here unless I interpreted it wrong. This mini paragraph is just me story telling my stupidity here so not really asking about any questions I need answers to lol.

I wanna be very honest here too, but for the first time your responses have motivated me to train again :cool:

I'll just eat whenever I'm hungry and not worry about eating too much because the goal is to put on more calories as well as putting training into the routine. Hell, that's what I think I did and ate almost like a pig before I had this skinny fat look.
Good to hear you are feeling the motivation growing again. Start getting those calories in and start building strength and muscle, and then as a result, start getting your metabolism fixed and start burning fat and looking and feeling good.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
best food before a morning tennis match ? I find that I cannot do without a bite of a sweet bread. Juice, bananas, berries I notice energy loss quicker than having a piece of sweet bread (banana bread, lemon, or vanilla) and water. A slice of cold thin-crust pizza might do the trick too. This is for an in-shape person best of 3 sets. Other days, I'll work out early in the morning on an empty stomach for maximum fat loss.
 
Last edited:

Keystoner

Rookie
Ok, I've now gathered you're a bodybuilder. Was it wrong to assume you're also a tennis player? Yes, Nadal has guns for arms, but I also assumed working out the way a bodybuilder does would not be good for also playing tennis. Is that correct?
 

speedysteve

Legend
Ok, I've now gathered you're a bodybuilder. Was it wrong to assume you're also a tennis player? Yes, Nadal has guns for arms, but I also assumed working out the way a bodybuilder does would not be good for also playing tennis. Is that correct?
Be interesting to get an answer on this one.
Nadal is a fellow ectomorph I've read.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
best food before a morning tennis match ? I find that I cannot do without a bite of a sweet bread. Juice, bananas, berries I notice energy loss quicker than having a piece of sweet bread (banana bread, lemon, or vanilla) and water. A slice of cold thin-crust pizza might do the trick too. This is for an in-shape person best of 3 sets. Other days, I'll work out early in the morning on an empty stomach for maximum fat loss.
I used to playing tennis every Sunday morning at my local club when I was in my early adulthood days, normally would hit the courts about 8 in the morning and play until noon. One of the best foods I enjoyed that really kept me going was a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar. The brown sugar would help give me an insulin spike, and start shuttling the sugars into my muscles, while the slow release oatmeal would then piggy back off of that insulin spike to steadily keep supplying my body with energy in the form of glucose polymers. During the match, I would eat some dried banana slices, but I wouldn't drink water. The idea behind this is, it allow better absorption when you keep water and fruit separate, because when you eat fruit and drink water at the same time, you get a putrefying effect in your stomach, which can upset your stomach and not ideal if you are running around too much. I know athletes do eat bananas and such and sip some water, but they normally do it just to push the fruit down, I would wait 10 to 15 minutes before drinking water again.

That is what worked for me, in the sense it helped me perform better on the court for longer. The truth though is, you need to experiment to find what works best for you, because we all have different balances of enzymes in our body that convert certain foods to energy, some foods are more optimum for me, and some will be better for you. But I do recommend that you do try other things, try what I did...a combination of a fast acting and slow acting digestive carb meal before the match, let the fast acting carb, in my case brown sugar stimulate nutrient uptake, and then allow the slow acting carb, again in my case oatmeal to then use those open channels to continue fuelling your muscles.

So you train in a fasted stated. How long before do you have you last meal and how soon after do you break your fast?
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Ok, I've now gathered you're a bodybuilder. Was it wrong to assume you're also a tennis player? Yes, Nadal has guns for arms, but I also assumed working out the way a bodybuilder does would not be good for also playing tennis. Is that correct?
I have been a competitive natural bodybuilder and muscle and fitness athlete, I have competed in multiple US national events, several Olympias, four world natural bodybuilding events, over 10 years for competing around the world, I have a masters degree in Human Physiology, Exercise and Nutrition, I am certified personal trainer and a certified nutritionist...so I am little bit more than just a bodybuilder. ;)

But if you look at the post above, I have played a lot of tennis in years gone by. So you are not wrong to assume that I have played tennis and enjoy the game, I just don't play as much now since I am busy with other things.


So is training like a bodybuilder good for tennis? Bodybuilding training is about making muscles grow, building an attractive looking physique. It is a completely different sport, if you want to call it that, to tennis. The idea with bodybuilding is to develop and bring out muscle definition which means there is a lot of isolation work that takes place. The focus is on hypertrophy training, which is also known as sarcoplasmic training, where you swell the muscle cells up with nutrients, water to make them bigger.

Tennis requires more functional training, where the muscles all work together, so while there is an element of cross over between the two, tennis athletes will benefit more from total body strength training exercises like the clean and press. Muscle coordination is more intrinsic in tennis specific training, so while doing exercises such as barbell squats are very beneficial because it helps strengthen tendons in your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus to help provide the explosive dynamic power you need to lunge or sprint to balls, you don't need to be doing a bodybuilding routine consisting of negatives, partials, German volume training, forced reps etc which are mainly designed to help bring out the grainy detail you see on stage for bodybuilding events.

The reason why Nadal's arms look impressive is not just based on his arm routine, it based on his genetics also, and I do not mean if he is an ecto or meso, it is about the origin and insertion points of the muscle, and if they create what is known as a deep muscle belly effect. Nadal has good insertions, meaning he has deep muscle bellies, and with low levels of body fat, they can give an optical illusion, making them look even more outstanding then they really are.
 

Keystoner

Rookie
Big muscles don't seem to translate to hitting the ball faster. I'm struck by how skinny Federer's arms are. What is it--efficient technique, kinetic chain stuff, etc?

By the way, this is really nice of you to have a "column" like this.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Yes. This should still be sufficient. Total body, alternate between a barbell workout and a dumbbell workout.
Started the A/B routine today. Great first workout but unfortunately, I had a (hopefully) minor knee sprain when I lost slipped on the tennis court. It had just started raining. Inner knee is sore now!
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
I used to playing tennis every Sunday morning at my local club when I was in my early adulthood days, normally would hit the courts about 8 in the morning and play until noon. One of the best foods I enjoyed that really kept me going was a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar. The brown sugar would help give me an insulin spike, and start shuttling the sugars into my muscles, while the slow release oatmeal would then piggy back off of that insulin spike to steadily keep supplying my body with energy in the form of glucose polymers. During the match, I would eat some dried banana slices, but I wouldn't drink water. The idea behind this is, it allow better absorption when you keep water and fruit separate, because when you eat fruit and drink water at the same time, you get a putrefying effect in your stomach, which can upset your stomach and not ideal if you are running around too much. I know athletes do eat bananas and such and sip some water, but they normally do it just to push the fruit down, I would wait 10 to 15 minutes before drinking water again.

That is what worked for me, in the sense it helped me perform better on the court for longer. The truth though is, you need to experiment to find what works best for you, because we all have different balances of enzymes in our body that convert certain foods to energy, some foods are more optimum for me, and some will be better for you. But I do recommend that you do try other things, try what I did...a combination of a fast acting and slow acting digestive carb meal before the match, let the fast acting carb, in my case brown sugar stimulate nutrient uptake, and then allow the slow acting carb, again in my case oatmeal to then use those open channels to continue fuelling your muscles.

So you train in a fasted stated. How long before do you have you last meal and how soon after do you break your fast?
I realize I left out that I sometimes ate a light bowl of oat bran with cinnamon sprinkled on top before playing the morning. After 75-90 minutes on the court it feels like I ate nothing. Citrus Fruit and water don't give me stomach problems. When I eat potassium foods; bananas, potatoes, etc. I suffer from an unexplainabe skin issue. Dermatologist cannot find the reason. I tell lthem it all started happening after taking multiple antibiotics when I was injured.
 

FedTheMan

Professional
First of all, Thank you Hitman for taking the time to answer all our questions.

Can you increase your TDEE by reverse dieting well over your previous range? I have seen women claim to eat 3000+ calories a day and maintain their weight and even cut at that caloric intake!
Therefore, can a man eat minimum 3500+ calories a day and maintain their weight?

I know every persons needs are different based on: jobs, amount of sleep, muscle content, metabolism, etc. However, is the 2000-3000 calorie range, the standard for all low active men?

Following the reverse dieting topic, do you believe in the set point theory?

I know you briefly mentioned that 2000 calories of chicken breast is different than 2000 calories of dessert and I fully agree. However, just like the body regulates our breathing naturally, do you think it can regulate a "healthy" weight for everyone, if they simply eat only when they are hungry, and eat real, minimally processed foods?

Most humans are out of touch with their bodies and eat for a variety of reasons other than hunger (depression, social gatherings, contests). Processed foods cause us to consume more and mess with our hormones.

I did calorie count for 2 years and it does work to get really lean. However, it does feel unnatural to count and prep meals, rather than just eating real food until you are satisfied and stop snacking.

Is the world looking at food the wrong way and just seeing numbers? Should we be focusing much more on what we eat rather than how much we eat?

Finally, what about the Insulin theory and that carbs are what make you gain weight rather than calories? Can you please share your thoughts?
 

albertobra

Hall of Fame
Of course I will ask the Hitman!

I would love to get a training program that colud help (age 50).

The love for the sport brings me to play a lot, and especially when feeling healthy I'd never stop.
Well let's put down some numbers. I play about 10 hous a week, add to this 2 hours of regular training, which I love, because you see how at any age you can improve. Weekends can get rough since often there are tournaments in the several clubs around the city.
But legs, joints, arm and the whole body pay the toll. It happened more than once that on mondays I had to 'roll' to get out of the bed first with the hands.
I go 3 times a week to the gym, but not really satisfied.
I am still trying to find out the right balance of playing tennis, go to gym (muscle and aerobics), exercises, streching, what to do before a match, what to do after.

I have already had problems on knees (both), shoulder last year and arm biceps this year. All these problems have been fixed. Now the problem is legs feeling tired.

Thanks in advance for this opportunity you are giving to us, and to share your knowledge.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Sorry for the delay folks, I am currently travelling. I should give you answers by tomorrow.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Sorry for the delay folks, I am currently travelling. I should give you answers by tomorrow.
I've been jogging uphill 3x a week for last several months. Slow steady pace. In the beginning I was out of breath at the end; could not talk, Heart Rate 160 bpm. Now I'm able to reach the top with relatively comfortable HeartRate of 140bpm or less and maintain conversation. Achieved my goal.

Question: I would like to walk up four flights of stairs with a comfortable HeartRate at the end. I don't think the hill work is really translating that well to stairs. (I really hate climbing stairs and try to avoid it). But sometimes I stay at a place where the elevator is slow and I regularly need to climb
to the fourth floor apt. When I reach the fourth floor , my HeartRate is around 140 bpm. I can talk but I am not really comfortable. Want it to be 120 bpm or less.

Do I need to do stair-specific work? Would walking the flights really slow be a good approach? i.e. reach the third floor at 120 bpm and then really slow
it down from the third to the fourth flight? That sounds attractive because I get uncomfortable and discouraged when Heart Rate goes above 120 bpm and I am sort of huffing and puffing from the third to the fourth.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Big muscles don't seem to translate to hitting the ball faster. I'm struck by how skinny Federer's arms are. What is it--efficient technique, kinetic chain stuff, etc?

By the way, this is really nice of you to have a "column" like this.
Bigger muscles do not always translate to better athletic performance, technique and transfer of kinetic energy plays an even important part. Let me give you an example before we even talk about Fed.

If you doing a barbell squat, the rule of thumb is the bigger your quads the more weight you can squat through a full range of motion. While this is true, it is not the full truth, muscle efficiency and coordination plays an even more paramount role in lifting that weight. A guy who has massive legs, but poor foot positioning probably will not utilize the entire muscle due to the way the legs are positioned and where the actual stress of the weight is felt. In addition to that, a lifter who has tight hamstrings will likely suffer from his or her pelvis being tilted forward, so spinal alignment is no long optimal, as the spine now presents a 15 to even 25 degrees change from the ideal dead straight vertical position....what does that mean? It means the transfer of energy from the ankles up through the legs does not effectively go up through the spine, but rather gets displaced, and it feels like the lower back then has to create its own energy output and to push up.

Not only will that be less effective, compared to the person who has a slightly weaker build, due to just poorer positioning, but it is also very dangerous and injuries occur.

The second thing that everyone needs to be aware of is the difference between sarcoplasmic and sacromere training. Well, what I do mean when I mention these two types of training methods?

Sarcoplamic training is what bodybuilders do, they increase the nutrient and fluid content of their muscle cells, which give the appearance of bigger muscles. Sacromere training is the actual thickening of the sarcomere myofibrils in your body. OK, let me go further with this. Muscle contraction happens by what is known as the sliding filament theory, throughout the muscle cells you have sarcomere myofibrils which are composed of two contractile proteins, actin and myosin. The proteins in the presence of ATP being turned to ADP and Phosphate, slide past each other, shortening the sarcomere myofibril - This is in essence your muscle contraction.

When you training the sacromeres you increase the concentration of actin and myosin proteins that bind to each other, causing very powerful muscle contractions and transfer of energy through your body. Federer along with other athletes have a high concentration of dense sarcomeres that contract and transfer kinetic energy more efficiently through their body. Does an element of weight training needs to be done for this? Well the true answer is, resistance training gets done for this and you do not really require weights to do it if you don't want the sacroplasmic side, because there will always be overlaps, because in essence you are still working the muscle. You can use resistance band training for this, to increase the torque, combined with explosive sprint training.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Started the A/B routine today. Great first workout but unfortunately, I had a (hopefully) minor knee sprain when I lost slipped on the tennis court. It had just started raining. Inner knee is sore now!
Glad the first workout went well, and sorry to hear your hurt your knee. As you said, hopefully a minor sprain. I would suggest the compression expansion technique of icing the area to reduce inflammation and then heating it up, once those blood vessels dilate to get nutrients there. If you are not vegetarian, I would suggest consuming some bone broth, it will help with any collagen recovery.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
I realize I left out that I sometimes ate a light bowl of oat bran with cinnamon sprinkled on top before playing the morning. After 75-90 minutes on the court it feels like I ate nothing. Citrus Fruit and water don't give me stomach problems. When I eat potassium foods; bananas, potatoes, etc. I suffer from an unexplainabe skin issue. Dermatologist cannot find the reason. I tell lthem it all started happening after taking multiple antibiotics when I was injured.
Have you had your kidneys checked out? Higher concentrations of potassium showing up in your skin could point to something much deeper down. Potassium excretion, just like sodium is done at the kidneys, and the hormone aldosterone which is involved in this might not be working properly by binding to the nephrons in your Kidneys to help balance the electrolytes.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
First of all, Thank you Hitman for taking the time to answer all our questions.

Can you increase your TDEE by reverse dieting well over your previous range? I have seen women claim to eat 3000+ calories a day and maintain their weight and even cut at that caloric intake!
Therefore, can a man eat minimum 3500+ calories a day and maintain their weight?

I know every persons needs are different based on: jobs, amount of sleep, muscle content, metabolism, etc. However, is the 2000-3000 calorie range, the standard for all low active men?

Following the reverse dieting topic, do you believe in the set point theory?

I know you briefly mentioned that 2000 calories of chicken breast is different than 2000 calories of dessert and I fully agree. However, just like the body regulates our breathing naturally, do you think it can regulate a "healthy" weight for everyone, if they simply eat only when they are hungry, and eat real, minimally processed foods?

Most humans are out of touch with their bodies and eat for a variety of reasons other than hunger (depression, social gatherings, contests). Processed foods cause us to consume more and mess with our hormones.

I did calorie count for 2 years and it does work to get really lean. However, it does feel unnatural to count and prep meals, rather than just eating real food until you are satisfied and stop snacking.

Is the world looking at food the wrong way and just seeing numbers? Should we be focusing much more on what we eat rather than how much we eat?

Finally, what about the Insulin theory and that carbs are what make you gain weight rather than calories? Can you please share your thoughts?

Lots of questions here ))) Lets look at them one at a time, and hopefully answer them all.

Can you increase TDEE using reverse dieting well over your previous range?

Well, first of all, what is reverse dieting? Reverse dieting is the process in which you gradually start adding calories back into your daily diet after you have been strict dieting below maintenance for a prolonged period of time. This is a very important technique that I myself, along with other bodybuilders and alike have used post competition to bring the body back to a more sustainable level, without damaging your hormones. What a lot of people are guilty of doing is, going very strict and discipline for a very long time to get ready for an event, could be a show, a holiday, a wedding, a photo shoot etc, and then the day after they start eating in excess...this is a mortal sin and weight piles back on real fast because your hormonal balance will be completely thrown off. Reverse dieting is done by slowly introducing foods that you had removed from your diet, as well as the calories over several weeks and even months.

For instance, you can introduce dairy back in week 3, then more grains back in week five, you could introduce fruit back in week one or week two...but you also look to bring the calories up steadily, so the body can deal with it better and your endocrine system doesn't do into shock.

Now, can it be increased? Yes it can be with the right foods. Foods have a thermogenic effect on the body, calories are burned just to help the digestive pancreatic enzymes break down macronutrients for absorption by the mircovilli lining your small intestines. However, you need to be careful here and understand not all foods are the same, the increase in the calories must carry with them the higher caloric demand for thermogenic breakdown, and this is where a higher protein rich diet will work, because protein molecular structure is very complex....breaking down 500 calories of protein puts more digestive stress on the body than breaking down lets say 500 calories of whole grain pasta, the pancreatic enzymes are different and illicit a different hormonal response in your body. Ideally if you are increasing your calories, then you will benefit from drinking a lot of very cold water throughout the day...water contains no calories and if you drink cold water, then your body needs to heat it up using calories to make it suitable for your body's natural environment, so you burn calories and stay full....the added benefit of that is, if then you consume high protein, high fibre diet, then you will burn even more calories.

I do not and will never recommend that low active men using this technique while consuming junk foods, or foods that raise blood sugar levels rapidly and have a high glycacemic load, along with a high glycacemic index. I also do not recommend that fat rich foods are eaten along carbohydrate rich foods, since the fats will follow the carbs into fat cells, because the fall cells will become receptive to storage under the influence of high levels of insulin being released into the blood due to carbs.

So in short, yes, it can be done, ideally not the right way to do it as you get older, but if you do it, then you must be more diligent with what you eat and when you eat it.



Following the reverse dieting topic, do you believe in the set point theory?

Yes, I do believe in the body having a set point, this is as result of the homeostasis internal environment your body feels good at to provide full optimal function. However, I also believe that that the set point can be adjusted over a prolonged period of time if you are able to sustain a point for long enough away from your set point. For instance a man who has a body fat set point of 17% can change that to having a body fat set point of 10% after a prolonged period of time, where the hormones adjust to the new environment and the set point is forced to reset. I have changed my set point many times over the years, there was a time when I first when sub 10% body fat and my body didn't like it and I could feel it resisting and wanted to go back up....however after prolong period of time, it became easier, I felt more comfortable, more energetic and just found it easier to stay there for most of the year and only go up when I want reverse diet up and entering a more bulking phase, which is important for longevity.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
@FedTheMan

Is the world looking at food the wrong way and just seeing numbers? Should we be focusing much more on what we eat rather than how much we eat?

Possiby yes, the problem is people are only looking at one part of the picture. Nutrition is not some isolated thing. Nutrition is very intricately related to your physiology and genetic make up, you are what you eat is more than just a saying, no truer words can be said in the world of health and fitness. People do not understand the digestive, endocrinal response to food, a lot of the illnesses out there are in some way shape or form related to what you eat and drink, it is far more than just calories in and out. You should be eating foods that your body is designed to eat, after millions of years of evolution, human bodies are being exposed to unnatural foods, I am talking about the processed stuff, laden with salts and sugars that savage the hormones, the brain, the heart, the liver and kidneys. For all the work I do in helping people with their workouts, helping with the nutrition for me seems far more important, because if you are not healthy on the inside, you will never look healthy on the outside.

Finally, what about the Insulin theory and that carbs are what make you gain weight rather than calories? Can you please share your thoughts?

OK, this question gets asked to me all the time. So let me clear this for you all, and explain the real truth.

Carbs are not your enemy, you just need to know when and how to take them. Now, I have nothing against keto diets, where carbs are completely taken out of your body, but carbs are powerful source of energy, especially for athletic performance, whether it is in the gym or on a tennis court, this is because your muscles store carbs in the form of muscle glycogen, a polysaccarhide polymer of glucose molecules. If you are looking to help put on muscle and get stronger, then understand the importance of two things that carbs do for you.

The first thing is that they have a protein sparing effect. If you are taking in carbs, your muscles will spare the protein in your body from being used as energy through the process of gluconeogensis, in which the protein is broken down by the liver to create glucose, along with ketone bodies, and used to produce energy in the mitochondria of your cells, the mitochondria are the batteries of your cells where aerobic respiration takes places and up to 37 ATP molecules per glucose molecule are produced, which can then be used by the sarcomere myofibrils in your muscles to create muscle contraction. Post workout, the protein that is spared can be used to repair muscle tissue to make it stronger than before, you are burning a tremendous amount of calories here, which you might not do if you removed carbs...

The second thing is, carbs stimulate two master hormones in your body. The first is insulin, which shuttles calories into your muscle cells and liver cells (hepatocytes) first, and then the over spill to fat cells (adipocytes), you can see how it works here. If you are actively fit, then the chances are the weight you put on is healthy lean muscle tissue weight which we all want, especially as we get older and need to battle sarcopenia - the loss of muscle tissue which can begin as early as 30 in people who are inactive. The second hormone that it stimulates is Leptin - this hormone helps signals the brain to either increase or decrease your metabolism, so if you eat low to moderate carbs throughout the week, then you should have two straight days of high carbs meals, which will increase the Leptin in your blood stream, which in turn activates your thyroid gland to using Iodine to help make T4 and then convert it to T3, which actually helps burn fat and lose unwanted weight...

So carbs are not bad. The timing of carbs can be good or bad, but you should avoid eating carbs with fatty foods, since fatty foods will piggy back on with the carbs into fat cells if you are inactive person.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Of course I will ask the Hitman!

I would love to get a training program that could help (age 50).

The love for the sport brings me to play a lot, and especially when feeling healthy I'd never stop.
Well let's put down some numbers. I play about 10 hours a week, add to this 2 hours of regular training, which I love, because you see how at any age you can improve. Weekends can get rough since often there are tournaments in the several clubs around the city.
But legs, joints, arm and the whole body pay the toll. It happened more than once that on Mondays I had to 'roll' to get out of the bed first with the hands.
I go 3 times a week to the gym, but not really satisfied.
I am still trying to find out the right balance of playing tennis, go to gym (muscle and aerobics), exercises, stretching, what to do before a match, what to do after.

I have already had problems on knees (both), shoulder last year and arm biceps this year. All these problems have been fixed. Now the problem is legs feeling tired.

Thanks in advance for this opportunity you are giving to us, and to share your knowledge.
Firstly, good to see you have such a passion for health and fitness, and age should never be a deterrent to anyone who wants to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I always hate the defining of what you can and can't do due to age so keep it up.

I will say this though, you could be doing too much, especially if you are playing tournaments on the weekend, in addition to a combined 12 hours on the court per week and also doing three workouts in the gym. When you say you are not satisfied with the gym, what do you specifically mean by that? Performance in the gym or the results? Such an increase in muscle mass and better body composition? Are you getting enough rest days where you do not engage in any activities such as tennis and gym? These are the days that your body needs to rebuild, recover and replenish itself, the hormones, the nervous system, the muscles etc.

We need to establish here first of all is what the priority? Is it the tennis, the tournaments or the gym? The legs getting tired is pointing to acute fatigue from over nervous stimulus, it is not really the legs that are tired, it is your sympathetic nervous system around your legs with is exhausted. In theory a healthy muscle can contract and expand as long as it has a good supply of oxygen, nutrients and ATP. Muscle fatigue itself is mainly due to anaerobic respiration and build of lactic acid, which is a byproduct of lactate that comes from glucose, it is not quite the same as prolong tiredness fatigue which happens when the nervous has been burned out. Start consuming potassium rich foods here, such as bananas and in particular potatoes, especially sweet potatoes to help that nervous system heal faster.

Large levels of cortisol are also present from a lot of training, which comes from the stress of exercise, cortisol actually breaks down muscle tissue if it is in high concentrations, and can cause joint and ligament pain. Keep this in mind, high levels of cortisol means lowered levels of testosterone, which is not a good thing for man, especially if you are now in your 50s, since it impacts other parts of your life. If you not vegetarian, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I would recommend some bone broth, but also in the morning do drink a warm glass of water with turmeric powder, which is spice that is very good at healing such aches and pains.

I do need more info about your diet here also.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
I've been jogging uphill 3x a week for last several months. Slow steady pace. In the beginning I was out of breath at the end; could not talk, Heart Rate 160 bpm. Now I'm able to reach the top with relatively comfortable HeartRate of 140bpm or less and maintain conversation. Achieved my goal.

Question: I would like to walk up four flights of stairs with a comfortable HeartRate at the end. I don't think the hill work is really translating that well to stairs. (I really hate climbing stairs and try to avoid it). But sometimes I stay at a place where the elevator is slow and I regularly need to climb
to the fourth floor apt. When I reach the fourth floor , my HeartRate is around 140 bpm. I can talk but I am not really comfortable. Want it to be 120 bpm or less.

Do I need to do stair-specific work? Would walking the flights really slow be a good approach? i.e. reach the third floor at 120 bpm and then really slow
it down from the third to the fourth flight? That sounds attractive because I get uncomfortable and discouraged when Heart Rate goes above 120 bpm and I am sort of huffing and puffing from the third to the fourth.

This question of yours is one that I get asked a lot where I live. There are a lot of medium to high rise buildings in which people live and quite a few of them do not have elevators, so I often get asked this question.

Firstly, thanks for mentioning certain key words to me here, because I can see where you problem is. To ensure that you are not getting tired and out of breath, or that your heart rate isn't too undesirably high, you need to ensure that the walking up the floors to your apartment isn't the most strenuous thing you do. You have mentioned that you have jogging uphill at a slow and steady pace, but still feel it hasn't given you want you want since your heart rate is still 140 and you want it to be 120...

The heart is designed to be trained at varying degrees of intensity, not just one. Slow and steady isn't the right way to improve your overall cardiac health if you want to do other activities and not get tired from it. Every activity you do no matter how light or how strenuous has a cardio output associated with it. Cardio output is the amount your heart needs to work to get blood pumped around your body and cardio output is dependent on the following equation.

Cardiac Output = Heart Rate v Stroke Volume

So, looking at the equation above it clear to see that if you want to reduced your heart rate, then you must increase the stroke volume. What is stroke volume? Stroke volume is the amount of blood that is pumped out through the left ventricle of your heart into the aorta each time your heart beats. If your stroke volume is low, in other words, if you have a weakly developed cardiac muscle, then you will need to increase your heart rate to ensure the cardiac output value is reached for the needed exercise. So, how do you increase stroke volume? Well honestly, slow and steady is not going to do it, it seems you are not pushing your heart enough during exercise and forcing it to get stronger, so that activities liking walking up a few flight of stairs are almost nothing to you. You need to do high intense interval training, instead of jogging steadily up the hill for a long period of time, do wind hill sprints or sprints in a field or recreational park. Sprint at a pace that pushes you for 20 to 30 seconds at first and then walk back to start position as your active rest before doing it again.

Now, this will hurt at the start, because your body is not used to be pushed like this, and you may only manage two sprints the first few times. But over the days the two sprints will become three, then four, then five, then six....Your heart will be working through various levels of stress, and in order to adapt the stroke volume will increase and your heart rate will decrease due to a strong heart muscle. Then when you walk those steps, you will not even be breathing heavy.

One final thing you can do, I do this all the time. Hold a moderate weight in both hands, think of like you did some heavy shopping, and just go up and down up one flight of stairs, ideally the one that your apartment is on. Do this as much as you can, but do not stop the moment you get discomfort, that is when the good stuff happens, do it once or twice more, and then rest. I assure you, that your heart rate will improve.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
The hill work takes me 45 minutes to reach the top. Slow and steady over several months has improved my HR from 140 to 120 bpm when I reach the top of the hill. I was thinking my stroke volume has improved too?

I have not really tested it on stairs that much, but the times that I do climb stairs, it does not feel that much easier than months earlier when I was less fit. It is just weird that 5 minutes of stair climbing raises the HR that quickly; it takes me about 45 seconds to recover from ~140 to normal HR after I reach the fourth floor.

So maybe 45 minute hill work does not translate all that much to 5 minute stair climb... Will try your interval advice. Thanks. @Hitman.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
The hill work takes me 45 minutes to reach the top. Slow and steady over several months has improved my HR from 140 to 120 bpm when I reach the top of the hill. I was thinking my stroke volume has improved too?

I have not really tested it on stairs that much, but the times that I do climb stairs, it does not feel that much easier than months earlier when I was less fit. It is just weird that 5 minutes of stair climbing raises the HR that quickly; it takes me about 45 seconds to recover from ~140 to normal HR after I reach the fourth floor.

So maybe 45 minute hill work does not translate all that much to 5 minute stair climb... Will try your interval advice. Thanks. @Hitman.
Remember, the key is consistency. Slow and steady is not the way when it comes to better stroke volume.
 

albertobra

Hall of Fame
Firstly, good to see you have such a passion for health and fitness, and age should never be a deterrent to anyone who wants to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I always hate the defining of what you can and can't do due to age so keep it up.

I will say this though, you could be doing too much, especially if you are playing tournaments on the weekend, in addition to a combined 12 hours on the court per week and also doing three workouts in the gym. When you say you are not satisfied with the gym, what do you specifically mean by that? Performance in the gym or the results? Such an increase in muscle mass and better body composition? Are you getting enough rest days where you do not engage in any activities such as tennis and gym? These are the days that your body needs to rebuild, recover and replenish itself, the hormones, the nervous system, the muscles etc.

We need to establish here first of all is what the priority? Is it the tennis, the tournaments or the gym? The legs getting tired is pointing to acute fatigue from over nervous stimulus, it is not really the legs that are tired, it is your sympathetic nervous system around your legs with is exhausted. In theory a healthy muscle can contract and expand as long as it has a good supply of oxygen, nutrients and ATP. Muscle fatigue itself is mainly due to anaerobic respiration and build of lactic acid, which is a byproduct of lactate that comes from glucose, it is not quite the same as prolong tiredness fatigue which happens when the nervous has been burned out. Start consuming potassium rich foods here, such as bananas and in particular potatoes, especially sweet potatoes to help that nervous system heal faster.

Large levels of cortisol are also present from a lot of training, which comes from the stress of exercise, cortisol actually breaks down muscle tissue if it is in high concentrations, and can cause joint and ligament pain. Keep this in mind, high levels of cortisol means lowered levels of testosterone, which is not a good thing for man, especially if you are now in your 50s, since it impacts other parts of your life. If you not vegetarian, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I would recommend some bone broth, but also in the morning do drink a warm glass of water with turmeric powder, which is spice that is very good at healing such aches and pains.

I do need more info about your diet here also.
Dear Hitman thanks for you reply. It is already full of excelent advices.
I get that I should have a better schedule. Priority is having fun playing tennis in any form, singles/doubles, wether training, tournament or friendly club match. And yes that really looks like an excelent description of what is going on with my legs lately.
I am not satisfied with the gym, because I feel like it is not giving results lately. Dare I say that i feel it is actually being counter productive. I stay at the gym an hour per session, about 25 min aerobic and the rest muscles workouts. Everyone of these 3 workouts is different. One works on arms, one on legs, and one is mixed. I defenitely sense that I have to give more attention to the gym with better training workouts and yes, probably play less tennis, I would gain in quality of the game. And I am ready for this.
My job allowes me free time daily from 6am (wake up) to 8:30 am and 2pm to 17:30 pm.
I was thinking to go to the gym on Mon - Wed - Fry (it can be in the morning or afternoon) but with a better training program, that can be longer and more balanced. The other days for tennis. Tuesday and Thursday I train tennis from 7 to 8am. Let's say this is the fixed schedule, and that leaves me plenty to play tennis.
As for diet I am defenitely not to good....and already looking into bone broth, sweet potatos and the other advices you gave. In the morning I eat fruit, only fruit, and this is probably wrong. Than anything that comes around at about 10am like a sandwich, and lunch at 12 is quite an extended meal with lots of carbs, meat, vegtables. Another fast thing at around 3 or 4pm and dinner around 7pm, pretty much the same but in lower quantity. I generally drink beer and/or wine in weekends.
So resuming probably, less tennis, better quality gym exercises, and a better diet!
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Dear Hitman thanks for you reply. It is already full of excelent advices.
I get that I should have a better schedule. Priority is having fun playing tennis in any form, singles/doubles, wether training, tournament or friendly club match. And yes that really looks like an excelent description of what is going on with my legs lately.
I am not satisfied with the gym, because I feel like it is not giving results lately. Dare I say that i feel it is actually being counter productive. I stay at the gym an hour per session, about 25 min aerobic and the rest muscles workouts. Everyone of these 3 workouts is different. One works on arms, one on legs, and one is mixed. I defenitely sense that I have to give more attention to the gym with better training workouts and yes, probably play less tennis, I would gain in quality of the game. And I am ready for this.
My job allowes me free time daily from 6am (wake up) to 8:30 am and 2pm to 17:30 pm.
I was thinking to go to the gym on Mon - Wed - Fry (it can be in the morning or afternoon) but with a better training program, that can be longer and more balanced. The other days for tennis. Tuesday and Thursday I train tennis from 7 to 8am. Let's say this is the fixed schedule, and that leaves me plenty to play tennis.
As for diet I am defenitely not to good....and already looking into bone broth, sweet potatos and the other advices you gave. In the morning I eat fruit, only fruit, and this is probably wrong. Than anything that comes around at about 10am like a sandwich, and lunch at 12 is quite an extended meal with lots of carbs, meat, vegtables. Another fast thing at around 3 or 4pm and dinner around 7pm, pretty much the same but in lower quantity. I generally drink beer and/or wine in weekends.
So resuming probably, less tennis, better quality gym exercises, and a better diet!

Right, so lets look at this.

Firstly, way too much cardio work is taking place, you are already playing tennis several times a week, that should be your cardio, If you are working out in the gym, I would recommend no more than 10-12 minutes of cardio, or better still, reduce the rest periods between your working weight training sets and use that to keep your heart rate elevated and as you cardio. Also, for three workouts a week, you are following a routine that would only truly work at its best for someone on steroids like testosterone, tren, deca dianbol etc, pre-cursor hormones, or peptide hormones like IGF-1, growth hormone, insulin. A natural athlete, should not be doing those type of workouts, if you are doing three workouts a week, then focus on increasing your natural testosterone and natural levels of growth hormone by doing total body workout routine three times a week. This way you have a much longer anabolic window, and more stimulus for protein synthesis, which it doesn't seem like you are getting enough off.

I would like for you to do negative training every 3rd workout, and concentrate on the eccentric part of the movement, focus on time under tension, so the muscle fibres are forced to grow. What will happen when you do negative training is that your muscle cells will undergo a certain type of stress which causes the production, and release of something called Heat Shock Protein 70, of HSP70 for short, where 70 stands for the molecular weight of the HSP. This HSP gets released into the blood stream, and what it does is, it chaperones free circulating amino acids back to the muscles cells, and also promotes the uncoiling of the DNA helix to produce mRNA that is needed to help create new structural proteins. If you combine one negative training with two standard total body workouts, you will build more lean muscle than you are right now. I often train older athletes with negative training since it promotes cellular rejuvenation.

So, focus on total body compound movements, with small rest periods, using negatives once a week and you will get better results. Make sure the squats, dead lifts, bench press, bar bell rows, pull ups, dips, lunges, incline press, military press, seat cable rows, barbell curls, front squats are at the top of the list of exercises you choose from.

As for you diet, not enough protein being consumed. The older you get, the more the balance should shift to getting in enough protein to prevent sacropenia - the loss of muscle tissue which happens as we age. An 80 old man can lose up to 50% of the muscle he had in his 20s, so it is important to make sure the protein is being taken in. Try not to eat to many carbs, nothing wrong with fruits, but having fruit every morning is not the right way, since fruit contain fructose that only your liver can metabolise, they have many other benefits, but shouldn't be the main source of your daily breakfast when other things can be used. Fruit should be added as an addition.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FedTheMan

Professional
@FedTheMan


People do not understand the digestive, endocrinal response to food, a lot of the illnesses out there are in some way shape or form related to what you eat and drink, it is far more than just calories in and out. You should be eating foods that your body is designed to eat, after millions of years of evolution, human bodies are being exposed to unnatural foods, I am talking about the processed stuff, laden with salts and sugars that savage the hormones, the brain, the heart, the liver and kidneys. For all the work I do in helping people with their workouts, helping with the nutrition for me seems far more important, because if you are not healthy on the inside, you will never look healthy on the outside.


So carbs are not bad. The timing of carbs can be good or bad, but you should avoid eating carbs with fatty foods, since fatty foods will piggy back on with the carbs into fat cells if you are inactive person.
Wow, thanks for sharing your amazing knowledge! I appreciate your kindness to respond to each poster's questions/concerns.

How many calories approximately, would you recommend for a: 173 cm, 26 year old male, who has a low active or sedentary level and is looking to drop from 168 to 145 lbs.

Finally, can you expand a bit more on when is the best time to take in carbs? Re-reading your previous post indicates that I should take in carbs post-workout?
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
Wow, thanks for sharing your amazing knowledge! I appreciate your kindness to respond to each poster's questions/concerns.

How many calories approximately, would you recommend for a: 173 cm, 26 year old male, who has a low active or sedentary level and is looking to drop from 168 to 145 lbs.

Finally, can you expand a bit more on when is the best time to take in carbs? Re-reading your previous post indicates that I should take in carbs post-workout?
I like helping people, makes me feel good. :)

The best way to look at how many calories you need to go from 168 to 145 if you have a low active or sedentary life is to do a food diary. This is actually something I ask everyone to do, because it can show and reveals things that you often overlook. Do a food diary for a full seven days of eating, write everything you eat and add up the calories at the end of the day, over the seven days you will get an average of how many calories you are eating each day to maintain where you currently are.

Lets say you find out that your average is 3000 calories a day by taking the average of seven days of eating. That means your body to look the way it looks, providing your weight has stayed the same and you are not gaining additional weight, by the consumption of 3000 calories. Reduce the caloric intake by initially 250 calories per day, so your body not just panic and goes into shock at the calorie reduction, since you are not exercising but just looking to lose weight through reduced calories. Monitor how the caloric deficit impacts your weight loss, overall you will lose more weight since your maintenance calorie level of 3000 is not being fulfilled by dietary calories and needs to get the remainder from stored energy in the body. Do not make drastic cuts and go over that 250 calorie threshold, you are in low active state or sedentary, so you will need to be patient.


Your carb window can be post workout, in fact that three hour window post work out is often seen as the best time to get carbs in due to the insulin spike which will cause everything to go into your muscles for repair. But carb intake does not only need to be post workout, you can also take carbs before you workout also, which will then act as fuel to help you get a better performance in the gym, which will then generate a better anabolic response, which will then build more muscle and burn more fat. I would suggest to restrict the carb sources to leafy or fibrous carbs after about 4pm unless you are working out in the evening, and eat more starchy carbs earlier in the day, so keep the potatoes, pastas, yams, rice, etc for more earlier in the day, and green vegetables towards the latter end of the day.
 

albertobra

Hall of Fame
Right, so lets look at this.

Firstly, way too much cardio work is taking place, you are already playing tennis several times a week, that should be your cardio, If you are working out in the gym, I would recommend no more than 10-12 minutes of cardio, or better still, reduce the rest periods between your working weight training sets and use that to keep your heart rate elevated and as you cardio. Also, for three workouts a week, you are following a routine that would only truly work at its best for someone on steroids like testosterone, tren, deca dianbol etc, pre-cursor hormones, or peptide hormones like IGF-1, growth hormone, insulin. A natural athlete, should not be doing those type of workouts, if you are doing three workouts a week, then focus on increasing your natural testosterone and natural levels of growth hormone by doing total body workout routine three times a week. This way you have a much longer anabolic window, and more stimulus for protein synthesis, which it doesn't seem like you are getting enough off.

I would like for you to do negative training every 3rd workout, and concentrate on the eccentric part of the movement, focus on time under tension, so the muscle fibres are forced to grow. What will happen when you do negative training is that your muscle cells will undergo a certain type of stress which causes the production, and release of something called Heat Shock Protein 70, of HSP70 for short, where 70 stands for the molecular weight of the HSP. This HSP gets released into the blood stream, and what it does is, it chaperones free circulating amino acids back to the muscles cells, and also promotes the uncoiling of the DNA helix to produce mRNA that is needed to help create new structural proteins. If you combine one negative training with two standard total body workouts, you will build more lean muscle than you are right now. I often train older athletes with negative training since it promotes cellular rejuvenation.

So, focus on total body compound movements, with small rest periods, using negatives once a week and you will get better results. Make sure the squats, dead lifts, bench press, bar bell rows, pull ups, dips, lunges, incline press, military press, seat cable rows, barbell curls, front squats are at the top of the list of exercises you choose from.

As for you diet, not enough protein being consumed. The older you get, the more the balance should shift to getting in enough protein to prevent sacropenia - the loss of muscle tissue which happens as we age. An 80 old man can lose up to 50% of the muscle he had in his 20s, so it is important to make sure the protein is being taken in. Try not to eat to many carbs, nothing wrong with fruits, but having fruit every morning is not the right way, since fruit contain fructose that only your liver can metabolise, they have many other benefits, but shouldn't be the main source of your daily breakfast when other things can be used. Fruit should be added as an addition.
Great Hitman, very kind of you to share your time with us. I'll defenitely balance my diet towards more proteins.
I had to look up the 'negative training', I had never heard of it before.
I found this video which explains well, I think.
. And this
.
And the videos show how to do negatives alone. Now I'll try to see which exercises to do.
Thank you!
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Have you had your kidneys checked out? Higher concentrations of potassium showing up in your skin could point to something much deeper down. Potassium excretion, just like sodium is done at the kidneys, and the hormone aldosterone which is involved in this might not be working properly by binding to the nephrons in your Kidneys to help balance the electrolytes.
I'll get them checked again. I truly think some antibiotics I took did the damage about 7 years back. A couple years later the doctor told me not to drink any alcohol and I was never a big drinker anyway, just socially (maybe 2 drinks a month). The same happens with rice, beans, and pasta as a a banana or potato.
I don't have nausea, hypertension/high bood pressure, feelings of tired, weakness, or slow pulse symptoms associated with aldosterone issues.
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
I'll get them checked again. I truly think some antibiotics I took did the damage about 7 years back. A couple years later the doctor told me not to drink any alcohol and I was never a big drinker anyway, just socially (maybe 2 drinks a month). The same happens with rice, beans, and pasta as a a banana or potato.
I don't have nausea, hypertension/high bood pressure, feelings of tired, weakness, or slow pulse symptoms associated with aldosterone issues.
Yeah, certainly worth checking again.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Hitman . I think big part of reason for my recent Knee injury, I hurt my knee and it is unstable side ways and also under the knee cap. It had to also with 2 tough matches I played on same day during the playoffs,,, but I think big part of it was the Leg Press machine I have been using recently. In years past, I have been doing 90-100 lbs on the leg press machine but I increased it to 180 lbs on this new leg press machine at LA fitness, and it that really contributed to the injury.

Should I go back to 100 lbs on the leg press machine ? I tried 140 lbs last week, and even that was hurting my knee day after on the tennis court. I see guys doing 300 lbs next to me at LA fitness and I felt kind of funny.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Hitman . I think big part of reason for my recent Knee injury, I hurt my knee and it is unstable side ways and also under the knee cap. It had to also with 2 tough matches I played on same day during the playoffs,,, but I think big part of it was the Leg Press machine I have been using recently. In years past, I have been doing 90-100 lbs on the leg press machine but I increased it to 180 lbs on this new leg press machine at LA fitness, and it that really contributed to the injury.

Should I go back to 100 lbs on the leg press machine ? I tried 140 lbs last week, and even that was hurting my knee day after on the tennis court. I see guys doing 300 lbs next to me at LA fitness and I felt kind of funny.
I'm not @Hitman , but from my experience, I have found having stronger legs to help me in sports.

That being said, I have also found that if I did a hard leg workout, and then played basketball or tennis soon afterwards on the same day, it felt a little "dangerous", because my legs were still recovering from the hard workout and my knees felt unstable. A day or two later and it felt great. So I ended up avoiding tennis or at least taking it easy if I did leg workout at the gym that same day.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
I'm not @Hitman , but from my experience, I have found having stronger legs to help me in sports.

That being said, I have also found that if I did a hard leg workout, and then played basketball or tennis soon afterwards on the same day, it felt a little "dangerous", because my legs were still recovering from the hard workout and my knees felt unstable. A day or two later and it felt great. So I ended up avoiding tennis or at least taking it easy if I did leg workout at the gym that same day.
Agree on strong legs. I already have pretty strong legs for 5 foot 9 inch guy. It is kind of like Diego Schwartzman leg. anyway, you say if if is so strong, why are you only doing140 lbs leg press, right ? My leg is strong but my knee may not be. also I am not getting any younger and my knee seem to be more injury prone as I get older.

Also I played tennis only 1-2 days after workout, not right after. Even then I am feeling the effect of knee instability. I am thinking I should go back to 100 lbs leg press ?
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Agree on strong legs. I already have pretty strong legs for 5 foot 9 inch guy. It is kind of like Diego Schwartzman leg. anyway, you say if if is so strong, why are you only doing140 lbs leg press, right ? My leg is strong but my knee may not be. also I am not getting any younger and my knee seem to be more injury prone as I get older.

Also I played tennis only 1-2 days after workout, not right after. Even then I am feeling the effect of knee instability. I am thinking I should go back to 100 lbs leg press ?
Hate the leg press machines, I'm doing barbell squats , works the back/torso at the same time, more realistic to all activities
Those machines bad, look at the pressure points and the relaxed muscles that shouldnt be.
 
Last edited:

onehandbh

Legend
Agree on strong legs. I already have pretty strong legs for 5 foot 9 inch guy. It is kind of like Diego Schwartzman leg. anyway, you say if if is so strong, why are you only doing140 lbs leg press, right ? My leg is strong but my knee may not be. also I am not getting any younger and my knee seem to be more injury prone as I get older.

Also I played tennis only 1-2 days after workout, not right after. Even then I am feeling the effect of knee instability. I am thinking I should go back to 100 lbs leg press ?
How did you initially hurt your knee?

I just injured my knee, too. It had just started raining on the court and i slipped. Feels like inaide of knee ligament or something got injured. Couldn’t move at all without pain the day after (last Wed) but has been steadily improving and now I can walk slowly. Did some slow, light squats in the gym to test it yesterday. Feel weakness/instability when my leg is fully straightened.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
How did you initially hurt your knee?

I just injured my knee, too. It had just started raining on the court and i slipped. Feels like inaide of knee ligament or something got injured. Couldn’t move at all without pain the day after (last Wed) but has been steadily improving and now I can walk slowly. Did some slow, light squats in the gym to test it yesterday. Feel weakness/instability when my leg is fully straightened.
That is Exactly same injury I had. when my knee sliped on wet court, I didn't feel the pain initially but when I came home, It started to hurt more. but still it wasn't that bad. so I worked out with leg press machine in the middle of the week as usual and I had that 2 playoff match on following weekend. and after that pain got so bad , I had go see the doctor. Xray didn't show anything obvious except mild Osteo arthritis. Xray doesn't show micro tears on ligaments. He said I have to rest and take powerful anti-inflammatories for 4 weeks. I took it for 5 days then stopped since my knee felt better with Physical therapy. but then it came back again after 4 weeks.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Hate he leg press machines, I'm doing barbell squats , works the back/torso at the same time, more realistic to all activities
Those machines bad, look at the pressure points and the relaxed muscles that shouldnt be.
so you are saying Barbell squats are superior Leg strengthening than leg press machines? How heavy of Barbell do you use ? 20 lbs ? 30 lbs ? I can look up on Youtube video on how to do the barbell squats, I think
 
Top