My name is Zarak and I am from Islamabad. I have been into bodybuilding since 5 years ago, but I am not getting anywhere. So can you help me get into shape?
Greetings from America, Zarak,
You are asking me questions that people write books about! In addition, you do not give me enough information about yourself to give you much specific advice. I would suggest going to the local bookstore or library and surf some of the great Internet sites and begin reading as much as possible on bodybuilding.
As far as training goes, thankfully Dave Draper, Larry Scott, Hatfield, Arnold, Bill Pearl, and others have written books that contain great advice on applying certain basic principles to one's own specific needs. In other words, there are certain principles of weight training discovered through trial-and-error or by exercise physiologists that do work.
In the meantime, I will outline some of the basics. Gaining muscular bodyweight is not easy. When I train someone, I start out by informing them of 5 important areas that need attention. If concentration is placed on these five areas, the gains will come even for hardgainers like yourself! So there is hope!
1. Proper training. After a three-week break-in routine, I have trainees concentrate on 2 basic exercises per bodypart, 3 sets each, doing 8-10 repetitions. A decent beginning training article can be found on here!
2. Proper nutrition. Resistance training creates stress on the body that it responds to by overcompensation (the anabolic process). Yet if it is not properly fueled, training is a waste of time. A good place to start for information is right here!
3. Proper rest. Many people train and eat right yet still fail to make the gains they would expect. Often it is because of lack of recuperative time called SLEEP. You can train and eat right, but if you're not getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, forget it. It is while you're sleeping that growth hormone is released into the body and real growth occurs. SO GET THAT SLEEP!
4. Sparing energy for workouts. Don't expect spectacular muscle gains if you out dancing all night or playing basketball or some other sport. When you want maximum gains in lean body mass, curb your activity (including aerobic) to tossing the steel around! Any energy expended on any activity other than pumping iron, is energy your body won't have to grow muscle!
5. Learn to manage stress. If you are in a lousy relationship that upsets you or you're worried all the time about finances, health, or have some other work-related or family problems, you cannot make maximum gains. You must be able to keep calm and manage your stress levels. Up to 90 grams of protein can be used up by a stressful day! Just think about the maintenance, repair and growth of muscle your body could have done with that 90 grams of protein!
Well, there you have it, Zarak. Adhere to these 5 principles and you should be able to show gains of muscle in mere weeks! If you don't, please contact me and we will find out more about you and discover what your particular problem might be.
These articles are very motivating. At 49, it makes me feel like I'm still in the game.
Mike C, Bethel Sportsplex, CT
Glad to hear that this column is showing you that you are still in the game. That is the whole purpose of this column--to give babyboomers confidence and motivation to stay in the game, to refuse to give in to the aging process. We want to be a force in redefining the whole concept of aging and attempt in our articles and answers to readers' questions to offer hope and information for people to achieve the highest level of fitness and physical development of which they are capable.
Babyboomers refused to accept tradition and the status quo in the 1960s, and we do now in our 40s and beyond. So spread the word: we babyboomers are still here and still in the game!
Through working out, cardiovascular exercise and clean eating of nutrient dense foods, babyboomers can reverse or at least slow down the aging process. Rather than settling for "normal," babyboomers engaged in fitness can reduce the risks of stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis and Type II diabetes. Over forty means longer recovery times, more nagging injuries and a slower metabolism, but that does not warrant a decision to give up. Rather, realize some of the changes your body has seen over the past two decades and make the choice to work harder. Why settle for the physique you had in your twenties, when a better physique can await you in you fifties?
Copyright 2002. Diane Fields, Member Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved. The advice given in this column should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical services. Before undertaking any exercise or nutrition program, Legendary Fitness, LLC advises all to undergo a thorough medical examination and get permission from their personal physician.