If you have had problems in the past and don't know where to look for answers, look no further! In this article you will find the answers to many common concerns dealing with weight training and more...
Every time you buy a computer program, they always urge you to go through this long list of "troubleshooting" items before you call their helpdesk. Of course, reading the suggestions is usually borderline to insulting.

My screen is black.
     Solution 1: Push the power button.
     Solution 2: Plug the cord into a power outlet.
     Solution 3: Plug the cable into slot at the back of your computer.
     Solution 4: Call the helpdesk.

Basically, this makes me (and many with me, I'm sure) go: "Duuh!!". Now, the scary part is that a friend of mine, who works at a tech-helpdesk, gets a ton of these - even though the people are given the hint of actually plugging in the monitor before calling. This is not to say that people are idiots, since I'm sure that, when presented with the problem in more familiar terms, they will all recognize the need for providing an electrical device with electricity before expecting it to work. Few would remove the batteries from a flashlight and get surprised when the light won't come on.

Why am I babbling about idiots who are not really idiots at all, but rather perfectly normal people who just got confused when faced with something new? Simply because I'm fairly sure that there are many people out there in the gyms' who work the exact same way - People that are stuck with habits that were learned long ago, that obviously doesn't work, but go unchanged. Once again, this is not stupidity. However, getting a hint about what's wrong and IGNORING it is stupid!

Fortunately, I know that all my readers are amazingly intelligent, bright, and otherwise wonderful human beings, simply by the fact that you keep coming back and boosting my hit-count every week. That aside, it doesn't hurt running a check-up on yourself as well as your training partner.

My wrists hurt when I do barbell bicep-curls.

Try using dumbbells or a Z-bar. This doesn't force the wrist to bend to an extreme position.

I need to lose weight, but I always get incredibly hungry at night.

Have a protein shake, preferably something creamy that will fill you up without adding calories. Met-Rx gives you about 20-25 grams of carbs with the protein, but if you take it an hour or so before going to bed you should be Ok. I don't know what they do to their stuff, but it gets really, really filling in spite of the low calories.

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My calves won't grow. What's wrong with them?

How original! Well, try training them first instead of last in your workout, and make sure to use full range of motion. Squeeze for a second in the max-contraction position.

My lower back hurts after I've done deadlifts.

Have someone check your form. You might not bend your knees enough, and make up for it by rounding your back a little. Get a good belt that gives you plenty of support around your midsection. Also make sure to keep your abdominals in shape, and flex them to the max throughout the range of motion. Strive for balance, and make sure to never go so heavy that you can't do more than 4-5 reps.

Do You Strengthen Your Core To Eliminate Posture Imabalances?

I Will Now!

My girlfriend is threatening to leave me if I keep spending 3 hours a day in the gym.

Get a life, bozo!

My lats won't grow, no matter what I do.

Lats are hard to train, as it's so very, very easy to cheat and start involving other muscles. Your best bet is to cut the weight 25%-50%, and go really high-rep for a few workouts. Put your mind into the lats, and re-discover the feeling of the lats actually working. Once you've got that feeling of how it should be, you will find it much easier to maintain that feel as you start piling on the plates again.

I've tried all kinds of diets and supplements, but I still can't lose any fat.

Forget the fads and stick with the basics. Establish your BMR and make sure to stay -500 calories per day on the average (keep a log!). Use cardio sensibly, and don't neglect the weight training. Keep the protein high, and keep eating SOME fat (at least 10%). Keep in mind that it's a long-term project, and that consistency will win where short, heroic efforts will fail. Stay focused.

I feel unstable when I do squats.

It could be that your hamstrings are shortened, causing you to compensate with your upper body. It could also be that you're simply not built for squats (6'6" basketball players seldom like squats, while a 5'8" wrestler probably swears by it). Or it could be that your form just plain sucks, which is a rather likely scenario. Have an experienced friend, or better yet, a personal trainer, have a look at your form. If form isn't the problem, say hello to your new friend Mr. Legpress.

My forearms are way out of proportion to my upper-arms!

This can be somewhat genetic, but that's no excuse not to try to improve the situation.

    Step #1: Do NOT ditch the straps, like everybody will tell you to do. Why would it make sense to compromise your back training because of your forearms?

    Step #2: Dedicate a part of your Bicep-day solely to forearms. Above all, do barbell-rolls behind your back (that means rolling the barbell to your fingertips, and all the way up until your fists are entirely clinched & the palm facing upwards), and, if available, some kind of machine with a squeezing-action (Nautilus has a really great one, though hardly ever used). Hammer curls with dumbbells are great too, hitting the entire area along with the Brachialis. To really target the upper part of your forearm, try twisting your hand a little (palm toward the floor).

I'm skinny, but I can't seem to eat enough to grow! I get full too fast!

That is why God (or whoever it was. Let's give the big guy credit for now!) Invented the gainers drink. These darlings can pack a whopping 800 calories with ease, and since they're all fluid they're relatively easy to digest and assimilate. Try adding 2 of these drinks between meals for a month or two, and I can assure you that you'll see results. Don't forget the "real" food though.

I'd like start going to a gym, but I find the atmosphere to be rather intimidating.

Carry a shotgun and act as you were extremely unstable. I'm sure no one will bug you, even if you'd be using the 1 lb-dumbbells.

All jest aside, this is something you should talk to the gym owner about. If it's the layout and looks of the gym that is the problem, rest assured he'll listen to you. If it's the clientele, well, that's worse. Keep in mind that most big guys are really nice though, so don't jump to conclusions just because they look insane when they're doing 500-lbs deadlifts. Either way, as a paying member you have as much right to your space as anyone else, so if they have any issues with that they can discuss it with the gym owner. That is what he's there for. Last but not least, if you're uneasy about the training itself, I'll just recite my mantra: Get a personal trainer. He or she will give you a flying start, ensuring that you'll get the most out of your efforts - quickly, efficiently, and without injuries!

My neck is so thin it makes me look like a chicken. What can I do?

Train it, but make sure to go easy. You don't want to injure yourself by being too enthusiastic in the beginning.

Make sure to get at least one exercise for the front and one for the back, preferably with one "twisting" kind of exercise as well. (For detailed exercises, look up the article labeled "Bull-headed?" under previously published articles.)

The Last Neck Exercise You Will Ever Need!
I'm an average size for a man. As a matter of fact, demonstrating at the Arnold Classic certain feats of strength such as a Clean to Hand Balancing the 45LBS clubbell seemed to be more of a strength oddity for the larger-than-life beefcake...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

I train 7 days a week, but I don't grow.

Take a break, rest a week, and start again with a 4-days-a-week schedule for the weight training. Make sure to rest each muscle group at least a full week before hitting it again.

I have 21-inch arms, but still can't get any women. What's up with that?

Hey Johnny Bravo, try developing your personality along with your biceps. No woman except for my wife falls for amazing looks alone. (Hey, stop that laughing!) Seriously though, keep in mind that while training and being physically fit is good, you're nothing but a pathetic decoration if you don't take the time to lead a normal life with friends and family. Help dispel the myth of the muscle-head by developing yourself equally in all areas of life. Achieve balance in your life, and soon enough you'll strike luck. Pulling your shirt off and hitting a "most muscular"-pose rarely works with any woman though, balanced life or not.

I can't afford all the cool supplements being advertised.

Despair not, oh ye fellow poor soul! Most of the supplements being advertised work all right, but the question is if they are worth the price? Creatine works bigtime, for example, but is it really worth 10 times more money to try some new, hyped up herb that is rumored to make Japanese sumo wrestlers strong enough to rip trees up by the roots?

The truth is probably that it might have a slight effect, but surely not worth the money. Hype is only that: hype. The basics are surprisingly cheap, if you search the web for good prices and isn't afraid to buy in bulk. The necessities for a normal bodybuilder would be, say whey protein, creatine, and multivitamin/mineral capsules. That's usually less than $30 a month, total..

If something from the new things actually sticks for a couple of years, like L-Glutamine and Thermogenic Enhancers, it might be worth looking into.