This page is dedicated to answering your questions about bodybuilding, training and nutrition. Send your questions to Jeremiah Glas, personal trainer, by e-mailing email@example.com! This page is updated often.
Q & A From 01/08/01
I go to high school and have a problem eating on that schedule. Do you have any ideas for me? I need some help cause I wanna cut down in like 2 months and I want to have a plan in doing so.
If your goal is to cut down, you will need to eat small frequent meals, spaced every 3 to 4 hours. At school I would stock your locker with a high protein/low sugar nutrition bars like Pure Protein or Lean Body bars. Next I would make up a meal replacement shake like Myoplex or Meso-Tech and mix a double serving in a plastic container with some ice cubes (to keep it cold) and you can take a few swigs in between classes. As far as lunch time, be safe, brown bag it, bring your own that way you can monitor your calories, proteins, and fats.
Normally before I can actually feel my pec being really strained, my biceps give in. How should I try and make my biceps go much further? I am really doing my best in trying to lift the weight with my chest and not my arms, but the biceps always give in long before my chest actually did a proper workout. Some help or advice would be appreciated!
The only thing I can think that you are doing is gripping the bar way to wide. The biceps should not be that stressed doing a bench press. Mainly pecs, front delts and triceps. Try a narrower grip. Good luck.
What do you think of the Bowflex machine? It is a big investment. Do you know anyone that owns and uses it?
I've seen the commercials where they hire really lean models to sell their machine. The ironic thing is these models more than likely built their physiques in the gym with all the best machines and freeweights. I've seen more Bowflex and Soloflex's used as clothes racks than I could begin to count. They're very boring to use and it is so easy to put it off and just watch TV than to go in the spare bedroom and exercise. Find a good gym and use the people around you to motivate you for good results.
Where can I get a sample menu or meal planner including times to eat? Should I take liquid meal replacer? I am a woman trying to lose 70 lb. I am 5'1" and 175lbs I don't have an exercise program yet. I work 10 hours per day. Motivation have been my problem (plus I love carbs, pizza, bread, etc.) the more weight I put on the less motivated I become. Are there any meal replacer that are not chocolate and taste really good? I have Hydroxycut but did not take them because I heard it has side effects on some people, what do you think?
I would recommend the Body for Life web site for you and the Book, to help you find a good meal plan, they also recommend a meal replacer shake that will help you to reach your diet goals. As far as working 10 hour days, join the crowd sister. Many of us do and still find time to workout, you just need to make it a priority. If your budget allows it find a good personal trainer at one of the local health clubs in your area. They will be able to help get you motivated and help take the guess work out of trying to reach your goals on your own. As far as the shakes go, there are so many flavors available these days, you could have a different flavor for each day of the week. I personally think Hydroxycut is a great fat burner and appetite suppressant. It has received a bad rap because there are a few idiots out there who think the more the better, and make themselves feel like they're having a heart attack. Follow the directions. The FDA would not allow it if it was bad to use.
I can only workout from 8-10 pm because of my job. Should I eat/drink a post workout meal this late? What should I do to replenish?
Yes, definitely have a shake after you workout. Only question is if you're trying to lose fat, then make sure there are not too many carbs in shake that late at night. Check out these low carb products.
Q & A From 12/05/00
For several months now I have been eating low fat (about 20 grams or less a day; less than 10% of my diet). I began to eat low fat because I wanted to again up my calories after losing a good bit of weight and thought that eating low fat would help me to stay lean. Here is my problem: Now that my body has grown accustomed to eating low fat, it is much more sensative to fat intake. For example, I can eat two meals, both equal in terms of calories, but one low in fat and one a little higher in fat. When I eat the low fat meal, I won't gain fat, but when I eat the meal that is higher in fat, my body will always store it, even though the two meals are equal in size.
This problem didn't exist prior to me eating low fat, however I hear it is not uncommon for this to occur when particular macronutrients are restricted. I was wondering if you are aware of any ways that I can introduce dietary fat back into my diet without gaining fat. I realize this probably isn't a heart-healthy choice, but it has gotten so ridiculous that I can't even eat real deli turkey or cheese; I have to eat the fat free and 99% fat free stuff (I would also like to be able to indulge in things like ice cream again).
Also, I was wondering if saturated fats had a higher probability of being stored as fat as poly or mono unsaturated fats?
I'm a believer in a little higher fat in my own personal diet, approx. 20-25% fat of total daily calories. I also believe that if you restrict your fat intake greatly, your body will go into a defense mode and hold on to the fat you already have and not give it up as easy. I think a lot of people worry too much about fat content, when they should pay more attention to excessive carbohydrate intake. I would try adding a good essential fat into your diet like flaxseed oil or canola oil, maybe 1 or 2 tsp. per day. You are correct about saturated being easily stored as fat. Seriously, don't let this fat counting get to you. Eat small frequent meals, drink plenty of water, and do your cardio regularly.
I have come back to bodybuilding after a 10 year lay off. I am hearing A LOT about creatine monohydrate. I have also heard that creatine should not be taken permanently, as "they say" it can harm the liver. What do you say?
Oh, another quick question! I am epileptic and wonder if supplements such as creatine, and others would be harmful due to my medication?
Creatine is one of the best supplements to help your workout goals period. I believe creatine should be cycled every couple of months, so your body will not get too used to it. Make your body crave it! I personally have never heard creatine to harm the liver. I've heard that you should drink plenty of water so you don't get dehydrated. As far as your epilepsy, I'm not qualified to anwser that question due to not knowing which medications you are using, I would consult your physician about that question.
I just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful postings you have made on the Bodybuilding.com site. I however think that I may need your help with something. I cannot get big. I have tried and tried for almost a year. I am doing this naturally, no steroids, and I am eating every 2 hours (or less sometimes!). I consume a protein shake with every meal. I am eating low fat foods and lots of chicken and tuna and eggs. In fact that is pretty much all I eat. Should I eat everything in sight? I mean, like, pizza, pasta, etc? I also workout 5 days a week, sometimes 6. I get enough rest... I AM DOING EVERYTHING CORRECTLY and cannot get big.
I finally weigh 200 lbs, after so long of waiting. I feel like there is no hope. Please help me, I feel like this could get depressing!
It seems like you are getting a little frustrated with your goals of getting BIG. To really help you I really need some more info. Tell me your age, body fat, workout routine and split. As far as your comment about you doing everything correctly, I have to question that because after 14 years of doing this, I still do not do everything correctly. I'm always learning knew things to help me reach my goals. I would like you to read the book THINK BIG II by Skip Lacour. This book really helps you to get your mind right about how to reach your goals of getting BIG. Be patient about wanting to get big, it takes time. Good luck to you, and let me know how it goes.
Q & A From 11/25/00
I have late night cravings, but I want to eat something healthy that will not be stored as body fat, any suggestions?
One of my favorite late night snacks is to take a Myoplex packet and mix it with 4oz. of water and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, you have a high protein cold pudding dessert.
Whats a good pre-workout meal for a person who goes straight from work to the gym?
What is a couple of the best exercises to develope the outer sweep of my thigh muscles?
To develope the outer sweep of the quads, do your squats, leg presses, and hack squats with knees and feet together and do not go down as deep.
What book would you recommend of all the different workout books out there to help me with all my bodybuilding questions?
I personally like Arnold's Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding and Joe Weider's Big Iron Bodybuilder book; for dieting and competing I like the book Sliced by Bill Reynolds. Click here for more info on these books and more.
Can you recommend a good calf routine? My calves are really lacking behind the rest of my physique?
Calves are very stubborn muscles. High reps are a must. My gym has a second floor, so I will do 10 heel raises per step non stop all the way to the top rotating my feet position each step. 20 steps X 10 each = 200 awesome reps.
My upper abs are seeming to develop nicely, but my lower abs need some work, any suggestions?
Hopefully your diet is clean and you are doing your cardio. My favorite lower ab exercise is the hanging ab straps, 3 sets X as many reps as you can without swinging.
I've been told to drink a post workout shake after my workout. What is the right amount of protein and carbs for optimum benefits?
For the average male body, I would suggest 30 - 40 grams of protein and 40 - 60 carbs. My personal favorite is the Rapid Recovery drink from Worldwide, it has 35 grams of whey protein and 50 grams of good quality carbs.
I was told by my doctor to strengthen my abs to help my lower back pain but it has been six months now and my lower back continues to bother me. My abs are stronger than they have ever been. What else could the pain be a result of?
Tight hipflexors, resulting in a hyperextention of the lower back, So be sure to stretch your hips three times a week and see if this helps.
Q & A From 09/12/00
I'm new to bodybuilding and want to learn all I can about the sport. If you were going to pick one of the muscle magazines to suscribe to which one would you pick?
I read every muscle magazine every month and my favorite in order goes 1. Flex 2. Musclemag 3. Pump 4. Ironman 5. Muscle Fitness. Click here to check out these magazines and/or subscribe to them online at an extremely discounted rate!
I workout in a small gym in the midwest. We have this new guy that just joined our gym. This guy is absolutely huge and ripped and he's only 21. Some of the guys say he is one of the favorites to turn pro this year. My question to you is he seems to be doing the same type of workouts as we do but we are no where at the level he is plus im almost 30 years old. What's he doing that we are not?
Well to start things off he probably has very good genetics. Another question is how tall is he? Usually the shorter guys can develop faster because their muscle bellies are shorter. Then there's the whole possiblity of the dreaded S word. Steroids play a big part in how much a person can develop there muscles. If he's going to turn pro there is a good chance this guy is chemically enhanced, not that this is wrong but it's just a personal choice.
My buddies and I are going to the Mr. Olympia for the first time this year. We were wondering that if we take our cameras will the pro guys and girls take pictures with us or do we have to buy their pictures?
Most pro's are super cool and will be happy to pose with you for a picture, but then you have your Flex Wheeler's and Lou Ferrigno's who think there too hot shit to bother with the fans. These kind of people need to remember without us they would probably not get a paycheck.
Im trying to eat really good on my new program, but it seems like when I get to the grocery store I get overwelmed and usually make bad choices. Can you help ?
Great question, look for my new article "How to eat correctly and plan your meals" in the What's New section in Bodybuilding.com very soon.
I'm looking for a good workout shoe, something that will give me good support, stability, and looks cool. Any suggestions?
A couple companies come to mind. Wear the Otomix workout shoe. These are specifically made for working out. There's also the new Cardillo shoe that is new to the market. These guy's are known for there awesome workout belts so I believe they would probably make a great shoe also.
I've been doing my supplement shopping at GNC, until I found you guys on the web. GNC prices are so expensive compared to yours on the same items. Why is this and why do they always seem so busy?
Most GNC's are in every mall in the country and mall rent is pretty expensive so this probably accounts for the overhead. Still their prices are way too high. Bodybuilding.com's prices are usually half the price of GNC's. I think GNC banks on the fact that not to many people know that they have a choice where to buy their supplements these days.
Q & A From 08/22/00
I'm starting to do a Body-For-Life type get in shape program. I'm into my second week now and I'm starting to get hungry in between my 3 hour gaps of my meals. What do I do?
First I might slowly increase the size of your meals slightly. Next I might try adding a tsp. of flaxseed oil at the beginning of 1 or 2 different meals of the day. You are starting to get hungry because your meals are probably very low in fat, and this means your body will process them at a faster rate. The flaxseed oil is a good fat that your body will not store as fat but will slow down how fast your body processes your food.
In your opinion which cardio machine should I do to tone up and burn the most body fat?
First of all I like to vary my cardio from machine to machine to break up the boredom. I feel like I get the most workout from the treadmill (incline, might I add) and then the always favorite, the stair climber. The incline treadmill is great for people who need to tighten up their overall legs. The stair climber is great for muscle toning in the thighs and butt. I would rotate between the two machines every other cardio session at 30 minutes 4 times per week to start, and then go up from there.
Q & A From 08/14/00
Why do bodybuilders bulk up in the "off season" and go through all the pain of dieting down to compete?
Other than the fact that fattening foods taste better to alot of people, many bodybuilders bulk up to lift heavier. The more fat and water in the joints, the stronger they are. The heavier you can lift, the bigger the muscles will get. Then when you diet down you have more muscle mass.
Which exercises work the different parts of the front thigh? I really need to work on the outer sweep.
Let's use the leg press as an example. Most people use a shoulder width stance. For the outer sweep put your feet closer together and do not go as deep. For the inner thighs, put your feet wide and toes slightly out at a 45 degree angle and do go a little deeper.
Can I work my abs everyday?
Sure you can, but not if you want a nice deep mid-section! The ab wall is a thin sheet of muscle and they respond best like most muscles to medium weight every other to every third day of training. Also the best rep scheme number is 20-25 reps. Do your reps slow and squeeze them hard, no fast momentum reps.
I see alot of people at my gym using personal trainers. Why is this? Can't they do it on their own?
One of the main reasons people hire trainers is for the motivation. If they have someone to meet and they are paying for that workout, they are more apt to go. The second reason is for the knowledge. Many people are new to this and have no idea what they are doing. Why spend years getting close to no results only to find out that you have been doing it wrong all along?
As a trainer what do you think are the best three back exercises for width and thickness?
In my opinion the three best exercises are:
1. Pull Ups to the chest.
2. Barbell Rows
3. Barbell Shrugs.
Keep the reps low with the exception of the chins which are very hard anyways and watch your back grow.
Q & A From 07/24/00
I'm a 19 year old male and I'm trying to gain muscle size. I was thinking about using an andro type product. I read somewhere that at my age I do not need anything that will boost my testosterone levels. Could you clear this up for me?
In my opinion, I would have to say that a male at 19 years old should have testosterone levels through the roof. I believe any testosterone booster at your age would be overkill. I would like to see you focus on good solid high protein meals and a good multivitamin, creatine and glutamine.
I'm doing the Body For Life program and my job doesn't allow me the luxury of eating a complete food meal every three hours. I'm planning on trying some of the high protein nutrition bars that are out there! I don't want to waste my money on bars that don't taste good. What are some of your favorites?
Great question! There are some tasty bars out there and a whole I lotwouldn't give my dog! Here's my top five bars based on taste and a decent amount of protein. Click on the link for more information on each bar.
- Meso-Tech Chocolate Chip
- Pure Protein Strawberry
- Promax Apple Pie a la Mode
- Pure Protein Blueberry Cheesecake
- Promax Cookies N Cream
Also, check out our huge page that categorizes every bar and lets you sort them by most protein, least carbs, lowest price, best tasting and much more! Click here!
Q & A From 07/17/00
About how much protein can men and women consume without any leftover being urinated out?
In my opinion, your average 200 pound male and 130 pound female should be able to process from food protein about MEN 30 - 40 gms / FEMALE 20 - 30 gms per meal, but when it comes to protein shakes and mrp, I feel since these are already per-digested you should be able to up the per shake ratio to MEN 35 - 50 gm / FEMALE 25 - 40 gms per meal.
I have a problem with fat on my lower pecs. It wraps around under my armpit and I can't get rid of it. Any suggestions?
First we must look at your diet. It sounds like your bodyfat is not at an optimal level. Next cardio is a must. If you're not doing cardio I recommend 30 minutes every other day to start. Some helpful exercises might be various dumbbell flyes and cable crossovers in the 12 - 15 rep range.
Everyone always tells me I've go to drink alot of water throughout the day. Why is water so important and what can I do to make it taste better?
First of all, your body is about 70% water, so if you don't give yourself enough water your body will retain more and giev you that puffy appearance. Every bodily function involves water to some degree. Drinking more water will give you clear skin also. A lot of people don't know this but if you drink cold water you will burn more calories because your body has to heat it up. As far as flavoring your water, you can use lemon or crystal light.
In your opinion, when is the best time to workout and do cardio?
The absolute best time to do cardio is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach because by the time you've woken up from sleeping 6 - 8 hours, your body should have easily burned anything that was in there from dinner the night before. Since there's no fuel in your body, your body will be forced to burn pure bodyfat for energy. As far as the workout goes, morning workouts will speed up your metabolism and burn fat also, but the optimal time to weight train is between 2 - 4 pm. That is when your testosterone levels are at their highest during the average day!
I am 21 yrs. old, 5'11" and weigh 175 and I want to gain size and strength. I pretty much have the diet down. What kind of workout split do your recommend.
I like the one bodypart per day routine. Early in the week when you energy levels are high (Monday, Tuesday for example) work your weakest bodyparts. Large muscles should receive 2 - 4 exercises with 3 sets per exercise. Rep ranges should be in the 6 - 10 reps per set.