Q & A With Chris Zaino - Part 2.

Find out what you should do when you hit a training plateau, a great workout if your weak points are your shoulders, chest, and legs, if creatine will give you added weight and much more.
Hi, my name is David and I have been bodybuilding for about a three years now and have seen a big improvement in muscle gains since I started, but I hit a plateau, and it has been hard for me to gain any more muscle, even though I'm eating a minimum of 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight each day.

I am considering using a weight gainer such as N-Large 2, I've heard that this works great for a lot of people, but because there are so many calories it causes fat gain as well. So, I was wondering what would be the best way to get rid of the fat that is gained from a weight gainer, while keeping the muscle, would Glutamine help, or what supplement could I take to prevent muscle breakdown while trying to get rid of the fat gained? I greatly appreciate your help, thanks!

Hi David. Thanks for the e-mail. It is really hard to predict how your results are going to be from a certain weight gainer compared to others who have tried it. Some may gain a lot of fat because they are eating and consuming way too many calories that is needed. So you want to add calories to aid your body in recovery and growth.

Of course when you are in a gaining phase, it is OK to add a little bit of weight form body fat, but the majority of it should be good clean body mass. Your goal should be to gain 1-2 pounds per week. Anything more than that, you are risking a large amount gain from body fat. There is no quick fix. IT will take time to add that weight on slowly and carefully. I would keep a journal of what you are eating each day along with the calories. When your weight hits a plateau and you are not gaining, add about 500 calories to your day, and stay with that for a while.

The same goes for losing. You do not want to rip it right off. Take your time, increase your cardiovascular activity, and start to slowly reduce your caloric intake. Again you do not want to lose more than 2 pounds per week. So again, keep track of your food intake, and make small changes to keep your progress going in either direction.

So as far as weight gainers go, they are only a source of extra calories. IF you are gaining weight fine without them, no need. But if you are at a sticking point, add a weight gainer if you want. Add a half of a serving at first, see how your body responds. IF you are still stuck, go to a full serving. Again little changes here and there can add up to make a big difference. Give it s shot.

My name is Alex and I am 17 years old, been training for about a year. I am trying to switch to a new solid routine that concentrates on shoulders, chest, legs (without squatting) and abs. These are all my... I wouldn't call them weak points, but they all require more attention than the rest of my body. I would like to get your advice and maybe a sample program from you that I can follow. If it's not too much trouble please write back to me soon and I am looking forward to your help.

Hi Alex. Thanks for the mail! Well, I would work these areas in the beginning of the week after a day off so you are fresh and ready to go. I am not sure of your training split, but I think you would probably do legs on Monday and chest/shoulders on Tues.

Legs are very important to pay attention on. NEVER lose focus on your leg training, in fact that should be the most important part of your week. I can't stand seeing people walking around like they rode in on an Ostrich because they neglect there legs. Horrible! So I you have back problems where you cannot squat I would recommend the following routine:

Give this routine a shot for a while, then get back to me, and we can figure up another one for ya.

For chest and shoulders, stick to the basics. Do flat barbell and incline barbell presses. Once in a while throw in some weighted dips as well. For shoulders, try to pre-exhaust the delts by doing your side and rear lateral raises first. Then move on to either Barbell or Dumbbell press. Perform 3 sets of each exercise you do.

This will serve as a good start. Give it a try; see how it works for you. Then get back with me in a few weeks. Take care.

I do have some questions maybe you could help answer. I am on the Adkins diet and have been for 18 weeks. I have lost 110lbs! I went from 360 to 250 now. My goal is to get to 195 or 200. I am still a very large framed guy even if I became very fit. I have been weight training for the past couple of months, but want to get into more of the bodybuilding lifestyle. The Atkins should fit in perfectly, but here are my questions.

I bought the supplements that should all be here on Tuesday. My concern is that will the creatine or glutamine, or ZMA cause me to possibly gain weight, or stall me in my weight loosing progress at all? If so, then I will save them for when I get near my goal weight.

I really want to take them to start the whole cycle of weight training, diet and supplements. What are your thoughts? I am doing the HIT training Mon, Wed, Fri. On the other days I do 1 hour of cardio which I will never give up. I also drink about 250oz. of water.

HI Tom. Good letter! ZMA, Glutamine, and Creatine, are not going to cause you to gain bad weight. If anything, these will help aid in recovery, and allow building, sustaining, and recuperating muscle tissue. I know you want to lose weight, but target the useless weight such as fat. I would go get your body fat checked out. From there incorporate you nutrition, training, and cardiovascular approach.

Get your body fat measured every 3 weeks to show you that you are losing mostly fat, and not good hard earned muscle. Muscle is needed to keep that metabolism in high gear. You lose muscle, your metabolism sill slow down. This creates a catch-22 while dieting. Take your time, lose the weight slowly. Those supplements are fine, and will only help you and aid you in your intense training. Best of luck on your fat loss attack. Get your own body fat tester, click here! Take care!

Note: This is part two, click here for part one!
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Thanks,