Ok, first of all I'm 13, been weight lifting for about 3 months, and have always been an endomorph. I have started to lean out because of weightlifting, and I am happy for that. But I have a few questions...
Will whey protein mess me up in any way? My dad said he doesn't want me on supplements, and I don't want to be either. Is protein whey all natural, and safe?
Also, do gyms welcome kids my age into their doors? I have a YMCA and a few other private gyms by my house.
Firstly whey protein is healthy, you can get different types of protein powders if you have a medical condition, but to be sure take your dad to the local health food shop or gym and ask them about whey protein so they can tell him for sure. At your age it is probably not necessary yet but it cant hurt, only help. I guarantee if you continue lifting you will start to want to want to take supplements, no matter what.
All gyms have different age limits, call them and ask and if you are a big kid naturally but underage by a year or so get your dad to lie about your age to them, its no big deal.
Hey James, I really appreciate your articles and info. My current situation is that I'm 6'0 190, and trying to bulk for maximum muscular gain. I put on fat a little to quickly last week, but my goal is 225 by end of January, with not too much more fat gain. Here is what my diet looks like.
Breakfast - Eggs, 1-cup milk, vitamins, cereal
Snack - Tuna
Lunch - Cereal, milk, chicken
Snack - Tuna
Dinner - Chicken, rice, 1 cup milk
Snack - Tuna
I put on fat to fast last week, because I was drinking half a gallon of skim milk a day.
You're a big guy, if you want to put on lean mass you got to eat more protein, more carbs and more good fats, what you are doing looks really good. I would just make a few suggestions to improve it and help you reach your goal:
- Buy a creatine and a protein powder, I would suggest Cell Tech by Muscletech and for a protein supplement use Optimum Nutrition, it is a good powder and cheap.
- Make sure you maintain eating 6 meals a day, limit carbs at dinner but other than that make sure u have high amounts of carbs at the 2 times of the day where carb intake is at optimum levels.
Firstly, for breakfast because your body hasn't eaten all night so it will digest the carbs into all the areas needed and 2nd time to digest high amounts of carbs is after you train, the muscle will take all the carbs in for recovery, rebuilding and growth.
Dino has an awesome carb calculator on one of his articles go and check that out.
To quickly and easily increase your fat intake add 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil with your tuna snacks, you cant taste this and it will also boost calories.
I was wondering if you could please help me, I need desperate help so I thought you would be the perfect man to ask.
I am an 18-year-old man from Britain, my training is going fine but my left arm is rather weaker then my right, my right arm is physically bigger then the left arm by a few centimeters. I think it is because when I was younger I would do a lot dumbbell curls with my right arm, and since my left arm being weaker I sort of gave up on it, I really wish I didn't now.
So could you please tell me how I can increase strength in my left arm so I can get it closer to my right? Should I stop training my right arm to let the left catch up?
Funny you should ask me this question as my training partner up until very recently has had the exact same problem. His left arm would fail on everything about 3 or 4 reps before the right arm. I suggested to him that until his left arm has caught up we would use Dumbbells for about 80% of our workouts and trying to steer clear of Barbells.
Also I had him start every exercise we did with dumbbells with his left arm. When his left arm failed we gave it 1 or 2 forced reps and when it couldn't move so did the right arm. The right arm was still getting fatigued and on the negative phase I had him lower it a little bit slower than his left arm, I'm not sure how long it took his arms to even up but eventually they did.
So use dumbbells and start each set with your left arm, while slowing the negative phase of the movement on the right arm a little. I hope this helps.
What do you think are the top supplements for bulking up?
To bulk up the only supplement I recommend is FOOD, food, food and more food. Granted weight gainers, creatine and protein powders also have there place but without food you wont put on muscle or weight. When bulking:
- Eat no less than 5 times a day
- Get at least 30 grams of protein per meal
- Fill the rest of your plate with complex carbs
- Have your biggest meals for breakfast and after you train
- If you want to go to extremes have a protein shake in the middle of the night (this works)
- Eat until you are full no matter how much food it takes.
After doing all this and you still want to invest in some supplements I suggest:
I don't recommend a weight gainer because the majority of the carbs in weight gainers are simple and complex carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes will be more productive.
I have been trying to bodybuild for about a year now. Ever time I get started I quit because it's so boring and there's no one to workout with. A really want to start but I don't know what to eat, supplements to take, or anything. The main reason I want to bodybuild is because I'm 5"8 and only weigh 140 lbs. All of my friends play sports and are starting to get stronger than me. Can you help me in anyway?
Ok you say bodybuilding is boring, you must train alone and at home. If this is the case try and join a local gym, the other guys training around you are very good motivation, especially if hey are bigger than you as you will have something to chase. You mentioned your friends are all involved in sports; ask one of them to train with you, by training with one of your mates it makes training less of a chore and something to look forward to, also you and your friend will grow a certain bond through working out together and push each other past sticking points.
Because you are 140 and 5 " 8 and haven't really lifted before start training hard, slowly increasing your weight being lifted, I recommend a 3 day split where your workout days would be Monday, Wednesday and Friday also eat everything around you, you can buy a protein powder if you wish but it is not a necessity and you don't need any other supplements for at least the first 3 months of training.
By saying eat everything around I mean keep your body constantly growing, never allow your self to be hungry, try and always be full eat big breakfasts loaded with protein and carbs and equally big lunches and dinners, all your snacks should be considered meals to.
To gain weight you immediately have to up your food intake that is priority number 1, priority number 2 is train hard and heavy every session and priority 3 is don't give up, bodybuilding is a progressive sport nothing will happen over night but over a period of time you will notice big changes in your appearance and confidence.
1. Close gripe bench press good for what? Is it chest or triceps or both of them?
2. Which is best exercise for legs if I am doing exercise at home?
You can use close grip bench press for either the inner chest or the triceps, personally I prefer to use this exercise for the triceps. It is a great mass builder.
To properly perform this exercise for the triceps when lowering the barbell, lower it to approximately half way in between your lower chest and belly button, this will shift the focus from the chest to the triceps.
If you are doing legs at home you proberly don't have enough weight to do squats effectively but if you do I would suggest squats, if not do lunges.
Also a good way t develop the legs is through short, sharp sprints.
Should I do cardio before or after lift?
If you are doing cardio I am assuming that you are trying to burn excess body fat. Well if this is the case I would suggest 2 things you could possibly do.
The first thing is split the weights and cardio up. Perform your cardio first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast by going for a road run/walk, treadmill or exercise bike and then train with weights in the afternoon.
The second thing would be for if you wanted to only train at the 1 time in the day, if this is the case it doesn't matter if you are training in the morning or afternoon do your weights first as this will use up your glycogen stores and then after weight training jump on the exercise bike or treadmill afterwards and do your 30 minutes or so of cardio.
Both options will work great but those 2 options are the best I know of from experience.
Hey, I'm 14 and I just started. What I really need help with is my diet. I'm afraid that I under-eat, and when I do eat, I should probably be eating something else.
Here is what I usually eat:
6:00 A.M - Cereal
12:00 P.M - Chicken or p/b sandwich
2:30 P.M - P/b sandwich and an apple
5:30 P.M - (This is never the same, it usually consists of meat, veggies, bread and/ or something dairy)
Anything I should change?
Ok you have started at the right place in looking at your diet. As it is as important, if not more important than training itself.
Seeing you are only 14 I am not going to make too many changes as what you have sent me looks like it works around your schooling and other needs. Without making to many dramatic changes and not knowing how serious you are about training and diet I will recommend an increase in protein and overall meal size, plus an additional 2 extra meals.
Breakfast - Try and have a healthy cereal, I'm not sure what kind of cereals you have in the states but a safe one is always rolled oats / Porridge, for taste add some honey to your rolled oats not sugar and a banana, also for breakfast have 2 or 3 whole eggs this will boost the protein up to about 20 - 25 grams and also supply sufficient carbs and fats for breakfast.
Morning Tea - This is one of the meals I suggest you throw in. Because, currently you are having nothing at this time have anything. Some fruit, a chicken sandwich whatever you can fit in even some yogurt.
Lunch - This is a fine lunch but try and up the calories a little bit, for example instead of chicken have salmon as you can fit more salmon on a sandwich and salmon also has healthy fats. Have 2 or 3 sandwiches if possible. Try and get about 200grams of whatever meat/fish you are using. So you could have 100 grams of chicken in 1 sandwich and 100 grams or so of salmon in the other sandwich. Another idea for lunch is tuna/chicken/salmon mixed with a big bowl of pasta, this goes down well and is easy to prepare as pasta can be cooked in bulk.
Afternoon Tea - You're on the right track here with a piece of fruit and a sandwich, although I don't know what p/b sandwich is? I am guessing peanut butter; well if this is the case that is ok as long as you have a protein source at this time as well, add some yogurt too if you wish.
Dinner - Just eat whatever mum or dad cooks, if there is no protein in this meal add a small can of tuna it is so easy and quick no one will even realize you have done it. I like tuna so I am lucky and if you like tuna also just mix it in with whatever you are having and there you go.
Before Bed/ After Workout - Not knowing when you are training is hard but if you have a rest day have some fruit/ yogurt as well as a source of protein which could be chicken/tuna or salmon or whatever you feel like. On the days you workout have a shake with 500ml of milk, 2 bananas, teaspoon of olive oil and whatever else you want to add, it's a great after workout shake.
Possible and Recommend Changes - If you are serious and have the money buy a protein powder, this will take the strain off eating so many times in the day as you can have a shake with your cereal instead of eggs, a shake for morning tea/ afternoon tea, before bed instead of the chicken/tuna/ salmon and even after your workout.
I don't mean have a shake all of these times, they are just options I suggest have 2 or 3 shakes a day in replacement of your smaller/ fill in meals. (Morning tea, afternoon tea, after training or before bed and every known and again with your rolled oats)
Finally if this is not possible, and understandably so concentrate on having your 3 main meals really big meals packed with about 30 to 40 grams of protein and as much carbs as you can eat, have a big meal after your workouts (the shake) and then eat whatever you can throughout the day.
I read a workout program that workouts twice a week and I thought twice week for mass is too much but the workout isn't so long here it is for upper body:
DB pullovers - one set 8-12
Military press - one set 8-12
Seated rows - one set 8-12
Bench press - one set 8-12
Dumbbell Curls - one set 8-12
Triceps extension - one set 8-12
Pulldown - 8-12
Close Grip Bench - one set 8-12
It said to do a slight warm-up and then the one set with a lot of weight so you can only do the 8 or 9 reps. So do you think this workout would be good twice a week for mass?
I have never used a workout like this so I cannot say if it would work or if it wouldn't work. Many of the other writers use H.I.T, which is performing 1 or 2 sets to failure and move on. I on the other hand do not.
I would recommend a mass training split to look like this:
Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
Stiff Legged Deadlift
Back, Biceps and Traps
Chins/ Lat Pulldown
Bent Over Row
Cable or One Arm Row
Seated Dumbbell Curl
Chest, Triceps and Abs
Incline Dumbbell Press
Dips or Decline Flyes
Decline Bench Crunches - 3 sets of 15 reps
Decline Bench Leg Lifts - 3 sets of 15 reps
Rep between 4 and 8 trying to use heavy weight while maintaining good form, for the last exercise for each muscle either add in a drop set after the final set or lighten the weight on the entire 3 sets for the exercise so you can get 15 good, slow, controlled reps. Do 3 sets per exercise.
Well that's it for my second installment of questions and answers. I hope everyone learned at least one thing from this. Thank you for all the questions and keep them coming, I'm looking forward to getting to work on the 3rd edition so help me out.
Until Next Time,