Q And A!

Here is a Q & A segment that has been taken from some emails that I have been sent....

Q. I just graduated high school, and am in the same predicament you were. I weighed about 138 a few months ago, but have been on professional weight gainer and weigh about 160 now. So I am better but not there. I haven't entered the gym maybe five times in my life. But I have access to a nice one. I am so embarrassed to think about going, but I've got to make myself. At least I'm not 30 then I'd really feel awkward..... Anyway what are the exercises you started doing at first?...I have no idea what to do in the gym..... Tips?...(I take it your metabolism was very fast correct?) Thanks man

A. I remember those days, but don't be embarrassed. I used to work out in a gym but now I have created a home gym. I just like being alone when I train. I don't want to be bothered at all, so I can stay focused and not get distracted by a lot of talking. But when I was working out at a gym I would stay basic. Stay away from all the machines stay on free weights. You can use the triceps pushdown, or latt pull down machine, things like this but stay away from the nautilus type machines (the ones the old women are always on). Stay basic, Bench Press, Squats, Deadlifts, etc. Lift heavy with low reps. Just remember Think Big, Eat big, Lift big to Get Big.

Be patient and I promise you it will pay off. Keep reading my articles I am on an 8-week mass building program and I will post my results when I am done.

Q. I hate to act this uninformed Todd, but I would like to know like how many reps, how much weight.... I'm asking you because you were in my shoes and what you did should work for me....

A. I would follow this. 1 set - 10 reps, 2nd set 8 reps, 3rd set 6 reps 4th set 3 reps. Make sure you increase your weight with every set. This is the program that I use a lot. It incorporates both mass and shape-building reps. Make sure you use proper form. Hope this helps.

Q. Hi, I read your article "Eat Big, Think Big, Lift Big, Get Big!" and found it very inspiring. I have the following problem: I was also thin and bodybuilding changed my life, but then I left it for 15 years. I am back again bodybuilding and I seem to have reached a plateau after 3 months of fast gaining bodybuilding 4 days a week. I don't seem to be making more gains and though I aim to train to failure, I seem to be getting tired before my target muscles feel the pain (for example when I bench press, my arms tire before my chest). When I train my biceps, I seem to get tired before I feel the burn and if I add weight, I seem to get tired at an earlier repetition before I feel the burn also. What do you recommend for me to gain lean mass at this stage and for me to push to the need max, because my training to failure takes place before feeling the muscle burn.

A. What I do to avoid plateaus is very simple; change my workouts every 4-6 weeks. If you go to failure every time you train you will hit a plateau. Try going real heavy for 6-8 reps for a few weeks. Constantly change your rep range. Say for 4 weeks just do 6-8 reps at a heavy weight then for maybe 4 weeks do 10-12 reps then may for 4-6 weeks go to failure. Try super setting your exercises. Change the days of the week that you do a body part, like if you do chest on Monday move it to Friday etc. Take a week off once every 6-8 months. Also change you exercises almost every other week. Like for chest if you do bench press do dumbbell press. Change the order you do your exercises. If you do bench press first move it to the last exercise. I hope this helps.

Q. Hello, my name is Brian and I really admire your articles and gains that you have made. (Bodybuilding.com) I myself am an amateur bodybuilder; I am currently 5'9", 200 lbs. I have a question though. Just yesterday I decided that I was putting on a lot of fat. I know that fat is unavoidable in the mad pursuit of calorie intake and nutrition. I myself take in thousands of calories a day, I don't monitor, but I eat EVERYTHING in site, every 2 hours. I was wondering, I figured you would know out of all the other guys there, if it is wise to buy all kinds low fat, low sodium foods. I eat like a horse, and I was just wondering if eating low fat foods was bad (considering that the caloric content goes down with less fat) I supplement with andro (A LOT of it), glutamine, creatine, liquid creatine (before a workout for energy), myoplex mass, and lots and lots of eating. Please help me get big.

A. I would recommend that you cut the calorie drinks out totally. I take protein drinks so I am not getting any extra calories that would add un wanted fat to my body. You sound like you should probably be down to about 190 since you are 5'-9. I don't watch what I eat at all. I eat everything as well. That is why I don't take in calorie drinks. I quit taking them once I got my body wght. to about 180 lbs.

Q. I have noticed that I have been losing my cuts mostly in my abs section. I guess it is because I think I'm gaining some weight. I have trouble-eating 5 6 times a day I find it hard; I don't know what to eat 5 6 times a day. I told my mom you got to make a lot of food and lot of different types. She looked at me then trough me out of the kitchen. She told I'm crazy if I think she will stay in the kitchen and cook like crazy.

A. One big piece of advice for you, "learn how to cook." I have been cooking myself my meals ever since I got started. My mom wouldn't do it and my wife sure as heck want either. I know it's hard at first but keep your meals small at each feeding. Don't eat big at breakfast, lunch or supper this way you will be able to feed your body throughout the day. You may want to try to add a meal replacement shake and replace a couple of your meals. It's easier on your stomach to do this. Well good luck and keep up the good work. Don't worry about the cuts, have you ever seen a pro before they start dieting down. They don't even look like themselves barely recognizable.