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OceansAndrew

Fit Club ahoy! Where men are bros and women are also bros!

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I just got hit with hard times recently. But I'm still trying to continue going to the gym, did some heavy stuff today.

Way to keep at it! I'm a firm believer in the healing power of picking up heavy stuff and sweating.

@Bejack: That guy AthleanX seems pretty legit to me. I didn't look at too much of his stuff, but what I saw looked good. As to front raises, you would be activating more muscles with raising to ceiling, engaging some of your posterior muscles to pull that high. That being said, those muscles are a lot weaker usually, so you might not be able to use as much weight safely, which of course would cut how much you can develop your anterior muscles.

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just got back in the gym this week after a serious calf tear kept me sidelined for nearly half a year. i was (pleasantly) shocked that i was able to comfortably hit my previous marks and even level up on certain exercises

this week is the warm up. next week, we start two-a-days.

#theheartisalwaysthestrongestmuscle

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just got back in the gym this week after a serious calf tear kept me sidelined for nearly half a year. i was (pleasantly) shocked that i was able to comfortably hit my previous marks and even level up on certain exercises

this week is the warm up. next week, we start two-a-days.

#theheartisalwaysthestrongestmuscle

Nice one! Way to get back in there to you as well! It's funny how sometimes downtime doesn't hurt us as much as we expect or can even end up helping us come back stronger. I've definitely done that at least once. What are your goals at this point? Mainly recoup/heal? That would make sense to me.

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Hey Bejack, if you feel like you aren't gaining mass, there are a few possible issues.

1. You might not be eating enough calories. What is your daily activity level like? Height/weight? Try a TDEE calculator. If you want to see results you need to be at least 200-300 over your daily calorie expenditure. If you have a fast metabolism or an active lifestyle, you might be eating below what you need to gain.

2. You might not be eating enough protein. Sure, you can get gains with limited protein, but it will be slower and harder. I've heard a lot of numbers thrown around but the scientific consensus seems to be about 0.75g of protein per pound of body weight daily.

3. You might not be working out optimally. What exactly are you doing in terms of your workouts? What exercises, how many repetitions / sets, and how do you feel after each one?

4. You might not be sleeping enough. Optimally you want to be getting a solid 8 hours of rest.

Hi Zircon thanks for all this info.

1. My daily activity is pretty much relax. I workout 3 times a week. I don't work in an office but my job doesn't involve a lot of physical effort. I do walk a lot trough the factory though. I'm 5'7 and i weight around 150 pounds. My TDEE is 2200 calories. I do have a fast metabolism. Also i'm a naturally stressed guy, does that burn more calories?

2. When i started working out i began checking my protein intake without counting but just generally increasing it. For example i buy all kind of nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. If i have a bowl of cereal for example i will put in a fair amount of pumpkin seeds to up the proteins. I try to eat more meat, milk, etc. I used to love cottage cheese and it has good amount of proteins but i discovered that i was lactose intolerant so i cut down on dairy products. I should take some time to cook more eggs though. I pretty much stopped eating chips and almost never drink sodas. I mostly drink water, milk, juice, almost never alcohol. I work on the night shift so my 02:30 a.m. meal at work is not a huge one as i don't always have the appetite.

3. I used to workout for about 90 minutes per workout doing 24 different exercises 2 sets of 10-12 reps. Now i cut that in half because i read that workouts shouldn't exceed 40-45 minutes not to over train. I know do 12 exercises 10-12 reps. This also helped in reducing/removing pain i had in my left elbow. I workout at home with dumbbells/body weight. I started with 10lbs dumbbells for about a month then it became easy so i moved on to 15lbs. Recently started with the 20lbs one. I think the problem is that i am not lifting heavy so my body only responds to endurance type training. I also started doing 30 minutes of stationary bike after my muscle workouts because i want to improve my cardio as well. After the workout i feel tired and my muscles are aching a bit but they are not sore after i sleep. I tried working out with more intensity but i didn't feel well afterwards, almost puked. What do you recommend for resting times between reps and between sets? I would like to increase the intensity a bit but i would like to do it efficiently.

4. Sleep is a major issue and must be the main reason (combined with not lifting heavy enough) why i don't see results. As i mentioned before i work on the night shift so the sleep hours aren't optimal. On good days i can get 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep. Some days i only get 3 to 4 hours. Does the sleeping need to be continuous? If take a 90 minute nap when i get home from work and sleep 5 or 6 hours later in the day is it as beneficial as sleeping 7.5 hours in a row?

Thanks to anyone who can help me or give some directions with this and thanks RealFolkBlues for that front raises precision :)

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Hey Fit Club thread, I'm getting discouraged. I'm trying to lose weight, and I'm terrible at it. I've tried calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, changing my diet (i.e. what foods I eat), changing what time I eat, cutting out caffeine and alcohol, and no matter what I do, I am always, without fail, painfully hungry.

I mean this in two ways: I never stop being hungry, no matter what, and I actually have chronic pain that, for whatever reason, is not as bad when I've just eaten.

Anybody else experience anything like this? Any advice?

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Brace yourself for a long post :-)

First of all - you can do it. You can, and you will. It will take some hard work and willpower, but you can. Last year I weighed 193 pounds. I had tried tons of diets and workout routines. Nothing worked, but then last May I started counting calories and now I'm down over 30 pounds and look great.

Calorie counting is the key. Write down and track everything you eat. Total up the calories. Forget MyFitnessPal or anything else, just do it in WHATEVER you can, like Google Docs or Excel or whatever. It's a lot easier if you cook for yourself - of course, you'll want a food scale like this.

http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Precision-Digital-Kitchen-Silver/dp/B001N07KUE/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1424302454&sr=1-4&keywords=food+scale

Weigh yourself every day, ideally in the morning before you eat. Now, do this for 2 weeks to get in the habit. Track your weight vs. your calorie intake and you can determine your total daily expenditure. Sound laborious? It isn't. Besides the fact that you internalize the numbers really fast (like I know the ratio of weight:calories for all the foods I eat by heart), just put your plate on the scale and look at it as you put stuff on. It adds virtually no extra work or time.

Approximately 3500 calories are needed to gain or lose a pound of fat. Let's say you average eating 2500 a day (which you'll know, because you're writing it down and tracking it). Now let's say you gain 1 pound of fat after 2 weeks.

Your total caloric intake was 2500x14 days = 35000 calories. You gained a pound, therefore your actually metabolic requirement was 31500 calories. Divide that by 14 = your expenditure is 2250 a day.

In my experience, online calculators are frequently inaccurate. The only way to tell your TDEE for sure is to actually count calories + weigh yourself. For example, I work out 6 times a week. I'm 5'9 162 pounds. According to calculators online my TDEE is 3000 which is almost 800 calories more than my actual calculated TDEE of 2250.

So what do you eat?

This next part is just my opinion, but IMO, it is MUCH harder to diet when you're eating small quantities of "normal" food - better to enjoy large portions of healthy food. You will feel more full and if you have that urge to eat a lot, you'll satiate that urge. And hunger IS a part of caloric restriction, but it doesn't have to be a problem if you eat the right stuff.

For example, you could go to Subway and get a "healthy" sandwich that ends up costing you 1000 calories. Or, you could have some deli meat at home on a pita with delicious sriracha and lite mayo for 300 calories. Which brings me to the next part - what are the best foods to eat when cutting?

1. Poultry and Ham

Specifically, you want boneless, skinless, grilled / baked / roasted chicken or turkey. No bacon, no fried chicken, no breaded chicken. Poultry is approximately 1.1 calories per gram, provided it isn't fried or cooked in oil. This means that you can eat a HALF POUND of chicken (226 grams) and only get about 250 calories from it. That's insane. Poultry is king, and ham has a similar nutritional profile. I prefer deli meats because while they ARE higher in sodium (which you can counteract by drinking more water), they're also prepared and require no cooking, oil, etc.

2. Eggs and Egg Whites

Eggs are a very healthy food in general, but for increasing mass+volume of food consumed, I like mixing them with egg whites. 3 eggs and about a half cup of egg whites is 270 calories, and yields a fairly large portion of scrambled eggs. Delicious.

3. Most Fruits & Vegetables

Fruit - NOT DRIED FRUIT - is great, because it's full of moisture. Moisture = weight = fills you up. It also satisfies the sweet tooth some of us have. You can eat a massive bowl of cantaloupe or a big, juicy apple for about 100-120 calories. Vegetables are even better in this department. Broccoli, cauliflower, artichoke hearts, peas, lettuce.. especially lettuce. I eat about a pound of veggies with dinner every night and it's easily <100 calories.

4. Lean soup

Again soup can be a bit high in sodium, but look at nutrition labels and pick the best stuff. Soup has a lot of moisture/water (obviously) and thus fills you up more and takes longer to eat. Light chicken & rice, italian wedding, minestrone, tomato, vegetable... you can find soups where a pound of food is fewer than 200 calories.

5. Potatoes, rice, lavash, pita***

It's very easy to overeat these things if you're not careful, but as far as sources of carbs go, I find these to be pretty smart choices - as long as you don't add any junk. For example, a baked potato has about 163 calories for 213g of food. Not too bad. On the other hand, a cup of macaroni is about twice the calories for half the food. I'm quite found of pita - there is a kind from my local grocery store that's high in fiber and protein and only 60 calories.

6. Fish

Fish is like poultry. Lean and good for you.

7. Water

Drink a lot of it. Don't drink other stuff.

8. Yogurt

Greek yogurt especially!

9. Jello

Sugar-free jello is basically empty calories.. no nutrition to speak of. But at the same time, a whole bowl is like 20 calories, so who cares. Eat it if you feel the urge to eat and don't have the calorie budget.

10. Mushrooms

I love 'em. Half a pound of baby bella is like 60-70 calories at most, a great way to add mass and volume to a meal. Season away!

11. Shirataki noodles.

Some people don't like these but I swear by them and eat about one package a day. These are basically 0-calorie noodles made from plant fiber. They're relatively tasteless. I eat them with simple tomato sauce (where one serving = 35 calories, enough for my whole plate), veggies, and meat.

So what SHOULDN'T you eat?

I'm not saying the foods below are not healthy. Many of them are. Many of them are also OK in moderation. But if you want to get lean, you need to cut calories. And in my opinion, if you want to cut calories, you need to avoid calorie-dense food.

1. Bread, pasta, oats, most cereals

I know there is healthy bread out there, and oats are great for you... but the caloric density is also VERY VERY high. Not good for cutting IMO.

2. Desserts or anything with sugar

Goes without saying. Gee, should I eat a Twix bar, which is like 30 grams, and gain almost 300 calories? Or eat 8x that much meat for the same caloric price?

3. Nuts and oils

Cooking with oil adds tons of calories to your food. Nuts are also very high in calories. OK in moderation if you can control yourself but you simply can't eat a lot of nuts without getting a lot of calories.

4. Butter and cheese, including peanut butter

Can be good for you, but these just have too many calories.

5. Sodas, alcohol, juices

Cut it all out.

6. Restaurant food

Unfortunately, there are basically no restaurants that will offer food as lean as the kind you can cook at home. Therefore, it's best to prepare as much food yourself as possible. A fast food salad can be ridiculously (and surprisingly) high in calories due to a myriad of factors.

7. Beef, kind of

It's possible to get lean cuts of beef, but the nutritional profile is almost always more calorie-dense than poultry or fish. It's not BAD for you by any means. It just so happens that more often than not, beef tends to have more calories, so I usually avoid it.

8. Pizza

Pizza = oil, bread, carbs, cheese... avoid.

Edited by zircon

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Nice one! Way to get back in there to you as well! It's funny how sometimes downtime doesn't hurt us as much as we expect or can even end up helping us come back stronger. I've definitely done that at least once. What are your goals at this point? Mainly recoup/heal? That would make sense to me.

indeed! the downtime offered a nice reprieve from my stubbornness to keep training and playing ball on a hobbled leg (which is why the calf lingered so long to begin with... though to be fair, that was just a really awkward injury to begin with... an adductor pull turned lower hamstring turned calf tear lol also courtesy of being a stupid, stubborn sonofabitch).

training goals, for the timebeing, are back to the mass gains schedule i was on prior to the injury (though i've gained about 10 lbs during the hiatus in the form of non-mass lol). i'm back on two-a-days because, counterproductively, i have to get some cardio in to build back up my lost stamina in light of my next football season starting in a couple weeks. normally, i don't do much cardio during my heavy gains cycle but i'm likely to pull another groin/calf/insertbodyparthere out there if i don't

===============================

@MockingQuantum

as for weight loss. all of zircon's suggestions are on point, there is very little for me to add... except that perhaps the most important suggestion he made is that of your mindset. i cannot stress enough how much your brain influences your ability to either lose weight or gain mass. it isn't just lip service to the old adage of "mind over matter" either...

about four years ago, i had grown to about 215 which is well above my preferred target weight for both my frame and sports interests/hobbies. but it wasn't a diet or a weight loss exercise program that helped me lose 40 pounds that summer. instead, it was a commitment to being an entirely more active, less sedentary person ALTOGETHER... spending my lunch breaks taking a stroll around the business park while snacking on a granola bar and listening to awesome music (that i procured here, no less hehe), taking stairs instead of elevators when given the choice, walking to local grocery or convenience stores even if they were not necessarily "right around the corner." i simply set out to live a different life, one where i spent less time worrying about wasted time and what i fondly call "MMO optimization anxiety" of trying to optimize "cooldowns" on activities in order to "boost" productivity and maximize life... and instead taking my time...

so take your time, doing things the long way, slowly, take every opportunity you can to do something that can increase your heart rate and you will get to where you want to go.

(and also get lots of sleep and eat the stuff zircon suggested, have a consistent workout routine that includes weightlifting and not just cardio because it actually burns a lot more calories and fat than you'd think and you will be well on your way :D) best of luck!

[ps sorry about the long rant lol]

Edited by zykO
Noticing things I didn't notice hours ago lol #fail

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Hey guys, would have responded to several posts that have gone up lately but there has been some serious craziness in my area due to nasty weather. Hope to be back in here (mentally and physically) by next week.

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Hi Zircon thanks for all this info.

1. My daily activity is pretty much relax. I workout 3 times a week. I don't work in an office but my job doesn't involve a lot of physical effort. I do walk a lot trough the factory though. I'm 5'7 and i weight around 150 pounds. My TDEE is 2200 calories. I do have a fast metabolism. Also i'm a naturally stressed guy, does that burn more calories?

Counter-intuitively perhaps, stress actually generally causes you to gain fat. It releases all sorts of bad hormones for fitness. If you can, try to relax. Do you practice any sort of relaxation/mindfulness activity? This could be anything, not just directly meditation or yoga, but could be painting, playing music, or video games that are at least mostly relaxing, like Harvest Moon.

3. I used to workout for about 90 minutes per workout doing 24 different exercises 2 sets of 10-12 reps. Now i cut that in half because i read that workouts shouldn't exceed 40-45 minutes not to over train. I know do 12 exercises 10-12 reps. This also helped in reducing/removing pain i had in my left elbow. I workout at home with dumbbells/body weight. I started with 10lbs dumbbells for about a month then it became easy so i moved on to 15lbs. Recently started with the 20lbs one. I think the problem is that i am not lifting heavy so my body only responds to endurance type training. I also started doing 30 minutes of stationary bike after my muscle workouts because i want to improve my cardio as well. After the workout i feel tired and my muscles are aching a bit but they are not sore after i sleep. I tried working out with more intensity but i didn't feel well afterwards, almost puked. What do you recommend for resting times between reps and between sets? I would like to increase the intensity a bit but i would like to do it efficiently.

So, to be clear, you're looking to build mass/improve strength mostly? You're going to want in that case to do high weight and low reps. I would recommend the 5/3/1 program. I've had good success with it. As for rest, it's up to you. Limiting rest is mainly just to keep your heart rate up. Natch you don't want to rest too much or it will give you a false sense of your strength, but if you're doing lifts of moderate to high weight, you could give yourself a minute or so between and see how that feels.

4. Sleep is a major issue and must be the main reason (combined with not lifting heavy enough) why i don't see results. As i mentioned before i work on the night shift so the sleep hours aren't optimal. On good days i can get 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep. Some days i only get 3 to 4 hours. Does the sleeping need to be continuous? If take a 90 minute nap when i get home from work and sleep 5 or 6 hours later in the day is it as beneficial as sleeping 7.5 hours in a row?

Yup, this is a big problem. I feel ya on this. I sleep really well if I get the chance too, but nowadays I rarely do. It's insidious how much this influences your fitness. As for continuous versus not, I don't know, but I would think you'd probably be ok so long as you can continue to sleep in longer shifts as opposed to short naps. The 90 minute nap you mentioned, for instance, would probably work pretty well, because you would be able to get down to a deep sleep for a little bit. You can look into it on your own, it's neat stuff, but basically there's light sleep, which doesn't do too much for you really, a couple levels of deep sleep, which is very healing for your body and somewhat for your mind (this is mainly what I would say you need for recouping from lifts,) and then REM sleep is the deepest sleep, where you dream and get the most benefit to your mind. Considering what you said about your stress though, don't skimp on REM sleep. It will def help quiet your mind.

Thanks to anyone who can help me or give some directions with this and thanks RealFolkBlues for that front raises precision :)

Glad to help!

@zyko: Nice one. I feel ya on refusing to yield to an injury. I too am stubborn. That's a weird progression, but it makes sense really.

@MockingQuantum: I'll third zircon and zyko's advice, cuz it's good stuff. I especially want to impress upon you that weight loss is fast for some and slow for others, and is often best done slowly, so please be patient. Slow and steady absolutely wins the race when it comes to fitness. Just take it one day, one week, one month at a time. You'll see the results.

@Soul Splint: These things happen, man. The weather has been awful, so be safe, for sure.

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Thanks so much for the huge post, zircon. It's a lot of information I've seen before, but you distilled it and framed it in a way I haven't given any thought to before. I've always focused on gross calorie count, and macronutrient percentage, but with how much I struggle with hunger, the idea of looking at it as a factor of calories per gram is kind of appealing. Also I've never sat down and actually tracked & calculated my own TDEE, so that may be one of the issues I'm having.

@RealFolkBlues & zyko: Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm starting to look into other methods of getting my head in the right place to support my weight loss efforts. I've focused so much on the numbers (weight, calories, days, whatever) and I think it's taken a toll on me. I know it's just as much about changing your lifestyle and perspective as it is about weight loss. I'm getting back into meditation, and I think that may be as beneficial or more than focusing on the mathematics of it all. Also I know I need to be reminded every once in a while to not stress and take it slow :razz:

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No problem, happy to help & offer advice. Let me know if you have any other questions.

By the way, today is...

Progress pic day!

I was going to wait until Monday, but I want to start eating now so I can have more energy for my next workout. So, I took pics today. Here's my transformation so far :-)

(Warning: Shirtless hairy dude pics. Sorry.)

http://zirconstudios.com/fitness/progress/progress.html

Edited by zircon

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No problem, happy to help & offer advice. Let me know if you have any other questions.

By the way, today is...

Progress pic day!

I was going to wait until Monday, but I want to start eating now so I can have more energy for my next workout. So, I took pics today. Here's my transformation so far :-)

(Warning: Shirtless hairy dude pics. Sorry.)

http://zirconstudios.com/fitness/progress/progress.html

jeebus wtf dude that is some serious cutting what 3 doctor hated diet pills are you using

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wow, great job man. Looks like you've cut a lot. I would like to tend to this belly fat but I just can't be arsed to watch my diet that much. I'm too weak willed. :lol:

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Hahaha. Awesome, thanks guys. In all seriousness, what supplements is everyone taking here? (No, not "supplements", I mean like actual supplements.)

* I've been eating about 1 scoop worth of protein powder per day. I usually buy Optimum Nutrition but honestly I've tried the Target brand which is cheaper and tastes just as good to me. Similar nutritional profile too.

* Started taking multivitamins, because why not.

* I take 200mg caffeine a day via pills.

* Tried creatine for a little while but read that it can cause or accelerate hair loss, and I do so enjoy having a full head of hair, so I stopped.

* I kinda count glucomannan (the stuff shirataki noodles are made from) as a supplement.

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Hahaha. Awesome, thanks guys.

Good job, man! You're making me excited for when I actually try and cut.

In all seriousness, what supplements is everyone taking here? (No, not "supplements", I mean like actual supplements.)

I've been making a whey protein shake asap after lifting and take multivitamins, mainly cuz I'm bad on my vegetable intake.

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