Rest and Nutrition

by John

The article "Weight Lifting Tips" revolves entirely around, techniques, methods and applications and relative resistance as to form. What role does "Proper Rest and Nutrition play?


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Recovery and Healthy Diet
by: Lee

Proper rest and nutrition allows you to grow and get stronger. Without adequate recovery and a healthy diet, you will see little in the way of progress.

What happens when you ignore proper rest and nutrition?

You exhibit signs of overtraining, including: poor poundage progression; fatigue; failure to sleep; aches and pains; poor appetite; etc. To fully recover, you must ensure you attend to all your nutritional needs, and consistently sleep and rest enough.

How much rest and recovery do you need?

Try this tip:

Bodybuilder and HEAVY DUTY author Mike Mentzer often suggested his trainees take a periodic layoff every so often. Not only is this restorative practice important for recovery, but it ensures your immune system remains strong and healthy.

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A Brick House
by: Anonymous

I think that Mike Mentzer would agree that, to "Maintain" your present weight one should consume "one gram of Protein for every pound of Body weight".
example I weigh 200lbs therefore I need to consume 200grams of Protien a day, just to maintain this body weight.
The actual amount of foods and supplements needs to be consumed to meet this requirement is extreme.
Imagime how much more one must consume to gain another twenty pounds?

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Too Much Protein is Dangerous
by: Lee

I agree. Too much protein is dangerous, and 200 or more grams of protein per day would certainly fall into this category.

However, Mentzer suggested a moderate consumption of protein - typically, 25% of your daily calorie budget. Mentzer also maintains indulging in massive excesses of protein beyond daily growth requirements will not stimulate lean mass increases or help you grow faster.

This underscores the point that training is the primary requirement and nutrition is secondary. What matters most is to make a reasonable effort to consume a healthy and well-balanced diet.


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Right on Lee
by: Anonymous

Naturally, I totally agree, but I see a lot of guys sporting a five foot 9" height, fully ripped in detail with tremendous muscle insertions and peak.
The problem is...they have a body weight of 165 pounds.
They also complain that it is so hard to gain the weight they want.
But when you ask them what they eat, it is Low fat this, skinless that and low carbs to boot.
I simply respond by telling them, well there's your answer.
The factor that these young people are neglecting to realize is, the articles and methods they read about and employ, are eating and training regimines of Steroid using Pro's

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What is a Well-Balanced Diet?
by: Lee

You are so right. The training and eating regimens promoted by steroid-using pro bodybuilders provides poor guidance for young people wanting to get big and strong. Not only are they potentially dangerous, but they make fantastical claims akin to a fairy tale!

The principle of a well-balanced diet is the fundamental that should guide your daily nutritional program. And a well-balanced diet - by definition - is one that satisfies all your nutritional needs.

This logically leads to the question: what do I need nutrients and calories for?
    1. You need calories and nutrients to maintain your health and existing mass.
    2. You need extra calories and nutrients to provide for the production of muscle growth.
Simply, if you want to gain lean muscle mass, you have to eat healthily. You also have to lift progressively heavier weights in good form, and get plenty of recovery and rest.

These three factors combined provide the key to gaining the weight you want.


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Extra Protein for Muscle Growth
by: Anonymous

Point #2 "You need extra for muscle growth" is my point.
Eating Red meat for your Protein supplement is dangerous in excessive amounts.
I recently spoke to a Health Food Store owner, I asked him about the "Soy Protein" he was selling.
Is it for you, he asked, Yes I said, then No is the answer sir. It turns out that Soy Protein is not good for us guy, it apparently increases our Estrogen production.
nuff said...
FYI I lived in the vicinity of a farming community everyone was putting in Soy for a cash crop. A farmer told me that the stuff we gotta spray this soy with to keep it from being eaten by bugs etc, will kill ya

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R and R
by: Anonymous

When we train a given muscle or group of, we are actually sending a message to the brain and nervous system.
The applied resistence to the Muscle creates fatigue, the fatigue is translated to the nerve or nerves that fire the muscle.
The Message that is being translated comes in the form of a question, do we need to make some changes here.
This is VERY Important to understand!!
because what we are applying to the muscle in as far as resistance or workload, Tempo and consistency, will determine how the muscle will develop

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Do We Need to Make Some Changes Here?
by: Anonymous

Ask most guys in the Gym what the definition of "Intensity is" and then find a comfortable place to sit down, this will take a while.
Most believe that Intensity is primary achieved in the "Pace" at which one trains.
Shortening rest periods between sets, super setting techiques and circuit training.
The sweat pouring off their elbows.
But isn't that what they used to refer to as "aerobic"?
I have always associated High Intensity with "Long Distance Running or Bycycle racing"
But these guys all have tiny, hard, compact, energy efficient muscles that have ADAPTED TO the HIGH INTENSITY training methods!!
Let's face it, all muscle wants to do, is CONFORM to how it is being trained.

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What is Training Intensity?
by: Lee

You make a great point. Training intensity is often overlooked and misunderstood - especially the type of intensity that is required in the realm of strength training.

So what is training intensity, and why do most guys in the gym get it all wrong?

For our answer, we must look to science!

The fact is, there are only two accurate measures of intensity - 0%, when you are at complete rest, and 100%, when you are exerting yourself maximally. Training to muscular failure is the only way to exert yourself maximally and ensure you pass through every possible intensity break-over point. This is true whether you are training in the conventional style, i.e., to positive failure, or with static training, where you are holding a weight. Because of the nature of this type of training, such high intensity efforts cannot continue for any extended period of time.

Or as Mike Mentzer was fond of saying: "You either train long, or you train hard - you cannot do both." Sadly, many gym-goers routinely miss this vital point.


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Looking to Science
by: Anonymous

Right on, but...there are "Two Different Sciences"
the one you discuss is "Clinical" but the one these guys are fumbling around with are the "Sciences" of SELLING a PRODUCT"!
Ask the question, "How do Main Stream Body Building Publications continue to discuss the same three basics of fitness, method, nutrition, rest, for over 60 years,and boast record publication monthly sales?
This is the more popular science that makes your dreams come true enclosed in a Glossy Cover with the A list of steroid using Pros and Now MODELS m/f. The Natural will forever get lost in these unreachable Universes. Unfortunately, disappointment and permanent injury are All u get!

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Supplements Don't Stimulate Muscle Growth
by: Lee

I agree. This is why the natural bodybuilder needs to pay extra-special attention to the three links which make up the muscle building chain. What are they?
    1. Stimulate
    2. Recover
    3. Grow
The mainstream bodybuilding books and magazines give out a ton of advice about how to stimulate new muscle growth with workouts. They also try and hoodwink you into believing a nutritional supplement will stimulate mass increases, which simply isn't true: the latest state-of-the-art supplements don't stimulate muscle growth - high intensity training does.

Sadly, this fact is often overlooked, and will rarely make it onto the pages of the same glossy magazines you speak of.


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A Good Team
by: Anonymous

Hi Lee, we do make a good team but where are the fans??

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6 Hours Pumping Iron
by: Pete

We are right here taking notes, haha! But seriously, ... as I read what you have to say, that odd feeling of Déjà Vu came over me. Hmm, that time off between workouts, and the gains in muscle mass, strength, … wasn’t a fluke. It’s just basic physiology 101 that no one in the gyms I was in ever really thought about.

I hate to say it, but I was an idiot back then. I refused to consider anything other than the fact that a minimum of 6 hours pumping iron a week was a requirement to get stronger. How insane is that?!


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2 Hours Per Workout
by: Lee

Training 3 days a week for 2 hours per workout is common practice, but does that make it right? Or effective? Intensity is the key here, and you can only train intensely very briefly.

What happens next is the easy part: you need to eat healthily and stay away from the gym while your depleted and fatigued muscles recover. For sure, it is a balancing act, but one that pays rich dividends.

Our fans are discovering this every day as they continue to enjoy improvements in their strength, fitness and health.

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Lift Weights 3 Days Per Week
by: Pete

You lift weights 3 days per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We hear this same dumb advice from personal trainers and gym rats all over. Sometimes - if you get lucky - the trainers remember to tell clients to actually try to make progress by lifting heavier weights. And what happens? If you take their advice, you quit training next month like 90% of people do.

The truth is, pumping iron 3 days per week, every week, will burn you out. Why? Because you will not get enough time off between workouts to fully recover and get stronger. Period.

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Building New Muscle
by: Lee

And building new muscle takes time. It also involves the transfer of energy and these scientific laws cannot be cheated. This is why it is necessary to have an effective strength training program you can stick with. Training plans that burn you out after a month or so are not only useless to you, but can be potentially hazardous to your health.

We did an article recently about Super Responders, i.e., those people who are lucky enough to react to exercise well. This fortunate 15% of the population can expect to experience huge benefits from workouts - in muscle building terms, you would call them easy gainers. These easy gainers would also experience the best results from training 3 times per week.

But here is the problem: what most people fail to understand, is how this type of training ignores the largest part of the population, i.e., the remaining 85%. For these gym-goers, the time spent in the gym must be strictly limited and carefully monitored, just as the time spent recovering must be extended.

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Recovery
by: Anonymous

It's good to have another Gym Rat with us.
If Pete is taking notes, then he will have realized that his "Deja Vu" is a result of the "Nostalgia" in the info he is writing.
I felt a change coming in the wind, the day I read Rich Gaspari write about how he was adding a little running into his training plan. This article appeared in one of the most popular Muscle Pubs and featured a full page photo of him running down a long sandy beach.
It was referred to as, "Cardio Vascular", soon after this, it became aerobic?
If Recovery is determined by the Length of time between training sessions because the muscle needs to "Fully Recuperate", then Recovery needs to be also applied between sets.

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Lean for Life
by: Lee

I remember much the same thing with the bodybuilder and author Clarence Bass back in the 1990s. On the front cover of 'Lean for Life', Bass poses on the beach in leopard-print trunks as the sea washes over his ankles - as ever, his physique is ripped.

In the book's pages, Bass would promote a lifestyle approach to muscle building. His emphasis went onto weight training; a balanced diet; and aerobic exercise - a three-prongued program for strength and fitness.

Bass also recognized the importance of recovery and would take adequate rest time between sets and exercises. And while he would always strive to lift heavier weights in the gym, it was never to the sacrifice of proper performance. In 'Ripped', Bass would explain: "Increased training intensity starts with correct performance of the basic set. A good set is much more than an exercise done for X number of repetitions."


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Risks of Overtraining
by: Pete

Oh my God! I think I had a pair of those leopard print trunks! Haha!!

Only joking, but I remember the aerobics craze of the 90s really well and its impact on guys working out in the gyms. And you are right, Bass had an amazing physique and has never lost his passion for the iron game, ... heck, he still looks good in his 70s and puts many of the young bucks to shame!

Bass also understood the risks of overtraining and the importance of overall recovery for the body. Rest is as important as training? Hmm, you don't hear that too often from the personal trainers.


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Two Universes
by: Anonymous

The "Freedom" of a given Muscle or group of, to "Step into a Set of Reps",is what I believe to be "The Place for Intensity to Begin and End".
Rather than concern myself to much with "Increasing the weight on the bar" I have learned to enjoy the benefits of pouring out a controlled exertion, incorporating Knowledge, committed determination, desire and pure joy.
But just as important, I escape this universe allowing my thoughts to run freely. The Result of a beautiful Set of reps, is almost spiritual when I release that bar. I always allow lots of time between my sets, If we are training, then we are in essence Teaching our muscles. Allow the muscle to come to a Full Recovery between sets, naturally allows it to attack the next one with Full Power.
Body building has also helped me apply these Principles to my daily life, helping me to be a more complete person within myself.

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Concentrate on the Exercise
by: Lee

Well said! The mind-body connection is rarely talked about, yet it is a fundamental principle and key aspect of strength training.

To reap the full benefits from your workouts, you must concentrate on the exercise you are doing and the muscle involved. Practice a ninja focus, for if you allow distractions to disrupt you, there is a likely chance you won't achieve maximum benefit from your set.

Here is what must happen:
    1. Learn to apply your attention on the muscle you are working.
    2. Place all your concentration into flexing and extending that muscle.
    3. Make the message your brain sends to your muscle a firm and positive command.
Why is this so important? To receive maximum benefit from a set, you must send the strongest possible message to the muscle and demand the muscle contract to its utmost on every single repetition. Focus. Concentrate. Then allow adequate time for recovery.

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Bringing ALL your Muscles to the Gym.
by: Anonymous

The Human Body is in constant communication with itself. And Like All Living Organisms, the Human Body searches for Balance. When we Ignore certain muscle areas or groups, we can hide them with our clothing, but the inner workings of our flesh knows. Many young guys complain that their Biceps stopped growing, chest or even back.
"Are you doing your heavy squats regularly" is always my question.
I see a lot of big biceps, backs and chests, but the calves are like a little girl's. Do these guys realize how silly they look?
Where are your abs? yes indeed, if you squat heavy you will grow a six pack without sit ups.
Body Building is a Life Time Committment, a science and a passion, if you don't train your whole body, you are not going to last and you will never compete.

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Thighs, Hips and Back Structure
by: Lee

Try and stimulate increases in size in a single body part without first having the main structures of the body in impressive condition, and you will be on a fool's errand. Like the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale where the unlucky miller promises the king his daughter can spin straw into gold, it is an impossible task.

You won't build significant mass on your arms, chest, shoulders, calves - or any other muscle group - before you already add size to your thighs, hips and back. Why is this critical? There is a knock-on effect from the effort to add substantial size to the hip, thigh and back structure. The smaller muscle groups come along in size too.

This is important: you cannot build bigger and stronger legs, hips and back muscles, and expect the smaller body areas to remain unchanged. Instead, the opposite is true - as the larger muscles grow and gain strength, so does everything else.


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Old School
by: Anonymous

By this time, you all can agree that I am "Old Fashioned when it comes to "Body Building".
Here are two reasons why...
1. The Pyramide System.
Most believe that this system is simply designed to "Gradually Increase Barbell Weight" between sets so as Not to make an injurious or drastic leap in poundage.
This is only a partial truth!
As you may have already been reading in my blog, the exertion of muscle power, within "The Set", sends a Message to the Nerve or nerves serving that particular muscle or group of.
When you Puramide "UP" in poundage making your last Set "THE HEAVIEST set" THIS BECOMES The Message.
In actuality, this IS the Mesasage You want to Leave On that Nerve!!
The Muscle will Conform to the Last Message` left for it!

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Old School part 2
by: Anonymous

The "Message" or "IMPRINT" or IMPRESSION left on the Nerve is the One that contains the Most URGENCY, when the last Set is the Heaviest set!
IT SAYS, We need to grow THIS muscle to accomadate THAT exertion Level!!
Remember, the Muscle will ONLY DO What you are Asking it to do!
2. Because of these "New Concepts" which Now include "Warm Downs and Stretching???
Both of which are, "Soothing Actions" They UNDO all your hard work!
Ok...so you work hard to get the muscle to a point of URGENCY, then you deliberately apply Calming and soothing techniques to it???
In essence RE-Translating the message from, "Holy Smoke to, "There no fire here so lets all go home!
Yes you will be sore, but it's the Sore that the body responds to..

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Training Intensity and Recovery
by: Lee

We interviewed trainer and author Pete Sisco on our site last year, and he makes some excellent points regarding training intensity and recovery:
  • If you want to make constant progress every workout, you have to space workouts farther and farther apart. Why? Because the amount of work you are doing each workout is increasing and these demands mean the rest of your body needs more time to recover.

  • To keep intensity levels high, you must cut back on frequency. Why? Without training intensity there is no reason for new muscle to grow.

  • Muscle building is systemic. This means, your efforts in the gym don't only drain your muscles but your nervous system and organs too. To fully recuperate, you must allow your kidneys, livers and pancreases to rest also. You can't grow new muscle until all of your body is fully recovered.



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Potato / Potato
by: Anonymous

Well I sat down and read the Pete Cisco interview.
The opening addmission that he had Not ever Competed, but went on to lift a car, is telling.
You see fellas, pumping iron whether in the gym or in your basement, is the furthest thing from a scientific experiment. Its more like a religious EXPERIENCE.
Franco Columbo lifted a car too, he also won Mr Olympia in his weight class.
Bean Counters and Arm Chair fitness coaches, fill libraries full of Get Big quick in no time publications, the reason there are so many is probably because none of them work.
Now I know that you are all Mentzer fans and I have studied and applied his philosophy.
I got bored waiting so long between workouts and doing two or three sets, when I love to do twenty
Arnold and Mentzer were constantly at odds, Arnold loved to do twenty sets of squats etc and never used up a whole box of kleenex, wiping away his tears. Maybe we are just trying to compare apples with oranges. I like to lift weights to build muscle, I do not build muscle to lift weights, I am a Body Builder, an x Canadian Pro
A lot of the "BS" that these young guys learn in the gym, They learn it from men like me

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The World's Strongest Pound-for-Pound Man
by: Lee

Another bodybuilder blessed with almost superhuman powers of recovery, was "The Biceps from the Bronx" Marvin Eder. No ordinary mortal, his lifting prowess under the bar would secure him the unofficial title of the world's strongest pound-for-pound man.

Eder never took steroids and wouldn't even take any supplements or vitamins. Instead, he would eat all kinds of foods, including: milk, steak, chicken, dairy foods and cereals. Also, unlike most other muscle-men, Eder would just eat normally - about three times a day. Defying conventional wisdom, Eder believed you didn't need to eat massive amounts of food to grow if you were training hard - and for the genetically gifted Eder, this meant training sessions of seven hours on a typical day!

A humble and wise man, he would advise lifters to: "Live clean, and get away from the horror of chemicals. Enjoy the feel of steel in your hands, but struggle to get it overhead. Make contact with that. Build yourself up in that manner and you enjoy it for the rest of your life."


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