General Questions and Answers
I am 23..144, and 5 10 1/2, but a little muscle is here.
I don't want to look like you, but more like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. I am mostly a vegetarian but do eat protein powder and seafood and some chicken (not much).
What can you do to help me?
Building thick muscle mass like a bodybuilder has takes years of hard work, proper nutrition, and you must have the genetics for building large muscle mass. If you don't want to get big and muscular, don't worry because it will not happen. All of the bodybuilders that you see in magazines, online, etc. didn't get that way by accident, they busted their butts for years to look the way they do.
If you just want to add some muscle and lose some body fat so that you look more athletic then you will still have to workout hard and eat a nutritious high protein diet, but it will not take as long achieve this look (i.e. about 6 months if you are already in decent shape).
I have a couple good articles that you should read that will help:
I will be travelling for 10 weeks from October and don't want to loose too much of what I have gained. Do you have any suggestions of what I can do while I am away ?
Take some workout clothes with you and try to get a total body workout in at least 2 times per week. Try to stay at hotels that have a gym or visit gyms that are in the areas that you will be traveling. If you can't workout in a gym you can still go for a walk, do push ups, sit ups, bodyweight squats, calf raises, leg raises, stretching, etc. in your hotel room. Bottom line, try to stay active while you are traveling.
hey i was just wondering if you could give me a few suggestions i have have no promblem with my body except my mid section as in my gut. i do all kinds of ab exercises but they just dont seem to work hope you can help me?
You have too much bodyfat. Everyone has abs, it is just that for 99.9% of the population they are covered by a layer of bodyfat. Even if you are in good shape, you can still have too much bodyfat to see your abs.
You need to get your bodyfat down to 6% before you will be able to see your abs. To be really ripped like the bodybuilders you see in magazines you will need to get your bodyfat down to about 2-3%
ok i had accident not to long ago , and had a back operation .SO needless to say I need to get back in shape i have no motivation .I have disire .i have a gut that will not leave me no matter how many time I give it a conviction notice .So I truely need the help but dont want to wast anymore money than i have already /SOS please help I am going down in flames So times i say forget it my life over and I am going to get old and frale so just face it .SOSOSOS
You need to join a fitness center if you have not already done so. Double check with your doctor to make sure that it is ok for you to exercise and then check out your local fitness center.
Depending on the situation, you may be able to get a gym membership and a personal trainer to be covered by your
insurance company. I work as a personal trainer at one of the local gyms. And I am training a lady who was in a car accident and injured her back. Her insurance company is paying for her gym membership and for me to train her 3 days per week. There are several cases like this at the gym where I work. We normally charge $30 per hour for personal training at the gym, that is fairly cheap considering that most gyms charge $50 per hour for personal training.
Anyway, you should check it out and get a personal trainer to set you up on a good beginners weight training and aerobic exercise program. It is good to work with a personal trainer because they can help you choose exercises that will help to strengthen your body without hurting your back.
In the mean time I have a couple good articles that you should read at:
I have just started lifting weights. What is the proper breathing techniques?
Generally you breath in as you lower the weights, breath out as you lift the weights. But the main thing is to not hold your breath while lifting and your body will automatically breath for it self.
Im 19 and and my hormones are going wild!!! Does having sex before or after workouts affect performance in the weight room????
Sex will not affect your weight training. So enjoy :-)
Can you get stronger and gain muscle without getting more body fat?
Yes, but generally this works for people who are overweight to begin with. When they follow a good diet, weight train, and do regular cardio they will lose bodyfat, add lean muscle, and get stronger. But their overall bodyweight will decrease.
If someone is small and wishes to build up muscle size and strength, they should eat and train for mass gains. Yes, they may gain some bodyfat in the process, but extra fat can be lost with diet and cardio after they have built up a desired level of muscle size and strength.
It is much easier to lose bodyfat then it is to build muscle. Most people can lose their bodyfat within 6 months (or less) from diet and cardio. But it takes several years of hard work to build a big muscular physique.
Hi Mr. Hayward,
My name is Anthony. I am very interested in starting a new workout program such as the one you
put on your site. But definitely, I want results ASAP. I've been on two programs that have helped
me a bit, but I still feel rather small (despite what other people think). I also feel that my results
are mediocre. I want to shape my upper body a little bit more, and make my legs a bit wider.
I understand exactly what you've explained about the importance of diet and I've applied this idea
as I've been going through my previous programs. But right now I'm just looking around to see
how other people with great results have gone about with their weight gaining programs. I just want
to find a good one that will give great results. I like the idea of increasing a pound or two each workout
because that will really make things easier in my increasing weight use. This has been a major problem
in the past for me (increasing weight that is).
I was wondering, how strict do you have to stay on the diet. Because I am in University, beer tends to
get in my way (haha) and I don't know if this will effect me or not. I know rest is important and I try
to stay on a strict bedtime schedule.
Will 3 days a week really work for me though to get the results I want?
Will these exercises you've mentioned here that should be done during the week, are these exercises
enough to get me results? Because I thought the more variations of exercises you do, the better
the results. I don't want to be huge. I am right now 175 lbs and I want to be 200lbs by the end of the
year... does this sound feasible?
Also will those light weekend workouts also give me results. Because I want bigger arms.
How would I go about getting good results there?
Hope you can answer some of my questions and give me some suggestions and feedback
It is ok to have a few beers once a week. Just don't go overboard with it and get drunk on a regular basis :-) A few sociable drinks every now and then will not hinder your gains.
3 workouts per week is plenty. I mostly train 3 days per week, 4 days per week at most. This gives your body time to rest, recover, and grow. I have tried training 5+ days per week and after a month of training that often I always feel over trained, tired all of the time, and I have less motivation for my workouts.
A weight gain of 25 lbs. per year is possible, especially for a beginner / intermediate level lifter. The fastest way to get big arms is to get big all over. On average for every 10 lbs. of bodyweight you gain, you will gain 1 inch to your upper arms. Exercises such as bench presses, rows, shoulder presses, etc. will build your arms faster then isolation arm exercises. Now I am not saying do not do isolation exercises for your arms, but focus the majority of your workouts around big heavy compound exercises; benches, squats, dead lifts, rows, shoulder presses, etc...
I would like to know if I am on the right track with my own program.
I am 5'3, 120lbs and my goal is simply tone or maintain the existing muscle stregth. I do not want to get big and bulk...just lean and tone with lots of difinition.
What is the right program for me? currently I am using a minimium 5lbs dumbells for arms. Is that too much weight? I do 2 sets of 25 reps or should I do more like 3 sets of 10-15 reps?
Hope you can help me out with a program.
You should try and lift heavier weights. I suggest that you do 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise in your routine. This will help you increase your strength quicker then doing really high reps. Don't worry about getting too
big, this will never happen. Women do not naturally produce enough testosterone to build large muscles. Even men have to consistently work extremely hard over
several years in order to build large muscle mass.
I have an article that you should read, it will help you with a good basic program that will work all of your muscle groups. It is at: http://www.leehayward.com/art5.htm
I hope you can help me out with my project. I need to know what muscles are being used when someone is doing a leg curl and what is the function of each muscle that is being used. My grade depends on this project so please try to take few min. to write me back. I will appreciate your help.
-high school student
High school student,
Here is some info about the Leg Curl. I am taking this info from the YMCA's Strength and Conditioning Instructors Manual so hopefully it will be good enough for you to use as part of your project.
Hamstrings and Gluteals
Flexion of the knee
- Lie face down on a leg curl bench with knees aligned with the machine axis of rotation.
- Heels should be up against the back of the pads.
- Kneecaps should be extended a few inches past the end of the bench.
- Head should stay down and remain in contact with the bench.
- Slowly lift the legs upward until the back of the pads are touching the buttocks. This will ensure full range of motion.
- Slowly lower the legs back down until weight stack almost touches.
- Movement should be at the knee joint.
- Avoid quick jerky movements.
- The hips will raise off the bench slightly, but they should be supported as much as possible.
Could you tell me why on some days I just cannot do some excercises. It seems as though I have put on too much weight and yet I did it comfortably last time.
There are a number of factors that may cause you to have more strength and energy on some days then on others.
Some things to consider are:
- have you been getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night?
- have you been eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day?
- have you been eating a meal every few hours during the day to provide your body with a steady supply of nutrients?
- are you drinking at least 1 gallon of water each day?
- how many days per week do you workout? you may be overtrained.
- you may be extra sore or have pulled a muscle, tendon, etc. this will reduce
- have you been under a lot of stress at work, school, etc.? if so this may
cause you to not perform at your best.
These are just some of the possible reasons for your lack of energy. You
should probably just take a few days off to let your body fully recover and
then go back to your routine fresh and energized.
I am thinking about starting body building soon, i have done some
weight training in the past but i seem to have a recurring problem. After
about a second set of reps my arms feel quite tort and stiff as if my muscles
have swollen!! Is this normal or if not what can i do to correct this? I am
25 and 210 lbs.
Thanks for any help you send,
Martin Nicholson UK
This is a common problem. When you start back working out again start off slow
and build up gradually. For the first week only do 1 set per exercise. For the
second week do 2 sets per exercise. For the third week do 3 sets per exercise.
Give your body time to get used to the workouts. Only workout 3 days per week,
this will give your muscles plenty of time to rest and grow. If you are joining
a gym ask the staff if they have a beginners routine that you can follow, most
gyms have a beginners program based on the exercise equipment that they have
What happens with a lot of people who start working out is they hit the gym like
crazy and workout too hard. Then after a couple days they feel sore and worn out
so they end up not going to the gym. But if they started off slow and built up
gradually they would not get as sore and they would enjoy their workouts so much
I suggest that you get the "Body For Life" book. This is a great book that has a
lot of exercise and nutrition information that will really help you with your
workouts. There are exercise routines and dozens of photos showing you how to
perform all of the exercises. I have it on sale in my online store at: http://totfit.safeshopper.com/40/286.htm
i bought this protein shake mix and i was wondering what time of the day i should take it? also what time of the day i should workout?
I usually have 3 protein shakes per day in between meals. So a typical day for me includes 3 meals and 3 protein shakes each day, this provides my body with a constant supply of protein and nutrients. I suggest that you do the same.
As for the time of day to workout, it really doesn't matter just as long as you are consistent with your routine. For example, if you choose to workout in the morning, then always workout in the morning. And if you choose to
workout in the evening then always workout in the evening. This will allow for better recovery and a more consistent schedule.
I stubbled on your web site and have a very simple question for you.
I started a new fitness program 3 weeks ago, combining quick 20 minutes
aerobics workouts for fat loss combined with upper and lower body exercises
with free weights for muscle toning. I do one of each every day with one day
rest as the fourth day.
The muscle toning exercises are to start at a certain weight and reps. As I
continue, I increase the weight and reduce the reps required. The last set is
made to push the muscle to a limit with the maximum reps with a average dumbell.
The result has been great so far and I have lost a lot of fat and toned my
However, I am not putting any volume on, my muscles just look more defined
but my measurements are the same.
I think I eat properly, 3 small meals/day + snacks all containing a portion
of protein+carbs.I also complemente this with 3 supplements a day.
Can you please advise me how to get biiger as I am getting leaner?
bill from the UK
You are getting bigger as you are getting leaner. If you were just losing
bodyfat your measurements would actually go down. The fact that your muscles and
more defined and that you are staying the same size while losing bodyfat means
that you are gaining muscle and losing bodyfat.
Don't get too hung up on measurements. Judge your progress on how you look and
feel, how your workouts are progressing (i.e. lifting more weight, doing more
reps), etc. You are making good progress, just stick with your routine and your
muscles will get bigger and stronger.
I am 172cm tall and I weigh 62kg. I have a few problem areas, and I got to the gym 3 times a week for about an hour and a half each time. I watch what I eat, and I want to lose about 2 pounds per week. I was just wandering how
many calories should I be burning off at the gym to help me reach this weight-loss. I usually burn off 450 calories each time I go.
A pound of bodyfat equals 3500 calories. So you would need to burn 1000 calories per day in order to lose 2 lbs. of bodyfat per week. I suggest that you strive to lose 1 lb. per week. This will be easier on your body and the
results will be more permanent then if you lost weight faster. A fast weight loss usually is a combination of both muscle and fat. A slow steady weight
loss is mostly fat loss. If you can you should try to go to the gym at least 4 days per week to help you burn off extra calories.
I have a great fat loss article that you should read at:
Just ran across you page as a result of trying to find an answer to a question I have. I'm 35 and have never really worried about working out although I'm lean and somewhat active (I have 5 kids!!!). Recently I've become discusted with the way I look strictly based on stuff that happens after 35 and no exercise!! Saggy triceps, undefined inner thighs, and the lower ab "baby belly". I've started a "loose" exercise routine which starts with either walking for 30-40 min. or biking on random at about a level 6 or 8. My problem is that when I walk, which I enjoy very much I instantly get bloated in the fingers. Is there something that is obvious that I'm missing as to why this is happening?
Thanks for your time.
I have had this happen to me as well. I think it is because when you are walking your arms and hanging down by your sides for 30-40 minutes and this causes blood and fluid to flow down to your hands. I notice it especially in the summer time when it is warm outside. It is not harmful and usually goes away shortly after your walk.
What you can try doing during your walks is every 10 minutes or so stretch and move your arms and hands (i.e. bend your elbows, make a fist and relax your hands, and stretch your arms overhead, etc.). Do this several times during your walks and it should reduce the bloated feeling in your hands.
HEY LEE, KEVIN SECRIST HERE. MY GYM IS CURRENTLY RENNOVATING AND THEIR TREADMILLS HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN, SO I'VE BEEN HAVING TO RUN OUTSIDE AND MY DISTANCE HAS BEEN
CUT IN HALF,, I'M NOT SURE IF IT S A MENTAL BLOCK OR THE WEATHER OR WHAT???? WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMEND?TREADMILL OR OUTDOOR???HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU???
It is common for people to be able to run harder and longer on a treadmill then they can outdoors. Part of the reason is that
most people run with the treadmill at 0 incline, outdoors you are going up and down hills based on the terrain that you are
It does take more energy to run outdoors because you are running in a more challenging environment and you have to watch
out for obstacles, etc. The treadmill just stays the same the whole time. It is almost the same as doing a machine exercise
verses a free weight exercise. For example, it is much easier to do leg presses then it is to do free weight squats, even though
in both exercises you are working the same muscle groups, and in most cases you are lifting more weight with the leg press.
But the squat is still harder to perform then the leg press.
Hey Lee my name is Sam and I go to Perkinsions High School in Alabama. I have weight training 1st period at 7:30am til 8:30. I am small I am 5' 8 and weigh 110 and I am very skinny. In the class I struggle, the only thing I can keep
up with is bicep curls. During and after class I get soo tiered. I have extreme muscles spasims and i shake and feel fatigued. I have a big apatite and i eat alot, so i don't understand why i don't have enough energy. I think
I have High metabolism. Do you know why I shake so much, do you know what causes it or a posable solution? Do you know what could help me gain weight?
Any info would be appreciated.
It sounds as if you are pushing yourself too hard during your weight training
sessions. I was the same way when I first started working out, I used to work as
hard as I could and sometimes I made myself stomach sick.
What you need to do is train a little lighter and take more rest time in between
sets. Don't worry about keeping up or lifting the same weight as the others in
the gym. You are not working out for them, you are working out for yourself.
For the next week or two take it easy in the gym, make sure that you can complete
the workouts without too much struggle. Then gradually increase the weights that
you are lifting a little each week. Focus on making slow and steady progress.
Have a light breakfast at least 1 hour before your morning workouts. Just a bowl
of cereal or a couple slices of toast, etc. Don't eat too much before your
workouts because this may make you feel sick or shaky. After your workouts have
something to eat (i.e. a piece of fruit, glass of fruit juice, and a sandwich).
Even though you eat a lot, you are still not eating enough to gain weight. You
should eat something every 2 hours during the day. Have 3-4 meals a day with
snacks in between meals. Don't try and stuff yourself, but rather focus on
eating smaller meals more often. This will provide your body with a steady
supply of calories and nutrients to help it get bigger and stronger.
Ok, i have lost over 120 lbs and i have a bit of left over fat and skin in my lower abdominal area. It is squishy and loose i cant seem to tighten it up. It is to the point of frustration that i am reaching that i cant get my stomach to flatten down, i realize i may never have that wash board stomach but i would love to have a flat stomach and minimal obliques any suggestions??
Congratulations on such an incredible weight loss! Since you have lost so much weight your skin is still loose. It will tighten up overtime, but the main thing to do now is to focus on weight training and building muscle. This will help to firm up your entire body.
I would assume that you are already doing regular cardio and weight training. You have to stay consistent with your exercise and healthy eating. The leaner you get, the harder it is to lose bodyfat. I know it can seem very slow at times, but if you just stick with it the results will show. At the beginning I am sure that you could measure
your progress on a weekly basis, now you should judge your progress every 2-3 weeks instead.
Have you been measuring your bodyfat percentage? This is a great way to judge your progress and to make sure that you are on the right track. By measuring your bodyfat percentage every couple of weeks you will know
right away if you are making progress or not. You can get a self bodyfat tester on my website at:
I just had a quick question I hope you can help me out with. I really don't have anytime to go out to the gym at all nowadays as I am very busy with school and work (Full time for both). I also seem to get nagging lower back pain every now and then. I want to get back into shape and I want to get as large as possible. I am 21 years old,
6'3, and about 175 lbs. Now to the question. Since of all the circumstances with me, I have been very interested in purchasing a Bowflex. My question is, do you think I will be able to achieve my goals with a Bowflex? Getting large? That is kind of my main concern. Or do you think that free weights is the only way? I have never really used a Bowflex, but it sounds promising.
If you can help me out it will be very appreciated.
I have used a bowflex before and it is a great machine. However, the best bang for your buck is good old free weights. I suggest that you get yourself a good sturdy flat/incline bench, barbell, adjustable dumbbells, and an assortment of weight plates. With this basic equipment you will be able to work all of your bodyparts and it will
only cost a couple hundred dollars.
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