Training Questions and Answers
I have been trying to build my inner calves but am confused as to whether the toes should be turned out with heels in or toes in with heels out. I have seen websites that claim both.
Thanks in Advance,
It really doesn't matter, do what ever feels most comfortable to you. I personally keep my toes pointed strait forward. I have a good article that you should read about calf training at: http://www.leehayward.com/calfs.htm
I glad I found your webpage again and just in time. I'm deploying to kuwait. I know that I won't have access to a GYM 6 months to a year. Is there any no weight exercises that will continue to help me maintain muscles? I do the push up and situp routine, but after 15 year of that stuff, it has become boring. Also my wife will send me supplements, what do you recommend. Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks
You should get some strong rubber fitness bands. They are great for doing high rep exercises such as curls, tricep push downs, rows, etc. You should be able to find them in a sports store that carries weight training equipment and accessories.
You can try making up some exercises. For example, you know the strong man shows that you see on T.V. they do all kinds of crazy stuff such as flipping tires, dragging sleds, lifting rocks, beer kegs, heavy wheel barrows, sand bags, logs, etc. You can make up your own "strong man" type workouts based on stuff that you have access to.
Thank you so much for your informative website. I have looked into the 12 week program and it sounds like just what I was looking for. Before I jump into it though I had a few details to workout first. What I want is to lose fat and gain strong, toned muscles but not big muscles. I have lifted in the past and I am not sure if I wasn't working on enough cardio at that time, but my muscles just got bigger and I looked more masculine. That is not what I want.
Recently, I decided to switch it up and do 3 sets of 15 of about 9 different exercises 2 to 3 times a week. The kicker is that I lowered the weight and my rest time between sets so that I was in more of an aerobic state. That really did work well at helping me lose fat for about 2-3 weeks and then I believe I hit a homostasis phase because then it seemed as though my aerobic endurance improved and it was all too easy for me.
I want to know if I kept to this 12 week schedule what weight level should I choose so that I don't bulk up. I know that it is eating mostly that gives fuel to the building of muscle if you are working out that much. But I hate to be hungry and I will eat if my body tells me to. Should I keep my weight training on the aerobic side with less weight? As well, for the results I want is it better to space out different parts of the body for different days of the week such as Mon - legs and abs, Tues back and chest, thurs shoulders and arms? Or is it better to do some lower and upper body work all three days a week??
Anyway thank you so much for your time.
You should lift as heavy as you can while maintaining proper exercise form. Despite what you may think it is virtually impossible for a woman to build muscle like a man, they simply do not have enough hormones in their bodies to build thick muscle mass. There are thousands of skinny teenage males busting their butts in the gym trying to get big and they have 10 times the anabolic hormones in their bodies that women do and they are still not getting "too big".
"Toning" is simply building muscle and losing bodyfat. That is all you can really do to improve your body. People like to use words such as sculpt, trim, tone, slenderize, etc... but they all mean losing bodyfat and building muscle.
I suggest that you follow my 12 week workout routine. This will help you add lean muscle.
You should also follow my
"Lean Gain / Fat Loss" eating tips.
Doing 30 minutes of cardio 4-5 times per week will also help speed up your fat loss.
my name is martin. I know it sounds stupid, you know big calfs are hereditary. it seems that mine are too big. i do swim, cycling and a bit of weight.
my calfs seem to be bigger than my thigh, well not really, but i can notice it. is there anyway i can do to shape it...?? i did some running years before, but it stay the same.
can you help...??? i just think that it looks really bad...!!! thanks
You really can not make your calfs 'smaller', but I wouldn't worry about it, most people complain about their calfs being too small. I suggest that you still train your calfs about 1-2 times per week with basic exercises such as standing and seated calf raises, leg press calf raises, etc... vary the workouts each week. This will help to bring out shape and definition to your calfs and make them look better.
As you become more developed big calfs will be to your advantage, especially if you ever decide to compete in a bodybuilding contest. They will enhance the look of your entire lower body. I also have naturally big calfs (they are currently 19 inches around).
I have some questions here. I have been working out for quite sometime now. I have gained the muscle mass I want, but not the definition. My chest muscle is mostly around the outer bottom part; not in the middle towards the top, and I can't see the individual muscle on my arms; they are just big. What can I do to make my chest and arms look more defined and cut?
I will be really appreciated if you could answer my questions.
thank you for your time
Definition is simply having a low bodyfat percentage. When your bodyfat is low and your skin is thin you can see the muscle underneath. Generally, if you have 6% bodyfat or less you will have good muscle definition. You should get your bodyfat tested and this will let you know how much weight you will have to lose in order to get defined. You can get a personal bodyfat tester at: http://totfit.safeshopper.com/20/cat20.htm
In the mean time I have a few good articles that you can read that will help you with your training and nutrition program.
How To Lose Bodyfat
How Many Calories Per Day?
Bodybuilding Contest Diet
12 Week Workout Program
I've been training for a couple of years now, gained some muscle, my arms and shoulders respond well to training but my pecs stay the same. Whatever training method I follow, nothing seems to work. I always thought that since I am a hardgainer, I shouldn't train my chest more than once a week. Some say I should train chest twice a week, others say I should train chest every five days. I don't know what to do anymore, so if you could give me some advise on how to train to actually make my pecs grow, I would be very grateful.
There is really no "right" or "wrong" way to workout. But I have a good
12 week workout routine that you should use to help pack on some good solid gains in size and strength.
This workout routine works each major muscle group 2 times per week. The only change that I want you to make to the workout is at the end of Tuesdays and Fridays workouts do 3 sets of push ups to failure. Push ups at the end of a chest workout is one of the best ways to get your chest to grow. Each time you do the push ups try to get at least 1 an additional rep on each set.
When you do your push ups hold on to a set of hexagon shaped dumbbells or push up bars instead of placing your hands flat on the floor. Place the push up bars or dumbbells on the floor a bit wider then shoulder width and on 45 degree angles. This will not only allow you to get a better range of motion, but it is much more comfortable on the wrists and you should be able to do a few extra push ups this way.
Give this tips a try and let me know how they work for you.
Why is it that when I get done with a biceps workout my biceps are never sore the next day? Here is my workout and let me know if you think it is alright.
Dumbell Curls/ 3 sets of 8,8,6 each arm
Hammer Curls/3 sets of 10,8,8 each arm
Preacher Curls/3 sets of 10 reps
Muscle soreness is not required for muscle growth. Usually you will only get sore when you try a new routine or if you haven't worked out in a while. I rarely get sore from my workouts.
Your bicep workout is fine, but you should change the sets, reps, and exercises every few weeks to help stimulate the muscles in different ways and spur on new growth.
First of all, I really like your website - very well done. Ok, here's my situation. I have been working out with weights for about 25 months and am loving it. I am relatively happy with my current build, I am not a "bodybuilder" in the classical sense but I would consider myself more of an amateur athlete - I play a lot of sports, but no one pays me (har har). Anyhow, I am about to enter a bulking-up phase to gain about 5-8 pounds of muscle. I am specifically targeting certain areas and one of these
is my upper and inner chest (the rest of my chest is coming in nicely, but it looks like I have two depressions on either side of my upper sternum). I have been stymied thus far as to which exercises are best to hit the area. I
have tried many different exercises and combinations and was just wondering which ones you would recommend for optimum results.
Thanks Dave M
You really can not alter the shape of your muscles other then making them bigger. But doing a lot of incline bench work (i.e. barbell press, dumbbell press, flyes, etc.) as well as high rep sets of push ups will really help to
bring up your chest development.
I have a great training article that you you read at:
http://www.leehayward.com/workout_programs/index.htm This article will help answer a lot of questions you may have about training.
when i bench press i have trouble bring the bar down. what do u recomend i can do so i wont have this problem.
Lighten the weights and focus on brining the bar down as fast as you can under control and pressing it up as fast as you can. The faster the bar comes down the faster it will go back up from kinetic energy in the muscles. It is a stretch reflex, similar to how a baseball player has to first pull the baseball bat back before he can swing it forward.
You can also try doing heavy negatives in the power rack. Set the safety pins just above your chest. Lower the bar down under control. You do not need to worry about failure because the safety pins will catch the bar for you.
My name is Rashaud. I'm a 25 year old male that has been working out for about 3-4 weeks. I've noticed a slight change in musclularity in my arms and some back, however I'm just not seeing the rippage. I was wondering if the problem is supplements. I'm not taking any at this time except Hydroxycut for energy and fat loss. I don't think that I'm loosing much fat because I can't see the muscular definition. I do 15-30 minutes of cardio everyday, and train different body parts monday through saterday, with friday my whole body workout. Do you think if I added some protein and creatine I'd start noticing some noticable improvements. Is creatine the right thing for me if I'm not trying to get bulky muscle. I'm a martial artist so I just want definition and streanght I don't want weight lifting muscularity. Another thing, how do I avoid bulky muscles?, do I weight train using sets & reps with heavier weights?, do I train with heavy weight high sets?, or manageble weight with low sets and reps? Help me out hear. I read so much information it gets confusing at times.
You are not doing anything wrong, it just takes time to see the results and 4 weeks is hardly enough time to see big changes in your body. After 4-5 months of consistent training and proper eating you will see some good changes in your body. You should focus on eating lots of protein and veggies they are the foods that will help you build lean muscle and lose bodyfat.
Here is the basic supplements that I recommend and use personally.
I take whey protein powder. I use 5 lb. container of Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein because it is cheaper then the other brands and it is very good quality. I use this just like any other protein food. For example, you could have 2 chicken breasts and you would get approx. 40 grams of protein. Or you could have 2 scoops of protein powder and get 40 grams of protein. One is not really better then the other, except protein drinks are much more convenient and usually cheaper then most high protein foods (i.e. meat). I usually have 3 food meals per day and 2-3 protein drinks per day.
I take pure creatine monohydrate powder. I mix a teaspoonful of creatine with 2 scoops of protein powder and have this with my breakfast and after my workouts.
I take multivitamins twice a day with meals to make sure that I am getting all of the nutrients that my body requires to maintain optimal health.
The only other supplements that I may use would be a fat burner such as Dymetadrine Xtreme when I am dieting to help me lose bodyfat and boost my energy levels. Dymetadrine Xtreme works the same as Hydroxycut, but it is about 1/2 the price.
That is basically all you need as far as supplements. The main thing is to eat a well balanced diet that includes lots of good protein foods (i.e. beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, protein shakes, etc.) and lots of fruits and veggies. This will provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to maintain good health and build lean muscle.
I have a good article that will help you with your nutrition at: http://www.leehayward.com/howmanycal.htm
Don't worry about building "bulky muscles" this will never happen if you don't want it to. Your body just doesn't grow that fast to get "too big". The bodybuilders that you see in magazines have been busting their butts for years and doing everything possible to get that way. They didn't get that way by accident.
Just go into any gym and you will see that less then 1% of the people that workout are what people would consider "too big". It is the same as if someone joined a martial arts school and said that they want to get in shape, but don't want to become a black belt. If someone doesn't want to become a black belt, they are not going to. It takes years of hard work and burning desire to achieve that goal. It is not going to happen if you don't want it. The same applies for muscle growth.
I have a great training article that you should check out at: http://www.leehayward.com/workout_programs/index.htm
Id like to ask your advice on peaking my bi's. As much as I like big rounded bi's i am a huge fan of a good peaked bicep (somewhat like Ernie Taylors), I know its gonna take years to get a pro style peak but I'd like your advice on what excersise will really set me on my way. I'm getting a little bored with concentration curls!! please help thanks man ! Also any tips for huge thighs ?
When it comes to bicep peak, you either have it or your don't. You can make your muscles bigger and lose bodyfat this will help to improve the look of your biceps. But you can not change the physical shape of your muscles except for making them bigger.
To give you an example of what I mean just look at the pics of these 2 former Mr. Olympia's
Both of these men have trained for years and have done practically every bodybuilding exercise that there is, and both of them became Mr. Olympia. But look at Arnold's biceps compared to Sergio's. Arnold naturally has high peaked biceps and Sergio has big flat biceps.
If you are bored with your current routine I suggest that you try my 12 Week Workout Program. It will help to get your muscles growing again.
I am a 33 year old male who has always been
interested in gaining muscle weight. I have always
been slender and it is difficult for me to lift as
much as my friends do.
I have started working out at home and hope to get
into somewhat of a routine. I want to see results and
keep motivated. Waht would be a good way for me to
obtain the results that I want? I am trying to pack in
as much protein as possible but it is very difficult
to eat gram per pound on a daily basis.
Please tell me what you did to keep motivated to
keep lifting after seeing little results in a three
month period. Any advise that you could give would be
To make working out more fun you should train with a friend(s) and I also suggest that you train at a gym if it is possible. I have worked out alone in my basement for several years before I ever joined a gym and let me tell you there is no comparison. Training at a gym is much better because you have access to lots of top quality equipment, and you are working out with other people so there is a lot more energy and enthusiasm.
For the past few years I have been training with my fiancÚ. I pick her up right after work and we go to the gym and workout together. Not only does this make working out more fun by having a training partner. But it is great for our relationship because 3-4 days per week we have a "date" at the gym where we can spend quality time with each other doing something that we both enjoy.
One thing I should also mention is that a lot of people are intimidated by going to the gym. I know of people who want to workout at home first and "get in shape" before they even join a gym. But this is crazy, the best place to go to get in shape is the gym. Don't worry if you are overweight, underweight, out of shape, etc... because most of the other members at the gym are in the same situation.
I have a great training article that you should read at: http://www.leehayward.com/workout_programs/index.htm This is an excellent routine that will help you make some good solid gains in both strength and muscle size. You need to focus on making strength gains because a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle. It can be hard to tell if you are making progress by just looking in the mirror to see if your muscles are getting bigger. But when you can see that your strength is going up then you know that you are also gaining muscle and this will really help motivate you to workout when you know that you are making consistent progress.
You should also supplement your diet with a good protein supplement. It is much easier to drink extra protein then it is to eat it. I personally use Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein. Just 2 scoops of protein powder mixed with milk and taken twice per day between meals can provide an extra 100 grams of protein.
I am 28 yr old, 5'9" and weigh about 160 lbs.
Your web site is really helpful. Thanks and keep it going.
I do have a question:
I have slight fat on my chest that is starting to look like breasts and I have a tummy too.I run for about 10-15 min at 6.5mph on inclination 2, on the Treadmill.Then I do some weight training for about another 15 min.But it just dosen't seem to be making any difference.As part of the cardio exercise, I usually run on the treadmill and do about 3 sets of crucnhes of 20 reps each, for the abs. I desparately need to get rid of my tummy and the fat on my chest and make them muscular.What do I do?
Also, i need to put on little weight to build muscles. How much Whey protein should I take daily?
You can't really gain weight and lose weight at the same time. You should focus on one goal at a time. For example, bodybuilders focus on getting bigger and stronger in the off season. Then for a few months before a contest they focus on losing bodyfat while maintaining the muscle that they built during the off season.
At 5'9 and 160 lbs. you should first focus on getting bigger and stronger. Then after you have built up some size and strength you should focus on losing the excess bodyfat.
I have a few good training and nutrition articles that you should read that will help you to make get the results that you are after.
Bodybuilding for Beginners
How Many Calories Per Day?
12 Week Workout Program
I am a thirty year old soldier in the army with no desire to become a body builder. I just want to excell at the army standard of physical fitness. at present i am required to do 16 push ups (p/u) 54 sit ups (s/u) and a 19 min two mile run. I can do 24 p/u about 60 s/u and run two miles in 17 minutes on a good day. My goal is to do 50 p/u 85 s/u and run a 15 min two mile. is there a workout plan sufficient enough to help me attain this goal.
Here are some training tips to help you increase the number of push ups and sit ups that you can do. First, when doing push ups do not do them with your hands flat on the floor, use a set of push up bars. If you do not have push up bars you can use a pair of hexagon dumbbells. With the push up bars your wrists will be in a stronger position and you will be able to get a better range of motion when doing push ups.
If you can do 24 push ups with your hands flat on the floor you should be able to do 25+ push ups the first time you try using push up bars. When doing them place the bars about shoulder width apart and instead of keeping them straight or parallel as is shown in the picture, turn them out on a 45 degree angle. This will place your wrists, shoulders, arms, etc. in a stronger position.
Do this workout 2 times per week (i.e. Monday and Thursday). Do 4 sets of push ups. So for example, you may be able to do 25 reps for your first set, 15-20 reps for your second set, 10-15 reps for your third set, 5-10 reps for your fourth set. Rest about 1 minute between sets. Each time you do these try to increase your total reps.
For example, if you did
set 1 - 25 reps
set 2 - 15 reps
set 3 - 10 reps
set 4 - 10 reps
= Total of 60 reps
The next time you do this push up workout try and get at least 1 more rep on sets 2-4. Do the same number of reps for the first set each time. After a few workouts, doing 25 reps for the first set will become easy, and then you will work hard to increase your reps on sets 2-4.
Try to work up to doing 25 reps on the second set, then 25 reps on the third set, and 25 reps on fourth set. When you can do a total of 4 sets of 25 reps with 1 minute rest in between each set you should be able to do 50+ push ups in one single set.
You can use a similar approach for doing sit ups. For example, you may be able to do:
set 1 - 50 reps
set 2 - 40 reps
set 3 - 30 reps
set 4 - 30 reps
= Total of 150 reps
Try to work up to doing a total of 4 sets of 50 reps with 1 minute rest in between each. When you can do this you should be able to do 100+ sit ups in one single set.
I want to make my legs leaner b/c I have huge legs already and everytime I work them they just grow!!!! I was a fitness competitor before and had a hard time getting them down b/c i have QUADS for days... I know! many try to attain size but I am a female and I am trying to get them small as possible. I am tryin to get lean all over too, b/c I want to compete again. I weigh about 140 and I 5'3. 80% of that weight is from my lower body. My body isn't responding as it did when i competed before. The whole chicken and broccoli, tuna and eggs..etc.........isn't workin. I don't know why! Any dieting suggestions as well.
It sounds to me that you metabolism is getting slower. It happens to everyone as they get older. The diet that may have worked wonders for you the last time you competed my not work as well this time around. What I suggest you do is give yourself plenty of time to get ready for your next contest (i.e. about 6 months). Stick with a sound diet, when I am dieting I eat mostly lean meats, veggies, and starchy carbs for 3 meals per day and I have a protein drink in between each meal.
Start off doing 30 minute of cardio each morning on an empty stomach (i.e. walk, jog, bike ride, stationary bike, treadmill, stepper, etc...) I vary my cardio so I don't get bored with it. I also have a cup of coffee and the ECA stack (i.e. Ripped Fuel or something similar http://totfit.safeshopper.com/113/893.htm) before my workouts. This helps curb your appetite and helps burn more bodyfat. Increase your cardio by 5 minutes each week. By the time you get down to 3 months before the contest you should be doing about 1 hour of cardio each morning.
Weight train about 4 days per week. To keep your legs from getting bigger train your upper body twice as often as you train your legs. So if you work each bodypart 2 times per week, only train your legs 1 time per week. This should help prevent your legs from getting big and lots of cardio will help to slim your legs.
Weigh yourself at the same time each week (i.e. first thing Saturday morning after using the washroom). Strive to lose at least 1 lb. per week. If you are losing at least 1 lb. per week keep doing what you are doing because it is working. If you are not losing at least 1 lb. per week cut back on your your food intake slightly until you are consistently losing 1 lb. of bodyweight each week.
My name is Lee Shell. I am 24 years old and have been weight training and doing aerobic exercise for 3 months and have not seen much change in my body. I am 5'3" and weigh between 135-140 lbs. I have some muscle but mostly FAT and am at a dead end. I am a member of a local gym here in
Omaha, NE, but have not received the help that I think I need from the trainers and nutritionist. Everyone says eat a low calorie diet and workout, but I have been doing that and I am still not losing fat. I feel defeated in my efforts and I really am in some need of any advice that you
can give to help out. I got your website address off of a Xenedrine question-answer website and I read the answers you gave to some of the questions and I am impressed with what you have said. If you could please help me by giving a little advice that would be wonderful.
You are on the right track, but as you know the simple "eat right and exercise" advice doesn't always work. I have some good fat loss articles that you should check out. You will get some good proven fat loss tips that you can implement in your our exercise and nutrition program that will help you make better progress.
How To Lose Bodyfat.
How Many Calories Per Day?.
Tips for developing Six Pack Abs.
Bodybuilding Contest Diet.
My name is Mike, I am 18 years old. I do my own workout out my house every other day, nothing too big, just some curls, situps, flys, push-ups, and some stretching. My only question is if you know how much of your body weight you actually lift when you do a push-up.
You lift about 60% of your bodyweight when you do a push up.
I found your site great and the Q and A section was really informative, but I had a few questions specific to myself that I wanted to ask. I am new to wokring out etc so am not sure where to start and what quite to do.
I am about 6', slim, 150 and I guess I have a fast metabolism because I eat loads of junk and don't gain a kilo, so I am looking to put on some weight/mass to my body, preferably muscle. Although thin I am naturally quite toned. I do not really have any training facilities available to me, just a couple of dumbells, jogging and a pool. Can I start a routine to put on mass and weight with these? What kind of rountine would you recommend?
I also purchased some creatine caps and it says take them daily, 3 before workout and 3 after. Should I take them daily whether I work out or not, or just on the days I do workout?
Any additional advice would be great, thanks a lot!
You can workout with little or no equipment. But you will be better off joining a gym. If that is not possible, then at least get some more exercise equipment such as an adjustable bench, barbell, adjustable dumbbells, various assortment of weight plates, chin up bar, etc...
Here is a sample workout routine that you can perform in your home. Do this workout every second day.
Push ups (works the chest, triceps, and shoulders)
- 3 sets of as many reps as you can do
Dumbbell Flyes (works the chest)
- 3 sets of 10+ reps
1 Arm Dumbbell Row (works the back and arms)
- 3 sets (each arm) of 15+ reps
Chin ups (works the back and arms)
- 3 sets of as many reps as you can do
Standing Dumbbell Press(works the shoulders)
- 3 sets (each arm) of 15+ reps
Squats (works the thighs)
- 3 sets of 25+ reps using either weights or just your bodyweight
Calf raises (works the calfs)
- 3 sets of 25+ reps using either weights or just your bodyweight
Crunches (works the upper abs)
- 3 sets of 25+ reps
As for your diet you should eat lots of protein foods such as: beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, protein shakes, protein / energy bars, etc. Eat lots of carbs such as: bread, rice, cereals, potatoes, pasta, fruit, vegetables, etc. Eat a small meal every 2-3 hours. Also drink lots of water throughout the day.
For your creatine caps take 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening (regardless if you workout that day or not). In the future you should use creatine powder, it is much cheaper. I have a good article about creatine that you can read at: http://www.leehayward.com/art4.htm
I have this question that has been in my mind. It is about the amount of time some people train. Now if i tell you that i train for 8 hours a day, you're gonna say i'm overtraining right? For the past few days i found out that this top wrestler trains at least 6 times per week for 8 hours. He is very big! How can this man train for so long and not overtrain. I know he is a perfessional and all but how can he do it and not overtrain? What does he have that some of us don't?
Another person i heard about is Arnold Schwarzenegger. I read his bio a couple of days ago and he said he started training since the age of 15. He he said he trained for 3 hours a day when he was 15. Thats 21 hours a week.
What are these men doing that stops him from overtraining?
Thanks for your time Lee
Most professional athletes are not weight training for 8 hours a day. For example, in wrestling they have to
practice wrestling technique, cardio vascular exercise, flexibility work, weight training, etc... All of this is
classified as "training". Profession athletes have conditioned themselves over the years to be able to handle such a work load. Plus many of them make their living from their sport, they do not work a 9-5 job and then "train"
for 8 hours. Their sport is their job.
In a lot of cases many professional athletes are using steroids and other growth enhancing drugs to help speed up
the recovery process. Now obviously, I don't know if the people that you are referring to are using drugs to
enhance their performance. But drugs are often used in the top levels of most professional sports.
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