How ya doing. I'm bummed. I work out faithfully 3 times a week, run 5 times a week with my dog. I'm a skinny dude always had a hard time gaining muscle mass. Fairly strong for my structure. Anyway, got a spiral stress of my tendons and ligaments in my right arm and am off for 6-8 weeks (i hope only that) as it hurts like a @#$% and is weak. Don't want to go to the gym to work one side as am fairly symmetric right now and have spinal issues anyway and if I dont keep things even, I get jacked up. IN short, am I going to lose the muscle I have in a month. I hoping the rest might do me good as I have had only a week break in 3-4 years that I can remember.
Any advice is appreciated.
While you may lose a few pounds during your time off it will not be
anything major to worry about. What often happens after a layoff from
training such as this is that your body will have a chance to fully
rest and recover and then it will be much more responsive to training when you
return to the gym. I have always experienced a good growth spurt when
I resume training after a break from the gym.
I am a tennis player but am self conscious about my body. I am currently about 185lbs and am 6'2" tall. My calves are not small but I would like to be bigger. The more I do calve raises and walk on the balls of my feet, my calves just won't grow but rather become more and more defined. I do a fair bit of walking and cycling, but now that I am at university I have limited time to get to a gym. what is the best way for me to add size to my calves?
thanks for your reply!
A great way to work your calves that will not take much time, but is very effective is to pick a basic calve exercise like the seated calve raise machine and after a couple warm up sets do one 3 minute long slow motion set.
Here is how it works:
Hi Lee, can you tell me if its better to lift smaller weights and lift it my self or with very little help , or lift more weights and swing them when doing biceps or have a person lift everything for me when benching?
You are much better off lifting lighter weights with good form, rather then lifting
too much weight and using poor form or getting assistance from a spotter.
Hi my name is darryl and I found your site a couple days ago. Its the best damn site I've ever found for weight lifting. I was just wondering if you could give me a workout routine to do. I tried to follow your 12 week program but I am very limited of equipment. I don't have a lot of machines I mostly have free weights. And that's where ma problem comes in. I am just looking to add some muscle and loss fat. I don't want to get HUGE, but I would like for people to notice me. I would really be greatful if you can help me out.
Thanks for your e-mail, glad to hear that you enjoy my website. A great program that you can follow that doesn't require much equipment at all is the German Volume Training (i.e. 10 sets of 10 routine).
Another great mass building routine that you can follow that doesn't require
much exercise equipment is the 20 rep squat routine.
im just wonderign if i could aks you a few questions regarding bodybuilding.ive been at it for 2 months now and i dont get sore after a workout.ive read that it doesnt matter if your not sore ,youll still gain.But also that if your not sore your not workign hard.the thign is when i lift weights i hoenstly lift till i cant lift no more,but sometimes i wonder when doing the bench press becasue when ive reached the last rep of the last set,i feel as if my arms are sorer than my chest and that i cant do no more becasue my arms cant lift no more ,not nessasarily because my chest cant do no more,What can i do? Also i havnt taken creatine at all but in your experience do you beleive it makes a real difference and that it can help a fair bit?.im curious to try it.Lastly if your sore right,does your body have no choice but to grow(ensuring you eat right and everything)or if someones sore they still have a chance of not growing so to speak?
thank you soooooo much.
You don't have to get sore to make progress. I hardly ever get sore from my workouts anymore. The better conditioned you are the less soreness you'll experience. Generally, people who are out of shape get sore the most. Now you'll still occasionally get sore if you change up your workouts, do new exercises, etc. but don't judge your workout progress based on soreness.
To make your chest more involved during the bench press you can pre-exhaust your chest first with an isolation exercise like pec-dec flyes or dumbbell flyes then do your bench presses afterwards. Also make sure you are using proper technique when you bench. You should stick your chest out, arch your back, and pull your shoulder blades back together behind you when you set up on the bench press. By doing this you'll activate the chest muscles much more then if you just laid down totally flat back on the bench.
I have an article about proper bench press technique here
Creatine can aid in your training. But not nearly as much as the
advertising hypes it up. I suggest that you read the Creatine Report. This
is a very detailed report that explains in detail the health and muscle
building benefits of creatine and how to use it properly. You can download
the creatine report at: http://www.leehayward.com/bench_press.htm
i can do pullups with a parallel bars that is 6-8 inches apart for 4-5 reps, but i can only do 1 rep with a reverse grip. I always get stuck at the midpoint of the pullup with a reverse grip, what's wrong with me? i read on bodybuilding.com that the parallel grip is for advanced trainees. How it could be possible that i can do 4-5 advanced trainee pullups but only one reverse grip pullup? any suggestions to help me improve my pullups??
Thanks a lot
I'm the same way. I can do more pull ups with my palms facing each other then I can with a reverse grip. But some people may be the opposite, it really depends on the individual. Just keep working on them consistently and you'll be able to improve your pull up strength overtime.
One thing that I like to do to improve pull up strength is in between exercises I'll do a set of pull ups. This way it is easy to get 4-5 extra sets of pull ups in during your workouts. You could do this in between exercises of all your workouts if you like, it doesn't just have to be a back workout.
Another thing that I like to do at the end of each workout is to grab the
pull up bar and just hang from it and stretch. This is good for stretching
the chest, lats, arms, shoulders, and spine. It also it a great grip and
forearm exercise. Just hold on the to bar for as long as your grip will
allow. You can repeat 2-3 times using different grips (i.e. wide grip,
narrow grip, palms facing, etc.).
I am 23 (male) and a beginner. I was going through your website and found the information quite helpful.
I was hoping you would recommend a few articles – mainly on what routines, supplements, etc. I should be looking at. Should I be taking creatine, glutamine, etc. or should I wait for a bit?
Any other tips would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance, VB
PS: I was looking at Optimum 100% Whey to start with. Will it benefit me or I should work-out for at least a month or two and then start taking any supplements.
At this stage you do not need to worry about taking supplements, etc. just focus on being consistent with your workouts and eating lots of good wholesome food, 3 meals per day, plus healthy snacks in between meals.
A lot of people make working out way too complicated. You don't need all the latest and greatest supplements and you don't need to follow some crazy 6 day per week workout routine. A simple routine that you actually stick with will provide 10 times the results of a "super duper, mumbo jumbo" routine that you can't follow consistently for more then a few weeks.
I have a good beginners bodybuilding article that has some good basic workout and eating tips.
I also wanted to let you know that I have a
bodybuilding and fitness message board that you can join for Free. You can get answers to any questions that you have about training, nutrition, etc. You can also read training journals of the other members and see exactly what they are doing in the gym, how they eat, etc. It is a friendly little online community where we can all chat and help each other.
Hi Mr Lee Hayward,
This is Abdul Rahman from Pakistan.I am working out in a GYM since 3 years and i,ve shown great improvement especially in ARMS and WINGS as people say.They always tried to push me participate in GYM competition but i havent shown any interest in it.
But yesterday when i attendent a competition in our local GYM.I am really suprised to know that no one was emm i can say that Good to be stand on for such competition.So now i have decided to participate in that competion next year in AUGUST 18. Today i was surfing internet to find some ways,some tips regarding excercising body i found your website.All i can say marvellous.very Good..! i m studying it since morning and i am not tired still and i decided to write an email to you.
I,ve some questions regarding excercise....and i hope you gonna answer them .
Sir, Can you plz let me know about the combinations of excercises..i mean..Ok..lets suppose if we start from CHEST....we will start from .....
Straight Bench Press , Incline Bench Press .................................................... ?????
So wot are the combinations of excersies..,i mean combinations of every excercise......... should i apply to gain more growth in my every part of body.
I am looking for your valuable reply.
take best care
The combination of exercises you use in your training can vary. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to workout. The key is making progress. Some people like to do big mass building exercises first in their workouts. While others like to start with small isolation type exercises to pre-exhaust the muscles. One method is no better then the other. It all depends on how your body responds.
Generally, most people will make the best gains within the first several weeks of starting a new training routine. After this initial growth phase the body starts to adapt to the training and the gains tend to slow down. When this happens it is a good idea to change up your workouts so you can go through the growth phase all over again.
I have a good 12 week workout program that you should check out. This program consists of 4 different 3 week training phases placed back to back so you can keep the routine fresh and the muscle gains consistent throughout the entire 12 weeks.
i just had a look at your site and i fell it has been really helpful. However, i do i a few questions i would like you to answer if you wouldnt mind. It would be very much appreciated if you could help me sort these matters out.
Firstly, i have started my training programme and i am finding that my right side is bigger and stronger than my left side, so i was wondering if ther was anything i could possibly do so that my left side catches up to my right side?
Secondly, could you suggest any ideas to help improve my "v" shape?, because the exercises i have done in the past i have found have not really helped in any shape or form.
Finally, which would be the best way to help define my triceps? I am a particular fan of really eefined triceps so any advice i am willing to listen to. Thaknyou for takin the time out to read this email and i hope i haven't wasted your time. please feel free to reply as and when you have the time.
To even out your left and right sides you need to focus on dumbbell training in your workouts. I have an article about this at: http://www.leehayward.com/art29.htm
To improve your V taper you need to really stretch your lats. Exercises such as chin ups using different grips (i.e. wide grip, close grip, palms facing each other, curl grip, etc.) are really good. Make sure to use a full range of motion, all the way up and all the way down. Don't worry if you can't do many reps. Just make sure to use perfect form and the reps will improve with time. Another thing I like to do after each of my workouts is grab the chin up bar and just hang until my grip gives out. Then I'll grab it again using a different grip, etc. I'll repeat this 3-4 times with a different grip each time. This will stretch the lats and the entire upper body.
Push downs with a rope attachment is a good shaping exercise for the triceps. Another one of my favorite triceps burn out exercises is to do push ups with a close grip. You do these on the floor or holding push up bars or hex shaped dumbbells to get a better range of motion. Do 3 sets of as many reps as you can do after each arm workout.
What are partials and negatives?
Partials are an advanced technique that when used properly allow you to train harder. They a just performing normal moves from the halfway stage or mid-point of the exercise. This allows you to use a much heavier weight than you would for the full range of motion. For example, you can do a partial range of motion squat with a lot more weight then you can lift in a full range of motion squat.
But a word of caution, partials should be used in addition to full range of motion lifting and not in place of it. You should still train using a full range of motion most of the time. And add in partials occasionally in your training when you really want to push yourself hard.
Negatives are another advanced technique that focuses on lowering a very heavy weight slowly for low reps. You can lower more weight in the negative portion of the lift then you can lift in the positive portion of the lift. To perform a negative you would get a spotter to help you lift the weight to the top position of an exercise and then you would slowly lower and resist the weight on the way down.
Techniques such as partials and negatives work best for more advanced lifters who have been training for a few years and have reached a plateau in their normal training. Beginners do not need to incorporate these advanced techniques and will generally be able to make steady progress in their lifting from just doing regular full range of motion exercises.
Is front squatting as effective as back squatting in terms of strength gains? Also, what is the overhead squat and how does it compare to the other types of squatting?
Front squatting and overhead squatting are used in Olympic lifting more so then typical bodybuilding / strength training workouts. They are harder more technical variations of the squat and require more balance and flexibility then the back squat and you will not be able to handle as much weight.
But they are still great exercises for strength and muscle development. If you have ever been to see an Olympic weight lifting meet one thing that stands out is there awesome quadricep development.
The overhead squat is used to help with training the snatch:
And the front squat is used to help with training the clean and jerk:
For the front squat Olympic lifters will rack the bar as shown here:
People who do not have the flexibility in the arms and shoulders to hold the bar as shown above will hold it across their shoulders with their hands crossed over the bar like this:
You can also get a front squat harness to make holding the bar more comfortable on the shoulders:
I have been doing squats on the smith machine for years and now I am trying free weights and it feels like I am going to fall forward when I come down. Do you have any suggestions for me? Should I lighten the weight? I know that my strength will be down because I am cutting. I try and go to paralel when I come down.
Just cut your training weights in half and do several sets to practice your form and get a feel for the exercise. You'll be working different muscles to keep your body upright and balance yourself with free weights compared to using the smith machine. Gradually work your poundage's back up by adding 5-10 lbs. to the bar each workout.
I'm following your 12 week workout program. I am currently on the ninth week schedule, routine. I've found that my arms, lats and legs have some improvement and they have grown in size. But unfortunately, no development on pec muscles. I m feeling very depressed as my whole body is developin but chest not. Why so? I am following the routine strictly, then why so?
We all have certain bodyparts that respond better then others. One of the
best ways to spur on new muscle growth in these stubborn bodyparts is by
doing extra workouts. To bring up your chest development do 2 sets of as
many push ups as you can do every single day. Each day try to get at least 1
more rep then you did the day before. If you do push ups like this every
single day you will start to see improvements in your chest within 1 month.
I had a quick question for you. I am trying to become a Police officer for the City of Dallas. I am 22 years old, I am a ex college athlete. I am about 10 or 15 pounds over weight, but I am trying to get back in shape. I have 1 month before I have to take the physical part of the entrance test. I have no problem with any of the requirments, except the push up part. I am 6'6 with long arms, and push ups have never come easy to me. I have to be able to do a minimum of 25 in a row. Right now I can do about 6 correct before I start to loose my form. Is there any workout routine you could suggest to help me prepare for the next month. I am not weak, I just never have been able to do push ups well.
PLEASE HELP ME:)
Each morning when you get up and each night before you go to bed do 1 set of as many push ups as you can. Do this 2 times daily no matter what. Always strive to get one more rep each time you do the push ups, so if you can do 6 today, try and get 7 tomorrow, 8 the next day, etc. If you have to, take a 5-10 second break in between each push up to complete more repetitions.
By doing daily push ups you will force your body to become stronger and you will perfect your push up technique. When you do the push ups do them as fast as you can with good form. The faster you do them the more reps you will be able to pump out.
Experiment with your arm positions to see which way feels best for you (i.e. close hand spacing, wide hand spacing, etc.)
Good day. I would just like to ask for your advice. I started doing sitted dumbell shoulder presses last month (4 sets of 8-12 reps). However, recently, when I added more pounds to the weight Im lifting, I can do only 10 on the first set, 8 on the 2nd set, and only 6 on the last 2 sets. Is this Ok? Also, I am starting to feel some back pains. Is this normal? The chair I am using has no back support. Is this ok? Do I need to use a back belt?
Yes this is normal to not be able to do as many reps when you add more weight to an exercise. But if you are feeling back pain while doing the exercise you should lighten up the weight, make sure you are using perfect exercise form, and then gradually build up to lifting heavier poundages over time.
I personally prefer to do shoulder presses seated with a back support as shown here:
But if you do not have a seated shoulder press bench with a back support try doing shoulder presses standing up. As this will keep your back in a more natural position and possibly help reduce some of the back pain.
A good weight lifting belt is great for back support. However, wearing a belt too much will actually make your lower back weaker because you are constantly supporting it. I only wear a weight lifting belt for heavy sets of squats, dead lifts, overhead presses, etc. Save the belt for when you need it.
We have a great selection of high quality weight lifting belts at:
It is turning out to be very beneficial to me taking you're advice. Lee I was told by someone that I should not drink much water during the workouts. Is it true? I normally drink 1 litre of water during my workouts, is that OK.
Should I workout my every SET till the last maximum REP that I can do or should I keep a specific count.
You should drink plenty of water during your workouts. I personally drink at least 1 liter of water during each of my workouts. This will keep your strength and energy levels up and keep your muscles well hydrated.
I prefer to do a specific count for each set rather then just randomly pumping out reps to failure. I like to keep a record of all my workouts and then each time I go to the gym I strive to beat what I did for my last workout. Either by lifting 5 lbs. more weight, or getting an extra rep.
i just started the squat and milk programe and i want ask you, whats the point of holding ur breath through the reps?
Holding your breath as you squat down will create tension and stabilize your torso, thus helping you re-bound out of the bottom position of the squat. This will allow you to lift more weight then if you didn't hold your breath as you squat down.
In between each rep take 2-3 deep breaths and then hold your air before you start then next repitition.
I just strarted the 12 week program on your site, thanks alot for the free material.
My question was that at the gym im going there is no hack squat machine or any standing calf raises either. I wanted to know if you knew alternatives to those exercises that would work the same muscle, but still provide the changes required for improvment.
In place of hack squats you can do front squats.
In place of a calf raise machine you can do barball calf raises.
I'm planning on using a routine of bodyweight exercises 3 x weekly (bodyweight squats, pushups, chins, dips, sit ups, etc.). Will this work ok?
Doing high reps bodyweight exercises will increase your size and strength. Before I got into serious weight training I was involved in martial arts and the majority of my workouts were based around high rep bodyweight exercises. I was able to make good progress training this way and developed a lean muscular looking physique.
But eventually you'll plateau with such a routine because of the
limited resistance of just lifting your own bodyweight. When this happens
you'll need to do progressive weight training exercises that allow you to
challenge your muscles with increasingly heavier loads.
i've been following a routine for about 2 months now, i seen quite good progress from it in my chest and legs , but not in arms and shoulders and so on , and i read some of the forum posts on the website you gave me , and you wrote that back exercises and so on help in arm growth? so if i will be doing more back and leg exercises my arms will grow? i dont quite understood what you mean. i tryed adding weights but everything is too heavy , i been using the same weights for shoulders and biceps for very long time now, PLEASE HELP ME!
When you train large muscle groups such as back, legs, chest, etc. you are able to handle maximum poundages and thus stimulate your central nervous system to produce more anabolic hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone, etc. That is why when you become bigger and stronger in the basic exercises you will become bigger and stronger all over (including your arms).
Now you still need to train your arms with direct bicep, tricep, and forearm exercises to maximize their development. But your main training focus should be on big basic compound lifts.
When you do small exercises for arms, shoulders, etc. it will be harder to make steady increases in weight simply because these exercises are smaller and most gym equipment only goes up by 5 lb. increments.
For example: it will be easier to add 5 lbs. to a 200 lb. bench press (an
increase of only 2.5% in weight).
So expect slower strength gains with arm exercises. Make sure to use perfect
exercise form and only increase the weights if you can maintain that perfect
exercise form with the heavier poundages.