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==Diet==
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==PART I: OPENING Q&A AND GENERAL MYTH-BUSTING - Integrated==
'''The main components of correct dieting are: to eat more protein, more vegetables, the right amount of calories, and eat more traditionally prepared and less overprocessed food. All of these are important. There Cliffs at the end of this, but first, let’s break them down into detail.'''
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==PART II: MINDSET - Integrated==
   
First of all: the body needs basically two things through diet: energy which come from <u>macronutrients</u> (Carbs, Fat and Protein) and <u>Essential Micronutrients</u> (Various vitamins, minerals, water, amino acids, and certain lipids). The difference between energy needs of the body and the energy content of the diet determine whether you're going to lose fat or gain mass. Essential nutrients are needed because the body can't synthesize them by itself. You want to eat the right amount of energy (Measured in Calories) whilst eating a generally nutritious diet. Most people eat too many calories and not enough essential nutrients, but you can also eat too few calories or too much of a certain micronutrient.
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==PART III: DIET - Nearly Integrated :)==
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">Keep in mind that I'm not saying you need to do any of this to be healthy or get into shape, though an Omega-3 supplement '''and Vitamin D3''' is highly recommended unless you eat fish 24/7. Other supplements are worth looking into, but are not essential by any stretch of the imagination.</p>
   
There is also various things that are neither essential nor caloric.
 
   
I won’t go into detail over how much of each of the many, many chemicals you actually want to eat. Instead, I am going to tell you what kind of food you should eat, and how much of it.
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**Whole eggs. [http://examine.com/faq/are-eggs-healthy.html The unhealthiness of whole eggs is a myth];
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**^ this reference for examine contains the article you referenced also, but with a lot more
   
==='''Eat more protein.'''===
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==PART V: MEASURING PROGRESS==
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">The most important thing about measuring progress - any kind of progress - is to track it in writing. Whether it is weight you are lifting going up, or weight on your body going down, write it down! You can't meet goals if you have no idea what your real progress is. If you prefer to track online, check out [http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/ Bodyspace], [http://dailyburn.com/ DailyBurn], or [http://www.physicsdiet.com/ Physics Diet] for you nerds out there.</p>
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===Watching your weight===
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">Your body weight isn't everything - composition is more important - but it is certainly good to know. What follows are tips for tracking your weight.</p>
   
These are the reasons why you want to eat more protein:
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">A common pitfall in tracking weight is to weigh yourself at different times of the day. You body weight can easily swing 5 pounds based on how hydrated you are, when the last time you ate or had a bowel movement was, and so on. For most consistent results, weigh yourself first thing in the morning, preferably fully evacuated. Incidentally, this is also a lower weight than any other time of the day.</p>
   
*It is neither carbs[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15941879] (which can give some people blood sugar/insulin problems[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20144316] ) or fat[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15621063] (which can do just the same, interestingly enough[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20823489] ); and they use more energy to process than these two, so of all the choices, they are just the most diet friendly.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15466943]
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">Don't weigh yourself every day, you'll see too much random variation to know if anything is going on, and the overall change you are looking for is only going to be a few pounds a week. So weigh yourself once a week.</p>
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===Progress beyond poundage===
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">The thing about your weight is that it doesn't tell you what you're made of, just how much of you there is. The name of the game is losing fat, not muscle, so what happens if fat goes down and weight stays the same or goes up? You made up the difference in lean mass, of course. You shrink in areas that were full of fat, because muscle is more dense than fat. People on good programs often see larger changes in clothing sizes that their weight change would suggest. This is a good thing, because your real progress in terms of appearance is better than the scale is telling you.</p>
   
*># You can easily eat more than 300, 400g of protein per day, and while it might even help,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17241913] it is not needed. These 100, 200 or more grams of protein will seem like a lot, especially since I said they should be of high quality - that means pretty much that it should be something like muscle (meats), egg, milk protein (animal sources - most plant sources of protein are pretty bad [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20368372] [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/what-are-good-sources-of-protein-introduction.html] ); so here’s some tips on how to hit that goal: for every meal, start with a protein base before you add other ingredients. A protein base can be anything that is mostly protein (usually, about 20g protein and less than 100 kcal per 100g - '''read labels'''), like:
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">The best way to track your overall progress appearance-wise is by measuring yourself with a tape measure in areas you want to get bigger or smaller, and by taking pictures of yourself at regular intervals. This way you can see how your body composition is changing for the better. [http://www.gain-weight-muscle-fast.com/body-tape-measurements.html Here is a short guide on how to take body measurements.]</p>
   
Many diets will deal with percentages/”macronutrient ratios”.[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/diet-percentages-part-1.html] Your body doesn't care about ratios, it cares how much protein you are getting irrespectively of total calories.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18448177] [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/diet-percentages-part-2.html]
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<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">As I noted earlier, for lifting weights you should always track your progress in writing. Really, you can't effectively implement a good weight program - even a simple one - without doing this.</p>
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==PART VI: MORE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS==
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;Q
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: I read about (insert diet or fitness program here) and it isn't mentioned in this guide. Is it any good?
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:A: Maybe. This guide only covers the basics, and fitness and nutrition are big subjects. Please keep in mind that there is a lot of huckster garbage associated with diet and exercise. You really need to be careful.<p style="margin-bottom:1.5em;">Signs someone is trying to rip you off:</p>
   
==='''Eat more vegetables.'''===
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:*Extravagant claims of massive improvement in a short period of time with little or no effort. If it sounds too good to be true, guess what? It is.
The government recommends you to eat 5 servings of them per day, and I’d say that’s a good start. This is why you want to eat more vegetables:
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:*Claims of secret or suppressed knowledge that "the [diet/fitness/medical/exercise] establishment" doesn't want you to know about. Claims that all well-established forms of exercise like running and lifting weights are wrong.
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:*Claims about spot reduction or converting fat to muscle, both of which are impossible. Losing fat and gaining muscle are possible, but you don't literally turn one into the other.
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:*Use of meaningless language like "toning" or "sculpting" instead of talking about quantifiable changes to body composition, strength or endurance.
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:*Magical language. Your personal spirituality is beyond the scope of this guide, but appeals to vaguely defined concepts like "energy fields" that are never actually explained and "internal cleansing" of various "toxins" that always remain nameless are usually strong indicators that someone is trying to con you.
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:*Overuse of scientific-sounding language that is never actually defined. Real programs may have some jargon in them, but they will explain what the jargon means. At worst, you'll be able to easily find the meaning of their terminology, because they're using real concepts with a real scientific basis. Con artists just tend to throw lots of big words at you in the hope that you just give up and assume that they're smarter than you are, and you can never find out what they actually mean, because they just made it up to sell you something.
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:*<span style="line-height:21px;">Even though the parameters of successful training routines are more or less well known </span>[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/categories-of-weight-training-part-6.html][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17326698][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/a-look-at-some-popular-hypertrophy-programs.html][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287373]<span style="line-height:21px;"> - I don't know if this exact routine is good. If it is for beginners - does it look pretty similar to the ones I’ve linked to above? If yes, it’s probably good. If it’s not for beginners - have you ever done a routine similar to the beginner routines I linked to? If yes, you should be able to decide if your routine X is good.</span> <span style="line-height:21px;">If not, just do one of the things I linked to instead.</span>
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;Q
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: I drastically changed my diet for the better, and nothing happened after a week. Or, I suddenly stopped losing weight for a week after weeks of weight loss. What happened?
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:A1: Maybe nothing. Sometimes weight loss has minor hiccups for no apparent reason. Maybe you had an extra glass of water the night before, or just retained some extra water for some random reason. If you are sticking a good diet, give it another week or two before you worry about changing things.
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:A2: All else being equal, to stay at 280 pounds takes more calories than it does to stay 180 pounds, even if the difference is all fat. So if you lost a lot of weight, this may be a contributing factor.
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;Q
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: I'm really sore from working out/I have DOMS. What do I do?
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:A: Soreness doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it can be unpleasant. For a little soreness, just suck it up.
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:If it is severe, you may want to take an extra day off, or do a reduced version of your regular workout until it improves. Ibuprofen is the over-the-counter painkiller of choice for muscular pain. I'm not going to tell you to ignore the instructions on the label, but prescriptions of 800 milligrams for minor pain are commonplace (the over-the-counter dose is 2 tablets of 200mg each). You can also remove soreness with a foam roller or any other types of deep tissue massage.
   
* Like protein, for its low calories, it fills you up so you’re less hungry.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15797686] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14995052]
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:Delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS) occurs from microscopic tears in your muscle fibers.
* It protects you against pretty much every disease you can think of.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=link&linkname=pubmed_pubmed&uid=665565] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234038]
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:If you have horrible DOMS right now: Eat. Sleep. Eat. A lot. Next workout, go to the gym. Carefully do your warmups. If you can do them in good form, carefully add weight and keep doing your workout as long as proper form is maintained. If you can't, go home and try again ASAP. No crying, no excuses; but also, no being stupid and injuring yourself. Over time, you won't get DOMS anymore if you keep doing the exercise. If you stop doing them, you will get DOMS anew, so keep training, to fight away the DOMS at first, and to keep it away later. Most other stuff doesn't work [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12617692]. If you want DOMS because you think it's important for muscle growth, <u>It's not</u>.
* They are rich in almost [http://examine.com/faq/what-beneficial-compounds-are-primarily-found-in-vegetables.html every essential micronutrient] you are not already getting from your protein food.
 
* It'll prevent you from hating having to go to the toilet after we’ve just put you on this high protein diet.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7494680]
 
   
Losing fat vs. gaining muscle is less about what you eat, and more about how much you eat.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19036895] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21239491] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15294054] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18384285]
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:<p style="margin-bottom:1.5em;">Note: Don't confuse soreness with pain; outright pain is often a sign of an actual injury. If you injure yourself, stop working out the injured area until it is 100% recovered and see [http://www.startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Injuries here]. If the pain doesn't go away or if you experience severe pain and/or loss of range of motion, see a doctor.</p>
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;Q
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: I experience a sharp pain in my side when I'm doing cardio. What's going on?
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:A: Probably nothing more than a "side stitch", a fairly common complaint of runners, especially new runners just getting into shape. Curiously, there is no good scientific explanation for this pain, but it will go away on its own. As your fitness improves, you will generally stop experiencing them.
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;Q
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: I experience sharp pain in my shins from running. What's happening?
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:A: Probably "shin splints." This is just caused by straining or overworking the muscles to the side of the shins. Taking a break from running until the pain goes away is generally all that is necessary. Normally the muscles adapt over time and you quit getting shin splints. If not, the problem could be caused by flat feet (fallen arches), which can be treated with insoles that help overpronation. A physiotherapist can aid with this part.
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;Q
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: I've been lifting weights for a while, and have suddenly stopped making progress even though I'm trying hard. What happened?
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:A1: You may have simply over-trained and need a rest. Take a few days off, and then go back at it again.
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:A2: At some point you will need to eat more food to continue making rapid strength gains. Of course, if you don't want to get bigger anymore, at some point you will have to accept some limit on your strength gains.
   
==='''Focus your meals on traditionally prepared food.'''===
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;Q
Like, you can eat a slice of pizza just fine, and a cup of soda won’t kill you; but if all you eat is pizza and soda and pringles and whathaveyou, you will look like somebody who eats nothing but pizza and soda and pringles, and you’ll die like such a person, too.[http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/unhappy-meals/] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19366466] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15699220]
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: Is it safe for kids to train with weights?
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:A: Yes, it's safe [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19620931][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21178368]. No, it doesn't stunt height.
   
* This again keeps you more full than highly processed stuff,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396693] for less calories[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20613890]
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;Q
* This usually is the best method to make the nutrients in the food (minerals, vitamins and some other stuff) available to the body.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12664529] [http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/4/1097.full] Both raw food,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17374686] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16672077] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14527628] and overprocessed food,[http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S092422440800229X] are nutrient poor; raw eggs for example have half the bioavailable protein of cooked ones.[http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/10/1716.abstract][http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/10/1716.full] - it’s actually cheaper in the long run.
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: Recovery/Sleep?
* It avoids most of the controversial things argued about in health circles, like trans fats, [http://examine.com/faq/is-hfcs-high-fructose-corn-syrup-worse-than-sugar.html high fructose corn syrup], refined starches, and just plain old fat, sugar or starch bombs.
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:A: Recovery is about a bunch of factors. Your brain, your mind, your individual muscles and joints, the body as a whole all need recovery from training. Sleep enough, reduce stress, eat enough, choose a sensible routine. That's the main factors. Sleeping is a vital aspect of muscle building. You cannot fully recover without getting enough sleep, along with it filling a plethora of other detrimental needs for your health. Get 8-9 hours per night. Have a set bed time and wake up time - your body responds well to having a regular time to sleep. Your sleep cycle and amounts of REM sleep adjust to however you sleep. If you sleep and wake erratically, you cannot adjust. Also, avoid any more than 11 hours sleep as it provides a negative hormonal environment within the body. Read [http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=126977823 here] for more info.
   
So: eat skim yoghurt with fruit instead of ice cream. Eat grilled fish with baked potatos with the skin and lemon juice instead of fish sticks with french fries. Drink tea or water instead of soda or OJ.
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;Q
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: HIIT/Tabata?
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:A: Unless you are training for a specific sport and your trainer tells you to, don’t do it [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/stead-state-versus-intervals-finally-a-conclusion.html], It’s a fad. The hype around HIIT for general fitness stems from a misunderstanding of some preliminary research. I know HIIT is more fun and less sucky than regular cardio; I personally like doing it a lot more than said cardio; but generally, standard cardio is just more effective AND efficient for burning fat [http://www.burnthefat.com/high_intensity_interval_training.html] and maintaining muscle, as well as parameters of health and performance/endurance and fat burning capabilities [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18379212], and will not interfere with your recovery as much [http://jcdfitness.com/2010/01/high-intensity-interval-training-hiit-and-sprints/].
   
There is a bunch of discussion about certain pieces of food being bad, and others good. As a rule of thumb, if it was part of a traditional diet, if you could make it by hand, it is good (eggs, butter, olive oil, oatmeal, fruit, …), if not, not (margarine, soda, pizza, gummi bears …).
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:Two topics are brought up again and again when it comes to HIIT: EPOC/afterburn, which is negligible with HIIT [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14599232]; and Vo2max, which most anybody gets wrong [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/effects-of-moderate-intensity-endurance-and-high-intensity-intermittent-training-on-anaerobic-capacity-and-vo2-max.html][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/predictors-of-endurance-training-performance.html]. I wish it were so simple, but 4 minutes of pushups and pauses is not going to do much to you. You have to put in a bit more effort [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/methods-of-endurance-training-part-1.html].
   
Putting this together, a typical piece of food for a fat loss diet should look like this: a good protein base (a lean steak, or some fish, or a protein shake … see the list above), a lot of vegetables, a bit of fat (some olive oil or butter) and starches (grains, pasta …) or sugars (fruit). For example, a chicken breast + vegetables stir fry with a diet fruit yoghurt on the side. Between meals, snack on fruit or vegetables (carrot sticks, cucumber slices … I personally love bell pepper). If you want to eat for muscle mass gains, add a bunch of good fats and/or starches - pasta, oatmeal, eggs, olive oil are all common suggestions. Find something that’s tasty for you and enjoy it.
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;Q
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: I want the quickest way to lose weight that is not completely idiotic!
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:A: The quickest legal way is something called [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/the-rapid-fat-loss-handbook PSMF] by Lyle McDonald.
   
Also, there’s a [http://4chanfit.wikia.com/wiki/Harsh%27s_Worksheet_(WIP)#Example_recipes recipe section] further down.
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;Q
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: "Clean" food? (Brown vs. White Rice, Sweet Potatos vs. Regular Potatoes, Organic vs. Conventional, “Clean” eating vs. Mixed diets...)
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:A: This is mostly down to taste preferences. The nutritional differences between the alternatives are neglible (really; check the labels). I know the internet says otherwise, but the cold hard numbers are what matters. You may eat the pricier option if it gives you a smug sense of superiority, I don’t really care, just don’t act as if it was necessary or optimal unless you can bring specific numbers to the table (say, item X has 120% more of nutrient Y than item Z).
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:Generally speaking, if you eat lots of the protein foods mentioned above, and lots of vegetables, and maybe supplement some vitamin D and fish oil, you got your nutrients covered. And if you don’t, you most likely don’t, and how crappy your rice tastes won’t change a thing
   
==='''Tiny bits'''===
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;Q
===='''Macronutrient ratios.'''====
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: Questions about specific nutrients
: A lot of talk is made about [http://examine.com/blog/carbs-fats-and-carbs-plus-fats/ carbs vs fats].[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/carbohydrate-and-fat-controversies-part-1.html] First of all, the topic is less important than most think, which is why it didn’t get its own heading here; secondly, it hugely depends on you. Get your protein and vegetables, and then see how many carbs and fats (and maybe even more protein) you want to add to get the rest of your calories from. Experiment a bit, see what works best. This is not even remotely as important as the other topics. Oftentimes, more active, and leaner people may want proportionally more carbs, and more sedentary, and fatter people proportionally less carbs. Just get a mix of all and you'll be fine.[http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/Handouts/macronutrients.htm]
 
   
===='''Fad diets.'''====
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:A: Fructose![http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/] Saturated Fats![http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6298507][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6538617][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14666150][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8942407][http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136089021&p=712053741&viewfull=1#post712053741] Vegetable Fats!
: Keto, Zone, That Weird Thing Your Mom Does, No Fat, No Protein, I know them all and I don’t care. Many of these are centered around carb vs fat balance, others are about a specific piece of food. As you should know, there is no evidence for either of these being even remotely as relevant as what I've written about for the last 1000 pages. If I thought they were worth a mention, I wouldn’t have bothered to type up all of this text. If you believe in these diets, go do them, remember that in the end, it’s about persistence, patience, protein and calories [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476868]. If your diet of choice gets these 4 right, it will work. If not, it wont.
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:Again: anything is bad in excess, and good in moderation. Usually, you will get an excess of certain things if you eat too much overprocessed, modern food; you will get appropriate, healthy amounts of stuff if you eat a traditionally prepared, moderated diet.
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:You will not get excess fructose from eating fruit, or excess saturated fat from eating fish and eggs. You will get excess fructose from drinking soda 24/7, and from eating pizza and burgers all day. It is less a question of things with chemical names, and more a question of apples and oranges (or rather, apples and candy).
   
===='''Around workout nutrition.'''====
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;Q
: This topic gets a lot of attention, mostly from people trying to make a living out of selling post workout supplements. Guess what, they’re biased as fuck. Basically, have some protein and carbs 1-3 hours before, and some protein and carbs 0-1.5 hours after[http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/short/292/1/E71]. It doesn't need to be IMMEDIATE [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21045172][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15570142]. In fact, you don't even NEED protein post workout assuming you're not lifting in a fasted state.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106243][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21289204][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19628107][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19478342][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20977582][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21613572][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17609259][http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/288/4/E645.full] You can follow [http://web.archive.org/web/20101028024111/http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=11356062&postcount=3088 this protocol] if you need exact numbers. Regular food is just fine,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18831752] if not superior to supplements.[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/an-objective-comparison-of-chocolate-milk-and-surge-recovery.html] If you can’t stomach anything around workouts, get a whey shake and some carb source like banana.
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: General ketogenic diets/Atkins?
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:A: First, refer to the general principles of dieting. If your keto diet fits in there, it's gonna work.
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:Some people however claim that ketosis is inherently better than a carb based or carb inclusive diet. The evidence however is farily conclusive: while many people consume too many carbs and need to cut back on them, and while some people simply feel better on a low carb or even ketogenic diet, feeling less hunger and less bloat, others do not, with many reporting adverse reactions to keto and low carb, and on average, ketogenic diets do not burn more fat or spare muscle better than non ketogenic diets [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/the-ketogenic-diet][http://www.ajcn.org/content/83/5/1055.long][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/ketogenic-low-carbohydrate-diets-have-no-metabolic-advantage-over-nonketogenic-low-carbohydrate-diets-research-review.html 143]]. Any claimed benefit of ketogenic diets that would work for everyone is mostly mediated by the higher protein content in comparison to regular diets; and obviously, you can also eat a low fat high carb high protein diet, and many people are doing just this and benefiting from it [http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/3/586.abstract].
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:For the wrong idea that low carb is inherently better than moderate or high carb, refer to the paragraph on macronutrient ratios. Again: different things work for different people. You will have to experiment a bit.
   
: Even while dieting to lose fat, you want to eat protein and carbs around workouts, ESPECIALLY protein, but also some, albeit possibly less, carbs;[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/around-workout-nutrition-while-dieting-qa.html] eating some before will allow you to train harder, and you want to eat some afterwards because working out induces both protein synthesis as well as breakdown, and to inhibit this, some carbs and a good serving of protein are sufficient.
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;Q
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:Any question focusing on Insulin! Glycaemic Index!
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:A: Forget about it. Insulin is vastly misunderstood [http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=319] by the usual internet fitness writers. It is one of several key players, not the only culprit; it only mediates what your diet and exercise do anyways; there are alternative pathways that are just as important; if you try to shape your body by controlling insulin, the body will just use another pathway to bring you to where you should be.
  +
:Insulin, or various foods and their effects on insulin, are often blamed for obesity and, at times, every other bad thing. This is in part because on a mixed diet (carbs and fat), insulin is the hormone that mostly regulates bodyfat storage, and insulin resistance is a common and dangerous symptom of obesity. However, on a carb free diet, the body won’t simply waste nutrients either, and other pathways will be used to get fat if you eat enough; and insulin resistance is caused by eating excess fat alternatively to excess carbs, too. Most people that are fat today got fat by eating carbs and fat combined; but that only means that they ate a lot of fat and carbs, not that combining fat and carbs, or eating carbs at all, makes you fat. They would have gotten as fat on a carb free diet, and almost as fat on a fat free diet, assuming the calories stay the same.
  +
:Insulin also causes satiety, prevents muscle catabolism, increases free testosterone levels and, most of all, a healthy, exercising and well-eating individual will be able to control their blood sugar and insulin levels quite well enough anyways.
   
===='''Useful habits.'''====
+
:High-GI food has been wrongly implicated of being fattening;[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16629877][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17992183][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12458971][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20479489][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234033] and low-GI diets have been wrongly thought to be more filling.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19602827][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17923862][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17610996] This is flat out wrong and mainly stems from the fact that researchers used to use highly processed food to represent high-GI food, and less processed food to represent low-GI food. Even the GI - insulin connection is way more complex than carbophobics usually think.[http://www.alanaragon.com/elements-challenging-the-validity-of-the-glycemic-index.html]
* Cook in advance.
 
* Buy smart. Don’t buy chocolate chips if you want to lose weight, because you WILL probably eat them. Don’t forget to buy food for the weekend if you want to gain weight, watch your fridge. <span style="font-style: normal; ">(A trick is to always eat before you go shopping so you don't buy something out of hunger)</span>
 
* Find recipes that work for the above key components. See below.
 
* Find recipes that are tasty. If you don’t like your food, you’re gonna eat something else, and that would hinder your progress. There’s people saying "if it tastes good, spit it out“. I think these people are a bit weird.
 
* Try to fit in eating out, family time etc.[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/10-tips-to-deal-with-holiday-weight-gain.html] Don’t become a shut-in. Well, I guess chances are you already are one right? But let’s at least pretend.
 
* Watch how you personally react to certain foods, what gives you energy, what makes you hungry…
 
   
===='''Example recipes'''====
+
==PART VII: THANKS==
  +
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">Thanks to kponds & everybody else at the Something Awful [http://forums.somethingawful.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=179 Watch & Weight] forum for their input. Also thanks to [http://boards.4chan.org/fit/ /fit] for making the guide the official sticky. Thanks to clerisy and harsh for ??</p>
   
[http://imgur.com/a/BXcIX Here]'s some general recipes, and [http://imgur.com/a/14RLs here]'s some [http://leangains.com leangains] recipes.
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">Hungry for more? This guide is just a start. If you want to read a comprehensive guide to health and fitness, I recommend the book [http://brainoverbrawn.com/ Brain Over Brawn]by Clint Cornelius.</p>
----
+
===Change History:===
  +
====2006====
  +
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">October 14 - First draft.</p>
   
===='''Supplements'''====
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">October 15 - Added notes for vegetarians, added starting cardio plan & warm-up information. Fixed assorted minor errors.</p>
   
:Most supplements are useless. Especially most that do not consist of a single ingredient are. What oftentimes does make sense is supplementing your diet with things that you lack. Remember, always put diet, training and rest before supplementation. This goes for spending money as well. Always spend money on the gym bill and food before buying supplements.
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">October 16 - Added additional Q&A information, minor changes to wording/layout.</p>
   
:Notable things you might think about (I usually buy off the shelf, others swear by higher quality things):
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">October 17 - Added hints for avoiding fraudulent fitness programs. Removed profanity.</p>
  +
====2007====
  +
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">January 24 - Updated workout links, added more supplement information.</p>
  +
====2009====
  +
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">February 25 - Minor changes, new links to the Starting Strength Wiki and to Stumptuous.</p>
  +
====2010====
  +
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">March 6 - Removed information about more meals/day having a positive effect on weight loss in light of recent studies. Large grammar/spelling cleanups. Added a few more useful links, guides, and sources.</p>
   
* [http://examine.com/supplements/Fish+Oil/ Fish Oil].[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20809235][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20500789][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19221636][http://www.alanaragon.com/fish-oil.html][http://liamrosen.com/blog/?p=3][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/supplements-part-1.html]If you don’t eat much fatty fish (salmon, mackerel,), you are most likely deficient in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA; ignore ALA as your body has to convert it). Get some fish oil. This will make you smarter, less sick, reduces risk of disease [http://www.nuskinmall.co.kr/images/datacenter/train/FORM92_1.pdf], improves mood [http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v14/n3/full/nn.2736.html], helps with fat loss and you will recover better, along with a plethora of other health benefits. A total intake of EPA/DHA of 1.8-3.0 grams per day is suggested. Don't forget to count the calories from your fish oil either, each gram of fat is still 9 calories.
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">May 29 - Robert Kent graciously reformatted this guide to make it easier on the eyes. Thanks, Robert!</p>
* [http://examine.com/supplements/Vitamin+D/ Vitamin D].[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21072911][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12720576][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20373291][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14985208][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/supplements-part-1.html] We usually get this from sunlight. If you are not tanned, chances are you’re deficient in this. Most people are. Get your blood levels measured, or take your chances and just get some. Vitamin D is involved in pretty much everything. If you’re deficient in it, supplementing it helps your bones, prevents cancers, raises testosterone levels[http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/727912][http://www.ergo-log.com/vitamindtestosterone.html] and … everything. There is, again, some granny scare about Vitamin D being poison, but it's actually quite hard to poison yourself on vitamin D as you would need to take more than 10000 IU/day.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20542672][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11157326][http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/y2809e/y2809e0e.htm] Make sure you buy it in Vitamin D3 form (Cholecalceferol). Taking one 5000IU capsule a day is sufficient. Take it with meals or with your fish oil.
 
* Protein powder. If you don’t easily get enough from food, get some cheap [http://examine.com/supplements/Whey+Protein/ whey], [http://examine.com/supplements/Casein+Protein/ casein], or [http://examine.com/supplements/Milk+Protein/ milk protein]. Which type you get doesn't matter[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21045172][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15570142][http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=3693471&page=2#34]. These are quite convenient, and almost as nutrient rich as regular food. You don’t need them, despite for what supplement sellers tell you, whole food sources of protein are equivalent or better compared to whey or [http://examine.com/supplements/Branched+Chain+Amino+Acids/ BCAAs]/Amino Acids; but some convenient powder ain’t bad either. They only serve as one purpose, and that's a meal replacement.
 
* [http://examine.com/supplements/Magnesium/ Magnesium], folate, fiber, zinc, vitamin C: most people are not getting as many of these as they should. Depending on how your diet is, consider supplementing these while you adjust your diet.
 
   
:Conveniently, all of these are pretty cheap. Especially Vitamin D. Fish Oil and Vitamin D are two things everybody should supplement. Everything else is optional.
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">June 4 - Fixed formatting, changed saturated fat recommendations based on recent studies.</p>
   
:The exceptions to the "supplements suck" rule are few:
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">June 7 - Added more information on shin splints.</p>
   
* [http://examine.com/supplements/Creatine/ Creatine] will help a bit with strength and it's safe. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15707376][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10999421][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19124889][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12500988] Get it in monohydrate form only - it is just as effective (or more) as the other forms, and a lot cheaper.[http://www.jissn.com/content/6/1/6][http://www.ultimatefatburner.com/Elissa/kre-alk/p7.pdf] Just take 5g (1tsp) every day, at any time. No need to load or cycle.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8828669][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10449011][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12701816][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15758854] See [http://pastebin.com/bhDGqYpj here] if you want a deeper understanding of the biochemical workings.
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">2011</p>
* [http://examine.com/supplements/Ephedrine/ Ephedrine][http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=555239], and especially the ephedrine + [http://examine.com/supplements/Caffeine/ caffeine ] combo ([http://examine.com/supplements/ECA/ EC Stack]), helps with losing fat. Go [http://www.hotnfit.com/ecstack.htm here], and more advanced info [http://thinksteroids.com/articles/ephedrine-targeting-beta-adrenergic-receptors/ here]. Don't fuck this up, Ephedrine is a drug and may be illegal and/or dangerous. For people in the US, you cannot buy Ephedrine directly - most people get it via over-the-counter Bronkaid.
 
   
* Almost everything else that is not illegal sucks. Illegal drugs, like steroids for muscle gains and fat loss, and clenbuterol/albuterol/t3 and DNP, are of unquestionable effectivity, allowing their consuments to gain mass, strength and cut fat way quicker than the natural trainee, even without training themselves at all,[http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101] but many feel scared by their illegality and the abuse potential - done wrong, these WILL hurt you.
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">January 27 - Complete edit of the guide for grammar, tone, and style. Long overdue!</p>
* A multivitamin/mineral supplement isn't as important as people believe it to be. The dosages of the ingredients are of negligible effect. Although it never hurts to supplement a cheap multi as a backup, don't spend a large amount of money buying "special formulations". Get your nutrients through your food.
 
* Lastly, stay away from pre-workout supplements, they are bad for you. You don't need the extra energy, especially if you're a teenager. You may like the pump, but you will just end up becoming dependant on them. They're also a waste of money. Just use caffeine If you need more energy, it also increases blood flow.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18458357] Just have a large cup of strong coffee before training. <span style="font-style: normal; line-height: 21px; ">Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, preparing it for training, increases aerobic endurance and strength increases.</span>
 
   
==Exercise==
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">2012</p>
==='''Lifting heavy weights'''===
 
>#[[File:Musculature_Anatomy_Chart.jpg|thumb]] So '''everybody should do resistance training''', because it:
 
   
* Supports lean mass over flabby mass[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17111010] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16526835]
+
<p style="font-family:Tahoma;color:rgb(51,51,51);margin-bottom:1.5em;">May 16 - Added section about stretching</p>
* Helps a lot with losing fat[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847892] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847892]
 
* Helps a lot with building muscle[http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Captain_Obvious]
 
* Keeps your metabolism running, even while you rest (it usually slows down when you diet, making dieting harder)[http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/55/4/802] - more than cardio by itself[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10204826]
 
* If done correctly, makes you stronger and healthier,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15561636] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19019904] improves your posture[http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Posture.html] and prevents injuries[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16036094], especially falls and fractures by strengthening your bones,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20574788] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20013013] making it important for the elderly, and for women[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12137611] - it helps prevent the yoyo effect[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15561636]
 
   
Yes, even if you are fat, or female, you want to lift weights. Saying "I just want to look toned/I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder“ means you should go to a gym. I am not trying to convince you any more than by saying this: if you don’t want to lift weights, go read another guide. One that lies to you, because even if your goal is looking like a dancer, olympic athlete, MMA fighter or animu character, lifting weights is part of the path.
 
   
===='''The three key components of weightlifting'''====
+
__NOTOC__
* '''Aim for balance''' - work the legs, the front, the back, the core, the limbs; push and pull, flex and extend. I don’t think much of excessively focussing on certain bodyparts. A balanced body is a healthy and attractive body. If you only care about getting bigger arms, go read another guide.
 
* '''Train progressively'''[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19204579] [http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/adaptex/adaptex.html] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15064596] - you have to increase the loading parameters over time or nothing will happen. As a beginner, you want to add weight to your exercises every week at least. If you don’t add weight over time, your body is not going to change. It is an adaption process. You lift heavy, your body adapts to the stress, you the lift heavier and you keep lifting heavier until you can lift the heaviest you can lift. Track your lifts on a notepad every workout.
 
* '''Stay safe and injury free'''[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20048516]'''- '''educate yourself on proper form, watch videos, make videos of yourself and show them around. Bad lifting can hurt you, and won’t make you any better. See [http://imgur.com/a/aD0mE here] for some reference cards. If you want a deeper understanding of the main lifts, I highly recommending reading Starting Strength. Also, if you can't control the weight on the way down, it's too heavy. Don't just drop it.
 
Generally, you want to take a balanced selection of mostly multi-joint (compound), full-body exercises, and do a few heavy, but secure sets per exercise per week, doing each exercise about twice a week, keep good form, starting with a manageable weight and trying to consistently increase the weight on the main lifts. Later on, you would add some assistance exercises for specific purposes, but the money lies in becoming able to do these compound exercises for about 5-8 reps[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/reps-per-set-for-optimal-growth.html] with ever increasing weight. Any routine and training scheme that allows you to do this is good, anything that doesn’t most likely bad. A routine like this will allow you to lose fat and therefore look more defined/toned, or build muscle/gain bodymass, depending on your diet.
 
 
People smarter than me have written up...
 
----
 
 
===='''Routines that are pretty good'''====
 
 
'''No matter your goals, you could start out with one of these:'''
 
 
*[http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5-beginner-strength-training-program/ Stronglifts] (a variation on the above theme)
 
*[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/beginning-weight-training-part-4.html Lyle McDonalds generic beginner programs]
 
*[http://arthurjonesexercise.com/Bulletin2/34.PDF Arthur Jones' beginner program] (a different approach, but good)
 
*[http://xtort.net/reg-parks-beginner-routine/ Reg Parks beginners 5x5] (bit high in volume, well rounded)
 
* [http://www.stumptuous.com/workout-1 Kristas beginner workout] (aimed at girls)
 
* [http://newbie-fitness.blogspot.com/2007/01/stripped-5x5.html Stripped 5x5] (6 compound exercises with dumbbell alternatives for most exercises. Easy for beginners to learn to perform correctly.)
 
 
Any workout regimen that works the full body 2-3x per week[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287373] with low rep[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12436270], few sets[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300012][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971985](optimal is 3) of heavy compound movements (Squats, Bench Press, Rows, Overhead Press and Deadlifts) with added weight periodically is generally optimum for beginners. You will gain a load of strength and size which is great for a beginner aiming to look better and stay healthy and in shape.
 
 
Don't time your rests between sets, that's stupid. Every set is unique. You should rest as long as you need for your body to feel ready to complete the next set. This could mean a 1 minute rest, or a 10 minute rest. Shorter rests don't help muscle gains. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19077743][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16095405] Although 3-5 minutes are best for strength gains. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19691365][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16686570][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18076244][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15705039][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17194236]
 
 
Try to do good reps, focusing on good form over exhaustion. Whenever you more or less comfortably hit the upper range of the indicated rep range, add weight the next workout; this is a good sign and shows you are inducing physical adaptions, like muscular hypertrophy (if you are eating a surplus) or at least improved neural efficiency. Stick with this reduced selection for now, focus and persistence are the key words. You may later want to add additional exercises if you realize you need them. Especially consider adding leg curls or Glute-Ham-Raises, arm curls, weighted crunches or planks, and explosive lifts like power cleans. You may also notice that one exercise simply does not work for you, in which case you can switch to a substitute, like DB bench press, front squats, barbell rows, upright rows or push presses, romanian deadlifts or low bar squats, chinups or pullups.
 
 
Once you do not gain anymore on these routines, do something else. As long as you are, keep doing these, because nothing will work any better than this; once you stall, switch to more appropriate routines, with slower, but more manageable progressions. There is no sense in going to an advanced routine now; nothing will give you as many results as a correctly applied beginner routine.
 
----
 
 
===='''More advanced routines.'''====
 
 
*[http://madcow.hostzi.com/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm Madcow 5x5] (3 days/week) - this is a full body general strength/powerlifting program aimed at the intermediate lifter. This is a good routine to do after SS. There's also a stripped version [http://newbie-fitness.blogspot.com/2007/01/stripped-5x5.html here].
 
*[http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=370&pid=2976 Jim Wendlers 5/3/1] (3 or 4 days/week) - this is a rather typical powerlifting/athleticism program. You can find the answers to common 5/3/1 questions [http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/52-most-common-531-questions here].
 
*[http://www.defrancostraining.com/store/product.php?productid=16145&cat=251&page=1 Joe DeFrancos Badass] (3 days/week) - this is a bodybuilding/athleticism program.
 
*[http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/The_Texas_Method The Texas Method] (read: Practical Programming) - excellent for after SS
 
 
Anything beyond this is, well, beyond this.
 
 
Anything that is not mentioned up here, especially anything that claims to be some revolutionary and special way to build muscle, is probably a stupid fad. Focus on the 3 key components. Yes, this means hard work. It also means results.
 
----
 
 
==FAQ.==
 
==='''Diet FAQ.'''===
 
====<u>All questions concerning specific food.</u>====
 
: ''"IS (specific food item X) GOOD?"''
 
::Depends.
 
 
: ''"IS (specific food item Y) BAD?"''
 
::Depends.
 
 
: (Eggs, Fuckin' Acai Berries, Vitamin Water, …)
 
 
: Most of what you can read on the internet about various good or bad foods, and especially the rationale behind it, is retarded. Most of all, no food is magic (it’s about your whole diet, always), and close to no food is the devil (it’s all about moderation). I think I’ve given a sufficient, convenient tool for usually deciding if something can help you or not with what I wrote in the diet chapter above; basically, check: does it help you hit your protein targets? Does it help you hit your calorie targets (by keeping you full, or hungry, for its calories)? Is it real, traditional food so it gives you some micronutrients? Has your personal experience with it been good? If yes, go for it. If not, you can probably still eat some of it, but it shouldn't be a staple food.
 
 
: …Seriously. Acai Berries? How gullible are you people?
 
 
====<u>Any question focusing on Insulin! Glycaemic Index!</u>====
 
: Forget about it. Insulin is vastly misunderstood[http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=319] by the usual internet fitness writers. It is one of several key players, not the only culprit; it only mediates what your diet and exercise do anyways; there are alternative pathways that are just as important; if you try to shape your body by controlling insulin, the body will just use another pathway to bring you to where you should be.
 
 
: Insulin, or various foods and their effects on insulin, are often blamed for obesity and, at times, every other bad thing. This is in part because on a mixed diet (carbs and fat), insulin is the hormone that mostly regulates bodyfat storage, and insulin resistance is a common and dangerous symptom of obesity. However, on a carb free diet, the body won’t simply waste nutrients either, and other pathways will be used to get fat if you eat enough; and insulin resistance is caused by eating excess fat alternatively to excess carbs, too. Most people that are fat today got fat by eating carbs and fat combined; but that only means that they ate a lot of fat and carbs, not that combining fat and carbs, or eating carbs at all, makes you fat. They would have gotten as fat on a carb free diet, and almost as fat on a fat free diet, assuming the calories stay the same.
 
 
: Insulin also causes satiety, prevents muscle catabolism, increases free testosterone levels and, most of all, a healthy, exercising and well-eating individual will be able to control their blood sugar and insulin levels quite well enough anyways.
 
 
: Current insulin levels are usually a symptom of what you are doing, not a cause of what’s happening to you. So stop worrying about it and focus on exercise and good food instead. For a more in depth answer (quoting Anonymous):
 
:: "The hormones insulin and glucagon work antagonistically (insulin encourages lipogenesis and discourages lipolysis, glucagon does the opposite) to keep the blood glucose concentration constant. As the blood glucose concentration decreases, glucagon secretion increases and fat is released from adipocytes so that it can be used for energy and to increase glucose levels. As the glucose concentration increases, insulin secretion increases, and glucose is removed from the blood to be stored in adipocytes. If you eat maintenance calories, the end result is one of balance - there will be no net fat gain or fat loss. If you eat above maintenance then insulin wins and the extra energy is stored as fat (or used for muscle). If you eat below maintenance then glucagon wins and there will be a net loss of fat. There is no way around this mechanism, this system is pretty much infallible by necessity.
 
 
:: As I've said before, the only hormones that can directly cause or prevent obesity are ones which affect the amount of energy you take in (leptin, for example) or the amount of energy you spend (by increasing activity or by increasing metabolism). Under normal circumstances (i.e., in the absence of metabolic disorders and in the absence of a caloric surplus or deficit) insulin and glucagon will perfectly balance each other and you will not gain or lose any fat."
 
 
: If you still believe in Insulin as the main player, you’re an uneducated, quasi-religious nutjob.
 
 
: High-GI food has been wrongly implicated of being fattening;[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16629877][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17992183][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12458971][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20479489][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234033] and low-GI diets have been wrongly thought to be more filling.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19602827][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17923862][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17610996] This is flat out wrong and mainly stems from the fact that researchers used to use highly processed food to represent high-GI food, and less processed food to represent low-GI food. Even the GI - insulin connection is way more complex than carbophobics usually think.[http://www.alanaragon.com/elements-challenging-the-validity-of-the-glycemic-index.html]
 
 
====<u>General ketogenic diets/Atkins.</u>====
 
: First, refer to the [http://4chanfit.wikia.com/wiki/Harsh%27s_Worksheet_(WIP)#Focus_your_meals_on_traditionally_prepared_food. general principles of dieting] . If your keto diet fits in there, it's gonna work.
 
 
: Some people however claim that ketosis is inherently better than a carb based or carb inclusive diet. The evidence however is farily conclusive: while many people consume too many carbs and need to cut back on them, and while some people simply feel better on a low carb or even ketogenic diet, feeling less hunger and less bloat, others do not, with many reporting adverse reactions to keto and low carb, and on average, ketogenic diets do not burn more fat or spare muscle better than non ketogenic diets.[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/the-ketogenic-diet] [http://www.ajcn.org/content/83/5/1055.long][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/ketogenic-low-carbohydrate-diets-have-no-metabolic-advantage-over-nonketogenic-low-carbohydrate-diets-research-review.html] Any claimed benefit of ketogenic diets that would work for everyone is mostly mediated by the higher protein content in comparison to regular diets; and obviously, you can also eat a low fat high carb high protein diet, and many people are doing just this and benefiting from it.[http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/3/586.abstract]
 
 
: For the wrong idea that low carb is inherently better than moderate or high carb, refer to the [http://4chanfit.wikia.com/wiki/Harsh%27s_Worksheet_(WIP)#Macronutrient_ratios. chapter on macronutrient ratios] . Again: different things work for different people. You will have to experiment a bit.
 
 
====<u>Specific nutrients</u>====
 
: Fructose![http://www.alanaragonblog.com/2010/01/29/the-bitter-truth-about-fructose-alarmism/] Saturated Fats![http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6298507][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6538617][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14666150][http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8942407][http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136089021&p=712053741&viewfull=1#post712053741] Vegetable Fats!
 
 
: You could almost take the chapter on Insulin and replace the word Insulin with fructose/SFA, and you have your answer.
 
 
: Again: anything is bad in excess, and good in moderation. Usually, you will get an excess of certain things if you eat too much overprocessed, modern food; you will get appropriate, healthy amounts of stuff if you eat a traditionally prepared, moderated diet.
 
 
: You will not get excess fructose from eating fruit, or excess saturated fat from eating fish and eggs. You will get excess fructose from drinking soda 24/7, and from eating pizza and burgers all day. It is less a question of things with chemical names, and more a question of apples and oranges (or rather, apples and candy).
 
 
====<u>''"Why aren’t you advocating (Cyclical) Ketogenic Diets/Paleo diets/Zone Diet/This Crazy Stuff My Favourite Bodybuilder Does?"''</u>====
 
: Because they are just one way to achieve the general, supervening principles outlined in the general diet chapter. Where they diverge from said chapter, they are wrong, where they agree, they are redundant, where they cover different topics, they are just personal preferences.
 
 
 
 
====<u>"Clean" food</u>====
 
: Brown vs. White Rice, Sweet Potatos vs. Regular Potatoes, Organic vs. Conventional, “Clean” eating vs. Mixed diets...
 
 
: This is mostly down to taste preferences. The nutritional differences between the alternatives are neglible (really; check the labels). I know the internet says otherwise, but the cold hard numbers are what matters. You may eat the pricier option if it gives you a smug sense of superiority, I don’t really care, just don’t act as if it was necessary or optimal unless you can bring specific numbers to the table (say, item X has 120% more of nutrient Y than item Z).
 
 
: Generally speaking, if you eat lots of the protein foods mentioned above, and lots of vegetables, and maybe supplement some vitamin D and fish oil, you got your nutrients covered. And if you don’t, you most likely don’t, and how crappy your rice tastes won’t change a thing
 
 
====<u>''"I want the quickest way to lose weight that is not completely idiotic!"''</u>====
 
: The quickest legal way is something called [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/the-rapid-fat-loss-handbook PSMF] by Lyle McDonald. The quickest way, period, is adding illegal drugs to your exercise+diet combo. I don’t really know much about drugs, but googling clenbuterol + DNP + Cytomel/T3 is probably where you would start. Just remember that drugs are drugs and may be illegal and are most definitely dangerous. Seriously dude, people have died taking that stuff. Don't be stupid.
 
----
 
 
==='''Exercise FAQ'''===
 
==== ''<u>I want to train more often!</u>''====
 
: If you want to train more often, chances are you're not adding weight often enough to your routine. Every routine posted in this FAQ will become quite horribly exhausting if you do it by the book, which implies regularily adding weight to all of your lifts.
 
: You don't grow while working out, you grow while you recover. And you can actually out-train your own recovery by going too hard and too often.
 
: As a guideline, if your lifts are steadily improving (while gaining weight) or maintaining (while losing weight), you're doing good. If not, you have a problem.
 
==== ''<u>Recovery / Sleep!</u>''====
 
 
: Recovery is about a bunch of factors. Your brain, your mind, your individual muscles and joints, the body as a whole all need recovery from training.
 
: Sleep enough, reduce stress, eat enough, choose a sensible routine. That's the main factors.
 
: Sleeping is a vital aspect of muscle building. You cannot fully recover without getting enough sleep, along with it filling a plethora of other detrimental needs for your health. Get 8-9 hours per night. Have a set bed time and wake up time - your body responds well to having a regular time to sleep. Your sleep cycle and amounts of REM sleep adjust to however you sleep. If you sleep and wake erratically, you cannot adjust. Also, avoid any more than 11 hours sleep as it provides a negative hormonal environment within the body. Read [http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=126977823 here] for more info.
 
 
====<u>HIIT/Tabata</u>====
 
: Unless you are training for a specific sport and your trainer tells you to, don’t do it,[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/stead-state-versus-intervals-finally-a-conclusion.html] It’s a fad. The hype around HIIT for general fitness stems from a misunderstanding of some preliminary research. I know HIIT is more fun and less sucky than regular cardio; I personally like doing it a lot more than said cardio; but generally, standard cardio is just more effective AND efficient for burning fat[http://www.burnthefat.com/high_intensity_interval_training.html] and maintaining muscle, as well as parameters of health and performance/endurance and fat burning capabilities,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18379212] and will not interfere with your recovery as much.[http://jcdfitness.com/2010/01/high-intensity-interval-training-hiit-and-sprints/]
 
 
: Two topics are brought up again and again when it comes to HIIT: EPOC/afterburn, which is negligible with HIIT[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14599232] ; and Vo2max, which most anybody gets wrong.[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/effects-of-moderate-intensity-endurance-and-high-intensity-intermittent-training-on-anaerobic-capacity-and-vo2-max.html] [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/predictors-of-endurance-training-performance.html] I wish it were so simple, but 4 minutes of pushups and pauses is not going to do much to you. You gotta put in a bit more effort. [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/methods-of-endurance-training-part-1.html]
 
 
====<u>''"Is resistance training routine X good?"''</u>====
 
: Even though the parameters of successful training routines are more or less well known[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/categories-of-weight-training-part-6.html] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17326698] [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/a-look-at-some-popular-hypertrophy-programs.html] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287373] - I don't know if this exact routine is good. If it is for beginners - does it look pretty similar to the ones I’ve linked to above? If yes, it’s probably good. If it’s not for beginners - have you ever done a routine similar to the beginner routines I linked to? If yes, you should be able to decide if your routine X is good.<br />If not, just do one of the things I linked to instead.
 
 
====<u>Crossfit/Insanity/p90x/Convict Conditioning/current internet hype workout</u>====
 
: Fuck ‘em. They may have their uses, but they are not optimal, and generally, not even sufficient for the goals I’m talking about here. They are also marketing campaigns.
 
:
 
 
====<u>''"Is exercise X good/bad?"''</u>====
 
====When choosing exercises, consider these three:====
 
#
 
#: Can you do it safely, and in good form?
 
 
#
 
#: Can you progress (add more weight over time)?
 
 
#
 
#: Does it hit the intended muscles?
 
If you can answer “yes” three times, chances are it’s a good exercise. Every exercise can injure you if done wrong, and most every exercise will keep you healthy if you do it right. Exercises I usually see done wrong which I don’t recommend, either because I don’t think learning proper form is efficient, or because the movement itself has some biomechanic problem, are: leg raises and situps (target the hip flexors, not the abs), freeweight pullovers or flys, and triceps kickbacks and overhead extensions (stupid path of resistance + superior compound alternatives), back extension lever machines (in contrast to the quite healthy back extension bench, the resisting machine WILL fuck your back), barbell rows (good movement, but usually done wrong), good mornings (more dangerous than the just as, or even more, useful romanian deadlift)
 
 
: Some exercises which are often done wrong have gotten an undeservedly bad rap about it: upright rows (row with a wide grip and don’t bring the elbows higher than the shoulders), bench press (keep the shoulder blades pinched together and down, don’t use too wide of a grip, don’t touch too high).
 
:
 
 
====<u>Bodybuilding workout myths:</u>====
 
=====<u>''"You need high reps/high volume for muscular hypertrophy!"''</u>=====
 
 
: You don't.[http://dc-training.blogspot.com/2005/11/cycles-for-pennies-continues.html] Strength training causes hypertrophy in every fiber type.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2311599] So-called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is greatly limited in extend;[http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/nonfunctionalmyth.html] in the end, you need to get stronger,[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19204579] [http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/adaptex/adaptex.html] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15064596] and for that, you need the low-moderate rep range.[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/reps-per-set-for-optimal-growth.html] Some high rep work on top to round it off won't hurt, but the focus should be in the 5-8 range; although you can grow on anything, as long as it improves the weight you can lift for ~1-20 reps.
 
 
: Rep range selection depends in large part on exercise selection. You can't do snatches for high reps, and you can't do strict lateral raises for low reps. Generally speaking, you want to do technical/power work and maximal strength lifts for low reps, your main exercises (bench press, squats …) for moderate reps (5-8) and your assistance exercises for high reps (8-20).
 
 
: For more advanced trainees, specification, doing more work below 5rm, and more work above 8rm, becomes more and more important,[http://www.ampedtraining.com/2009/strength/excluding-middle-fallacy] but as a beginner, you can for a while stay in this rep range.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12436270]
 
 
: An exception to this rule are steroids; with steroids, you can grow on literally anything.
 
=====<u>Bodypart Splits/''"I need to dedicate a whole day to my chest to work it from every angle and give it enough volume!"''</u>=====
 
: No you don't. Too much volume[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237506] and too low frequency[http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/training-frequency-for-mass-gains.html] are hurtful for hypertrophy. Try to hit every bodypart with about around 2 times a week with 30-60 reps each, split across 3 or 4 workouts a week.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12436270] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17326698] [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/training-frequency-for-mass-gains.html] [http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/categories-of-weight-training-part-6.html] Look at the [http://4chanfit.wikia.com/wiki/Harsh%27s_Worksheet_(WIP)#More_advanced_routines. routines] I linked to in the exercise chaper.
 
=====<u>''"I don’t care about strength, I only want to get bigger!"''</u>=====
 
: Size comes from food. Ensuring that size is muscle comes from lifting weights that are heavy enough to stimulate growth.[http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/nonfunctionalmyth.html][http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/reps-per-set-for-optimal-growth.html]
 
 
:
 
 
=="WHO THE FUCK IS TO BLAME FOR THIS SHIT?!??"==
 
 
Mostly me, some skinny kid from the internet. I go by the name harsh, or the trip !.ImGayqHTs, on 4chans /fit/. Tuna has also helped me out. He's less skinny, but also smaller than I am, and wears glasses, whereas I am wearing contacts, come at me bro
 
 
Clerisy also did a lot of things. Thanks for the more recent stuff you did, it's a great help.
 
 
Quadrasaurus-Rex involuntarily contributed parts, too (for now, only the part about abs). I hope he don't eat me if he finds out I stole his shit.
 
 
Filo made <strike>me finally wiki this stupid text file</strike> this wiki.
 

Latest revision as of 04:16, April 11, 2013

PART I: OPENING Q&A AND GENERAL MYTH-BUSTING - IntegratedEdit

PART II: MINDSET - IntegratedEdit

PART III: DIET - Nearly Integrated :)Edit

Keep in mind that I'm not saying you need to do any of this to be healthy or get into shape, though an Omega-3 supplement and Vitamin D3 is highly recommended unless you eat fish 24/7. Other supplements are worth looking into, but are not essential by any stretch of the imagination.


PART V: MEASURING PROGRESSEdit

The most important thing about measuring progress - any kind of progress - is to track it in writing. Whether it is weight you are lifting going up, or weight on your body going down, write it down! You can't meet goals if you have no idea what your real progress is. If you prefer to track online, check out Bodyspace, DailyBurn, or Physics Diet for you nerds out there.

Watching your weightEdit

Your body weight isn't everything - composition is more important - but it is certainly good to know. What follows are tips for tracking your weight.

A common pitfall in tracking weight is to weigh yourself at different times of the day. You body weight can easily swing 5 pounds based on how hydrated you are, when the last time you ate or had a bowel movement was, and so on. For most consistent results, weigh yourself first thing in the morning, preferably fully evacuated. Incidentally, this is also a lower weight than any other time of the day.

Don't weigh yourself every day, you'll see too much random variation to know if anything is going on, and the overall change you are looking for is only going to be a few pounds a week. So weigh yourself once a week.

Progress beyond poundageEdit

The thing about your weight is that it doesn't tell you what you're made of, just how much of you there is. The name of the game is losing fat, not muscle, so what happens if fat goes down and weight stays the same or goes up? You made up the difference in lean mass, of course. You shrink in areas that were full of fat, because muscle is more dense than fat. People on good programs often see larger changes in clothing sizes that their weight change would suggest. This is a good thing, because your real progress in terms of appearance is better than the scale is telling you.

The best way to track your overall progress appearance-wise is by measuring yourself with a tape measure in areas you want to get bigger or smaller, and by taking pictures of yourself at regular intervals. This way you can see how your body composition is changing for the better. Here is a short guide on how to take body measurements.

As I noted earlier, for lifting weights you should always track your progress in writing. Really, you can't effectively implement a good weight program - even a simple one - without doing this.

PART VI: MORE QUESTIONS & ANSWERSEdit

Q
I read about (insert diet or fitness program here) and it isn't mentioned in this guide. Is it any good?
A: Maybe. This guide only covers the basics, and fitness and nutrition are big subjects. Please keep in mind that there is a lot of huckster garbage associated with diet and exercise. You really need to be careful.

Signs someone is trying to rip you off:

  • Extravagant claims of massive improvement in a short period of time with little or no effort. If it sounds too good to be true, guess what? It is.
  • Claims of secret or suppressed knowledge that "the [diet/fitness/medical/exercise] establishment" doesn't want you to know about. Claims that all well-established forms of exercise like running and lifting weights are wrong.
  • Claims about spot reduction or converting fat to muscle, both of which are impossible. Losing fat and gaining muscle are possible, but you don't literally turn one into the other.
  • Use of meaningless language like "toning" or "sculpting" instead of talking about quantifiable changes to body composition, strength or endurance.
  • Magical language. Your personal spirituality is beyond the scope of this guide, but appeals to vaguely defined concepts like "energy fields" that are never actually explained and "internal cleansing" of various "toxins" that always remain nameless are usually strong indicators that someone is trying to con you.
  • Overuse of scientific-sounding language that is never actually defined. Real programs may have some jargon in them, but they will explain what the jargon means. At worst, you'll be able to easily find the meaning of their terminology, because they're using real concepts with a real scientific basis. Con artists just tend to throw lots of big words at you in the hope that you just give up and assume that they're smarter than you are, and you can never find out what they actually mean, because they just made it up to sell you something.
  • Even though the parameters of successful training routines are more or less well known [1][2][3][4] - I don't know if this exact routine is good. If it is for beginners - does it look pretty similar to the ones I’ve linked to above? If yes, it’s probably good. If it’s not for beginners - have you ever done a routine similar to the beginner routines I linked to? If yes, you should be able to decide if your routine X is good. If not, just do one of the things I linked to instead.
Q
I drastically changed my diet for the better, and nothing happened after a week. Or, I suddenly stopped losing weight for a week after weeks of weight loss. What happened?
A1: Maybe nothing. Sometimes weight loss has minor hiccups for no apparent reason. Maybe you had an extra glass of water the night before, or just retained some extra water for some random reason. If you are sticking a good diet, give it another week or two before you worry about changing things.
A2: All else being equal, to stay at 280 pounds takes more calories than it does to stay 180 pounds, even if the difference is all fat. So if you lost a lot of weight, this may be a contributing factor.
Q
I'm really sore from working out/I have DOMS. What do I do?
A: Soreness doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it can be unpleasant. For a little soreness, just suck it up.
If it is severe, you may want to take an extra day off, or do a reduced version of your regular workout until it improves. Ibuprofen is the over-the-counter painkiller of choice for muscular pain. I'm not going to tell you to ignore the instructions on the label, but prescriptions of 800 milligrams for minor pain are commonplace (the over-the-counter dose is 2 tablets of 200mg each). You can also remove soreness with a foam roller or any other types of deep tissue massage.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS) occurs from microscopic tears in your muscle fibers.
If you have horrible DOMS right now: Eat. Sleep. Eat. A lot. Next workout, go to the gym. Carefully do your warmups. If you can do them in good form, carefully add weight and keep doing your workout as long as proper form is maintained. If you can't, go home and try again ASAP. No crying, no excuses; but also, no being stupid and injuring yourself. Over time, you won't get DOMS anymore if you keep doing the exercise. If you stop doing them, you will get DOMS anew, so keep training, to fight away the DOMS at first, and to keep it away later. Most other stuff doesn't work [5]. If you want DOMS because you think it's important for muscle growth, It's not.

Note: Don't confuse soreness with pain; outright pain is often a sign of an actual injury. If you injure yourself, stop working out the injured area until it is 100% recovered and see here. If the pain doesn't go away or if you experience severe pain and/or loss of range of motion, see a doctor.

Q
I experience a sharp pain in my side when I'm doing cardio. What's going on?
A: Probably nothing more than a "side stitch", a fairly common complaint of runners, especially new runners just getting into shape. Curiously, there is no good scientific explanation for this pain, but it will go away on its own. As your fitness improves, you will generally stop experiencing them.
Q
I experience sharp pain in my shins from running. What's happening?
A: Probably "shin splints." This is just caused by straining or overworking the muscles to the side of the shins. Taking a break from running until the pain goes away is generally all that is necessary. Normally the muscles adapt over time and you quit getting shin splints. If not, the problem could be caused by flat feet (fallen arches), which can be treated with insoles that help overpronation. A physiotherapist can aid with this part.
Q
I've been lifting weights for a while, and have suddenly stopped making progress even though I'm trying hard. What happened?
A1: You may have simply over-trained and need a rest. Take a few days off, and then go back at it again.
A2: At some point you will need to eat more food to continue making rapid strength gains. Of course, if you don't want to get bigger anymore, at some point you will have to accept some limit on your strength gains.
Q
Is it safe for kids to train with weights?
A: Yes, it's safe [6][7]. No, it doesn't stunt height.
Q
Recovery/Sleep?
A: Recovery is about a bunch of factors. Your brain, your mind, your individual muscles and joints, the body as a whole all need recovery from training. Sleep enough, reduce stress, eat enough, choose a sensible routine. That's the main factors. Sleeping is a vital aspect of muscle building. You cannot fully recover without getting enough sleep, along with it filling a plethora of other detrimental needs for your health. Get 8-9 hours per night. Have a set bed time and wake up time - your body responds well to having a regular time to sleep. Your sleep cycle and amounts of REM sleep adjust to however you sleep. If you sleep and wake erratically, you cannot adjust. Also, avoid any more than 11 hours sleep as it provides a negative hormonal environment within the body. Read here for more info.
Q
HIIT/Tabata?
A: Unless you are training for a specific sport and your trainer tells you to, don’t do it [8], It’s a fad. The hype around HIIT for general fitness stems from a misunderstanding of some preliminary research. I know HIIT is more fun and less sucky than regular cardio; I personally like doing it a lot more than said cardio; but generally, standard cardio is just more effective AND efficient for burning fat [9] and maintaining muscle, as well as parameters of health and performance/endurance and fat burning capabilities [10], and will not interfere with your recovery as much [11].
Two topics are brought up again and again when it comes to HIIT: EPOC/afterburn, which is negligible with HIIT [12]; and Vo2max, which most anybody gets wrong [13][14]. I wish it were so simple, but 4 minutes of pushups and pauses is not going to do much to you. You have to put in a bit more effort [15].
Q
I want the quickest way to lose weight that is not completely idiotic!
A: The quickest legal way is something called PSMF by Lyle McDonald.
Q
"Clean" food? (Brown vs. White Rice, Sweet Potatos vs. Regular Potatoes, Organic vs. Conventional, “Clean” eating vs. Mixed diets...)
A: This is mostly down to taste preferences. The nutritional differences between the alternatives are neglible (really; check the labels). I know the internet says otherwise, but the cold hard numbers are what matters. You may eat the pricier option if it gives you a smug sense of superiority, I don’t really care, just don’t act as if it was necessary or optimal unless you can bring specific numbers to the table (say, item X has 120% more of nutrient Y than item Z).
Generally speaking, if you eat lots of the protein foods mentioned above, and lots of vegetables, and maybe supplement some vitamin D and fish oil, you got your nutrients covered. And if you don’t, you most likely don’t, and how crappy your rice tastes won’t change a thing
Q
Questions about specific nutrients
A: Fructose![16] Saturated Fats![17][18][19][20][21] Vegetable Fats!
Again: anything is bad in excess, and good in moderation. Usually, you will get an excess of certain things if you eat too much overprocessed, modern food; you will get appropriate, healthy amounts of stuff if you eat a traditionally prepared, moderated diet.
You will not get excess fructose from eating fruit, or excess saturated fat from eating fish and eggs. You will get excess fructose from drinking soda 24/7, and from eating pizza and burgers all day. It is less a question of things with chemical names, and more a question of apples and oranges (or rather, apples and candy).
Q
General ketogenic diets/Atkins?
A: First, refer to the general principles of dieting. If your keto diet fits in there, it's gonna work.
Some people however claim that ketosis is inherently better than a carb based or carb inclusive diet. The evidence however is farily conclusive: while many people consume too many carbs and need to cut back on them, and while some people simply feel better on a low carb or even ketogenic diet, feeling less hunger and less bloat, others do not, with many reporting adverse reactions to keto and low carb, and on average, ketogenic diets do not burn more fat or spare muscle better than non ketogenic diets [22][23]143]. Any claimed benefit of ketogenic diets that would work for everyone is mostly mediated by the higher protein content in comparison to regular diets; and obviously, you can also eat a low fat high carb high protein diet, and many people are doing just this and benefiting from it [24].
For the wrong idea that low carb is inherently better than moderate or high carb, refer to the paragraph on macronutrient ratios. Again: different things work for different people. You will have to experiment a bit.
Q
Any question focusing on Insulin! Glycaemic Index!
A: Forget about it. Insulin is vastly misunderstood [25] by the usual internet fitness writers. It is one of several key players, not the only culprit; it only mediates what your diet and exercise do anyways; there are alternative pathways that are just as important; if you try to shape your body by controlling insulin, the body will just use another pathway to bring you to where you should be.
Insulin, or various foods and their effects on insulin, are often blamed for obesity and, at times, every other bad thing. This is in part because on a mixed diet (carbs and fat), insulin is the hormone that mostly regulates bodyfat storage, and insulin resistance is a common and dangerous symptom of obesity. However, on a carb free diet, the body won’t simply waste nutrients either, and other pathways will be used to get fat if you eat enough; and insulin resistance is caused by eating excess fat alternatively to excess carbs, too. Most people that are fat today got fat by eating carbs and fat combined; but that only means that they ate a lot of fat and carbs, not that combining fat and carbs, or eating carbs at all, makes you fat. They would have gotten as fat on a carb free diet, and almost as fat on a fat free diet, assuming the calories stay the same.
Insulin also causes satiety, prevents muscle catabolism, increases free testosterone levels and, most of all, a healthy, exercising and well-eating individual will be able to control their blood sugar and insulin levels quite well enough anyways.
High-GI food has been wrongly implicated of being fattening;[26][27][28][29][30] and low-GI diets have been wrongly thought to be more filling.[31][32][33] This is flat out wrong and mainly stems from the fact that researchers used to use highly processed food to represent high-GI food, and less processed food to represent low-GI food. Even the GI - insulin connection is way more complex than carbophobics usually think.[34]

PART VII: THANKSEdit

Thanks to kponds & everybody else at the Something Awful Watch & Weight forum for their input. Also thanks to /fit for making the guide the official sticky. Thanks to clerisy and harsh for ??

Hungry for more? This guide is just a start. If you want to read a comprehensive guide to health and fitness, I recommend the book Brain Over Brawnby Clint Cornelius.

Change History:Edit

2006Edit

October 14 - First draft.

October 15 - Added notes for vegetarians, added starting cardio plan & warm-up information. Fixed assorted minor errors.

October 16 - Added additional Q&A information, minor changes to wording/layout.

October 17 - Added hints for avoiding fraudulent fitness programs. Removed profanity.

2007Edit

January 24 - Updated workout links, added more supplement information.

2009Edit

February 25 - Minor changes, new links to the Starting Strength Wiki and to Stumptuous.

2010Edit

March 6 - Removed information about more meals/day having a positive effect on weight loss in light of recent studies. Large grammar/spelling cleanups. Added a few more useful links, guides, and sources.

May 29 - Robert Kent graciously reformatted this guide to make it easier on the eyes. Thanks, Robert!

June 4 - Fixed formatting, changed saturated fat recommendations based on recent studies.

June 7 - Added more information on shin splints.

2011

January 27 - Complete edit of the guide for grammar, tone, and style. Long overdue!

2012

May 16 - Added section about stretching


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